Breath of the Wild 2 should be at the top of many gamers’ wish list for 2023, given that it is the sequel to such a great game from Nintendo Switch. We now know that the game is actually called The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, a name that could give some clues as to what we should expect from the story.
Tears of the Kingdom is the sequel to 2017’s The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. It was the biggest launch title for the Nintendo Switch and is still widely considered one of the best Switch games of all time – which is quite an achievement since there’s no shortage of games. Excellent Switch – Breath of the Wild really set the bar really high.
From what we’ve seen of Kingdom Tears so far, it looks set to repeat on its predecessor in interesting ways. New mechanics like Link’s glowing arm have been introduced, and the playable area now appears to stretch high into the sky.
While we wait for more information on Tears of the Kingdom, you’ll find this page filled with everything we know about the game so far. This includes every trailer shown, as well as some details about the gameplay and story.
Breath of the Wild 2: Cut to the chase
- What is this? The upcoming sequel to 2017’s Breath of the Wild
- What can I play on? Nintendo Switch
- When can I play? May 12, 2023
Kingdom Tears release date and platforms
The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom is set to launch on May 12, 2023. Unsurprisingly for a first-party Nintendo game, it will be exclusive to the Nintendo Switch family of consoles.
We initially thought Kingdom Tears would be released sometime in 2022 but in March of that year Nintendo pushed the date back to 2023, with series producer Eiji Onuma telling fans it was out of a desire to “stretch the development time a bit”.
Kingdom Tears Trailers
Nintendo Direct September 2022 announcement
We got a brief new look at Breath of the Wild 2 during the latest Nintendo Direct, only to learn that it’s officially called The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom. While we didn’t get a particularly in-depth look at the gameplay, it does seem to show smooth travel through Hyrule, along with a new glider. You can watch it in full below:
E3 2021 trailer
We got our best look yet at Tears of the Kingdom during Nintendo’s E3 2021 presentation, with a trailer showing the vast, expansive world of Hyrule — expanded even more with sky-hopping, despite the dungeon-crawling feel of the original. 2019 teaser.
There’s some gliding in tow, along with a free-fall mechanic that looks completely ripped from the Skyward Sword, and a new gauntlet that appears to replace the Sheikah Slate for Tears of the Kingdom.
There’s even a short clip of a splashing puddle… going back in time? We’re not quite sure, but it’s clear that some new mechanics will be introduced in the Zelda formula, while one of the sentient rock enemies in the first game (that’s Stone Pebblit for you) appears with a Bokoblin fortress on his back for Tears of the Kingdom, indicating a more dynamic interaction. Among the many enemies of the game.
Take a look below…
We got our first glimpse of the Kingdom’s Tears at E3 2019, with this spooky trailer showing Zelda and Link exploring an underground chamber — complete with some mysterious runes, glowing hands, and a brand-new haircut that set the internet on fire. Suffice to say we are excited.
The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom The trailer that first revealed the game is only 82 seconds long and there’s no dialogue at all, but there are some clues that can be gleaned from it.
It features a torch-bearing compass and Zelda traversing a dark dungeon below Hyrule (not much of a surprise there). Spirit-like tendrils crawl around the rotting grave they are exploring, with the pair riding a large elephant-like monster. Something shocks the pair, and then we’re cut to what appears to be the resurrection of a long-dead (and spooky-looking) warrior. Could this be the return of Ganondorf?
The video then cuts to a long shot of Hyrule Field, with Hyrule Castle in the distance. There is a tremor, the castle is covered with dust … and that’s the end. The clip ends with a message that reads: “Sequel to Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is in development.”
Kingdom Tears game and story
In the trailers we’ve seen so far, it’s clear that the skies are going to be a big part of Breath of the Wild 2. We’ve seen Link free-falling, using a new glider, and even riding on the backs of flying creatures. There seems to be a mechanic that allows Link to travel up through clouds and other objects, which helps with vertical exploration.
The patent hints at the mechanics of Kingdom’s Tears
Three recent patents filed by Nintendo could give us insight into the gameplay mechanics of Tears of the Kingdom. As spotted by GameReactor, the three patents have been registered with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).
Each patent contains a diagram of what could be the link capabilities for Tears of the Kingdom, with the link between what appears in the patent and what we got in the E3 2021 game trailer (this is included above if you need a refresher).
The first patent, for example, describes the ability to “perform a special action” while a character is down such as “a shooting motion to shoot a predetermined object.” The sketch in the patent shows a character falling through the air with arms wide and strikingly similar to Link’s pose at about 25 seconds in the E3 trailer.
While it appears as if these abilities were shown in the trailer, none of these mechanics have been confirmed by Nintendo, so it’s best to take this with a pinch of salt for now.
Another thing that seems to be a theme in Kingdom Tears is time manipulation. In the latest trailer we see Link grabbing a boulder going up. By the looks of things, the rock reverses its falling path. Similarly, time manipulation was used in the first trailer. Apparently, the music was being played in reverse, as the glowing particles moved inward toward an ominous green light.
What we know about the story
In terms of plot, we know very little about Kingdom Tears at present. It’s a direct sequel to Breath of the Wild 2, and Link and Zelda seem to be traveling together to investigate a mysterious pest. There was a suggestion that this sequel could take a darker turn:
Zelda series producer Eiji Aonuma said the game will have a darker tone than Breath of the Wild, and will even be “a little darker” than Majora’s Mask (via IGN).
The trailer certainly backs this up, with what appears to be Ganondorf’s corpse resurrected with a bare hand, and images seemingly from 2006’s Twilight Princess, which saw Hyrule transformed into a bleak shadow realm – largely in response to the more cheerful and cartoonish The Legend of Zelda . : Wind Wicker. However, it won’t be all bleak – visually at least – as the E3 2021 trailer at least indicated we’d be taking to the skies and exploring among the clouds.
Tears of kingdom news and rumors
Nintendo clears up the confusion about the title
During September Live, Nintendo finally announced that the game would be called The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, Not Breath of the Wild 2 as it was called unofficially for a long time. However, fans were left with a question: are these “tears” or “tears”? As in, should our confusion make us Cuts Our hair is out, or our eyes must be filled tears?
Fortunately, Nintendo stepped in to clear things up, confirming to Eurogamer (Opens in a new tab) She is crying tears. That’s at least one mystery about Kingdom Tears that’s been cleared up.
Nintendo has done a very good job of keeping spoilers about Breath of the Wild 2 quiet but a key plot detail for the game may have been leaked by Pietro Ubaldi, the Italian voice actor for Daruk in the original game.
Be careful of spoilers for Breath of the Wild, and possibly Kingdom Tears below.
ResetEra user Alexander Wand (Opens in a new tab) I recently discovered that zelda focus on Lega Hyrule YouTube channel (Opens in a new tab) Post an interview with Ubalde who claims to have voiced Darhk in the sequel And Joron’s ancestor.
Given the ending of Breath of the Wild, Daruk’s appearance in the sequel is a bit odd but the claims about an ancestor character are quite intriguing and some are wondering if this could see Tears of the Kingdom play with time – specifically the ancient past – which wouldn’t exactly be unprecedented. For Legend of Zelda.
Nintendo, of course, is staying mum in the meantime and we won’t know about any plot details for Tears of the Kingdom for sure until it’s officially announced.
BOTW 2 and those Majora’s Mask comparisons
Nintendo’s Treehouse is always a great place to find new information about upcoming Nintendo games, and Tears of the Kingdom is no different. Bill Trinen, Nintendo of America’s senior director of product marketing, spoke about Tears of the Kingdom in a recent broadcast with IGN, notably comparing it to the relationship between Ocarina of Time on the N64 and its sequel, Majora’s Mask.
I would say it’s an easy comparison or conclusion to jump to at this point in time, just looking at what’s been shown so far and given the nature of it being a direct sequel. So I understand people coming to that conclusion, but at the same time – and I don’t want to get into it too much. – But this is her own game.
However, while Majora Mask reused a lot of the assets, Trinen wanted to make it clear that this is indeed a true sequel. “I think as we start to show more of the game over the coming months to the next year or so, it will probably start to show more clearly where this game stands on its own and what makes it so unique.”
“The way that [Breath Of The Wild 2] It’s based on Breath of the Wild, which was already a large-scale game with many layers of Link’s abilities and its layers in the gameplay… I think this will add even more to that.”
All downloadable content that was not
In an interview with Kotaku (Opens in a new tab)Zelda series producer Eiji Aonuma said there were originally plans for more DLC content for BOTW, following the additions of The Champion’s Ballad and Master Trials that came in 2017.
“At first we were only thinking about downloadable content ideas,” says Anuma. But then we had a lot of ideas and said, ‘This is too many ideas, let’s make one new game and start from scratch. “
The glowing blue hand in the trailer is the biggest clue that we’ll be seeing more Twili – Shadow people who are descended from Hylians who tried to take the Triforce for themselves. The hand is wrapped in twisted shapes reminiscent of Twilight’s architecture, while the swirling enchantment could recall some of the portals that allowed Twilight to invade Hyrule in the 2006 game.
We know that the development team at BOTW originally toyed with the idea of an alien invasion, and seeing shadow creatures teleport from the sky could be what they planned this time around.
guide in audio
Showing how far some Zelda fans will go, reddit user u/ReroFunk (via inverse (Opens in a new tab)) has put together a very convincing theory regarding the Twilight Princess villain Zant, a Twili who served Ganondorf in the game. If you listen to the distiller in reverse, there are some notes that seem to echo the music played during your final encounter with Zant – who, while defeated, insists he will return through the power of his “god”.
Yu/ReroFunk also suggests we may see the return of Demon King Demise in the next Zelda game. Death was the final boss in the Skyward Sword, revealed to be Ganondorf’s original form. As seen below is a still from the Zelda trailer a Much Like death when you think about it.