Though many familiar faces returned to The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom alongside many new ones, one beloved character in particular from Zelda: Breath of the Wild did not reappear despite having the perfect opportunity to do so. Among the many details that made Zelda: Breath of the Wild so popular among players was the character of Kass, a nomadic minstrel encountered throughout Hyrule with his melodic accordion and wise words shared with Link. But even though Kass played an integral role in some of the game's shrines and DLC, he is nowhere to be found in The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom.
Even as far back as when Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom was first announced, players were calling for Kass to return for the Zelda: Breath of the Wild sequel. While it might have been unclear at the time what role Kass could serve for Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, the game's official release has now revealed just where exactly the Rito bard could have fit into the game. Seemingly replaced by another Rito named Penn, a sleuthing journalist chasing down leads across Hyrule, it's through Penn's storyline that Kass's possible place in Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom emerges and sparks hope that future DLC might again see the fan-favorite character return.
Kass, The Zonai, and The Stable Trotters
Crucially, Kass's role in Zelda: Breath of the Wild assisted the player in locating and accessing hidden shrines by traveling across Hyrule in search of ancient songs. As a result, the player will regularly encounter Kass throughout the game and, knowing that he will be essential in finding a new shrine, will be sure to interact with him.
While this on its own might not have been enough to charm players, Kass's wholesome and wistful personality secured him as a favorite character. But by the conclusion of both Zelda: Breath of the Wild and The Champions' Ballad DLC, Kass's story is ultimately complete, meaning his return was never guaranteed.
As many of Kass's songs focused on exploring this ancient history, his absence from Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom could be due to Nintendo not wanting to create any plot holes. Despite this, even if Kass were not to serve as part of shrine quests, then the traveling bard would surely have deserved a place among The Stable Trotters who the player encounters at various stables, not only as part of Penn's own quests but as a requirement in unlocking the Great Fairies.
Kass's Potential Return in Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom
Though he didn't appear in the base game, there is still a chance for Kass to return to Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom as part of future DLC. While nothing has been confirmed at the moment and is likely to remain that way until more time has passed from Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom's launch, it seems an inevitability that the game will receive an expansion just as Zelda: Breath of the Wild had. So just as Kass had played an essential role in The Champions' Ballad DLC, so too could Kass return in Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom DLC and justified through newly discovered songs from the Zonai history.
As a Rito, Kass would have full access to the expanded Hyrule seen in Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, including its sky islands and its depths below, which would mean the only hurdle faced would be creating new shrines and quests to unlock them. With a wealth of new lore, Kass could easily help Link uncover even more secrets left by the Zonai, such as discovering forgotten technology just as The Champions' Ballad had with a new "dungeon" and the Master Cycle Zero. Not only would his return create a stronger sense of continuity with Zelda: Breath of the Wild, but it would indulge the fans' who loved both games.
The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom is available now on Nintendo Switch.