Humans have invented so many different ways to procrastinate, you’d think we’d do little more than roll our eyes when finding a new way to pass the time. Luckily, we seem to love spending time pretending that we are somewhere other than where we are. I think that this kind of escapism is occasionally permissible, especially when we choose to disappear to Hyrule to battle monsters, complete quests, and save Princess Zelda from villains that would otherwise bring ruin to the world and its denizens!
Link, Zelda, and the Kingdom of Hyrule exist in one of Nintendo’s most memorable adventure game franchises: The Legend of Zelda. Iconic games in this series include Ocarina of Time, A Link Between Worlds, and Twilight Princess. These games are all nostalgic. In fact, the latest installment in the franchise, Breath of the Wild, became a fan favorite shortly after its release. Following that great success is Nintendo’s next ambitious chapter of Link’s story, The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom.
Nintendo has been building excitement for this game since E3 2019, an annual gaming expo where developers promote their upcoming games. Creators continued to tease the game’s progress by releasing statements to update fans. In 2021, fans finally got a teaser trailer to drool over until, in September 2022, Nintendo released the game’s title and a May 12, 2023 release date.
Right now, there’s another teaser trailer and a demo featuring gameplay, as well as commentary from the producer of the epochal Legend of Zelda series, Eiji Aonuma. The demo showcases Link’s new abilities and the game-changing crafting mechanics that appear in Tears of the Kingdom. Aonuma also shows fans the new areas that players can explore in Hyrule as well as new terrain, like floating sky islands. Breath of the Wild emphasizes the player’s ability to explore every nook and cranny of the world, and Tears of the Kingdom takes that a step further. Aonuma’s short gameplay gives players the chance to peek into this new Hyrule and get excited to play the next chapter in Link’s story.
Since The Legend of Zelda franchise has so many dedicated players, fans can also look forward to the many play-throughs of the game that are sure to premiere as soon as the game goes public. One of my favorite things about Breath of the Wild (BOTW) is its dedicated fanbase–people have followed the story since its first game in 1986! Fans have made content like 18-hour no-commentary playthroughs, speed runs, and tips-and-trick for newbs (newbies), proving how much people love solving puzzles and fighting monsters as Link. I think it’s safe to say that even if–as some critics predict–Tears of the Kingdom turns out to be another DLC expansion of Breath of the Wild, dedicated fans will still find something to love about the game. I know that if I feel like I want to escape for a few hours on May 12th, I’m going to spend that time in Hyrule.