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  • 100% Completion: The challenge of getting 100% completion is daunting. The game's Completion Meter requires the player to physically visit every location on the map, complete all 120 Sheikah Shrines and 4 Divine Beasts, and gather all 900 Korok Seeds. If you truly want to complete everything, you'll find that there's an additional 16 armor sets (plus 15 individual armor pieces) to collect and upgrade, 18 memories to rediscover, 76 side quests to tackle, 14 Towers to activate, 385 photos to take for the Hyrule Compendium, 84 overworld minibosses to defeat for 3 Medals of Honor, make every food recipe, and a handful of bridles and saddles for your horse companion. Oh, and if that isn't enough for you, you can buy a number of Zelda amiibo (and the DLC) to unlock some exclusive armor sets/pieces and Epona.
  • 1-Up: As per the Zelda tradition, fairies come out to heal you for five hearts if you take a fatal blow. Mipha ups the ante with her ability, granting a full heal plus five temporary hearts on death.
  • Ability Required to Proceed: Despite being a series staple, this is used sparingly.
    • In order to leave The Great Plateau, Link needs some way to stop the fall from killing him. In the process of getting said paraglider, Link is required to get every other exploration ability — once you're done with the prologue, there's nowhere you aren't capable of going, no shrine you aren't capable of clearing (assuming you can handle their combat difficulty). If you somehow leave the plateau without picking up the paraglider, Link will "void out" and warp back as though falling into a Bottomless Pit.
    • If you choose to free the Divine Beasts, you will need to obtain certain items in order to lower their defensesnote , but you're not required to use these items while inside the dungeons or against the bosses.
    • If you want the Master Sword, you'll need at least thirteen hearts to survive its test. Unusually, however, the sword is not required to complete the game.
    • Some shrines cannot be completed without the use of arrows. Luckily, if you go out into the field and find/buy some, you can teleport back to the shrine in question.
    • The middle parts of the Eldin region avert Convection Schmonvection. This means Link bursts into flames past a certain part of the mountain. One needs to stock up on Fireproof Elixirs or craft them, then get the Flamebreaker Armor once you get to Goron City.
  • Acceptable Breaks from Reality: Despite the heightened realism, there are several liberties taken to make the world easier to get around.
    • Link's "weight" is always the same regardless of what he has equipped. This means climbing up a wall while semi-naked and climbing up a wall in plate armor while wielding a greatsword bigger than Link is takes the same amount of time and stamina.
    • For that matter, the climbing system is fairly liberal with what you can climb. Link can hang on to vertical walls no problem and can climb most surfaces with no issues. The only instance of being unable to climb a wall is in the shrines and beasts, as it would break the puzzles.
    • While weather and temperature matter, Link never needs to eat, sleep, or drink (although you can recover Hearts via all three methods).
    • When it is raining, Link cannot climb due to how wet everything is. note  However, once the rain subsides, the area is completely dry immediately and Link can resume climbing. In real life, surfaces wet from the rain (or close proximity to waterfalls) would still likely remain wet for a while, this is done so as to not make the player wait even longer for the rain's effects to subside.
    • You don't actually have to wear an entire armor set to gain enough elemental resistance in most cases. Usually, you only really need two to, say, survive the cold atop the Hebra summits, allowing Link to wear warm clothes on his head and torso, and another piece of armor with a different bonus, i.e. stealth, attack-up, defense-up, etc.
    • The stable operators will remind you that a horse is not magical and cannot answer a summons if they're too far away, unlike previous games where Epona will appear instantly when called. However, the stable staff themselves can retrieve a horse instantly, no matter where it currently is.
    • Despite the potential for falls to be fatal if done from too great a height, bodies of water are always safe to land in and no damage is sustained from doing so.note 
    • Wild animals turn into chunks of raw meat right after being killed. Likewise, felled trees transform into twined-up bundles of wood after being hit.
    • Cooking only requires that the required ingredients be thrown together into a hot pan for a few seconds, regardless of the type of dish.
    • Link needs to hold on to the paraglider with both hands, yet can put the paraglider away and switch to bows instantly and then back again when in midair, and also drop remote bombs while gliding without touching the Sheikah Slate.
    • Acquiring a weapon will frequently result in Link also getting an appropriate but heretofore-unseen sheath for it.
    • When dyeing clothes Link and the ingredients chosen are dumped into one big bucket, in order to dye the clothes he is wearing. Somehow this only affects the fabric Link is wearing and not his hair or skin.
    • Despite the hot temperatures of Death Mountain setting fire to nocked arrows and blowing up nocked bomb arrows, simply having arrows on your person in a quiver (by having a bow equipped) will not cause them to burn, as it would prohibit using bows altogether.
    • Larger enemies like Moblins and Lynels need to arm themselves and look imposing, but Link needs to be able to use their weapons when they're defeated, so the size of the weapon is scaled to the current wielder, leading to things like an ordinary Hylian Soup Ladle becoming gigantic in a Moblin's hands and a huge Lynel Crusher shrinking down for Link's use when it's dropped.
    • Multi-shot bows fire a spread of functional arrows but only consume one from your inventory with each shot. This is likely to make them worth using at all, as they'd rapidly deplete Link's quiver.
  • Acquired Poison Immunity: In the Vah Ruta quest, Shock Arrows are required to disable the beast. Since the Zora are an aquatic race, they can't touch the arrows without getting seriously hurt. One elderly Zora keeps touching a Shock Arrow in the hopes of building an immunity to it over time, but it never works.
  • Adam Smith Hates Your Guts:
    • Beedle makes a return, recurring at stables, bazaars, and other rest stops Link passes through. He always stocks arrows and a selection of critters just right for combating the area's natural hazards. He also overcharges for the arrows compared to any other merchant and the critters can be gotten for free in the right places, but that's the price of convenience.
    • Activating the Great Fairies requires increasingly larger donations the longer you go in the game, with the final Fairy charging 10,000 rupees to talk to you.
    • Kilton's shop, The Fang and Bone, is a case where he hates you by only accepting a currency he made up that requires you trade him monster parts for all of his exclusive gear. These parts also tend to be worth about half as much "Mon" compared to when you sell them to normal merchants for rupees, meaning it could cost you an entire playthrough's worth of cheaper parts just to buy the Dark Outfit.
  • Adaptational Badass: Several staple enemies of the series have got an upgrade.
  • Adult Fear:
    • Zelda:
      • She dedicated her entire life to a cause, but in the end she failed to do what she was supposed to, which she blames her own incompetence, even though she did everything that she could.
      • The way her father treats her, as seen in the memories. If you read the king's diary, you can see that he knew how much he was harming their relationship, but for the sake of Hyrule, he did what he had to.
    • If an NPC sees you on the edge of a bridge, he will think you are trying to commit suicide and will try to talk you out of it.
  • After the End:
    • The game takes place in a Hyrule whose civilization has undergone many years of decline after a great disaster, and the natural world has taken over. According to Nintendo's official timeline , Breath of the Wild is set at the tail end of every single one of the three timelines.
    • Even 100 years ago, Hyrule appears to have been this. The Sheikah technology is 10,000 years old, but Hyrule is in Medieval Stasis. It's stated that the fall of the Sheikah led to it becoming Lost Technology, and Hyrule never regained that kind of advancement again. The towers, shrines, and ancient weapons are left over from a bygone era that was left as decaying ruins even at Hyrule's most recent "height".
  • Agony of the Feet: Link can kick open small chests like usual, but make him do it barefoot and he'll wince in pain.
  • Alpha Strike: When you fight Calamity Ganon, all of the Divine Beasts you liberated will fire their Wave Motion Guns at Hyrule Castle. If you liberated all four, they are capable of cutting Ganon's HP in half.
  • Alternate Self: Provided one has the amiibo, Wolf Link from Twilight Princess can be summoned to fight alongside the Breath of the Wild incarnation of Link.
  • Aluminum Christmas Trees:
    • "Blood moon" is an actual colloquial name for a lunar eclipse (generally a total lunar eclipse). A lot of fans consider the name of the phenomenon in BotW to be overly dramatic, unaware of this fact.
    • The ridiculous-looking Durian fruit may seem made-up to anyone who doesn't live in southeast Asia, but it's one of the most realistic items in the game. Despite its enormous size, it grows on trees, and its strong smell and "king of fruits" nickname from the ingame description come directly from the real version.
  • Always Identical Twins: There's a heavy twin motif in a unique shrine situation. Breaking the scattered distribution, there are two directly neighboring shrines located on either side of the gap in the twin Dueling Peaks. The keepers are twin monks, Shee Vaneer and Shee Venath, who look identical and are posed to mirror each other. Furthering the theme, their shrines are even two halves of one puzzle. Each shrine is an orb-and-socket combination puzzle to unlock the gates to the monks, and the only hint comes from signs within that indicate the solution for each can be found in the other twin's shrine. The default arrangement of the orbs in each shrine is the correct solution for the other, and taking the elevator in each to get a view of the whole room allows the player to make a sketch or take a screenshot to make sure they can correctly swap the two configurations to unlock the gates. If you moved any orbs, exiting will reset the arrangement so you can see the undisturbed combination.
  • All Your Powers Combined:
    • Calamity Ganon's physical body has the powers and attributes of each Blight Ganon.
    • Every time Link defeats a Blight Ganon and frees a Divine Beast, he frees the spirit of its respective Champion as well, and in doing so adds each of their unique abilities to his own Bullet Time ability. He is also able to master all types of weapon (sword, two-handed sword, polearm, bow), whereas each of the Champions specializes in just one.
  • Amazon Chaser: There are several Hylian men who come to the Gerudo Desert for the sole purpose of meeting and getting a Gerudo girlfriend.
  • Ambiguously Gay: Bolson, the head of a home construction company based in Hateno Village, is a flamboyant and effeminate man who wears pastel pink pants with a matching headband and a single earring in his right ear. He makes lots of construction puns that sound vaguely like Double Entendres, and thinks Link plopping down 3 grand on a house is very "studly".
  • American Kirby Is Hardcore: The North American and Japanese box art differs to the European box art, with a darker tone of color for the former than the latter. The EU box art also has Link looking like he's preparing for adventure, while the NA/JP box art has Link holding his sword and shield getting ready for combat action.
  • An Axe to Grind: Axes are one of the new weapon types in the game. Aside from using them in combat, they can be used to chop down trees.
  • And the Adventure Continues: After Calamity Ganon is defeated, if Link successfully retrieved all his memories, Link and Zelda agree to keep exploring the new world and continue their research in hopes of restoring the kingdom of Hyrule someday.
  • And Your Reward Is Clothes: Your reward for completing all 120 shrines is the Wild armor set. Its stats are very good (but not unrivaled), and the Set Bonus from wearing all 3 pieces powers up your Master Sword's beam attack, but the most attractive thing about it is the cosmetic effect of finally giving Link his classic Iconic Outfit, which he had gone without for most of the game.
  • An Interior Designer Is You: You can buy a house in Hateno Village and decorate it. Most of the additions are preset and thrown in once you buy everything, but you start out purchasing mounts for weapons, bows, and shields.
  • Anti-Frustration Features:
    • While your horse will only heed a call when near enough, they'll just warp to any stable that you take them out of (on top of there always being a shrine near a stable).
    • You can fast travel out of any battle except for those with the Blight Ganons and Calamity Ganon himself. Notably, this includes other boss battles like Master Kohga.
    • You can buy the photo for an entry in a specific category of the Hyrule Compendium for a small fee, in case you're having trouble registering something. Upon beating the game, this includes the bosses, preventing them from being permanently missable.
    • The Champions' Weapons can be reforged in the event that they are severely damaged or even broken to prevent them from being Too Awesome to Use. One of the characters involved with each gift will tell you what sort of material you need to make a new one. This does require the use of diamonds, but only one per reforge, and there's a Zora who trades them for 10 easily-located Luminous Stones. It also includes a tier 1 version of it which can typically be found lying around the town every blood moon.
    • Braziers and the like and raft sails are not physical objects that your weapons can hit, sparing you the possibility of your torches and Korok Leaves breaking by physically striking the objects on accident when you're swinging them around to use their fire or wind.
    • If you aren't equipped with a bow or melee weapon and you pick one up, you'll automatically equip them for use right away, rather than having to enter the pause menu to equip them. Very handy for moments when your weapon breaks and you salvage another one quickly or if you had dropped your gear from being electrocuted.
    • The very first tree you can climb once you start the game has the exact height to reach the top with a full stamina wheel. If you happen to fall by accident, you will take two and a half hearts of damage, which is just enough to not kill you.
    • Every single major landmark, from major towns to stables to fairy fountains, will always have a shrine out in the open very near to it to give you a fast travel location so you're not forced into excessive backtracking. The shrines added in the DLC also close a few gaps in the fast-travel by adding a few new points to warp to.
    • After completing the game, you get sent back to your file but with some new content, including a quest from Kilton to defeat every individual overworld boss (Hinox, Talus, Molduga). To hell with this, the health bars of overworld bosses that have been defeated previously are labeled as such (e.g. "Blue Hinox (Defeated)"), so players know they don't have to engage them again for the sake of 100% Completion. This feature even applies to Calamity Ganon, who needs to be defeated to receive the quest.
    • During the Final Battle, regardless of the bond you have, your horse will never refuse your commands, so you don't have to worry about the horse suddenly not wanting to sprint or steer.
    • The game includes a hidden mechanic that protects players at full hearts or better from getting One-Hit-Killed, leaving them instead on their last quarter-heart. This is in addition to the Auto Revives of Mipha's Grace and carrying a fairy in your pocket. However, it's only effective at full hearts, will not save you from damage that surpasses its threshold (meaning that you still will get one-shotted by damage that would be sufficient to kill you several times over), and abrasion or fall damage may well wipe out your last hit point anyway, and Guardian lasers ignore it to enforce their status as The Dreaded. This mechanic is also absent in the Downloadable Content's Master Mode.
    • If you run out of stamina while paragliding, you automatically put the glider away. However, afterwards, you have one last chance to pull it out, just for long enough to reset your fall speed and avoid dying on impact once you're close to the ground.
    • Even though Master Mode upgrades virtually all enemies one level, weak Red enemies are in specific places in the game, and certain Red bosses like the Red Hinox brother and Lynel on Ploymus Mountain aren't scaled up. This allows you to complete the Hyrule Compendium without having to pay Symin and Purah to auto-unlock all of them. This also makes the Level Scaling in the base game less of a problem, as they won't change in the base game either.
    • The Sheikah Towers are designed in such a way that rain catches at the top of the tower, meaning that rain won't make Link lose his grip on a tower if he happens to discover one during a rainstorm or one so happens to start mid-climb.
    • If Link is attacked while he's ragdolling, during which you lose control of him, he will not take damage again from enemy attacks until he actually gets up to prevent a Cycle of Hurting. However, he will take continuous damage from rolling along the ground.
    • Link is able to take priority over groups of the same kind of item on the ground when picking them up. Should a monster be killed and it drops its parts along with its weapon, Link can be easily directed to pick up all the monster parts only and ignoring the weapon until it is the only item left with no need to reorient him.
    • Zigzagged when using flammable weapons as makeshift torches. These weapons being on fire alone will actually not affect its durability at all, but if the weapon is continually on fire for a certain duration, it will burn away completely and disappear. However, should you happen to snuff it at any time before this time limit, the weapon's durability will remain unaffected from being set on fire.
    • Approaching bosses with minimal to no equipment will slowly auto-generate them during the fight.
    • During the assault on Vah Medoh to destroy its cannons, opening the paraglider will completely recharge Link's stamina wheel, since there's no way to land to regain stamina and the player would have to cook lots of stamina-boosting food otherwise.
    • While equipping an ice weapon will cool Link off in hot biomes and vice-versa for fire weapons in cold areas, neither of them will amplify damage or negate your food or gear-based resistance if you have the same type of weapon as the temperature. An Acceptable Break from Reality so you aren't outright restricted from any kind of weapon.
    • While the Master Sword will usually run out of energy if you use it too much, it unleashes its full potential and restores its durability in the presence of Ganon or something corrupted by him (which includes all major story bosses and all major dungeons). This ensures that once you have it, you'll always have a weapon available during climactic encounters.
    • While it's entirely possible, if unlikely, to be hit by a random bolt of lightning during a thunderstorm (as opposed to the ones attracted by metal weapons), these bolts do minimal damage compared to their metal-attracted counterparts, making it unlikely that Link will be outright killed by one.
    • In Master Mode, bosses take longer to start recovering health than regular enemies. It's especially vital for the main story bosses, most of whom exploit Villain Teleportation that would otherwise give them lengthy periods to recover health.
    • Even though Hestu the inventory-expanding NPC is literally right next to the Master Sword, you don't need to buy a slot from him to obtain it—you get a bonus slot for it automatically. So, if your weapon stash is full, you don't have to throw anything away or go hunting for Korok Seeds.
    • Any merchant, traveling or in shops, will buy any kind of item off of you even if it's not something they sell, and they all pay the exact same rates, so you don't have to run around to multiple shops in order to make all the transactions needed to afford a new piece of gear.
    • Remote Bombs, by virtue of being an unlimited and free rune power, mean that you're never truly defenseless once you have the rune (though they are not recommended for combat if you have equipment), and they can fell trees and break metal boxes, crates, and barrels, which means you usually don't need to wear down your weapons to break them. However, the contents will be blasted away a little, making weapons (or Magnesis dropping for metal boxes) the better choice on small ledges.
    • As long as you have a few hearts full, bottomless pits, lava, water (when you run out of stamina), bogs, and the like are not instant-death hazards. Instead, you'll be put back where you were last standing and lose a small amount of health.
    • Every time you receive a sidequest, a yellow banner displaying it will appear onscreen for a few seconds. Some NPC interactions sound misleadingly like sidequest prompts but are just generic hints, so if you don't see the banner, you should know you're not being asked to do anything for that NPC.
    • The Champions' Ballad DLC adds rematch fights with the Blight Ganons, and both they and the new boss at the end can be fought as many times as the player wants, making it easy to get pictures of them for the Compendium if you didn't the first time. With the DLC, the only boss you can't rematch at all is Master Kohga, making him the only boss photo you'd have to buy if you missed the chance.
    • Several Korok Seed puzzles require to you to get a rock on a bridge or shore into a ring of rock spires in the water, either with good Stasis-launching or strategic Cryonis usage. Since this can be difficult and the rocks can't be retrieved if they miss and fall in the water, each of these puzzles is accompanied by a large amount of rocks nearby, and all of the rocks will respawn as soon as the puzzle area is put a few steps offscreen, keeping the player from having to warp away to reload the area.
    • Thunderstorms can never occur over towns, giving you a safe area to warp or escape to during a storm. Rain is the worst weather a town will ever have.
    • The two tech labs require you to carry a blue flame from a furnace over to the labs, but there are long paths and, in the case of the Akkala lab, several enemies in the way. Since you'll probably have to put away your torch to do something else, the game provides several stone lanterns along the way that can be lit with the blue flame to bring it closer to the lab. Once the player is done, they can pull out the torch and relight it from the last lantern and keep going. The lanterns are also rainproof as well, keeping the fire lit even if it starts pouring, allowing you to safely wait it out and continue without going back to the source.
    • Octoroks are capable of sniping Link with alarming accuracy and are a major nuisance. However, because of this, an alerted Octorok's first two shots are made to miss, making sure the player knows it's there without immediately hitting them out of nowhere with a cheap shot.
    • If Link drops his gear near the edge of an elevated piece of land, intentionally or not, they will placed away from the edge to prevent them from falling off. This also goes for rafts in the middle of the sea, but you’re out of luck if it’s moving at full speed when the weapon/shield/bow is dropped.
    • Stables can be used to retrieve horses that are already out on the overworld. If your horse gets stuck or you just don't want to deal with walking it back at the moment, you can warp to any shrine near stable and ask for the horse at the stable. Somehow, the crew will retrieve the horse for you, creating an indirect but very helpful way to essentially warp your horse, and if you want to put the horse away, you're right at the stable.
  • Anvil on Head:
    • Using the Magnesis rune, Link can hoist a metallic object (preferably a metal box or something big) high into the air, move it from afar to make it float above the unsuspecting enemy, then let go and have the object smash onto its cranium and deal damage. It deals negligible amounts of damage, however, and usually just stuns the enemy, so if you use it at all, you'll be using it to get some free hits in. You're encouraged to do this in the Vah Rudania "battle," as when one of the conveniently located metal boxes is dropped on or smacked into a Guardian Drone, it dies in one hit.
    • Using the amiibo Rune with certain amiibo will cause a chest to fall from the sky; if you target an enemy with it, the chest will land on them and hurt them. If you target an NPC, they'll shout and flinch away as if you swung a weapon at them.
  • Apocalypse Not: The game is set in a Hyrule that was supposedly ravaged by an apocalyptic event called the Great Calamity a century ago. In the game's present, however, all of the villages are prospering and despite the existence of monsters, even the remote stables dotted around Hyrule aren't walled off or fortified. Nature is beautiful and thriving. There's no famine or pestilence and even business is apparently booming, with merchants traveling between settlements on foot and the Gorons expanding their mining operation. There's even a construction business that in these apparently turbulent times can afford to only employ people whose names end in "-son".
    • However, it's noted in-game that there were more towns and villages that existed before the present that have since been destroyed since the Guardians continued to rampage the land in "the Age of Burning Fields", as evident by the large amounts of ruins dotted around Hyrule, categorizing it at a probable Type 0, a regional collapse.
  • Archaeological Arms Race: Hyrule's main plan 100 years ago was to dig up Lost Technology built by the Sheikah eons ago to beat Ganon the last time around, and deliberately recreate the legend. However, having an incomplete knowledge of how the Magitek worked, plus missing a few key details (such as the Sheikah Towers and the intended use of the Sheikah Slate) meant that Ganon ended up turning their own weapons against them.
  • Arc Number: Four, mostly revolving around the Champions and likely invoking Four Is Death given the way the past's tragedy tinges most of these instances. There are four non-Hylian races, four dead Champions, each from the four races, and four Divine Beasts once piloted by the Champions. The Champions also represent the four weapon types in the game. There are four Blight Ganons corrupting the Divine Beasts, and four powers you earn from the Champions' spirits. There are also four main rune powers at the beginning of the game, and four shrines that give and teach them, which you have to complete to leave the Great Plateau. The Champions' Ballad DLC echoes this, starting on the Great Plateau and giving Link a four-pronged weapon used to defeat four enemy camps that unlock four more shrines which must be completed before the weapon creates four monuments that start the quests in the four regions. The Sheikah created four types of Guardians, and the Guardian Scouts have four models. Even your upgrades rely on fours. There are four Great Fairies who can collectively upgrade your armor up to four times once they're all freed, and the Goddess Hylia statues' price for health and stamina upgrades is four Spirit Orbs, which are obtained from shrines...and thus, to earn upgrades, they must be completed in groups of four.
  • Arc Symbol:
    • The Silent Princess flower, which is a rare breed that may be dying out. The flower represents both Zelda (in her frustration over the position she's been forced into in life) and the hope of Hyrule to flourish after disaster. The final shot of the Golden Ending is of a cliffside covered in these flowers, symbolic of Hyrule finally undergoing a rebirth after the defeat of Ganon.
    • The Sheikah eye is even more prevalent than ever before, appearing on much of their technological interfaces. The Yiga Clan introduces an inverted version of the symbol which they have adopted after defecting and forming their cult, and it appears all over their hideout and on all of their masks.
    • Koroks are heavily associated with spiral patterns, which exhibit in the design language of some of the Korok seed puzzle mechanisms and items, and in the places where some Koroks can be found. This is based on the spiral Kokiri's Emerald from Ocarina of Time being their Spiritual Stone, and the Gorons' and Zoras' Stones have served as their symbols as well. Notable is that the same symbols have also been used to symbolize Courage, Power, and Wisdom respectively, the three pieces of the Triforce and by extension the Three Goddesses Farore, Din, and Nayru.
  • Armor Is Useless: Averted for the most part, with heavier armor providing more protection at the expense of your stealth capabilities, and vice versa. Subverted with the Champion's Tunic, which despite appearing to be no more than a simple cloth tunic, is fortified with pieces of divine dragon and thus offers a higher defense rating than any other piece of clothing in the game at a given level.
  • Arrows on Fire: In addition to Fire Arrows making a return in this game, Link can set a regular arrow on fire to achieve a similar (albeit weaker) effect, with regular arrows igniting instantly on Death Mountain.
  • Artificial Brilliance:
    • Horses have their own AI that allow them to move and avoid any obstacles without any input. As Aonuma said, "Real horses don't run into trees very often." They also have personalities related to their bond with Link, and have to be tamed before their behavior is useful; a tamed horse will follow roads automatically.
    • The enemy AI in this game is some of the most advanced yet. If they have a wooden weapon, they'll set it on fire to improve its effectiveness. If they lack a weapon they'll look for an Improvised Weapon, such as sticks, rocks, and even Sheikah Orbs and their fellow monsters (Giant Mooks such as Hinox will even pick up trees and use them as weapons). If you disarm them, they'll try to retrieve their dropped gear, which extends to grabbing an ally's gear that they've dropped, and even grabbing your gear that they made you drop. If bombs are thrown in their path, they'll avoid the blast's reach or kick it back towards Link, and if armed with ranged weapons, they'll snipe Link from a safe distance. When they aren't fighting Link, they can be seen hunting animals for food and sleeping at night.
    • Non Player Characters have their own daily routines, so they aren't just standing around indefinitely waiting for you to talk to them (except shopkeepers). They also might change their behavior if it's raining.
    • Hinoxes don't protect their eyes with their hands initially, but if you give them an arrow in the eye for their troubles, they'll quickly wise up and start doing so, making it much harder to time a shot.
    • Usually, Bokoblins and Moblins without ranged weapons will take the shortest path to get to Link to attack him. However, if they see Link preparing to shoot or throw something at them, they will try to strafe and close in at the same time to avoid getting hit while trying to get within striking range. Those with shields will still use the shortest path, blocking any projectiles along the way.
  • Artificial Stupidity
    • Animals and enemies aren't the brightest around fire. Cuccos can repeatedly walk into the same fire, or Bokoblins can burn themselves to death by walking into their campfire. Bokoblin cavalry found on shores may accidentally ride into deep water, drowning themselves but leaving the horse to swim back to safety.
    • If you are unseen and throw a bomb in the middle of a group, they will close in to observe it. This is obviously deliberate, and seems to have been added on account of being hilarious.
    • On a similar note, if a disturbed Bokoblin camp has explosive barrels in it, one of them will always pick it up and try to throw it at you. The problem is, Bokoblins' throwing range is smaller than the blast radius, so they will invariably always kill themselves and anyone else caught around the blast in the attempt.
    • Likewise, you can periodically rain down arrows on a monster camp from atop a cliff, and while they’ll look around for the source of the attack for a few seconds, they’ll eventually resume their routine like nothing happened as long as you’re unseen. None of them will think to look in the direction the arrows are coming from, even if you don’t move an inch and repeatedly aim at the same spot. This still applies even if you blow up a Bomb Barrel in their midst from a distance, killing all but one or two of them.
    • If Link's wearing the appropriate disguise mask around some enemies and they take any damage, even environmental damage such as getting struck by lightning or struck by a rolling boulder, this will break Link's disguise — they'll blame Link and act as though he just attacked them himself.
    • While horse behavior is generally pretty smart, they can sometimes get caught up in moving one direction and slam into a wall even if they're auto-pathing across a main road, or freak out over small lip that's not nearly drastic enough to pose a challenge. Intentional or not, these are behaviors that can be seen in real horses.
    • In order for Link to enter Gerudo Town, he needs to disguise himself as a woman. Only women are allowed in, and if Link tries to enter the town in his normal clothes, the guards stop him. He can then change clothes in full view of the guards, and as soon as his female costume is complete, they'll let him in.
    • Bows and arrows expose a hole in the combat AI: ranged weapons make monsters act like support/artillery units, even when they shouldn't. Any enemy armed with a bow will only use that to attack you, even if you walk right up to them—most enemies can punch/kick when unarmed but generally won't if armed with a ranged weapon. And they only fire every 5+ seconds. If you disarm a tough silver/gold enemy and get them to equip a bow, you can beat them up with melee weapons and they won't really fight back, since they don't have enough time to get an arrow ready.
  • Artistic License – Physics:
    • Rafts can be moved by blowing air on their sails with a leaf. In accordance with Newton's 3rd Law, this would move you very slowly backwards in real life, but the better method would be to blow air off of the raft in the opposite of the direction one wishes to go, which is indeed how wind physics work in all other Zelda games.
    • The scoop in the Sunken Scoop shrine doesn't create any waves when you move it through the water, which makes it possible to come from under the balls to lift them out. In real life, you'd be pushing the balls out of the way when you move the scoop under them and end up lifting out the water, too. This shrine also incurs some Fridge Logic with how the task is performed.
    • Link's able to climb up surfaces that seem too smooth for anyone short of Spider-Man to climb up.note  Bizarrely, the tips screen specifically mentions Shrine walls are too slick to grab onto, which just opens up a whole slew of questions.
    • Lightning can target both Link and enemies during thunderstorms if they're holding metal weapons or shields. While the chances of getting struck by lightning in real life period is anywhere from a 1-in-600,000 to 1-in-960,000 chance, lightning tends to strike the tallest available object and "favors" striking the most conductive material around.
    • Lampshaded by one scientist who is studying the Rito. He concludes that they shouldn't be capable of flight because their wings are too small to lift their bodies. To help with his research, he runs a minigame asking Link to paraglide as far as possible. The paraglider, being roughly the size of an umbrella, is also much too small to do what it does. Which makes it the perfect test, really.
    • It shouldn't even be possible for Link to swim when he's wearing a heavy clothing set (anything with Metal Armor) and carrying an Iron Sledgehammer on his back but none of that will weigh him down one bit in the water.
  • Attack! Attack... Retreat! Retreat!: If you get too close to a wolf, it will howl, alerting all nearby wolves to its presence to attack you. Kill at least one of them, and the rest will give up on killing you and run for the hills.
  • Aura Vision: The Magnesis, Stasis, and Cryonis runes include visual filters which highlight items and materials that can be affected by these powers. In addition to easily seeking targets, this can be used for seeking desirable materials, such as cooking ingredients, which always appear under Stasis vision even if the rune can't actually be used on them.
  • Automatic New Game: If there are no save files present, the game will start with a black screen with "Press A" as the only thing displayed.
  • Automaton Horses: Completely averted. Horses have their own AI and their own temperaments. Each horse has a likelihood of disobeying your commands depending on their temperament, and to decrease this likelihood, you have to increase your bond with the horse by soothing it when it does obey your commands and feeding it food like apples. Also, if you release the control stick to let them move on their own, they divert around trees and obstacles. Horses do have one automaton-like trait in that, when given no commands, they will stand perfectly still and not wander around unless they are attacked or see food nearby.
  • Auto-Revive: Fairies and Mipha's Grace both heal Link when he falls in battle. Mipha's Grace even gives temporary bonus hearts.
  • Awesome, but Impractical:
    • Horses, due to the more realistic way the game handles them. Despite the increased movement speed, you're actually quite limited in where you can go with them, as they will naturally refuse to jump off cliffs or climb mountains. Adding to this, the faster, stronger horses have wilder temperaments, so catching more ideal mounts can result in you getting one that more frequently disobeys your commands. Finally, unlike in previous games, your horse can't teleport from across the world if you try to whistle for it; the only way to instantly summon them is to go to a stable.
    • The physics engine in this game is incredibly robust and allows for a lot of outside-the-box tactics. Unfortunately, not all of them are practical:
      • With enough Octo Balloons, it's possible to create functional airships in the game. Unfortunately, they require a lot of precise setup and one wrong move risks Link falling off, not making them very practical for long-term travel. They also pop after a set period of time.
      • People have discovered that with the proper setup and enough Octo Balloons, it's possible to fly your horse around the map! Unfortunately, nine times out of ten, you'll end up killing the horse in the process, and there's not many places where flying your horse to would actually be useful.
      • People have managed to create infinite prop surfing machines in this game. Unfortunately, while they offer a lot of vertical airtime, they aren't too useful for travel.
      • Normally, you can't lift the object you're standing on with Magnesis. It's possible to stack two metal objects on top of each other, though, and lift the bottom one to fly forever. However, it's tricky to stay balanced, tends to drift in one direction or another, and the higher you go, the more likely something can go wrong. This has also become much more difficult to start since the update, as the game can detect what you're trying to do and just cancel Magnesis.
    • The Dark Armor set, which you can only buy from Kilton for an exorbitant amount of "Mon" after beating all the main dungeons. It makes Link look like an Evil Counterpart of himself, but otherwise serves no real purpose. The full set makes you move faster at night, but so does the Sheikah Armor with two upgrades; the latter can be obtained much earlier (it's sold in Kakariko Village, the first town you visit in the main quest, and the items needed to upgrade it twice aren't hard to find), costs less, and provides a stealth boost and better defense in addition to the speed bonus.
  • Awesome Mc Coolname: The King of Hyrule during the tragedy 100 years ago was named Rhoam Bosphoramus Hyrule. He tells you this himself when he reveals himself on the Great Plateau.
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    B 
  • Back Stab: Link can perform a powerful Sneakstrike by attacking unaware enemies from behind. It deals a lot of damage (weapon damage x8).
  • Bad Moon Rising: A Blood Moon fills the night periodically, and causes all defeated enemies to respawn at their camps. If you're unlucky, this happens while resting at a campfire and you wake up surrounded by Moblins and Bokoblins.
  • Badass Family: Every known member of the royal family of the Zoras has at least one heroic feat to their name. Dorephan took out a guardian completely unarmed. Sidon slew a massive Octorok after it swallowed him whole. Mipha was the best fighter out of all of the Zoras (since the Champions were stated to be the strongest of their respective races) and her intended husband was Link.
  • Bag of Holding:
    • Double Subverted. Being a Zelda game, you expect it to be a given, but gameplay shows Link carrying his quiver, bow, weapon, and shield all packed on his back (strongly resembling official art for the first game). However, if you change equipment — say, a sword for an axe — you will see just the axe on your back. The rest of the equipment still sits tightly stored away in your pouch of holding.
    • Zigzagged with all you can pack away. There's a 60 slot limit on how many individual cooked foods and elixirs you can carry, 100 slots for armor, and no known limit for materials. Melee weapons, bows, and shields have a much lower set limit on how many you can pack away, but there is a collectible item you can trade in to a certain NPC in order to increase those limits: weapons cap out at 19, shields at 20, and bows at 13. The absurdly low cap for bows is due to arrows sharing the same inventory, while the Master Sword and the Bow of Light have their own dedicated inventory slots in the Weapons and Bows & Arrows pages, respectively.
  • Balloonacy: Octo Balloons can be dropped on objects, attaching on touch and lifting them into the air; this includes rocks, bombs, and even heavy things like rafts and minecarts.
  • Barbie Doll Anatomy: Link has no visible nipples when he's shirtless, and the generic Gorons lack them as well.
  • Bare Your Midriff:
  • Bat Out of Hell: The Keese appear again, this time resembling their Dark World counterparts from A Link to the Past, as they sport only one eye. Some fly around in swarms that will divebomb Link if he gets too close.
  • Battle Boomerang: A class of weapons you can find. Unlike previous games, you can use it as a melee weapon, use the throw action to throw, and use the action button to catch it. The two-handed giant boomerangs do more damage and have a wider range.
  • Battleship Raid: The Divine Beasts, a group of gargantuan war machines, serve as the game's plotline dungeons. Link has to solve puzzles inside each Beast before defeating the boss within.
  • Beat Still, My Heart: Dropped monster guts will beat and pulse indefinitely, despite the monsters being killed.
  • Beautiful Void: The Great Plateau is a downplayed example. Only a few groups of enemies, a few birds, and a mysterious old man are alive to join you; all the rest is beautiful scenery and the sound of the breeze, with little in the way of music or even sound effects.
  • Bee Afraid: When a beehive is knocked down, a swarm of angry bees will attack the closest thing they see. This can either be any enemy unfortunate enough to be near one, or Link if he's too close.
  • Beef Gate: Some areas are guarded by powerful enemies that make it difficult to explore those areas early in the game. A Downplayed example, as these are far from insurmountable, and a sufficiently skilled and/or determined player can still do things in pretty much any order they want. The Lynel on Ploymus Mountain is a subversion. If your required encounter with it during the Vah Ruta Quest is early in the game, you will most certainly be unable to successfully fight it, but since you just need to collect shock arrows in its territory, it still be survived as a stealth mission.
  • Bequeathed Power: Upon freeing each Divine Beast from the Blight Ganon that controls it, its Champion will bestow their magical power to Link. Mipha's Grace restores Link's life if he runs out of hearts and gives a few extra hearts, Urbosa's Fury is an area-of-effect lightning attack, Revali's Gale allows Link to leap high into the air with his paraglider, and Daruk's Protection puts a powerful barrier between Link and enemy attacks.
  • Better Than a Bare Bulb: From the not-viable wingspan of the Rito to the fountains Great Fairies live in, this game loves its lampshades.
  • BFS: The Claymores, one of the weapon types. Their weight allows Link to easily knock shields out of his opponents' hands, leaving them vulnerable to his attacks. The only downside is that the attacks are sluggish and, as with all two-handed weapons, he's unable to use a shield.
    • An NPC named Danton lampshades this trope if you show him the Master Sword, saying that he would assume the blade of evil's bane would be 'as big as him' and 'covered in jewels'.
  • Big Damn Heroes:
    • In the memory triggered near the Gerudo bazaar, Link saves Zelda from a Yiga assassin by swiftly cutting him down.
    • In the game proper, you can sometimes encounter traveling Non Player Characters being chased by monsters. It’s possible to invoke this trope yourself by killing the monsters before they can harm them, and you’ll be rewarded with food, Rupees, or an elixir if you do so.
  • Big Fancy Castle: Hyrule Castle. Emphasis on big, since it can be seen from almost all corners of Hyrule.
  • Big, Stupid Doodoo-Head: One "traveler" who is obviously a Yiga assassin in disguise will gush about Master Kohga. Link has the option to say he "has a big dumb belly", which doesn't go over well.
    • Courtesy of Daruk:
    Daruk: And if you see Ganon again, give him a message for me; Good riddance, bacon breath!
  • Bilingual Bonus: The new Sheikah writing is all over the place in this game; some examples spell out "Goalpoint", and "Gyros".
  • Bittersweet Ending: Standard-issue for The Legend of Zelda. After the battle against Calamity Ganon, it is sealed away, and Link and Zelda are reunited, but many good people, like the King and the Champions, had to die to make it all happen and the Hyrule kingdom is still fragmented. Also, Ganon's defeat is only temporary and Zelda implies he will return in the future. Not all is lost, however, as Link and Zelda agree to continue their research and bring Hyrule back to its former glory.
  • Blade on a Stick: Link can use a wide variety of spears and spear-like objects, including fishing harpoons, Goron drill shafts, and the incredibly powerful Lynel Spear.
  • Blackout Basement:
    • The Thyphlo Ruins are shrouded in perpetual darkness, where only sources of fire and Daruk's Protection provide enough light to see for a few feet. While you can brute force your way around (and you might have to if you enter the island from anywhere but the starting bridge), the intended way to navigate to the Shrine is to follow the direction the bird lanterns' beaks are pointing.
    • Once you enter Vah Rudania's insides, all the ceilings and doors shut and plunge you into darkness. Thankfully, you only have to do a short torch run to the map terminal before all of them open back up, letting the lava light the place up again.
    • From the Master Trials DLC, Floors 6-10 of the Middle Trials of the Sword are like the Thyphlo Ruins. This time, you have to fight in total darkness, with each room only lighting up once everything is dead.
  • Bloodless Carnage: Typically for the series, you can hack into your enemies with swords, spears, and even woodcutting axes, all of which should cause gore to fly around like confetti. Should, but doesn't.
  • Blown Across the Room: The Spring-Loaded Hammer only does Scratch Damage, but makes up for it with its ability to send enemies soaring through the air on strong hits. Best utilized when fighting around cliffs and near bodies of water, especially for Bokoblins and Moblins, who are unable to swim.
  • Blow That Horn: If an enemy on a guard tower spots you, it'll blow a horn to alert all of the other enemies to get attacking. Taking these guards out is helpful for a stealthy one-by-one approach to clearing camps.
  • Blow You Away: One of the available weapons is a large Korok Leaf, which, similar to the Deku Leaf from Wind Waker, sends out a gust of wind when swung. It's more useful for activating wind mechanisms and steering rafts and ballooning platforms than fighting, with one exception: its gusts can knock Stal enemies to pieces from a distance, allowing Link to deal with them without coming under attack.
  • Blue Is Heroic: Link's main outfit used in memories and most promotional art is the blue Champion's Tunic. In addition, Zelda's 'adventurer' outfit is predominantly blue, and all the Champions incorporate blue into their clothing. The Guest Star Party Members that help Link board the Divine Beasts also have a hint of blue in their designs. Additionally, the Sheikah glyphs on Towers and Shrines and freed Divine Beasts will turn from orange to blue upon activation/completion.
  • Blue Means Cold: Naydra is an ice spirit who takes the form of a dragon with blue icicle-like spikes.
  • Bond One-Liner: Got put down during the Yiga Clan Hideout Stealth-Based Mission?
    Beware, fool, the eye of the Yiga.
  • Bonus Boss: In the Champions' Ballad DLC, the monk residing in the 5th Divine Beast, Maz Koshia, fights you and uses various techniques and weapons you have seen before, such as the Guardian's lasers, ice arrows, shock arrows, summoning giant spiky metallic balls like Master Kohga did, and so on.
  • Bonus Feature Failure: The Wild Set, which is only obtained after clearing all 120 shrines (three of which require separate Divine Beast dungeons to be cleared). By this point, the player has not only done pretty much everything there is to do, but has likely amassed enough equipment to make the meager increase in stats (28 at max level vs the Champion's Tunic's 32) seem trivial. The requirements to upgrade it (including two of every scale, claw, fang, and horn shard from all three dragons) make it not worth the effort, especially if you have any of the Amiibo-granted green tunics.
  • Book-Ends: One of the first places you're likely to visit is the Ash Swamp, as it's on the most direct route to Kakariko, where you're directed right after the tutorial. It's also one of the last places you're likely to visit, since the swamp is the location of the final memory that only unlocks upon getting all the others.
  • Boom, Headshot!: Enemies suffer much more damage from arrows and thrown weapons if they're hit in the head.
  • Border Patrol: Hyrule is huge but not endless. Most of its borders are marked by either the great ocean or a massive gorge which functions as a bottomless pit, and these feature strong inward-blowing winds to prevent the player paragliding or sailing to the edge of the map. The Gerudo Desert similarly has harsh sandstorms which appear near its edges and make navigation difficult. Despite these obstacles, a creative player can still reach the edges of the game world, only to encounter an invisible wall and the simple message, "You cannot go farther."
  • Boring, but Practical:
    • Hearty and Enduring food. When cooking, if the player uses a Hearty ingredient while cooking, then the end result will be a full healing item that also adds bonus hearts, and Hearty ingredients are not too difficult to find. At lower health, stronger effects will give Link even more hearts, while at higher health, only one or two is needed and a full heal is very welcomed and also simple to create. As for the Enduring food, it is the same but with Stamina, and it is especially effective when the Stamina Wheel is maxed. In a pinch, if Link runs out of Stamina, some food with an Enduring effect will recover his Stamina to full and add some more Stamina to use.
    • With cooking in general, it's generally easier and more effective to throw in the same high-grade ingredient multiple times to create a high-quality simple dish instead of worrying about trying to combine different ingredients to make complex dishes. For example, 3 Raw Prime Meats creates a Meat Skewer that heals 9 hearts while 1 Raw Prime Meat, Hylian Rice, and Goron Spice creates a Prime Meat Curry that only heals 5 hearts.
    • There's quite a bit of potential for creative combat. That said, you can always just use your weapon.
    • The runes you receive allow you to do things like cause huge explosions, manipulate huge metal objects, and freeze things in time. However, one of the most versatile runes is Cryonis. All it does is create pillars of ice out of nearby water, but it can be incredibly useful, creating shields against ranged attacks, allowing you to cross bodies of water, and even ascend waterfalls without having to get the Zora Armor. Also, during Vah Ruta's quest, players may notice that Ruta and the Waterblight Ganon use their own variants of the Cryonis rune, meaning it's possible to save a lot of arrows by simply using the Cryonis "break" command against the blocks/spiked balls they try sending your way.
    • The humble Korok Leaf is handy for dealing with smaller Stal monsters. Its gust of wind knocks them to pieces at a distance without wearing on its durability, and its damage is perfectly sufficient to destroy their heads once separated from the body. Not to mention a lot of Bokoblin camps have a vertical aspect, and the game has a lot of verticality with high cliffs if you're feeling like disposing of a monster without concern for its loot.
    • Roasted food. While not as fancy as proper-cooked meals, they can be stacked in your inventory instead of taking up a whole space like a recipe, and can be prepared wherever there's fire or intense heat. So long as you have firewood and a way to light it, or are in or near Goron City (where you can literally just throw the food on the ground to heat it), you can roast simple recovery food easily. Apples, Hylian Shrooms, and Hyrule Bass are all common and don't sell for much even when cooked in a pot, so they're some of the best candidates for roasting.
    • The Sheikah armor set is the first full set of armor available to the player if they go to Kakariko Village as the game encourages. While it has slightly lower defense than most other armor sets, its Stealth Up bonus makes catching wildlife, including Fairies, dramatically easier, and allows for picking off enemies one at a time without alerting others.
    • Flameblades are handy to keep around to instantly light campfires, torches, and cooking pots, and to melt blocks of ice. They can also be used to keep yourself warm in cold areas without having to wear cold-resistant armor or consume cold-resistance meals.
    • Boko weapons. They don't have that much attack power, they break after a few uses, they're easily overshadowed by other weapons, and their wooden composition means that they'll catch fire very easily. However, that doesn't mean that they're completely useless. Again, they're made of wood, which means you won't attract lightning and you can use the melee variants as makeshift torches. They're also the most common weapons you'll find, meaning you won't have to look too hard for them when you need more weapons.
    • Regular arrows. They don't offer any added effects like setting your enemy on fire, freezing them solid, or electrocuting them and others, but they're cheap, they're common, and they're perfect for picking off enemies without drawing attention since, again, they're just regular arrows.
  • Boss Arena Idiocy:
    • Played straight with Windblight and Fireblight Ganons. The back and wings of the Vah Medoh mech have an array of spikes and spires for no discernible reason other than to provide cover from Windblight's attacks, as well as vents which you can conveniently use to snipe him when he gets too far up to reach, while the relatively wide, flat back of Vah Rudania serves as room to maneuver away from Fireblight's gigantic claymore and fireballs.
    • Played straight and then subverted with Waterblight Ganon. He is fought inside of a massive, empty chamber in Vah Ruta with no clear purpose that screams Boss Room, but halfway through he will turn the large amount of room to maneuver on its head by flooding the room and forcing Link to fight from four small platforms.
    • Utterly averted with Thunderblight Ganon. You fight him in the main chamber of Vah Naboris, which for one thing, is cylindrical with sloping walls, and for another, is full of narrow beams and ledges that both block your aim of him and are very easy to get knocked off of. Have fun!
    • Played with in regards to the Bottomless Pit that makes up the centerpiece during Master Kohga's boss fight. It serves little function during the fight itself, but after Link wins, Kohga's last-ditch attempt to kill Link using his "Ultimate Technique" ends up knocking himself into it.
    • A non-boss example can be found in one of the Hebra mountain hot springs, which is swarming with Ice Lizalfos. Despite their numbers, a clever player can easily kill most of them by exploiting Elemental Rock–Paper–Scissors and baiting or knocking them into the steaming waters, which will instantly kill them.
  • Boss in Mook Clothing:
    • Lynels return, and are by far the toughest regular enemies in the game. The strongest Lynels are roughly as powerful as Calamity Ganon, yet due to not technically being classified as bosses, they can still be vaporized by a single Ancient Arrow.
    • The Silver variants of the Bokoblins, Moblins, and Lizalfos can hit you hard and soak up a ton of damage, requiring at least one or two high-attack weapons just to slay one.
  • Boss Rush: Trying to speed through the game by challenging Ganon right off the bat will have the player fight Windblight Ganon, Waterblight Ganon, Fireblight Ganon, Thunderblight Ganon, and Calamity Ganon one after another with no breaks in between.
  • Bottomless Magazines: Unlike Link, enemies have unlimited arrows, and their weapons never break unless they’re set on fire. Sometimes, their arrows can be embedded into surfaces for you to pick up when they miss, allowing you to exploit this to a limited extent.
  • Boulder Bludgeon: Disarmed Bokoblins and Moblins will occasionally throw rocks as projectiles. Bokoblins pick up small ones from nowhere, while Moblins use the large ones scattered around the overworld (which Link can also use).
  • Bragging Rights Reward:
    • The Wild armor set, which gives Link his classic Iconic Outfit, upgrades the Master Sword's beam attack, and has generally high (but not unrivaled) stats, is a borderline example. It can only be obtained by completing all 120 Sheikah shrines, so once you have it, there's probably very little left to do. Also done humorously with Kass's daughter Genli; she says she'll give you a special reward for completing all the Shrines, but all she does is congratulate you. Granted, due to the nature of the game, there's nothing stopping a player who wants to have Link don the set as soon as possible from simply focusing on clearing every shrine before doing any of the real story work barring a few exceptions (Divine Beast Vah Naboris will need to be calmed for at least one of the desert shrines to be accessible), allowing those players to experience the story while wearing the traditional look.
    • As far as steeds go, The Lord Of The Mountain is also basically this; he has to be navigated down from the top of his mountain to be of any use at all after you "tame" him, and vanishes if you dismount (or get knocked off by an enemy) and walk more than about ten paces from him. You can't register him at a stable (unlike the other two unique steeds) because the stable managers are terrified of him. On top of this, he only spawns occasionally on his mountain top and you only have two tries to tame him before he stops coming back until the next time the mountain glows. He does technically have the best stats in the game, of course (even if you can't see them due to being unable to register him), and on top of having max stamina, his also instantly regenerates, but if you're riding him, you probably already have a more convenient horse with high-end stats anyway.
    • One of the final rewards for beating The Champion's Ballad is the Master Cycle Zero, a Magitek-powered Cool Bike that is more maneuverable, and agile, than any horse in the game. It's also one of the final rewards of the post-game story DLC, which was released long after anyone who wanted to 100% the game would have. Unless you have other stuff you want to do, all you can do with it is explore the world more.
  • Breakable Weapons: All weapons and shields break after varying degrees of use. Even the Master Sword is not entirely exempt from this game mechanic, but instead of breaking and disappearing from your inventory, it "runs out of energy" and goes on a 10-minute cooldown timer before it can be used again.
  • Bribing Your Way to Victory: Most amiibo, including the stupendously inexpensive Animal Crossing cards, give you extra supplies (food, mushrooms, plants, etc.) once a day. 30th Anniversary Series and Super Smash Bros. Legend of Zelda amiibo all give items relevant to the character, including exclusive weapons and armor (such as their green tunics). Wolf Link from the Twilight Princess HD remake gives you a battle companion in the form of Wolf Link, and SSB Link gives you Epona.
  • Bridge Logic: Trees can be chopped down to create makeshift bridges.
  • Broken Bridge: Getting off the Great Plateau at the beginning of the game is pretty much the only one. The entire rest of the game is one big Beef Gate. You could hypothetically go straight to the final fight against Ganon... if you can somehow survive getting into Hyrule Castle with so little health and low-grade equipment.
  • Broomstick Quarterstaff: One of the melee weapons is a Wooden Mop. Now, you too can scrub all the floors in Hyrule.
  • Bullet Time:
    • If Link fires arrows in midair, either by leaping off his horse or falling from a significant height, the game moves in slow motion for easier aiming. This uses up a lot of stamina, though, and time returns to normal when you run out.
    • A well-timed dodge from an enemy attack slows down time so that Link can pummel them mercilessly with a "Flurry Rush", in a similar vein to the "Witch Time" mechanic from Bayonetta. "Flurry Rush" with a sword is similar to the "Triforce Slash" Final Smash of Link and Toon Link in Super Smash Bros..
  • Bullfight Boss: Some models of Shrine Guardians have an attack where they start whirling their weapons around and charge headlong into you, which they use when you get far enough away from them. When they hit something that's not the arena walls or you, they short out and get stunned, allowing you a few free hits in. One shrine even has the fight in a big puddle of water, encouraging you spawn ice blocks for the Guardian to smash into and save your hide from being on the receiving end of a One-Hit Kill, as you have the One Hit Obliterator at the time.
  • The Bus Came Back: This game marks the return of both the Rito and Korok races, who haven't been seen since The Wind Waker all the way back in 2003. This game also brings back the Gerudo, who hadn't been seen since Four Swords Adventures in 2004 barring the various appearances of Ganon(dorf).

    C 
  • Calling Your Attacks: During a quest, a Goron named Gonguron screams "GORON POWER, GOOO!!!" before starting to mine like a maniac in a cave to reveal a shrine.
  • Canon Immigrant: As part of the "Champions' Ballad" DLC, Link can gain a Sheikah-tech motorcycle known as the Master Cycle Zero. This is an adaptation of a motorcycle that he could ride in Mario Kart 8 DLC, simply called the "Master Cycle".
  • Carnivore Confusion: In Gerudo Town, there is a Rito named Frita browsing the various meats for sale. She's disappointed that they don't have any poultry. This is justified, however, as the Rito themselves appear to be modeled after birds of prey such as falcons and eagles, which are carnivores and are known to sometimes eat smaller birds. In some places, you can spot pig-man Bokoblins hunting, killing, and devouring a wild boar.
  • Cave Behind the Falls: Several, particularly in the Faron region due to the area's higher than normal level of waterfalls. Some even contain shrines.
  • Cel Shading: A much more advanced visual engine than that of The Wind Waker (even the HD remake). The total visual design is said to be inspired by Japanese animation.
  • Censored for Comedy: The Dubious Food is so disgusting-looking that they had to censor it with pixelation. "Too gross to even look at" indeed!
  • Chainsaw Good: The Ancient Bladesaw can be summed up as a Space Marine chainsword with laser teeth. It’s very effective with its great damage and great durability.
  • Character Customization: In a way. Each outfit's pieces can be mixed and matched and some lighter headgear will change Link's hairstyle, but most of the clothes have a plot or utilitarian purpose like granting an elemental resistance or buffing certain stats, making it impossible to enter some areas without the requisite clothing.
  • Cheerful Child: Nearly all of the child NPCs you meet are preciously cute and cheerful, with some of them wanting to grow up to be like their heroes or parents.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Some shrines subvert the conventions of puzzle dungeons by making the player realize that everything inside is a piece of the puzzle. All shrines have treasure chests that reward the player, but in some cases, the innocuous metal chests which don't seem to have any other purpose are actually key to solving a puzzle by serving as a weight or electric conductor. Other shrines require the player to carry something throughout the shrine rather than leaving it at the puzzle where it was solved, since it's needed in the next puzzles as well.
  • Cherry Tapping: Calamity Ganon takes damage from any weapon just like any other enemy, which means you can beat him into submission with a soup ladle or a farming hoe, or reflect his lasers back at him with a pot lid, though you'll more than likely need some actual good weapons to soften him up first. Sadly, you have to kill Dark Beast Ganon with the Bow of Light, no ifs, ands, or buts.
  • Chest Monster:
    • Treasure Octoroks look like buried treasure chests before they pop up when you approach or attack the chest. The chests are just on their heads like the plants of other Octoroks. Wearing the Champion's Tunic spoils the surprise, however, displaying the Octo's health points even when hidden. Additionally, these chests don't register as being metallic if you use the Magnesis rune, unlike the actual chests they resemble. The Compendium says this is because the chests are actually parts of the Octoroks' bodies.
    • Several barrels in enemy camps will contain Chuchus to catch the player off guard when looting through the supplies.
  • Chromatic Arrangement:
    • The Champions' blessings. Daruk's Protection is red, Mipha's Grace is blue, Revali's Gale is green, and Urbosa's Fury is yellow.
    • Also the runes used to scan for interaction with the game world, Magnesis is red, Cryonis is blue, and Stasis is yellow.
    • And the arrows, Fire, Ice and Light arrows all reappear in their traditional red, blue, yellow arrangement. Bomb, Ancient, and Shock arrows are also red, blue, and yellow respectively.
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Much like how Twilight Princess lacked Octoroks, this is the first Zelda game with an absence of Stalfos, though non-human "Stal" enemies still appear.
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience:
    • Outside the main bosses, you can tell an enemy's strength by its color. Red is weakest, followed by blue, black (white-maned for Lynels), silver, and goldnote .
    • And the elemental affinity for some of the monsters and the arrows goes along the line of: Red for fire and explosive arrows, yellow and lime-green is for electricity, and ice is bluish-white.
    • Sheikah magitek has Tron Lines which glow in a particular color to indicate the status of the device: orange if it has power but is inactive, blue if activated, and magenta if controlled by Ganon. In addition, while their lower halves will turn blue when you activate them, Sheikah shrines will not turn blue on top until they have been completed (this also counts for their map icons, making shrines you've activated but not finished easy to find).
  • Colossus Climb: Large enemies such as Taluses and Hinox can be climbed onto.
  • Companion Cube: A girl named Loone has adopted one of the orbs used to access Sheikah shrines, calling it Roscoe. She refuses to part with it unless Link brings her pictures of three different types of Guardians, which she becomes much more enthralled with, getting over Roscoe as a result.
    Loone: So smooth and ancient...
  • Completion Mockery: One of the many sidequests in the game is collecting korok seeds, with there being a total of 900 in the game. If you actually take the time to collect all 900 and bring the to the Hestu, you are awarded with Hestu's gift, which is nothing more than a piece of korok poop. The ingame description even says "It smells pretty bad".
  • Continuity Nod:
    • The three springs Zelda prays in to awaken Hylia's power are identical to the Skyview Spring from Skyward Sword, albeit more ruined by time.
    • During the ceremony that Daruk suggested to commemorate Link's ascension to being Zelda's personal knight:
      Zelda: Whether skyward bound, adrift in time, or steeped in the glowing embers of twilight, the sacred blade is forever bound to the soul of the hero... Over the seas of time and distance, when we knew the golden power of the goddess.
      • Different languages also reference different games, such as A Link to the Past.
    • In another scene, she also says that legends tell of a voice speaking from within the Master Sword, and asks if Link can hear it. In the final memory at Fort Hateno, the sword speaks to Zelda. We hear it as Fi's chime. If you complete the Trial of the Sword DLC, when Link returns to the Korok Forest with the fully-upgraded Master Sword, he gives it a swing and Fi chimes again.
    • Urbosa mentions how the Calamity Ganon was said to have reincarnated into a Gerudo body in the past, a reference to the villain's human persona, Ganondorf. In that same cutscene, she refers to Nabooru, calling her a legendary hero of the Gerudo.
    • She also says that Vah Naboris was named after Sage Nabooru. This is also the case for Vah Ruta (after Sage Ruto) and Vah Rudania (after Sage Darunia).
    • Plaques on the road to Zora's Domain talk about Zora history. One of them talks about the Sage Princess Ruto.
      • In the Champions' Ballad DLC, Mipha writes in her diary about how Ruto fell in love with a Hylian swordsman and hopes that it means good things for her and Link.
    • In the first game, Link begins outside and enters a cave to speak with an old man, whereas in Breath of the Wild, Link begins in a cave and goes outside to speak with an old man. When the old man asks what Link plans to do with a torch, Link can respond "It's a secret," referencing the first game's "It's a secret to everybody" line.
    • The map is filled with nods to the series, from recurring locations to various landmarks named after past characters.
    • The Ranch Ruins are pretty clearly the ruins of Lon Lon Ranch.
      • Similarly, the ruins directly in front of the castle still have the same rough layout as Castle Town from Twilight Princess, although the buildings have been torn to the ground and they're overgrown with blight.
      • The ruins around the Temple of Time on the Great Plateau strongly resemble Castle Town from Ocarina of Time.
    • One of the Shrine Quests is called Song of Storms, which is a song you learn in Ocarina of Time from an irate windmill owner involved with Link in a Stable Time Loop, and in Majora's Mask from the Poe composers Flat and Sharp.
  • Contrived Coincidence:
    • Some of the Sheikah Shrines' trials are simply getting access to the shrines in the first place. While a lot of the trials to access them are sensible enough to have been prepared during their construction (such as collecting scales from the Divine Dragons, solving an ancient riddle or simply overcoming difficult terrain to reach an otherwise freely-accessible shrine), some of the "trials" tied to the "Blessing" shrines are orchestrated by people born long after the respective shrines' architects, intentionally or not. They can range from winning a climbing mini-game (which is also a Goron rite of passage from a select group, but it's ambiguous if this trial is a tradition that dates back to the original Calamity, which would have suggested cooperation between the Ancient Sheikah and Gorons) to preparing a drink for a lost and fatigued Gerudo blocking the access terminal on the otherwise freely-accessible shrine.
    • Tarrey Town thrives on this. In order to construct and run the town, the founder Hudson needs a Goron miner, a Gerudo tailor, a Rito with store management experience and a Zora priest, and due to Hudson's quirky policy, they all have to have names that end with -son. In the sidequest "From the Ground Up", Link has to recruit those people, and there just happens to be a Goron miner, a Gerudo tailor, a Rito with store management experience and a Zora priest in Hyrule, all with names that end with -son, despite the utter improbability of such names among people of those races. To top it all off, Rhondson, the Gerudo tailor, and Hudson just happen to be single, and the sidequest ends with their wedding.
  • Convection Schmonvection: Played with. Temperature plays a huge role in the game, with Death Mountain and the Gerudo Desert to the west being quite hot. Death Mountain in particular takes it even further, with wooden gear literally bursting into flames the higher you go up the summit, to say nothing of the damage being dealt to you. On the other hand, you can stand within inches of lava in nothing but your underwear, and if you've drank a Fireproof Elixir, or are wearing a piece of the Flamebreaker armor set, such as the helmet, you'll be none the worse for wear.
  • Cool Airship: Vah Medoh. It's so big that when it was first seen in the distance during E3 2016 gameplay, a lot of people mistook it for a Floating Island.
  • Cool Bike: The Champions' Ballad DLC includes Master Cycle Zero, a motorbike made from Sheikah Magitek that Link can use as a steed. It can even accept any type of material to be used as fuel.
  • Cool Horse:
    • Link can tame and ride wild horses.
    • There are also skeletal stalhorses, which Link can also ride, though they disappear at dawn.
    • Scanning the Adult Link amiibo for Super Smash Bros. will give you Epona, who has four stars for each stat and a mild personality. However, you can only get her once per game with each amiibo (ergo, having multiple Eponas require multiple amiibo). Taking her to the stable has the stable-keeper freaking out that she's a legend. If you accidentally summoned Epona on the plateau and were forced to leave her behind, there's a chance you can get a second one at a later date via amiibo. Of course, this is all dependent on the RNG.
    • One of the sidequests consists of finding and taming a pure white horse that's said to have belonged to the royal family. Zelda rides the same breed in the flashbacks 100 years ago, and its design in general is based on the horse Zelda and Impa escaped on in Ocarina.
    • You can catch a giant black horse with flaming red hair, based on Ganondorf's horse in Ocarina of Time, said to be the Last of Its Kind.
    • There's also the Lord of the Mountain, a glowing, horse-shaped Animalistic Abomination with four eyes and five stars in each stat, plus limitless stamina. It cannot be registered, however.
  • Cordon Bleugh Chef: The Dubious Food and Rock-Hard Food are byproducts of Link experimenting with different incompatible ingredients with his recipes. The NPC Moza also demonstrates this.
  • Cosmetic Award:
    • The player only needs 441 Korok Seeds to maximize the size of their inventory. Should they go the extra mile and collect all 900, the player gets the Hestu's Gift token, which resembles a little golden poop and causes Hestu to dance for them at any time.
    • Beating every overworld boss of each type (Talus, Hynox, and Molduga) unlocks a medal for that type.
    • Completing the Hyrule Compendium, and talking to Symin afterwards, gets you a confidential envelope with a picture of a beautiful Sheikah woman in it.
  • Country Switch: Since the Switch is Nintendo's first region-unlocked console, the Switch version of the game is identical across all regions and contains data for all languages, displaying whatever language the console is set to. A post release patch even allows the user to select the voice track independently of the text language. Averted for the Wii U version, since that console was region locked, although Nintendo did release free DLC that provided multi-audio.
  • Cozy Catastrophe: Despite being set in an After the End Hyrule, the citizens don't seem to mind. Plenty of towns are flat out flourishing, towns don't need walls because monsters never go there (the only place that does have walls, Gerudo Town, has them mainly to keep out men), people walk freely out in the open at all times of the day, people are continuing to produce goods (even expanding their businesses), in fact a lot of people don't even seem to care that Hyrule recently went through an apocalypse.
    • Justified in that Zelda was able to stop a true After the End from happening, stopping the apocalypse in its tracks and allowing the people to survive in places that made it through the initial attack. It's only around when Link awakens that things start to get worse again.
  • Critical Hit:
    • Weapons will do double damage when they break, whether by being thrown or running out of durability hitting an enemy. Weapons with the "Critical Hit" perk also score a crit when a combo finisher connects.
    • A weirder example is "critical cooking"—sometimes, randomly, cooking something that gives a temporary status effect will give you a special version of that dish with a much longer-lasting stat boost. A special musical jingle lets you know when this happens. You can get this boost guaranteed during Blood Moon nights as well.
  • Cross Promotion: In a promotion for Xenoblade Chronicles 2, Link can garb himself in the outfit worn by Rex, the main hero of the former game.
  • Crow's Nest Cartography: The Sheikah Towers, which require Link to climb them and insert his Sheikah Slate. Unlike Ubisoft, in which visiting these points reveals a typically-circular portion of the map and unlocks objectives, visiting these towers fills in the borders of an entire region, and do not add objectives to the map. Instead, the player has to manually scout out where shrines and other points of interest are, putting more emphasis on exploration, rather than ticking off a checklist of objectives. Since they are Warp Whistle destinations, they also double as convenient high points for Link to use his paraglider.
  • Crystal Weapon: Whatever it is that ancient technology is made of, diamonds are a part of it, as the Gerudo diamond circlet offers ancient resistance.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: There is widespread evidence that Calamity Ganon inflicted this upon the kingdom a century ago. Every fort, garrison, and training camp Link stumbles across are in ruin or re-purposed by monsters into homes. Several battlefields containing shattered Guardian hulks are littered with rusting swords and shields concentrated in small clusters, giving the sense of a Bolivian Army Ending. If one reviews the world map and plots the location of the military camps, it becomes apparent Hyrule expected Ganon to attack from outside the kingdom and make his way to the palace. They never expected him to emerge from Hyrule Castle itself.
    • On an individual level, each of the four Champions were killed after apparently suffering one of these at the hands of the respective Blight Ganon that now controls his/her Divine Beast. While it's never directly stated in the game itself, the abilities used by each Blight Ganon during Link's Boss Battle against it would heavily imply that each Blight was specifically created by Ganon with skills and weapons that would perfectly counter the favored fighting style and special abilities of the respective champion that it was responsible for defeating.
  • Cut-and-Paste Environments: The Sheikah Shrines. Each and every one of the entrances is the exact same stone cave with ornamental Tron Lines. Furthermore, the "shrines" themselves are vast underground Magitek puzzle chambers with a Portal-esque minimalist angular architecture. While the layout is different in each shrine (aside from the numerous "tests of strength" which host the exact same battle against the exact same robot in the exact same arena), their walls, railings, platforms, doors, torches, and everything else look exactly alike.
  • Cutting the Knot:
    • Shrine puzzles can often be handled in more than one way, not necessarily by tackling the intended challenge. For instance, most fire-based puzzles are intended to be handled with clever use of the bow, but fire arrows and/or a torch completely trivialize them, as does liberal use of Chuchu jelly and metal weapons for electrical puzzles. A lot of switches are meant to be held down by objects hidden in the shrine, but ten apples will do just as well, or you can temporarily lock a pressed switch in place with the Stasis rune. Of course, this kind of experimentation is encouraged, as it doesn't matter how you reach the monk at the end; they praise your resourcefulness, no matter how you get there.
    • The Myahm Agana Shrine features a rather challenging ball-rolling maze similar to the Rollgoal minigame of Twilight Princess, but controlled entirely with the motion controls of the Wii U GamePad or the Switch's control options. Naturally, you can turn the whole maze over by flipping your controller upside-down, and letting the ball roll on the flat underside. That, or tilt the maze so that when the ball respawns, it's dropped into the final stretch rather than the start.
    • Setting foot on Eventide Island starts a challenge where Link is stripped of all his equipment (including materials and food) and pits him against all sorts of monsters, including a Hinox, in a quest to recover three orbs and drop them onto pedestals. You can partially subvert the no-gear part simply by dropping your stuff on your raft you used to get there before you touch the shore, and then pick them up again when the challenge commences. However, upon completing the challenge, whatever you found on the island is lost, including your own equipment that you "scavenged" (although you could just drop them again before you put the last orb in the hole).
    • Instead of sneaking through the Yiga Clan hideout, you can opt to kill all the guards. With most weapons, this is more difficult, as the hideout tries to enforce stealth gameplay. How? Well, the Yiga Blademasters within the hideout, and only within the hideout, ignore all of your health, fairies, and Mipha's Grace and will always kill you with one hit plus summoning Footsoldier backup when they see you. This is the game's clear way of telling you you aren't supposed to be noticed. But if you've stocked up on Ancient Arrows, clearing them out is a piece of cake.
  • Cyborg: The Blight Ganons are a mixture of Malice, the malevolent matter produced by Calamity Ganon, and bits and pieces of Sheikah technology. Although Malice sustains the monsters, they primarily rely on the energy blades and laser beams provided by the tech to fight. Once Link interrupts Ganon's reincarnation, he too manifests as a mishmash of flesh and Magitek.
  • Cycle of Hurting:
    • If a guardian sends Link ragdolling with a laser blast, they can lock onto him again while he's still reeling, giving him less than half a second to move by the time he gets back up. And they'll have closed the distance, so the blast might as well be hitscan. Good luck surviving much longer.
    • Back Stab an enemy, and they'll fall to the ground. Walk around to their front, and they'll get up; stare at you, and turn around and look the direction where they were stabbed. Repeat.
    • The Stasis+ rune makes this even easier, even against Guardian Stalkers. Freeze them when they approach, cut off their legs and keep hitting them. If they happen to spot you again or try to crawl away, your rune will have recharged in time to halt them and get to a safe attacking point again.
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