Is Tears of the Kingdom a Sequel?


Randrew Mendrico

Writer and Storywriter

Drew is one of the game guide writers in PlayerAssist. He mixed his communications degree with his love for video games to help other gamers with different video game situations. Drew loves action-adventure, story or character driven role-playing games.


The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, the highly anticipated entry in the renowned gaming franchise, has generated a whirlwind of speculation and anticipation among fans. As the much-awaited game is finally here, one burning question lingers in the minds of many: Is Tears of the Kingdom a sequel to a game in the franchise?

Is Tears of the Kingdom a Sequel?

In this article, we delve into the information surrounding the game to unravel the mysteries and determine whether Tears of the Kingdom continues the story of its predecessors or presents a new chapter altogether. Prepare to embark on a journey of analysis as we explore the connections and differences between Tears of the Kingdom and the previous games in the franchise.

So, is it?

The simple answer is The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom is a sequel. This game is a sequel to the previously released and highly beloved game also released for the Nintendo Switch Breath of the Wild.

Although every game in The Legend of Zelda is technically part of a large timeline, some games have their own stories with their sequels. In this case, the new chapter started with The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Its direct sequel is The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom.

Is it entirely different?

Now that we have established that Tears of the Kingdom is a direct sequel to Breath of the Wild, let us find out the differences and similarities between the games:

1. Expanded Lore

A screenshot from Tears of the Kingdom

The first difference between Breath of the Wild and Tears of the Kingdom is its story. Link must save Princess Zelda from Calamity Ganon in Breath of the Wild. Also, the Sheikah Tribe is featured heavily in the game.

In Tears of the Kingdom, however, the kingdom of Hyrule is slowly rebuilding from the destruction dealt with by Calamity Ganon and the aftermath of the previous game. So when it comes to “Is Tears of the Kingdom a Sequel?” storywise, yes, it is. Now, Link will explore the mystery of the Gloom and the Upheaval. This game features the Zonai instead of the Sheikah tribe.

2. Bigger Map

A screenshot of Link falling from the sky in Tears of the Kingdom

In Breath of the Wild, Link will explore Hyrule’s vast and diverse land. In Tears of the Kingdom, Link will still explore the same kingdom of Hyrule. However, the Hyrule in Tears of the Kingdom is bigger than ever. In Tears of the Kingdom, Link will not only traverse through the already vast land of Hyrule but also explore the skies and depths of Hyrule!

Link can explore many Sky Islands in The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom. These Sky Islands are exactly as they sound. They are floating islands and platforms found up in the skies of Hyrule, and they are very different from the lands of Hyrule below. Link will tackle and find different challenges, items, and enemies in these areas. The tutorial area at the beginning of the game is in one of the Sky Islands called the Great Sky Island.

In Tears of the Kingdom, Link will traverse the skies above and the depths underneath the surface of Hyrule. This area is called the Depths in the game. In the Depths, Link will explore a very dark region the same size as the map of the surface of Hyrule.

This area has a very different environment from the surface and is filled with mysterious Gloom. Link will find more different kinds of enemies, challenges, and items in the Depths. Link must activate Lightroots to light up areas in the Depths. Pro tip: the location of Shrines on the surface of Hyrule is also the location of Lightroots in the Depths.

3. New Abilities

A screenshot of the autobuild ability in Tears of the Kingdom

In Breath of the Wild, Link can use abilities using the Sheikah Slate. These abilities are the Magnesis Rune ability, the Cryonis Rune Ability, the Remote Bomb Rune ability, the Stasis Rune ability, and the Camera Rune Ability. On the other hand, Link can use five new abilities using his new arm: the Ultrahand ability, the Fuse ability, the Ascend ability, the Recall ability, and the Autobuild ability.

Link can still use the Camera with the help of the Purah Pad instead of the Sheikah Slate.


Link can pick up, move around, and rotate objects using his Ultrahand ability. It’s comparable to Magnesis in Breath of the Wild, except it’s not limited to magnetic objects. The main feature of this ability is that it allows Link to attach various objects. Link can use this ability to build multiple machines and contraptions, such as bridges and vehicles. 


Link can fuse objects to his existing weapon, shield, or arrow to boost its damage output and durability or add a new buff using the Fuse ability. The player can try various combinations of objects with weapons, shields, and arrows to get different effects.

The fused item will be given a new name as well. The new name is based on the item fused with the base item.

Players can undo the Fused objects in the inventory. However, this will cause the fused item to be destroyed. The base weapon or shield will remain intact.


The Ascend ability allows Link to fly up and phase through solid surfaces directly above him to make seemingly unachievable shortcuts. These solid surfaces can be ceilings, slopes, or even a few specific enemies.

When Link activates the Ascend ability, the camera will move upwards from the ground to the sky, and a grid can be seen to show where Link will climb. A red or green dot will glow in the center of the grid if Link gets close enough to the ceiling.

If the dot is red, the surface above that Link attempts to phase through might not be horizontally flat enough for the ability. If green, the surface above is flat enough for the Link to phase through.

Link will be halfway out of the surface once Link ascends and phases through the solid surface. During this, the player can use the right stick to look around the paused world to check if it is safe to emerge.

To emerge, the player can press the A button. If the player does not press anything during this, Link will automatically emerge from the ground after 30 seconds.


Link’s Recall ability allows him to rewind an object’s movement. This ability has a wide range of potential applications. Among these uses is to rewind fallen boulders or platforms to launch them into the sky and ride them to get to Sky Islands or a high point. Another use for this ability is to rewind massive rotating machines to ride them.

When Link redies the Recall ability, time will freeze, enabling the player to pick the object on which to apply the ability carefully. Once the player hovers over an object to highlight it, its anticipated trajectory can be seen as a yellow line. The Recall ability’s range is nearly endless and far more than Link’s other powers.


The Autobuild ability will automatically save the recently attached objects together using the Ultrahand ability. This ability may hold a total of 30 Ultrahand projects. If the player adds more, the oldest projects saved are deleted.

The player can mark eight of these projects as favorites so they will not be deleted. The player may increase their collection of contraptions by acquiring Schema Stones and Yiga Schematics. These are in-game items of pre-made vehicles and devices.

4. Build Machines

A screenshot of a flying machine in Tears of the Kingdom

Link can do something cool in Tears of the Kingdom that he could not do in Breath of the Wild. That is to build machines! As mentioned above, Link can create different machines using Ultrahand. These machines can range from simple, small carriages to large robots and enemy-killing machines!

Tears of the Kingdom also introduced Zonai Devices, which are different types of devices that Link can use to create different machines. Among these Zonai Devices are fans, lasers, cooking pots, wheels, and more. The only limitation to what players can do is their imagination and creativity! This is one of the main changes in Tears of the Kingdom. 

5. Different Shrines

A screenshot of Mayachin Shrine in Tears of the Kingdom

Shrines are still in The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom. The shrines in Breath of the Wild are called Ancient Shrines and were made by the Sheikah Tribe. In Tears of the Kingdom, however, the shrines are called Shrines of Light, made by the Zonai. In this game, the Shrines of Light are still mini-dungeons that Link must complete to improve his vitality.

The Shrines in Tears of the Kingdom look physically different. They are egg-shaped stone buildings with swirls of glowing green energy on top of the structure. It also has two dragon statues in the front that cover the middle of the back of the Shrine. Link must pass through a green portal to enter the Shrines of Light.

At the end of the Shrines of Light, Link will find a statue of King Rauru and Queen Sonia, the founders of Hyrule, instead of Sheikah Monks. Then, instead of Spirit Orbs like in Breath of the Wild, they will give Link Lights of Blessing.

Tears of the Kingdom also has more Shrines than Breath of the Wild. Link can accomplish 120 Shrines in the main game and 16 extra Shrines in the game’s DLCs, for 136 Shrines in Breath of the Wild. In Tears of the Kingdom, however, Link can locate and complete 152 Shrines throughout Hyrule. Link will discover 120 of these Shrines on the surface of Hyrule and 32 of them on Sky Islands.

6. Different Towers

A screenshot of Link running in Tears of the Kingdom

Link needed to reach the top of Sheikah Towers to unlock the area in the Breath of the Wild map. This is no longer the case in Tears of the Kingdom. Link must find, open, and activate Skyview Towers in this game. When activated, these Skyview Towers will launch Link very high up in the air to scan the skies and the land. Then, the map to the area will be unlocked.

7. New HUD

A screenshot of Link's invenotry in Tears of the Kingdom

Tears of the Kingdom’s main game, HUD, is only slightly different. The map in the lower right of the screen has a new look and options on the top left corner. Here, you will see the selected ability and the icons for the directional buttons.

The left and right directional buttons still show a screen to equip different shields and weapons, respectively, like in Breath of the Wild. However, the up-directional button is now different. Holding the up directional button shows a quick access window for selecting items. This feature makes it easier to drop items for Link’s Fuse ability or to drop Zonai Devices to attach to contraptions.

The + and – menus also have different designs in Tears of the Kingdom. The + menu now has a cleaner look with larger icons. The – menu now has a “Character Profiles” tab, and the “Adventure Log” tab is now transferred here.

8. New Enemies

A screenshot of Link fighting an enemy in Tears of the Kingdom

As expected, there are also a lot of new enemies in Tears of the Kingdom, even though it is a sequel to Breath of the Wild. The Guardians in Breath of the Wild are now replaced with Constructs made by the Zonai. Like the Guardians, there are also different kinds of Constructs, ranging from the regular Soldier and Captain Constructs to the very large Flux Constructs. These kinds of enemies are usually found in Sky Island; some are camped on the surface of Hyrule.

Aside from Constructs, there are many more different enemies on the surface of Hyrule. There are new Boss Bokoblins, Like Likes, Gleeoks, Aerocudas, Horriblins, and so much more. There are even Bokoblin camping on Stone Taluses! 


There is no doubt that Tears of the Kingdom is a sequel to Breath of the Wild. Even though it is a direct sequel, developers have mentioned that players are not required to play Breath of the Wild. They said players can still enjoy the meticulously crafted world of Tears of the Kingdom without experiencing Breath of the Wild.

Also, many skeptical players previously thought Tears of the Kingdom was just a glorified DLC for Breath of the Wild. Now that you have read all the changes mentioned above, and that’s not even all of the changes, you can see how wrong the skeptics are.

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