Kicking off this list is the biggest secret, albeit only in terms of mass. A quick glance at the map on the Sheikah slate – once you’ve climbed the tower in the Faron region – will reveal a large island in the south-east corner of the map. With a reasonable amount of stamina, you can glide down to the island from one of the clifftops on the mainland, but a raft and Korok leaf work fine too if you can find one.
Once there, you’ll be greeted by a prompt telling you that on this island you’ll have to thrive on your wits alone. That means no weapons, no armour, no abilities beyond what your body and your Sheikah slate can do. Any food or equipment you use has to come from the island itself, and it’s not generous.
The island contains three Sheikah orbs which you must collect, including one in the middle of an enemy camp and one around the neck of a Hinox. The enemies themselves are not the problem; your lack of equipment, on the other hand, turns this Shrine quest into a real backbreaking effort that’ll force you to overturn every rock and climb every tree just for the raw materials required to survive the trial.
Worse still, during my playthrough a storm gathered right in the middle of the Hinox fight, turning my handy Traveller’s sword into a life-threatening liability. I don’t know for sure if this is scripted for the island’s challenge, but it certainly didn’t help my odds.
Dying on Eventide before you unlock the Shrine will send you all the way back to the mainland as if you’d never arrived, so make sure you upgrade health a lot before you head here. It is, in the most literal sense, not for the faint of heart.
These towering, terrifying structures are scattered to the far corners of the map: one nestled in the mountains of the Tabantha Tundra, guarded by a Lynel, another hemmed in by cliffs in the east Gerudo desert, and the last and most obvious stood alone in the middle of the Akkala sea. They’re all visible on your map, but until you track them down there’s not really much of an indication of what they actually are.
The labyrinths, as the name implies, are huge mazes, guarded by floating Sentries and Guardians hiding behind the corners of their twisting passages. If that wasn’t enough of a hazard, some roaming mobs can even be found infesting the structures, presumably having wandered in and never been able to find the way out.
The biggest obstacle to your success, however, is the deviously complex structure of the mazes themselves. As some of the passages are tunnels through a solid wall, looking at the overworld map won’t be any use. Additionally, climbing up to the top will only get you so far, as the Shrines hiding at each maze’s centre are invariably sealed with only one entrance.
If you want to get to the heart of the labyrinths, you’ll have to do it the old fashioned way. But if you do, you’ll be able to assemble an excellent armour set which comes with the additional benefit of boosting your attack damage, and that’s a boon worth risking an encounter with a child-snatching David Bowie any day.
The stables dotted around the region are as abundant as they are handy. If you head to the Outskirt Stable, very slightly north-west of the Great Plateau, you’ll be able to pick up a fairly remarkable sidequest – and if you’re lucky, a fairly remarkable steed.
Rumours have been circulating in the area that Zelda’s snow white horse has been seen running wild on Safula Hill to the north. The horse (actually presumed to be a descendant of Zelda’s steed, rather than a century old) runs alone, unlike the others in their herds. It’s easily distinguished by its bright white body.
Breaking this horse will earn you not just a good mount, but Zelda’s bridle and saddle, the ultimate in equine bling.
The Four Great Fairies
It’s fair to assume that everyone’s found Kakariko’s neighbouring magical tailor, but her sisters are a little trickier to pin down. Great Fairy Mija can be found in Akkala, just south-east of the tall, circular island standing alone in a lake. Kaysa, meanwhile, is in the Tabantha region; look south from the Sheikah tower and you should just be able to make out the orange and pink shades of her unflowered bulb.
These are reasonable enough, but Tera, the last of the sisters, is another story entirely. Far, far in the south-west reaches of the Gerudo desert, you’ll be able to see a huge skeleton on the map. Tera’s fountain resides within this sandblasted carcass, completely hidden from view and absolutely remote.
Finding these elusive enchantresses is only one part of the challenge, though. To get the blessings of the second sister, you’ll need to front 500 Rupees; the third will need 1000; and the final sister will need a whopping 10,000 Rupees in cold, hard cash. It’s a lot to pay – but then again, a fully-levelled armour set is quite the prize.
The Three Hinox siblings
This shrine quest was easily my favourite that I found and for that reason makes it onto this list of hidden gems. In East Necluda, in the vicinity of where the region name appears on the overworld map, you can find a range of huge, sweeping hills. Living amongst these hills are three Hinoxes: in classic Goldilocks fashion, a younger, middle, and eldest sibling.
Find any one of them and you’ve found them all, as their homes are joined by three paths connecting in the middle of a triangle. As you’d expect, their difficulty increases with the age of the beasts. Whilst fighting any one of them you might also notice their distinctive family accessory, namely a Sheikah orb used for activating pedestals.
You’ll have to slay each sibling to claim its necklace full of treasures (in addition to the orb, each sport the usual array of tantalising weapons). After doing so, take each orb to the location roughly between the three, where the paths converge on top of a cliff. Here you’ll be able to slot the orbs into each Hinox’s pedestal, activating the Shrine. It’s a lot of work for one spirit orb, but it was easily the most satisfying quest I stumbled upon.
The Hyrule of Breath of the Wild is far and away the largest of any Legend of Zelda game, and this is by no means an exhaustive list. Let us know your favourite secrets, Easter eggs and hidden treasures in the comments.
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