Game Theory

Tears of the Kingdom Theory Reveals a Historic First for Nintendo

Third time’s a charm.

Tears of the Kingdom

Tears of the Kingdom is already something we don’t often see from the Zelda series — a direct follow-up that builds on the world and story of its predecessor, Breath of the Wild. There are only a couple of other times we’ve seen sequels, like Phantom Hourglass and A Link Between Worlds. A new fan theory, however, says that Tears of the Kingdom could be a piece of something unprecedented for Zelda, a trilogy of connected games.

A Reddit user named Mogoru_z4n noticed that both Breath of the Wild and Tears of the Kingdom have color themes that tie into the overall series’ Triforce theme of Wisdom, Courage, and Power.

Wisdom, and the goddess Nayru, are associated with the color blue, which is heavily represented in Sheika technology in Breath of the Wild. Then we get to the Zonai in Tears of the Kingdom which are represented in an ethereal green, just like Courage and the goddess Farore. Conceivably, this means we could see a third game that’s based around the color red, Power, and the goddess Din.

Tears of the Kingdom has a very green aesthetic, while Breath of the Wild heavily leans blue.

It’s possible that the idea of red and Power is already represented by the Calamity and Gloom in both games, which means a third game might unite all colors and go for a gold aesthetic, to denote the Triforce. Conspicuously, the Triforce has been almost entirely absent from this duology, which would make it easy to see it coming back in a huge way.

Perhaps a third game could go the Windwaker route and have you collecting pieces of a shattered Triforce. It could even be big and shatter the object into a hundred pieces, with new Shrines serving as a way of rebuilding the Triforce.

It’s hard to imagine what new abilities Nintendo could use to redefine gameplay, but it was hard to imagine with Tears of the Kingdom as well. One option might be to take a page from Majora’s Mask and lean into the idea of Sages even further. Tears of the Kingdom’s Sage abilities add a lot of dynamic gameplay, but imagine if Link could actually transform into different characters with different movesets, which would tie into both puzzle-solving and combat.

A follow-up to Tears of the Kingdom could make exploration dynamic by taking inspiration from Windwaker, and having Link travel outside of Hyrule.


That idea of the Sages could be taken even further with another idea from Windwaker. Ostensibly it may seem like Nintendo has done everything it can with this version of Hyrule, but there could be a whole world out there outside of the kingdom. A Tears of the Kingdom sequel could bring back sea travel, and even add in underwater exploration for a kind of “depths” experience. It’d be interesting to have Link travel to other lands to harness the power of Sages, which could then allow the development team to explore distinct cultures and visual styles.

Of course, a more powerful console might be just what the development team needs to bring a finishing touch to Zelda’s open world style. In an interview with Game Informer, producer Eiji Aonuma said that Breath of the Wild created a “ new format” that the series will continue with.

“With Ocarina of Time, I think it's correct to say that it did kind of create a format for a number of titles in the franchise that came after it. But in some ways, that was a little bit restricting for us,” said Aonuma "Of course, the series continued to evolve after Ocarina of Time, but I think it's also fair to say now that we've arrived at Breath of the Wild and the new type of more open play and freedom that it affords. Yeah, I think it's correct to say that it has created a new kind of format for the series to proceed from."

How Zelda carries on its open world design is, of course, open to interpretation at the moment, but a follow-up to Tears of the Kingdom would make sense. Nintendo has proven, once again, that it can bring a fresh take on something familiar, and we know the company’s next system is currently in the works. A new, more powerful, system could be just the thing Nintendo needs to really embellish what was established with Breath of the Wild and Tears of the Kingdom.

Tears of the Kingdom is out now for Nintendo Switch.

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