An exceptionally dogged Breath of the Wild player has become the first to collect the game’s ‘impossible arrow’.
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild community is bonkers, combining all sorts of glitches to reach areas that the game would normally bar you from entering. These impossible-to-reach areas that exist outside the borders of the map sometimes contain random items, like treasure chests that were likely forgotten or misplaced through the course of development. Despite serving no specific purpose, and despite having no significant value, these items have become a fixation for players precisely because there is no way of getting them. They’re called “impossible” items. And after nearly a year of theories and attempts, one speedrunner has braved the unknown to collect one specific shock arrow that’s perched so high in the sky, most players have no idea it even exists at all.
Glitch hunter and speedrunner Luke Steelman, who goes by “LegendofLinkk” online, estimates that the Breath of the Wild impossible arrow was discovered around April 2021, near the Daqo Chisay Shrine in Gerudo Town. At the time players tried moon jumping their way to the electric projectile, meaning they performed a horse glitch that propels Link upwards. The glitch starts an infinite jump up toward the sky, which you’d think would secure the bounty, but Steelman said that older method’s “direction and speed seemed very inconsistent.” They couldn’t seal the deal.
Rather than giving up, he just kept trying and theorizing about other potential methods. In another more recent attempt by Steelman, posted to his YouTube channel on January 16, he combined moon jumping with the Guardian Spaceship/Airship glitch. What’s notable here is that, while he’s using a Guardian Stalker as a platform to soar through the air, the enemy is still active–it just can’t see him, so it doesn’t activate to kill him. While Link was powerless against the skybox and its programing on his own, Guardians can be manipulated to push through the invisible ceiling.
Unfortunately, the video was conceptual–he told Kotaku in an email that while the method seen in the footage can indeed work, it would take a long time and a lot of persistence to gain the 2000m of altitude necessary to get past the skybox and near the arrow. Instead, he “no clipped” or forced Link into the area so viewers could see the idea in action, maybe even try it themselves. Then he went back to the drawing board again, this time with a “much simpler” route, he told Kotaku.
Now, in a new video posted on January 21, Steelman showed that getting the shock arrow isn’t just theoretically possible, there’s a slightly easier way to do it than he originally realised. Like last time, Steelman used a variety of glitches–including moon jumping–but this time, he coupled it with the Apparatus glitch, which makes Link totally invincible with the Death Mountain status effect. After initiating the Apparatus and moon jumping glitches, Steelman teleports to the Daqo Chisay Shrine in Gerudo Town. The arrow’s just above in the sky from here, so it’s a matter of glitching Link over 1700m into the game’s skybox.
After all of that setup, Steelman shieldsurfed to a rock cluster to the shrine’s left, then performed some infinite jumps to propel himself into the air while taking no damage thanks to the immunity glitch. He jumped some, then some more, while setting the Sheikah Slate to track down shock arrows, which ended up telling Steelman that one was close by.
After jumping for minutes on end, Steelman whipped out his overstocked bomb arrows to blow himself up. This seemed to give him so much airtime, he actually ends up going above and beyond the arrow! Nearly 20 minutes of glitches later, with 10 of them filled with so many explosions that would probably make Michael Bay jealous, Steelman slowly descended to grab the impossible shock arrow. It’s really wild, considering the thing’s hard to see! So far, Steelman’s the only person to have gotten the arrow–but we don’t know what he’s using it for, if anything. Kotaku has reached out to Steelman for further comment.
There’s no telling what other “impossible” things there are in Breath of the Wild. The community discovered that Link could fly when appropriately glitched, and players continue to find new ways to break the game nearly five years after the open-world action-adventure hit Nintendo Switch.