Is Demise back in The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom? It's complicated

The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom
(Image credit: Nintendo)

After The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom's final trailer appeared to depict Demise, Zelda fans are wildly speculating how the ancient villain could factor into the plot.

Yesterday saw the final trailer for Tears of the Kingdom air, setting up the overarching story of the Breath of the Wild sequel with Ganondorf front and centre. Plenty of viewers picked up on one shot in particular though, seen just below, in which Ganondorf appears to show a huge resemblance to Skyward Sword villain Demise.

This has lead to heaps of speculation that Demise will play an active role in Tears of the Kingdom. But what kind of role, exactly? One common theory is that Ganondorf is actually transforming into Demise. When Demise is defeated at the conclusion of Skyward Sword, he promises to manifest again and again throughout history to curse Link and Zelda. Fans have generally taken that to mean that Ganondorf is a reincarnation of Demise, and seeing a connection this direct between the two would make a lot of sense.

However, some think this isn't actually Demise, but Ganondorf simply undergoing his resurrection. Based on past Tears of the Kingdom trailers, there's a great chance that Ganondorf starts out life as a husk in the sequel, and undergoes a transformation of some sort to become the fully-fledged Ganondorf we see in the new trailer (he basically gets rehydrated, in short).

This would make a lot of sense, admittedly. If Ganon was born from Demise, then it makes sense that Ganon is the final result of Demise, and wouldn't be transforming into Demise after resurrecting as his full self. There's even some wild speculation that Ganon and Demise could be two separate entities in Tears of the Kingdom, but that's one hard theory to stomach.

This trailer did a lot for Tears of the Kingdom, completely selling viewers on the story and stakes of the sequel, but we're still left with a lot of questions. Then again, a trailer leaving you with enough questions to want to play something is never really a bad thing.

Check out our The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom pre-order guide for a look at where you can bag the new game for the cheapest price possible.

Hirun Cryer

Hirun Cryer is a freelance reporter and writer with Gamesradar+ based out of U.K. After earning a degree in American History specializing in journalism, cinema, literature, and history, he stepped into the games writing world, with a focus on shooters, indie games, and RPGs, and has since been the recipient of the MCV 30 Under 30 award for 2021. In his spare time he freelances with other outlets around the industry, practices Japanese, and enjoys contemporary manga and anime.