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After months – years – of Nintendo keeping a tight lid on detailed information about the gameplay of The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, we finally know a bit more about the game’s mechanics thanks to a demonstration from Eiji Aonuma which revealed several core abilities added to the Breath of the Wild followup.

First is Rewind, an offshoot (or evolution?) of the last game’s Stasis ability that doesn’t merely freeze objects in time but in fact reverses their trajectory or actions. This was shown in conjunction with a fallen piece of rubble, which then rose back up high into the air, giving Link a way to access one of the game’s many Sky Islands. There are apparently other ways to reach them besides Rewind, as well as other ways to utilize the ability, but we’ll have to wait and see what those methods are.



Most of the video is spent detailing the Fuse mechanic, which looks like it will majorly shake up the possibilities in your toolbox. Fuse allows you to glue two objects in the game together to boost their power or change their attributes. Examples shown include fusing a tree branch and a boulder to make a mighty cudgel, and fusing a long stick with a pitchfork to make an even more elongated polearm. You can also use the ability with materials on hand to modify arrows or even shields, as demonstrated with homing arrows and a shield that forms a smokescreen when struck. The sky seems to be the limit with implements like these, and even enemies will be wielding their own Fused objects from time to time.



In a similar vein to Fuse is the Ultra Hand, whose name references a classic Nintendo toy from before the company entered the video game business. The Ultra Hand can also stick objects together, but in addition has the capability to move them around a la Magnesis, as well as the extra wrinkle of being able to stick multiple objects together. With this, you can turn common objects like logs and fans into boats or other elaborate vehicles, utilizing as much creativity as your chops can muster. We’ve already seen examples of some of the things you can build from other trailers, which Aonuma points out as constructs made with the Ultra Hand.



Finally is Ascend, a more niche but almost certainly useful ability wherein Link can leap to any ceiling above him and swim through it to pop out of the top. This goes for small and big buildings alike, of course, but it also applies even to caves in big mountains – have Link use it there and he’ll pop out at the summit. It can be used to save a lot of stamina you’d spend slowly climbing up craggy cliff faces.




These are presumably all four new abilities we’ll be seeing in the game. They’re quite impressive and seem to have wide applicability, so we’ll have to wait and see the limits of their potential. Tears of the Kingdom releases on May 12th. 




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Written by Amelia Fruzzetti

A writer and Nintendo fan based in Seattle, Washington. When not working for NinWire, she can be found eating pasta, writing stories, and wondering about when Mother 3 is finally going to get an official localization.