Is 'Tears of the Kingdom' a Prequel? Everything You Need to Know

Coming years after 'Breath of the Wild' released on Nintendo Switch, 'Tears of the Kingdom' is almost here. But is it a prequel? Here's what to know.

Anthony Jones - Author

Apr. 13 2023, Published 2:11 p.m. ET

'The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom' Is It a Prequel?
Source: Nintendo

Nintendo has dropped the final trailer for The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, spurring on fan hype trains and laying the last foundation of what players can expect before its May 12 release.

Although, some curious gamers wonder if Tears of the Kingdom is a prequel to 2017's Breath of the Wild. Here's a breakdown of everything you need to know.

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Is 'Tears of the Kingdom' a prequel?

Teased back in 2019 at E3, Nintendo released a first-look trailer of Tears of the Kingdom that unveiled the game would be a direct sequel to Breath of the Wild.

"The sequel to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is now in development," announced Nintendo.

The footage followed Link and Zelda from Breath of the Wild exploring an underground area together before stumbling across what many lore hounds then considered to be Ganondorf, the antagonist of the franchise.

'The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom'
Source: Nintendo
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Despite that official confirmation, a Redditor and others who seemed to have missed the trailer years ago claimed Tears of the Kingdom was a prequel instead in Feb.

"Considering the BotW story timeline and the 'ancient technology' elements (e.g. vehicles) introduced in the trailers, the most reasonable setting for a revamped game map is not the future, but the past."

Their theory puts Tears of the Kingdom before Breath of the Wild and during the Calamity event destroying Hyrule.

"Except we literally see the Link and Zelda from BotW, we're following those characters, so it can't be a prequel," said one Reddit user in response to the post.

Tears of the Kingdom is a direct sequel; however, if you hoped to learn more about Breath of the Wild's past, Hyrule Warriors: Age of the Calamity fills that void.

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'The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom'
Source: Nintendo

'Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity' is a prequel to 'Breath of the Wild.'

Launched in Nov. 2020, Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity takes place a century before Breath of the Wild.

Facing swarms of enemies as iconic characters, players would join the battle to defend Hyrule during the events that resulted in the kingdom's destruction seen in Breath of the Wild.

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'Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity'
Source: Nintendo

As of this writing, this is the only game where players can witness past events firsthand to gain context about specific characters and lore about the world.

The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom launches on May 12 for Nintendo Switch.

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