I always feared when my last reliable weapon started flashing red on The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. She knew the good times were almost over, and I prayed that Link’s bottomless pockets had something else he could rely on. Now in Tears of the KingdomI really can’t wait for a weapon to break, because I’m usually excited to see what weird fusion I can do next.
Tears of the Kingdom holds over 10 million Switches hostage (as of this writing), and for a lot of good reasons, one of which is the new Fuse ability. It goes so well with the game’s weapon durability system that it makes peanut butter and jelly look like oil and water. It promotes experimentation, it encourages ingenuity, it encourages improvisation, and it looks absolutely ridiculous.
It’s equal parts brilliant, silly, and charming, constantly changing the way you’ll play. Tears of the Kingdom.
The possibilities are endless
At its core, Fuse is a very simple, almost deceptively simple ability. Instead of getting attached to your weapons, you attach the weirdest things you can find to it. See that rock? You can stick it to the end of a branch. Now you have a hammer, which breaks rocks.
That core principle drives your next dozen hours in Hyrule, but the ability is as versatile as it is simple. You can stick a spear into the end of another spear to get more range and it will almost look like a visual bug. Does it seem stupid? Obviously. It is effective? More than a spear.
As you gather more weapons, you’ll find some with a variety of special effects, such as a spear that travels farther when thrown. In breath of the wild, that kind of weapon seemed a bit useless to me; After all, I already have a bow. But now, I can attach an explosive barrel to the end of my throwing spear. It’s effectively the same as a bomb arrow, sure, but it just feels a lot cooler to use. This is just one of those cases where the cool rule wins.
Don’t forget your shields either. Wooden boards and metal sheets give you more defensive surface. If you’re a fan of shield surfing, there are plenty of things you can attach to your shield to make the approach even sillier or more effective, sometimes both.
I haven’t even accounted for all of Zonai’s wild tech yet. Tears of the Kingdom introduces these new machines that can be applied in many different ways, including fusions. Putting a rocket on a weapon turns it into a sort of rocket-powered death machine, while a rocket shield gives you a makeshift Revali Gale, which knocks you into the air.
Broken weapons? No problem
I have tried so many different weapon combinations in Tears of the Kingdom. They have been amazing, useless, effective, and mundane, and I have been excited to try each one of them. That sentiment has mostly alleviated any annoyance I had with the weapon’s durability system. it was not bad in breath of the wild, any; She always found another weapon around the corner that was at least decent.
However, in the sequel, it feels more exciting because I have more control over my weapon. It’s not just that there’s a decent broadsword around the corner; is that there are a lot of objects that I can fuse with my sword. Sure, this sounds like extra steps compared to its predecessor, but those steps are a joy to go through. Experimenting with weird stuff and finding a powerful combination really is its own reward.
Even better, this new dynamic between fusion and weapon durability fits nicely into the overall narrative and atmosphere of Tears of the Kingdom. The Gloom has taken over, degrading equipment and health bars throughout Hyrule. Weapons are fragile, and you will commonly see wooden and stone tools scattered throughout the world.
Many weapons scattered around Hyrule deal low or even single digit damage, which becomes useless after the first few hours. Your ingenuity and creativity make the difference between a cheap sword and a powerful bokoblin horn with a hilt. Even in the heat of battle, if a recently fallen horn is your ticket for more damage, you’ll take it. It’s unconventional, all things considered, but when good “normal” weapons are few and far between, you have to make do.
In breath of the wild, a broken weapon presents a problem. In Tears of the Kingdom, a broken weapon presents endless possibilities. Fuse turned a sore spot into an exciting opportunity, easily making it one of the best parts (of many) of this sequel.