Are Zelda players okay?

A korok barbecue
(Image credit: Nintendo, Twitter user pory_leeks)

If I know anything about PC gaming, I know this: given an ounce of freedom, PC gamers will build a giant penis that spews fire. I'm frankly not even sure what else you'd build in Besiege, the most innately PC of freeform building games. A catapult or something? Boring. There's no better evidence that The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom is a sandbox PC game at heart than how quickly they crested the penis horizon.

With that milestone met, the natural question is: what next? In a typical Zelda game, the answer would be to head to the next dungeon. But in this one, Nintendo has introduced an absurdly flexible building system that lets you connect all sorts of parts together and then power them, creating sturdier weapons, traps for hapless bokoblins, or even freaking mechs. Faced with unprecedented freedom and player choice, the pure, innocent Nintendo gamers playing Zelda this weekend seem to have channeled their inner PC gremlin in a certain direction: abject torture.

I've seen some wild Tears of the Kingdom creations over the last few days, and almost all of them have been designed with the singular purpose of torturing Zelda's poor innocent koroks. These little forest creatures, koroks, are hidden around Hyrule for you to find, and pop up with an adorable little chirp when you discover them. They can't actually be harmed, which I guess makes them the perfect guinea pigs for twisted torture devices or simple gallows humor. There's no more straightforward exhibit A than a little light crucifixion:

But it gets so. Much. Worse. Or better? As collected in this amazing Twitter thread by Dan Kois, Korok torture is the new official Hyrule pasttime. This is some serious Prometheus shit Nintendo players are on right now. I couldn't be prouder. 

 The sound effects really add to this one. 

Turns out putting rockets in Zelda was a very good idea. 

The game should win game of the year just for letting you do this: from r/tearsofthekingdom

Sometimes a simpler form of cruelty is more fun. 

"THE FACT THAT THIS IS AN OPTION IS SO FUNNY," sums up the poster below, a prime example of the gone-mad-with-freedom Zelda player.  

I think the clear master of the form so far is YouTuber Oyff, however, who has married korok torture with PC staple penis engineering.

What a glorious new era for Nintendo games.  

Wes Fenlon
Senior Editor

Wes has been covering games and hardware for more than 10 years, first at tech sites like The Wirecutter and Tested before joining the PC Gamer team in 2014. Wes plays a little bit of everything, but he'll always jump at the chance to cover emulation and Japanese games.

When he's not obsessively optimizing and re-optimizing a tangle of conveyor belts in Satisfactory (it's really becoming a problem), he's probably playing a 20-year-old Final Fantasy or some opaque ASCII roguelike. With a focus on writing and editing features, he seeks out personal stories and in-depth histories from the corners of PC gaming and its niche communities. 50% pizza by volume (deep dish, to be specific).