Everything We’ve Seen Link Fuse And Craft In Zelda: Tears Of The Kingdom


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The wait is nearly over. The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom finally hits the Switch on May 14, 2023. Three epic trailers plus a look at some gameplay have only made us even more excited to finally dive into the next chapter in Nintendo’s adventure series. This time around, Link has a number of sweet new abilities. One of them is a clever take on crafting, which the game calls “Fuse.”

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Link’s new “Fuse” and “Ultrahand” abilities, as teased in trailers and fully explained in a gameplay deep dive on March 28, is actually a pretty sweet crafting system. Instead of just following preset recipes for crafting, players will be able to combine all manner of unique objects they find around Hyrule to forge makeshift weaponry, Mad Max-worthy vehicles, and who knows what else? Footage so far has shown the ability to create custom designs with simulated physics like buoyancy and air propulsion. Other examples show off weapon upgrades that trigger status effects like freezing.

With such a versatile system, the sky’s the limit for what you might be able to craft come May 12. To give you some idea of just how handy Link can get, we’ve cataloged everything we’ve seen our hero Fuse thus far. You’ll see he’s actually very handy.

We’ve all been there: Ya got a monster eyeball in your pocket (don’t look at me weird, I certainly had one as a kid) and you’re thinking, “what can I attach this to?”

That may not work in real life, but for Link in Hyrule? In Tears of the Kingdom, one neat application of fusing is the ability to grab something like a monster eyeball and slap it on the end of an arrow to let it do the aiming for ya. No more fiddling with motion aiming or those little sticks on the Joy-Con. As you can see from the example above, after crafting one of these homing arrows, you just need to aim in the general direction of what you’re lookin’ to shoot.

It remains to be seen how this will work when you’re up against a handful of enemies. The gameplay demonstration from March says that this feature should make hunting a breeze.

So you got a stick and are up against some well-armored constructs. What do you do? While grabbing random tree branches to whack things around in Breath of the Wild was cool, but not exactly a winning strat for damage. In Tears of the Kingdom, Link will be able to affix relevant objects to the end of a branch to increase his damage output. The march of progress!

Read More: Zelda Producer Plays Tears of the Kingdom for 10 Mins, and the New Stuff Looks Wild

This example here shows Link defying the laws of tensile strength and attaching a big old boulder to his branch to deal more devastating blows to those nasty constructs.

Juicing your damage output isn’t the only way Link can prepare himself for battle via fusing. This example here shows a puff shroom slapped onto a shield. Once struck, it’s the equivalent of a smoke bomb: obscuring your enemy’s line of sight so you can deliver some effective strikes without worrying about defense.

I find this example particularly exciting. Here, Link fuses a pitchfork to the end of a stick to greatly extend the reach of his strikes. Unlike the makeshift hammer, which seems to mostly boost durability and damage, this weapon changes the flow of combat, allowing Link to keep his enemies at a distance. I’m all for this versatility in playstyle and will be looking for tons of neat opportunities like this to switch things up on challenging foes.

Look, it’s not a real RPG unless you have elemental status effects. Breath of the Wild certainly had its share of status-inducing weapons, but they were previously tied to specific ammo and weapon types. Now, Link will be able to craft these on the fly (providing he has the necessary materials). It’s fair to say that there’ll be plenty more examples of this with different status effects.

Tears of the Kingdom’s second trailer showed Link cruising around Hyrule in a car. What we didn’t know at the time was that this is a craftable vehicle, made using the fuse system. Confirmed in the gameplay demo, you’ll be able to fuse together various objects and mechanisms to create all sorts of neat ways to get around.

There are two neat things about this. First, Link appears to fish a tire out of a lake, so we’ll have to keep our eyes peeled for non-obvious places for such items. Also, with the ability to shape and mold so many interesting vehicles, one has to wonder what unconventional machines and vehicles we’ll be able to make.

You can be sure Link won’t be losing friendly sports equipment with this hybrid nautical/aerial contraption. Crafted using the “Ultrahand” ability, Link attaches a sail, pallet, and some mechanical fans for a double-purpose vehicle. It looks unlike anything I’ve ever seen, which means there’ll be some serious room to stretch your creative wings a bit and come up with clever solutions to traversal challenges.

Another neat example of Link’s expanded weaponry via fusing included a brief example of a log attached to the end of a stick, potentially expanding its range, and certainly its damage and durability. Link also grab a rock and affix it to the shield on his back. What’s of note here is how quickly he’s able to do that, meaning that fusing won’t involve too much menu diving outside of, say, status-effect weapons that require specific items with unique traits.

Another example of the potential for vehicle crafting is the quick glimpse of a flying machine from the second trailer. Like Link’s Mad Max car, we didn’t know at the time that this was a craftable machine. But as it was confirmed in the gameplay demonstration, this machine is one of the many ways you can combine various artifacts around Hyrule to reach different locations.

A hot air balloon soars over Hyrule.

Many of the examples we’ve seen show off more creative, adventurous contraptions and machines. But if you want to keep things simple and reliable, it looks like there’ll be some more basic designs to follow, as evidenced from Link’s simple hot air balloon.

This looks like the kinda stuff I’ve built in Crossout, and let me assure you: It was strictly for the lulz. But unlike my failed attempts to build a useless version of Robosaurus (which you can be sure I will try in this game, by the way), Link’s big block of a tank might actually have some utility. I mean, it is a big monolith lookin’ thing that can probably withstand a handful of hits…just don’t expect it to win any beauty pageants or anything. (I’m a little worried by how exposed he is up top, though.)

March’s gameplay demo showed off how Link can fashion together a variety of vehicles in some clever ways. Here, Link fuses together three logs, and then shapes them using the “Ultrahand” ability. He then attaches two propellers to take him across the lake. It’s a nice fusion (pun intended) of utility and creativity, and I’m looking forward to seeing what other possibilities await in Hyrule with this system.

Whether it’s expanded traversal opportunities, clever weapons and defenses, or just that i’ll be plain good fun to smash together random stuff to see what happens, fusing looks to give Tears of the Kingdom’s wide-open sandbox a wonderful injection of inventive playfulness.

The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom arrives on Nintendo Switch on May 12, 2023.

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