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The Best Secrets In The Legend Of Zelda: Tears Of The Kingdom

"The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom" provides a level of flexibility seldom seen in video games. This emphasis on player agency encourages creativity and exploration. Gamers can set their own pace, choose their own priorities, and experience the main narrative and quests in the order of their choosing. To further support this playstyle, Nintendo has incorporated a number of secrets to uncover in the "Breath of the Wild" sequel.

Players won't find cheats in "Tears of the Kingdom," but the sky islands, surface, and Depths are loaded with potent items, nostalgic references, and helpful clues. Given the amount of content on offer, it's easy to miss many of these details, especially if you race straight to the end of the story campaign. Those looking to power up or simply get the most out of their playthrough should hunt down the best secrets "Tears of the Kingdom" has to offer.

Rock Octoroks repair and buff Link's equipment

Like "Breath of the Wild," "Tears of the Kingdom" features a weapon and shield degradation system that ensures Link's equipment will break after a set amount of uses. Thanks to the addition of the Fuse ability, players can now extend the life of their favorite blade or spear by combining them with other weapons or monster parts. However, with the exception of the Master Sword, they will still all end up in the same state: shattered.

While equipment degradation has become the bane of some players' existences, Nintendo included a secret workaround for the sequel. It turns out Rock Octoroks, the frustrating enemies that emerge from their hiding places to pepper Link with projectiles, serve as the unlikely blacksmiths of "Tears of the Kingdom." If players toss a weapon or shield at one of the pesky foes, it will suck it up. Presumably, some strange alchemy happens and then the Rock Octorok spits the piece of equipment back out, fully repaired and augmented with a random buff. It will even turn rusty items into their non-rusty equivalents.

The Rock Octorok repair service does come with some caveats. Players don't get to choose the buff bestowed on their weapon or shield, but they can mitigate this by saving and reloading until they get what they want. Rock Octoroks also cap out at one repair per respawn, so players will want to strategically select what they refresh before the next Blood Moon rolls around. Finally, Rock Octoroks can't work their magic on weapons bestowed through amiibos.

Leave offerings at chery blossom trees to uncover caves

The open world of "Tears of the Kingdom" overflows with natural beauty. Players will encounter a wealth of flora and fauna as they explore the different biomes, including several cherry blossom trees. Distinguished by their pale pink flowers, these special trees typically turn up on top of hills.

There's more to the cherry blossom trees than just their pleasing aesthetic. Players will find a small stone altar nestled at the base of each tree. If they place a piece of fruit on the altar, the glowing apparition known as Satori, Lord of the Mountain will appear. Beyond gracing Link with his otherworldly presence, Satori will mark all the caves in the surrounding area with a pillar of light. These beacons will remain on the map for a full day and night and do not disappear even if you fast-travel during this period.

While finding each cherry blossom tree at random is possible, there's an easier way to pinpoint their locations. If players visit Hyrule Field's Outskirts Stable, they'll discover a map hanging on the wall with every cherry blossom tree on display. Simply snap a picture with the Purah Pad, and you're ready to go cave hunting.

Zonai Portable Pots double as ball-and-socket joints

At first glance, the Portable Pots seem like one of the more disappointing Zonai Devices players can acquire in "Tears of the Kingdom." Link can pull out the item to cook on the go; however, it only allows him to whip up a single recipe before ceasing to function. Compared to options like Emitters and Fans, it just feels a bit lackluster.

Thankfully, there's more to Portable Pots than meets the eye. They fulfill a second function when used in Ultrahand projects, effectively taking on the role of a ball-and-socket joint. This has multiple applications. Players can combine them with wheels to add suspension to vehicles and yield smoother movement, making terrain traversal easier and more enjoyable. When added to a Steering Stick, it makes guiding your craft more flexible and responsive.

Given that Portable Pots are relatively easy to acquire from Zonai Dispensers, players looking to up their Ultrahand game should consider saving as many as possible for experiments. There's a lot to see and do in "Tears of the Kingdom," only further adding to the appeal of a smooth ride.

Use Ice Fruit or White Chu Chu Jelly to create ice blocks

Though a direct sequel to "Breath of the Wild," "Tears of the Kingdom" equips Link with an all-new selection of abilities. While it's possible to mimic aspects of Magnesis, Stasis, Remote Bomb, and Cryonis through Ultrahand, Recall, and Fuse, returning players have had to adjust how they get around.

Crossing bodies of water may leave players feeling especially nostalgic for Cryonis, which allowed Link to easily spawn blocks of ice. Sure, you can slap together a raft to get where you need to go in the follow-up, but this isn't always the fastest or best option when you're running low on Zonai devices or building materials. Fortunately, "Tears of the Kingdom" doesn't leave players up a creek without a paddle.

Rather than relying on Cryonis, Link can create ice blocks in the sequel using Ice Fruit or White Chu Chu Jelly. Simply throw one of these cold-infused items at the surface of the water and a pillar of ice will appear in its place. This is a great go-to if you're in a hurry and haven't unlocked Autobuild to streamline your Ultrahand construction projects.

Zelda's Secret Well points to the new Champion's Tunic

In "Breath of the Wild," players have the option to purchase a home for Link in Hateno Village. It comes equipped with its own Weapon Rack and several customization options to make the space more cozy. "Tears of the Kingdom" allows players to visit Link's old house, which has undergone its own changes in the years between the two titles.

As soon as players start poking around the place, it's immediately obvious that Princess Zelda has also been living there. They'll find a host of new decor, along with Zelda's diary. If they head outside to check out the nearby well, gamers will also discover that the royal has turned it into her own secret workspace.

Players can snag Link's blue hair band from "Breath of the Wild" out of a chest in the well and peruse Zelda's second diary. Her writing indicates that she commissioned a new Champion's Tunic for Link, which she hid away in Hyrule Castle's throne room. Players can obtain this clothing item by traveling to the castle and lighting the two torches in the Sanctum area. This will open up a hidden space containing the Champion's Leathers, the upgraded version of the tunic Link wears in "Breath of the Wild."

NPCs react to Link's nudity

For long-time "Zelda" fans, seeing Link in nothing but his undergarments has become something of a familiar situation. Nintendo seems to have a thing for divesting the hero of all his worldly possessions, forcing him to painstakingly claim his power and property piece by piece. In "Tears of the Kingdom," this functions as more than just a plot device. It's also a major talking point that will elicit a mix of reactions from NPCs.

The responses to Link's nudity vary pretty wildly. The more fashion-minded figures generally view this move with scorn. Others react with disgust or unease, suggesting that the swordsman don more layers. Some of the best responses veer towards the comedic, such as one individual asking, "Didn't dress for work, huh?" Similarly, Robbie quips, "Laundry day, huh?"

Link's decision to strip down also highlights some of Hyrule's cultural differences. The Goron, who wear little in the way of clothing themselves, celebrate Link's "ultimate freedom." In contrast, the Gerudo react with general horror at the sight of a mostly naked voe. In fact, the guards won't let Link enter Gerudo Town in just his undies, and they'll throw him in jail if he disrobes after going inside. This is actually one of the fastest ways to get into the Gerudo Shelter, so it's not all bad after all.

Prologue murals hide the truth about Zelda's fate

Link spends much of "Tears of the Kingdom" searching for Princess Zelda. He gradually uncovers her whereabouts as players progress through the main story, learning that she traveled back in time after having her magic amplified by a Secret Stone. Once he hunts down all of the geoglyphs and Dragon Tears, he learns that Zelda turned into an Immortal Dragon, allowing her to restore the Master Sword over thousands of years and return it to modern Link in its empowered form.

Though they didn't realize it at the time, the fate that awaited Zelda was already recorded in one of the murals she and Link encountered below Hyrule Castle at the start of the game. She comments on the visible carvings with some excitement in the prologue, explaining that they detail the conflict with the Demon King. Unfortunately, breakable rocks obscure the rest of the panels. Link can't destroy them during the opening sequence, but he has the option to return to the area on his way to challenge Ganondorf later on. Removing the rocks reveals more carvings showing that Zelda ended up with the Master Sword in the ancient past, along with her transformation into the Light Dragon.

Lookout Landing's Emergency Shelter has a secret passage

Thanks to its ties to the central storyline, Lookout Landing may be one of the first locations players visit. Faced with the uncertainties created by the Upheaval, the inhabitants constructed an underground Emergency Shelter to retreat to when under threat. The spot includes a few different amenities, such as a trio of beds and a cooking area, but one of its more interesting features is easy to miss: the Royal Hidden Passage.

Though an NPC hints at its existence, players can't access the secret passage right away. They first need to clear one of the four main temples. If they return to the Emergency Shelter, they'll discover that the entrance has opened up. The Royal Hidden Passage contains a number of breakable walls along with a host of treasures to track down. Players can pick up a Bubbul Gem, collect the full Soldier's Armor set, and exchange hearts and stamina at the Cursed Statue.

The Royal Hidden Passage is also immediately accessible via Hyrule Castle's Observation Room. Still, the Emergency Shelter might be the easier route for those reluctant to get near the ominous structure at lower levels.

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