Zelda: Tears Of The Kingdom

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The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Realm is an absolutely massive entry in the famous Nintendo series. The game carries over many of the characters and gameplay mechanics of its predecessor, Breath of the Wild, while introducing unique elements both new to the game and borrowed from the franchise’s history.


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With such a deep respect for Zelda’s lore, story and characters, there is no shortage of allusions and references to past Zelda games in Tears of the Kingdom. Many fans of the series will spot them immediately, but here are a few you may have missed.

Updated June 17, 2023 by Kendall Cunningham: Tears of the Kingdom is a very large game with a lot to discover. His version of Hyrule is huge and most players have only scratched the surface of its mysteries. We’ll continue to find more and more nods to Zelda’s rich history over time, so it’s worth revisiting this list with all the cool new references we’ve found.

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12 The game’s memories are full of classic Zelda songs

the legend of zelda tears of the kingdom scenic view when rauru, zelda and sonia are drinking tea in dragon tear memory of zelda and sonia

Tears of the Kingdom’s various Dragon Tears are his version of the memories present in Breath of the Wild. These flashbacks give you insight into the events that take place in Hyrule’s distant past and show what Zelda was doing when she met King Rauru and Queen Sonia.

Longtime Zelda fans will notice that a lot of the music played during these flashbacks comes from Zelda’s past, with little allusions to Zelda’s theme, the main theme of the series, and more. These musical nods help the flashbacks feel connected to the deep history of Zelda as a series.

11 The Stable Trotters play a remix of Epona’s theme

Tears of the Kingdom - The Stable Trotters play for the Great Fairy

Music is a strong presence in every Zelda game, and Tears of the Kingdom makes great use of it. One of the most notable music-based side quests is a trip to reunite the Stable Trotters, a stable group that plays for travelers throughout Hyrule.

As you progress through the quest, you’ll start seeing more and more members of the band in the stables you visit, and veterans of the series will notice that they’re playing a familiar tune. The Stable Trotters play a wonderful remix of Epona’s Theme, the classic Zelda song associated with Link’s famous horse, Epona. It’s a nice reference to a trusty steed from Link’s past.

10 Breath of the Wild events are barely mentioned

symin and his students in hateno village teach me a lesson totk tears of the kingdom

Although Tears of the Kingdom takes place in the same version of Hyrule as Breath of the Wild, some time has passed since the events of that game. Hyrule began to rebuild after the events of the disaster, as evidenced by the fact that the events of Breath of the Wild are rarely mentioned.

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Even the Sheikah technology present throughout Breath of the Wild is mostly gone from Tears of the Kingdom. You’ll find very few guardians left, with the exception being at the very top of the lab in Hateno Village. Some characters will still talk about the accident, such as Haten’s teacher Shiekah Symin, but most Hylians seem to have moved on.

9 The depths are the dark world of the game

The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom Link is standing near a statue underground

The Zelda series has historically included a more dangerous Dark World for Link to travel to. These ominous places are usually an inverted version of the realm of Hyrule, with stronger enemies and new bosses dotted throughout their familiar landscapes.

Tears of the Kingdom takes the Dark World concept literally by inverting Hyrule’s world map to create an underground area, The Depths. High cliffs become deep holes, rivers become impenetrable walls, and various key locations on the surface of Hyrule correspond to various areas of interest in The Depths, giving this version of Link its own dark world to explore.

8 Lurelin Village still feels connected to Wind Waker

Zelda Tears of the Kingdom Lurelin Village screenshot

The beautiful beachside settlement, Lurelin Village has always drawn comparisons from Zelda alumni to Outset Island from The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker. Its setting is identical to Link’s picturesque home island from that game, and Tears of the Kingdom takes that comparison one step further.

When you arrive at Lurelin Village, you will find that it has been taken over by pirates and their ship is docked at Lurelin’s Pier. It’s the exact same place where Tetra’s pirate ship landed in Wind Waker, bringing even more of a connection between the two titles. What’s more, the famous blue lobster shirt from Wind Waker can be unlocked by completing a side quest in Lurelin Village.

7 The concept of Sages comes from the original Zelda

Tears of the Realm screenshot Tulin

Tears of the Kingdom returns Zelda to her roots in more ways than one, with her elemental dungeons dotted throughout Hyrule. Each of these dungeons is associated with one of the Sages, a diverse group of notable individuals who represent the various citizens of Hyrule.

This isn’t a new concept, as regular fans will recognize the series’ tradition of featuring a group of elemental sages. While most fans will remember the Seven Sages from games like Ocarina of Time and A Link To The Past, the series has featured the Sages since its first entry, with wise old men granting Link his original weapon.

6 The Sage’s masks represent their divine beasts

Tears of the Kingdom screenshot of a masked water sage

With the four sages representing the four prominent kingdoms of Hyrule, their locations should prove familiar to fans of Breath of the Wild. The Goron, Zora, Gerudo, and sage Rito are all featured, and all are equipped with special masks in the memories they represent.

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Sharp-eyed fans will notice that these masks are modeled after the Divine Beasts, the four sacred protectors of the realm you explored in Breath of the Wild. While you won’t see these massive beasts in the game’s open world this time around, it’s nice to see them featured here.

5 The name Rauru has its own history

Screenshot of Rauru Tears Of The Kingdom

Among the sages of past Zelda titles, one name may stand out to Tears of the Kingdom players. Rauru is one of the sages from Ocarina of Time, the group that built the Temple of Time version of that game.

This is of course also the name of King Rauru, the ancient ruler of Zonai and one of the founders of Hyrule in Tears of the Kingdom. Given that Zelda has a tendency to flip the timeline to tell its story, it should come as no surprise that this generation of Zelda also has its own Rauru.

4 The main sword still sounds like Fi

Tears of the Kingdom screenshot of Link picking up a broken master sword

The master sword is seriously damaged in the early moments of Tears of the Realm, plagued by the darkness that originates from the mummified corpse of the Demon King Gannondorf. As Link continues to travel with the sword for a while, it starts flashing light and making a special sound.

This sound, which is also heard during key moments of Breath of the Wild, is recognizable to those who have played Skyward Sword as the ringing of Link’s companion Fi. Fi is the spirit of the sword itself, so longtime fans will definitely notice this constant nod to her even at the beginning of the game’s story.

3 Different types of enemies have returned…

An image showing two Likes Likes in The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom..

Tears of the Kingdom puts Gannondorf’s minions front and center, showcasing new and improved forms of Bokoblins, Moblins and the like. While many of these enemies have returned from Breath of the Wild, fans who have played Zelda for years are in for a few surprises when they face the game’s newest enemies.

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A whole host of monsters from older Zelda games like Like Likes and Gleeoks are back for the Switch Zelda title. While these are certainly formidable foes, it’s nice to see some familiar faces, albeit with brand new designs exclusive to Tears of the Realm.

2 … Including redone bosses

Tears of the Kingdom Mucktorok boss screenshot

Bringing back more traditional dungeons, Tears of the Kingdom reintroduces a handful of classic Zelda elements, providing obstacles that wouldn’t be out of place in the series’ classic adventures. What’s more, each of the major dungeons culminates in a boss fight that should make returning fans feel right at home.

While some of the game’s bosses feel unique, most are remixed iterations of bosses from the series’ past. Familiar enemies, from the standard Octorok to the mighty Gohma, have been transformed into monstrous versions of themselves, combining these timeless forms with new elements and an updated feel.

1 Your horses from Breath of the Wild are back

Connection riding a horse near other horses.

To experience one of the coolest easter eggs in Tears of the Kingdom, make sure you’re playing under the same Switch profile you played Breath of the Wild on. If you are, you’re in for a treat when you visit the stables below.

Those with a save from Breath of the Wild will quickly find that Tears of the Kingdom easily transfers your mounts into the sequel. If you’ve grown attached to your horses, this is a wonderful way to keep them around for at least one more adventure with Link and Zelda.

NEXT: Tears of the Kingdom Vs. Breath Of The Wild: Which Zelda Game Is Better?

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