Pretty quickly following the release of The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, players discovered the joy of tormenting Koroks in numerous ways, and sharing creative methods to bully the poor souls became a trend online in no time. In a recent interview, the developers of the title admit to having predicted such an outcome.
While Koroks were nothing new to the Zelda series, Tears of the Kingdom introduced a new type of quest involving Koroks. This quest consists of “transferring” Koroks who got separated from their pals and are too tired to walk and reuniting them with their friends. In other words, getting the Korok from A to B means success – whatever happens in between is of no consequence.
This naturally led to all manner of unconventional methods of transportation being devised, mostly with the purpose of mischievously enjoying the small fellows’ torment. This resulted in Koroks being dragged, crucified and then dragged, dropped off cliffs, dropped into rivers and struck by lightning and much more (Related article). At the time, many surely wondered how the developers of the game felt about the Korok torture going on. It turns out that everything was according to their expectations.
In an interview with Famitsu published on September 6, Hidemaro Fujibayashi, the director of Tears of the Kingdom and Eiji Aonuma, producer of the title, disclosed some details about the game that were under wraps until the release.
In a portion of the interview, the Korok quest and how it went viral on social media are mentioned, and the developers are asked if this was something they had “set up” knowingly. In response, Fujibayashi denies online virality being a part of their plans but confirms that the team had a good idea of how Koroks were likely to end up, with Ultrahand and Zonai Devices being available and all.
To this, the interviewer adds, “Oh, so you foresaw Koroks being attached to objects, launched, dropped from high places…?” prompting Fujibayashi to give the explanation that he did not want players to give up on solutions they came up with because they felt sorry for the character, and thus ordered a character that players could do anything to while remaining guilt-free with a smile on their faces. This is how, he explains, the current form of the Korok came to be. Fujibayashi also offers the curious trivia of how the team member who oversaw the task is exactly like a Korok in their speech and character themselves.
It seems the Korok quest in question was another gift from the developers intended to stimulate players to let their imaginations run wild and realize any solution they come up with. no matter how unconventional. Another good part worth mentioning is that Koroks are revived as soon as the game is loaded, so there is really no cruelty involved.