In video games, continuity is usually less important than in other media. In movies, literature or series it is always important to know the previous installments of a franchise, but that is something that is rarely true in video games. A medium full of reboots, remakes, and, on many occasions, franchises that even when they have continuity, are constructed in such a way that each installment can be played independently of all the others. Something in which The Legend of Zelda stands out in a particular way.
Each installment of The Legend of Zelda, with very few exceptions, stands on its own. Although virtually all take place in the same world, each Link and each Zelda is a new reincarnation of the chosen hero and the princess who must guide him, destined to defeat the primordial evil known as Ganondorf, and to fall in love over and over again in each of their incarnations. Now, in a few cases there is continuity between games. Which seems to be the case with The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom.
As a direct sequel to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, the game’s events take place after everything that happened in the previous game in the series. While Zelda and Link explore a subway temple, they find a mummified body. It will come to life, raise Hyrule Castle to the heavens and take Zelda with it, forcing Link to save her once again.
In this sense, it is logical to think that it is necessary to know the events of, at least, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. A relatively simple story, and that Nintendo itself has recently compiled in a video to refresh our memory, but that does not cover the entire history of the world. Because in 2020, from the hand of Omega Force, Nintendo would release Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity, a game that takes place a hundred years before the events of Breath of the Wild, explaining the events that led to the situation of that game. While narratively deeper, it’s not necessary to understand the entirety of what happens in Breath of the Wild, as it’s self-explanatory, but it’s true that it adds a handful of extra layers that make the events that occurred in both games more memorable. Which is presumably why the same thing will happen with Tears of the Kingdom.
In any case, none of this is absolutely necessary to get into The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom. In principle, and unless Nintendo says otherwise, knowing very much about the events that transpired in Breath of the Wild should be more than enough to enjoy the adventure. But if you want to know more, Breath of the Wild and Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity are waiting for you to unravel one of the richest stories ever developed in The Legend of Zelda saga.