Zelda Tears of the Kingdom engineer builds clever bird-inspired craft with realistic flapping wings

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The zonai bird contraption in Zelda Tears of the Kingdom.
Credit: User Divlogue on Reddit/Nintendo.

Since Tears of the Kingdom arrived, Legend of Zelda fans have created a bunch of amazing things using its fuse mechanics.

Though its modding scene is already producing plenty of interesting add-ons, arguably the most impressive aspect of the numerous builds that players have managed to put together so far is that the majority can be assembled using powers and objects that are already in the game.

While some technically-skilled tinkerers have recently been racing their best vehicle builds around Hyrule or constructing contraptions that show off how realistic the game’s physics are, others have begun to create machines that mimic animals, with the latest being a very complex Zonai bird.

Do you like the idea of flying around Hyrule on the back of a giant mechanical bird?

A Zelda engineer going by the username Divlogue is behind this bird-brained creation, which they’ve put together as a submission for the Hyrule Engineering subreddit’s latest monthly design contest, the theme of which is “Ridiculous Flying Machines”.

They shared a clip of them flying the avian-inspired craft, which features wings that flap in a remarkably anatomically-accurate manner, as well as watching it fly around from ground level after automating it.

In the comments below the clip, they revealed that the wings are controlled by “construct heads, portable pots and wagon wheels,” adding: “I tried to reproduce [the] biological and smooth movements of birds as much as possible with them.”

Responding to a question about how much these majestic appendages actually contribute to the contraption’s ability to fly, Divlogue explained:

The flapping of the wings itself does not provide enough lift to fly by itself, but the change in the position of the wings significantly changes the effect of the fans and natural wind on the machine. Therefore, when the wings move down, the machine floats slightly above average, and when the wings move up, the machine moves slightly below average.

While most of the other players in the thread that didn’t have any burning questions about how the contraption worked have simply congratulated Divlogue on their achievement, a couple, as always, have recommended some minor improvements.

“Now put weapons on it. Laser bird, activate,” declared user Alive_I_Guess_, while DolanThyDank recommended mounting a skull on it to serve as a head.

Regardless of what you’re getting up to in Tears of the Kingdom while you wait for its eventual DLC to arrive, make sure to check out our bunch of helpful guides that can aid your adventures in Hyrule.

For more articles like this, take a look at our Gaming News , The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom , and Action and Adventure Games pages.