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What I love most about The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at MSU chapter.

Warning: Spoilers

The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom (TOTK) was released on May 12, 2023. I pre-ordered it, so I had the luxury of playing it on day one. I could not have been happier. Nintendo of America announced on Twitter (now X) that it sold 10 million copies of Tears of the Kingdom in the first three days. Is TOTK really worth all the hype that it generated?

I certainly say it is. Everything from the map to the abilities and story is fresh and allows the player to have hours of fun. I currently have 265 hours of playing time, and it is ever increasing (Side note: I am nowhere close to 100% completion). This game has so much to offer, even for experienced Zelda enthusiasts.

You might look at Tears of the Kingdom and think it’s just an updated version of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Simply said: it’s not. The updated map of Hyrule contains many new places to explore, slay beasts, and hunt for treasure. The map adds a third dimension to Hyrule by taking us into the sky with floating islands, into the ground with caves, and deep under the crust into a dark and mysterious alien-like world filled with monsters to defeat and abandoned structures to loot. The Yiga clan also goes underground, where they have their own bases with Zonai contraptions and rare spoils.

New abilities are introduced into Tears of the Kingdom.  Some examples are Fuse, Ascend, Recall, Ultrahand, and Auto-build. With Fuse, Link can create stronger weapons and shields by fusing materials or other weapons to them. Link can also fuse materials to arrows to make powerful homing arrows and explosive shots. Ascend allows Link to rise through the surface above him and pop out on the other side. This is useful in sticky situations and to climb higher. Link can turn back time with Recall. Objects retrace their path as time freezes, so this is useful for solving tricky puzzles. Additionally, the player gets a new way to fight and travel with the introduction of Zonai devices and Ultrahand. With Ultrahand, Link is able to glue objects together and build structures, vehicles, and korok torture devices. Auto-build saves these contraptions and gives you the ability to recreate them anywhere. This allows the player to make any device they can imagine with endless possibilities. TOTK also has Zonai devices, which are powered by Zonai charges or Link’s Zonai energy cells. These devices include flamethrowers, cannons, wheels, rockets, and more. These give the player the ability to make contraptions, move through the vast expanses of Hyrule, and attack the various mini bosses.

Speaking of mini bosses, TOTK introduces genuinely terrifying creatures that Link dares to battle. The new mini bosses introduced into TOTK are Gleeoks, Froxes, Flux Constructs, and Battle Taluses. Each of these mini bosses are defeated in different ways, adding variety to combat. Gleeoks are three-headed dragons that fly in the air and are only defeated by aerial combat. Froxes,  frog-like creatures made from stone, are only found in the depths, and they are defeated by breaking the monazite deposits on their back. But don’t be fooled by their size. They are very mobile and will crush Link and even try to eat him. Flux constructs can be dismantled by Ultrahand. When the Flux Constructs go into the air, they can be mounted by using Recall on the blocks that they shoot at Link. Battle Taluses are similar to regular Taluses, but they are moving fortresses that wear a structure inhabited by bokoblins that rain arrows onto Link.

In addition to mini bosses, Link gets a little help from companions that he picks up along the way. After defeating any of the major bosses in the main quest, Link gets to call on the spirit of the sage that helped him. These five sages can accompany Link and are The Sage of Fire ( Yunobo), The Sage of Wind (Tulin), The Sage of Water (Sidon), The Sage of Lightning (Ruji), and the Sage of Spirit (Mineru). Yunobo can roll like a boulder; smashing into enemies in his path. Tulin can flap his wings to send gusts of wind that carry Link long distances. Sidon has two abilities. Firstly, he can shield Link in an aura of water that protects him from one attack. His other ability allows Link to shoot a sweeping wave at his enemies when he attacks. Ruji creates a dome of electricity that strikes enemies when shot with a bow. Lastly, Mineru allows Link to climb into a Zonai mech that can have various Zonai devices attached to it. The sages help Link at every step of his journey to find Zelda. I love how they follow him around and attack enemies because it makes raiding enemy camps a breeze.

I could not be happier with all the content Tears of the Kingdom provides. This game is very unique and will stay as one of the best Legend of Zelda games of all time. It definitely met my expectations, and I find myself pouring hours into it. Tears of the Kingdom has so much to offer, and it is certainly worth checking out.

Bennett is a junior at Michigan State University studying mechanical engineering and German. He is the Vice President of German club and a member of CRU. In his free time he plays games on his Nintendo Switch.