A glitch found in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild reveals that, if Link drops his Master Sword, the legendary weapon will fly all the way back to where it came from.
[Light spoilers for Breath of the Wild follow.]
The series of events that led to user versat13’s discovery is complicated. The video above shows the Master Sword sailing through the air back to the Lost Woods, where Link acquires it in the later part of the game. But there’s a bunch of other stuff going on in the video to explain how Link can even drop this permanent addition to his arsenal in the first place.
The video is all in Japanese, but some English-speaking YouTube commenters who tried this for themselves help break it down. To cause the glitch, players must overload the game’s memory management. Activating several arrows all at once is an easy way to do that, as seen above; shooting them in sets of three at a group of at least nine enemies can stop things from loading. That leads to the creepy bald Link in the video, since the game can’t handle animating his hair with so much going on at once.
Hair is one thing, but the exhausted Breath of the Wild also can’t deal with weapons at that point, either. This actually leads to another, related function of the glitch, as Sage Hane explained on YouTube.
“Keep equipping and un-equipping items until you get to a point where the sound effect for equipping doesn't play properly,” they wrote. “You can tell if the glitch is working if the weapon you've equipped in the pause menu looks different from the one that Link is actually holding. ‘A’ is the variable for the weapon the game thinks you're equipping, and ‘B’ for the weapon you've actually got equipped.”
Long story short, throwing “weapon B” into the air leads “weapon A” to disappear — and a clone of weapon B to appear in its place. This only works with equipment, not clothing or loot; not all weapons can be duplicated, though. If Link chooses to throw the Master Sword away, it won’t reproduce, nor will it disappear. Instead, it heads into the air and a message appears: “The Master Sword has returned to the forest.”
The weapon duplication only lasts until the player saves the game or uses weapon B in battle. The main appeal of trying out this complex trick is to get that little Master Sword message — which points to the design team accounting for players attempting to discard the Master Sword, an item that they’re meant to hold close to them always. Since it returns to its spot in the Lost Woods, a player who manages to dump it can always go pick it up again. That’s the sign of a faithful weapon, alright.