Thu. Aug 5th, 2021

Zelda: Breath of the Wild challenge runs are nothing new, but one player managed to find a new way to push the envelope: by turning Link’s adventure into a giant game of Snake. Game developer and streamer Everest Pipkin managed to beat the game without recrossing their path, an undertaking that took them eight months and six restarts.

The Master Trials DLC added a mode to the game called Hero’s Path, which allows the player to see where Link has travelled over the past 200 hours of gameplay. As such, Pipkin decided it would be funny to turn the game into a version of the “travelling salesman problem“, calling it the Traveling Swordsman Problem as a joke.

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Pipkin finally managed to finish the run on June 30. As the above map shows, it’s a surprisingly difficult route that they had to follow, as they opted to visit all of the game’s towers to fill out the map. Additionally, the fact that the game doesn’t track 3D space (and therefore elevation) meant that Pipkin had to make sure not to travel over the same space twice, even taking X and Y positioning into account. They actually failed their first run because a cutscene required them to stand on a roof of a building that they had already entered. For more details on this challenge run, check out Kotaku’s lengthy write-up–it’s pretty impressive stuff.

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