This article has been updated since publication.
We’re midway through Zelda week, and Nintendo has bravely decided to drop the saddest commercial to date for Tears of the Kingdom.
Posted on the Nintendo Australia YouTube account, the new commercial for The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom encourages players to “rediscover your sense of adventure with The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom”.
In the commercial, a businessman can be seen walking onto a public bus and taking a seat before sighing deeply and looking out the window. Sombre piano music plays in the background, and we can tell from his expression alone that it’s been a big day.
The next scene shows him arriving home, closing his front door, and, again, he lets out a deep melancholy sigh as he looks at the ground. He’s then in the kitchen, preparing a refreshing glass of tap water with wind down with, as his wife wishes him goodnight and goes to bed.
The man then sits on his couch and sees his copy of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom sitting on the coffee table. Suddenly the piano music picks up the pace and sounds a lot happier. The man is playing the game, and he’s having a great fucking time. We see him smile for the first time — maybe his first in years, perhaps for the first time in his life.
He then proceeds to drown in the game and get upset with himself. But never fear, he’s now giving Tears of the Kingdom‘s new building mechanic a go. He attempts to construct a raft with a sail and one log (?), which is obviously a failure.
However, his second attempt at a raft is a success, and we see the man smile to himself once again. He is pleased with his progress and feels great pride in his work. He continues to play on the bus in handheld mode, and we see a clear juxtaposition between his initial vibes on the bus and now.
The commercial ends with the man gliding through the skies of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom and whispering, “Wow,” to himself. He looks out the bus window and realises that the real world has a sky too. Life is beautiful, and he knows that now thanks to Tears of the Kingdom. Check it out below.
I have watched this commercial a total of 10 times this morning. It has both moved me and made me laugh. The tone of this Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom commercial is so oddly bleak as if nothing in the world could make this man enjoy life until he played the newest Zelda game. IGN’s Brian Altano even likened it to a Darren Aronofsky movie.
How the sad Zelda ad happened
And now it’s time for the scoop. After tweeting about it myself, somebody who worked on the commercial (and has asked to remain anonymous) reached out to let us know that the Zelda commercial was inspired by “a Japanese Amazon review for Breath of the Wild“. I did a bit of digging, and I’m almost certain that it’s this one.
UPDATE: A Japanese Zelda fan who stumbled upon our article has kindly translated the review for us, so we’ve replaced the approximate Google translation with their clearer translation. Thank you so much, valshia!
The same boring view as usual looks different.
I am a working adult, so-called businessmen.
I’m jostled by the commuter rush, bowing down to customers and bosses, being forced to train junior staff and doing many things, and I end up working overtime every day.
Even the mountain I see on my way to work, which I don’t even know the name of, irritates me.
When I get back home I’m dizzy and have no energy to eat food, so I just drink alcohol and sleep.
If I have time to play games I should be going to seminars or looking for a marriage partner, which makes me more impatient than I should be.
I spend my days plainly wondering why I’m still alive.
I went to buy alcohol because I ran out and saw the Switch on sale in the shops. Then I remembered the day.
When I was a child and really into Mario 64, my friend said, “lame to play Mario nowadays! Now it’s the era of PlayStation!” and I felt embarrassed.
At the time, I didn’t want my friend to dislike me, so I also remember that I replied, “Yeah, you’re right. Mario is already old-fashioned!”
The beauty of FF7 at that time and the shock of being able to listen to the CD on TV… the recent kids may not understand these feelings.
That’s how attractive and innovative it was for kids back then.
I’m still not sure why I picked up the Switch at the time.
I just held a beer in one hand and bought the console and Zelda, thinking I could sell it if it was boring.
Yesterday, my work day, I looked out of the train window at a mountain I didn’t even know the name of and thought, “Looks like I can climb that.” At that moment, I burst into tears and couldn’t stop.
The businessmen of the same age who were beside me must have thought, “What the hell is this guy.”
I would recommend it to all my fellow businessmen who are pressed for time and scrambling day after day to maintain the status quo, even if everyone hates you.
Don’t say it’s just a game. We were born during the golden age of video games.
Have you ever seen your family move their entire body when Mario jumps?
Do you remember playing Mario Kart or Smash Bros with your friends bringing their own controllers?
Have you ever discussed Chrono Trigger or FF7 strategies with your friends?
Now I know. When I was a brat, my parents bought me expensive consoles and software for my birthday, Christmas and something.
My parents, who were always nagging me, managed to raise money from their living budget to buy expensive games for me.
I’m touched to belatedly realise many things that I didn’t realise due to the busyness of living my own life.
I should have been more filial.
The 5-stars reviews are all good ones, so there’s nothing for me to talk about now.
This Zelda gives me the “challenge and reward” I forgot about.
I can freely explore the world without maps, it’s an exciting adventure experience.
People my age are sick every day to overcome tomorrow. But don’t despair of your life.
The adventure I wanted was in such a place.
I feel like thanking this Zelda and I would like to apologise to the Mario 64 development team and Nintendo.
I’d like to apologise for the lies I told that day, saying that Mario 64 was old-fashioned, even though I loved it.
I am sincerely looking forward to Mario Odyssey being released this winter.
Postscript, 7 May: after 180 hours of play, I got all “recovered memory” and saw the ending.
More than anything, I’d like to thank all the people who read my awful, long, cluttered and embarrassing review written emotionally. I’d also like to thank all the people who gave it a “helpful” rating, not only for reading it. I’ve never been appreciated by so many people even in my job.
I really enjoyed my 180 hours spent running around Hyrule. I’d like to thank not only Nintendo but also all the Zelda fans who have continued to support Zelda. Thank you for a great adventure.
(*): He wrote 併走 there, but I guess he meant 奔走. If this was 併走, the sentence would be a bit odd
Is that not one of the most beautiful, heartfelt, and personal Amazon reviews you’ve ever read in your life? No wonder Nintendo Australia was inspired by this. Reading this review makes me feel like I’m stepping into this guy’s shoes, as he takes a step in Link’s. It moved me.
Also, if there’s any chance that the businessman looks familiar to you, you may have attended the Australian stage production of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. That is Gareth Reeves, who literally plays Harry Potter in the show. Knowing he’s a theatre actor makes this life-altering performance make a lot more sense.
If the knowledge that Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom will finally give your life meaning isn’t enough to get into it, I don’t know what is. See you this Friday!
@kotakuau Wait, Zelda Tears of the Kingdom Nintendo ad idea is from where?? #legendofzelda #tearsofthekingdom #gametok #nintendo #switch ♬ original sound – Kotaku AU