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Classic Dungeons Are Back In Zelda: Tears Of The Kingdom

In the weeks leading up to the highly-anticipated release of "The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom," Nintendo has revealed a ton of new information about the sequel to "Breath of the Wild." Coming out on May 12, 2023, early reviews rank it as one of the best "Zelda" titles — and one of the best RPGs — of all time. Fans know a lot about what "Tears of the Kingdom" will change from its predecessor, like new abilities, but many aspects of "Breath of the Wild" return, too, like the durability system and familiar characters and locations.

One thing that won't be returning in "Tears of the Kingdom" is the Divine Beasts. Fans speculated the beasts wouldn't appear, but in an interview uploaded in parts days before release, developers confirmed that instead of Divine Beasts, players would be able to find traditional "Zelda" dungeons in "Tears of the Kingdom."

This comes by way of the third part of the "Tears of the Kingdom" Ask A Developer series published by Nintendo, which features Eiji Aonuma, Hidemaro Fujibayashi, Takuhiro Dohta, Satoru Takizawa, and Hajime Wakai. In the third installment, specifically, developers confirmed that "Tears of the Kingdom" replaces the Divine Beasts with traditional dungeons, and that these dungeons will be specifically designed to suit the game's new mechanics and open-world navigation.

Dungeons will be unique and suited to environments

In the interview, Hidemaro Fujibayashi, Takuhiro Dohta, and Satoru Takizawa responded to a question that asked whether the game has dungeons. Fujibayashi immediately revealed that some dungeons will have unique events that trigger when players dive into them from the sky, like one that connects directly from Hyrule's surface. "We think this will be a new experience that wasn't possible in the previous game," Fujibayashi explained. 

The Divine Beasts had similar aesthetics across all four dungeons, even though they were each found in remarkably different environments. They were all relatively small compared to the sprawling dungeons from other titles, too. Dohta confirmed that these new dungeons were designed to match their surroundings and employ the same characteristics as their respective region — a dungeon that's found on Death Mountain, perhaps, would be volcano-themed, but a dungeon in Hyrule Field probably wouldn't be.

Takizawa elaborated on the "wide variety" of dungeons that the team designed. He said it was a particular challenge, especially compared to designing the "Breath of the Wild" Divine Beasts which all essentially looked the same. "This time, the dungeons are huge and each carry their own regional look and feel, just like the traditional 'The Legend of Zelda' games," Takizawa said, adding that he hopes they end up being as challenging as they were to develop.

The new "Zelda" game will also feature Shrines just like "Breath of the Wild," but traditional, massive dungeons are a welcome return for the series.