The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the KingdomThe callback ability is, on paper, simple: you can target an object and rewind that object’s path. In other words, if you throw a rock and press Recall where it lands, it will return to where it was thrown from. It is a particularly useful tool for solving tears of the kingdomboth to fix mistakes and solve intricate and moving puzzles.
But it is also SO so much more than that – especially when combined with tears of the kingdom‘s other amazing abilities, like Ultrahand.
When I started playing tears of the kingdom, the flashiest and most attractive new abilities were Ultrahand and Fuse, for obvious reasons. Ultrahand, on the other hand, is the tool used to combine items found throughout Hyrule into literally anything you can think of: Korok torture devices, devastating war machines, and even pickup trucks. Fuse is the equivalent of weaponry, letting you combine materials and weapons into Keese Eye sharpening arrows or flame-emitting shields. It is the part of tears of the kingdom which is designed to get a damn yeah! out of you. Meanwhile, his quieter counterpart in Recall actually steals the show.
My first introduction to Recall was using it to solve puzzles in shrines, and moreover, to correct mistakes I made there. It’s a simple but useful tool for puzzles, but it’s when you start to understand the intricacies of the ability that it really starts to shine. In shrines, it can become a kind of cheat code – like the Ascend ability – avoid puzzles entirely. I use it when I feel stumped or a bit lazy, and yet it still takes intelligence to figure out how to best use it. Ability is the true definition of the phrase work smarter, not harder.
Nintendo also took care to make Recall feel heavy in its own right; he doesn’t have the strain of swimming through ceilings like with Ascend, but his slow-motion reversal paired with his timer adds restriction to an ability that would otherwise break the entire game.
Outside of shrines, I’ve used Recall as a locomotive tool – basically anything can become an elevator. You can use Ultrahand to move a platform like an elevator and then choose Recall to retrace that path, but the real galaxy brain movement is that you can get a lot higher by throwing something small in the air, like a bundle of wood. Once the wood falls back to the ground, you can attach a platform to it – so you can stand on it – then use Rappel to trace its path to each time you go.
I also found the large gliders to be tricky to start with, but the Recall and Ultrahand solution fixed that as well. I can launch my Zonai glider from anywhere by using Ultrahand to trace the path I would like it to go, then pulling it back – landing the plane in reverse. Then I use Recall to turn it back on once I’m able to board.
Scrolling through Twitter, I found even more uses for Recall that I hadn’t considered, like its place in combat. It’s actually awesome: when you’re being chased by an enemy, throw your weapon forward, away from the enemy and straight ahead. Quickly select Recall to return this weapon to you to hit the enemy behind you.
An enemy throwing a rock at you? Instead of dodging it, use Recall to send it back to them.
It’s amazing that I continue to see Recall used in ways that surprise me. Tears of the Kingdom is a major feat this way; there are surely limits to what you can do with the game and its capabilities, but Nintendo has blurred those limits in a way that many developers have tried to do before, but haven’t always been successful.
I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again: tears of the kingdom is the ultimate “play-it-as-you-like-game”, the gold standard of immersive simulation. Link’s new abilities underline this philosophy to make the game even freer.