The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is what happens when the classic Burger King slogan "Have It Your Way" is given life through a video game. Whereas most games want you to adhere to an established ruleset, Breath of the Wild invites you to put your grubby hands precisely where they don't belong.
Obviously, there are consequences for foolhardiness. Link can battle Ganon in his skivvies (he can also horrify the decent denizens of Hyrule and excite the less-than-decent denizens), but it's not going to go well.
But risk-takers are rewarded, too. If you go off the beaten path or attempt to defeat enemies in an unorthodox manner, you never know what you'll find, or what you'll see. It's as if Nintendo really did think of everything.
It's no wonder people are still having a great time with Breath of the Wild. It's been two weeks since the game hit the streets, and social media is still buzzing about the myriad secrets, jokes, and details packed away in this sleepy but dangerous iteration of Hyrule.
I personally haven't been shy about sharing the things I love about Breath of the Wild, or the characters I enjoy interacting with. If you want to read words about why Breath of the Wild is a great game, boy howdy, I have you covered.
If you're a more list / picture / video oriented person, though, I can still help you out. I've gathered up a bunch of cool observations people made while traversing Hyrule, and added in a few of my own experiences. These moments come from Twitter, websites, Facebook, and Youtube. They're proof that if you build it, they will tweet.
Enjoy, and feel free to add your own cool observations and finds.
Enemies affect each other's battle plans
Breath of the Wild doesn't have a lot of enemy variety, but the small selection of foes has impressive fighting strategies. When the tables are turned against them, they band together in bizarre ways. A weaponless Moblin will pick up a Bokoblin and throw the little pig-soldier at Link. Meanwhile, weaponless Bokoblins will pick up and wield the arms of their skeletal brethren.
And sometimes, as we see in the tweet above, an enemy's elemental power can get in the way of another enemy's battle plans.
The wolves fight like wolves
Wolves are classic RPG fodder, though they don't act very wolf-like in most games. You fight a selection of wolves in Breath of the Wild, but they don't simply run directly at you and present themselves as an easy sacrifice. Instead, the crafty canines behave much like real-world wolves: They stalk you, circle you, and charge in for the kill when the time is right. If you wound one, the rest of the pack will scatter.
The dogs act like dogs
The well-worn trousers and old shirt tell a story
When Link wakes up in the Shrine of Resurrection, he'll find a pair of worn-out pants and a shirt waiting for him. Presumably, he was wearing both articles of clothing before he was, ahem, stripped down and put to sleep. The menu description for each item indicates they're a bit small. Does that mean Link grew a little while he was asleep? He's about 17 in Breath of the Wild, so it's not unreasonable to believe he might've undergone a final growth spurt. That'd make him a bit of a late bloomer, though.
Octoroks can inhale rusty swords and spit out shiny new ones
If an Octorock eats a rusty sword, it'll spit out a BRAND NEW SWORD pic.twitter.com/qUhbsYd8HW— Tristan Cooper (@TristanACooper) March 10, 2017
The rock-based octoroks around Death Mountain can only be defeated if you get them to inhale a bomb, Dodongo-style. But if you stuff a rusty sword into their gob, they'll spit out a brand-new one! Handy-dandy. Just don't catch the projectile with your face.
A descendant of Ganon's horse roams Hyrule
You find out via a quest that the grand-filly of Zelda's white horse lives wild in Hyrule. It's fitting, then, that a descendent of Ganon's Gerudo stallion would thrive in the wildlands, too. The horse's jet-black flanks, fiery mane, wild temper, and tremendous size are all giveaways of its heritage.
Plus, if you manage to tame it (good luck), you'll get a saddle and bridle resembling the gear Ganon decorated his steed with in previous Zelda games.
The "Bridge Guy" who stops Link from jumping might be a tribute to Kevin Briggs
If Link attempts to jump off a bridge in Breath of the Wild, he may be stopped by an NPC named Brigo. Brigo tells Link he still has a lot to look forward to, and even offers to chat with him for a while. This may be a tribute to Kevin Briggs, a retired California Highway Patrolman who's talked down over 200 people from jumping to their deaths from California's Golden Gate Bridge.
There are other good Samaritans known for stopping jumpers, including Yukio Shige in Japan and Chen Si in China, but Briggs is worth a special mention in this instance because "Brigo" is close to "Briggs." It might be a coincidence. Either way, Brigo is good people, and so are his real-world counterparts.
If Link stands still while shirtless for long enough, he'll flex his muscles.
Another great detail -- Link's shirtless idle animation pic.twitter.com/4aMEGCXcxn— Tristan Cooper (@TristanACooper) March 10, 2017
As with Skyward Sword, Link has a lot of personality in Breath of the Wild even though he doesn't say much. If you remove his shirt and let him stand still for a while, he'll check out his guns. Is he appraising himself? Showing off for the birds and the deer? A little of both? It's cute, in any case.
The Kakariko cucco guy has a complex breeding chart covering his wall
There's a guy in Kakariko Village who's obsessed with cuccos to the point that his wife left him. You can't miss his house: It's the one with the built-in chicken coop and the nesting box beside the bed. But what's really impressive is the family tree he's got pasted on his wall that outlines the lineage of each of his chickens. Sunday dinner has never been so well-bred.
Hatsu's final gift to Link is really poopy
Nintendo's usually not one for toilet humor, but it couldn't resist letting its juvenile side out through Breath of the Wild's dancing tree man, Hatsu. If you collect all 900 Korok seeds in the game (YES, 900), Hatsu will give you one of his turds. Wow, great. Look how neatly coiled it is. Also, it's a key item, so you can't even lob it at Ganon's head or drop it off a cliff or anything. It's yours forever. Cherish it. CHERISH IT.
Stables have recipes hanging on the wall
Not sure what to cook for dinner tonight? Stop by your local stable. Each one has a recipe hanging on its wall. Mmm…rice balls with mushrooms.
Link gets very excited about cooking
You probably already noticed Link hums to himself as he cooks, which is adorable. But if you fix the camera on his face while he's cooking, you can see he's really thrilled about the fact he's making food. Needless to say, his grin drops quickly if you cook up a disaster.
Breath of the Wild's tribute to Satoru Iwata is multi-layered and heartfelt
Many players have already pointed out that one of Breath of the Wild's NPCs, Botrick, has glasses and hair that grant him a close resemblance to late Nintendo President Satoru Iwata. Iwata passed away midway through the game's production, and his absence hit the team hard. It's not surprising they inserted a tribute to their fallen boss, but Botrick is just one part of an emotional goodbye.
Iwata is further immortalized as Breath of the Wild's "Lord of the Mountain," an ethereal forest-god that lives on Mount Satori (a variation on "Satoru"). The Hyrule Compendium describes the Lord of the Mountain as the "reincarnation of a sage that died on the lands it now protects."
Astute players will also notice Mount Satori also contains an abandoned campsite equipped with rusted-over weapons and a disused orchard. Someone clearly lived there, but has since moved on. Oof.