Tears of the Kingdom

Tears of the Kingdom Stole My Friends | S3:E22

Daniel A. Kaufmann, Ph.D
Dr. Gameology on Twitch & The Gaming Persona Podcast
Owner of Area of Effect Counseling
Director of Gaming Services at Kindbridge BH

This week, we’re discussing the release of The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom. We’ll be taking a deep dive into Hyrule and what we expect for this new edition of the BotW formula.

Plus, we’ll hear from Dr. Gameology about what it was like to restart playing both BotW and FFXIV games at the same time. Join us this week as we discuss the worlds of Hyrule versus Eorzea with The Gaming Persona!

Download & Listen to this episode of The Gaming Persona Here:

Gaming Library:

The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, Final Fantasy XIV Online, Elden Ring


So let’s go ahead and do The Ordinary World where we share everyday life through our games. I believe the sound effect did not work. Because when you update apps, everything breaks. So. All right, both of you. How are you doing this week in the world of gaming? Who would like to go first?

Do you need to know first? I was here last week.

Okay. I actually haven’t played a whole lot. Because of this, I was on a road trip for the last four days. So yeah, we explored the coast of Maine. mountains and water. I mean, what I did play a little bit on my Switch. I got the Final Fantasy pixel remaster. So I’ve been replaying, and oh, classic, Final Fantasy V.

I got those two when I got my Steam deck, and I started Final Fantasy one.

All right.

I have not been doing much different than what I’ve been doing the past few weeks, which is playing Magic: Arena. It’s really fun. I’ve also started watching a streamer that is very educational for me. Nami I think he’s like a pretty popular magic streamer. But yeah, it’s been a lot of fun. I’ve learned a lot from him. And I did a draft the other day where I went forward. Oh yeah, it was really great. And then I ended up only winning one more, so I didn’t make it all the way to the end, but it was still fun. And then other than that, I’ve honestly just been doing a lot of stuff preparing I’m moving in a month. No, we’re far just out of the place I’m currently in and then the actual house that I own. There’s a whole bunch of stuff going on with that house…

So nice. My, wife played through persona three portable on our PS5. And during that, my son had the guide open and was planning out things and working on her having conversations well enough to get to the best ending and accomplish a few other things. And so then they decided during that playthrough, that my son was going to be the person playing in command of the control for persona four and Persona five. So I expect they will start persona five royal soon, maybe even tomorrow. But it’s been really cool for me because I love those games. And I’ve done my best to represent them well, in my book that nobody’s read yet. Someday they will I swear. And so by the way, my editor, Dr. Anthony Veen of the Psychology of Geek series, and Geek Therapeutics, has given me the mandate to work on how wordy my writing style is, and get the word count to where a certain kind of binding will work because he’s worried that if the book looks like Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring, it won’t sell to these teenagers at PAX, East West FanExpo stuff like that. And that is our primary audience. For the publisher, so I would like the book to sell…

At the end of Persona Four, I hadn’t played P4G since about 2016. And so watching my son do it. And I realized I didn’t even talk about the mythological significance of how this fight resolves the story of Persona Four. And I know exactly which chapter this will fit in, my wife said, But Tony told you to shrink the book. I said, Yeah, but he hasn’t read it yet. So he won’t know if I made it better. So I am shrinking the book. I really like what chapters one and two are becoming, which is actually 10% of the book. But Izanami and Izanagi are gonna get put into that book in a big way? I’m so excited to fix that. That. I mean, it wasn’t an oversight, because I definitely covered the monomyth topic where I can fit them in. But that’s just such a cool boss fight at the end of the game, and it belongs in my book. So yeah, fun stuff.

That helped me play the game that you were playing when we started this.

Oh, yeah, Persona 5 was the transition game for me to switch from Dr. SWToR to Dr. Gameology. And really double down on gaming and mental health and not just being the MMO streamer. I also bought a Steam deck, which I kind of referenced when Gene got me excited about re-playing Final Fantasy Five a couple of minutes ago. But I also wanted to be able to play Final Fantasy 14 on it. So I started a new account because you cannot have Steam and the PC version on the same account. So I started a new account, and create a new version of carry which is a Vierra. And I’m playing around restarting it. Well, I mean, A Realm Reborn, I’m restarting A Realm Reborn. I’m actually writing notes in a journal the same way I do when I’m playing d&d. So that I can follow the story. And remember characters that are worth remembering. So I’m not trying to remember everyone, there are people who’re not worth remembering. And then video, in video games and in life, quote me on that. But I’m having a lot of fun. I know a lot of people don’t like A Realm Reborn, but I’m finding it super engaging, to look at just what the characters were at the beginning is amazing. And knowing where it’s gonna go actually helps you to pay closer attention to certain things that would have felt mundane as a new player. So it’s so much fun, and it got me through my surgery recovery. It was a very big part of my work week last week because I had to alternate between getting through work on my laptop. And then it just helped with pain management, and I couldn’t move around. So it was nice just to have something Oh, there was another game that I tried segway tears the kingdom came out while I was recovering. And so I thought I’d never actually finished Breath of the Wild. I know psychology people go to panels all the time and talk about games that they’ve never played. I know it’s true. It’s not even an It’s not surprising that’s just how it is. People that do the kind of work I do do not always play the games that are talking about but I do that is that is a line that I will never cross and if I do have to cross it, I promise you, I go straight home and I buy the game. And I make sure that I have something to contribute that has a mix of my experience in it the very next time. And so I thought I’m gonna finish Breath of the Wild right but then I started playing Breath of the Wild and my game save was from 2019. So I did not remember Breath of the Wild. And I couldn’t control link worth crap, which I thought was because I forgot everything that I learned in 2019. Turns out The controls in that game are garbage and it had nothing to do with my memory. And, I don’t like the game. So, Jenny and Gene that make me a bad gamer, especially after episode 104 was about how good this game was for the story of mental health and video games.

I’m gonna say I’m gonna tell you that breath a while and now Tears of the Kingdom I consider a very unsatisfying game. Yes, controllers are part of it. But the way the game is made is generally appealing, the UI is not cool at all. You have to press way too many buttons to do anything that you want to do. Okay, the Korok seed saga, you know, a wish is 900 Korok seeds is not exciting. Like, if you compare this to another open open-world adventure game, like in fact, last Sure. Oh, no, not that. But. But like, say Elden Ring, and Elden Ring. When you run around? You look for you know, the little corpses with the loot. Yeah, you’re solving puzzles, you’re jumping up on things, you’re falling off of things. Every time you go to one of these things, you’re hoping to get something cool a new spell on your weapon, a new armor set something to expand the way you play the game. Yes. And Breath of the Wild and here’s the kingdom. When 99% of what you get is a Korok seed. It’s there is no excitement. It’s like, Alright, I got an Oracle RAC seed. Like when you’re playing these games, you’re kind of as you’re subconsciously asking your quote yourself questions I’d like if I go fight that guy and open that chest. What am I gonna get? And the answer to that question every time is Korok seed.

Do the Korok seeds do anything?

Sorta like they upgrade your backpack space. So like for the first dozen couple of 1000 core axes you’re excited about is like Alright, my backpack better. Later on, once your backpack is the self-sufficient size that’s just massive diminishing returns on the excitement. It’s like, okay, cool.

I’m still I was gonna say I don’t think it makes you uh, I don’t know what your question was about. I don’t make a bad gamer. But it just isn’t. I feel like the game is Okay, so I’ve never I think I may have played the game once or twice so so long ago that I don’t remember anything about it. But I know that the game is known for just how beautiful it is and how peaceful it is. And how like, like, if you don’t play games for that, like if you’re not going to sit down and play Stardew Valley. I can see how this game wouldn’t be that fun for you. Yeah,

That is totally a fair thing to assert. That is not what most people go into a Zelda game for everyone.

I have to interject Eorzea is 1000 times prettier than Hyrule. The Lands Between (as sad as they are) is 10,000 times more beautiful to just look at than Hyrule because it’s on the Switch looks like it’s a senior project where they didn’t have time to put in textures and further trees. And I know people love this game.

I mean even when my crazy I don’t consider it a bad game. I just consider it an unsatisfying game. I don’t

I think they leaned into purposefully being mean to the player and I don’t even mean in a from software kind of way. I’m directly comparing Elden Ring and Dark Souls with Breath of the Wild and I have not played Tears from of the Kingdom yet because I will not play it until I finish Breath of the Wild and I will torture myself until I beat Breath of the Wild.

Well, some, but a lot of people assert that like, you don’t like BotW, you should just skip it and play carries TotK.

I won’t. I won’t do it.

So one of my criticism of Tears of the Kingdom is that a lot of people feel like it’s basically an expansion pack to Breath of the Wild.

The other thing that comes to my mind is, it’s like, how do we get people who play a ton of fortnight or Minecraft to be interested in playing Zelda? And I think that that’s a good way to get buys, you know, and get the massive install base for the switch to convert people into a purchase for tears of the kingdom, it’ll get their numbers up. Because the install base for those two games is just universally huge. I wonder how good of a Zelda game it is for people who are interested in the narrative expansion of the lore of Link beating Ganondorf?

Well, I mean, so I don’t know how far you actually got Breath of the Wild, but it has no dungeons. And that is absurd for our game which is iconic for its dungeons.

Yes, I know. I. So the shrine system, kind of is sad to me, because it’s usually one or two puzzles, like the kind you would do in a dungeon. Yeah. And so it is cool that they’re all physics puzzles, too. And I wouldn’t call the traditional dungeons that you would solve from Ocarina of Time forward as physics puzzles.

Generally not.

It was a procedural puzzle. Yeah. And I’ve never been a fan of physics puzzles. Because what I mean by that, and I might not be correct, because I’m not a game developer. But when I say a physics puzzle, I mean, you need the movement to be correct, along with the idea, meaning you can have the right idea but if you don’t nail the flow of gravity, pulling the items a certain way, you still will fail. Because those items are programmed to operate in a physics-based way in the environment. Whereas you don’t have any of that in the SNES because everything is two-dimensional, up, down, left, right. And then also, the N 64 was more rigid to it was more like, shoot the thing, throw the bomb, open the door. Yeah, and in Breath of the Wild, the few shrines that I’ve done, like maybe 11 of them, that actually the sad thing is the playthrough that I abandoned I actually had upgraded four or five hearts. So that’s what between 16 and 20 shrines that completed and I was in the Zuora domain I was about to go do the first big thing but I couldn’t figure out how to use my items or get past one enemy. So I was like, I need to go back to the beginning so the old man tells me what to do. Also your weapons break. Like so often, Link has no stamina to climb. And in my opinion, you start out more endowed for success as a tarnish than you do as Link which is absurd.

Well, it’s also sure I believe you can just well you definitely can be a level one go in every from soft game not sure how little you can do in a breath of the wild to win

Oh, I’m sure there are speed runners that have just gone straight to the castle and killed Ganondorf and Breath of the Wild

Yeah, it’s possible because there are various ways to get absurdly overpowered through food and just stockpiling the best weapons in the game.

So for a person who has used 100 times in therapy “Do or do not there is no try” I would say that I’m trying so hard that I am “not doing.”

Yeah, no, that’s Another thing the game that Yeah, with the weapon durability and other things, the game kind of encourages you to play a specific way where you you want to avoid combat, you want to hoard a backpack full of top tier weapons, and just annihilate. Like the objective enemies, not random enemies. It’s like just robbed your boss blop move on.

That’s so sad I want to play the game I want to fight.

It’s like those videos that you see in Elden Ring where people eat like 10 bucks, and then blast the boss with common xar and the boss at 1.5 seconds. It’s kind of that’s the preferred play style of Breath of the Wild.

But I don’t play Elden Ring that way either. Yeah. Okay. So, okay. I’m currently in the second chapter of my book, where I bring in gaming motivations, which is our sweet spot on the show. And I have a few gaming motivations that are very low for me. And the funny thing is, the three of us as a puzzle for gaming motivation, kind of are the Triforce. You know, it’s it’s really interesting how we cover the ways of playing that the other two, do not. Discover discovery is not my thing. And as a result, I love Final Fantasy 14 and Elden Ring, and I want to be Zelda for the same reason that I stuck with it. In Elden Ring is before I won my first playthrough I was just driven by the idea of I want to be part of the group that has beaten Elden Ring. Okay, and then once I did it, and I was like, well, now I want to have these weapons, so I got to do it again. So that I can dual-wield my fav the moon Valle Katana and I would also have the big magic sword you get from the Ranee quest line, I wanted to have two of those. So I did it again and then I was hooked. I was like, I want to get the different endings now. And maybe that’ll happen to me and Breath of the Wild. Maybe there’s something that will be my hook. And it’ll be like now I have my why. And right now it’s just I do honestly feel bad that when people my original idea for the show that got us on this topic, I know it sounds like we might not be talking about anything. Except bitching about Breath of the Wild. Yeah, but my original idea was all my friends have disappeared for a week. And I can’t find them easily because they’re all playing Tears of the Kingdom. Well, not that not you. But like, in the geek therapy community. There’s like this, wink wink, nod, you’re not going to get me to do that project this week, because I’m playing Tears of the Kingdom. And and I’m not that kind of person, I will never say that I can’t do an important thing. Because I’m playing a video game. I’ll fit both of them into my wife. But that’s not a message I will ever type. Even if it’s true, I’m not going to type it. So I was just thinking, you know, sometimes people on other podcasts that are more entertainment-oriented and less about academics, you know, things like that you’ll find on IGN are kind of funny games. They talk about the word addictive when they’re describing a new game. And that’s a badge of honor. So I was thinking about that too. Like, ooh, if I go into gaming persona, and I start like, beaming about how addictive Tears of the Kingdom is. That’s a different episode for us, I think. Yeah, so what do we let’s talk about that. I don’t have my sound effects to transition into other segments. But let’s call that The Road of Trials where we face our challenges and discover our strengths. The word addictive for video games. The two of you have done, Jenny, you’ve probably done like 80 episodes of the show. 85 Maybe Gene you’ve probably done 35 or 40 at this point. That’s like off the top of my head. It’s completely wrong.

I have not missed 30 episodes

Would only be 20. Jenny, I don’t know. You’re in New York a lot for very important things. Alright, so, before doing the gaming persona, did you ever play a game that was renowned for being addictive?

I mean, both of us have been involved with magic, which is literally a drug basically.

It really is. Opening packs. It’s so much fun.

I know, the original loot box. All right, the original loot.

I could probably get a pretty good following of clinicians of me just doing commentary on pack opening. I’m sure there are so we should people.

We should talk about this. But no, yeah, Magic the Gathering for sure. Um, there was a time when I was addicted to Candy Crush. Like, it got

Bad, like in that one YouTube video with the puppets.

Oh, gosh, I remember this video. But I don’t remember why it’s funny. But I remember it being really funny.

Oh, because he turns into a tweaker over Candy Crush, he starts seeing it everywhere.

That happened to me. Yeah, I literally saw it like I was watching a comedy special. I probably told this story on the podcast before but I was watching a comedy special. It had nothing to do with Candy Crush at all. But the background of the stage was checkered with different symbols. And like in my brain, I was like, Oh, if I flipped that because I know it matches. Like, this is bad. I gotta stop.

I think that might be a game. Game transfer phenomena are where you start seeing elements of the game outside of the game.

So I stopped. How do you? Oh, I just deleted it. I do that. I do that with many things. Like if I noticed that I’m Uber eating too many things. I’ll just delete the apps from my phone. If I notice, there was a time when my editing queue was so backed up and I deleted all the social media apps from my phone until I was done.

So I’m noticing that all of these problems start on your phone.


Maybe we should start a different show. That’s called the smartphone persona.

It’s too accessible. That’s fun. No, I think

It’s a sucky show idea. Killing it now.

Okay. No, calm boy. Um, so also I also was, I don’t know if I was addicted. But when I first started playing Final Fantasy XIV.

Yeah, that was yours I mean, I played out the original, the around reborn release. And that was an absurd time. You know, it was, that was like, I don’t know, 12 hours a day for several days.

I’ve never done that once. Not even for one day. Maybe I should. I wish I could, you know,

We played well, our friend group was led by a guy that was basically a psychopath, he really wanted to be like, so. In those days, if you were the very first person to max out every job, you would get a crown cosmetic that no one else could have. Oh, or no, nothing no one else could have. It’s just that only a person that could max out. Every single job would have that crowd. He wanted to be the very first person on the server to have the crown. So by sheer force of momentum, and I was trying to be his friend like, hey, we want to play this dungeon with you. We can’t be in that dungeon review. If we don’t keep

How would you even know that you’re the first person on a server to have?

I don’t know. There was a way to track it apparently

Was he like just going into search and looking at all the players and being like, no one has it yet?

Suckers? I don’t know. But there was a way to track it and yeah, so that dude was insane. And so like, like he was Yeah, while we eat the rest. scores were at work or school, he would switch jobs and re-level the other jobs. So then when we got logged on, he would go back to his normal job. And we progress together on the normal job. But essentially, he was progressing three times quicker than us with other chips.

Maybe he wasn’t a psychopath, maybe you just had 100% completion.

You shouldn’t have that if you’re playing an MMO, though, that is really unhealthy. Also, I am imagining that he had like 12 copies of your friend group, and they were all different people. And he was like, playing all of you not like playing but like fooling all of you. So like, he had another like, like Asian Financial Analyst Gene. And when you were not available, like he played, he would play White Mage when you were in his group. But then he has this other one where he would play Gladiator or Paladin, and then he’d have another exact demographic copy of you. And whoever the rest of your group was, I think he just probably had several friend groups and he lined it up so that he could do leveling at every point in the day.

That could be true. I don’t know.

Man, nobody should copy that strategy. Goodness, if you’re listening to the gaming persona, that strategy sounded good to you. Please revisit the reason we do this show. Level up your mental health and continue the journey. Those are the things we’re here to do. Man, I don’t even know where to go from here. I’m actually really tired. I think this conversation has created the kind of tired I was aiming for. Full Circle. Is it okay to end here?

We end on the conversation of a psychopath.

But everyone please remember, I didn’t call him a psychopath, because that’s a whole different level of professional weight gene can call people whatever he wants. And that’s why we have him on the show to say the things that I can’t say.


But in general, we should abstain from name-calling and be kind to other people.

My behavior of this guy other than say,

Listen, you have to be crazy. To want to be the best in the world at anything.

Yeah. Yeah. I mean, yeah. I’ve definitely I definitely call like, I’ve gone through reading materials about like, if Michael Jordan wasn’t a good basketball player, he would probably be just an insane person because he wouldn’t have that outlet for his drive and energy.

Oh, that’s a really good point. I actually oh my gosh, I did buy a sports game. This morning. You know, every time the sports season is close to the end, it’s very easy to find a sale on their most recent games. So I bought on my Steam deck, NBA 2k 23 as a way to deal with my grief over the Lakers getting swept by the Nuggets last night.

I’ve been watching. I’ve been watching the playoff games.. as a Sixers fan

I have to because I didn’t have anything else to do

That’s outtakes now that I live here. But it’s about time to get into that.

Miami is looking pretty sweet.

Yeah, but I mean they did great against the Sixers.

They won in seven right like that’s?

The way that they won was assuring.

They dominated one game and they won the series and seven Listen, I am the way I am because if I got an A in calculus, I’d be like I got 94 and my dad would be like what questions did you miss? So I’m totally pulling that on the Boston Celtics right now. Yeah, but you know, they make so much money. Who cares? What what I have to say about them? They’re still alive. They might rewrite NBA history. This is not the sporting persona. Okay. So why is a game sure it is I bought the video game this morning, right? I haven’t played it yet. I probably actually won’t. That’s the terrible thing about Steam is I’ve actually bought so many games on Steam sale in the last, you know, three weeks because I’ve been watching them on my wishlist for years. But I wasn’t honestly that invested in Steam until I had the same deck. And now I can play, I can play on the couch in the living room, I can play on my chair, where I’m trying to avoid these screens. These screens are great to play video games on but they’re also where I work. And I think that sometimes I avoid playing video games at times when I could have fun because it’s still like this chair sucks to sit in. And it feels like work. Yeah. So the Steam deck might revive the fun in video games for me.

And I have one last quest for everyone to collect for the day. Break your swords, find your Shrines, and

Continue the Journey

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Important Links



Ford, D. (2021). The haunting of ancient societies in the mass effect trilogy and the legend of zelda: breath of the wild. Game Studies21(4).

Schnaars, C. J. (2021). Taking a Breath of the Wild The Concept of Airness in Nintendo’s take on Open World Games. Game| World| Architectonics, 115.

Vidqvist, J. (2019). Open-World Game Design: case Study: The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.

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