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Topic: Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild Self-Imposed Challenge Runs

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Panopticon

Sorry if this topic has already been posted but I searched and didn't find one. I thought it would be cool to post ideas here on how you could give yourself a custom set of rules to give new life to Breath of the Wild, i.e. the 3 Heart Challenge. Here are some good examples I've found on the Internet:

No Fast Travel: Walk, glide or ride everywhere.

Horse and Hound: Have your horse and Wolf Link with you as often as you can. If either die, you "game over" and start again from last save.

Curse of the Moon: Every Blood Moon, you lose all gear (weapons, bows, shields). Wear the Ocarina of Time armor set to give it more of a Majora's Mask vibe!

Atheist: No Praying (no heart or stam upgrades).

Survivalist: No trading with any NPCs (rupees become obsolete, heavier reliance on cooking and hunting/gathering).

I decided that I really liked the idea of No Fast Travel, Curse of the Moon, and Survivalist all combined into one run. After several hours of gameplay, I've discovered a few issues/concerns that I had, and I've made a few tweaks. As a result, I've come up with a brand new challenge:

The Hunger Games: Pretend you are a tribute participating in The Hunger Games arena!
1. Master Mode.
2. No fast travel.
3. Stay away from towns. Pretend they don't exist. And stay away from NPCs.
4. There are three concessions to Rule #3: You may unlock memories from Impa (talk to Impa, talk to Purah, talk to Impa again), you may register 1 horse, and you may purchase the Hylian gear. After these three concessions, no more towns or stables.
5. You can't use the climbing gear or Barbarian set. Only the Hylian set, or an amiibo set.
6. Fight every Yiga you see (the ones who look like NPCs on the side of the roads). They are fellow tributes who you must defeat.
7. You may interact with Koroks (Hestu inventory upgrades, obtaining the Master Sword) and with Fairy Fountains (armor upgrades).
8. Curse of the Moon: To keep the Hunger Games interesting, the game makers remove your gear (melee, bows, and shields) with each Blood Moon, forcing you into deadly situations to collect new gear. The Hylian Shield is exempt from this rule.
9. Optional Once every 5 in game days, you can scan one amiibo, which represents a sponsor sending a gift to you in the arena.

Some more in-depth explanation.
-This means no trading, and this will be a No Beast run.

-This is going to be a long game with no fast travel, so I'm allowing you to unlock memories. You might as well get to see those cutscenes every once in awhile to keep things more interesting.

-In this run, armor doesn't provide any buffs. Since you can't trade or go into towns, you won't be obtaining any of the armor sets from the 4 beast regions. This is going to put the "Death" in Death Mountain.

-I'm allowing armor upgrades because since you can't trade, you need to be able to use all your monster parts/collectibles towards something. Otherwise it just wouldn't be any fun. The caveat to this is that collecting rupees is much harder, and you probably won't unlock the 3rd fountain, and definitely not the 4th. If you choose the Hylian set, upgrading will be easier but you will have spent precious rupees that can no longer be used to unlock Fairy Fountains. If you choose an amiibo armor set, you save those rupees but upgrading armor is way harder (you'll need Star Fragments).

-Unlocking the Master Sword and Hylian Shield may end up being a high priority, since they are exempt from Curse of the Moon.

Sorry if the Hunger Games reference is a little hokey and outdated, but I've been doing this run for about 20 hours now and I'm honestly having a blast. Every decision you make becomes extremely calculated. You rely heavily on cooking and hunting/gathering. Every arrow you have becomes ridiculously precious. Also, I used to hate Master Mode for a few reasons, but honestly it helps for this run because of the floating rafts that usually end up having higher-tiered gear inside that don't require killing all nearby monsters to unlock. I've been hit by a few Blood Moons so far and each time it's genuinely painful to lose all my gear, but you end up collecting new gear in some very interesting ways. In the past, I barely used the map icons other than to maybe mark the location of a shrine; now I am marking where cooking pots are, and which shrines have good gear in them in case I'm desperate and need to go back to them.

Panopticon

Benjoo

Hey, this is interesting. Just a question. Do you also drop your arrows with the curse of the moon challenge? Might just load up BOTW tonight and give this a shot. Thanks

Benjoo

Benjoo

@Panopticon

This challenge has been a burning desire to try. It brings such much life into the game.

Since playing this challenge I've learned:

1. Resourcefulness
2. Be careful on how you approach a new area
3. I have a love for rushrooms (getting around faster and nonfast travel)
4. Map marking is essential
5. I am much more focused on hunting for health regen.
6. Not to get too attached to items.
7. Shrines and korok seeds are priority
8. Shield surfing and horses is a good way to travel.
9. Bombs are your best friend.
10. Searching every nook and cranny treasure chest (every chest is useful)

My additional rules to this challenge are:

Drop health regen items on blood moon, and don't eat during combat

I'm playing on normal mode. Which means no floating rafts and also have no amiigos.

Thanks for posting the challenge. Brings a new life to the game for me.

Benjoo

Panopticon

@Benjoo

I'm glad you are enjoying it, thank you for letting me know! I agree with many of your observations. Here are a few of my thoughts after playing this challenge:

-I'm playing on Master Mode which I actually think makes this easier in some ways. The floating rafts almost always have higher tiered weapons which are easy to nab after the Blood Moon makes you lose everything. I can't see myself dropping health items and not eating during a battle, but I might give that a try if I do this again in Normal mode!

-Horses are great but I almost always abandon my registered horse to go climb off somewhere, so I've been taming wild horses and then using them for a brief time, only to abandon them as well. This definitely makes things feel more "Wild."

-Bombs indeed are your best friend, and every arrow is precious. I've discovered that there is more than one way to solve some challenges. Some Korok balloons can be burst with a bomb if you are close enough. There's also a shrine, I believe in Hebra, that has two barrels sitting on a floor switch on the other side of some iron bars. I'm pretty sure in the past I would shoot them, and the arrows would be enough to make them tip over and roll off the switch, but I've discovered that a bomb will do the trick when it's pressed right up against the iron bars. The same goes for some hanging lanterns, chopping down trees (to preserve blade durability). Really any object that needs to be damaged/destroyed can be done with a bomb.

-I've been marking which shrines carry good gear in case I have to visit them again after a Blood Moon, and I've been marking where I can find cooking pots out in the wild. Hunting and gathering has never been more essential.

-Pro-tip: When you can, make your way to Mount Ploymus and load up on shock arrows. If you take the natural path to Zora's Domain, the one that Siddon keeps talking to you on, you'll encounter a lizalfos camp that has even more shock arrows. When all is said and done you'll have somewhere around 30-40 arrows. The next time you lose your gear to a Blood Moon, walk around until the stalfos appear. One of them usually has a bow. Bomb him, pick up the bow. Then go find and shock a monster and pick up his weapon and then just run away. It's a fast way to build your inventory back up.

While this challenge is very fun and breathes new life into the game, I've found that it ultimately reduces the game to shrines (and koroks) only. Also, I believe there are 3 shrines which you cannot get unless you do 3 of the Divine Beasts. So at some point the game will come to an unsatisfying halt. I've been trying to come up with some self-imposed goals which could allow me to "break" the curses that have been put upon me. Here are some possible ideas:

-When you get the Master Sword and Hylian Shield (but I think this is too easy)
-When you complete 100 Shrines (unlocks fast travel)
-When you unlock all memories (Blood Moon curse lifted)
-Master Mode only: When you go back to the Plateau and kill the lynel (Blood Moon curse is lifted, or both Blood Moon and fast travel if you prefer)
(Maybe this last option can be replaced with collecting all 3 monster medals from Kilton if you're playing in Normal mode?)

On my current run I'm about to attempt the Plateau lynel to break my curse. This is tough because I will need to be thoroughly prepared with meals and buffs, and make sure I make it back to the Plateau with enough high tiered weapons. I'm currently in Hebra, where 3 of the shrines are Tests of Major Strength, so I'm currently sitting on extremely high quality Ancient gear which I think will be enough (don't forget they regenerate health in Master Mode, so I'll probably be breaking a lot of my weapons on the lynel). It's now just a race back to the Plateau from Hebra, hopefully I can hit up the fairy fountain in Tabantha on the way and find a cooking pot, and then i'll have to scale the walls of the Plateau (hopefully it isn't raining) and then face and kill the lynel, all before my next Blood Moon. If I can do it, what a rush

I was also thinking about removing the whole Hunger Games spin, and just simply refer to this challenge as "Curse of the Moon" or "Curse of the Lynel." We've been avoiding towns and NPCs to help immerse ourselves into the Wild of the game, but an actual in-game explanation of this could be that you are a pariah; no one wants to associate themselves with a cursed soul, so you do your best to keep to yourself. Once the curse has been lifted, you're free to enter towns, and therefore free to complete Divine Beasts and the remaining shrines, and trade if you wish.

One of the reasons I took this challenge on was to try and find parts of the map that I've never seen before. I've been pretty successful with that so far, and yet there is still so much more to see. One of my favorite memories from this run was trying to find my way back to my registered horse. I parked it near the Hateno Research Center and made my way into Mount Lanayru for the 2 shrines there and to unlock Naydra. From the top I glided north-east towards where the lynel is in the ruins, south of Brynna, because I knew there were some Koroks and 2 Gold Rupees there (which at the time was extremely precious to me so I could unlock a fairy fountain). From there, I knew I needed to make my way back to Hateno for my horse but I wanted to do it in a way that netted me as many shrines as possible. I decided to make my way northwest and grab the Shai Yota shrine in Lodrum (Kass riddle with bombing the rocks), then west to the Rucco Maag shrine (surrounded by lizalfos, south of Zora's), and then I decided to continue west towards the Mezza Lo shrine in Rabia Plains (another Kass riddle, where you tame a buck).

Now, usually I make my way to Rabia Plains after fast traveling to Kakariko Village because why wouldn't you? This means that the stretch of land from Mezza Lo and Rucco Maag is typically unseen, and/or you head east to Rucco Maag instead of west to Mezza Lo. But man, what a view if you do head west. Kass sits beneath a gigantic tree on Rabia Plains, which is clearly visible on the horizon if you're headed west from Rucco Maag. I hit it at just the perfect time when the sun was setting behind the tree, and it is just a fantastic, screenshot worthy view. Since I am using the Pro HUD only, I used the tree as a landmark and my prior knowledge of the game to know that that was my destination. From there I made my way back south, making one big circle, and I was able to grab my horse and proceed southwest through the jungle. I would have never made this much of an effort had fast travelling been an option, but it was well worth it.

Like I said, there is still so much more of the map I've never seen. I think after this challenge, the next step might be to find all 900 Korok seeds

Edited on by Panopticon

Panopticon

Benjoo

@Panopticon

The problem I think I will have on normal and not doing the divine beasts is that the mobs won't "LVL up" which in turn gives better loot (correct me if I'm wrong). So I think master mode might be the better approach to this challenge.

On preserving my weapons, I have a problem of starting fires as most of my weapons are boko clubs and can't spark the flint. I actually realised that you can use bombs in place of arrows for some korok seed challenges. The bombing of trees is always my preferred method. However bombing those pesky rocks send my ores flying!

  • I didn't realise shrines reset on blood moon too. Does that mean the same item re-appears if I go back?
  • thats actually a very good tip and usage of shock arrows. Will have to make that a priority. I've yet to venture there yet. It takes some time travelling around.

I like the sound of the challenge mode but the idea of bring fast travel back fears me because its one of the restrictions i enjoy. But perhaps limiting that to tower fast travel only instead of shrines and only once per day? I do like the sound of the curse of the moon/lynel. It will actually allow us to have a fair chance of completing the game

I love the race of the blood moon. It really does make it more exciting. It gets to a point where sometimes I have to prioritise what I do because I will lose my food/weaps to the curse if I don't make haste! Did you make it back to the plateau and beat the lynel?

I've just made it to hateno village and might steal your idea sounds a good adventure! I've totally soaked in more of the landscape playing this way than I have in previous playthroughs.

You should set a challenge which allows you to use korok mask Too! Because 900 will not be an easy feat with it never mind without!

Benjoo

Panopticon

@Benjoo I believe enemy scaling is determined by the number of enemies you defeat. Here is an excerpt I found:

"Higher-level versions of each species (distinguished by their different colors) only appear if you eliminate many of their peers."

The only exception to this rule is the Colosseum, which is determined by the Divine Beasts.

You are sort of right about the Divine Beasts having some impact, though. There's a whole point system allocated to each type of enemy; the more points you accumulate, the harder the mobs become. Each of the Blights give you points, so yes technically the Beasts contribute to harder mobs but aren't strictly limited to completing them. Master Kohga, Ganon, Maz Koshia all offer points as well.

Blood Moons are the game's way of resetting everything; monsters, items, chests. Regarding flint, Master Mode's higher tiered weapons allowed me to strike some flint here and there (which I had never done before because fire arrows and fire weapons were so common in previous playthroughs). I believe if you are willing to spare an arrow, shooting flint will work. However, I can't really imagine you have a great need for fire anyway. If you find a pot, take the time and cook as much as you can over that flame and you'll be good for awhile. And you aren't sitting and waiting by any fires because that will just cause a Blood Moon to happen sooner. Pro tip: if you hide in a shrine during a Blood Moon, the Blood Moon won't actually happen until the following night. Just leave the shrine at 12:05 AM and you'll be good to go for another 24 hours. I held off a Blood Moon for 72 hours this way. I made it my own rule though not to reuse an old shrine; if I was going to hide, it had to be inside one I had not yet completed.

I did make it back to the plateau and fought the lynel, but unfortunately it was only a White-maned, which is easier than a Silver which I had already previously fought and beat. I was hoping it would have been a Gold at this point in my game. And yes, I agree with you about "breaking the curse." Now that I'm in a position to choose to free travel and trade...I find myself not wanting to. I don't want to go buy any outfits from any store or do any trading at all. I've been limiting myself to the Hero's outfit (amiibo set of the original Legend of Zelda) which has been difficult to upgrade because it requires Rubies and Star Frags, and I kind of want to keep wearing this set because it's paying homage to the original game, which the devs said was a huge inspiration for BotW. At this point it would feel weird to wear anything else.

So I guess at this point I will just allow myself to grab those handful of shrines that do require talking to people, and the ones that require completing a Beast. I only have about 20 shrines left.

One last thought: As much as I've enjoyed travelling by foot and horse alone, I've looked at my Hero's Path on the map and it looks ridiculously surgical and methodical. I basically carved out the map, making straight lines for where I knew shrines to be from my previous playthoughs. The result is entire chunks of the map that remain left unseen. Which is where the 900 Koroks come into play. Before I lose my steam on this game and hop to something else, I think I'll give the Koroks a try and see how I like it. I'll probably allow myself to buy the Snowquill and Flamebreaker sets though; I've spent enough time freezing in Hebra and scorching on Death Mountain

Edited on by Panopticon

Panopticon

Benjoo

@Panopticon

Sorry for delay. So I decided to start a new master mode file. To save you starting again on an normal mode, I think it's safe to say this challenge run is much better suited for master mode.
About 7 hours in now and currently trying to get as many shrines/korok seeds as I can. After the Great Plateau I naturally headed east to duelling peaks and got all the shrines I could (and getting killed by an angry bear!) before moving on to the next region. I've been using a guide to only find out how many shrines are in the region, but not the location. Now in Necluda and have had some experience with the cold, have you used the warm doublet? I was tempted but I had spare chilly peppers. I dread going to death valley!

Also got the hylian outfit and been fortunate (yay! To ruby rabbits!) to find the scarce rubies to pay for that and a fairy to upgrade it. Also began the memory quest, leaving me no more reason to go to the village. I'm gutted I haven't got the 8bit link amiibo. The hero outfit looks great.

I find myself valuing the stamina wheel equal to hearts, if not more! Great tip on the blood moon skipping with the shrines. Few questions:

1. Do you complete rito shrine puzzles?
2. Can you use the statues in towns (I'm actually thinking about using only the temple of time statue)?

Only had 2 blood moons so far and haven't been too bad. I actually like starting a fresh and clears my junk.

Benjoo

Panopticon

@Benjoo I didn't allow myself to use the warm doublet, I relied on cooking only which made the experience much better. Also, if you equip a fire weapon that adds another layer of protection from the cold.

1. Not sure what you're talking about. If you're referring to shrines that are located inside of towns, then the answer is not at first. I stayed out in the wild for the majority of the game, and only near the end did I start grabbing shrines that required talking to people.

2. Same as the first answer, I stayed away from towns. But don't forget that each fountain has one (where you offer up a dragon scale), and there's one where Tarrey Town gets built. Also, I allowed myself to go to the Lost Woods (because of the Master Sword, and also I feel like it's a place Link will always be welcomed to, like a second home). So these places, plus the Temple of Time, totals 6 statues you can use without entering a town.

You may also want to consider the use of the Travel Medallion. With no traditional fast travel allowed, it essentially becomes a one way ticket to wherever you place it. If you placed it near Tarrey Town, you would have instant access to the statue and the fairy fountain for upgrades. However, it'll be a long trek back to wherever you were headed from Akkala. Another good location would be Mount Daphnes; it's pretty centralized in the map, and it offers a great flameblade.

Panopticon

Benjoo

@Panopticon

1. I was referring to the shrines that are rewarded from the bird, once you complete the puzzle from his riddles. There is one in Rabio Lake (I think that's what it's called).

2. Good thanks. I'll keep on the lookout for these statues. I forgot about the Lost Woods.

Although I've beat Ganon on normal and master I've never actually used the travel medallion nor know where to find it. I'll check the dlc clue to give me a hint.

Benjoo

Panopticon

Ahh, I see. Yes, I did the Kass shrines but only because I already knew their solutions from previous playthoughs and didn't need to talk to him first. I'm somewhat of a BotW fanatic; I think I've played it about 5 or 6 times now. Not always to completion, sometimes I'll do specific challenges like shrines only before Ganon, or Divine beasts only. One time I did the Divine beasts as quickly as possible and then did The Champion's Ballad immediately after, so I could explore as much of Hyrule as possible using the Master Cycle Zero.

Panopticon

Benjoo

@Panopticon

I'm by no means as experienced as yourself, I have an idea where a few of the shrines are, but not all. The game still feels fresh to me. Do you have any tips on what the best ingredients are for surviving the hot and cold environments without clothing?
I'm currently on my way to lost woods (well more like to the west side of it as i missed the entrance and tower somehow, doh!) now to do the shrines and upgrade hearts/stamina. Then after that I think I will head to north east Akkala and try that route you mentioned in an earlier post.

On breaking the curse, I don't think I will ever stop dropping weapons/shields etc. However I am considering all 4 options you mentioned earlier

1. Master Sword and Hylian shield
2. 100 shrines
3. Unlocking all memories
4. Defeat the gold lynel in collesseum (if it's possible pre-divine beasts)

I'll take these tasks on as Labour's, hercules style and once completed I can interact with others. Then start the divine beasts, get the remainder of shrines.

Another reward could be find 600 koroks and complete the Labour's, allows you to wear korok mask to help find the remaining. I understand all this is easier said than done. I'm having a great time trying!

Benjoo

Panopticon

@Benjoo

Spicy peppers are the best to stay warm, easily found and you can also light them on fire to create an updraft anywhere. Ice keese wings, white chuchu jelly and cool safflina are all good to stay cool but they are also key ingredients in upgrading certain armor sets...but if you're sticking with the Hylian set then that won't be a problem.

Gold lynels (and gold monsters in general) only appear when you accrue so many points, which as I mentioned before requires that you kill a bunch of monsters. To give you some idea, I'm at 118 shrines (the last 2 shrines require I complete Medoh and Naboris), so i've been all over the map and have killed plenty of monsters, and I still haven't unlocked the gold tier yet.

Panopticon

Benjoo

@Panopticon

So I've made progress, at 35 shrines, 93 korok seeds. I feel like a fraud having finished beat Ganon on master mode yet I am struggling with a few of the easier high ranked enemies (Lizarios are extremely fast). I haven't even considered entering the "Major test of strength" shrines. Some tips for these would be great.
I had a great experience getting the travel medalion as the blood moon struck the moment I landed on the maze. It was the first time I'd been in this area before so i didnt know what to expect!
Some of the mobs are silver now so they must have "leveled up". I bet I'm still a long shot away from seeing any golds.
My next step is to farm some spicy peppers and take on Mount Lanayru and explore! Thanks for your tips, all of them have been useful.

Benjoo

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