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Due to this game's nature as a sequel, all spoilers for The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild will be left unmarked. You Have Been Warned!

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"Zelda... we rely on your knight, and that legendary sword he carries. Our last line of defense will be Link."
Rauru

The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom is the 20th main entry in The Legend of Zelda series, the 7th fully 3D installment, and the direct sequel to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. It released on Nintendo Switch on May 12, 2023.

Picking up several years after the destruction of Calamity Ganon in Breath of the Wild, the kingdom of Hyrule has begun to restore itself to its former glory. However, reconstruction efforts are disrupted when a strange malady dubbed "the Gloom" starts bubbling up from the deepest depths of Hyrule, causing those who touch it to lose their strength and vitality. Tracking the Gloom's source to beneath Hyrule Castle, Link and Zelda soon discover the ruins of an ancient tribe known as the Zonai, and at its center the cause of not only the Gloom, but the Calamity as well; Ganondorf, an ancient Gerudo king who millennia ago sought to conquer Hyrule and remake the kingdom in his image, only to be sealed through the efforts of seven sages. However, Ganondorf's seal has slowly been weakening over the ages, allowing evils like the Calamity and Gloom to spawn from his bottomless well of hatred. In hopes that Link and Zelda will now be able to put an end to Ganondorf once and for all, the remnant will of the Sage of Light whose right arm is serving as the heart of Ganondorf's seal releases the ancient evil... only for everything to go horribly wrong.

Link and the Master Sword are both grievously corrupted by Ganondorf's power and in the process of releasing the rest of his seal, Ganondorf causes "the Upheaval", an event that sends Hyrule Castle into the air, opens many chasms to the world below Hyrule, and causes numerous Zonai ruins to descend from the sky as floating islands. As the ruins collapse around them, Link and Zelda are separated, with Link being barely saved by the Sage of Light’s arm and Zelda disappearing in a flash of light. Awakening on one of the new sky islands, Link finds his corrupted right arm has been replaced with that of the ancient sage, and is tasked by the Sage's spirit, a member of the Zonai named Rauru, to seek out Princess Zelda. Now, equipped with the new powers of the Sage of Light contained within his right arm, Link must explore the reborn lands of Hyrule, learn the secrets of the ancient Zonai in search of Zelda, and put a stop to Ganondorf's millennia old ambitions once more.

Tears of the Kingdom retains much of the Survival Sandbox gameplay of the previous game, but this time around, there is significantly more emphasis placed on exploration and Item Crafting. The former comes with not only an altered world map, but two new places to explore; the mysterious Sky Islands that have emerged above Hyrule, and the dark, Gloom-infested cavernous Depths down below. The latter primarily manifests in the form of physics objects, which can be manipulated using two new systems: Fuse, which can weld objects to Link's weapons to strengthen his sword, shield, and arrows and augment them with special properties, and Ultrahand, which can pick objects up and create structures from them, their complexity ranging from simple bridges to elaborate flying machines.

Previews: E3 2019 teaser, E3 2021 trailer, Nintendo Direct September 13, 2022 trailer, Nintendo Direct February 8, 2023 trailer, Mr. Aonuma Gameplay Demonstration, April 13, 2023 trailer, official website.


Tears of the Kingdom contains the following tropes:

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  • 10,000 Years: Ganondorf has been sealed under Hyrule Castle for over 10,000 years, since well before the events of the first Great Calamity.
  • 11th-Hour Superpower: Link will obtain the Master Sword just before the final fight with the Demon Dragon if he didn't acquire it beforehand. He also won't be required to have a certain amount of stamina as it's given to him without the usual struggle. It's justified in that the sword was always with Zelda in her dragon form, who arrived for the final battle, and she's not going to waste time giving Link the one weapon he needs to win.
  • 20 Bear Asses: Upgrading Link's armor requires getting a lot of enemy drops, some of which are fairly common, and others of which can be very tedious to obtain. Lizalfos tails are a notable offender. All seven Lizalfos types drop a unique tail with fairly low probability, and some armor sets require them by the dozens.
  • Ability Depletion Penalty: As in the previous game, depleting the Stamina Wheel will make you unable to perform stamina-based actions until it refills. Depleting your Energy Cells will make you unable to activate Zonai devices until they completely recharge.
  • Ability Required to Proceed: While you can explore virtually the entire Hyrule overworld once you complete the Great Sky Islands, you cannot access the Depths until you gain some way to survive the extremely long fall, likely via the paraglider you can get from Lookout Landing.
  • Actionized Sequel: Probably the most combat heavy mainline Zelda game yet. The amount of enemies the game tends to throw at you at once is often much higher than that of its predecessor, and the inclusion of more varied enemies with different gimmicks makes it so that the standard sword slash combo won't always be effective. The amount of hearts the player can get for Link is the highest it's ever been in a Zelda game, and even with maxed out 20/20/20 armor, some of the game's bonus bosses can still knock off quite a bit of health. To top it off, there are even party members Link can get to assist him in combat for the rest of the game.
  • Alien Sky: The top of the Depths has a swirling miasma that becomes visible once enough Lightroots are activated, giving it the appearance of an otherworldly "sky."
  • All Your Base Are Belong to Us: The once-peaceful Lurelin Village in this game has now been taken over by pirates thanks to the rise of Ganondorf. Even the former citizens have either moved to different towns, or stationed themselves a small distance away from the village to keep an eye on it (most notably Bolson). Once Link defeats all of the pirates, he and Bolson can team up to help rebuild Lurelin Village from the ground up.
  • Ambiguous Situation:
    • It's left unclear whether this and the previous game are meant as a full-on Continuity Reboot or the usual Soft Reboot due to the account of Hyrule's foundation differing greatly from what was implied in Skyward Sword but some elements from the previous games — like the Triforce,note  the Goddess Hylia,note  and the Master Sword containing Fi — being kept, in addition to the explicit historical existence of Ruto and Nabooru established in the previous game. While the game implies that the Divine Beast namesakes come from the ancient Sages of this game bearing those same names since they wear helmets that match the Divine Beasts' heads, the Zora Stone Monuments from the previous game reference Ruto as fighting alongside the princess and the hero of legend, which is a clear reference to Ruto from Ocarina of Time. It's cleared up a little through the description of some items: the Ancient Hero's Aspect changes Link's body into that of the Zonai warrior depicted fighting off the Calamity 10,000 years ago, while Calamity Ganon first attacked some years after Ganondorf's power leaked out of his imprisonment by Rauru. In addition, Ganondorf refers to Queen Sonia as a Hyrulean woman, suggesting that the concept of Hyrule predates her kingdom. This seems to indicate that this is only the current version of Hyrule, whereas previous games took place even further in the past, to the point that their events had become myths and legends even 10,000 years ago (this is also supported by Hidemaro Fujibayashi, the game's director). Another possibility is that the Skyloftians didn't found Hyrule, as neither Skyward Sword nor the two Dark Horse timelines state that they immediately founded Hyrule after moving to the surface; per this interpretation, they may have lived as a commune before becoming a kingdom upon Sonia and King Rauru's marriage.
    • A series of sidequests involves Link and an Intrepid Reporter named Penn scouting Hyrule for clues as to Princess Zelda's whereabouts. Most of the explanations are fairly innocent: Zelda tending to an animal sanctuary was construed as her riding a horned beast, the well by the Gerudo Canyon stable was blocked off because of a monster den at the bottom, and the prophetic cucco of Akkala turned out to be a Yiga trap. Others paint a more sinister picture: Zelda telling the Great Fairies to hide and her horse being so terrified of her that it bolts off into a blizzard are definitely the work of Ganondorf's phantom puppet Zelda.
    • The game raises the question of how much of Ganondorf's mind was retained in his bestial prior incarnation. Despite demonstrating that it could think and learn from its prior defeats, Ganondorf himself upon awakening demonstrates no recollection of ever being Calamity Ganon, and treats his meeting with Link like it was their first encounter, but in Zelda's case, he does remember her from his original sealing over 10,000 years ago. Despite noting their similar names, neither Zelda, the heroes or Ganondorf himself ever seem to recognize that they were different incarnations of the same being, down to Ganondorf repeating the same mistake that Calamity Ganon did: sacrificing his mind to obtain pure power as a final move to beat Link and becoming markedly easier to fight because of his lack of intellect to direct said power. The narrative almost treats the two like they were entirely separate threats.
    • The exact nature of Link and Zelda's relationship is left extremely unclear, particularly as it concerns the the house in Hateno that Link could purchase in the previous game; it's clear that Zelda lives there, but it's only briefly mentioned in one sidequest that they both live there.note  On one hand, the table has place settings for two, the game still lets Link sleep in the bed, and Zelda has a secret study hidden in the well that she presumably wouldn't need if she had the house to herself. On the other hand, few of the Hateno townsfolk seem familiar with Link, including the children who are eagerly watching the house, waiting for Zelda's return, implying he doesn't spend much time there (though this itself contradicts Zelda's statement in her diary that Link is almost always at her side), and there's a whole sidequest revolving around Link getting his own home in Tarrey Town, which would be unnecessary if he's still living in Hateno (though even then dialog does refer to this as a "dream home" sort of project rather than something for someone who has no current home, with one character even describing it as something to buy only after you get married). If the player has (non-hero mode) save data from BotW that has the Champion's Ballad cleared, the group photo of the Champions remains in the Hateno house just as it was when Link lived there, muddying the issue further. Symin does mention that it seems odd that Link is in town without Zelda, so presumably the children are just more excited to see the princess than the unknown guy who had previously moved into the abandoned house at the edge of town. And the description for one of the cutscenes tells of Zelda discussing "her friend" Link. It's slightly less unclear in the Japanese version of the game, where Zelda's diary contains a line explicitly referring to it as "our house" but still doesn't go into detail about whether Zelda and Link have started a romantic relationship, or if Zelda ever even confessed her feelings as she said she would in BotW.
    • The true origin of the Barbarian armor. It doesn't match the ascetic of the Zonai at all, bringing to question just where it actually came from.
  • Amnesiac Resonance: During the last stretch of the Final Boss, the Divine Light Dragon — Zelda's form after undergoing Death of Personality — appears to actively remember Link in some way. She rushes forth and confronts Ganondorf, and during Link's fight with him, she'll allow him to take the Master Sword in her head (if he didn't pick it up before), as well as fly beneath him to catch him if he falls into the open air.
  • Amplifier Artifact: The Secret Stones of the sages, according to Mineru, only amplify innate power. They do not grant any new powers, nor knowledge of how to use them. The new Sages (Tulin, Riju, Sidon, and Yunobo) use this power in order to boost their abilities and create avatars that fight and travel alongside Link. These stones are associated with the Zonai, but it was not the Zonai who created them. Rather, the stones originated from the gods the Zonai are said to be descended from. As such, even the Zonai do not fully understand them nor can they make more of them.
  • Amputation Stops Spread: Rauru had to quickly resort to drastic measures to save Link from the rapidly spreading Gloom infection on his sword arm. Rauru ended up grafting his own arm, complete with its accompanying Zonai manipulator device, to make Link whole enough again to combat the new catastrophe besetting Hyrule.
  • And Your Reward Is Clothes:
    • Literally every Misko quest rewards you with a piece of armor, though some also reward you with weapons to compliment an armor set, such as the Fierce Deity's Sword.
    • Unlike the first game where they were amiibo rewards, you can find pieces of the previous Links' outfits through exploring. They're pretty deeply hidden, however.
    • As in Breath of the Wild, completing every Shrine gives you a unique set of armor: in this case, the Ancient Hero's Aspect, which makes Link resemble the legendary figure who sealed the Calamity Ganon in the first Great Calamity.
  • Antepiece: There is a shrine dedicated to each Zonai device, and several of them have an antepiece near the entrance to establish how those devices work. Susuyai Shrine (Small Wheel) has Frogger-esque carts to demonstrate the wheels' linear travel paths before you need to use one, Morok Shrine (Spring) has a single spring to show that they're manually activated before you start orienting or stacking them, and Mayachin Shrine (Stake) has a rotating platform affixed to a stake impaled on an auto-rotating mount before you need to play baseball with the manual one.
  • Anti-Frustration Features: The game introduces various quality-of-life features, including some improving on frustration points from Breath of the Wild:
    • The Ascend power was created as an anti-frustration debug feature for the game developers to allow fast exits from caves without having to backtrack. When the power was officially implemented into the game for puzzle-solving and navigation applications, the usefulness in preventing tiresome backtracking remained for players as well.
    • One of the new items is a Zonai portable cooking pot, allowing the player to cook things at any time instead of needing to travel to a stable or town to make use of theirs. Each pot can only cook one meal, however.
    • Any new foodstuffs the player cooks get added to an in-game "cookbook" listing the recipe and its effects, along with an option to review variations of base recipes as they're discovered. In addition, there are many mini-quests that either teach Link new recipes or provide him with different cooked meals and elixirs as rewards, and these are also automatically added into the cookbook so players can recreate them at will.
    • If Link opens a chest with a weapon but lacks inventory space to take it, the game now presents an option to drop one of his current weapons to make room.
    • Link has unlimited energy for Zonai devices in shrines so you don't run out of juice in the middle of a puzzle involving devices.
    • Certain areas which demand Link paraglide for extended periods will switch to a low-gravity environment marked by blue sparkles and a ring effect when Link enters or leaves the area. In these zones, the horizontal speed of paragliding is greatly increased, Link falls much more slowly, and fall damage is nearly eliminated.
    • If a physics object falls down a bottomless pit, it'll pop back into existence where it was first found a couple of seconds later.
    • Autobuild, an unlockable ability, allows you to save previously created contraptions, so you don't have to waste time making the same things over and over. If parts of a build aren't available to use, it can fabricate replicas at the cost of Zonaite.
    • Arrows spawn much more frequently than in the previous game, reducing the chance that a player will find themselves without ammunition. Arrows also always restock in shops, rather than remaining sold out until the player drops below a certain amount. Instead of having distinct fire, ice, lightning, and bomb arrows, Link can mimic their effects by attaching items to regular arrows, which prevents situations where you're forced to use a type of arrow you don't need because you're out of regular arrows.
    • In a contrast to Breath of the Wild's Stasis, the game world will freeze while readying Recall, facilitating its use in tense situations such as not having to hurry when timing when an object should rewind or giving you a better chance at retrieving an object that just fell out of view, such as Zonai devices or Ultrahand inventions. Similarly conveniently, Recall also has the furthest reach of all of Link's Zonai skills.
    • In the same vein, Ascend doesn't immediately pop you out on top of a surface — Link peeks out the top and the game world also freezes while Link is offered the ability to emerge or descend back down the portal. This gives the player the chance to assess what's going on in the area they Ascended to and allows them not to engage in a situation they're not ready for.
    • Since Link's inability to climb in the rain was one of the players' biggest gripes about the previous game, this one introduces elixirs with a sticky effect to negate it, as well as a set of Froggy Armor to earn that will do the same when multiple pieces are worn.
    • The incredibly helpful Korok Mask (which acts up when the player is near a Korok) is now available from the start in the base game instead of being a DLC item. The Travel Medallion and Hero's Path features are also now in the base game through Robbie's lab, and with the Medallion feature, you can get up to three player-placed travel gates instead of just one.
    • Shrine Quests where a crystal must be transported to create a shrine allow the player to activate the travel gate before the shrine is created. Not only does this help to mark the location where the crystal should go, but it allows the player to get the shrine's fast-travel point for convenience without needing to complete the quest, better matching how other shrines let you unlock the travel gate without completing them.
    • Eyeball drops from weak "nuisance" monsters (Keese, Octoroks, and the new Aerocudas) have a homing effect when attached to arrows, providing a very useful aid to combat archery that also makes the source monsters more worth the annoyance to fight. Keese and Aerocudas are also an easy source for monster wing drops, which can make arrows fly much further, providing another cheap way to help with archery that makes them even more rewarding to kill. Additionally, the homing arrows will make an earnest attempt at a head shot.
    • Brightbloom Seeds are extremely useful in exploring the Depths while searching for Lightroots to illuminate the areas, since they can create patches of light where they're thrown for navigation assistance. As such, they are made very plentiful in Hyrule's caves, and Frox monsters within the Depths also drop them on death to ensure the player can accrue a good supply of seeds before descending, or get a few emergency seeds while down there.
    • The Ascend power has visual cues to show when the player is in position to successfully Ascend through an overhang, but it also has a sound that immediately plays at the same moment, keeping the player from needing to always tilt the camera to watch the grid and light cues, and making Ascension much snappier.
    • Unlike the previous game, the Great Fairies and the Horse God get special map icons once they've been met, making it easier to remember their locations from the zoomed-out map view without the player having to provide their own stamp markings. Furthermore, once you unlock the first Great Fairy, Tera, through the quest at the Woodland Stable, she'll tell the player the locations of her three sisters, leading to those locations receiving their map icons to aid in the quest to unlock them. While they're now locked behind sidequests instead of a Rupee fee, all four Fairies are also more accessible on the map now, making it easier to unlock them all earlier—Tera was previously remotely located in the hostile Gerudo Desert.
    • In the previous game, you could only get one dragon body fragment per encounter, and, as dragon encounters were very random and they were very high up in the air, this made it very tedious to farm their parts. In this game, you can now encounter the dragons underground, and actually stand on top of them, allowing you to knock off as many parts as you want, though it takes ten real-world minutes of controlling Link after you knock a part off before you can get another, preventing skipping time to refresh the dragons as could be done in the previous game.
    • In addition to the returning monster masks, this game introduces a set of Yiga armor. While it unlocks sidequest content interacting with Yiga members in secret hideouts, the armor has some other uses. When completed and worn, it will prevent disguised Yiga NPCs from attacking and it will end any later-game random Yiga ambushes by causing the attackers to despawn when the armor is worn. This closes a notable gap in enemy disguise armor and negates a lot of frustration the Yiga could cause in the previous game.
    • As before, the Paraglider can be taken out for a brief time to save yourself from a fall if you run out of stamina while gliding. Given how aerial the game's exploration gets, this can be an even more vital life-saver than it was before.
    • Unlike before, falling into water while your stamina is empty will give you a tiny bit of extra stamina, allowing you to reach a shore if it's close by and preventing you from instantly drowning if you fall into a body of water after gliding or climbing too long.
    • Rusty weapons and rocks will regularly spawn when you're smashing through dense rock walls in tunnels, providing the means to craft new rock hammers with the Fuse power if you run out of the ones you brought or your bomb supply. Likewise, bomb flowers will almost always be found growing in caves near breakable walls.
    • Just like in Breath of the Wild, if the player has obtained the Master Sword, it will be restored to full durability and auto-equipped at the start of the final battle, even if it was recharging when the battle triggered. Moreover, since Ganondorf is a Damage-Sponge Boss with three separate phases and effectively four healthbars, it will never run out of energy to ensure the player always has a weapon on-hand, especially since the Demon Dragon phase practically requires the sword.
    • Zonai device dispensers have separate inventories, but offer a relatively high output for relatively few Zonai materials deposited, making it easy to travel from dispenser to dispenser and accrue a healthy stockpile of Zonai parts to craft vehicles on the fly or get access to a separate supply of bombs to have on hand that don't have to be scavenged like bomb flowers do.
    • The ends of the minecart rails in the Fire Temple feature turntables and simple switches that allow the player to instantly flip the minecart the other way on the track to return without having to manually rotate the cart with Ultrahand.
    • Blupees and the Satori have gotten a new function to help with one of the game's added dimensions: since caves are important locations that often hide shrines and armor and always have Bubbulfrogs, Blupees now can be spotted nearby and run toward cave entrances to point them out to the player, and cherry blossom trees around the map have offering plates. Put a fruit in, and a Satori will appear and put large glowing wisps by all of the map region's cave entrances to show where they are.
    • Cece in Hateno Village offers a one-stop shop to reobtain unique armor pieces obtained on the overworld that aren't sold in shops, in case the player sells one of these armor pieces or wants to get another copy. Likewise, the large Bargaining Statues in the Depths can replace unique armor and, more notably, unique weapons found in treasure chests in the Depths.
    • Enemy drops will be automatically collected if they happen to fall out of view far enough without hitting terrain, such as when taking out enemies in the Sky or over lava, making it still worthwhile to take down monsters like Aerocuda even while gliding between islands.
    • If you equipped Mineru with a cannon, the explosions from her shots will not harm Link, preventing Friendly Fire during tight combat situations.
    • The sensor feature now beeps downward and says a target is "nearby below" when you're walking directly over one hidden in a mountain, hill or cave, to avoid the player walking in circles trying to determine where the shrine, creature, monster, or item they're tracking is. Conversely, it also beeps upward with a "nearby above" note for a target that's over your head somewhere.
    • Some of the shrines require Link to activate them by placing a large crystal at the shrine's empty base. To ensure the player doesn't have to search all over the place for the crystal, a beam of light attached to the crystal connects to the shrine to help locate the crystal and then guide it back to the shrine once you have it in tow. The beam of light also appears if the player finds the crystal first but hasn't yet found the shrine.
    • Since it can be very useful to understand how the three map layers relate to each other, and even to navigate with one map while in the layer of another, the game doesn't lock the map display to wherever you are and you can switch to the map of another layer in the minimap. This is particularly useful with the Depths, where Lightroots vertically mirror shrines and some map structures are replicated. Using the surface map as the minimap in the Depths can help you navigate even completely dark areas of the underground once you know how the two maps relate.
    • Shooting arrows in midair has been reworked to be more manageable: Instead of rapidly draining your stamina while aiming like in Breath of the Wild, the stamina meter essentially stops draining entirely during aiming, instead having a chunk of the meter highlighted that will be spent once the arrow is fired. This way, players no longer have to feel rushed when lining up their shots (to an extent — Link still slowly falls during midair aiming).
    • Elemental weapons in Breath of the Wild tended to be the hardest weapons to obtain, making them Too Awesome to Use as the fire and ice weapons were useful not just for instantly killing enemies of the opposite element but also making it through hot and cold climates. The same can be said for any special arrows. With the Fuse power, elemental weapons are now much easier to come by. Elemental enemies drop parts that can add an effect to your weapon, gemstones now lend their stated elemental powers to your weaponry when Fused on, and elemental fruits to use as arrowheads have been introduced around the map.
    • A new "forest exit shortcut" ogre tree has been placed in Korok Forest in a location that's much more integrated into the sanctuary, and is now easier to find and remember than the old tree had been before. The original exit tree is still in its old location on a hill to the side behind the new tree, but can't even be entered now since it now enters the range of the lost fog around the forest.
    • Gloom-infected monsters do far less damage than the same type of monster does normally, which helps prevent bands of Gloom monsters or particularly strong monster types from being infuriatingly hard to beat, considering all the damage they do can't be healed normally.
    • Your health will be automatically refilled when entering Proving Grounds shrines, as well as after you defeat all the enemies, ensuring no accidental outside-context deaths.
    • When you're tasked with saving Zelda at Hyrule Castle, the weather changes to be nonstop thunderstorms until the quest is completed. Because the weather for this quest is used to set the atmosphere, the usual effects from thunderstorms (slippery grip on surfaces and lightning strikes if you wear metallic gear) are disabled so you don't have to worry about trying to navigate the place while fending off enemies outside.
    • Shrine map icons still get a treasure chest next to the name when their bonus treasures have been collected, and in a similar vein, caves get a check mark symbol next to their name once the Bubbul Gem inside (dropped by a Bubbulfrog) has been collected, making it easy to know whether a hidden Bubbulfrog has been missed in any cave.
    • Also on the topic of Bubbulfrogs, Koltin will name locations of caves where Bubbulfrogs are still present after he's consumed a fairly small amount of Bubbul Gems. Combined with the Satori cave markers, map icons, and the Purah Pad Sensor, missing a Bubbulfrog is made all but impossible for the player.
    • Quests that require Link to find pictures of multiple objects, such as Ancient Hylian inscriptions, mark the ones that have been turned in so that you can easily keep track of which ones are done. In addition, photos taken before the quest is unlocked work this time.
    • Similarly, Dragon's Tear memories mark the map with a geoglyph and a tear marker so you know they're finished.
    • Some shrines require you to hit a huge target with a sufficiently fast object that causes heavy impact, such as a catapulted metal ball. In the event that the game's overly realistic and sensitive physics constantly thwarts your attempt to hit the targets with the provided implements, you can use alternatives as long as it's fast and can cause massive impact such as an arrow tipped with bomb flower.
    • When requesting to have a Champion's weapons to be created, the vendors will state that a decayed base weapon will be fine. If you have the decayed and pristine variants of said weapon at the same time, the decayed variant will always be prioritised.
    • In the last game, collecting star fragments tended to be a real hassle due to their rarity, the fact they tended to fall great distances away, and because they disappear at 5 AM. Tears of the Kingdom reduces the trouble finding them a bit because they will occasionally spawn falling right next to you if you're falling out of the sky at nighttime, allowing you to catch them mid-flight, and is also very generous on the minimum distance needed to grab them.
    • The Thunder, Frost, and Flame Gleeoks will cause their surrounding environment to be imbued with the element they represent, meaning Link has to have the appropriate armour or consume a food item or elixir that will negate its effects or else he will take constant damage in their mere presence. The King Gleeok, which has all three elemental attributes, does not alter environmental conditions, for no apparent reason aside from the fact it would make an already tough mini-boss ridiculously hard to beat (given the impossibility of negating three weather hazards at once).
    • In the Depths, the realm starts off pitch-black but is unveiled as you find more and more Lightroots beneath the groundside world's Zonai shrines. However, to mitigate stumbling around in complete darkness, the Gloom puddles throughout the Depths are slightly luminescent even in the pitch black so they can at least be marked as clear hazards, considering the Maximum HP Reduction damage the stuff can deal when stepped in.
    • Certain quests will require Link to take pictures of certain objects, NPCs, or scenery, and sometimes a weather or time based condition is required. Instead of having to guess if you're taking the right picture or not, the game will highlight the subject if you meet the conditions for the quest(s) requiring an image of something.
    • Accidentally fused something to a weapon you didn't intend to? For just 20 rupees, there's an NPC in Tarrey Town who can safely separate the fusion without destroying the material.
    • Your allies, namely the Sages and their avatars, are completely immune to damage so you don't have to worry about protecting them while trying to protect yourself at the same time. They can be knocked down and can also be eaten by a Like Like, but they'll quickly recover. They also won't start attacking enemies unless at least one nearby is targeting Link, which prevents them from screwing up any Sneakstrike setups such as taking out a sleeping camp of monsters.
      • Mineru's Construct body in particular has one feature that's very useful — it doesn't consume energy when you aren't piloting it, allowing you to summon it and let it do whatever without worrying about running on empty. Also, when piloting it, it only consumes energy when moving or attacking, and it can recharge while standing still.
    • If a stranded Korok or shrine crystal ends up too far away from you (usually by dropping it into the Depths or off a sky island) it will respawn where you first found it, since it would be nigh-impossible to get it back up to where you'd need it otherwise.
    • While the color-based Level Scaling mechanic for monsters returns in this game, there are now more monsters with fixed colors. This is necessary since even the weakest monster variants have their own unique horns that are essential for upgrading armor. Infamously in Breath of the Wild, there would come a point where almost all Lynels would become the Silver variant and their weaker variants' weapons would no longer be accessible (requiring buying pictures from Symin if you weren't able to take them yourself in time for the compendium); given the Lynels' infamous reputation, they in particular were subject to having more fixed levels across Hyrule's surface (rather than just three spots, as was the case before).
    • If Link lands onto a pool of Gloom after getting knocked down by an enemy, he will only start suffering Gloom infection after he regains his footing and thus can start running. Given how long it takes for Link to get back up after being knocked down (enough to sap two or more hearts via Gloom under normal situation), this helps prevent cheap death from Gloom.
    • In Breath of the Wild, sandstorms in the Gerudo Desert would disable the Sheikah Slate's teleport ability, forcing Link to leave on foot before being able to teleport out. This could lead to dangerous situations or getting stuck in an area hit by a sandstorm if the player gets turned around. Tears of the Kingdom adds mercy to this mechanic by letting Link teleport out of the sand shroud with the Purah Pad even though the map is disabled.
    • After shooting a jar or balloon to collect a Korok Seed, Link will automatically take out his paraglider to prevent you from plummeting right into the ground afterwards.
    • In Breath of the Wild, arrows wouldn't be purchasable from shops once you have 100 of them in your inventory, making them scarce. Here, arrows regularly respawn in shops regardless of your inventory since the elemental tipped variants are gone and you'll likely be firing Fused arrows much more frequently.
    • Schema stones and Yiga schematics have multiple facets of utility that are all anti-frustration features. First off, they can provide inspiration for crafting with Zonai devices (Schema Stones) and devices in tandem with world materials (Yiga schematics) to help the player get ideas. Secondly, they get added to their own respective menus in the Autobuild feature, allowing them to be crafted any time. Thirdly, because they permanently register in Autobuild and span many useful vehicle types and utility constructs, the collected schematics comprise a menu of very useful ready-made constructs that covers most player needs and frees up the very limited space in the player-invented saved recipes menu. Once you get the Yiga schematic for a long board bridge, you won't need a bridge recipe of your own saved in your player-crafted recipe list, for example, freeing a slot there for something more fun or unique.
  • Anachronic Order: Due to much more of the plot in this game taking place during the modern day events of Hyrule compared to the previous game, a lot of story elements can end up feeling odd or out of place. The kicker is with tailing "Zelda" herself. It's very possible to discover the truth about what happened to Zelda long before the plotline surrounding the Zelda you're chasing around all over the map gets resolved. Despite this, Link will still never voice the truth to the other characters about what happened to the real Zelda until that plotline is resolved.
  • Archaeological Arms Race: The Zonai Exploration Team and the Yiga clan are both striving to unlock the secrets of the Zonai ruins for their own reasons. As with the Sheikah Shrines, Link has a distinct advantage against these two factions from the fact that many of the ruins were built specifically for his use.
  • Arc Symbol: Tears. Both the Secret Stones and the gemstones worn by the Zonai are shaped like tears, and the geoglyphs have tear shapes within each of their designs (usually encircling a hidden Korok). You are also tasked to seek out "Dragon Tears", mysterious pools of water within the geoglyphs that unlock Memories; it's later revealed that these pools are literal tears shed by the Light Dragon, AKA the draconified Zelda.
  • Art Evolution:
    • Many of the returning monsters from Breath of the Wild are given wildly revamped horns on their heads. These are more than visual; when the monster is killed, it drops its horn, which is meant to be used as a weapon tip by way of the new Fuse ability. Red Bokoblins in particular, have undergone this through the game's development, in the E3 2021 trailer, their horns were similar to the ones they have in Breath of the Wild, only elongated and slightly curved backwards. By the time of the official release, they were changed into their current design.
    • Tulin's new artwork shows that his spiky "hair" tufts are now bigger and more numerous to make them resemble his dad's. He also has bigger wings and more noticeable sclera. As he is supposed to be a few years older now and possibly an early adolescent, these changes reflect his narrative status as a Rito beginning to come of age.
    • You can see some changes to Rauru's arm in the intro between the announcement in 2019 and the final product. Originally, his arm was shown as a spiraling series of Zonai writing made in light while in the final product, it consists more of a thick stream of lights.
    • The Blood Moon animation has changed a little bit. Aside from a different animation outright, the Blood Moon itself is now much larger in the sky when the animation plays and is significantly more detailed than before.
  • The Artifact:
    • The shrine map icons and their colors are unchanged from the previous game, but no longer visually reflect the visual cues of the physical shrines. As before, discovered shrines are marked orange, activated shrines are marked blue and orange, and completed shrines are marked blue, which reflected the color changes of the physical shrines in the previous game (orange when discovered, orange with a blue travel point when activated, and blue when complete). However, the Zonai shrines use green light as a signifier when incomplete, making the map-icon colors now disconnected.
    • Speaking of shrines, in Breath of the Wild most shrines were named after the Sheikah monk that resided in them and rewarded Link at the end. In Tears of the Kingdom the Sheikah monks are replaced by a statue of Rauru and Sonia, but the shrines nonetheless have individual names, without a clear basis for where the names come from this time.
    • Various landmarks that had more relevancy in Breath of the Wild no longer apply but still exist. Thundra Plateau is no longer plagued by eternal storms, the main path through the Lost Woods still exists as well as its original method of navigating them (following the wind), and Gut Check Rock is completely abandoned, with the Goron brothers that hosted its namesake minigame now hosting a new minigame back on Death Mountain.
  • Artistic License – Biology: According to a dream from Malanya, dondons are the ancestors of horses in Hyrule; ignoring the fact that they more closely resemble a cross between a triceratops and a water buffalo, horses and their evolutionary ancestors have a fairly solid fossil record, and none of them have horns.
  • Ascended Extra: In Breath of the Wild, Tulin was a Satellite Character to Teba, being the latter's only son who gets brought to the Flight Range to watch Link shoot targets as part of an optional side quest after the Vah Medoh arc is complete. Tears of the Kingdom has Tulin replacing Teba in the role of Hebra's regional hero, as he has developed a new wind-gust technique that leads to him partnering with Link for the Rito Village quest and becoming his dungeon partner and ally in the final battle as the Sage of Wind.
  • Ascended Glitch:
    • In Breath of the Wild, it was possible to construct flying machines with a bit of creativity and abuse of the physics engine, often by stacking two mine carts together, then using Magnesis on the bottom one. The Ultrahand ability allows for the deliberate construction of such vehicles, with one of the examples shown in the March 2023 Gameplay Demonstration even being a flying raft.
    • Also in Breath of the Wild, there were ways to abuse button combos to get a Double Jump out of the shield jump mechanic. In this game, by equipping the wing Zonai part to a shield, it effectively extends the shield jump into a full on Double Jump by increasing its range and height.
  • Attack Drone: The Homing Cart Zonai device will automatically roll towards any monsters it detects when activated. All it can do is repeatedly bump into them like an aggressive Roomba by itself, but by attaching your combat Zonai device of choice on top, Link can make bona fide battle drones that bombard monsters independently of him and also divert their attention. If he sandwiches a Construct Head between the cart and its weapon, the head will make the weapon lock onto the targeted enemy without having to face them.
  • Attack Its Weak Point: A Zelda staple, this trope crops up a bit more frequently than it did in Breath of the Wild.
    • Being identical to their appearances in Breath of the Wild, the Stone Talus and Hinox world bosses retain their weak points. Taluses can only be damaged by attacking the ore outcrop on their giant bodies, Hinoxes can be stunned by shooting their eyes, and the Stalnox variants can only be killed by destroying their eyes.
    • Like Likes are immune to damage on the outside, but will under certain circumstances expose a 'stone' that can be attacked in order to put it into a vulnerable state.
    • The only way to properly down a Gleeok in order to put in some real damage is to deplete the health bars of its three heads. Given the beast's mobility and deadly elemental laser blasts, the only practical way to handle this is with monster eyeballs for homing arrows and/or by exploiting the Bullet Time effect from Link shooting an arrow while in mid-air.
    • The Frox dwelling in the Depths can only be damaged by attacking the ore outcrops on its back, most easily done by shooting it in the eye to stun it.
    • The boss of the Fire Temple, the Marbled Gohma, can only be damaged by attacking its big, orange eye, in true Zelda fashion. Yunobo's charge attack power must be used to take out its legs in order for Link to climb on top of it and attack its eye.
    • The boss of the Wind Temple, Colgera, cannot be damaged outside of the weakpoints at the center of its three body segments. Link either has to attack from below, wait for it to fly upward to get a good angle, or bait it into firing the spikes off of its back to expose the weak points to damage with eithe projectiles or just diving through them.
  • Audience Surrogate: On a gameplay level, the Yiga Clan grunts are placed on roughly the same footing as the player in regard to Zonai crafting and Depths exploration. The devices and schematics the Yiga create are more specialized and not as polished as ancient Zonai assemblies and schematics, making them reflective of player experimentation and improvisation with Ultrahand and devices to achieve inelegant but inventive builds. They even have a tendency to give their machines goofy personalized names in the way a player might be prone to but a Zonai wouldn't. As for the Depths, each Yiga camp down there has a journal documenting one of the new things they've discovered, paralleling the way the player will be learning about those things there through their own exploration.
  • Automatic New Game: Once again, starting the game up for the first time immediately plays a cutscene of Link and Zelda going deep beneath Hyrule Castle, then the player is given control of Link, with basic tutorials given during the descent.
  • Awesome, but Impractical:
    • Fusing Zonai devices on your shields allows you to create impromptu flamethrowers, flashlights, and jetpacks, among other things... but it also absolutely eats the durability of most shields, and it renders them unusable for shield surfing, so it's best used sparingly.
    • Creating a literal boomstick by slapping a cannon on a sword is, while absolutely hilarious, probably the least practical weapon in the game. The cannonballs fire at very specific angles that more often than not fly right over your enemies, using it at close range will most certainly kill you first, and swinging the thing eats through batteries fast, all in all, completely worthless against any kind of moving target. It is, however, much more effective against non-moving targets, like ore veins or breakable walls, letting you save bombs in very entertaining fashion.
    • The Evil Spirit set is, aesthetically, one of the coolest armors in the game. Wearing it gives Link the appearance of Phantom Ganon from Ocarina of Time. Paired with a Silver Lizalfos Horn spear, and he looks like the walking incarnation of death. The problem? The set is generally inferior to the Sheikah/Yiga sets and Radiant set, which have the same piece effects and set bonus, respectively. The Evil Spirit set has higher base defense, but cannot be upgraded at the Fairy Fountain, so the Evil Spirit set quickly becomes worse than simply swapping between those sets depending on the situation. Add to this the fact that each piece of the Evil Spirit set is acquired by completing the three Labyrinths, which are three times as long as they were in Breath of the Wild, while the Sheikah and Radiant sets can be purchased fairly early (and the Yiga set isn't too hard to get either).
    • While the Sage spirits are incredibly useful for combat and crowd controlling large groups of enemies, they can be quite cumbersome in small spaces or while trying to traverse environments with all of them active at once. As such, people usually only keep Tulin's spirit activated for general exploring and only activate the other Sage spirits when needed.
    • The White Sword of the Sky. AKA: The Goddess Sword. As neat as it is to go running around beating up enemies with the original version of the Master Sword, unlike the other amiibo weapons, the process to regain it once it breaks is far more cumbersome, as it involves offering a claw from each of the dragons to all three springs again and heading back to the mother Goddess statue. You can only have one at a time outside of using glitches or owning the Skyward Sword Link amiibo, so most players tend to keep it as a decorative piece in Link's house.
    • Zonai parts that get destroyed after a certain amount of use are ultimately not very useful for more elaborate builds. For example, the Zonai Wing, despite being intended for aircrafts, is ironically never used in flying machines by most players because of its short use time before being destroyed, with many players preferring to use other parts as the basis for their flying machines due to them never breaking from extended use.note 
    • Ancient Arrows make a return in this game, functioning exactly as they do in Breath of the Wild, but making them requires fusing Ancient Blades to arrows. Ancient Blades are obtained for the steep price of 50 Zonaite each from a single Smithing Construct in the Spirit Temple — a temple which, if you don't perform any Sequence Breaking, is accessed approximately two steps before the true endgame begins. While they're still one-hit kills to everything that isn't a boss, the monsters you dispatch with them don't drop any materials, which hampers the new Fuse-centric weapon system.
    • The Yiga's Earthwake Technique, which the Blademasters use as a ranged attack, can be learned by infiltrating the Yiga Clan's HQ and completing three combat trials. However, in order to use the attack, Link must not have any melee weapon equipped. The technique doesn't help against flying enemies, and the damage it deals is pathetically low, so it has very few practical combat applications. That said, it does have a tendency to disarm foes, giving you a chance to steal their weapon for yourself. Where Earthwake does shine, however, is in dispatching minor pest enemies without wearing down any weapons. Its low damage is far less a problem against low-HP pest enemies anyway, and its modest area of effect means it can potentially kill more than one at a time. It even works on Keese, since they have to descend to hit Link.
  • Back Stab: The Sneakstrike returns in this game, dealing considerably more damage if Link connects with it on a sleeping or otherwise unaware enemy. The Eightfold Blade is even designed around this technique, increasing the power of the attack even further.
    • Even better the new puffshrooms are essentially a smoke bomb throwing them at your feet or the feet of your enemies lets you Back Stab entire groups of enemies even mid combat.
  • Bad Moon Rising: As in the previous game, Blood Moons rise periodically to resurrect deceased monsters and otherwise reset the game world; due to the sheer amount of physics objects that Link can knock out of alignment just through the course of normal gameplay, these occur more often than in Breath of the Wild.
  • Badass Fingersnap: Link uses one to cancel Recall early; since deactivating Recall causes gravity to start affecting the rewound object normally, this can be used to trigger traps against enemies, or Recall and immediately cancel on a fast-moving object to stop it dead in its tracks.
  • Badass Transplant: Link's arm is actually a transplant from Rauru, done by the latter's spirit to stop the spread of Gloom completely destroying his body. It provides access to new abilities that replace the Runes of the Sheikah slate.
  • Bag of Spilling:
    • In the prologue, Link has more upgrades then he could get from Breath of the Wild, with 30 Heart Containers, 15 Stamina Vessels and the Master Sword. He doesn't have the Sheikah Slate however, with Zelda having a new version of it designed by Purah instead, and the spirits of the Champions having passed on after Calamity Ganon's defeat means he lacks their various abilities as well. By the end of the prologue, Link loses all but 3 Heart Containers and 5 Stamina Vessels, his Champion's garb is burned to ashes, and the Master Sword gets broken from blocking a direct attack by the revived Ganondorf after the seal finally breaks. However, this time Link has all his memories and the relationships he's built up with the people of Hyrule to support him, meaning his journey is not quite as isolated as his quest to defeat Calamity Ganon.
    • Link has to reacquire every returning armor piece he could have obtained in the previous game, regardless of his likelihood to have canonically obtained them in this game's take on his preceding journey. There is justification offered for the two pieces he'd have been most likely to still have in his possession, though — the Champion's Tunic which was his signature has been stated to be worn out and replaced by the Champion's Leathers design, explaining why the old tunic is only available through supernatural means, and the Zora Armor, a token of Link's intended betrothal and a piece he couldn't have fought Ruta without, is back in Zora hands for repairs. At the end of the day, the only old piece he can pick up because it stayed with him and Zelda is ironically one which wasn't even an armor piece before — the blue hairband used for his ponytail on his previous default model, which is now in Zelda's safekeeping in Hateno.
    • Hestu has lost his Korok Seeds once again, necessitating that Link go collect them again to expand his inventory.
  • Bait-and-Switch: Siyamotsus Shrine just looks like another Rauru's Blessing shrine at first... and then you notice the shrine's name is Unlit Blessing. When Link approaches the reward platform, it pulls away abruptly, and he has to light torches to get the Light of Blessing and chest at the top.
  • Base on Wheels: The Battle Talus is an enormous lumbering Stone Talus with which a group of Bokoblins have managed to build a fort on, creating a miniature walking fortress.
  • Bat Scare: When Link approaches a cave entrance, sometimes a large swarm of the bat-like Keese will blast out past him. This is actually a great opportunity to rake in loads of Keese eyeballs and wings if you have bombs on hand.
  • The Beastmaster: A past memory shows one of Ganondorf's Gerudo using an instrument to summon hordes of Molduga.
  • Beneath the Earth:
    • Massively expanding the playable map from Breath of the Wild is the addition of a dark, subterranean realm far below Hyrule known as the Depths, which can be entered through huge chasms on the surface and is roughly equal in size to the overworld. They're home to a much more alien ecosystem than the surface caves, characterized by high monster populations and forests of trees with strange feather-like branches, immense mushrooms, and gigantic fern-like plants.
    • Some of the larger surface-world cave systems are also very extensive, forming localized mazes of branching tunnels, side chambers and underground lakes and rivers home to glowing plants and animals, camps of apelike Horriblins, and rich mineral deposits.
  • Benevolent Architecture: If you need to carry something, you'll usually find a bunch of devices not too far from your location. Hudson's company also built free-to-use sets of construction materials all over Hyrule as a marketing stunt, so you'll always have something to mess around with on (ultra)hand.
  • Big Damn Heroes:
    • When Link heads to Hyrule Castle and fights Phantom Ganon, after defeating him, Ganondorf will appear and summon tendrils of Gloom to kill Link, only for the Sages to come to Link's rescue with attacks that disperse the Gloom.
    • When the Final Battle is initiated, a huge army of monsters will attack Link, but any Sages you have assisted will appear to fight alongside Link to aide him in both this fight and the later fight against Ganondorf himself.
    • In the final battle, Ganondorf swallows his Secret Stone once it seems Link actually has a chance of defeating him, turning into a gargantuan demonic dragon that traps Link in its jaws. Then, the Light Dragon (which is Zelda turned into a dragon) rushes in and rescues Link, and the two charge into battle against the Demon Dragon together.
  • Bigger on the Inside: Zonai shrines seem to work like this, being far larger on the inside despite appearing to merely be large stones, in contrast to the Sheikah shrines, which were physical locations underground. This is especially evident in crystal retrieval quests, where after you retrieve the crystal, it grows into the main body of the shrine.
  • Bilingual Bonus: If you can read Japanese kanji, you'll immediately recognize the symbols of the different sages carved onto the secret stones. They're all variations of Japanese symbols representing each stone's element, only with an eye somewhere in the symbol.
    • Rauru's symbol is the hardest to see, but it's based on 光 which means "light".
    • Sonia and Zelda share a symbol seen in the power Recall, and it's based on 時 which means "time".
    • Mineru's stone is also hard to see, but her symbol is based on 魂 which means "spirit". It's much easier to see when you unlock Mineru as a warrior sage.
    • The symbol for the Sage of Water is based on 水 meaning "water".
    • The symbol for the Sage of Lightning is based on 雷 meaning "lightning". Looking at the stone itself, the symbol is actually upside-down.
    • The symbol for the Sage of Wind is based on 風 meaning "wind".
    • The symbol for the Sage of Fire is based on 炎 meaning "fire".
    • The symbol for Ganondorf's stone is 闇 meaning "darkness".
  • Blackout Basement:
    • The Depths, a massive cave network stretching across all of Hyrule and accessible through pits of Gloom across the world, is completely pitch-black. Instead of Shrines, the regional teleport points are massive tree roots that, when activated, light up the area in a radius around them.
    • Thunderhead Isles is this game's version of Typhlo Ruins: A chain of floating islands surrounded by thunderclouds so thick you can barely see anything beyond a few feet ahead, and even Purah Pad map displays it as a featureless swirl of black cloud. You get to dispel much of the clouds during your quest to find the Sage of Spirit, though most of the islands are still drenched in thunderstorms.
  • Blinded by the Light:
    • One of the Zonai Devices is a spotlight which can be used in battle to temporarily blind enemies, stunning them for a few seconds.
    • Dazzle Fruits are basically flash grenades in plant form. They can also be fused to arrows, and work on groups. They can also insta-kill any stal enemies nearby, short of Stalnoxes, as the bright flash is momentarily daylight-level brightness.
  • "Blind Idiot" Translation: The kanji 秘 in the context of the Secret Stones refers to "secret arts" as a synonym for magic. Translating it directly and literally as "secret" feels jarring in other languages where that connection isn't as strong, especially because they aren't treated with literal secrecy in the narrative. King Rauru and his allies wear them openly, and it's common enough knowledge what they do and how they function that Ganondorf hatches his plan to steal Queen Sonia's almost immediately after laying eyes on her.
  • Bling-Bling-BANG!: Link can fuse certain ores to arrows to give them elemental properties; for example, fusing an arrow with a Goron Ruby gives it fire properties. Amber and Diamond ores are simply arrowhead-shaped.
  • Bloodless Carnage: Ganondorf appears to either stab Sonia In the Back or punch her so hard that her spine shatters, but no blood is seen, nor does her body contort in an unnatural way as she lies in Zelda’s arms for quite some time.
  • Blow You Away: The Feathered Edge now emits gusts of wind when swung, and you can make similar weapons by Fusing a Korok Frond or board-shaped object to sword or greatsword-type weapons.
  • Body Armor as Hit Points: Some monsters are now sometimes wearing plate armour, which act as a second health bar that must be depleted before you can damage them for real.
  • Body Motifs: Hands are an overarching symbol in the game embodying ideas of creativity, power, and allyship.
    • Link loses an arm and receives a transplant that gives him magical powers all activated by his hand. Hand symbols mark areas where Link must use his strength to open sealed doors or just to activate Zonai technology with a handprint scan, and Link's first acquired power is called Ultrahand, which involves telekinetic assembly and carrying of objects as well. Link can also learn the Yiga Earthwake technique, a form of offense that can only be performed with empty hands.
    • The opening cinematics with Link futilely trying to grab Zelda as she falls into darkness, and the last controllable section in the game involves Link diving to catch Zelda in midair by her hand.
    • The Sages all swear their allyship to Link and transfer their power by shared contact with their hands, symbolizing their promise, and exhibiting a rite which places a new source of power into Link's transplanted hand, as the power flows from Sage to Link through their grasped hands (or bumped fists, in Yunobo's case). Link's transplant is another manifestation of this narrative theme, as Rauru quite literally gives him a hand and lends him his power.
    • Ganondorf's most dangerous monsters, the Gloom Spawn, take the form of monstrous grasping arms with clawed hands as a signifier of their danger and demonstrates hands being used to harm or kill.
    • The ending credits even showcases all instances of holding hands and bumped fists that you see during your playthrough.
  • Bonus Dungeon: Unlike in the previous game, averted. Hyrule Castle, while the final area in Breath of the Wild, was completely optional to explore if you preferred to march straight to the Sanctum and confront Calamity Ganon. In Tears of the Kingdom, Hyrule Castle now serves as a proper dungeon with scattered objectives and a boss fight like the previous dungeons. Though the castle can be explored early unlike the other dungeons, its objectives aren't present until enough of the main story has been cleared.
  • Book Ends:
    • The game begins with Link futilely trying to reach Zelda with his damaged right hand as she falls from the ruins of Hyrule Castle. It ends with Link successfully reaching out to her, with his right hand restored as Rauru's parting blessing, after defeating the Demon Dragon in the skies above Hyrule. This moment in particular also functions as a bookend for the entire Zelda timeline, as Skyward Sword (chronologically the first game in the timeline) began with Link failing to catch Zelda as she fell from the sky.
    • At the start of the game, Link is prompted to leap head first and dive into the unknown of the Great Sky Islands. At the end of the game, right before the final boss, Link has one more prompt to leap down and dive, this time into the deepest lair of the Depths, where he knows Ganondorf is waiting.
    • At the beginning of the game, Link leaps off the Great Sky Island to Hyrule, landing in a lake below. At the end of the game when he reaches out to Zelda as she falls, they also land in a lake.
    • A musical variant that doesn't just apply to the beginning and ending of the game, but actually crosses all four years between the very first announcement of the game to the game's ending. The very same music and weird singing present in the intro (and the E3 2019 announcement) plays in the game's final battle.
    • Link and Zelda's story began with them fighting against the mindless beast that was Calamity Ganon to save all of Hyrule from its destruction. This game ends with Link and the Light Dragon fighting against a draconified Ganondorf who has lost all semblance of self in a last ditch effort to destroy the world.
  • Boomerang Comeback: The ancient Sages attempt to trick Ganondorf with one of these, throwing their weapons at him then having Zelda use Recall to reverse their trajectory and hit him in the back. Unfortunately, he sees it coming since Zelda did this with one of his phantoms previously. However, it does get him distracted enough for Rauru to hit him with the sealing technique.
  • Boring, but Practical: All over the place if you know what you are doing. Examples include:
    • Throwing: Throwing items can make or break some fights. Puffshrooms can instantly get you out of a tight spot by blinding all enemies in a range, giving you an opportunity to either escape or counterattack. Elemental Chuchu jelly can be replicated by throwing one on a pile of normal jelly, and can be used as grenades. Even throwing something like the elemental fruit can be used without using up arrows to get the desired effects.
    • Special mention goes to Dazzle Fruits. They don't do damage and the stun only lasts a second. Good luck finding a non-boss enemy immune to them. Against weaker enemies it can be a waste but stronger enemies can be forced to abort attacks or stop moving where you want them such as by explosives. It also forces blinded enemies to drop any carried weapons as if electrocuted giving you a way to save electricity and its longer stun for stronger enemies or single/smaller groups of foes. Against tougher enemies it can easily give you breathing room you don't normally get. Finally, it instantly defeats any Stal-type mook caught in its blast, avoiding the hassle of having attack their main bodies first or wasting arrows to destroy their heads.
    • Ultrahand: Need to cross a gap? Build a bridge out of whatever's handy! Need to cross a wider gap? Build a longer bridge! The sheer effectiveness of simply sticking several logs, planks or whatever else together for platforming purposes cannot be overstated.
    • Fuse: Potent monster materials are all over the place, and they strengthen the durability of weapons by a large margin. Goron weapons fused with high tier Hammer based monster parts are incredibly durable, Sheikah weapons fused with high tier Lizalfos parts are deceptively deadly, and Spears fused with long monster parts or other spears have great reach.
    • For traversal, there's the Airbike. Simply put, it's two fans attached to a controlling device. Not the most flashy creation you can make, but being lightweight, power efficient, and easy to control makes it incredibly useful for traversing the overworld. Another big benefit is it's made from parts that don't break from overuse; allowing for as much flight as the player has battery charge. Amusingly, it was pioneered by none other than Uncle Dane, arguably one of the most famous Engineer mains on the internet.
    • For combat, a simple mobile beam turret is enough to deal with most battles without risk. One homing cart at the bottom, one construct head for targeting on top of that, and 1-4 beam emmiters pointing in the same direction the construct head. Deceptively deadly and cheap, it can sometimes clear small camps on its own.
    • Gerudo Weapons. While they don't have inherently high attack and don't gain as much durability when parts are fused to them, they have the hidden trait that they double the attack of the part they have attached to them. With certain parts (such as Silver Lynel horns), this ends up creating weapons with absolutely absurd attack powers, with it possible to break the 100 Attack barrier with them.
    • Tulin. Of the sages and sages vows Link can get, Tulin's is both the most useful for traversal and combat. Tulin's ability provides a gust of wind that makes getting to sky islands easier, and his skill with a bow makes him the most likely to get headshots during combat to stagger enemies. When it comes to sages to obtain and upgrade first, Tulin is often the one most people go for.
    • Octorok Balloons return, and are even better than they were previously. The fuse mechanic allows Link to attach them to his shield, which allows him to float into the air for a certain distance before it pops. What makes it good is, unlike rockets, Link actually can take out the balloons out from his inventory while in shrines, allowing the player to cheese puzzles that require making platforms.
    • Sturdy Wooden weapons aren't particularly powerful and don't have a flashy effect but their high durability means you will get extra mileage out of materials fused onto them, and they're also pretty common.
    • Making a simple build platformnote  is really useful for building off of when presented with uneven terrain.
    • Fusing a Zonai drone to a shield will allow you to use it to shield surf even on rough terrain or going up slopes, at a brisk pace comparable to sliding down a hill. This makes it a useful tool for getting somewhere quick when you aren't able to make/summon a vehicle for whatever reason.
    • Among the many head accessories you can buy from the Gerudo jeweler, the Amber Earrings only provide pure defense with no additional effect, but when fully upgraded, they have superior raw defense compared to most other headgears in the game, and to do so you only need amber and flint, which are incredibly common ore drops.
    • The Hylian Armor set, which can be purchased shortly after leaving the Great Sky Island for relatively few rupees, provides a normal amount of defense with no special effects or set bonuses. It's also upgraded with drops from Bokoblins, the most numerous enemy in the game, and amber, the most common gemstone in the game. If the player keeps up with the Great Fairies, the Hylian Set is likely to be their best and default armor set for the majority of their playtime.
    • Assuming the target area is accessible by foot, the simplest way to transport a Korok to their friend is usually just sticking them onto your horse's towing harness and riding them over. It saves you from using any Zonai tech you have stashed in your inventory, you don't have to subject yourself to trial and error trying to make a vehicle to carry them over, don't have to worry about the battery of whatever vehicle you makenote , and dragging the Korok against the ground as you ride them over still allows for Video Game Cruelty Potential.
    • Need to help Addison carry the President Hudson signs? A simple Hover Stone or two will do the trick. You're intended to just use whatever's nearby to make a structure to keep the sign upright, but a well placed Hover Stone while active will help out a lot. In the same vein, a stake will also completely root your structures and prevent them from tipping over no matter what, making it significantly easier to create a stable structure that keeps the sign upright.
  • Borrowed Biometric Bypass: A consensual example. At the start of the game's plot Link receives an arm transplanted from the Zonai named Rauru. This allows him to open the locks on his people's fixtures and shrines using the palm print of his new hand, which are established to be inoperable to non-Zonai.
  • Boss-Altering Consequence: If you don't complete the main quests before heading to face Ganondorf, then you will have to fight all the bosses that you would've faced had you completed the quests prior to fighting Ganondorf, and your allies won't show up to aid you during the final battle.
  • Boss-Only Level: The Spirit Temple consists entirely of a single room containing both boss fight and Amplifier Artifact. The real dungeon of that section of the game is the Construct Factory, that you then have to trek to the Spirit Temple alongside Mineru's new robot body to get to the boss.
  • Boss Rush: There is one part of the game which sees the player contend with an onslaught of as little as two bosses and as many as eight. It is during the last hour of the game, and to start, various Gloom-enhanced monsters known as the Demon King's Army will appear as soon as the player arrives in Ganondorf's lair; said encounter cannot be skipped in any way. After defeating the army, the six dungeon bosses reappear; just like in Breath of the Wild, clearing a dungeon removes its respective boss from the gauntlet. Only after all of the above will the player be allowed to take on Ganondorf, which is its own nightmare, especially with lower hearts.
  • Bottomless Pits:
    • Shrines frequently use these as a roadblock Link must find some way to circumvent. If he falls in, he'll lose health and be returned to solid ground; if a physics object falls in it will also be returned a few seconds later. Items dropped by Link (for example, if trying to free up inventory space for a shrine reward), on the other hand, do not return if they fall into a shrine's pit.
    • Chasms to the Depths aren't technically bottomless, as jumping down them will lead to the Depths, but their pitch-black interiors give them the look of being bottomless.
    • The Bottomless Pit that once appeared in Master Kohga's arena in Breath of the Wild is now a chasm leading to the Depths, which lines up with his claim that he fell into the Depths when Link knocked him down there at the end of their fight. The pit Gerudo Tower emerged from in Breath of the Wild has also become a chasm in this game.
  • Bragging Rights Reward
    • Hestu's Gift returns from Breath of the Wild, this time letting you see him do two whole dances. However, it is joined by a even better example of the trope, the Dispelling Darkness Medal. It is the reward for lighting up all of the Light Roots in the Depths, and it actually does nothing. The medals Link can obtain for slaying every miniboss species in the game also return with three new medals for the Flux Constructs, Froxes, and Gleeoks. Finding all wells and having them logged by an npc gives you a snowglobe.
    • The Solemn Sages' Vows, which increase the attack power of your sage avatars. The thing is, some of the Sage's Wills needed to unlock them are locked behind some of the game's most difficult combat encounters such as King Gleeoks, meaning that if you've unlocked all of them, you most likely don't need them.
  • Brain Uploading: Mineru, Sage of Spirit, is able to remove her soul from her body. She stores it in the Purah Pad for over 10,000 years until Link comes along, where she is uploaded into a Zonai Mini-Mecha instead.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: While this applies to most of the Gorons initially, special mention goes to Yunobo. Upon finding him for the first time, Link witnesses him uncharacteristically bullying his subordinates and mouthing off to his boss. It's eventually revealed that the cause of this is the strange gold mask he's wearing that was given to him by the fake Princess Zelda, requiring Link to fight Yunobo in order to destroy it.
  • Bread, Eggs, Breaded Eggs: The previous game had two unique horses, the White Stallion and the Giant Horse, that could be acquired through optional sidequests. This game retains them, but also introduces the Giant White Stallion, whose appearance is self-explanatory.
  • Breaking Old Trends:
    • In a first for the Zelda series, dungeon bosses can be refought in the overworld after beating them in the dungeon. Other games have allowed boss refights before, but you either had to revisit the dungeon or enter a time attack mode in order to do so.
    • Ganondorf gets a One-Winged Angel form for the final boss fight, and for the first time in the franchise, (and probably because Breath of the Wild already blew that one) it's not a giant pig. Additionally, this is the first time where it was not required to beat him with the Silver/Light Arrows or Bow of Light, which don't appear in the game at all.
    • Unlike nearly every game in the franchise (particularly ones involving Ganon), the Triforce plays no part in the story, and outside of its symbol still being present in locations across the game and on the Master Sword, never gets mentioned at all. The artifacts of power in this game, that effectively replace it, are new inventions known as Secret Stones.
  • Brick Joke: One between games, in fact. Several Korok puzzles in Breath of the Wild required you to knock a boulder down a hill so it lands in a hole, as if playing golf. Instead of more of those puzzles, you now pull boulders out of holes and move them uphill to sit them on a small tree like a golf ball on a tee.
  • Bucket Helmet:
    • Reede wears one of these while trying to help Link defend his pumpkin patch from monsters. It only highlights that he's just not cut out to be a fighter, as he spends most of the quest scared out of his mind and flees (causing a mission failure) if hit too many times.
    • Various NPCs battling Monster Forces in the "Restore Peace" side quests can be seen wearing these.
  • The Bus Came Back:
    • The most prominent return is that of Ganon's Gerudo form Ganondorf, marking his first appearance since 2006's The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess (not counting remakes, remasters or non-canon games).
    • The Gleeoks make their first appearance since Phantom Hourglass in 2007, now coming in elemental varieties.
    • Phantom Ganon makes his return as a genuine boss encounter (as opposed to the Blight Ganons in Breath of the Wild, which are referred to as Phantom Ganons in the DLC and supplementary material - and again, not counting remakes and spin-offs) for the first time since Four Swords Adventures in 2004.
    • The Bomb Flowers make their first appearance in the series since 2015's Tri Force Heroes.
    • Other enemies that make a return in this game include the Like Likes (not seen since A Link Between Worlds in 2013), Gibdos (not seen since Tri Force Heroes), Gohma (not seen since Four Swords Adventures), and Poes (not seen since Tri Force Heroes)... sort of (they're reduced to a will-o-wisp like collectible rather than an actual enemy).
    • Yiga leader Kohga is revealed to have survived falling down a massive chasm in the previous game, and has been exploring the Depths in the intervening time.
    • Although the story never draws attention to it at any point, the two Gerudo directly behind Ganondorf in one of the flashbacks are actually Kotake and Koume (their names are written in Hyrulean on their shoulder straps), making this their first appearance in the franchise since the Oracle games in 2001.
  • Broken Bridge:
    • The floating Ring Rune in Kakariko village is not to be investigated under orders of princess Zelda, and an NPC is on constant watch to trigger a cutscene that forces Link to go away if you get close in any way. Even if you've already received the Master Sword from the real Zelda, you cannot tell anyone that the Zelda who gave the order was a fake. You can only do so after you've defeated Phantom Ganon.
    • There's a literal one to Hebra village. Seeing as the Hebra area is across a canyon from Hyrule cliff, Link needs to find a different way across.
  • But Thou Must!: The game ends with Link and Zelda plummeting to Hyrule from the stratosphere after defeating Ganondorf for good and Link has to catch Zelda before they hit the ground. However, it's impossible to not catch Zelda, because the two stop descending past a certain altitude until you do so, and not hitting the A-Button to grab her hand when the prompt appears simply resets the progress to that set height.
  • Buy or Get Lost: Link can buy mighty bananas when disguised in the Yiga Clan Hideout, but the footsoldier will be really annoyed after Link says "goodbye" after talking to him.
    Yiga Footsoldier: Just here to smell? If you're not buyin' bananas, then split."

    Tropes C-F 
  • Call-Back:
    • Link wakes up in an isolated area, and is prompted by the spirit of a deceased King of Hyrule to find the means to leave the area by completing shrines.
      • Link can later travel back to the very same spot and find a Korok hiding in it.
    • Zelda ends up in a strange and unfamiliar Hyrule, overlooking the land from the very same cliff as Link from the beginning of Breath of The Wild.
    • Once you reactivate the Pad's camera function, it turns out there's already three photos in the album: the ones Zelda took during the game's prologue.
    • During the prologue, Zelda can be seen dropping her torch when she falls from the crumbling temple floor. If you return to the same spot in the temple below Hyrule Castle and paraglide straight down into the Depths from there, you can find the same torch on the ground.
    • As Ganondorf transforms into the Demon Dragon, he becomes a smoky swarm of Malice/Gloom with yellow eyes, bearing a heavy resemblance to the incorporeal form of Calamity Ganon from Breath of the Wild.
    • Link can re-earn his character design from the previous game (just with the unavoidable difference of his new Zonai arm) by collecting two armor pieces—a hairband and the old Champion's Tunic, now called the Tunic of Memories.
    • One of the Schema Stones which contains the design for a "Beam Cycle" is an impromptu motorcycle with a Unicorn-shaped Beam Emitter on the front, which makes it look like a player-built version of the Master Cycle Zero from the Champion's Ballad DLC in the previous game. Capping off the reference is the fact that this Schema Stone is found beneath the Shrine of Ressurection, just as the Master Cycle Zero was - albeit at the end of a cave rather than an entire dungeon.
  • Came Back Strong:
    • Link begins the game with the maximum possible 30 Heart Containers and 3 Stamina wheels that could be earned back in Breath of the Wild, but gets knocked down to 3 Hearts and 1 Stamina wheel before being rescued from certain death. However, completing all the Zonai shrines will have him surpassing the height of his Breath of the Wild strength, with the same limit of 3 Stamina wheels but a new maximum of 40 Heart Containers.
    • The Master Sword goes through this to an even greater extent, being totally shattered during the prologue by the same attack that nearly killed Link. However, in a flashback the Great Deku Tree says the sword is capable of healing itself over time, and this is exactly what happens when Link sends it back in time to Zelda at the founding of the Kingdom, and it spends the intervening time regrowing and gaining power while attached to the Light Dragon. Whereas the Master Sword that had spent a century healing from the Calamity shattered against Ganon's power, after marinating in the holy energies of the Light Dragon for over ten thousand years it's capable of throwing his Gloom attacks right back at him, none the worse for wear.
  • Cartoon Cheese: One of the new ingredients is Hateno Cheese, which resembles the standard depiction of a yellow cheese wedge with holes. You can use it to make pizza for example.
  • Cast from Money: The Mystic Armour set works very similar to the Magic Armour set from Twilight Princess; when hit while wearing it, it will cushion the blow by taking away rupees instead of health. Of course, since rupees are actually very useful in this game, you might be hesitant to part with them.
  • Cast from Hit Points: The Gloom weapons dropped by Phantom Ganon are some of the most powerful non-fused melee weapons in the game, but they come with a major caveat. As you use them, they gradually inflict Gloom damage, which results in Maximum HP Reduction. The Gloom effect stops when the weapon is put away, but the damage it does to your health remains.
  • Casting Gag: Both Chris Hackney (who voices Rauru) and Cherami Leigh (who voices Sonia) previously had voice roles in another Nintendo property, Fire Emblem: Three Houses, as Dimitri and Rhea respectively.
  • Catch a Falling Star:
    • The beginning has Link try to grab a falling Zelda with his decayed arm...only to fail. At the end, the last playable section has both Link and Zelda in free-fall after Rauru and Sonia's spirits reverse Zelda's Light Dragon transformation. Link succeeds and takes the brunt of the impact while he and Zelda crash into the lake below.
    • Almost literally with Star Fragments, which can be caught in free-fall if they happen to spawn while Link is skydiving. Other drops like dragon parts can also be caught in a similar manner.
  • Catch and Return: The new Recall power rewinds the movements of objects. This includes enemy projectiles as long as they're physical objects, letting you give Octoroks and the like a taste of their own medicine. Most enemies will even stand still obligingly as whatever they threw comes zooming back at them. Taluses in particular have a special interaction where hitting them with their own hurled arms knocks them down for a second, just long enough to climb on top of them.
  • Cave Behind the Falls: A few waterfalls hide a cave behind them. One item (the Vah Ruta Divine Helm) is even hidden in a waterfall cave inside another waterfall cave!
  • Chaos Architecture: Downplayed. While most of Hyrule actually looks the same as in Breath of the Wild, much of its structure was heavily altered by the falling ruins of the Sky Islands. However, other alterations of the land separate from the Sky Islands' influence are also apparent, most egregious of all being the complete sudden absence of all Sheikah architecture, such as the Sheikah shrines and towers, which goes unexplained by the game.
  • Chekhov's Gun: While touring the underground ruins with Zelda at the beginning and discovering the tapestry depicting Ganondorf's rise to power, there's a large amount of breakable rocks covering the latter half of it, but Link cannot break them. Upon returning to the same location to kill Ganondorf once and for all, you can break the rocks and it reveals everything that happened due to Zelda's Stable Time Loop, from her being present at the disastrous attempt to kill Ganondorf for the first time to her sacrifice of becoming the Light Dragon to repair the Master Sword.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: Attentive players may notice a dragon flying in the distance when traversing the Great Sky Islands in the beginning. When the dragon appears closer up at the end of the tutorial, it becomes clear that this dragon isn't any of the three elemental dragons previously seen in BOTW. This dragon, known as the Light Dragon, is Zelda, having transformed into a dragon in ages past to repair the Master Sword.
  • Cherry Blossoms: Cherry trees in bloom can be found around the world. Leaving fruit offerings in the altars in each grove causes all nearby cave entrances to glow for the player to easily find them.
  • Clipped-Wing Angel: When all seems lost against his battle with Link, Ganondorf makes the desperate move to swallow his Secret Stone and draconify himself for more power. This ultimately proves to be his undoing as turning into a dragon robs him of his intelligence and therefore his strategy, reduced to just spitting slow, imprecise fireballs that are nothing compared to his precise swordsmanship prior to transformation. On top of that, his dragon form leaves the Secret Stone on his forehead a large and vulnerable target once his other weak points are destroyed.
  • The Coconut Effect: The jungles of Faron are full of the sound of kookaburras, which otherwise do not appear in the game.
  • Collection Sidequest:
    • Aside from the returning Korok Seeds, and Spirit Orbs being functionally replaced with Lights of Blessing, of which there are even greater numbers of both than in Breath of the Wild, a new optional collectable are Bubbul Gems, which are dropped by Bubbulfrogs, amphibian-like creatures found in basically every cave. Gathering them for Koltin will reward you with items from him, although eventually he will run out of stuff to give you, so the only reason you should collect them all is for completion's sake. If you give him every Bubbul Gem in Hyrule, he will transform into a Blupee.
    • Another optional collectible added are Poes (repurposed into a currency item from the enemy type in earlier franchise installments), which are found scattered in the Depths. Bargainer Statues will request Poes and trade you stuff for them as an incentive, including valuable and unique items, or locations of more Poes. Poes effectively act as an alternate currency to Rupees, but are only accepted by Bargainer Statues.
    • Link can also obtain 31 old maps in the sky that will lead him to the locations of most of the Amiibo Armor and Weapons as well as Link's hero of the Wilds outfit from the previous game and some new armor sets as well.
    • Additionally, Link can aquire 12 Schema Stones and 34 Yiga Schematics for new options to use his Autobuild ability to make. While all the Yiga Schematics and most of the Schema Stones are found in the Depths, two schema stones can be found on the surface.
    • Link can also find 20 Sage's Wills in the sky and use four to power up each of the avatars of the sages.
    • Link can also collect 228 unique recipes that he can make and register to his total amount of recipes.
    • Link can acquire more energy cells for his Zonai power cell and increase his amount from 3 battery cells to 24 with each cell costing 100 crystalized charges and he can then double the capacity of the 24 cells he has, collecting 47 upgrades.
  • Color Coded Timestop: When using the Recall ability, items not affected by the ability are desaturated.
  • Color Motif: Whereas Breath of the Wild was heavy on the color blue (as a symbol of heroism and to make the main characters pop against the greens and oranges of the natural world), this game opts for green instead. The game's Constructs and Magitek powers all have green flourishes, Link's arm and standard outfits have green trims this time around, and the Champions now incorporate green into their new appearances too (with their official art opting for a green backdrop instead of blue to cement the shift).
  • Combinatorial Explosion: In contrast to the prequel that only "allowed" crazy contraptions because of glitch abuse, Tears of the Kingdom instead embraces the player's ingenuity with the shockingly robust Ultrahand. With a large number of Zonai devices and a larger amount of objects in the wild, the player to create whatever crazy contraptions they want to tackle the game world, from flying machines to war vehicles to even a Mini-Mecha.
  • Company Cross References:
    • Link's ability to piece together parts into vehicles is named Ultrahand, after Nintendo's old Ultra Hand toy that was invented by Gunpei Yokoi and featured in other games like Mario Kart 8, Splatoon 3, and the WarioWare series.
    • The fight against the Scourge of Zora's Domain features a Mucktorok, which is a large cephlapod-like creature which mainly attacks by encasing itself in a shark made of sludge and its second phase has it cover most of the arena in sludge to swim around in to get away, which also hinders Link's movements and has to be cleared away with water, echoing a fight against Gooper Blooper or an Inkling/Octoling especially regarding the focus on territory control.note .
    • If you shoot down a duck mid-air, they will fall to the ground while spinning in the exact same manner as the ducks from Duck Hunt.
  • Completion Mockery: With your reward being pretty shitty in Breath of the Wild and the number of Korok Seeds being upped to 1000 here, you might think that your reward for collecting all of them will be a little different. Nope. It just gives you the same "gift" from Hestu, with the only difference being that the poop is slightly bigger with an extra layer.
  • Confused Question Mark: When enemies start to notice you or get confused, a white question mark appears above their head. If you stay in their line of sight for too long or get too close, the symbol will fill with red, then turn into an exclamation point, and they'll then be alerted and attack.
  • Console Cameo: Like the Sheikah Slate before it resembled the Wii U Game Pad, the Purah Pad looks an awful lot like the Nintendo Switch in handheld form. The setup to start scanning the local area from a Skyview Tower even involves plugging in what's clearly a USB-C cable into the charging port.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • Tulin is shown to have fully developed his wind ability, with it first starting to develop when he was displaced in time in Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity.
    • If you go back to the roof of the Temple of Time on the Great Plateau, where the King gave you your first paraglider, you'll find a custom cloth to restore said original paraglider design.
    • On the peak of Mount Hylia (implied to be King Rhoam's gravesite), you'll find a Royal Claymore planted in the ground, which was his preferred weapon in Age of Calamity.
    • In Breath of the Wild, there is a little girl named Shamae who believes that there was a kingdom in the sky that people used to live in long ago. Although it was originally meant to be a Skyward Sword Mythology Gag, sky islands were added in the sequel, and when you talk to Shamae again, she's delighted to know she was right.
  • Continuity Snarl: As a by product of the amiibo weapons no longer being exclusive to the amiibo and are able to be found in game, this does cause an odd byproduct of whether or not they can be considered canon to Tears of the Kingdom. One of the worst offenders is being able to obtain a Goddess Sword in addition to the Master Sword.
  • Contrasting Sequel Antagonist: The Guardians from Breath of the Wild are gone, but in their place are a new foe, the Constructs. Both are Mecha-Mooks built by an ancient civilization (the Sheikah and the Zonai) and are distinguished by a singe large eye and Tron Lines. However, visually their designs are almost the polar opposite: the Guardians were massive creatures with smooth and rounded designs, generally had a yellow-beige color scheme, they glowed orange or red with the exception of their blue eyes, they fought with Magitek Guardian weapons, and most of them moved on multiple long legs; most of the Constructs are closer to human-sized, they have squared and angular designs, glow blue/green with the exception of their red eyes, they fight with improvised weapons, and the main types of Constructs (Soldiers) have no legs and hover through the air. This is reflected in their behaviors from a story perspective, the Guardians were corrupted by Calamity Ganon to turn on the Hylians, while the Constructs are performing exactly as intended, but they're programmed to protect their territory from trespassers and that includes Link.
  • Conveniently Interrupted Document: The game's opening has Link and Zelda finding Zonai ruins deep beneath Hyrule Castle, including a series of elaborate carvings showing Hyrule's origins and the rise of the Demon King in the distant past. However, a rockslide has covered up the last few wall murals, preventing the later parts of the story from being revealed. Once you eventually get back to said cave, you can just blow up the rubble and see the rest of the mural, though by that point you're very likely to already know what the last panels show.
  • Cool Airship:
    • An armada of these, which resemble Viking longships both surround and make up the Wind Temple. A fleet of smaller ships circles around a giant cyclone and Link has to bounce on their sails to fling himself above the storm and fling himself into its eye. The Wind Temple itself is one gigantic flying battleship.
    • Yes, you can build one. Lurelin Village has a boat that Link can use when it comes to constructing vehicles. When combined with the fan and generator from the Gemimik Shrine and using shock emitters to power them, it can generate enough lift to get it flying into the air. Unfortunately the battery drain makes it rather Awesome, but Impractical for getting around Hyrule, as it absolutely guzzles energy to get it flying.
  • Cool Horse: On top of the returning unique horses from Breath of the Wild, this game adds a couple more. There's the Giant White Stallion, a horse that resembles a hybrid of the Royal White Horse and the Giant Horse, as well as the Golden Horse, a horse with gold-colored fur that served as Zelda's mount before she disappeared.
  • The Corruption: Gloom is portrayed as this in the story; the very opening sees it sap Link's hearts from 30 to three and destroying the Master Sword in the process. Afterwards, it's indicated that Link needed to be fused together with Rauru's remnant arm so its remaining light powers could counter the damage and stabilise him, otherwise he actually would have died regardless. Acquiring heart containers, stamina vessels and lights of blessing shows lingering Gloom seeping out of Link with each one he collects. Stepping into it can break containers, rendering then unable to heal unless you can access light from the surface or find other means to recover from the Gloom damage. Gloom also corroded all the weapons in Hyrule from pristine condition, making it required for Link to use Fuse to bring them up to serviceable strength against enemies.
  • Cosmetic Award: Several quests reward Link with fabric that can be used to alter the appearance of his paraglider. The only exclusive rewards from amiibo are unique fabrics.
  • Crate Expectations: Occasionally, Link encounters classic wooden crates with a few diagonal boards. These contain items.
  • Creature-Hunter Organization: Hyrule is no longer wholly dependent on Link to fight monsters, with a volunteer militia called the Monster-Control Crew having been formed in the Time Skip. Operating out of Lookout Landing, they have three squads roaming Hyrule with a focus on destroying large monster encampments. Being a volunteer militia, their equipment is often less than impressive and they really struggle against stronger monsters, so any help Link can provide is greatly appreciated. The fact that the Blood Moon makes their job a Forever War is acknowledged.
  • Crippling Overspecialization: The Miners Set. Each piece gives Link a glow around him that lights up dark areas, and its set bonus when upgraded increases the glow radius and and adds lingering glow effect to his footprints in case of backtracking. Outside of exploring the Depths, you're unlikely to use this armor elsewhere, and once the Depths is completely lit up, you're unlikely to ever use it again.
  • Critical Status Buff: The "Knight" class weapons grant extra attack power when Link is down to a single heart.
  • Crow's Nest Cartography: Skyview Towers allow Link to survey the land from a great height, filling in the map region by region via scanning the area with the Purah Pad connected by a extra-long USB-C-like cable. They also serve as points for Link to be blasted into the sky so he can make his way to any nearby sky islands.
  • Crutch Character: For navigation, horses. Once you get enough battery power to use Zonai vehicles for extended periods of time, there's little reason to use horses ever again.
  • Curb Stomp Cushion: While the first fight against Ganondorf is a stomp in his favor, when he shatters the Master Sword with his Gloom, a shard of the blade does manage to cut him. Zelda outright realizes the implications of this after seeing how difficult it was to do any damage to Ganondorf during the Imprisoning War. That such a small piece of the Master Sword was still able to effortlessly pierce his skin convinces her that it can kill him if she makes the sword more powerful.
  • Cutscene Power to the Max:
    • A scene at the end of the opening act has Recall being used to send the Master Sword countless millennia into the distant past. In actual gameplay, Recall can only be used to send things back for roughly thirty seconds, although Link is merely borrowing the power so it could be a weaker version (as each instance listed here involves the original users of the power using it along with holding a Secret Stone). Another scene also shows Zelda using it to send several objects flying back at the same time, whereas Link's in-game version can only be used on one object at a time. In the end game, Recall is used to revert Zelda back to her Hylian form, which should be impossible for someone who has become a dragon; though justified in that the spirits of Rauru and Sonia are assisting Link, both of whom are shown to be incredibly powerful in previous cutscenes.
    • One flashback shows Zelda using the Purah Pad to teleport herself and two others at the same time. In-game, it can only be used to teleport the user of the device (Link himself).
  • Cutting Off the Branches: There are several implications that the events of this game carry on from Link completing everything Hyrule had to offer in Breath of the Wild:
    • While a Minimalist Run of Breath of the Wild where you could go directly to Hyrule Castle and smack Calamity Ganon in the face was possible— even mentioned by the developers— pieces of dialog and story beats confirm that Link canonically fought all four of the Divine Beasts and freed the champions' spirits before saving Zelda. Link starting with the maximum amount of Heart Containers and Stamina implies he also completed all 120 shrines as well. The presence of the Champion's Leathers indicates Link obtained at least one memory, meaning he also completed the "Seek Out Impa" and "Locked Mementos" questlines. And, of course, Link has acquired the Master Sword.invoked
    • Of the three-piece Zora armor set, only the chestpiece is required to defeat Vah Ruta, with the Zora Greaves locked to the "Lynel Safari" side quest and the Zora Helm found in a chest. The statue of Link and Sidon fighting Vah Ruta indicates Link obtained the full set.
    • The Korok puzzles all being in new places implies that Link found every single Korok Seed in the previous game. Some of the puzzles are direct continuations of previous puzzles; certain Koroks that required placing a boulder in a pit now require the player to remove a boulder from the same pit. What makes this truly bizarre is the fact that Hestu doesn't recognize Link, implying they never spoke in the prior game despite the Korok Seeds' purpose being to exchange them with Hestu for inventory slots.
    • Link is shown to have both bought a house in Hateno and helped construct Tarrey Town.
    • The Hylian Wabbin and the Gerudo Perda being a couple with a child indicates that Link canonically completed the sidequest uniting them at Lovers' Pond in the previous game. The Zora Finley and Hylian Sasan are still close as well, indicating their sidequest was canonically completed too.
    • Oddly enough, this is not clear with the group photo that Link receives upon completing the "Champion's Ballad" DLC in Breath of the Wild, this because it is tied to a save data feature, making so that the photo appears in the house in Hateno only if the player had completed said DLC beforehand.
  • Cutting the Knot: Like the previous game, Tears of the Kingdom has ways to bypass puzzles, fights, and trials aside from the combat tutorial shrines. Whether this is using unintended solutions, finding ways to skip sections or parts, or finding an answer to a problem that isn't what the game set up. A good example is seeing how much Ascend can bypass/make easier on its own, or just building a bridge out of glued together logs.
  • Cycle of Hurting: The player can inflict this with creative use of the Ultrahand/Autobuild ability to build a simple allied battle construct armed with a freeze emitter and a beam emitter. It will continually lock down any foe it fixates on by freezing, followed by the laser beam immediately breaking the freeze, only for it to be frozen again by the also-continuous freeze spray. This can last until the construct's power supply is lost or the enemy dies. It's an excellent way to crowd-control silver-tier enemies while dealing with the lesser-tier enemies in a group, and can cost as little as 9 zonaite to autobuild from scratch if you go bare-bones with just the homing cart and weapons.
  • Damage-Sponge Boss: Demon King Ganondorf. You essentially fight him three times in a row. The first fight is a strict one-on-one duel but he's clearly holding back. He lets loose for Phase 2, where the HP meter appears the same as other bosses... and then keeps going, making Phase 2 essentially double the length of a normal boss.
  • Damn You, Muscle Memory!:
    • The basic controls of Breath and Tears are identical... except for the up direction on the D-pad. In Breath, that buttons brings up Sheikah Slate powers, but the same button in Tears instead brings up items you can throw or fuse to arrows. To cycle your arm powers, now you have to hold down the L shoulder button.
    • While riding Mineru's Construct body, the controls for attacking and fusing weapons are fundamentally different, which can get very frustrating to remember when trying to fight enemies. L and R are the attacking buttons for each arm, while X is to fuse. Expect to get this mixed up with your traditional combat buttons often.
  • Dangerous Forbidden Technique: In the distant past, there was an ancient technique called draconification, which transforms a user into an immortal dragon by swallowing a secret stone. However, the transformation comes at the price of the user losing the mind and identity, rendering them as a wandering, airborne animalistic beast.
  • Dark Is Not Evil:
    • King Rauru of Hyrule has almost black skin and a deep voice, but he is one of Link and Zelda's allies in the game, sacrificing himself to seal Ganondorf in the past.
    • The Bargainer deities who hold power in the Depths are depicted by and channeled through imposing colossus statues of bulky, inhumanly-proportioned wizard-like figures with their upper faces doubled and stacked so they have four eyes and two noses. They even claim to have no interest in morality and are only concerned with guiding lost souls. However, they evidently do so completely honestly when you provide them, and they reward you for your aid with the Poes and for discovering their brethren by crafting you unique armor and letting you recover special treasures if you bring more Poes.
    • Likewise, the Armor of the Depths purchased from the Bargainers counts. It's Link's spookiest set of armor, resembling the Bargainer statues' hoods with a pointy silhouette and patterns of monsters, but also has a uniquely raggedy robed look that covers all but one eye on his face and may recall Zant as well as grim reapers. Despite this, the armor is crafted to protect Link from the actual evil in the Depths—Gloom, and it provides temporary hearts to take Gloom damage and spare the removal of Link's own hearts. The armor also regenerates its lost hearts after a short amount of time, giving it a connotation of powerful benevolent magic.
  • Dark Reprise: The normally upbeat or relaxing town themes now have new, darker themes to reflect the more dire situation in each area. Rito Village and Gerudo Town's themes both sound very desolate, while Korok Forest is slowed down and downright depressing. The original themes return once you clear each respective area though.
  • Dark World: The Depths are a vertically-reflected supernatural underworld deep below Hyrule, with plenty of differences, but having many geographical features and installations that have a mirror logic that rewards observant comparison between the surface and Depths map layers and makes each layer easier to find landmarks in once the connections are gleaned. Topographically, the Depths are inverted so mountains become canyons and vice-versa. Water on the surface is impassable floor-to-ceiling rock in the Depths. Lastly, certain landmarks have vertical correlations. Most significantly, Lightroots in the Depths are directly below Shrines on the surface, making them each easier to find, and their names are inverse spellings. Bargainer Statues depicting the Depths' deities are beneath giant surface statues of the Goddess Hylia. Giant "dark skeletons" lie under the locations of the Leviathan bones on the surface. The equine Lynels are underneath stables on the surface, and large cairns with three weapon-bearing soldier spirits are below Zelda's monuments to those lost Calamity warriors on the surface.
  • Death Mountain: Once again, the Trope Namer appears on a Zelda game. In contrast to its previous appearances, the mountain is spewing tendrils of Gloom rather than lava or ash. The region now has new paths on the mountain where lava once flowed in Breath of the Wild, justifying a Regional Redecoration, and just about anyone can visit the town without needing Fireproof elixirs or gear unless they want to explore the lava-filled caves.
  • Death of Personality: Anyone who swallows a secret stone will be turned into an immortal dragon and gain power beyond anything they were capable of before. However, it comes at the cost of their mind, as they will only be able to act on basic instincts, and any remnant of who they were before will be completely forgotten. Presumably, this is what happened to the three dragons prior to the events of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, and we see it happen to more people as the story progresses.
  • Decoy Damsel:
    • The supposedly-missing Zelda is being spotted by many people all over Hyrule, acting mysteriously, disappearing suddenly, and having a cold air to her. It's actually Phantom Ganon in disguise, intentionally sowing discord and confusion to make things more difficult for Link.
    • Penn's Sidequest at the dueling Peak Stables involves rumors of the Yiga claiming to have kidnapped Zelda and are holding her hostage in a hole in the peaks, and she is indeed there in a cage Link needs to move away with Ultrahand. Or rather there's a Yiga disguised as her, who calls for backup upon revealing herself.
    • After finishing Penn's side quest and going to the Great Plateau where the Old Man was in Breath of the Wild, you'll find Zelda huddled next to a campfire with amnesia. It's actually a Yiga Clan member in disguise hoping to catch Link off-guard, although she'll reveal her true identity if you talk to her while wearing a Yiga Clan uniform. If you talk to her without it, after revealing her true colors, she'll comment that she's surprised you were dumb enough to fall for the disguise twice..
  • De-Power Zone: On the path to Ganondorf, descending deep enough into the Gloom's Approach area causes a message to appear stating "The power of a sage cannot reach you." and from that point onward, your Sage's Vows will be disabled unless you leave the area. Continuing further eventually renders this moot as the real Sages arrive to help Link in battle.
  • Determined Defeatist: When Zelda finally realizes that Ganondorf and the mummy she saw at the beginning of the game are one and the same, and the arm that had been been clutching his chest was Rauru's arm, she puts together that the Sages' final battle against him will inevitably fail, since he's still alive and powerful in the distant future, and that Rauru will perish in the fight. When Rauru is informed of this, he nonetheless decides to fight, because he has to try, if nothing else, and should they still fail, Link will take up the fight in the future.
  • Developer's Foresight: Has its own page.
  • Deus ex Machina: After defeating Ganondorf, Hyrule is saved but Zelda is still a mindless dragon. Suddenly the spirits of Sonia and Rauru appear to Link in order to amplify his Recall in order to rewind Zelda back to her human form and rewind Link's right arm back to normal.
  • Devil's Pitchfork: In the First Look trailer, Link and Zelda come across a wall-painting in some underground Zonai ruins that depicts Ganondorf wielding his iconic trident while on horseback, although in the game itself he uses a naginata. You can also make your own pitchforks with a Blue or Black Bokoblin horn to a long weapon.
  • Difficult, but Awesome: The ability to fuse and build contraptions is built upon this trope. A lot of contraptions will likely end up breaking as soon as they're activated, but with enough trial and error, it's possible to make some downright invokedbusted machines. People have already figured out how to build war machines that can even shred through King Gleeok's HP in a matter of seconds.
  • Discard and Draw:
    • From the beginning of the game, Link no longer has access to the Sheikah Slate and thus cannot use the Cryonis, Stasis, Magnesis (Magnesis is a downplayed example as Ultrahand is nearly identical to it outside of the attach ability), or Remote Bomb runes to influence the world around him. When exploring the passages underneath Hyrule Castle, Zelda is even using a new invention based on the Slate called the Purah Pad instead, and when Link gets ahold of it, it lacks access to the Runes as well, and is only used for travel, mapping and camera functions. However, Link getting fused together with Rauru's arm gifts him a different set of abilities apparently intrinsic to the Sage of Light — Fuse, Ultrahand, and Ascend, as well as receiving Recall from Zelda herself.
    • Link also doesn't have the Champion's Blessings and has to replace them with the Sage's Vows which not only give Link new ablities, but summonable allies to help him in battle.
  • Dishing Out Dirt: Link himself can do this if he disguises himself as a member of the Yiga clan and infiltrates their hideout in order to learn the Earthwake Technique used by enemy Blademasters; by punching the ground without a weapon equipped, he can cause the earth to erupt beneath his enemies, knocking them down.
  • Distinction Without a Difference: This game doesn't allow you to re-obtain the ancestral Gerudo Thunder Helm, a valuable one-piece armor element that granted complete immunity to electricity. It does, however, let you acquire the new Yiga Clan-developed knockoff, the Lightning Helm, which is visually and functionally exactly the same thing.
  • Disproportionate Reward: For each time Link helps Addison keep his Hudson Construction sign stay put, he receives twenty rupees, a cooked dish, and various items of interest.
  • Divergent Character Evolution:
    • This game's take on the recurring concept of Sages makes the Sages' roles and powers more individualized and specific than they had been before. Previously, Sages were all functionally identical and their abilities amounted to generic magic beams in cutscenes without their powers affecting player-directed gameplay. Here, the Sages' elements are directly tied to unique powers, and have narrative and gameplay effects as such, including in their capabilities for assisting Link. For example, Tulin, Sage of Wind, has developed a flight technique that creates forward horizontal gusts that can be used mid-flight, Zelda, Sage of Time, ends up traveling back in time and then experiencing thousands of years of linear time afterward to return to her original present, and Mineru, Sage of Spirit, retains her Sage status beyond the grave as she is able to remove her spirit from her body to survive an ultimately lethal attack and help Link 10,000 years in the future. The four Sages from the dungeons also grant Link spirit avatars with their signature abilities to control in combat, with their elements coming into play with each of their said powers.
    • There was a clear effort to make weapons more diverse than they were in Breath of the Wild, with nearly every weapon category being given special effects to encourage experimentation. Those range from simple buffs (like Soldier weapons having faster charged attacks or Royal weapons strengthening the Flurry Rush) to unique gimmicks (like Rito weapons blowing gusts of wind with each strike, or Korok weaponry regenerating single use items fused to them).
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: A few of the calamities faced by the races of Hyrule are reminiscent of real life catastrophes:
    • The sludge that falls onto Zora's Domain poisons any Zora that swim in it through their gills, leaving them weak and ill until the sludge is cleaned off. That combined with its blackish hue makes the sludge rain seem more like an oil spill.
    • The Gorons are faced with an epidemic of "Marbled Rock Roast", courtesy of Yunobo. Said rock roast is said to be highly addictive and makes anyone who consumes it lazy, irritable, and unwilling to do anything other than indulge in more marbled rock roast. This is a drug epidemic in all but name, with Yunobo even dressing and acting like a medieval fantasy drug kingpin while brainwashed by the mask Phantom Ganon (disguised as Zelda) gave to him.
  • Double-Meaning Title: Tears of the Kingdom could either refer to the tear-shaped Secret Stones or the Dragon's Tears found in the geoglyphs. In the latter case, it's literal as they're actual tears shed by Zelda in her Light Dragon form.
  • Double Take:
    • When Hoz first sees Link, he turns his head away before realizing it's him.
    • When Link finds Master Kohga attempting to use a piece of Zonai technology, the latter finds he can't do it and, glancing at Link, mistakes him for a Yiga Footsoldier and tells him to take over for a while. It clicks after a few seconds and he leaps into battle mode.
  • Drama-Preserving Handicap:
    • It's repeatedly stated that Ganondorf was so strong in the past, that not even the seven greatest warriors in Hyrule fighting Ganondorf together could faze him. However, countless millennia of Rauru siphoning Ganondorf's dark magic has rendered him a withered husk of his former self, and it takes some time before he can accumulate enough power to rejuvenate himself. Riju notes how the fact he didn't immediately slaughter Link, her and the other sages in person during their encounter in Hyrule Castle is probably because he's not strong enough yet to face them all, which means they still have a chance of defeating him.
    • With Link's abilities, neither Ultrahand nor Recall works on living beings. This is probably so that they wouldn't be overtly powerful against various enemies. There's no explanation given for this limitation, and both abilities still work on immobile organic matter such as wood.
  • Dramatic Spine Injury: Ganondorf first tries to kill Queen Sonia with a thrown knife while disguised as Zelda, but when Sonia and Zelda stop this attack, he teleports behind Sonia and kills her with a powerful punch to the back, the Sickening "Crunch!" implied to be her spine breaking (and possibly more). The scene goes into slow motion as she collapses, and he steals her Secret Stone, laughing at Zelda as she cries.
  • Dreary Half-Lidded Eyes: The eye symbol of Purah's reverse-engineered Sheikah technology is a half-lidded eye instead of an open one, reflecting her own half-lidded expression.
  • Dressing as the Enemy: You can obtain a set of Yiga armor, and with the full set equipped, Link can pass as a Yiga and begin sidequest interactions, enter the hideout for new items and use it as a town-style hub, and prevent disguised Yiga attacks and random ambushes—putting the armor on after a random ambush starts even causes the attackers to cease and despawn.
  • Dude, Not Funny!: Wearing a Yiga Clan uniform and talking to Sheikah NPCs will have them remark how Link's outfit is of incredibly poor taste and strongly recommend that he change into something more respectable. Trying it in Gerudo Town will result in the guards arresting Link, and refusing to let him out of jail until he takes it off.
  • Duel Boss: In classic Ganondorf fashion, Link faces Ganondorf one-on-one for a significant portion of the final boss fight, with Ganondorf even completely incapacitating the Five Sages to make it truly 1v1 as he did with Navi, Tetra, and Midna.
  • Dungeon Bypass: The game was designed so that creative usage of objects allows the player to skip more intended puzzle solutions.
  • Early Game Hell: Just like in Breath of Wild, Link will get absolutely murdered if he stumbles upon stuff like Lynels or Gleeoks with just four or five hearts and only weak equipment at his disposal, which happens more often than one would like since getting sidetracked is more or less the norm for this game. At that point, getting one-shotted is a rather frequent occurance against even mid-tier or well-equipped enemies. Once you gather at least over a dozen hearts, the sage abilities and some higher-quality weapons and armor, most places become doable to explore.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: After all of the hell Link, Zelda, and Hyrule as a whole has gone through across both games, Ganondorf is defeated for good, Zelda gets to return to being human after spending ages as a dragon and is finally reunited with Link.
    • A post-credits scene is shown if you have completed all of the regional quests and helped Mineru assemble her Construct form so she can join your quest; Link and his friends, the latter of whom have become sages like their ancestors, all pledge to serve Zelda in rebuilding Hyrule now that the 100 year war against Ganondorf and Calamity Ganon has come to an end. Mineru thanks them all and departs for the afterlife, where she is finally reunited with Rauru and finally able to rest in peace after 10,000 years.
  • Easter Egg:
    • Wearing the Yiga Mask around Kara Kara Bazaar will result with unique dialogue from the Gerudo in the area. Wearing it inside Gerudo Town will result in Link getting detained.
    • Shooting a Zonai Beam Emitter into a Zonai Stake will create a sound effect whose pitch can be changed by altering the stake's orientation, how deep it's inserted, and attaching/removing another stake. This can be exploited by players to create music pieces in-game.
    • The apple hidden under a bridge in Kakariko Village is still there from the previous game, except there's now two apples this time.
  • Easy Level Trick: If you have enough Muddle Buds (which confuse enemies into attacking one another) or Puffshrooms (which create smoke screens that stop enemies in their tracks during which you can perform powerful Sneakstrikes on command that do eight times your weapon's damage), combat with multiple enemies can be easily trivialized. These items will even work on Lynels, which usually shrug off most other status afflictions.
    • Through Zonai devices, combat can also be trivialized by summoning a combat-oriented Zonai invention and siccing it on enemies while Link can just hang back and wait it out. Zonai devices do not take damage from normal enemies but foes will still target them regardless (specifically Homing Carts and Construct Heads), provided Link is out of their sight, but if you have certain masks on you wouldn't even have to worry about that assuming you don't attack them yourself. Unlike Muddle Buds/Puffshrooms, this is less effective on Lynels as they have the ability to destroy Zonai parts with their roar (unless you happen to build something powerful enough to take the Lynel down before it can do so).
  • Elemental Rock-Paper-Scissors: Like in Breath of the Wild, enemies with a fire element are weak to a weapon with an ice element and vice-versa. This is downright necessary for fighting Gleeoks, as one hit from an arrow of the opposite element will instantly disable that head.
  • Escort Mission: Several sidequests, most notably the quests to unlock the Great Fairies, will have Link riding a horse that is pulling a cart with Hylian NPCs in order to get them to their destination. The Stable Trotters sidequests mainly involve their troupe's horse cart, which Link usually has to attach a horse to or modify with Zonai Devices.
    • Some Koroks can be found wearing a huge backpack, and unable to right themselves or move under their own power. They seek to reunite with their friend a fair distance away from where they're found. Fortunately, there is no way to hurt or otherwise harm the little guys, and you can even stick them to your vehicle with Ultrahand to make it much easier to bring them to the destination.
  • Eternal English: In-universe and justified. It's noted that some of the ancient Zonai ruins, despite being many millennia old, are inscribed with modern Hyrulean writing. This is implied to be because Zelda was transported back to the distant past and is helping Link in however way she can by sending messages to the future. Conversely, a separate series of messages from one of the citizens of Hyrule in the distant past is written in the equivalent of Chaucerian Middle English, and must be translated by Tauro (though you can generally figure it out if you squint hard enough). What isn't explained is that flashbacks show the ancient people of Hyrule still spoke modern Hyrulean, with Zelda being able to understand everyone and vice versa from the get-go.
  • E.T. Gave Us Wi-Fi: Purah and Robbie have been working on reverse-engineering Sheikah technology in the midst of the Time Skip. Meanwhile, everyone in Hyrule has been finding Zonai devices everywhere and some have built machines using them, such as Hudson making a monorail using two motorized wheels and Zonai hot-air balloons are commonly used.
  • Ethereal Choir: Much like past Zelda games, the Trailer's soundtrack use a backing chorale to perform the Series' Original Theme.
  • Every 10,000 Points: Throughout the Depths, Link can collect Crystalized Charges, either from enemies or buying them from shops in the abandoned mines using Zonaite; 100 of these charges can make a new Energy Well to power Zonai Devices. This maxes out at a total of 27 energy wells (three of which you get by default) but after you've maxed out, Crystalized Charges can be traded for Zonai Devices directly.
  • Everything's Deader with Zombies: The prologue prominently features the zombie-like Ganondorf sealed away in a subterranean area before coming to life and channeling Malice. The Gerudo desert also includes the Gibdos, which are gaunt zombie-like creatures.
  • Evil-Detecting Dog: One of the Lucky Clover Gazette side-quests has Link and Penn investigating Zelda's lost golden horse. The stablehand notes how that normally loyal and gentle animal became wild and crazed when the supposed-missing Zelda suddenly appeared and approached it, breaking free and running off into a blizzard. This is one of the many hints that the "Zelda" seen around Hyrule is not what it seems; it's actually Phantom Ganon in disguise, sowing discord across the land.
    Harlow: The part that really bothers me... is the poor animal acting that way. That horse truly loved the princess. She rescued it and protected it. She doted on it! But the horse was terrified, and for the life of me, I can't understand why.
  • Evil Makes You Ugly: While some of Ganon's forces in the series were no slouches in the department, the monsters this time around have gotten a fair bit harder on the eyes, mainly in regards to their horns. In the Depths, they look a whole lot more savage and scary, thanks to being shrouded in Gloom.
  • Evil vs. Evil: Though Constructs are just very territorial, you can sometimes find groups of Constructs and monsters barred from each other, but removing from afar said barriers will have them both try to kill each other while you can safely watch from a distance and then do clean up for the ones still surviving.
  • Evolving Title Screen: Completing the game will add the obscured sections of the tapestry from the beginning to the title screen depicting Zelda obtaining the Master Sword in the distant past and becoming the Light Dragon.
  • Exact Words: The Construct on the roof of the Temple of Time will eventually give you a challenge to go around the entire starting area lighting bonfires, but you will be immediately disqualified if you set foot outside of the roof. The obvious answer is to use contraptions to get there, but the area is vast and no flying machine will last long enough to light all the fires and get back to the temple. The trick is that while standing on solid ground is forbidden, swimming is allowed, and the Zora Armor lets you use the myriad waterfalls around the place to gain enough altitude and momentum to finish the lap.
  • Expansion Pack World: The game expands on the map provided in Breath of the Wild, but instead of expanding laterally, it expands vertically, adding floating islands in the sky above, caves within Hyrule's land, and a new area far beneath the land in the form of the Depths, a massive subterranean world equal in size to Hyrule itself.
  • Exploding Barrels: In some places, such as encampments, there may be a few red barrels lying around, marked with a skull. These make an explosion when damaged.
  • Expository Hairstyle Change:
    • Zelda now has her previously waist-length hair cut to chin length. Considering how she's seen exploring, it was probably the practical thing to do.
    • Likewise, Riju has cut her previously nearly ankle-length hair to about her shoulders, and went from mostly supportive to openly fighting on the frontline.
    • Link does the opposite, having let his short hair grow longer so it reaches further down past his shoulders. A hairband head item lets him have his original hair style from the previous game.
  • Failed Attempt at Drama: During the final scene of the game, the Sages attempt to renew their solemn vow to reassure Mineru as she leaves for the afterlife. Except this is the first time this specific Sage team has done the proper speech, and they end up flubbing their lines. Their feelings are accepted nonetheless.
  • Falling Damage: The same system of taking fall damage returns from the previous game, though a counter now exists—upgrading the Glide Suit armor pieces twice gives you their extra set bonus of Impact Proof, which removes falling damage entirely in all scenarios while the armor is worn.
  • Famed In-Story: Being the Hero of the Wild, Link can encounter NPCs around Hyrule who recognize him on-sight; he can land a job at the Lucky Clover Gazette solely because the editor recognizes him.
  • Fantastic Drug: Most of the Gorons around Goron City are obsessed with eating a particular kind of Rock Roast called Marbled Rock Roast. They become addicted, refuse to work since they'd rather continue eating it, and get aggressive about either getting more, or towards other people getting in the way of their rock roast. Even their eyes turn glowing red to show they're under its influence.
  • Fantastic Fauna Counterpart: The announcement trailer shows Link and Zelda being accompanied by a strange draft animal that looks like a mix of a bull with oversized horns and a dinosaur (the backside of the creature looks a lot like a typical — albeit exaggerated — depiction of a Triceratops). And it's entirely blue. In the game proper, while the scene from the trailer was reworked to remove the animal, it can be found in-game. It's called a Dondon, which Zelda was involved in studying and creating a sanctuary for, and they eat luminous stones, leaving precious gems in return. If a dream from Malanya is to be believed, these things are the ancient ancestors of horses.
  • Fantastic Flora: A number of new Fantastic Fruits and Vegetables are added to the lineup from Breath of the Wild. In addition, the Depths are covered in forests of alien flora to emphasize their alien nature. The most common plants there are patches of lilac grass and short trees with branches resembling peacock feathers. Towering over these are colossal, many-capped mushrooms and immense fern-like plants.
  • Fantastic Fruits and Vegetables: In addition to the stat-boosting fruits and fungi carried over from the prequel, Hyrule is home to a variety of elemental fruits that, when struck, produce bursts of flame, frost, electricity, water or stunning light with most of them being based on real-life fruits such as the Shock Fruit obviously being a lemon. Other unusual plants include Muddle Buds, whose pollen disorients living creatures; Puffshrooms that release huge clouds of spores when struck; and explosive bomb flowers. All of these can be combined with shields and weapons to take advantage of their properties.
  • Feed It a Bomb: The Frox, which resembles a Dodongo from previous games, can be stunned in the same way, by throwing a bomb into its maw when its mouth is open.
  • Fight Off the Kryptonite: A villainous example. When Ganondorf is reawakened, the first thing he does is nearly kill Link and destroy the Master Sword, the weapon specifically meant to defeat him. A shattered piece of blade does fly up and cut his cheek, but the wound heals within seconds. It takes the sword recovering and growing in power for well over ten-thousand years for it to become strong enough to face Ganondorf in battle.
  • Fighting Spirit: Each Sage grants Link a ring containing a magical avatar that can fight alongside him and use their special abilities.
  • Fighting Your Friend: At Goron City, Link is forced to fight against Yunobo, who's become Brainwashed and Crazy after he was tricked into wearing a corrupting mask.
  • Final Boss Preview: Phantom Ganon is the boss of Hyrule Castle (and can also be encountered by defeating a Gloom Spawn). Much like his incarnation in Ocarina of Time, Phantom Ganon serves as a hint of what's to come in the final battle against human Ganondorf. Notably he has strong sword swings that mirror Link's attacks and requires diligent attention to his attack patterns.
  • Flame Spewer Obstacle: In a few dungeons there are jets of fire that damage Link upon contact. Some of them are also used in puzzles. Players can also build flame obstacles via flame emitter devices.
  • Flechette Storm: In the last moments of the ancient Imprisoning War, King Rauru, Zelda, and the other Sages threw their weapons at Ganondorf, expecting him to dodge, onlu for Zelda to use Recall to bring them back onto him. It doesn't work (and Ganondorf says it isn't even the first time they tried that trick) but it wasn't meant to, as it distracted Ganondorf long enough to allow Rauru to seal him away for over 10,000 years until Link could defeat him.
  • Fling a Light into the Future: Despite their best efforts, Rauru, Zelda, and the other Sages could not defeat Ganondorf in the distant past, because he had grown far too powerful, and could only seal him away temporarily. Knowing that he would inevitably break free many millennia in the distant future, they instead did everything they could to help Link and their descendants defeat Ganondorf for good in the present day.
  • Floating Continent: There are Sky Islands above Hyrule that Link gets to explore. Hyrule Castle is downplayed, in that while it's now higher up in the air, it's held up by a massive stone pillar just underneath.
  • Floating Water:
    • The Memories take the forms of pools of water surrounded by Nazca-like geoglyphs. Interacting with these pools causes them to float into the air and bequeath their stored memory onto Link.
    • The Wellspring Island features cannons that shoot spheres of water that appear to be formed by a Zonai device exerting a gravitational pull inward. Link can jump into these water spheres and ride them in their arc to cross gaps or ascend to higher footing, but may have to direct their path with ramps or use Ultrahand and Recall on static spheres to make them into a source of locomotion himself.
  • Flunky Boss: Queen Gibdo, the boss of the Lightning Temple, has four Gibdo Hives in her arena, allowing for a horde of regular Gibdos and Moth Gibdos once she Turns Red.
  • Forbidden Chekhov's Gun: In an early memory vision, we learn that a person may consume a Zonai secret stone to become a powerful, immortal dragon, but this ritual comes at the cost of that person losing their sense of self, hence it has been decreed that said ritual is forbidden. After Rauru's sacrifice to seal Ganondorf, Zelda decides to undergo the draconification ritual, much to Mineru's horror, in hopes that by becoming a dragon, Zelda can repair the damaged Master Sword to allow Link to use it against Ganondorf once his seal is broken. During the final battle, Ganondorf also undergoes draconification as a last-ditch effort to destroy Link.
  • Forced Perspective:
    • The "Sidon of Zora's Domain" quest involves one such illusion. You're told to shoot a King's Scale through a droplet visible among rocks floating around the Floating Scales Island. There is no droplet apparent among the rocks, however—you must walk around and move the camera until a certain cluster of small rocks aligns in perspective into the outline of a teardrop, through which the arrow should fly.
    • Hunting down the Gerudo stelae in the underground shelter involves another example—one stela is in two pieces, with the main body against the wall of Ashai's classroom, and the separate part fixed on a pillar in front. The player has to walk into the clasroom and fiddle with their position and the camera so the pieces of the stela align into a complete tablet the player can photograph.
  • For Doom the Bell Tolls: In the Imprisoning War memory, when Rauru uses his powers as a sage to seal Ganondorf at the cost of his own life, the moment is punctuated by a single toll of a church bell, reminiscent of the Clock Tower bell from The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • The game's logo, an ouroboros-like symbol of twin dragons eating each other's tails, foreshadows both the Stable Time Loop that sets up both Ganondorf's initial defeat during the Imprisoning War and the future conflict with him by the present day once he revives again, from a time-displaced Zelda's POV, as well as the Final Boss, with Ganon consuming his Secret Stone to directly amplify his power to become a Kaiju-like demonic dragon in an effort to kill Link, resulting in an aerial conflict between him and the similarly-transformed Zelda in the skies above Hyrule.
    • When the withered husk of Ganondorf addresses Link and Zelda in the opening of the game, he recognizes Zelda immediately, but notes the Master Sword first to put together that the wielder must be Link. Later story cutscenes show why this is so; he recognizes Zelda on-sight because he knew her personally in the distant past via a Stable Time Loop, but he only knows Link via a second-hand account of him from Rauru, who only stated he wielded "the sword that seals the darkness".
    • Everything about the way Link receives the Recall ability from Zelda foreshadows the sages and how he'll receive their abilities as well. Zelda is later revealed to be the Sage of Time, the hand-to-hand contact is how the sages transfer their powers to Link, and the round slots on his hand are meant to house those powers.
    • At the end of the Great Sky Island section, a strange cutscene plays where Link deposits the broken Master Sword in an orb of light, wherein it is seemingly warped away and into Zelda's hands. Astute players will notice that the effect for the sword being teleported away is identical to the Recall effect, subtly implying that the sword was teleported into the past. Just how far into the past is not revealed until much later in the game.
      • After putting the sword in the orb, a Divine Light Dragon bursts upwards through the nearby cloud banks, pushing them away and exposing the land of Hyrule below, along with a safe landing spot Link can leave the temple from, and this dragon will continue to circle the sky for the remainder of the game. It's later revealed that this Light Dragon is actually Zelda herself, bereft of her mind and personality, who transformed herself into the immortal beast in order to nourish the Master Sword with divine power for eons to power it up enough to defeat Ganondorf. The dragon only opening the way to the rest of Hyrule after Link has sent the sword back to her past self is also a hint that Zelda, despite being mostly mindless, still has some semblance of consciousness in there, allowing the Stable Time Loop to complete, and which likewise causes her to help out Link against the Demonic Dragon, serving as an ascending platform to raise him up high enough to target the beast's weak spots even if she doesn't attack him directly.
      • Adding to the Light Dragon's first major appearance in the sky, following the prior scene where Link places the Master Sword into the orb of light, Zelda's voice calls out to him to find her. For those that learn the full story, the Light Dragon arising to part the clouds to Hyrule below for Link is Zelda from the very beginning, also having the rejuvenated Master Sword in her possession, and all the supposed sightings on the surface were wild goose chases conducted by the Zelda-disguised Phantom Ganon. Gameplaywise, players can't make the connection and consider her "found" until after playing through main quests and collecting the memories from the Dragon Tears.
    • The Light Dragon also conspicuously lacks a given name like the returning spirit dragons, suggesting that the name of the new dragon is something very important, and it has oddly humanoid eyes and a familiar-looking golden mane when you see it up close. If you manage to shoot a scale, horn, or claw from it, the description text mentions that it radiates an "oddly familiar" power.
    • Another hint about the Light Dragon is that its parts are used for every step of enhancing the Champion's Leathers armor crafted by Princess Zelda—a connection between the dragon and armor that suggests Zelda is tied to both.
    • Even the game's theme song foreshadows the events of the story. It ends with a bit of "Zelda's Lullaby" played on an erhu, the same instrument that's used for the dragons' theme. This cleverly hints at Zelda becoming a dragon herself in the story.
    • Lastly with the Light Dragon: the quest to collect memories from the geoglyphs results in finding pools of water in glowing teardrop shapes, which rise into droplets themselves and all depict Zelda's experiences and narrative viewpoint after being sent to the distant past. The name of this geoglyph main quest spells out the source of these memories and the identity of the Light Dragon pretty early without giving it all away: The Dragon's Tears. The Tears of the Kingdom are the tears of a dragon, and there's not only just one conspicuous new dragon that could refer to, but there's also only one person who those memories and that viewpoint could have belonged to...
    • A twofold example, depending on which order you do the Dragon Tear memories or main quest mission in. Phantom Ganon appears constantly around Hyrule in the disguise of Princess Zelda to cause chaos and discord on Ganondorf's behalf. Specifically, it appears as Zelda in the garb she was wearing after being transported to the past following the prologue, which none of her friends or allies would have been expecting her to wear. This foreshadows that said being is not the real Zelda, if her odd behaviour didn't already ring a few alarm bells, but also foreshadows that Phantom Ganon itself was also around in the past serving Ganondorf as his main servant even then, and played an instrumental role in allowing him to assassinate Queen Sonia and steal her stone to become the Demon King, initially taking on Zelda's appearance then to try and frame her for the crime before being thwarted.
    • An In-Universe case. When Ganondorf assumed his Demon King form for the first time, Zelda finally recognises him as the mummified corpse that attacked them underneath Hyrule Castle, as his appearance was too drastically changed then for her to realise who he was upon meeting his human self. When she reveals this to Rauru, she tearfully notes that this means that despite their best efforts at fighting him, Rauru and the sages will ultimately fail to defeat the Demon King, stopping short of telling Rauru his own fate as the seal restraining him for over 10,000 years.
    • When preparing to sacrifice his life to seal Ganondorf and protect Hyrule from his warmongering rampage, long enough for Link to fight him and finish the job, Rauru tells the Demon King that his pride will be his downfall before hitting him with the seal. This proves to be true, not just during their conflict, as Ganondorf left himself wide open to be sealed in underestimating his enemies' tricks, but also during the present-day conflict as well. Ganondorf nearly kills Link upon awakening and faces a Hyrule that is still immensely devastated from the actions of his prior incarnation, being on the brink of victory from the start. However his dissatisfaction with how easy his win will be after 10,000 years waiting completely kills Ganondorf's interest in finishing the job immediately, killing time steadily rejuvenating his strength in the Depths instead, as he doesn't consider it necessary to push himself to face such unworthy opponents. This allows Link plenty of time to gather allies and strength to fare better in their rematch, and even then, Ganondorf ends up making the fight easier for Link by not going all-out against him until the last round, by which he's already worn down from the fighting. Actually losing to Link is such a blow to his pride that he forgoes any pragmatic response to his loss in favour of gaining immense power, which just makes him an easier opponent to fight, and also binds his soul to the Secret Stone: giving Link a target he can destroy to kill Ganondorf for good.
    • The Sage's Vows are stored on rings on Link's transplanted Zonai hand. We're made to believe there are only four sages whose allyship will be attained, from the four main dungeons, but Link has a ring on each of his five Zonai fingers...
    • Zelda speaks in an uncharacteristically ominous tone when announcing the Blood Moon's arrival, almost as if she were in awe of its power to revive monsters. This narration disappears after you defeat Phantom Ganon at Hyrule Castle, meaning it was Phantom Ganon talking over the Blood Moon the entire time.
    • When Zelda mysteriously appears in places around Hyrule, she appears in the outfit present in the flashback cutscenes. It's later revealed that the Zelda appearing around Hyrule is actually a disguised Phantom Ganon, and the fact he appears as Zelda did in the distant past means that he also existed in the distant past and took on her likeness then too (although it's totally possible to find this out prematurely by discovering the geoglyph cutscenes out of order).
    • Separate from the main story, there is a side quest where you can hunt Bubbulfrogs (which revert to Blupees and run off) and trade the Bubbul Gems that they drop to Koltin for items, one of which is a unique armor set which has the set bonus of using your Rupees to block damage. If you give all the Bubbul Gems in Hyrule to Koltin, instead of becoming a Satori, he will end up being transformed into a Blupee instead.
    • After viewing all of the memories from the Dragon's Tears and learning that Zelda sacrificed herself to become the Light Dragon, you can tell Impa about this, who is saddened to learn about Zelda's fate but is still hopeful there's some way to reverse this. At the end, Rauru and Sonia prove there is a way by amplifying Link's Recall to undo the Light Dragon and restore Zelda.
  • Forgotten Aesop: Seems to be played straight, but ultimately subverted. When Muzu is introduced, it seems like he's regained his prejudice against Hylians and Link in particular. However, he and Dorephan believed that Princess Zelda attempted to assassinate the Zora king. In that case, it's entirely reasonable to be suspicious of her personal knight.
  • Free-Fall Fight: The final battle has you skydive towards the Demon Dragon to strike its weak points down, with the Light Dragon flying you back up when you fall too far.
  • Friend-or-Idol Decision: Link drops the Gloom-ravaged Master Sword in order to leap after Zelda when she falls.
  • Fungus Humongous: The Depths are covered in forests of alien flora that include enormous mushroom-like growths, sprouting many distinct caps in a manner similar to branches and often much taller than surface trees.
  • Futile Hand Reach: As the Upheaval occurs and the ruins collapse around them, Link dives after a falling Zelda. And while he gets close to grabbing her hand, he ultimately fails. Fortunately, a golden glow shines on Zelda as she falls, and she ends up teleported somewhere and sometime else safely.

    Tropes G-L 
  • Game Over: "Game over" message is displayed when dying. If Link is killed by elemental damage, the text color corresponds to the element that killed him.
  • Gameplay and Story Integration:
    • During the intro Link loses all but three of his hearts when hit by the Gloom spawned directly by Ganondorf. During the third phase of the final battle, Ganondorf's Gloom-infused attacks do the same thing, but unlike the normal Gloom reduction (where the hearts are simply cracked and grayed out) if you get hit by these, the hearts are completely removed from your health bar.
    • The three photos an excited Zelda took in the Purah Pad during the expedition are still there when Link obtains it from a Construct. Nothing can stop you from deleting them, though.
    • When faced with a challenge beyond their ability to handle, many players will pull up the map and teleport away to safety before the enemy can kill them. In a flashback, Zelda does the exact same thing with the Purah Pad when Ganondorf becomes the Demon King for the first time.
    • The Master Sword regenerating in the first game was mainly a gameplay thing to avoid the player permanently losing the Sword of Plot Advancement by bonking a Bokoblin a bit too hard. Tears however fully establishes it as a property of the sword: the blade will heal any damage it takes over time, though it might take a long while if it's really severe. It also brings up that it can be strengthened if fueled with enough holy power during the healing process, which is how Zelda figures out how to make it good enough to take on Ganondorf. The way she does it, however...
    • Master Kohga claims that, during his fight with Link in Breath of the Wild, he was thrown into the Depths. Sure enough, if you visit his former arena in the Yiga hideout, you will find a chasm where the bottomless pit was.
    • The illusionary Zelda no longer appears during the Blood Moon cutscene after Phantom Ganon is defeated at Hyrule Castle.
    • Ruby, topaz, sapphire, and opal gems were stated to have elemental affinities in Breath of the Wild, and that was supported by elemental Taluses dropping the corresponding stone (Igneo with fiery rubies and Frost with cold sapphires), and being upgrade materials for elemental armour. This game makes their elemental properties even more present in gameplay, since Fusing topaz, rubies, sapphires, or opals onto your weapons adds their stated elemental power to them.
    • The three dragons will periodically head on into the Depths after a certain amount of time. Notably, unlike the others, the Light Dragon will never set claw into the Depths, always remaining in the overworld. Considering who the Light Dragon is, despite losing her memories and personality, she likely retained enough basic sense from long ago to know just how dangerous the Gloom and the Depths really are.
    • During the tutorial on the Sky Islands, Link places the damaged Master Sword in a glowing light, and the sound effect of the Recall power sounds, sending the sword countless years in the past back to Zelda. It makes perfect sense as Zelda is the one who taught it to Link, albeit he doesn't know that at the time.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation:
    • The game is set a few years after Breath of the Wild, and many Hyrulean NPCs recognize Link and remember him fondly from the first game, making some gaps where returning characters don't familiarly acknowledge Link particularly glaring. Perhaps most obviously, the only residents of Tarrey Town who treat Link familiarly at the start are Hudson and Rhondson, despite Link's work being responsible for the residency of everyone else there as well. Greyson and Pelison, Kapson, and Fyson in particular were NPCs Link had to personally invite to the town, but they don't seem to recognize him this time.
    • Completing the "Dragon's Tears" sidequest, which unpeels the story of what happened to Zelda and where she is now, has no bearing on remaining sidequests and the main quest, whose stories continue to hinge on the mystery of Zelda's whereabouts even if Link and the player already know and would logically be able to speak up about it and clarify a few things.
    • Despite the Master Sword having much, much longer to heal this time around and constantly absorbing holy power that whole time to become much stronger than it was previously, it still has the recharge penalty from Breath of the Wild after extended use and has even been nerfed, despite logically being in its most powerful incarnation compared to previous portrayals of the Master Sword.
    • Like in Breath of the Wild, it's repeatedly stated that the Master Sword is the only weapon capable of defeating Ganondorf... despite the players being able to use any weapon to take him on.
    • You can see several Zonai Balloons in use by the Zonai Research Team, Impa, and Mattison, but Balloons are one of the few devices to have a usage time limit before disappearing, yet Mattison's balloon is no worse for the wear despite flying from Tarrey Town to Gerudo Town, which are on the far ends of Hyrule.
  • Gangplank Galleon: Some monsters have turned to piracy, with one group of pirates operating out of a secret port in Eventide Island and taking over Lurelin Village, and another parking their ships off the coast of Akkala and threatening the East Akkala Stable, and each of their questlines requires Link to board the pirate ships and defeat the pirates.
  • Gem Heart: Taluses drop gem-encrusted, heart-symbol shaped stones on defeat, which can be fused with a weapon.
  • Gemstone Assault: Link and Wizzrobes can wield rods that create elemental blasts from gemstones. Link can also fuse other gems such as amber and diamonds to his weapons or arrows for increased attack power. Using them with the Magic Rod/Staff/Sceptre amplifies the basic effect like the Tier 2 magic rods from the previous game.
  • Ghost Town: The once bustling Gerudo Town has been abandoned and its buildings partly buried beneath the dunes, due to a massive sandstorm that has swallowed up the area and raids from hordes of Gibdos. Most of the former populace has taken refuge in shelters beneath the town. The only person left aboveground is, rather ironically, Bozai, who is depressed that Gerudo Town no longer has any Gerudo.
  • Glass Cannon:
    • Gerudo weapons have been reworked into these. Fusing materials to them doesn't increase their durability by much, but the power of the material doubles; fusing Lynel horns or other high-grade materials with them can easily yield weapons with 100+ attack power.
    • Royal Guard weapons take it to an extreme, doubling in total attack power when on the verge of breaking. With the right modifiers and Lynel parts, they can break 200+ in attack power.
  • Global Currency Exception: There are a couple of vendors that don't use the otherwise universal Rupees.
    • The Bargainer statues trade their goods for Poes, which are lost souls scattered throughout the Depths.
    • The Zonaite Forge Constructs trade Zonaite ore and Large Zonaite ore for charges and power cells. Justified as Link's providing the material to forge new ones.
    • In crystal refineries, crystallized charges can be exchanged for expansions to Link's batteries at 100 charges for a third of battery. Once Link has maxed out his Batteries, the Zonai Battery forge instead becomes a shop, swapping crystallized charges for Zonai devices and is the only renewable way to obtain the Large Battery.
    • Koltin only accepts Bubbul Gems, although he's more like a Gotta Collect Them All quest than a vendor where he eventually runs out of stock to trade with, and only takes any more Bubbul gems after Link collects all of them.
  • Glowing Eyelights of Undeath: Ganondorf's corpse, which Link and Zelda encounter in the prologue, sports orange glowing eyes made of Malice upon becoming aware of their presence and turning to look at them.
  • Glowing Flora:
    • Link can pick up Brightbloom seeds, which will instantly plant and grow a Brightbloom flower on the ground when thrown or propelled by an arrow, which function like torches for lighting up dark, underground regions.
    • Brightcaps are glowing mushrooms found growing in clusters in surface caves. Cooking them into a dish allows Link to make himself glow.
    • In the Depths, there are large, tree-like plants known as Lightroots which function as checkpoints and fill in the area around them on the map when interacted with. When Link activates them with his Zonai arm, the Lightroots draw in light from the surface world and illuminate a very large area around themselves.
  • Godzilla Threshold:
    • Over the course of the story and the completion of specific quests, it is revealed that with Ganondorf assassinating Queen Sonia and claiming her Secret Stone for himself to become the Demon King, the Sages failing to defeat him, which forces Rauru to give up his life to seal him away, and with the Master Sword still destroyed from the beginning of the game, Zelda ultimately decides to swallow her Secret Stone and become the Light Dragon (a process that robs her of her humanity) to restore the Master Sword over countless millennia, until Link is ready to claim it once more.
    • The previous game made it clear, that regardless of Link’s aid and achievements, the Gerudo absolutely refuse to defy their Lady Land tradition and allow Link into their town without crossdressing. The fact that this time around, they willingly defy this and allow him in undisguised, (albeit with some slight conduct guidelines), speaks volumes for how desperate they are for aid in their current catastrophe.
    • Ganondorf faces this in the final battle. Having lost his three fights against Link and the Sages, he is entirely willing to suffer Deathof Personality by stalling his Secret Stone, all for a chance to kill Link out of spite.
  • Golden Ending: Completing all the Main Quests and viewing all the Memories adds additional content to the ending after the credits, where Link and his friends bid Mineru goodbye and reaffirm their commitment to serve Zelda and maintain peace in Hyrule.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: When Ganondorf murders Queen Sonia, the shot is framed so precisely that a strike is communicated without even divulging what kind of weapon was used (or if one even was used, as it's possible Ganondorf killed her with his bare fist), or exactly where it was used. Overlaps with Bloodless Carnage as the victim does not appear wounded afterward, merely collapsing on the floor.
  • Gravity Screw: Several places in the sky have a low-gravity effect pervading them, as denoted by the presence of blue motes of light in the air.
  • Green Rocks: Literally with Zonaite, the glowing green material that makes all Zonai technology possible. It appears to both power and make up Zonai artifacts, as demonstrated by certain powered Zonai tools like rockets and batteries disappearing when used up. It's implicitly the "glue" used to attach objects by Ultrahand and can be used to completely replicate materials for builds when using Autobuild.
  • Guest-Star Party Member: Throughout the game, you find yourself partnered with Sidon, Yunobo, Riju and Tulin as you explore the temples; they provide a fair bit of combat support and after you clear their respective temples, you can summon a spectral version of the character to aid you in combat and exploration.
  • Guide Dang It!:
    • If you didn't learn from the previous game, this game won't get you any further to figuring out that Rock Octoroks can suck in and improve your weapons (sans amiibo ones). Even if you did learn from Breath, there's still no hint that this time around, they can fully restore durability and give modifiers to any weapon.
    • A few Zonai devices have properties that are not immediately obvious:
      • Hover blocks for example negate up-down momentum (i.e., an activated hover block in water won't be pushed up by a buoyant object trying to surface) but counterintuitively do not resist lateral momentum (i.e., one pushed by a paddle or an impact keeps going).
      • The Portable Pot appears at first to just be a tool to make it convenient to cook in a pinch. However, the pot can move independently of its base, allowing Link to use it as a suspension mechanism for machines to improve their maneuverability.
    • All of the Lightroots in the Depths directly correspond to Shrines on the surface (the exception are shrines in the sky islands, which do not have a counterpart in the Depths), and their names are even mirrors of each other. The only hint you get for the former is a brief remark in one of the research notes during the quest to unlock the camera feature.
    • Link's official signature look for this game pairs the Champion's Leathers armor with the Hylian Hood, worn down off his head. The player is never told how to achieve this latter aspect in-game, since the Hylian Hood is still modeled up on the head like it was before. You have to talk to fashion guru Cece after the Hateno election quests are complete while wearing the hood, and she'll offer to take it down for you, converting the model to the "hood-down" version until you talk to her again to reverse it.
    • This game's version of the Champion's Tunic, the Champion's Leathers, has no ability to see the exact health enemies have. What it does have, which the game doesn't hint to at all in its description, is being able to fire the Master Sword's beams regardless of how much health Link has. This power is also present on the Tunic of Memories.
    • The way intact weapons are offered by ghost soldiers in the Depths is very unintuitive. When it comes to normal decayed weapons, they reliably respawn every Blood Moon so that the player can return to them then. While pristine weapons can respawn every Blood Moon, they spawn from a pool of weapons unique to every ghost, each weapon in a pool is only unlocked when a decayed version is broken first, and they can only respawn if the weapon is removed from their hands somehow (ignoring the weapon will simply leave it there until the player decides to pick it up). Also, most of these ghosts have an "initial" spawn of Traveler's Weapons, which as stated will remain in their hands until they are removed. Nothing in the game hints about how any of this works, so in effect, most players without a guide will ignore these weak spawns and not bother to return to their spots even if they pick them up.
  • Handicapped Badass: Link's right arm was infected with Gloom from Ganondorf's awakening in the prologue. By the time Link wakes up, Rauru has amputated that arm to prevent the Gloom from further spreading, transplanting his own right arm to Link instead. This doesn't seem to slow him down.
  • Handy Feet: Tulin grips his bow with his talons, while he pulls the string with his beak to nock arrows. This frees up his arms so he can fly and still be able to fire at enemies.
  • Happy Ending Override: Breath of the Wild ended on a positive note, with Calamity Ganon seemingly exorcised forever, and Link and Zelda free to start a new life without Ganon's constant threat looming over them and rebuild the kingdom. Tears of the Kingdom is set a few years later, with Tulin, Riju, and Yunobo being visibly older and construction areas being found all across Hyrule, though the rebuilding of Hyrule is thrown into chaos by emergence of Gloom, the Upheaval, and Ganondorf's reawakening. Hyrule Castle is lifted into the air by geysers of Gloom, chunks of the Sky Islands rain down all over Hyrule, Death Mountain is spewing Gloom instead of lava, Link's right arm is badly burned by Gloom and has to be replaced with Rauru’s arm, the Master Sword is broken by pure Gloom, Zelda is sent plunging into a chasm before being teleported to somewhere else, and has to be found, and Hyrule is in grave danger from Ganondorf and his army once again.
  • Hard Work Hardly Works:
    • An elderly Zora weapons craftsman gripes about the current state of affairs where people in his field had to hone their craft for years producing high-quality weapons, but now anyone can glue a monster part to a weapon to make something nearly as powerful.
    • Master Kohga is furious after Link learns and demostrates the Autobuild ability alongside Ultrahand, since the Yiga had to spend several hours carefully putting together their contraptions by hand, while Link can just wave his arm around to stick things together with magical glue and instantly assemble them to boot.
  • Heavily Armored Mook: Some enemies wear armor that act as a second health bar, which can only be depleted by boulder-breaking weapons or explosions like from Bomb Flowers. The armor can even damage Link on contact if he tries to attack them.
  • He Was Right There All Along: Two plot-important characters that are markedly out of sight are revealed to have been present from the beginning of the game in forms the player wouldn't have thought them to take.
    • Princess Zelda is the Light Dragon seen in Hyrule's skies, having transformed herself and risked her mind to wait the eons out to return to the present and repair the Master Sword.
    • Mineru, the Sage of Spirit, has been inhabiting Link's Purah Pad ever since she transferred her spirit into it after the Imprisoning War eons ago. Nobody would know this was the case until watching a memory where Zelda addresses Mineru after the transfer has occurred, and communicating with Mineru and getting her allyship requires an investigation very late in the main quest and giving her a construct body to inhabit.
  • High-Altitude Battle:
    • The battle against Moragia at the mouth of Death Mountain is encouraged to be this where Link pilots a conveniently assembled plane nearby and fires Yunobo at the monster's heads.
    • The fight against Colgera takes place in the sky above the Wind Temple, which is floating high above Hebra Peak itself. While a few chunks of rock can be stood on by Link, actually fighting the boss requires Link to glide around the boss and ride updrafts to reach Colgera's weakpoints.
    • The final battle takes place far up in the skies of Hyrule, with nothing to stand on but the bodies of the Light and Demon Dragons.
  • History Repeats: A lot of events from across the games are recycled in this game with different contexts.
    • The story of Ganondorf's sealing is essentially a retelling of the events of Ocarina of Time: Ganondorf was a Gerudo king who acquired great power and became the Demon King, and his invasion of Hyrule was thwarted by a group of Seven Sages led by a man named Rauru. However, the specifics of these events are radically different from how they played out in Ocarina of Time, most notably the fact that Ganondorf acquires one of the Zonai's secret stones instead of his usual objective, the Triforce, and Link is not present in that conflict.
    • Just like in Twilight Princess the game has a backstory involving a past group of Sages trying and failing to kill Ganondorf, forcing them to temporarily seal him away and leaving it up to Link to defeat him once and for all in the present. Only this time, none of the sages are irreversibly killed, and one of them is actually from Link's own time.
    • The four main areas (Rito Village, Gerudo Town, Goron City, Zora's Domain) are all hit with some disaster or plague that gets lifted upon clearing each area's dungeon, just like in Majora's Mask. The Sages all speak to their modern day counterpart and Link in a zen garden area while guiding them to their ultimate goal, similarly to the Giants. Rito Village being frozen over brings to mind Mountain Village as well, as well as Zora's Domain being accosted by sludge being similar to the murky waters of Great Bay.
    • The existence of islands in the sky draws parallels to Skyward Sword, as the Zonai are said to be a race of gods that lived on islands floating in the sky and descended to the land to found the kingdom of Hyrule, which is similar to how the people of Skyloft came to the surface, except that the Skyloftians looked human.
    • Link and Zelda get to work with their closest friends to help found and establish a new kingdom after the previous one had been destroyed much like what happened in the backstory to Spirit Tracks, only this game takes place in the beginning stages of kingdom construction instead of taking place in the resulting kingdom.
    • The Imprisoning War is the name given to the first conflict with Ganondorf, a name that was used before in A Link to the Past.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Link can use his Recall ability to reflect many different enemy attacks right back toward them.
  • Holding Out for a Hero:
    • Defied for once in the franchise. Rather than Link being the only one to complete temples, he is joined by a character from that region who will take on enemies as well. Finishing a temple unlocks a clone of that Sage to join you elsewhere as well.
    • While in the previous game you would occasionally see an NPC fighting off bokoblins, these were pretty rare occurrences. Not only are these fights much more common in this game, but there are actual squads of Hylians (named "The Monster-Control Crew") fighting off hordes of monsters, with several side quests involving your participation in these battles. As you progress through the game, you can even notice the armies improving on their skill, weaponry and gear — going from some "soldiers" wearing buckets for helmets to actual armor, for instance — showing that they're still doing this even in Link's absence.
  • A Homeowner Is You: Similar to the previous game, Link can buy and customize a home (Link's old house in Hateno Village is now owned by Zelda). However, Hudson Construction's modular architectural design allows for far more customization options than before, including the arrangement of the rooms (with a maximum of fifteen rooms), the size of the house, and placing down practical additions like a horse stable, a cooking stove, a garden farm, and a Goddess Statue.
  • Homing Projectile: If monster eyeballs are combined with arrows through the Fuse ability, the arrows will home in on nearby enemies and animals. Elemental monsters will pass on their attributes as well.
  • Honor Before Reason: Addison is so desperate to make sure Hudson's signs never fall that he does nothing but cling to them rather than build proper bracing so they stay upright. Link has to improvise something to prop them upright before he's comfortable to secure them.
  • Horrible Judge of Character: King Rauru trusts Ganondorf's oath of fealty to Hyrule despite how Obviously Evil he is. He even admits as much to Zelda, he knows Ganondorf is evil, but believes this arrangement will make it easier to keep an eye on him. It doesn't work out that way, as Ganondorf ends up murdering Queen Sonia and taking her secret stone.
  • Horn Attack: In addition to whatever weapon they may be holding, any monster with a horn on their head will utilize it to attack. Said horns can be fused to weapons to raise their attack power. The shape of horns are also unique to each species.
    • Bokoblin horns resemble speartips, gaining more prongs the stronger it is before becoming a curved horn with a bobble on silver Bokoblins.
    • Boss Bokoblin horns resemble axeheads, with the exception being the red Boss Bokoblins, whose horns resemble swords.
    • Moblin horns resemble club or mace heads, with silver Moblins having extremely curled horns resembling a giant hammerhead. Blue Moblin horns instead resemble a pickaxe head.
    • Hinox horns are pointed but blunted into club-like shapes in some way by accessories such as being bound in hunks of wood or having Stalkoblin skulls impaled on them.
    • Lizalfos horns resemble sword blades, with blue and white Lizalfos in particular respectively looking exactly like katana and scythe blades.
    • Horriblin horns resemble hammerheads, while silver Horriblin horns are closer to pickaxe heads.
    • Lynels each have two differently-shaped horns — a saber horn that creates cutting weapons and a mace horn that creates striking weapons. None of them look much like any practical weapon, except for the Silver Lynel's saber horn which looks like a katana blade.
  • Horned Humanoid:
    • King Rauru of Hyrule has four short little horns on his head.
    • Ganondorf gets two horns on his forehead in his Demon King form.
  • Huge Holographic Head: After finally hunting down the fake Zelda within Hyrule Castle, Link is visited by a giant image of Ganondorf's upper half that taunts and threatens him.
  • Humongous Mecha: Yes, the game gives you the components to construct one. Unfortunately, like in real life, it's a bit Awesome, but Impractical.
  • Hypocrite: What the election side quest at Hateno Village boils down. Mayor Reede and Cece run their campaigns hiding their hidden hypocrisy; Reede actually finds inspiration in Cece's fashion to get kids interested in Hateno's produce, while Cece secretly loves eating Hateno's produce because it's the best she ever tasted. Their hypocrisy is eventually shed to light during election day, and they come to terms with how much they love the village that Reede continues to be the mayor and Cece resumes her duties as a fashion designer, but now both of them wish to make Hateno better together without the bad blood.
  • Iconic Starter Equipment:
    • A lot of Link's official art for this game depicts him in the Archaic Set, which is the very first equipment you're able to obtain. Accordingly, it has some of the lowest defense values in the game and no set bonuses, making it very likely that most players will stop using it as soon as they find another type of armor.
    • A lot of promotional material also depicts Link wearing his outfit from the start of the game, with the Champion's Leathers and Hylian Hood, and Hylian Trousers. Unlike the Archaic Set, each piece here can be upgraded to have more defense. Without any set bonuses or special effects, wearing these won't be as flashy or as helpful as other armour sets, but sometimes simply having more defense might be all you need.
  • Idiot Ball: One sidequest has you look for some missing traveling gourmet cooks, and you find them at their camp feeling sick. It turns out they had been given a recipe by Zelda and told to follow it exactly as written. Not only do they fail to do so, they use monster parts in place of regular meat, something even children know to never do. You have to make the rather simple dish yourself and give it to them. Deviating from the recipe is one thing, but using monster meat is a whole other level of idiocy, especially for gourmet cooks who are apparently famous and widely-renowned.
  • Improbable Weapon User: The Fuse ability can let Link craft combinations of typical weapons like spears, branches, rocks or pitchforks, but also create some bizarre options such as a Puffshroom grafted onto a shield that creates a smokescreen when struck, or a Keese Eyeball on an arrow that homes in on the target.
  • Infinity -1 Sword:
    • Mighty Zonaite weapons are strong weapons that are weatherproof (can't burn up in fire, doesn't conduct electricity), and get stronger when you attach Construct parts to them.
    • The Champion weapons are once again available after finishing a dungeon, and while they take a bit of effort to forge (and reforge, once broken), they have very good stats for their weapon types. The Lightscale Trident and Scimitar of the Seven even have the same effect as the base weapons used to create them, meaning the former will double in attack power when fighting in wet areas, while the latter will double the power of any fused material at the cost of not adding as much durability.
    • After a certain point in the game, Silver Bokoblins become a common enemy to face. Their horns have a respectable 31 Attack when fused to a weapon, and they often carry Royal-tier weapons to fuse them with.
  • Infinity +1 Sword:
    • The Master Sword once again, is indestructible and just has to recharge whenever it runs out of "durability", ensuring that Link will always have a weapon on hand in some manner once he reacquires it.
    • Silver Lynels drop the strongest fuse materials and the strongest bow. Their saber horns have a massive 55 Attack, and the mace horns aren't too far off either at 51 Attack, while they have the potential to drop a 32 Attack Bow with the Five-Shot Burst trait, letting you fire five arrows per shot.
    • Gleeoks drop horns that add their respective element to your weapon. Unlike every other elemental material however, attacking with these elemental horns will always have the element active, rather than having to wait on a brief cooldown for the element to recharge.
  • In the End, You Are on Your Own: Zigzagged throughout the endgame if you have all Sages awakened. When you get deep enough into the Hyrule Castle Chasm, the Sages' avatars and Mineru's construct stop working and you have to finish the descent alone for a little while. At the bottom when an army of minions attack, the Sages all appear in person (or via construct) to fight alongside you. Once you defeat the hordes, however, the temple bosses reappear and the Sages stay behind to fight them while a rockslide separates Link from them, once again forcing you to proceed alone. When Ganondorf begins his second phase, the Sages arrive one by one to help you fight against him and the Phantom Ganons... but once you get him to half-health he dispels the Phantoms and blasts down the Sages, becoming a Duel Boss. Finally, while you do team up with the Light Dragon against the Demon Dragon, Link does all the fighting while the Light Dragon just carries him around and, if he doesn't already have it, gives him the Master Sword.
  • Inescapable Ambush: Whenever if you run into an NPC with a generic name (such as 'Researcher' or 'Traveller') and talk to them, you're forced to enter into a combat encounter with at least one Yiga agent. Some quests with scripted Yiga fights will reset you if you attempt to escape.
  • Inexplicable Treasure Chests: Treasure chests are found in numerous places in the overworld and in shrines. It's up for Link to open them. There are also Zonai treasure chests which act like the Sheikah ones from the previous game where Link uses something unique to him to open it. Tauro tries opening one of these in the story but to no avail.
  • Intangibility: The Ascend ability allows Link to pass through ceilings and end up on the roof, providing expedient access to the areas above a cave or building.
  • Interface Spoiler:
    • If you take a picture of the Light Dragon, you'll notice that it's cataloged in the very last slot of the Hyrule Compendium's section on Monsters, placed beyond the game's story-relevant bosses and the other Spirit Dragons. Such a special placement becomes a lot more understandable when you know the Light Dragon's true identity, and how it aids you against the Final Boss.
    • Regarding one of the Main Quests; "Find Princess Zelda", you may notice that even after retrieving the Master Sword and learning Zelda is the Light Dragon, which is what she meant by her request to Link to "find [her]", the Main Quest isn't marked as done nor does her Character Profile get updated to reflect this. This hints that her Light Dragon form will be reversed at some point.
    • Like in the previous game, you might run into travelers that appear to be unnamed, simply named Traveler, or Researcher down in the Depths. Go on, have a little chat with them. And like before, your "reward" is an attempted assassination, as such travelers and researchers are actually just a Yiga Clan member in disguise. You can however avert this by dressing as a Yiga Clan member yourself once you unlock the outfit, and you'll just be told to go away or you'll blow the disguise.
      • Averted in one Side Adventure where A Yiga Clan member is disguised as a named NPC for once. The NPC's odd behaviour becomes a dead giveaway for what's coming after only a few interactions with them however, likely only fooling a brand new player for whom this is their first encounter with anything related to the Yiga Clan.
  • An Interior Designer Is You: Once you finish Hudson's side quest, you're given an offer to buy a home overlooking Tarrey Town which you can physically alter by buying and arranging specific rooms designed for weapon storage (weapons, shields, and bows separately), cooking, resting, praying to a Goddess Hylia statue at home, etc.
  • Intrepid Reporter: Penn, a Rito reporter for Hyrule's one and only newspaper, is exploring Hyrule along with Link in an attempt to figure out what's behind the various sightings of Princess Zelda.
  • Interspecies Romance: King Rauru, a Zonai, is married to Queen Sonia, a Hylian.
  • Invisible Wall: When going high enough, Link is stopped by an invisible wall with a "You can't go any farther." message.
  • It Was with You All Along: One of the driving plot threads in the game's story is Link trying to find where Princess Zelda has vanished to. Link will eventually discover that the dragon you can see right in the tutorial region is actually Zelda transformed, and the rejuvenated Master Sword is embedded in the dragon's mane.
  • Journey to the Sky: The Wind and Water Temples are both reached in this manner, as they are located on flying islands high in the sky:
    • The Wind Temple sits in the middle of a permanent windstorm high above Hebra Peak. To get there, Link and Tulin need to first reach the top of the mountain, from which they can access the lower end of the Hebra Rising Island Chain. This lets them slowly pick their way up the chain of floating rocks and platforms, which switches back and forth on itself and is gradually replaced by sky ships carrying trampoline-like structures, which serve as the main way of gaining height, while fighting robot guardians and flying beasts. Eventually, the ships replace the rock platforms entirely, and the final stretch requires Link to leap from trampoline to trampoline among a small flotilla of ships orbiting the blizzard, until he eventually gets high enough to overtop it and glide down into its eye.
    • The Water Temple is made accessible by opening up a waterfall pouring from a sky island, which allows Link to swim up to its top with the Zora armor. This leaves him at the start of a winding series of sky islets, where he and Sidon then contend with low localized gravity and killer robots to glide between the different islands, climb up floating pillars, and ride drifting orbs of water until they reach the Temple.
  • The Joys of Torturing Mooks: The Ultrahand's ability to fuse and create machines actively encourages this trope. Within a few days after release, people had already figured out how to build war machines to shred bosses in seconds or recreate the Batmobile to run over the enemies with.
  • Jump Scare:
    • There's a particular room in Hyrule Castle where a Horriblin will drop from the ceiling and attack you upon entering. Bear in mind that the door is just small enough to hide the monster from view, so it'll likely get a jump out of unknowing players.
    • The Evermeans are living trees that look just like any other tree in the game. As such, they can easily jump at you when you least expect it, even in broad daylight.
    • Whenever you approach a cave, there's a good chance that a swarm of Keese will appear out of nowhere to fly in your face (they don’t attack you, thankfully).
    • If you aren't aware of where Gloom Spawns usually appear, then it can be quite a surprise when you suddenly see the sky turn blood red and you hear a loud, hellish shriek and not knowing where it is until it's too late. Even if you do know where they spawn, you have to witness a bloody looking pool of Gloom suddenly materialize before your eyes before those monstrous hands pop up. And even if you manage to defeat them, surprise, now there's a Phantom Ganon!
  • Jungles Sound Like Kookaburras: A new addition to Faron Woods, which have apparently moved to Australia since the previous installment.
  • Just Eat Him: Despite having a mouth that is clearly full to the brim with fangs, Like Likes are stated to swallow their prey whole in the Hyrule Compendium.
  • Justified Tutorial: Zigzagged. Unlike the Great Plateau, Link doesn't have amnesia and actually has his first combat section against a small group of Keese before Ganondorf breaks both the Master Sword and himself with Gloom, forcing him to recuperate with the aid of Rauru's transplanted arm. Upon awakening in the closed-off Sky Archipelago, he's fully capable of using the same survival mechanics as BOTW from the start without being prompted, and the only beings that prompt him on them are the still-working Zonai Steward constructs, whom are specifically programmed to serve and aid humans, with Link being free to ignore their advice. The shade of Rauru appears around the unfamiliar floating island to coach him on the specifics of the Zonai machinery and the abilities of his new arm, which Link is unaware of and has to experiment with, and Link has to activate the various shrines around the archipelago to purge himself of enough corruption to open a door in the Temple of Time. Doing so creates a floating orb of light at the back of the temple that transports the Master Sword back to Zelda over 10,000 years in the past, suggesting that the shrines were necessary to activate the temple's power as well as strengthen Link. Supporting this, the near-mindless form of Zelda's current being as a divine light dragon only shows up and parts the clouds that hide Hyrule and a safe way down from from view once Link has sent the sword back to herself, suggesting everything Link did on the Archipelago was part of a Stable Time Loop to allow preparations for both of them to eventually face and defeat the Demon King.
  • Kansas City Shuffle:
    • It is revealed that Ganondorf used this technique to kill Sonia. He had Phantom Ganon pretend to be Zelda to assassinate Sonia, only for the real Zelda to interfere. While both Sonia and Zelda had been able to see through this plan, Ganondorf exploits their momentary distraction to jump in and take out the queen himself.
    • Sometime later, Ganondorf himself becomes victim to this technique. When the Sages throw their weapons and Zelda uses Recall to redirect them at Ganondorf, he easily predicts and dodges the attack... after which it's revealed the Sages were a distraction so that Rauru could close the gap and seal Ganondorf in place.
  • Katanas Are Just Better:
    • The Gloom Sword is even more of a straightforward katana than any Yiga weapon, and it is spectacularly powerful, boasting a base power of 41 when other weapons stop at best in the mid-30s without fusion (and those are mostly two-handed, not a one-handed sword like the Gloom Sword is). However, it also inflicts Gloom damage over time to the wielder.
    • Blue Lizalfos horns are very long and katana-like in shape, and Link can create one of his own by fusing it to a one-handed weapon (preferably a sword). The horn grants a big power increase of +16 to whatever it's attached to, making it among the best fusion materials an early-game player can get their hands on.
    • Silver Lynel Saber Horns resemble ornate katana blades, and are one of the strongest weapon fusion materials in the game at +55 attack power.
  • Kill It with Fire: One of the weapons you can create with the right supplies is a huge gauntlet that serves as a flamethrower. And we thought Link was a pyromaniac before that.
  • Kill It with Water: Like in Breath of the Wild, most enemies have Super Drowning Skills, so having them fall into relatively shallow water is a death sentence. Notably, leading a Gloom Spawn to water is a much easier way to kill it than trying to fight it outright.
  • Knockback: Shields can be granted this property by fusing the right materials. A Zonai spring device will cause enemies that attack while the shield is up or are hit with its parry to be flung backwards. You can also add mushrooms to shields or weapons to add knockback to parries or the final hit in a combo.
  • Kryptonite-Proof Suit: The Depths set (and Midna's Helmet) makes you resistant to Gloom, though in an interesting way: instead of reducing or canceling the damage, the armor pieces have their own hearts that the Gloom chews through instead of Link's, letting you get through unharmed for a limited time.
  • Lady Land: The woman-only Gerudo Town obviously returns here, but the settlement has been abandoned due to sandstorms and Gibdo attacks, and the guards now permit men to shelter in the buildings, considering the circumstances. However, they still forbid men from entering the bunkers below the town where the populace has taken shelter, even arresting a guy on sight who just came to make sure his wife and daughter were safe. Link is given special permission due to being the chief's friend, although that doesn't stop the other Gerudo from eyeing him with suspicion and curiosity. After Queen Gibdo's defeat and Riju becomes a Sage, Link is declared a hero to Gerudo Town and is allowed to freely enter.
  • Land, Sea, Sky: Each of Master Kohga's battles has him utilizing a machine that concurs with a land, sky, and sea motif. He first rides a vehicle equipped with spikes, then rides a flying plane to attack Link from above, the third battle involves a wooden boat on a river. The last battle eschews from the formula, it's a construct battle.
  • Laser Blade:
    • Zonaite weapons have a glowing blue energy blade when not fused to anything, similar to the Ancient and Guardian weapons from Breath of the Wild.
    • Link can also turn any weapon into these by fusing them with Gleeok horns, which replace the weapon's blade with a beam of fire, frost or electricity that only appears when they're swung.
  • Laser Hallway: Lasers are a new threat in shrines and across the sky islands, triggering a trap that's usually a variation of 'the floor gives way'.
  • Leaking Can of Evil: The game begins because a strange, corrupting substance known as Gloom has been snaking its way through Hyrule, draining the life out of whatever it touches. Link and Zelda discover it emanating from a cavern deep beneath Hyrule Castle, originating from the desiccated husk of Ganondorf, who was sealed away countless millennia ago, but the seal keeping him contained has weakened enough for his dark magic to seep out, and, by the time the pair find him, it's finally failed, allowing him to break free. Also, although it's never directly stated in-game, it seems Ganondorf's dark magic was so powerful it had already begun leaking at least ten-thousand years ago, with the creation of Calamity Ganon and Malice being weakened and incomplete versions of the Demon King's will and malicious essence.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall:
    • In the final trailer, Ganondorf's line, "You witness a king's revival..." is as much about his return to power as it is his return to the series after a 17-year absence.
    • Viewing the Purah Pad menu has the ornate border bleed in on the sides, which in the Switch's handheld mode makes it look exactly like how it's depicted in-game.
  • Legend Fades to Myth:
    • So much time has passed between the modern day and the rise of Calamity Ganon at least 10,000 years ago, that the name "Ganondorf" has been lost to history. While Breath of the Wild acknowledged that Calamity Ganon sometimes took the form of a Gerudo in the past, when Zelda and Link find Ganondorf's corpse, they have no idea who or what it is despite him spewing a more potent variant of Malice. Likewise, while Zelda is concerned about Ganondorf on the basis of his name as well as being Obviously Evil, she doesn't seem to make the connection that Ganondorf is Ganon.
    • A sidequest involves Link providing picture evidence of the Calamity to some schoolchildren because it happened so long ago they doubt it isn't anything but myth mistaken for history. This is despite them personally knowing Princess Zelda and Link being a guest teacher for the lesson.
  • Level Drain: Link's corruption prior to the Upheaval serves as this. When the awakened Ganondorf breaks the Master Sword, his corruption infects Link's right arm and literally destroys 27 heart containers, leaving Link with the base three hearts and requiring him to rebuild his HP from there, along with his stamina.
  • Leitmotif:
    • The soundtrack for the game's trailers reuses several past themes from past Legend of Zelda games, most notably, the series' main theme and "Zelda's Lullaby".
    • The distinctive alto saxophone melody from the main theme is an environmental leitmotif, with variants appearing while exploring the sky islands, skydiving, activating Skyview Towers, and in certain aerial boss battles.
  • Light and Mirrors Puzzle: Some puzzles require you to use Zonai mirrors to shine a beam of light onto a solar panel. The Lightning Temple makes heavy use of this kind of puzzle.
  • Lighter and Softer: The game's story overall leans more towards this. Breath of the Wild was melancholic, built on themes of isolation and loss of identity, as well as being haunted by the impending horror of Calamity Ganon's return. The world felt broken and desolated, barely recovered from the tragedy 100 years earlier and horror and mystery lurking in every corner, covered in roaming monsters and the dangerous Guardians. Despite its more horrifying beginning with the reawakening of Ganondorf and Ganondorf himself being an utter monster of a man compared to his previous incarnation, Tears of the Kingdom is notably a bit more empowering and brighter, with much more goofy moments, a sense of the world rebuilding and being more united against the threat. Link in particular now has a beloved reputation and many actual allies and friends he can work with and fall back on instead of having to approach the entire adventure on his own.
  • Light Is Good: Link can be afflicted with the corrupting substance known as Gloom by touching pools of the substance or being hit by enemies infected by Gloom, which causes Maximum HP Reduction. The effect goes away when Link is in natural daylight, underneath a Lightroot, or consumes a meal or elixir made with a Sundelion.
  • Lily-Pad Platform: Lily pads found in various bodies of water are large enough to be walked on. They're particularly common in early areas of the game where water is the only way to break falls from extremely high heights, and serve the purpose of making it easy to reach safety even if you land in the middle of the pool with only a tiny bit of stamina left. In addition, Link does not take any damage or die from landing on them, regardless of how far he fell.
  • Loophole Abuse:
    • Gloom weapons are very powerful but have the drawback of inflicting gloom damage on Link as long as he wields them. However using these weapons as fusion materials for other weapons will result in a weapon that inherits the Gloom weapon's damage but not its drawback.
    • Due to The Great Deku Tree being infected by a Phantom Ganon, the fog around Korok Forest bars anyone from entering and the torch maze from the previous game won't work. There's a convenient Chasm nearby the entrance however and there's an Ascend point which sends Link directly past the fog and into the heart of the forest.

    Tropes M-N 
  • MacGyvering: Using the Ultrahand ability, Link can stick various objects to each other to create makeshift vehicles or mechanical weapons.
  • Making a Splash: Opals are noted as "containing the power of water", and fusing one to Link's weapon will enable it to shoot water balls that bounce along the floor, extinguish fires, clean sludge, and one-shot fire-based enemies. Zora weapons will even double in strength if they are combined with an opal, and Sidon's Sage ability manipulates water to both protect Link and attack enemies. Splash Fruits can also be used for this purpose.
  • Matter Replicator: Autobuild has this if any of the parts for a saved creation aren't physically available, so basic Zonaite is used to create green temporary versions which disappear if they're detached.
  • Maximum HP Reduction:
    • Taking damage from Gloom temporarily reduces Link's maximum health, which is represented by the hearts graying out and breaking. The Gloom is also what causes Link to lose most of the Heart Containers at the end of the prologue, but said Gloom is more concentrated and outright destroys 27 of them instead of just breaking them.
    • Ganondorf's attacks in the third phase of his boss fight cause the same effect as in the opening, deleting one heart with every hit in addition to their normal damage.
  • Mayincatec: Zonai technology and clothing has this aesthetic, with distinct blocky shapes and simple, heavily-stylized faces for figures. One of the major questlines in the game involves investigating Zonai 'geoglyphs', which are likely an allusion to the Nazca Lines, famous petroglyphs whose shapes are only visible from the air, despite being created by a pre-Colombian civilization that, as far as we know, lacked flight capabilities.
  • Mecha-Mooks: The spiritual successor to the previous game's Guardians, Link regularly faces off against hostile Zonai Constructs, hovering robotic enemies that blare like alarms when they see Link before heading over to fight him.
  • Memory Jar: In the geoglyphs now scattered across Hyrule, there are small pools of water known as Dragon Tears, which show flashbacks to the distant past with Zelda. One of the Dragon Tears shows that these are fragments of Zelda's memories and their name is quite literal, as they trickled from her eye after she turned herself into the Light Dragon.
  • Merging Machine: Link's Zonai arm allows him to harness new magical abilities, including the self-explanatory "Fuse", which allows him to meld objects together to make combination weapons. This includes fusing weapons together to increase their strength, fusing a boulder to a sword to turn it into a hammer, fusing a Keese eyeball to an arrow to give it homing properties, and fusing a minecart to a shield to turn it into a skateboard.
  • Message in a Bottle:
    • One Sidequest involves Link finding a message from someone trapped in a cave by the sea, who left a trail of Brightbloom to find his location.
    • Calyban the Gerudo drops a dozen of messages in bottles down the underground water cave in order to find a lover.
  • Mission-Pack Sequel: Preemptively justified by the developers all the way back before the game even had a title. Tears of the Kingdom literally came about because the ideas that the dev team came up with for Breath of the Wild's Downloadable Content were simply too numerous to functionally include as DLC.
  • Minecart Madness: Minecarts are no longer exclusive to the Death Mountain region, and the addition of Zonai devices and Ultrahand lets you create self-propelled carts with rockets or fans. The Fire Temple in particular is made up primarily of minecart puzzles.
  • Mini-Boss: The Training Constructs are Zonai-created automatons located in Training-based Shrines. They were created specifically to help the chosen hero hone his skills in various front (melee combat, counterattacks, aiming and shooting, etc.) To ensure that Link is getting the hang of said skills, the Constructs will only take damage from the attacks that are tasked to him to perform. Doing anything else will do nil damage.
  • Mini-Dungeon: There are 152 Shrines scattered across Hyrule, and unlike those of Breath of the Wild these were made by the Zonai instead of the Sheikah. Completing the first four are necessary to learn and master the basic Zonai abilities, as well as gain access to the Temple of Time and enable the way to descend back to the firm ground of Link's homeland. The remaining Shrines are optional, but do provide orbs that can later be traded for Heart Containers and Magic Containers, and some are useful to practice skills and abilities against Training Constructs.
  • Mini-Mecha: Link constructs one as part of the main quest. It's inhabited by Mineru, Rauru's sister and the Sage of Spirit. He can ride on her construct and attach Zonai devices to her for combat.
  • Mix-and-Match Critters:
    • Much like Blupees and the Satori mixed owl and moth features with rabbits and horses, respectively, their new cousin the Bubbulfrog mixes amphibian features, making it like a cross between a frog and an axolotl.
    • The Zonai race seems to have traits of rabbits and goats and dragons all on a humanoid frame.
  • Mix-and-Match Weapon: Link can combine different weapons and objects with the new Fuse ability to create new weapons that also increase the attack power and durability of the original object, like fusing a tree branch with a boulder to create a makeshift hammer, or even give them new behaviors, such as an arrow fused with a Keese Eyeball gaining homing abilities. There are also enemies that wield fused weapons such as a Construct wielding a stick with a wooden board attached to it which has the same effect as the Korok Leaf. It's commented that this became a trend in Hyrule after practically every weapon in the region got decayed by Gloom, so people figured out how to stick monster parts and other things to weapons as to strengthen them.
  • Monster Arena: There are several colosseums scattered around the Depths, and to claim their treasures you need to defeat the enemies within. Most colosseums are themed after certain enemies, for example, in one colosseum you will fight all variants of Bokoblins one wave after another, and in another you'll have to deal with various Lizafoses.
  • Mook Lieutenant: One of the new enemies roaming Hyrule is a Boss Bokoblin, a new large variant with a necklace of human skulls, and commanding normal-size Bokoblins with it.
  • Mook Maker: The Gibdo infestation of Gerudo Desert is amplified by tree-like structures called Gibdo Hives, which spawn an endless wave of the undead creatures until destroyed by Riju or her avatar with a lightning attack.
  • Motif: The theme of modernization is an undercurrent showing up in many aspects of the game. Hyrulean people have access to advanced Zonai technology now, which they have already begun to understand and embrace in recreation and labor, the Sheikah technology is no longer a thing of the past, since Hylians and Sheikah are now building new things and innovating. Cece has brought modern fashion culture to the folksy Hateno Village and clashes with traditional mayor Reede, some music tracks feature more modern instrumentation in tandem such as newfound Zonai-device engineer Master Kohga getting electric guitar in his boss theme, and the younger Gerudo are shown to have begun affecting their old language by bringing informal slang forms of their words into vogue.
  • Multi-Mook Melee: Prior to the final battle with Ganondorf, Link and the Sages have to do battle with the various monsters summoned before Link can confront him.
  • Mundane Utility:
    • The Zonai powers offer a few beyond their more spectacular puzzle and combat purposes. For example, while Ultrahand's lifting and gluing powers are primarily intended for the construction of transportation and Zonai devices, these powers also have more basic useful functions, like gluing cargo to your vehicles to keep them on board, or gluing together multiple large objects like logs during a fetch-quest to ensure you only need to make one trip. Ascend can be used in lieu of stairs in Link's Tarrey Town house if you're running out of room space.
    • The basic attacks of Mineru's Construct can break open ore deposits in a single swipe, making it a useful mining tool if you don't happen to have any weapons that would do the job on you.
    • Ore rocks require at least two hits from a hammer or a club like weapon to break. Or two strikes of the Master Sword. Essentially turning it into a regenerating pickaxe.
  • Musical Nod: Several, as with the last game:
    • The first few notes of the Colgera boss theme are the same notes for the various 'Boss Advantage' themes that play whenever Link has an edge against the bosses of The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess. This motif repeats throughout the boss fight. Additionally, at various points in the song, parts of the Molgera and Dragon Roost Island themes from The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker play. The flute that acts as the main instrument for the song is also the exact same type of flute used in the Molgera boss theme. Which is fitting, considering with a name like Colgera, the boss is a very obvious homage to Molgera, if not outright a different genus of Molgera found in colder climes.
    • Mucktorok's boss music while it's vulnerable appears to heavily invoke distinctive elements of The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask's soundtrack, with the playful goofy tone sounding akin to the playful Majora's Incarnation theme, and the same distinctive woodwinds of Majora adding similar weird eerie tones to the song, and drawing stronger parallels when the vulnerable phase and these instruments play during motifs in the song which are not very far removed from Majora's Theme itself.
    • The classic Zelda "Inside a House" theme returns with a BotW-style new arrangement for Link's new dream home by Tarrey Town.
    • The sound effect that plays when Tulin's Gust activates sounds remarkably similar to the Hawk Grass whistle in The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess.
    • The music around the Stables was already blatantly referencing Lon Lon Ranch, but if the Stable Trotters are around, they will straight-up be playing the original melody to go with it.
    • The Big Frox battle theme briefly incorporates parts of the Cave Theme from The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past.
    • Ganondorf's boss theme pays homage to several of Gerudo King's various boss themes in the franchise throughout each phase.
      • The music that plays when first assuming his Demon King form is taken directly from Ocarina of Time, down to the Uncommon Time signature of 23/16 it follows.
      • The thumping, menacing drumbeat not only comes from Ocarina of Time, but the timbre/quality of drums sounds very similar to the drums heard while fighting Beast Ganon in Twilight Princess.
      • And lastly, during the final one-on-one segment with Ganondorf, the Ganon Blight theme from Breath of the Wild makes a reappearance.
  • Mystical Cave: The cave that Link and Zelda are seen exploring in the prologue is absolutely massive, having several large glowing crystals all over the walls, hosting a ton of Zonai art and architecture, has pools of drinking water, and at the bottom, the mummified corpse of Ganondorf sealed by a strange glowing arm.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • The first shot of Link skydiving in the 2021 trailer is framed exactly like the skydiving cutscenes in Skyward Sword, complete with the circular clouds creating some sort of tunnel around Link. He also skydives the exact same way.
    • Zelda and Link are separated when the former falls into a dark void, much like in Skyward Sword Zelda fell to the surface after being dragged by a black tornado summoned by Ghirahim.
    • Flux Constructs are block-like Golems, calling to mind the Avalaunch from The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening, or Eox from The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass.
    • Ganondorf's new design shown in the artwork features elements from his previous three human appearances. Featuring the rounder ears and the pointier nose from the Era of the Hero of Time, a stouter face like the Era of the Great Sea, and a more trimmed beard and gold accessories like the Era of Twilight. His longer hair also brings to mind Demise and his non-canon counterpart from Hyrule Warriors. When he transforms into the Demon King, his hair becomes much longer and brighter and his skin takes on a dark scale-like pattern, again calling to mind his predecessor, Demise.
    • The battle the Sages had against Ganondorf in the past is referred to as the Imprisoning War, the same name as the war in A Link to the Past's backstory in which the sages of Hyrule sealed Ganon away within the Dark World.
    • A profile shot of Ganondorf in the "A Show of Fealty" memory, barring his state of dress, almost a replica of the first time we see him in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. The same memory has what appears to be younger versions of Koume and Kotake behind Ganondorf, identifiable by their shoulder sashes which spell their names in Hylian and are identical to the witches' headbands in Ocarina of Time.
    • As he kills Queen Sonia, the maniacal smile Ganondorf pulls is an almost perfect recreation of the expression he made during the final cutscene of Ocarina of Time after being sealed by the sages.
    • While cooking, the same cookware-clatter percussion jingle as in Breath Of the Wild plays, but if one pays attention, Link can be heard humming various tunes from past Zelda games behind the music, such as The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time's Hyrule Fields Theme, Epona's Song and Saria's Song, The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening's Ballad of the Wind Fish as well as the Franchise's theme.
    • When helping solve the Regional Phenomena in Goron City, Link is forced to fight an ally of his who is brainwashed by a mystical mask put on him, much like Nabooru in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time and/or Skull Kid in The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask.
    • Relatedly, the Gorons being unusually hostile towards outsiders due to their leader having turned into an aggressive enemy is not too dissimilar to what happened with the Gorons on Death Mountain in The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess (although in this case, the Gorons aren't being unpleasant entirely by choice).
    • During one of the Tears memories, Ganondorf sports a maniacal grin after killing a powerful Sage when they seemingly had the upper hand over him. This is quite similar to what happened at Arbiter's Grounds in The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, though he was much less successful in getting what he wanted in that game compared to here.
    • The eerie vocals audible in the Fire Temple's music are heavily reminiscent of the original, later-redacted track for Ocarina of Time's Fire Temple, which used sampled Islamic chanting audio for the temple that was pre-emptively removed on the mass-release version of the game to avoid referencing real-world religion and was replaced with droning midi audio in the same spots that sounded less like vocals.
    • Princess Zelda is descended from the married Sages of Time and Light, which led to them having a remarked-upon dual set of powers despite officially inheriting only the Time sagehood. This seems to reference how the two elements have long been indecisively linked together in the games. The Ocarina of Time Sage of Light (also named Rauru) was headquartered in the Temple of Time since a Light Temple was cut from the game, while the Temple of Time from Twilight Princess referenced this further by featuring imagery of the Light Medallion, indicating it was the Temple of Light in its original purpose, or served both purposes at the same time.
    • The Gerudo Town disaster, which amounts to a desolate town overrun by zombielike Gibdos, seems to be a direct reference to the startlingly grim introduction to the adult-Link half of Ocarina of Time, where Hyrule Castle Town is dark, abandoned, and populated only by ReDeads. The Gibdos' design also seems heavily based on OoT's ReDeads with their brownish color and faces of round eyes and a toothy grimace—they're just made to look like insects this time.
    • Riju's combat stance with her scimitars is a dead ringer for the Gerudo Thieves Link fought in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time and The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask, even to the point where she shuffles sideways the same way they did.
    • Once again, Link is made to go into the Great Deku Tree and expel an evil that was placed there by Ganondorf, just as the Hero of Time had to do at the outset of his adventure. Bonus points, by facing a Gloom Spawn (this game's expies of Floor/Wallmasters) and Phantom Ganon, he is even tackling enemies faced in the Forest Temple on first arriving as an adult. Additionally, Phantom Ganon is fought multiple times and is capable of pulling a Doppelgänger Attack, just like his Wind Waker incarnation.
    • Ganondorf is, once again, ultimately defeated by being stabbed through the head by the Master Sword.
    • Once again, a Zelda character has a "secret to everybody"—here the famous phrase is used by the Korok Oaki to describe his hidden room only accessible to Link by Ascending in the center of the Great Deku Tree. His request to Link to "keep it between us two" also brings to mind the famous "Chris Houlihan" secret room.
    • Most of the Skyview Towers, which are entered and activated at the base, have a mechanical issue you have to address before they can be entered or unlocked. The Eldin Canyon tower is locked, but its top hatch is blown off, which means the player will have to drop in from the top to get inside. This results in a very long climb up to the top of the tower, which closely imitates the way the player reached the terminals in every ancient Sheikah tower in the previous game.
    • One of the many chasms is located in an area with multiple islands named for locations and characters from The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass. Specifically it is on Mercay Island, named for the island with the Temple of the Ocean King, a dungeon that extends deep underground and houses that game's Big Bad.
    • When the Stable Trotters have all been reunited, you can watch them play at the stables. Pyper, the young boy playing the flute, does a little dance while playing. Does it look familiar? It's the Skull Kid dance.
    • Just as Skyward Sword before it, Link's main main call-to-action is to find Zelda, who has recently gone missing. In Skyward Sword, the first place Link decends to is the Sealed Temple, within which, he can view a glimpse of a golden crystal hidden in the back, sealed room of the temple, as he speaks to the old woman waiting there. By the end of the game, this is revealed to be Zelda, having sealed herself thousands of years prior. In Tears of the Kingdom, the first place Link awakens to is an island in the Sky which will function as the tutorial level for the game. All throughout completing this level, it is possible to see a dragon floating around the island. By the end of the game, this is likewise revealed to be Zelda, having been transformed into the immortal dragon. In both games, the person Link has been searching for all along was Hidden in Plain Sight in the first level of gameplay.
    • As with The Wind Waker, a member of the central trio of characters spends thousands of years with the Master Sword imbedded in their forehead.
  • Natural Disaster Cascade: Ganondorf's awakening has caused all sorts of catastrophes across Hyrule. Massive earthquakes have opened countless new fissures and chasms all over, while the homelands of the various races have been subject to more localized conditions. Gerudo Desert has been shrouded by a huge, blinding sandstorm, Zora's Domain has been inundated by a rain of toxic sludge, Rito Village has been frozen over by an eternal blizzard, and Goron City has come under the effects of an addictive, brain-washing food known as marbled rock roast that is turning the inhabitants irritable and lazy.
  • Necessary Drawback:
    • Ultrahand lets you make just about any kind of vehicle for any situation, with various attachments like flamethrowers and cannons for greater combat capability. To balance what would otherwise be an obscenely broken scenario, all devices attached to the vehicle use up charge in your Energy Cells, with more being used depending on the devices and/or the amount in use. That said, if you deactivate the vehicle and let it sit, the charge will slowly return, unless you use some Zonai Charges to get it back faster.
    • Ascend lets you take shortcuts through ceilings and platforms above you, no matter the thickness or material. However, not only do you have to be on stable ground to perform it, you also have to position yourself so the target surface is relatively close, otherwise you could just casually launch yourself skyhigh with no effort.
    • Recall can rewind any movable object or in-transit projectile, and even stops time with it readied so you can assess the situation and focus on the object you want to cast it on. However, the camera is locked at its current position when Recall is readied, meaning you can't just stop objects moving if the camera isn't looking at them to begin with.
    • You can Fuse a second weapon to your current weapon for a damage boost, and if the Fused weapon breaks, the base weapon in your hand is unaffected. This does not apply for non-weapon parts like monster horns, in order to provide different advantages for each kind of Fuse combo.
    • Gerudo weapons double the attack power bonus of Fused items, making for monstrous damage potential. To balance it, the base durability is unaffected, to lessen the chance of a game breaking combo.
    • Autobuild can quickly fashion saved vehicle plans on the spot. In the event you don't have the parts available, it can create substitutes out of Zonaite, but these substitutes will disappear if detached, encouraging getting the actual parts out if available.
    • The Master Sword still has limited durability like in the last game, and it will break and need to recuperate after some time, to counterbalance the fact that it's always with you upon acquiring it.
  • Nemesis Weapon: Link has to help the new Sages find Secret Stones to enhance their power and aid him in his quest. It is revealed that instead of the Triforce of Power, the game's incarnation of Ganondorf owes his power to a Secret Stone that he looted from Queen Sonia's corpse and corrupted for his use.
  • Nerf: A couple of notable ones compared to Breath of the Wild:
    • Melee weapons all have much lower durability in order to encourage the use of the Fuse mechanic; this even applies to the Master Sword. The justification in-universe is that it's the result of the Upheaval corroding almost every weapon in Hyrule to a near-unusable state. It is possible to find non-corroded versions in the Depths, but getting anything other then Traveler's or Soldier gear requires a bit of work. Any weapon Link breaks will re-spawn uncorroded in the hands of ghostly soldiers, who wait on rocky pillars, presenting the weapon for the hero to take before vanishing. This system resets with the Blood Moon.
      • The Master Sword itself receives more targeted nerfs on top of that. While the game conceals it by not showing the Master Sword's damage, its power only raises from 30 to 45 in the presence of Gloom, rather than 30 to 60 like it did in the presence of Malice, which may be a response to how common Gloom-infested enemies in the Depths are compared to the more limited presence of Malice in Breath of the Wild. Additionally, it benefits from Fuse less than other melee weapons: Fuse does not increase the Master Sword's durability, the bonus damage from the fused item doesn't increase in the presence of Gloom, and some fused items replace the blade rather than stacking on top for additional length.
    • Hearty meals function the same way as the previous game; any amount of bonus hearts will fill all your normal hearts first. In BotW, this made all other healing meals largely redundant. In TotK, this was solved simply by making any hearty ingredients far more rare, with Hearty Durians, once a common resource, being outright removed. Several NPCs lampshade that they can't seem to find these ingredients any more. On top of this, any Gloom damage will always remove all bonus hearts in one go, regardless of how much damage it would normally do, making it useless in the depths.
    • The four Champion powers have been removed from the game, and the equivalent Sage's Vows are more offensive in nature, giving the player fewer safeguards against damage. Revali's Gale and Urbosa's Fury receive approximate equivalents with the Wind Sage and Lightning Sage's Vows (which help Link move horizontally and allow for more precise lightning strikes respectively), but the defensive Daruk's Protection and Mipha's Grace receive no such equivalents. The Fire Sage's Vow is essentially a cannonball on demand (unlike the three hit protection barrier of Daruk's Protection), while the Water Sage's Vow gives Link a barrier of water which can protect against one attack but is otherwise used to help spray water on foes (unlike the full health, bonus heart revival of Mipha's Grace).
    • Link used to have access to infinitely replenishable, remote-controlled bombs thanks to the Sheikah Slate, as well as a plentiful supply of explosive arrows. Those have been replaced with the Time Bomb device, which is easy to get in large quantities but cumbersome to use; Bomb Flowers, which come in somewhat limited numbers (as they literally grow in caves and the Depths in sets of two or three max); and the rather unwieldy Cannon device. Incidentally, there's also a lot of bombable walls and rocks in TOTK (although many of them can also now be destroyed by melee weapons to make up for it).
    • Great-Horned Rhinos, animals that could be found throughout the Hebra and Tabantha regions in the previous game, and reliable sources of Gourmet Meat, have been cut from this game.
    • The amiibo-exclusive Twilight Bow has been replaced with the similar looking Dusk Bow, which can be obtained through normal means in this game and is no longer an amiibo exclusive, but unlike the original weapon, the Dusk Bow doesn't shoot arrows of twilight now and just fires normal arrows, albeit with the added benefit of being very long-ranged for a bow. Attempting to spawn the Twilight Bow from an Amiibo just rewards another Dusk Bow instead.
    • The Champion's Tunic (now called the Tunic of Memories) no longer tells you how much HP enemies have. Not even its modern equivalent, the Champion's Leathers, has this. This is likely done to maintain the obfuscation in the displayed weapon damage versus the actual damage they do per hit - spears have their damage displayed 33% higher than actual, heavy weapons 5% lower than actual, and the Master Sword doesn't display its damage at all.
    • Link's jumping height while climbing walls and cliff faces has been slightly reduced in this game compared to Breath of the Wild.
  • Nerf Arm : The Fuse ability can turn Link's weapons into an arsenal of goofy looking, yet lethal armaments. Silly weapons like spears with mushrooms at the end, shields with springs, arrows tipped with Keese eyeballs, and a stick with a Korok frond attached are often just as effective as traditional weapons, if not moreso due to unique applications. The mushroom weapons were even lampshaded by the Gerudo army as although they were effective, no one was able to take them seriously and barred them from use.
  • Never Trust a Trailer: Notably, the trailers, majority of the marketing, and even the game's cover art focused heavily on the introduction of sky islands and the traversal in the skies above Hyrule. What was not mentioned and only shown very briefly was that many underground regions had also been introduced, including a subterranean zone known as The Depths, which is roughly equal in size to the surface world, making them far more expansive than the sky islands, which are mostly just small puzzles and largely optional outside of the tutorial.
  • Newbie Immunity: In the opening prologue beneath Hyrule Castle, the Master Sword is unbreakable, unlike the rest of the game where it is subject to a cooldown when it runs out of durability.
  • New Work, Recycled Graphics: Zig-Zagged. While models for returning characters are largely unchanged (see: most of the Sheikah, the Hudson construction company workers) several of them have undergone Art Evolution. In addition, while the surface map of Hyrule is largely the same, the sky islands above and the Depths below affect the geography in a substantial manner.
  • No Endor Holocaust: Despite massive ancient ruins crashing down from the sky and equally massive fissures opening up across Hyrule, nobody seems to have been directly killed or even injured in the Upheaval. Well, except maybe Link, as it's completely possible for a chunk of sky island to land right on top of him (which causes significant damage). At least one NPC will lampshade how it was a miracle nobody got hurt. Structures however weren't so lucky, as the fall of the ring ruins has half demolished Cado's house in Kakariko Village and destroyed the Cucco pen.
  • No Fair Cheating:
    • The game actively punishes you for attempting to whistle-sprintnote  by draining stamina faster should you attempt it.
    • During a few sidequests where you have to escort people, like one where you have to escort a performing group to a Great Fairy to wake her up, using the Ultrahand on the object they're sitting on for too long will have them tell you to knock it off, forcing you to construct an actual vehicle and not just carry them to the goal. Do it enough times and they'll abort the escort, forcing you to start over.
    • Certain enemies like Lynels and Gleeoks have a counterattack that immediately dismantles Ultrahand builds, ensuring Link can't simply hide behind them. While aerial builds are less likely to be hit by this, they are typically less defensive as a consequence, and both Lynels and Gleeoks are accurate enough in their ranged attacks to snipe Link off of the machine.
    • Jochi-iu Shrine is one of the few shrines designed to prevent the player from trying a certain solution: Attempting to climb onto the block tower will make the platform below move away, dumping the blocks and Link into the pit below.
    • The Spirit Temple is entirely covered in Gloom until completed, ensuring Link has to use the new gimmick of the dungeon to fight the boss even if the player has already acquired much more powerful weapons.
  • No-Gear Level: Some of the shrines, dubbed Proving Grounds, will take away all of your stuff, reduce your inventory space to what it was at the start of the game, and pit you into combat situations with Constructs, forcing you to use only the equipment provided, your wits, and however many Heart Containers you've acquired to get through the level.
  • No Hero Discount: Defied in Lurelin Village. Once Link has driven off the pirates and helped rebuild the village, the villagers are grateful and offer their services free of charge with the exception of the hotel's salt spa plan, which is justified since the owner requires everyone to bring their own rock salt for that, but you're not charged any Rupees for that. Played straight everywhere else.
  • No Ontological Inertia: A Scourge being defeated immediately removes their effects on the world. Killing the Mucktorok causes all the sludge it created across Zora's domain to vanish, clearing the Wind Temple makes all the snow around Rito Village instantly melt (though the snow by the former stable outside the village remains), and so on.
  • No OSHA Compliance: The new Skyview Towers function by launching the user thousands of feet into the air (so high they're the most reliable way of accessing sky islands) and unless you're a Rito or really good with a paraglider using one will get you killed. Let's just say being the owner of the Purah Pad is not the only reason Link is the only one who ever uses them. Purah notes the reason they're not active yet is because there was no one-else available to her that could handle a Paraglider well enough, forcing Link to do it.
  • Nobody Here but Us Statues: Listening in on the child "Voe and You" classes (which Link would otherwise be forbidden from hearing) requires you to dress up in the full Desert Voe set and stand among the practice dummies before class begins.
  • Non-Indicative Name: The Secret Stones aren't exactly secret, given there's no attempts to hide them or their abilities.
  • Non Standard Game Over: During the invasion of Gerudo Town, letting Riju be defeated results in a game over.
  • Nothing Is Scarier: The Depths are almost entirely pitch black when you first jump in. Without proper light or a pocketful of Brightbloom seeds, there is no telling what you will run or step into.
  • Nothing Is the Same Anymore: The Upheaval changes much of Hyrule's landscape and reveals many Zonai ruins in the sky, occasionally dropping debris from above. Even after defeating Ganondorf once and for all and bringing peace to the lands, the post-credits imply the ruins will remain high above Hyrule for years to come. It is unknown if Hyrule Castle itself will or even can ever return from the high pillar it now rests on.
  • Notice This:
    • Certain important map landmark types are made very easy to see. Skyview Towers have white spotlights streaming up from their bases to make them easy to pinpoint, Shrines of Light have green swirls around the top that are easy to see from a distance, stables now have large smoke rings coming from their Malanya effigies to make them easier to find, Chasms are surrounded by high-visibility red Gloom pools, and Lightroots in the Depths, while considerably less conspicuous in the darkness, have a dim orange glow that stands out as a way to locate them. The giant geoglyphs have a pale green glow that is very easy to see from the sky, and the locations of the memories within them are glowing solid teardrop shapes among teardrops that are only outlines, also visible from above.
    • Items laying on the ground tend to sparkle to make them more easily visible.
    • To get the climbing gear, several Brightcap mushrooms have been placed behind a Cave Behind the Falls. Brightcap mushrooms glow brightly in dimly lit surroundings, and it guides you to the chest.
    • Caves containing Misko treasures feature some of Misko's distinctive decorative flags protruding into areas nearby to alert the player to the presence of one of the bandit's treasure tents hidden in the cave.
  • Not the Intended Use: Several abilities have peripheral applications that likely weren't intended.
    • Recall shows a few moments of the past motion of every recently-moved object in the vicinity to give you a sense of what will happen if you use the ability on it; this can also be used to spot small items dropped by fallen enemies, even if they fell into the grass or other places where they can't be seen. It letting you replay movement you input yourself and its much longer range compared to your other hand powers also allows spectacular cheesing of multiple puzzles.
    • Motions from Ultrahand can be replayed using Recall. This opens a ton of possibilities like lifting planks to make Elevators once Link steps atop them, using Recall to launch Gliders without engines or slopes by using both abilities to lift them in mid air, or waving a large object around with Ultrahand and then using Recall to turn the object into a powerful flying weapon against enemies. The combination allows for several ways to bypass challenges or find novel solutions to puzzles.
    • The Sage of Lightning's ability outlines the world around you in yellow to indicate her range as it expands, which is useful in dark areas when you don't want to use a light.
    • Autobuild can be used to quickly gather resources like apples straight off trees by recording a pile of them as a blueprint to "construct" from.
    • Springs are largely intended to be a way to launch Link and/or creations into the air. However, several days after the games release, people have discovered they work as a surprisingly good way to make a pseudo-shock absorber/suspension system for vehicles.
    • Similarly to Springs, the Portable Pot (an item which is only supposed to be used as a single-use portable cooking pot) can be used as a ball-and-socket joint or even better suspension than the Springs.
    • Some time after the game's release, people have discovered that Shrines have unique items not encountered anywhere else in the overworld. By fusing these items to a shield and/or weapon, it's possible to "smuggle" these items out of the shrine and take them into the overworld, where you can use the Hudson deconstruction service to remove them from the shield and construct contraptions with them. A popular target is the fan and generator from the Gemimik Shrine, as it can be powered with the electric zonai part to create a much more powerful fan for machines at the cost of more energy.
    • As a by product of the above, a lot of people will often keep an excess of shields they'll never use for combat specifically for "storing" items by fusing them to the shield and deconstructing them with the Hudson deconstruction service for use later on down the line.
  • Not-So-Safe Harbor: Located on the tropical southern coasts of the Necluda region, the formerly-tranquil Lurelin Village has been taken over by monster pirates who have destroyed most of the buildings, chased most of its residents out, and parked their ship in the middle of the village's harbor.
  • Not Quite Dead:
    • Ganondorf's mummy at the bottom of the cave in the prologue looks like it should be dead — it's in an even worse shape than the Sheikah Shrine monks of the previous game, missing his eyes and held in place by a glowing magic arm over an altar. And then he moves.
    • Right before Link parts with the Master Sword, it weakly chimes, indicating that Fi, the Spirit of the Master Sword survived the gloom's corruption.
    • Exploring the Depths will reveal that Master Kohga survived the beating Link gave him at the Yiga hideout and fell straight into the depths, where he's been living ever since.
  • NPC Roadblock: At Kakariko Village, Link is denied going near the Ring Ruins as Calip explains that it was Zelda's orders for no one to approach it. It's only after Link defeats the Phantom Ganon impersonating Zelda that he gets to investigate the ruins to locate Mineru.

    Tropes O-R 
  • Obvious Rule Patch:
    • The opening tutorial is set in a floating archipelago known as the Great Sky Island. For the rest of the game, you can leap off practically any sky islands as you want (since you can survive, even without a paraglider, wing suit, or flying contraption as long as you land in water), but since the tutorial is when you gain the vital Ultrahand and Recall abilities and learn how to use them, and has required story elements, you're not allowed to jump off at this point (you just get the standard Bottomless Pit animation). Similarly, you can't jump off the Wind Temple and land on the ground, mostly because it would otherwise be an absolute nightmare to backtrack to it again.
    • There's a recurring sidequest to help a builder named Addison put up signs advertising Hudson Construction using your Ultrahand ability. However, you can't just fuse objects to the sign to keep it upright, because that would make it too easy.
    • You cannot bring devices out of your inventory or use Autobuild in Shrines, for no in-universe given reason other than that would make cheesing them way too easy. (You can, however, fuse some devices into your shields before coming into the shrine to give yourself an advantage, and normal items are still fair game to bring out). Secondly, any fires you start with inventory items (such as making a campfire and tossing a acorn into it) will not cause updrafts to glide on. Thirdly, the Earthwake technique does not work in a shrine, presumably because it would make the Proving Grounds shrines too easy. Finally, all Sage's Vows acquired from the Main Quest are disabled entirely, again to prevent any easy solutions to the Shrines.
    • Flying devices, such as rockets, gliders and hot air balloons have a maximum time where they exist, eventually blinking and just disappearing. This happens irrespective of battery energy Link has. It's quite fast for rockets but clearly exists on the glider and hot air balloon because they're the only devices that can move without using battery; this way there's some limit to where Link can go and avoid making some particular sky islands too easy to reach (such as the King Gleeok islands or sky mazes) or just building planes to go everywhere and bypass all navigation challenges.
    • Gloom Spawn on the surface cause the sky to turn Blood-Moon red while they're active, not just as a terrifying effect, but as a way of maintaining their deliberately high threat level—if the sky didn't warp like that, then the player would logically be able to regenerate the Gloom-broken hearts they lost because one of the game's rules is that natural light of the surface automatically sets to regenerating hearts lost to Gloom. With the sky unnaturally red, the game allows this effect to be paused and the Gloom Spawn's Gloom damage to be cumulative, making the enemies scarier and deadlier.
    • Gloom itself is one of these. In the previous game, there was nothing stopping you from trivializing fights by preparing multiple kitchens' worth of food and eating it to heal any damage you took, and combining that with armor that provides ludicrously high defense. With Gloom not only damaging you but temporarily reducing your max HP, it allows the developers to introduce fights where you can't simply rely on healing yourself to win. Of course, the Sundelion is also introduced as a way to combat this as well, as it restores Gloom-broken hearts when cooked into a dish.
      • Likewise, making food that gives yourselves gold hearts was a be-all-end-all way to become basically immortal in Breath of the Wild, since it came with an automatic full heal and bonus HP. Not only does gloom weaken the full-heal part, being afflicted by any amount of gloom will remove every gold heart you have. This, plus a significant increase in the rarity of Hearty items in general effectively kills using gold hearts as a way to heal yourself to assured victory.
    • There are missions where you have to escort someone on a horse-drawn cart to a given destination; you must do this to unlock one of the Great Fairies. While the obvious solution would be to use Ultrahand to carry the cart, doing that makes the passengers queasy in record time and causes you to fail the mission.
    • Zonai flashlights cannot activate light sensors, preventing you from bypassing Light and Mirrors Puzzles. However, it's perfectly possible to use Zonai mirrors and Ultrahand to manipulate the beam's path instead.
    • Korok weapons replenish one-use items attached to them. This does not apply to Ancient Blades so there's no abusing their massive attack power.
    • The doors of the Construct Factory depots close behind Link and seal him into a linear forward route after taking the robot construct parts at the start of each, since there'd be no dungeon and no puzzle-solving if he could just walk them back out through the doors he just entered and manually deliver them that way.
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome:
    • Some time between the previous game's events and now, Ploymus Mountain's Lynel has been permanently driven out since the Zora built Mipha Court exactly where its territory was.
    • After the battle with the Demon King's Army, Link ends up having to go and face Ganondorf by himself while the Sages fight new copies of their respective dungeon's bosses. When Link reaches a certain phase of the fight against Ganondorf, the Sages arrive none the worse for wear, indicating that they each managed to defeat their respective bosses, even without Link's help.
  • Off the Chart: When Ganondorf reaches full power during the final fight and begins his second phase, the health bar refills from all the damage done in the first phase... and then keeps going far beyond where every other health bar ends, doubling in size and nearly reaching the edge of the screen.
  • Old Save Bonus:
    • If the player has save data from Breath of the Wild, some features will be carried over to Tears of the Kingdom, such as the horses that have been checked into the stables.
    • If the player completed The Champions' Ballad DLC in the previous game, the group photo of Link, Zelda and the posthumous champions stays in Link's house in Hateno Village.
  • Ominous Floating Castle: A large mass of Gloom from the chasm beneath Hyrule Castle has caused it to rise up from the surface and several characters refer to it as now floating in the sky. Subverted in that it's actually on top of a really tall stone pillar.
  • Ominous Fog: Thanks to the Upheaval, Korok Forest is enveloped in a black fog contrasting the normal white "lost fog" around the forest. Not only is there no way whatsoever to find a route through the black fog that won't swallow you up (you need to enter the forest from below by Ascending through a pillar in the Depths underneath the sanctuary), but once in the haven, the Deku Tree is ill and the normally cheerful, goofy Koroks are motionless and silent. The dark fog is caused by the gloom that has entered the Deku Tree which Link enters to purify.
  • Omnicidal Maniac: Ganondorf awakening as the Demon King orders his hordes of monsters to obliterate Hyrule, and not even his own people the Gerudo were safe.
    Ganondorf: Rise... rise, my servants. Sweep over Hyrule. Eliminate this kingdom and her allies. LEAVE NO SURVIVORS!!!!
  • Once More, with Clarity: Moving through Gloom's Approach at the end of the game, you can find the same murals Zelda took pictures of at the start. But this time, you can clear the debris away from the rest of them, which show Ganondorf's battle with the ancient Sages and Zelda receiving the Master Sword from Link in the future and becoming the Light Dragon so she can empower the sword to strike down Ganondorf.
  • Only the Chosen May Wield: Once again, the Master Sword has a requirement for being able to draw it out: this time you need 5 extra Stamina Vessels (for a total of 10), instead of the 13 Heart Containers Breath of the Wild asks for, in order to be able to hang onto it while the Dragon of Light ascends high into the sky.
  • Only the Worthy May Pass:
    • The inner section of the Temple of Time on Great Sky Island is sealed by a door that can only be opened if Link has at least 4 hearts' worth of health, thereby requiring him to complete all four Shrines on the Great Sky Island to open it. Trying to open the door without doing so after the first attempt will kill him.
    • Another identical door atop Dragonhead Island requires ten hearts to open.
  • Our Cryptids Are More Mysterious: Endemic to the Depths are insects called Deep Fireflies which have segmented, winged bodies coated in a soft glow, resembling rods.
  • Our Dragons Are Different:
    • In addition to the Eastern-style dragons from Breath of the Wild, this game has the returning boss Gleeok, a hydra-like western dragon, a few of which are scattered across Hyrule as optional mini-bosses.
    • Important to the game's story is that swallowing a Secret Stone turns the person into an immortal dragon. However, the process is usually irreversible, and the person loses their mind and sense of self in the process. This happens to both Zelda and Ganondorf, but whether or not this applies to the three dragons in Breath of the Wild is not specified.
  • Overnight Age-Up: Purah has aged up considerably, going from having the body of a six-year-old in Breath of the Wild to a form that more closely resembles how she appeared in Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity. Exploring the former Hateno tech lab lets you find her diary, which explains that she improved on her anti-aging technology that left her in her child-like state in between games.
  • Ouroboros: The logo of the game shows two dragons biting each other's tails in a circle. It represents Zelda turning herself into an immortal dragon in order to take The Slow Path back to the present, as well as Ganondorf doing the same during the Final Boss fight, during which Zelda's dragon form comes to assist Link.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: One item you can obtain is a wooden cutout with President Hudson painted onto it, showing him from the thighs up. Fusing it to a shield and holding it out while approaching certain NPCs sees them addressing the cutout as if Hudson were there in the flesh.
  • Passing the Torch: Most of the regional leaders have passed their titles on to the prominent younger characters in their communities—Impa now explores and her granddaughter Paya is now chief of Kakariko Village, Kaneli retired as chief of Rito Village, leaving the position to Teba, and Dorephan steps off the throne after the completion of the "Sidon of Zora's Domain" quest, letting Sidon succeed as King of the Zora. The exceptions are Riju, who remains Gerudo chief as she was already a very young successor in the previous game, and Yunobo, who heads a mining company but doesn't take up chiefhood.
  • Permanently Missable Content: Kilton runs a new service where any photos of monsters can be used to create statues. Photos that are in the Compendium but not the album don't count; while most bosses can be refought, one of them can only be fought four times (Master Kohga) while three can only be fought once (Moragia, Sludge Like, and the Seized Construct). If the player doesn't take a picture of them or deletes said picture from the album, they can no longer obtain that boss's statue.
  • Perpetual Storm: Like Thundra Plateau, Thunderhead Isles is affected with an eternal lightning storm and therefore its neighboring island, Dragonhead Island, is also affected by the storm. Unlike Thundra Plateau, the storms don't go away after you dispel the clouds. Although it will be a lot less foggy and Dragonhead Island will no longer be taking the collateral weather.
  • Player Headquarters: Lookout Landing is a small settlement located roughly in the center of Hyrule. Aside from a shop with some basic items and a Skyview Tower it also has the Emergency Shelter with a bed, cooking station, and a Hylia Statue.
  • Player Nudge:
    • Though the game remains as open world as its predecessor, you have to actively seek out the Player Headquarters before you have access to the Skyview Towers and the Paraglider, and upon doing so several important NPCs will suggest visiting the Rito lands in Hebra first. Accepting the nudge and finishing the Rito questline nets you, in order: a Stable, the Geoglyph main quest, Hestu for inventory expansion (he's a bit out of the way from the main road, but he is on the path to the Skyview Tower for the area), the newspaper business with a Climbing Gear sidequest, 90% of the plot revealed to you, arguably the easiest of the main dungeon bosses, Tulin's gust ability for much easier travel, and access to cold-weather armor before you go into Gerudo Desert. None of these are strictly necessary to beat the game, but they make the experience much more convenient.
    • While the player is free to view the Dragon's Tear memories in any order, the map in the Forgotten Temple depicting their locations also have them on the walls in chronological order from left-to-right, starting with the one directly above the map if viewed in the north direction like the Purah Pad's map.
    • Progress far enough without solving the problems at Korok Forest will result in Koroks everywhere else directing you there until it's done.
  • Power Crystal:
    • Several characters obtain "secret stones" as you proceed with the story that glow and provide their bearers with a boost in power. Rauru has a white one, Zelda has a yellow one (which was originally Rauru's), Riju has a gold one, Sidon has a blue one, Tulin has a green one, Yunobo has an orange one, and Mineru has a purple one. Sonia, the queen of Hyrule shown in flashbacks, also had one, which was yellow like Zelda's, and when Ganondorf steals the stone it changes color to red. As it turns out, most of these crystals previously belonged to the Sages who fought against Ganondorf during the Imprisoning War. Each Sage's successor wears it on their person: Rauru on his right hand, Riju as an earring; Sidon on his left hand gauntlet; Yunobo as a belt buckle; Tulin as an anklet; Mineru as a brooch, Ganondorf as a crown, and Zelda (and Sonia) as a necklace. This seems to be intrinsic to the powers the stone themselves amplify, as the Sages who wore them in ages past all wore them the exact same way, except for when Zelda inherited Rauru's stone, she wore it like Sonia, the stone enhancing their time powers. Likewise, when Ganondorf murdered Sonia and stole hers, he wore the stone differently as his power of darkness was not the same.
    • The majority of Hyrule's precious ore now functions as this for the new "Magic" weapons, said to be wielded by an ancient magician who first unlocked their power. Fusing a gemstone to a Magic Rod, Scepter, or Staff will confer its respective elemental power on it, but will provide a greater effect than just sticking the gem on some random stick.
    • Crystallized Charges are a material that can be used to extend Link's battery. They function as a pickup and form of currency.
  • Pre-Explosion Glow: Beams of light emerge from each major boss before exploding.
  • Pressure Plate: Some shrines feature buttons on a floor that need to be weighed down once to be activated.
  • Prized Possession Giveaway: After Tulin proves his strength and maturity by helping Link conquer the Wind Temple, Teba bestows upon him his Great Eagle Bow, which he's used for several years. Teba tells him that he was waiting for Tulin to become a well-crafted Rito warrior in order to pass his bow to him, and by that point he's confident that Tulin will need it more than he does now.
  • Product Delivery Ordeal: A reoccurring side-quest has Link reuniting a backpack-laden Korok with their friend some distance away, usually with there being some sort of obstacle between them. What keeps it from being an Escort Mission is that the Korok does not move and you have to either carry them or glue them to a contraption to get them to the destination. Many players use this as an opportunity to torture the Korok in ridiculously hilarious ways, however.
  • Professor Guinea Pig: Leaving Purah aside, the Yiga member who reverse-engineered the Thunder Helm is dead in the present day, because as it turns out, testing the prototypes by personally getting hit by lightning over and over is hardly safe scientific procedure.
  • Prolonged Video Game Sequel:
    • Korok Seeds return in this game, but there are now 1000 of them total instead of 900 (although it takes only 421 to fully upgrade his inventory this time, rather than 441). Also, finding them generally takes more effort on average than just lifting rocks this time, including escort missions (which grant 2 Korok Seeds as a reward).
    • Spirit Orbs have been replaced with Lights of Blessing (which are functionally the same). There were 120 Spirit Orbs total, allowing Link to get a maximum of 30 collective health and stamina upgrades, but in this game there are 152 Lights of Blessing, allowing 38 health and stamina upgrades. This, along with the Heart Containers obtained by defeating story bosses, allows Link to greatly exceed the maximum health and stamina amounts obtainable in the last game.
    • The number of different collectables has also been greatly increased from the previous games. Aside from the aforementioned Korok Seeds and Lights of Blessing, Link can also collect Poes to trade with Bargainer Statues, Bubbul Gems to trade with Koltin, Sage's Wills to increase the strength of the Sage Powers, Schema Stones and Yiga Schematics for Autobuild blueprints, Crystalized Charges to upgrade your batteries, Recipes to cook, and Old Maps that mark the locations of unique items.
    • The world map has been expanded with Sky Islands above, well over a hundred new caverns, and a massive underground region known as the Depths that mirrors the terrain of the overworld. In total, the playable area has been expanded to nearly three times what it was in the last game, which was already by far the largest map in the entire franchise.
    • In the last game, there were four story bosses that needed to be defeated before fighting Calamity Ganon. In this game, there are now six story bosses that have to be fought before facing Ganondorf, plus a Wolfpack Boss of monsters that must be fought to progress to the final battle, and two mini-bosses if you choose to fight two of the story bosses in their individual storylines. The final boss also has three phases rather than the two phases in Breath of the Wild.
  • Psychometry: Sonia describes the Recall power as a variant of this, allowing the user to retrace and reverse an object's recent memory instead of reading it.
  • Punny Name: Most of the Stable Trotters; their conductor is named Mastro, the fiddle player is named Violynne, their drummer is named Beetz, and their flute-player is called Pyper. Eustus, the horn-player, is the Odd Name Out here.
    • There's a chance of Eustus being named after the Eustachian tube, a part of the inner ear that is commonly associated with the shape of a horn.
  • Putting the Band Back Together: There's a travelling band who like to perform at stables but are reduced to just their conductor and violinist due to their members leaving for different reasons. As a reoccurring side-quest, Link can help them in order to revive the Great Fairies who are fans of a specific member, so Link will have to find and help them with their own problems so they can rejoin. Once they fully regroup and revive the last Great Fairy, they decide to rebrand themselves as the Stable Heroes in honor of Link and begin performing at every stable in Hyrule.
  • Ragnarök Proofing: The Zonai constructs and ruins on the Sky Islands and in the Depths have lasted since the founding of Hyrule, and Rauru mentions early on that the Shrines are host to his personal power. Keep in mind this all happened so long ago that during the war against Calamity Ganon, he had manifested from what power was able to leak out of the seal on Ganondorf, which took another ten thousand years to build up for Breath of the Wild. The Zonai ruins being intact is at least somewhat justified by the Constructs continuing to keep it maintained.
    • The Purah Pad also survives taking The Slow Path back from being displaced with Zelda, somehow without even needing a fresh battery, possibly due to Mineru's spirit inhabiting the pad.
  • Rainbow Speak: Important objects, characters and elements in dialogues are highlighted in red.
  • Rainbow Pimp Gear: Like with Breath of the Wild, armor Link is wearing will carry over into cutscenes, which can make some serious cutscenes looks ridiculous as a byproduct. Some of the worst offenders are the Glider set (a wing suit where Link wears a constantly glaring owl mask), the Miner's set (which has Link in what people describe as BDSM chains), and the Wind Fish set (which gives Link a giant bobble head reminiscent of the toy box style used for the Link's Awakening remake).
  • Random Loot Exchanger: Dondons are large animals that will eat pieces of luminous stone left around them and, after a short span of time, leave behind a flint, amber, opal, topaz, sapphire, ruby, or diamond. While they are likelier to produce lower-value stones than rare ones, this serves as a potentially lucrative but not wholly reliable way to transform luminous stone into gems.
  • Rare Candy: In addition to the Blessings of Light (this game's answer to Spirit Orbs from Breath of the Wild) you can find items known as Sage's Wills in the Sky Islands; four of these can be taken to a goddess statue to upgrade the Living Vows of the the Sages, turning them into Solemn Vows giving them boosted attack power.
  • Recurring Boss:
    • Hinoxes (including Stalnoxes), Molduga and Stone Taluses all return from Breath of the Wild, with the latter having gained a new variant in the Battle Talus, where Bokoblins have built an encampment atop it to snipe Link from.
    • Gleeoks make their return with variants that fit the Fire, Ice, Lightning theme. They are most frequently found on the surface, though the King Gleeok (a variant with all three elements) can be found in the Sky Islands and Depths.
    • New to this game are Froxes (that come in additional Obsidian and Blue-White variants), cyclopean frog-like creatures that lurk in the Depths, often at the bottom of Chasms.
    • Also new, most commonly encountered in the sky, are Flux Constructs, entities made of shifting Zonai blocks that can be disassembled with Ultrahand and other Zonai abilities to be made vulnerable.
    • After you clear their respective temple, bosses from said temples can be found in multiple locations in the Depths; defeating them here for the first time grants 100 crystal charges to upgrade your energy well, they yield unique fusion material, and they respawn after a Blood Moon.
    • Played with regarding Phantom Ganon. He appears all across Hyrule as the Gloom Spawns, and two main quests require you to fight him; once in the Deku Tree Chasm and once in the Hyrule Castle Sanctum. However, the latter encounter is unique; this fight uses a different strategy (ditching the Gloom Spawns entirely in favor of a Doppelgänger Attack) and has its own music that are both completely absent from his other fights. It also affects Phantom Ganon's appearances as Zelda (defeating him in the Sanctum removes "Zelda" from the Blood Moon cutscene) and rewards Link with a Heart Container. Moreover, while Phantom Ganon can be refought via the Gloom Spawns, he can never be refought with the same strategy or music he used in the Sanctum.
    • Master Kohga is fought four times in large mines in the Depths, although the fight mechanics differ in each instance.
  • Recurring Element:
    • As in Breath of the Wild, the map is structured with shrines and towers, and monsters in dungeons plague the four core regions of the map.
    • The game begins, like before, in a self-contained tutorial map above the Hyrule surface, and the shrines there grant the "tool kit" of powers to interact with most of the game. The tutorial area also introduces hostile climate effects with a snowy area and features a unique low-level cold-defense armor piece that can be obtained there, all mirroring the previous game.
    • Once again, a Rito NPC starts a quest at each stable, though he's an investigative reporter and the quests aren't Shrine Quest riddles.
    • Link gets to become a homeowner again, this time with fewer hoops to jump through and a more configurable modular house from the Hudson company on a plot overlooking Tarrey Town.
    • Echoing Tarrey Town, Link gradually brings together a small town community comprised of all of Hyrule's peoples, with evolving music reflecting this, yet again—here, it's the First Town hub Lookout Landing, with more NPCs coming in as the stages of the main quest are completed.
    • The climactic final area is once again Hyrule Castle on the middle of the map, though it is made much harder to access in the early game due to the castle rising above the ground and the actual final boss fight takes place in the chasm below it instead. Also once again, the player is encouraged to visit the climactic Hyrule Castle zone well before the endgame, with rewards including this game's version of Link's blue Champion gear.
    • As in Skyward Sword, Zelda travels far in the past and is revealed to have traveled forward by waiting through linear time to the present in a way the player would have noticed, but not recognized as being her whereabouts until the story plays out further— in Skyward Sword, through a sealing crystal visible early in the Sacred Ground Ruins, and here, through the form of the Light Dragon, introduced before Link lands on Hyrule. Also, following multiple games prior such as Ocarina of Time and The Wind Waker, Zelda has a secret identity and is revealed to be an entity that has been present in the story for some time—again, the Light Dragon in this case.
    • As in Ocarina of Time, the resident Great Deku Tree is infected by a monster in its depths, and Link must fight the boss within to purify the tree. This time, the boss is much more dangerous but the Deku Tree survives the ordeal purified and alive.
    • A Gohma boss appears in this game, with Gohmas being staple bosses in the series, and it's a Gohma's second appearance tied to a volcano zone in the series, following The Wind Waker. Like the first 3D Gohma and several other Zelda bosses, the Marbled Gohma starts out dormant on the boss chamber's ceiling and action must be taken by the player to wake it up and start the fight.
    • The concept of a diegetic model-viewer gallery formed by taking photos for a craftsman to sculpt the subjects loosely returns from The Wind Waker and its Nintendo Gallery. Here, the feature only includes monsters, the sculptures are life-size rather than figurines, they match the specific poses of the monsters in your photos, are placed and manipulated in a diorama area on the open map, and can only be built in finite supply before some have to be destroyed to make room. In The Wind Waker, the model-viewer gallery was also the game's encyclopedia, so that gallery was a completion goal which offered an interactive menu to look at each subject with names and information. In Tears of the Kingdom, the encyclopedia is the Hyrule Compendium, so the monster sculptures are a fun side feature rather than a completion goal.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: Upon awakening, Ganondorf's mummified corpse moves to look straight at the camera and his eye sockets explode with red fire and Hellish Pupils. In the game proper, unlockable memories show Ganondorf with glowing red irises even before mummification.
  • Red Herring: The Sahasra Slope Skyview Tower has its door jammed with a Rito outside trying to get it open. He mentions being hungry and how he used to search the nearby cave for mushrooms. This would naturally lead one to think you need to find him some mushrooms from the cave so he will open the tower. You would be incorrect. You’re actually supposed to use Ascend in the cave underneath the tower to bypass the door entirely. Although an astute player might notice that the mentioned cave is highlighted in red in the dialogue but not the mushrooms, signifying that the puzzle doesn’t have anything to do with mushrooms.
  • Redundant Researcher: After the Zonai ruins started falling from the sky and popping up all over Hyrule, there's been a massive effort to study and research them, with Link coming across dozens of archeologists of the Zonai Research Team all around the country. But the thing is, from your point of view most of their research is completely obsolete; between Link's exclusive ability to activate Zonai devices and the far past flashbacks the story grant him, most often you'll find them theorizing about stuff you already know for certain. They do help somewhat thanks to their translations of the Zonai language (pretty much the one thing Link lacks) but that will often be followed by Link plowing through the ancient mysteries that they're trying to reach in mere minutes.
  • Regional Redecoration: The events of the prologue, now referred by the inhabitants of Hyrule as "The Upheaval" have caused large changes to the environment, with large chunks of rock falling from the sky and large abysses to the Depths opening up. On a smaller note, almost all traces of Sheikah architecture and technology from Breath of the Wild have vanished. From the Towers to the Shrines, the destroyed Guardians, and the Divine Beasts. Even the Shrine of Resurrection, where Link began his previous adventure, has lost the healing machine, now replaced with a regular pond (that does heal Link if he steps in it).
    Website description: The sky isn't the only thing that's changed in Hyrule. Familiar locations have been dramatically transformed, with new towns, dank caves, and mysterious gaping chasms springing up across the world—all waiting to be explored.
  • Remember the New Guy?: The Zonai are a species-wide example. While they were expanded upon in the Creating a Champion art book released between Breath of the Wild and Tears of the Kingdom, the only hint of their existence in any previous Zelda game was in a place named the Zonai Ruins in Breath of the Wild. Like Hylia before them, their massive influence on Hyrule's early days came out of left field and caused more than a few snags in the already loopy Zelda timeline(s). That being said, "Hyrule's early days" may just be this variant of Hyrule's earliest days rather than the actual progenitor kingdom.
  • Replay Mode: Like in Breath of the Wild, you can replay the Memories gathered over the course of the adventure, only these aren't Link's memories but Zelda's. They're stored in Purah's Pad, and can be accessed via the Minus menu.
  • Retcon: Breath of the Wild had implications that Calamity Ganon was what was left of Ganon of the past trying to reincarnate again. Tears of the Kingdom implies it is nothing more than another unconscious creation of Ganondorf as he was waiting to wake up.
  • The Reveal:
    • Some notable mysteries left by the previous game have been resolved here— primarily, the utterly enigmatic Zonai who were the conspicuous namesake of the Faron ruins are now addressed immediately at the start of the game, and are fully revealed as an extinct race of advanced people who were instrumental to (this version of) Hyrule's history and founding. Additionally, the game addresses the ancient hero from the Sheikah tapestry, whose rather un-Link-like visual depiction caused a lot of questions and speculation. How he looked in reality is fully revealed through the Ancient Hero's Aspect armor, earned after completing all shrines— it turns out, he was a Zonai, or a Zonai/Hylian hybrid with heavy Zonai traits.
    • The search for Zelda forms one of the story's main threads, and by uncovering all of the memories through the Dragon's Tears, it is finally revealed that Zelda has been hiding in plain sight the entire time: she's become the Light Dragon that could be seen at the beginning of the game and all throughout it.
    • The nature of the Eighth Heroine, and why she was expunged from Gerudo history, is finally explained in this game. The Seven Heroines were seven Gerudo women with various powers who were called upon to protect their homeland; however, they were disorganized and not especially effective until a traveler from abroad gave them advice on how to work together as a team. Together the seven were able to save their homeland; however, because the traveler was a man, he was forbidden from entering Gerudo Town despite having helped save it. Out of shame that their own laws had caused them to show disrespect to someone who helped them, the Gerudo of the time kept the nature of the individual a secret, first by referring to him as an eighth Heroine and then by hiding away all texts that mentioned him, until eventually the true nature of the Eighth Heroine was lost to history.
    • In the introduction, Zelda notices that the remaining images telling the story of the Imprisoning War is covered by rubble. When Link returns to the same room before facing Ganondorf, they are revealed to show Zelda obtaining the damaged Master Sword and transforming into the Light Dragon to restore it.
    • In a much more mundane example, the full unobscured layout of Thyphlo Ruins is now visible due to the inexplicable dome of unnatural pitch darkness around it being just as inexplicably absent.
  • Rewarding Vandalism: Breaking crates and pots will reward Link with some items such as arrows or basic food.
  • Rock Beats Laser: Building giant war machines to fight monsters versus just using bows or basic melee weapons is Awesome, but Impractical due to their short battery life, the preparation and parts required, destructibility, the fact parts can despawn after a while, and because most of the possible attacks are hard to aim, drain the battery very quickly, and usually don't do as much damage-per-second as a normal Flurry Rush.
  • Rocket Jump: Fusing any kind of bomb to your shield and trying to shield surf will detonate the bomb, propelling Link upward a significant distance. Even better is that Link takes no damage and the shield hardly loses any durability, making this technique very practical for gaining height.
  • Rock of Limitless Water: Some of the sky islands have waterfalls pouring endlessly from them. And more problematically, the one above Zora's Domain is spewing infinite amounts of mud, completely screwing up the place.
  • Runic Magic: The Master Sword, like all other weapons, can have materials fused to it; however, the fused material is hidden after a second or two of the blade being out, and instead there are Zonai runes on the blade to indicate that it is fused.
  • Running Gag: Link has a tendency to walk up to NPCs who are concentrating on something and startling them by talking.

    Tropes S-Z 
  • Samus Is a Girl: Inverted. If you complete the Eighth Heroine archaeology side-quests, you'll discover that the mysterious eighth "heroine" who assisted the seven legendary Gerudo heroines long ago was actually a man. Although he rallied the seven heroines against a terrible monster and saved the Gerudo people, he was still forbidden entry into Gerudo Town due to their strict traditions, which sullied their alliance and brought shame to the Gerudo, although even his mere existence, never mind his gender, was eventually lost to history.
  • Save Scumming:
    • Didn't get what you wanted when you scanned an amiibo? Reload your save from before you scanned it and try again.
    • In one sidequest, there is a particular Goron who wants to eat "Ripened Flint", which is supposedly a delicacy for Gorons. The problem: It's not distinguishable from normal flint, so you have to give him huge amounts of it - 50 or even 100 units at once - and whether one of the flints is actually the Ripened Flint is up to chance. However, so as not to waste so much of your inventory, you can just save before and reload. Eventually you'll beat the quest this way.
  • Scary Stitches: The Armor of the Depths set, which imitates the Bargainer deities and makes Link resemble a dark wizard or priest mixed with a grim reaper, has a ragged appearance with asymmetrical fabric and prominent lighter stitching or lacing on the hood to make it look creepier.
  • Scenery Porn: As the sequel to one of the only pieces of media to get its own page dedicated to how incredibly beautiful it is, it's no surprise that the amazing views are just as prevalent here, if not moreso.
    • Just like Breath of the Wild, the game opens with Link getting a truly gorgeous view of the world that awaits him, this time as he skydives down to the Great Sky Island.
    • The views from the Sky Islands are always stunning, allowing you to see massive chunks of the game's world from a bird's eye view.
    • The Sky Islands themselves have an atmosphere of wonder with their distinctly autumnal yellow and grey color palette that contrasts with the greens and blues of the surface.
    • The Depths are a dark version of this, presenting a massive surrealist dark forest with jagged stone walls and bizarrely beautiful flora. The Bargainer colossus statues also make for an awesome presence, particularly the northernmost colossus which is completely freestanding and scrapes the "sky" of the Depths with its height.
  • Schizo Tech: While Breath of the Wild also had this with the Sheikah technology, the sequel takes it up to eleven with the even more ancient, yet even more advanced, Zonai technology. Despite being well over ten-thousand years old, the Zonai invented automobiles, aircrafts, turbines, sentient automatons, flamethrowers, batteries, and even rockets.
  • No Sense of Time: As is usual for when 10,000 Years is in effect. We learn Hyrule's royal family from Rauru to Zelda has ruled for over 10,000 years. Which is 2x as much as Real Life written history. It also brings questions about the Sages of the past having direct descendants in the future, for instance Zelda being Rauru's direct descendent - after so long wouldn't all Hylians be in some way related to Rauru?
  • Schmuck Bait:
    • Several locations in the Depths have prominent treasure chests emanating Gloom. Approaching the chest will start a fight with waves of Gloom-infected monsters or a boss you have previously defeated. One of the colosseums even throws several Lynels at you. Actually touching the chest before all the monsters are defeated inflicts Gloom damage too.
    • Every now and then you may find bananas lying on the roadside for no reason, inviting you to pick them up. Why wouldn't you? They have great attack buffs. It's another Yiga ninja trap, and they will mock you for being fooled by such a simple ruse.
  • Sdrawkcab Name: The names of the Lightroots down in the Depths are the names of the Shrines directly above on the surface, but backwards.
  • Sealed Evil in a Duel: Thousands of years ago, Rauru, the first king of Hyrule, defeated Ganondorf by siphoning away his magic strength and sealing him underground. However, he could only do so by continuous physical contact, trapping him with Ganondorf for eons, even as his physical body withered to just an arm. Rauru knew that he could not hold Ganondorf forever, only long enough for the hero Link to appear and defeat him when Ganondorf inevitably broke free.
  • Secret Shop:
    • There's a shop in Gerudo Town that sells exclusively male clothing. It's not quite sure as to why (they have a strict "no questions" policy, maybe it's a fetish thing), but needless to say the door is normally locked and getting in requires some work.
    • There are several bargaining statues in the Depths that trade wandering Poe spirits for unique items and armors. Each statue you find expands their inventory, and they also sell copies of amiibo weapons and armor you have already found. They claim their job is to ferry those wandering souls to the afterlife, and they've been having trouble doing it recently, but the whole thing is rather creepy.
    • Kilton's brother Koltin appears in several locations at nighttime and will trade Bubbul gems for one thing at a time. He has all of Kilton's monster hats and some monster parts, and he gives useful hints on how to use monster parts. Eventually he'll run out of stock, but if you keep collecting you can fulfill his wish to eat all of Hyrule's Bubbul gems.
  • Sequel Escalation:
    • In the first game, you could only fight Master Kohga once. This game makes him a Recurring Boss which can be fought up to four times, with each boss fight also differing drastically from one another.
    • In the last game, the Master Sword was badly damaged during the Great Calamity and requires a full century to get it back to normal strength. In this game, it's outright destroyed during its first encounter with Ganondorf, and takes well over ten-thousand years of healing to repair itself.
    • In the last game, a substance known as Malice was found in certain regions which damaged you if you touched it. In this game, it's been replaced by Gloom, which not only damages, but causes Maximum HP Reduction, and it is far more widespread than Malice ever was. Even worse, certain monsters can be Gloom-infected, augmenting their attacks with the same ability. Ganondorf himself has Gloom attacks so powerful they permanentlynote  take your hearts away.
  • Sequel Non-Entity: The entire Ancient Sheikah civilization and their technology. The game makes oblique references and mythology gags to them, such as the Purah Pad being inspired by the Sheikah Slate, and Purah and Robbie's work still has the Ancient Sheikah style (and Cherry is still around, perhaps the only creation that was explicitly ancient Sheikah in the previous game still present in this one, and even so the fact that it's ancient Sheikah isn't acknowledged). Still, there is very little mention not only of the Slate, but Guardians, Shrines, Towers and, most prominently, the Divine Beasts, which were actually deemed sacred in the previous game. No variant of Guardian is still extant as an enemy, and beyond a tapestry depicting an army of them they only appear at all in the form of one decayed inactive Stalker body on the roof of the Hateno Tech Lab. A late game sidequest at the school features the only direct references to the Divine Beasts (as the quest is about proving to the kids the Calamity happened), with Impa describing them and one student mentioning that he heard the Divine Beasts had become active again some years ago when he was too young to remember.
  • Sequence Breaking:
    • You're intended to find the Fifth Sage, Mineru after completing all four of the Regional Phenomena quests and investigating Hyrule Castle. However, the only thing that's standing in between you and this, practically speaking, is a door requiring ten hearts and a perpetual thunderstorm which reduces visibility to mere feet in the islands where you find the start point for Mineru's quest. You can easily get to this part of the game without triggering the 'required' path in any form.
    • It's also very likely for a player who is diligent about exploring the world to complete many of the shrine quests and side quests before they are actually given to Link. The game won't mark them as completed until the quest is actually assigned, but it will instantly reflect them as complete if the player later comes across the trigger.
  • Set a Mook to Kill a Mook:
    • At various spots throughout Hyrule, Link can find a group of Soldier Constructs and a group of monsters close to each other, but separated by a barricade. Getting rid of said barricade from a distance will lead to the Constructs and monsters spotting and immediately fighting each other. Meanwhile Link can sit back, watch the show, and leisurely mop up the weakened survivors afterwards.
    • A stealthy Link can use Muddle Buds to get some entertaining and productive theater in mooks attacking each other for as long as the effect is applied. Done right, a large outpost can be emptied mainly by its inhabitants so long as Link isn't noticed.
  • Ship Tease: Although there's no story sequence that points to it, returning to Link's old house in Hateno reveals that it's recognized as Zelda's home now. However, Link can still sleep there for free, indicating it's still his home, as well. The telling paired amounts of utilities dotted around the house, coupled with Zelda's secret study in the well behind the house indicating someone else is living there all points towards a cohabitation that has them a sniff away from Official Couple.
  • Shock and Awe: Riju has inherited power over lightning similar to Urbosa's Fury. In gameplay, this translates to her putting out electricity and Link calling it down by firing an arrow where he wants her to strike.
  • Shout-Out:
    • When inspecting the empty frame at Tabantha Bridge Stable the second time, the owner says "This wall is where I would display my painting of the Ancient Columns bathed in the light of the sunrise...if only I had one!", calling to mind the "This where I would put my trophy... if I had one!" meme from The Fairly Oddparents.
    • The Jochi-iu Shrine revolves on the task of carefully removing metallic blocks that form a tower to obtain the sphere at the top without making it fall, which is exactly Jenga.
    • After your final battle with Master Kogha,they call you a "twerp" and even make their departure by way of A Twinkle in the Sky for good measure.
  • Shown Their Work:
    • In the Hebra Depths are a set of magma falls that happen to be right below where the secret hot springs are. While this may come out of left field for some, hot springs are brought about by magmatic hot spots heating up water sources that happen to be above them.
    • Close examination of the Glowing Cave Fish will show that it doesn't have visible eyes. Not surprising, since there are recorded cases of real life cave-dwelling fauna having atrophied eyes if they have any at all due to the low-light conditions in caves.
  • Sidequest: A few variants exist in the game:
    • Sidequests, activities that can be completed in maybe half an hour or less and are localized to a small area.
    • Side Adventures, more involved affairs that can span the entire game world, in some cases requiring you to complete multiple side quests.
    • Shrine Quests, which are puzzles that must be solved to unlock shrines.
  • The Siege: As part of the Riju of Gerudo Town arc, you have to help fortify Gerudo Town against a Gibdo invasion, positioning troops and barricades while using Riju's lightning powers to destroy the hives the Gibdo are emerging from.
  • Significant Anagram: The names of shrines (and by extension their backward-named Lightroot counterparts) are anagrams of locations throughout Kyoto, home of Nintendo's offices.
  • Single Line of Descent: Zelda is recognized as being the descendant of Rauru and Sonia by her time and light manipulation powers, but the time gap between them is an undefined span of well over 10,000 years. Realistically, a large portion of Hyrule's modern day population should be descended from them. The same would apply to all the other Sages and their descendants.
  • Single Woman Seeks Good Man:
    • In one particularly Ship Tease-y tear memory, Zelda gushes to Sonia and Rauru about Link—putting particular emphasis on his "good heart" and heroicism. They seem to pick up on Zelda's less-than-strictly-professional affections and tease her lightly for the extremely flattering picture she paints of her knight.
    • Koyin (the girl in Hateno who runs the cheese shop) will develop a small infatuation with Link after he retrieves her grandfather's letter in a bottle that had fallen in the small pond behind her house, frequently expressing her disappointment whenever he leaves her shop.
    • Zumi, a stablehand at New Serenne Stable, will also develop a crush on Link after he fixes her wagon for her and catches her a horse. If spoken to after completing her sidequests, she'll give out tips about horses... but only one tip at a time, to keep him coming back to talk to her. She'll also name her new horse "Zunk"—a rather silly-sounding portmantau of her name and Link's combined, which doubles as a bit of a meta-joke on the Portmanteau Couple Name trope.
  • Sinister Scythe: Silver Lizalfos Horns are black-and-red sickles that create a very menacing scythe when fused to a weapon, especially a two-handed sword.
  • Situational Sword:
    • Zora weapons aren't particularly impressive at first glance, but they double in power when Link is wet. They can be very powerful during rainy weather or near bodies of water, but anywhere else you'll need to get creative to make Link wet, and he'll dry off very quickly in hot regions. Sidon's Sage power makes it easier to get wet even in hot weather, but "being wet" only counts after launching the water projectile. Alternately, you can fuse an Opal or a King's Scale to the weapon to put it in permanent 'wet' mode; early in the game, the doubled base power can be worth more than any fusion material designed for an attack boost.
    • New armor sets and meal effects grant Link an attack boost when he's in a very hot area, a very cold one, or during a thunder storm. These effects not also providing resistance to those conditions limits their usefulness somewhat.
    • A new potion type causes a Sticky effect on Link, reducing the frequency of slipping while climbing in rain or damp caves by certain amounts depending on the effectiveness level. While extremely useful in a few areas that are perpetually wet or covered in ice, it's otherwise a fairly random situation and is superseded by a two-star Froggy Armor set which has a permanent slip-proof effect whilst the potions only decrease the chance of slipping.
  • Skeletons in the Coat Closet: Boss Bokoblins wear necklaces made of human skulls, while the Stalnoxes have several Stalkoblin skulls impaled on their horn (which are still "alive" and wriggling).
  • The Sky Is an Ocean: The ancient civilizations originally traversed the sky islands above Hyrule in flying boats resembling viking longships. To get to the Wind Temple, Link has to bounce off the sails of a huge fleet of these ships circling around a massive cyclone. Associations of sky islands are even referred to as archipelagos.
  • Sky Surfing: The Zonai item Wing is a bird shaped board that's the most basic method of traversing the sky. Once ridden off a cliff, it will glide slowly through the air, steered by walking Link towards where one wants to turn to tilt it in that direction.
  • Sliding Scale of Linearity vs. Openness: As with the prequel, Tears of the Kingdom is free-roam. While there are some features that are locked behind Main Story quests, not all of them are necessary to explore the world and can be tackled whenever the player wants. The intended Main Quest order, for the curious, is as follows: the Great Sky Island, finding Lookout Landing, the four Regional Quests, Hyrule Castle, the Fifth Sage, finding the Master Sword/the remaining Dragon's Tears, and finally defeating Ganondorf.
  • The Slow Path: Zelda is transported more than 10,000 years back into Hyrule's past by way of Rauru's Secret Stone. She gets back to the present day by swallowing the stone to undergo draconification, turning her into an immortal, but mindless Light Dragon, although she is turned back into a Hyrulean after Ganondorf is defeated.
  • Smoke Out: New to this game is an item called a Puffshroom. When struck or thrown, it releases a cloud of smoke that can blind and disorient enemies, giving ample time to either retreat or close in for Sneakstrikes.
  • Soft Water: Link can dive from any height into any body of water and negate all potential fall damage. This is taken to an extreme when Link and Zelda plummet at breakneck speed from the lower stratosphere after the final battle, but manage to survive without a scratch by splashing down in a small pond.
  • So Last Season: The Master Sword, which was effective against Calamity Ganon, ends up being no match for Ganondorf and the Gloom, breaking in one hit. Once Zelda receives the sword in the past, she undergoes a plan that would not only restore the weapon, but infuse it with sacred power to fully withstand Ganondorf's might.
  • Special Attack: Each of the allies Link makes when investigating the Regional Phenomena have a special ability that Link can call upon, both during the journey into the Temples and afterwards via their Avatars when they are named a Sage.
    • Tulin can create a lateral gust of wind that can extend Link's gliding distance, knock over small enemies or disperse piles of sand.
    • Sidon can envelop Link in a protective bubble of water that can negate damage once, or be used to attack enemies with a watery Sword Beam.
    • Riju can conjure lightning at any point Link fires an arrow at.
    • Yunobo can turn himself into a Goron cannonball to attack enemies at range, creating a fiery explosion on impact.
  • Spike Balls of Doom: A few shrines feature spiky metal spheres that damage Link upon contact. Some monster outposts also feature these as traps, although Link can easy turn these against them with his Recall or Ultrahand ability. He can also create maces by Fusing these to his weapons.
  • Spikes of Doom:
    • A few shrines feature spikes that damage Link when walked on. They also appear in the Water Temple.
    • The Yiga clan like to decorate their vehicles with spiked metal plates that damage Link if he touches the pointy end.
  • Spoiler Opening: If you're very observant to the tapestry at the beginning, you'll notice that Ganondorf steals something from the woman depicted with the Zonai figure at the start who appears to be writhing in pain during this scene, which is a very early hint to Ganondorf stealing Sonia's Secret Stone after murdering her.
  • Springs, Springs Everywhere: Link can carry coiled springboards with him. These can be deployed to launch things in the air. They also appear on certain Sky Islands, allowing easy traversal from one to the next.
  • Springy Spores: Most mushrooms Fused with weapons and shields grant the Bounce quality, having huge knockback against enemies.
  • Stable Time Loop:
    • The plan to completely defeat Ganondorf involves Rauru sealing Ganondorf under Hyrule Castle for over 10,000 years until Link and Zelda come across his tomb. This results in Zelda being launched into the past, which starts the series of events that result in Ganondorf's sealing, his eventual return, and Link defeating him for good.
    • Zelda and the Master Sword also play into one. Without knowing what he's done, Link sends the destroyed Master Sword back in time after entering the Zonai Temple of Time, whereupon, it (unbeknownst to the player) immediately reappears due to it being lodged in the head of the Light Dragon who emerges in the clouds. The sword went through a period of long linear time to return to Link's present and heal. The dragon itself is also an example—Zelda was sent back as far as the Master Sword, and she transforms herself into the Light Dragon to wait the eons it takes to heal the Master Sword and return it to Link in his present.
  • Steampunk: Technology in Hyrule has reached this aesthetic thanks to successful efforts reverse-engineering Sheikah tech. Notably the towers mapping the area are like giant fireworks silos that can also launch Link literally sky high. His initial activation of them involves hooking up his Purah Pad with an extremely long cable so he can transmit land survey data from the air back to base. The Purah Pad itself has a more mechanical look with a metal camera lens and frame on top of the Magitek and has a more sophisticated colour palette with its brass frame and red hues compared to the mystical glowing orange and blue emanating from a stone slate.
  • Story And Gameplay Integration:
    • It's revealed either late in the main story or potentially fairly early on in the Dragon's Tear memories that the Zelda that's been spotted around Hyrule is actually a disguised Phantom Ganon. After defeating it at Hyrule Castle, "Zelda" no longer appears in the Blood Moon cutscene and it no longer has any narration.
    • In the first game, Link started off at 3 hearts and gained his strength from completing shrines and trading Spirit Orbs for heart/stamina containers. For continuity sake in this game, Link starts off in the opening scene with full hearts and stamina until Ganondorf corrupts him, knocking him down to only 3 Hearts and 1 Stamina Wheel again. Though they fulfill the exact same gameplay function as Spirit Orbs, the Lights of Blessing story-wise are purging Ganondorf's Gloom rather than building on Link's strength.
  • Stupidity Is the Only Option: Going to Hyrule Castle to rescue Zelda. The previous mandatory quests has you constantly running into Zelda acting extremely suspiciously, and you may very well have seen the vision where Ganondorf created a fake Zelda in the past, or outright received the Master Sword from the real, now dragonized Zelda. You still need to let yourself be led into half a dozen ambushes.
  • Stylistic Suck: Addison's support beams for his signs are not professional, to put it mildly.
  • Sudden Soundtrack Stop: After Link has helped out the four regions, as soon he arrives at Lookout Landing, the soundtrack stops entirely as the residents are staring at Hyrule Castle upon seeing Zelda over there.
  • Superboss: Gleeok makes their triumphant return in 3D for the first time, and boy do they do not disappoint. Attempting to take them on early game is basically a death sentence. There are Gleeoks based on all three basic elements, and as soon as the battle starts, the environment will be altered to reflect their element, requiring the needed armor in order to not be taking constant damage throughout the battle. And then there's King Gleeok, which lacks the Geo Effects of its predecessors but deals significantly more damage with each of its attacks. Even with maxed out 20/20/20 armor, King Gleeok can still take off 6 to 7 hearts with a single hit. And then there's the one you encounter in the Depths, which has the Gloom's effect of cutting off your max hearts with each attack. Have fun fighting that one.
  • Superpowerful Genetics: The first King and Queen of Hyrule, Rauru and Sonia, respectively had the innate powers of light and time. Zelda has the same powers, which is noted by Sonia as proof of their blood relation.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: With the lack of any Sheikah technology and Guardian and Ancient weaponry, the Construct and Zonaite weapons act as their replacements, being gear that is also strong and weatherproof (as they won't burn up near lava, nor will they conduct electricity). The Zonaite Bow for instance, can also be charged to fire an arrow that flies further and straighter than other bows, similarly to the Ancient Bow. You can also replicate the range with any bow by Fusing a wing item to an arrow.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: A man named Hagie has instated himself as the toll officer for the railcar in Tarrey Town. After completing the side-quest with preparing Hudson's daughter Mattison for her pilgrimage to Gerudo Town, talking to Hagie again will have him return any toll you've paid, say he's reflected on his greedy actions, and vows to find honest work and spend more time with his own daughter. He adds that it has absolutely nothing to do with the fact Hudson caught him charging people for the free transportation system he built and got angry at Hagie for scamming people.
  • Sweet and Sour Grapes: Exploring the Dragon's Tears will reveal that Zelda turned herself into a mindless dragon in order to bring the rejuvenated Master Sword to Link, in a dire and heart-wrenching but absolutely necessary personal sacrifice. In the finale, the spirits of Rauru and Sonia supercharge Link's Recall ability and reverse the process, turning Zelda back to her original form.
  • Sweet Sheep: The Zonai resemble goats more than any other animal, and acted as Benevolent Precursors to Hyrule.
  • Swiss-Army Weapon: Link's new Fuse ability lets him combine weapons with objects or other weapons to create new ones, such as a Tree Branch and Boulder for a hammer, a spear with a pitchfork to double his attack radius, or even a Blue Bokoblin Horn with a Wooden Stick for a Blue Boko Reaper.
  • Tank Goodness: Yes, you can build one. Unsurprisingly, it's one of the better combat builds in the game.
  • Take Your Time: The main Quests of confronting Ganondorf and finding Zelda can be put to backburner while doing numerous side quests. The latter is somewhat justified in that Link and numerous Hyrulians keep seeing Zelda all over the kingdom, in both main story quests and side quests, thus those side quests are actually Link attempting to follow the sightings to find Zelda, except "Zelda" is actually Phantom Ganon disguised as her to sow chaos and discord around the Kingdoms and manipulate the sage's descendant into preventing them from awakening their powers. Furthermore, Zelda's actual location is technically revealed in the Geoglyph side-quest, running concurrent to the main plot, and her current situation means that there's nothing Link can do to 'rescue' her anyway, leaving him free to focus on side-activities in preparation for fighting Ganondorf. Meanwhile, Ganondorf remains in the Depths to ostensibly recover his full strength after being weakened from over 10,000 years of being sealed by Rauru, giving Link the time he needs to better prepare to face him. Except, if Link rushes to face him as quickly as possible, he reveals that he'd already recuperated enough to regain his full power once Link made it back down to Hyrule, and the real reason he didn't face him sooner was that he was utterly disinterested in fighting a loose rabble of unworthy opponents that he'd easily destroy until they managed to fight their way to him as a 'test' of how strong they were, allowing Link all the time he needed to prepare out of sheer arrogance.
  • A Taste of Power: Link begins the game with two rows of 15 heart containers and three full rings of stamina, as well as wielding the fully powered Blade of Evil's Bane. It doesn't last past the game's prologue and the most you can mince in gameplay are the extremely fragile Keese.
  • Ten-Second Flashlight: Attaching a Zonai Light to a shield allows it to light up dark areas, but doing so not only drains your energy cells, but also wrecks the shield's durability.
  • Tennis Boss: In grand series tradition, Ganon's gloom attacks during the final battle can be hit back at him with the Master Sword, doing a reasonable bit of damage, although it isn't necessary to defeat him.
  • Temporal Duplication: Due to Zelda accidentally using the Secret Stone at the beginning to travel 10,000 years into the past, this results in there being two Secret Stones belonging to Rauru since Zelda's was actually his and Rauru still has his own one, up until it gets sent to the future via The Slow Path and is ultimately used to transform Zelda into the Light Dragon.
  • "Test Your Strength" Game: At Hyrule Field, a Goron is holding a test of strength game by offering participants prizes on using nearby materials to strike a bell as hard as they can. Depending on how much strong the method used to make the bell ring, Link will either receive rupees or a gemstone.
  • Thematic Sequel Logo Change: The Master Sword in the logo is completely broken, with the rest of the sword filled in with green runes, representing both its destruction at the hands of Ganondorf at the beginning of the game and the influence of the Zonai within the game's plot. Behind the lettering is a Zonai-themed ouroboros, representing the Stable Time Loop Zelda ends up undergoing.
  • Theme Song Reveal: The main theme caps off on a quiet snippet of "Zelda's Lullaby" played on the erhu. In gameplay for the previous game, this instrument had a notable presence in the soundtrack for the theme of the three Spirit Dragons. The revelation that Zelda becomes one in this game is all there in the instrumentation of the main theme!
  • Terminal Transformation: There is an ancient technique called draconification, which transforms a user into an immortal dragon by swallowing a secret stone. However, this eternal life comes at the price of losing the mind and identity, rendering the user as a mindless, animalistic beast. There is no known way to reverse the draconification process, and is thus heavily discouraged even as a final resort. Zelda, who has been time-displaced into the past with the broken Master Sword, willingly chose this path to return to her present-time with a fully restored Master Sword for Link to defeat Ganondorf. Ganondorf, on the other hand, choses draconification as a last-ditch effort to kill Link and destroy Hyrule, not caring if he has to sacrifice his body and mind to do it. At the end of the game, Link ultimately finds a way to reverse the draconification process on Zelda while Ganondorf ultimately dies as a mindless Demon Dragon, his secret stone being destroyed by the Master Sword.
  • "Test Your Strength" Game: A Goron runs one near the Coliseum Ruins, where you have to hit the bell as hard as you can with whatever's nearby and he'll reward you based on the "mega-ding scale".
  • Time Abyss:
    • Ganondorf is implied to be unimaginably old at this point. Ten thousand years passed between the first war against Calamity Ganon and his reappearance, and since the binding on him was growing weaker over time until it failed completely, it's likely that it took even longer for enough power to build for Calamity Ganon to leak out the first time.
    • Thanks to a Stable Time Loop, Zelda and the Master Sword become this over the course of the game, as both are sent back untold millennia to Hyrule's very beginning, and end up taking The Slow Path back to the present day.
    • Technically speaking, both Rauru, Mineru, and the other Sages are also this old, due to begin born back before the kingdom of Hyrule was even a thing. Of course, none of them have physically survived to the present day, only remaining as spirits to help Link and their descendants on their quest to defeat Ganondorf.
  • Time Rewind Mechanic: The Recall ability, which allows Link to rewind the movement of an object. Applications include rewinding fallen debris from the Sky Islands, rewinding thrown projectiles back at enemies, or undoing a mistake with a physics puzzle.
  • Time Skip: A decent amount of time has passed between this and the preceding title, and closer inspection of the land of Hyrule and its inhabitants reveals it to be quite a substantial one. While some elements are more nebulous than others (Tulin being an early adolescent from a seemingly hatchling age, Riju's minor maturation), the big one is in that Hudson and Rhondson, who were newly-married at the end of Breath of the Wild, here are shown to have a daughter, Mattison, already of emergent childhood and about to be taken to Gerudo Town for the rest of her raising. This puts the gap anywhere from a likelihood of five to six years. The time skip seems to line up fairly closely with the time passed in the real world between games.
  • Toggling Setpiece Puzzle: In some locations, there are switches that toggle the gravity of the surroundings. These take the form of small pillars shaped like dragons facing each other, between which lies a stone component that brights orange when gravity is at its normal value, and green when Link hits it and makes gravity reduce its intensity (other visual cues include light-blue particles appearing in the atmosphere and the stone component hovering). Fittingly, all gravity-controlling switches present will show the current state of the surroundings, even though only one of them is hit at a time. Changing the gravity back and forth will be important to solve puzzles, since doing so will alter the weight of objects as needed.
  • Too Awesome to Use: Largely averted. Several unique weapons (as well as previously exclusive amiibo weapons) can be found throughout Hyrule, and while they all break (with the exception of the Master Sword), once you've found them, you can re-acquire them from any Bargainer Statue in the Depths using Poes.
  • Took a Level in Badass: The Five Sages each require Link's help to take down the bosses in their temples. By the end of the game, Ganondorf sics them on the Sages again all at once to keep them occupied so he can duel Link one-on-one. The Sages come charging in to help you face Ganondorf mere minutes later, having beaten their bosses alone and looking none the worse for wear.
  • Tourism-Derailing Event:
    • Lurelin Village is a sunny beach town on Hyrule's southeastern coast well known for being a relaxing tourist draw. Back in Breath of the Wild it was notably the only major town that didn't have any quests related to the main story. Not long after the start of the Upheaval, unfortunately, pirates attacked Lurelin, leveling most of the buildings and scattering its inhabitants across the land. The refugees you encounter often say they'd like to recommend visiting Lurelin for its beach town attractions, but they admit it's just not safe to do so anymore. Link is tasked with defeating the pirates and helping to rebuild the houses and shops to bring Lurelin Village back to its former glory. Bolson the builder even has Link help him add a new boat race dock in order to make the town's tourism industry even more lucrative than before.
    • Inverted with Kakariko Village. As was the case across the rest of Hyrule, the Upheaval resulted in ancient Zonai ruins crashing to the surface — giant stone rings in Kakariko's case. The chief, Paya, decides to start a tourism drive by opening up the village to non-Sheikah (previously, the only outsiders allowed in were Link and several travelling merchants) in order to reinvigorate the place. It helps that the Ring Ruins didn't crush any people or houses (except for Cado's) when they fell and are surprisingly stable in their current locations. They only needed to take precautions with a single floating ring that Princess Zelda ordered cordoned off — though in that case it was really because "Zelda" (actually a disguised Phantom Ganon) wanted to keep the heroes from discovering a clue in the ring that would help them against Ganondorf.
  • Trail of Bread Crumbs: In one sidequest, Link has to investigate where a pack of goats ran off after being given cooked pinecones, with a trail of them left behind leading to their hiding spot.
  • Traveling at the Speed of Plot: One of the side-quests is helping Hudson and Rhondson's daughter prepare for her pilgrimage to Gerudo Town. However, she won't arrive there until after you complete the Gerudo Town story quests, which is probably for the best considering the state it's in beforehand.
  • Treasure Is Bigger in Fiction: Precious stones like diamonds and rubies are significantly larger than Link's fist.
  • Trick Arrow: The Fuse ability can be used to imbue arrows with different properties, such as elemental arrows using corresponding element materials or homing arrows using a monster eyeball.
  • A Twinkle in the Sky: After Link defeats Master Kohga in their last duel, he tries to eliminate Link with his own missile weapon. It ends with his contraption hitting himself and sending him rocketing out of the Depths with an Audible Gleam.
  • Underground City: Because you can never have enough ancient civilizations, the game reveals that millenia ago, Gorons used to live in the Depths under Death Mountain, in the beautiful city of Gorondia. Today the city is all but abandoned and instead serves as the Fire Temple.
  • Underground Level:
    • Caves are encountered all over Hyrule. Some of them are very short, while others are much longer and more extensive. They usually consist of intricate systems of tunnels and side chambers, sometimes with multiple exists, and navigation often requires a great deal of vertical movement and clearing out blockages of rocks. Some of them are also partly or wholly flooded. They're inhabited by subterranean enemies, chiefly flocks of batlike Keese, sessile Like-Likes that cling to the walls, and apelike Horriblins that swing along the ceilings. A lot of the plants and animals found here, such as lightseeds, mushrooms, and blind cave fish, are naturally bioluminescent.
    • The Depths are a much more extensive underworld that runs beneath all of Hyrule, which is accessed by diving through boreholes reaching to the surface. While surface caves are shallow enough to receive light, the Depths are naturally pitch-black and must be artificially lit up to progress. They're also home to a lot of dangerous monsters. However, this is also the only source of important historic artifacts and of the valuable Zonaite mineral.
  • Underground Monkey: Every enemy that's not some form of Bokoblin or Lynel has elemental variants; Lightning Keese, Ice Lizalfos, Fire Likes, etc. This is made literal in the Depths, where all enemies deal Gloom damage, causing Link to lose maximum hearts.
  • The Underworld: The Depths are a vast and lightless underground realm where Poes wander, restless spirits that got lost on the way to the afterlife. Also present are mysterious cairns where ghostly Hyrulean soldiers stand at attention, offering weapons un-decayed by Gloom for Link to use in the fight against Ganondorf. These can include pristine versions of weapons Link has previously broken, as if the Depths are where destroyed weapons go to rest.
  • Unique Protagonist Asset: There's actually quite a few people investigating the Zonai ruins and machines, but only Link can activate most of them thanks to his funky new right arm. It's played for laughs, too: Kohga is irate that his nemesis can access Zonai tech and assemble contraptions in seconds by waving his hand around and using magic glue, yet never makes the connection that Link's new arm is the catalyst and is seen several times trying to do it with his ordinary Hylian arm without success.
  • Unobtainium: Most of the Zonai technology is powered by energy and other refined materials processed from a rare mineral known as Zonaite, which Link can find deposits of in certain caverns.
  • The Un-Smile: Parodied. The Gorons running the minecart minigame attempt to smile to put Link at ease. But the smiles look more like angry scowls. Meanwhile, one of the Gorons gets the smile "wrong"... by actually giving what looks, by human standards, to be a friendly smile. The other Gorons seem to think that one is scaring away customers.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: NPCs won't react to Link ascending through ceilings (though the people near where he emerges will be startled and recoil) or using magic to fuse items onto his weapons. They also ignore him using Ultrahand or Autobuild to manipulate and combine objects, though they'll flinch if said items get too close.
  • Upgrade vs. Prototype Fight: The Seized Construct was the Construct originally meant to house Mineru's soul so she could aid Link in the present, but it has since been taken over by Gloom and made to fight for the Demon King. It's technically more advanced than the new Construct you assemble and control: it has more limbs, it can fire more of the weapons attached to those limbs at one time, and it can fly and hover more easily. Nevertheless, your Construct can take it down despite literally being fresh off the factory floor.
  • Vague Hit Points: Unlike Breath of the Wild, there's no way to view the exact HP of enemies, meaning you will have to guess based on the power of the weapons.
  • Variable Mix: The battle theme against Mucktorok changes depending on whether it's in its fish form or not.
  • The Very Definitely Final Dungeon: The appropriately named "Gloom's Approach", in the deepest part of the Depths beneath Hyrule Castle, where the Gloom that's plaguing Hyrule originated from and where Ganondorf is recovering his strength. It consists of a gauntlet of the some of the game's toughest enemies, including both a Silver Lynel and a Gloom Spawn, before taking you back through the same tunnels Link and Zelda were exploring at the start of the game.
  • Victory Fakeout: Whenever Link enters a Zonai shrine and it displays "Rauru's Blessing" all he has to do is walk up to the alter and receive a blessing. Except for one shrine named "Unlit Blessing," which moves away the platform and rotates it 90 degrees, forcing you to figure out a torch puzzle.
  • Video Game Caring Potential:
    • Addison is stationed at various locations desperately trying to keep Hudson's Construction Company sign from falling. A player may feel compelled to stop whatever they were doing to make a quick detour to help him out if they spot him along their way.
    • In Gerudo Town you can help the students at the Voe and You class to overcome their romantic insecurities. There's no reward for doing so; it's just a nice thing to do.
    • Unlike in the previous game, where all seed-bearing Koroks were playing hide-and-seek for no apparent reason, in this game some Koroks are explicitly asking Link to help them, specifically by bringing them to another location where a friend is waiting. This encourages players to be emotionally invested in the Korok Seed collection process. However...
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential:
    • The ability to use Ultrahand to carry backpack laden Koroks has allowed players to chuck them off cliffs and sky islands, crucify them, launch them skyward with rockets and turn them into hood ornaments for vehicles, among other things. And there's no punishment whatsoever, as the only thing that happens is the Korok eventually respawning at its original spot if it gets too far away from there or the destination it wants to go.
    • Upon obtaining the Purah Pad, you can check the Album and find that the three photos Zelda took with it earlier are still saved in it. Unlike the photos saved on the Sheikah Slate which cannot be deleted, there's nothing stopping you from deleting Zelda's photos of the underground ruins which she was excited to document.
    • Wearing the Yiga mask around Sheikah or Gerudo will usually result in disgusted reactions, with Dorian's being the most tragic since his defection from the Yiga resulted in his wife's murder. Wearing the Yiga mask around Gerudo Town will even land you in jail, although they'll realize that it's just Link and will let him free if he just changes his outfit.
    • You can get materials from the Light Dragon, at which point it appears you already know it's Zelda herself. To make matters worse, the Champion's Tunic, which is a tunic Zelda herself made for Link, can only be upgraded using its materials, so you're foraging Zelda's dragon form. Kind of dampened by the fact that the Light Dragon doesn't react at all to whatever you do, so there's no reactions to capitalize on.
  • Video Game Perversity Potential: It took all of a day before people started crafting together perverted constructs, such as a wooden man with a large cannon barrel for a penis that erupts fire before the two testicle bombs dangling underneath completely explode, in addition to using Ascend to give several statues in the Depths a surprise colonoscopy.
  • Violation of Common Sense:
    • Yes, you can attach Bomb Flowers to your shields and weapons. While it doesn't apply for weapons since you'll be caught in the blast too, for shields, it's actually a viable tactic, especially if you engage the shield surf animation - hitting the ground with the shield underneath you causes the bomb to blow and send you skyward, while blasting enemies away. Perfect for a quick escape, or if you want an on-demand Area of Effect attack right on your location. The bonus is that your shield doesn't suffer much durability loss, so feel free to blast away!
    • Similarly, you can Fuse food items to your gear. Ordinarily it'd achieve nothing and just waste food... but attaching mushrooms to your gear gives the "Bouncy" modifier, where enemies struck by them get bounced away as if they were struck with a spring or blown back with a strong wind. This can be quite useful to keep dangerous enemies at bay, or just mess with them and humiliate them.
    • Wooden equipment will also accept fiery items being Fused to them, and won't burn, even if they logically should, unless an external flame source sets them alight. The same applies for metal equipment having electric items attached, where again, they won't shock you unless an external source of electricity strikes you.
    • Let an Octorok inhale a shield. It will spit it back out with improved durability! Though it only works once on each Octorok, meaning you'll have to kill the creature then wait for a Blood Moon to try again.
  • Wacky Waterbed: Link can go to the inn in Zora's Domain and sleep on a Blissful Waterbed for a feenote . Once he pays the fee, there's a sound effect of Link bouncing and giggling on the waterbed, which the player does not see, though it is implied that the innkeeper, being across from the beds, sees Link bouncing. Given the equipment Link uses in his adventure, the Blissful Waterbeds are apparently indestructible, which is why the innkeeper says nothing about Link's behavior on the Blissful Waterbed.
  • Walking Shirtless Scene:
    • Link's new green outfit obtained on the Sky Island after the prologue leaves the right side of his upper body bare, exposing his fused arm.
    • Ganondorf's official art depicts him as having a Samurai-like appearance that partially exposes his chest, in a variant of the "Desert Voe" outfit from Breath of the Wild.
    • Near the end of the game, After you've defeated Ganondorf for good, there is a scene where Rauru and Sonia appear to rewind Zelda's dragon appearance and Link subsequently tries to catch her while falling from the skies. In this entire scene, Link is shirtless, for no apparent reason except maybe to make sure his Zonai arm is clearly visible regardless of the worn armor.
  • The War Sequence: At multiple points in the game, Link has to fight large waves of enemies in scripted sequences alongside NPC characters, such as helping the Gerudo guards fight the Gibdo hordes attack Gerudo Town, assisting Monster Control Crew teams take down monster strongholds, and fighting against Ganondorf's army alongside the New Champions in the chasm beneath Hyrule Castle.
  • Weakened by the Light:
    • The negative effects of Gloom can be remedied by light from the Surface or active Lightroots. Link can cook ingredients with light attributes to cure Gloom corruption of his hearts while exploring the Depths.
    • Stal enemies can be instantly defeated by the flash from a Dazzlefruit.
    • Gibdos are made vulnerable by strong light as well, particularly that reflected by mirror shields, like in several earlier games.
  • Weaponized Car: The first battle with Kohga in the Depths involves him summoning a makeshift vehicle with a big wall of spikes attached to the front, and trying to run you down with it. You have to shoot him with a well timed arrow to momentarily stun him and get some hits in, which gets harder to do as he progressively upgrades his cockpit to protect him more. And if you’re lucky, you can knock him off his vehicle, hijack it, and try to run him down with it.
  • Wham Episode: After viewing all of the memories hidden via the geoglyphs in "The Dragon's Tears" main quest, The Light Dragon appears and begins to cry, with its tears landing in the middle of the Rist Peninsula. Viewing that memory reveals that Zelda turned herself into the Light Dragon to restore the Master Sword.
  • Wham Shot:
    • In the opening sequence, as Ganondorf's corpse awakens and his gloom envelops Link and the Master Sword, the Master Sword shatters. While the sword has been seen in a weakened state in previous games, it's usually due to the ravages of time taking their toll; it's never been outright destroyed. And to happen at the hands of Ganondorf, when it's supposed to be a divine weapon created specifically to combat powers like his, shows how powerful this incarnation of the Demon King is.
    • In the final battle, Ganondorf seems to have his health depleted... only to begin using the stone in his headpiece. His health bar then refills, and then proceeds to get longer than a boss's health bar has ever been in order to back up the fact that the first round was his warm-up.
    • Also one for the player in terms of gameplay in the final battle, if the player goes for a slash on Ganondorf when he's open... only for him to perform the exact same slow motion perfect dodge you've been spamming on other enemies.
  • When Trees Attack: Getting too close to some trees will reveal them to be ambulatory Evermeans that begin attacking. They're still trees, though, and thus take massive damage from axes and leave logs behind when defeated.note 
  • Where It All Began: To reach Ganondorf, Link has to return to the caverns beneath Hyrule Castle where he and Zelda first discovered him.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Absolutely all of the Shrines and Sheikah towers are completely gone without any explanation why. The Shrine of Resurrection is also gutted down to the cave walls and a hot spring, and houses a Yiga base.
  • Whip Sword: Fusing any weapon with a Lizalfos tail will turn it into a whip, greatly extending its range.
  • Why Don't You Just Shoot Him?:
    • Upon being released from his seal, Ganondorf lashes out at Link and Zelda with a tendril of concentrated Gloom, which proves powerful enough to ravange Link's arm, poisoning him with the miasma to the point his health drops down to three hearts, and breaks the Master Sword before Ganondorf even realises who's facing him. Rather than pressing his advantage against the duo however, seeing how poorly Link performs against him even in a weakened state disinterests Ganondorf in continuing the 'fight', opting instead to collapse the cavern around them in the process of raising Hyrule Castle and causing The Upheaval as he retreats to the depths to recover his full strength. This would have been enough to kill them both if not for Rauru's remnant will in his arm saving Link and the Secret Stone Zelda picked up transporting her away, and Ganondorf afterwards indicates he fully expected the Gloom corruption in Link to have been severe enough to kill him without further effort. However, even after learning of Link's survival and attempts to oppose him, Ganondorf remains so convinced that he's an unworthy challenge to him that he refuses to pro-actively face him, allowing Link to cut down his various servants and gather both strength and allies to properly face him for a rematch.
    • Discussed among the four Sages after Ganondorf shows them a vision of death and destruction... and then just disappears rather than immediately kill them. They soon come to the conclusion that Ganondorf is bluffing and he hasn't full recovered yet, giving them hope that there's still time to destroy the Demon King before he destroys Hyrule. However, even if Link rushes straight to fight him, Ganondorf has already had ample time to recover his full strength with some effort for the Final Boss battle, meaning his refusal to fight his enemies stems from his arrogant certainty that they'll never be able to push him no matter how long they take to prepare.
  • Wreaking Havok: Even more so than The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. The ability to build anything with parts available really shows off the games physics engine. Some examples. The interaction between parts truly does get rather insane.
  • Wind Is Green: The Sage of Wind's secret stone and its associated energy are green.
  • Wolfpack Boss:
    • A reoccurring side-quest is helping Captain Hoz and his men defeat groups of monsters, which are represented by a single health bar, similar to the actual bosses.
    • Before you can fight Ganondorf, you have to face off against the Demon King's Army, a huge mob of Gloom-corrupted mooks which arrive in progressively strong waves and share one collective health bar.
  • The Worf Effect: To show just how dangerous this incarnation of Ganondorf is, Link's first encounter with him is a Curb-Stomp Battle that not only has Link being reset to the beginning of Breath of the Wild in terms of power, but Ganondorf also breaks the fully powered Master Sword with ease.
  • World in the Sky: After the Upheaval, several floating landmasses appeared in the sky, called Sky Islands. Link starts on one of these islands after Ganondorf's awakening in the prologue.
  • Wrecked Weapon:
    • The Master Sword ends up all but destroyed by Gloom, leaving only the hilt and a badly corroded piece of the blade intact. The damaged Master Sword subsequently forms an integral part of the Tears of the Kingdom logo, with the lower end replaced by glowing Zonai markings in the shape of the missing half.
    • In fact, this trope applies to all weapons in Hyrule, as Ganondorf's attack has caused them all to decay on a global scale, giving more incentive for the player to use the Fuse ability to strengthen them. Although you can still be able to find normal, non-decayed weapons under certain circumstances.
  • You Are Not Alone: Unlike the previous game, Link can fight alongside the various races of Hyrule, as well as NPCs like Tulin, Sidon, and Riju, and even receives Sage spirit avatars to follow him and assist him in combat as a token of their bond. It's also something Sidon himself struggles with: between his dead sister, his growing responsabilities as prince and the fact that he has a girlfriend now, he's grown averse to letting others take responsibility when he could do it; when Link meets up with him again, he's stressed out currently trying to singlehandedly keep the Zora Domain's last spring clean from mud, even though he'd be more useful leaving it to the others and taking the lead in actually fixing the problem. It takes a while (and quite a bit of moral support) for him to realize trying to shoulder that by himself instead of trusting his friends was a bad mindset.
  • You Can't Fight Fate: Defied by Rauru, who reassures Zelda that her appearance in the distant past can and will give them the edge they need to end Ganondorf's threat and preserve Hyrule for the future. Turns out to be played straight in that Zelda's travel to the past is part of a Stable Time Loop, and all she accomplishes is to grant Rauru the opportunity to seal Ganondorf away until Link is able to gain the power to end him permanently, and to alert the Sages of what will come so they can prepare their tribes accordingly. The events of the game and its previous entry only take place because of her actions during the formation of Hyrule - had she failed to appear, Ganondorf would have utterly destroyed the world during the first war.
  • You Have Researched Breathing: It's possible to wear the Hylian Hood with the hood down, in the same way Zelda was wearing it in the introductory sequence. Rather than just being able to lower the hood yourself, though, you first have to complete the Hateno Village election questline, then speak to Cece while wearing one, at which point she'll offer to lower it for you.
  • You Shouldn't Know This Already:
    • If you somehow make it to the altar behind the Temple of Time without going through the exit door, the orb of light that would ordinarily spawn there that triggers access to Hyrule below will not spawn. You are thereby forced to traverse the Temple of Time proper with the four heart containers needed to open the back door so the orb can appear.
    • Reaching any of the four main dungeons early before engaging with the associated story quests far enoughnote  bars you from entering their puzzle. On activating the Zonai door in the middle of each dungeon, you are greeted with a big red X.
    • In the Lightning Temple, the boss lair is situated at the top of the building, so you can get there as easily as using Ascend — but Riju doesn't share your mobility and has to get up there by conventional means. Until you power the elevator so that Riju can join you in the boss arena, the boss will not spawn.
    • If you approach King Dorephan in his hiding place before you require his scales he will be knocked out from his injuries and Muzu will prevent Link from waking him up before you get the intel about needing his help.
    • The last of the temples, the Spirit Temple, can be reached early, but there's nothing you can do there until you resurrect Mineru. In turn, resurrecting Mineru is made difficult by Dragonhead Island being protected by a massive, sight-reducing thunderstorm until you've cleared the previous four temples and progressed the Fifth Sage questline. It's downplayed though, as reaching Dragonhead Island early is possible if you can find a way around the storm, at which point all you need is 10 Heart Containers to open the door.
    • Due to much of the game's story taking place during the current day Hyrule compared to the previous game, it's possible to have Link learn about certain facts and plot points long before he should relative to other plotlines. This ends up raising a question of why Link never thinks to relay these facts and such to characters who are still in the dark when it comes to other plotlines in question.

You have done well to reach the end of this page...
We offer this light that will cleanse you of evil.
May the Light of Blessing grant you the strength you seek.
*rattle rattle* 

 
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Tears of the Kingdom

Rauru unites his powers with Sonia and Zelda to destroy Ganondorfs swarm of Molduga with a huge blast of light.

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