Years of anticipation have come to an end with The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom’s release, and excitement surrounding the open world sequel has now hit a fever pitch. And though Nintendo has mostly kept pretty quiet about story and gameplay details, we did learn quite a bit of new information about the game thanks to a recent round of hands-on previews. Here, we will be talking about a few more key details that you should know about it.
In the little bit of Tears of the Kingdom Nintendo has previously shown, we spotted platforms containing building material scattered throughout Hyrule, and more details on those emerged in recent previews. As many guessed, the purpose of these platforms is to provide players with base building materials at various points in the world for using Ultrahand. Players will, of course, be able to use those materials to build whatever they wish, but this is likely how the game will make sure that those resources are readily available if you need them.
While using Ultrahand to build your own contraptions and vehicles, just as crucial as base building material like wood and stone will be the contraptions you will attach to them to make them actually function the way you want. Known as Zonai Devices, these will include rockets, propellers, flamethrowers, hot air balloons, joysticks to control movement, and more.
How and where exactly will you find these Zonai Devices though? Exploring the world to acquire them will always be an option, of course, but scattered in different locations you’ll also find giant gumball machines that will dispense Zonai Devices. Specific items that you pick up from defeating Zonai Constructs and similar enemies will serve as your currency for using these gumball machines every time.
Building all manner of strange devices and vehicles and what have you using the Ultrahand and Fuse abilities is obviously going to be one of the core pillars of Tears of the Kingdom, but exactly how much time will you have to spend on individually building every single thing piece by piece? Well, to alleviate some of that repetition, players will be able to use the Autobuild feature, which will let you save custom vehicles that you have previously created and rebuild them instantly, as long as you have the materials that they require.
Several new details have also emerged on Fuse, and the various ways it can be used in combat. For starters, it’s been confirmed that players won’t be able to Fuse more than two items together- so if you’ve already Fused a giant rock to your sledgehammer, you can’t fuse anything else to it. That said, the list of things that you can fuse to your weapons and the different effects that each of them will have seems endless. You can Fuse an explosive barrel to your shield for explosive defense against incoming attacks. You can Fuse a Moblin horn to a stick to turn it into a spear. You can Fuse a flamethrower to your shield so that you shoot out flames at enemies every time you’re guarding. There’s a lot of interesting options, to say the very least.
The Sheikah Towers were a crucial part of Breath of the Wild’s open world and its larger gameplay loop, and Tears of the Kingdom will be bringing that mechanic back, though with a few twists. Players will once again find several Towers scattered throughout Hyrule, and presumably, they will once again fill up portions of the map and serve as fast travel points. In addition to that, however, the Towers will also serve as one of the main ways for travelling to the sky, with each Tower being capable of shooting Link literally hundreds of meters into the air, from where he can either take the lay of the land and dive back to the surface world or find a way to float to one of the Sky Islands scattered about.
Another well-known Breath of the Wild mechanic that is returning in Tears of the Kingdom is Korok seeds. It looks like they will have a bit more complexity to them this time around with slightly more elaborate quests and challenges, though many questions still remain unanswered. Will there be as many of them this time around as there were in Breath of the Wild? Will the reward for finding all of them be just as underwhelming as it was before? We certainly hope the answer to both questions is no.
It’s also been confirmed that The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom will be bringing back the Travel Medallion, which was an item introduced in Breath of the Wild’s expansion, The Champions’ Ballad. For those who didn’t play the DLC, the Travel Medallion essentially serves as an instant and makeshift fast travel point. You can drop it anywhere you want, and then later on, you can fast travel back to its location at any time.
To what extent Tears of the Kingdom will address Breath of the Wild’s issues with enemy variety remains to be seen, but from what we have seen of the game so far, it does look like it’s hoping to bring in greater variety on that front in a number of ways. For instance, in Tears of the Kingdom, players will also encounter armoured enemies, who will be wearing protective stone armour that most regular weapons won’t do anything against. Until you can find a way to break that protective casing, you won’t be able to deal any damage to these enemies.
Cooking was an integral system in Breath of the Wild’s gameplay loop, and obviously, it’s going to make a return in Tears of the Kingdom. It will, in fact, also come with some key improvements- like recipes, for instance. At any time, you can cook the recipe of any of the dishes you currently have in your inventory to learn exactly what items are needed to make them, how much health they restore, and what (if any) other effects they have. Meanwhile, players will also be able to use Zonai Devices known as one-time cooking pots, which will allow you to cook one dish anywhere and at any time before then being destroyed.
Link’s health and stamina were the two key things that players had to always keep an eye on in Breath of the Wild, but Tears of the Kingdom will be throwing in a third with Link’s battery meter. The self-recharging battery meter will function much like the stamina wheel, though it will apply specifically to Zonai Devices and how much use you can get out of them. You will, of course, also be able to expand your battery meter, which is represented by small green vials on Link’s belt. Presumably, more of these vials can be found throughout the world.
Tears of the Kingdom is refining the gameplay experience of its predecessor in a number of ways, including a variety of quality-of-life improvements that also apply to its general UI. Take the start menu for instance, which now allows players to navigate all of its screens using the L and R button to quickly snap between pages rather than having to ponderously scroll through them using the right analog stick. Meanwhile, it’s also been confirmed that all of Link’s abilities will now be accessed via an ability wheel, which also sounds like a notable improvement over the previous game.
The paraglider will obviously continue to be a major part of the core gameplay loop in Tears of the Kingdom, and it seems like it will also be coming with various cosmetic customization options this time around. Across a number of previews, we’ve seen Link’s paraglider equipped with a variety of different looks.
Seeing as Tears of the Kingdom is a direct follow-up to Breath of the Wild, it’s obvious ideal to have played the 2017 game before diving into the sequel. If, however, you haven’t, Nintendo has tried to make sure that you can still easily get into the game. One such feature that works to that end is Character Profile, which, as its name suggests, will allow players to read up on entries about different characters to learn more about their backstory.