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Austin Wood

Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom brings back the best part of Hyrule Warriors

The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom

he final trailer for The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom has arrived, and beyond revealing the return of Ganondorf, it's also confirmed that Link actually gets to fight big battles alongside some proper allies for once, which was one of the coolest parts of Hyrule Warriors.

As a Musou spinoff, Hyrule Warriors was explicitly about absurdly large-scale battles, so it's no surprise that those battles had more participants than Link's solo adventures in Breath of the Wild. But Breath of the Wild is fundamentally a game about protecting a land and its people, so I was always a little disappointed that those people didn't have much of a presence in battles involving Link. We see lots of other characters fighting in cutscenes and flashbacks, but I'm coming up short for playable sequences where Link has meaningful allies apart from the spirits of his legendary companions. 

Meanwhile, the new Tears of the Kingdom trailer is full of shots where Link is either leading the charge for normal people and soldiers, or fighting back-to-back with important characters. At 1:38, he rides through a field full of armed villagers defending an outpost from Bokoblins. At 2:18 and 3:07, we see Link teaming up with a young Rito who seems to be an aged-up Tulin. And at 3:13 onward, we get the whole squad together – villagers, Zora, and Gerudo. There's even a bit at 2:20 where Link is physically carrying some villagers through a field in what might be the first good escort mission in the history of video games. 

I'm sure the vast majority of the game will just be Link against the world, which is totally fine, but I'm thrilled to see our hero interact with Hyrule's citizens and warriors more directly. It makes Link feel like a more grounded and vulnerable person, and it reinforces who he's fighting for apart from, you know, Zelda herself. It also dovetails nicely with a touching line from the trailer: "You are not alone." I'm really digging this emerging theme of other Hyruleans, all heroes in their own right, supporting Link, and hope to see more of it in-game. 

Ganondorf is back, all right, and fans are already worshiping him

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