Now that The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom is no longer a brand-spanking-new release, many players are engaging in a classic move when games lose a bit of their new shine: they’re skipping cutscenes. I admit that the Light of Blessing cutscene that plays when you complete a shrine, while incredible, is often a skipper for me. I just wanna get back out there, after all. I don’t skip the Skyview Tower launching animation, and don’t really agree with skipping it (so epic!!), though I do understand the decision.
But there’s one cutscene I will never, ever skip in TotK; a cutscene which has yet to feel even a little old after three weeks of obsessive play. That cutscene is Hetsu’s dance.
I love Koroks very much. But in Tears of the Kingdom, the widespread torture of Koroks has become something of a meme. Which makes me very sad. So I am always here to spread Korok joy. They’re just cute little guys! They’re struggling in the simple act of having fun, just like the rest of us. What’s more, they kindly reward you with their poop. And when you give that poop to the biggest Korok, he puts it in his maracas, and magic happens. The magic of music and dance, goddammit.
(If you are still hung up on the poop thing, I respond by saying this is truly the absurd charm that makes Zelda so special.)
But what makes Hestu’s dance in Tears of the Kingdom truly remarkable is that it is somehow even better than its Breath of the Wild counterpart. The first time I witnessed Hestu’s dances in Breath of the Wild, it was wildly unexpected. The fact that this giant tree creature was suddenly turning around and shaking his maracas in a little samba, and that those maracas exploded in confetti in the end, was perhaps the most delightful and absurd thing I’d ever seen in a Zelda game.
But of course, Tears of the Kingdom‘s entire MO is to take the things in Breath of the Wild that we all thought were perfect and say, “Let’s top that.” So now, three Koroks join Hestu in his dance. They pop up out of nowhere, much as they do in the wild. And they sing along—in the weirdest possible little voices, going, “Hey! Cha-cha-cha-cha-cha!” What I would have given to be at that recording session.
At the end, they all gesture grandly toward Hestu and his masterful maracas. Cue confetti explosion. Truly, a masterpiece.
This is why I love Tears of the Kingdom and the Zelda franchise as a whole. There are so many unexpected moments of absurdity that really shine. So I salute you, Hestu, now and always.
(featured image: Nintendo)
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