Tears of the Kingdom Prototype Footage Reveals How Ultrahand System Was Developed
Among the many new features of The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, one of the most interesting is its building system via the Ultrahand mechanic, which lets players build vehicles and other structures out of parts. It’s a fascinating new mechanic, and we just got a look at some of its early development footage that seemingly shows the prototype system in action not in Tears of the Kingdom, but Breath of the Wild.
The footage comes courtesy of Nintendo, which has been posting a series of developer Q&As leading up to Breath of the Wild’s launch, along with some images and videos. One video in particular seems to have been posted a day early and captured thanks to a clever Reddit user, and it shows off some early development gameplay of Tears of the Kingdom’s building using Sheikah technology and items, instead of the Zonai tech we’ve seen in preview and trailer footage.
The video includes a raft moved by large paddles, a kart with giant Sheikah gears for wheels, and the same kart again with a large cannon on the front. All of the pieces of these vehicles can be found as environmental items in Sheikah shrines, except for the raft, which is found out in the world. But it’s a fascinating look at where the developers’ heads were at when they were first imagining how building and vehicles would work.
What’s more, this appears to be footage from Breath of the Wild, not Tears of the Kingdom, based on the UI and the presence of certain landmarks like Sheikah Towers. In the section with the cannon on the bridge, you can also see in the distance the Breath of the Wild billboard system, which developers used to share notes in-game about what development work was being done in a specific area and share opinions internally about a particular project.
We’ve learned a number of other details from these interviews, including that “hands” are a major theme of the game, that the dungeons will have diverse aesthetics, and that Nintendo always planned to use Breath of the Wild’s Hyrule for a sequel. It’s likely we’ll get more context for this building prototype video tomorrow, when the final part of the interview drops. And there’s plenty more Tears of the Kingdom coming, so be sure to check back on our Wiki to help you find your way on launch day.
Rebekah Valentine is a senior reporter for IGN. You can find her on Twitter @duckvalentine.
Check out our Latest News and Follow us at Facebook