Breath of the Wild players have always taken advantage of the game’s wonky physics, either in speedruns or for fun. It’s one thing to ride on stasis-launched trees, but it’s way more fun to shoot across Hyrule Field with a good head stomp. A new glitch allows just that, letting players gain tremendous speeds and blast off if they shield jump onto an enemy at the right angle.
This new glitch is currently known as the bullet time bounce. It requires players to jump, turn 180 degrees until their back is facing the enemy, and hit them while riding their shield. There’s only the smallest catch: the enemy in question needs to ragdoll when you hit them. This means the trick requires either a weak enemy, an enemy frozen in an iceblock, or one that can be ragdolled by landing on its head. The magic happens when they ragdoll into Link’s shield. For whatever reason, the game will freak out and launch Link forward at preposterous speeds. It’s enough velocity to pass over most of Hyrule Field.
The earliest known showcasing of the trick comes from a group of Chinese players experimenting and exploring the game. They posted it in a compilation video in August. Another player named LegendofLinkk recreated it and, since then, the game’s speedrunning community has been playing around with the trick in order to find radical new shortcuts through the game.
High-speed blasts are not completely uncharted territory for Breath of the Wild; early speedruns made heavy use of “stasis-launches,” which allowed players to freeze items with their stasis runes, hit them to build momentum, and then ride them great distances. Some launches involved players allowing Link to get hit by objects in order to fly faster. This new bullet time bounce trick is a bit trickier to perform but, when executed correctly, it takes less time, making it perfect for speedrunners.
Breath of the Wild has been undergoing something of a speedgame bonanza over the last few months as more and more glitches have been discovered, many of them involving the shield. For example, players have found that it’s possible to clip out of bounds using the shield, which makes it easy to enter shrines and skip obstacles. This latest shield bouncing trick has the potential to shake up many of the game’s routes, particularly in the early game, and with these new tactics emerging, it seems likely that we’ll see even more changes coming to the game’s speedruns soon. As for casual players: if you ever wanted to bounce off an enemy so hard that your game needs to stop and load the rest of the world while you move, now’s your chance to give that a try.