Tears of the Kingdom Final Trailer Has a Massive Zonai Clue Hidden in Plain Sight
This mysterious tribe might be shown for the first time.
Nintendo released the final trailer for The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, and it’s packed with clues about the still-mysterious story. The trailer unfolds at a blisteringly fast pace with no concrete information about what happens with Ganon, Link’s strange new arm, or all the costume changes we’ve seen. Instead, quick snippets of gameplay and story elements were shown, raising a slew of questions in the process. However, the trailer does seem to confirm a popular theory about the Zonai’s involvement in the story at large, and it has everything to do with a literal Easter egg that’s been around since some of the game’s earliest reveals.
The Zonai are known as a prehistoric tribe that lived in Hyrule thousands of years before the events of Breath of the Wild. You can actually find their ruins within the Faron Woods in that game. Oddly enough, you never actually get to see what they look like ... that is, seemingly, until now.
Their exact involvement in the overarching story isn’t clear, but it’s apparent that the Zonai will play a larger role in Tears of the Kingdom.
In the March 2023 gameplay showing for Tears of the Kingdom, Link is seen fighting an enemy called a Scout Construct, which appears to be a kind of magical golem robot. Upon defeat, the Construct drops an item called the “Zonai Charge.” Clearly, these enemies are Zonai in origin. Perhaps similar to how the Sheikah created the Guardians, the Zonai created the Constructs?
The main thing to pay attention to during the gameplay trailer is this enemy’s armor, which appears to be made of some kind of green brick.
Now, let’s reference the E3 2021 trailer for what, at the time, was still called “the sequel to Breath of the Wild.” In it, we see a massive enemy that looks a lot like the aforementioned Zonai — with green brick-like armor:
The resemblance is clear, so, assuming the enemy from the March 2023 trailer is a Zonai Construct, this big fella from the E3 2021 is probably one as well, except it’s a lot bigger.
Now, pay attention to the pinecone-like objects on this enemy’s shoulders. They stand out and look like some kind of weak point or something similar.
Those same objects (eggs? pine cones? pineapples?) have been popping up throughout all of the footage for the game, often appearing as lamps on pedestals in what look like altars on the sky islands. They’re also quite prominent in the new April 2023 trailer for Tears of the Kingdom as well.
At around the 2-minute mark, Zelda is seen wearing more archaic garb and converses with a tall, kingly figure. We never see his face, but he talks about how Link is their “last line of defense.” Zelda is wearing earrings of these very same objects. And, in what looks like this throne room of some kind, there are lamps on pedestals lighting the room. Again, more scaled eggs.
Based on more context clues, it seems like Zelda is trapped either in the past or an alternate reality of some kind. The man talking to her is likely the Zonai king on account of his green stone necklace, which would explain why all the marketing does not show his face. But that doesn’t really explain what happened to the Zonai? Are they totally extinct in the present day, and these sequences take place in the distant past when Ganon was first sealed? And how does Link’s strange new arm fit into all this? Is it also of Zonai origin?
It does look like the figure we’re calling the Zonai King’s arm bears a striking resemblance to the maze-looking runes on Link’s new arm, so there may be a connection there. For now, however, Tears of the Kingdom continues to provide fodder for more questions and theories than it does answers.