Zelda and the Master Sword in the third trailer for The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom

Will Time Travel Be in ‘Tears of the Kingdom’?

As we learn more and more about The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, the questions keep piling up. We’ve wondered about the appearance of the Zonai, which has been something of a burning half-meme of a question. Now that we know at least their tech will prominently feature in Tears, a new question has emerged. The epic third trailer has set speculation afire as well. That question is: will time travel feature prominently in Tears of the Kingdom?

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We won’t know until May 12 (unless you look at the leak, which … please don’t). But many, many indicators seem to point to yes. It seems likely as hell that time travel will play a pivotal part in the story of Tears of the Kingdom.

The indicators pointing to time shenanigans

With the details released by Nintendo ahead of Tears of the Kingdom‘s drop, the belief that time travel will be in the game is nothing more than a supposition. But it’s a pretty strong one.

If we piece together everything we know about the opening cutscene from Nintendo’s teasers and trailers, we know that Zelda falls down a seemingly bottomless cavern as mummy-Ganondorf awakens. She also implores an unknown entity to lend Link their power. That power seems to be connected to Link’s new arm. Not to play into the half-meme, but my money is that the arm and power are Zonai-related.

Next we see her, Zelda is wearing a new outfit and hanging out with an unfamiliar friend. She also has the Master Sword, despite the fact that we saw it destroyed by Malice in the opening mummy scene. While we later see Link with a corroded version of the sword, the one Zelda has is perfectly intact.

Indeed, the fact that Zelda’s Master Sword is in perfect condition is the biggest hint that her fall somehow sends her back in time. Zelda also expresses the desire for Link to “come find her.” Many fans (including yours truly) are speculating that this is less of a question of where to find her than when to find her. Time travel would explain why Zelda’s Master Sword is in perfect condition before she and Link reconnect—especially since we see poor Link carrying around the corroded one in the present. It may not be repairable. (Side note: is Fi dead?)

This would be a pretty hefty callback to Skyward Sword, where Link has to travel back thousands of years in time in order to reunite with Zelda. And it already seems like the two games share a lot of DNA. You might think I got the “thousands of years” number out of nowhere, but there’s a pretty big hint in Breath of the Wild to support that number AND the ensuing parallels with Skyward Sword.

Breath of the Wild might’ve told us this was coming

The first thing you learn about the world of Breath of the Wild is that Calamity Ganon attacked Hyrule 100 years ago. The second big revelation you get is from Impa, who tells you this isn’t the first time Calamity Ganon attacked Hyrule. She fills you in on a “legend” from 10,000 years ago, in which a hero and a princess with the blood of the goddess worked with the very technologically advanced Hyrule to defeat Calamity Ganon.

From the relatively little information Nintendo’s given us on Tears of the Kingdom, there are multiple reasons to believe that the culmination of the game might be Link and Zelda living out this battle. For one, their new outfits are dead ringers for the clothes depicted in the illustration of the legend.

Two, we explored the Sheikah’s ancient tech in Breath of the Wild. Now, Tears of the Kingdom will be diving into the Zonai’s tech. Impa never said that only the Sheikah chipped in on the tech front during the great battle. Tears of the Kingdom might be giving us the necessary other half of the picture.

There are other hints about the presence of time travel in Tears of the Kingdom. Hell, one of Link’s new abilities is called Rewind, after all. Rewind! If we can send an object’s trajectory back in time, a whole “what if?” can of worms opens up. How far back in time can we send objects? Is it possible to use Rewind on people or places? If we used it on a person, would they turn into a baby? Would you kill them by going back too far? What does Purah have to say about all this?

Like I said earlier, every new grasp for an answer in Tears of the Kingdom only sprouts more questions. We’ll just have to start piecing it together on May 12.

(featured image: 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.