Tears of the Kingdom is the newest feature in the Zelda series as the sequel to Breath of the Wild. If you feel like Tears of the Kingdom will be too similar to Breath of the Wild and feel like there will only be a couple of small changes to the story, think again. It returns with lots of the same concepts, but with a lot of new concepts, too. Hyrule now has an added sky and underground, which calls for much more exploring to do. Also, there are tons of new weapons, abilities, bosses, and enemies. All of these new concepts are wrapped up in a nutshell in this article, and you will be crushing the game in no time.
Along with a ton of new gameplay, there are a lot of new powers that Link now has. There are four abilities that you can get from the tutorial, and everything else is found elsewhere from quests. One of the most notable of the new abilities found in the tutorial shrines is Ultrahand (image to right), which uses Link’s newfound hand to control apparatuses, move objects around, and most notably, building machines and vehicles. Using the new Zonai items, you can create a variety of devices, including rafts, gliders, hot-air balloons, and cars. It is the singular most important ability in Tears of the Kingdom. Another equally important ability is Fuse. Fuse allows Link to attach materials, including zonai devices, to his shields and weapons. With it, you can create amazingly powerful weapons, and it is an easy way to improve gameplay and combat early game. With the power, you can fuse materials with arrows, too. With that power, you can create bomb flower arrows, sapphire arrows, ruby arrows, and you can make fun arrows, too, such as meat arrows. Recall is another ability that is very unique. If an object moves away from you, you can use recall to get it back close to you. This can be used in many innovative ways, such as returning rocks thrown by enemies. Ascend is where Link swims through solid material above him, which can help you to scale mountain ranges and sneak into enemy camps. Those are all of the new abilities that you can get through the tutorial, but there are still more. Autobuild, an ability gained outside of the tutorial, helps you quickly rebuild complicated machines that you have built before with Ultrahand. Also, you can unlock a camera, which can help you complete many quests.
In Breath of the Wild, the main devices and weapons used were created by the Sheikah, capable of making great devices. This time around, in Tears of the Kingdom, the main race is the Zonai. The Zonai were a prehistoric tribe, with very advanced tools, and they even possessed some magic. Zonai lived on islands floating in the sky, and they are the source of many new enemies, NPCs, shrines, and devices. Constructs, which are Zonai robots, come in friendly and hostile variants. Friendly variants will help you get the hang of the controls, while hostile variants will attack you. If you have played Breath of the Wild before, you will know what shrines are, although the design is totally different. Shrines (image above) are puzzles that you will need to use each of Link’s new abilities to solve. In every shrine, there is at least one chest hidden somewhere, which can help Link gain powerful weapons, shields, bows, and valuable items. At the end of each shrine, you will get a Light of Blessing, which helps you improve your stamina and hearts. Although everything mentioned above is very important, the most important Zonai creations are the Zonai devices. These devices consist of fans, gliders, flamethrowers, time bombs, rockets, portable pots, and many more. These items can be attached to other things using Ultrahand, and they can help create powerful machines, fast transport, or ways to take to the skies.
One of the many criticisms of the game's predecessor, Breath of the Wild, is the lack of good dungeons and monotony in the designs of the bosses. Tears of the Kingdom will fix that, as it now has seven main dungeons each with their own unique themes and bosses. There are seven dungeons in the world, all of which are very large. Each dungeon is in a different region, and most of the dungeons are near a village, which will really help you on your journey to complete each dungeon. If beating the dungeons still feels like a daunting task, don't worry, as you will have a companion, each with their own abilities in five, and all of the ones previously unlocked in the last two. The bosses are all unique, and each of them have multiple special attacks. You have to use your companions abilities to defeat the bosses. You also have to use the same abilities to solve the puzzles inside the dungeons.
Sky Islands and the Depths
Unlike Breath of the Wild, the Tears of the Kingdom game has an emphasis on verticality , adding new sky islands and caves for people to explore. In the sky islands you can explore a variety of floating rocks and Zonai structures. Here you will find a new set of enemies: constructs. These are machines that were made by the Zonai to defend the islands. The Depths are a series of massive caverns which are dark and difficult to see in. The best way to light things up is to use Bright Blooms temporarily or activate Lightroots long term. There will be a red substance called gloom all over the depths and touching it will deplete your maximum hearts. That's right, touching this red stuff will semi-permanently decrease the maximum number of hearts you have. You can restore them in various ways, but the easiest is to simply stay in the sun for a period of time, or stay under a Lightroot and you will get your hearts back! Also, enemies that spawn in The Depths are coated in gloom, and their attacks will have the gloom effect, which can be devastating in the underground.
There are many new and unique enemies in Tears of the Kingdom that have been added, and some of them with their own unique behaviors. There are many reused enemies too, such as Bokoblins, which are funny-looking standing pigs that try to attack you (image to right). Captain constructs are upgraded constructs (mentioned in Zonai section) and they can fuse items like you can, making them much more dangerous. Aerocudas are new flying monsters that can carry bokoblins, the most basic monster. Evermeans are walking trees that are hostile, but they share many of the same traits as normal trees. Horriblins are monkey-like enemies that are found in caves. Like-likes are disgusting looking worm-like creatures that try to swallow you up. Just like how many basic monsters came back from Breath of the Wild, many minibosses came back, too. Hinoxes, which are huge cyclopes, Taluses, which are giant walking rocks, and Lynels, which technically aren’t bosses, but they are one of the strongest enemies you’ll meet.
One of the newest bosses in Tears of the Kingdom are the Gleeoks. They are gigantic three-headed dragons that are absolute monsters, and if you don’t have any good weapons yet, you should avoid them at all costs. There is the Frox, which has a small and a normal version, each with many different variants. Small Froxes are just like Keese from Breath of the Wild, small, annoying, and they have barely any health. Normal Froxes, on the other hand, are a lot harder. Another boss, that might be the scariest one on this list, is the Gloom Spawn, also known as Gloom Hands (image to upper right). It consists of some gloom that trails around it, with five hands, each with an eye in it. It is an absolute monster, and if you don’t have good enough weapons, you should teleport to a nearby shrine or climb to safety.