Loftwings? Time travel? Maybe even a bit of Tingle? Here are a few things we’d like to see Nintendo revive in The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom…
Seeing Link plummeting from the sky islands in the recent Tears of the Kingdom showcase feels like a call back to 2011’s Skyward Sword. There too, the world was divided into surface level excursions and jaunts between the clouds, with Link diving from up high to down below with similar reckless abandon.
In Tears of the Kingdom, though, you should have much more control over where you drop from and where you land, and that has us thinking about what other bits of Zeldas past might also be revived and improved in the Switch sequel. So let’s cast our minds back through the decades and unearth a few lost treasures that could wow us once again if given the open-world treatment.
1. Loftwings (Skyward Sword)
Well, since we’re going to be hopping between floating islands like in Skyward Sword, don’t we need some form of flying transportation to get between them? Bolting together makeshift floating machines with the Ultrahand ability will be one option, but nothing can match the majesty of soaring over land aboard a giant bird. Since we know that the map in Tears of the Kingdom will be huge, and horses can’t fly, might we be able to catch and train a winged mount to traverse the high parts of Hyrule?
2. Magic powder (A Link to the Past)
The potential of this unassuming item in the grand sandbox of Tears of the Kingdom is surely dizzying. One of its uses was to transform monsters into different kinds of monsters, or even fairies, and it’s easy to imagine how an extension of this concept could help us to cause merry mayhem in enemy camps. We might turn Moblins into hungry wolves, say, or little Chuchus into giant Hinox, then leave them to crush the rest of our foes underfoot.
3. Masks (Majora’s Mask)
Masks have featured in several Zelda games, including Breath of the Wild, but it could be fascinating if Tears of the Kingdom expanded the set to create a range rivalling that in Majora’s Mask. While armour sets fulfil some of the same functions, masks could be used to transform Link into a variety of forms, grant the ability to speak to certain species of animal – like those friendly dogs – and indicate when different kinds of treasure are near. Or, as in Majora’s Mask, one mask might enable Link to dance up a storm, which should be entertaining at least.
4. Existentialism (Link’s Awakening)
Link’s Awakening may be one of the smaller Zelda games, but its disarming depth leaves you contemplating what it all means. Just like Chinese philosopher Zhuangzi once dreamt he was a butterfly then wondered if he really was a butterfly dreaming he was a man, Link’s Awakening gets deep into the weeds of existence and consciousness. If it is all a dream, what does it mean for the characters within to be aware of that, and so on? If Tears of the Kingdom can harness some of that big think energy, we could be in for an ever greater treat.
5. Time travel (Ocarina of Time)
The series deployed a twin worlds mechanic in both A Link to the Past and Ocarina of Time, of course, but the time travel version in the latter seems like the best fit for Tears of the Kingdom. Why? Well, because Tears of the Kingdom is a sequel to Breath of the Wild, taking place in the same Hyrule, presumably sometime after the events of the last game. As such, Breath of the Wild’s map already exists as a past version of this world. Could it be possible to warp back to the world as it was back in 2017 at certain points, perhaps to change events in the present? Because that would be pretty amazing, right?
6. Oceans (Wind Waker, Phantom Hourglass)
Since big things have clearly happened to the landscape of Hyrule since Breath of the Wild, there’s no reason why there couldn’t be larger bodies of water to navigate this time round. And since we know that you’ll be able to build motorised aquatic craft with the Ultrahand, perhaps seafaring could play a much larger part in Tears of the Kingdom, as it did in Wind Waker and Phantom Hourglass before. All kinds of odd little islands could be out there waiting to be discovered.
7. Big bad bosses (Twilight Princess)
Honestly, there’s not that much in Twilight Princess that really sticks in the memory, but it does have some of the series’ best bosses. And Breath of the Wild was a little short in that department, so perhaps the Gamecube/Wii game could serve as inspiration there. Let’s hope Tears of the Kingdom tucks some proper big monsters away in its new locales, with proper big names like Twilit Arachnid Armogohma. Oh yes.
8. Tingle (various)
Nintendo hasn’t completely forgotten about its flamboyant fairy/man in fairy costume character – you could even acquire a Tingle outfit in Breath of the Wild’s DLC – but does seem reluctant to actually give him a speaking role in Zelda games these days. Given that Tears of the Kingdom is going for a darker tone overall, though, maybe Tingle is precisely what’s required to provide some light-hearted relief from time to time. Tingle, Tingle! Kooloo-Limpah!
9. Shrines (Breath of the Wild)
Many Zelda fans have been calling for classic dungeons to return since Breath of the Wild, but frankly you can keep them. There are dozens of the things in the old games, and you’ve probably forgotten at least half of them, so you can always go back. More shrines on the other hand – now we’re talking. There was something special about spotting one on the horizon in Breath of the Wild and plotting a route over with no idea what awaited inside. They’re like open-world Kinder eggs, but with better toys, and with the new skills Tears of the Kingdom is bringing to the table, surely even more invention and variety awaits.
10. None of the above
As lovely as all this nostalgia may be, it’s worth bearing in mind that Zelda is often at its best when serving up stuff we haven’t seen or done before. Breath of the Wild was also a breath of fresh air, after all, arriving at a time when the series was beginning to feel predictable in some ways. What we really want from Tears of the Kingdom more than anything, then, is to play with new toys Nintendo have teased, such as the Ultrahand, time rewinding and warping through ceilings. Along with whatever other delicious treats they’ve kept hidden up their sleeves. Bring it on.