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Small details make cooking even better in Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom

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there are two ways to cook The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdomjust like the original The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild: You can place foods near the fire to roast them into more effective snacks, or put them in a bowl over the fire to cook a proper meal. On paper, cooking is the only mechanic in both games by which Link can heal and power himself up. The right dish can load the Hero back with hearts lost in a tussle with Bokoblins or warm his bones enough to bring them to freezing temperatures.

But Nintendo made cooking compelling breath of the wild, a bright spot of simple joy in a vast video game world. Contains more than 100 recipes breath of the wildand in more tears of the kingdom, Experimenting with ingredients to create new dishes or power-ups is enjoyable, listening to Link hum while carrots and beef dance in the Simmering Pot. Cooking, even in its simplest forms in video games, is a way of grounding the world it exists in, creating a link between our world and the game – in this case, Hyrule. There’s a lot of emotion and meaning behind food and culture, and the mechanics of cooking in games pull those threads, invoking that emotion in the world.

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Link cooking over a campside fire next to the gray-haired man.

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Image: Nintendo EPD/Nintendo via Play Gamez

breath of the wildthe mechanics of cooking did just that, but tears of the kingdomSomehow the mechanic has been improved.

functionally, does the same thing in cooking tears of the kingdom as in breath of the wild – Fry on a flame or cook in a pot to create food with different variables, such as cold resistance or attack damage. But the addition of Nintendo’s recipe cards makes cooking even easier; In the Ingredients menu, you can now click on an ingredient to “Select a Recipe” to display recipe cards showing how you’ve made recipes in the past. If you have enough of all the materials from the card, you can select a card to put all the materials in Link’s hands. (no scrolling to find things tears of the kingdommessy menu!)

Recipe card in Zelda: Tears of Empires.  A recipe for a meat-stuffed pumpkin is highlighted.

Nintendo adds recipe cards to ease cooking tears of the kingdom,
Image: Nintendo EPD/Nintendo via Play Gamez

This is especially helpful in tracking what you’ve built, but also in making sure you’re always building what you need (unless you’re just experimenting). It’s one of those quality-of-life changes that breath of the wild The sequel kept players hopeful for years to come.

Nintendo also added in a Zonai device called the Portable Pot, which does exactly what it says on the tin. It is a one-time-use pot derived from the Zonai device menu, allowing Link to set up camp almost anywhere for cooking, not requiring a fire; Gone are the days when you had to stock up on food before going into a big battle, or worse, fight to leave a dungeon or get more food. Instead, the portable Zonai Pot is there to make it specifically for wherever you need it. it’s not attractive but also one of the tears of the kingdomBest new addition to.

You can get portable pots from Zonai vending machines in the sky islands, so make sure you stock up.

Link, wearing a fancy outfit, is standing over a portable cooking pot.  There is a constant in the background.

Link cooking using her Zonai portable utensil.
Image: Nintendo EPD/Nintendo via Play Gamez

Beyond these quality-of-life changes, Nintendo made one small improvement that I’d argue My Feel better, even when there is no practical need. Link still hums when his food is cooking, but in tears of the kingdom he hums the classic zelda tune Like Epona’s Song or Zelda’s Lullaby.

This, too, is one of Nintendo’s grounded ways tears of the kingdom, Music and cooking add so much life to Hyrule; Links humming these tunes invokes his playful spirit, a feat for a second-long little tune. It’s such a sweet mix of history and a nod to longtime Zelda fans, and the perfect addition to tears of the kingdom,

But now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going back to Hyrule to find new material to play.

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