The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is an open ended marvel. Player A will likely have a very different experience from Player B, even if both players decide to wander off in the same direction and tackle the same shrines or dungeons in the same order. This is largely due to the game's underlying mechanics, very few of which the player is made to be explicitly aware of and must discover on their own.
If you want to discover these things on your own, I suggest you read no further.
Here's a list of some of the things that you can do in Breath of the Wild's ruined Hyrule that may come as a surprise to you.
Endura Carrots Extend Your Horse Mileage
Eating an Endura Carrot gives your horse extra stamina bars. This helps when you want to traverse long distances very fast.
Make a Snack By Burning or Freezing Critters
Hungry? Killing critters with fire or ice equipment actually cooks or freezes them if you need a midnight snack. You can also cook food by dropping it in extremely hot areas, such as near volcanoes. Cooked food can't be used as an ingredient, but it does function as a restorative item, healing a decent amount of health.
Bowling for Guardians Nets More Materials
You may know that rusted Guardians hold crafting materials, but if you want to farm them faster, you can knock them over with a boulder in order to harvest even more. Thrashing the ruined machines with huge rocks yields more than the single item you'd get from simply investigating them.
Summon the Swarm
Every Breath of the Wild player has drawn the ire of Cuccos at one point or another, but now you can turn the tide on enemies. If you can trick the enemy into attacking a Cucco, you'll summon the swarm upon them.
Killing a Chu-chu with an elemental weapon will change the color of its jelly from blue to red, yellow, or white depending on what you use. The same applies for dropping jelly near a corresponding element, such as fire or icy water. Red jelly can be struck to start fires.
Weather Resistant Clothing
You might know that you can acquire heated or frosty weapons, but you can actually use that to counteract the power of the elements. Heated and frosty equipment functions as a single piece of cold or heat resistant clothing, respectively—placing that flaming sword on your back will actually keep you warm. Pretty cool, huh?
Tired of fighting Guardians with your weapons? You can actually parry Guardian's lasers with your shield for an easy kill. You can also cut off their legs to temporarily stun them if you don't want to wait for them to fire at you.
Chemistry in Action
There are a number of chemical and physical reactions in the game that you can use to your advantage. You might be surprised how many real life applications are actually viable in the game. For example:
- If an enemy is standing in a puddle, using a shock arrow on them will electrocute them.
- Cutting down a tree will produce wood, which you can hit with a flaming weapon to create a campfire.
- Fires create an updraft that you can glide on.
- Shooting an enemy with its elemental weakness will kill it with a single strike.
- Pulling out regular arrows in hot areas automatically sets them on fire. Use them for extra damage.
- Pulling out bomb arrows in hot areas will make them explode immediately. Avoid this.
- Wooden equipment will catch fire if you equip it in hot regions.
- You can slowly melt blocks of ice with fiery weapons. Many have treasure chests—or even enemies—lurking within.
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There are probably even more reactions in the game, but these are just some.
Octorocks are, apparently, mechanics. If you throw a rusty weapon at Rock Octorocks, they'll actually repair the weapon and spit it back out at you, good as new. You can also attach Octorock Balloons to various things, and they will function as real balloons that helps the object float in the air.
You Can Ride More Than Just a Horse
While Link's preferred method of travel might be horseback, there are a number of things you can mount or ride in the game. Of the more strange occurrences, you can mount Lynels. You can't ride them, but it allows you to get a few free hits in.
For traveling, you can ride deer, bears, and even a skeletal horse. Just don't try to register them at the stables - or do, and see some funny dialogue.
Most special of all, you can even ride a mythical glowing green beast called Lord of the Mountain. If you ever see a glowing green light coming from the top of Satori Mountain, head up there to mount the fantastical creature pictured above. Make sure you have a lot of stamina, since he takes three full wheels to mount.
If you don't want to have to farm Lizalfos to get boomerangs, you can actually just use their arms as a boomerang. It functions exactly the same way. Creepy, but cool.
Tricks With The Master Sword
As if you needed any more proof that the Master Sword was special, throwing it at full health shoots its trademark beam. No getting rid of this lovely piece of hardware!
If you need cooking inspiration, recipe posters are found inside every stable. Using these visual cues will help you create some handy dishes. Also, remember that radishes are a Hyrulean superfood - cook five together for some major heart boosts.
Create and Destroy
You may know you can create ice blocks with Cryonis, but you might not know that you can shatter them by pressing the button a second time when prompted by the shatter icon.
A Hylian's Best Friend
There's more to being a good pet owner than just satisfaction. You can feed dogs meat to make them happy, but if you feed them three pieces, they will lead you to treasure. Delicious treasure...
I'll let this one speak for itself...
These are only some of Hyrule's hidden features. What have you discovered is possible in Breath of the Wild?