I Accidentally Turned “The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom” Into a Lesbian Cat Rescue Sim

I really loved The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, but there were way too many nooks and crannies between the puzzles for me to actually fully complete it. I played it twice, including all the DLCs, but never got close to 100%-ing. Tears of the Kingdom, though? This game’s got me exploring every single inch of Hyrule, especially collecting all the fifty-eleven pieces of armor hidden throughout the kingdom (and above it in Ancient Hyrule Sky Heaven, and below it in Ancient Hyrule Hades). That includes the Bokoblin Mask, which I never got in the first game, so I had no idea what it did besides look horrifyingly adorable. Imagine my surprise when I was traipsing around wearing it recently and accidentally became best friends with a bunch of monsters!

Link and some Bokoblins hang out in The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom

It was a beautiful, sunny morning in Hyrule Field and Link was out and about searching for herbs and fruits and mushrooms. Just your average daybreak elfin foraging. He was wearing the Bokoblin Mask because he was feeling a little bit silly, a little bit giddy. He’d received a vow of eternal commitment from his husband Sidon just the day before, his backpack was full of enough supplies to make a hundred hovercraft, the kids in Lurelin Village had given him a cute little lobster shirt for driving the pirates away, and he’d just helped the people of Hateno Village rediscover cheese. Yes, despite the absence, once again, of Princess Zelda, things were looking pretty good for a guy who kept waking up from a coma to discover the world ending in a whole new way.

Link wasn’t really looking where he was going, which is why he ran directly into a Bokoblin who was patrolling some ruins, a backpack full of fire fruit propped on his shoulders. Link reached for his sword, but stopped when the Bokoblin didn’t reach for his rock club. Instead, the Bokoblin did a little exclamation over his head and started snorfling Link with his piggy pink nose. The Bokoblin turned his noggin this way, then that way — and began talking to Link! Snorting and stomping and laughing and waving his arms around. It was the Bokoblin Mask! He thought Link was an actual Bokoblin! And so, following the instincts I’ve developed from years of caring for feral cats in New York City, I had Link slowly reach into his pocket and pull out some food and offer it to his new pal. The real Bokoblin went absolutely nuts for Link’s apples! He ate them all, called over a friend, and together they begged for more. So I tried wildberries. The Bokoblins went nuts for those too! They ate endura carrots. They ate mighty bananas. They even ate some eggs Link had boiled in a hot spring near Death Mountain.

Link and some Bokoblins hang out in The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom

When Link tried to gently exit this serendipitous meeting, his heart grew even fuller than it had been earlier in the morning: the Bokoblins followed him! I recognized this behavior from my feral cat caretaking too. Link had become the Bokoblins’ mother! Link tried his luck with a Boss Bokoblin and his little queue of grumpy followers. Same thing: They ate every snack he offered and then wanted to come home with him. Soon, word spread throughout the entire kingdom, and everywhere Link walked, he walked among monster friends. They told him jokes and laughed and laughed, sometimes toppling over from the force of their own beastly hilarity. They offered him a place to sleep by their fires. The Bokoblins even shared their food with Link, steaks on steaks on steaks.

Link and some Bokoblins hang out in The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom Link and some Bokoblins hang out in The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom

Since that day, Link and I have never fought another Bokoblin. However, we learned the hard way that Lynels aren’t so easily fooled. We raced to an underground colosseum when we received the Lynel Mask, and at first it seemed like the game’s toughest enemy was also going to become one of our ugly-beautiful sons. And so, we took out our camera to snap a photo, and just as we were lining up the shot, a cobble crusher came smashing down on top of our head, over and over and over. CRUSH! CRUSH! CRUSH! And then it was raining arrows and the Lynel was breathing fire directly into our face. It turns out even lesbians can’t socialize all feral beasts. But that’s okay, our hands are pretty full with all our Boko-brothers and the endless parade of Koroks who have lost their friends.

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Heather Hogan

Heather Hogan is an Autostraddle senior editor who lives in New York City with her wife, Stacy, and their cackle of rescued pets. She's a member of the Television Critics Association, GALECA: The Society of LGBTQ Entertainment Critics, and a Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer critic. You can also find her on Twitter and Instagram.

Heather has written 1718 articles for us.


  1. i understand 50% of the words in the above, and yet was still on the edge of my seat after the apples.

    i think Link is Heather and that he has friends and is happy. hoping so.

  2. I love this!! And it is exactly how I played the game once I got the monster masks. Just makin’ friends wherever I go. I highly recommend you check out @hyrule_food_truck on TikTok, which takes this premise to its natural Xenith.

  3. I’ve been playing totk collaboratively with my 14 year olds and can’t wait to try it. We have both the Bobogoblin and Lizaphos masks. So far we just use them to avoid combat or ambush the monster. But winning them over as friends!?! Amazing.
    Thanks for the tip.

    Next mission: upgrade all our horses at the magical well

    • Yes, I first encountered Bokoblin and Lynel masks in BotW and this was my experience. The Lynel mask only seems to work from a distance. The closer you get, the more easily the Lynel can tell you aren’t tall enough. Lynels seem to have less suspicion of you when you wear it on horseback but Lynels still figure it out if you get too close.
      I never found the Lizalfos mask in BotW but in TotK I have the same type of experience as the Bokoblin mask.

      The best part is, if you befriend the monsters then when they follow you they’ll fight monsters that attack you back. So, for instance, my temporary monster buddies have taken down sentry bots and also died helping me fight a Gleeok.

    • Yep! The bokoblin mask was an item in botw and all the friend making mechanics were already in that game. People have done whole nature documentaries about the bokoblins in btow using the masks to infiltrate their societies and make friends.

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