Developers Talk About Keeping The Same Hyrule for Tears of the Kingdom

Even though it's an immediate sequel to Breath of the Wild, the Nintendo devs didn't want to change too much of Hyrule in Tears of the Kingdom

The long-awaited sequel to Nintendo’s The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, is almost here, releasing this Friday. Developers for the game, including Legend of Zelda project manager Eiji Aonuma, went into detail on how they kept Hyrule familiar for the game.

Nearly every Legend of Zelda game has always had a new game map for players to go through to show how it was a different Link, and how time had passed. However, this time around, Tears of the Kingdom is an immediate sequel, and thus aside from the floating parts, Hyrule hasn’t changed.

At least, not very much. Tears of the Kingdom will have a number of new mechanics involved in it, such as the ability to create devices and vehicles with the help of Link’s new artificial arm. But the general concept of Hyrule and how it was in Breath of the Wild will remain the same.

According to the developers, one of the biggest roadblocks in the game was making sure that despite Hyrule being the same as in Breath of the Wild, that there was no “deja vu” feeling. While it was difficult at first, eventually the dev team hit their stride on what they could change, and what should stay the same.

However, a lot of Hyrule is going to change in a big way. Tears of the Kingdom’s main marketing push has been for the addition of an airborne area, where Link can run around various floating ruins to explore them after Ganondorf returns. What’s even more interesting, is that the floating ruins themselves add new dimensions to gameplay.

Along with exploring them in general, players can also seamlessly transition from the air to the ground simply by jumping, which also lets them get a birds-eye view of the area on the way down, allowing for a new way for players to get their bearings outside of using the map.

You’ll be able to see just what all has changed and what all has stayed the same when The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom releases exclusively on the Nintendo Switch this Friday, May 12.

Hunter is senior news writer at He is a long time fan of strategy, RPG, and tabletop games. When he is not playing games, he likes to write about them.