Here’s Everything We Learned From The Japanese Tears Of The Kingdom Website

Like…well, pretty much the rest of the gaming world, I have spent the last 24 hours combing near-obsessively through the final trailer for The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom. And, also like the rest of the gaming world, I have so, so many questions. Who is the mysterious masked figure talking to Zelda? How concerned should we be by the fact that Ganondorf seems to start out in possession of one of the titular Tears? Why is Prince Sidon wearing his father’s crown in some shots, but not others?

Desperate for the slightest bit of information, I turned to the official Japanese website for the game, which got a major overhaul and glow-up in the wake of the trailer’s release yesterday. Unfortunately, the site was even sparser information-wise than its English equivalent – there was no information about the tie-in Nintendo Switch console or even the Japan-only merchandise released in collaboration with Lawson convenience stores – but I did manage to find a few potential clues hidden in various vaguely-worded statements which I will share with you readers here!

What’s Worse Than A Calamity?


The destruction of Hyrule that trapped Zelda and sent Link into a hundred-year sleep prior to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild was referred to as “the Calamity,” with the demon at its source given the title “Calamity Ganon.” However, if the brief plot summary of the game provided on the Japanese site is to be believed, then what happens to Hyrule in Tears of the Kingdom may be some orders of magnitude worse than even the Calamity before it.

The word used to describe what befalls Hyrule is “天変地異,” (tenpenchii) which can be translated as “natural disaster” or the even more apocalyptic “cataclysm.” This word is used several times on the website to describe the event which causes Hyrule Castle to raise into the sky and mysterious “sky islands” and ruins to appear. Most notably, it contains the kanji for “天変,” (tenpen) which is one of the ways of saying calamity, further emphasizing that this is something even worse than the event that led to the Kingdom’s ruin and the downfall of the original four Champions.

Another interesting note is that the objects raining down upon Hyrule and hovering in its skies are called “遺跡” (iseki), which can mean “ruins,” “archeological remains” or “relics.” Fans have been theorizing for months that time travel and/or some prehistoric civilization from ancient Hyrule are involved in the game’s plot, and this seems to be a more explicit confirmation than anything we’ve gotten so far. There are also definitely going to be a lot of them – they are described as “降り注ぐ” (furisosogu) or “downpouring” onto Hyrule!

A WHAT Adventure!?


In addition to a page where visitors can rewatch the game’s three trailers and the Aonuma-narrated gameplay showcase, the site features three brief character profiles of Link, Zelda, and Ganondorf alongside newly released official art. (Other confirmed characters, such as the New Champions, are not featured on the site.)

Unfortunately, these bios are pretty short, only a line or two each. Link’s, in particular, doesn’t say much of anything – he’s simply described as “the hero who previously saved Hyrule” who now makes use of “the power in his right arm,” seemingly confirming that the prosthetic arm will be the source of Link’s new abilities. However, there is one interesting tidbit in Link’s description. He is described as setting off on a “果てなき” (hatenaki) or “endless” journey to once again save the kingdom. Endless, Nintendo? We knew this game was going to be massive, but…just how much content is there going to be if THAT’S what you are promising?

Zelda’s description is much more complimentary than Link’s, as she’s referred to as “wise, inquisitive, and imaginative” – all of which are true! Unfortunately, unlike Link, who is described as setting out to “fight against” the cataclysm that affected Hyrule, Zelda is said to have been “swept up in it.” The passive voice is used, further emphasizing that whatever happened to her was not her choice or within her control. I’m not going to say that this single two-line bio completely debunks any of the “playable Zelda” rumors that have gone around since the game’s announcement, but it definitely doesn’t leave me feeling hopeful.

Return Of The (Gerudo) King


Ganondorf, who will be appearing in his humanoid form in this game after being fought only as “Calamity Ganon” in Breath of the Wild, gets the longest and arguably most interesting character description. His bio mentions that Ganondorf is a member of the Gerudo tribe, to which only one male is born every 100 years. Ganondorf’s Gerudo origins have not been majorly focused on in recent Zelda games, and many fans were disappointed that him originally being a human Gerudo was not mentioned in Breath of the Wild, even by the Gerudo Champions Urbosa and Riju. Between his design and his bio, this Ganondorf – recently confirmed to be voiced in English by Matt Mercer – may be the most openly Gerudo-focused incarnation of the character since Ocarina of Time.

However, this does lead to an interesting question. If Ganondorf is indeed the prophesied Gerudo male born once every 100 years, then…when was this one born? Was he born prior to the Calamity, and lived as a human for several years before somehow becoming or fusing with Calamity Ganon? Was a Gerudo male born during the hundred years Link was sleeping or the period of time between Breath of the Wild and Tears of the Kingdom thus allowing Ganondorf to be restored to his human form? Nothing has been confirmed, and fans – myself included! – will likely continue to speculate during the month remaining until the game releases.

As for Ganondorf’s connection to the cataclysm that befalls Hyrule, well….the Japanese website is remaining pretty tight-lipped on the subject. All it says is “he’s probably connected to it somehow, isn’t he?” Well, given that it’s a Legend of Zelda game, and Ganondorf is up to his old tricks, we can be pretty sure that yes, Nintendo, he is “connected to it somehow.”

Overall, while there isn’t much new to learn from the Japanese Tears of the Kingdom website, there were a few interesting tidbits and clues that a particularly determined reader (me) could pick up. In particular, the enhanced focus on Ganondorf’s Gerudo origins is certainly interesting. Do you have any thoughts about the information found on the Japanese website? What are your theories about Tears of the Kingdom? Comment below and let us know!

The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom will release on May 12 for the Nintendo Switch. It is currently available for pre-order.

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