What comes after Zelda Tears of the Kingdom?

We’re a matter of days away now from Tears of the Kingdom releasing worldwide, and while I am hugely excited for this game, I’ve also been wondering what comes next for The Legend of Zelda. Will we continue along the same open-world trajectory as Breath of the Wild and Tears of the Kingdom, or will we go back to a previous style of Zelda game? I also asked you what you want after Tears of the Kingdom, so today I’m going to lay out what I’d like to see next, then we’ll have a look at what the community says.

Tears of the Kingdom isn’t out yet, but we as the Zelda community have already started looking ahead to what comes next. What will the next Zelda game look like? Will Nintendo continue creating massive open-worlds and giving us tools to play with. Or will Nintendo go back to a more traditional style of Zelda game, like Twilight Princess and Ocarina of time?

It’ll be interesting how long it takes and what a Nintendo platform looks like whenever the next Zelda game releases. It feels like we’re in a golden age of Nintendo at the moment. The Nintendo Switch continues to sell incredibly well, no doubt boosted by the Tears of the Kingdom OLED Switches recently. Super Mario Bros has just made $1 billion at the Box Office, which is highly likely to be followed up by more Nintendo movies. However, the Switch feels like it’s coming towards the end of its lifecycle and Nintendo don’t want another generation transition like Wii into Wii U. Breath of the Wild to Tears of the Kingdom took 6 years, and that was with the same engine. It could be 2030 before we see the next mainline Zelda game.

But in terms of what’s next for Zelda, I think we have a few options. More open-world Zelda, like Breath of the Wild/Tears of the Kingdom, Slightly peared back open-world with linear story elements, classic zelda remakes, Wii U Ports, and working with partner companies.

Partner Company

Nintendo worked with Brace Yourself Games, a small indie company, forCadence Of Hyrule, and in a similar way they worked with Koei Techmo for Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity. I’d like to see what indy companies could do with The Legend if Zelda, particularly the Kena Bridge of Spirits team, Ember Labs. They did a short movie love letter to Majora’s Mask, plus their first game was Kena Bridge of Spirits was a great first game from the studio. Age of Calamity (and Muso games in general) aren’t really my thing, but I know there are lots of fans out there. I’d like to see Nintendo branch out and let more companies help with the Zelda franchise.

Remake Classic Zelda

If Nintendo were to look backwards then I would love to see a remake of Zelda II The Adventure of Link. A lot of people say it’s their least favourite Zelda, however, I like it and if it were brought up to today’s standards this could be a very good entry. A Link To The Past would be another great option. Grezzo remade Link’s Awakening in that unique top-down style, and it’d be good to see this applied to other 2D Zelda games.

Wii U Ports

We have Twilight Princess HD and Wind Waker HD apparently very close to release. They have been heavily rumoured for years now, with some thinking Nintendo want to get their totk marketing cycle out if the way before releasing. I would love to play both of these on Nintendo Switch and that would make it possible to play pretty much every mainline Zelda on a single machine.

More Open-world Zelda

Nintendo could decide to complete the botw and totk trilogy. I haven’t played totk and I don’t know if it suits a trilogy. At this point it’s hard to know what Nintendo could do. They’re ope IMG up the sky, we have new abilities. Given what we know now totk could easily surpass breath of the wild. I don’t think there is a prescdent for Nintendo to keep the same style. They’ve already been working this way for 10 years, so I imagine they’ll want to mix it up.

New Zelda

Finally, Nintendo could change style completely. Breath of the Wild and Tears of the Kingdom look great, personally I love the art style, but Nintendo games (and consoles) could do with an upgrade. It’s highly likely we’ll see the successor to the Nintendo Switch between now and the next mainline Zelda game. It’ll be interesting to see how the story in Tears of the Kingdom plays out, and where the next Zelda game might take place. I’ve heard some calls for sequels to previous Zelda games like Twilight Princess and Majoras Mask. Before starting on the journey to the next Zelda game, it’s likely Nintendo will assess feedback from Tears of the Kingdom and balance what fans want, with what Nintendo has in store. For me, the next Zelda depends on a few factors including reception to Tears of the Kingdom, the Nintendo platform they will be developing the game on, plus where the fans are and what they want, and what makes financial sense for Nintendo at the time.

What do you want next?

I asked the Triforce Times community what you wanted next, and I got some fantastic responses. Thank you to everyone who replied. Before I dive into the individual responses, I wanted to have a look at some of the stats. I had 44 comments on the post I put out, and I put all the responses into categories.

Hyrule Warriors 2.9%
Sequel to classic Zelda 5.9%
New 2D Zelda 8.8%
Wind Waker / Twilight Princess Ports 11.8%
More Open-world 20.6%
Classic Zelda Remake 23.5%
New Zelda (more linear with Open-world elements) 26.5%

Looking at the results there are 3 clear front runners.

  • More open-world Zelda like Breath of the Wild and Tears of the Kingdom, with nearly 21%.
  • Classic Zelda Remake is 2nd with nearly 24%
  • New Zelda that blends linear and open-world coming in first with nearly 27%

The community seems torn on where to go next. A portion of the audience wants to continue down the open-world route, but some are looking back and want classic remakes. I think finding that compromise of more linear story and open-world is probably the way to go, and maybe that’s what Tears of the Kingdom is going to provide, I don’t know yet given we’re days away from release. This is also a very small sampple size. Hopefully you foudn that interesting, and it’s a nice insight into what the Triforce Times community is thinking about for the next Zelda game. Now, let’s dive into your comments in more detail, and I’ve picked out a good majority of ideas from the comments.

PresidentEvil2 – New art style.

Ash Williams – Majoras Mask sequel made in the same style as botw/totk.

Robert Adams – Hyrule Warriors: Age of Upheavel.

Formerly YGS – i want another 2D zelda that isn’t a remake. We can’t be stuck with triforce heroes as the final 2D zelda forever

Zarandrewstra – Anouma has stated that the open-world style is the new definitive format for the Zelda franchise so I wouldn’t have high hopes for a linear, conventional Zelda. Those days are gone.

Patralgan – I don’t think there’s going back to more restricted and more linear 3D Zelda games

Luke Beakum – I want a A link to the past remake. A Link between worlds doesn’t count because that game is a chronological sequel to a link to the past

MetZelRio – I would like a Zelda one and Zelda 2 remake combination into one game HD graphics storyline incorporated add new content. That would be such a banger

Lex234 – I’m hoping we get a classic 2D zelda game while we wait for the next open world zelda game. I hate the thought of waiting 6-7 years between games!

Kevin Mata – BotW is my first Zelda game, so to me this is classic, haha. But I did play Skyward Sword HD. Took a second playthru to really appreciate and enjoy it bc I was spoiled on not having to follow any kind of forced story progression. So I just want something with a lot of re-playability, where every playthru can be different

Dr Lee Percussion – A third after TOTK, making it a trilogy.

Mark James – I would LOVE to see them remake previous games to be open world.

Albert Kiener – An open world classic zelda. Something akin to A link to the past but in a 3d open world. Classic items and dungeons but on the scale of BOTW/TOTK

Hero’s_Shade_06 – I want a classic 3D game next. It would be cool if they rotated between 2D, classic, and open air. I, however; think that the next one will be either a 2D (either remake or new game) or a new open air

CODSTER – I want more Links Awakening Remake type games with the same style for good down games like the original tloz, or alttp, or the oracle games, etc.

Thibaut – It depends on what TotK is. If it perfectly fuse (haha pun) the linear storytelling to a massive open world gameplay, then fine, I want more. If the storytelling is the same as BotW, then I’d like the next game to integrate a linear storytelling to either an open world game, or a old school like Zelda but bigger.

Ælec Eoforheard – That real direct sequel to Twilight Princess before it was canned and turned into a freaking crossbow shooting game

Dooby Mcdabby – I’d like to see the return of the boomerang and slingshot as main weapons and also something a little more linear with the game play

Paradox NCW – They can make multiple types like top-down, but it would be cool if they incorporated more open ended ideas from botw and tears of the kingdom.

Drakenwild – Tbh, I love BotW format far more than classic Zelda format. If TotK manages to strike the balance between what both groups of fans want, I’d love to see that formula live on for a while.

sledgen – I want an entirely new 2D zelda, it’s been a very long time

Zonai Theorist – Personally, I think that the Zelda team should take a step back on games adding onto the Zelda timeline following the release of TotK. They’ve spent over 12 years on them & would need time to think about how they are going to top them. In the meantime, they should focus on making remakes of prior Zelda games, similar to how they decided to make a remake for Link’s Awakening back in 2019. I’d also like to see some more Zelda remakes in the same art style as the Link’s Awakening 2019 remake.

Media Gem – Okay this is what I’ve been thinking for quite a while now I think that totk will break demises curse freeing Zelda and link and even the dorf And in the next game link and probably also Zelda will be forced to prepare Hyrule for an incoming alien invasion and perhaps throughout the game your goal is to sail between spaceships to reach the moon and then link has to fight some sort of ancient evil that is responsible for the blood moon. They could also elaborate on the aliens in Majora’s mask.

Michael Bustamante – Id say a world that has an alternate which affect each other (like minish cap, ocarina, link to the past) and then gadegts necessary for temple completion and traversal. You know, old school ideas and mechanics. Also be nice if it’s on a new system for the better framerates and graphics. If they can get a new mechanic that really hooks the whole thing then it’ll be gold. There isnt really a bad zelda game with those gameplay features.

Adrieana Nicole – I love the 3D Zelda games, my favorite being TP and BoTW with WW being a very close third. I could never go back to a 2D Zelda game especially not with todays technology. I was thinking about something maybe in between BoTW and TP less open world but still have a linear story. Still packed with side quests and NPC’s, still the amazing Zelda we know and love but maybe not able to complete the game in 20 minutes

Link Link – That’s actually a good question. Honestly I want them to go back to a more classic Zelda game. BotW is fantastic for its open world game, but that plus TotK will be 2 open world games in total. Not to mention it’s been 3 Zelda games having the same artstyle if you include Age of Calamity. I want a game where we have iconic musics like Song of Storms or Midna’s Lament. I want a game with every section having action in them, BotW was more of a game where they told you the main quest right away and it was your choice to do it right away or no. I trust the Zelda team so I’m fine with whatever they do, but if you were to ask me I have absolutely no idea what kind of direction Zelda will go after TotK.

SplatTheCrystal – I’d love a new 2D Zelda, we haven’t had a new one in over a decade, unless you count triforce heroes. But after that, I want them to do more of a return to form, while retaining elements of BotW and TotK. Ideally I’d want a Zelda that starts with a classic grass/fire/water dungeon trio, then branching out into 4 or more other dungeons, which you’d be able to explore in any order. Giving a good mix of classic and open world designs

Nuh-Uh Bro – This is going to sound like a cop out but I just want Nintendo to truly surprise us again. I could describe my idea of a perfect Zelda game, but the Zelda team always does a great job at giving us what we didn’t even know we wanted. That’s all I want, I want something so creative that I couldn’t have even imagined how bad I want it now. I’m excited to see the next art style they go with, they could go full Twilight Princess realistic again or full Wind Waker cartoony again, it could look like anything

What evan – I saw a review of BOTW that at the end said something along the lines of “BOTW has redefined the conventions of Zelda, but it’s important that the next game redefines the conventions of BOTW” Which I think is very fitting. I think open world is the direction to go and fits the franchise best, but also taking new risks with what we have now is important, even if some choices may be controversial, or if it may change the amount of freedom the game offers. But one thing I do want for sure is a break from the cycle. I think it’s time to explore new races, lands, lore, and definitely villains.

Let me know in the comments what you want to see after Tears of the Kingdom, I’d love to hear what you think.

Leave a Reply

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