Zelda Breath of the Wild sequel tears of the kingdom art

We Finally Have a Release Date and Official Title for the Sequel to ‘Breath of the Wild’

Screaming and crying and then screaming again

I am, alas, one of those people who have mostly been watching Nintendo Directs for any little sniff of news on the development of the next Legend of Zelda game. As you may now, this means recent Directs have been disappointing for me and my fellow Zelda obsessives. But today just felt different. Surely, we all thought, now is the time. We have all thought this before and have been disappointed. But friends—we did it. It happened. We got the full package: a new teaser trailer, a release date, and perhaps most exciting of all if you’re me, a name. (We did not get confirmation of the rumored ports of Twilight Princess and Wind Waker, but I will take what I can get, thank you.)

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The name is especially exciting for me because, as a journalist, I’ve have to walk the tightrope between the shorthand title that the internet was using, Breath of the Wild 2, and the considerably less punchy working title those at Nintendo were using, “the sequel to Breath of the Wild.” Since Nintendo said quite early on that the game was absolutely not called Breath of the Wild 2, both of these solutions weren’t great. So I’m absolutely thrilled to tell you that the September 13th Nintendo Direct gave us the official title: The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom. And it’s out May 13, 2023.

The “sequel to The Legend Of Zelda: Breath of the Wild” was first announced at Nintendo’s E3 presentation in 2019. At their 2021 presentation, Nintendo gave the game a 2022 release date. However, in March, producer Eiji Aonuma announced that the game was getting pushed back to 2023. This was a-okay with me—anything to avoid some kind of unbaked Cyberpunk 2077 situation. I’m personally just elated to know the game is coming out in the first half of the year.

This is the longest gap ever between Zelda games, in the franchise’s 35-year history. They’ve been working so hard. They’ve earned this. We’ve earned this. Everyone’s earned this. Embrace your fellow man. The rare time for convivial joy is upon us all.

My buddies, my pals: there’s a cool stone bird glider thing. For your feet, this time! (A callback to Loftwings, it seems?) Buddies, friends: we even have key art.

Does the ancient-vibed green circle behind logo look kind of hilariously similar to the logo for One Piece Odyssey? Yes. Now that I look at it, are the key visuals for Tears of the Kingdom and Odyssey kind of inversions of each other? With similar color schemes? Yes. Does this amuse me greatly? Yes.

We don’t really have enough information to truly know what “Tears Of The Kingdom” refers to at this point. However, the first trailer sure as hell seems to show a mummified-ish Ganon beneath Hyrule Castle. There also seems to be a ton of nods to Skyloft from Skyward Sword, which is (in terms of the series’ canon) the earliest game in the Zelda timeline. This new trailer shows new ancient paintings, depicting Moblins and Bokoblins waging war on a seemingly felled Princess Zelda—and additionally depicting, I suspect, the game’s non-Ganon villain. Many theories around Tears of the Kingdom (doesn’t get old!) ponder that the game will center around and address the Zonai tribe, which pose one of the biggest unsolved mysteries of Breath of the Wild.

What does it all mean? Who is the ancient painting of Zelda holding hands with? What’s up with that big ol’ door? Nintendo, by their own clever design, is teasing us by not giving us all the pieces. It does seem to me like these trailers are picking up on a lot of the series’ oldest lore (again, within its own chronology) and tying it to the entry which takes place the furthest in the future. Within that context, the source of the kingdom’s tears—or the tears themselves—could stretch back tens of thousands of years. But also, I mean … what if the kingdom in the title wasn’t Hyrule?!

Whatever the tantalizing mysteries may be, at least now I know to completely block off my calendar after May 12, 2023. I will be a puddle of tears and joy on that day.

Image credit: Nintendo

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Kirsten Carey
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.