The upcoming title, The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, has been leaked almost two weeks prior to its official release on May 12. This happened when images and videos of the opening segment of the sequel to Breath of the Wild flooded social media and Discord channels. Physical copies of the highly anticipated Zelda game made rounds to retailers this past weekend, and it appears that someone dumped the game files online, allowing players to pirate the game and play it on PC via an emulator. The leaked footage revealed key story details and the HUD, although the framerate was not ideal. Those who want to avoid spoilers until the official launch of Tears of the Kingdom should be cautious of social media.
Nintendo Takes Action
Following the leak, the highly anticipated sequel was live-streamed on Twitch under the Zelda: Breath of the Wild category. However, these streams were taken down, with the channel being suspended “at the request of the copyright holder.” Nintendo’s legal team has a reputation for being strict, and those involved in pirating or sharing links around the internet could face major consequences. One of the servers hosting links for the leaked game was taken down. Members of one of the involved private Discord servers jokingly started spamming the renowned copypasta, directed at any FBI agents, claiming that they weren’t involved in the crime.
The opening segment of The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom begins similarly to one of the early trailers, with Link and Zelda exploring a deep underground cave. Looking over to the top-left corner of the screen revealed two full rows of hearts (HP) for Link, indicating that some troubling event would cut down his health bar to base level, marking the actual start of the game. At the time of writing, the game is reportedly out in the wild and can be played on an emulator.
Nintendo previously requested personal information of some Discord users who were involved in leaking the Tears of the Kingdom art book on one of its servers. The company also hit a YouTuber with copyright infringement for releasing a multiplayer mod for The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, enabling online co-op. While most game developers and publishers share and encourage modding to help boost sales, Nintendo remains extremely conservative on that front.
The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom allows players to explore the sweeping vistas of Hyrule, as well as the floating Sky Islands. While the story is mostly shrouded in mystery, Nintendo has confirmed all the new abilities to play around with, including time rewind, the ‘Fuse’ ability, which lets players combine and construct weapons using random scraps found in its open world. The game will be exclusively released on the Nintendo Switch on May 12.