The opening chapters of The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom return players to the beautifully ruin-strewn setting of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild while also bringing back beloved supporting characters such as Teba, Sidon, and Purah. There are some NPCs however, who did not return, despite there being no reason for them to have suddenly left Hyrule.


The prequel to Breath Of The Wild introduces long-time Legend of Zelda fans (and an incarnation of Link that’s been slumbering for a hundred years) to the current incarnation of Hyrule – a verdant, mountainous landscape of scattered villages and ruins, remnants of a civilization brought down by the force of destruction called Calamity Ganon. As Link quests to rescue Princess Zelda and defeat Calamity Ganon, he forms friendships and alliances with several interesting NPCs, champions of their tribes who return to aid Link in Tears of the Kingdom. One particular minstrel, though, is nowhere to be seen.

Kass Is Missing From Tears Of The Kingdom

The signature art for The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, with Breath of the Wild NPC Kass superimposed.

Unfortunately, Kass, a purveyor of ancient songs and verses with a knack for shining light on events in the backstory of Breath of the Wild, does not appear in Tears of the Kingdom. His absence is particularly strange thanks to his colorful personality and solid characterization.

When playing Breath of the Wild, players can first encounter Kass near the Foothill Stables, playing his signature melody on his trusty accordion. In this and other future encounters, this cheerful bird bard can sing riddle songs that hint at ways to solve Shrine Quest puzzle. Progression of Kass’s quest line reveals the bird bard’s loving if strained relationship with his family, while the Champion’s Ballad DLC (which unlocks the Master Cycle) has Kass work with Link to complete a half-finished song composed by a poet from before the Calamity. Come Tears Of The Kingdom, though, Kass is nowhere to be seen.

Why Kass’s Absence In Tears Of The Kingdom Is Strange

Kass from The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild turns to see who approaches while playing his accordion.

In Breath Of The Wild, Kass was a non-mandatory, yet still memorable source of song and poetic verse, some of them touching on the ancient history of Hyrule and Link’s cyclical status as the Hero of Courage. With this precedent established, Kass could have been an even more vital source of exposition in Tears Of The Kingdom, a musical archaeologist who recounts the story of Zelda: BotW so far and shines a light on the ancient civilizations so important to the plot of TotK. Unfortunately, Kass is completely absent in Tears Of The Kingdom (even though his avian children can still be found and interacted with in the Rito Village area)

Why Kass May Have Been Cut From Tears Of The Kingdom

Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom Makasura Shrine Interior with An Upright Device Puzzles

The biggest upgrade to gameplay in Tears of the Kingdom is the game’s intricate crafting system, which not only allows players to construct bizarre weapons, flying machines, and terrifying battle tanks, but is also the core mechanic used to solve many of the game’s open puzzles. On a mechanical level, accordion-playing Kass was an NPC whose music and poetry were designed to attract players to Shrines in Breath Of The Wild’s open world and give them the clues needed to solve the Shrine’s environmental puzzles. Fundamentally, physics puzzles like the Rail Puzzles in Zelda: TotK may just be a poor match for Kass, possibly explaining why the Rito NPC is absent in TotK.

How DLC Could Return Kass To Tears Of The Kingdom

Kass, an Accordion-playing Bird Bard From Breath of the Wild, playing his instrument from a high perch.

The Champion’s Ballad DLC increased Kass’s presence in Breath Of The Wild, introducing new puzzles and new quests where the accordion-playing birdman could shine as a character. Theoretically, a similar sort of DLC for The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom could re-introduce Kass and his lovely music to the land of Hyrule. Perhaps Kass, as a wandering musician, will enlist Link’s help as he performs music to give hope to villages traumatized by the spread of Gloom and the return of Ganondorf. Alternately, Kass might be the NPC who tells Link about a new set of open-world crafting puzzles with a musical component, Ocarina Of Time style.

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