Game Theory

Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom trailer hints at Hyrule's grim secrets

The sky will play a prominent role this time around.

The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom

As part of the September 2022 Direct, Nintendo finally announced that the sequel to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is called Tears of the Kingdom. It’ll launch for Nintendo Switch on May 12, 2023. Accompanying the release date and title reveal is a brand new trailer. While the trailer was short, it offered a number of hints about the game’s story and mechanics, giving us a clearer idea of how Tears of the Kingdom might unfold.

Tears of the Kingdom trailer breakdown hints at a grim story

The trailer itself starts with a few shots of a mural depicting a god-like creature sitting atop a platform in the sky. This creature is surrounded by seven orbs that could represent items you might have to collect in-game.

Then, in another section of the mural, a figure that looks like Zelda appears to be incapacitated, possibly by the aforementioned creature. It then cuts to Link leaping from a platform in the sky and it begins to rain as he freefalls.

The creature seems to guard seven orbs while floating on a platform in the sky.


Nintendo says Tears of the Kingdom will “take you up into the skies and an expanded world that goes beyond that,” coinciding with the footage seen in the new trailer.

A figure who looks like Zelda was shown during the new trailer.


Based on the trailer, it’s possible Link will need to rescue Zelda from imprisonment somewhere in the sky, perhaps by collecting the seven orbs. These orbs might be dispersed throughout Hyrule, which could lead to Link having to obtain them and deliver them back to the sky or something similar, eventually ending in a brawl with the skyward creature (and rescuing Zelda in the process).

The final part of the mural segment in the trailer shows Zelda touching hands with an unknown figure off-screen, possibly indicating that she’s infected by the blight from the game’s initial reveal trailer from 2019. If true, it would be wild to fight an infected version of Zelda at the end of the game.

While there are still a lot of unknowns, this trailer has given us lots of new information to think about.

What the Tears of the Kingdom title could mean

A mysterious flying device is shown in the latest trailer.


Given the game’s emphasis on the sky and the “world beyond” Hyrule, there’s plenty we can infer from the new title.

The “Tears” could refer to the rain falling from the Kingdom” in the sky. In the trailer, we see Link falling from an island in the sky as rain falls. Perhaps the rain is the cure to the blight that spreads throughout Hyrule. Collecting one of the aforementioned orbs could trigger rainfall in a certain area, ridding that particular section of Hyrule of the deadly disease.

There’s a part in the demo that shows Link using a large platform to rise up to the sky, possibly indicating he’ll have to traverse back and forth frequently. It ends with Link landing on some sort of flying device as he journeys back to the land below.

At this point, we still don’t have a ton of information to work with, but we’ll find out more as we get closer to the game’s release in 2023.

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