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USA Today Sports Media Group
USA Today Sports Media Group
Josh Broadwell

Final Tears of the Kingdom trailer: Biggest reveals and teases

Nintendo released the final Tears of the Kingdom trailer ahead of the game’s launch on May 12, 2023, and it looks like the series is once again heading in a bold new direction. Where the previous trailer highlighted some of the open-world game’s crafting mechanics, the recent trailer places a heavier emphasis on the story, while teasing what looks like dungeons and a whole new world underground. Not unlike the final Breath of the Wild trailer in 2017, it’s a bit difficult to figure out exactly what’s going on in Tears of the Kingdom, but there are some pretty solid clues and even more tantalizing speculation. 


Hyrule is rebuilding

The trailer opens with a brief shot of a burgeoning settlement outside Hyrule Castle, around the center of the old Castle Town. “Burgeoning” seems key here, since it’s literally just a handful of tents. Another short segment shows a bustling Hateno Village, with more people milling around the village entrance than there ever were in Breath of the Wild.

Hyrule lived in stasis in BotW, with sparse commerce and few people traveling, but it seems like that’s all changing in Tears of the Kingdom – for a little while, at least.

Hyrule is at war

The people of Hyrule – or wherever else Link is – are usually passive victims of whatever calamity befalls them. Even in Breath of the Wild, only the chosen Champions could lend a hand. This time, it looks like everyone is playing a role in saving themselves, even if it’s just your average farmer showing up with a bucket on his head.

Ganondorf is back

The first Tears of the Kingdom trailer hinted heavily at the dried-up mummy being Ganondorf, and it looks like it is, indeed, him. The king of the Gerudo is back, risen from the dead and intent on claiming his rightful throne, only he’s officially called The Demon King this time. Whether he’s connected to Calamity Ganon is still a mystery.

Ganondorf’s history with the evil pig is spotty anyway. He transforms into Ganon in Ocarina of Time and Twilight Princess, but remains distinct in Wind Waker. Meanwhile, Breath of the Wild portrayed Ganon as some kind of preternatural evil with no roots in a human past at all.

It turns out the Tears of the Kingdom Ganondorf isn’t far off from the “Hydrated Ganondorf” memes of 2022 either.

The past comes back to life

Ganondorf wants the rebirth of his kingdom, a palace rises from the desert, and mysterious beings aid their Demon King in his efforts. Breath of the Wild centers on the story of the Calamity itself, but teases something bigger in the kingdom’s past – conflict with the Zonai, for example, and misuse of advanced technology.

It seems like that troubled history may play a bigger role in Tears of the Kingdom, and some fans speculate the mysterious character speaking to Zelda at the trailer’s two-minute mark is a Zonai, thanks to their strong resemblance to the Twili of Twilight Princess – another race that existed before the Hylians.

Dungeons may be back

Or if not dungeons, then at least a different kind of overworld obstacle course that’s distinct from Breath of the Wild‘s shrines. At a few points in the trailer, we see Link tackling what looks like traditional Zelda-style puzzles in locations that definitely aren’t shrines. Whether these are distinct dungeons or Divine Beast-style structures isn’t clear, but at least one of them – a giant stone sphere – seems to be part of the Sky Islands. Perhaps instead of dungeons, Tears of the Kingdom will just integrate its puzzles in the world itself.

You aren't alone

Link is a famously solo adventurer, but he’s got quite a bit of company in Tears of the Kingdom. The trailer shows Link fighting alongside a motley crew of Hylians, Gerudo, and Gorons at one point. The leader of the Gerudo makes an appearance with some flashy moves, there’s a new Rito in town, and Prince Sidon, everyone’s favorite swole Zora, even fights alongside Link in a battle on one of the Sky Islands. Whether you always have a companion, or these are just scripted encounters, Nintendo didn’t say.

The depths (might) beckon

After the initial Tears of the Kingdom trailer, where Link and Zelda explored what looks like an underground tomb, it seemed inevitable that the Switch sequel would take us below the surface. The final trailer shows Link in a massive underground cavern full of enemies and obstacles – and what some people think may be a dungeon or two.

The surface of Hyrule might be largely the same, but between the Sky Islands and an entire underground realm, Tears of the Kingdom is shaping up to be quite a bit larger than we expected.

Then again, it looks like Link is wearing a variation of his Goron armor in that scene, so he could just be exploring inside Death Mountain.

Zelda may play a larger role

Zelda gets chucked into a cavern at some point after Dehydrated Ganondorf revives, but either before or after that, it seems like she has a more substantial role. One shot shows her holding what’s probably a Tear of the Kingdom – a small, yellow, tear-shaped object – while another sees her ruminating on a task that only she can do. Nintendo naturally left it up in the air whether that means she’s actually playable while she completes this task, or it’s a continuation of her usual NPC duties.

Something's definitely up with the Master Sword

Nintendo is doing a very good job of making the Master Sword situation a mystery. The initial trailer shows it shattered, as does the official logo. Link carries it around in his new, Calamity-infused form, though it seems unusable. And now, we see the Master Sword back in its Deku Forest resting place, but with a twist. Nintendo made sure to zoom in on the hilt, where you can see a few green strands twirled around the base. Perhaps this is the Master Sword restored with whatever new power Link ends up wielding.

Bosses are back

Breath of the Wild‘s bosses all turned out to be variations of Calamity Ganon, but it looks like Nintendo cooked up some traditional Zelda-style baddies for Tears of the Kingdom. There’s a giant sludgy, purple lizard, a mechanical hydra, and an ice monster, with teases of some bigger, badder monsters as well, including one that fires large energy beams at about three minutes into the trailer.

It's shaping up to be a true sandbox game

Producer Eiji Aonuma has twice said Tears of the Kingdom encourages you to use your imagination, and while that emphasis on creativity seemed apparent in the gameplay trailer, the final trailer shows a bit of just how wild you can get. In one instance, Link created a war machine using a giant rock and two stubby arms. Is it necessary? Probably not! But it sure looks fun.

Elsewhere, we see Link using a variety of handmade tools, including a sword with a shield stuck to it and even a rocket that he uses to reach new heights. Why morph through stone with magic when you can fly on a rocket?

Written by Josh Broadwell on behalf of GLHF

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