We’re just days away from the release of The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, and players are eager to re-explore the kingdom of Hyrule. Re-explore is the key word there, as Tears will feature the same world that was featured in Breath of the Wild previously. In a new interview with some of the game’s developers, Nintendo sheds light on exactly when and how this decision was made. As it turns out, keeping things in the same kingdom was always the plan.

The Legend of Zelda series seems to be one of those franchises where the visual style and game mechanics often change drastically for each entry. Was there ever a discussion about creating a new game with a completely new world, rather than a sequel?

Eiji Aonuma: No, not really. Although the previous title, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, has its own conclusion, we started to come up with new ideas that we wanted to bring to life in this already realized version of Hyrule, so our direction in making a sequel did not change.

Hidemaro Fujibayashi: Just like somewhere you know inside and out, we understand where everything is in Hyrule from The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, and because of that, we believed it was possible to create new gameplay. For this reason, in the initial proposal, we clearly stated “the setting will not change” as an important concept. Even when I shared this with the team members here, there were no objections, and we were all aligned on that idea from that point onward.


Another source of inspiration behind this choice is one many wouldn’t suspect: Wii Sports Resort. According to Technical Director Takuhiro Dohta, Wii Sports Resort’s central location of Wuhu Island was one basis of inspiration for the evolution of Hyrule from Breath of the Wild to Tears of the Kingdom. As he puts it, “The idea of having new discoveries in the same setting was striking to me. I’d been wanting to try this idea with other titles, and I supposed this game would leverage that kind of approach.”

Click here to read Part 1 of the interview in full to learn more about the development of Tears of the Kingdom.

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1y ago

The one thing I fear about the Zelda after TotK is if they do open world again, they kinda can't do Hyrule again. They have to do Termina or another land.


1y ago

By not changing up Hyrule enough this can actually change too much of the game: Less exploring. And that was one of the main themes in BOTW.
Another thing is that the story looks more linear.
All this will amke the game less open, which was why the game was so great to begin with.

Yeah, sure. They have had 6-ish years to make TOTK and I am sure it's going to be superb and build upon the greatness of BOTW, but seems like they had to sacrifice some of it's greatness at the same time.

I won't be getting this day one I think because I just don't have the time for a 200-300 hour game now. But hey! I have said that before...