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The Broken Rail Is First True Challenge in The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom

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A simple conundrum in The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom is the first true challenge of the game, with multiple solutions limited only to a player’s creativity. Millions of players are working their way through The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, which offers players another wide open experience. Like its predecessor Breath of the Wild, Tears of the Kingdom is filled with tons of puzzles and trials that are able to be solved by a number of physics-based solutions dependent on Link’s semi-magical abilities. In Tears of the Kingdom, the bulk of the puzzles involve the use of Ultrahand, an ability that allows players to create nearly anything using a mix of mechanical devices like fans, rockets and auto-balancers and simple wooden planks, carts, or hooks. There aren’t usually clear guidelines on how to use Autobuild to solve puzzles – instead, players have to rely on their own ingenuity and understanding of physics. 

One of the best examples of the free range that Ultrahand offers comes in the opening hours of the game, when Link explores a large Sky Island that serves as a tutorial area. During Link’s exploration of the island, he eventually comes across an area that can only be accessed via a mining cart rail. While players had previously been exposed to the game’s cart system, this rail track is different in that one of the rails has a missing section halfway up. There’s no immediately obvious solution to this problem, although players are given plenty of carts, fans, boards, and even a few oversized hooks to come up with a solution. 

When I first encountered the broken rail conundrum in Tears of the Kingdom, I quickly cobbled together a makeshift platform attached to a hook, which I then hung on to as it slid up the one intact thanks to fan propulsion. However, when the game went live over the weekend, I discovered many people had opted to build a series of carts that had a counterbalance of some kind (often Link himself, moving up the carts once it reached the broken sections) to basically power their way up the broken rail instead. 

The broken rail acts as a microcosm about how Tears of the Kingdom presents puzzles in a way that don’t have a single solution. Players are encouraged to find their own way to solve puzzles or problems and I’m continuously amazed at how folks come up with amazingly different solutions and how one person’s “obvious” answer doesn’t even register to another person. 

You can check out some of the solutions to The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom’s broken rail puzzle down below: 

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