Tears of the Kingdom Explained | Games Rants
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Tears of the Kingdom Explained | Games Rants

This article contains spoilers for The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom.Even though it arrived over 35 years into the Zelda franchise’s life, The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom already feels like a touchstone for the series. Months after its launch, players are still picking their way through its massive open world and finding new things to collect and do. While Tears of the Kingdom is different from the Zelda games of the past in many ways, it still embodies the adventurous spirit that has defined the franchise since its inception. For every innovation ToTK brings, it also respects and references something that has been in its DNA for a long time.

That’s not to say that Tears of the Kingdom can’t be a learning experience, however. Much like its predecessor Breath of the Wild, this version of Hyrule is a lot more open and unforgiving than many 3D Zelda titles. Players are often left to their own devices, and will need to puzzle out the laws of the land if they hope to survive, and then thrive, in their quest to save Princess Zelda. Tears of the Kingdom can feel harsh for any player embarking on their first open world Zelda quest, but, given time, the unspoken rules governing its world will become second nature.

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Get The Paraglider From Lookout Landing

Tears of the Kingdom Player Creates Efficient Tumbleweed Vehicle

Past the tutorial, Tears of the Kingdom is about as non-linear as its predecessor, with one exception. Veterans will feel naked without their trusty Paraglider, and even newcomers will quickly intuit that something important in their kit is missing. Sooner or later, players will have to approach Lookout Landing, which lies between their starting location and Hyrule Castle, and complete a short quest from Purah to receive their final vital tool.

Gaining the Paraglider enables safe passage between Tears of the Kingdom‘s different elevations, which is a lifesaver in the vertically-expanded Hyrule. There isn’t a player in TotK who hasn’t used the customizable cloth to travel through mountainous areas or save themselves from deadly falls. With the Wind Temple and corresponding Sage power being designed around the Paraglider and the final dungeon found under a massive chasm, there’s no skipping this leg of the quest.

Engage With Tears of the Kingdom’s Content As It Appears


After that, however, players are free to wander throughout Tears of the Kingdom‘s giant, three-tiered Hyrule. While they may have destinations in mind, the intended gameplay loop, and what many will find themselves doing, is engaging with whatever they find along the way. Whether that’s a monster camp, a Stable, Dragon Tears, a side quest, a cave, a Korok, or a Shrine, players will tackle things as they get to them. Through this, they’ll slowly build up their strength, becoming more prepared to face Tears of the Kingdom‘s tougher challenges. Gaining mechanical knowledge is also an important part of this process, especially when it comes to taking advantage of Link’s shiny new powers.

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Use Ultrahand As Much As Possible

taking advantage of the ultrahand ability in-game

In the process of navigating the rough terrain of Hyrule, players will often find themselves either tasked with or inspired to try using Ultrahand. While all the abilities Link gains for his Zonai arm are frequently useful, Ultrahand is practically ubiquitous. At its most basic, it can build vehicles that circumvent geography and cross long distances with ease. More involved uses can produce unique works of art, or surprising tools that can help Link take back Hyrule in style. Throw in many side quests and Shrines requiring Ultrahand alongside a constant stream of new Zonai Devices, and players soon won’t be able to imagine traveling without this all-purpose tool.

Find Towers And Lightroots To Fill Out The Map

loz totk lightroot

Getting lost and finding things in an extremely dense world is part of the fun of Tears of the Kingdom. However, every player will eventually want to know where they are and what they’ve already done. To that end, finding Skyview Towers on the surface and Lightroots in the Depths quickly becomes top priority. Structures like them will always stand out in the present region’s skyline or inky darkness, and serve as mapping tools, fast travel points, and quick sky access in the Towers’ case. No matter how long anyone spends in Tears of the Kingdom, finding a Tower or a Lightroot is always cause for celebration.

Treat Towns and Dungeons As TotK’s Major Goals

Tears of the Kingdom Gerudo Town Arrows and Attachments Stall

As shown by many players’ Hero’s Path Mode functions, paths taken through Tears of the Kingdom are often long and meandering. Players are supposed to stop at things they find along the way, so distraction is inevitable. However, anyone still chipping away at the main quest often has the next town or dungeon in the back of their mind. The various temples in Tears of the Kingdom serve as effective climaxes in the wider adventure, and their associated settlements then become minor hubs filled with quests, NPCs, and shops to refuel at. Larger points of interest like these are inevitable parts of every player’s journey, and Tears of the Kingdom wouldn’t feel complete without them.

Destroy Ganondorf

loz totk ganondorf demon king

Unlike in Breath of the Wild, this actually is an unwritten rule for most of the game. Link’s journey can be ended at any point by venturing down beneath Hyrule Castle to confront Ganondorf and the bulk of his army, with the amount of resistance met being based on main quest completion. The overarching quest in Tears of the Kingdom is to find Princess Zelda, but even when players technically have, it can’t be marked off until Ganondorf is beaten for good. Hyrule’s ancient Demon King will put up a good fight, but with all the resources and allies players have gained throughout their adventures, they will eventually prevail against the latest incarnation of Zelda‘s iconic villain.

The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom is available now for the Nintendo Switch.

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