Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is a massive game that’s packed with weird little secrets. There’s so much to discover in the lands of Hyrule that its taken players, modders, and glitchers years to discover everything. Players are still voraciously tearing BotW apart in search of new secrets, and we’re going to talk about some of our favorites.
Whether it’s importing Miis to make NPCs or discovering all the other animals you can interact with, these discoveries are fun, weird, and completely surprising. Even if you’ve played for 150+ hours like me, some of these secrets are going to be mind-blowing. Especially if you’ve played that long.
And we’re not even mentioning our favorite glitch that lets you fly around in a minecart.
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#1. NPCs Are Made With Miis
Early in 2021, modder “Alice” discovered something awesome — every NPC in Breath of the Wild is basically an enhanced Mii. Breath of the Wild was originally developed for the WiiU, which was a much more Mii-centric console at the time. If you’re new to Nintendo consoles, you might not even have a Mii on the NIntendo Switch! Miis are little avatars you can create and use in games. The best part of learning that the Mii system was essentially used to make NPCs in Breath of the Wild is that modders can actually import Miis into BoTt, creating your very own BotW persona!
Alice, the modder that discovered all this, even does Mii Import commissions so you can see your little avatar in their full Breath of the Wild glory. If you take a close look at other NPCs in the game, you’re sure to start recognizing some of the very specific hairstyles and facial expressions… just recreated in cell-shaded style. I have to admit, after playing this game for over 150+ hours, I never recognized the NPCs looked like Miis. But now I can’t stop seeing it!
#2. You Can Feed Squirrels Too! (With Acorns)
Shared by @caoki8 on Twitter, this is one discovery I can’t believe we didn’t discover earlier. In Breath of the Wild, you can drop food on the ground and feed dogs for their approval. Feeding dogs will get them to like you so much, they’ll even lead you to nearby buried treasure! But dogs aren’t the only animals you can feed. Squirrels will happily munch what you drop — but they’re way pickier. To see a happy squirrel, you need to drop an acorn. The acorn’s description even alludes to the fact that squirrels might just eat these treats!
But I had no idea. This is just one of those tiny, minute details most of us will never notice. The squirrel absolutely has a special eating animation — the tail jumps and the squirrel chomps down. Squirrels aren’t nearly as helpful as dogs, so don’t expect to get anything in return. Now I’m wondering what other animals have special animations I’ve never seen? Can you make friends with the Ostriches?
And speaking of weird animals in Breath of the Wild, did you even know about the blurpee? They’re bizarre bunny-owl-moths that drop rupees when you attack. I’ve never seen one!
#3. Underwater Is Incredibly Detailed Too
You can’t swim underwater in Breath of the Wild, but nobody told the artists at Nintendo that. By glitching and use the in-game camera, @eu_rasi_a_3678 on Twitter was able to get a grand view of just what the underwater world of Hyrule looks like. And its shockingly detailed — there are full reefs, seaweed, and rock formations covering almost every inch underwater. Its a stunning sight that would look even better if you could swim underwater. That leaves us with an obvious question — was swimming underwater originally planned for BotW?
Maybe BotW 2 will feature some underwater adventures to go along with flying in the sky. Or maybe this is just for some sweet beachside aesthetics. You can see all these reefs and rocks from the beautifully clear water in this section of the map. You can’t see perfectly clearly like here, but the hints are there. It just goes to show the extreme detail the artists put into every aspect of this game.
#4. Barrel Sneaks & Riding
Barrels are ever present in BotW, and you’ll be smashing them left and right. But rarely across the entire game, you can actually find giant barrels. These barrels can be interacted with in two fun ways — you can hide in them, and you can ride them. And I had no idea you could do either of these things! Some players with even more time in the game than me never knew, so I’m counting this as a discovery long-in-the-making.
- Want to find a giant barrel to play with? There’s one outside the Old Man’s Hut on the Great Plateau, right at the start.
If you pick up a giant barrel, Link will hide inside of it like Solid Snake — if you stop moving, you drop to the ground and enemies will ignore you. If you roll a barrel onto its side, Link can balance on it and run to get this giant barrel spinning. There’s a special animation for barrel-rolling too! Check out the proof in this tweet. Its a fun way to travel long distance! But seriously, I had no idea that the giant barrels were intended to be used as a sneaking device. You can watch a video of barrel-sneaking in action right here.
#5. Yiga Will Steal Anything — Including The Master Sword
The Yiga Clan are a constant annoyance in Breath of the Wild. In Link’s journey, these red-clad jerks will ambush you out of nowhere — and they’ll pick up any weapons laying around on the ground. They’re so steal-happy, Youtuber ThornyFox just had to answer one question. Will the Yiga Clan steal the Master Sword?
As it turns out, those villains absolutely will take the Master Sword. Even worse, the sword is deleted forever if they take it — you won’t be able to get it! They’ve claimed it forever! It takes a whole lot of glitches to get a Yiga Clan bad guy into the Lost Woods, and we can see why. They absolutely were not meant to appear here. This would be a game-ender. It’s just fun to learn how characters behave, especially where they’re not meant to go.
#6. Secret Debug Room
Debug Rooms are common in video games — they’re simple spaces where developers can test all sorts of stuff. It took a little longer for fans to find the debug room in BotW because it had to be recreated from scratch. Modder extraordinaire Waikuteru used the clues found in text files buried in the BotW game files to recreate the room. Every weapon in the game is here, including a giant rupee, lots of animals bopping around to watch how they behave, and a unique boss!
The unique boss is an absolutely enormous bug. It isn’t the only giant insect in the room — Link can inspect a giant dragonfly too. They’re so small, it only makes sense they’d be blown up so the devs can take a closer look at their animations. Other than that, the most interesting little surprise here is a bull in a big crate. Smash the crate, and a bull appears! Maybe this was for testing enemy ambushes from crates? Or just item spawning in general? We’ll have to kick down Nintendo’s door and start demanding answers to find out.
#7. What’s Inside Dungeon136?
Speaking of BotW super-modder Waikuteru, we’ve now got a pretty good look at some cut content. According to the game files in BotW, there are 136 Sheikah Shrines total. These areas are referred to as “Dungeons” in the files that fans obsessively poured over to find anything interesting. Dungeon 136 can not be accessed in the game, even though you can find it referenced in the in-game files for the base game and its DLC.
But, thanks to Waikuteru, we can now explain Dungeon 136. Its a standard Blessing Shrine — there are lots of identical shrines in BotW, so it makes sense they’d start from here. Waikuteru speculates that this might’ve been the empty blank shrine used to develop (or debug) other shrines in the game. Maybe this template will continue to be used in BotW 2! Maybe modders will be able to create their own dungeons using shrine assets and share them with the world. Just imagine Mario Maker — Dungeon Designer, anyone?
#8. Whistling For Fast Fishing
Here’s a funny discovery made by Redditor charlieboy95 — the fastest way to catch fish is by whistling! No, you don’t whistle to call the fish to you, instead the whistling scares the fish into beaching themselves. Stand on a nearby crate or generate a Cryonis platform in the water, and whistle away! The fish will go in the opposite direction — and if you whistle in the right spot, the fish will drive themselves onto dry land, where you can easily pick up a dozen or more.
What a weird discovery! It’s also just fun to try yourself. If you need a lot of food for the long journey ahead, this is a pretty optimized way to do it. You’ll be able to do it at just about any oceanside beach or river. We don’t recommend the lake — the cliffs are way too steep to beach any fish there.
#9. Getting The Master Sword Early
Why wait when you can unlock the Master Sword instantly in Breath of the Wild? This glitch was literally discovered and shared days ago, and it’s what gave us the idea for a full list of secrets fans only discovered years later. Players are still discovering hidden wrinkles all over BotW, and this glitch is simple (and fun) enough that we had to put it here.
How does it work? Plant a campfire right next to the Master Sword in the Lost Woods and rest. While the game loads, rapidly press [A] — if you’re close enough to the Master Sword and you press [A] at just the right time, Link will collect it without having to earn enough hearts. It’s a fun little discovery that might help players that really don’t like BotW‘s weapon durability system. Now you can get an infinite weapon right from the start!
#10. The Final Chest
One treasure chest has vexxed fans of BotW for years. A chest that appears only when you’re within a certain range, then sinks into the ground within seconds. Basically, this is an impossible chest to collect — but dedicated players worked together to conquer the challenge. Youtuber Kleric has finally opened the chest we all thought couldn’t be opened, and it just might be the last chest in the game.
This isn’t the only hidden chest that’s (normally) inaccessible to players. Check out this video with tons of more secret chest discoveries — and how to get them for yourself. Don’t get too excited, because these chests don’t hold any secret special weapons. Most likely, they were just mistakes or leftovers that didn’t get pruned out. And yet, we still want to open them. Legend of Zelda has trained us over decades that we need to open chests, and by God we’ll open them by any means necessary.