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Zelda: Tears Of The Kingdom

May 04, 2023

It's official: "The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom" combines the "Breath of the Wild" formula with "Garry's Mod" ingenuity in a fusion that's about as off-the-rails as your imagination will allow. You've probably already seen some wild creations on Twitter, but it's not all hijinks and crimes against the game's physics engine. The ability to fuse just about any object to Link's weapons or shields opens up an entire universe of possibilities.

The game does its best to steer you towards the more obvious combinations — like the many Flame-Emitter shields and clubs wielded by Soldier Constructs — but barely scratches the surface of everything you can and should be doing with the Fuse ability. Shield combinations are especially easy to overlook while you're experimenting with gluing a Sturdy Stick to everything under the sun. But using shield fusions only as a way to have a convenient flamethrower or hand cannon means missing out on some of the incredible utility you can get from the right combinations.

Here are a few items you need to start fusing to your shields right away.

Fusing a cart to your shield probably seems entirely pointless from a combat point of view — and in fairness, it is. But playing "Tears of the Kingdom" is so much more than delivering beatdowns and scraping through boss fights. With a map twice as big as "Breath of the Wild," trying to get Link where he needs to go in any kind of timely manner is a challenge in and of itself.

That's where Zonai Carts come in. With wheels strapped onto them, Link's shields can effectively become makeshift skateboards that offer extra speed and durability for shield surfing. Instead of grinding to a stop as soon as a downwards slope ends, Link will be able to retain momentum and keep rolling for another handful of meters.

Using minecarts instead of Zonai Carts will let Link snap onto a singular mine rail to safely skate on; however, minecarts are worse at generating and keeping momentum on flatter inclines — not to mention not being able to snap onto the strange flat rails you'll find in some shrines — so it's best to use them as needed in places like Eldin, rather than carry one around.

Another smart alternative is the Zonai Sled, which is actually much more durable and just as fast as the Zonai Cart on snowy or sandy slopes. It does quite well on grassy terrain as well, but Link won't be getting as much mileage out of it on stone or rock.

Vertical travel in "TotK" has become a breeze thanks to things like the Ascend ability, hot air balloons, and literal hovercrafts. However, sometimes Link just won't have enough time, resources, or space to set up a flying contraption when he needs airtime in a pinch. Thankfully, shield fusions provide an easy way to prepare for on-command vertical travel. There are three main options — all of which are unfortunately single-use — and each have their own quirks that are better suited to different situations:

Fusing weapons and other damage-focused items to a shield might sound counterintuitive and useless in theory; but in practice, it's one of the most useful and resource-efficient ways of upgrading Link's offensive profile. The key factor is that while a shield bash — parrying into an enemy that isn't attacking — may do absolutely nothing without anything attached, it starts behaving exactly like a weapon swing when it's fused with offensive items. In essence, Link basically has a free off-hand attack that can be combined with one-handed swings to deal a hefty amount of damage.

Elemental monster parts like Lizalfos horns, Like Like stones, Keese eyeballs, and Dragon horns will behave exactly the same on a shield as they would on a weapon. Precious gems are also a great choice to combine with shields: Rubies, sapphires, and topaz rocks send out an elemental explosion when struck, acting like multi-use elemental fruits that — once again — don't eat through shield durability.

Unfortunately, Star Fragments don't seem to do anything but glow very brightly on a shield, so they're probably best saved for magic rods. Nevertheless, fused shields make excellent, high-durability offhand weapons that can give Link as much attacking power as two-handed alternatives, all without compromising his ability to block.

Rockets: 58 meters into the air in just a few seconds. Springs and Bombs: only raise Link by approximately 18 meters, Bombs will also damage anything nearby Octo Balloons: the slowest option that also only takes Link about 18 meters can be taken out of Link's inventory during Shrine trials,