Let’s analyse that Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom trailer

Yesterday, we were all treated to a new trailer announcing the name for Nintendo’s upcoming Legend of Zelda sequel.

Along with finally getting its name revealed – Tears of the Kingdom – we also got some new footage. And where there is new footage, you can be sure that Eurogamer’s Ed Nightingale and I will not be far behind with our theories about what it all means for the next instalment in the Zelda series.

So, we have teamed up to bring you our thoughts on this new trailer below – and to discuss the little things you may have missed on a first pass. Without further ado, let’s get stuck in.

The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom comes to Nintendo Switch on 12th May, 2023.

Victoria: Hello Ed, my fellow Zelda-nerd. Are you ready to talk all about why The Legend of Zelda Hy-rules and help break down that new teaser for Breath of the Wild’s sequel?

Ed: I’m not sure I’ll ever be ready, but let’s skydive in. What did you make of yesterday’s trailer?

Victoria: First of all, “skydive in” just made me snort laugh! Secondly, I think this trailer actually tells us a lot more than first meets the eye. Those carvings / murals at the start seem to tell a good chunk of potential backstory.


The ethereal, long eared figure surrounded by symbols (representing the sages, perhaps) reminded me of the horse-like creature you can come across on the hill in Breath of the Wild, but I can’t remember its name… the one that meets with all the Blupees.


Also, the army of moblins and bokoblins leading the charge over the top of what looks like a carving of malice. Something big clearly went down – did you notice the soldiers in the malice clearly dead? I wonder if they are members of the mysterious Zonai tribe.

Ed: The Lord of the Mountain! (RIP Iwata.) Yes I think the carvings are really important here. I like that this is referring back to similar carvings for Breath of the Wild that told the story. I think the long-eared figure is the key though. Who they are I’m not sure. Holding hands with the other figure, presumably Zelda, suggests it could be the goddess Hylia? Or a new character?


Either way they’re surrounded by seven objects, likely the titular tears. And whenever there are seven of something, we know what that means: dungeons!

Who could this mysterious figure be?

Victoria: That’s the chap, thank you! I assumed this mysterious figure is the character who’s hand is keeping Ganon in place in the depths of Hyrule.


And seven dungeons! I had not thought of that, but now I feel silly because of course! I also wondered if that female figure is Zelda, or at least a past incarnation of Zelda. On the princess, in the first trailer we saw for this sequel, she had a cropped hair do, which leads me to think there is going to be time travel of some description here. I also think this because of what Link (or… Links plural?!) wears in the trailer, but will get to that later – there’s so much to say!


I assume the figure we see falling from the sky on these murals is Ganon from the first trailer – the way the body is positioned on the carving looks the same way he was lying in those mysterious caverns in the first reveal. Do you want to see more dungeons this time around?

Ed: I absolutely want to see more dungeons. It was the one thing missing for me from Breath of the Wild – Puzzles! Bosses! Iconic locations! – so I’d love to see a return to that classic Zelda but in the context of a fully open world. I’d also love to see playable Zelda and this incarnation of her is so loved that this is absolutely the time to do it. I’m still hopeful it can happen, even though we haven’t seen it. I’ve also seen rumours that the longer-haired blonde character could be a reincarnation of Ganondorf which is absolutely wild to me.

Victoria: I am also still hopeful for playable Zelda – I have a theory that we may get to play as her by using her scholarly knowledge to solve puzzles in the caverns under Hyrule (the ones she fell into in the first trailer) to make our way back to the surface, but that is probably a conversation for another day.

A peek at the canisters that Link can be seen carrying.

Ed:
What do you make of those little green canisters on Link’s hip? They seem to be very prominent in the artwork and gameplay.

Victoria:
I had to go back and watch that bit in slow motion as my mind assumed it was the Sheikah Slate on the first watch, but boy was I wrong!


I wonder if they will be linked (punning unintentionally) to Link’s various rune-like abilities as he doesn’t have the slate any more. Perhaps they are a physical representation of his ‘magic meter’ like we have seen in other games?


The vials also add to my time-travel theory. The first Link we see is in his garb that is very similar to his Breath of the Wild look, bar his right arm. However, there is another character model for Link, the one we have seen in previous trailers, where he is dressed in a more ‘primal’ style… and I couldn’t see those vials (unless they were hidden behind his axe-like weapon, that also has an archaic design to it). What do you think?

Ed: Judging by the colour scheme, I think those vials/canisters are almost certainly linked to his new abilities. I love the idea of the reverse-stasis-reverse-time ability, especially as a way to reach the sky. I do hope it’s used in some interesting puzzles.


And there are definitely multiple Links going on. Is this actual time travel? Are they different characters? Are these flashback sequences or more memories? I can’t wait to find out.

Victoria: I do wonder if that Stasis-rock-stairway-to-heaven situation will be specific to certain rock types in Hyrule. The design of the one shown in the trailer looked like it had fallen from one of those sky islands, it was too angular to just be a random boulder.

Link can be seen making his way into the sky with a new ability. Also, the clouds in the background look like they could be hiding a puzzle Link will have to traverse.

Ed:
What do you make of the bird glider? What happened to the Loftwings? Or the paraglider?

Victoria:
Do you really want to know where my geeky nerdy brain went?! Ok, I am sure this is 100 percent not what has happened, but the Star Wars fan in me went “Huh, I wonder if this glider is a Loftwing that has been frozen in some kind of Hylian carbonite, much like Han Solo in The Empire Strikes Back.” What did you think? Also, did you spot that dragon?

Ed: I wonder if it’s summonable, or even if it’s the only one? Perhaps there are multiple gliders hovering around in the skies to land on, or perhaps it’s only one but its path can be mapped out? I fear I might miss the freedom the paraglider offers though. Nintendo mentioned in a press release “the latest entry in the Legend of Zelda series will take you up into the skies and an expanded world that goes beyond that” so I’m very intrigued to see exactly where we end up going.


And yes that dragon way off in the distance – clearly they’re a major motif here. Which brings us to the logo and name: do you like it?

You can just make out the tail end of a dragon making its way behind the upper left sky island in this shot.

Victoria: Dragons are definitely important for this game, they could also be seen adorning the doors of the shrine (?) area we first saw Link exiting after the murals footage. They have a certain Zonai look to them.


Name wise, are we both agreed it is ‘tears’ as in teardrops and not ‘tears’ as in a tear-and-share focaccia, because I have seen some arguing the latter…

We finally have a name! Here is the new logo for The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, complete with a time-split Master Sword (perhaps).

Ed: To quote a meme: why not both? I hope Link will be collecting tears in dungeons. The kingdom could be in tears following tragedy, but it’s also been torn apart. It doesn’t quite have a ring to it for me just yet, but I’m sure that’ll come in time.


To sum up, how excited are you to play Tears of the Kingdom?

Victoria: Did he not collect tears in Skyward Sword? Let me check that. Yes, they were in the Sacred Realms. Well, Victoria, it is almost like the series is all linked! Also, the symbol of the Sheikah is an eye with a teardrop, so I wonder if there will be something explaining this.


To wrap up, I am incredibly excited about this Zelda release! I love this series and credit it with being one of the main franchises that made me fall in love with games. I am, however, a tad concerned still about the similarities between the trailers so far and Skyward Sword, which is one of Zelda’s lesser entries in my opinion. I was more excited by the very first tease that gave off Majora’s Mask vibes, and hope that energy is still present too.


Also, malice in Death Mountain! I feel like this version of Hyrule is literally bubbling up and over with the pressure of Ganon. What about you?

Malice can be seen coming from the top of Death Mountain, along with the Malice underneath Hyrule Castle as seen in an earlier trailer.

Ed: Well, with all that malice I’m still hopeful for a twisted, more horrifying vision beneath the utopia of the sky. I have incredibly high hopes for Tears of the Kingdom, which this chat is doing nothing to dissuade. If anything, it’s made me want to play Breath of the Wild all over again. Excuse me while I grab my Switch.

Victoria: Ed? Ed?! Are you there? Ahhh, I have lost him to Zelda. Story of my life!

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