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The Legend Of Zelda Breath Of The Wild / Tropes H to M

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Tropes 0 to C | Tropes D to G | H-M | Tropes N to T | Tropes U to Z

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    H 
  • Hailfire Peaks: A somewhat subdued example occurs with the Gerudo Highlands, which are always freezing no matter the time of day, right next to the Gerudo desert, which gets up to sweltering temperatures in the afternoon. Although this is less extreme than many video games, it's still a bit strange to watch the thermometer rise or drop by fifty or sixty degrees when stepping from one region to the other.
  • Hard Light:
    • The Remote Bomb rune makes either square or round bombs depending on Link's needs that appear to be light constructs.
    • Guardian weapons and shields also employ this, having the sword blades, axe/spear/arrow heads, and shields go into and out of "combat mode".
  • Hard Mode Perks:
    • Master Mode bumps up the difficulty in a few ways, but also adds a new element: floating platforms. Sometimes it gives an enemy a vantage point, but most of the time they have a chest with an enhanced weapon in it, sometimes both. You have to work to get them, as they are spaced either near enemies or as floating puzzles, but they are unique to Master Mode. The enemies themselves are often equipped with bows that are better than what can be found in the area, such as Lynel Bows, making them worth fighting early on. These enemies also drop the arrow type they were using when defeated, can be easily dispatched, and respawn during the Blood Moon - making them a good source of bows and arrows.
    • All enemies drop a lot more arrows in Master Mode compared to Normal Mode; a single mook can drop up to 20 arrows at once when slain (double than Normal Mode). Enemy archers are much more common in this mode and they will always drop the arrow types they were using (so any type besides Ancient Arrows), so it is often more efficient to farm arrows from the mooks instead of buying them from NPCs.
    • All enemies that spawn are blue-level or above (with a few plot-relevant exceptions), which makes the early game incredibly difficult due to a lack of gear and inability to effectively stealth past enemies, once you have a few strong weapons and upgraded armor, collecting monster parts now becomes next to cake, as all common enemies now drop several monster parts at once rather than red-levels which only drop one or two.
  • Harmless Freezing: While freezing attacks always cause damage, in the coldest environments there are blocks of ice with enemies trapped inside them, which will be hale and ready to fight if you choose to free them.
  • Heal It with Water: Mipha's magic was explicitly aquatic since she's princess of the Zora. She was a renowned healer when she was alive, and the skill she grants Link is the ability to restore his health to full.
  • Hell Is That Noise:
    • The Guardian battle theme is a warning that a Guardian has you in its sights. Also, if you hear a Guardian locking on to you with its laser sight, you better pray you can get out of their line of fire in time.
    • The demonic, inhuman shrieks the Blight Ganons and Calamity Ganon make are nightmare-inducing.
    • The Yiga Clan laugh whenever they teleport nearby.
    • The Yiga Clan/Lynel battle theme, signaling that one of two of the more difficult/annoying enemies have noticed you and are coming to take you down.
  • Hello, [Insert Name Here]:
    • Averted, per the inclusion of voice acting. This time around, Link is always called Link. Played straight with the horses, though, except for Epona.
    • Played with in the Akkala Research Laboratory, where the fabricator keeps calling Link, "FamiliarNameMissing."
  • Hellish Horse:
    • Occasionally, Stalkoblins that appear at night will ride Stalhorses as their mounts, which are, appropriately, reanimated skeletal horses. You can actually take them for yourself to ride, but you can't register them at the stable, and they disintegrate like all Stal enemies come morning.
    • Downplayed with the Giant Horse. It is a gigantic horse with a black coat and a fiery red mane, and it comes with maxed-out strength and a wild temperament, but it otherwise acts like any other horse. It's implied to be the same kind of horse that Ganondorf rode in the past, though it lacks the glowing red eyes. In a fit of irony, you can use this very horse against the final boss, Dark Beast Ganon, as well.
  • Heroic Mime: As always, Link rarely says a word. However, this time it's justified, as the only way he can cope with the amount of pressure and responsibility that he has to deal with is to never speak about it to anyone. You do get to choose dialogue options off a list on occasion.
    • Downplayed in the original Japanese text, where Link is the one writing the journal entries in the Adventure Log, often while giving his own thoughts on the situation at hand. Thus being this the first time in the series where Link expresses himself completely outside of the player's influence. In the Western localizations, the entries were rewritten so they address the player directly instead.
  • Hitodama Light: The spirits of the four champions and the king always appear with this light around them and so does Link, whenever he uses their abilities. In fact, you can see their spectral form when the powers are used as well.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard:
    • 100 years before the game took place, the Hylians found the buried Guardians and Divine Beasts, and started using them to help prepare to reseal Calamity Ganon. However Ganon was able to possess the mechanical beasts, turning them against the Hylians and being the main reason for Hyrule's downfall.
    • There are many ways to defeat a Guardian, but by far the most efficient is to reflect its beam attack back at it. To quantify this, if a beam hits Link without armor it does about 24 damage, or six hearts worth, whereas if it's reflected back to a Guardian's eye it does a whopping 500 damage, enough to one-shot a static Guardian and take away 1/3 of the health of a Stalker.
  • Hollywood Chameleons: This game's version of Lizalfos resemble bipedal chameleons. Naturally, they can change color to blend into their environment, potentially enabling them to ambush unwitting players.
  • Hopeless War: Thanks to the Blood Moon it doesn't matter how many monsters the people of Hyrule exterminate or defeat. They simply resurrect a few days later and make battles of attrition useless against them.
  • Horse Archer: With more emphasis on it than in previous Zelda games — Link can leap off his horse in midair and rain arrows down upon his foes as he leaps. Some Bokoblins also ride horses while armed with either bows or spears.
  • Horse of a Different Color:
    • In addition to horses, you can tame and ride deer and bears. You can't take them to the stable, though.
    • There are also skeletal stalhorses, which despite their disturbing appearance behave exactly like normal horses. However, they can't be stabled as the owner will worry about them eating other horses.
    • One can catch the "Lord of the Mountain", a shining Ghibli-esque four-legged creature with four eyes and moth antennae. You can't take it to the stable either, as the owner will be scared of calling down a curse on himself if he allowed it.
    • Lynels can be mounted, although they can't be tamed. This can just be done to get a few hits in on them.
  • Hostile Weather: Thunderstorms roll across Hyrule occasionally, and it is not a good idea to be outside in one, especially while wearing metal equipment. Even ordinary rain is problematic, since wet surfaces become harder to climb.
  • Humongous Mecha: The four Divine Beasts, giant Guardians that were created to fight the Calamity Ganon that act as the game's primary dungeons.
  • Hyperactive Metabolism: Unlike previous games, Link has to rely on scavenging and cooking food in order to restore his health rather than simply recovering with heart pick-ups.
  • Hyperspace Arsenal: Link can carry a huge number and variety of weapons and items; his currently equipped gear will appear on his back, others disappear until used.
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    I 
  • Iconic Outfit: The Champion's Tunic, which managed to earn this title despite having to fill the shoes of one of the most iconic outfits in video game history. However, the game also give the opportunity to wear almost all of the previous versions of the green Hero's Clothes that appeared in the series thanks to the Zelda amiibo figures based on Link. Then there's the Hero of the Wild version you can eventually unlock (no amiibo needed).
  • Idle Animation
    • While the idle animations in temperate areas are fairly standard, heading into a cold climate while under-dressed causes Link to start shivering, to warn you that you should really put on something warmer before you start taking damage. Other animations resulting from improper gear include breathing heavily and swaying when in a hot area, such as Gerudo Desert during the day or during a Fire Wizzrobe-induced firestorm, and grimacing in pain when far enough up Death Mountain, because he's on fire.
    • If Link is left idle for long enough while shirtless, he will flex both of his biceps.
    • When crouching for long enough, Link might suddenly lift his hand to look at it, implying a bug crawled on his hand, and then shake the bug off.
    • At night, Link may start to doze off while standing, followed by shaking himself awake.
  • Ill-Fated Flowerbed: The Hila Rao Shrine sits in the middle of a field of flowers that is constantly watched by a woman named Magda, and boy is the lady hell bent on averting this trope. Stepping on them repeatedly will send her into an Unstoppable Rage and she will ram on the intruder to punish him for his trampling.
  • I'm a Humanitarian: Averted if Link tries to cook faeries in a meal or elixir. Instead they fly out of the pot and sprinkle dust on it, providing extra bonus health (for a Hearty dish) or a Fairy Tonic (if you mixed it with monster parts).
  • Immune to Flinching: Starting as early as the blue Bokoblins, monsters will have some degree of resistance being stunlocked by Link's attacks, and later monsters will take way more hits before they get knocked over. Moblins are also stated by the game itself to be able to resist getting blown away by Link’s Remote Bombs.
  • Implied Love Interest: As is often the case with female characters Link interacts with in the series. There are at least three different girls with feelings for Link: Zelda, Mipha and Paya. While Paya's nervous crush on Link never goes beyond that, both Zelda and Mipha are explicitly and unambiguously confirmed to be firmly in love with him. However, Link's own feelings are deliberately left ambiguous, one way or another, and likely intentionally left to the player's interpretation, to the point that, when it comes to Zelda and Mipha, the game has dialogue options that may imply he returns the feelings of either of them, neither of them, or both of them. Regardless of choices it is clear Link felt strongly for both girls in the past at least in a platonic sense, as his bond with Zelda is the primary focus of his quest to regain his memories and the one memory based around Mipha shows the two were at the very least close friends.
  • Impossible Item Drop: Averted for the first time in the series. Cutting the grass won't provide items like hearts anymore, although it can reveal something else to collect, like bugs. Similarly, monsters only drop either weapons that they were visibly carrying, or body parts. Rupees can only be dropped by Yiga Clan assassins, who don't die when beaten but just run away. This is played straight with silver-level enemies, which drop ores despite not being shown to have any particular interest in ores.
  • Impromptu Campfire Cookout: The system mechanics allow this; any food item which nearby a fire will become cooked after a while, meaning the player can happily bake a few apples using the burning corpse of a slain enemy.
  • Improvised Lightning Rod: During thunderstorms, if Link has any metallic weapons or shields equipped, he will attract lightning. This can prove very dangerous, as being struck by lightning can kill Link very quickly. However, since there is a visual cue for when you're about to turn into a Hylian lightning rod, it's also possible to weaponize the way your metallic weapons attract electricity by throwing them at enemies before the lightning strikes.
  • Improvised Weapon: Most of Link's early weapons tend to be this. From a tree branch to a tree axe to a pitchfork to a Stal creature arm... Link can pretty much use anything that isn't nailed down as a weapon.
  • Inexplicably Preserved Dungeon Meat: Averted until Hyrule Castle: In the Dining Hall, Link can find several foodstuffs strewn about the ruined tables, with a Raw Gourmet Meat and a Raw Whole Bird being among them. Despite being in a Malice- and monster-infested castle, and the fact that they’ve been sitting out in the open for Hylia-knows-how-long, possibly a whole century, they’re perfectly safe for consumption.
  • Infinity -1 Sword:
    • The Royal weapons are some of the strongest regular weapons, and even come with stronger, darker counterparts in the Royal Guard series, although those weapons come with lower durability.
    • The Champion equipment have very good stats comparable to Royal weapons and are received after clearing a dungeon. They can also be reforged if they are broken, though this comes at a price.
  • Infinity +1 Sword:
    • The Master Sword. It has decent attack power of 30 normally, but doubles when fighting in dungeons or enemies affected by Ganon's malice, to a very respectable 60. It can fire sword beams when Link is at max health, and it is effectively unbreakable. It still has durability (except in the final dungeon), but it doesn't break, it just runs out of energy and goes on a cooldown. Its versatility lets it either be an effective boss or enemy slayer in dungeons, or as a great grass cutter, or a reusable, sword-shaped pickaxe for mineral deposits. However, after beating the Trial of the Sword, its true power is unlocked so that it is always at 60 attack power, along with the ridiculous durability value of 188.
    • The Hylian Shield. It is the ultimate shield, with a durability so high that it may as well be unbreakable note . Should the player break it, however, another one can be bought at the price of a few thousand Rupees, but it will take a very long time to break.
    • The Bow of Light, which boasts a massive 100 Attack power, infinite arrows, and is truly unbreakable, easily making it the strongest bow. It will hit like a nuke. However, it is only received during the Final Boss fight.
    • The Champion's Tunic, when fully upgraded, gives the highest defense boost at a great 32, although upgrading it that far will be quite a task. The Tunic of the Wild set, received after clearing all 120 Shrines, also has great defense stats when fully upgraded, and has the added effect of boosting the damage of the Master Sword's sword beam.
    • The Ancient equipment. The armour set boasts high defense and a resistance to Guardian attacks. The Ancient weapons are among some of the best with high attack and durability. In particular, the Ancient Bow is notable for its great Attack power, high durability, and the ability to fire arrows in a straight line, allowing Link to properly aim at his targets. The Ancient Arrows are a One-Hit Kill on almost everything. For organic enemies, a single shot anywhere will blow them away, while Guardians need to be shot in the eye for this to work. Finally, equipping the Ancient Armour set when upgraded gives a huge damage boost to any Ancient or Guardian weapons that Link uses, making them some of the strongest weapons in the game.
    • To a lesser extent, the Savage Lynel weapons. They have the highest attack stats of regular weapons, and finding ones with added Attack boost effects can easily push them into Attack stats of 100 and beyond. The Savage Lynel Bow is especially notable for being able to fire three to five arrows, which is sure to pack a punch.
    • The One-Hit Obliterator from the Champions' Ballad DLC is another example, literally having infinite attack power. To balance this out, it loses its power for a while after two hits, can only be used in the very specific challenge it appears in, and makes you a One-Hit-Point Wonder.
  • In Name Only: The Canadian French language track is simply the European French one with a few altered lines.
  • Inner Thoughts, Outsider Puzzlement: Several times Link has flashbacks and regains some of his memories while other characters are around. Every time there are other people around they will comment on how he's acting, indicating that Link was zoned out for a long time or displaying other odd behaviors due to his flashback.
  • Instakill Mook: Enemies in the Yiga Clan Hideout will kill Link in a single hit no matter how much health and armor he has. They also bypass faeries, Mipha's Grace, and the game's usual Anti-Frustration Feature that prevents Link from being killed in one hit if he's at full health even if the attack deals more damage than his maximum HP. This is because the segment is intended to be a Stealth-Based Mission -the enemies kill you instantly to encourage sneaking around them rather than trying to fight. However, it is possible to complete the hideout without stealth if the player is skilled and careful enough.
  • Instant Roast: If you kill a wild animal with a fire-based attack (such as the Fire Rod, a Fire Arrow, or a flame weapon), the raw meat it usually drops will be replaced by the cooked version.
  • Interface Screw: Sandstorms in the Gerudo Desert will completely knock out your map and replace it with static if you find yourself in one. You can't even warp out as the entire map portion of the Sheikah Slate is rendered unusable, forcing Link to have to step out of them before the slate can be used again. Clearing each sandstorm's respective sidequest will cause them to die down.
  • Interface Spoiler:
    • Every disguised Yiga Clan member will have the name "Traveler" instead of a proper name like every other NPC in their dialogue box, which immediately outs them before they try to kill Link. However, this isn't an efficient method for avoiding them without being utterly paranoid, as not only will Link already be talking with the assassins when you realize they don't have a name (and some try to call out to Link from a distance), all NPCs have to be spoken to once to have their names revealed (and only afterward will their names be placed above their head out of conversation). Until you've explored all of Hyrule and talked with every named wandering NPC at least once, telling who's a member of the Yiga Clan is usually a game of chance.
    • If you take a picture of Calamity Ganon, you'll notice a missing entry after him in the compendium.
    • If you pick up every arrow type and fully expand your bow inventory with Hestu, you will notice that your inventory still has one missing space. This is a big hint that you receive the Bow of Light during the Final Boss battle. Similarly, fully expanding your melee inventory will still yield one missing space if you haven't picked up the Master Sword yet, although this is much less of a spoiler considering that Hestu appears in the Korok Forest right next to the Master Sword.
    • A complete (or even nearly-complete) Hyrule Compendium will spoil the new enemies introduced in "The Champions' Ballad" DLC. Based upon the placement of the empty EX entries, players can deduce that there is a new Molduga variant, a new Talus variant, and a new Yiga enemy. Actually, that last one is a Red Herring. There are no new Yiga enemies in the DLC... but the Yiga clan is related to the Sheikah tribe. Guess which group Maz Koshia belongs to.
    • Magnesis works on treasure chests, but not the fake ones atop Treasure Octoroks. If the chest doesn't light up pink, it's an Octorok in disguise.
    • The Champion's Tunic displays every enemy's HP number above them, Stasis+ will highlight all interactables and enemies in a bright yellow, and the Camera will hover a marker over any subjects it can register in the compendium. All of these traits can be used to sniff out enemies that are mimicking their surroundings before approaching them, such as Treasure Octoroks, Decayed Guardians, and Taluses.
    • Maz Koshia's doubles won't register on the Sheikah Slate's camera, but the real Maz Koshia will be identified. Pulling out the camera mid-fight is definitely not the safest thing to do, but it will tell you which monk attacking you is real.
  • Intrepid Merchant: One of the most common vocations in this world is the "traveler", who goes between various settlements selling wares. Because of the ubiquitous monsters, this is a very dangerous job, and travelers are generally armed. Link's appearance is seldom remarked upon because he seems to be just another traveler, and only those who notice his Sheikah Slate realize he's something unusual.
  • In-Universe Game Clock: Like most console games in the series, the world cycles through day and night. Different critters and baddies are present depending on the time of day. NPCs also follow a daily schedule, like in Majora's Mask.
  • Invisible to Normals: Various spiritual beings including Koroks, dragons, and the Lord of the Mountain are invisible to almost everybody. Link, of course, can see them just fine.
  • Invulnerable Civilians: NPCs cannot die, despite often needing to be saved. If attacked by monsters, the worst that will happen is that they're knocked out briefly.
  • Item Crafting: Food and enemy drops can be combined with each other in a cooking pot to form better food and elixirs with varying effects. However, combining the wrong items will result in Dubious Food, which heals minimal hearts with no special effects.
  • It Only Works Once: In the past, the Divine Beasts and Guardians were instrumental in the defeat of Calamity Ganon, so much so that King Rhoam insisted on using them again and following the same plan to the letter when Ganon inevitably returned. Unfortunately, he failed to consider the possibility that Ganon would remember how he was defeated last time and change tactics accordingly... by corrupting the Divine Beasts and Guardians and turning them against Hyrule.

    J-K 
  • Jump Physics: This is the first time since Zelda II: The Adventure of Link that Link can jump freely without an item. Also some of the most realistic jumping in video games — Link can only jump about a foot off the ground and maintains momentum, meaning running lets him jump farther and he can't change direction in mid-air without the Paraglider. However, speed runners found a way to Double Jump by initiating the shield surfing animation and immediately cancelling, effectively making him jump twice.
  • Jungle Japes: Faron Woods, especially once you get down below the cliffs.
  • Just Add Water: Just add up to five ingredients to a lit cooking pot, and presto! Instant meal, no matter how complicated the recipe.
  • Katanas Are Just Better: Subverted in terms of plot and gameplay. It is mentioned that Hylians could not become accustomed to the katanas wielded by the Sheikah, who had to learn new smithing techniques. The katanas that Link can use in the game, such as the Eightfold Blade, also have limitations. They are advertised in their descriptions as having the sharpest conventional blades and they are a step up from the initial weapons, but they can be outclassed by future ones.
  • The Key Is Behind the Lock:
    • Early on, one of the first four shrines you visit is completely surrounded by walls, with one heavily guarded wall having cracks in it. The problem? The Remote Bomb rune that would enable you to break it is located within that very shrine. How do you get to it? Faking out one of the buried Guardians to hit the cracked wall instead of you is extremely difficult to do (because their accuracy is absurd, you have to jump just before they fire). Instead, you just climb up and over any of the walls surrounding the shrine. Right about there is where it probably hits most fans of the series, even the most stubborn, that this is not going to be anything like the Zelda games they're used to.
    • The Tah Muhl Shrine has a literal example. Two treasure chests are in a cage with a locked door, and one of them has the key in it. The solution: The chest with the key can be set on fire from outside the cage, which destroys the chest and leaves the key behind. You can then grab the key through the bars with Magnesis.
    • Inside Vah Rudania, one of the terminals Link needs to activate to regain control of the beast is behind a sealed door, which only opens when a torch inside the room is lit by a blue flame. Fortunately, a small hole in the middle of the door is enough to fire a lit arrow into to open it.
  • Kill It with Fire: Fire-elemental weapons kill Ice-elemental enemies in one hit.
    • And to an lesser extent, setting an wooden weapon on fire slightly improves it's attack power at the cost of gradually reducing its durability.
  • Kill It with Ice: Likewise, Ice-elemental weapons kill Fire-elemental enemies in one hit.
  • Kill It with Water: Standard enemies not only can't swim, but they instantly die in water. Luring them into the water will instantly kill them, Link can also dispose of Stal- enemies by breaking their bodies, picking up the skulls, and throwing them into any body of water. Lizalfos and overworld bosses are not so easily dispatched, though even the Hinox will eventually drown.
  • Kleptomaniac Hero: Almost every previous Zelda game lets Link take items from all sorts of places, including NPC houses, but Breath of the Wild takes this several steps further. This time around, there are many different weapons and food items that the player can collect from almost anywhere, and taking everything that can be found is encouraged note . In addition, enemies occasionally hang out in encampments with their own supplies of food and weapons, and it's totally possible for the player to rob them blind.

    L 
  • Lady and Knight: True to form, Zelda and Link are the Bright Lady and the White Knight respectively. In the backstory, Link was a Master Swordsman appointed as the princess's personal knight, sworn to protect her at all costs.
  • Lady Land: Gerudo Town. Only women are allowed in, bar Gorons (which one Goron hangs a lampshade on). To get in, Link has to disguise himself as a woman. A few people figure it out, but decide to keep quiet for one reason or another.However, this is not because of any animosity towards men, but rather to encourage young Gerudo to leave the town and search a husband for themselves instead of staying within Gerudo Town for their entire lives.
  • Laser Blade: Ancient and Guardian weapons have blades made of glowing blue energy that are only deployed when the weapon is drawn.
  • Last Chance Hit Point: If Link is at full health, he may be able to survive a single hit that would otherwise take him down in one shot, instead surviving with a quarter heart. However, if the hit is exceedingly powerful enough, the protection will not take effect and the hit will still be fatal. The mechanic is absent completely in Master Mode.
  • Last Stand: The ultimate fate of Hyrule Kingdom's powerful military. An NPC at Akkala Citadel explains after Hyrule Castle fell and the royal family was presumed dead, the military retreated to Akkala Citadel, the largest fortress in the land, and tried to avenge them. Though the Hylian soldiers fought valiantly, as dozens of surrounding destroyed Guardian hulks attest to, they were eventually overwhelmed and slaughtered.
  • Lava is Boiling Kool-Aid: Zigzagged: Metal objects placed into lava using Magnesis will slowly sink and eventually be melted by the intense heat, and fiddling with Magnesis some more will reveal that dragging those metal objects through lava will cause some resistance. However, the act of dropping something into the lava will cause it to splash like water, and the melting only happens if the object in question is fully submerged. This means that if a metal crate is almost completely deep in lava with only one edge sticking out, nothing will happen to it.
  • Law of Chromatic Superiority: Many enemies appear in color-coded variants according to how strong they are. Unusually, red enemies are the weakest, surpassed by blue, black, and finally silver (and gold in Hard Mode). This can be dangerously misleading with Lizalfos, the weakest of which are green, and besides the normal enemy levels, Lizalfos have an additional three types which are elemental, and the fire ones are red.
  • Lead the Target: Enemies with ranged attacks tend to be quite skilled at this. Octoroks in particular have a potentially frustrating ability to track Link's movement, while Lynels are so uncannily skilled that their arrows land wherever Link will be, even if he changes direction while they're in midair.
  • Leaking Can of Evil: Calamity Ganon has become this. Although sealed up, the years sealed have only caused Ganon's power to rise, to the point where his energy takes the form of a giant boar that surrounds the castle and animated the Guardians to turn against Hyrule, leading to its destruction.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall:
    • The Sheikah Slate is shaped like a Wii U GamePad / Switch in portable mode. The flavour text even says there's "something familiar about it" even though Link has never seen it before, or at least doesn't remember yet. The way the Slate interacts with various terminals around the world is also reminiscent of the NFC technology used by the GamePad and Switch to communicate with amiibos. Ironically, the Wii U version of the game doesn't use many of the second screen features, since according to Eiji Aonuma, using the second screen during gameplay was distracting, and they wanted parity between the 2 versions since the Switch can only be used with one screen at a time, either a TV's or its own.
    • After Hestu upgrades one of your inventory sections, he sings the succeeding jingle. The text even appears in time to the music. This is sort of appropriate, since he directly talks about expanding your "stash" when no other characters seem aware of Link's supernatural item-carrying abilities.
    • Oman Au introduces himself as the creator of this trial. As Oman Au is an anagram of Aonuma, and if you take the trial as meaning not just the shrine, but also the entire game, you can see where this is going.
    • The Great Deku Tree notes that the Master Sword will test your inner strength, see through artificial enhancements, and that, if you fail, that you'll need to strengthen the hearts that are a measure of your inner strength. Basically, you need a certain number of hearts, and any temporary hearts gained through food will be ignored.
  • Ledge Gravity: Link will avoid stepping off cliffs while using Magnesis, preventing the player from accidentally killing him whilst trying to manipulate a metal object. However, he can step down small distances, causing Magnesis to disengage.
  • Left Hanging: A player-dependent example — Aonuma warns that players who refuse to take their time and decide to rush straight to the Final Boss will be able to finish the game, but won't learn anything about the world or the nature of this Link's true identity.
  • Legendary Weapon: The Master Sword. It's famed in this world's history as the sword that only the chosen hero can wield. The Rito Elder's dialogue will actually change if you're carrying the Master Sword when you meet him. Without it, he identifies you as the Hero's Descendant when he sees your Sheikah Slate, but if you have the Master Sword and he'll say something like "That sword! That means you're the actual..."
  • Leitmotif:
    • The main theme of the game pops up in many of the musical tracks.
    • The four Blight Ganons' battle themes have the same tune (as well as Calamity Ganon when he Turns Red, but each is flavored with the instrumentation of the region and town their Divine Beast menaces.
    • The themes for Mipha, Urbosa, Revali, and Daruk all return for the new champions for each race: Sidon, Riju, Teba, and Yunobo, but always in different keys so it's hard to notice.
    • When Hudson goes to Tarrey Town, a small theme plays as he walks away, and that theme is present when you first go to Tarrey Town, but as you gather more people to Tarrey Town, bits of the themes from the Goron, Gerudo, Rito, and Zora settlements, and even Hateno Village become part of the ambient music in Tarrey Town, building upon one another.
  • Lethal Chef:
    • The "Dubious Food" — an absolutely disgusting green and purple meat "dish" — is censored by a mosaic, and the description says that it probably won't hurt you if you eat it.
    • Cooking inedible materials like wood or rocks produces Rock Hard Food, described as being incredibly hard on the jaw and only worthwhile in an extremely tight spot. It only heals a quarter of a heart, the same as an uncooked acorn.
    • There is an NPC who gives really bad cooking advice that results in producing the above "dishes". She can be found next to a smoking cooking pot surrounded by piles of trash in the middle of the wilderness.
  • Lethal Joke Item: Some of the more odd weapons, like the Electric Rod and the Korok Leaf, seem rather sub-optimal. That said, they can be powerful in the right situations (namely, the Electric Rod doing major damage against enemies in water and being capable of disarming enemies, and the Korok Leaf being good at throwing enemies off cliffs and are also useful for powering sailed rafts). Likewise, the Spring Loaded Hammer can only cause Scratch Damage, but it will send enemies flying far away on the final swing and can be quite handy to have on hand if you're on a cliff.
  • Lethal Lava Land: Present with Death Mountain.
  • Level Scaling: As open as the overworld is, most areas will be populated by easy enemies early on, which avoids Beef Gates and gives you a lot of flexibilty in where to explore first (thought some areas, like the Hebra Mountains, still have reasonably tough enemies even early on). As you adventure, both the enemies you face and the weapons they carry will gradually get replaced with stronger variants (weapons obtained from Amiibos will also scale in power). By the time you've finished the main quest and found a good percentage of the Shrines, it's not uncommon to see at least one Silver enemy at every encampment. This even extends to Lynels as well; if you thought the only Silver Lynel you'd ever see is at the Coliseum Ruins, you'd be dead wrong. The scaling is based on a complicated points system where most enemies (including bosses, but excluding weak enemies like red Bokoblins) will increment a hidden counter when they die. When that counter hits certain breakpoints then enemies will get stronger weapons and some (but not all) enemies will upgrade to the next stronger color.
  • Light/Darkness Juxtaposition: Calamity Ganon is a malevolent, writhing mass of shadow and chaos, and Zelda keeps him at bay with her magic, which manifests as bright golden light.
  • Lightning Can Do Anything: According to the in-game Compendium, Gold Monsters were created when Silver Monsters survived getting struck by lightning.
  • Literally Shattered Lives: Although freezing on its own is just a temporary stun, hitting a frozen enemy with a weapon, or the ground, will un-freeze them and deal a huge amount of damage. The same thing can happen to you, making ice-wielding enemies very dangerous.
  • Living Weapon: Fi still resides in the Master Sword, and she is the one who tells Zelda to get Link to the Shrine of Resurrection before he goes for good. She later tells Zelda as the Sword is to be put away that her role is still unfulfilled.
  • Logical Weakness: Given the sheer freedom you have and how close to reality the gameplay is, several, and some less obvious than others:
    • Fire Keese, Fire and Meteo Wizzrobes, and Fire-Breath Lizalfos are wreathed in fire or use it as a weapon. Therefore, a single hit from an ice weapon will instantly put them down, even disregarding the tier difference between Meteo Wizzrobes and the weaker Fire Wizzrobes. Fire Keese are also vulnerable to rain due to it putting out their flames.
    • Ice Keese, Ice Wizzrobes and Blizzrobes, and Ice-Breath Lizalfos all embody ice, and are just as weak to fire as their cousins are weak to ice.
    • Fire Chuchus and Ice Chuchus are very weak anyway, so using opposite elements against them doesn't make a huge difference in defeating them, but it does cause them to safely evaporate without creating an area-of-effect blast that may hurt Link.
    • Igeo Taluses and Frost Taluses are so hot and cold respectively that they can't be safely climbed without upgraded resistant armor. Hitting them with the opposite element will breifly neutralize the rock, however, making it climbable and letting you fight the Talus easier.
    • If you have plenty of Shock Arrows, any water-dwelling Lizalfos become a complete joke, as the resultant electrocution is both damaging and can trap them in a loop if you shoot them again just as their "stunned" animation ends.
    • Guardian Stalkers shoot lasers with fearsome destructive power that can one-shot Link at lower heart counts. However, their six legs can be destroyed to cripple their mobility, and they're built in such a way that they have a blind spot right on top of their heads. If you can manage to stand on it and wail away, the Stalkers' targeting system cannot locate you, and it therefore cannot hit you.
    • Stone Taluses have ore deposits as their weakpoints. Mining tools break the ore much faster and use less durability in doing so.
    • Lynels are demonic centaurs found in wide open spaces with monstrously strong weapons and bows. Their MO is to gallop around the field and then rush directly at Link, or use their fire breath and elemental arrows if he's far away. Therefore, if you can lure them to a place with limited elbow room for them, like forests or ruins, their attacks are much more easily telegraphed, especially with Spear-wielding Lynels.
  • Lonely Piano Piece: Rather than the boisterous, orchestral Hyrule Field themes of the previous games, a good amount of Breath of the Wild's overworld music consists of simple piano tunes. It adds to the empty atmosphere of exploring a ruined Hyrule.
  • Losing Your Head: Attacking the body of a Stal creature will just cause the head and body to separate when the body collapses, and the bones will reassemble and put their head (or another Stal's head) back on. They can only be defeated if Link destroys the head.
  • Lost in Translation:
    • In Gerudo Town, there's a Running Gag that visitors have trouble speaking the Gerudo language, which has lots of "v"s in it. This is because Japanese has no such sound, and Japanese speakers emulate it with "b"s generally. Of course, English has both sounds, so the joke loses its sense.
    • Before the final battle Zelda states Dark Beast Ganon is the result of Ganon giving up on resurrection. In the original Japanese, she states he has devolved into this form because he refuses to give up on resurrection.
    • Turns out the Adventure Log was originally in first person, being essentially Link's diary. A lot of bits and pieces of Link's personality are lost when turning it into the impersonal version used in the English translation, such as how he talks about Zelda with significant romantic undertones, strongly suggesting that he reciprocates her feelings, instead of the English version's ambiguity about his thoughts on Zelda and Mipha.
    • Memory 9 has Zelda reflect on the flower Silent Princess, in the English version she says that she hopes the flower can continue to survive in the wild. In the Japanese version she thinks of it as a portent, the Princess of Extinction in her words.
  • Lost Technology:
    • The Guardians, Divine Beasts, Sheikah Slate and all the super-advanced Magitek of the ancient Sheikah are an enigma to modern civilization. By the time of the Great Calamity, they were just barely understood enough to be used, let alone analyzed or imitated. A hundred years later, leading scholars on the subject have some understanding of stationary machines and basic weapons, but still haven't approached the complexity or scale of a Guardian.
    • Most NPC characters who weren't alive before the Calamity have no idea what the Sheikah technology they've discovered is, or what it is meant for. While the player soon learns Sheikah orbs and pedestals are relatively common pieces of mechanisms (either in conjunction or not), you'll see characters musing about pedestals as things of legend and using orbs as trophies, ceremonial heirlooms, companions, or in the case of the Yiga in the DLC, stealing one but having no idea that it unlocks a shrine in the pit just behind their hideout. And they were former Sheikah! Some characters do know tales of shrines and recognize what you've unlocked, but the means to do so are completely lost on them.
    • An armor set gives resistance to electrical damage thanks to being made of an ancient material that no one left has the knowledge to create: rubber.
  • The Lost Woods: The Trope Namer returns as one section of the Great Hyrule Forest.
  • Lovecraft Lite: In this game, Ganon takes a form that can only be described as an Eldritch Abomination. Presumably, you can still kill it. In the true ending, even after Ganon gives up his attempt at reincarnation, or fails at incarnating, in the Japanese version... he still doesn't die, and just is sealed for now.
  • Luck-Based Mission: The Under a Red Moon shrine quest requires you to perform an action on the shrine pedestal during a Blood Moon. Simple enough, right? Only one problem: Blood Moons don't ever seem to occur when you'd want them to, being triggered by a combination of a timer based on real-world playtime and factors that may delay a Blood Moon. If you're not right there when you notice a Blood Moon rising, there's no way you'll be able to warp and glide to the pedestal in time.
    • There is one way to mitigate this. If you're inside a shrine on midnight during a Blood Moon, the Blood Moon won't occur and will instead occur the following night. So, once you notice the onset of a Blood Moon, you can warp to and enter a shrine, come out after midnight, go back to the pedestal, and only have to wait one night.
    • Alternatively, there is a man at Dueling Peaks Stable who will predict that night's moon phase. So you can ask him during the day what the moon will be, so if it's a blood moon you'll know to be at the pedestal at midnight.
  • Luckily, My Shield Will Protect Me:
    • Some enemies come equipped with shields that will block your attacks, which is troublesome in a game with Breakable Weapons. Heavy weapons like axes can knock their shields out of their grip.
    • Some attacks can be parried using a shield. This includes laser fire.
  • Ludd Was Right: Zigzagged. Turns out the Hylian King who forbade the Sheikah from using Guardians, Divine Beasts, and Energy Weapons might not have been an overly paranoid fool after all, since Ganon did end up using the technology against them the next time. On the other hand, it's implied that modern Hyrule's limited knowledge of how to use the technology was what allowed Ganon to take it over so easily. Plus, the technology that the good guys do still use in the present (the Sheikah Slate, the Shrines, the Towers, the ancient oven, etc.) seems to work pretty reliably for them.

    M 
  • Magic Knight: This incarnation of Link uses magical arrows and the Sheikah Slate, a Magitek device that allows him to use magic for various purposes.
    • All four of the Champions possess unique magical powers in addition to their combat abilities. Daruk is a Barrier Warrior, Urbosa and Revali control lightning and wind respectively, and Mipha has Healing Hands. By purifying their respective Divine Beasts, Link can gain the ability to use the powers of the Champions himself.
      • Link's own ability to slow time under certain conditions seems to be analogous to the Champions' powers.
  • Magitek: While The Legend of Zelda is no stranger to the marriage of magic and technology, Breath of the Wild seems to take it to a level never before seen in the series:
    • The Ancient weapons (sword, spear, axe, arrow, and shield) all use Hard Light to form their cutting edges. They unfold and project their blades when held.
    • The Sheikah Slate is reminiscent of a smartphone or tablet; it has GPS and camera functions, can be used to activate portals to shrines in a manner reminiscent of NFC technologynote  and obtains magical runes by seemingly downloading them like apps inside said shrines.
    • The enemies in the game include Starfish Robots of various sizes capable of using a deadly laser.
    • Both Ancient Tech Labs have equipment that runs on Sheikah technology — Purah's Guidance Stone and Robbie's Ancient Oven, Cherry. Both are activated by carrying a blue flame from an Ancient Furnace and lighting the one at the Lab. It seems to be implied that all Sheikah tech uses this same power source.
  • Male Gaze: One of the memories has Zelda on her hands and knees examining a flower, with her butt pointed right at the viewer. And when the angle changes to reveal Link is behind her, he's staring pretty blatantly right at her ass.
  • Marooned on an Island: The Eventide Island shrine quest. Link is stripped of his entire inventory, to scavenge for weapons and armor on the island in order to survive the many enemies found on the island and collect three large orbs to complete the trial.
  • Matchmaker Quest:
    • Played straight with the Lover's Pond sidequest, and hilariously executed. Lover's Pond is the fabled area mentioned not only in Gerudo Town's Vai and Voe class, but also in the diary in Kakariko's armor shop. You can find it on Tuft Mountain, in the southeast area of the map, near Lurelin Village. The sidequest involves giving flowers.
    • There is a sidequest in Hateno Village, in which Link is able to help the stable hand, Manny, woo the village innkeeper. The trope is hilariously played with, as when you ask the innkeeper, Prima, what sort of gift she would like, she quickly lies and says she'd like 100 crickets. Talk to her again, and Link will find out that she actually has eyes for a different guy in the village, and that she is already aware—and put-off by—Manny's interest in her. The quest also appears to be a bit of a reference to the sidequest in Skyward Sword, in which Link attempts to help a Hopeless Suitor with his crush, even down to the character designs of the NPCs involved being similar.
    • The Zora girl Finley and the Hylian guy she had been writing love letters to. Link is able to follow Finley's letter down Zora River to its receiver, and encourage the guy to actually go and meet Finley in person.
  • Matter Replicator: One of the ancient Sheikah's many super techs. The Remote Bomb rune can be used to create a limitless number of bombs (with a short cooldown in between), and the Master Cycle Zero is somehow converted into data and stored in the Sheikah Slate when not in use.
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: Rupees. Most races simply use them as a medium of exchange, but the Great Fairies require a number of rupees to revive them. However, it's ambiguous whether the rupees actually do something or if it's simply a tithe. Additionally, they are dropped by glowing rabbit-spirits called Blupees when you shoot them, despite the fact that Money Spider is otherwise averted in this game and you normally need to sell things or complete sidequests to get money. One NPC wonders if this is where all rupees originate, but the status of that NPC as a child-like Korok makes it unclear whether or not this should be taken seriously.
  • Meat Moss: In various places such as Hyrule Castle and the Divine Beasts, one can see horrifying organic growth called Malice as a result of Calamity Ganon's corruption. Some of the growth has eyes and fanged orifices.
  • Meaningful Name: You'll find various skull-shaped rock formations (or "skull rocks" as they would be aptly called) all across the land.
  • Mechanical Horse: The Master Cycle Zero in the Champions' Ballad DLC resembles a charging unicorn. Appropriately, apples are one of the best fuels for it.
  • Medieval Stasis: The introductory cinematic explicitly states that this game takes place over 10,100 years after the last time Ganon attacked. Despite the remnants of an ancient Magitek-using civilization, the current world is still using swords and bows. However, the Sheikah were the only people who knew the secrets of ancient technology, and given that their creations accidentally became Hyrule's bane, it's understandable that they became the past instead of the future.
  • Mecha-Mooks: Zig-zagged. The small Guardian Scouts in shrines are no harder than the monsters you fight across Hyrule. Guardian Stalkers encountered in the overworld, on the other hand, will kill you quickly if you're not careful around them.
  • Memorial Statue: The Zoras and Gorons erected monuments of their respective Champions in the hundred years since their deaths during the Calamity, both placed in such a location that they are always visible within the city limits. The Zoras placed an ornate statue of Mipha within the center of Zora's Domain, while the Gorons carved Daruk's likeness in northern the cliff side overlooking Goron City. Seeing them is what triggers Link's memories for each of them.
  • Mercy Invincibility: Played with. Being hit hard enough to ragdoll will make Link invulnerable to further attacks. It will not make him immune to gravel rash, slamming into rocks, or tumbling off a cliff.
  • Metaphorically True: Although the Climbing Set makes you more efficient at climbing walls and vertical surfaces with its no-slip gloves and shoes, they will still slip in rainy weather.
  • Minecart Madness: A few minecarts show up in various places - particularly in the Eldin region When placed on a track and kinetically charged with the Stasis rune, they can be ridden.
    • No need for Stasis. The minecarts have a pocket at one end designed to hold a round bomb for safe detonation as a means of propulsion. Save your weapon durability and use the free bombs instead.
  • Misplaced Vegetation: Acorns are found at the bases of fruit trees. While this is strange in and of itself, the game also puts them near trees that grow in the tropical regions, such as Palm Fruit and Mighty Banana, where no oak-like trees grow at all. Possibly A Korok Did It.
  • Missing Mom:
    • An NPC Zora child in Zora's Domain is depressed that his mother hasn't returned from her errand. The child's father is worried that Vah Ruta's constant rainstorm caused the mother to be washed downstream and fears the worst. She's okay- you can find her in Lake Hylia alive and well as she catches fish. When you tell her that her husband and son are worried about her, she freaks out over completely forgetting about them and rushes home right away.
    • Koko and Cottla in Kakariko Village talk about their mom being gone in a vague way that gradually makes it apparent that something happened to her. In fact, she was murdered by the Yiga clan because Dorian, her husband, defected from them and refused to continue spying for them.
  • Mix-and-Match Critters: Blupees have rabbit bodies, owl faces, and moth antennae, and their animations are occasionally very catlike. The Lord of the Mountain, their apparent leader, looks like a horse but with no muzzle, and two of those owl faces replacing the horse's eyes, with the moth antennae on top.
  • Money Sink: There are several ways of spending vast sums of rupees that are not at all necessary to a full enjoyment of the game. Furnishing your house for 1400 (on top of the 3,000 to buy it in the first place) is worthwhile only for players who enjoy interior decorating, while unlocking all four Great Fairy Fountains gets very pricey, the last costing a whopping 10,000 rupees, when any fairy boosts beyond the first two are of lesser benefit. There's also the Horse God fountain (1,000 rp to unlock, additional 1,000 per use) who is only valuable if a particularly beloved horse dies. Finally, there are several armor sets that can be quite pricey, and it's seldom necessary to buy the whole set. Adding in the ability to dye clothes means there's incentive to buy multiple copies of the same set at further cost (though the clothing inventory, while generous, can hit a limit, and it can't be expanded by Hestu).
  • Mono no Aware: Hyrule has become more fragile and lost many of its past glories, but it is still beautiful and ultimately life goes on as it always has.
  • Mook Maker: There are some malice pools that have clashing maws that periodically spit out floating stal heads.
  • Mounted Combat: Link can fight and shoot on horseback. There are some enemies who also do this. A Mounted Archery Camp provides a minigame as training for such scenarios, though for most players, the task is most likely miles harder than shooting Bokoblin riders off their horses. This skill also comes in handy during the final boss.
  • Moving the Goalposts: At the very beginning, the Old Man offers to let you have his paraglider if you'll get something out of a nearby shrine for him. After you do, he decides that nope, you have to go through all the other three shrines on the Plateau before you get it.
  • Mr. Fanservice:
    • Link in nothing but boxers provides the page image for the "Video Game" section, and for good reason. He is a Long-Haired Pretty Boy who wears a ponytail and has a softer, more feminine looking face than usual. He starts the game shirtless and you can technically play the game with him only wearing boxers if you want (though it would be challenging). At E3 2016 many jokes were made by Nintendo's Treehouse crew about how attractive Link is (especially shirtless). He's a huge Chick Magnet in-game as well.
    • There's also Prince Sidon, who is a Zora that doesn't wear any form of clothing other than a belt and other accessories, is quite muscular, and is darn tall. Whenever Sidon appears, you'll be seeing his built body quite often.
  • Multiple Endings: Downplayed. There is one basic ending that occurs regardless of what you've done, and then additionally there is a Stinger after the credits that only plays if you've completed the "Captured Memories" quest.
  • Multishot: Some bows shoot multiple arrows at once, while only costing one arrow from your inventory. They're very effective against Guardians.
  • Mundane Utility: Some of the weapons have secondary uses depending on their element or characteristics. For example, a Flaming Sword can be used to warm yourself, melt ice, and so on. Likewise, the effective indestructability of the Master Sword means it can be used for mundane tasks such as cutting down trees or splitting open mineral deposits without spending an inventory slot on a dedicated tool or wasting the durability of your other weapons.
  • Musical Nod:
    • The ambient background music that plays in the ruins of the Temple of Time is a very slowed-down rendition of said temple's theme in Ocarina of Time.
    • When Link sees the Calamity Ganon for the first time and the woman's voice speaks to him about how he must hurry, a rendition of Zelda's Lullaby is playing in the background.
    • The stable theme can be played in counterpoint with "Epona's Song". It becomes much more obvious when Kass the wandering bard is in the area and strikes up a Counterpoint Duet with his accordion.
    • In a flashback scene, Fi's theme from Skyward Sword plays when the Master Sword tells Zelda how to save Link once he's mortally wounded.
    • Death Mountain's ambient piano theme is the same theme from the final dungeon all the way back in the original game.
    • Goron City has a jazzy version of their usual theme that first appeared in Ocarina.
    • Zora's Domain has a much quieter version of the theme that appeared in Ocarina of Time, Majora's Mask, and Twilight Princess.
    • Rito Village uses an extended version of the Dragon Roost Island theme.
    • The Gerudo Valley theme makes a reappearance as the background for Gerudo City. It also shares phrases from a later version of the area.
    • The song that plays when you get the Master Sword is a remix of the theme used in A Link to the Past, Ocarina of Time, Wind Waker, Twilight Princess and Skyward Sword.
    • Hyrule Castle's exterior music contains portions of the main Zelda theme. Meanwhile, the interior BGM is a medley of the series' usual Hyrule Castle theme, Ganon's Theme, the Ballad of the Windfish from Link's Awakening, the prologue music from A Link to the Past, and a chilling remix of Zelda's Lullaby.
    • Hestu's usual maraca riff is a sped-up Manbo's Mambo.
    • The theme that plays in the Shrines is a remix of the dungeon music from the first game.
    • The musical sting that plays when you successfully cook a good meal is the same one that plays in Skyward Sword when Pumm fixes up a batch of pumpkin soup for Levias.
  • Musical Spoiler: The piano melody that plays when you meet the Old Man sounds suspiciously similar to the opening fanfare of the traditional Hyrule Castle theme. Because the Old Man is actually the spirit of King Rhoam Bosphoromus Hyrule.
  • My Rules Are Not Your Rules: Enemy equipment will never ever break, but will start to wear down the moment you swipe it for yourself and use it. There's an inversion to the trope when it comes to metal weapons and thunderstorms; enemies using metal weapons in thunderstorms can and will be struck by lighting like Link does if he uses metal weapons.
  • Mythology Gag: A whole bunch, as this was going to be the 30th anniversary game before it was delayed. As a result, it gets its own page.
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