Playing Breath of the Wild Like a Wildlife Photographer

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Posted by mantonminnick (33 posts) -
our intrepid adventurer
our intrepid adventurer
"Frog"

I imagine my situation with Breath of the Wild was like many others; I had done enough shrines and side quests to be satisfied in taking on Calamity Ganon and finishing the game. I had something like 21 heart containers and 3 full wheels of stamina, I was ready to take the fight to Hyrule Castle. When you beat the game, you get a little completion percentage in the corner of the map, for when you load your last save before the final battle. When I loaded back in, my percentage was 23%.

All the side quests and shrines I had completed, how could I possibly only be 23% done?! Then I realized, I hadn't been paying any attention at all to the Hyrule Compendium (not to mention about 80 more shrines and sidequests), the in-game encyclopedia you fill out by taking photos of enemies and items. So I decided the most fun way to fill out the collection would be to start back at the Shrine of Resurrection and walk across Hyrule on foot using the camera feature of the Sheikah Slate, effectively turning the game first-person. Seeing the game this way was incredible. You see the world a little bit differently at Link's eye-level. Giant Stalmoblins are about twice your size, and Keese really come out of nowhere.

this dude got me good
this dude got me good

Not to mention the Yiga Footsoldiers teleporting in and blasting you with an arrow while you sneak up on a dragonfly. Combat, of course, had to take place in the third person, but I returned right back to camera-view right away.

Gerudo has some incredibly pretty and also incredibly laser-shooting sights to see
Gerudo has some incredibly pretty and also incredibly laser-shooting sights to see

I started my adventure at the Shrine of Resurrection and made my way Northwest to Digdogg Suspension Bridge (one of my all time favorite names of anything ever) and into Gerudo Territory before turning north, into the Gerudo Highlands and on towards Hebra.

Once I got into the snowy areas up north, there really isn't a lot to photograph up there. A moose. Some cold plant. boring. Kid stuff. Where are all the frogs up here.

one of my favorite shots
one of my favorite shots

The Gerudo desert has some of the most beautiful desolate landscapes in any game I have ever played. I'm from Minnesota, and something about this shot of columns sticking out of the sand really reminds me of trees in the snow.

never would have thought I'd feel most at home in the desert
never would have thought I'd feel most at home in the desert
gimme a sec, gotta delete some selfies of me and my horse, Cool Kev
gimme a sec, gotta delete some selfies of me and my horse, Cool Kev

For some reason, your camera album is limited to 48 shots. 12 of those are taken up by story relevant photos I didn't feel comfortable deleting, so really you've only 36 slots to take photos of your subjects, but once you photograph them once, that photo is in the compendium permanently (unless you take a better photo and you want to switch them), so you don't need to worry about keeping photos of every fruit at the fruit stand in Gerudo Town. That said, the album being limited to 48 shots just baffles me. I can't imagine these take up too much space on the system's memory, since all you can do with them is delete them, so 48 seems like an arbitrary limit to impose. I was about to nab a sweet shot of a Lightning Keese, but now I'm doing some inventory management.

I started to really feel at home in the world when I started to recognize NPCs who walk the roads with me, having seen them earlier somewhere else. I'm a traveler, just like these other people. One person, I rescued from a single Bokoblin on a bridge, then 45 minutes later, on a different bridge, across the map, I rescued them again from another single Bokoblin.

"Ducks"

I feel a kindred fellowship with Beedle, moving from stable to stable, catching bugs and taking photos of ducks along the way.

Give playing the game this way a try, I really enjoyed the change of perspective. I'd equate it to when they added first person mode to Grand Theft Auto 5 when they brought it to the next generation of consoles and PC. Seeing the world at eye-level made me feel less like I was controlling link, and more like I was living in this world myself.

if you need me, I'll be walking with Beedle from town to town, taking pictures of everything
if you need me, I'll be walking with Beedle from town to town, taking pictures of everything

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#1 Posted by TheeGravedigger (166 posts) -

Great read, thanks for posting it.

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#2 Posted by mantonminnick (33 posts) -
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#3 Posted by Retris (268 posts) -

A dang good read. I feel this aspect of the game is almost always overlooked when talking the game. For me Breath of the Wild has become a form of relaxation and taking photographs is definitely a part of it. If I need to wind down after a long day I'll just spend some time searching for critters in the world instead of even trying to complete the game. Sometimes I'll just try to take cool pictures of the landscapes. My compendium is far from being complete but one big reason is that I often spend time trying to replace old pictures with better ones.

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#4 Posted by mantonminnick (33 posts) -

@retris: all I need is a little professor oak rating my photos and this has become The Final Game

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#5 Posted by ll_Exile_ll (2692 posts) -

Apparently the game calculates the completion percentage a really dumb way, with the 900 Korok seeds accounting for something like 70% of the total.

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#6 Posted by mantonminnick (33 posts) -

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