Friday, March 31, 2023

Tears of the Kingdom – Breath of the Wild Connectivity?

Link on a horse on the field near Fort Hateno

This is just speculation at this point, but since Tears of the Kingdom will take place in the same game world as Breath of the Wild, some people might be wondering whether some of your achievements from the previous title will carry over or not...

Someone even suggested to me that Hestu's Gift should stay with you. To be fair, he is in the middle of collecting the last Korok Seeds and was probably looking for a better motivation, but his suggestion is missing the whole point of the golden poop in the first place. The only reward from Breath of the Wild that I could see to making it into Tears of the Kingdom is the Hero of the Wild set... But that's still a bit much and Tears of the Kingdom will most likely offer a similar reward to be earned.

Other suggestions usually revolve around Link's house or Tarrey Town, but this raises a variety of problems. So, what would happen if you don't have the house and Tarrey Town quests completed in Breath of the Wild? Will you still be able to do them in Tears of the Kingdom, then? Or are you locked out of any further progression? The latter would be quite problematic, of course, and the easiest solution would be if Tears of the Kingdom simply started off where Tarrey Town could potentially end up in Breath of the Wild, whether the player has done it before or not.

Your house raises additional concerns. If your progress carries over, then players will expect to still find their weapons that they have left on the walls, but these might be weapons that aren't even supposed to show up in the new game, like anything made out of Sheikah technology. This could be a fun little "cheat", sure, but it really would be a one-time deal and not very satisfying in the end. I personally even believe that Link's house will get destroyed in the early game somehow to just be done with it, but this will eventually lead to new house building quests.

In general, I'm against this idea of this sort of connectivity for multiple reasons. First of all, Tears of the Kingdom should really become its own game and stand on its own. People shouldn't feel the need to play Breath of the Wild before this, just because there might be some gimmicks connecting the two games.

I'm also biased here, because I'm one of those few people who haven't played Breath of the Wild on the Nintendo Switch, but on the Wii U. This is where my 100% savegames are parked and it's unlikely that Nintendo will enable any sort of connectivity between the two consoles that at this point and I won't have the time to complete the game on the Nintendo Switch once more before Tears of the Kingdom comes out. That's only six weeks from now on!

Even with the Switch version of Breath of the Wild such a connectivity wouldn't be trivial. You have multiple saved games in two different modes, which are basically just "snapshots". You basically would have to select one of these save files and continue from there, but any additional progress you might make in Breath of the Wild will then be lost..

If there's anything of the sorts, it will most likely be very simple, similar to Age of Calamity. There they have checked if Breath of the Wild has a save file and then rewarded you with the Training Sword. Maybe you can find the Old Shirt and the Well-Worn Trousers on the Great Plateau or something like that... But I doubt that it will be anything substantial.

Wednesday, March 29, 2023

Tears of the Kingdom – Min Min Construct

artwork of a Construct with three eyes and a dragon head in the right hand and a bow in the left

Nintendo of Japan has just released this artwork of a Construct on Twitter, where this seems very reminiscent of another Nintendo character, or game even:

artwork of Min Min from Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

It is wielding two weapons at the same time, a "Zonai Bow" in the left hand and a dragon head in the right hand, which is spitting fire. We've seen the same type of object attached on one of Link's shields in the 2021 teaser trailer. The Construct itself also seems more advanced from the simple soldiers that we saw yesterday, where this one has three eyes instead of just one. Maybe the dual wield is one of its core features.

Generally, it's also interesting that the Constructs can use Fuse to create weapons of their own. It's not clear whether they can do this live or if they simply come pre-equipped, but naturally it would be interesting if your enemies also would make good use of whatever they can find in the environment. That's even something the Bokoblins, Lizalfos, and Moblins were already capable of...

But it also makes you wonder what other abilities the Constructs might have. Master Kohga was able to use Magnesis, for example, where there could be Constructs with the Ultrahand ability to throw objects at you. Some Constructs might even be able to use Ascend and appear out of nowhere from the ground. This would be scary...

Tears of the Kingdom – House Building Teased

House building was an idea that didn't make the cut for Breath of the Wild, but could be something that will happen with Tears of the Kingdom. After the defeat of Calamity Ganon, Hyrule should be in a phase of rebuilding after all. And there is now further evidence that this may be the case:

We can see what are construction sites for houses near the Dueling Peaks Stable in the gameplay footage. Of course this could be just that: a house that is currently in construction. It makes sense that this is happening and this changes up the environment a bit. And of course the planks are there to be used with your new Ultrahand ability to put things together, like the car from the previous trailer.

But this could go a step further. Maybe Link will be able to put together houses himself? Maybe throughout the game you will even be able to build houses wherever you want...

It would be a nice touch to finally leave your mark on Hyrule. Of course there was a bit of building that could be done in previous Zelda games, like the Oracle houses in The Minish Cap or Tarrey Town in Breath of the Wild. But this was all predetermined. Here the player could leave his own creations in the world of Hyrule. It doesn't need to become Animal Crossing, but naturally this would be a big selling point over Breath of the Wild if you could customize the Hyrule from that game in various ways.

Tears of the Kingdom – Korok Spotted

In the beginning of the gameplay presentation Aonuma is riding towards the Dueling Peaks Stable and you can actually spot a variety of details of what has changed in the world of Breath of the Wild. It's nothing that will blow you out of your socks, but it's still interesting.

And one of these things include a Korok. But before you get worried about collecting 1800 Korok Seeds this time, it's not like the Koroks from Breath of the Wild. It's more like a traveler:

screenshot of said Korok

He has a massive backpack and says that he needs to reach his friend. And it makes sense that the roles of the Koroks will be different in Tears of the Kingdom. If there's a collectible akin to the Korok Seeds, it most likely will be something else.

This looks more like some side quest, where you have to help the Korok with getting from A to B. Since you are able to make vehicles, this could be similar to the transport missions in Spirit Tracks, just without the annoying ratings. Use your Ultrahand to put something together and then place the Korok on it to get him where he wants to be.

Of course this still could be rewarded with Korok Seeds, but I doubt that this will have the same extend as in Breath of the Wild.

Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Tears of the Kingdom – Zonai Confirmed

Soldier Construct Horn, Zonai Charge

Every observant Zelda fan will have probably noticed the above detail from the first gameplay footage: the Constructs drop a "Zonai Charge" when defeated, which confirms that are from a Zonai origin, the mysterious magic tribe who has left all the ruins over Hyrule. There has been a ton of speculation about this, also on this blog, even though I usually don't dive into story speculation as much, because I'm personally more interested in gameplay and content... But this has been a huge topic since last year's trailer with the title logo and all that.

And this finally all confirms it. If you had any doubts left, then they should be no more. Tears of the Kingdom will deal with the Zonai, whether you like it or not, and all abilities that we've seen today are very likely of Zonai origin as well. And this will make a lot of fans very happy, because there has been a lot of interest in this big mystery from Breath of the Wild, where I can't wait to see how it all will be connected.

This feels a bit surreal, not going to lie, because Nintendo usually loves to leave such mysteries simply mysteries. But then again, we also got the official timeline at some point, so they do listen to what the fans may want to know... From time to time.

And Breath of the Wild has been very good at expanding the existing lore and world of Hyrule, instead of coming up with completely new things. Well, the Zonai were new, of course, but they weren't the focus, unlike the Minish or the Twili in their respective games for example. But now that the Zonai were established as a thing in the universe of Zelda, it makes it more interesting that Tears of the Kingdom is expanding upon that, instead of simply coming up with another ancient tribe of magic wielders that never have been mentioned in any Zelda game ever before... It's quite smart, really.

Tears of the Kingdom – Pro Controller Announced

Pro Controller where the right handle is white and there are black and golden markings on the front

This looks like the Pro Controller for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate and Monster Hunter Rise had a love child. Coincidentally, these are the two Pro Controllers that I already own, so I like this one as well and will get it, of course. I love the Pro Controller and have been hoping for a Zelda edition for a while now. The colors of the handles are a bit disappointing, where the left one could have been golden, but it's probably supposed to represent Link's state and it still looks good.

That being said, Nintendo is going all-in with this game... There's everything! We will get:

Plus, there is also an official Nintendo Switch carrying case:

carrying case backside


So, you can spend a month's wage on the game alone. Well, I earn a little bit more than that, but this is still getting crazy. Nintendo really wants to milk as much out of this game as possible.

I don't even think that there has been any Nintendo Switch title that got all of these things combined. There were some games with a number of them, but not all of this, e.g. Splatoon 3 last year got very close, but it didn't have a Collector's Edition for the game.

The only thing that Tears of the Kingdom hasn't gotten (yet) is an Expansion Pass. And that can still happen...

Tears of the Kingdom – Nintendo Switch OLED Edition Revealed

Switch as seen in the leak, golden Joy-Cons, white golden dock

There it is! We knew about this since December from a leak, but it's nice to finally have it show up for real. There is even a video of it. It will become available in a month already, on April 28th, two weeks before the release of Breath of the Wild, which gives you enough time to set up your new system in advance.

This also seems to be common practice by Nintendo by now, where they don't bundle the system with the games any longer to keep the price "low". But this is fine, because I usually just ended up with a download code that I don't really need, because I prefer to buy the physical version or the Collector's Edition of the game.

the Joy-Cons with white bars and golden cords

I think this looks very nice, the promotional material makes it appear more golden than what we saw in the leak. So, I'm much more eager to get this now, where I'm going to sell my current grey Switch to replace it with this baby.

Still, the timing couldn't be worse. They have waited six years for this and you can probably count the number of Zelda fans who don't have a Nintendo Switch yet on your hand. They want to double-dip, it's as simple as that.  And even though I don't expect the next Nintendo console before 2025, we will still most likely see another Nintendo Switch revision later this year, where in that case the Nintendo Switch OLED will be old news already...