Nintendo Patents Various Gameplay Systems From Tears Of The Kingdom

A disappointing look for Nintendo.

                                                                            Story Highlights

  • The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom is the latest game in The Legend of Zelda franchise and the sequel to 2017’s The Legend of Zelda: Breath of The Wild.
  • Tears of the Kingdom is an open-world adventure game that thrives on player creativity and experimentation.
  • Spotted by Naoya2k, Nintendo has patented many of the gameplay and UI systems in Tears of the Kingdom.
  • Of the 32 total patents from July 10 to August 4, 31 of them are related to Tears of the Kingdom.

Today is certainly a disappointing day to be a Nintendo fan as the company has gone public with the knowledge that they have patented numerous mechanics from The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom. Out of a total of 32 patents from July 10 to August 4, 31 of them were related to Tears of the Kingdom, and many of them are related to the game’s Ultra Hand and Fuse mechanics, as well as numerous UI elements. 

As spotted by Naoya2k, many of these patents deal with rather basic gameplay elements until a deeper look reveals a bunch of interesting details. The first example of this is related to one of the Tears of the Kingdom’s most standout mechanics in the form of Ultra Hand. 

In the game of the present embodiment, a movable dynamic object arranged in virtual space is controlled by movement based on physics, and the player character is moved and controlled based on operation input. When in contact, add the movement of the dynamic object in contact in the downward direction to the movement of the player character.”

Nintendo Patent
“Provide a game program suitable for moving player characters on various objects.”

While simple to theory, according to Naoya2k, it is a way to move Link along the direction and with the speed of the object without the need for any physics calculation. Another patent that relates to Ultra Hand stops Link from using Ultra Hand to move objects he is already on top of. 


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In Tears of the Kingdom, Link can freely move any movable object in front of him, however, this doesn’t apply to objects he is already on top of, and it seems Nintendo has turned that into a patent. 

Nintendo Patent 2
The patent also stipulates that Link cannot use Ultra hand on objects that are connected to an object he is already on top of.

Perhaps the most peculiar of these patents happens to be a feature present in the game’s map screen. The Footprint Mode in Tears of the Kingdom lets players see the exact path they’ve taken across the game’s world. It also lets them find the places they have otherwise missed by retracing their steps across the map. 

Nintendo Patent
“When you open the map and press the X button, “Footprint Mode” is activated, allowing you to see in detail how you’ve traveled, helping you find places you’ve never been before.”

All these features certainly go a long way to highlight the sheer ingenuity put into creating the many engaging systems in Tears of the Kingdom. It is always interesting to see how something so clever and advanced is actually put together under the hood. Tears of the Kingdom is an altogether phenomenal title that pushes player expression and creativity to its absolute limit and Nintendo certainly deserves all the respect for their craft.

Patents however are not the way to go. Players have been openly critical of not only Nintendo but other publishers that go out of their way to patent cool mechanics because it keeps other games from improving on them and implementing them in their unique ways. Many players argue that studios should not be able to patent game mechanics at all and if you ask me, I’m personally inclined to agree. 

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Nameer Zia is a video game News Writer on eXputer obsessed with hunting down all the latest happenings in the industry. Nameer has been gaming for more than 15 years, during which he has spent more than 3,000 hours on Overwatch 1 & 2. As a literature student, his literary chops feed into his passion for games and writing, using eXputer as the medium to deliver the latest news in the industry. Websites such as GamingBolt and IGN have also credited his works.

Experience: 4+ Years || Previously Worked At: Tech4Gamers || Education: Bachelors in English Literature.

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