A Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom out-of-bounds video has shown what happens to Hyrule when Link uses the Ascend ability.
As highlighted by Twitter user and YouTuber Boundary Break, Nintendo uses some game development trickery to get Link to Ascend through surfaces in Tears of the Kingdom. According to the tweet below, when Link ascends, the world around him is removed and replaced with a green cube. Okay, that's a pretty straightforward way of explaining it, but it's basically what happens behind the scenes of the game.
Tears of the Kingdoms Ascension ability removes the whole world and replaces it with a green cube. pic.twitter.com/gTfsHtdyylMay 29, 2023
Boundary Break gave more context and demonstrates what they mean by this in the video on the topic. In the video, it's revealed that the world around Link is "culled out" during the move so that it's mostly invisible. In the replies to Boundary Break's tweet, many people theorized that this was a subtle loading screen, however, the YouTuber instead theorizes that it is "so that this effect can play out without clipping," making it as smooth as possible.
Although incredibly interesting to The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom players, it seems this technique is just standard practice for game developers. Boundary Break has also suggested that this technique could be used to "adjust" the level of detail in the game, which is possibly why some sections that require Ascend take much longer than others to release Link on the surface.
This is just one of many discoveries fans have made in Tears of the Kingdom so far. Shortly after its release earlier this month, one player realised that the Octoroks have become even more generous than they were in Breath of the Wild. Instead of inhaling Link's damaged weapons and spitting them out a little shiner, the Zelda enemies now do the same thing however return the weapon to Link with slightly raised stats - which is great for us but probably not so great for the Octoroks themselves.
Speaking of Ascend, take a look at our Zelda Tears of the Kingdom depths guide to find out how to make the most out of this ability.