From Korok Seeds to Gold Skulltulas, there are a variety of collectibles throughout the Zelda franchise that net the player a variety of goodies. Sometimes it’s more inventory space, sometimes it’s a bigger wallet, and sometimes it’s a Piece of Heart. Each system works to varying degrees of success and fan reception, but it’s hard to deny they each had their share of worth-while rewards.

I’ve been replaying The Minish Cap recently, and it’s given me a lot to think about, among them the Kinstones. I’ve always remembered them rather fondly, but a close friend of mine absolutely loathes them, so they were definitely one of the features I was looking forward to reanalyzing. 

Playing through the game, it didn’t take me long to reaffirm my opinion. In fact, I’d say I look upon Kinstones more fondly than before! Suffice it to say, I didn’t truly appreciate their worth when I was younger. Now, I love them. Seeing thought bubbles above an NPC’s head and finding you have a matching Kinstone and unlocking a new secret in the world is a fantastic experience. Whether it leads to a Piece of Heart, a wealth of Rupees, or even just another Kinstone, the sense of excitement that comes with an unknown reward is enough. It just screams “good game design” like so much of this underrated gem of a game.

Of course, they’re not without their downsides. As fun as finding new Kinstones is, there are times where something, anything else — a key, some Rupees, anything — would be far more welcome. Still, despite their occasional frustration, finding one is usually worth it in the end. Certainly, they’re a feature I’d like to return in future Zelda titles. Not everyone feels the same, though!

What are your thoughts on Kinstones? Did you enjoy them, or were they the bane of your playthrough? Should they return? Let us know in the comments below!

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