The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom final pre-release trailer hit earlier this week, and it was everything we hoped it would be: exciting, revealing, emotional, filled with surprises but never venturing too far into spoiler-territory. Some of us watched it multiple times, but regardless of how many times people watched, the sentiment was the same: May 12 can't get here soon enough.
Here's what IGN's top Zelda fans thought of the final trailer for Tears of the Kingdom.
I thought the final pre-release Tears of the Kingdom trailer was unbelievable in both its effectiveness in building my hype levels to the breaking point, while also leaving me pondering the multitude of questions I still have. We saw more than we'd ever seen before, and every second was thrilling and exciting but we still have no idea how it all fits together.
And yet, that makes it even more exciting for me. It was a master class in how to show off a game in a satisfying way that doesn't spoil it or give too much away. I want more, dammit, but I also feel completely content with what we were shown. I've watched it more than once and every time I notice something else I didn't before. Tears of the Kingdom is my most anticipated video game, ever, and the final trailer has effectively made me even more excited. I can't wait to get lost in its world, delaying Link's quest to save Hyrule because I'm climbing a cliff I thought looked interesting, or spotted a structure in the distance while riding toward a story mission and decided to check that out instead.
I was worried Nintendo wouldn’t be able to pull off a hype bomb for Tears of the Kingdom before release like they did with Breath of the Wild. Don’t get me wrong, I had already preordered the Collector’s Edition and was gonna take May 12 off work to play the game (don’t tell my boss), but as of yesterday I didn’t have anywhere near the same sense of excitement as I did going into BotW.
Well, that’s absolutely NOT the case any more. The final trailer for TotK is incredible, showing so many new enemies, locations, weapons, and fresh kinds of exploration. A LASER HALLWAY FALL? GRAVITY JUMPING PADS?? THE THREE-HEADED DRAGON GLEEOK FROM THE ORIGINAL LEGEND OF ZELDA??? They nailed it. And sure, they basically ripped the same pacing and musical cues from the final Breath of the Wild trailer, but that’s also the greatest trailer ever made, so you know what? Good on them. This is now also among the best trailers ever made. AND it has hot Ganondorf. AND returning Champions/descendents. I don’t even care that it didn’t explicitly confirm dungeons for the game (though it kinda seemed like it!), it’s clearly gonna rule. This is going to be the longest month of my life waiting for May 12.
I've watched it more than once and every time I notice something else I didn't before.
What a wonderful trailer! Not only did it answer the question whether it’s worth revisiting a Hyrule we initially thought was so familiar from Breath of the Wild – Nintendo definitely made a point of saying it’s a “new Hyrule” – but it also reminded us how masterful Nintendo is at getting an emotional reaction out of all of us through the use of music. It’s easy to get distracted by all that’s going on in the trailer, but rewatch it and deliberately listen to the music and you’ll hear echoes of Breath of the Wild, A Link to the Past, and even Twilight Princess.
There is a lot of Zelda mythology on display and the score is at once new and exciting and warm and nostalgic. Then you open your eyes and you get a glimpse of all the new stuff! Locations we haven’t seen before. The contraptions Link can build. The floating islands that beckon to be discovered. And bosses. Not just elemental versions of Ganon, but big, nasty, classic Zelda bosses. Look, I was already bought in on wanting to return to Hyrule after all this time and tinker with the new crafting and building mechanics. But now I’m literally counting the days.
The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom Trailer Images
After all the cool musical easter eggs in the Breath of the Wild trailers, I started listening for more of those with Tears of the Kingdom promotional material. This final trailer seems to use a lot more synth noises than I was prepared for, including the sting after the reversed vocals (a trick they did with the first game) with the ominous looking character at the 1:42 mark that was almost a jumpscare! There also seems to be what sounds like an alto sax leading the melody at 2:10, which is not a sound I usually associate with the piano-led Breath of the Wild! There’s another reverse riser synth sound when the title appears, as well as the first three notes of Zelda’s lullaby at the end of the trailer. All really cool stuff!
All in all, these are just trailers and it’s fun to nerd out about musical easter eggs, but I think they could all point to some really cool story points. Nintendo seldomly does anything by accident, and all these new motifs seem to point at changes in mechanics or maybe timelines from Breath of the Wild, as well as a new way to see Link, given the change in lead instrument when the music really gets going. I’m definitely looking forward to what Nintendo has up their sleeves for Tears of the Kingdom.
Honestly, The Legend of Zelda trailers are the only ones guaranteed to make me cry. The subtle sweep of familiar melodies from past games kills me, and this latest Tears of the Kingdom trailer was full of it. Though there's a ton to break down in the trailer, my favorite moments were seeing Link team up with familiar (and unfamiliar) faces against new challenges. My favorite Gerudo Chief Riju looks like she may have gotten a little older and taller, we may be fighting alongside a young Rito related to Teba, and Prince Sidon is back in glorious fashion. I cannot wait to get to see more of them, check in on Tarrey Town, and hopefully meet plenty of new friends. And find new things to collect. And discover tasty recipes to make!
Oh my God did you see Link riding that cool mech?!?!?!?!?!
Incredible preview for Tears of the Kingdom. The first thing that jumped out to me was the music. It was beautiful, thrilling, and nostalgic. It truly set the mood for a trip back to Hyrule. I also quite enjoyed the action here. Between the combat, new enemies, new characters, and lasers shooting out everywhere it was awesome to see all of the newness to the Breath of the Wild world. Not to mention Link’s mech vs the Boko-Stone Talus encounter. The story here seems interesting and mysterious too. Where is Zelda? What is the tear she is holding? What is Gannondorf up to this time around? I can’t wait to find the answers to the mysteries and explore Hyrule again. This trailer took my personal excitement for the game from a 10 to an 11. May 12th can’t come soon enough!
Honestly, The Legend of Zelda trailers are the only ones guaranteed to make me cry.
The final trailer for Tears of the Kingdom has rivaled 2017’s Breath of the Wild trailer in every possible way. Drama, action, sweeping vistas — not to mention the incredible score that keeps introducing new instruments in clever ways. Much like that 2017 trailer, Tears of the Kingdom manages to show so much while telling so little. We finally get brief glances at how Hyrule and its populace has grown since Breath of the Wild, and seeing townsfolk join the fight against Ganondorf’s minions as well as the return of familiar faces like Sidon and Riju has me very excited to see how Link actually interacts with the world at large, instead of just saving the day all on his own.
Perhaps even more intriguing than familiar places and faces are the new ones. What an excellent way to tie this final trailer to the very first one by including a mysterious character who looks just like the figure depicted in those early murals. I’m also almost unreasonably hyped that this trailer appears to confirm that there will be some pretty impressive caves that may possibly be underground dungeons in their own right? No way you’re fitting a Resident Evil 4-esque Minecart Madness ridge inside a floating island. It’s subtle cues like this that have me thinking even after 3 minutes of hype, we’ve only scratched the surface of what’s waiting in Tears of the Kingdom.
I've been worried about Tears of the Kingdom not having a new base map, which it clearly does not, and still balancing my need for exploration and discovery, which I think the two fundamental activities that make The Legend of Zelda great. But I also have a lot of trust in Zelda’s development team to address this – despite not showing it to us, yet. The final ToTK trailer showed just enough to confirm that, yes, a ton of new stuff is here, while reinforcing a neat idea: Maybe it's the differences themselves that will be fun to discover.
What happened to this once familiar town square? Why is there a giant stone block wedged in this mountain? This is a new twist on discovery that allows players who are ultra familiar with the old game to enjoy the new one by way of comparison. Majora’s Mask worked in a similar way: What’s the “twist” on a character or place? It wasn’t ever what you expected. Also in the trailer there’s a squirrel suit, crazy new character designs, some sort of mechanical vehicle crafting system and so many weird, off-the-wall, touch-the-jelly-sphere moments to get excited about… but it’s great that, for the first time, I feel like this world is hiding endless secrets, and I must unlock them. Now.
Watching the trailer, remembering all the Zelda games I played before, trying to find easter eggs related to past games…there’s so much to take in and I’m loving every minute of it. I was worried about the lack of puzzles in the first few trailers, but all the little puzzle moments in this last one remind me of all the dungeon puzzles from the previous games and I can’t wait to dig into them on day one and try and solve as many as possible. There’s a part of me that wants to reign myself in and not overhype the game before it’s out, but it’s hard not to with how amazing everything is looking.
I feel like this world is hiding endless secrets, and I must unlock them. Now.
Tears of The Kingdom's trailers have been a masterclass in effectively telling a story in short form without giving too much away, and this final trailer does that in the best way possible. While I could go on forever about how exciting Hyrule looks, Link skydiving through a laser grid, multiple NPCs fighting alongside our hero, mech battles, and much more. It's the music that keeps bringing me back to this trailer with its excellent use of brass instruments, reversed vocal harmonies, and those ever-so-familiar piano flutters. If the game's musical score is as good as everything else in this trailer, I'll happily return to Hyrule for hundreds of hours again. May 12th can't come soon enough.
Why is Ganondorf hot now. Has he always been hot? Why is everyone hot? What is Nintendo’s plot???
Legend of Zelda: The Complete Playlist
Nintendo's Zelda series has gone from 2D to 3D, from D-Pads to sticks to touch screens to motion controls and back. Here are all of Link's (and Zelda's and Tingle's) adventures over the years. Log in to check off which ones you've played, and add others to your backlog.See All
Curious to hear your thoughts in the comments on the trailer. Did it live up to your expectations, exceed them, or fall short? Let us know. And make sure to listen to this week's episode of NVC to hear the panel talk excitedly about Zelda.