Warning: The below contains a spoiler from The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom.
Well, Nintendo did it: they kept a giant chunk of The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom’s map from being fully revealed to the general public before release.
The chunk in question, of course, is the Depths, an absolutely huge part of Tears’ Hyrule maps that was completely unavailable in Breath of the Wild. Tom Marks, in his 10/10 review, sums it up best:
“Rest assured that the generally small sky islands do not represent the entirety of the new area to explore, because waiting beneath is a dangerous, pitch-black map that is literally the size of Hyrule itself. It is massive. I have played over 100 hours of Tears and I have revealed maybe half of this wondrous new area.”
As Marks notes, the Depths, which lie beneath the red chasms on the surface, don’t have nearly as many quests as the map does above ground. Still, there’s plenty to explore, including countless treasure chests if you can stave off the Gloom – that is, the substance that decreases your max health until you make it back to the surface or eat a Gloom-removing meal.
So how did Nintendo do it, especially since the Depths become available shortly after the introductory area? Firstly, while journalists who previewed Tears of the Kingdom, including IGN’s own, were able to play it for hours, the demo specifically did not include the Depths, keeping them in the sky for the vast majority of the time.
Secondly, Nintendo was just withholding enough in its marketing to avoid giving too much away. While trailers and gameplay footage certainly contained underground footage, they by no means gave away the sheer scoop of Depth goodness that players had left to discover.
There were, to be clear, some Tears of the Kingdom leaks, and the existence of the Depths were included in those. However, not even what leaked could truly cover how giant this area is – seriously, it’s a lot.
If you need a little help navigating those Depths, check out our guide to the camera work in the area.
And for help with everything Tears of the Kingdom, take a look at our Tears of the Kingdom Walkthrough and Guide about making your way through Hyrule. In fact, you can start here:
Alex Stedman is a Senior News Editor with IGN, overseeing entertainment reporting. When she’s not writing or editing, you can find her reading fantasy novels or playing Dungeons & Dragons.