You know all about durians, electric swords, and an arrow to the eye of a Guardian*, but far down the road of Zelda: Breath of the Wild lie some advanced party tricks. This list is a deep dive, best suited to players who’ve already sacrificed a fair chunk of time and tears among to the foul creatures and scenic crevices of modern Hyrule. Travelers beware: slay at least one Divine Beast before entering this shrine…
If you don’t know about durians, get back to work. But with your extra hearts well-maintained, what’s the best way to keep that stamina wheel just as maxed out? The sweet swift beta carotene of endura carrots all day long, friend. Just one endura carrot cooked with no frills maxes your stamina wheel with a bonus boost. Feed that meal to your horse and watch it gallop like a storm of finicky steering. Go deep with a few extra endura carrots in the cooking pot and you’ll be able to climb even the most imposing of snowy slopes or oddly placed pillars. But where to find those carrots? There are at least 2 endura carrots on the outskirts EVERY Great Fairy location, and they re-spawn pretty much ‘daily’.
The long game in this Zelda involves armor, and each enchanting piece’s seemingly endless hunger for upgrades. For nearly every piece of armor, there are four potential upgrades to activate (one per fairy fountain unlocked), each with increasingly esoteric recipes for their requisite boost. But how to remember whether you need bokoblin guts or moblin guts or lynel hooves or molduga tears? If you have everything upgraded that you are able and not enough ingredients for any more upgrades, the great fairy, in all her sassy wisdom, won’t let you peek in order to look at what you need for your next upgrades – a problem that creeps up quite a bit mid-game. If you’re like me and consider screenshots akin to reading a walkthrough, you can instead make it a point to leave one piece of armor in need of an upgrade, and to keep the materials for it. I used a piece of jewelry from the Gorons that I never really felt the need to upgrade, as it duped a helmet that I liked better. With one upgrade-able piece in hand, the fairy will always let you ‘in,’ but you can select around to see exactly what you need in order to get that Zora armor up to snuff.
So you’ve worked all day and night to make Siegfried the spotted mare as friendly and speedy as possible, plying your willful steed with love and carrots until your bond was unbreakable? Better still, your Amiibo dropped an Epona on you, so why would you ever creep on up behind another horse again? But you parked your favorite horse in Tarrey Town and you’re all the way over in Goron City! Find a new horse? Start training another? No, assuming you have at least one other horse stabled, simply take that malnourished and under-loved compatriot out, and then put them right back in. Whoosh, like magic, your parked horse is re-stabled and available to swap. Ride like the questionably-controlled wind.
Shrines Are Fancy Save Spots…
Early on it’s easy to feel as if every shrine you meet is a challenge that must be conquered in order to find your way to Princess Zelda. And eventually, yes, that’s a good idea, beat them all with your completionist’s heart in hand. When you’re first trekking hither and yon and any rogue lynel or forbidding guardian looms like a death sentence, Shrines are a great idea for weapons alone. But later on, once you find a shrine, you simply don’t have to beat it right away. It acts as a convenient save point regardless of whether or not you’ve already taken the time to beat it. Moreover…
…And You Might As Well Stack Them
Once you’re cruising around with an overage of weapons and hearts, it’s impractical to beat each shrine right away unless you’ve simply got the itch. It takes four orbs to give you a heart container or stamina upgrade, so why not wait until you’ve found four, and then stack them up? They call it The Shrine Grind in the big leagues. Leave yourself a few extra weapon slots before heading down so that you don’t have to drop that sweet boomerang on the floor like a sucker.
There’s much and more to the subtle long game of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and no doubt more to come with this summer’s first DLC pack. What mighty Zelda tips have you uncovered in your days and nights of adventuring through Hyrule? Share with us below!
*If you don’t know about this stuff, here’s the high-speed edition: 5 cooked durians gives you 20 bonus hearts, find them next to Faron Tower, say ‘hi’ to the Lizalfos for me. Electric swords are a fine and fun substitute for solving electricity puzzles in shrines. And an arrow to the eye of a guardian, particularly an ancient one, makes quick work of the big scrambling baddies. Though I prefer cutting off their filthy legs