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Zelda: How To Kill Bubbulfrogs In Tears Of The Kingdom And Why You Should Start Immediately

If you thought collecting all 900 Korok Seeds in "The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild" was a pain in the butt, buckle up. "Tears of the Kingdom" has an entirely new kind of collectable that'll have you frantically sticking your nose into every cave and crevice to gather them all: Bubbul Gems. Dropped by luminous creatures called Bubbulfrogs (which honestly look a bit like glowing axolotls), these gems come with their own side quest chain that unlocks the Monster gear from "Breath of the Wild." 

While a collectable chase isn't one of the most exciting things to do — especially when compared against some of the most off-the-rails contraptions you can create — one of the exchange rewards is a completely new gear-set with a priceless gimmick. From how to start the quests, where to find the exchange shop, and why you should start right away, here's everything you need to know about Bubbul Gems in "The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom."

How to start the Bubbul sidequest

You'll need to actually find an NPC to give you the starting quest for Bubbul Gems before you can start hunting them down and cashing them in. You may or may not remember Kilton, the strange, monster-loving merchant first unlocked past the poisonous waters of Skull Lake in "Breath of the Wild." Well, his brother Kolton has now embarked on a quest to become Satori, the Lord of the Mountain, and he wants your help in doing so. His demand: Collect Bubbul Gems for him.

How exactly this will transform him from an odd little man to a majestic spirit of the wilds is somewhat unclear, but nevertheless, you can find him near a bright-colored balloon behind the Woodlands Stable. If you're not using the "Breath of the Wild" map as reference to help you through the new game's map, you can just follow the road northeast from the center of Hyrule Fields, then past the Rauru Settlement Ruins to reach the stable. 

After a short cutscene explaining the brothers' predicament, the quest will start. Your first objective is to grab one Bubbul Gem for Kolton, which you can grab from the Pico Pond Cave just nearby. The Bubbulfrog only takes one arrow hit to go down, so even Link's weakened early-game state shouldn't have any trouble.

Where to find Kolton and his shop next

If you've already grabbed a Bubbul Gem from killing a Bubbulfrog before finding Kilton or Koltin, you can also hand that one over on the spot to progress through the first step of the quest. Koltin will hand over a Bokoblin mask — which will let you sneak by and confuse Bokoblins — and then head off to Tarrey Town for the remainder of the game. 

Kilton has helpfully marked it on your in-game map, so you can just follow the quest marker if you haven't already unlocked a nearby travel point. Kilton will then point you to Koltin's location, but the wily brother will only appear at nighttime. Find him, re-introduce yourself, and then you'll be able to start handing in Bubbul Gems for rewards. 

Unlike his brother's traveling shop in the previous game, Koltin doesn't actually offer a purchasable inventory. Instead, you'll essentially progress through reward tiers as Kolton asks for sets of Bubbul Gems in increasing numbers. Just remember: He only opens up shop after 9pm Hyrule time, and he seems to appear in randomly selected locations each night after the first encounter.

Why you should start handing in Bubbul Gems as early as possible

The first few rewards will just be the kind of monster masks you could buy from Kolton's brother in "BotW." But eventually, he'll start giving you the pieces of the Mystic Armor gear-set, which is really what you're aiming for here. Although the gear pieces themselves don't have high defenses, they come with exclusive abilities that might help you cheese your way through some of the early encounters Link is otherwise unprepared for. 

For example, the Mystic Armor chestpiece comes with the ability "Rupee Padding," which allows you to take damage in Rupees instead of health. Granted, this is a slightly situational boon: If you're low on money, you'll probably want to just take the hit instead of losing what few Rupees you have. However, it gives you the incredible option of farming up money to shield you from higher-level dangers, not mention possibly bypassing some challenges that otherwise require much more grinding. 

Many of the monster part rewards Koltin offers along the way can be extremely useful and give you an edge over harder enemies, especially while Link is feeling beat down. With that in mind, the Bubbul Gem rewards system is definitely something you'll want to get working on as soon as possible.