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Tears of the Kingdom’s Blood Moon Designed to Give the Switch a Break

The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom Blood Moon

The Blood Moon in The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom is more than just a cool feature; it’s also a technical killswitch to prevent memory overload of the Nintendo Switch hardware. Under normal circumstances, the Blood Moon rises every in-game week, resetting the world state in the process. However, players have also discovered that they can force a Blood Moon through stressing the game by causing too much to happen at once. As such, the mechanic effectively flushes the game’s memory and cleans up Hyrule to keep things running smoothly.

The feature was discussed at length in a recent article on Polygon, which included specific examples of how players face forced it to happen. They also spoke with one of the game’s “expert builders”, MiztrSage from the Hyrule Engineering subreddit, who explained that “the game has a built-in memory ‘refresher’ which automatically triggers a blood moon once you start ‘pressuring’ the game with, for example, too many objects in Link’s vicinity. The blood moon then removes all the objects around you that caused this overload and resets enemies.”

It’s a stark contrast to something like Skyrim, where the decision to track every physical item in the game in perpetuity led to ballooning save file sizes, longer load times, and increased crashes the more you played. Moreover, the Blood Moon in Tears of the Kingdom seems like a really elegant solution to a problem that could otherwise have buckled the game’s performance, and it’s always fascinating to see the ingenuity of developers.

About the author

Damien Lawardorn
Editor and Contributor of The Escapist: Damien Lawardorn has been writing about video games since 2010, including a 1.5 year period as Editor-in-Chief of Only Single Player. He’s also an emerging fiction writer, with a Bachelor of Arts with Media & Writing and English majors. His coverage ranges from news to feature interviews to analysis of video games, literature, and sometimes wider industry trends and other media. His particular interest lies in narrative, so it should come as little surprise that his favorite genres include adventures and RPGs, though he’ll readily dabble in anything that sounds interesting.