When most people enter a Zelda shrine, they try to solve the puzzles. Sometimes a shrine will accept multiple solutions, allowing players to get creative. Some fans, however, have figured out ways to bend and break shrines in ways that Nintendo probably never anticipated.
By now you’ve probably seen GIFs or videos of “shrine skips,” elaborate ways that people exploit the physics and glitches within Breath of the Wild. The most famous one might be contained in this tweet, where someone seemingly shield surfs a floating bomb:
This is the handiwork of Adrylek, a member of the speedrunning community who loves finding fast and unique ways to solve shrines. To date, Adrylek has uploaded 44 videos outlining shortcuts for dozens of shrines within Breath of the Wild. The first video in the playlist below, for example, uses stasis to launch a metal block high enough to go straight into the sage room. That’s just the tip of the iceberg; shrine skips have become like a game onto itself.
Many of these skips utilize something called a “shield jump” (using shield surfing to gain a double jump) and “bomb boost” (unequipping your shield, mashing L, and then exploding an explosive below Link.) Other community members, such as Kitty, Pewable, and Cloudmax have also discovered their own techniques, such as the “bomb high jump,” pictured below. Skipping a chunk of a shrine this way requires Link to get hurt, but damn if it’s not ingenious:
Another clever trick involves electric weapons triggering switches:
“What I became good at was at combining known techniques to make some skips possible, and at using them in less obvious situations,” Adrylek said.
Finding these skips can be painstaking work. In the video below, for example, Adrelyk says they spent four hours trying to figure out where to apply known methods. Since the skips involve precision, it can take a while to pull a cool trick off just once, even if the resulting footage is just just a minute or two of goodness:
“There were skips I had to give up on and then come back days later, knowing that there had to be a way to get around the puzzle but I couldn’t quite figure out how,” Adrylek said. “This happened in Dako Tah, where it took me a few days to come to the realization you could skip the very last section with Stasis, after having tried many different methods before.”
Adrylek estimates that most of BOTW’s shrines can be cheesed in some way, and that there are yet more movement techniques to be found, especially once the new DLC drops.
“For now though, I have finished going through all the shrines...and I am out of ideas.”