A new advert for The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom just dropped and it is far from what you might expect.
Rather than fixate on the gorgeous vistas and breathtaking locales that the existing trailers for The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom have been so consistently showcasing, this new advert puts us in the shoes of a solemn-faced middle-aged man as he goes about his day-to-day life.
As we join this grim figure (let’s call him ‘Zeldaman’) we see him enduring yet another daily commute. Impassive faces and gray skies paint a bleak tableau of miserable banality. This worn-down everyman is a proxy for every weary adult who has done as he’s done; who has suffered a dull commute on the way to a dull job as part of a dull routine. Zeldaman is crushed by monotony.
Even his home life is bleak. On greeting his partner, there’s little meaningful human connection, merely a tall glass of water. Fortunately, Zeldaman has a way out. After his partner goes to bed, he starts up his Nintendo Switch and begins to play Tears of the Kingdom.
Here, he attempts some light puzzle solving, using the game’s new crafting mechanics to attempt to cross a river. Cut to his commute where he breaks out his Nintendo Switch. Here, our beleaguered protagonist rediscovers joy as he fights through Hyrule, eventually feeling motivated to look out of the window and marvel at his surroundings. It’s poignant stuff, and boy howdy does it hit hard.
Behold: a Zeldaman
Though the trailer makes for harrowing watching, I applaud Nintendo’s Existentialist portrait of the breakdown of the human condition caused by modern life. Zeldaman’s noble struggle to eke what joy he can from Link’s latest outing is to be celebrated.
Despite this, however, I found myself needing a cup of tea and a sit down after watching the trailer for myself. It is, as the kids say, “a big mood”. No matter how much Zeldaman enjoys Tears of the Kingdom, he is still trapped in his work a day routine, at the mercy of his 9-5. Zeldaman deserves better.
It’s a memorable trailer, offering great marketing for what is likely to be a great game. Still, a lot of people feel as Zeldaman does. It’s hard to fit in thrilling adventures when you’ve got to manage your job. Despite that, however, video games can offer wonderful relief from the responsibilities of adulthood. It’s a facet of video games that’s worth celebrating.
I sincerely hope that Tears of the Kingdom helps Zeldafolks of all walks of life rediscover a little bit of adventure and magic.