The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom makes you spend a lot of time thinking about the structural integrity of all the nonsense you build with Link’s Ultra Hand. But have you ever stopped to think about the integrity of the wood-based structures Nintendo has put around Hyrule? Well, Eden Klinger, a furniture designer and friend of YouTube channel Any Austin, has a lot of thoughts on the woodworking in Tears of the Kingdom, and it’s fascinating to hear an expert talk about the little details in Nintendo’s worldbuilding through set design.
Any Austin’s 28-minute-long video has Klinger breaking down the logistics of how Nintendo builds mundane wooden objects like tables, chairs, and cabinets. While there’s some fudging of actual structural principles on some of these pieces, it’s clear that small details like latches on cabinets and original wood textures on the ends of wooden boards speak to the meticulous nature of Tears of the Kingdom’s environmental design.
The most interesting takeaway here, however, is that some areas of Hyrule not only have different furniture than others, but that some seem more well-constructed than others, and that different regions sometimes have woodworking motifs that reflect aspects of their culture. Hateno Village’s pieces look a little more ramshackle, for instance, without much concern for how supportive they are, while those in Rito Village appear deliberate, decorative, and sturdy, which is fitting for the regal people of the village. Check out the full video below:
We spend a lot of time in Tears of the Kingdom’s open world building, flying, and fighting our way through Ganondorf’s minions, but watching this video gave me a much stronger appreciation for the little details I may have overlooked when I was sprinting to my next quest. As easy as it would have been for Nintendo to just use the same furniture and woodwork throughout Tears of the Kingdom, a great deal of care was taken to reflect the different cultures of the world, while also being mostly accurate to how these kinds of pieces are constructed in real life. It’s just another thing the already exceptional game excels at.
For more on Tears of the Kingdom, check out Kotaku’s review.