The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom

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The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom is the twentieth main installment in The Legend of Zelda series.[3] The direct sequel to 2017's Breath of the Wild, the game was released worldwide on May 12, 2023 on the Nintendo Switch.

Game Information

Story



 
The title's appearance

Some time after the events of Breath of the Wild, Gloom started to appear in the caverns beneath Hyrule Castle.[5] Link and Zelda entered these caverns, which were a well-guarded secret of the royal family. In the caverns, they found statues of Zonai and paintings of the invasion of the Demon King in the time of the Zonai. Soon after, they come across the corpse of Ganondorf, who promptly reawakens and uses Gloom to corrupt the Master Sword and Link's left arm. Zelda slips into a deep hole and Link lunges to catch her, but his corrupted arm causes him to miss. Zelda vanishes in a bright light instead of falling any farther, while Link is caught by a disembodied arm.

When Link wakes up, he hears a mysterious voice say that he was saved, but that his right arm had to be replaced. Exiting the Room of Awakening, he meets a Steward Construct who gives him the Purah Pad. After this, he dives down on to the main area of the Great Sky Island. He makes his way to the Temple of Time and he soon discovers that the voice was the voice of Rauru, and that the replacement arm was originally Rauru's. While Link tries to enter the temple and find Zelda, he is blocked by a Zonai lock. Rauru directs Link to the three Shrines of Light on the island. When Link enters those shrines, Rauru gives Link the three main Ancient Powers of the game: Ultrahand, Fuse, and Ascend. Once Link collect the Lights of Blessing from these shrines, he returns to the Temple of Time. He enters, and a ghostly apparition of Zelda appears, giving Link the rune Recall. Rauru speculates that that was not the real Zelda, before disappearing. Link continues through the temple before his path is blocked by another gate, which Link needs four hearts to continue through. Here, Rauru points Link to the fourth shrine, the Nachoyah Shrine in order to get the fourth Light of Blessing so he can trade it off at the Goddess Statue for a heart. Link opens the gate and Rauru appears telling Link that it was so nice to meet him before disappearing. Link walks across a long platform before finding a glowing pedestal. He puts the Master Sword on the pedestal which transports it to Zelda in ancient Hyrule. Link then skydives off the Great Sky Island, landing in the Bottomless Pond.

Gameplay

Tears of the Kingdom features similar gameplay to Breath of the Wild, with several changes and new elements, such as the Ultrahand ability, and the expansion of Hyrule to include not only the Surface, but also the Sky and the Depths. The chaos throughout Hyrule is known as the Upheaval.[6]



Development

Development of the twentieth game in The Legend of Zelda series began in 2017 after the production for Breath of the Wild concluded.[7] During the E3 2019 Nintendo Direct, it was announced that it would be a sequel to Breath of the Wild.[8][9] The idea of creating a direct sequel came from the fact that Eiji Aonuma, producer of Breath of the Wild, wanted to revisit the same Hyrule while incorporating a new story and gameplay mechanics.[2] Initially, new ideas were thought of for DLC but evolved into a new game when too many were gathered.[10]

amiibo Support

Main article: amiibo
 
The Tears of the Kingdom series Link amiibo

Tears of the Kingdom is compatible with various The Legend of Zelda amiibo which allow Link to receive additional fabric for his Paraglider that changes its appearance. A Tears of the Kingdom series Link amiibo was announced on February 8, 2023 that released alongside the game on May 12, 2023.[11] On June 21, 2023, amiibo figures of Zelda and Demon King Ganondorf were announced, and they were later released on November 3, 2023.[12][13][14][15]

Post-launch Content

While no DLC for Tears of the Kingdom was announced during the trailers, the footer of the official Tears of the Kingdom website featured a disclaimer for purchasing DLC to use for the game, "Full version of game required to use DLC for that game. Sold separately."[16][17] While this was not a confirmation that DLC would be coming to the game, many fans speculated on the likelihood before the game's release, increasing the overall excitement for the new game in the fanbase. The clause was removed from the website footer on April 13, 2023.[18] On September 6, 2023, Hidemaro Fujibayashi revealed that Nintendo has no plans to release DLC for Tears of the Kingdom.[19]

Updates

Main article: /Version History

Multiple free patches for Tears of the Kingdom have been released since its launch to fix bugs.

Update
Version 1.0.0
Release Date
Content
Update
Version 1.1.0
Release Date
May 11, 2023
Content
  • Added several language options for naming Horses
  • Addressed several issues to improve the gameplay experience
Update
Version 1.1.1
Release Date
May 18, 2023
Content
  • Addressed several issues to improve the gameplay experience
Update
Version 1.1.2
Release Date
May 25, 2023
Content
  • Addressed several issues to improve the gameplay experience
Update
Version 1.2.0
Release Date
June 4, 2023
Content
  • Added compatibility to receive bonuses from the News Channel
  • Addressed several issues to improve the gameplay experience
Update
Version 1.2.1
Release Date
August 22, 2023
Content
  • Addressed several issues to improve the gameplay experience

Trailers and Marketing

The announcement trailer shows Link and Zelda exploring an unknown subterranean Zonai Ruin. They arrive in a cavern where Ganondorf's body is held in suspended animation, gripped by a pale, ghostly hand. Ganondorf stirs amidst an earthquake, and the trailer then cuts to a view of Hyrule Castle from the Great Plateau. As the ground shakes, the Castle is seen rising into the air. Text is then displayed announcing the development of a sequel to Breath of the Wild.[9]

During the announcement of Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity on September 8, 2020, Eiji Aonuma said that Nintendo was still working on the game and that the fans would have to wait before getting any news. Later, in a December interview, Nintendo of America president Doug Bowser added that the contents of the game would be shown when they felt they had enough to show.[20]

The second trailer and first gameplay showcase aired on June 15th, 2021, during the E3 2021 Nintendo Direct.[21] In the second trailer during E3 2021, gameplay footage showed Link skydiving and paragliding among landmasses floating in the sky. Link is seen battling various enemies, such as a Stone Talus carrying a Monster Stronghold. Link also wields new abilities which seemingly come from his altered right arm. The first is Recall, an ability that can move an Object backward on the path it came from. The second is Ascend, an ability that phases Link through a solid structure from underneath. The trailer concludes with scenes of Hyrule Castle being violently lifted from the ground by a huge mass of Malice.[21][22] An estimated release date for the game was also announced to be sometime during 2022.

On March 29, 2022, Nintendo released a video where Eiji Aonuma announced that development time had been extended, with the game being set to release in the spring of 2023. A short gameplay clip was premiered that showcased Link's new outfit and a heavily damaged Master Sword.[23]

The third trailer for the game was shown in the September 13, 2022 Nintendo Direct, where the title and release date, May 12, 2023, were revealed.[24] In the trailer, a large portrait similar to the Calamity Ganon Tapestry was shown depicting Soldiers fighting with Moblins and Bokoblins, an unknown figure surrounded by seven symbols, and a few people resembling Zelda and the corpse from the announcement trailer. Afterward, more gameplay footage shows Link pushing open a large door and jumping into a free fall. Next, Link jumps onto a large boulder traveling into the air, showing a giant storm forming nearby. Next, Link climbs up the root of a Tree sticking out of a floating rock. Finally, Link falls out of the sky above Hyrule and lands on a large, flying mechanism, which he appears to pilot. Nintendo UK did not livestream the Nintendo Direct as a mark of respect during the national period of mourning for Queen Elizabeth II.[25] Nintendo UK later acknowledged the announcement in a Twitter post on October 3rd.[26]

The fourth trailer for the game was shown in the February 8, 2023 Nintendo Direct. Many new mechanics, locations, and enemies were all shown during the trailer, and the release date of May 12, 2023 was reconfirmed.[27] The game was also opened for pre-orders on the Nintendo eShop which revealed the game to retail for $70 USD.[28] A Collector's Edition was also announced to be released on the same day. Finally, an amiibo of Link from the game was announced to also release on the same day.[11]

12 minutes of gameplay were showcased by Eiji Aonuma on Nintendo's YouTube channel, alongside an announcement for a Tears of the Kingdom-themed Nintendo Switch - OLED Model, as well as a themed Nintendo Switch Pro Controller and a Nintendo Switch carrying case.[29] It premiered on March 28, 2023.[30][31]

The fifth and final pre-launch trailer for Tears of the Kingdom premiered on YouTube on April 13, 2023.[32]

Special Editions

 
The North American Collector's Edition
  • A Collector's Edition was announced for North America during the February 8, 2023 Nintendo Direct. The Collector's Edition includes the game, a SteelBook, an ICONART poster, a Pin Set, and an Art Book.[33]

Bundles

  • The My Nintendo Store in the UK are offering three bundles in addition to the standard and Collector's Edition. All three come with a physical copy of the standard edition of Tears of the Kingdom.
    • One includes a Notebook with game's logo imprinted on the front and a symbol with the damaged Master Sword imprinted on the back.
    • One includes a 75mm Collector's Medal with a display box.
    • One includes both the Notebook and Collector's Medal.

Pre-Order Bonuses

At GameStop, EB Games retailers, consumers who pre-ordered Tears of the Kingdom received various products depending on their region. Consumers in the United States received a Wooden Plaque with artwork from the game.[34] Consumers in Canada received a Pin Set of Link and Zelda based on the promotional artwork of the game.[35] Consumers in Australia received a Luggage Tag with the game's logo printed in black.[36] Additionally, GameStop and EB Games retailers will distribute the pre-order bonuses to consumers who buy the game after release, while supplies last.

Walmart retailers also provided bonuses to consumers who pre-order Tears of the Kingdom. Consumers in Canada received a luggage tag with the game's logo printed in black.[37] Consumers in America first received a gold wall scroll then a black one after the gold color sold out.[38]

Consumers in the UK who pre-ordered Tears of the Kingdom, the Collector's Edition or any of the three bundles from the My Nintendo Store received a Luggage Tag with the game's logo imprinted on it and a Collector's Coin.[39]

In Japan, Amazon offered a spoon or fork with Tears of the Kingdom.[38]

In America, Target is offering an "Adventure Hip Pack" with in-store purchases of Tears of the Kingdom.[38]

In America, Best Buy offered a framed artwork with pre-orders of Tears of the Kingdom.


Audience Reception



The announcement of Tears of the Kingdom under the name "Sequel to Breath of the Wild" was celebrated by fans across the world as Breath of the Wild was one of the most popular games on the Nintendo Switch and was known throughout the gaming community, especially after winning the Game of the Year award at the 2017 Japan Game Awards.[40] Many fans speculated about whether Zelda would be a playable character and/or if multiplayer would be available, but when asked, Aonuma declined to answer.[41]

When the title of Tears of the Kingdom was revealed during the September 13, 2022 Nintendo Direct, many fans were unsure whether the name referred to tears as in crying, or tears as in rips.[42] Nintendo cleared up the confusion a few days later and confirmed that the name refers to tears as in crying.[43]

Sales

Tears of the Kingdom sold over 10 million copies on its first three days, becoming the fastest selling game in the series.[44] With over 4 million copies sold in America, it is also the fastest selling Nintendo Switch and Nintendo game overall in that territory.[45] As of June 2023, it is the second best-selling game of the year.[46] Tears of the Kingdom has sold a total of 20.61 million copies as of March 31, 2024.[47]

Reviews

Tears of the Kingdom received critical acclaim upon release, with IGN, GameSpot, and Destructoid all giving the game a 10/10, and receiving a score of 96/100 from review aggregator Metacritic.[48] Before its release, it became the highest rated game of all time on review aggregator OpenCritic with an original score of 97.223.[49][50]

Awards

 
Nintendo's Game of the Year nominees at The Game Awards 2023

Tears of the Kingdom was nominated several times at The Game Awards and the Golden Joystick Awards for the most anticipated/wanted game category, but was beaten out by other games. The game won at both events in 2022, most likely due to a combination between the title of the game finally being announced which renewed excitement and for the release of Elden Ring, a heavy competitor against Tears of the Kingdom that was no longer present.[51]

After being released in 2023, Tears of the Kingdom was nominated for several awards at the Golden Joystick Awards, though it only won Nintendo Game of the Year.[52] Alongside Super Mario Bros. Wonder, Tears of the Kingdom was one of two Nintendo games nominated for Game of the Year at The Game Awards.[53]

Tears of the Kingdom won Game of the Year at IGN,[54] Game Informer,[55] and EDGE.[56]

Event Award Result
The Game Awards 2020 Most Anticipated Game Nominated[57]
Golden Joystick Awards 2021 Most Wanted Game Nominated[58]
The Game Awards 2021 Most Anticipated Game Nominated[59]
Golden Joystick Awards 2022 Most Wanted Game Won[60]
The Game Awards 2022 Most Anticipated Game Won[61]
Golden Joystick Awards 2023 Best Audio Nominated[62]
Golden Joystick Awards 2023 Best Game Trailer Nominated[63]
Golden Joystick Awards 2023 Best Community Award Nominated[64]
Golden Joystick Awards 2023 Best Supporting Performer
(Patricia Summersett as Princess Zelda)
Nominated[65]
Golden Joystick Awards 2023 Nintendo Game of the Year Won[52]
Golden Joystick Awards 2023 Ultimate Game of the Year Nominated[66]
The Game Awards 2023 Best Game Direction Nominated
The Game Awards 2023 Best Art Direction Nominated
The Game Awards 2023 Best Score and Music Nominated
The Game Awards 2023 Best Action/Adventure Nominated
The Game Awards 2023 Game of the Year Nominated

Speedrun Records

Main article: Speedrun Records
Category Runner Time Date
Any% (pre v1.2.1) RedSlay9 41m 47s December 23, 2023
Any% (v1.2.1) Dracolink 57m 18s December 24, 2023
All Dungeons (pre v1.2.1) gymnast86 2h 42m 37s November 28, 2023
All Dungeons (v1.2.1) orcrist_gc 3h 36m 09s November 21, 2023
All Main Quests (pre v1.2.1) zfg 3h 27m 34s October 17, 2023
All Main Quest (v1.2.1) Twik 5h 07m 57s October 28, 2023
All Shrines (pre v1.2.1) 5eil 6h 56m 21s September 27, 2023
All Shrines (v1.2.1)
100% (pre v1.2.1) Tippi 1d 5h 45m 16s October 13, 2023
100% (v1.2.1) 72archetypist 2d 22h 13m 22s 280ms September 6, 2023

Listings

Characters

  See more...

Enemies

  See more...

Items

  See more...

Locations

  See more...

Trivia

  • Prior to the release of Tears of the Kingdom, Snapchat released a special Adventure Awaits filter in collaboration with Nintendo, featuring a countdown clock to May 12, 2023.[67]

Nomenclature

  Names in Other Regions  
LanguageNamesMeanings
Japanese
ゼルダの伝説 ティアーズ オブ ザ キングダム (Zeruda no Densetsu Tiāzu Obu Za Kingudamu)[69]Same as English.
ChineseTR
薩爾達傳說 王國之淚 (Sàěrdá Chuánshuō Wángguó Zhī Lèi)[76]Same as English.
ChineseSI
塞尔达传说 王国之泪 (Sàiěrdá Chuánshuō Wángguó Zhī Lèi) 
Dutch
The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom[71]
FrenchEU
The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom[70]
German
The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom[73]
Italian
The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom[68]
Korean
젤다의 전설 티어스 오브 더 킹덤 (Jelda-ui Jeonseol Tieoseu Obeu Deo Kingdeom)[74]Same as English.
PortugueseEU
The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom[75]
SpanishLA
The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom[72]
SpanishEU
The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom[77]
This table was generated using translation pages.
To request an addition, please contact a staff member with a reference.

Gallery

External Links

References

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  2. 2.0 2.1 Brian Shea, Breath Of The Wild's Director Is Returning For The Sequel , Game Informer, published June 11, 2019, retrieved June 12, 2019.
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  4. 게임물등급분류 결정서 (web archive), Game Rating and Administration Committee, published November 18, 2022, retrieved January 19, 2023.
  5. "People have been falling ill after coming in contact with the gloom drifting through these caverns." — Zelda (Tears of the Kingdom)
  6. "The Upheaval has come to Hyrule
    Embark on a perilous quest to find the missing princess and unravel the truth behind a cataclysmic event that has sent the kingdom into turmoil."
    The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom , Nintendo UK, retrieved April 20, 2023.
  7. Creating a Champion, Dark Horse Books, pg. 424
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  11. 11.0 11.1 "This Link #amiibo from The Legend of #Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom will launch alongside the game on May 12th." — @NintendoAmerica on Twitter, February 8, 2023 (Archive)
  12. The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom Amiibo Trailer | Nintendo Direct 2023, IGN on YouTube, Uploaded June 21, 2023 (Archive)
  13. "The Zelda and Ganondorf amiibo figures from The Legend of #Zelda: #TearsOfTheKingdom will be releasing individually on Nov. 3! #NintendoDirect" — @NintendoAmerica on Twitter, September 14, 2023 (Archive)
  14. "『ゼルダの伝説 ティアーズ オブ ザ キングダム』に登場する「ゼルダ」「ガノンドロフ」のamiiboは11月3日(金)に発売決定。#ゼルダの伝説 #TearsOfTheKingdom" — @ZeldaOfficialJP on Twitter, September 14, 2023
  15. "These #amiibo figures of Zelda and Ganondorf from The Legend of #Zelda: #TearsOfTheKingdom will release 03/11. #NintendoDirect" — @NintendoEurope on Twitter, September 14, 2023
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  17. "Nintendo has yet to officially announce any additional content for Tears of the Kingdom, but given the company’s history with its first-party games, it certainly makes sense that the upcoming Zelda game will include some sort of DLC.
    On the Tears of the Kingdom official site, which features details about the upcoming game, a curious line of text at the bottom seems to confirm DLC."
    — Joseph Yaden, Nintendo May Have Just Revealed Tears of the Kingdom DLC (web archive), Inverse, published February 27, 2023, retrieved March 2, 2023.
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  20. "You’ve followed Nintendo long enough to know that as we progress on any title, and we deem it’s the right moment, we will share with the community where we are in the development. At this point, though, I have nothing more that I can share on those titles." — Russ Frushtik, Doug Bowser on Nintendo’s obsession with March 31, plus Joy-Con drift and the Switch Pro rumors , Polygon, published Dec 16, 2020, retrieved Aug 7, 2021.
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  22. "The Hyrule Castle rising." (Nintendo Magazine, 2021 Winter, pg. 19 (English))
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  25. "As a mark of respect during this period of national mourning, we will not livestream tomorrow’s Nintendo Direct. It will be published as a video-on-demand on our YouTube channel at 16:00 (UK time) tomorrow." — @NintendoUK on Twitter, September 12, 2022 (Archive)
  26. "The Legend of #Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom." — @NintendoUK on Twitter, October 3, 2022 (Archive)
  27. The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom – Official Trailer #2, @NintendoAmerica on YouTube, Uploaded February 8, 2023 (Archive)
  28. "Nintendo confirmed that The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, the highly anticipated sequel to Breath of the Wild, will cost $69.99, instead of the standard $59.99 price for first-party Nintendo games." — Ana Diaz, Nintendo confirms Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom will cost $69.99 (web archive), Polygon, published February 8, 2023, retrieved February 9, 2023.
  29. Nintendo Switch – OLED Model - The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom Edition Launches on April 28 (web archive), Nintendo, published March 28, 2023, retrieved March 29, 2023.
  30. "Join The Legend of #Zelda series producer, Eiji Aonuma, for roughly 10 minutes of gameplay from The Legend of Zelda: #TearsOfTheKingdom on 3/28 at 7:00 a.m. PT on our YouTube channel." — @NintendoAmerica on Twitter, March 27, 2023 (Archive)
  31. The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom – Mr. Aonuma Gameplay Demonstration, @NintendoAmerica on YouTube, Uploaded March 28, 2023 (Archive)
  32. The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom – Official Trailer #3, @NintendoAmerica on YouTube, Uploaded April 13, 2023 (Archive)
  33. "In addition to the standard version, a collector's edition of The Legend of #Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom will launch on 5/12." — @NintendoAmerica on Twitter, February 8, 2023 (Archive)
  34. "Pre-order The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom at GameStop and receive an EXCLUSIVE wooden plaque with purchase!" — @GameStop on Twitter, February 14, 2023 (Archive)
  35. "Take to the skies in The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom! Pre-order your copy and receive a GameStop exclusive pin set when you pick up your purchase!" — @GameStopCanada on Twitter, February 28, 2023
  36. The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom , EB Games Australia.
  37. "Receive a free luggage tag* when you pre-order and purchase the Legend of Zelda™: Tears of the Kingdom game for the Nintendo Switch™ system."The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom (Nintendo Switch) , Walmart Canada.
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  39. "The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom
    Bundles available. All include Collector's Coin and Luggage Tag."
    Home , My Nintendo Store, retrieved April 11, 2023.
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  42. "The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom was named on screen during the latest Nintendo Direct - but many fans still had questions. Namely, was that "tears" as in crying? Or "tears" as in something being torn up?" — Tom Phillips, Here's how you pronounce Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, Nintendo says , Eurogamer.net, published September 16, 2022, retrieved September 21, 2022.
  43. "But only one way is actually correct, and Nintendo has now confirmed to Eurogamer... it is tears as in crying." — Tom Phillips, Here's how you pronounce Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, Nintendo says , Eurogamer.net, published September 16, 2022, retrieved September 21, 2022.
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  46. "Revealed through the latest data from Circana (formerly NPD), the long-awaited Breath of the Wild sequel got off to an incredibly hot start, instantly moving to second place on the list of best-selling games of the year so far." — Ryan Dinsdale, Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom Sold More Copies Physically Than Resident Evil 4 or Star Wars Jedi: Survivor Did Period , IGN, published June 27, 2023, retrieved June 27, 2023.
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  50. "#1 - Tears of the Kingdom: 97.223" — OpenCritic, Tears of the Kingdom's lead on this ranking is quite significant. , Twitter, published May 11, 2023, retrieved May 17, 2023.
  51. "The game had been nominated the past two years for the category, but lost out to Elden Ring both times. This year ER actually came out, meaning the category was now open for Zelda to take over." — Amelia Fruzzetti, The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom wins Most Anticipated Game at The Game Awards (web archive), Nintendo Wire, published December 8, 2022, retrieved April 17, 2023.
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  53. "We are honored that The Legend of #Zelda: #TearsOfTheKingdom and #SuperMarioBrosWonder have both received Game of the Year nominations at #TheGameAwards!

    Thank you to everyone for your support!
    " — @NintendoAmerica on Twitter, November 14, 2023 (Archive)
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  55. "The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom surprised us, made us feel smart and creative, and inspired thousands to become virtual engineers with incredible creations of their own. For all those reasons, it earns Game Informer’s 2023 game of the year." — Game Informer Editorial, Game Informer's Top 10 Games Of 2023 , Game Informer, published December 19, 2023, retrieved December 26, 2023.
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