- The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom distinguishes itself by making the Master Sword a crucial element of the story from the very beginning, emphasizing its significance unlike other Zelda games.
- Obtaining the Master Sword is a critical milestone in the game’s story, as it leads to Zelda becoming the Light Dragon and eventually aiding Link against the Demon Dragon, showcasing the sword’s true importance and making it special.
- While the Master Sword plays a central role in Tears of the Kingdom, future Zelda games should find a balance in making it meaningful without overdoing its significance, intertwining it with the main story while still leaving room for suspense and spectacle.
The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom has single-handedly made a name for itself as one of the best games in the series, both in terms of player freedom and its cinematic story. From the slow reveal of the truth in the Dragon’s Tears flashbacks to how players can challenge Ganondorf the instant they get the paraglider, what players experience in The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom is unlike any other entry before it.
One of the bigger things that separates TOTK from the other Zelda games is just how important it makes Link’s iconic weapon, the Master Sword. In many games, the Blade of Evil’s Bane is usually a reward for completing some daunting end-game task, sitting on its pedestal until Link’s ready to claim it. However, as Tears of the Kingdom takes place after Breath of the Wild, Link has already earned the Master Sword and starts the game with it in-hand already. In order to take such a powerful asset away from players, the sword is tied directly to the story.
Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom – History of the Zonai Explained
The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom deals with the race known as the Zonai, who play an important, but vague, part in Hyrule’s history.
How the Use of One Weapon Makes The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom into a Master Class of Storytelling
From the very beginning, players lose the health Link has gained during Breath of the Wild due to Ganondorf’s attack. As Link was brandishing the Master Sword at the time, it was also damaged rather heavily, and when Link comes to, he finds the weapon in poor shape, almost rotting away with holes across the blade. During the introductory segment of the game, a ball of light appears and takes the Master Sword away to the past. Afterward, the Light Dragon appears, which ties both Zelda and Link’s actions across time itself to save Hyrule.
In short, the Master Sword is the key to the entirety of Tears of the Kingdom‘s story. Sending it to the past leads Zelda to become the Light Dragon and restore it, covering Hyrule in her tears and eventually aiding Link against the Demon Dragon. Obtaining the Master Sword is so critical, that if players manage to get to the Demon Dragon fight without obtaining it, they are met with the sequence in which Link pulls the sword from the Light Dragon before the fight begins. While other Zelda entries have made the Master Sword important, Tears of the Kingdom makes it truly special and poignant, which other games should take note of.
While it’s true that the iconic weapon is part of many of Link’s adventures, the way the sword is treated varies from game to game. Some make obtaining a weapon an important milestone in the overall story, whereas for others, it’s only made important due to its history in the series. Tears of the Kingdom, however, proves there are still meaningful stories to tell where obtaining the sword as part of the quest and the overall story go hand-in-hand. Not every Zelda game has to make a big deal out of the Master Sword, but bigger games certainly call for bigger scenes.
Balance is The Key To Delivering Another Good Zelda Master Sword
On the other hand, relying on the Master Sword too much might make big important moments on the same scale of TOTK‘s feel overdone. Even without the Master Sword at play, if any future Zelda adventure aims to grip fans the same way that BotW‘s sequel did, then it should follow key principles that would help tug on fans’ heartstrings.
- Make the important item or the Master Sword tie-into the story of the adventure from the very beginning, rather than simply waiting safely for Link somewhere.
- Allow whatever tools Link needs to be intertwined with the main story’s mystery, but not the entire mystery in and of itself.
- Make it a spectacle worth reaching, just as the Light Dragon’s moment stole the show and marked the end of the mystery with the Master Sword’s restoration.
All three of the above elements are why the Master Sword’s revival are so important, by making its value earned and worthwhile through spectacle and pushing players to ask questions until the time is right for answers. While Tears of the Kingdom‘s climactic moment will be hard to top, other Zelda games can still reward players in unexpected ways, which is what makes the adventures worth playing at the end of the day.
The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom
The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom is the sequel to the beloved open-world adventure, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. This installment once again sees Link and Zelda battling to protect Hyrule from falling to Ganondorf. This new adventure takes place in the same land of Hyrule as Breath of the Wild but sees something called the Upheaval, which allows link to travel to Sky Islands, as well as deep into the Depths beneath Hyrule. Players can use special abilities to fuse together weapons, and build items to help them progress through the release.
- May 12, 2023
- Rated E for Everyone 10+ for Fantasy Violence and Mild Suggestive Themes
- How Long To Beat
- 59 Hours