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Zelda fans are taking the day off to explore 'Tears of the Kingdom'

The hero of <em>The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom</em>, Link, and his trusty allies.
Nintendo
The hero of The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, Link, and his trusty allies.

Fans of the video game series The Legend of Zelda are doing their best to get out of work today so they can play the newest installment in the franchise: Tears of the Kingdom.

I found out about this phenomenon when my sister, Claire Stucki, told me she was taking the day off Friday. I asked what she'd be telling her boss, and she told me she's allowed to work a week with four ten-hour days once a month at her office, resulting in a long weekend.

"I was going to use the day off this month to come visit you, actually," she said over the phone from our hometown in Utah, "but I decided I'd rather play Zelda."

My sister is most excited for some of the new features she saw in a Nintendo gameplay demonstration. "The best one is magical super glue," she said, providing me with a detailed description of the main character, Link, using a new in-game power to glue a rock to a stick. "He's like, this will do more damage, and it will last longer, and I'm like hell, yeah!"

It's not just my sister though. I reached out to a number of people, disclosing that I planned to report a story on NPR. Gus Paddison, who works for a wealth management company, told me he's planning to take the day off as well. "My day's booked," he said, "so I just gotta play it cool and say that I've got a stomach ache, or a flu or something."

He also took the day off when this game's predecessor on the Nintendo Switch, Breath of the Wild, came out. "This is just what you do whenever something you love comes out," he said. "You take the day."

Jacob Ball feels the same way. He works in pest control, and he told his boss that he has an unexpected trip that he has to go on. "Which is technically true," he added on the phone. Perhaps it wasn't entirely unexpected, but he does plan to spend the weekend in the fictional land of Hyrule.

Others, like Sam Jacobs, have been planning well in advance for their time off. "I think the decision to take the time off was probably about a year ago," he said.

As soon as there was a release date his fiancé added it to his calendar to make sure he remembered to take PTO.

"She's actually off in Mexico," Jacobs said. She decided their house would be boring with him engrossed in the game, so "on her calendar it's a trip, on my calendar it's video games."

Link astride one of his many horses.
/ Nintendo
/
Nintendo
Link astride one of his many horses.

Darin Enrenrich kept it simple. He's in his mid forties and has been playing Zelda games since he was in the 2nd grade. "I'm a municipal worker, but this is more important," he told me. "I just said I want the day off."

"I literally have no idea when I'm going to sleep next," Enrenrich continued. He was giddy with excitement, explaining all the things he loves about Zelda games.

Everyone seems giddy for the new adventure... so perhaps I'll give my sister a pass on choosing that over a 6 hour plane ride to see me.

Neda Ulaby and James Perkins Mastromarino contributed to this story. contributed to this story

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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