The ultimate prize in Breath of the Wild is a big joke, and Tears of the Kingdom needs to troll us even harder.
To the delight of some, but horror of many, it has been confirmed that Tears of the Kingdom will feature Korok Seeds. The seeds were collectables that you could find around the world, but seeing them and grabbing them were often two very different stories. Though there were 900 Korok Seeds in total, you only needed 441 to max out your inventory space, which was the main reason anyone bothered to collect them. 'Only' 441 collectibles is still an agonising amount to put yourself through, but it's less than half of the overall total. For players who persisted and collected them all though, the game thanked them with... poop.
That's right, actual poop. In the game, the item is called Hestu's Gift, and is made of gold, but it looks like poop and it stinks. It's poop. There was no reason for you to carry on collecting all of those seeds once you reached 441, and the game was trying to be kind to you. While 441 is a helluva lot to collect, Breath of the Wild is built on inventory management, so it's understandable that you're made to work for it. If you do go for it, the game allows you to leave 459 of them alone. If you decide to do them all anyway, the game realises you must be slightly sick in the head, so it gives you a troll reward.
With 900 across the map, every player will see a fair few Korok Seeds on their regular adventures. However, you'll often see them in places that are out of reach, or that seem impossible to climb to at all. Sometimes you'll need to unlock something and come back to them, which requires remembering where they are, or you’ll have to figure out a way to bridge the gap, which requires abandoning your position in the story to find an annoying little seed.
As a result, the Korok Seeds divided players. Many just found the ones they could get naturally, and maybe used a guide for the simplest few extras to add to the inventory. However, for those who stuck with them, something of a love-hate relationship formed. Collecting that many, especially when some were tough to find, relied on certain circumstances, and required perfect execution, made for a frustrating time. On the other hand, the new inventory space was welcome, and like all collectibles in games, it was accomplishing it which made for its own reward. It was kinda funny that the game gave you poop, but for those who had no idea what reward to expect, it was also kinda annoying.
Now we know that Korok Seeds are back, there has been some debate over what the reward should be. But this is not a reward that went wrong. 900 seeds didn't get you a bow that turned out to be underpowered, nor an outfit that ended up having buffs that were pointless by the time you'd unlocked all 900. The devs knew exactly what they were doing. They gave you some golden poop. It was a joke.
If your reaction is 'I hope I get something worthwhile for collecting all the Korok Seeds this time' then you have missed the punchline. The reward was bad on purpose. That was the point. You wasted your time. The reward is in doing the thing, so don't expect anything else. Of course, that does put the devs in an interesting position. Do they just give you poop again, or is the joke not as funny twice? Do they give you something even worse, or is that trying too hard? Do they keep the theme, like platinum toilet paper, or is that straining the reality of the situation?
The decision might well be that the funniest reward would be to give the player something incredibly useful and overpowered, as a joke on all those who turned their nose up at the poop. Personally, I don't think that's as good as making it something silly again. Whatever happens, the Zelda team has made all the right moves with Breath of the Wild, and Tears of the Kingdom is shaping up to offer more of the same. Whatever they do with the Korok Seeds rewards, I'm sure it will be for the best - even if it's a load of shit.