The developers of Tears of the Kingdom talk about the last days of the Zonai and Rauru

The developers of Tears of the Kingdom talk about the last days of the Zonai and Rauru

Before the players meet Rauru The Legend of Zelda: Kingdom TearsThey see his arm. At the beginning of the game, Link doesn’t really know what’s going on, but he wakes up with a mysterious accessory that isn’t his – and that allows him to harness amazing powers. It wasn’t long until Link met a spirit version of Rauru, the first king of Hyrule and a character belonging to a race of creatures called the Zonai. By lending Link his arm, Rauru gave the hero a way to venture out into the wide world of Hyrule and fulfill the carefully laid plans of Princess Zelda.



Although the Zonai do not actually exist in Link’s era, this ancient civilization is a core part of the game’s world. Their technology allows Link to build machines to traverse the Earth and overcome challenges. Early in the game, Rauru himself appears in spirit form to Link and serves as a key guide on Link’s journey to find Zelda. Polygon sat down with Zelda producer Eiji Aonuma and Kingdom tears Director Hidemaru Fujibayashi. There, Fujibayashi spoke at length about Rauru’s writing and the team’s approach to creating Zonai.

(Mr. Dr. NB: This interview was conducted through interpreters. Quotes have been edited and condensed for clarity. This interview also contains spoilers for the end of the main quest “Dragon’s Tears” in The Legend of Zelda: Kingdom Tears.)

Although some players assumed that there were traces of the Zonai civilization in it Breath of the wildthis group does not appear as characters. Kingdom tears It introduced the Zonai characters Rauru and Mineru, and made their technology a major aspect of the gameplay. The game built up the Zonai world and lore greatly, which was one of the biggest additions to the Zonai world. Breath of the wild.

“I’ll start by saying that when we create Zelda titles, it’s gameplay first,” Fujibayashi said. “So when we think about wanting to add elements like Ultra Hand or the ability to create, that’s the thing that comes first. And with a story Breath of the wildwe intentionally left some things unanswered – and so fast forward to the time we were working on the build Kingdom tears. What we wanted to do was include this ability to create. Look at what we have Breath of the wildWhat seemed to fit this idea perfectly was the concept of Zonai hardware and Zonai hardware – well, hardware before people even discovered the Zonai existed – and we thought adding that element to it helped us expand the story and flesh it out in the way that made sense to add those gameplay elements.

Image: Nintendo EPD/Nintendo via Polygon

Kingdom tears It begins by giving Link a relatively simple task: find Zelda. As players progress through various missions, Link learns that the princess has not just been kidnapped. She accidentally time-traveled back to Hyrule’s distant past around the time of its founding. There, she meets Rauru and Mineru, two Zonai who helped found the new nation and are now locked in a growing conflict with the Gerudo leader, Ganondorf. Over the course of one of the main quests, Link uncovers records of Zelda’s memories from that time period that help him piece together her whereabouts and the history of Hyrule. Although successful players will eventually be able to defeat Ganondorf, Zelda’s memories contain tragedy. Rauru and Mineru, the only two Zonai depicted in the game, die in a battle against Ganondorf that occurred a long time ago. Although we see the Zonai’s influence through the devices they left behind, Link never meets them in body – only in spirit. According to Fujibayashi, the separation between past and present helped with the type of story the team wanted to tell with Rauru.

“What I wanted to do was create two different sides of Rauru. You can call it the A-side and the B-side. So the A-side is the past Rauru, and the B-side is what you see in the present. The A-side of Rauru, which was in the past, is what you see as the story unfolds.” Through Dragon Tears and also through Zelda’s eyes, and you see how Rauru interacts with Zelda and his feelings and his thoughts. Toward Zelda. And then there’s the B-side where, with all that past, and with all that story, and with that relationship with Zelda, we’re shown how Rauru interacts with Link In the current world.

Image: Nintendo EPD/Nintendo via Polygon

Present-day Rauru knows how the story played out in the past – including its tragic ending, as well as that of the Zonai. But the Rauru of the past knows something about the future as well, thanks to the appearance of Zelda. “So there’s a past Rauru who has this relationship with Zelda,” Fujibayashi continued. “He’s interacting with Zelda knowing that this is the night, and that Zelda has a lot of expectations of him, and what he expects of himself. And we thought that mixing these two Rauru together would be kind of a disgrace, to mix them together and create one character, and that’s why we intentionally separated (that) So that there is only the past Rauru (who) only meets Zelda, and there is the modern Rauru.

In the end, the Zonai meet a tragic end, but Rauru’s duality allows him to exist in the world in other ways. He ends up serving as the crucial link between Link and Zelda, even when they are separated by thousands of years. It’s a sad but meaningful role for a character who has become a newly beloved character in Zelda canon.

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