Zelda’s Labyrinths Are Bullshit

Zelda’s Labyrinths Are Bullshit

Over the weekend I downloaded Breath of the Wild’s first batch of DLC. There were new quests, new gear and a whole new mode. Great. But I didn’t care. I wanted one thing and one thing only.

Proof that Zelda’s labyrinths were a bunch of bullshit.

Thankfully I got that proof.

True story: Breath of the Wild has an insanely detailed map. One of the best I’ve ever seen. Zoomed out, it’s a beautiful thing to just look at. Zoomed in, it’s full of incredible details.

To the point where I actually used the map to help me solve the game’s labyrinths. Which are bullshit. We’ve established this.

I did this by zooming in on the map to the point where you could actually see a top down version of the labyrinth. Like so…

Very cool.

I knew this was possible so, as soon as the new DLC was announced, I was interested in one thing and one thing only — the new feature that tracked every single step you ever made in the game. I needed this — mainly to help find the last 10 shrines, but also… other reasons.

My main goal: find out just how much time I spent trying to do those fucking bastarding Labyrinths.

The answer to that question was depressing.

Here’s my travel map of the first Labyrinth I tried. Before I’d worked out the cheap-arse ‘zoom in to see the topography’ trick.


The next one wasn’t much better. In fact, it looks even worse.

Look at that. What a goddamn train wreck.

Here’s my progress on the third one.

Worth bearing in mind that I actually was consulting the map here. Shows you how crap I am at Labyrinths.

Or — counterpoint — how bullshit these goddamn labyrinths are.

I don’t know about you, but I spent an ungodly amount of time trying to solve those labyrinths. Seeing that in front of my screen was very depressing indeed.


  • I nailed the first two labyrinths straight away. The northernmost one….. not so much.

    I’m a little bit annoyed that this tracking “feature” was held back from the DLC since it’s clear they’ve been collecting the data since launch. They should have made it an item you could find as it would have been an awesome reward for one of the harder shrines.

    Shitty of them to tie Epona and the traditional costume in with those stupid plastic toys too.

    I “finished” this game over the weekend. I think I’m still missing about 10 Shrines and I haven’t found the last photograph memory yet.
    I don’t know why they hid a memory about 30m from the final boss and then added and additional “final” one after you collect them all. I kinda ruins the flow of the narrative if you get right to the end then have to leave and go look for a memory point.

    • It’s possible that the path recording was added for other reasons, such as reporting metrics back to the developers about what parts of the game world players visited, and how quickly they discovered certain things.

      Exposing the data to the user could easily have been a secondary feature built on top of that data.

      • I’d VERRRY much doubt that. This is an offline game coming from a company that still uses Friend Codes and polishes their software really well before launch! I don’t think they’re that interested in secretly collecting background data just to see where you’ve gone with the intention of making changes.

        I think it’s far more likely that it was a cool feature with no impact on the broader game and when they sat down to plan the DLC they decided it could be held back and then included as a bonus incentive.

        • It was a development tool used to build signposting landmarks for missed features, and create flow and density. They’ve spoken about the tool several times.

          I think it was just chucked in with the DLC to sweeten the pot, since it was easy to adapt from the existing software. The game wasn’t incomplete without it, but it’s a neat feature nonetheless.

        • I think you underestimate how much analytics and metrics are built into modern games (and websites) even if BOTW is a single player “offline” game as you put it.

    • I’m pretty mad it’s not just part of a free update. It’s literally the only thing I’m at all interested in of any of the DLC, but it’s not worth $30.

      • Yeah, I can’t believe this is part of paid DLC. It would have taken a single dev about half an hour tops to link this feature to UI.

        It was definitely a case of the DLC looking too skinny so what better way to add ‘value’…

        Same with ‘hard mode’.

  • I love how they started to put roofs over sections to hide treasure from the people who tried to cheese the labyrinths.

    I solved these the old fashioned way, and cleared out all of the treasure.

    I enjoyed my time in the labyrinths.

    • How do you figure they started putting roofs on them? Did they patch them in or something?

      I didn’t find that climbing to the top was particularly helpful. The most important part was that you had the map.
      I was stupid enough to fly to the northernmost one before I’d done the tower for that area. Big mistake, I spent about an hour wandering around before I gave up and came back later once I had it.

      If you go to the map and zoom right in you can normally work out which path you need to take pretty easily.

      • The roofs werent patched in, they’re an intrinsic part of the structures designed to stop people from relying on the map or working from above.

        If you’ve solved them, you’ve definitely sern how it works, but there are more sections which hide treasure and some of them are quite clever about it.

        If the labyrinths had been too easy they would have been ineffective at changing the pace of the game. I appreciated the alternative experience they delivered, almost as much as the overworld “dungeons”.

        • Yeah I see what you mean, some parts were concealed from above.

          I was fine with the mazes, they weren’t too hard and they were interesting looking landmarks/ distractions.

  • Rather than try solve them, I just went the brute force method to make sure I cleared it of all its hidden treasure. Just pick a starting point, and always go left (or if you prefer, right) at every junction until you’ve covered every corner. Just like the old 3D Maze screensaver 😛

  • How are the mazes bullshit?
    Its a maze. You are supposed to have to work your way through them. Not just walk into the middle and then out again.
    The maps help and do work, but you do need to actually use your noggin as there are always a couple of spots where you have to go through under a part of the wall, so on the maps its looks like a dead end.
    Cant have it too easy.

  • I found the top right labrynth pretty easy actually but then found out theres like 8 chests also which i had only found 1 haha. Meh i got no room left anyway..
    So yeah theres getting to the shrine and then there is collecting all the loot which is a damn sight harder.

  • Seems like if the labyrinth made you walk all around it and retrace your steps it was working as intended…

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