Link’s Ultrahand in Tears of the Kingdom honors a classic Nintendo toy

One of Link’s new powers in Tears of the Kingdom: The Legend of Zelda is an homage to one of Nintendo’s oldest toys, the Ultra Hand. Although the Ultrahand abilities are in, Tears for the Kingdom will let Link pick up and move far away objects, Nintendo’s nearly 60-year-old Ultra Hand toy, well, did the exact same thing. It just doesn’t have the added function of building a functioning hovercraft, the way Tears for the Kingdom’s Ultrahand (combined with the Fuse) ability does.

The original Ultra Hand was developed by the late Gunpei Yokoi, the creator behind Nintendo’s Game & Watch, the inventor of the cross-shaped D-pad seen on Nintendo gamepads, and the original designer of the Game Boy. Yokoi created the Ultra Hand in 1966, at the behest of then-Nintendo president Hiroshi Yamauchi after seeing Yokoi play with a similar device in one of the company’s factories. It was an instant hit and more than 1,000,000 units were sold.

A photo of Nintendo’s Ultra Hand toy

Photo: Isao Yamazaki

The blog Before Mario has a great write-up on the Ultra Hand, which was pitched as a toy for kids that let them grab things from far away — or hand something to someone across a table. The novelty device, which was part prank tool and part skill toy has been manufactured by Nintendo at least for seven years.

The Ultra Hand has been a part of Nintendo’s WarioWare series, where it has appeared in numerous video games over the years. Nintendo’s WarioWare series has featured multiple Ultra Hand-inspired microgames, and the device has made non-playable cameos in Animal Crossing: New Leaf, Splatoon 3.And Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask 3D. Nintendo also released Ultra Hand in 2010 You can grill-off with the Ultra HandThe game, a WiiWare title, was only available to Club Nintendo members.

Legend of ZeldaTears of Kingdom may give players a similar experience this spring, when the forces of Hyrule’s Ultrahand and that mysterious meat arrow are combined.

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