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The Legend Of Zelda: Tears Of The Kingdom's Title Has Fans Divided

The title of the sequel to "The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild" was revealed at the end of the Sept. 13, 2022 Nintendo Direct broadcast. Subtitled "Tears of the Kingdom," the upcoming game's newest teaser showed off graphical improvements, new mechanics (including what appears to be a rideable glider), as well as a release date of May 12, 2023. While the trailer has certainly stirred up the "Zelda" fanbase, some details that have fans questioning the new game – in particular, how to pronounce the first word of the title, and what that could mean for the game.

The distinction between "tears" (pronounced "tiers") and "tears" (pronounced "tares") is easier to understand when spoken aloud. The "Tears of the Kingdom" trailer did not have a voiceover, though, leaving fans to speculate wildly on what the title of the new "Zelda" game's name could mean. Both versions of "tear" make sense given what is presented in the newest "Tears of the Kingdom" teaser. On one hand, some "Zelda" fans consider it a reference to metaphorical teardrops, as if the Kingdom of Hyrule is weeping or in a saddened state of some description. On the other hand, some say it could be referencing rips, bringing up the time travel mechanics seen in other "Zelda" games. The resulting discourse has fans debating the future of "Zelda."

Tears vs Tears: What does each mean for Zelda?

If "Tears of the Kingdom" is a direct sequel in the timeline, Hyrule has certainly seen better days, and the tears of the title could be the metaphorical teardrops of its people. Some fans have suggested that the tears could also be physical tear-shaped objects. In many "Zelda" games, Tears are used as a symbol of power or light, like the Tears of Light in "Twilight Princess." These tears would not be metaphorically linked to Hyrule's distress, but would be physical items for Link to acquire

For a few seconds in the "Tears of the Kingdom" trailer, Link can be seen traversing a still, greyed-out landscape. This is reminiscent of the journey to Hyrule Castle in "The Wind Waker," where Link travels beneath the ocean to acquire the Master Sword from the ruined kingdom. Perhaps similarly, Link will have to use tears in time to achieve his goal.

Some users have stayed outside the debate, like game engineer @Lady_Jazzrabbit, who said she "could kind of see it go either way." Twitter user @anime_zelda suggested the meaning could be both at the same time, that the tears of the kingdom could come from the disappearance of Zelda, as seen in the first trailer, which leads to the physical tearing apart of Hyrule. Until Nintendo confirms the pronunciation, "Zelda" fans remain divided.