The best thing about The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom is this lovable idiot

Addison in Hyrule field
(Image credit: Nintendo)

A man is standing by the side of the road in the pouring rain. He’s clutching a sign as though his life depends on it. If you speak to him, you’ll learn he’s an idiot. A passionate one, but an idiot nonetheless. After 70 hours of playing The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, I am also convinced he is one of the best things about the game.

Addison works for the Hudson Construction Company, which is in the business of rebuilding Hyrule after ‘The Upheaval’. The kingdom was left in a proper state after Princess Zelda and Link accidentally woke up an ancient evil that ripped the land apart, opening up a great darkness-filled chasm below the earth and revealing floating islands filled with ruined buildings in the sky above. 

The Hudson Construction Company has been leaving piles of resources around the land – wooden boards, wagon wheels, and timber beams – that are free for anyone to use. It’s an honorable thing to wish to reconstruct Hyrule, to bring a semblance of normality to a world now overrun with monsters and the strange toxic clouds that seep out of the chasms into the darkness below. Addison, it’s fair to say, is a fan.

However, in his excitement to erect signs pointing to the free rebuilding resources, Addison didn’t fit the signpost with a base. If he lets go, the sign falls to the ground. Addison can’t bear to see the indignity of a sign bearing Hudson’s good name on the floor, even if it’s just for a moment.

As I said, Addison is an idiot.

To the rescue

Link finding Addison on a stormy day

(Image credit: Nintendo)

That’s where you come in: Link, the last hero of Hyrule, loyal swordsman to Princess Zelda, on a quest to find the future queen and turn back the tide of darkness and poison sweeping across the land. Addison asks you to hold his sign while he hammers in a base.

Except, he doesn’t trust you to hold the sign itself; you need to place something under the marker that will prop it up. So, using the powers of an ancient gauntlet that lay untouched for thousands of years in a temple in the sky until Link claimed it to take battle to The Demon King, you can wedge a wooden beam under the sign.

The gauntlet gives you the power to levitate and rotate objects and also the ability to fuse things together. You can turn loose pieces of wood into complex structures and vehicles. In the right hands, you can make rocket-powered hovercrafts, flamethrower turrets, and lava-proof tanks. Or, indeed, a brace for a signpost that’s currently being hugged by an idiot.

When the sign is braced, and you’ve convinced Addison it’s okay to let go, he’ll hammer a base into the signpost, thank you profusely, give you a gift and dash off to raise another marker. You will find him all over Hyrule, and, without fail, he’s forgotten to brace the sign properly. You could always walk past, leaving him to his eternal struggle, but every sign is a delightful puzzle.

Back to the drawing board 

Link talking to Addison

(Image credit: Nintendo)

Each signpost is different, making for a minor construction puzzle. The first was simple enough, just needing a wedge to prop up the sign. I fused two pieces of wood together in an L-shape, rotated it over so it sat under the sign like the roof of a house, and the marker leaned steadily against the apex of the brace. The next, however, was shorter, so the wedge brace wouldn’t fit. I had to make a T-shape out of wooden beams and slide that in as a support. Later signs needed ancient technology, such as low-gravity hoverboards and rock pins fused with wooden planks to fit the odd shape of the signposts.

Every time I found Addison in The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, he had too eagerly raised a signpost and had to hold it up while he waited for someone to come by and help him. He even did this in sub-zero temperatures. An idiot of the highest order, but I grew to love his dogged determination and the straightforward puzzle every appearance presented. In an open-world sandbox driven by a physics engine, an object needed to be propped up, and I could use any combination of power or object to make it stand tall.

Now when I see Addison, I chat with him to see how he’s doing – “It’s cold in this snow”, “I’m parched in this desert”, “awful lot of spiders in this jungle” – inspect the sign, and survey the items nearby to engineer a solution.

In a kingdom where an ancient evil is slowly poisoning the world, I’m happy to take a five-minute break to use my priceless magical gauntlet to help an idiot put up a sign.

Julian Benson
Contributor, TechRadar Gaming

Julian's been writing about video games for more than a decade. In that time, he's always been drawn to the strange intersections between gaming and the real world, like when he interviewed a NASA scientist who had become a Space Pope in EVE Online,  or when he traveled to Ukraine to interview game developers involved in the 2014 revolution, or that time he tore his trousers while playing Just Dance with a developer.