The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom has been a big success for Nintendo, and as such, it can be assumed that another Zelda game will be following it in the future. Nintendo isn’t afraid of making changes to the formula, which is shown through both BOTW and TOTK, but it seems the developers have found elements likely to become staples moving forward. While information about the next Zelda sequel hasn’t been revealed yet, there’s room for speculation given the features that have been working for Nintendo in the most recent games, as well as the classic entries.

Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom does a lot of work setting up features that are likely to appear in the next game, with lots of inclusions that just make sense to carry into its inevitable sequel. From the physics system to the open-world map, there’s plenty to expect in the series’ future, given recent trends. But there are also subtle ways that the story of TOTK sets up the next Zelda game beyond mechanics, reaching into possible plot points and even potential villains.

10 Open-World Map

Link falling in sky Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom.

Developers have confirmed an open-world map as the path they’ll be taking moving forward. An open world gives new life to the game and a sense of exploration that can’t be achieved with limited maps. An additional perk of an open-world style is having more secrets to discover and being able to include plenty of ways to earn upgrades as Link, such as the shrines in BOTW and TOTK that essentially acted as puzzles to achieve Heart Pieces and Stamina boosts.

9 New Timeline

Queen Sonia in Tears Of The Kingdom, looking thoughtful while talking to Zelda.

Whether BOTW and TOTK are on a separate timeline or placed so far in the future that the events of previous games are irrelevant, not having to consider the stories of past games means that developers are less limited when designing the next story. Nintendo hasn’t shown that it particularly cares about timelines adding up for Zelda.

Taking this approach also prevents a measure of speculation regarding how timelines and games for the franchise add up since it’s clear that the newest games have minimal connections to the previous ones. Overall, a new timeline gives developers a clean slate to work with, and it creates a lot of opportunities for story elements that may not have been considered otherwise.

8 Gloom Mechanic

The reaching hands of Gloom Spawn as seen in The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom overlayed with a Floormaster from The Wind Waker.

Gloom is a big part of TOTK, and it adds a bit of danger to areas since Gloom Damage prevents Hearts from being recovered through normal methods. With the ties between Gloom, Demise, and Ganondorf, it would be easy to explain the presence of Gloom moving forward in Zelda. The presence of Gloom is enough to take away a sense of security, especially with how stressful the music speeding up near Gloom can feel in-game.

7 New Sages

An image of Tulin, Riju, Sidon, and Yunobo, the main four sages of Zelda Tears of the Kingdom

A new game offers the opportunity to introduce another set of characters as Sages, if the plot requires the inclusion of Sages. Or, if the next game is along the lines of Hyrule Warriors, then using the set of Sages from TOTK already offers new characters that can bring their skills to the battlefield, and the ways that their Sage abilities could be implemented have a lot of potential. A new timeline also brings the opportunity to use Oracles again, like in Oracle of Ages and Oracle of Seasons, which could be a fresh story beat that hasn’t been seen in Zelda for a while.

6 Classic Dungeons

Is Tears Of The Kingdom Even A Zelda Game - Image of Link approaching a traditional dungeon in A Link to the Past

Classic dungeons that require a map and compass to be found, given the large and confusing layout, were a staple part of old Zelda games that deserve to be brought back for the next game. TOTK was on the path to having dungeons that resembled classic Zelda dungeons, but the game didn’t fully commit to that style, resulting in an in-between version that wasn’t like BOTW or classic Zelda titles. As such, the next Zelda game should fully commit to returning to the classic dungeon style, which could be used to make them more challenging.

5 New Villain

Zelda Skyward Sword Demise

Ganondorf filled the villain role for Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, but prior to release, there was no shortage of speculation that Demise would appear as the antagonist. While that didn’t happen in the end, it could happen in the future, especially since both versions of Ganon through Calamity Ganon and Ganondorf have been defeated at this point. Since Ganondorf is always a male Gerudo, and only one can be born at a time, it’ll probably be a while before he returns and grows old enough to wreak havoc on Hyrule again, so that gives Demise a chance to take center stage.

4 A Bigger Role For Zelda

Princess Zelda wielding golden magic in The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom.

Princess Zelda has held a wide variety of roles throughout the series, and they’ve ranged in how much help she contributes to Link during his journey. Tears of the Kingdom gave Zelda’s divine powers new depth by adding limited control over time to her abilities, which are passed down through her bloodline. This means that future incarnations of Zelda will also have those powers to some degree. Even if Zelda doesn’t take the protagonist role from Link in the next game, she can still put her new abilities to use helping him.

Link looking down at a glowing green arm in Tears of the Kingdom. There's green haze behind him.

Assuming that Link will have Rauru’s arm in the next game or that there’ll be a reason added for future versions of Link to have an arm like Rauru’s with special abilities, there’s the chance to add upgrades for it in the next Zelda similar to games like Sekiro.

Given Purah’s love for technology and penchant for researching and developing items like the Purah Pad, she’s the perfect person to study Rauru’s arm and learn how to improve it. Putting her in charge of Link’s arm upgrades would have a natural feeling after she’s built the Purah Pad and had Link collect data for maps, and she already admits that Link is a great tester, given his bravery.

2 Crafting

BOTW Link on left cooking, TOTK link on vehicle on right

It would be a shame not to keep using the physics system included in TOTK, and since it’s already been built by developers, it could be used repeatedly in new games as well. It’s also possible to build on both the cooking and Ultrahand system to add more crafting possibilities.

Fuse is almost a halfway point to Link being able to craft weapons, but it’s not the same as gathering materials and either having an NPC blacksmith design an item or having Link learn and craft it himself. Adding this kind of crafting provides yet another way to customize combat in Zelda’s future.

1 Return Of The Sacred Realm And Triforce

The Triforce in the sky as the point of entrance to the Sacred Realm in Zelda: Ocarina of Time

When Zelda seals Calamity Ganon at the end of BOTW, there’s a quick moment where the Triforce symbol is visible. It’s also part of the Hyrule Royal Family Crest, meaning that the Triforce is still a big part of Hyrule in this timeline. However, the Triforce and Sacred Realm don’t have the same presence they did in previous games, where they were often important pieces of the story. But the next game can change that and bring both elements back into the story, and could even entail having to save the Sacred Realm from corruption.

For now, only a few features of the next Zelda game are known, such as the developers confirming that open-world will be the standard design moving forward. However, the decades of content from past games helps when speculating how the series will move forward and what elements have or haven’t worked in the past. Given how successful recent games have been, it wouldn’t be surprising if Nintendo heavily relied on the elements of The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom for the series’ future.

Source: Nintendo of America/YouTube

Source link