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‘Breath of the Wild’ sequel ‘Tears of the Kingdom’ revealed by Nintendo

The game long known as ‘Breath of the Wild 2’ now has a name and release date.

(Washington Post illustration; Nintendo)

Nintendo announced the title of its upcoming Zelda game, “The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom,” during a Nintendo Direct stream Tuesday. The much anticipated sequel to “Breath of the Wild” is slated to release May 12th, 2023.

In a new trailer, the series’ iconic hero, Link, is depicted opening a massive door and dashing across a chain of ruin-filled islands floating high up in the clouds. The islands appear to have a rich, diverse landscape — some green and tangled with large, gnarled tree roots, and others large enough to host entire mountain ranges. Aerial travel seems to be a core mechanic in the game, as Link is shown jumping from a great height and landing on the back of a giant stone glider.

There are also a series of Mesoamerican-inspired petroglyphs in the trailer’s opening sequence. The first is what appears to be an army of Hylians (the race of elfish humanoids that Link and Zelda are part of) standing against an invading force of Moblins and Blokobins (porcine soldiers who serve the villainous Ganon). Then, a petroglyph of a large robed figure with large ears surrounded by seven runes is shown, followed by one of a long-haired character with an eye reminiscent of the Eye Symbol of the Legend of Zelda’s Sheikah tribe.

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“Tears of the Kingdom” is the hotly anticipated sequel to 2017’s “Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild,” the first completely open-world title in the Zelda franchise and an acclaimed critical hit. “Tears of the Kingdom” was originally announced at E3 2019 as an untitled sequel to “Breath of the Wild,” colloquially referred to as the Breath of the Wild sequel or simply Breath of the Wild 2.

In the lore of “Breath of the Wild,” the Kingdom of Hyrule was built over the remnants of the Zonai, a culture of magic users and talented stoneworkers who mysteriously vanished at some point in the ancient past. It seems the Zonai will be playing a much more prominent role in “Tears of the Kingdom,” which depicts a world strewn with Zonai architecture and symbols.

The game’s logo prominently features an ouroboros, which suggests that the concept of time will be heavily explored, as it has been in previous Zelda titles such as “The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time."

During the Nintendo Direct, the company also made another surprising reveal: “GoldenEye 007” will be coming to the Switch with online play. Nintendo hasn’t shared the upcoming game’s release date or whether it will be a remaster, a remake or a straight port. However, Xbox simultaneously revealed that it would be releasing its own version of “GoldenEye 007” on Xbox Game Pass with 4K resolution, achievements and localized split-screen multiplayer.

Other notable reveals from the Nintendo Direct include “Octopath Traveler II” (releasing on February 24, 2023), “Fire Emblem Engage” (January 20, 2023), “Pikmin 4” (2023) and “Fitness Boxing Fist of the North Star” (March 2023). “Fist of the North Star" is a cult classic manga that is basically “Mad Max” if Max was played by a 220-pound version of Bruce Lee who can make his enemies’ heads explode with a finger jab. It’s also the source of the “ATATATATATATA” meme, which some gamers will no doubt recreate through the fitness game.