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Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom’s most boring quest is also its funniest

Sit in the desert and do absolutely nothing

An image shows Link and another character standing on top of a mountain in the desert. The sun is setting and they are both standing there with no clothes. The other character has a dialog box that says, “Victory will be mine!” Image: Nintendo/Nintendo EDP 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.

Among various atrocities like torturing Koroks and building war machines, Link can add allowing an old man to pass out from heat exhaustion and hypothermia to his list of questionable exploits in The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom.

The shenanigans in question take place over the course of two short quests in the Gerudo Canyon. Together, the two adventures form Tears of the Kingdom’s most boring and goofy sidequests, as Link bests a poor old man who challenges him to an endurance contest.

The names of the two quests are “Cold-Endurance Contest!” and “Heat-Endurance Contest!” To start the pair, you will need to climb Mount Granajh in Gerudo Canyon and talk to a man named Rahdo living near the summit. Once you find him, he’ll congratulate you on completing the trek successfully and challenge Link to an endurance test.

The trial itself is simple: All you need to do is survive the cold-air environment longer than Rahdo does. To accept Rahdo’s first challenge, you’ll pay him 50 rupees, and you two will be off to the proverbial races. (I say “proverbial” because in reality you’ll just sit there and look at each other until one of you passes out.)

Throughout the challenge, Rahdo comes across as confident... maybe too much so. He tells Link that he likes the cut of his “jib” and then eggs Link on to take the challenge. When posing the test, he asks Link, “Now are you ready? Or will you bow to cowardice?” Mind you, this taunt is aimed at the same warrior who saved Hyrule and beat calamity Ganon himself — but, you know, go off Rahdo.

What follows is the world’s slowest and most boring quest with one of Hyrule’s most colorful quest-givers. Literally, all you two do is stand on top of these two stone pillars and just wait for either of you to pass out or die. There is nothing to do other than to watch: you, Rahdo, and the desert sunset. If you wait for what feels like an eternity to sit still in an active game like Tears of the Kingdom, Rahdo chimes in and says, “Halfway through at last.”

An image shows Rahdo from The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom passed out on a rock. The text on the image reads: “Urgh... Looks like I lost.” Image: Nintendo EPD/Nintendo via Polygon

From start to finish, the entire challenge takes around eight minutes, and if you want to do the heat challenge, which is the exact same test but hotter, you’ll spend yet another eight minutes. It is, perhaps, the longest that I can remember sitting and doing nothing in a video game. During that time, I pet my cat, checked Instagram, got bored of Instagram, found time to actually respond to that one text about upcoming weekend plans, and ate some pizza.

But maybe the greater tragedy, and source of comedy, was that I felt like I cheated my way through this challenge. In the cold challenge, both Link and Rahdo strip down to their shorts. However, Link gets to keep gear like his sword, shield, and bow. To beat Rahdo, all I had to do was Fuse a ruby to my shield to stay warm in the chill; meanwhile, he was left to withstand the elements. As you watch, Rahdo shivers so violently that he looks like an old flip phone on vibrate, and eventually collapses in dramatic fashion.

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