Update (5/12/23): Tears of the Kingdom NPCs use advanced version of Miis as models, just like Breath of the Wild
Author: Amelia Fruzzetti
A couple years back, it was discovered that the human NPCs in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild were made using an elaborated version of Miis, the classic Wii-era Nintendo avatars that are still kicking around today. And it turns out, the NPCs in sequel The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom operate the exact same way! That means it’s possible to mod custom Miis into the game without much trouble. And since it was already known in Breath of the Wild, it’s already possible in Tears of the Kingdom!
Just like in Breath of the Wild, the human NPCs in The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom use an advanced version of Miis!
Modding the game allows us to import Miis as Tears of the Kingdom NPCs! Here are some cropped screenshots of some Miis I modded into the game. pic.twitter.com/gg7zQXeZVg
— i'm alice (@HEYimHeroic) May 12, 2023
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is undoubtedly one of the crown jewels of the entire games industry. Its massive world, open-ended exploration, and discovery-driven by experimentation have led to new discoveries being made in the game to this day. Just this past November, players discovered that you can actually feed the in-game squirrels! With a game this vast and intricate, it goes without saying that the code for the game is even denser than the Calamity-stricken hills of Hyrule itself. Modders and Data Miners have been spelunking into the depths of the game’s code for years now, and they’ve once again come up with arms full of treasure.
Twitter user and Mii enthusiast HEYimHeroic has discovered that the Hylian and Sheikah in-game character models are actually an advanced version of Miis labeled as “UMii” in the game’s code. Aside from “UMiis” being an adorable word when said aloud, you may assume that this is a pretty uninteresting discovery. You’d be wrong. Because the character models in the game are using an advanced version of the Mii avatars in the code, it’s possible to import original Miis into Breath of the Wild and convert them into NPCs!
Hi, Mii expert here. Turns out, the NPCs in TLoZ:BotW use an advanced version of the Mii format. This means that with modding, you can inject Miis into the game. 🙂
Thinking about opening commissions for Mii injects, both screenshot/images of your Mii and mod downloads! pic.twitter.com/8NfVr4zyqA
— i'm alice (@HEYimHeroic) January 4, 2021
This means that any Mii ever made can now technically be added into Breath of the Wild. If you’d like to see yourself, your grandma, or even everyone’s Wii Sports boxing arch-rival Matt recreated as a denizen of Hyrule, you now can! There are a few caveats in that some hairstyles aren’t supported, however, the game is actually programmed to match the NPC’s features to the closest approximation using in-game assets in such cases. Furthermore, special characters like Link, Zelda, and Paya aren’t UMiis at all and are instead unique character models.
HEYimHeroic confirmed her findings with the help of fellow modders on Reddit, Twitter, and the Breath of the Wild modding Discord, and is currently working on compiling all of her data into a full info dump and how-to. It will be interesting to see just how deep this Mii connection goes, and what other secrets lie hidden deep within the tangled forests of code that make Breath of the Wild’s Hyrule tick!
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