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Breath of the Wild has shooting stars, strafing horses and sick stunts

Link’s newest adventure is full of odd little details

14 minutes of gameplay
Patrick Gill (he/him) has been making serious and unserious videos for Polygon since 2016. He also co-hosts & produces Polygon’s weekly livestreams on Twitch.

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild looks to be a big game. Leading up to its release, Nintendo emphasized the game’s dramatic vistas and sprawling map — but in our time with the game, the smallest details have made the biggest impression. We’ve captured some of those details below.

We started our adventure perched moodily on a rain-slicked precipice. In the distance, we spotted a shooting star. It appeared to have landed in the distance, but we couldn’t find it. The truth is out there.

link watches a shooting star from a night time vista
Twinkle twinkle.

Make no mistake, Breath of the Wild has plenty of horses, and you’ll need them all to get around the massive kingdom of Hyrule. When you mount a wild horse, you can soothe them with gentle horse touches. In just a short amount of time they’ll be trotting sideways on your command. That’s right. These horses can strafe.

Link is on a horse that is trotting sideways.
You ever seen a horse do THIS?

This rude Bokoblin got jealous of our dressage skills and came after us with a club. We readied an ice arrow, but before we could let fly, our attacker collided with an electrically charged Keese. Thank you, thunderbat.

Bokoblin collides with keese.
We get a helping hand from a dangerous critter.

Curse you, thunderbat.

Link gets electrocuted by a bat, falls off his horse, and slides down a cliff.
I trusted you.

The freedom afforded to you in Breath of the Wild allows you to perform acts of great evil. Here we commit the cardinal sin of equicide. If your horse dies, you’ll need to catch another one. You’ll also have to live with what you’ve done.

Link kills a horse with an axe.
Forgive us, Horse God.

Elsewhere, we encountered one of the game’s mysterious and deadly sentries. While I learned to fear their deadly laser blasts, I appreciated the beautiful particle effects.

sentry unleashes laser blast
Set anime to 100.

You start the game with just three hearts, and these robotic monsters are powerful enough to kill you instantly — that is unless you find someone else to take the bullet. We ducked behind this unlucky Chuchu. Thank you for your sacrifice.

Chuchu takes a laser blast for Link
Mr. President! Get down!

The smoldering remains of our reluctant savior created an updraft. We hopped into it with our glider to make a speedy escape. This technique can be replicated with fire arrows or torches, but it’s more fun if someone explodes first.

Link glides on the updraft caused by a wildfire.
The wind beneath our wings.

We found a boomerang sword! The catch is that you have to manually tap a button to snatch it out of the air. If you miss, you’ve got to go pick it up. Pretty cool.

Link throws and catches his boomerang.
Good catch, son.

After a long day of exploration, we relaxed in a windswept meadow. The game has a “pro” UI mode that removes some HUD elements. It’s great for taking in the sights.

Link stands in a nice field
Come to Windows XP in next 15 mins if u want an ass kicking

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is out on March 3.

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