Image: Nintendo / Kotaku
Nintendo, once the iconoclasts, chose the most recent Nintendo Direct not to announce the GameCube Zelda remakes we’re sure are already done, nor any information about the upcoming Mario movie, but to instead release the official title. from Breath of the Wild 2. It was The Legend Of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom. Except, no, sorry about this, we’ll never be able to get out of the habit of calling it Breath of the Wild 2.
Let’s be very clear here: Tears of the Kingdom (TotK) is a direct sequel to Breath of the Wild in a way that no Zelda game has been a direct sequel since 1987’s Zelda II: The Adventure of Link. Yes, of course. Majora’s Mask followed Ocarina of Time, and Phantom Hourglass followed Wind Waker, but TotK is something else. This is a game openly made from the bits left over when BotW was finished, seemingly building on the same basemap that started development as DLC for the previous game. This is without a doubt, however brilliant, some more Breath of the Wild. That’s why this messes with our brains.
With a few weeks to let the title sink in…it isn’t. I bet it isn’t for you either. I bet your brain offers you “BotW2” before it starts to struggle to remember if it’s “The Tears” or just “Tears”, then gets lost wondering if it could possibly be “Tears” as in rips…and then, yeah, we can all agree to just don’t bother.
Read more: The Legend of Zelda: Breath Of The Wild 2 gets a completely different name, release date and trailer
Come on, it should have at least been The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild – Tears of the Kingdom. Sure, they might have to release it in a bigger box to fit it all on the cover, but at least it would make sense. And it’s not that Japan is averse to the long title. Say hello, Dragon Quest Swords: The Masked Queen and the Tower of Mirrors. Or, you know, White Princess the second ~ Yappari Itto ni Ittemo Soujyanakutemo OK-na Gotsugou Shugi Gakuen Renai Adventure.
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And look, we at Kotaku know we’re not alone in this.
Heck, a lot more people have discovered Kotaku’s coverage of the sequel by doing a Google search for “BOTW” than anything mentioning tears or kingdoms. People will be so slow to turn this on!
It certainly doesn’t help that when my eyes read “TOTK”, the first thing I think of is “TikTok”, and good lord, I don’t have to unwittingly stamp that term in my brain more often than YouTube ads on my phone already do. .
Of course, this distracts us from more important things, like how we should organize international protests to make sure Nintendo doesn’t break weapons after you tap them against a leaf this time. Could you imagine? Can you imagine if they wouldn’t listen to the unanimous agreement of the entire world population that this was a terrible mechanic and the worst aspect of BotW? Yes. Of course you can. It’s Nintendo. I’m assuming they make them break more often, but this time every break reduces your stamina permanently.
This also seems like a good time to declare my absolute belief that BotW2 will be released to overlap the end of the Switch era and the launch of the Switch: Pro of the XL-dom (because they clearly don’t have that “Switch 2” shall they?). As we all know, something that happened twice before is evidence of a pattern as eternal as Link fighting Ganon in every era, so just as Twilight Princess overlapped the GameCube with the Wii and BotW straddled one leg in Wii U and Switch, I have no doubt that this will happen again. But also, if not, no one will remember that I predicted it with such certainty in an article about something else.
In the meantime, let’s not kid ourselves. It’s BotW2 in our hearts, and always will be. I fear for those poor people in Nintendo’s marketing department, who cry their kingdom tears at our folly.