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Eiji Aonuma’s recent The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom gameplay demonstration directly revealed a lot of core info about the game, but it also had blink and miss it details in the background, from certain button prompts to a Korok to more. But one of the most innocuous details could tell us a staggering deal about the game’s lore and where it’s headed, and it’s in a blink and you’ll miss it moment.

When Link defeats a new enemy called a Construct in the trailer, it drops an item called a Zonai Charge, which he picks up quickly without any comment from Aonuma. This appears to be a reference to the Zonai, a powerful magic-wielding tribe mentioned in the Creating a Champion book detailing the development of Breath of the Wild. Hints of their legacy were found in much of Hyrule, particularly in the Faron Woods region (where you can find eponymous Zonai ruins). While in-universe rumors abound about the civilization, details are sparse, with only the implication that they were involved in the game’s three Lomei Labyrinths (which bear traits of their architecture) and by extension the Barbarian Armor Set you can procure within them.



Other fans (thanks, Zelda Wiki!) have already discovered lots of clues about the Zonai’s presence in Tears of the Kingdom, with their symbology seen both on the Sky Islands and in Hyrule’s underground in the trailers. It also appears that several elements of the new game – Link’s weird looking hand, the pulsating green energy prominent in trailers, the multiple dragon heads seen about – suggest Zonai influence or origin. As such, the Zonai Charge is more confirmation than anything. What secrets does the olden culture hold?

We’ll have to find out for ourselves when The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom releases on May 12th. Looking to secure your copy? Make sure to check out our pre-order guide!


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Written by Amelia Fruzzetti

A writer and Nintendo fan based in Seattle, Washington. When not working for NinWire, she can be found eating pasta, writing stories, and wondering about when Mother 3 is finally going to get an official localization.