We’ve compiled a list of references and displayed them side by side to show what Tears of the Kingdom might be based off of. But more importantly, Ghibli may have a bigger influence now more than any other previous Zelda games, and the astounding number of similarities we found in just a few short trailers might surprise you.
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Things compared include unused Breath of the Wild concept art, such as the broken Master Sword and Ganon’s floating castle, all the way to previous games directly such as A Link to the Past and Skyward Sword. However, while fans have always known that the Zelda team takes light inspirations from Ghibli films in themes and tones, the direct references this time in Tears of the Kingdom are much more profound.
If there were only several references between Ghibli and Tears of the Kingdom, it would be easier to discount this connection. But there are almost 15 total references that are too specific to be a coincidence. Things such as a crumbling castle as it rises upwards, sky islands hidden within a circling thunderstorm around it, ancient boulders with designs on them being used as an elevator and much more show that just within several short trailers, the Zelda team is definitely showing their appreciation for Studio Ghibli.
0:25 Ancient Robots
0:32 Surprised Zelda Animation
0:40 Ganon’s Shadow On The Wall
0:46 Goddess Harp (Or Omega)
0:52 Destroyed Master Sword
1:00 Ancient Wall Designs Lit Up
1:08 Kargarok (Non-Twilight)
1:16 Skydiving + Loftwing Summon
1:35 Rats In Dungeon With Zelda And Link
1:42 Old Shrine/Dungeon Concept
1:51 Ganon’s Castle In The Sky
1:59 Ritual Using Zelda
2:07 12 Castle In The Sky References
5:03 3 Princess Mononoke References