I’m Link, and this is the Korok Launch
It’s launch day for The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom. Countless players are booting the game up for the first time, and quickly gaining Link’s newfound ability to build contraptions and vehicles. And it seems like everyone’s subjecting the same poor Korok to their wacky Zelda experiments.
Mild spoilers for the intro and starting area of The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom follow.
After the early introduction sequence, Link wakes up on a tutorial island. Much like the Great Plateau from Breath of the Wild, he and the player are tasked with acquiring the new powers introduced in Tears of the Kingdom, while given a whole bunch of opportunities to experiment with them in the process.
This includes the Ultrahand ability, which allows Link to manipulate various objects and devices. By sticking them together, you can learn to make a whole bunch of creations: mine cart trains, high-flying bird machines, and ziplining rail platforms are all around the first area.
At one spot in particular, you can find a Korok. These little guys are forest spirits, and dole out special seeds that can be turned in for carrying capacity upgrades. Often these challenges include hitting targets, gliding through rings, or solving environmental puzzles. In Tears of the Kingdom, Nintendo adds a new one: a Korok with an overstuffed backpack, unable to move, needs Link’s help to get over to his friend.
It’s a cute puzzle that encourages the use of the Ultrahand. In fact, the first one you find is a simple enough set-up: there’s a Korok on one floating sky island, his pal on the other, and a rail spanning the chasm between them. A host of Ultrahand-able resources sits nearby, waiting to be put together into an efficient Korok transportation system. Simple, right?
Prepare for takeoff
Well, the combination of shiny new tools and the swirling joy of free experimentation has turned this straightforward puzzle into a Korok testing ground.
Throughout the day, I’ve seen new players come to this early part of the new Zelda and immediately turn the Korok into their test dummy. At this point, the player has had their Ultrahand for a few minutes. They’ve done a few tests, built a couple neat concepts. But here is a puzzle: get this Korok across the gap. There is no recipe. And that lack of recipe inspires a torrent of creativity that is as fun to watch as it is terrible for the Korok’s health.
the first launch was not a success but this Korok's sacrifice will not be in vain. Tomorrow we run a second launch. Godspeed. pic.twitter.com/RvhcKsJkIZ
— HopCat (@HopCaterpie) May 12, 2023
— Andy Cortez (didn't pay) (@TheAndyCortez) May 12, 2023
While there might be a tint of revenge in these tests, I think they’re a testament to Tears‘ new abilities. It’s like an egg drop contest, or the early days of Kerbal Space Program. It’s thinking, “I wonder if I could do that?” and then discovering yes, you can, and then seeing the results of your plan.
It’s only day one, and I’m already loving all the wild stuff people are coming up with. Hopefully this energy keeps up as players uncover more and more in this old-but-new Hyrule.
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