• The GiftBot 2.0 Launch Giveaway Extravaganza has come to a close with an astounding 8073 games given away to the community by 696 members, a huge success thanks to you! The gifting now continues with more official prizes in the new Gaming Giveaways |OT|. Leftover Steam codes are also being given away to the PC Gaming Era community.

Aonuma on BOTW: So the puzzle solving in this game begins the moment the player starts to think about where they want to go. Do you agree?

Do you agree with Aonuma?

  • Total voters


Oct 27, 2017
During Zelda Wii U development Aonuma said: "So the puzzle solving in this game begins the moment the player starts to think about where they want to go, how they want to get there, and what they will do when they arrive." With this quote and the overworld they revealed in E3 2014 my hype began. Then in 2016 E3 trailer they showed a clip where Link cut a tree and used the log to traverse to other mountain and I expected the game to be full of those situations.
In the end climbing + gliding solved almost all of those "puzzles" and sometimes really frustrated some possible great experiences. Some major offenders in my experience:
  • Jumped from Duelling Peaks to the forest because I saw a point of interest and when I landed I was in Serpent's Jaw, the end of well designed area with a more linear approach.
  • Didn't experience the road to Gerudo because I was traversing through the mountains(very barren region) and then just jumped to Gerudo Town from the highest spot.
  • Didn't experience rainy road to Zora's domain because of climbing + stamina potion.
On the other side my ignorance about being able to swim in cold water(thought it was insta kill because of plateau) gave me one of my biggest rewards in the game. Person in this video used the same approach as I did to reach this shrine.

The other possible approach is climbing + swimming + potions. If I knew about cold water that would be my solution and I'd feel much less rewarded.

Somehow Nintendo acknowledges how game break climbing + gliding was for interesting puzzles given that inside shrines you couldn't climb walls. And I believe that's one of the reasons I think Plateau is one of my favorite areas in the game. No gliding + limited climbing. In my dream Zelda game those abilities would be scattered around the world and your experience with the game would depends on when you acquire them.

I made a post about that sometime ago but I'd like to hear your opinion about the matter.

EDIT: Added threadmark with a better formulated question
Last edited:


Oct 27, 2017
Zelda is more about adventure.
Hyrule Castle for me stands as one of the best dungeons in the series because it doesn't force you down a linear path and solve a block pushing puzzle or other nonsense.


Oct 25, 2017
Choosing where you want to go requires calculation, not sure if I would call it puzzle solving but I'll hand it to him this time.

Sure, why not.


Oct 25, 2017
There is usually an obstacle or difficulty in reaching most of the things that looked interesting so to me the whole game was a puzzle and adventure.


Oct 25, 2017
It's the kind of puzzle solving I've always preferred, where lateral thinking is possible and my imagination is free to create a solution. It's the traditional kind of Zelda puzzle solving that was always kind of eh to me, where you're just solving their version of a Rubik's Cube.


Community Resetter
Oct 25, 2017
I agree, especially when it comes to how you approach certain encounters.

For example, to get to the Akkala tower, you have to get through a fortress crawling with moblins, guardians, flying guardians, and more. You can try to stealth your way through the front entrance, try to fight them (ill advised if you aren't loaded with ancient arrows), or do what I did and load up on stamina and climb up the back side, then sneak the rest of the way up. I absolutely loved stuff like that in the game. There were plenty of other situations that were cool like that.


Sep 19, 2018
Finding a route from point A to point B on a network is a puzzle with multiple solutions, but what makes the puzzle interesting are the parameters you set for yourself.

How do I get from point A to point B as quickly as possible?
How do I get from point A to point B without getting spotted by an enemy?
How do I get from A to B while also visiting X, Y, and Z along the way?


Oct 25, 2017
I mean, it's more of a puzzle than "do I need to shoot this eye or move this block for no reason to make something happen" I guess.


Oct 27, 2017
Not the kind people tend to be looking for in Zelda, but yes traversal can loosely be described as a puzzle. At least initially. Eventually I think as the player recognizes the most convenient approaches to things it's less about solving puzzles per se and more about passing stat checks.


Nov 28, 2017
The arrangement of the world, enemy outposts, topography, weather effects on the player, weapon wear, suits and other gear, and of course the wealth of dishes and elixers on tap all collude to create one gigantic multilayered ongoing series of puzzles. So yeah... I'm replaying it now matter of fact, and i would say they whole heartedly succeeded in creating a ongoing nefarious puzzle type thing.
Last edited:


Oct 27, 2017
One and done.

You need milk and eggs to make pancakes.
That doesn't mean that everything that contains milk and eggs is a pancake.
The person I quoted said it couldn't be considered a puzzle because it involved choices and planning....which doesn't make alot of sense.

As the thread replies show, plenty of people considered how to get from point A to B as solving some puzzle.

spam musubi

Oct 25, 2017
You are given an open wilderness and several deliveries to make, but how you make your way there is entirely up to you. There is no set path, the whole world is available to you, but different areas have different challenges. You might have to scale steep mountains, or go through ghost-infested territory, or a rocky area and a rough river. It's up to you. Extremely mild gameplay spoilers:
You can choose to bring ladders, ropes, construct ziplines, use an exoskeleton or vehicles, pack weapons etc, but the more you carry the harder it becomes to traverse.
So you have to balance being prepared versus an easy trek. You can create your own path or follow stuff left behind by other players. The planning of your route, equipment, and the traversal itself is the main mechanic of the game.

You'll see other packages dropped by other players throughout your trek, and you need to decide: do I also try to carry this along, increasing the reward, but also increasing the risk of falling over, making yourself more clumsy which can make you easier to spot by enemies and harder to run away. Do you take on multiple deliveries at once to save on time, but making the trek much harder? All of this risk/reward assessment and planning is like the exploration of BOTW made into an entire game with more depth.


Oct 25, 2017
Yes and no. This only really applied to the plateau/early game and some select areas.

I think Death Stranding takes that idea further at least with the pure puzzle solving nature of traversing an environment.

I think BoTW exceeds in the exploration department in comparison though.


Jun 8, 2018
I think the quote works pretty well. I mean, take the situation where you start off standing at the bottom of the Duelling Peaks, and decide you want to reach the top. You have a lot of factors to consider based on a number of different routes. Take the long, gentle slope that is infested with Guardians? Climb the waterfall using water blocks? Go the hard way and just start climbing? Go up the shorter peak first or the taller?

There are a lot of challenges, a lot of alternate approaches, and various unexpected complications along the way. That very much makes it a kind of open-ended puzzle, requiring strategy and planning ahead. That kind of thought is what makes exploring in BotW so fun.


Oct 25, 2017
For me part of the beauty of this game is that you aren't forced into figuring out a single solution, you can go about solving any "puzzle" in various ways. That in itself can be very satisfying imo, even if certain solutions may give you more of an "a-ha!" moment and make you feel smart.


Sep 12, 2018
Honestly now that you mention it the glider did make a lot of shit easy. It’s probably why the plateau was so memorable, you had no choice but to plan every step and couldn’t risk falling or flying away to a better spot
Oct 27, 2017
  • Didn't experience rainy road to Zora's domain because of climbing + stamina potion.
You got lucky then. I did that and it was rubbish, if anyone thinks that was some sort of exciting or interesting experience then they're very easily pleased. It was an irritating tedious slog along boring bland corridors with zero visual interest, in terrible weather, full of the same enemy over and over. It was another nail in the coffin of this game for me.


Oct 25, 2017
Choosing a direction is not a puzzle any more than any other arbitrary choice to be made is a “puzzle”. Just because something requires some degree of thought doesn’t make it a puzzle.


Oct 28, 2017
The person I quoted said it couldn't be considered a puzzle because it involved choices and planning....which doesn't make alot of sense.

As the thread replies show, plenty of people considered how to get from point A to B as solving some puzzle.
So me figuring out the nearest public bathroom when diarrhea hits me is a puzzle?


Oct 27, 2017
Athens, Greece
I wouldn't use the term "puzzle solving" but it's say the biggest engagement now is definitely "where do I go next". Puzzle solving in shrines was perfect for me. I prefer smaller dungeons than old style. My only problem with shrines was that they all had the same theme.


Oct 27, 2017
There is only one puzzle: Defeat Ganon.

Everything involved in achieving that is the mark of genius, and completely dictated by the player’s agency. There is more to life than putting pegs into holes.


Oct 20, 2018
I barely consider Korok seed puzzles as puzzles because of how simple/shallow they are, let alone exploring the map. So no, I don't agree at all.


Oct 25, 2017
That's what it was like for me when I first played.

It was a super cool moment when I made my way down the hill to talk to the old man. He directed me to a certain point on the map, but my attention was drawn to the temple of time in the background. I figured I'd go there first but on my way there I got distracted by the pond that had a sword in the center. When I entered to pick it up I also noticed an obvious crack in the wall that ought to be breakable but I had no way of doing that yet.

In just five minutes the game gave me a goal, while I set a personal goal, got sidetracked on the way to that goal, made a discovery, and also made a mental note of a future goal once I obtain the necessary equipment to cross it. That was one of the most satisfying sequences in any Zelda game I'd ever experienced and was the moment I realized I was in for a special experience, as that cycle of discovery is constant the entire journey. The puzzle of what point of curiosity to prioritize endures the whole thing.


Nov 8, 2017
Yeah I don't see it that way. It's a really good game for adventuring but the only puzzles worth noting were in some of the shrines. Otherwise most could be solved by climbing and flying.


Oct 25, 2017
I think he's mostly right.

It's not quite a puzzle but what I think he was trying to say is that it requires a small amount of critical thinking. Sure you can see the mountain in the distance but how are you gonna get to the top when Link has limited stamina early on as well as life.

Of course most games require some level of critical thinking.