The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom is just around the corner as we come up on its May 12 release date. Although Nintendo released the game’s final trailer on Thursday morning, there’s still a lot we don’t know about it.
We know what some of the new characters will look like, and that some friends from The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild be making a return. Nintendo also revealed details about Link’s new powers and breakable weapons in Eiji Aonuma’s recent gameplay demonstration. However, much of Tears of the Kingdom remains a mystery.
In 2023, Polygon is embarking on a Zeldathon. Join us on our journey through The Legend of Zelda series, from the original 1986 game to the release of The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom and beyond.
While many fans are content to rationally theorize about what’s next, it can also be fun to dream big.
In anticipation of its release, the Polygon staff decided to round up a list of features, abilities, and quality-of-life improvements we hope will be in The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom. These range from the return of certain characters to… hummus. It’s a real smorgasbord of wishes. Let’s dive in!
I think Link should be able to make hummus. You can do a million things with hummus. You can season it with acidic fruit, herbs, or veggies — everything Link’s already collecting. Let Link bring a veggie/hummus platter to his boss fight with Ganon. Let me collect a dozen kinds of beans, Nintendo.
I don’t have more to this argument. I just think it would be nice. —Susana Polo
Let’s all ride Prince Sidon more
On Thursday, during Tears of the Kingdom’s final trailer, Nintendo revealed that Prince Sidon will be returning in the sequel. Now that he’s confirmed to be in the next game, I just hope we get to ride him more.
The Zora royal charmed me from the moment Link met him with his broad, sparkly smile. The guy has the best golden retriever energy of any Zelda character I know, and teams up with Link in the best way possible: Link gets to literally ride Sidon as the two fight the Divine Beast Vah Ruta. Although some clever glitch hunters found a way to ride Sidon everywhere, I’m hoping that Nintendo will include the ability by default. —Ana Diaz
Instant swappable armor and weapon sets
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild contains a deep closet of gear to arm Link with. If you’re going to navigate certain regions, like the snowy mountains in the Hebra region or the lava-laced Death Mountain, it’s extremely helpful to get specialized gear that protects Link from the elements. Unlike other equipment, like your bow, sword, and shield, changing your armor set forces you to go into another menu and switch what Link’s wearing, piece by piece. It’s a bit cumbersome if you’re teleporting from place to place, trying to complete quests or discover more shrines, so I’m hoping this will be addressed in the sequel. —AD
Fans have been asking for years to play as Princess Zelda, but it’s never happened in a mainline Legend of Zelda game (although it is possible in the Hyrule Warriors games and Smash Bros.). Zelda’s had some pretty cool adventures in the past, and far too many of them have happened off screen. I don’t expect Tears of the Kingdom to be the game that finally grants this wish, but there’s no harm in hoping. It almost seems possible this time around, since this is a direct sequel to Breath of the Wild, and sequels offer the chance to expand players’ perspectives on a preexisting world.
All that said, Breath of the Wild’s story was very much about Zelda; she and Link felt like dual protagonists, even though the former wasn’t playable. That’s often the case in my favorite Zelda games, such as Ocarina of Time, in which Zelda’s skillset and aid are of frequent use to Link. I expect something similar to happen in Tears of the Kingdom, but it sure would be nice to spend some time in the princess’s shoes for once. —Maddy Myers
I’d love to see the Hero’s Path feature return in Tears of the Kingdom. It was introduced alongside some DLC for Breath of the Wild as a new skill for your Sheikah Slate. Even as the most minor component of that content drop, it made for a really fun way to look back on your journey.
With Hero’s Path enabled (by pressing X while looking at the map), you could watch a highly simplified icon of Link trace a green line around the map, mirroring your movements since you initially woke up on the first plateau. It shows every place you walked, in what order, when you died, and when you warped to a new place. Beyond being fun to watch, it’s an amazing feat that so much granularity is preserved in your save file.
Nonessential? Yes. But it’s one of those cherry-on-top features that I’d love to see in Tears of the Kingdom, as well as in every other open-world game. —Cameron Faulkner
We all know that the music of the Legend of Zelda games is legendary, and Breath of the Wild was no different. But what it lacked was a way to bring that music into the gameplay itself. Sure, sure, sure, I loved catching the faint hum of accordion on the wind as I explored Hyrule, knowing that I could follow it to Kass for a new puzzle. But what if I want to play the accordion?
Since Ocarina of Time (not to mention Majora’s Mask and Twilight Princess), Link has used music (OK, OK, or wolf howls) to reveal secrets, open doorways, tame wild animals, warp time, alter the weather, and cleanse evil spirits. I’m not saying I need to do all that in Tears of the Kingdom. But to me, one of the enduring joys of the Zelda franchise is music’s connection to magic; the accomplishment gained from learning songs like spells, storing them in my very own brain, and actually performing them to perform miracles.
And, also, just tootling along on a little instrument to see what sounds I can make. I want to experience that joy again in a new Zelda game, and the precision and flexibility of the Switch’s inputs only make it more tantalizing. Not to mention Tears of the Kingdom’s demonstrated kludge mechanics: Let me slap a stick and some monster guts together to make a stringed instrument and pluck open a magic door. Let me stack wolf skin on a log to make a drum, and jam with Hestu and his maracas!
OK, OK, fine. Just make the Sheikah Slate into a melodica or something, but bring back playing music in Zelda. —SP