The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is the gift that keeps on giving. Though Nintendo’s open-world extravaganza is well over four years old by now, players are still finding new ways to break the game at the altar of entertainment. Case in point: Just this weekend, BotW speedrunner and glitch-hunter LegendofLinkk figured out how to make Link fly without a glider. It’s set to be a total game-changer for folks who try to beat the game as fast as possible.
Yes, Link can already “fly” with his trusty glider. But that’s saddled with some notable limitations: It requires stamina, for one, and it’s also subject to the whims of gravity. Thanks to some jerk named Newton, Link will slowly descend over time while gliding (and will fall completely when out of stamina). Other techniques, like launching yourself via tree trunks or Bokoblins, are also limited by gravity and speed to some extent.
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But by relying on this recently discovered trick—which requires a flurry of equipping and unequipping equipment—you can cause Link to fly unshackled from the forces of nature. He won’t slow down. He won’t descend at a steady rate. He won’t burn any stamina. He just...goes and goes and goes. Breath of the Wild speedrunners are calling it “BLS Sliding” (for “bow lift smuggling”) or, more simply, “sky sliding.”
Pulling off a sky slide is really quite simple. All you have to do is [deep breath]...
- Pull out a bomb.
- Place is on the ground.
- Whip out your bow.
- Press the B and Plus buttons at the same time.
- Unequip your shield.
- Reopen your equipment menu.
- Requip your shield, then close the menu.
- Jump and press the B and Plus buttons at the same time.
- Unequip your shield, then close the menu.
- Nock an arrow, but immediately cancel the shot.
- If you performed the first ten steps correctly, Link should have a bow in one hand and a bomb in the other.
- Try to climb something, then immediately let go of the B button.
- That’s it! You should blast off. Moving the thumbstick back and forth causes you to speed up. If you relax the thumbstick into a neutral position, Link will stop sky sliding, and will plummet.
Breath of the Wild speedrunner JoeDun broke down the process in more detail over on YouTube:
Essentially, the steps for sky sliding put Link into what’s known as a “bow lock” state, which allows you to push him with in-game objects. Though, as JoeDun notes, you can technically use “anything you can pick up,” bombs are easiest, since, y’know, you can conjure them out of thin air.
But sky sliding has ramifications beyond granting players the ability to tour Hyrule from 30,000 feet. Just think of what the trick means for the game’s speedrunning community. Side-quests that require you to carry objects will be a breeze. Certain shrines will be easy as pie. And categories from any% (world record: 25 minutes and 6 seconds) to 100% (17 hours and 35 minutes) could see profound upheaval, considering players no longer need to deal with navigating that pesky thing known as the ground.