The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom Needs a Better Post than the Breath of the Wild


The continuation of Breath of the Wild has finally received an official name at the September Nintendo Direct exhibition. The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom will continue the story of its predecessor, which takes place in the same world. Direct sequels are a rare occurrence in The Legend of Zelda, but that means they could make some welcome changes to one part of the original game, especially considering the franchise’s new formula.

Breath of the Wild is one of the most popular games of all time. Most of this praise belongs to the gameplay itself, for example, its open-world design. But open-world games often face the difficult task of justifying exploring the world after the main game is over. Breath of the Wild’s approach to this was to simply exclude any special post-game content. This decision made some sense based on the context of the game, but The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom could be an opportunity to add a better post-game.

Breath of the wild after the game

Simply put, there is practically no post-game in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. The game creates a special auto-save before the final boss battle with Calamity Ganon and the Dark Beast Ganon. After these fights, the game returns to this save, which allows the player to continue exploring the world or replay the fight.

Thus, there is only one real content left — to complete 120 ancient sanctuaries, 900 seed crusts or many small side quests. Completing the shrines is a difficult enough task if the player hasn’t done it yet, but many players find that there’s not much left to do after completing the main story. This is a common complaint about an otherwise adored game, but the decision on the part of Nintendo is understandable.

A basic post-game consisting only of what is left unfinished is perhaps a better option than the one that exists for its sake. Many open-world games choose the latter, filling the game with a weak filler to keep the player interested. Instead, Breath of the Wild decides to allow players to return to the already existing content — its shrines and one of the best open-world maps in games. This has become even more obvious now that we have learned about The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom.

Improving the post-game in Tears of the Kingdom

Everything that has been revealed about The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom tells us that Link’s work did not end with the completion of Breath of the Wild. It is clear that Hyrule is still in danger, even though Ganon is seemingly defeated. Thus, since “Breath of the Wild” was a preparation for the continuation of the story in “Tears of the Kingdom”, it is quite logical that there were no additional narrative elements after Ganon’s defeat. This meant that meaningful post-match play was largely ruled out.

However, “Tears of the Kingdom” should be the conclusion of this story, so the content after the main story may be more viable. The obvious option would be New Game Plus. The Breath of the Wild DLC includes a more complex master mode, but it would be nice to add it to the Tears of the Kingdom base game. It also makes sense, given that the new Legend of Zelda formula is less limited by plot elements than the old games. Being able to replay the game with all the weapons and armor that players may have spent hundreds of hours collecting could add a lot of variety without having to include additional story elements.

However, a more creative option would be to implement the epilogue as a post-game based on the plot. Epilogues can serve as a narrative-appropriate way to continue the main quest and solve any unfinished business or remaining issues. For example, the epilogue of Red Dead Redemption 2 was very popular due to the fact that it completed the stories of many characters in such a satisfying way. In Tears of the Kingdom, this can open up new side quests, such as in aid villages or characters trying to recover from disasters. It would also be interesting to know how the events of the two games affected ordinary people in Khairul. Past Zelda games haven’t really shown how so many iterations of Hyrule recover from near-apocalyptic events, so this could be an exciting direction for the series.

The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom will be released on May 12, 2023 exclusively for the Nintendo Switch.


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