Cooking is a huge part of Breath of the Wild, but if you ever end up with a pixellated plate, it’s usually a sign that you messed up somewhere along the way. For the most part, you didn’t want to produce “dubious food,” which the game says is so bad, you can’t even look at it. But in Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity, there’s a very good reason to make dubious food.
Actually, my Link’s diet is almost exclusively dubious food now. That’s because, in this hack-and-slash take on The Legend of Zelda, eating dubious food lets you make double the rupees per mission. The catch? You’ll have fewer hearts while the awful food is active. Note that the picture below shows that to make dubious food, you need some frogs and the ancient Hylian equivalent of durians, which … gross.
While Age of Calamity is fairly generous with its materials, if you want to do all the side quests on the map, or fully upgrade your weapons and characters, you will inevitably have to grind a bit. But there are food items that can help you gather more ingredients and rupees, so I’ve found myself cooking those options nearly every time. Fortunately, I’ve added enough hearts to all my main characters that I hardly even notice when I’ve got dubious food active. But I still get a kick knowing that my Link has to stomach a plate of garbage every time we go out in a mission.
It’s a good Easter egg, and one that harkens back to the versatility of dubious food in Breath of the Wild. In that open-world game, dubious food usually only replenishes a single heart … unless you happen to meet Moza, a Hylian cook who specializes in making trash. If you talk to Moza, she’ll teach you to make dubious and rock-hard food that fills up your health considerably more than their standard variations. So, some players might find themselves making dubious food on purpose in Breath of the Wild, too.
In Age of Calamity, it all feeds back to my gremlin-like approach to the game. In addition to feeding him the ancient equivalent of a dumpster, my Link runs around with a stuffed Bokoblin mask on his head — and it makes for some hilarious cutscenes.