New Gameplay & A Mystery In Gerudo Desert Zelda Tears of the Kingdom

Nintendo released a couple of short trailers in Japan, with a mix of gameplay and story elements we’ve seen, but also we have some new footage too. There’s some new gameplay shown off here with Link, plus we have some interesting story details with Zelda holding The Master Sword, plus there appears to be a mystery in the Gerudo desert. Today I’m going to dive into the footage from the trailers, and see what interesting details we can pick out.

I’ll play out the footage in the background and and we can have a discussion about it, and I’ll stop it on a particular frame that provides interesting details. We have two commercials, one focused on the Tears of the Kingdom, with a couple of new shots to have a look at. Then we have a commercial focused on Mario Kart, Splatoon and Tears of the Kingdom, but I have edited the commercial to pick out only the Tears of the Kingdom footage.

First of all, let’s have a look at the medley commercial. This is mainly focused on Link gameplay and we can see Link chopping down a tree, he’s also fighting a Zonai Construct with a spear. It looks like he’s fighting a Hinox up in the Sky Islands, plus we get to see more of Link’s fuse ability given he’s fused a mushroom to the end of a spear. I don’t know what it is with Nintendo fusing mushrooms to things, but I guess given they explode and provide cover that is quite useful. Link is also seen fighting a Bokoblin, plus we see Link on a boat. We see Link taking to the skies in a flying machine he’s build with Ultrahand, and we see Link using the projectile weapon, which is likely to have Zonai origins. This commercial is fast paced, and it tends to go by in a flash. It’s a good mixture of abilities, mainly focusing on combat, fuse and Ultrahand.

Next, let’s have a look at the other commercial, which contains a good combination of gameplay and story moments, and here we also have some new and interesting details to focus on.

We see a similar shot of Princess Zelda, who is looking up at the empty sky, although this time she’s holding the broken Master Sword. We presume that the Master Sword fell with Princess Zelda after Link was attacked by the Malice sent out from Ganondorf’s corpse, meaning the Master Sword is with Princess Zelda. Previously we have seen Link picking up the Master Sword, however, this is likely to be before Princess Zelda and Link find Ganondorf underground, because the Master Sword is complete.

Princess Zelda having the Master Sword in the broken state is interesting, because we’ve also seen Link with the broken Master Sword, way back in the delay trailer in 2022. One of the theories with Princess Zelda is that she’s been sent back in time, rescued from her potentially fatal flaw by the Zonai, meaning her and the Master Sword are in the past. Given we see Princess Zelda and the Master Sword together, then there are a couple of scenarios for Link to get the Master Sword. Either he’s going to have to travel back to meet Princesss Zelda and pick up the sword from her, or she’s going to have to store it somewhere for Link to pick up in the future. I’m leaning towards the latter explanation for the moment, given we see Link and the broken Master Sword in the Sky, and it looks like Link is communing with the yellow energy orb, which I believe is Princess Zelda in some form.

Later in the same trailer we see Link flying using the large winged structure. We’ve seen this before in the name reveal trailer, although this time we see Link diving off the winged vehicle in the middle of the sky. Given it’s shaped like a bird, this could be related to the Rito, and perhaps this is something we get in the middle game somewhere to help us travel around Hyrule quicker. This works similar to a horse on the ground, it takes us quickly from A to B, and when Link spies something interesting on the ground, then he can dive off. I don’t know what happens to the flying machine when Link dives off, I would imagine it has to land somewhere instead of just flying in the sky constantly waiting for Link when he needs a sky uber.

Then we see a shot of Link running in the Gerudo desert. Our eyes are drawn to Link, but the interesting thing is going on to the left of the frame. This is the site of the Seven Heroines, and it appears to be dramatically changed compared to Breath of the Wild. We’ve known for some time that it’s going to be the same Hyrule map used in Tears of the Kingdom, which drew a fair amount of criticism from fans, although Nintendo are demonstrating here some of the differences we’re going to see on the ground in Hyrule. The Sky Islands are going to be interesting places to explore and discover, plus we have caves and underground spaces to explore too. Looking at the site of the Seven Heroines, it appears the Hyrule we knew in Breath of the Wild is also changed.

In this shot of the Gerudo desert we can see only 4 Heroine Statues remain standing, plus it looks like there is a sword at the center. Each of the Heroine Statues appears to be damaged by something, they appear to be at angles in the sand when compared to Breath of the Wild. The sword in the middle is very curious. Perhaps this has broken off one of the other statues and it’s about to be consumed by the sand, or there may be another explanation.

We’ve seen huge pieces of sky islands fall from above and onto Hyrule. Outside of Kakariko Village we have seen a large circular stone slab fall into the hills and wedge there. Perhaps something has fallen out of the sky and damaged the Seven Heroine Statues, and the falling debris is being concealed by the sand.

Finally we see a gorgeous shot of Link running on his horse on the beach. There’s a sunset to the right and palm trees to the left. This could be at the start of the game, given there are no sky islands to be seen in the sky during the duration of this shot. Much like we see Link pulling the Master Sword before him and Princess Zelda go underground to find Ganondorf, we’re likely to get some story at the start of the game to tell us what happened after Link and Zelda defeated Calamity Ganon, and connecting us to the start of the story in Tears of the Kingdom. This could be Link during his downtime, however, he does appear to be wearing armor, and he’s riding with purpose, so we’re just going to have to wait and see on that one.

There you have it. It’s not a lot of new footage, but there are some interesting details in here and a few story elements we can pick out. Let me know in the comments what you think about the gameplay, plus that mystery in the desert.

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