Not everyone enjoys puzzles in video games and while there are some titles where that’s all you do, others like The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild feature them more sporadically.If you don’t have the time or inclination to solve them yourself, you could always get a computer to do it for you, like Ceri Storey did for a certain section of Link’s most recent adventure.
Now, this isn’t the first time someone’s tackled a problem in Breath of the Wild using an out-of-the-box approach. You might remember mathematician Axel Wagner, who last year used fractals to 100 per cent the game.
Storey had a different conundrum. He ran into the fan / turbine puzzle in Akh Va’quot Shrine and decided that patience wasn’t the better part of valour (that’s how that saying goes, right?):
In the game Breath of the Wild, there’s a puzzle which involves a set of fans and turbines in a 4×5 grid, and you must position the fans in order ensure all of the turbines are spinning.
Unfortunately, I’ve never really had much patience for solving this kind of logic puzzle the old fashioned way, so given that computers are good at this sort of thing, I thought I’d try that.
Now, we can express this problem as a Boolean algebra problem. Given that we have some set of variables and some constraints (ie: the fan positions and directions), how do we ensure all of these variables are set to true?
Basically, realising that the fans can only face a single way and that every turbine had to be powered by a fan, he was able to come up with some Python script to figure it out.
And here’s the solution (spoilers, obviously):
(0, 0):E (0, 3):E (2, 1):W (3, 0):S (3, 2):W (4, 3):N
Storey’s post is somewhat code-heavy, but if you’re feeling up for it, check out his full write-up over at Oliver Wyman Labs.
Solving Zelda Puzzles Satisfactorily [Oliver Wyman Labs]