Alongside the diverse range of handy inventions that help players progress in The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom you can also find many “useless” machines that, quite frankly, have no practical applications. Following the recent discovery of elevator railings that possess mysterious properties, research into useless inventions has progressed at a feverish pace.
Machines with wide-ranging functions have frequently been posted on social media, including devices that gather items, combat robots, and Air Bikes that serve as stellar methods of transport (Related Article). In contrast to these practical inventions, there exist a number of those that are, let’s say, less useful. While these inventions may not help you surpass the myriad challenges of Hyrule, their merit lies in enjoyment or visual appreciation; inventions that are mesmerizing to watch in action or fun to control.
The mysterious elevator railings that can be found in the Construct Factory and Right-leg Depot have been utilized by players from around the world to create all kinds of things, thanks to the unusual properties that they possess. But these railings have also opened up a new realm of possibilities for designing machines of impractical nature.
For example, the user above created a flashy concert stage for “Black Metal Link.” Link, donning the Evil Spirit armor set, stands atop a flying machine in the shape of an upside-down cross, which has been built using elevator railings. At the top are two rotating Flame Emitters that circle Link, unleashing pillars of flame around him. Not only does this device lack a practical purpose, but it’s also quite dangerous and could harm Link with its flames. On the other hand, it works perfectly as a stage for a metal band concert and makes for quite a visually stylish video.
Next up, we have the video below, which features a machine that may be rather nostalgic for longtime Zelda fans. The machine resembles a UFO and is constructed using railings and a Fan. As it rotates and hovers above a group of cows, a beam of light is emitted using a mirror located at its center. It looks just like a UFO that has come to abduct some lifeforms.
Based on the mask that Link is wearing in the video, it’s safe to say that the UFO pays homage to The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask. The game includes an event where you are tasked with eliminating “ghosts” that have been stealing cows from Romani Ranch. If you fail to fend off the attacking ghosts, then they will abduct the cows as well as the young girl Romani using tractor beams of light—just like UFOs. Although Romani will eventually return some days later, she will be in a catatonic state, and you will not be able to have a normal conversation with her.
Additionally, the eerie visual design of the ghosts combined with the ominous music that marks their appearance will have no doubt left a deep impression on many players. The UFO might not help with any of the challenges in Tears of the Kingdom, but it seems to evoke some feelings of nostalgia (and maybe a little bit of trauma) in the series’ fans.
Another genre of useless designs seems to be that of failed machine inventions. The below demonstrated machine is one such example. It is constructed using a stack of multiple elevator railings. These railings are highly susceptible to wind-based forces and stacking them together only serves to further amplify this effect. As a result, these railing stacks are often used as “sails,” and many players have shown off the massive amount of driving force that they can provide.
The player can be seen throwing a Hylian Pine Cone into a burning bundle of branches and generating an updraft of wind that successfully lifts their machine into the air. Yet, despite the extravagant wind effect, the machine doesn’t travel very well, and its flight is unstable. It seems that the force generated by the flames is not a stable source like that of a Fan. As the title of the post explains, the player only shared the video because they thought it looked cool. The whirlwinds that are produced do indeed look impressive, so it’s fun to watch the machine in action, even if using it as a vehicle would prove rather difficult.
Some of the inventions found on Reddit don’t have a lot of use right now, but you get the sense that they have a lot of future potential. The post below features a “funny bouncing object,” which is constructed with two railings, two Stabilizers, and a piece of Icy Meat attached to the corner that makes contact with the ground. The contraption jumps all around as the two different facing Stabilizers try to pull themselves into an upright position and the Icy Meat causes it to slip off the ground. While just a funny source of amusement at first glance, one of the comments in the thread noted that it might be interesting to create “walking” builds that utilize this behavior. It definitely seems like you could put the idea to use and create some machines with unique methods of movement.
Another player created “A prototype for a zero-G spacecraft.” The craft looks kind of like a satellite and is constructed using two elevator railings and two opposing Stabilizers positioned horizontally.
The craft is able to float while over an updraft of wind or in a low gravity area. Possibly due to the opposing forces of the Stabilizers, it doesn’t appear to be affected by wind or gravity. Furthermore, using a Fan attached to a shield or similar allows the craft to be moved in any horizontal direction. The poster notes that they can maneuver the craft in ways that would not have been possible if they had used Hover Stones and believes that there is much more potential in the idea beyond a small spacecraft. While the use of this design is currently limited to only specific areas, future research may lead to new ways to utilize it.
Tears of the Kingdom’s strange elevator railings are incredibly light, nigh indestructible, and boast peculiar physics. As such, players have used them to help build all sorts of contraptions, whether practical or not. The “useless” inventions that we have introduced in this article may only be possible thanks to the railings, and would likely not move at all or meet a disastrous end if composed of only regular materials. These machines probably aren’t going to help you save Hyrule any time soon, but you may one day see the same ideas pop up elsewhere in some more practical applications.
Written by. Marco Farinaccia based on the original Japanese article (original article’s publication date: 2023-07-25 17:52 JST)