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Let’s dive into Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom’s bonkers ending

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like in the game The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the KingdomIn a game designed to encourage straying off the beaten path, it can be easy to lose sight of the central narrative thread.

Like its predecessor, the sequel drops protagonist Link into a vast world filled with Shrines, Korok Seeds, armor sets, iconic weapons, roaming dragons and Great Fairies. What’s more, there are basically two additional open worlds to explore this time around, and plenty of experimental hijackings to enact along the way. That is to say, by the time you finally decide to face Ganondorf, the Demon King, any number of hours will have passed since the last cutscene or important plot point.

This is where we come in. Once you complete the “Find Princess Zelda” quest line (or more if you don’t care for spoilers), answer the questions in your fiery story, before reloading your last save and working on Use our explainer below to give. Your way to 100% perfection.

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[Ed. note: It may go without saying, but spoilers follow for the end of Tears of the Kingdom.]

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The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom;  A shirtless Link skydiving in Hyrule

Image: Nintendo EPD/Nintendo via Play Gamez

Is Zelda evil?

during tears of the kingdomIn the “Regional Phenomena” quest line, Link and his sage companions notice Princess Zelda acting strangely. During Link’s mission to rid the Goron population of their addiction to Marble Rock Roast, for example, he was seen commanding Marble Gohma, the final boss of the Fire Temple. Several NPCs in the stables also tell strange tales of the heir to the throne of Hyrule acting out of character.

So, is the titular character evil? No, far from it. At the end of the “Crisis at Hyrule Castle” quest line, which tasks you with chasing “Zelda” through the dilapidated halls of the iconic residence, an apparition of the Demon King Ganondorf appears and reveals that the princess This version was only a puppet sprite, like the Phantom Gone clones scattered all over the world. Whether you’ve encountered one of these enemies before or not, the upcoming boss fight includes several of them.

After the aforementioned boss fight, with Hyrule Castle cleared of its Phantom Ganon infestation, the question remains: where is Princess Zelda? If you’ve completed the “Tears of the Dragon” storyline — which requires you to find Dragon Tears in each of the arcane glyphs that have sprouted on the surface of Hyrule — or spoken to the Great Deku Tree after meeting with Mineru, Fifth Sage, then you’ve discovered the obvious: Zelda is a dragon. Duh!

Light dragon, with flowing yellow hair, ethereal blue horns and dorsal scales, flies through the skies of Hyrule

Image: Nintendo EPD/Nintendo via Play Gamez

Let’s rewind. at the beginning of tears of the kingdom, when Link and Zelda stumble upon Ganondorf’s tomb/prison cell, accidentally triggering an apocalypse, and sending massive chunks of Hyrule into the sky, Zelda fades out of existence while Link falls to the ground Is. As we discover in Memory #4: An Unfamiliar World, Zelda has actually traveled back in time to the founding of Hyrule, millennia ago. (From what I’ve seen it’s not clearly explained How he time traveled, or WHO sent him to the past to save her. My assumption is that, as the Sage of Time and a descendant of Sonia, whose signature Zonai ability is Recall, Zelda’s time-manipulation abilities would have transported her into the past in survival mode.)

After having a good time with Rauru and Sonia (both of whom founded Hyrule) and Mineru (the Zonai architect/engineer/genius who became the Soul Sage), Zelda slowly runs out of options to return to him. Is. own time. When Ganondorf, accompanied by his annoying puppet-Zelda, murders Sonia and steals her secret stone, and moves to fend off a counterattack by Rauru, Mineru, Zelda, and the four original sages, Zelda enters Desperation Mode. does. She stays with the dying Mineru, and decides to travel back to the future, despite the latter’s protests. the hard way, Read: She swallows her own secret stone to become an immortal dragon that can roam the skies for thousands of years recharging the power of the Master Sword in its forehead before Link arrives to take it out.

He is a badass.

Is Zelda Trapped Like a Dragon?

If you’ve landed on the Light Dragon (Zelda) and retrieved the Master Sword, but have yet to kill Ganondorf and complete the “Find Princess Zelda” questline, it’s natural to wonder whether Zelda should always is destined to become an immortal dragon.

Luckily, he isn’t! After retrieving the legendary Blade, Link ventures into the depths beneath Hyrule Castle, enters the Forgotten Foundations, and once again confronts the Demon King Ganondorf (with the help of the five sages he had gathered on his journey). recruited during). Link and his team defeat Ganondorf, who then “activates” his secret stone (formerly Sonia’s) to face Link in a one-on-one fight that gets even hotter:

Ganondorf smiling after activating his secret stone during the second stage of the final boss fight in The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom

Image: Nintendo EPD/Nintendo via Play Gamez

Link, of course, survives this second phase of the battle, and Ganondorf decides to take a page from the ol’ “eat a secret stone and turn into an immortal dragon” playbook. Ganondorf, now known as the Demon Dragon, grasps Link between his demon gums and soars into the sky. Zelda arrives as the Light Dragon, the Demon Dragon drops Link from its mouth, and a shadow of the Colossus-esque battle begins. With Link on her massive head, Zelda flies over the demon dragon, allowing the tiny-in-comparison Link to skydive onto the enemy’s back, slash a few weak points with the Master Sword, and then grab the Secret Stone. The reptilian embedded in Ganondorf’s head delivers the final blow.

He explodes, Link’s Zonai Arm lights up spectacularly, and Link and Zelda are sent to an ethereal realm, where Rauru and Sonia’s spirits use Link’s Zonai Arm (into a Triforce?) to transform Zelda back. ) lends its power to. In his Hylian form. Link wakes up while falling back to Hyrule. he grabs zelda and makes good use of it tears of the kingdomThe fantasy physics of diving into a deep lake at terminal velocity.

Link, kneeling by Zelda, back in the present day after defeating the Demon King Ganondorf in his dragon form

Image: Nintendo EPD/Nintendo via Play Gamez

It is at this point that Zelda answers the question of “why didn’t she fly in her Light Dragon form, fly down to Link when he was exploring Hyrule, and as soon as he met Skye’s first group released, giving her the master sword. Island? Apparently, Zelda’s long period as a dragon felt more like a dream that she barely remembers. The implication is that she was not completely There the whole time, and only once did he regain a sense of purpose when he saw the demon dragon attack Link. She tells Link that she saw Hyrule during the Age of Peace before her transformation, and that she has many stories to tell him. Then, the game ends. like.

Is there a post-credits scene?

There’s actually a post-credits scene! Based on a conversation with Link after Ganondorf is defeated, Zelda invites the other five sages (Minoru in her spirit form) and Pura (because Pura rules) back to the stage where she first recovered the decaying Master Sword. had done who was shot. past. Here, she outlines her plan to bring lasting peace to Hyrule. The sage verbalizes his promise to help her do so – with Link standing there in awkward silence – and the game truly ends.

Whether that eternal peace will become a reality, or the land will brush against the apocalypse again in a possible sequel (I’d be all down for a trilogy of Zelda games) remains up in the air.

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