No-no, no-no-no-no, no-no-no-no, no-no, there’s no Tears of the Kingdom DLC

As Zelda clambered downwards at the inception of the game, lantern in hand, her sworn protector Link by her side, I wished for a Skyrim-esque opening. Zelda atop a golden steed and Link, on Epona, ride from Zelda’s (NB: not Links, FYI) home in Hateno village to Hyrule Castle, to investigate the mysterious fog, known as gloom, beginning to shroud Hyrule. In the fully on-the-rails scene, you can look around, see the new settlements that have grown and developed since the defeat of The Calamity. This glimpse into a young, growing, and prosperous Hyrule would offer a wonderful juxtaposition with what is to come, with the upheaval just around the corner….

Kieran Fifield, general lunatic

The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom is a marvel. A genuine masterpiece. A bona-fide 10 out of 10. Despite always telling myself I’ve never got any spare time, I’ve somehow still managed to pump over 150 hours into it since launch. I’ve finished the main story content (more on that anon), cleared a bucket load of sidequests, and re-explored this familiar yet altogether different version of Hyrule utterly meticulously. Thirsty Fairies, Deranged horse gods, tireless construction workers, legendary dragons, Zora Prince-Kings, possessed Gorons, mini Rito, all manner of Hylians, and so many Koroks have all been met along this timeless journey with the plethora of returning and new enemies alike (Horriblins FTW, BTW!)

I once spent an entire evening trying to make an epic war machine with Ultrahand, only to have it fail horribly. I didn’t mind. It never felt like wasted time. The creativity in this cram-packed title is insane. And yet, I feel a little empty with the news that there will be no DLC. For one simple reason. Hear me out!

Tears on my pillow

Despite the fact that the cutscenes in Tears of the Kingdom are easily the best we’ve had in the series, and the voice acting is vastly improved from Breath of the Wild, the story content in Tears of the Kingdom still feels lacking. Full story spoilers for Tears of the Kingdom follow. Read on with caution. I didn’t love the memories in Breath of the Wild. I understood the need for them but I wasn’t a fan. This time, in their place, we have the Tears, which ultimately work in the same way; giving us a glimpse into the past and keeping us up to date with the good princesses’ happenings. As I said, they’re animated beautifully, voiced admirably, and weave a wonderful narrative. 

HOWEVER, they once again feel a little hollow and fractured. The game’s main story content, similarly, struggles to really deliver a knockout blow. Again, don’t get me wrong. It’s perfectly cromulent, quite excellent even. My main problem is, I built the narrative up in my mind so much prior to release that I demanded more from the return of the king (of evil). Ganondorf deserves a backstory. While he is (again, spoilers) the game’s main antagonist and the final boss fight is one of the best boss fights in TloZ’s rich history, he barely exists in the present day aside from at the games opening and closing. His character is built through Zelda’s interactions with him in the past, along with his rise to power. 

Tears of a clown

Herein lies my disappointment. Remember all the theories, pre-launch, about how we would finally get to play segments of the game as Zelda? Wouldn’t that be delightful to be able to experience as DLC? A 20-hour campaign, living and playing as Zelda, in an incredibly linear adventure? Why the fuck not! Perhaps something that centres around the skirmishes we witness between the Gerudos and Hylians/Zontai. Expand on this lore, give us more Rauru, more Sonia, more Minera, more constructs bumbling around, performing their servitude.

Give us a closer insight into Ganondorf – before he became the Demon King – when he still lived as the firstborn male Gerudo for 100 years, still human. But mainly give Zelda a true platform to shine. Her ultimate decision in the game’s main story is absolutely colossal and seeing more of her mindset leading up to the inevitability of it (the DLC’s climax) would be a wonderful thing indeed. 

So, Nintendo, don’t tell me that there’s nowhere left to explore in the Tears of the Kingdoms game world. Sure, we’ve seen the sunrise from the loftiest perches in the sky islands, and traversed the darkness and gloom of the depths; as well as explored Hyrule 2.0 in all its magnificence. But there’s a whole era of ambiguity and I for one want to see more.

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