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The Big Clue Everyone Missed Early In Zelda: Tears Of The Kingdom

This article contains story spoilers for "The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom."

"The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom" tells an epic, millennia-spanning story that pulls together various plot threads from "Breath of the Wild" and cements Link and Zelda's destinies as the force for good that Hyrule needs in every timeline. As such, it's full of twists and turns that are only hinted at throughout the game's early chapters.

Zelda disappears early into the story, vanishing in a flash of light as the Demon King Ganondorf makes his attack on Hyrule Castle. Afterwards, she can occasionally be seen in brief glimpses, but it's unclear where she is or why Link can't get to her — at first, anyway. Link eventually learns that Zelda was actually sent thousands of years into the past, where she befriended Rauru and became known as the Sage of Time. She then spent an untold amount of time aiding Rauru and the other Sages as they battled the Demon King in a conflict known as the Imprisoning War.

The game never explicitly reveals how Zelda's new powers came to fruition right as Ganondorf attacked her and Link, but it can be assumed that they manifested out of necessity, saving her life by teleporting her away during the Upheaval. Even with those lingering questions, however, fans may have guessed at part of this twist extremely early on, thanks to a clue dropped by the game's main antagonist.

Ganondorf revealed the twist in the first scene

During the game's opening cutscene, just before Link's arm is decayed and his powers drastically weakened, Link and Zelda discover the mummified remains of the Demon King Ganondorf below Hyrule Castle. When he snaps awake, undoing Rauru's binding spell, Ganondorf immediately recognizes both Link and Zelda, even referring to them by name. The Demon King then makes a cryptic remark about Rauru telling him about Link a long time ago.

It's easy to forget about this comment in all of the excitement that follows, not to mention the next several hours of gameplay. After all, the Master Sword is obliterated by this guy almost immediately — who has time to consider his vague gloating? But in fact, "The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom" tells a neatly-arranged time loop story, one in which Zelda ends up being partially responsible for sealing Ganondorf away in the first place. No wonder the Demon King woke up with such a grudge!

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