The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom isn’t due out until May 12, which means fans heavily invested in the lore and secrets of the game have three months of avoiding (what they will probably think are) spoilers ahead of them.
The collector’s edition of the game comes with a 204-page artbook, and over the weekend that book leaked online, with every damn page of it winding up posted on the GamingLeaksAndRumours subreddit. It’s the Japanese version, meaning it’s difficult to make out exactly what some of this stuff is, though that’s not a huge problem since it’s a fairly basic artbook, mostly just images with some captions underneath.
I’m obviously not going to be posting any of the images here, but I have thumbed through the pages and have good news and bad news for fans of the series. Which is good and which is bad will depend on how sensitive you are to spoilers.
First up, because this is a preorder bonus and not a full-blown, standalone artbook, it’s missing context. There are hundreds of images here but they’re not laid out in any kind of order or sequence, and without paragraphs from the developers and artists explaining in depth what everything means and why it’s there, there’s little here that you wouldn’t have expected to see in a trailer.
There are lots of images of Link wearing costumes, some familiar returning faces, some outfit designs for allies and friends, sketches of (again, familiar) bad guys and lots of illustrations of environments that, without the context I just mentioned, are basically just “here’s a cave, now here’s a room with a stone floor”.
“This book was designed to come home with you the day you bought the game”
I’m being vague not to protect anyone, but just because…this is all very standard stuff. Without the context of this art being properly explained—or from any of us actually playing the game—it’s just a book full of cool Zelda pics.
Which, of course, is all it’s meant to be. While it’s tempting to pore over this book three months out from release, hoping for cryptic spoilers and keys to Tears of the Kingdom’s lore, this book was designed to come home with you the day you bought the game. People would be free to flick through it on the bus on the way home, or in the back seat of a car, or on the couch when they’re only 23 minutes into the game. There was never going to be anything huge here, because that would be extremely stupid!
For example there’s not a single image of Ganon. There’s an illustration of Zelda, but no mention on whether she’s playable or not. We have glimpses of the monstrous transformation Link appears to be going through, but nothing more than what we’ve already seen in trailers. There’s no plot summary.
The only things that could even remotely be considered spoilers are a couple of costumes that reference older games in the series, and the return of a particularly shitty type of enemy, but those are just…facts about the game, not narrative beats.
So if you’re sensitive to spoilers and you somehow end up somewhere on the internet where this book’s leaks cannot be avoided, relax. This is a preorder bonus, not a Spoiler Tome.