Zelda BOTW
How would you plot your route through Hyrule? — Image: @everestpipkin

In its four-and-a-bit years, Zelda: Breath of the Wild has remained an ever-popular game thanks to its wonderful gameplay, seemingly never-ending secrets and glitches, and its variety of speedrunning possibilities. For Twitch streamer Everest Pipkin, one way to keep the magic alive involved a particularly intriguing run in which they couldn't ever cross their own trail.

Pipkin, who streams under the name evereverest, first set out on this quest back in November last year. The goal was to use the game's Hero's Path Mode – which tracks every step Link takes and highlights his trail on the map – to monitor each and every step and never walk over a spot that had already been explored. Pipkin described it as "a fiddly, spiralling, backtracking journey that will force me into increasingly byzantine paths through the world."

Speaking about the run on Twitter, Pipkin reveals that they initially thought the challenge would involve saving really often and working out the best route to do each town and tower in order (rather than simply heading off to Ganon from the start, a self-imposed rule meant that all Sheikah Towers had to be reached too). As it turns out, the way in which the game saves ruined all that:

The next problem that arose was the fact that the map is, of course, displayed in 2D; the Hero's Path trail doesn't account for differences in verticality, meaning that it was all too possible to accidentally cross the path at an entirely different height (Pipkin's first restart came about because they entered the front door of the Temple of Time, but soon had to also visit the temple's roof, which is the same spot on the map).

More and more similar issues appeared as the game went on, and in the end the run took a whopping eight months and six restarts, as well as "countless moments of terror as it began to rain". Here's how the map looked upon completion:

Zelda BOTW
Image: @everestpipkin

The entire run, spread over many, many hours, can be rewatched on YouTube if you're interested. Likewise, this Twitter thread goes over all of the interesting bumps in the road leading to completion. Congrats, Everest, and well done for having such tremendous patience!

[source twitter.com, via kotaku.com]