By the time Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom releases, it would have been six years since the last mainline Zelda game. This will have been the longest gap within the franchise, and it may be worth while preparing for the new release. With little to no knowledge about Tears of the Kingdom, gamers are left to mountains of theories and no Navi to guide them.
Given what we do know or reasonably theorize (emphasis on reasonable), here are things you should play/read/watch from now until May 2023 to best prepare you for Link’s next epic adventure.
Author’s Note: This article was written on 12/13/2022. We will update this if and when additional Zelda news is released.
1. GAMES TO PLAY
In no particular order, these are the games most recommended to play before Tears of the Kingdom:
LEGEND OF ZELDA: SKYWARD SWORD
This “origin story” had an HD makeover in 2021. Whether Nintendo intentionally selected Skyward Sword as the latest remaster prior to Tears of the Kingdom is unknown, but it is pretty darn suspicious. Tears of the Kingdom trailers show Link leaping off a sky island and free falling–sound familiar? With the presence of sky islands, it’s hard not to connect the dots. Regardless of whether this is all intentional or not, playing Skyward Sword is highly recommended for the following reasons: 1) It will provide backstory and lore to the beginnings of evil and 2) provide a comparison point of game design. Skyward Sword’s Skyloft sadly was emptier than what most people wanted–there weren’t many islands with things to do, and when Link left to the surface, there were only three areas on the map to land on. Tears of the Kingdom will likely take this “mechanic” and expand it exponentially.
LEGEND OF ZELDA: OCARINA OF TIME
This is the title that split the timeline, much to people’s joy or chagrin. Despite your own thoughts on the Zelda timeline, it is something that is always brought up, and even more so when Breath of the Wild released. In Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, the map was littered with Easter Eggs and landmarks named after previous NPCs or areas. Understanding where the timeline split will give you a better appreciation as Tears of the Kingdom will likely expand on the Breath of the Wild “universe”.
LEGEND OF ZELDA: BREATH OF THE WILD
This is a tall ask given you can sink hundreds of hours into this game. However, because Tears of the Kingdom is its sequel, this is mandatory homework. However, if you are pressed for time, at least re-watch the memories. While we do not know which Champions and other NPCs will return, it’s important to refresh your mind of their roles.
HYRULE WARRIORS: AGE OF CALAMITY
Zelda fans are divided as to whether this is canon or not–and therefore divided on whether this is important to play. Regardless, this spin-off provides a valuable story of what happened during the Calamity, one hundred years before the events in Breath of the Wild. Whether title created its own timeline separate of what we will see in Tears of the Kingdom is yet to be confirmed.
EXTRA CREDIT: LEGEND OF ZELDA: MAJORA’S MASK
Majora’s Mask was a direct sequel to Ocarina of Time, and many fans look to Tears of the Kingdom in that same light. Meaning, Tears of the Kingdom is theorized to be “darker” and more story rich. Again, this is all theory, but I recommend Majora’s Mask as extra credit because it shows you how Nintendo was able to recycle the same NPCs from Ocarina of Time in a creative way. Becoming familiar with Nintendo’s treatment of sequels may clue you in on how they will treat this next title.
2. WHAT TO READ
Isn’t Legend of Zelda a video game franchise? Well, technically yes, but there are so much ancillary content out there worth checking out before the release of Tears of the Kingdom.
THE LEGEND OF ZELDA: HYRULE HISTORIA
The first book published by Dark Horse is a complete review of the Legend of Zelda franchise. This read is easy and fun with lots of photos. It highlights all that you need to know, especially if you can’t complete all those games recommended above. There is also a 32 page manga detailing the story of the first hero and Hylia herself.
THE LEGEND OF ZELDA: CREATING A CHAMPION
This book focuses strictly on The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. The details may be the key to understanding what is to come in Tears of the Kingdom. The history of Hyrule and lore is condensed into a pleasurable read…and there may be something about the Zonai in there if you’re curious…
3. WHAT TO WATCH
TEARS OF THE KINGDOM TRAILERS
This should be no surprise here. Here is a Youtube channel that has all current trailers in one video:
BREATH OF THE WILD STORY TRAILER
Not only is this one of the most spine-tingling trailers of all time, it also is a wonderful reminder of what made Breath of the Wild so great. Watching trailers really can revitalize your hype that perhaps died down after waiting six years for this next game.
That is your comprehensive guide to prepare for Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom. Remember, it releases May 12th, 2023, as long as there are no further !
Do you have any suggestions or even theories to share? Please share your thoughts with us on our Boss Rush Facebook Group or our Boss Rush Discord!
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