Paragliding from Sky Island of Hyrule in The Legend of Zelda: tears of the Kingdom
Image via Nintendo

How Hyrule is Different in The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom

Tears of the Kingdom devs have added greatly appreciated improvements to the sequel.

Following the drop of the first two parts of the Ask the Developer interview session with game developers for The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, we now know that we’ll see a handful of changes in the kingdom of Hyrule. Although, they’ll mainly involve newly added gameplay features and improvements to the game’s graphics and sound within the same world as Breath of the Wild.

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In the Q&A, the team talked at length about their intention to expand Hyrule in Tears of the Kingdom. This was a conscious decision made to breathe new life into the franchise with the launch of the Breath of the Wild sequel. In the new title, we’ll see newly introduced features like vehicles and Sky Diving, which will allow Link to observe the kingdom to a greater degree and dive from Sky Islands straight to the surface of the overworld.

Takuhiro Dohta, the technical director for Tears of the Kingdom, went into detail about the importance of implementing changes of this magnitude within a familiar setting.

If a location were completely unfamiliar to you, you’d probably be hesitant to dive down from the sky, but because it’s a world that you’ve already explored in the previous game, these transportation methods make sense.

Takuhiro Dohta, Technical Director

Apart from traversing the kingdom with the help of vehicles and Sky Diving, we’ll experience a deeper immersion into the world of Hyrule through better graphics and sound. The development team acknowledged that this was more difficult than creating a new world altogether, citing the musical direction as a particular challenge.

With that, we can expect to hear some tonal changes in sound effects, yet still recognizable within the Legend of Zelda franchise. Moreover, environmental sounds will take a greater precedence throughout Hyrule with the addition of more realistic bird calls and such.

Long-time franchise fans have expressed their approval of these improvements on Reddit and other forums. Given that the franchise has earned such success in the nearly 40 years since its debut, it’s refreshing to see changes like this added with new installments. Stay up-to-date with the Ask the Developer interview sessions on Nintendo’s website, and look for updates in our The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom guides hub.

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Olivia Rolls
Olivia Rolls earned her degree in English from the College of Central Florida in 2021 and began her career as a freelance writer at Screen Rant the following year. She currently directs her creative efforts toward offering tips and insight on a wide variety of game titles at GameSkinny and BGFG, a passion she's held close to her heart since adventuring alongside Chikorita in Pokémon Crystal as a child. Olivia's all-time favorite franchises are Pokémon and Animal Crossing, but she's generally fond of fantasy RPGs and cozy games of all kinds. She's also a budding animanga enthusiast, her personal big three being Jujutsu Kaisen, Fruits Basket, and InuYasha.