As the long-awaited sequel to the critically acclaimed Breath of the Wild, The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom is set to bring fans into an all-new adventure. With the mysterious Zonai faction playing a prominent role in the sequel, fans are eager to learn more about who or what this group is. Although no concrete details have been revealed, there are several clues that suggest the Zonai may be more than meets the eye.
The Zonai are described as a tribe that no longer exists within Hyrule, but their nature is seemingly up for debate within the game’s world. Traces of their existence are visible in places like the Zonai Ruins in the southern area of the map, with long-abandoned architecture hinting at their reverence for Hyrule’s wildlife. The Zonai also have their own crest resembling a spiral, which is seen on architecture associated with the tribe. Link can also acquire a Barbarian armor set in Breath of the Wild believed to be worn by members of the Zonai long ago.
Theories that the Zonai would be a major player in Tears of the Kingdom have been prevalent since the game’s reveal in 2019 because of the focus on the spiral motif central to Zonai architecture. However, the connection is much more concrete now thanks to the most recent gameplay showcase. During this stream, Nintendo revealed the Zonai are tied to the events of Tears of the Kingdom through a piece of loot. In the 10-minute gameplay trailer, Link defeats an enemy in the floating sky islands, and it drops an item called a Zonai Charge.
Given how quiet Nintendo has been regarding Tears of the Kingdom’s story, it’s hard to say whether or not Link will actually come across a member of the Zonai tribe. However, fans have speculated that the Zonai may be related to the Twili, who were introduced in Twilight Princess. With the similarities to architecture and magic seen in Tears of the Kingdom and that of the Twili, fans speculate that the Zonai could be the original race that was turned into monsters by Zant in Twilight Princess.
Whatever the Zonai are, it does seem like they will be at least part of Tears of the Kingdom’s larger setup. With the game set to launch on May 12, fans are eager to learn more about the enigmatic Zonai faction and their role in the upcoming sequel.