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Great Sky Island walkthrough in Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom

Get ready to dive into Hyrule proper

Link dives toward Hyrule in Zelda Tears of the Kingdom. Image: Nintendo EPD/Nintendo

You’ll begin your journey through The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom on the Great Sky Island. Akin to the Great Plateau of Breath of the Wild, the Great Sky Island is effectively a tutorial zone that grants you the game’s four key abilities and teaches you how to use them.

The Great Sky Island is largely defined by four shrines (bespoke puzzles that comprise brief dungeons). Our walkthrough will guide you through Tears of the Kingdom’s Great Sky Island area, outline the order to tackle the Great Sky Island’s shrines — including how to get to the third and fourth shrines — and get you on your way to Hyrule.

Great Sky Island walkthrough

After a series of cutscenes, you, as Link, will awaken in a room full of roots. There’s only one direction you can go. Leave the room to trigger another series of cutscenes introducing Rauru, your ghastly guide for this segment of the game. (Pro tip: If you see his ghost apparition appear, it generally means you’re going in the right direction.)

Link stands in the center of the room of awakening on the Great Sky Island in Zelda Tears of the Kingdom. Image: Nintendo EPD/Nintendo via Polygon

After following Rauru through a series of linear tunnels, hang right after you’ve taken a pretty deep plunge into a small pool of water and you’ll be outside. You’ll need to make another jump into a large, oval-shaped pool full of lily pads. Again, you’ll speak to Rauru, who will point you in the direction of the Temple of Time.

The Temple of Time is impossible to miss. Head north toward the massive structure, and speak to the Steward Constructs along the way, who provide helpful hints and tutorials.

Go to the area with the stone gates and dive to the islands below. Keep in mind that making the leap will lock you into this archipelago, so you’ll want to thoroughly explore and scour for resources before moving on, and maybe grab some apples from the nearby tree for cooking. Once you’re at the island, keep going north and you’ll make it to the steps of the Temple of Time.

Link runs toward a stone gate on the Great Sky Island in Tears of the Kingdom. Image: Nintendo EPD/Nintendo via Polygon

How to get to the first Shrine

Unfortunately, you can’t enter the Temple just yet. You’ll need to unlock the three blessings on the island in order to open the door. Rauru will point you in the general direction, but there is a specific order Tears of the Kingdom wants you to follow. From the Temple of Time head west on your map. Head down the path and to the set of stairs leading to your first shrine.

The Ukouh Shrine gives you the Ultrahand ability, which allows you to connect items together. The puzzles here will have you utilizing this ability to cross otherwise impassable obstacles to progress and to obtain treasures. For help with its puzzles, you can read our Ukouh Shrine solution page can show how to solve it.

Once you’ve left the Ukouh Shrine, continue westward. Using your newfound ability will allow you to get to the next section of the island. You can do this by either connecting some planks on a platform just below you, or through a more creative method by attaching a hook to a plank and riding this makeshift platform down a rail. If you feel like you haven’t attached anything properly, use the right stick to break the construction apart and reconnect it in a way that fits.

Link assembles two boards to make a big bridge on the Great Sky Island in Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom. Image: Nintendo EPD/Nintendo via Polygon

You’ll come across a prefabricated raft. Go forward and take the stone ax from the tree stump. You’re going to need this to make some logs. Cut down two logs and fuse them together to make a makeshift bridge. Place the logs in the crevices along the broken bridge. This will hold them in place, which will allow you to cross safely.

Link places a giant log between two ledges on the Great Sky Island in Zelda Tears of the Kingdom. Image: Nintendo EPD/Nintendo via Polygon

How to get to the second Shrine

From here, head south toward the lake. There are several methods that’ll get you there, but however you go, make sure to pick some stamina bulbs on your way. You’ll need them for later. Kill the Zonai Soldier Constructs and keep heading south until you find some logs and two sails next to another stone ax.

Cut down a tree and assemble three logs together. Attach a sail and drag your raft to the edge of the lake. Get ready to hop on and take the journey across. Once you’ve reached the shore, head to up the steps to the next shrine.

Link creates a boat with a fan on the Great Sky Island in Zelda Tears of the Kingdom. Image: Nintendo EPD/Nintendo via Polygon

The In-isa Shrine grants you the Fuse ability, which allows you to slap ingredients and weapons together to make more powerful weapons. This includes weapons with special effects, or to even increase their overall durability. This shrine will teach you the basics of Fusing weapons, but if you’re stuck on the puzzle, our In-isa Shrine solution page can help you solve it. South of the shrine, you’ll find the Archaic Tunic.

How to get to the third Shrine

Once you’ve finished the In-isa Shrine, head east. You’ll encounter a lot of Zonai Soldier Constructs, which you can quickly eliminate with your Fused weapons. Definitely take these guys out to obtain more materials for fusion. These will create decently powerful weapons for the Great Sky Island. Heading south, you’ll find the Pondside Cave. Enter this and grab the brightbloom bulbs, then break the rocks inside to obtain amber, flint, and other valuable materials. Break open the wall at the back to get even more materials. After you’re done scouring, head left to go deeper into the cave.

Link stands at the entrance to the Pondside Cave of Great Sky Island in Zelda Tears of the Kingdom. Image: Nintendo EPD/Nintendo via Polygon

Outside you’ll see several Maker Constructs standing around some logs and fans. Speak to the Maker Constructs to get a breakdown of how to use the Zonai Devices — namely, the fans — scattered around the shore. Cut down some trees and use Ultrahand to slap some logs together and two fans to make a boat. Move it into the water; once you’re ready to depart, hit the fan with a weapon. This will activate the device, sending you across the pond.

There is a cooking station here if you want to make use of it, though you’ll find plenty of others on the island. Once you’re ready to continue, follow the stairs up. Head into the mining cave. It’ll be very dark inside. Brightbloom seeds — either smacking them or attaching them to you weapon — can help. But another way to light your path is to have the Ultrahand ability active. This effectively scans the area, covering it with an overlay and providing a de facto light source, which you can use to navigate unlit areas.

You’ll meet a few Maker Constructs in the final area of the mining cave, whom you should interact with; you’ll meet a merchant you can obtain crystalized charges and Zonai charges from, and will also get you a Zonai Capsule containing a fan. Go into your inventory and select the Zonai Capsule. Backing out of your inventory will drop the item on the ground. Attach it to the back of the minecart and give it a good whack to turn it on. This will take you onward and upward to the next area.

Link rides a mining cart with a fan on the Great Sky Island in Zelda Tears of the Kingdom. Image: Nintendo EPD/Nintendo via Polygon

Once again, swing left and head into the pit cave and pick the spicy peppers next to the Maker Construct. You’ll see a bowl for cooking; cook any ingredient — mushrooms, meat, anything, really — with the spicy peppers to create a dish that will stave off the cold. Now head deeper into the pit cave.

Link cooks a dish with spicy peppers in a menu in Zelda Tears of the Kingdom. Image: Nintendo EPD/Nintendo via Polygon

Keep climbing up, grabbing spicy peppers on the way, until you find yourself in a much chillier climate. Eat the food you’ve prepared and get ready to book it to the next shrine. Head north until you come to an impasse, then swing another left, taking you down to the mouth of the bottomless cave.

Grab the bombs, because you’ll need them. Keep going up until you run into a Like-Like. Fuse your bombs with some arrows, as you’ve probably picked up a bow from Zonai Soldier Constructs, and once the Like-Like has opened its mouth, fire at its weak spot. Once it’s on the ground, attack it with a melee weapon. You’ll only need to do this two or three times before it’s dead. (You can avoid fighting them altogether by just running as well if you don’t want to spend the resources.)

Once you’ve gotten out of the bottomless pit you’ll see a very long root. Climb this root to be taken to the Gutanbac Shrine.

The Gutanbac Shrine is where you’ll get the Ascend power, allowing you to pass upward through terrain, essentially a cheat code for Tears of the Kingdom’s platforming. This shrine will help you flag what you can and can’t pass through, teaching you the basics of vertically phasing through items. Our Gutanbac Shrine solution page can help you with its puzzles.

After completing the shrine, you’ll need to make your way back to the Temple of Time. Eat some more cold resistance food if you have any, then head northeast. You’ll come to an area with some stone gliders in the shape of birds. Use your Ultrahand ability to slot one of them into one of the carved out crevices and climb aboard. Use the glider to reach the Temple of Time, jumping off at the right moment to dive into the water surrounding it.

Link looks at a water wheel in the Great Sky Island in Zelda Tears of the Kingdom. Image: Nintendo EPD/Nintendo via Polygon

In the temple, you’ll get the Recall ability, which allows you to freeze items momentarily, then reverse the flow of time. You will need this to progress. Climb either the right or the left side of the inner chamber and use the Recall power to jump onto the water wheels at the right time to be taken to the center platform. Use Recall again to ride the final water wheel into the main chamber. Approach the double doors and hold the A button to learn that you’ll need to locate the final fourth shrine, which Rauru says is hidden somewhere on the island.

How to get to the fourth Shrine

Head back to the Room of Awakening — where you started your journey.

Map showing Room of Awakening text and location Image: Nintendo EPD/Nintendo via Polygon

Look immediately to your left and you’ll see water wheels, just like those inside of the Temple of Time. Use Ascend to get to the platform to the wheels themselves, and then use Recall to platform over the wheels into a long passage that will take you to the final, hidden shrine on the Great Sky Island.

Link looking at cogs in the Room of Awakening Image: Nintendo EPD/Nintendo via Polygon

The Nachoya Shrine will test your understanding of Recall. Use it to platform through the dungeon to obtain the necessary Light of Blessing you need in order to progress. Our Nachoya Shrine solution page can help you if you get stuck.

Head into the Temple of Time and use the Recall power to get back to the room with the Goddess Statue to exchange your Lights of Blessing for a heart container. This will give you the necessary health you need to open the final chamber in the Temple of Time. Head out and a series of cutscenes will play. And that’s the Great Sky Island! If you choose to leave the island after this point, you can always return whenever you want to comb through it for anything you may have missed.