The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom is almost here, and at first glance the enigmatic faction called Zonai could play a big part in the sequel after mostly existing in the background of Breath of the Wild. If you feel like you walked into something or missed a big storyline in the last game, don’t worry. Despite many theories being hatched over the years, even the biggest Zelda fans don’t have many concrete details about who or what the Zonai were. But let’s break down what we know and why fans think the Zonai are becoming a key player in Tears of the Kingdom.
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What do we already know about the Zonai?
In Breath of the Wild, the Zonai are depicted as a tribe that no longer exists within Hyrule, but their nature is apparently up for debate in the game world. They are depicted as both a savage tribe of barbarians , as well as strong magic users who worship animals, especially Farosh, a water dragon that can be found in places like the Gerudo Highlands. Traces of their existence can be seen in places like the Zonai Ruins in the southern area of the map, with long-abandoned architecture hinting at their reverence for Hyrule’s wildlife. In the story and art book The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild – Creating a Champion, it is revealed that the animals that feature prominently in what remains of Zonai’s house refer to the three rooms of the Triforce: a dragon for Courage, an owl for Wisdom, and a boar for Power. Beyond the animals, the Zonai also have their own spiral-like crest, seen on architecture associated with the tribe.
Beyond that, Link can acquire Barbarian armor in Breath of the Wild that is said to have been worn by members of the Zonai long ago after navigating specific labyrinths believed to have been built by the tribe. While it all fits together, much of what we know about the tribe is speculation fueled by the game’s ambient storytelling. It’s a very minimalistic, FromSoftware-style approach to world-building and largely rewards those who want to explore the big game world. However, it could pay off for all of us in Tears of the Kingdom.
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Why do fans think Tears of the Kingdom will involve the Zonai?
Theories that the Zonai would be a major player in Tears of the Kingdom have been rumored since the game’s reveal in 2019 due to the emphasis on the spiral pattern at the heart of Zonai architecture. However, the connection is much more concrete now thanks to the latest gameplay showcase. During this stream, Nintendo revealed that the Zonai were tied to the events of Tears of the Kingdom via a piece of loot. In the 10-minute gameplay trailer, Link defeats an enemy in the Sky Floating Islands and drops an item called Zonai Charge. The video doesn’t dwell on the object, but it clearly has the same green energy seen powering up the machine-like enemies Link is fighting, the (broken) seal around Ganondorf seen in the original trailer, and the Link’s corrupted and shiny arm.
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Will we encounter the Zonai in Tears of the Kingdom?
Given Nintendo’s silence regarding the story of Tears of the Kingdom, it’s hard to say whether or not Link will encounter a member of the Zonai tribe. Given that the group seems to have disappeared entirely from Hyrule in Breath of the Wild, with the only information we have about them coming from theories and their remaining architecture, it seems more logical that the Zonai were wiped out or went into hiding. . But even so, their technology and magic are still present and causing problems for our hero in Tears of the Kingdom. That being said, it’s not entirely out of the question that some survived and waited for the events of this game to unfold. The series is also no stranger to time travel, as it’s a key mainstay in games like Ocarina of Time and Oracle of Ages. So there’s a chance that Link could come face to face with the Zonai during their prime, but it’s unconfirmed.
Wait, how does Twilight Princess play into all of this?
Like most of the possibilities discussed here, the connection between The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess and Tears of the Kingdom is still speculation, but fans believe they have found connections between the Zonai and the Twili, which were introduced in Twilight Princess. . Breath of the Wild incorporates multiple tribes and species of life from the series, from the Sheikah to the Zora. The Twili, however, are notably absent, but given the similarities to the architecture and magic seen in Tears of the Kingdom and that of the Twili, fans believe the Zonai might be the original race that were turned into monsters by Zant in Twilight Princess. There are even breakdowns of iconography and sigils throughout Breath of the Wild which look a lot like the images from Twilight Princess. It’s all theory at this point, and Breath of the Wild itself doesn’t do much to make this possible connection directly apparent. So don’t feel like you’ve completely missed out on a potential connection. That’s all the fan interpretation, for now.
Whatever the Zonai are, it looks like they will at least be part of the larger Tears of the Kingdom setup. Whether we’ll encounter one remains to be seen, but we’ll find out when the game hits Switch on May 12.
Article source https://kotaku.com/legend-of-zelda-tears-of-the-kingdom-theory-zonai-ruins-1850314256