Everything you need to know about The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom

The long wait is nearly over.

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The long-awaited sequel to the Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is finally within reach. Nintendo announced the sequel all the way back in 2019, with a spooky teaser that dropped jaws. In the 3 years since information on the game has been doled out in small increments, and the cloud of Breath of the Wild 2 hung over every Nintendo Direct. But during the September 2022 Direct, a ray of light broke through the cloud.

Here is everything you need to know about Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom.

When will Tears of the Kingdom come out?

At E3 2021, Nintendo confirmed it aimed to release Tears of the Kingdom in 2022. However, on March 29, 2022, series producer Eiji Aonuma revealed the sequel would be delayed until Spring 2023. At the latest Nintendo Direct TotK made a showstopping appearance to announce its title as well as an official release date of May 12, 2023.

While Nintendo’s “Launch Timing Update” video from March 2022 included little new footage, we did get an intriguing new shot of Link holding a gnarly, seemingly corrupted version of the iconic Master Sword, which has the appearance of licking flames at the end of the blade, and appears to be imbued with some kind of powerful energy.

A new look at the sequel’s version of the iconic Master Sword. Nintendo

Is there a Tears of the Kingdom trailer?

Nintendo did not disappoint fans with the latest Direct, which revealed both a release date and a title for the upcoming Zelda game. This was all packaged in a gorgeous trailer focusing on Link exploring the game’s open world in what appear to be different timelines. Check it out:

Before this big reveal the last time we saw TotK was at E3 2021. A trailer showed Link gliding and falling through the air, revealing that players will be able to explore islands in the sky. It also highlights some of the new powers Link will have at his disposal, including one that allows him to phase through objects.

It’s an exciting trailer and way more revealing than the mysterious teaser from E3 2019. You can check it out below.

If you want a refresher on that very first trailer from 2019, we’ve also included it here.

What is the Tears of the Kingdom story?

We believe that Tears of the Kingdom will follow up after the events of Breath of the Wild. The announcement trailer hints at a darker tone during certain parts of the adventure as Link and Zelda team-up. It also looks like players will be staying in Hyrule based on the trailer.

Fans have guessed that Link and Zelda may have discovered the dried-up corpse of Ganondorf deep below Hyrule Castle. Assuming that’s the case, it seems something will go wrong, freeing the villain from whatever spell had been used to contain him and plunging Hyrule into darkness yet again.

Some fans believe the game will have a plot that revolves around time travel. The voice actor for Daruk revealed he would be returning for the sequel in more than one role. He will also be voicing Daruk’s ancestor whom he calls “a bit more serious”.

One thing’s for sure, TotK looks a lot spookier than the previous game. The long-awaited sequel has a tone reminiscent of Majora’s Mask or Twilight Princess.

A beautiful screenshot from the game’s E3 2021 trailerNintendo

Will Zelda be playable in Tears of the Kingdom?

Recent leaks on Weibo (the Chinese equivalent of Twitter) suggest that Zelda could finally be playable in Tears of the Kingdom. While this has never happened in a mainline Zelda game, the leaker (a 3D artist claiming to be a Nintendo contractor) revealed information suggesting TotK could change that.

Specifically, the leaker mentions working on sequences related to the Sheikah Slate. By the end of Breath of the Wild, this is in the possession of Zelda. Link has been depicted as having some sort of mutated arm that replaces the Sheikah Slate in the available trailers for TotK. Its inclusion raises questions about who could be using it, or why Link would be in possession of it in the first place.

What new features will Tears of the Kingdom have?

Tears of the Kingdom brings back the open world of Breath of the Wild but in a sky land akin to Skyward Sword. Nintendo

The Weibo leak also claims TotK will include a “New Game Plus” mode. This would mean that players could start a new game and carry over their items and progression from a completed save. This is something not previously seen in a Zelda game.

One detail also states that Link will “look different” in New Game Plus. As this is translated this could refer to a change in outfit, or Link’s arm returning to normal. However, this could be another reference to playable Zelda, New Game Plus looks different because you are playing as a different character. This could function like Nier Automata which gives the player control over new characters in subsequent playthroughs.

Will Tears of the Kingdom launch with a Switch Pro?

One of the bigger rumors circulating is that Nintendo might release Tears of the Kingdom alongside a new Switch model. That seems like a logical conclusion considering that the first game launched with the current Switch model. The reality here? Don’t get your hopes up.

The paraglider returns in Tears of the Kingdom. Nintendo

Nintendo announced the Nintendo Switch OLED model, ending any rumors of an upgraded piece of Nintendo hardware. While it’s always possible that Nintendo could release a new system in 2022 or 2023, the Switch is doing just fine.

Omdia Senior Analyst George Jijiashvili tells Inverse, “Based on how Nintendo tends to operate, I believe it would release Tears of the Kingdom when it thinks it’s ready, instead of syncing it up with a new hardware launch.”

With continued chip shortage issues due to the global pandemic, in combination with the immense popularity of the Nintendo Switch over the past couple of years, it seems unlikely that a new Nintendo console is around the corner.

Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom is coming to Nintendo Switch on May 12, 2023

Previous versions of this article were written by Allie Gemmill and Giovanni Colantonio.

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