Do I have to play Breath of the Wild? What you need to know

Get ready for Tears of the Kingdom with this quick rundown of its predecessor.

Plenty are turning their attention to one of the year’s biggest releases with The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom launching for the Nintendo Switch on May 12. However, if you missed out on Breath of the Wild, you might be asking if Tears of the Kingdom is accessible to you. Here are some key facts to note before you decide whether to pick up the new Zelda title for Switch.

Related: One tiny Tears of the Kingdom detail has exciting implications for Zelda lore nerds (like me)

A Quick Rundown on Breath of the Wild

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Image via Nintendo

While you don’t need to play Breath of the Wild to enjoy the open world and gameplay, prior knowledge is critical for those who want to understand the story. Tears of the Kingdom picks up where Breath of the Wild concluded, meaning it’s one of the few Zelda games that’s a direct sequel to its predecessor.

What to Play Before Tears of the Kingdom

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Image via Nintendo

If you want to catch up on the story before playing, there are two titles to pick up, each with DLC to expand upon its narrative. To get the extra story content, play the second wave of content in these DLC packs.

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is critical to making sense of Tears of the Kingdom. You’ll get the story that leads up to Tears of the Kingdom and learn the controls and mechanics. On the other hand, Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity is a Dynasty Warriors-style prequel to the base game. It’s not essential, but it does give more insight into this version of Hyrule.

The Story of Breath of the Wild (Spoilers Included)

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Image via Nintendo

For those who don’t mind spoilers but want to know what’s happening can check this section. We’ll share the details of this title’s story and a few important characters.

  • Hyrule knew of the Calamity Ganon, which would strike them every 100 years.
  • To defend against this threat, Hyrule fashioned the Guardians, sentient beasts that targeted the dark force.
  • The Divine Beasts were the best weapon against Ganon.
  • Zelda’s four champions each controlled a beast: Mipha the Zora, Daruk the Goron, Revali the Rito, and Urbosa the Gerudo.
  • Once Ganon strikes, the Guardians beat him back.
  • 100 years later, Calamity Ganon returns, corrupts the Guardians, and uses them to defeat Hyrule.
  • The Four Divine Beasts that the champions controlled get hijacked by Ganon.
  • Calamity Ganon wipes out the King, most of Hyrule, and Zelda’s champions after taking over the Guardians and the Divine Beasts built to protect Hyrule.
  • Zelda saves Link at the end of the battle, preserving him to heal for a century.
  • Zelda spends the next 100 years holding Calamity Ganon back with the power of the Triforce.
  • Link wakes with no memories at the start of the game.
  • Zelda informs him he’s been sleeping for 100 years.
  • Link must build his strength, reclaim the Master Sword, and recapture the Divine Beasts to confront and defeat Calamity Ganon.
  • Link finds each Divine Beast and the spirits of the champions who guarded them. Their descendants help him reclaim the creatures and free his friends’ spirits.
  • After Link gets ready, he takes on Calamity Ganon with his friends’ spirits piloting the Divine Beasts, defeating him, and freeing Zelda from her century of servitude to Hyrule.
  • The two work to rebuild Hyrule after saving the populace until Tears of the Kingdom’s storyline starts.

For more on The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, stick with us at Press SPACE to Jump!

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Tai Hofmann
Tai Hofmann

Writing Lead and Editor for Press SPACE to Jump. My first memory is forcing my parents to play 50-round games of Mario Party on the N64. Now I love games on all platforms and hone in on new releases. Some of my favorite titles include Cuphead, Final Fantasy XIV, God of War, Persona 5, and Super Smash Bros.

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