For many of us, today is a pretty big day. After many years of waiting, The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom is finally here, letting us dive into a new (but also, kind of the same) version of Hyrule once again and get to grips with a whole bunch of fresh abilities and powers.
One of these abilities, Ascend, was revealed in the game's 10-minute gameplay demonstration back in March, showing us all how Link will be able to quickly get to the top of buildings, mountains and towers by effectively swimming through the ceiling. It's a pretty neat feature, to be sure, and it turns out that it actually started life as a debug code, used by the developers to swiftly leap out of a cave system when they were testing the game.
In a recent Polygon interview with director Hidemaro Fujibayashi and series producer Eiji Aonuma, the director confirmed the mechanic's origins, explaining how it went from a cheat code to one of the game's most innovative new features:
I don’t think we’ve shared this anywhere else, but — the Ascend ability was actually the result of a debug feature that we have in the game.
When I was exploring the caves, I would get to the destination where I was trying to get to, and once I checked it out, I would just use the debug code to get to the top. And I thought, Well, maybe this is something that can be usable in the game. And it was right around that time that Mr. Aonuma said, “It’s a pain to go back.”
And to be blunt and honest, cheating can be fun. So that’s why we decided to drop it in there.
Who would have thought it, eh? The pair go on to discuss the game's development in more depth including the implementation of the new underground system and features that didn't make the final product, as well as their thoughts on a future Zelda movie. Be sure to head over to Polygon to read the full interview.
If you need a reminder of what we thought of the game (spoiler: we loved it), you can check out our 10/10 review below: