Having racked up the hours on Breath of the Wild, and having encountered a great many different things, it’s now time I offer up whatever pearls of wisdom I can muster and present my archive of what’s what. Hopefully this will be of help to future players. It may well be of help to me!
What opposes you in this brave new Hyrule? What will give you a headache, and what rewards do enemies yield? We’ll start at the beginning.
The danger factor of these guys is defined by two things – their colour and their weapons. Red Bokoblins are the weakest, and by the time you make serious progress with weapons and defences, they are easily dispatched. Blue ones are a bit tougher, and early on in the game could be quite a problem, but the toughest ones are the grey ones, which are quite aggressive and much better shots with arrows. If armed with spears, Bokoblins might try to swing them around in circles, or lunge at you – with small swords they’ll make quick attacks and with larger, two-handed weapons, they’ll rely more on raw power. As already alluded to, these guys can use bows and arrows.
Watching these little guys from afar reveals that they like to dance around fires and, like a lot of enemies, will go to sleep at night, which presents the chance to sneak up on them and kill them with a single sneak strike. They give you, erm, body parts for killing them, as do a lot of creatures.
These are larger forms of the Bokoblins and display a lot of the same behaviour. They too are colour-coded and they too will use different weapons, which changes the nature of how they fight. Because they’re bigger they’re also tougher, but not dramatically so.
The threat level from these things depends on what variety you come across – some are garden variety nuisances – others can spit fire or ice at you, and still others have a powerful electrical discharge. This is on top of their ability to wield weapons and, oh yes, swipe you with their tails. These enemies can also swim, and attack from the water.
These guys go back to the very first Zelda game. They were annoying then and they can be annoying now. Depending on where you find them, you’ll face electrical attacks, fiery attacks or freezing attacks, which include not only direct shots at you, but the power to send these attacks raining down. They are best dealt with by sneaking up at them and using arrows – if you have the right sort of arrow, you can sometimes kill them with one shot.
Common enough creatures, these once again vary based on where you find them. Out on Hyrule field, the water ones will be the most frequent pests, though they are easily avoided. Killing them gives you ChuChu jelly, which has different properties based on which type you kill. Swiping at electric, fire or ice ChuChus will lead to them discharging their attack if they’re fully charged, and hurting you.
By now you’re probably picking up on the theme – there are several varieties of the same critter. This is true of these bat-like creatures, though with one difference – their ‘normal’ form sometimes operates in swarms.
The best way to describe these guys (found dotted around Hyrule) would be as giant Bokoblins. They are huge, but slow, and can be worn down slowly by the Sheikah Slate’s remote bombs, or by quickly running through its legs then slashing away at it once it’s tried to squash you. They tend to yield a lot of stuff, including weapons. It’s possible to sneak up and steal stuff from them without ever fighting them.
Literally a large creation of stone that throws boulders at you. Remote bombs (or later, bomb arrows) are the means to crippling them so you can hit their weak spot. They dispense a lot of precious stones once killed.
These actually look kind of adorable – they are mini versions of the Stone Talus’, but they do pack quite a punch! Fiery and icy versions of these also exist.
Believe it or not, I found these to be among the most annoying enemies – they spit things at you, and they have very good aim. They also hide in the ground if you try to shoot them, though depending upon the type, you can use bombs and kill them from a distance.
Enemies of Link and the Sheikah Clan, the Yiga will pop up at random pretty much anywhere, and sometimes they are in disguise as ordinary travellers. They are also thieves of an heirloom you need to deal with one of the Divine Beasts. The two types you encounter are a scout who fires arrows at you, and an altogether more dangerous, sword-wielding fiend whose punch will send rocks driving at you. They actually give you rupees for beating them, as well as bananas (yes, seriously).
By now the image of the octopus-like Guardians has become one of Breath of the Wild’s most iconic pictures – but the large contraptions wandering about Hyrule are not the only versions of these machines. Smaller types await you in Shrines and the Divine Beasts. These wield swords, spears and shields, as well as possessing a cannon to blast you with. Some of them are pretty weak – others are extremely tough.
The only saving grace with these is that they cannot move! Their turret can rotate, but they aren’t very strong and hitting their eye with any type of arrow will disorientate them. Early on in the game you will want to give them a wide berth, but later on they become easy pickings for machine parts.
These are scary. Accompanied by intense music as a targeting beam lights you up, it’s usually best to seek cover – their beam weapons are not only accurate but they have a wide damage radius – even a near-miss will hurt Link. Once you have the Master Sword you can cut their legs off, but even then, they’re nasty. You ideally need Ancient arrows to dispatch them quickly.
Yup, there are flying versions of Guardians. Once again, Ancient arrows are the best weapon.
I’ve only found these at Hyrule Castle, and they are easily avoided because of their fixed locations, but combined with the other forms of Guardian that roam the castle, they can be a problem if caught in the open.
At night you’ll be visited upon by the spirits of slain foes – in this case, the skeletal forms of Bokoblins, Moblins and Lizalfos. There are even a couple of Hinox Stals around. These are much weaker than their regular forms, but if you don’t destroy the head they will reform.
Nothing else in the game compares to Lynels. Big, centaur-like creatures, they come in various colours (that as with other enemies, appears to define how strong they are, but they are all tough foes), and stumbling upon one before you are ready will spell instant death.
They have bows, and usually these are equipped with shock arrows, and don’t think you’re safe hiding behind a rock, because they’ll simply shoot upwards and ensure their arrows rain down upon you. They wield huge weapons, have massive shields, can spit fireballs at you, can send out waves of fire, and have an attack that is similar to your ‘ground-pounder’ move. Oh yeah, and they’ll charge at you sometimes too. Did I mention they’re pretty quick for such big brutes?
The safest way to deal with a Lynel is to avoid it. Don’t engage. If you absolutely must fight one (and you might end up having to in Hyrule Castle), keep moving, if you can, quickly shoot it with arrows to the face to stun it, and make sure your timing for dodging is perfect – you’ll benefit from the flurry attack. It helps to have earned a lot of hearts by this point, and you’ll want a few meals to restore all your hearts, and give you extra ones if possible.
So that’s it for the enemies. Hopefully this has been of some help!