You’re Truly Never Alone in Tears of the Kingdom

    A new take on Zelda has a far different tone than its predecessors.

    WARNING: This article contains story spoilers for The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom.

    The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom has gone viral over the last few days. Mainly because of the insane creations people have created using the new abilities that the protagonist, Link, can wield, as well as the reappearance of Ganondorf, and the several hidden details littered throughout the narrative. Despite this, I want to focus on an aspect of the game I haven’t seen anyone talk about yet: the story and the characters within the world of Tears of the Kingdom.

    Each non-playable character has its own story, their name, and their unique design, and character. Each figure you encounter has something to tell you, a way to make the world feel more alive. These aspects not just increase player immersion, but have an unmatched impact on the atmosphere and themes of the story. A theme that gives the player a very simple yet profound declaration: despite all the odds against the protagonist, he is not alone. 

    Tarrey Town

    Link in front of a custom made Tarrey Town house.

    In Breath of the Wild, Link can encounter a few construction workers who each have a name with the suffix “-son”. Throughout the game, you meet more people with the suffix, and the quest eventually comes to an end. You meet two characters named Rhondson and Hudson, and you get the two to become a couple. In a story rife with tragedy and despair, their wedding is a light in the darkness and a brief reprieve against the massive world-ending stakes at play.

    In Tears of the Kingdom, the player can return to Tarrey Town at any point they want. Link finds that Hudson and Rhondson now have a daughter named Mattison. However, she will be separating from her parents to live with the Gerudo tribe, a tribe in the middle of the desert that doesn’t allow men inside their society. Both of her parents are occupied with their businesses and are unsure how to be there for their daughter. So they ask the player, someone who might as well be Mattison’s godfather, to babysit her until someone comes to pick her up.

    Link helps her learn more about the Gerudo culture, he diverts attention from someone issuing fees for public transportation so that she can stay close to her father, and he helps them build a hot balloon that looks like the sun. Link stands with the rest of the family as they look at the sun rising, privileged to be a part of a family that you helped bring together.

    It is a sweet relief in a game with an otherwise dire tone. Completing the quest awards you with several rupees and the ability to build your own house. Yet beyond that, this quest is a must, just for the way it adds to the world and the tone of the story. This is also reflected within the game’s dungeons.

    Companions and their Story

    A shot of both Sidon and Riju working together.

    Breath of the Wild deviated from the franchise’s traditional dungeons. It instead opted for more linear shrines and divine beasts. Tears of the Kingdom however brought back the temples of dungeons of old. While still fairly linear, each dungeon has its unique gameplay gimmicks. The Water Temple has low gravity, the Lightning Temple relies on reflecting light, and both the Fire and Spirit Temples use the Depths of Hyrule in different ways.

    However, what separates these dungeons from the rest of the franchise is the addition of co-op. Though there is no option to join up with friends online to take down the dungeons. there is the opportunity to work with the AI-controlled Champions from the last game. Riju of the Gerudo, Sidon of the Zora, Tulin of the Rito, and Yunobo of the Goron are all companions that can join you in your adventures.

    Each companion has a unique ability that helps you to traverse the dungeon. Riju for instance can summon lightning to wherever you shoot an arrow towards. Tulin can create a horizontal gust of wind, which contrasts with Revali’s Gale from the last game. And in the secret Spirit Temple, the companion you meet allows you to harness the power of a Zonai mech. One of the boss fights in the Spirit Temple boils down to an elaborate game of rock’em sock’em robots.

    The companions you get in the dungeons remain with you as the game continues, becoming a consistent part of world traversal. This adds to both gameplay variety but also emphasizes the continuous optimistic tone. These factors all culminate in the game’s final act.

    Wisdom and Courage

    Link wielding the master sword.

    Throughout the story of Tears of the Kingdom, Link is never alone. When he first wakes up, a mysterious voice tells Link that he is glad he’s safe. As Link arrives in Hyrule, he is greeted by Purah, Josha, and Robbie and told to save Hyrule. Link is constantly surrounded by friends and allies, from Sidon to Tulin to Riju to Yunobo.

    This dynamic directly parallels to adventure Zelda goes on in this game. Contrary to previous games, Zelda isn’t a damsel in distress. Instead, Zelda was sent backward in time after her descent into the depths. She fights alongside the founders of Hyrule, King Rauru, and Queen Sonia, as they first imprison Ganondorf. The victory comes at the cost of their lives, and Zelda must resort to dire measures to get back home. She swallows the stone that transported her back in time and becomes an immortal dragon. The player has seen this dragon throughout the game and has been carrying the master sword since the beginning.

    In a beautiful moment, Link retrieves the newly healed master sword, and both the chosen hero and player are united in one single goal: to save the Princess and beat Ganondorf once and for all.


    Link attempting to catch Zelda.

    Zelda and Link have been orbiting around each other throughout the entire game. Whether it be through the light dragon that’s been present since the beginning, the revelation that Zelda moved into the Hateno home from the last game, and the parallel adventures you both go through in the past and present, Link is always just out of reach for Zelda, and vice versa.

    In the final boss of Tears of the Kingdom, the many allies that have helped Link throughout the game join you one last time to defeat Ganon. Everything that the player has learned, both through Link’s mechanics and the mechanics of your companions, comes back in this one triumphant battle. But even as you defeat Ganondorf, he is not content with failure. In a dramatic moment, he swallows his own stone and becomes an immortal dragon-like Zelda.

    But when all hope seems lost, Zelda, in her dragon form, saves Link from peril. The two work together to fight Ganondorf and defeat him. This moment is the highlight of the entire adventure and brings together the themes of the entire game. Of course, Ganondorf is defeated and destroyed, and in a final dive, Link catches the now-human form of Zelda out of the air.

    In the final moments of the game, all of the companions that have joined you throughout the game, including Zelda, are all reunited. They resolve to protect Hyrule to the best of their ability and to serve Zelda until the end. It’s a beautiful moment that wraps up a truly beautiful game.

    “You Are Not Alone”.

    The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom Group

    The final trailer for Tears of the Kingdom showed off a lot of both its story and gameplay mechanics. But towards the end, a mysterious voice tells Link that he is not alone. This sentiment is mirrored throughout the game, not just in the game’s narrative, but in its gameplay mechanics, through the companions Link gathers throughout the story.

    But more than that, the story of The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom presents a truly hopeful and optimistic tone. You get the sense that the world is vast and teeming with life. Each NPC has something to contribute to the atmosphere. This is expressed through the menial side quests, the many towns you visit, and even the people you pass on your journey.

    This serves as a contrast to Breath of the Wild’s more post-apocalyptic tone. That game was more focused on emphasizing Hyrule as a truly desolate place. Whereas the relationships built in this version of Hyrule, whether it be with Hyrule’s heroes or its ordinary citizens, make the world feel more alive and subsequently make saving Hyrule once again all the more satisfying. 

    And clearly, this shift, along with the sequel’s new mechanics, has helped it sell ten million copies in just a few days. I have no doubt that the story will go on to be as fondly remembered as other games within the franchise, not just because of how different the structure is. I look forward to seeing more analysis of the game and its features in the future.

    Final Weapon’s Coverage of Tears of the Kingdom

    A picture of Link in the final moments of the Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom.

    Check out some of Final Weapon’s other Tears of the Kingdom features and guides below!

    Saras Rajpal
    Saras Rajpal
    Saras is a passionate creative writer, with a love for immersive sims, superhero games, and Persona. He is currently writing a thesis about Persona 5 and is pursuing a career as a full-time writer.

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