I Hope There’s Hoverboard Racing in Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom

The new trailer for Zelda Tears of the Kingdom showed off a Hyrulian Hoverboard! I hope there’s racing.

(Hyrulian) Hoverboard racing in the sequel to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild? Yes, please! In today’s Nintendo Direct, the sequel to one of the finest game’s of the generation (Breath of the Wild, yes) finally got its name and launch date (Tears of the Kingdom, and May 12, 2023), and we saw, oh, generously 30 seconds of gameplay after some teaser art. But, like any good trailer, it was enough to get the mind racing about particularly fun possibilities: like hoverboard racing.

The imagery shows crumbling ruins in the sky, something akin to the Outsider sequences in Dishonored and, naturally, the floating islands of Skyward Sword, hinting at a great deal of airborne possibilities. On the official Nintendo website, it even notes:

In addition to the vast lands of Hyrule, the latest entry in the storied Legend of Zelda series will take you up into the skies! Look forward to Link’s massive adventure starting again when The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, the sequel to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, drops for Nintendo Switch on May 12, 2023.

Towards the end of the trailer, Link dives onto a very Hylian-looking (and maybe even Arwing-inspired) hoverboard, and soars into the sunset/end of the trailer. It looks cool, it looks fun, and I’m hoping that it’s both a traversal tool and the springboard for some good old-fashioned hoverboard racing!

The 3D Zelda games have often had racing segments (Epona racing in Ocarina of Time, Zora racing in Majora’s Mask, Dragon racing in Skyward Sword, which is also — naturally — a flight mode), and incredible airborne traversal mechanics. The Deku Leaf is a highlight in early Wind Waker (so much of the beloved Forest Temple dungeon depends on clever floating/platforming). Skyward Sword, of course, also had its giant birds and flight/combat sequences, and one of my favorite systems in all of Breath of the Wild was Link’s ridiculous and wonderful parachute. Of course, you could also manipulate the game’s sophisticated physics system with the stasis power and use, say, a rock to fling link halfway across the map. It’s simply fun to fly in these games, and a hoverboard offers even more options for blitzing across a map at high speed.

Nintendo could easily borrow some systems and mechanics from Mario Kart’s air vehicles, but I’m hoping for a less floaty, faster feel here. The board is also so big that I could imagine some fun mechanics for balancing, steering, nose-diving, climbing, you name it.

zelda hoverboard

I would love to see some kind of racing mini-game, perhaps against some punks hanging out in an 80s cafe, or, you know, Zelda NPCs. Here’s to Hylian Hoverboard League 2023. Or maybe, Link Air Ride? Whatever form it takes, I’m excited to soar.