A The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom player has built a device that allows you to view the world through a first-person perspective while underwater. What’s more, another player has used the same mechanism to construct a submarine.
The “Hydroscope” is a device that allows you to see underwater from a first-person view and was invented by Twitter user @smaho_neko, who also posts numerous Zelda videos on their YouTube channel.
@smaho_neko first posted a video featuring the Hydroscope on June 17. When Link climbs into the device, the position of the game’s camera pulls back towards his head and produces a kind of pseudo-first-person perspective, which lets you look around while underwater. This method allows you to gaze upon the vast underwater world and observe the creatures that inhabit it—something that is not normally possible.
The above video also shows you how to construct the Hydroscope; it is built using various materials, including a Hover Stone and wooden planks. Note that the Hover Stone is only used to provide weight, meaning that there is no need to activate it. When the device is halfway into the water, the wooden plank on top will be at an angle, and moving Link towards it will cause the camera to move from its regular position behind Link to a spot near his head. @smaho_neko then further improved their invention by adding a Stake Zonai Device. You can fix the Hydroscope in place by implanting a Stake into the shore, which makes it possible to look underwater even in places with currents.
The concept for the Hydroscope was based on a technique that @smaho_neko discovered in the previous game, Breath of the Wild. In that game, there is a glitch that allows Link to walk underwater, and @smaho_neko used it to come up with a technique that forms an ice block above Link’s head using Cryonis and lets you see underwater from a first-person perspective. The method of blocking Link’s head with some kind of obstruction near the water’s surface appears to work in Tears of the Kingdom too.
When we asked @smaho_neko about it, they noted that they simply replicated the technique used in Breath of the Wild, so it didn’t take too much effort. Part of the reason is that there are so many tools in Tears of the Kingdom, and just like the last scene of the aforementioned video, it’s even possible to see underwater for a short amount of time if Link simply throws an Ice Fruit the moment he hits the surface of the water. That said, devising a mechanism that would allow you to see underwater for an extended period was a much more difficult endeavor. The reason is that in Tears of the Kingdom, even if your Stamina Wheel is full, you can drown if you are unable to move while in the water. @smaho_neko reflected on having to drown Link over and over as they sought to strike a balance where they could see underwater while still keeping Link alive.
The Hydroscope, born from a great deal of trial and error, has also been used by another player in their own submarine design. On July 23, Twitter user @sumoguri2323 showed off a vessel that can travel while giving you a first-person view under the sea. The vehicle lets you enjoy the underwater scenery just like if you were in the cockpit of a submarine.
The submarine is composed of a variety of parts, including the highly buoyant slabs that are found in Jonsau Shrine, as well as wooden planks, Fans, Stabilizers, and a Big Wheel. At the front of the vessel are two lights and an ornament that looks like a Colgera’s Jaw. When Link grabs the submarine’s Steering Stick, the plank attached to the Big Wheel lowers over his head and creates a pseudo first-person view using the same mechanic employed by @smaho_neko’s Hydroscope.
When we asked @sumoguri2323 about the submarine’s design, they confirmed that the idea to build it was prompted by the Hydroscope. They investigated whether the Hydroscope could be used to build a vessel that made it feel like you were driving a submarine, and after planning the design, was able to construct a working prototype in around an hour and a half.
While designing other vehicles in the past, @sumoguri2323 discovered a method to move the camera’s position below Link’s face while he was driving, thereby creating a first-person view. They also made use of this in their submarine design. However, they went through a lot of trouble in trying to adjust Link’s position so that he was as close to the water’s surface as possible without going under. Just like @smaho_neko, they likely went through a great deal of fine tuning to avoid having Link drown while he continued to stay motionless underwater.
A glitch from Breath of the Wild gave birth to the Hydroscope in Tears of the Kingdom, which in turn led to the creation of a submarine. This is an excellent example of how players sharing inventions and techniques amongst themselves gives rise to even greater discoveries. It’s fascinating that such inventions have culminated in being able to travel underwater from a pseudo first-person perspective, a viewpoint that doesn’t even exist in the game.
Written by. Marco Farinaccia based on the original Japanese article (original article’s publication date: 2023-07-28 18:45 JST)