The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom trailer teases the Zonai's involvement

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

The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom will feature the Zonai in a new way: Link's abilities.

Nintendo has debuted a new look at The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom's gameplay, featuring series producer Eiji Aonuma. As spotted by one eagle-eyed Reddit user, for one brief moment in the new demo, Link has a mysterious ability called 'Zonai Charge.'

[TotK] Zonais are confirmed being a main part of the game. from r/zelda

This paves the way for the enigmatic Zonai to have a bigger role in Tears of the Kingdom than previously anticipated. Last September, similarly sleuthing fans spotted a reference to the Zonai on a new part of the in-game Hyrule map, the first allusion to the race having a new part to play.

In other words, Tears of the Kingdom could be tapping into some very old Zelda lore. The Zonai are a race of people that existed long ago in Hyrule, way before the events of Link, Ganon, and Zelda came to pass in any of The Legend of Zelda games or iterations of Hyrule.

The Zonai has always been poorly defined by Zelda lore, just like the series timeline that fans constantly argue over. With this new trailer to go off and the previous evidence under consideration, perhaps we can expect a brief journey into a Hyrule of the distant past.

The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom launches later this year on May 12 for the Nintendo Switch. Speaking of the console, Nintendo also unveiled a special Tears of the Kingdom-themed Switch, which launches a few weeks before the actual game itself.

Here's our guide on where to pre-order the Legend of Zelda Nintendo Switch OLED if you're looking to reserve a unit. 

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.