New 'Tears of the Kingdom' Gameplay Sparks Zonai Tribe Theories Again — Who Are They?

Anthony Jones - Author

Mar. 29 2023, Published 6:56 p.m. ET

'The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom' Who are the Zonai?
Source: Nintendo

Without a doubt, The Legend of Zelda IP is no stranger to mysterious groups and hidden wonders sparking theories within the community.

The action-adventure titles hardly spell out exactly why animal stone figures arch over valleys or lay out an extensive timeline of events, so it's easy to see why some fans fall into speculation limbos.

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One such mystery in the upcoming Tears of the Kingdom, the highly-anticipated sequel to Breath of the Wild, is the Zonai tribe. Their mysterious technology appears more significant in the next game, and players may inevitably learn more about them to tangle with new threats.

But who are the Zonai in Tears of the Kingdom? Here's a breakdown of what we know so far.

'The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom'
Source: Nintendo
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Who are the Zonai people in 'Tears of the Kingdom'?

In Breath of the Wild, the Zonai are implied to be a prehistoric tribe wiped out before the game.

Even though they are long gone, evidence of the tribe's existence appears as ruins, dragon sigils scattered over the map, and item descriptions hinting at their warlike legacy.

Notably, the Barbarian set within the game explains the Zonai tribe came from the Faron region. Dragon crests are etched into the ruins from that area in Breath of the Wild, connecting the dots on their origins.

Oddly, the triforce insignia also is carved into the abandoned structures, meaning the Zonai tribe may have something to do with the powerful artifacts from the series. Each triangle was associated with three animals: Dragons for courage, owls for wisdom, and boars for power.

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

During the latest gameplay showcase for Tears of the Kingdom, one of the newer enemies shown dropped a Zonai Charge item once defeated. Later, similar small buildings like those from Zonai lore appeared in the footage, which could be parts of a much bigger structure.

No one fully knows what all this means, but theories are swelling over the internet once again about the mysterious tribe.

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Fans speculate Link will use Zonai technology and powers in 'Tears of the Kingdom.'

Reddit forums and elsewhere over the internet are alive with speculations of all types, but we found a theory that Link has Zonai powers in Tears of the Kingdom to be a tasty headcanon.

"Huge similarities between the space we Ascend through and the Silent Realm (a spiritual plane)," said one Twitter fan. "Our use of the Ascend power probably involves shifting into the spirit realm."

One Reddit user stated the Zonai "had some manner of equipment, magic, and/or technology that we haven't really seen before," which may be what Link uses to put together crafts to venture across the sky islands and fuse items. But only time will tell how true all that is.

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

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