Nintendo has revealed more information about the Corrupted Master Sword in the upcoming Legend of Zelda Tears of the Kingdom. Today I want to look closer at the clues of a possible returning companion character, as well as what this means for the story and the gameplay of The Legend of Zelda Tears of the Kingdom.
Before we get into it today let me know in the comments what you think of the Corrupted Master Sword, plus what do you think this means for the story in Tears of the Kingdom?
Corrupted Master Sword
We’re not too far removed from the latest trailer for Tears of the Kingdom, which revealed a whoel bunch of new details about Tears of the Kingdom, including the potential for crafting weapons and vehicles, we had heavy hints about the inclusion of the Zonai, plus some mysterious and ghost-like figures. Another thing was also revealed, but not in the trailer. Around the same time as the trailer an ad was published in Japanese magazine Famitsu which gave us a very clear look at the Corrupted Master Sword. We’ve seen this before in the delay trailer, put out alongside the delay apology trailer back in 2022. Then we saw Link holding the Corrupted Master Sword, and we’ve been speculating ever since what happened to it.
The latest trailer gave us a clearer look at the attack on Link and Zelda. Way back in 2019 we saw Link and Zelda travelling underground, finding that corpse, we thought that the Malice coming out of Ganondorf’s Corpse attacked Link and cause the earthquake that led to Princess Zelda falling underground. In the latest trailer we get a much better look at this attack where we can clearly see the Malice bursting out of Ganondorf and lunging towards Link. In the final shot of the trailer we see a desparate Link, half burnt from the Malice attack, jumping and reach for Princess Zelda. While we don’t know the outcome yet, it looks like Link is doomed to fail in his attempt to save Princess Zelda. What that means for Zelda’s immediate future, we don’t know, but we can see the burn damage on Link’s arm, and we’re assuming the Master Sword is also caught up in the attack, which leads to it’s corruption and corrosion.
Looking closer at the Japanese Famitsu as we can clearly see half the blade has been melted away, leaving what looks to be a dagger rather than a sword. Fans have translated the text found on the Ad and it reads “The Master Sword Corrupted”. Some smaller text on the ad indicates the Master Sword will be going through a major transformation in the game, leading us to believe a major part of the story in Tears of the Kingdom will be restoring our beloved sword to it’s former glory. There have been conflicting translations in the community as to whether the Master Sword is Corrupted or Decayed… I’m certainly not a specialist in Japanese, so if you can read this text I’d be very interested in your opinion.
What does the Master Sword Corruption mean for Fi?
Given we can see The Master Sword is corrupted, that could incidcate a returning companion for Link, and that companion is Fi from Skyward Sword. Fi appeared in the 2011 title Skyward Sword and was created by the Goddess Hylia to live within the Master Sword itself, and help the chosen hero on their quest to defeat Demise. At the end of Skyward Sword, Fi leave’s Link behind to reside within the Master Sword itself and is returned to the Temple of Hylia to wait for the next Hero who needs The Master Sword. The implications here are that Fi has always lived within the Master Sword for every version of Link, always helping against the battles with Ganon.
Fi was featured heavily in Skyward Sword, but we haven’t heard much about her since. In Breath of the Wild Nintendo did leave a few clues as to her existence within the Master Sword. Princess Zelda references a voice in the Master Sword and asks Link if he can hear it too. After defeating Calamity Ganon, Zelda mentions that she can no longer hear the voice inside the Master Sword, assuming it is because her own power has dwindled over the past 100 years, yet she accepts that. Also, when you complete The Trial of the Sword, The Master Sword glows and Fi’s sound effects can be heard.
While this might be a coincidence, Nintendo maybe heavily hinting here that Fi will return in Tears of the Kingdom. There’s also evidence in the latest trailer to support this theory. We can hear Zelda say something along the lines of “Lend him your strength”, and it’s quite possible Fi was released from the Master Sword to help Link recover from the Malice attack from Ganondorf, and now Fi is contained within Link’s arm, rather than the Master Sword itself.
Nintendo may have been preparing the groundwork for Fi’s return for some time, with the release of Skyard Sword HD in 2021 on Nintendo Switch. Ever since the release of that game parallels have been drawn between Skyward Sword and Tears of the Kingdom, with pieces of Hyrule moving into the sky, making the Hyrule in Tears of the Kingdom look very similar to the Hyrule in Skyward Sword. While a release of Skyward Sword made sense in 2021, it could have Nintendo reminding players that Skyward Sword’s story is very important, and a reminder of Fi herself.
Breath of the Wild was something of a lonely journey through Hyrule, and given the Master Sword was corrupted and partially destroyed, Fi could have escaped from the Sword and come back to help Link on his new adventure in Tears of the Kingdom. There are questions to be answered related to Link’s arm, where that comes from and how Link manages to recover from his Malice attack, but a returning Fi could one answer to that problem. It’s likely the Malice attack on Link and Zelda happens early in the game, probably a cutscene at the start of Tears of the Kingdom, framing the narrative in the game.
If Fi does return in Tears of the Kingdom, it will be interesting and it’s likely her role would have to change in Tears of the Kingdom. One of the great things about Breath of the Wild was that sense of discovery, and if we simply ported Fi from Skyward Sword into Tears of the Kingdom, that likely wouldn’t work because it would break the sense of discovery and undo much of what made Breath of the Wild great. I do like companion characters when it comes to Link’s adventures in Hyrule, but Nintendo would have to walk a very fine line between giving players little hints, without it being too much for players who want to discover much of Hyrule for themselves. If Fi returns I’d like to see her toned down a little, not explaining everything to Link over and over again, much like she did in Skyward Sword.
Let me know in the comments what you think about the Corrupted Master Sword, and do you think this means a return for Fi in Tears of the Kingdom. Also, if you haven’t played through Skyward Sword, now is a great time to do so. There are so many parallels to be drawn with Tears of the Kingdom, if you want to catch up on where it all began then you can’t really go wrong with Skyward Sword, and it’s on Nintendo Switch.