After years of waiting and feeding the hype, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild has been released to the public and it is one of the most amazing games Nintendo has ever created. On top of being the most massive game the company has ever produced, Breath of the Wild is one of the few games that actually delivered and at times exceeded the expectations that many had about it (take that, No Man’s Sky).
The one thing that stands out about the game is how truly open it is. A lot of games are open world these days, but none of them do it quite like Breath of the Wild. Instead of giving you fairly linear objectives, you instead boot up the game, get your clothes, and are allowed to go anywhere in the Great Plateau you desire. Then as soon as you get the Paraglider, you can go anywhere you want and complete quests in any order you want.
Due to this design, there is an infinite amount of things to do in Breath of the Wild. From fighting monsters to discovering new mechanics, it seems that people find something different at every corner. Because the game has already been out for a few weeks, there are many things that have become public knowledge at this point. We’ve decided to highlight some facets of the game that haven’t received that much attention or that we’ve discovered on our own.
Here are 15 things you didn’t know you could do in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.
15. Buy Your Own House
There are tons of interesting quests littered throughout Breath of the Wild, but the one that caught me surprise was the Homeowner quest. In Hateno Village, you’ll see some construction workers fixing up new houses. Eventually, you’ll come across one particular home that’s set up for demolition because it hasn’t had any takers in many years. If you talk to the man named Bolson, he will offer you the house for 50,000 Rupees or 3,000 rupees and 30 wood pieces (guess which one most people took).
Acquiring Rupees and wood pieces in this game isn’t challenging, so it shouldn’t be long before you’re ready to get your own home. After you do this, you are then able to customize your home with furniture and mounts. With weapon, bow, and shield mounts alike, you can even end up storing excess weapons that you can return to and take whenever you need it. Keeping that in mind, owning a house may not be such a bad idea, especially in the beautiful Hateno Village. I mean, have you seen that landscape surrounding it?
14. Tame Ganon’s Horse
You remember that massive horse that Ganondorf rode in Ocarina of Time? I’m sure that many of us had the dream of one day riding it ourselves. Thankfully, that dream is no longer a dream. Breath of the Wild introduced the fantastic mechanic of being able to encounter horses in the world. From then, all you have to do is sneak up on one and mount it. If you can manage to stay without being thrown off, the horse is yours to ride. If you register it at a stable, then you keep it as long as it’s alive.
In order to find Ganon’s horse, you must travel to the valley that sits behind Mount Hylia. Once there, you will see a lot of weird-looking trees and a lot of horses. As you go around, you’ll notice that one of the horses is about twice the size of the rest. That’s the one you want. Make sure you have the proper stealth gear or can glide to it. Once you mount it, you also want to have a lot of stamina and/or some stamina replenishing food. This horse is the hardest to tame. Nonetheless, if you succeed and take it to a stable, the saddle they give it will make it look identical to Ganon’s horse in Ocarina of Time.
13. Deflect Guardian Lasers
In Breath of the Wild, you’ll be hard pressed to find any bad guy tougher to take down than a Guardian. These ancient pieces of technology were taken over by Ganon after he took over Hyrule, and they roam the world, ready to destroy any unsuspecting Hylian that comes close. For the first several hours of the game, you must avoid these creatures because you will get killed instantly if you don’t. As you advance and get better gear, then feel free to take them on.
However, there are many ways to skin a cat, or in this case, kill a Guardian. Some tricks even exist to help you along the way. What makes the Guardians so dangerous are easily the lasers they shoot. But, you can deflect those lasers back at them for serious damage. To do this, you need a very strong shield. Once the Guardian fires at you, you must push the A button to hit with your shield, and if timed correctly, you will redirect the laser right to its eye. You’re welcome.
12. Get Link’s Tunic
The first entry on this list is something that spurred a lot of discussion before the game was released. Instead of seeing Link in his classic tunic, all of the promotional material was shown with our favorite Hylian dressed in a blue shirt. This begged the question by many: will Link get his traditional green tunic? After a lot of play time, it turns out that acquiring the classic green outfit is possible in the game. Keep in mind, we’re not talking about the Amiibo outfits you can get by scanning in different Zelda amiibo. Everyone’s aware of that at this point.
Breath of the Wild actually has a native tunic called the Tunic of the Wild. In order to acquire it, you will be spending a lot of time in the game. You must complete all 120 shrines in Hyrule, and then the final monk you visit will reward you with it. It will take you days, but it’s up to you to decide whether or not you feel that getting a new spin on the classic tunic is worth it or not.
11. Dress Up as Dark Link
Because we just finished discussing the Tunic of the Wild, I felt that it would be perfect to discuss another hidden costume you can acquire in Breath of the Wild. There is no catch and you didn’t read this wrong: you can dress up as Dark Link in this game. Understand that the process isn’t the easiest thing to do, and it might lead to some incredibly frustrating moments.
Once you get to the Akkala region (the northeastern corner of the map), make your way to the East Akkala Stable. There, you will meet a nice fellow named Hoz. He tells the story of a mysterious merchant named Kilton. You are then given a quest to find this weird dude. If you go to skull lake (very close by) at night, then you will find him on the left eye. Take his picture, and he will disappear. After you give Hoz the picture, Kilton will start appearing all across Hyrule at certain times of the night. Once you find him at places like Hatano Village and Zora’s Domain, he opens his shop that only takes monster parts as currency. If you’ve beaten all of the Divine Beasts, he will have the Dark Link set available for purchase.
10. Ride Wild Animals
Yeah there are countless types of horses that you can ride, each one with its different stats and bonuses. However, sometimes it can be a bit of a hassle trying to take your own horse out into the wild, risking getting it lost or killed at every turn. That said, you still want to travel quickly across Hyrule. See the dilemma here? I almost never take my horses out of the stable because I’m just afraid of losing them, and I get sidetracked by just about anything and have to constantly jump off of them.
One thing that I found really useful was the existence of wild animals. Not only are they excellent sources for meat, but they can also be ridden. You just sneak up on one like you would a horse, and you can mount it. This can be done to just about any animal apart from birds. Unfortunately, the wild animals are pretty bad. They aren’t as fast as horses and they can be difficult to command. They can be useful for getting from point A to point B, but that’s about it. Fun fact, you can actually mount a Lynel, but it is impossible to tame and ride one.
9. Cook Food in Hot Environments
Cooking food was an interesting and welcome mechanic introduced in this game. As opposed to finding hearts, you can instead throw some ingredients together to whip up some of the most beneficial food ever seen in a video game. This mechanic also has some added depth by allowing you to create dishes that increase your stealth, attack, defense, and movement speed. They can also result in food that will give you protection against the sheer cold and blistering heat.
But Breath of the Wild loves to break the conventions of games and always seems to go for an added element of realism and immersion. If you travel to Death Mountain, you will notice that the air and ground are so hot, you will catch on fire if you stay too long with no protection. However, this can be used to your advantage. If you’re in a pinch and need to bake some apples or roast some meat, all you have to do is simply drop them on the ground. Within a few seconds, they will have turned into well-cooked food. It’s not a complete dish, but it’s a useful trick to know.
8. “Throw” Lightning Bolts
I put quotations around “throw” because I didn’t want that to be misread. You don’t actually control lightning bolts and throw them.
Lightning is a unique and somewhat frustrating mechanic in Breath of the Wild. You travel around a rain storm, and if you’re wearing anything that has metal, you’re bound to get struck at some point. It does make a lot of sense, but it can be an annoying stopper in whatever exploration goals you have.
However, you can use the lightning to work for you rather than against you. Instead of targeting just you, the lightning actually targets the metal that is on you. For example, if you have a metal weapon and begin sparking, the lightning is fixed on the weapon rather than Link. This can be used to your advantage. When fighting a group of tough monsters, you could have a metal weapon sparking. With some skill, you can throw the weapon at the bad guys. It will still spark and lightning will strike it. This way, you can “throw” your lightning bolt at a horde of Bokoblins if you’re desperate or just want to see it happen.
7. Swim Up Waterfalls
Breath of the Wild loves throwing the environment against you. When you finally decide to begin hunting down the Divine Beasts, you will eventually come across Zora’s Domain. It is there that you will discover your first true frustration with the world. Because it’s always raining there (due to the Divine Beast), the rivers run faster and many surfaces are extremely difficult to climb. Thankfully, you are rewarded for your effort if you make it all the way to the end.
The King of Zoras remembers Link from 100 years in the past and rewards him with a Zora chestplate. When applying this piece of armor, not only can you swim faster, but you can also swim up waterfalls. What makes this even better is that it doesn’t take any of your stamina to do so. You simply go to a waterfall, and a prompt will appear for you to travel up it. Then Link will quickly swim up the waterfall and rocket himself him in the air, giving you plenty of time to plan your next move and look at your surroundings before hitting the ground. It’s one of the more satisfying moments the game has to offer.
6. Get a Pile of Crap
This is where things get a bit interesting. Breath of the Wild brings back the Koroks from Wind Waker in a unique way. The Koroks are playing the most epic game of hide and seek ever and have concealed themselves all throughout Hyrule. Your job is to find each of them. When you do, they will make one of the most adorable laughs ever then reward you with a Korok seed. As you progress through the game, you discover that the Korok seeds belong to a big Korok named Hestu (he uses them for his maracas). In return for Korok seeds, he will expand your inventory.
If you decide to make it a point that you want to get all of the Korok seeds, good luck, because there are 900 of them total. Also, you would think that something pretty cool would happen if you acquired them all, giving you incentive to keep going. Nope. Someone recently completed this task, and are given something from Hestu that looks exactly like a pile of crap. Perhaps this was Nintendo’s way of not making the Korok seeds seem necessary to the game so that players weren’t spending years trying to get them all.
5. Climb on Bosses
You can climb just about anything in Breath of the Wild. Apart from the walls in Shrines and Dungeons, that still remains true. I was recently playing Twilight Princess and had a hard time because there were mountains that I wanted to climb and I couldn’t. That’s how pivotal climbing is to Breath of the Wild.
The world is also littered with tons of bosses like Stone Talus and Hinoxes. By defeating them, you get all kinds of unique rewards. But, if you want to make things a bit easier on yourself, you can take the aforementioned climbing mechanic to a whole new level. When you fight a Stone Talus, its only weak point sits on the top of its body. If you don’t climb him, you’re stuck with using arrows. If you climb him, then you have freedom to strike it with your melee weapons. In regards to the Hinoxes, you will see them asleep when you first encounter them. Attached to their necks and waists you will notice some weapons. You can actually climb them and take the weapons without having to pick a fight and use up resources you’d rather conserve.
4. Last Minute Jump
Speaking of the climbing mechanic, it too has a lot of depth that makes it more than just a unique gimmick. For example, if you climb a surface that is very steep, more of your Stamina Meter will be required to traverse it, and you won’t climb as quickly. As you climb, you will use up your Stamina Meter. If it runs out, you will simply drop to the bottom and likely die.
This goes in direct competition with the ability to jump while you climb. By pushing the X button, you will leap up and grab on to a higher section of whatever you’re climbing. The only problem is that if you had simply climbed the same distance, you would use less Stamina in the end. However, as your Stamina Meter reaches its last legs, you can use this to your advantage. When it’s in the red, you can hit the X button to jump. Instead of a regular jump, Link will actually rocket himself approximately twice as high as he normally would. This is much more useful than just climbing, because you will actually shorten your distance if you just do that. The more you know.
3. Revive Your Horse
Apart from getting horses with good stats, Breath of the Wild allows you to get two iconic horses in the form of Ganon’s horse and Epona from Ocarina of Time and Twilight Princess. Unfortunately, those horses, along with every other one in Hyrule, can die at any time in the world. The horses take damage, and if they get too close to a monster or environmental assault, they will die just like anything else in the world. This can persuade people to keep their horses in the stable and only use them when absolutely necessary.
Not all hope is lost, though. Throughout the world are three Great Fairies that all have different functions. One of them can revive fallen horses. In order to find her, you must travel past the Bridge of the Horse God (found in the region south of the Great Plateau) and you will be taken to a forest with a closed flower. Simply pay the fee of 1,000 Rupees, and you will be met with a tribal-inspired Great Fairy. Being very gracious and understanding, she knows that horses can be subjects of unfortunate accidents and willingly revives them for a fee.
2. Silver Lynel
Perhaps one of the most terrifying moments throughout the story quests in Breath of the Wild is when you have to get Shock Arrows to face Divine Beast Vah Ruta. In order to get them, you must travel to the top of a mountain. You will find a plentiful amount of Shock Arrows, but will also be met with the creature that fire them: the Lynel. Lynel are so difficult to take down that the game encourages you to take the stealth route and swipe the arrows before it detects you. I fought it because I’m bad at stealth, and it took me about five tries and the strongest defense potion I had.
However, Lynel are far from the most difficult creatures in the game. There is one boss that exists in Hyrule that is tougher than even Ganon himself. This creature is the Silver Lynel. Its attacks have incredible range, and if you ever get hit, you will die on the spot unless you have the best equipment available (even then you’ll be lucky to survive with a single heart). The Silver Lynel requires utmost mastery of everything Breath of the Wild has to offer. I’m not going to explain how to find him here, as I believe that it should be something to discover for yourself.
1. Dragon Quests
Breath of the Wild is so massive that one can get lost in all of the information available. I remember a trailer showing a shot of a dragon in the game that I forgot when I actually got my hands on the title. As I was exploring one day, nothing can describe my reaction when I saw a massive serpent headed toward the bridge I was standing on.
The appearance of these dragons raises a lot of questions. What are they? What is their function in the game? That’s what I’m about to answer here. There are three dragons in the world (each based off of a different goddess). Sometimes a quest will be attached in order for you to interact with one in the future, but I won’t spoil it here.
The purpose of the dragons is getting rare items. As a dragon passes over you, it will create an updraft that you can use to rocket into the sky and get close. You can then shoot it with an arrow. Depending on where you strike it, it will drop an rare item. These items are some of the most effective monster parts in the entire game and can be traded to Klinton or crafted into the most amazing elixirs ever known to Hyrule.
Sources: Nintendo, IGN