Nintendo’s still releasing new artwork for The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom in the lead-up to the game’s May 12 launch, and fans are already poring over the images for clues. All will be revealed in just a few weeks, but why wait when the gorgeous art is right there waiting to be analyzed under a microscope?
Following hot Ganon’s big debut in the final trailer last week, Nintendo released official artwork for the Gerudo King yesterday that stoked some fan theories about the “tears” referenced in the game’s title. Maybe he’s collecting them to go full Thanos? Tears of the Kingdom’s champions have new artwork as well, showing off the Zora Prince Sidon as well as two other companions, a Gerudo who appears to be Riju and a Rito who is likely Teba’s son, Tulin. The kids are all grown up and ready to kick ass it seems.
The first thing that caught players’ eyes was that we’re still missing the fourth champion, presumably a Goron, who hasn’t been shown in the recent batch of trailers and gameplay footage. With Breath of the Wild’s Yunobo nowhere in sight, some fans are speculating this could be because Death Mountain appears to be infected with Malice, potentially signaling that Link will first have to fight a Goron champion before they join as a companion.
This also matches up with the broader fan theory that Ganon is trying to collect colorful gems called tears that function in Hyrule sort of like the Infinity Stones from Avengers. The new character art shows Ganon currently has room for seven on his “infinity” necklace, and already possesses three–red, purple, and silver. Sidon, meanwhile, appears to get a blue tear over the course of the adventure, implying it’s possible Ganon already has the red one because he took it from a Goron. Rip.
One of the biggest reveals in Tears of the Kingdom’s final trailer was that champions like Sidon will at least occasionally be able to fight side-by-side with Link. Building off the character backstories established in the hack ‘n slash spin-off, Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity, it seems like the champions may actually be able to accompany the Hero of Time on his adventure at various points like fully-functioning NPC allies.
When Breath of the Wild came out, Nintendo released individual Amiibo for each of the game’s champions. So far Tears of the Kingdom only has a single figurine for Link. We’ll see if the new champions get the same treatment once the game finally arrives.