Zelda: Breath Of The Wild Gets Video Game Collectibles Right

Zelda: Breath Of The Wild Gets Video Game Collectibles Right

Nearly every open world game makes the player collect random garbage, and it’s almost never fun. Instead, collectibles often come across as content fodder, meant to pad up the time a player might spend with a game. Breath of the Wild is not like that at all.

To catch some of you up to speed, in Breath of the Wild you can meet a lively character named Hetsu, who loves to dance and play with his maracas. One problem: The maracas are empty. So, Hetsu tasks you with finding Korok seeds, which he can use to fill up his instrument. If you bring some back, Hetsu can upgrade your inventory. It’s a good deal, though the value of this extended quest is more than mere transaction. I’ve found myself looking for Korok seeds just ’cause, inventory be damned.

At first, I found Korok seeds purely by accident. One time, for example, I saw a tall mountain looming massively in the distance. Nothing about it looked out of the ordinary, really — it was a mountain range, there was plenty of terrain just like it. But I got that itch, that strange, inexplicable desire to scale it, just to see if I could. I wanted to test out the limits of Link’s stamina. I wanted to test the boundaries of what the game would allow, wanted to see if would truly give me the freedom to do something completely unnecessary, just because the mechanics were available to me.

Oh, it did. And on the very peak of that otherwise unremarkable mountain, there was a rock. I lifted the rock, and there was a Korok. I was taken aback: Someone actually put something here! How many players would even see it? It felt nice to be rewarded for forging my own path, no matter how out-of-the-way and ridiculous my antics were.

Since then, I’ve been obsessed with finding Koroks. They’re hiding everywhere (900, last I heard) but somehow, Nintendo has found a way to make their inclusion a playful and entertaining experience. I’ve collected dozens of Koroks, and it never gets old.

I’ve found a Korok by melting ice. I’ve found Koroks by pushing rocks into giant holes. I’ve found Koroks by putting an apple on a shrine. I’ve found Koroks by climbing a fountain. I’ve found Koroks by putting a metal block on a random sculpture. I’ve even found some puzzles that I’m pretty sure are Korok-related, but I have no idea how to solve them yet. And every time I find one of these puzzles, it is a delight.

Yes, many of the Korok solutions are simple. What I love about them, though, is that Korok seed puzzles have an innate video game logic to them, a sort of design sense that Nintendo truly excels at. Just look at Mario: How do we often just know the location of a hidden block, invisible to the sight? How do we know that in a side-scrolling Donkey Kong level, it might be worth going to the left, rather than the right, as you might in any platformer?

We don’t, really. We hope. We take a leap of faith. We feel, on a level that is almost intangible, that if we just do the right thing, we can untangle the mysteries of a world, we can come to understand it. This spirituality is all by design, of course. I know this. But when you’re out there, looking into Breath of the Wild‘s horizon, wondering what secrets you’ve yet to uncover, you can go forth with the confidence that in this digital world, God is real and he made everything for a reason.


  • I’m really enjoying finding Koroks as well. Finding them really makes you go “I wonder if I do this if something will happen”

    Like you said putting food in a shrine made one show up, it’s great.

    I found another one by climbing to the top of a pole that was out on its own, I just wanted to climb it, I wasn’t actually thinking of Koroks at the time.

    • I remember looking at the apples on the shrine. I got one out to drop on the empty spot, but my horse started eating the other apples.

      So I fed my horse the apple I was holding, let it finish off the shrine, and we left.

      • I just took the apples. If u cook five in one go then stores buy them for 50 ruppees. Good deal!

  • I still remember finding all the flags in the original Assassin’s Creed or finding all the pigeons in GTAIV…

  • I found a ring of lily pads in the water below me. I thought “I wonder if I can land this”. I did; I found a korok.

  • Flew down a random high cliff, saw a bombable cave halfway down. Stopped, bombed, found a rock. Lifted said rock, found a Korok.

    I love this game.

  • I’ve only just completed the Plateau but I found a Korok seed at the base of the mountain where the old man gives you warmer clothes to withstand the snowy areas. There’s a ring of little rocks with one missing, complete the circle with a nearby rock and recieve Korok.

  • Rockstar Games should learn from this, regarding the countless & pointless backalleys and other should-have-been-interesting-but-weren’t-areas, of GTA IV and V.

    With the 3D era of GTA, the cities areas and sizes were well scaled for their time, but Rockstar just didn’t know how to handle the jumbo cities they’ve created in the HD era.
    Consider the time it took to explore the docks/port of Los Santos in GTA San Andreas compared with the one in V, sure there was nothing bar a weapon and special vehicle in either, but it took so much longer in V to discover and confirm this, leaving the player with a lasting feeling of disappointment and discouraged from exploring more of a likely empty map, which it is.

    In an increasingly fast world, value for time is the aim of the game.

  • I had a similar experience (as I’m sure many have!).

    I was using my shiekah stone to look around and saw a tree on sort of a rocky out cropping hanging over a cliff edge. The tree was a little apart from the rest of the trees around it – maybe slightly larger than the other trees in the area, but not by a large margin. But something just peaked my interest in this tree. So I went to it – nothing happened. On a whim, I decided to climb the tree (now – I’d never climbed a tree to the top in the game before – sure – climbed for a few apples, but that’s it). So – climbed up the tree and got to the top – there I was hanging off the tree by one hand and one foot, and sure enough – a Korok pops up!!! My first though was wow – how many people would actually find that Korok! Just by climbing some random tree that looked a little bit out of place. If you’d just run past the tree you would never have known it was any different to the thousands of other trees – I only saw it was a bit out of place by using the shiekah stone to view it!

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