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Zelda: Tears Of The Kingdom's Map Is Way Bigger Than BOTW

Whether gamers play how "Zelda's" producer thinks they should, or they try to beat the first speedthrough, anyone who dives into the title is going to notice something: The map is monstrous. Yes, classic dungeons are back, but that's only half of the fun — and only part of why the map is possibly the largest "Zelda" map yet. While, of course, you can explore those islands up in the sky in "Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom," the real reason for the expanse is because Link can — and must — go underground.


The game opens with Link and Zelda cautiously exploring some murals scattered through a series of tunnels below the ancient castle. Something called Gloom has been making Hylians sick, and the adventurous duo are trying to solve the reason why. It's here that the magic begins: They awaken Ganondorf's mummified corpse, and Zelda is pulled down, disappearing into the dark as Link tries to reach her. During his journey to find her (and, of course, save Hyrule), the Hero of Time needs to explore an entire map underneath Hyrule itself: The Depths.

Dive down deep into the Depths

The map in "Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom" really has three parts, two of which are brand new: The newly-accessible Sky Islands, the surface, and then the Depths — which actually mirror the aboveground map. This expanse offers even more gameplay, but at a price; it's dangerous, possibly the most dangerous part of the map as Link won't recover hearts without the right meal or returning to the surface to bask in the sunlight, like a sunflower. Gloom is rampant — and deadly. Of course, with great danger comes great reward: Players can find unique treasures as they investigate the following areas:

  • Central Hyrule Depths
  • Hyrule Field Depths
  • Eldin Canyon Depths
  • Eldin Mountain Depths
  • Death Mountain Depths

To explore, Link needs to use Light Roots to light the way and Brightbloom Seeds, either by throwing them or hooking them onto arrows and firing them into the distance. All of this may come as a surprise to players who avoided spoilers (that were all over the place), as the Depths were never showcased in any demo, and any visual of the Depths in the trailers was minimal. Instead, Nintendo seems to have intentionally kept fans in the dark (pun intended), leaving this sprawlingly massive map as a surprise treat for players who were counting down the days to the game's launch.

The biggest takeaway? Enjoy the Depths, but go in prepared with Gloom-removing meals and plenty of Brightbloom Seeds.