Update: We've included new details from the March 2023 Tears of the Kingdom gameplay trailer. And yes, folks, the game's finished development — not long to go now!

Polishing off the last few shrines and giving Calamity Ganon what-for in the final battle of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild was a bittersweet act. After such a wonderful, rich journey it was time to bid farewell to Link, Zelda and the largest, most expansive iteration of Hyrule we’d ever visited - what were we going to do with ourselves?

Of course, we returned to devour the DLC and burn across the kingdom on our motorcycle while vacuuming up several hundred Korok seeds, but then began the wait for the next 'proper' Zelda game. Sure, in the intervening time we've had Cadence of Hyrule, the Link’s Awakening remake, the Skyward Sword remake, and Hyrule Warriors: Age Of Calamity, and there are plenty of Zelda-like games available for Switch, but there’s nothing quite like a full-fat Zelda experience.

We already knew that a direct sequel to Breath of the Wild was in development after Nintendo revealed it during their E3 2019 Direct presentation. But after E3 2020 was cancelled, we didn't get another peek at the game until Nintendo's E3 2021 Direct presentation.

In March 2022, the game was delayed to Spring 2023, as series producer Eiji Aonuma took to Twitter to share a (very short) clip of the game! Then, in September 2022, Nintendo finally announced a nameThe Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom — and a solid release date: May 12th, 2023. Clear that day in your calendar, pals. A second trailer finally dropped in February 2023 and gave us yet another look at the sprawling Hyrule fields and some intriguing-looking vehicles.

As of March 2023, we've actually seen some brand-new gameplay. The newest trailer confirmed that we'll be able to build our own vehicles, as well as Fuse our own weapons. And there are plenty of other secrets hidden under the hood.

So, grab that Master Sword and let’s get lost (in the woods)...

Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom FAQ

When is it coming out?

12th May, 2023.

Will there be a physical version?

Absolutely — here's the box art:

Box art
Image: Nintendo

There's also going to be a Collector's Edition, which contains an artbook, SteelBook, a steel poster, and a set of four pins.

TotK Collector's Edition
Image: Nintendo

How much does it cost?

Nintendo has confirmed that Tears of the Kingdom will cost £59.99 / $69.99 / €69.99.

The Collector's Edition will set you back £109.99 / $129.99

Will there be a Tears of the Kingdom Switch OLED?

Yep! There's a lovely white, gold, and green OLED launching on 28th April. A special carry case and a Pro Controller will follow on 12th May.

Will there be any new amiibo?

Yes! Nintendo unveiled a brand new Tears of the Kingdom amiibo featuring Link and his rather gnarly-looking arm during the February 2023 Nintendo Direct. Take a look at it:

Tears of the Kingdom amiibo
Image: Nintendo

Will my other Zelda amiibo work with the game?

They will. All previous Zelda series amiibo will unlock materials and paraglider fabrics based on the game the amiibo is from. So, that's a nice, spooky Majora's Mask glider for us, then.

What's it about?

We're not really sure. Link seems to be in it, Zelda's in it (for a bit, at least), plus a dead guy that looks like Ganondorf, and a Hyrule that has been torn up, with many new islands being launched into the sky by... something. Something bad, presumably. And there are tears... of the... uh... kingdom. Whatever that means. Also, Link can drive more vehicles than just a motorbike now. Does he build them himself, or has Hyrule just developed much more that transport options need to improve? Who can say...

Read our unhinged and unconfirmed theories and breakdowns, if you're up for it.

Is it set in the same world as Breath of the Wild?

Yes and no. The Hyrule below seems very similar, but the islands above seem new — they're covered in yellow foliage and temples we've never seen before. This version of Hyrule does seem fairly similar, at least on the surface, but Aonuma has referred to this world as an "unfamiliar Hyrule" — whatever that means!

All we know is that Hyrule "has changed in many ways" and reaches "high into the sky". There are also lots of caves to explore, as well as plenty of floating islands, known as Sky Islands.

Is it a direct sequel to Breath of the Wild?

Hard to say. It was, for a long time, called "the Sequel to Breath of the Wild", and some trailers have shown Link and Zelda looking more or less like their BOTW versions... but there are also plenty of elements that could take place before BOTW, too.

Is there DLC?

Slow your Eponas, pal! The game's not even out yet! But... we'd venture a guess at "yes". Eventually.

Is Zelda dead?

She might be. That would be a bit of a bummer.

Tears of the Kingdom – Mr. Aonuma Gameplay Demonstration, March 2023

45 days away from release, we got a 10-minute glimpse at what you'll be able to do in Tears of the Kingdom and Hyrule.

Most of the trailer focused on the Sky Islands and showcased the many ways Link can get around, and get involved in combat. Most importantly, Link seems to have some new abilities — Recall (which allows Link to rewind time), Fuse (used to fuse items together to improve items and create weapons), Ultrahand (vehicle creation — no more Octo Balloons needed for your flying craft!), and Ascend (lets link travel upwards through solid mass).

Basically, Hyrule is a big playground to try out your new skills in. Need homing arrows for your bow? Stick a Keese Eyeball on it. What about a longer weapon? That's what sticks are for. And mushroom on a shield? Sure, why not!

You can also dive back down to the surface and aim to land in water if you happen to fall off of the Sky Islands, and eventually, we imagine you'll have a lovely flying vehicle to get around on.

We'll have a more detailed run-down of the gameplay trailer very soon, so keep your eyes peeled.

Tears of the Kingdom Official Trailer #2, February 2023

February 2023 gave us a much-anticipated new look at Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, and its dark and destroyed version of Hyrule.

Opening with ominous scenes of a world bathed in darkness and rain, and with the blood moon high in the sky as Hyrule Castle is destroyed, Link is given more to play with. There's no more Sheikah Slate as Link uses his hand to control matter across the lands of Hyrule.

It looks like the hero of Hyrule will have more than just Epona and the Master Cycle Zero to travel on. We don't know if the latter is in the game, but essentially what we're getting at is — vehicles! You can bet we'll be digging down deep for all of the details here.

Release date and title reveal, September 2022

Title card
Image: Nintendo

The day we had all been waiting for: The reveal of the release date. And the title! An unexpected double-whammy. This September Nintendo Direct was leaked a little bit ahead of time as a "Zelda blowout", only to be a bit more of a Zelda gentle breeze, but we didn't mind too much with a new 90-second trailer, a release date, and a title.

That title: The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom.

What does it mean? We don't know! You think Nintendo tells us anything about Zelda? Absolutely not.

However, we can speculate... and boy, have we. Read our three pages of Zelda lore theories right here.

But to summarise what we learned for certain from this latest trailer that we didn't already know:

  • The release date is the 12th May, 2023
  • The title is "Tears of the Kingdom"
  • Link has a new glider
  • There are seven... somethings. Tears? Dungeons? Bosses? Collectibles? We don't know.
  • Link's time-rewinding power is important and useful
  • Link can still climb, run, and dive
  • Hyrule is messed up
  • The terrain has changed from BOTW
  • There are dragons in the logo
  • Link has some new equipment — strange teal vials on his belt

Oh, and we've done a video, too:

Breath of the Wild sequel delay announcement, March 2022 Trailer Breakdown

Eiji Aonuma announces that the game has been further pushed back to Spring 2023, breaking the hearts of Zelda fans everywhere... but possibly leaving 2022 open for a Wind Waker HD remake, right? Right?

Not much new info was included in this 90-second video, but a small snippet of new footage is still worth analysing and dissecting, so here we go!

We begin the new footage with Link climbing out of the ground, as we've seen before...

Image: Nintendo

But this transitions into Link looking at some glowy orb-thing. Is it important that his sword is glowing blue, and the glowy orb-thing is yellow? Who knows!

Image: Nintendo

Link then reaches for the Master Sword, which we recognise from the hilt, and we see those long, manicured nails... which we mentioned in the E3 2021 teaser breakdown, too (see page two).

Long Nails Link
Image: Nintendo

But... oh no! The Master Sword is all... melty! And Link's hand is also glowing yellow! The blue/yellow glow has been a prominent feature of past trailers and teasers too, so presumably it means something.

Botw2 Newlead2
Image: Nintendo

In past Zelda games, the colour blue has represented many things: Magic, the goddess Nayru, the "Wisdom" part of the Triforce, and anything to do with water, like the Zora race. It's also a colour that represents Zelda herself (who possesses the Triforce of Wisdom), and anything to do with spirits and guidance, like Navi in Ocarina of Time, and Fi, the embodiment of the Master Sword, in Skyward Sword.

Yellow, on the other hand, usually represents the desert levels and electricity, but the other two goddesses — Din, the goddess of Power, and Farore, the goddess of Courage — are green and red. It's hard to say if this is even the right avenue to go down! It could just be nice colours!

Link's hand appears to be glowing on the back, which is usually where the Triforce appears. Link's Triforce wedge is the Courage one (Zelda is Wisdom, Ganon(dorf) is Power) — so perhaps yellow represents Courage/Farore in this game? That would make sense, since the dragon Farosh is the equivalent of Farore in this game, alongside Dinraal and Naydra, and Farosh is an... electricity dragon. INTERESTING.

The Master Sword being melty seems quite important, though — in past trailers, we notably haven't seen the Master Sword, as Link's always been using some other weapon. What melted the sword? Is it going to be okay? Is the quest in BOTW 2 going to be all about re-forging the sword? We'll have to wait about a year to find out.

Other important features to note: Link has tattoos, lovely long hair, and an entirely black arm (which could be tattoos, or some kind of arm-curse), and most importantly of all, Link does not have nipples. Is this a plot point? It could be.

Head over to pages two and three to read our breakdowns of the 2021 teaser and the 2019 reveal trailer...