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Tears of the Kingdom: Everything we know about BOTW 2

Everything we know about The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, from gameplay to story.

Breath of the Wild 2 will now officially be known as The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, aka "TOTK", for short or the "sequel to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild," and it has plenty to live up to. After all, Breath of the Wild redefined the open-world genre. Gliders, teleportation points, and other small features now taken for granted in modern open-world games call back to this Nintendo masterpiece.

Part of the hype from Tears of the Kingdom comes from the expectation of something equally as good if not better than its mould-breaking predecessor. Breath of the Wild empowered players to aimlessly roam Hylian fields and complete plot points in any order – if they even chose to complete them at all. So, the question stands: what will Tears of the Kingdom bring?

Tears of the Kingdom has a confirmed release date

After a Nintendo Direct announcement in September 2022, Tears of the Kingdom is now expected to release on 12th May 2023. It was previously announced that the game would be delayed until Spring 2023 and could have had something to do with the news that Pokemon Scarlet and Violet will be releasing on November 18th. Usually. Two huge Switch titles wouldn’t release within the same space of time, so the delay until 2023 isn't too big of a surprise.

Like most Nintendo franchises, Tears of the Kingdom will be a Nintendo console exclusive for the Switch.

Pre-orders for Tears of the Kingdom

Tears of the Kingdom pre-orders. The Nintendo Direct in February 2023 confirmed there will be a Tears of the Kingdom Collector's edition that will cost $129.99/£119.99 and a Tears of the Kingdom amiibo (price TBC). We'll make sure to let you know when they become available. The standard edition will cost $70/£60, and will be available to pre-order as a physical copy, or digital via the Nintendo eShop. If you're planning on buying digitally, make sure to save some money on Nintendo eShop credit via our store and use the code "VG247" at checkout to save 5 per cent. This code is valid until the end of February.

You can also check our Tears of the Kingdom pre-orders guide for listing the best and cheapest places to pre-order.

Tears of the Kingdom pre-orders in the US: Tears of the Kingdom pre-orders in the UK:

Tears of the Kingdom trailers

Nintendo has released four trailers so far, all giving us a little glimpse of what's to come.

E3 2019 First Look Trailer

E3 2021 Teaser Trailer

Nintendo Direct September 2022 Trailer

Nintendo Direct February 2023 Trailer

Commentary from Eiji Aonuma

Not exactly a new trailer, but when Eiji Aonuma announced the game was being pushed back to 2023, he also added a little commentary to the teaser trailer from 2021 - it's worth a watch.

Breath Of The Wild 2’s name has been revealed

Breath of the Wild 2 was never the actual name of the game. It's just what fans started calling the sequel after they found out it existed. The sequel has been officially named The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom. In an earlier interview with IGN, Nintendo marketing manager Bill Trinen explained that the subtitle might spoil the plot of the new game. So, to keep the secret a little bit longer, the team decided to hold back on revealing the full title.

Internally, Nintendo called the game "Sequel to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild." It was the name used on all its official materials, including the trailer. That being said, Trinen and other reps present at Nintendo Treehouse seemed okay with the public calling the Breath of the Wild sequel whatever they wanted. We expect this will change imminently.

This announcement debunks the rumour that the sequel was to be named 'Breath of Duality'.

What we know about Tears of the Kingdom’s story

Screenshot from the BOTW 2 trailer showing the game's villain

Tears of the Kingdom's story hasn't been revealed yet. Perhaps it's another rescue mission, considering the contents of the gameplay trailer, but the villain’s true identity and the driving point behind the new story remain unknown. Producer Eiji Aonuma said Tears of the Kingdom would be "darker" than its predecessor, which could be a clue.

Producer Eiji Aonuma said Tears of the Kingdom would be "darker" than its predecessor, which could be a clue. The development team, especially younger members, apparently drew inspiration from Red Dead Redemption 2.

Fun fact: the development team, especially younger members, apparently drew inspiration from Red Dead Redemption 2. Breath of the Wild also took inspiration from The Elder Scrolls, especially Skyrim. Director Hidemaro Fujibayashi played the game while developing Breath of the Wild.

Tears of the Kingdom's gameplay

Screenshot from the Breath of the Wild 2 trailer showing a new ability

Tears of the Kingdom seems to largely build off the mechanics of the first game, but seems to bring in new powers as showcased in the trailer. Link phases through the floor of a floating road, and drives a giant spiked ball up a mountain and through some enemies. This seems to be related to the Stasis rune from the first game. It stands to reason that the other new abilities will also expand on the Sheikah Slate abilities.

Interestingly, some patents filed by Nintendo have been dug up, and they seem to shed light on some new mechanics coming to the game. One seems to show that more actions will be available while falling or diving, another is to do with Link’s new ability to phase through platforms, and the third is an item ‘reversal’ ability that is seen in the trailer.

In addition to the lush, open landscapes that Breath of the Wild exemplifies, there will be some sporadic, explorable terrain above the clouds too. This reminds our Assistant Editor, Alex Donaldson, of Zelda's earlier instance of remote islands in Wind Waker, where each island features unique quests and mini-games to differentiate them from each other instead of just existing as bland landmasses. However, that's more of a hope and not actually a confirmed feature.

Similarly, the game seems to draw from Skyward Sword’s lofty design - given that the title is canonically the first Zelda story, set the furthest back in time, this is entirely possible. The connection has mainly been drawn due to the floating islands in the sky, which are very reminiscent of Skyloft and other locations in Skyward Sword.

Tears of the Kingdom theories

Link falling through the sky in BOTW 2

Hold on to your hats here, players, this is where it gets wild (no pun intended). Since the confirmation of a BOTW sequel, fans have come up with numerous theories as to what, who, and where. The best part is, a lot of them have substantial reasoning.

The Zonai tribe, and Typhlo Ruins

One theory suggests that Tears of the Kingdom will have Link and Zelda head back in time - specifically to 10,000 years ago to when Ganondorf was sealed away by the Zonai. This would explain the similarities to Skyward Sword with the floating islands, and the different monsters and different structures seen in the landscape.

The Zonai, confirmed as a ‘warlike’ and magic-using tribe that lived in Hyrule, built the ruins in the Faron region of BOTW, as well as the Typhlo Ruins that remain shrouded in darkness. These bear a striking resemblance to the area that is seen in the BOTW2 trailer, with similar motifs and brick patterns. This could mean that wherever Link travels to is related to the Zonai - possibly finding out where they went, or if they truly left at all.

Twilight Princess, and the Twili people

Next up is an amalgamation of theories involving a previous game, Twilight Princess, and the Twili race that features in it. Both trailers that Nintendo has released have had visual parallels with Twilight Princess and its motifs; bright teal colors have only really been used in conjunction with the Twili and their magic, and the strange symbols floating in the air look like those of the Twili. This theory points to the magical blue hand (holding the mummified character in place) drawing power from the Twili and their realm, suggesting that they will appear or influence the story.

Link, but evil.

Another interesting theory is that Link and Ganondorf are interconnected. Let's say for argument's sake that the mummified creature is Ganondorf.

Or is it? A Reddit user posited that the angry-looking character isn’t the usual Ganondorf, and is in fact, Link. Specifically, the Link that is depicted in the tapestry showing the original fight between Calamity Ganon and the Hyrulean armies. The theory suggests that the portions of the trailers in the overworld are actually back in time, and that Link succumbs to the Malice, and becomes Ganondorf. There are admittedly design similarities between the two, giving some credit to this.

These are just a few choice theories that make the most sense, and only scratch the surface of the BOTW 2 theory rabbit hole, and we highly suggest jumping further into it. Of course, these could all be nothing - just the game designers utilizing older games’ influences without any particularly deep reasoning. Something tells us that isn’t the case…

Do you get to play as Zelda?

Zelda and Link stood in a cave in BOTW 2

Probably not. After all, the trailer shows her falling down a deep, dark hole and Link running around on his own. It was a nice hope while it lasted, though. Unless Nintendo is holding something back and we're in for a surprise when more information is released!

That's all the scoop we have on The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom right now but, hey, listen! We'll be back with more TOTK updates as and when they happen so be sure to bookmark this page and fast travel back when we have new info.

In the meantime you can also check out our best Nintendo Switch deals page- just in case you fancy playing the sequel to Breath of the Wild on a shiny new Switch OLED, or you want to pick up any other Zelda games like Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity, Skyward Sword or Link's Awakening while you wait for this game's release.

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Jessica Reyes


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