While most of the world is still waiting to boot up The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, producer Eiji Aonuma has already finished it 20 times, and he has some advice: “don’t head straight for the ending.”
Breath of the Wild, of course, was praised for its vast open world that encouraged non-linear exploration, and Aonuma says that detours are even more fun this time around.
“I’ve played this game from start to finish about 20 times, and I can say that it’s more fun with detours, even more so than in the previous game,” he said in a recent interview published by Nintendo. “When testing the game, I sometimes needed to rush ahead to clear the story, but later on, as I started to go off on side paths, I realized… it’s a whole different game!”
It got to the point, he revealed, where even he was surprised by the things he could do in Tears of the Kingdom. Despite clearing the game as many times as he has, he claims he “never felt bored once.”
“Even when sticking things together, there are so many different combinations that even I don’t know all of them,” he went on. “I even discovered something new the other day while shooting the gameplay demonstration video. So, it may take some time, but as you take detours and try out whatever you can at the time, I think you’ll be able to enjoy the game in your very own way.”
And for what it’s worth, IGN’s own 10/10 review agrees, with Tom Marks writing that it has “almost alarming number of tasks to complete, mysteries to discover, and delightful distractions to keep you from ever reaching that place you naively thought you were headed.”
So basically, get distracted – you’re supposed to!
If you want a little help with that exploration, check out IGN’s Wiki pages once you’re able to escape into Hyrule once again. And for more to whet your appetite in the meantime, read more about Tears of the Kingdom’s dungeons and why hands are such a big theme in the sequel.
Alex Stedman is a Senior News Editor with IGN, overseeing entertainment reporting. When she’s not writing or editing, you can find her reading fantasy novels or playing Dungeons & Dragons.