Delayed BOTW sequel: Tears of the Kingdom emerging in May


   On March 3, 2017, Nintendo released Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild (BOTW), a video game that took the already famous Zelda franchise to a whole new level. Although Zelda games are notorious for step by step puzzles and following dungeons in a particular order, the Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild creators completely scrapped that idea and made the entire game open world, meaning that the player is not limited to certain areas and is free to explore as they please. BOTW’s open world adventures take place in various different climates and involve scaling snowy mountains, dressing in drag to sneak into a “women only” town, “shield surfing” down hills, sailing in the ocean, conquering various beasts, and many more adventures.

   This new idea for the series succeeded so well that the game won various awards including The Game Award of the Year and the award for Best Action and Adventure Game. Fans including myself have been heavily anticipating the sequel, Tears of the Kingdom, since its first teaser was released in 2019. Its official release date is coming up on May 12, 2023.

   The first teaser suggests that Tears of the Kingdom will have a darker side and possibly some parallels to Legend of Zelda Twilight Princess. It is introduced with green energy that appears to be some sort of text or symbols wafting in the air, the sound of a heart beat, and eerie music that sounds as if it is being played in reverse. Then the green symbols are shown to be spiraling upwards, with the malice spreading out around it. The symbols are likely letters from the Gerudo alphabet. Zelda and Link are then shown exploring the underground ominous cave network where the green spiral resides. Next, the teaser reveals that a corpse is being held up by the green symbols and that a glowing green arm is grabbing its chest. The corpse is probably Ganondorf himself because of its appearance and the place where the arm is grabbing is the place where Link laid a fatal blow on him at the end of Twilight Princess. The green energy seems to attack or be attracted to Link’s arm, potentially showcasing the origins of his “mechanical arm” in later trailers. What is interesting about his new magic arm was that they intended to include it in BOTW but scrapped the idea for the time being. Ganon from BOTW may have also been a manifestation of Ganondorf from below the castle and thus, in the upcoming TOTK Ganondorf himself (or at least his powered up corpse), takes on Link since he defeated the mere manifestations of his evil. 

    Later trailers, however, reveal the more comforting and uplifting aspects of this game. Link glides down from incredible sky islands and is sporting a new outfit. His hair is down, he has green and white robes, and sandals that make him resemble a Greek hero. He also has several new abilities, like traveling through walls with his arm that was featured in the 2019 teasers. Monsters from BOTW, like Moblins and Bokoblins, also have different features. Although they look the same, their horns are longer and weapon shaped, possibly for Link to use to his advantage after killing them. There are also some new enemies, like what appear to be elemental dragons that glide in the sky. An even more exciting factor of this game, aside from fresh enemies and outfits, is just how much more vast it is than BOTW. The land in that game alone is the size of Texas for the characters. While sequel Tears of the Kingdom includes all of the same surface land as BOTW, it also contains sky islands and cave networks across the world. 

   Because of the sheer size of the land in BOTW to explore along with all the tasks and abilities Link has, gamers can play for years without getting bored. In fact, I have over 900 hours on Breath of the Wild. I have been playing it since 7th grade and still enjoy playing now and then as a senior. Assuming TOTK is just as good as BOTW, if not better, it will occupy gamers for many more years and possibly become even more famous. After all, the Zelda franchise has a history of making sequels that are even more impressive than the already fantastic original. Majora’s Mask, for instance, had an even more fascinating storyline and became even more famous than its predecessor Ocarina of Time.

   Many fans, including myself, will be pre-ordering The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom with great anticipation. The game was supposed to be finished in 2022 but was delayed for more improvements in development, as a result BOTW fans are incredibly desperate to get their hands on it.