Tears of the Kingdom has been receiving attention again thanks to the several The Game Awards nominations it has scored. Game director Hidemaro Fujibayashi recently discussed The Legend of Zelda with Nintendo Dream (translated by Nintendo Everything).
He focuses on Princess Zelda’s growth throughout the franchise, especially in Breath of the Wild and Tears of the Kingdom. As he explains, Breath of the Wild was “about struggling with feeling worthless due to not being able to meet the expectations others had for her, but finally finding her path and maturing in the end.”
In Tears of the Kingdom, there are layers to the narrative divided between Link and Zelda. The princess has grown since the last game, and now that she’s overcome her own troubles, she’s “started to wonder what she can do for the people who currently live in the land of Hyrule.”
New game, new look
Reaction to Zelda in Breath of the Wild and Tears of the Kingdom was mixed, though the increased focus on the latter in the game does give the princess more chances for her personality to be fleshed out. Her short hair left quite an impression on fans for good and bad reasons.
Fujibayashi reveals that this was an intentional choice, as it was meant to show that the princess “has been actively participating in restoring people’s livelihoods and other forms of humanitarian aid,” which has made her pick something that’ll allow her to move around easier.
Over the years, we’ve seen Hyrule’s guardian in different forms, but Fujibayashi argues that the current Zelda “might be one of the more powerful Princess Zeldas in history.” As evidence, he points to how she is able to take on Ganondorf without losing control of her powers.
This focus on character depth is not limited to Zelda, as fans would have noticed. Speak to NPCs at different points in the game, and you’ll notice changes in their dialog that illustrate that they have been having their own life experiences while you were out adventuring.
Tears of the Kingdom still holds many secrets which will ensure the game remains popular for a long time. If you’re waiting for DLC, don’t hold your breath, as there are currently no plans for any expansions.