Now that you’ve mentally prepared to shell out $70 for Nintendo’s biggest game of the year, it’s time to pick apart the new Tears of the Kingdom gameplay trailer for any and all details we might have missed the first time around. There are new features and gameplay mechanics to talk about, as well as new fan theories that may or may not pan out. Ready to dig in?
Ganon speaks in Tears of the Kingdom
Do you recognize that voice? Fans swear that they hear Matt Mercer at the start of the new Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom trailer, but there’s no confirmation on this. What we can say, though, is that this is the very first time that we’ve heard Ganon say words out loud in a Zelda game. Well, assuming this is Ganon. Who else could it be??
Blood Moons Are Back
The start of the new gameplay trailer sees Ganon raising his army with a mechanic familiar to anyone who has played BOTW: the blood moon. In that game, blood moons caused enemies Link had slain to regenerate, and they appear to have a similar effect here, though things seem way more intense this time around. Flaming projectiles rain down, huge explosions occur, the earth shakes as a castle appears to rise from underground. Possibly, this is just for effect during cutscenes. Then again, Nintendo has to up the ante to make things seem more dramatic in the sequel, so brace yourself for at least some of these things actually happening in-game.
An underground theory for Tears of the Kingdom
I totally missed this until Zeltik pointed it out, but at one point during the trailer you see small green wisps that are very similar to the ones that surround the spirit of the king when you speak to him in Breath of the Wild. We also see Link entering some sort of cave during the first trailer that Nintendo released, back when it was still just referring to the game as “the sequel to Breath of the Wild.” Is it possible that we’re dealing with graveyards and lost souls? It would fit with the spookier theme, no?
Does Tears of the Kingdom feature a more intense type of Lynel?
Zelda personality PointCrow admits this is a crackpot theory, but I do see something hiding in this explosion that looks suspiciously like a Lynel. Will Tears of the Kingdom introduce “Malice” enemies? Hmm.
Tiny thing here, but at about 1:25, Link shoots an arrow that definitely misses its target correct and hit the floating enemy. Great, cause my aim sucks. And just so you don’t get mad that this has an entire dedicated slide, surely you caught that the trailer debuts Epona, Link’s trusty steed? Sorry, rando no-name horses.
Why is Link’s arm messed up?
Corruption seems to be a big theme in Tears of the Kingdom. To wit, Zelda tells Link that she doesn’t think he is going to be able to stop “him” this time around. That’s probably because Link is, shall we say, a little hindered now. It’s not just the arm, though. Tell me why the official Nintendo Twitter account shared a picture of the Master Sword looking mega busted? I’m feeling some Princess Mononoke vibes, here. Or maybe the corrupted Master Sword is just how they’re bringing weapon degradation back.
Zelda has the slate
I’m sorry to revive this for the billionth time, and honestly, I’m not going to get my hopes up here. I’ve already gotten burned. Nintendo can say it already gave me what I wanted in the musou spin-off. But isn’t it interesting that the Japanese Twitter account stopped and told everyone that Zelda, not Link, has the Sheikah slate in this picture? And the trailer ends with Zelda saying, “Please, lend me your power” as Link reaches out to her. Perhaps...we get to play as Zelda this time around? Who knows, maybe that corruption really gets the better of Link at some point...
Link is riding a car in Tears of the Kingdom
Sure, Link got to ride around in a motorcycle in the BOTW DLC. And intrepid players were able to use their powers to whisk Link around in hovering hunks of metal that might as well been vehicles. But it appears that Tears of the Kingdom could make life easier for all of us by simply giving us a whip. Actually, seems like Link is going to have a few different choices here, as the trailer shows him riding something resembling a hot air balloon and a drone as well. Nice.
New game means new things to kill, right? The official screenshot above appears to show a new type of bulky Bokoblin that you’ll soon be “defeating.” But more curiously, for a split second the trailer appears to show a ReDead, recurring enemies from the series that are known to scream and paralyze Link. Also, was that a flippin’ dragon in the trailer?!