Yes, 'Tears of the Kingdom' Is Bringing Back Dungeons

Sara Belcher - Author
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May 11 2023, Updated 6:50 p.m. ET

'Tears of the Kingdom'
Source: Nintendo

The 2017 Game of the Year Breath of the Wild revolutionized open-world games and gave a breath of new life to the Legend of Zelda franchise. The game has long been a favorite among Nintendo Switch players, despite the number of years since its launch — but players are more than ready for its sequel, Tears of the Kingdom.

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The upcoming game is set to release exclusively for the Switch on May 12, and between the trailers and fan theories, this sequel is promising to be bigger and better than the first.

Though Breath of the Wild introduced plenty of new features, like Shrines and Korok Seeds, fans of the long-loved franchise couldn't help but miss the dungeons the older games had. Some of the trailers suggest, though, that they might be making a reappearance in Tears of the Kingdom. Will the new game have dungeons?

'Tears of the Kingdom'
Source: Nintendo
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Will there be dungeons in 'Tears of the Kingdom'?

In older games in the Legend of Zelda franchise, players would face challenging bosses at the end of dungeons — something Breath of the Wild didn't really have a substitute for. Though there are plenty of enemies that could be stand-ins for bosses scattered around the open-land and Ganon's various forms ready to attack once unlocking a Divine Beast, players continued to miss the varied challenges the dungeons offered.

It seems that Nintendo has brought the dungeons back for Tears of the Kingdom, though more as a substitute for the Divine Beasts than as a supplement. According to various reviews for the game, Link will have to traverse through four different dungeons as part of the main storyline, likely in search of the Sage companions to help him rescue Zelda again.

How Link will access these dungeons is still unclear, but players have been theorizing about it since the most recent trailer aired in April.

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"I think Ascend's main use will be for exiting underground dungeons and caves," writes one Reddit user. "The player will progress by traveling further and further underground. If the dungeons are structured with this downward progression, Ascend can only be used to exit and cannot be used to sequence break."

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The Tears of the Kingdom trailers have showcased certain "themed" areas that Breath of the Wild didn't have, and some believe that these areas will be the dungeons needed to navigate through the main story, though the details are still sparse at this time.

All will be unveiled when players officially dive into Tears of the Kingdom on May 12 when it releases exclusively for the Nintendo Switch.

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