Something that always stuns me are the ways dedicated players find ways to push the limits of the games they play. Whether it’s Animal Crossing designers who know the perfect way to line up buildings to fake certain perspectives, or a Tears of the Kingdom player who created an ultra-fast flying machine by holding the fan up in a particular way, I’ve always appreciated the commitment and creativity that goes into pushing a game to its limit. I was doing the rounds on Reddit when I saw something that truly astounded me: Reddit user Scalhoun03 created a completely wind-powered airship in The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom.
The airship requires no energy to fly — meaning no Zonai charges or energy cells are needed to run it. It can fly through the air and sustain flight at high altitudes seemingly indefinitely. The original post shows the ship flying through the skies of Hyrule with no input or energy. It’s only interrupted at the end when Scalhoun03 said they accidentally bumped the control stick. You can see a video of the build in action below.
The contraption appears to defy the laws of (Zelda) physics itself. Energy cells are a crucial and foundational aspect to building machines in the game. If you want to use Zonai devices like a fan or flame emitter, you have to increase Link’s maximum energy cell capacity. This is why you see so many of the top builders with big, long rows of tiny battery icons as they run their massive machines.
So how does a ship fly with no Zonai charges or any energy elements? According to its creator, its propulsion relies upon a twisting forced generating by its steering stick. “Basically it uses the steering stick’s energy to power the props. When you move the steering stick it puts a twisting force on the entire build. This force is transfered to the wagon wheel axles thus running the [propellors],” Scalhoun03 said via Reddit DMs.
Getting the materials required a journey of its own across Hyrule. Scalhoun03 scrounged up propellers from Gemimik Shrine in the Akkala Highlands region and journeyed to the Depths to collect the raft and rails. Then came the actual building.
“The hardest part was finding the balance to keep the props spinning without interfering. The props have to be in the right positions or they hit each other. When building with auto built parts you have to be careful about how you break them off or they disappear. The raft is an auto built part and if the props are in the wrong places you risk breaking your raft.”
Scalhoun03 emphasized how important the Hyrule Engineering subreddit and larger community was in the process of building the ship. Throughout its design, others contributed their own innovations that helped the builder hone in on its design. For example, YouTuber KingX discovered a person could build a machine that launches without any “catalyst,” like rockets or sending a ship off the side of a floating island. Others would provide feedback on clips.
“Without the suggestions of the community, things like this are a lot more difficult to make. The community has given me motivation to keep working on powerless flight builds and I hope everyone can try them out and have fun flying around Hyrule without having to worry about anything except having fun flying!”