Some sick kickflips on your shield, I hope
The thing I like to take away from The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is all the different emergent stories. Everyone has their own experience with certain elements in the game, whether it’s how you approach combat, travel across the land, or even solve puzzles.
You’d think puzzles, of all things, would lead to binary solutions for an intelligently designed obstacle. But no, look online for Breath of the Wild shenanigans and you’ll see people solving problems in ways that were clearly unintended but still allowed within the game’s logic — things like completing an electrical circuit with a collection of metal weapons or using the propulsion of a bomb’s shockwave to boost over a wall.
So in a game as wide open as BotW, and with such a self-contained set of physics, I asked the community about the first thing they goal postedfor themselves. Did they go straight for the critical path? Did they try going right up to Ganon’s doorstep in just their pants and a wooden club? Or maybe they went off gallivantingin some random direction, hoping for the best.
Personally, I went for the critical path and headed for Kakariko Village first. I was getting sucked into the 100-year mystery, so I was interested in gaining more context. But anytime I saw a Sheikah tower, I immediately stopped what I was doing to climb it. This got me in trouble more than a few times with some hairy situations (I’m looking at you, Ridgeland Sheikah Tower). But it’s also how I got started on one of the main quests which took me to Zora’s Domain.
So what did you do first? And what about the community?
DeadMoon did what all of us thought when they first started showing BotW:
Fire. I immediately tried to get my hands on fire. I wanted to burn everything! Unfortunately, most things don’t burn. All of the children, dogs, houses, and elderly appear to be pretty much fireproof. Luckily, there are still horses. Horses are extremely flammable, haha…..
Fellow mountaineer, ShadeofLight, saw a good mountain to climb:
The original plan was to go to Kakariko Village to start the main quest proper.
But on my way there I came across the Tower at the foot of the Dueling Peaks. I decided I wanted to test the game’s (and my own) limits; I wanted to see if I could make it to the top of the Dueling Peaks with nothing but my starter skills and the clothes on my back. Basically I wanted to test if I really could go anywhere that I could see, and if the game was truly open enough for me to do that right away.
It must’ve taken me a good 15 to 30 minutes: I had to find a route with enough vantage points to offset my low stamina, and I had to dodge a bunch of tough enemies. Since I started with the smaller peak, I also had to glide over to the other mountain at some point and resume climbing from there.
When I finally got up there I was greeted with an amazing view, two shrines, and a collectible. That was pretty much the moment that sold me on this game.
GoofierBrute knows my struggle well:
I made it a point to find every tower and climb it so I could complete the map. Yeah I died a lot early on because of it, but it was worth it to make it easier to explore the world, and it was surprisingly fun to do, since I had to rely on what few skills and weapons I had on me.
Also I made it a point to shoot animals in the butt with arrows. Just last night, I shot a deer in the butt with a bomb arrow.
LimoMaker did opposite day:
Looked at my quest log. Saw the phrase “Go to Kakariko Village.” Saw where it was on the map and then trekked right in the opposite direction until I decided that I should probably do some main quests as I go.
Ajaxenderswept the entire land for things:
I went to see Impa, too, and then went to Hateno town. I too wanted more information, and some upgrades or quest rewards.
Both made it pretty clear that I should go to the Divine Beasts, and that I wasn’t going to be rewarded much from quests. But the journeys to those places made it even more clear that I could do whatever I wanted and that this game was gonna be the best/worst game ever for providing tangents, given even the landscape itself can divert you (and anywhere you manage to get, there’s probably a Korok there).
So I’ve spent around 60 hours roughly clearing the map anti-clockwise from the bottom middle (Hyrule Lake and the grasslands below), but with an awful lot of jumping around because ooh a shine, or ooh a Korok, or ooh that looks interesting. Finally sneaked in to the shine at the castle docks last night, then left off at the first stable in the snowy top left area. Home stretch, sort of, if the next 30-40 hours probably could be called a home stretch.
Torchman was a fool to attempt something so foolhardy:
Listen children to the fate of Torch’s skeleton arm run.
As has been known for months, Torch planned to do a straight to Ganon run with just skeleton arms (which have variants, hence the vague term). He would not stop at any towers or shrines unless they were along the way, and he would allow himself to use any shields/bows/arrows/materials he found during the time in the tutorial area, and he was allowed to cook in order to turn materials into meals. However, the only farming he was allowed to do was for skeleton arms. He was not allowed to pick up anything else once he left. Although he was allowed to do Korok puzzles since he wouldn’t upgrade his inventory and fuck finding them again. Once Torch had done the run, he would go explore the rest of the game and story.
Torch did exactly that, stopping at only one tower and one shrine to give himself a relatively quick escape in case the game glitched or he got stuck. He went into Ganon’s castle, climbed the exterior walls, learned how OP trees are for blocking line of site, and managed to get to the very top. That’s when Torch found out a very nasty surprise previewers and others hadn’t revealed by then.
To put this in context, Torch assumed that the ‘Ganon gets more difficult if you go straight to him’ statement meant Ganon would hit harder or Ganon would have more health. What Torch didn’t know was that Ganon would actually turn into a BOSS RUSH. All four dungeon bosses had to be fought, one at a time before you could actually fight Ganon. As one can expect, this sudden revelation went poorly for Torch due to the controversial durability mechanic. Torch was left high and dry on weapons, both bows and skeleton arms, with just the bomb rune left after everything broke, which was doing literally slivers of health whenever it managed to hit Ganon in the blast radius.
This lead to an initial adrenaline rush for the first few tries, followed by tedious boredom and frustration. The bosses never killed or hit Torch, every time Torch was hurt and killed was because of his own bombs. Eventually, after several hours of this, coupled with spoilers of story, boss, enemy, and little moments starting to emerge, both on Dtoid and elsewhere, Torch gave up on the run and went to the story content. The rest is history.
Seymour brings a dash of Cooking Mama:
I began to experiment a LOT with food crafting upon finally reaching Fort Hateno after a heavy amount of wondering about. At that point, I was becoming strangely proud of the meals I was concocting. Nailing down the bases, discovering one or two of the more niche recipes, actively searching for valuable ingredients.
By now, my food supply is almost constantly full. I adore making spicy meats and seafood. I always seek out the ingredients required for a delicious Hasty Apple Pie. My Hearty Steamed Meat can’t be beat!
Somehow, I can eat frozen meat.
Tough Salt-Grilled Crab is Link’s favorite!
It’s the little things for Rasori:
Yeah, I pretty much did the same as you. First thing I did once I left the Great Plateau was mark where Impa was on the map and head out that way, but there were so many little things that happened before I even got there. I walked on a bridge where I met a guy who seemed genuinely caring for the safety of others. I met a few Bokoblins hanging out near campfires who gave me some ores in a chest for beating them — which I had no idea what to do with at the time. I saw a Blood Moon for the first time, which brought back the Bokoblins I defeated seconds ago. I saw the tower of the area in the distance so I decided to climb that to see where Impa actually was, and when I got up there, I saw three shrines in the distance, and thought it’d be a good idea to beat them first.
I think that’s what’s great about this game, is that you set out to do one thing, and you end up doing ten little things before you even get there. It’s pretty damn cool.
Fellow horse tamer Pixie The Fairy knows a good horse when she sees it:
First thing I did was look for shrines from the Great Plateau through Dueling Peaks, which ended up being several, then after exiting one at the base of the peaks I saw my first horse stable and went to see what I could do there.
I learned how to tame a horse and named it Neight (who is now joined by Neighlia and Neighdine at the stable). I bought arrows from Beedle and laughed at his weird head and then met Hestu not too far from there before making my way to Kakariko village.
There was also lots of climbing starting out.
OmegaSeits ran into a flower rager:
I headed toward Kakariko Village while trying to do as many shrines as I happened to run into along the way. Naturally, this led me to stumbling upon Magda’s flowers. After triggering her into a rage-fit, I laughed so hard that I didn’t even care that I had taken damage over it. Was totally worth.
Fuzunga solves problems from the fourth dimension:
Nothing too interesting. I climbed the Dueling Peaks and was surprised to find shrines on both. I used the Switch’s screen shot function to cheat my way through that and felt like a genius. Then I floated down to the horse stable and caught a horse with a spotted butt that I named Spotbutt. I rode Spotbutt to Kakariko Village and then did some main quests for a while.
LinkSlayer64 has a story that piqued my interest:
I cooked all the things possible. The most significant thing was I tried to go to the desert and got my ass absolutely wrecked by a Fire Wizrobe, also I stumbled across a fairy there and became obsessed with finding Navi again.
I then floated into the wetlands and came across the song of storms shrine.
Zalnosaid he was fashionably late for a reason.
Apologies for the lateness, but the first thing I did when I got off the Great Plateau was get my crew together and go riding up the first hill I could see.
And then I got naked.
ZombieCorps is reliving 2016:
I fell off a cliff trying to
play Pokémon GO!locate a shrine.
So what did you end up doing first after getting past the introductory plateau? Leave a comment below and I’ll see you next time in the community!