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I built a skyhouse in Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom

Zonai and away.

Are you there, Nintendo? It's me, Edwin. Thanks very much for developing Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom - I've been having a blast. I have a confession, though, Nintendo. When I wrote in Eurogamer's review that the Great Sky Island was my favourite sky island, I was lying. It's really this one a little to the south of Great Sky Island, directly over Popla foothills. Some might call it a stepping stone to actual places, devoid of flora or fauna or hazards or secrets - a charmless particle of futility. Me, though, I call it home.

Link standing on a tiny floating island against a beautiful sunset in The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom.

Or at least, I'm trying to. For those still catching up, Tears of the Kingdom has an ability called Ultrahand which lets you pick up and glue objects together with telekinesis - from planks and wheels to pieces of ancient Zonai technology. Ultrahand can be used to craft many things, but it's primarily a vehicle editor. Lately, though, I've been trying to build houses with it.

As in Breath of the Wild, there's a quest that lets you buy a house in Tears of the Kingdom. This time, you even get to assemble it yourself, clipping rooms together using Ultrahand on a building plot near Tarrey Town. Still, this feels a bit bland and comfortable, next to the more, ahem, freeform applications of Ultrahand, and the building location isn't exactly atmospheric by Tears of the Kingdom standards. Besides which, each bespoke house component costs an absolute kaboodle. You'll need to shoot a whole lot of ghost rabbits before you can afford that second floor infinity pool.

For a while, I was going to cobble together a floating volcano house from slabs of cooled lava below Death Mountain - let's see that oaf Ganon try to cause trouble for me there! But then I discovered this lovely nugget of real estate on the way back down from a Skyview mapping expedition. It's peaceful here - no hysterical Bokoblins, no tempting shrines, no Koroks in need of an Uber. Just sky, sun, clouds, and me in the middle of it all trying to Feng Shui my patio. Strike the earth!

Link constructing a very precarious dwelling on a small sky island in The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom.

As you can see, I'm using 100% genuine hand-tooled Zonai platforms for the base, walls and ceiling. Yes, I'm aware that these platforms can be activated to float by themselves, but think of my energy bills - those Large Zonai Charges aren't ten-a-penny, and I've already used up all my external batteries to power a flying armoured train which I last saw mounting an epic, unpiloted raid on Goron City.

Wooden planks would take up less space, but they're also brittle and flammable, and in any case, you don't find many Hyrule Restoration Society lumber piles round these parts. I quite like the circular green motifs, too. It's very - I want to say, "Neo-Gaelic"? The trick is pulling the platforms out of my inventory without hurling them into the void, but it's manageable, providing I do it one at a time. I guess there's always Recall if I lose my grip.

The bigger issue is that even Ultrahand has certain hidden limits: it seems that you can only summon and manipulate so many Zonai components at once. I was hoping to construct a bungalow with a cheeky wine cellar, but I can only muster 10 platforms, so it'll need to be more of an open-front beach hut. I've got enough space for a cookpot on the exterior decking there, and I guess I'll divide the interior between my spare swords and my - good lord, where did I get all these melons? I've barely spent any time in Gerudo Town. Well, let's chuck them in the corner for the moment. I wonder what I can use for a bed.

I might have run out of headroom for additional platforms, but thankfully, Ultrahand still lets me stick on weapons and items to serve as decorative flourishes. I've added some Korok frond dusters to form a sort of avant garde hedge. I'll surround my cookpot with stacks of wood to make it cosier, and also to stop me tossing ingredients over the side. Magnificent!

And now, the rub: I have no way of preserving any of this. You can craft some vast and elaborate machines with Ultrahand, storing the best as blueprints for later replication with Autobuild, providing you have enough Zonaite. But save for that officially Nintendo-approved building site down Tarrey Town way, they are all utterly disposable, evaporating when you quit and reload or wander off.

So many possible creations, all of them fleeting. It speaks to Zelda's preoccupation with recurrence and transience - the same myth, the same core cast, but a different Hyrule for every game. But the issue is also, I imagine, that there's only so much wayward player DIY the game can fit into memory. If you could actually settle this landscape at will, as you can Minecraft, we'd be up to our pointy ears in Panic Blood Moons.

In the absence of a very ambitious Tears of the Kingdom DLC expansion to address that technical constraint, the best I can do right now is snap a few screenshots of my stratospheric loveshack and write a terrible article for posterity. Still, there's time for a bit more home improvement before I say goodbye.

Link using Ultrahand to move Zonai platforms around while standing on a sky island in The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom.

I feel like putting a roof on this thing is a waste of materials: there doesn't seem to be any rain at this altitude. If I shuffle those top platforms along, I can turn my house into a kind of stepped celestial observation post. Or even a beacon, for Rito aviators blown off course!

Link looking down at his extremely hazardous floating house in The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom.

Or wait, how about my very own private glider launching facility? I've got a few glider frames spare. If I slim down my patio a bit, I can repurpose one of those platforms to make a slide just here, and - oh no.

Link and his beloved makeshift house falling off a sky island in The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom.


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