Zelda fans have been starving for anything they can get, any crumb they can catch, and it seems like Nintendo is finally taking pity, rewarding them with a 10-minute gameplay trailer for The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom.
During the gameplay snippet, Zelda producer Eiji Aonuma says through a translator that Tears has changed the world “in many ways,” including pieces of Hyrule that float high in the sky, or “sky islands.”
Tears of the Kingdom new abilities means less climbing
Link can reach these sky islands through his new “recall” powers, which alters an object’s movement, or “ascend,” which allows Link to pass through ceilings in a path of twisting turquoise light. The recall power lets Link take a giant boulder that fell from a floating island back up to said island like a cool rock elevator. And ascend means you no longer have to always scale the sides of mountains, keeping an eye on Link’s stamina meter while you do it.
Another new power “fuse,” lets Link combine two objects, like a branch with a boulder, and use it as a unique weapon—a hammer, in this case. “Ultrahand” is what Link will use to construct those vehicles we’ve seen in previous trailers.
Tears of the Kingdom weapon fusing
Fuse seems to be one of the game’s most versatile new powers, letting Link attach almost anything to anything to improve and alter its qualities. At one point, for example, Link attaches two fans to a raft to turn it into a sort of rustic speedboat. You can also attach objects to your arrows to increase their utility, including a hunk of meat. The term “meat arrow” is currently all over our Twitter timeline, as Zelda fans rushed to wonder what they can do with such an arrow in Tears of the Kingdom.
Other surprising reveals include breaking weapons (in the trailer, it’s a branch that breaks, for realism) and a fresh enemy, the Construct, which looks like a stony robot.
The Zonai in Tears of the Kingdom
The lengthy gameplay trailer also appeared to accidentally confirm the presence of the Zonai, a prehistoric tribe in the Zelda universe whose ruins dot Hyrule. During the gameplay, we see Link collect something called a Zonai charge from a fallen Construct. It’s unclear what they do just yet, but it certainly has fans excited to see how much Tears of the Kingdom will explore their lore.
This is what I would call a big meal. Before today, we had a very narrow idea of what the highly anticipated Breath of the Wild sequel would contain. Existing trailers revealed that the game—Nintendo’s first $70 game (pro tip: it will be cheaper if you use a Nintendo Switch Game Voucher to purchase it)—looks even more fantastic than BoTW.
“Hopefully it runs okay on the aging Switch hardware,” Kotaku senior reporter Ethan Gach wrote at the time of the reveal.
Good graphics are a nice thing to have, and a nice thing to see demonstrated before you in a Nintendo trailer, but it isn’t something you can run with. Past trailers have provided a general sense of what the hell is going on: Zelda isn’t sure that Link will be able to handle the latest threat, but he also gets to fly through the sky on a hulking hoverboard and what appears to be a hot air balloon, so who’s really winning?
But it wasn’t enough for fans to sink their teeth in. They’ve been subbing facts for wild dreams, theorizing that Tears will feature the first speaking Ganon, some sort of lost soul mechanic. They also surmised that the game would have homing arrows, which today’s trailer confirmed...you just need to fuse your arrows with squishy yellow Keese Eyeballs to make it happen.
Today’s trailer, which continues to show Link and his verdant world at its best and adds even more gameplay mechanics to the ones previous trailers revealed, is hopefully only the start to Nintendo preparing to open up the flood gates of cold, hard Zelda information. It doesn’t have much time, anyway—the game releases for Switch on May 12.