While there are many ways to complete a game like The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, and the game’s speedruns are obviously one of the most popular methods, some players decide to find other types of challenges to complete the Nintendo Switch hit in an unorthodox way. No, we’re not going to talk here about the few people who have the audacity to finish it on Wii U, but rather about a frankly original concept, aiming to complete the Nintendo title without ever going twice in the same place in the huge open world that it makes available to the player.
Everest Pipkin is not what we call a speedrunner, but has let his creativity speak to distinguish himself in an already very busy niche, by finding a very original way to end Breath of the Wild. Based on the legendary “Snake” (Nokia 3310 users will remember this very well!), its concept is to use the “fingerprint mode” integrated into the game in June 2017 via its first major update “The Legendary Trials”, which displays all the player’s movements on the huge map over his last 200 hours of play!
In the legendary mobile game, the goal of the game was to steer a growing snake as it went while making sure it never crossed its own path. A mechanic that it is quite possible to apply to the “footprints mode” of Breath of the Wild: in fact, it “suffices” to move around the game map, making sure not only to never return to the same place twice. A challenge, however, not far from impossible, because if the map of the game is immense, it was necessary to envisage a very precise route to be able to meet this improbable challenge, which would inevitably generate its share of frustrations and idiotic failures, sometimes observed hours later and far too late to relaunch a previous save …
I DID IT. i beat snake in breath of the wild. it took me 8 months and 6 restarts and countless moments of terror as it began to rain, but it is DONE pic.twitter.com/OwHTxauYP5
– everest (@everestpipkin) July 1, 2023
It was in November 2023 that Everest Pipkin decided to embark on this crazy project, entitled “The Traveling Swordsman Problem”, and knowing full well that it would not be a walk in the park. But our “slowrunner” probably had no idea that it would take him so long. It took him more than 8 months to complete the game under these conditions, which certainly did not require special use of any speedrun technique, but rather a great analysis of the terrain in order to optimize its route as well as possible, and to have recourse to extremely regular backups so as not to spoil everything after so many hours of effort.
Indeed, in order to spice up the challenge, she had decided to impose some constraints on herself,even that of respecting part of the scenario and of the game universe, for example go through all the Sheikah turns on the map, rather than simply trying to complete it as quickly as possible, as speedrunners do in barely half an hour by joining the final combat area directly from the Prelude Plateau (which acts as a prologue). The challenge was suddenly even more delicate, in particular because the plot displayed on the map is in 2D and does not make it possible to differentiate between the different heights crossed. This created situations that negate the challenge, such as when Everest Pipkin reached the roof of the Temple of Time when she had already passed through her front door, two points completely merging in the footprints mode. This was far from being his only mistake, despite the enormous preparatory work upstream.
By completing this incredible challenge, Everest Pipkin has therefore proven that he is simply possible to complete a game like Breath of the Wild without ever going through the same place twice! An exploit that you will be able to discover by rereading in particular his Twitter thread but also by reliving this surprising adventure with the playlist bringing together the entire performance: