Lore in Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom covers information regarding the setting, story, and overall background of the game. This page features the backstory and certain elements that add depth and introduce us to the backstory and environment the game brings us. The beginning of the game will likely follow up the plot of its prequel, Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Trailers have shown us Link traveling with Zelda inside a mysterious cavern, We could also see the imprisoned Ganon reawaken. We also know that the Master Sword is broken, and Link's right arm is damaged by Malice but is now glowing with mystical powers. His right arm will most likely be the source of most of his abilities in the game. Parts of Hyrule can also be seen floating and suspended in the air. As of this writing, not much information is out regarding the true premise for Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, but the page will be updated frequently once more information has been released.
Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom Lore
The Legend of Zelda series has always followed the never-ending cycle of reincarnation and battle in the lands of Hyrule. Familiar characters like Link, the main protagonist and hero of the game, the reincarnation of the Goddess Hylia, Princess Zelda, and the recurring villain Ganon have always been present. In the previous game Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Link went on a journey to recover his memories and free the Divine Beasts, while aiding Princess Zelda in her century-long battle against Calamity Ganon. The main villain, Ganon was defeated at the end of the game but he could be reincarnated again with this next installment. The ending also revealed that Zelda was lamenting about rebuilding the Kingdom of Hyrule, the beginning of the game could possibly follow up on this plot as the trailers have shown Zelda traveling with Link. We've also seen the Master Sword being heavily damaged and Link's right arm has also been damaged, but this is also where he gets his mystical powers from the trailer. Not much has been revealed about the story itself but we can expect Link to repair the Master Sword with the help of his newfound abilities from his right arm as he explores the land of Hyrule, save Princess Zelda, and possibly defeat Ganon if he's reincarnated once again, and save Hyrule in the process.
In the previous game, we also learned about the new race called Zonai. Not much has been revealed about this group of creatures that lived in Hyrule, it was intentional as the game instead focused on leaving hints and details but not really giving off too much as they never really appeared in the game. In Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, we might get some answers and explanations about the Zonai civilization. The game's logo appears to be made of interlocking Zonai dragons, so we can expect the Zonai will play an important role in the story. The Kingdom of Hyrule is somewhat similar to the previous installment, but in this game, we've seen from the recent trailers that you could navigate through floating islands and ruins. We may also see new Dungeons with the Diving Beasts being liberated. New mechanics will also come into play as Link's right arm is now the source of his newfound powers.
One of the trailers also showed a mural of a mysterious figure surrounded by seven tear-shaped symbols, these could be related to the title "Tears of the Kingdom" and it could be possible that the main goal is to collect these "tears". The mural also shows events that happened in Hyrule's history but the series' timeline splits into different branches, Nintendo hasn't specified which timeline it is set after all. It could also be possible that Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom isn't chronologically connected to Breath of the Wild and could be happening in a different timeline altogether. But the title could also suggest that the "tears" are the floating islands in the sky, the structure
After an unknown period of time after the events of Breath of the Wild, Link, and Zelda are exploring a secret passage hidden beneath Hyrule Castle. Although King Rhoam had warned Zelda in the past that not even the royal family was to go there, she believes that what lies beneath is connected to the strange phenomenon spreading throughout Hyrule known as "Gloom". As they travel, they find ancient ruins that Zelda identifies as being of Zonai origin. They eventually find a mural depicting a great war against the being called "the Demon King", the stories of which had been passed down by the royal family. Another mural shows the Zonai descending from the sky, which causes Zelda to realize that the "gods" that descended from the heavens to find the royal family must have been the Zonai.
In the deepest chamber, Link and Zelda find a mummified Ganondorf emanating Gloom bound by a disembodied arm. As they enter, the arm falls off and drops a teardrop-shaped gem. As Zelda picks it up, Ganondorf comes to life and strikes with a surge of Gloom. Link blocks the attack with the Master Sword, but Ganondorf's dark power decays the blade, saps Link's strength, and leaves his right arm blackened and lifeless. Ganondorf reveals that he knows Link and Zelda and mocks the former's inability to harm him, mentioning that someone called "Rauru" had entrusted him with Faith.
Ganondorf sends a surge of Gloom that causes Hyrule Castle to rise into the sky before falling deep underground. Zelda falls into a chasm as well, only to disappear in a flash of light. Link nearly falls in as well, but he is grabbed by the disembodied arm and teleported away. When he reawakens, he finds that the arm has replaced his own. A voice says that Zelda had told him about Link and that Link's arm had to be replaced to ensure he did not die from his injuries. Recovering the Decayed Master Sword, he leaves the chamber he woke up in to find himself on an island floating in the sky. He descends to another island, meeting a Steward Construct who gives him Zelda's Purah Pad at her request. It directs Link to the Temple of Time, but upon reaching it Link finds that he cannot enter. He then meets a ghostly figure identifying himself as Rauru, who informs Link that the arm he now possesses was once his own and that its power might be restored if Link visits three of the shrines on the island and gains their sacred light. After opening the gate, Link finds a larger teardrop-shaped gem that changes into an apparition of Zelda, granting him the Recall power before vanishing. Link's path is then blocked by a second sealed door, which he lacks the vitality to open. Rauru advises Link to visit the island's last shrine and offer it to their Goddess Statue, which will restore some of the vitality he lost to the Gloom. After doing so, Link is able to open the door. Rauru advises Link to continue visiting shrines to recover his strength before passing on, telling Link that it will be up to him to aid Zelda.
At the highest point of the Temple, Link finds a glowing light that reacts with the Master Sword. Placing it into the light, the Sword vanishes and is received by Zelda in an unknown location. Link spots a dragon, which parts the clouds beneath the island to reveal the kingdom of Hyrule beneath it. He receives a telepathic message from "Zelda" asking him to find her, beginning his quest to save Hyrule once again.
Link returns to Hyrule, learning that the earlier events, the "Upheaval", have caused chaos in Hyrule. Link then investigates the mysterious reports of disturbances and Zelda's appearance throughout Hyrule. In the process, Link defeats four monsters occupying ancient Zonai temples with the aid of four acquaintances – Tulin of the avian Rito tribe, Sidon of the aquatic Zora tribe, Riju of the desert-dwelling Gerudo tribe, and Yunobo of the mountain-dwelling Goron tribe. With each defeated monster, Link finds Secret Stones, Zonai artifacts that increase the innate power of their users. Spiritual forms of ancient sages appear to Link and his companions, appointing Link's companions as new sages and passing down the Stones. After handling the monsters, Link tracks down "Zelda" to Hyrule Castle. At the castle, "Zelda" reveals itself to be an impostor in Ganondorf's service before being defeated by Link and his companions. Link further encounters Mineru, an ancient sage utilizing spiritual projection to stay in the physical world, and provides her with an artificially constructed mechanical body.
Through Mineru, the sages' spirits, and a number of dragon tears scattered throughout Hyrule, Link learns of Zelda's fate. The mysterious artifact that vanished with Zelda was a Secret Stone, and she was transported through time through the distant past. There, she met Rauru who was revealed to be the first king of Hyrule. In the past, Ganondorf murdered Rauru's wife, Queen Sonia, and acquired her Secret Stone, turning himself into the "Demon King". Rauru sacrifices himself to seal Ganondorf. Zelda then receives the Master Sword, and in order to restore it she transforms into a dragon by consuming her Secret Stone. Prior to her transformation, she tasked the past sages to provide aid to Link in the future. In the present, Link retrieves the Master Sword from Zelda's dragon form, and heads to Ganondorf's location far beneath the castle. There, Link fights Ganondorf's army with the aid of the Sages' successors and Mineru before engaging in combat with Ganondorf himself. Nearing defeat, Ganondorf transforms himself into a demonic dragon in an attempt to beat Link. Zelda's draconic form assists Link in defeating Ganondorf. With the help of Rauru and Sonia's spirits, Zelda regains her true physical appearance, and Link regains his right arm, and the two fall onto the surface of Hyrule.
Sometime later, on the Sky Island where Link had awakened, Mineru bids goodbye to Zelda and Link before her spirit disperses, while the Sages' successors vow to protect Hyrule.
We won't know the exact meaning of "Tears of the Kingdom" until the game's release, we could note that Nintendo did not reveal the game's title until later on as they thought it would reveal too much information.