The long-awaited sequel to the Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is finally within reach. Nintendo announced the sequel all the way back in 2019, with a spooky teaser that dropped jaws. In the nearly four years since, information on the game has been doled out in small increments, and the cloud of Breath of the Wild 2 hung over every Nintendo Direct. But during the September 2022 Direct, a ray of light broke through the cloud.

Here is everything you need to know about Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom.

When is the Tears of the Kingdom release date?

At E3 2021, Nintendo confirmed it aimed to release ToTK in 2022. However, on March 29, 2022, series producer Eiji Aonuma revealed the sequel would be delayed until Spring 2023.

At the September 2022 Nintendo Direct, however, TotK made a showstopping appearance to announce its title as well as an official release date of May 12, 2023.

Is there a Tears of the Kingdom trailer?

Yes! Over the long development of ToTK, there have been numerous trailers. Nintendo did not disappoint fans with the September Direct, which revealed both a release date and a title for the upcoming Zelda game. This was all packaged in a gorgeous trailer focusing on Link exploring the game’s open world in what appear to be different timelines. Check it out:

If you want a refresher on that very first trailer from 2019, we’ve also included it here.

What is the Tears of the Kingdom story?

ToTK will be a direct sequel that will follow up after the events of Breath of the Wild. The announcement trailer hints at a darker tone during certain parts of the adventure as Link and Zelda team-up. It also looks like players will be staying in Hyrule based on the trailer.

Fans have guessed that Link and Zelda may have discovered the dried-up corpse of Ganondorf deep below Hyrule Castle. Assuming that’s the case, it seems something will go wrong, freeing the villain from whatever spell had been used to contain him and plunging Hyrule into darkness yet again.

Some fans believe the game will have a plot that revolves around time travel. The voice actor for Daruk revealed he would be returning for the sequel in more than one role. He will also be voicing Daruk’s ancestor whom he calls “a bit more serious”.

Will Zelda be playable in Tears of the Kingdom?

Recent leaks on Weibo (the Chinese equivalent of Twitter) suggest that Zelda could finally be playable in ToTK. While this has never happened in a mainline Zelda game, the leaker (a 3D artist claiming to be a Nintendo contractor) revealed information suggesting TotK could change that.

Specifically, the leaker mentions working on sequences related to the Sheikah Slate. By the end of Breath of the Wild, this is in the possession of Zelda. Link has been depicted as having some sort of mutated arm that replaces the Sheikah Slate in the available trailers for TotK. Its inclusion raises questions about who could be using it, or why Link would be in possession of it in the first place.

What new features will Tears of the Kingdom have?

An E3 2021 trailer showed Link gliding and falling through the air, revealing that players will be able to explore islands in the sky. It also highlights some of the new powers Link will have at his disposal, including one that allows him to phase through objects. The sky landscape has made some theorize that there may be connections between ToTK and Skyward Sword, which recently received remaster for the Switch.

The Weibo leak also states that Link will “look different” in a possible New Game Plus mode. As this is translated this could refer to a change in outfit, or Link’s arm returning to normal. However, this could be another reference to playable Zelda, New Game Plus looks different because you are playing as a different character. This could function like Nier Automata which gives the player control over new characters in subsequent playthroughs.

Will Tears of the Kingdom launch with a Switch Pro?

One of the bigger rumors circulating is that Nintendo might release ToTK alongside a new Switch model. That seems like a logical conclusion considering that the first game launched with the current Switch model. The reality here? Don’t get your hopes up.

Nintendo announced the Nintendo Switch OLED model, ending any rumors of an upgraded piece of Nintendo hardware. While it’s always possible that Nintendo could release a new system in 2022 or 2023, the Switch is doing just fine.

Omdia Senior Analyst George Jijiashvili tells Inverse, “Based on how Nintendo tends to operate, I believe it would release Tears of the Kingdom when it thinks it’s ready, instead of syncing it up with a new hardware launch.”

Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom is coming to Nintendo Switch on May 12, 2023

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