It’s been a long while since we’ve heard anything about the next Zelda game, hasn’t it? Fortunately, today’s Nintendo Direct finally gave us another glimpse of the highly anticipated action adventure game by Nintendo, to hold us steady until its release next year. It’s coming on 5/13/2023, and it’s called The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom.
Breath of the Wild 2, it should be noted, isn’t the game’s official name, though I’m sure many of us will be calling it that for a long time to come. It does, after all, seem to have a direct connection to the previous open-world game. It’s kind of funny to get the announcement of the game’s title this far in, but for a long time, Nintendo insisted that the “real” name of the new BotW game would spoil something about the premise. So, any going theories as to what the title could be referring to, lore folks?
The trailer is pretty brief and doesn’t give away much. The name and release date are the big news items here. But what we do see largely focuses on what appears to be in-game hieroglyphics, which might be pointing toward a myth or the larger story. There’s some kind of deity that appears to be surrounded by icons that I’m going to guess are the proverbial tears. There was, however, some brief gameplay shown, which emphasized how much Link will be taking to the skies here. He has a glider now! And there will still be plenty of climbing, it seems.
Prior to this, the drought of news in 2022 led fans to desperation, as people attempted to extrapolate whatever bits of information they could from accidental spoilers from an Italian voice actor. We have, however, gotten a decent look at what’s going to be in the game. Aside from the desiccated husk that has now become the internet’s boyfriend, we also know that the BotW sequel emphasizes verticality. Some chunks of the world have been ripped out of the ground, becoming sky islands in the process. And Link now appears to be able to teleport above (and possibly below?) himself.
Some have likened these elements of BotW 2 to Skyward Sword, but who knows what the thrust of the final game might be? The initial reveal trailer, for example, had more of a horror feel to it. Even some of those loftier scenes in the sky are tinged with bleakness, given that the islands floating in the clouds are often infested by a blight. No wonder, then, that there are already a wide variety of wild fan theories regarding where BotW 2 goes next.
As Nintendo tells it, BotW 2 exists because the developer couldn’t fit all of its initial ideas into the first game. Some have speculated that, for this reason, the concept art for the first BotW game might hide some secrets regarding where the franchise is headed.
“Initially we were thinking of just DLC ideas,” Aonuma said during an interview, “but then we had a lot of ideas and we said, ‘This is too many ideas, let’s just make one new game and start from scratch.’”