The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom

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Tears of the Kingdom
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Japan ¥7900 (download)
United States $69.99 (standard), $129.99 (Collector's Edition)
United Kingdom £59.99 (standard), £109.99 (CE)
Europe €69.99
Canada $89.99 (standard), $174.99 (CE)
Australia $89.95 (standard), $189.95 (CE)





🌎 May 12, 2023






The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom is the sequel to Breath of the Wild, released on May 12, 2023. Initially announced during the Nintendo Direct at E3 2019, the title and release date were finally revealed in the September 13, 2022 Direct.


In the Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity announcement video, Eiji Aonuma said:

"Regarding the [Breath of the Wild] sequel, in order to make the vast world you enjoyed exploring in the original game even more impressive, the team is working hard on its development, so you'll have to wait a bit longer before we can provide more updates."

— Eiji Aonuma, September 8, 2020

While this represented the first official mention of the Breath of the Wild sequel since the original announcement, no further details were provided.

In the February 2021 Nintendo Direct Eiji Aonuma announced:

"I'm sure a lot of you saw me and thought there might be news about the sequel to the Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild game. Unfortunately, we don't have anything to share right now. We apologize. Development is proceeding smoothly, and we should be able to bring you some new information this year. For now, we'll have to ask you to wait just a bit longer."

— Eiji Aonuma, February 17th, 2021

A new teaser trailer was included in the E3 2021 Nintendo Direct, which still did not include a title, but said they were "aiming for" a 2022 release date. The title was finally released at the end of the September 2022 Nintendo Direct, along with a May 12, 2023 release date.

A further trailer ended the February 8, 2023 Nintendo Direct, with no change to the release date. A "gameplay demonstration" by Eiji Aonuma followed on March 28, 2023 , and a "final" trailer on April 13, 2023 , with the full reveal of Ganondorf's return.


Spoiler Alert! This section describes a subject that is sensitive to plot development.

Some years after the events of Breath of the Wild, Link and Zelda are searching for the source of the gloom afflicting Hyrule in the Depths Beneath Hyrule Castle. There, they find murals depicting beings called Zonai and events recalling a battle with a demon king. Traveling further, they see a red-haired corpse held down by a strange Right Arm. A tear-shaped object falls from the arm - apparently weakening it - and as Zelda picks it up, the corpse revives. Still corpse-like, it ravages Link's health and stamina (reducing him to 3 hearts and a single Stamina Wheel), ruins his right arm, shatters the Master Sword and causes a huge Upheaval which raises Hyrule Castle into the air, opening a chasm that Zelda falls into. Link jumps after her, but she is warped away, and only the mysterious hand saves him from the chasm.

Zelda awakens in the distant past, and is found by the first King of Hyrule, the Zonai Rauru, and his Hylian wife, Queen Sonia. The two take her in. Visiting the king's sister, the scholar Mineru, she reveals that finding the tear-shaped object - a Zonai "secret stone" - awakened and amplified her latent power to manipulate time, a power she shares with Sonia; while Rauru possesses the same sacred light she used to defeat Calamity Ganon. Unfortunately, Zelda has neither the knowledge or training required to reverse her trip through time and return to the present. Mineru does bring up one potential alternative, the forbidden art of draconification - which involves swallowing a secret stone and becoming an immortal dragon - but notes that "to become an immortal dragon is to lose yourself", making it an unappealing possibility. Meanwhile, the Gerudo King Ganondorf attacks Hyrule and after seeing the power of Rauru, Sonia and Zelda, decides to pretend fealty to Hyrule as a way to obtain a secret stone of his own.

Time passes, and Zelda becomes close to the ancient royals, while Sonia trains her in the use of her time power. This lasts until Ganondorf kills Sonia in front of Zelda and takes her secret stone, becoming the powerful "Demon King" and summoning a Blood Moon to give himself a monster army. Unable to stem the tide, the grieving Rauru is convinced to give secret stones to the leaders of the Gerudo (who have rejected the Demon King), Gorons, Rito and Zora. Along with Zelda and Mineru, who already have stones, they become powerful sages in Rauru's service. The night before the final battle, Zelda tells Rauru about finding Ganondorf - withered, but still alive and powerful - in the present, and is convinced they can't win; but Rauru tells her they must try anyway. Ultimately, while they cannot kill Ganondorf, they manage to imprison the Demon King at the cost of Rauru's life.

In the aftermath, Zelda fears for Link in the future. As she worries, she feels a pull to a place where there is a strange hole in space, which the Decayed Master Sword emerges from. Hearing from the sword that Link survived Ganondorf's attack, Zelda is relieved, and comes to a decision. To restore the Master Sword, and bathe it in sacred power to make it as strong as it can be, she swallows her secret stone, sacrificing her personality and self to become a Light Dragon. With the Master Sword embedded in her head, she flies high into the sky.

In the present, Link awakens on Great Sky Island; where Rauru's voice explains that he nearly died, and that he had to replace his corrupted necrotic arm with the strange arm, as it was beyond repair. After finding the Decayed Master Sword, he travels to the Island's Temple of Time. However, he is denied access. The ghost of Rauru manifests and explains that the arm - which was originally his own - has weakened; to get through The Closed Door, Link must restore it with Lights of Blessing from the island's three Shrines of Light. Returning to the Temple of Time after receiving the Ultrahand, Fuse and Ascend powers; he receives a vision of Zelda which grants him the Recall power, based on her power to manipulate time. Stymied by a second door which relies on his own strength, waning after Ganondorf's ravaging of his health, Link uses Recall to obtain a fourth Light of Blessing from another shrine, and trades them to a Goddess Statue for a heart container, restoring the first part of what he'd lost.

After exiting through the door, Rauru's ghost says goodbye and disperses into beads of light. At the end of a path, Link finds a mysterious light, and is bade by the Master Sword to place it in. The Master Sword is sent through time to Zelda, standing in the same place; while Link remains, hearing only a message from Zelda to find her. The Light Dragon then disperses the Cloud Barrier keeping him from the Surface, and he dives down to Hyrule Kingdom.

Surviving the fall, Link then travels to Lookout Landing. There, he meets Purah, who is now physically in her twenties after partially reversing her age reduction, and who has become the head of Lookout Landing. She sends him to meet Captain Hoz at the First Gatehouse, who is on a mission to find and recover Link and Zelda. Upon arriving, Link, Hoz and the others see Princess Zelda staring at them from afar, before she flies away, and disappears in a burst of light.

Confused, Link heads back to rendezvous with Purah, where he fills her in on the events that happened at the First Gatehouse. With this knowledge, Purah informs Link that several regional phenomena have been reported by each of the four main races: The Rito, Zora, Goron and Gerudo. After this explanation, Purah activates the Skyview Towers, the equivalent of the Sheikah Towers from the previous game. Purah then gives Link the Paraglider and sends him on his way.

Tulin of Rito Village

Link travels to the Rito village and discovers that the area is in the midst of an unprecedented blizzard which has forced many of the Rito adults to leave the village in the hands of their children while they go out to collect food and resources. The local stable has been sold to former rumor researcher Traysi and converted into the headquarters of the new Lucky Clover Gazette. Link gets hired as a reporter and is partnered with a Rito named Penn. Their job is to visit Hyrule's Stables to gather intel on sightings of Princess Zelda. In Rito Village, Link meets up with Teba, who has taken over as the village elder upon the former elder's retirement. Teba is arguing with his young son Tulin, a gifted flyer who wants to investigate the massive storm cluster high above the village, which they believe to be the source of the region's constant heavy snowfall.

Tulin storms off from a fight with his father, convinced that he can investigate the source of the strange snowstorm battering Hebra and Rito Village. Soon after, while searching for news of Princess Zelda at the Hebra Trailhead Lodge, Harth tells Link that Tulin may be able to help him, as his "wind-gust technique is something to see. None of the rest of us can pull it off. Even stern Teba acknowledges that Tulin's skill is a cut above. The kid does preen about it more than he should, but..."

After following him for a while, Link catches up with Tulin on the Hebra South Summit, where an Aerocuda has stolen the young Rito warrior's Swallow Bow. When Link offers to help retrieve the bow, Tulin tells him he "can blow a strong gust of wind" anywhere he feels like, and offers to use it to help Link glide over to where the Aerocuda was. Using it, they successfully retrieve Tulin's bow and defeat a group of monsters.

Harth then appears and, seeing Tulin has matured from the experience and learned to accept allies, tells him that they need to investigate the cloud; and he is the only Rito alive capable of making it into the heart of the storm, as only he has "the skill and training to create gusts at will". Working with Link and using his power of wind, the two ascend the Rising Island Chain high up into the sky, where they able to jump into the eye of the storm from the top. Within lies the Wind Temple, housing the flying monster Colgera. Upon defeating it, the blizzard battering Rito Village clears, and Tulin inherits a Secret Stone from his distant ancestor - the ancient Rito Sage of Wind - making himself the new Sage of Wind. From this point on, Tulin can create a remote avatar and, after making the Vow of Tulin, Sage of Wind, has the avatar tied to a ring on Link's right pinky, accompanying Link permanently. This allows the Hylian Champion to call upon Tulin's Power of Wind anytime.

Yunobo of Goron City

Link travels towards Death Mountain and the city of the Gorons. On the way, other travelers warn him about avoiding Gorons with "strange rocks". As he nears the mines and quarries of Death Mountain, Link runs into several Gorons with glowing red eyes lazing about eating Marbled Rock Roasts. The elder and younger of the Gorons who can't eat the tough rock "delicacy" try to stir their bewitched friends and family, who have all but halted regular work and at times turn to scamming travelers in order to get rupees for more Marbled Rock Roast. In Goron City, Link sees the Goron elder Bludo arguing with Yunobo, descendant of Champion Daruk and CEO of the new "Yunobo, Co". Bludo asks Yunobo to quit mining the Marbled Rock Roasts, which have disrupted life in the city. Yunobo, with uncharacteristic bravado, insists that Princess Zelda herself told him the Marbled Rock Roast was perfectly safe. He further states that he and his new company are responsible for the success of the Gorons and that Bludo should step aside and let Yunobo run things. Slergo and Offrak, two young Gorons who work for Yunobo, suspect that something is amiss, as they desire of him to be his "old self" again and stop further mining of Marbled Rock Roast. Link finds the two of them at a cave near the YunoboCo HQ where Yunobo is consulting directly with Zelda right that second, and Link learns from them that Yunobo's personality changed decisively when he was ordered by Zelda to wear a "weird mask" that he first appears in. Slergo and Offrak allow Link inside the cave once he agrees to investigate.

The three of them witness Yunobo resuming his excavation of further rock roasts, with Zelda observing. Slergo and Offrak plead with him to stop, and to remove his mask so that he can revert to his old, nicer personality. When Yunobo briefly seems to consider, Zelda motions towards him, and Yunobo becomes visibly hypnotized, with his eyes and mask lighting up. He then directly engages Link in combat, with a boss bar title reading "Clearly Not Himself", and is swiftly subdued, with the mask shattering to pieces. A more familiar Yunobo reawakens, unaware of what has transpired since he first put on the mask. Looking to Zelda for answers, he notices her now outside of the cave, the exit of which becomes blocked by a cave-in of Marbled rocks, trapping Link, Yunobo, Slergo and Offrak inside. Thankfully, with Yunobo's Power of Fire, they are able to exit with relative ease.

Outside of the cave, Yunobo is surprised by the haze of Gloom emanating from Death Mountain, and Slergo and Offrak refresh his memory of receiving the mask from Zelda at its summit when he went to initially investigate it following the Upheaval. Link and Yunobo scale the mountain using mine carts and witness Zelda disappear into a large plume of smoke that rises from the inner crater, erupting into the volcanic monster Moragia. Upon defeating it, they descend directly down into Death Mountain's crater, finding themselves in the volcanic Depths below. They encounter the Fire Temple after traversing a path blocked by several walls of Marbled Rocks. Within its main chamber lies the Marbled Gohma, the source of the Marbled Rock Roast, and Yunobo and Link eliminate the rock roasts completely from Goron City with the monster's defeat. Yunobo also inherits a Secret Stone from his distant ancestor - the ancient Goron Sage of Fire - making himself the new Sage of Fire. From this point on, Yunobo can create a remote avatar and, after making the Vow of Yunobo, Sage of Fire, has the avatar tied to a ring on Link's right thumb, accompanying Link permanently. This allows the Hylian Champion to call upon Yunobo's Power of Fire anytime.

Sidon of the Zora

Link travels towards Zora's Domain and finds the land and water polluted heavily by a thick oily Sludge, making traversal and movement immensely limited in several areas. The Zora have attempted to confront the sludge using Splash Fruit, but have run out of supply, with numerous Zora having been wounded. Among the wounded Zora include King Dorephan, who has hidden himself away in the Pristine Sanctum. Link learns from him that Princess Zelda descended from the sky on a huge sludge monster, uncharacteristically unleashing it upon the Zora, with King Dorephan sustaining his injuries from vanquishing the beast. Despite these efforts, the sludge continues to pour. Three Zora are in the middle of discussing other options when Link -- who they do not initially recognize -- arrives to the center of the Domain. After cleansing sludge off of the central statue depicting Prince Sidon and Link during their previous campaign to save the Domain, Link is recognized from the statue, and Yona, the fiancee of of Sidon, introduces herself. Yona had heard of Link almost every day from Sidon since arriving at the domain, and recommends that Link see him again up at Mipha Court, on a now more developed Ploymus Mountain. Yona also provides Link with the Zora Armor once more from the previous game after receiving an Ancient Arowana to finish repairing it using its scales.

Sidon, who has been diligently using his Power of Water to separate the sludge from the water that flows into the Domain, is characteristically overjoyed to see Link once more. He recommends that Link speak with the Zora historian Jiahto at Toto Lake, who has been investigating connections linking the Zora to the sky as a way to further dissect the mystery behind the sludge's presence. A riddle inscribed on an ancient Zora tablet brings Link to Floating Scales Island, the "land of the sky fish", where he fuses a King's Scale provided by King Dorephan to an arrow and looses it through a formation of floating rocks that form the shape of a teardrop from a certain position. This causes a pillar of light to appear in the East Reservoir Lake. Link goes to report to Sidon, who is talking with Yona; her presence this close to the sludge has him fearing for her safety. At that moment, the three of them are ambushed by a Sludge Like, and Link and Sidon unite once more to defeat it, with Sidon's Power of Water proving uniquely useful.

Sidon continues to worry about Yona, but Yona correctly identifies that Sidon is yielding to the fear of losing someone he loves, with the loss of his older sister Mipha still weighing on him. Yona insists that Sidon must overcome his past and face the future with courage as the next-in-line ruler of the Domain, and to trust the domain with Yona as he ventures with Link to investigate. After enthusiastically swearing himself to this end, Sidon and Link head to the source of the light pillar, which opens up a whirlpool leading to the underground Ancient Zora Waterworks. Upon activating the Zonai terminal at its center, a tremendous water falls from the sky onto the Lake, allowing Sidon and Link to swim up it and reach Wellspring Island, where the gravity is noticeably lower. They eventually navigate their way up to the Water Temple, where they find and eventually battle the source of the sludge, the mischievous Mucktorok. Zora's Domain is cleansed completely upon its defeat, and all the wounded Zora including King Dorephan are fully healed. Sidon inherits a Secret Stone from his distant ancestor - the ancient Zora Sage of Water - making himself the new Sage of Water. From this point on, Sidon can create a remote avatar and, after making the Vow of Sidon, Sage of Water, has the avatar tied to a ring on Link's right pointer finger, accompanying Link permanently. This allows the Hylian Champion to call upon Sidon's Power of Water anytime. King Dorephan takes the opportunity to retire as King, and Sidon and Yona become the new King and Queen of Zora's Domain.

Riju of Gerudo Town

Link journeys to the Gerudo Desert and finds that it has become blanketed by a heavy sand shroud. Along his attempts to navigate his way to Gerudo Town, he encounters strange and resilient zombie-like creatures known as Gibdos. Eventually he makes it to Gerudo Town, finding it completely deserted. The entire town has evacuated to an underground Gerudo Shelter, and upon Link making his way inside of it, learns from her chief bodyguard Buliara that Riju is training in the North Gerudo Ruins. Despite the Gerudo's traditional law of not allowing any voe within the town's walls, Link is given near unprecedented access to the town and its resources as a special guest.

Riju is encountered attempting to master her Power of Lightning, and with Link's help, is able to channel it accurately by following Link's arrows. They are then both ambushed by a group of Gibdos, and discover by putting Riju's Power of Lightning into action that Gibdos are tremendously weak to electricity. Just at that moment, Kara Kara Bazaar is beset by a hive full of Gibdos, and in defending the town from the onslaught, Link and Riju additionally discover that Riju's Power of Lightning is effective in destroying their hives. Just as the Bazaar is liberated however, three more hives appear around Gerudo Town, and Zelda is briefly spotted walking towards them. In Gerudo Town, Link works with Riju, Buliara and the Gerudo soldiers to strategize proper defenses in keeping the town safe from the coming invasion, with all soldiers now equipped with electric and flame weapons, and they eventually succeed in destroying all the hives and waves of Gibdos and Moth Gibdos.

Riju then investigates an ancient mural in the shelter upon hearing a mysterious voice telling her and Link to come to it, of which a similar message was inscribed upon the mural by Gerudo ancestors. Link uses the guidance of the mural to align a path of reflected light between three stone pillars in the Gerudo Desert. Doing so causes a lightning-powered pedestal to appear in the center of the pillars, and Riju and Link briefly see Zelda standing in front of it before she vanishes. Riju uses her Power of Lightning to activate the pedestal, and the Lightning Temple rises up from the sand. Its entrance is blocked by a cocoon that looks like a larger Gibdo hive, and upon shattering it Link and Riju are attacked by the source of the Gibdos and the sand shroud -- the Queen Gibdo. It hastily retreats to the temple's top floor upon being struck by Riju's lightning, and Link and Riju venture inside the temple and navigate their way up to it, defeating it after an intense fight. The sand shroud and most of the Gibdos vanish from Gerudo Desert, and Gerudo Town repopulates back on the surface once more. Riju inherits a Secret Stone from her distant ancestor - the ancient Gerudo Sage of Lightning, who emphasizes the Gerudo's role in bringing the Demon King into the world - making herself the new Sage of Lightning. From this point on, Riju can create a remote avatar and, after making the Vow of Riju, Sage of Lightning, has the avatar tied to a ring on Link's right ring finger, accompanying Link permanently. This allows the Hylian Champion to call upon Riju's Power of Lightning anytime.

Find the Fifth Sage

With the four Regional Phenomena solved, Link returns to Lookout Landing to report to Purah. At that moment, a Blood Moon appears in the sky, and Purah witnesses Zelda standing on the floating Hyrule Castle. Link pursues Zelda intent on rescuing her, and hears her voice calling to him as he scales the levels of the castle searching for her. In every location he finds her however, Zelda suddenly vanishes, with hoards of monsters taking her place. Finally, he makes it to the Sanctum of the castle, where Zelda seems to finally meet him face to face. She tells Link she wants to show him something, and Hyrule Castle transforms into its former, undamaged self from before the Calamity. She tells him to take in every detail, for it will be the last thing that Link ever sees, with her voice darkening into that of the corpse he and Zelda encountered at the very beginning. The corpse shows himself in a channeled vision above "Zelda", revealing her to be nothing more than a puppet used to trick Link. This Zelda then re-materializes into five Phantom Ganons and attack Link simultaneously, with Link being joined and protected by the four sage descendants -- Tulin, Yunobo, Sidon and Riju -- right before being ravaged by Gloom once more. The corpse, who finally reveals himself to be the still-alive Demon King Ganondorf, imparts upon Link and the sages a vision of the world he wishes to make upon his full restoration -- one of an army of monsters storming and destroying the landscape of Hyrule -- and withdraws his presence from the castle.

Suspecting that Ganondorf's fleeing, rather than further attacking, is due to continued efforts to rebuild his full strength, Link and the sages return to Lookout Landing to strategize. In talking with Purah, they realize that there was a fifth sage that fought alongside Rauru and Zelda who has not yet been found in the present day, and that information on their whereabouts could be best gleaned from major ruins from the age of legends. The four sages depart to their homelands for information, and Link ventures alone to other parts of Hyrule.

Link's travels then take him to Kakariko Village, where a thorough survey of floating Ring Ruins that had descended around the village was underway but forestalled, due to the preconception that Zelda had ordered the floating ruins off limits. When they learn that the "Zelda" that gave the order was a puppet of Ganondorf, Paya, the new village chief, and Tauro, the head of the Zonai research team, re-open access to the ruins and further surveying. Link enters the inside of the floating ruins and fetches a photograph of a stone slab engraved in Zonai script, and Tauro is able to decipher references to the Demon King, Zelda, the sage Mineru, and a mention of a southeast location that fellow research team member Calip takes to refer to the Zonai Ruins in the jungles of Faron. Paya also recognizes the phrase "dragon land", further confirming Calip's catch; dragon-themed architecture is unique to the location of the Zonai Ruins. Tauro, Calip and Link make haste towards the ruins, setting up a small camp in the Popla Foothills.

At Dracozu Lake, close to the Spring of Courage, Tauro finds doorways that have opened in tall, dragon-resembling pillars with metal horns at the top, containing both a riddle and a set of chests only Link is able to open. These chests contain a set of ritual dress modelled after the eternal dragon Farosh -- the Charged Set. Link follows the riddle to an altar at the "tail" of the serpent-shaped Dracozu River, where he dons the Charged set and places an offering of a Zonai Charge. At that moment, the four tall pillars activate, and lightning strikes all four at once, absorbing the energy of a constant lightning storm that had previously consumed the Thunderhead Isles floating in the sky above the jungle. On Dragonhead Island, the largest of these isles, Link encounters an ancient Zonai artifact that resembles a headpiece. It speaks to him, drawing him on a path that leads him to Tobio’s Hollow, where the headpiece activates an elevator that takes Link down into the Depths to a long abandoned Construct Factory.

The headpiece, now attached to a zonai vessel resembling a torso, is revealed to be the actual head of a Construct that the voice tasks Link with the remaining assembly of in order for the Construct to properly house the voice's still lingering spirit. Link journeys to four depots around the factory to procure and assemble the Construct body's arms and legs, and the fully reassembled Construct comes alive. Link navigates the Construct across the Depths to the Spirit Temple to retrieve the voice's secret stone, but not before having their way blocked by a Seized Construct, an earlier prototype build of the current Construct body that became possessed by Ganondorf's power. After defeating it, the voice's spirit finally emerges from Link's Purah Pad and seals itself within her secret stone, affixing it to the Construct and finally allowing it to introduce herself to Link as Mineru, the ancient Sage of Spirit and one of the Zonai. She details how she and Zelda withdrew after Rauru imprisoned Ganon and made the final plan to prepare for Link's future battle with Ganondorf, with Zelda undergoing draconification to live long enough to repair the Master Sword, and Mineru, nearing death, to preserve her spirit in the Purah Pad with the original plan of re-awakening to Link once he acquires it. If Link does not already have the Master Sword, she will urge Link to pursue it before facing Ganondorf. She makes the Vow of Mineru, Sage of Spirit, and has her avatar tied to a ring on Link's right middle finger, accompanying Link permanently. This allows the Hylian Champion to call upon Mineru's Power of Spirit anytime.

When Link decides to seek out the Master Sword once more, he first seeks to consult the Great Deku Tree, the sword's traditional guardian, but finds the path to it through the Lost Woods completely impassable. He instead opts to reach the Korok Forest through the Depths, and upon doing so, finds the Great Deku Tree and all the Koroks largely unexpressive, with the forest cast in a strange light. He ventures into the Deku Tree to find a Gloom chasm having burned its way down through to the tree's base, and upon descending it, encounters a Gloom Spawn, which he battles and defeats. This cures the Great Deku Tree and restores the life to the forest and character to the Koroks. The Great Deku Tree recounts that the last time he saw Link was before the Upheaval, when he and Zelda retrieved the Master Sword just prior to the expedition under Hyrule Castle. He wonders where the Master Sword now is, and senses it moving across Central Hyrule, where Zelda, in her form as the Light Dragon, has now descended low enough to be easily reachable by Link. Link travels to and lands upon the Light Dragon, where, after a struggle, he recovers the Master Sword, now fully restored, while he and the Light Dragon are awash in sacred golden light high in the sky.

War in the Depths of Hyrule

With all the Sages now united, one thing remains: the destruction of Ganondorf. Link descends into the Depths deep below Hyrule Castle, fighting swarms of gloom-covered monsters on his way there, before eventually returning to the caverns he and Zelda had explored previously. With the tools at his disposal to now remove the rocks that were originally obscuring the latter part of the ancient Zonai murals, he discovers that the remaining murals depict Zelda's resolve to repair the Master Sword, and her transformation into the Light Dragon. At the site where Ganondorf returned to life and instigated the Upheaval, Link finds a further deep, long chasm which descends into Gloom's Lair, with a massive towering nest of Gloom housing the healing Demon King found at its deepest base. Ganondorf's entire army of monsters spawns at the nest's entrance, commencing the War in the Depths of Hyrule, and the Sages reunite for the intense, climactic battle. With all of Ganondorf's ground forces defeated, the previous bosses encountered across Hyrule - Colgera, the Marbled Gohma, Mucktorok, the Queen Gibdo and the Seized Construct - all respawn, and each of the five Sages battles the boss associated with their temple and secret stone. Link ventures into the Gloom nest for the final showdown with Ganondorf.

Ganondorf, still in his corpse-like appearance, laments at the state of the world being bathed in "insufferable light", rather than darkness, as Link approaches him. He then slams his fist into the ground, wreathing himself in Gloom magic, and re-emerges as the fully revived Demon King of ages past. He draws a Gloom Sword and engages Link in single combat, proving to be formidable in his ability to dodge and counter just as well as Link. Partway through the battle, Ganondorf activates his secret stone, effectively healing the previous damage he took and doubling all aspects of his strength, and fights Link and the Sages all at once. While Ganondorf remains all of the threat he had been immortalized as, Link still manages to nearly defeat him after a fierce battle. Ganondorf's resolve to destroy Link and the very world remains devastating however, and as he nears defeat, he swallows his secret stone, willing to sacrifice all of himself to meet this end. He undergoes an explosive draconification, transforming into the deadly Demon Dragon, and ascends into the sky from deep in the Depths of Hyrule with Link in his jaws. Zelda, as the Light Dragon, intercepts him and rescues Link, and the two of them battle the Demon Dragon in the sky. Link is ultimately able to weaken the Demon Dragon substantially with the Master Sword and uses it destroy the secret stone upon the dragon's forehead, causing it to bleed light and perish in a massive, earth-shattering explosion.

In a last act of grace, the spirits of Rauru and Queen Sonia descend from the sky and use their lingering power to restore Zelda to her former self. She falls unconscious from high in the sky and Link dives down to her, catches her, and the two of them land safely into a lake below. Zelda comes to, realizing she is back to her old self, in her own time, and that the Master Sword did in fact make it Link, meaning that her plan was a success and that evil has been vanquished once more. She thanks Link, full of joy and gratitude, and expresses relief that she is finally home.


Gameplay is heavily based on that of Breath of the Wild. Changes include:

  • Most Sheikah technology from Breath of the Wild is either entirely absent or replaced with Zonai technology. The latter includes Zonai Devices, technological tools and weapons fuelled by the new Energy Cell mechanic.
  • The main gameplay Runes - Magnesis, Stasis, Cryonis and Remote Bombs - have been replaced with new Right Arm Abilities:
    • Ultrahand is an expanded Magnesis; able to move almost any item which is not locked down, rather than being limited to metallic items. In addition, it can "attach" items to surfaces or other items, allowing for the creation of vehicles and other constructions.
    • Fuse allows weapons and shields to be merged with materials or each other, allowing for the construction of more complex items. It also allows arrows to be fused with any material. As part of this mechanic, most non-fused weapons found are "decayed", reducing their power and durability relative to their Breath of the Wild versions; while non-standard arrows such as fire arrows are no longer purchasable, and can only be created with material fusions.
    • Ascend allows Link to travel vertically upward through solid material. Limits include that the platform must be relatively even, and the base must be within a certain distance of Link. Link can also only use it to travel upward from the Depths through specific Ascend Points, such as at the Bridge of Hylia.
    • Recall allows Link to literally rewind the path of an item, including blocks which fall from the Sky.
    • Of the other "lost" runes, Remote Bombs are replaced with Time Bombs and the returning Bomb Flowers, once again making bombs a limited resource; and Cryonis is partially replaced with a new mechanic where any ice weapon, ice arrow or thrown icy material can create a shallow ice platform on water, similar to ice arrows in Majora's Mask. Stasis is not replaced.
  • Materials can now be thrown rather than just dropped. Thrown materials work similarly to when they are fused to arrows. While they do not consume arrows or bow durability, they do not travel as far
  • The Sheikah Slate is replaced with the Purah Pad. Other than the missing runes, this works largely similarly, housing the map (including the warp system), camera and Hyrule Compendium; but the Adventure Log detailing quests and memories is moved to this from the main pause menu, and it also holds new Character Profiles for key characters as they are encountered.
  • In addition to the main "surface" area, which is a modified copy of the Breath of the Wild Hyrule; new areas above in the Sky and below in the Depths have been added. While the Depths mirror the surface, the sky is filled with Sky Islands, mostly small rocky bodies floating unsupported in mid-air.

Key Characters









Scene Artwork
Main article: Gallery:Tears of the Kingdom
Main article: Gallery:Tears of the Kingdom Characters


Trailer Screenshots

  • E3 2019 Reveal Trailer
  • E3 2021 trailer
  • September 2022 trailer
  • February 2023 trailer
  • March 2023 gameplay demonstration
  • April 2023 trailer


E3 2019 Reveal Trailer (June 11, 2019 )

E3 2021 Teaser (June 15, 2021 )

Announcement of delay to 2023 (March 29, 2022

Title Announcement trailer (September 13, 2022 )

February 2023 trailer (February 8, 2023 )

March 2023 gameplay demonstration (March 28, 2023 )

April 2023 trailer (April 13, 2023 )