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Tuesday, February 20, 2024

Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom's Ultra Hand Ability is a Reference to a Classic Nintendo Toy

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The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom features a ton of new abilities that weren't in Breath of the Wild, including one that references a classic Nintendo toy.

As revealed in the new ten-minute gameplay showcase, Zelda producer Eiji Aonuma showed off four new abilities of Link's: Recall, Fuse, Ascend, and Ultrahand.

The last of these is named after a grabbing toy from the late 1960s. The Ultra Hand consisted of several criss-cross plastic tubes that connected a grabber on one end and handles on the other. The concept was simple: kids could use the Ultra Hand to pick things up from far away and drop them elsewhere, not completely unlike Link's ability in Tears of the Kingdom.

Ultrahand / Toy / Nintendo / 1973 pic.twitter.com/ptyulRBXYr

— Cool Box Art (@CoolBoxArt) March 28, 2023

Even more interestingly, the Ultra Hand was invented by Gunpei Yokoi, who would go on to create the video game console D-Pad, the Game Boy, and Game and Watch.

The Ultrahand ability in Tears of the Kingdom lets Link pick things up and move them around too, though it admittedly gets a little bit more complex than its 1960s counterpart. Link can use it to combine different objects, from logs and shields to rocks and pitchforks and seemingly everything else.

Aonuma showed how the ability could be used in several different ways, alongside revealing a ton of other details about Tears of the Kingdom including weapon durability, sky islands, and more. A limited edition Nintendo Switch console was also unveiled.

The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom Limited Edition Nintendo Switch, Pro Controller, and Carry Case

We previously learned that Tears of the Kingdom will have the largest file size of any first party Nintendo Switch game, include classic enemies from Ocarina of Time, and cost a heftier-than-usual $70 to match its scope, but the main reason fans are excited is because Breath of the Wild is considered one of the best games of all time.

In our 10/10 review, IGN said: "The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is evocative, exhilarating, and a masterclass in open-world design."


Ryan Dinsdale is an IGN freelancer and acting UK news editor. He'll talk about The Witcher all day.

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