Zelda Day 2018
December 26, 2018 7:12 PM   Subscribe

An interesting physics glitch discovered in Zelda: Breath of the Wild:
  • Jump towards a monster, preferably from a height.
  • Still in the air, get your shield out and start riding it.
  • Get out your arrows and aim, starting "bullet time."
  • While riding your shield and in bullet time, land on the monster.
Result: Wheeeeee!

Here's video of someone else doing it. Apparently the cause of the glitch comes from not accounting for the time slowdown of bullet time when shield-bouncing off of enemies. Or something like that. For best results, you want to be facing away from the enemy when landing on it, and do enough damage to it by landing to cause it to "rag doll." Link gets so much speed from doing this that the game frequently pauses in mid-air as it loads in new sections of game world.

A few other Zelda curiosities:

Previously I mentioned the Legend of Zelda, Zelda II and Link to the Past (currently in "festive mode") randomizers, and DoctorFedora linked the (crazy) Link to the Past/Super Metroid randomizer, which combines both games and mixes the items up between them into one gigantic game. Well, now there's randomizers for Ocarina of Time and Wind Waker, too!

Last year speedrunners finally managed to accomplish a "Barrier Skip" (GDQ 2018 video cued to demonstration) in Wind Waker, allowing them potentially to skip the entire second half of the game. This, along with tricks like "super swim," and a really fidgety trick to avoid using the hookshot before going through the final door of the game, allows speedrunners to now complete the game in less than an hour and a half. For comparison's sake, the world record for the original Zelda is now a little under half an hour.

If you've always wanted to play the original Legend of Zelda, but were dismayed by all the, you know, dying, the NES game app you get for subscribing to the Nintendo Online service available for the Switch has a special version that akin to a virtual big brother: someone went through and found many of the secrets beforehand: three Heart Containers, nine Keys, the Arrow, the Power Bracelet, the Enemy Bait, the Letter, Red Potion, (significantly) the Blue Ring, and 255 rupees. It doesn't make the game a cakewalk, but it's much easier starting from this point.
posted by JHarris (50 comments total) 26 users marked this as a favorite
 
Why is it Zelda day?
posted by runcibleshaw at 7:32 PM on December 26, 2018


Some years back three people posted Zelda posts on the same day. I've commemorated that ridiculous event with a posted on The Legend of Zelda on this day every year since.
posted by JHarris at 7:36 PM on December 26, 2018 [68 favorites]


I assume this trick will be used heavily now in BotW speedruns?

Also, everyone should watch GDQ this year, it's coming up soon. Extremely entertaining even if you aren't into speedrunning at all and don't know the games.
posted by vogon_poet at 8:02 PM on December 26, 2018 [2 favorites]


Why is it Zelda day?

I believe February 21st is the non-mefi Zelda day of remembrance.
posted by klausman at 9:15 PM on December 26, 2018 [1 favorite]


So, is it a thing where when a game has been out for a while, people start trying crazy combinations of shit to see if they can either break the game or discover an easter egg or something?

Because this seems like a very unlikely set of moves to have occurred during normal play.
posted by hippybear at 9:47 PM on December 26, 2018


I can picture someone trying t shield-bounce off an enemy for funsies, and going into bullet-time just to make sure they landed it right.
posted by Navelgazer at 10:11 PM on December 26, 2018 [1 favorite]


There's people who spend hours and hours consciously searching for this stuff, usually with the goal of beating speed records under various constraints.

The parallel universes video is probably the highest profile example of this, in Mario 64.

The process is weirdly analogous to finding security holes in software.

If it sounds at all interesting, aforementioned GDQ (games done quick) is a multi-day live-streaming marathon that raises money for charity, where the best people in the world at this all come and show off their chosen games.
posted by vogon_poet at 10:13 PM on December 26, 2018 [6 favorites]


I find most things about video games more interesting in theory than in experience (Sonic cost me a job at one point long long ago, it's a long story), and so I find the discovery of things like this fascinating but aside from watching playthroughs of games like Portal I really don't engage with games much at all except for in the abstract sense.

It's cool that people seek this kind of thing out, or discover it by accident, or experiment enough to discover it (which is all sort of the same thing really). That games do things that perhaps their programmers weren't expecting is one of the more fascinating things about video games.

(And if a programmer actually anticipated this and programmed it on purpose, then that person needs several cases of really good scotch, pronto!)
posted by hippybear at 10:26 PM on December 26, 2018 [1 favorite]


(Sonic cost me a job at one point long long ago, it's a long story)

This may be the Zelda post, but you knew when you mentioned it that someone would have to ask. So I'm asking.
posted by radwolf76 at 3:53 AM on December 27, 2018 [9 favorites]


> So, is it a thing where when a game has been out for a while, people start trying crazy combinations of shit to see if they can either break the game or discover an easter egg or something?

A highly popular video game gets, collectively, tens of millions or maybe hundreds of millions of accumulated hours of play in its first couple months by its millions of purchasers (or their gift recipients). I usually assume that most of its glitches get exposed in that time, but by people who aren't part of gaming communities, who play at home or on the bus, don't stream their gaming or share their experiences on message boards, and none of them think much more about it than to say, "huh, that was odd," and the moment fades in memory.

So it's up to the thousands of people who continue spending thousands of hours each on that game, nearly every one of them occasionally trying something odd or doing something randomly and instead of saying, "huh, that was weird," and moving on, they make a note and try to recreate it.
posted by ardgedee at 4:55 AM on December 27, 2018 [1 favorite]


Damnit. This is a reminder that I've barely played 1/10 of Breath of the Wild. I really nedd to stop playing Binding of Isaac and play the other games I own.

Happy Zelda Day! May all your Links be Zelda!
posted by Fizz at 5:03 AM on December 27, 2018 [5 favorites]


Is this like the people who use slabs of rock as space elevators?
posted by chappell, ambrose at 6:07 AM on December 27, 2018 [4 favorites]


Because this seems like a very unlikely set of moves to have occurred during normal play.

The definition of "normal play" is somewhat broader for Breath of the Wild than for other installments in the series.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 7:09 AM on December 27, 2018 [4 favorites]


The definition of "normal play" is somewhat broader for Breath of the Wild than for other installments in the series.

Indeed, the game is a sandbox where you're invited to experiment, it wants you to play with gravity, gastronomy, and to push back against the idea that there is a "right" way to play the game, or at least this is how I approached the game. I haven't played much (keep getting distracted by other shiny things) but my brief time in BotW taught me that it's ok to be curious and try new things.
posted by Fizz at 7:15 AM on December 27, 2018 [1 favorite]


Oh my dog. You just made my New Year. Thank you. I dream in BotW now. It's so fun.
posted by Bacon Bit at 7:29 AM on December 27, 2018


Indeed, the game is a sandbox where you're invited to experiment, it wants you to play with gravity, gastronomy, and to push back against the idea that there is a "right" way to play the game, or at least this is how I approached the game. I haven't played much (keep getting distracted by other shiny things) but my brief time in BotW taught me that it's ok to be curious and try new things.

I bought myself a copy of BotW to play on my daughter's new Switch. I haven't played a Zelda game since the original NES one. I'm looking forward to playing it (I haven't opened it yet) but I've been distracted by also buying myself Kerbal Space Program and getting addicted to that.

But what I really wanted to say was about how I keep having to remind myself (in KSP and other games, or even playing with Lego) to enjoy the sandbox and just try stuff. I frequently find myself in an "analysis paralysis" situation where I'm trying to think through the "best" thing to do next or sequence of events. It can take conscious effort to remind yourself that it's a game, that it's supposed to be fun or even funny. But I've gotten a lot better about that in the last year or a little more - and I have to say, Fizz, you and your posts here are a big part of that. Thanks for helping me rediscover the joy in video games and how fun and delightful they can be, and that it doesn't matter if you're "good" at them if you're having fun - and that exploring is at least as much fun as winning.
posted by nickmark at 8:08 AM on December 27, 2018 [4 favorites]


Im afraid to look at how many hours I’ve played BoTW. It’s approaching one thousand hours by now I imagine.
posted by nikaspark at 8:51 AM on December 27, 2018 [1 favorite]


I just wander around killing the hardest centaurs for sport now.
posted by nikaspark at 8:52 AM on December 27, 2018 [2 favorites]


Some years back three people posted Zelda posts on the same day. I've commemorated that ridiculous event with a posted on The Legend of Zelda on this day every year since.

Out of curiosity, and because the office is just plain dead and there is nothing to do, I took a look.

December 26, 2010. Four people. Four posts. I just got myself a GameCube style Switch controller (as well as a GC to USB adapter so I can also use my Wavebird), so it may be time to go back and play BotW. I'm where I still have one beast to go and I still can't go to the hot lava area because I haven't figured out what clothing/food/item I need to do it. I'll have to sandbox it for awhile, though, as I'm pretty sure I've forgotten how to play at this point (1 year, I haven't played it in 1 year).
posted by linux at 8:55 AM on December 27, 2018 [3 favorites]


I just hope that one day, they make one where Zelda is a girl.
posted by Kwine at 9:00 AM on December 27, 2018 [9 favorites]


I wasn't quite sure how to respond to this comment so I asked my 7 year old daughter who could probably spin circles around anyone with regards to Zelda. She's master level. So:
Zelda is a fighter princess who guides the entirety of Hyrule.
2 of the 4 champions are women.
Link is the main character but is constantly being guided by women (fairies, Gerudo!, a ton of the Rito characters) in order to complete his quest.

I think if anything it's taught my daughter that she's a badass gamer. I don't see a gender problem with Zelda.
posted by Bacon Bit at 9:14 AM on December 27, 2018 [5 favorites]


I've commemorated that ridiculous event with a posted on The Legend of Zelda on this day every year since.

I swear shit like this is what makes the world tolerable sometimes. And I'm not even a Zelda fan really.

Kudos to you.
posted by RolandOfEld at 9:34 AM on December 27, 2018 [3 favorites]


>> I just hope that one day, they make one where Zelda is a girl.

> I wasn't quite sure how to respond to this comment [...] Link is the main character but is constantly being guided by women [...] I don't see a gender problem with Zelda.

I wasn't sure if Kwine was just repeating an old meme (Link/Zelda Confusion) but in any case, there already is a female version of Link.
posted by linux at 9:41 AM on December 27, 2018 [1 favorite]


About how these things are found:
Well one thing you have to realize is that games often contain really obscure things that don't get found for a long, long time. It was multiple decades, after all, that Metroid's NARPAS SWORD was discovered, or Super Metroid's debug code for the Golden Torizo room. For really obscure things, code disassembly is the only sure way to find it.

But the more eyes you have looking at something, the more chance a thing like this might surface randomly. I heard "bullet time bounce" (the magic phrase that seems to make this stuff Googleable) was first discovered by a Japanese player, and spread from there. If there is something people really want to have happen, then if there's a way at all, it's probably only a matter of time before someone figures it out, as with the case of Barrier Skip (see post).

On Link's gender:
Link is appreciated by enbys (those who don't explicitly align with one gender or another) for their androgynous features. Beyond that, there's certainly a lot of fan support for making Zelda the protagonist sometime. The randomizers for Zelda 1 and Link to the Past both support putting in Zelda sprites in place of Link's. (Zelda 2's might as well, I don't remember off the top of my head.) In any case, Linkle is not really Link-but-a-girl, but a Link-like character created by Koei-Tecmo for the Hyrule Warriors games, and is thus of twice-dubious canonicity.
posted by JHarris at 9:50 AM on December 27, 2018


Yes, just recycling the meme, but I can see that could be taken as earnest criticism or shitty trolling, I apologize
posted by Kwine at 10:17 AM on December 27, 2018 [5 favorites]


JHarris: "If you've always wanted to play the original Legend of Zelda, but were dismayed by all the, you know, dying"

Dying? Pfft. Back in the day I was awesome at the game. Beat 1st and 2nd quest on one life. I was proud of me.

Then 20+ years later, I fired up the game to show my kid how much awesome his old man was. And I promptly got killed by an octorok.
posted by caution live frogs at 10:35 AM on December 27, 2018 [5 favorites]


(apologies back at ya Kwine for not picking up on the reference/joke Zelda tends to be very serious business in my household)
posted by Bacon Bit at 10:38 AM on December 27, 2018 [3 favorites]


linux: "I'm where I still have one beast to go and I still can't go to the hot lava area because I haven't figured out what clothing/food/item I need to do it. I'll have to sandbox it for awhile, though, as I'm pretty sure I've forgotten how to play at this point (1 year, I haven't played it in 1 year)."

Talk to everyone at the stable just before the entry point. Talk to everyone you meet on the way to Goron town, too. Some of them have side quests or offers that can help.

Also yeah. I put the game down late spring, because I had crushed all the Beasts and every shrine and was working on finding and beating all the DLC shrines, before I started on Ganon... then realized how much time I was putting into the game, so I took a break. (During the break my kid got me started on Super Mario Odyssey, so yeah, it was not so much of a break from games as it was a break from BotW... it sucks being a completist, but there is STUFF I DIDN'T FIND YET ugh) and now I prolly will have to re-learn everything again won't I?

Twilight Princess, same story. Had game 95% done, took a break, picked it up a year or three later and couldn't remember ANYTHING so I straight started from zero again.
posted by caution live frogs at 10:47 AM on December 27, 2018 [2 favorites]


I just remembered that the other day I came across this image which apparently has been around since 2013, but I only just saw it, and figured it's probably something to share here.
posted by radwolf76 at 10:47 AM on December 27, 2018 [3 favorites]


Twilight Princess, same story. Had game 95% done, took a break, picked it up a year or three later and couldn't remember ANYTHING so I straight started from zero again.

Ha! You and I play Zelda the same way. I actually never picked up Twilight Princess; I am not that hard a Zelda fan, and of all of them, my favorite is still Wind Waker, namely because of its art and music (never got a Wii U so hoping Nintendo ports the HD version of it to Switch one day). BotW is a close second so far.

Talk to everyone at the stable just before the entry point. Talk to everyone you meet on the way to Goron town, too. Some of them have side quests or offers that can help.

I'll do that, thanks.

I think the last thing I was doing was trying to bump my endurance (I respec'd to maximize it, too) in an attempt to ride that humongous black stallion in that deep canyon. Haven't managed it so need to think about that, too.
posted by linux at 10:56 AM on December 27, 2018


I don't even remember making that Zelda post, and the headline gives me legit PTSD.

Besides Zelda day we once had a spontaneous elephant day. It even prompted a MeTa with something like "ok, what's with all of the elephants!?"
posted by loquacious at 11:00 AM on December 27, 2018 [1 favorite]


hey linux, you have to catch a bunch of lizards in the foothills of the lava mountain and make an elixir that gives you heat endurance for a few minutes. Then you can drink the elixirs and fight your way to Goron town where you can buy a suit of armor that makes you impervious to heat. Save up two-three thousand rupees to get the whole set.
posted by nikaspark at 11:18 AM on December 27, 2018 [2 favorites]


I've been playing BOTW on and off on my WiiU for the last year (I get to play for a couple of days each month). Still working my way through the main quests. I now have a Switch and have the urge to get BOTW for that because if the game was portable I might get to play it more. At the same time though I've been on a reading kick of late that I want to continue and getting BOTW or opening the copy of Civ VI I bought yesterday will surely spell the end of that.
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 1:10 PM on December 27, 2018 [1 favorite]


I just remembered that the other day I came across this image which apparently has been around since 2013, but I only just saw it, and figured it's probably something to share here.
posted by radwolf76


Using the same scene for an especially different tone, I enjoyed this [embedded Link link to /r/wholesomememes post].
posted by memento maury at 1:27 PM on December 27, 2018 [2 favorites]


a special version that akin to a virtual big brother

When I was four I would rent the game from a local video store. Sometimes there would be a saved game from a previous renter that had the boomerang! Such luxury!

To this day I still haven't beaten the original Legend of Zelda. I beat a Link to the Past when it came out, and a few years ago I made a concerted effort to play through Zelda II on an emulator (damn that game gets hard in later levels!) but I never completed it.
posted by RonButNotStupid at 2:52 PM on December 27, 2018 [1 favorite]


In addition to the heat elixir, I believe there's a character in the game who will either sell, or give if you do a subquest for them, you just enough heat armor to get to and survive Goron City. To fill out the suit you'll have to go there, though, and buy 'em from the source.

I have finished Zelda I dozens of times, and now primarily play it randomized, which really makes the game into something new, not exactly playing it for the first time again, but it is much changed and you have to figure some things out again. Zelda I contains a lot of secrets, but (in the first quest) few of them are necessary. But the truth is, searching for secrets is part of the joy of the original game, to try burning random trees and bomb the south-facing cliff faces, especially in "interesting" places. You'll get rewarded for that more often than you think. If you like that kind of thing, give it a shot!
posted by JHarris at 3:20 PM on December 27, 2018


As far as I know, the speed run record for BOTW is 39:35 and is currently held by OrcaStraw.

It's awe-inspiring.

We bought BOTW for my son earlier this year and he kept asking me to solve shrines for him. For those without the game, there are over 100 shrines scattered throughout the world map of Zelda. Some are hidden. Some are out in the open. Enter a shrine and you'll have a puzzle to solve, by manipulating the environment in some way. Or maybe you'll be asked to fight a robot and win. The reward is something called a Spirit Orb. Collect 4, then turn them in for another heart (extend your health) or more stamina (run, climb longer).

So at one point my kid hands me his switch and says, "This one's impossible." And the shrine puzzle that needs to be solved turns out to be similar to one of those ball bearing puzzles I had when I was a kid. You solve it by moving the switch in your hands 360°, as if it were one of those games. It was devilishly hard, until I hooked the switch up to our TV and was able to flip the thing back and forth without having to also look at the small screen.

I love the game. So much to do, so much to explore and so many problems, puzzles and interesting things to figure out.

I finally caved, started my own profile and began playing the game myself. The world's physics are fun to test and play with. So much thought clearly went into its design.

I spent nights after my kid went to bed exploring the world. Ignoring all the quests. Just climbing mountains, fighting monsters, swimming in lakes and solving shrines. Collecting clothing and cooking meals. Helping to build a village. Attending a wedding. Building a house.

My kid spent his days trying to complete the story.

So much fun.
posted by zarq at 8:21 PM on December 27, 2018 [2 favorites]


I solved the marble-labyrinth one by the expedient of turning the Switch upside-down and using the flat bottom of the puzzle to send the ball where it needed to go with a roll-and-flick maneuver.

I hated that stupid toy as a kid.
posted by Scattercat at 11:01 PM on December 27, 2018 [2 favorites]


Scattercat, I love that that solution works.
posted by JHarris at 11:19 PM on December 27, 2018


Oh, I was impressed when it let me. It did kind of make the whole thing a bit silly, though.
posted by Scattercat at 2:54 AM on December 28, 2018 [2 favorites]


It's actually possible to get Link into the maze itself (you have to do that to open the chests in it). I think it may be possible to just pick up the ball and throw it onto the passage, although you might have to fall out and take the damage to get off of it.
posted by JHarris at 4:10 AM on December 28, 2018 [1 favorite]


This is really cool and makes me wish so much that I could play the 3D games instead of developing severe nausea after about five minutes looking at them. Zelda was one of the first games I played back when I started playing video games in junior high (not much access before, and a lot of shitty gendered gatekeeping). Then in law school my roommate showed me Wind Waker and I nearly vomited from the perspective shifts and haven't been able to play any of the new games.
posted by bile and syntax at 5:54 AM on December 28, 2018


My mom gave my nephews one of the ball-bearing-labyrinth tabletop games for Christmas this week. Their immediate reaction was, "Oh! Like in Breath of the Wild!"
posted by Navelgazer at 7:32 AM on December 28, 2018 [2 favorites]


It's actually possible to get Link into the maze itself (you have to do that to open the chests in it). I think it may be possible to just pick up the ball and throw it onto the passage, although you might have to fall out and take the damage to get off of it.

I wasn't able to pick up the ball and throw it onto the ramp when I did that. And yeah, there's no escape from the maze once you do other than the long way down. I tried my best to repeatedly hurl myself at the ramp and paraglide over, but wasn't able to.

I solved the marble-labyrinth one by the expedient of turning the Switch upside-down and using the flat bottom of the puzzle to send the ball where it needed to go with a roll-and-flick maneuver.

oh wow.
posted by zarq at 9:11 AM on December 28, 2018 [1 favorite]


There's a Twitter feed, @SheikahMemories, that collects interesting Breath Of The Wild tweets, and the Labyrinth shrine is probably the particular one that gets the most tweets made about it. They have shown a third way to complete the puzzle, although it's fairly random. It's possible to angle the platform so that the ball is flung over the gap and directly into the goal, or close to it. Like this.
posted by JHarris at 10:22 AM on December 28, 2018 [1 favorite]


Yup, that's absolutely what I did with the ball. There's no honor in Labyrinth.
posted by Navelgazer at 3:16 PM on December 28, 2018 [2 favorites]


For those who are curious, the Zelda Day posts are thoughtfully tagged. I've never even played Zelda, but it makes me happy that Zelda Day exists and that JHarris even makes Zelda posts that aren't Zelda Day posts.
posted by Zed at 5:47 AM on December 29, 2018


(Sonic cost me a job at one point long long ago, it's a long story)

This may be the Zelda post, but you knew when you mentioned it that someone would have to ask. So I'm asking.


I never had a console before and when I got one (used) for the first time in my early 20s it came with Sonic which I played for a bit until that one weekend when I got some (for the time) fairly good pot and spent something like 56 hours playing and not doing much else. This included eating, bathing, or calling in to let work know that I wasn't showing up.

Honestly I don't remember much about that time other than I started playing on Sunday afternoon and when I went to do something else it was Wednesday.

This is why I don't play videogames.
posted by hippybear at 11:38 AM on December 29, 2018 [2 favorites]


This is why I don't play videogames.

Thank you for sharing that.
posted by radwolf76 at 5:30 PM on December 29, 2018




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