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Critical Role will embark on a Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom one-shot

The voice of Ganondorf, Matthew Mercer, takes the crew to Hyrule

The Critical Role cast around a table recording Image: Critical Role via Twitter
Nicole Carpenter is a senior reporter specializing in investigative features about labor issues in the game industry, as well as the business and culture of games.

Critical Role, the enormously popular Dungeons & Dragons roleplaying series, is taking the crew to Hyrule for a The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom-inspired one-shot tabletop role-playing game. In honor of the game’s release earlier in May, Critical Role will host the special episode on May 30 at 7 p.m. PDT on its Twitch and YouTube channels.

The one-shot adventure is sponsored by Nintendo of America, and led by the voice of Ganondorf, Matt Mercer. Critical Role announced the event on Friday, noting that the story and characters are inspired by Tears of the Kingdom and the world of Hyrule, so there will be no story spoilers.

Alongside Mercer, Critical Role players Liam O’Brien, Marisha Ray, Robbie Daymond, Omar Najam, and Emily Axford will appear on the Tears of the Kingdom episode.

Tears of the Kingdom was released on May 12 and is already the fasting selling game in the Legend of Zelda franchise. Three days in, Nintendo sold more than 10 million units, the company announced this week. Should Tears of the Kingdom continue with this pace, it’s likely to join Nintendo’s top-selling Switch games of all time, just like Breath of the Wild, the game’s predecessor.

The popularity and ripe world of Hyrule certainly makes the franchise a compelling world for Critical Role to visit — especially considering Mercer’s key role in Tears of the Kingdom. Mercer himself called himself a “huge” Legend of Zelda fan when he announced his voice casting in Tears of the Kingdom; he had actually played Ganondorf before in a fan series There Will Be Brawl. If there’s anyone qualified to create a one-shot around the world, it’s probably him.

Critical Role isn’t new to the actual play in video game worlds, either: Mercer hosted an Elden Ring one-shot in March last year sponsored by publisher Bandai Namco. And before that, in 2017, the group took on a one-shot within the video game world of Middle-Earth: Shadow of War, sponsored by WB Games.