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Where Have All the Guardians Gone in ‘Tears of the Kingdom’?

Official Guardian artwork for The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

There are many, many aspects of Breath of the Wild that made it really stand out from other Legend of Zelda games. As such, many of us have distinct memories from playing BotW. And for a lot of players, one of those is the first time you meet a Guardian. You were probably on Hyrule Field, and you probably got your ass kicked. Multiple times.

Since Tears of the Kingdom is a direct sequel to Breath of the Wild, a natural question going in was whether Guardians were going to continue to be a formidable issue on your otherwise tranquil horse rides. Hours into playing Tears of the Kingdom, that question somehow becomes more profound: There’s not a single Guardian in sight. So you might ask yourself again, slightly more urgently: Are Guardians and their kickass battle theme in Tears of the Kingdom at all?

The answer is no. You won’t be fighting any Guardians during your time with Tears of the Kingdom. There’s evidence that they were around before, however. Mostly because Purah and Robbie—good, resourceful scientists—seem to be making use of Guardian parts. One of their husks was built into the Hateno Ancient Tech Lab. And the arms which grab and launch Link from the Skyview Towers sure look a lot like Guardian appendages.

While it’s never said explicitly in TotK‘s narrative, my hunch is that the citizens of Hyrule wasted no time in decommissioning Guardians after Link defeated Calamity Ganon. After all, every Guardian found outside of shrines was animated by Calamity Ganon’s Malice. With Calamity Ganon gone, they should have become immobile. They could have been repurposed and reanimated, sure, but I’m sure the people of Hyrule were plenty traumatized by just the sight of them. And they did a very good job of cleaning up all those spare, rusted husks in the years between BotW and TotK.

Tears of the Kingdom kinda-sorta replaces Guardians with Zonai Soldier Constructs. Like Guardians, Constructs are high-tech robots which also date back to an ancient Hyrule, but they were made by the Zonai instead of the Sheikah. Another interesting difference is that Constructs aren’t all fighters, and Rangers are actually quite helpful.

The Soldier Constructs are purely territorial and attack based on an old directive to defend. They’re also not as strong and terrifying as Guardians, admittedly. They’re more like robot Bokoblins.

So alas—the terror you felt randomly bumping into Guardians won’t be exactly replicated in TotK, a game which instead asks, “But what if there was a giant three-headed dragon, though?”

(featured image: Nintendo)

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Kirsten (she/her) is a contributing writer at the Mary Sue specializing in anime and gaming. In the last decade, she's also written for Channel Frederator (and its offshoots), Screen Rant, and more. In the other half of her professional life, she's also a musician, which includes leading a very weird rock band named Throwaway. When not talking about One Piece or The Legend of Zelda, she's talking about her cats, Momo and Jimbei.