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‘Zelda’ Fans Have Figured Out How To Play ‘Tears of the Kingdom’ Early

Zelda holding a tear in The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom

If you’re like me, you have been waiting for The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom and its sexy Link for years. You have been patient. You have supported the Zelda team when they pushed back the game’s release date, but you knew it would be worth it. Now that the game’s almost here, though, you’re losing your mind. You’re tired of waiting. You want to play it now. Could such a thing be possible?

Obviously, the easiest way to play Tears of the Kingdom early is to employ one of the Zelda series’ infamous methodologies of time travel: ocarina, giant ancient gate, what have you. The next easiest way is simply to live in Japan, New Zealand, eastern Russia, or anywhere else in the Pacific on that extreme edge of the international date line. The next easiest way is to fool Nintendo into thinking that you live on the extreme edge of the international date line.

That latter option is possible, but it does take quite a bit of extra work. And it won’t work at all if you’ve already pre-ordered your digital copy. Or, of course, if you’re planning on hitting up GameStop at midnight instead. But you can buy a new digital copy, which will work for early play as long as you’re willing to go through some of the drudgiest possible parameters: dealing with credit card BS.

According to several outlets, including Game Rant, this whole scheme only works if you have a credit card from the region you’re pretending to live in—or if you have a very nice friend who lives abroad and who will let you repay them. Alternatively, you can digitally purchase a Nintendo eShop gift card through websites like Playtech New Zealand. As long as the eShop code is from New Zealand—or whichever region you choose (according to these reports)—you should be good.

That’s the hardest part. Everything else is easy. Once you have your payment method figured out, the first thing you need to do is make a new Nintendo eShop account, but—and this is important—you need to do so on your computer. Say that you live in the region that matches where your payment method is based. Now, log into that account on your Switch.

The moment of glory is upon us! Go to the eShop, redeem your eShop credit if needed, and buy Tears of the Kingdom with your specially-prepared payment method. Watch it load, and enjoy! Whenever you’re reading this, Tears will already be available for play anywhere west of Japan—which very much includes New Zealand.

Keep those spoilers to yourself, and enjoy!

(featured image: Nintendo)

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Kirsten (she/her) is a contributing writer at the Mary Sue specializing in anime and gaming. In the last decade, she's also written for Channel Frederator (and its offshoots), Screen Rant, and more. In the other half of her professional life, she's also a musician, which includes leading a very weird rock band named Throwaway. When not talking about One Piece or The Legend of Zelda, she's talking about her cats, Momo and Jimbei.