Tricks, Treats, and Feats: Zelda Tricks from OoT to BotW

I always find a certain satisfaction in discovering new ways of doing something in my favorite video games, especially when my methods involve a trick the developer never intended us to employ.  While I avoid anything that involves glitches or other exploits, that doesn’t mean that some of my tricks aren’t mighty useful nonetheless.  You may recall a post I recently published about a few tricks I enjoy using in Banjo-Tooie.  Today’s tricks span another series I love, The Legend of Zelda, but this time, I won’t be confining my wily methods to just one game.

Reaching the Spirit Temple is a Longshot: Let’s start off with Ocarina of Time, that classic Zelda game from the Nintendo 64 era.  This game’s trick stems from necessity due to a bit of incompetence on my part, and while anyone playing the game the proper way won’t really benefit too much from this trick, it’s still rather fun just knowing you can do it.  You see, when I first played the game, I found the Fire Temple to be impossible.  I could complete the Forest and Water Temples just fine, but there was one room in the Fire Temple I just couldn’t figure out.  It was the room with the wall of fire.  You had to jump to a higher ledge to reach a door.  I kept jumping from a nearby pillar, thinking its added height would help.  It did not.

Well, without the Fire Temple, the cut scene that plays in Kakariko Village that gives you access to the Shadow Temple will never come to pass.  And without the Shadow Temple, I couldn’t reach the Spirit Temple in the Gerudo Desert.  Or could I?  Seeing as I couldn’t complete the game without finishing every dungeon, I still wanted to get as much fun out of my failed playthrough as possible.  I just had to find an alternate way into the Spirit Temple.

To reach this place, the biggest obstacle was a pit of quicksand that stretches forever in both directions.  To cross it, you are supposed to use the Hover Boots obtained in the Shadow Temple.  Well, that wouldn’t work…but wait, there is a wooden crate on the other side of the pit.  The Hookshot may not reach it, but the Water Temple’s Longshot will!  With this simple trick, I was able to get to the other side of the quicksand, reach the Spirit Temple, and squeeze in an extra bit of gameplay.

The Desperate Photographer: Let’s move on to Wind Waker.  As anyone who has played the game knows, after completing Dragonroost Island, you then move on to Forest Haven.  It is here that you meet the Great Deku Tree, but he’s not important right now.  This island is also notable because it is the place where you find the firefly.  If you bring this little bug back to Lenzo on Windfall Island, you will get the Deluxe Picto Box, which can take pictures in color.  If you take quality color photographs of different enemies and characters, you can bring these photos to Carlov at the Nintendo Gallery in the Forest Haven to make figurines.  However, certain characters can only be seen once or twice in the game, so it’s very easy to miss a few if you’re not careful.

With this in mind, I always prefer to return to Windfall Island as quickly as possible so as to miss as few photo opportunities as possible.  Problem is, at this point in the game, you don’t have the freedom to sail anywhere in the ocean you like.  I remember when I first attempted to sail northwest towards Windfall Island, I was told I wasn’t allowed to go that way.  At that point, I gave up and continued on with the game, until a certain playthrough where it occurred to me that there just might be another way.

I haven’t played this game in quite some time, so my memory might be a bit fuzzy, but unless I’m mistaken, I think there’s a good chance I’ve completed the Nintendo Gallery with just one playthrough.  And it was all thanks to this trick.  Even though you cannot sail directly back to Windfall Island this early in the game, you can instead…sail north to Dragonroost then west to Windfall.  That’s it.  It’s a very simple trick, but it will allow you to get the Deluxe Picto Box once you reach the Forest Haven, making it much easier to get all the photos.  (Yes, we already missed Gohma at this point, but you can take her picture much later in the game, so it should still work out quite nicely.)

Let’s Go Around the Back: A list of Zelda tricks would simply not be complete without one from Nintendo’s newest entry in the series, Breath of the Wild.  Some of this game’s 120 shrines can have some pretty challenging puzzles, but there is one shrine in particular whose solution is downright lazy if you know what to do.  The shrine I have in mind, well, I can’t recall the name, and I just skimmed through an 11-hour video about every shrine in the game and couldn’t find it.  So allow me to at least describe the challenge in question.

In this particular shrine, you are supposed to use a cannon to launch a ball over to its respective hole (the platform housing the goal is surrounded by water), which would be super easy if it wasn’t for the wall that has decided to hover in the way.  But if timing your shot proves to be too bothersome for you, why not just do what I did?  Start by throwing the ball into the water, and then make a path across the water using Cryonis.  Making ice pillars in the same spot as the ball, as you surely know, will push the ball out of the water and allow you to grab it and toss it further.  Once you’ve maneuvered yourself onto a pillar behind the goal, where there is no barrier to get in your way, just throw the ball in.  It’s effortless and probably my favorite trick in this list.

What about you, dear readers?  Do you have any Zelda tricks?  Have you ever used any of the tricks listed above?  Let me know in the comments below!

A Cunning Duck

Image from Flickr User: Jeux Video


  1. Gamegato says:

    I know exactly what shrine from Breath of the wild you are talking about and used the same exact trick! Some shrines were designed to have, um, multiple solutions.


    1. duckofindeed says:

      Ha ha, I always love finding alternate solutions to puzzles, especially when said solutions were not intended. At least, I don’t think Nintendo expected us to do that….


  2. adawson990 says:

    I never have done any of these tricks. I’ll have to try the ones for Wind Waker and Breath of the Wild. Sadly, I don’t have OOT anymore. I should probably emulate it or something. Thanks for sharing these!


    1. duckofindeed says:

      It’s always fun thinking up alternate or easier ways of doing things. It’s a good way to make games more interesting. By the way, an alternate way of playing Ocarina of Time would be on the 3DS or Wii/Wii U Virtual Consoles, if you wanted to try that. Thanks for reading!


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