Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom (commonly abbreviated to TOTK) is the newest installment in the Legend of Zelda franchise (circa 2023). It is an action-adventure role-playing game (RPG) with shooter and puzzle elements.
This game was long-awaited by Zelda fans as a sequel to the last Zelda game, Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. It is widely considered a hype-worthy sequel, as Tears of the Kingdom takes points lacking in Breath of the Wild and either fixes or improves those features.
Although, that is not to say that Tears of the Kingdom is faultless.
One of these fantastic improvements is the introduction and tutorial, which introduces us to the Hyrule Castle Ruins and the Garden of Time. The Tears of the Kingdom Garden of Time is our topic for today!
What is the Garden of Time?
The Garden of Time is where the game starts to build momentum, having already explained the situation (however vaguely) during the exploration with Zelda in the Hyrule Castle Ruins.
The Garden of Time is part of a more extensive area known as the Great Sky Island; the Garden is more miniature when compared to other maps in the game, although it is larger than Breath of the Wild’s starting area, the Great Plateau. It’s a name for the area in the Great Sky Island where you can see or visit the Temple of Time from.
The Garden of Time is introduced with a big splash after our first no-damage dive into the water, and some of the credits play. The Garden also presents a new set of funky Non-Player Characters (NPCs), little guys called Constructs, who I will touch upon later.
As we progress through the tutorial, we discover that it was the home of the Zonai. Rauru, who is someone Ganondorf mentioned during the beginning cutscene in the Imprisoning Chamber, was a Zonai. He’s also the source of Link’s snazzy new right arm.
Hallmarks of Garden of Time
The Great Sky Island is an enormous area, and that descriptor includes the Garden of Time. It is… massive. Although, it is worth noting that the Garden of Time is regulated to only one layer of the Great Sky Island, which mainly references the area surrounding the Temple of Time.
The Garden is split into three sections, with each area becoming accessible as we complete the Shrines, acquiring the skill associated with them and storing it in Link’s glamorous magic arm.
Critical Moments and Meetings
The Garden of Time is mainly utilized as a tutorial area. So the most iconic moments in the game that are in the area are related to that.
Getting Out of a Power Nap
One of the critical moments in the Garden of Time is when Link wakes up at the very beginning. A notable event during this cutscene is that Rauru takes a similar role to Zelda’s in Breath of the Wild, calling Link back into reality.
With this parallel serving as the introductory sequence into the real meat of Tears of the Kingdom, this will be a cutscene that sticks with many people (especially because it’s a call back to the previous installment).
Meeting the First King of Hyrule: Rauru
The Garden of Time also introduces the entity that gave, and still somewhat inhabits, Link’s new right arm, Rauru. I will explain Rauru’s character further in the overview of the Denizens and Items Found in the Garden of Time.
No side quests deal explicitly with the Garden of Time, although the first main story quests do. Some more collection-based mini-quests have items in the Garden of Time, like the Korok Seeds and Babbul Gems.
Find Princess Zelda (Part 01 of 02)
Find Princess Zelda is the game’s first quest, and it starts by taking Link through the Great Sky Island to the Temple of Time in search of Zelda. After we discover that Link can’t open the doors to the Temple of Time, this quest is temporarily put on hold to complete The Closed Door quest but resumes after the doors are opened.
The Closed Door
This is the second quest given in Tears of the Kingdom. The objective is to open the door to the Temple of Time, and Rauru is the one who gives Link the pointer to get abilities from the Shrines to do so. The Shrines we complete in this quest are the Ukuoh Shrine, In-Isa Shrine, and Gutanbac Shrine.
Ukuoh Shrine – The Ability to Creat
The Ukuoh Shrine is called “The Ability to Create” Shrine. The coordinates for the Ukuoh Shrine are 0274, -0913, 1460 on the Great Sky Island.
Ukuoh Shrine is the first Shrine in Tears of the Kingdom. Before we start completing Ukuoh Shrine, Rauru gifts Link the power of Ultrahand. It’s good to note that we use the abilities stored in Link’s arm by hitting the L-Trigger and selecting it with the Right Joystick.
We can also quickly activate whatever power we used last (signified by the icon in the top left of our screen) by hitting the L-Trigger and letting go quickly.
Ultrahand is the ability that allows Link to grab and move objects, rotate the objects, as mentioned earlier, and stick them together, as well. We will use this ability frequently throughout playing Tears of the Kingdom.
Ultrahand has a few functions to it, and I’ll list some of the controls below:
- Press the A-Button to grab something with Ultrahand; we need to do this before we can do anything else with it.
- Use the Up and Down Arrows on the D-Pad to move the grappled object back and forth.
- When two objects can be attached, Tears of the Kingdom will prompt us to hit the A-Button to fuse them. It is good to note that things can be connected in many different positions, and the game provides a yellow line with two dots at each end to show us where the attachment point is.
- Shake the Right Joystick to unstick any objects we have already fused.
- Hold R-Trigger to open the rotation menu.
- Use the Up and Down Arrows on the D-Pad to rotate the object vertically and the Right and Left Arrows to turn it horizontally.
- While in the rotation menu, hit the ZL-Trigger to return the object to the orientation it was at before we picked it up.
The Shrine begins by first having us utilize the “moving” part of Ultrahand; there’s a slab of stone we can swing around to bridge a gap. After that, we fuse two sheets of rock to make a longer bridge for another gap. This part also allows us to mess around with the rotation function if we want to.
Once we get past the double-slab bridge, we will see a long hallway to our left and a raised platform with a chest in front of us. We can grab our double-decker bridge from a few seconds ago and slide it over to the raised platform to snatch the goodies in this chest (amber).
Now we need to continue down the hallway, where we will see some big wood panels and hooks. A ramp also leads to the statues that give us our reward in the Shrines.
We must fuse the hook to a platform and move the platform over so the hook rests on the ramp. Hop on the platform, and grab the orb of golden light from the statues!
In-Isa Shrine – The Ability to Combine
The In-Isa Shrine is called “The Ability to Combine” Shrine. The coordinates for the In-Isa Shrine are 0027, -1503, 1408.
It’s the second Shrine in Tears of the Kingdom, gifting Link the Fuse ability. Fuse is the skill that allows Link to attach something to an equipped weapon or shield to enhance it, adding to the already present attack or defense power.
It is noted in the description of Fuse that we can undo a fusion, but doing so will destroy whatever we attached to our equipment.
To use Fuse, we need to follow the same steps as we did to use Ultrahand: L-Trigger, and Right Joystick to select. From there, we can target an eligible object to fuse it with our weapon or shield. Not only does this up our attack/defense power, but it can also change what type of damage a weapon does.
Depending on what is used in the fusion, our swords can become hammers (able to destroy rocks and ore deposits), and our clubs can become axes (able to destroy wooden crates and trees) by hitting the Y-Button while Fuse is active. We need to hit the ZL-Trigger to fuse something to our shield.
In-Isa Shrine starts with a wall of cracked pillars. We can use two boulders and a rusty sword if we don’t already have a weapon that we can utilize Fuse with. Combine the boulder with our weapon of choice, and smash the pillars.
In the next room, we’re met with a locked door at the end of some stairs. We can knock down two more pillars and an open room to our left to head into; the pillar on our right has a chest containing 5 Arrows.
Heading into the room on our left, we’re met with some small trees with Fire Fruit that we can collect and an Old Wooden Bow. A chest at the end of the room is on a high wooden platform surrounded by vines. We can get this chest to fall by utilizing the Fuse ability with our arrows and the Fire Fruit.
We only need to read our bow with the ZR-Trigger and hold the Up Arrow on the D-Pad to open our items menu. We can fuse any of these to our arrow for various effects. Select the Fire Fruit, release the Up Arrow, and fire at the chest. The vines will catch on fire, and we’ll now be able to collect the Small Key from the chest.
Opening the door, we are greeted with a hallway, then a ladder. Go up the ladder, and we’ll fight a Captain Construct to solidify our comfort with Fuse and its weapon enhancement abilities. Break down the wall behind our battle arena, and we meet the Zonai and Hylian statues again, and they give us another shiny orb.
Gutanbac Shrine – The Ability to Rise
The Gutanbac Shrine is called “The Ability to Rise” Shrine. The coordinates for the Gutanbac Shrine would be 0709, -1381, 1584.
It’s the third Shrine in Tears of the Kingdom, and bequeaths Link the Ascend ability. This skill allows us to move upward through solid material and come out on top of it. It’s my favorite skill in the whole game; it made exploring much easier and more fun.
Gutanbac Shrine kicks off with having Link use Ascend to get up to the next area, where we will see two platforms that we also need to use Ascend on.
I recommend going for the shorter platform first, as there is a chest on the top of that one that gives us a Stone Axe. After hitting the chest, we can drop down and go up the taller one to proceed.
In the next area, a bridge is held up by ropes that we can cut down. Two wooden crates are wedged under a platform with a chest on it. First, we can obliterate those crates with our Stone Axe and use Ascend to get to the chest, which has a Construct Bow.
After we grab the chest, we can cut down the ropes and use Ascend to hop on top of the bridge. After that, we’re greeted with a high platform with a moving slab. We must jump on the moving one to get to the stationary platform. Fortunately, when we use Ascend, the outlet stops moving until we’re not using the ability anymore.
Completing the parkour course, we are now greeted by the statues hidden in all the Shrines in Tears of the Kingdom. They gift us an orb of golden light and send Link on his way.
Find Princess Zelda (Part 02 of 02)
We are greeted by a cutscene where Zelda gives Link a new Recall ability. Recall allows us to reverse an object’s movement for a limited time and access even more new areas.
After we utilize the ability to get to the next place and attempt to open the next door, we discover that Link can’t open the door. Again. This will prompt us to visit the final Shrine in the Garden of Time, the Nachoyah Shrine.
Nachoyah Shrine – The Ability to Rewind
The Nachoyah Shrine is the Shrine referred to as “The Ability to Rewind” Shrine. The coordinates for the Nachoyah Shrine would be 0388, -1660, 2299.
This Shrine is used to solidify our skills with the Recall ability. The Shrine starts with some wooden platforms getting pushed around by rushing water. Recall is activated like the other arm abilities; hit the L-Trigger to pull up the menu and use the Right
Joystick to select the desired power. Recall has a time limit for how long the ability lasts, and it can be canceled early by hitting the L-Trigger.
To proceed to the next area, we need to use Recall on these platforms twice, once to get to the middle island and another to get up the waterfall. Once we ride up the waves, we’ll be greeted by a massive waterwheel on our left and a barred door that opens periodically. The waterwheel has a chest accompanying it on a nearby platform.
We can use Recall to ride up the waterwheel and snatch the goodies from the chest, which will be 10 Arrows.
After grabbing the chest, we can turn around and focus on this funky door puzzle. The door is blocked by bars that drop sometimes but come back quickly; this is controlled by the two clock-like arms spinning around and over the doorway. Every time the arms overlap, the bars drop.
We need to hit either of the arms (it doesn’t matter) with Recall when they’re overlapping again to keep the bars down. Now that we’ve done that, we can run through and collect our glowing orb from the statues.
Shake Shake… Korok Seeds
Several Koroks are hidden throughout (or just found in broad daylight) the Garden of Time. I’m sure that we all know what that means… Korok Seeds! There are fourteen Korok Seeds to collect in the Garden of Time.
Along with several types of these mini-quests in Tears of the Kingdom that reward us with Korok Seeds, ten of the eighteen types appear in the Garden of Time. We can collect a final number of 14 Korok Seeds in the Garden of Time.
These are listed in the order that I completed them.
- Following a Flower. This Korok is a little to the southeast of the area where you meet the second Steward Construct (the one who tells Link how to use targeting). It’s found in a little stone-walled nook, and we need to follow the flower in a little circle.
- Chasing Sparkles. This Korok is north of the very first Shrine we will complete in Tears of the Kingdom, the Ukuoh Shrine. The little guy is zooming around some pillars, and all we need to do is stand in their path and hit the A-Button when they approach us.
- Reuniting Friends, 1 / 2. This Korok mini-mission yields two Korok Seeds, one for both Koroks involved. This Korok quest is run into almost immediately after gaining Ultrahand, with the Korok that you need to aid resting next to the rail you need to get to the next area. Link can use Ultrahand to build a solution to get the Korok over to their friend, and once they are reunited, speak to the second Korok (the friend) to receive our reward.
- Lifting Rocks 1 / 2. This Korok can be found to the south of the In-Isa Shrine. We must climb the mountain directly to the south and climb the big tree once we reach the top. This little buddy Korok is under the rock in the center of this tree.
- Lifting Rocks 2 / 2. This Korok is, once again, found in a big tree. They’re chilling underneath some leaves and a rock on a massive tree atop the Pondside Cave this time.
- Reuniting Friends 2 / 2. This Korok duo can be found after emerging from the Mines. You can also find them by climbing on top of the Mines instead of going through them with a mine cart.
- Chasing Dandelion Fluffs. This Korok is found directly on top of Pit Cave’s exit (where you enter the snowy wilderness). Use a weapon to hit the dandelion-looking fluffball and chase it. Hit the A-Button when you’re close enough to it, and the Korok will cheer and appear.
- Block Puzzle. This Korok is a short distance to the northwest from the Dandelion Fluff Korok. They are hidden with a block puzzle on top of a bridge in the same area; use Ultrahand to solve the puzzle.
- Archery and Balloons. This Korok is near the Ranger Construct that we meet after completing the In-Isa Shrine. They’re accessed by blowing up or destroying a cracked-rock floor area and shooting the balloon we find down there.
- Circle of Rocks Completion. This Korok is directly above the area where the Archaic Warm Greaves are in a chest. We need to use the Ascend ability to get to the top of the tree and complete the rock circle.
- Lily Pad Dive. Our little friend here can be found by diving into a circle of lily pads on a higher island slightly to the northwest of the Nachoyah Shrine and the Room of Awakening. I used one of the Zonai Wing Devices to get to it; the Paraglider will also work in the later game well.
- Sparky Cloud. After our first few steps on the ground of Hyrule, we can return to the Great Sky Island to collect this Korok. Just teleport back to the Room of Awakening, and head back into the first room where Link woke up. Interact with the sparkly clou; thee Korok will reward us with a Korok Seed.
Sparkle Sparkle… Babbul Gems
There are Babbul Gems to collect in the Pondside Cave, Mining Cave, Pit Cave, and Bottomless Cave. The Babbul Gems are collected after hitting a Babbulfrog three times, and there is one in each cave in Tears of the Kingdom.
Per my observations, a good indicator of a Babbulfrog in an area is that the site is ripe with Brightbloom Seeds.
Denizens and Items Found in the Garden of Time
Rauru is the very first king of Hyrule, although that isn’t explicitly stated at the beginning of Tears of the Kingdom.
He’s vaguely alluded to by Zelda through her interpretation of the murals in the Hyrule Castle Ruins. She mentions that beings came down from the heavens, and one entered a relationship with a Hylian, with the two being Hyrule’s first king and queen.
Rauru introduces himself with no formalities attached to his name and tells Link that his new arm used to belong to him. Although Rauru’s first lines of dialogue express relief that Link woke up and informed Link that his right arm was beyond saving due to Ganondorf’s gloom attack.
Although there is more to his character and lore further in the story, that is all that is revealed in the Garden of Time.
Rauru’s appearance is a little similar to an anthropomorphic sheep or goat. He has long, fluffy white hair and dark skin.
There are nine types of Constructs in Tears of the Kingdom, and they are as follows:
- Steward Constructs.
- Ranger Constructs.
- Maker Constructs.
- Culinary Constructs.
- Mining Constructs.
- Forge Constructs.
- Soldier Constructs.
- Captain Constructs.
- Flux Constructs.
Items and Weapons
- Decayed Master Sword.
- Purah Pad.
- Energy Cell.
- Archaic Legwear.
- Archaic Tunic.
- Archaic Warm Greaves.
Tears of the Kingdom Garden of Time Guide: FAQs
Question: Is Tears of the Kingdom better than Breath of the Wild?
Answer: The overwhelming answer from the Legend of Zelda fanbase (including myself) is yes! Tears of the Kingdom took many of the beloved elements in Breath of the Wild and expanded upon them, adding some fun and unique new features and areas.
While some aspects of Tears of the Kingdom are definitely… lacking, the overall fantastic experience that Tears of the Kingdom provide trumps any shortcomings the game has.
Question: Who is the Villain of Tears of the Kingdom?
Answer: Per the usual Legend of Zelda plot, Ganondorf is the main antagonist in Tears of the Kingdom. Ganondorf is the most memorable antagonist in the Legend of Zelda franchise, although he isn’t the only one. It’s also interesting to note that while there are 29 Legend of Zelda games, Ganondorf only appears in 12.
Question: Can Legend of Zelda Tears of the Kingdom Be Played on PC?
Answer: No. Like any other game in the Legend of Zelda franchise, it is purely a Nintendo property. Tears of the Kingdom is only officially and reliably available to play on the Nintendo Switch console.
The Garden of Time is a lovely area in Tears of the Kingdom. It does a spectacular job of solidifying what is learned in the tutorial and helps convey just how beautiful the graphics and gameplay in Tears of the Kingdom are.
The area is a delightful introduction to what to expect in Tears of the Kingdom.