How long exactly has it been since the events of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild by the time Tears of the Kingdom rolls around?

While details on the matter are currently sparse, here’s what we know about when the new Zelda title is set.

How Many Years Has It Been Since Breath of the Wild in Tears of the Kingdom?

Although we don’t have official confirmation from Nintendo regarding the Tears of the Kingdom timeline, it seems to have been at least a couple of years since the events of Breath of the Wild when TOTK begins.

At some point in the time between games, Hyrule has changed significantly. The world of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild now features floating sky islands that Link can navigate with both new skills and custom flying machines.

Hyrule in Tears of the Kingdom

On top of that, the geography of the world BOTW fans know has been forever changed, with deep chasms and new rock formations presumably being formed by several areas of land soaring into the sky.

But what’s particularly interesting is how much some of Link’s companions have changed.

Breath of the Wild Characters Have Aged in TOTK

In a recent TOTK trailer, we get a look at Riju, Sidon, and Tulin – three characters that were originally from Breath of the Wild.

However, each of the familiar faces looks just a little different in their Tears of the Kingdom debut.

Riju

Lady Riju is the Chief of the Gerudo when Link meets her in Breath of the Wild. Although young, she proves herself to be a capable leader, and her time meeting the Hero of Hyrule leaves her more confident that she can be the ruler her people need.

Riju in Breath of the Wild
Riju in Breath of the Wild

In Tears of the Kingdom, Riju appears to be taller, proving that she’s at least a little older. She is now taking an active role in combat and may also be more muscular than the last time we’ve seen her.

Tears of the Kingdom Riju
Riju in Tears of the Kingdom

Sidon

Prince of the Zora people and the son of King Dorephan, Sidon is certainly a memorable companion in Breath of the Wild’s story. Sidon and Link battle the Divine Beast Vah Ruta side-by-side (or more accurately with Link riding on the Prince’s back).

Sidon in Breath of the Wild
Sidon in Breath of the Wild

Since Sidon was fully grown when we first encountered him, he’s changed the least out of the characters we met in BOTW.

However, eagle-eyed fans may notice that he appears to be wearing the crown of King Dorephan in some of the recent footage – suggesting that he may now have taken over from his father as the ruler of the Zora.

The Legend of Zelda Tears of the Kingdom Riju and Sidon
Sidon in Tears of the Kingdom

Tulin

Tulin is the son of Teba, the Rito Warrior entrusted with protecting the Rito Village in Breath of the Wild. He is a young boy who admires Link and his skill with a bow.

In the Tears of the Kingdom trailer, Tulin has clearly grown from the boy we first met, and is now capable of following Link into battle himself.

Tulin in BOTW
Tulin in Breath of the Wild

He wears his feathers tied back into a ponytail and looks a little larger than he did in the previous game.

We don’t know how fast the Rito people grow, but Tulin’s appearance change does indicate that he’s a few years older than he was before.

Zelda Tears of the Kingdom Tulin
Tulin in Tears of the Kingdom

Where Does TOTK Take Place in the Legend of Zelda Timeline?

All in all, it seems that it’s been at most a few years since the events of Breath of the Wild when the Tears of the Kingdom story begins.

As for when that compares to the rest of the Zelda titles, that’s a trickier subject. After all, with some notable exceptions (such as Ocarina of Time leading right into Majora’s Mask) many Zelda games take place on a number of different universal timelines.

BOTW and consequently TOTK clearly takes place at the end of the Zelda timeline, with Link having been asleep for 100 years after a battle against Ganon. However, it does not fit into other Zelda game timelines in any way.

Zelda holding the Master Sword in Tears of the Kingdom

Both games actually go as far as to contradict several established facts, such as the Zora tribe’s evolution into the Rito people which was confirmed in Wind Waker.

With that in mind, it’s better to think of the Switch games as being on their own unique timeline. However, it’s always possible that TOTK will explain the changes to canon by the time we reach the end of its story.

author
Managing Editor
Max has a wealth of experience in the industry and is a lover of all things video games, situated in Manchester, United Kingdom.