Between the month of July and August, Nintendo has filed patents for a whopping 32 in-game technologies. Nearly all of them, excluding one, are related to the company’s masterpiece The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom.
These patents cover Link’s abilities like ‘Fuse’, ‘Ultrahand’ and ‘Recall’, but also have been registered for specific abilities like Riju’s remote lightning attack.
Although this is just business as usual for Nintendo, as highlighted by Automaton, some of these patents might be considered a “tad too aggressive” or “too general”. The Japanese developer has gone to the extent of registering some basic ideas like the game’s loading sequences, where the player uses fast travel to send Link to another location and the image of the starting point map changes to a map of the destination.
This apparently has the capability to enrich the game presentation during a waiting period:
“a game processing method capable of enriching game presentation during a waiting period in which at least part of the game processing is interrupted”
One other patent mentioned is the calculation of speed when the game’s protagonist Link is on top of a “dynamic” object or vehicle. Here’s part of the description of this solution:
“the movement of movable dynamic objects placed in the virtual space is controlled by physics calculations, and the movement of the player’s character is controlled by user input. When the player’s character and a dynamic object come in contact in the downward direction relative to the character (in other words, when the character is on top of an object), the movement of the dynamic object is added to the movement of the player’s character.”
As insightful as the descriptions might be, these patents have some fans worried the company could “stifle innovation” by registering simple mechanics that potentially block other developers.
It’s worth mentioning how all of these patents seem to be focused on existing gameplay and mechanics in Tears of the Kingdom and don’t necessarily point to any new content coming to the game in the future.
Back in March of this year, Nintendo patented the Master Sword in The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom: