All right, we are now two weeks into The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and there are still secrets yet uncovered. I've browsed around online to check out discoveries, but I've come across stuff in the game that has yet to be discussed anywhere. Granted I'm not trying that hard to look online because part of the majesty in Breath of the Wild is exploring the world on your own terms. With that said this list is kind of guide to those that want some cool locations to check out that they may have missed. These places were all discovered by accident while traveling to different points of the map. When you see something interesting, it's hard not to examine them.
It's kind of addicting and I've started a game only to realize I've sunk three hours in like it was nothing and oops, the sun is coming up. Part of me just wants to play it because it's that good, but another part wants me to finish it up in order to avoid spoilers that may pop up. Plus I have a backlog piling up since 2017 just keeps churning out hits. I'm shamefully ignoring NieR: Automata and Horizon Zero Dawn, so I need to finish Zelda ASAP to alleviate this guilt. Poor me, right? Anyway, let's move onto this list. I hope it helps you discover some amazing things such as I have, but to those wary of spoilers of any kind, well, perhaps you shouldn’t move on and instead bookmark this feature for another time. Warnings aside, let’s get to it adventurers.
15 Eventide Island
One of my first big surprises came on a tiny island on the very edge of the SE corner of the map. I discovered two shrines in that area and from a cliff overlooking the sea, I saw Eventide Island off in the distance, so I figured there must be something there. This was also when I discovered my first raft and that I could move it with a Korok Leaf. So, with great energy, I sailed to the island only to have a cryptic text appear as soon as I landed. This is a shrine trial, but in order to complete it, Link is stripped of all gear and food and you must rebuild inventory and survive with what the island gives you. I tried it twice now, both with different heart and stamina upgrades and at my current level, but I’m still too weak. It’s definitely one of the coolest shrine puzzles in the game I’ve seen so far.
14 Toruma Dunes
One of the few things I looked up was the Great Fairy locations. I just wanted to make myself more defensive because of how much the game was kicking my butt. Anyway, the Gerudo Desert fairy was the last on the list, far down to the SW, protected by sandstorms aplenty. Along the way was a large plain that looked suspicious, but I jumped down into it anyway. Then, all of a sudden, a boss bar appeared on the screen announcing Mulduga’s arrival, but I couldn’t see anything. I looked all around and in the air before something emerged from the ground and tried to swallow me up. Whoops! Well like the movie Tremors, the easiest thing to do is to jump on some ruins and lure the beast in with some bombs. It’s not that difficult, but it did scare the heck out of me at first.
13 Satori Mountain
This one drew me towards it while running around at night. I saw a giant green pillar glowing (west of Central Hyrule). Zooming in, I saw it was called Satori Mountain. Not only is there a giant apple orchard and a shrine up there, but at the very top, on some nights, there are a bunch of glowing blue animals just like the one you can see by Kakariko Village’s Great Fairy area. While shooting the small game will net you some Rupees, the big goal here is the horse, which is a legendary mount. It takes a considerable amount of stamina to tame and I have yet to conquer this mighty steed. After research, this is supposed to be the best horse in the game and also a lot of fans think Satori Mountain is a reference and homage to the late Nintendo president, Satoru Iwata. If so, this is one of the sweetest places in Hyrule.
12 Forgotten Temple
I decided to take a leap and look for interesting names that jumped out at me to explore. Once I saw the Forgotten Temple on the far west side of the map, I decided that was too specific to pass up. After dropping down into the canyon, I thought it was just another giant mountain of rubble. It’s actually hard to traverse too, like this it was a place built for giants, as the ruins are all out of whack. Anyway, nearing the end was a giant hole filled with Guardian statues ready to blast me away. At the end was another shrine, which didn’t have anything that cool inside, just a fire blade, but getting to it by riding the wind and avoiding powerful blasts was a thrill all its own. Plus the ruins are magnificent to behold, tough traversal and all.
11 Ovli Plain
There’s a great mineral spot near here I come back to occasionally to mine once the rocks reform, but I decided to explore upward into the Ovli Plain and couldn’t believe I stumbled onto another boss. It was the Stone Talus, one of the few stone titans in the game. Here I was wasting time picking up a few mineral deposits, when a giant one was above me the whole time. This one is pretty easy too. All you have to do is climb on its back like a mini Shadow of the Colossus fight, hit its weak point and it’ll explode with tons of minerals. I should also mention that NW of there is a crater filled with a bunch of little rock monsters that will also net you some good loot. Mark this place on the map, as it’ll help you get gold fast and or upgrade materials.
10 Digdogg Suspension Bridge
I don’t rightly remember how I got to this point, but I do recall it was from gliding down from somewhere, as I saw something big off in the distance. At first, it looked like a miniature Dodongo, but it turned out to be another Hinox. From that comment, you could assume it wasn’t my first, but rather than talk about my first time, there’s something more incredible in that location I’ll discuss next. Anyway, like the previous optional bosses, these Hinox are very easy to slay, as a quick shot in the eye will stun them enough for you to charge in with a few good whacks. Sometimes they have good weapons around their neck, but they’re also good for upgrade materials too depending on what clothes you like wearing.
9 Lanayru Road: East Gate
Early on in the game, I stumbled into this basin wherein I found my first Hinox. It was incredible because it wasn’t quest related and yet there it was. It was easy as I said above, but afterward I stumbled north a bit and saw my first Lynel and was astounded how fast I died. It hit me with a frost arrow, which was my first encounter with elemental arrows as well. I tried a few times to kill it, but I soon discovered it wasn’t meant to be with only four hearts. I marked it on my map and came back nearly ten hours later and slayed it in a gripping battle that tested everything I learned to that point about the game’s mechanics. These Lynel are the toughest optional bosses in the game that I’ve seen so far and they’re always good for materials and loot. Just don’t be foolish and tackle them early on like me.
8 Lanayru Promenade
After I figured out I couldn’t down the mighty Lynel at first, I continued on into the ruins found in the Lanayru Promenade. There’s a bunch of stuff in there from monster camps, random treasure chests, to a somewhat forgettable shrine at the end. On top of all that, this place is worth a visit just to behold. It’s gorgeous! The ruins in the Forgotten Temple are cool, but they feel a little too plain by comparison. Crumbled archways and broken bridges overlooking a river with monsters stalking around every corner is truly a sight to behold. I felt like I was actually in a ruined world for the first time. I also saw my first Blood Moon here, which scared the crap out of me thinking it was location specific.
7 Hateno Village
Now, this place is required early on in the main quest, but there are two secret places that alluded me the first few times through which make it awesome. One is a house I stumbled on that I could buy, which is cool, but the other accident was much more useful. In contrast to the Goddess statues, there is an evil statue hidden away that will take a vessel of stamina or a heart container away, and give you 100 Rupees in return. You can have that thing back for 120 Rupees or trade it for a different one, so basically you can swap out stuff for 20 Rupees per exchange, which isn’t bad. It helped me later down the road with number one and you’ll see why later.
6 Mount Lanayru
After I did the quest for Purah in Hateno Village, I gazed upon the snowy mountain north of her house and decided to check it out. I thought at the very least there’d be some kind of treasure chest or Korok up there, but I was surprised by what waited for me instead as I climbed the snowy steps. It’s the most Skyrim thing in Breath of the Wild I’ve seen yet. There was a shrine, a Goddess statue, and a giant corrupted dragon called Naydra at the top. The Goddess statue instructed me to lift the curse on Naydra in order to restore power to the Spring of Wisdom. While you won’t necessarily die immediately from this fight, it can be tricky. You need to glide around the dragon and shoot the eyes on its back, so it’s time consuming more than anything, but cool regardless.
5 Tahno O’Ah Shrine
After that fight with Naydra, I drifted down the range as I remembered someone in Hateno Village mentioning something about three trees at the top of Mount Lanaryu, but I didn’t find anything up there other than a Korok Seed. Then, somehow, I accidentally drifted down the mountain thanks to my shrine indicator and stumbled upon a rocky surface, blasted it, and boom there was the Tahno O’Ah Shrine, which I wouldn’t really mention, except it keyed me into a great set of gear in the game that I confess, after I discovered the climbing pants inside, I looked online how to get the others, which I won’t reiterate here. Knowing that it's possible to get better climbing gear, this is a great beginning place to begin that quest line.
4 Ankala Citadel Ruins
I found this one while trying to unlock every tower in the game. Now that I’ve painstakingly done that, I can say, definitively, that this is the best tower in the game. Most are constructed in open areas, some with puzzles, but there’s nothing cool about their locations. This one is stationed in the Ankala Citadel Ruins, which is an old fortress complete with cannons covered in spider webs. There’s corruption ooze all around, plus monsters and hovering guardians aplenty, so it’s no easy climb like most of the others. I would be lying if I didn’t say I felt like breaking stuff when trying to complete it, but thankfully it was well worth the effort and completed my map of Hyrule. It's another magnificent piece of architecture.
3 Rist Peninsula
To those weak to dizziness, this quest will have you spinning, but it’s well worth undertaking. I saw the spiral of the Rist Peninsula while gliding off of the Ankala Citadel Ruins tower and saw it off in the distance. The weird shape alone made me think it was related to something and it’s actually a shrine trial. There’s a grave site above this overlooking where an orb is held. All you need to do is grab the orb and run around this giant spiral, which can be tricky, as I had to battle both a thunderstorm and monsters. Since all of my gear was metal, I couldn’t fight back, so I had to run and avoid as best I could. Not sure if the weather was bad luck, or part of the trial, but either way it was an awesome hassle.
2 Tingel Island
This group of bridged mountainous hilltops are all named differently, but the last and most interesting island is of course named after the impish Tingle, first seen in The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask. Though we're not sure why it’s misspelled as Tingel here. Oh well. Now this grouping is located on the East side of the Map and is comprised of Davdi, Knuckel, Ankel, and the aforementioned Tingel Island. The big goal at the end is a shrine hidden under a big slate sheet and like the Ankala tower and Rist trial, weather kept getting in my way while trying to climb the rocks or cross the thinly constructed bridges. The shrine treasure is okay, but, like my adventure into the Lanayru Promenade, I think these islands are just fun to see more than they are worth looting.
1 The Lost Woods
I saved the best for last and, in conjunction, it's also the most spoiler heavy, so once again SPOILER ALERT! All right, so I discovered the Lost Woods by accident when I climbed the Woodland Tower toward the top middle of the map. I saw a big cherry blossom from afar and decided to investigate, only to discover the Lost Woods where I was amazed. I thought "OMG is this where that certain something is?" I navigated it without hesitation and it's pretty hard, as it's probably the hardest these woods have ever been in a Zelda game, let alone as a puzzle in this game. Eventually you'll exit and, at the end of the path, there is the Great Deku Tree and the Master Sword. In order to unlock it, you need thirteen hearts, which I didn’t have at the time until I went back to the evil statue in Hateno village where I literally had just enough to exchange my stamina vessels out for. After that, the blade is yours and as magnificent a discovery as it was, there are drawbacks. It never breaks although it loses "power," so it needs to recharge for ten minutes but then it's good again. As far as I know, it's the only true unbreakable weapon in Breath of the Wild. It has limits and kind of ruins the majesty of the weapon, plus you still need disposable ones too, but at least its not completely worthless.