Nintendo has kept Tears of the Kingdom’s story details a well-held secret, leaving many to wonder whether or not it’s a prequel or sequel to Breath of the Wild.

Fortunately, if you’ve been wondering where it sits in the Legend of Zelda timeline, we have the answers.

Is Tears of the Kingdom a Direct Sequel to Breath of the Wild?

Yes, Tears of the Kingdom is a direct sequel to Breath of the Wild. This was officially confirmed in the E3 2019 trailer and then later by Nintendo themselves.

Tears of the Kingdom is set a little while after Breath of the Wild. It features returning characters from that game, including Riju.

TOTK begins with Link and Zelda exploring the ruins beneath Hyrule Castle. They are attempting to locate the source of a new mysterious gloom that has been making people ill.

As they explore, Zelda directly references “the end of the Calamity.” This is the disaster in BOTW caused by Calamity Ganon that almost destroyed Hyrule if it weren’t for Link’s intervention.

This immediately confirms that Tears of the Kingdom is set directly after the events of BOTW and the end of the Second Great Calamity.

Zelda mentioning the end of the Calamity in Tears of the Kingdom
Zelda and Link talking at the beginning of Tears of the Kingdom.

It is also worth noting that Breath of the Wild has already gotten a prequel game in the form of Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity. It explored the events that led up to Link’s 100-year slumber.

Of course, while fans of BOTW will enjoy Tears of the Kingdom more, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to play Breath of the Wild first.

You can see Tears of the Kingdom’s E3 2019 trailer for yourself below. The moment where it confirms its a sequel is at 1:11:

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Former Staff Writer
Whether it's an indie platformer or a 100-hour JRPG, Tom loves talking about games. So much so, he made it his career. Since starting in 2020, he's covered a wide range of topics at sites including TheGamer and The Game Crater.