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Zelda boss explains why Breath of the Wild's Guardians and Sheikah tech disappeared

Just in time for Tears of the Kingdom's story.

Princess Zelda in The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom
Image credit: Nintendo

Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom takes us back to the same Hyrule we were first introduced to in Breath of the Wild, albeit with a few tweaks - not least its airy sky islands and dark and sinister Depths.

But while those inclusions expanded the map, there were some omissions as well. Most obviously, just where did all of that Sheikah tech, that was so instrumental to Breath of the Wild's story, go? And what happened to those spidery robot Guardians?

Well, according to Zelda director Hidemaro Fujibayashi, the various towers, Guardians, Divine Beasts and other Sheikah creations simply disappeared, with the general consensus in Hyrule being that as their purpose had been realised, the tech knew it was its time to go.

10 Things We Wish We Knew Before Starting The Legend of Zelda Tears of the Kingdom.Watch on YouTube

"They disappeared after the Calamity was defeated (sealed)," Fujibayashi explained in an interview with the Telegraph. "All of the people of Hyrule also witnessed this, but there is no one who knows the mechanism or reason why they disappeared, and it is considered a mystery. It is believed that since the Calamity disappeared, they also disappeared as their role had been fulfilled."

Fujibayashi went on to acknowledge that the many races in Hyrule are really quite used to "mysterious events and strange phenomena" occurring across the land, so something like the world's once towering waypoints suddenly vanishing probably wouldn't have caused much concern amongst the masses.

"People have simply assumed the reason behind the disappearance to likely be related to ancient Sheikah technology and it seems there is no one who has tried to explore the matter further," he said. "The main civilisations in Breath of the Wild and Tears of the Kingdom are completely different, so we thought about the game based on concepts that match each of these civilisations."

So, there you have it, from the director himself.

Link in The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom
Link no longer uses the Sheikah Slate in Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom. | Image credit: Nintendo

In the same interview, Fujibayashi revealed that the Tears of the Kingdom team once considered including Skyloft in the game. However, Skyward Sword's central hub ultimately didn't make the cut.

As for the sky islands that are present, Fujibayashi said the aim was to ensure players had "an exhilarating and happy experience" making their way through the clouds. Hyrule's caves, meanwhile, were meant to provide an "exciting experience of discovery", while the Depths (a place I avoided as much as possible because I am a scaredy cat) were there to fill players with a sense of "tension".

"In the Depths we have a different ecosystem from up on the surface, and rare items can be found, but we also have the strongest enemies of any area, so players experience tension as they explore a space filled with the unknown," Fujibayashi explained.

Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom's Gloom Hands enemy
I hated coming across Gloom Hands in Tears of the Kingdom's Depths. | Image credit: Nintendo

As for the future of Tears of the Kingdom, Nintendo recently confirmed that its most recent Zelda title will not be receiving any DLC. "I feel like I've done everything I can to create games in that world," Zelda producer Eiji Aonuma said last month.

This doesn't mean Nintendo is slowing down any, of course. Later this month, Switch owners can expect to see Super Mario Bros. Wonder (and elephant Mario) making its way onto the scene. Meanwhile, Detective Pikachu Returns recently landed on the console. You can read our review here.

Looking into next year, Princess Peach: Showtime! and Luigi's Mansion 2 HD will also be coming to the platform. Additionally, on the hardware side of things, the current suggestion is that the next generation of Switch will be arriving some time in 2024.

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