It’s fitting that the latest game in the Legend of Zelda series is called Breath of the Wild—the elements and animals are arguably the toughest parts of the game. As Link travels across Hyrule there are a number of tough enemies he’ll meet, and without a handy strategy, the environment itself becomes the game’s biggest hazard. Here are 5 tough beasts you’ll encounter during the game, and how to defeat them (and for more pointers on other enemies not included here, be sure to check out part 2).
Of the difficult enemies in Breath of the Wild, the Wizzrobes are probably among the first you’ll encounter, and while they’re frustrating at first, a little foresight will help you deal with them easily. First, keep an ear out. Wizzrobes traipse and prance around in circles, and you can hear their footsteps from a distance. They also have a weird little voice that makes them easy to identify. Even if you can’t see them, you should be able to hear them, if there isn’t too much interference from background noise.
There are six Wizzrobe types, each roughly corresponding to an element: fire, ice, or electricity. They are Blizzrobe, Electric Wizzrobe, Fire Wizzrobe, Ice Wizzrobe, Meteo Wizzrobe, and Thunder Wizzrobe. Blizzrobe, Meteo Mizzrobe, and Thunder Wizzrobe are the more dangerous, with Meteo Wizzrobe, the type that guards Woodland Tower, arguably the deadliest. Hitting them with the “opposite” element will typically kill them in a single strike. Keep arrows of each type stocked at all times (not to mention the armor and consumables to stave off the elemental effects of their attacks). Elemental melee weapons like Blizzard Rods can also help, but they’re less effective, aim-wise.
If you don’t have the proper tools to fight a Wizzrobe, you may just want to sneak away. Using regular arrows is effective but given enough time the Wizzrobe will form a more vicious attack (for example the Meteor types will begin a literal and very deadly meteor storm). However, the Wizzrobes do drop a Rod of their elemental type, making them a great source of elemental weapons in general. To test out your skills, head up to Crendal Hills east of Hyrule Castle, where you’ll find one of each storm type Wizzrobe in the giant hollow tree rings on the mountain.
Hinox, giant pig-like beasts with one eye, can often be seen from quite a distance, and usually they’re on their back, sleeping. A crafty player can use their paraglider to sail over him just right and snag the weapons on the necklace around his chest, if they wish to avoid conflict. However, the Hinox (regular, Blue, and Black) is highly susceptible to arrow shots to the eye, particularly elemental ones. When hit, they’ll fall to the ground, giving you time to deal several melee blows. As you run away from a Hinox, you can also drop bombs behind you, which will deal additional damage and buy time before stunning him again. As his health drops, he may start to cover his eye, and timing will become tricky. However at this point it is no longer time consuming to use bombs, and you should be able to finish him off regardless.
Hinox drop valuable weapons and Hinox Guts, a rare ingredient used for elixirs but more importantly, armor upgrades.
The Stone Talus also has two elemental variations, the Igneo Talus, which has a lava surface, and the Frost Talus, which has an icy surface. Generally they come up from the ground and attack once Link gets too close. The best way to beat them is to either climb or paraglide onto them, then attack the large ore stone protruding from their back. If you maintain your distance, you can wait until they pound their fist into the ground, then run and climb up their arm and to their back before they can throw you. You’ll be able to get in several hits before you’re thrown but it may take at least two tries to beat them. Glide down from nearby cliffs if needed.
In order to stand on the surface of a Frost or Igneo Talus, you’ll either need environmental buffers like armor (Flamebreaker and Snowquill), or elixirs. You can also use an “opposite” elemental arrow to neutralize the effect, but it is temporary, so act fast.
Once defeated, the Talus will shed precious stones, making the encounter well worth your effort.
Guardian Stalkers (and the Decayed Guardians) are pretty easy to beat once you get the timing down. Make sure to have a sturdy shield. Once the Guardian’s red laser beam is on you, raise the shield to absorb. The beeps coming from the Guardian will get faster as it gets ready to attack. Just as it turns over to its deadlier blue laser beam, parry with the A button to reflect. If executed correctly, it will deal the Guardian enormous damage. Decayed Guardians will need only one hit, while Stalkers need 3, or sometimes four. Rush in after they explode to collect Ancient parts.
Guardian Skywatchers are a little different, but also not that difficult once you know what you’re doing. Use Ancient Arrows on its corners to stun it. After it drops to the ground, use melee attacks.
There are four kinds of Lynels (vanilla, Blue-Maned, White-Maned, and Silver) and their type dictates their difficulty. Found in the mountainous regions of Breath of the Wild, these centaur-like creatures have probably already kicked your ass about 15 times. Unfortunately there is no simple advice on how to “easily” kill them. They are very strong and resist all elemental attacks. The best advice so far is to “spam the hell” out of the Statsis+ rune, but what you do after that will depend on your play style. Shooting him with arrows may give him too much time to attack but getting close is risky if you’re not nimble with your target attacks.
Try to maintain your distance and keep your shield up, which is surprisingly effective at protecting Link from damage, even when the Lynel charges through him. Keep the target locked on and learn to maneuver around the Lynel and study his movement patterns. You’ll need to make heavy use of the dodge, parry, and attack techniques offered by the targeting system. When the Lynel thrusts forward, perform a backflip and move forward to parry. Use Flurry Rush as often as you can manage. When the Lynel gets to their secondary fire-breathing attack, if you’re in a grassy area, you can use the resulting updraft to get away and buy more time.
Lynels can also be mounted; stealth or paragliding can be used but I suggest the latter. Have a strong melee weapon equipped. I’ve also had a lot of luck with positioning Link around a pillar to dodge most of the Lynel attacks, popping out only to shoot Bomb Arrows. A perfect critical hit with a Bomb Arrow to the face will fell the Lynel, and you can rush forward to hit him several times with a melee weapon.
Of course, having the right gear on will help too. Try to have the Master Sword equipped, and use your best armor. The Barbarian Set may be your best bet, or wear the Champion’s Tunic to reveal the Lynel’s HP (knowing how much further you have to go can really help with endurance in battle). Two handed swords are not ideal because you won’t be able to keep your shield up so keep that in mind too. It’ll require a bit of time commitment but with these pointers, you should be killin’ Lynels in no time.
Holly Green is the assistant editor of Paste Games and a reporter and semiprofessional photographer living in Seattle, WA. She is also the author of Fry Scores: An Unofficial Guide To Video Game Grub. You can find her work at Gamasutra, Polygon, Unwinnable, and other videogame news publications.