On May 12, The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom will finally be released.
We say 'finally' for a couple of reasons.
First, the video game was supposed to be released a year ago. (No worries, we can be patient .) And second, it's been a long time since a game has been this anticipated by people.
If you're a fan, then you know what we mean. Just looking at this image is so thrilling!
But if you're only hearing about Zelda now, it might be a bit mystifying why it is such a sensation. No matter what category you fall under—super fan or simply curious—we're going to take a moment to talk about what we can expect from the new Zelda game.
What is The Legend of Zelda?
Let's start with a quick Zelda primer.
This adventure series is one of the oldest and most popular in the Nintendo universe. The first game, The Legend of Zelda, was released in 1986. Since then, there have been 18(!) more Zelda games. All of them are set in the fictional fantasy kingdom of Hyrule, which is home to elf-like humanoids called Hylians.
The character that you play is a young Hylain warrior named Link. His main weapons are swords, shields, and bows and arrows. And though the exact details are always changing, his central quest usually involves saving Hyrule by helping the Princess Zelda to defeat the evil Ganon.
Why are people so excited?
Zelda's popularity went up a major notch after the release of 2017's Zelda edition, Breath of the Wild. To date, over 30 million copies of this game have been sold, which is more than three times the second-best selling Zelda game. What makes it so appealing?
Breath of the Wild is what is known as an open-world game. This means that as Link, you are allowed to explore the world in any way that you please. There is no one way to complete the game.
And the game's world is so massive—and the bonus tasks and challenges are so many—that people have happily played the same game for weeks, months, even years. In fact, many people (including this writer!) have specifically avoided trying to defeat Ganon because they just love exploring the game so much. They never want it to end!
This is a big reason why the new Tears of the Kingdom has been so delayed. The game designers know they have a lot to live up to! They need to create a world as big and challenging and full of surprises as Breath of the Wild was.
So what is Tears of the Kingdom all about?
Which brings us to the new game! So far, a few sneak peeks have been leaked and they look quite thrilling. The world of Hyrule is just as enormous and beautiful as before. Link is able to ride horses, climb hillsides, pick up objects, and explore in the ways that fans have come to love. But there's also so much more to the game.
Especially in the sky!
In Breath of the Wild, Link could use his paraglider to drift down from mountaintops and towers, easily traveling across huge distances. But in Tears of the Kingdom, there are now dozens of new floating chunks of land called sky islands. These give Link new locations to explore far beyond the mainland below. Wow! But how does he get up there?
Awesome new abilities
In Breath of the Wild, Link was able to solve puzzles and defeat enemies using a handful of cool abilities. Magnesis let him pick up metal objects, while Stasis let him freeze an object for a brief time.
Tears of the Kingdom has a whole bunch of new abilities that will let Link explore Hyrule in new ways. First is something called Fuse, which lets him take any two objects and join them together. By doing so, he can increase the strength, range, and durability of his weapons and tools. Then there's Ultrahand, which lets him build new vehicles from things he finds laying around. Apparently, he can build cars, boats, even flying machines.
Maybe that's how he gets up to those sky islands. Or maybe there are other ways, too ...
There is so much to talk about—too much for this post! But from the little previews that we've seen, we're just so happy to see that Tears is all about being creative and exploring. Just like the last Zelda game was!
To learn more about all of the marvelous things in store in this new game, watch this extended trailer. It has the game's producer, Eiji Aonuma, playing the game for us and showing off its coolest features. Yay!