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Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom fans keep seeing ‘Zonai devices’ in real life

Fans aren’t fans. They’re Zonai devices

An image of Link in The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom holding a fan over his head. Image: Nintendo EPD/Nintendo via Polygon
Ana Diaz (she/her) is a culture writer at Polygon, covering internet culture, fandom, and video games. Her work has previously appeared at NPR, Wired, and The Verge.

The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom swings between high fantasy and the mundane. Link’s tool kit can consist of mystical fire rods or just a plain old fan. Far from being boring, the “normal” side of this fantasy world helps inspire awe in those everyday objects and occurrences. Now, Tears of the Kingdom is inspiring people to share videos of how they see Hyrule in everyday life.

Link has a new set of powers in Tears of the Kingdom that he can use to build contraptions with items scattered throughout Hyrule. Link can build with miscellaneous objects in the world, like scrap wood or rocks, but he can also utilize special technology passed on from an ancient civilization called Zonai devices. Although some of this mystical technology resembles real-world objects, many have sci-fi-esque applications. A fan just isn’t a fan, but can be combined with other objects to create a glider or a hoverbike.

Now people are drawing comparisons between Link’s escapades and their real life. For example, this TikToker jokes about how Link hits the Zonai devices to turn them on and off. In this video, the person throws a tape dispenser at a fan and it starts running, giving the appearance that hitting it turned it on.


Smack on, smack off #tearsofthekingdom #zeldatearsofthekingdom #zeldatotk #comedy

♬ daviderickramos kokiri forest ocarina - Pomme

Or there’s this person, who appears to be thinking really hard about this fan after playing the game.


@Megg was the original #zelda #totk #tearsofthekingdom

♬ TLoZ ToTK Trailer 3 Music - Liv

Here is another great fan joke.


#totk #tearsofthekingdom #zeldatotk #zelda #zeldatok #loztotk

♬ TLoZ ToTK Trailer 3 Music - Liv

This one leans into the exploration elements of the game, as the TikToker jokes about finding a shrine in the woods.


Gamer brain 24/7 #fyp #zelda #tloz #tearsofthekingdom

♬ original sound - lunamoor ♡

It’s all mainly a meme. But I’d like to think that the power of Tears of the Kingdom is more than the way it allows people to escape into a fantasy land. It also encourages seeing the wider world with a sense of openness and curiosity — and I think that’s pretty dang cute.