It's been a week since The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom released. To say that we've seen a lot is an understatement. We've gotten a greater sense of astonishment in Tears of the Kingdom than we have in even Breath of the Wild with only Elden Ring possibly rivaling the moment-to-moment wonders we've experienced.
For this week's Shack Chat, the Shacknews staff is discussing our personal biggest 'Wow' moments that we've seen so far. Keep in mind, not all of us have finished the game (oh, far from it) and we're all at different points in the story, as well as in different corners of Hyrule. With that said, if you have experienced none of this and don't wish to have anything spoiled, you are advised to skip this week and return next Friday.
Question: What's been your biggest 'Wow' moment so far in Tears of the Kingdom?
The Colgera boss fight - Ozzie Mejia, Senior Skydiving Archer
I almost said just the Wind Temple, as a whole, for this spot. By that, I mean, the entire thing. Getting to the Wind Temple, discovering the Wind Temple, and navigating the Wind Temple was all a really cool experience.
Then I got to the Colgera boss fight. I had no idea what to expect here and I prepped my weapons, but I had no idea that I would be getting into a fight that takes place entirely while free falling. It was a blast right up until he started shooting out tornadoes, at which point I had enough of that nonsense. What's great about Tears of the Kingdom is that there's more than one way to skin a dragon, so rather than wait for him to bust out one more round of tornadoes, I simply blasted him on the way up with two well-placed arrows and ended the fight early. It was a thrill and I can't wait to see what the rest of these boss fights look like.
Charting the Depths - TJ Denzer, Senior News Editor
Ever since the first time I delved into the Depths, I've been addicted to the unique challenges I've found there. It's an entire Hyrule map full of unique gameplay not found on the surface of Hyrule, like a second game altogether. There are things you must have for the Depths that very specifically work there. It's pitch black dark down there, so you need Brightbloom Seeds to light your way. There are puddles of Gloom and every enemy does Gloom damage, so you need a way to heal that. Plus the only way to chart your path forward and create checkpoints is to reach Lightroots and activate them.
Put these things and more together and the Depths feels so different from everything else I'm used to in a Zelda game. It feels more like Dark Souls or a roguelite game, like I'm stretching every resource I have to see how far I can go. And let me tell you, there has been no greater joy for me than traversing particularly treacherous terrain and managing to reach a difficult Lightroot so I had that anchor point. I'm still making my way through the main quest, but I much prefer exploring the Depths. And heck, everything I bring back from Hyrule's underground has proven to make me quite stronger when it comes to dealing with measly surface problems.
Seeing the world for the first time - Sam Chandler, Hero of Time
There have been a couple of moments in Tears of the Kingdom that have given me an overwhelming sense of awe. The first was stepping out onto the Great Sky Island and realizing the magnitude of the tutorial area. It's so large that it's almost too much to handle.
The next was after activating Lookout Landing, revealing the map, and scanning the horizon for landmarks with my scope. I saw places I wanted to go, shrines I just had to complete, and oddities that drew my eye.
From there, it felt like returning home. The whole experience has culminated in a “wow” moment for me. It feels exactly like how I felt when I was a kid, running across Hyrule Field in Ocarina of Time. There's this sense of discovery and unlimited potential that is almost too good to be true.
The Opening Cutscene - Asif Khan, CEO/EIC/EIEIO
There are a lot of "wow" moments in The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, but I have to say that the intro cinematic got me sounding like Owen Wilson. Watching Link's arm be corrupted along with the Master Sword set a much darker tone than any Zelda game before it. Then, watching Princess Zelda fall with Link being unable to save her really hit home that Tears of the Kingdom is a different story. As someone who does like the mythology surrounding The Legend of Zelda franchise, that opening scene really had me in aww of what awaits players in the series' next great adventure.
Flux Construct Destruction - Bill Lavoy, Ascending
The moment that really popped for me was when I came across a Flux Construct 3, and knew right away that I didn't want to mess with that thing. That is until I found some planks and realized I had some cannons on me. After building a shelter and mounting the cannons, I placed my contraption at the end of the bridge near where the Flux Construct was roaming. I quickly realized I could stun it with two volleys. I entered into a loop where I'd stay in my shelter when being attacked, then I'd leave and fire the cannons when it was all clear. With the Flux Construct stunned, I'd run in and do some damage and run back out. I was bending the game to my style of play, and it was the moment where I realized I needed to bring creativity to almost everything I did in Tears of the Kingdom.
Dropping into the Depths for the first time - Donovan Erskine, Lucky Clover Gazette News Editor
I wasn't concerned about TotK using the same base map as BotW, but I was quite curious to see how Nintendo would make it feel fresh and new. While I felt like the Sky Islands and changes to old locations were more than enough to do this, dropping into the Depths for the first time really put it into perspective how different this adventure through Hyrule would be. There's a whole different world down there! A scary one, too. Every combat encounter in the Depths is terrifying thanks to the ever-present threat of the Gloom, and the sheer darkness added a horrifying new facet to exploration. It flips so much of what I thought I knew about this world on its head, and I still feel like I've only scratched the surface of what there is to discover down there.
Just how massive Hyrule actually is - Steve Tyminski,Spelunker extraordinaire!
What is my biggest "wow" moment in the Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom? I think I'm going to go with just how massive this game actually is. I have played hours of the game and barely made a dent in it.
If you were watching the Stevetendo show this week, and you should have, then you know it took quite a long time to get to the Wind Temple. Albeit there was plenty of exploring in those Stevetendo episodes but getting to that location was tough. It was tough because it wasn't exactly clear which way you needed to glide and one mistake meant you were going to have to start the climb over again. While on this quest we had help from Tulin, the Rito Warrior. Tulin has a gust ability that lets you fly further and faster while gliding which helps a lot when you're trying to get somewhere. Getting to solve puzzles my way is another aspect of the game that's really fun. You might need to use a certain ability to solve the puzzle in a shrine but there probably are another five or six ways to solve it. You might be able to stick icicles together to get something or pile things together to get the solution you're looking for.
Those are our most awe-inspiring moments from The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom... at least for now. In all honesty, our answers might change over the next few weeks, because we're still exploring and finding new things daily. What's been your 'Wow' moment in Tears of the Kingdom so far? Join the conversation and let us know. If you're still exploring Hyrule like we are and need a hand with anything, be sure to check out The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom strategy guide, which is being updated regularly.
Shack Staff posted a new article, Shack Chat: What's been your biggest 'Wow' moment so far in Tears of the Kingdom?