The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom released just over one year ago. Hopefully, that means fans have had enough time to explore the highs and lows of the game, discover most of its secrets, and become experts in Ultrahand! 

This title took all of the gifts of its predecessor, and built upon them. Expansive areas like the Sky and Depths, and the hidden nooks and crannies of caves and wells, only added to this breathtaking iteration of Hyrule. Gameplay became more diverse than anybody could have imagined with mechanics that allow the player to fuse their own weapons, ascend the loftiest heights, stop and rewind time in its tracks, and build the coolest, wackiest creations ever seen in Zelda! Then, there’s the cinematic content that inspires all sorts of different emotions, depending on what you, the player, has learned in the game so far.

The team at Zelda Dungeon have spent the past year experiencing everything Tears of the Kingdom has to offer. And much like we did for Breath of the Wild, we’ve reflected on our adventures to find which moment from the game stuck out the most. Please join us as we discuss the memories that defined our past year with Tears of the Kingdom.

Rod Lloyd, Editor-In-Chief: Scaling Zonaite Forge Island the Hard Way

I was afraid to visit Zonaite Forge Island during most of my Tears of the Kingdom playthrough. With its intimidating silhouette of twisted smokestacks and its significant elevation, the island’s appearance gave me the impression that it was a late-game area, perhaps even a floating fortress for Ganondorf himself. Maybe I just had DuckTales the Movie on the brain, but I assumed an evil guy would naturally have an evil lair high above the clouds.

So, given these undue expectations, you can count me a little disappointed once I finally learned that Zonaite Forge Island is actually just home to a Shrine puzzle and a few other mundane goodies. There was no air of overwhelming evil surrounding its walls and no epic boss fight waiting for me inside. But that didn’t stop me from pretending that Zonaite Forge Island was a late-game area that offered a late-game challenge once I got there…

It didn’t stop me from climbing Zonaite Forge Island the hard way.

In order to inflate Zonaite Forge Island’s challenge, I decided to place some gameplay handicaps on myself. I couldn’t use Autobuild or Ultrahand, I couldn’t consume any Stamina-replenishing food, and I certainly couldn’t turn on the smokestacks’ fans to make the entire climb trivial. Thus, my quest to the top of the Zonaite Forge involved careful planning, some clever uses of Tulin’s ability and Ascend, and a lot of close calls. The entire exercise proved a true test of spatial awareness and problem solving, as I sought out hidden resting places and paths of least resistance amongst the smokestacks’ stones and crevices.

“It’s not the destination; it’s the journey,” proved true during my trek up Zonaite Forge Island. The experience offered a dopaminergic satisfaction that reminded me of climbing towers in early Assassin’s Creed games or Shadow of the Colossus, and it exuded a cinematic quality that reminded me of scenes from Castle in the Sky. I definitely recommend you give the challenge a shot during your next playthrough if you’re feeling adventurous.


Alexandria Weber, Copy Editor: Secrets and Special Discoveries

One of my favorite things about Tears of the Kingdom is how active Hyrule is across the board in being archaeologists, historians, investigators, and excavators. There’s something that tickles my heart about exploring ancient ruins that I cannot describe. Perhaps it is my fervent desire as a journalist to get information straight from the primary source, or even my insatiable yearn for chaos, that invites a want to know what crazy thing could be just around the corner or in the chest below the rubble. Combine this with my love for Skyward Sword and my desire to find anything in the game that is Zelink-coded, I of course had to check in on one of my favorite places in Breath of the Wild: The Forgotten Temple.

I played Tears of the Kingdom the way I played Breath of the Wild, without following the rules at all. I went to Kakariko and Hateno before even knowing the Paraglider was a thing that existed in the game; and even as soon as I got it, I headed to the Forgotten Temple. I only really wanted to make sure it was still there; I was not expecting a secret room!

In my head, “The Map Room: Dawn” from Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark played as I discovered the existence of the geoglyphs for the first time. There were no NPCs there, and thus no one to tell me what I had found. It felt like my special discovery to theorize, to take pictures of, and to figure out for myself what the map and symbols meant. Although I feel as though the information that the geoglyphs show once you go to them should have been more linearly controlled for the sake of the emotional impact of the twist, I’ll never forget finding that secret room.


Jared Eubanks, Junior Editor: Moments In-Game and Out 

My first Zelda game was Breath of the Wild, and I got it along with the Switch in late 2017 after it had been out for several months. I became an avid Zelda fan in the following years by playing a lot of the previous games in the series through Nintendo Switch Online (NSO) and buying a used Wii U and 3DS. 

So, Tears of the Kingdom was my first brand-new, mainline title as a Zelda fan. I pre-ordered the game through GameStop for at-home delivery, but as the release date approached I felt a bit regretful about having to wait for it to arrive in the mail rather than participating in the midnight launch. My local GameStop also announced that, at the midnight launch, they would be hosting a raffle where those who had pre-ordered for pick-up at that location could potentially win a Tears of the Kingdom edition Switch console or a Collector’s Edition of the game at midnight. I asked the store manager if I could still participate in the raffle even though my order wasn’t for pick-up, and he said I could. 

The experience of being at the midnight launch was memorable since it was my first ever. I came a bit early wearing one of my Zelda t-shirts and not knowing what to expect, but several people were already there ahead of me. Dozens of other people came in Zelda paraphernalia in the ensuing minutes, and the excitement was palpable. Strangers chatted while in line about their hopes, fears, expectations, and latest rumors about the game. Others brought their Switches for impromptu games of Super Smash Bros. to pass the time. 

When the time came for the raffle, our tickets were on Korok-themed paper slips. I admittedly came feeling self-conscious during the drive over, asking myself what I was doing out this late as a husband and father in his late 30’s with a corporate engineering job waiting for me in the morning. Even though I didn’t win anything, I’m glad I did go because I felt like I belonged in that moment with everyone else in line, and that I had become a true fan of the series.

My most memorable moment in-game took place during the boss battle with Ganondorf in the Depths, as I watched his life bar slowly grow to the right, go past where you would have expected it to stop based on the life bar’s left edge, and then just keep going to the far right edge of the screen. I remember laughing out loud and saying, “You’ve got to be kidding me.” It was a simple, small touch by the developers when there was no driving reason to do it. It felt like a “breaking the fourth wall” or “gotcha” kind of moment with Nintendo ignoring typical video game convention in order to make the boss battle that more intense, epic, and memorable.


Chakell Herbert, Associate Editor: Poetic Parallels for the Perfect Ending 

My favorite moment from Tears of the Kingdom is one that I will never forget, and that is seeing the story come full circle when Link dives to successfully catch Zelda in the endgame. After he missed her in the beginning, I imagine that failed catch haunted him through the rest of the adventure until he found her again. So this moment was unbelievably emotional, redeeming, and satisfying for me. 

The music, the beautiful sunrise in the background, and everything in between made Link’s catch my favorite finale in any Zelda game. Also, the fact that we got to actually control Link as he dove made it even more meaningful and personal. I loved the clasped hands that we got to see throughout the adventure, and it all ends with our hero and his princess reunited again. 

Although I loved my first full playthrough, and can pick out many moments that spoke to my heart and made me so happy to be a long-time Zelda fanatic, this one was the one that meant the most to me. It was such perfect storytelling with a poetic ending that paralleled where the journey began.


Leslie Jacobson, Associate Editor: The Light Dragon’s Secret Revealed

Princess Zelda from Breath of the Wild, and now Tears of the Kingdom, is above and beyond my favorite version of Zelda from across all of the games. I really connected with her story of trying your hardest and still failing to do what was expected of you, yet overcoming that failure and eventually succeeding. Through her story, I realized failure was not the end. That’s why I cosplay muddy Zelda, because I love that moment of, just when she thinks all is lost, she finally succeeds and has her sealing power. The Silent Princess, a symbol of Zelda herself, has become one of my favorite designs and decorations. For example, when my youngest was born, my husband gave me a 3D printed Silent Princess flower. 

You may now be asking what this has to do with Tears of the Kingdom. I think it’s because I have such a connection with this Zelda that the final Tear of the Dragon rocked my emotions so hard. I held off on viewing a lot of the Tear of the Dragon cutscenes until I was done teaching school for the year in order to give myself a little reward. The day after school was done, I had an all-day game session in which I warped, glided, and ran to the last six or seven Dragon’s Tears just to watch them all in a row. 

During the final Tear of the Dragon memory, I’m sure I started tearing up when the main theme from Breath of the Wild started playing and I was full-blown ugly crying when the notes of “Zelda’s Lullaby” played as Zelda grabbed the decayed Master Sword. What came after the memory, with the Light Dragon/Zelda soaring above and Link standing in a field of Silent Princesses below, felt absolutely devastating. I didn’t even want to pick up the Silent Princesses at first, because all I could think was, “Poor Zelda!” and, “I want her back!”

What was perhaps the most difficult part after viewing those cutscenes was having to keep it a secret from my husband and even other Zelda fans. My husband and I took turns back and forth playing and watching each other play. I didn’t tell him I’d gotten the Master Sword because I didn’t want to have to explain how I’d got it. Of course, he noticed I had it the next time he watched me play and asked how I’d gotten it. I mumbled something about spoilers while trying not to tear up. 

He figured it out before watching the cutscenes, the tip-off supposedly being that the Light Dragon’s hair was similar to Zelda’s. Still, I won’t forget how much more I grew to admire Zelda and her courage to pursue a way to save her kingdom and her supreme sacrifice in doing so. When I finally watched my husband complete the final Tear of the Dragon memory, I cried again, but now I could finally talk about it with someone! 


Josh Wittmershaus, Junior Editor: The First Descent into the Depths

I can’t help but want to be spoiled when it comes to Tears of the Kingdom. I checked social media incessantly for updates, leaks, and anything that would help fuel my already raging fire of anticipation for the game. So, when it came out, I was already well aware of the presence of a lower-level of the map. Yet, there is a single moment that, for me and I’m sure for others, made my hair stand on end — a moment that filled me with a realization of just how massive this game would be: My first descent into the Depths.

As Zelda fans, we all recognize the importance of music as an accompaniment to the playing experience. As we freefall into the Depths for the first time, the quiet and sparse music surrounds us, and instruments dance together to reveal what we already know: we’re going somewhere mysterious and unknown to us. 

Then, when it feels like we’ve been dancing and falling forever, we’re hit with a wall of brass sound, sparking a sense of being swallowed into the yawning darkness of the underground. This sharp contrast yields a number of different emotions: fear, amazement, awe, danger. All of these emotions are integral to both Tears of the Kingdom and Breath of the Wild, as they bring the vast, open world to life. This moment shows that vastness is more than surface-level. In such a simple moment in terms of gameplay and story development, I experienced another emotional revelation through The Legend of Zelda, and in that moment I knew that we, as fans of this franchise, truly are spoiled.


Nicole Scott, Associate Editor: A Better Reward Than Hestu’s Gift

My journey into Tears of the Kingdom coincided with what I dubbed my “baking phase” — which, a year later, appears to be more than a phase. After dismissing the Korok search in Breath of the Wild, my childhood friend and I decided to take on the challenge in its sequel. We knew what the reward was going to be, yet it didn’t dissuade our enthusiasm. I promised to make this ridiculous side quest something worth celebrating. My friend was driving hours to hang out with me for the weekend after months of playing, where our only objective was to simultaneously capture our final Koroks together. 

There was going to be decoration. There was going to be lights. There was going to be vibes. And, lastly, I made sure there was going to be a suitable reward. So, I made a chocolate walnut cake with a Korok face. When we lifted our last rocks at Hyrule Castle and heard the final “ya-ha-ha,” we couldn’t earn it yet; not until Hestu did his dance and gave us our Gift. Only then, did we cut into my amateur-ly iced cake and bask in our completionist glory. It was so momentous and silly that we decided to go back to Breath of the Wild and take care of unfinished business.

To this day, I’ll never know why I decided to take on such an ambitious piping project as one of my first cakes (especially when black food coloring is a joke). But it is only one of many special memories surrounding my first Tears playthrough. Please enjoy how nearly unrecognizable it looks. I tried my best; please don’t make fun of me. 


Charles Xavier, Senior Editor: My Paintings of the Kingdom 

In the lead-up to Tears of the Kingdom’s release, I asked fans to name some of their favorite locations in Breath of the Wild. I wanted very specific spots so that I could experience seeing places in the game that I may not have appreciated before. If I really enjoyed a location, I would do a painting study of it. I had a lot of fun doing this, but I didn’t think I’d end up doing something similar with Tears of the Kingdom. To my surprise, I did, and it was one of the highlights of playing the game for me.

Unlike most, I didn’t complete the main quest for quite a long time. I was still playing my first playthrough on and off throughout Fall of last year. So in October, when I decided to participate in Linktober, all I could think to do was paint studies of characters and locations in Tears of the Kingdom since it was still so fresh in my mind.

I feel like I leveled up as an artist while doing those studies consistently every day, because they pushed me to simplify my workflow so I could produce interesting paintings with the limited time I had each day to paint. However, they also reinforced to me some of my favorite locations in the game, my favorite characters, and what some of my favorite moments while playing were. I was able to really appreciate the artistry of a game merging beautifully cinematic visuals with interesting gameplay mechanics, or narrative points, creating moments that will forever remain as highlights to me.


Nick Miller, Senior Editor: Attending the Midnight Release 

On a cold October night in 2011, I stood in line at Best Buy with around 30 other guys, waiting for the doors to open at midnight so that we could pick up Batman: Arkham City. A month later, I’d be waiting in a similar line at GameStop for a copy of Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception. These weren’t the only midnight releases I participated in, but they were the most memorable because of the amount of people who were there, and the feeling of excitement in the air. 

Attending midnight releases didn’t do much to change my experience with these games, and more often than not I wouldn’t even play them until the following morning, but there was just something special about these events. Getting to share those last few moments before the game’s release speculating with other fans and sharing in their excitement built anticipation. The whole atmosphere made the moment feel magical when you finally held that game in your hands. 

I thought those days were long gone, but Tears of the Kingdom proved me wrong. When I heard my local GameStop would be doing a midnight release, I excitedly put in for a day off work so I could stay up until the sun came up. 

I left my home on May 11th expecting there to only be a handful of people at the GameStop in my small rural town, but I am pleased to say I was wrong. There was a line that zig-zagged through the store, spilled out the front door, and extended down the sidewalk the length of about three stores. As someone with strong feelings about physical media and who has concerns about digital exclusivity, I was encouraged to see so many people turn out to purchase the newest Zelda game. I was able to talk with other fans in line and relive some of those experiences that were so special to me over a decade ago. It made Tears of the Kingdom’s launch something I will always remember.


Kristen G. Rosario, Associate Editor: Obtaining the Master Sword Without Context 

When I first encountered Tears of the Kingdom, I knew full well that it was going to be a steep hill to climb, as I have a fondness for completing sandbox-style games. While I knew it was going to take me a while to finish this game, I never realized what I was in for. My first realization came in the form of discovering the Depths area, a place that I had no idea was going to be in the game. During my trek through the underground area is when I actually discovered a way to get inside the Lost Woods.

Once there, and after a quick talk with the Great Deku Tree, as well as removing some nasty Gloom Hands from inside of it, I stumbled upon a quest I wasn’t expecting. Turns out, the talking tree knew the location of my fully restored Master Sword (hooray!). I eventually found out that the Light Dragon had the Master Sword. I had no idea why a beast the size of multiple football fields had it, but I knew I needed to get atop the dragon regardless. 

After a few attempts, including leveling up my Stamina Gauge a couple of times (as well as eating plenty of stamina-boosting meals), I was able to successfully pull the sword wedged into the cranium of the beast, just enough for something to happen. What happened next was not only the best moment of the entire game, but one of the best in the entire series.

As the Light Dragon goes further into the sky, you are then surrounded by an endless cascade of golden clouds. The beast unfurls its fur holding the Master Sword as the Blade of Evil’s Bane reveals its restored form. Then, as if a feeling of accomplishment comes over Link, he holds it up over his head as they show an AMAZING wide shot of the Light Dragon as the Master Sword theme plays, the sword even displaying some visual flair. It was gorgeous, beautiful, breathtaking, magical, and so many other words that come to mind. Even Princess Zelda giving those encouraging words to Link was a thing of beauty. 

For me, though, there was just one small caveat to this amazing tale: By this point in the game, I had only done a few of the Dragon’s Tears cutscenes, so I knew where most of Zelda’s words were coming from — keyword “most.” I say that because it wasn’t until literal months after I had initially obtained the Master Sword that I discovered the true identity of the Light Dragon. My sandbox-completing mentality is what brought me to a place I shouldn’t have been to just yet, or so I thought. 

The thing is, I don’t regret discovering the Master Sword so soon. I bring up this memory of Tears of the Kingdom as my favorite not only because of the irony I discovered many months later, but the fact that it had such a profound impact on my playthrough way before I even discovered how important it was to Princess Zelda’s story. Not only was it a quest that was well-rewarded, but a moment that will forever bring a tear to my eye. I played Tears of the Kingdom like Team Zelda wanted me to, and it paid off in spades.


John Lortie, Junior Editor: Unexpected Assistance During the Final Battle  

My wife’s a pretty big gamer, but she’s never really been into Zelda. Sure, she’s played Hyrule Warriors and Cadence of Hyrule with me, but outside of those co-op experiences, she’s really just been content to watch me play through each new game in the series — which was our initial plan for Tears of the Kingdom.

Unfortunately, she was swamped with a huge project for her work when the game released, so she only got to see snippets of my journey (the majority of which took place in the Depths as I struggled to find all the Lightroots). She missed out on the dungeons and their associated boss fights, the Great Sky Island, and all the Dragon’s Tears. However, I held off on tackling Ganondorf until she could find the time to sit with me on the couch and watch.

My wife enjoyed spectating the fight as much as I enjoyed playing it. She laughed with me when the big bad’s health bar extended off the screen. She and I gasped in tandem as Link’s hearts were destroyed. We were both stunned when Ganondorf swallowed the Secret Stone and turned into a Dragon.

Falling through the sky toward the Demon Dragon in the final battle’s last stage, I was momentarily awestruck. “I don’t even know how I’ll hurt him,” I said, marveling at the spectacle on my television screen. 

“Just hit the eye thingies on his back, John,” she said, not realizing that my question was purely rhetorical. Because of that, I’ll never be able to say I beat Tears of the Kingdom without the help of my wife, who only watched maybe an hour and a half of my 180-plus hour play time.


Heather Beard, Senior Editor: An Emotional Payoff

One of my biggest hopes and expectations for Tears of the Kingdom was to have an epic final battle that was better than Breath of the Wild. From fighting my way through the final “dungeon,” to finding myself feeling completely overwhelmed the first time I came face to face with Ganondorf, The Demon King. I was so overwhelmed that I had to back out of the fight completely to take more time to prepare. My favorite memory of Tears of the Kingdom was that culmination of hope, triumph, and pay off when I finally saw “Find Princess Zelda” on my screen and seeing the credits roll.

I remember feeling so frustrated. I felt like I was ready, especially knowing that others were finishing the game, and I wanted to get to the end. I went into the game spoiler free and wanted to finish without spoilers, and I knew that I needed to get to the end before I had the end spoiled for me. I remember spending another week from my first final battle attempt exploring more, gaining more hearts, and preparing. That extra week in the game was worth the final pay off. 

The final battle was the challenge I had hoped for. I remember my heart racing and hands sweating because I wanted to win. I was on my feet gripping the controller, and I was going to stay up however long it took to finally beat Ganondorf. It was worth staying up till nearly 1 AM to see the end. After my victory, my husband finished his copy of the game and we stayed up even later discussing the whole story, the final battle, and more. 

Tears of the Kingdom was the sequel that I had been hoping for. It provided a wonderful challenge and follow up to the game that renewed my love for the series. To be part of this community at such an amazing time is also a cherished memory as well. It’s been a wonderful time to be a Zelda fan.


Sean Gadus, Senior Editor: Exploring Caves Across the Kingdom of Hyrule

Exploring caves in Tears of the Kingdom is an activity that harkens back to the earliest inspirations for The Legend of Zelda. In a variety of interviews, series creator Shigeru Miyamoto has discussed how the idea for an adventure game grew out of his childhood experiences exploring the Japanese countryside. Miyamoto’s early experiences with the natural wonders of his home country helped define critical elements of the Zelda series including the series’ focus on exploration and discovery. While Tears of the Kingdom throws a lot of new content and mechanics at the player, the caves just under the surface of Hyrule are my favorite new addition to the game. The game’s cave systems harken back to the joyful, smaller-scale exploration that is such a key part of previous Zelda games. 

Finding a new cave entrance or falling down a well has the same thrill of excitement that players got from burning bushes, bombing walls, or finding hidden holes in previous Zelda games. In Tears of the Kingdom, the player never quite knows what they will find in any given cave system, and there is enough regional variety to make the different caves feel distinct. There are a host of enemies that could be lurking in caves including Like-Likes, Horriblins, Bokoblins, or even a surprise encounter with a Gloom Spawn. While Breath of the Wild and Tears of the Kingdom both embrace wide, open spaces and paragliding over the massive maps, the exploration of cave systems presents an almost blissful simplicity for players: Go left or right, go up or down, go back or move forward. There is nothing more wonderful than the simple joy of stumbling into a secret.


Julia Wilson, Junior Editor: Dragon Riding Through The Depths

One of the things that I loved about Tears of the Kingdom was the ability to stand on the back of a dragon and explore Hyrule. The first time for me was when I retrieved the Master Sword, and seeing Hyrule from above while standing on the back of the Light Dragon was just breathtaking. 

I wondered if this was a one-off, or if it could happen again. So, when I spotted the Light Dragon in the sky, I dashed to the closest tower to see what would unfold. And it worked! It felt so special and magical to explore Hyrule in such a different way. But was this the only option? What would happen if I tried this with one of the other dragons?

I spotted Dinraal, so I flew out of the Thyphlo Ruins Tower and successfully landed on its back. I then realized we were heading towards the Drenan Highlands Chasm! I was preparing to jump, but Dinraal just carried on gliding in the Depths! I hadn’t mapped out much of the Depths at this point, but what a fantastic way to explore! I could spot those Light Roots and mark out places for investigation later, all from the safety of a dragon’s back.

I’ve always loved the Dragon theme; it has such a relaxing and spiritual feel to it, so to be able to listen to that music while gliding around Hyrule felt so zen. The fact that we were given three distinct tiers of Hyrule to explore was so exciting, as it offered such different experiences on each level. But being able to view it all from the back of a dragon was out of this world!


Judy Calder, Managing Editor: Finally Connecting with Princess Zelda

My favorite memory from Tears of the Kingdom was during the final battle, when the Light Dragon rushed into combat with the Demon Dragon. I possessed the knowledge that Zelda had swallowed a Secret Stone, resolving to lose herself to draconification, all to give Link the power to vanquish Ganondorf. I didn’t believe there could be any trace of the princess left within those shining scales. And yet, here she was, clashing with this almighty evil!

The moment this happened, I felt a rush of excitement. The Light Dragon was intent and I couldn’t believe it was acting on divine animal instinct. I knew that somewhere, deep down, Princess Zelda was still with us. Her determination to save Hyrule — and Link — endured the test of time and transformation. For me, this was such an emotive moment that raised my spirits after the first gruelling stages of battle with Ganondorf.

What makes this event even more significant for me, is the fact that I finally felt that connection with Princess Zelda that I just never felt during Breath of the Wild. In that game, I found her whiny, mean to Link, and somewhat self-centred, even though I knew the pressure she was under to unlock her powers. In Tears of the Kingdom, I felt like Zelda had matured and become the best version of herself —  the version I could adore.


Kora Burton, Copy Editor: The Emotional Symbolism of an NPC

In the midst of all that Tears of the Kingdom gave us, Tulin was a surprising and immediate fascination for many fans, and seems to have become the most well-loved of the descendant Sages. Not only is this daring little archer an amazing shot and his Sage ability the most useful, but the character is just so overwhelmingly fun and cute. Who couldn’t love Tulin?! Yet, my attachment to Tulin of Rito Village goes a little deeper.

By all accounts, I should have been more excited than anything to dive head-first into Tears of the Kingdom. Breath of the Wild had been my favorite game (ever!). I had joined the Zelda Dungeon team during a busy year of announcements, teasers, and trailers, and I even had a lot of time off work around the time of the game’s release. I started playing the game on release day, and enjoyed it, but honestly, enthusiasm was hard to come by. 

It wasn’t the game’s fault. But, it was hard to enjoy this game that I was supposed to be playing with my son, who had transcended this earthly life exactly 30 days before. Fast-forward a month after having to say goodbye to him, and I remember falling asleep on release day before even finishing the Great Sky Island tutorial. This wasn’t how I’d imagined playing the next great Zelda game would feel.

Then… there was Tulin. When the beginning notes of his theme danced across the snow, wrapped in the numb void that I was, I knew to hold my breath for something beautiful. When Tulin alights in front of you, opens up his wings, and exclaims “Link!” it cracks my heart open every time, bringing at least a little tear to my eye. But the first time I experienced this moment, with Tulin grown up from when we last saw him in Breath, I had a good cry. What a truly good, brave, warm-hearted boy he is! Teba’s stubborn but valiant son reminded me of everything I had been missing about my own baby boy, while also helping me learn that there are parts of him everywhere, as long as I am willing to look. 

I think people are absolutely right to praise the Wind/Rito section of Tears of the Kingdom, with its mythological framing, thematically resonant design, and stirring music – “Colgera Battle” deserves all the love, despite what critics of nostalgia’s influence have to say, but I know I’m pretty emotionally biased. The courage and determination of the Rito, the symbolic freedom of flight, and the awe-inspiring Tulin make me incredibly happy, and gave me what I needed to carry on and finish Tears of the Kingdom. I shed plenty of my own tears along the way, but with Tulin always by my side, I was reminded that those we love are never too far away.

So, here were are! You’ve gained insight into the Zelda Dungeon Writing Team’s own personal experiences with Tears of the Kingdom. Our favorite moments are so diverse and only serve to highlight how this game has affected people in so many different ways. This installment gifts each of us something unique, from a single moment in the game that just blew one of us away, to an instance in time that meant even more because we enjoyed it with a loved one at our side.

What’s your favorite moment or memory from Tears of the Kingdom? Do you resonate with anything we’ve shared here today? Share your thoughts and experiences with us in the comments below!

Tagged With: No tags were found for this entry.