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Behind the scenes of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom's Ascend ability

It's my Link in a box.

Link's Ascend ability in Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom is a particularly useful addition, but have you ever wondered exactly how it works?

When ascending, Link is transported through rock via, seemingly, a loading screen of darkness and green swirls.

Thanks to a new video from YouTube channel Boundary Break, we can see what's going on behind the scenes.

Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom Performance: Portable Play, Overclocking, Pre-Patch Code!

Link is actually transferred into a cube prism, while the environment around him disappears and reloads.

It's a clever trick from Nintendo, and certainly amusing to see Link floating in a strange black cube. Here's a tweet from Boundary Break with an image:

Elsewhere in the video, we see how the game loads when Link travels to the depths and into the sky.

For the former, the environment loads around Link as he falls through a tunnel. Once in The Depths, Boundary Break was able to remove the lighting and effects to reveal the textured ceiling of the environment and see the area in full.

When up in the sky, meanwhile, Hyrule is visible at all times but taken the camera down reveals the land in lower detail.

You can see more of Tears of the Kingdom, including Zora's Domain, in the full video below.

Out of Bounds Zelda | Tears of the Kingdom - Boundary Break

And did you know the Ascend ability started as a debug cheat?

For more on the game, check out the portable analysis from Digital Foundry.

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Ed Nightingale avatar

Ed Nightingale

Deputy News Editor

Ed has an interest in streaming, people and communities, and giving a voice to marginalised people.