Link’s New Source Of Power In Zelda Tears of the Kingdom

Link’s arm has been a major source of speculation in the Legend of Zelda community, ever since the second trailer where we saw Link appearing to manipulate time. In the most recent trailer for Tears of the Kingdom we got our best look yet at the power Link weilds in his arm, and it appears as if this is going to replace the Sheikah Slate from the original Breath of the Wild. Today I want to take a closer look at this new source of power, what it can do, where it came from plus what it means for our adventures in the upcoming Legend of Zelda Tears of the Kingdom.

Before we get into it today I wanted to let you know about Triforce Times Channel Memberships. Thank you to everyone who watches, I appreciate you checking out the videos, watching, discussing, and subscribing – it’s great to have everyone of you as part of the community. For those who want to go above and beyong, I’ve recently launched Memberships on Triforce Times, meaning if you want to join up then you’ll get great benefits like access to a Community Discord, Early Access to videos, shout outs in videos, plus exclusive videos and live-streams. If you’re interested then hit that join button down below and select the right tier for you today.

In the latest Nintendo Direct back in February, we got our best look yet at Link’s arm powers. We can see Link lifting what looks to be a huge heavy piece of metal and manipulating it with his right arm alone. We’ve seen Link using his arm powers before, in the E3 2021 trailer, where a spiked ball was rolling down a hill, Link throws out his right arm and that spiked ball appears to go back from where it came, almost like Link has reversed time through powers in his arm. Therefore, it’s clear that Link’s arm is going to play a major role in the gameplay mechanics of Tears of the Kingdom. This is a major shift from Breath of the Wild, where Link’s powers were connected to the use of the Sheikah Slate. We’ve barely seen the Sheikah Slate in the promotion for Tears of the Kingdom so far, with it only turning up in marketing materials, and it appears to have changed owner with Princess Zelda now holding the device.

Link’s Powers in Breath of the Wild

Back in Breath of the Wild we received the Sheikah Slate very early in the game, when we first woke up that was one of the first items we interacted with. This kind of made sense at the time. Breath of the Wild was developed to release on the Wii U, then was delayed and eventually released on both Wii U and Nintendo Switch, and you could argue the Sheikah Slate resembled both the hand held Wii U game pad, as well as the Nintendo Switch itself. It was an interesting move from Nintendo, blending the real world and the in-game world with this hand held device.

The Sheikah Slate was powerful, it was the source of all our runes, and our ability to interact with the environment. We had Magnesis to interact with metal objects, remote bombs to blow things up, stasis to stop the flow of time, Cryosis to freeze water and create ice blocks, the camera to take photos and then in the DLC we could access the Master Cycle Zero to help us get around quickly.

While the Sheikah Slate was a good idea at the time, Nintendo appears to be moving away from the restrictions of the slate and returning to some of the concept art ideas that were left on the cutting room floor from Breath of the Wild. Released after the game we can see developers playing with ideas of Link’s arm having different attachments and even a difference appearence. We can see Link’s arm in the shape of a hammer, shooting out a bomb like a cannon, working like a bow and arrow, plus shooting out what looks to be a hook shot.

Nintendo used their DLC in Breath of the Wild to expand on the idea of the Sheikah Slate, and doing that again in Tear of the Kingdom must have felt stale for the Zelda team, therefore this time they are going in a different direction.

Link’s Powers in Tears of the Kingdom

In Tears of the Kingdom, it’s all about Link’s arm. We’ve seen Link moving large objects, in a similar manner to the magnesis rune. We’ve seen Link seemingly reverse time, similar to the stasis rune, albeit with more interesting capabilities – rather than just pausing time, this appears to be reversing time for an isolated item, which has massive potential for puzzles in the game.

Link’s Arm is clearly an important gameplay mechanic, but it’s likely to have major implications for the story in Tears of the Kingdom. From what we can gather so far from trailers, Link appears to be attacked by Ganondorf, with Malice shooting from his corpse, engulfing Link’s arm and burning it beyond recognition. We can see the state of Link moments after this attack when he’s diving to save Princess Zelda. We can hear Princess Zelda speaking in the trailer asking someone or something to “lend him your power”.

We can see a visibily changed Link with a different style of right arm in the trailer, plus other trailers too. This doesn’t look like Link’s arm, it’s either a gauntlet he is wearing, or it’s literally the arm of someone else fused to Link, which could be the power that Princess Zelda spoke of, given to Link. We can see Link in the latest trailer holding his right arm up into the air, looking in wonder at it, and perhaps this is the moment his arm is restored and this new power is bestowed upon him.

Link’s arm and his new powers allude to 2 major story beats happening in the game. First of all, the attack of the malice and the damage to Link’s arm. We’ve seen snippets of this so far with Link and Zelda exploring under Hyrule Castle, presumably not long after the events at the end of Breath of the Wild. Link and Zelda are then attacked by the Malice eruption from Ganondorf, leading to a near fatal blow on Link, and Princess Zelda falling down a large ravine, at best separated from Link, at worst… to her death.

The second major story moment we can piece together from the trailers is a moment where Link is healed, and this new power is bestowed upon him. Given Princess Zelda is saying “lend him your power”, then it’s looking more likely she survived the attack, and she’s asking a higher power to heal Link and help them against the Evil forces of Ganondorf. I can imagine early in Tears of the Kingdom, Link most likely gets attacked in the opening story cutscene, and then we end up in the Sky Islands for the tutorial of the game, similar to the Great Plateau from Breath of the Wild. When Link wakes up from his attack, he’s likely healed, with this new arm.

There is one important question we should ask, and that’s where did the arm come from? Our previous powers can from Sheikah Technology, so that is one option, this is a new form of Sheikah Tech. However, this doesn’t look like technology someone has developed, this looks more magical by nature. Could it be related to the ancient Zonai Tribe? They are a people we heard about in Breath of the Wild, and fans have been calling for Nintendo to tell the rest of the story in Tears of the Kingdom.

The biggest clue we have in the trailers so far is the hand holding down Ganondorf’s Coprse. Link and Zelda find this corpse under Hyrule Castle, and it’s being held in place by glowing green magic, this huge swirl and a single arm. Where this arm came from, I don’t think we really know, but this could be the arm that fuses with Link to give him this new set of powers. Princess Zelda is likely speaking to the owner of this arm when she says “Lend him your power”.

One thing we know for sure is Nintendo are moving away from an item Link holds for the source of power, to this new inner source of power given to him by a higher power of some kind. It’s highly likely we haven’t seen the end of Link’s powers yet; these new rune-like powers that Link can summon from just his arm. I am very excited to find out more about these powers, because so far we’ve only seen a few. It’s highly likely Nintendo haven’t shown us the range of Link’s powers just yet, and that is something to look forward to as we get closer to the release of Tears of the Kingdom.

Let me know in the comments what you think about Link’s new powers, and what other powers do you want to see?

That’s it for this look at Link’s Arm in Tears of the Kingdom. For more Zelda content like this check out Trifoce Times on YouTube and subcribe today.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *