Happy Holidays everyone! Who’s hoping for a white Christmas? I sure as heck am, as snow makes the world look so beautiful and fresh. I’ve always loved snowy settings in games for that reason. Something about the look and feel of them is so inviting.
In Breath of the Wild especially, the numerous snowy areas really stand out. In fact, one of my earliest Breath of the Wild memories involves one of its wonderful wintery settings: Mount Lanayru.
When I reached Hateno Village, I quickly noticed the snowy mountains far off in the distance, particularly intrigued by the three trees that an NPC points out. I felt compelled to go there, not just to solve the riddle of the three trees, but to simply experience the snow — to walk in it, to feel it up close, to see what discoveries awaited me up there.
Before long, I was hiking up the mountain, ill-equipped, yet eager to explore and absorb the sights of the snow-covered passes. Not even the Lynel at the gate could deter me.
As I climbed, the biting cold continuously ate away at my health, despite my numerous cold-resistant meals and Warm Doublet. I knew I was treading in treacherous territory that was clearly meant for when I was better equipped, but I couldn’t turn back now. The beautiful frosty plains, the new variety of ingredients, the crunch of snow under Link’s feet, and the sheer sense of discovery drove me forward no matter how much the cold hurt me. I had to keep going.
The path I followed eventually began to wind upward, clearly leading me to the peak of the mountain. Anticipation compelled me to keep ascending, and at this point I was running past enemies — I desperately wanted to know what was at the top before I ran out of apples, wildberries, and raw meat. I saw ice pillars angled towards the sky and the peak, and knew I was approaching something significant.
My expectation was a dungeon or shrine of some sort, and while this was partially true, I had absolutely no idea what really awaited me. The shrine was the first of its kind I’d encountered so far, and behind it was a completely unexpected sight: a dragon. Corrupted Naydra.
I listened to the dialogue as the morose music chilled my blood. Looking at this great creature, draped over the dark mountain peak watching me carefully, I felt breathless. Then, it took flight — with slow, almost pained movements and groans. Sorrow filled my heart: I wanted to save it.
Naydra circled the peak as I fired arrows at the corruption bulging from its body. Then, it descended, weaving between cliffs and snow-covered pine trees. I opened my Paraglider and continued to follow its path. Frostbite still sought my life, but I continued to eat anything left in my inventory to stay alive. I shot arrows repeatedly until I struck every last evil eyeball stuck to its body.
What a beautiful moment when you finally free its body from Ganon’s calamity. Seeing its icy blue, glistening body and hearing the iconic dragon music makes you feel like you’re in the presence of something pure, something divine. And my courage saved it.
I’ll always remember Mount Lanayru for that reason. At its heart was this memorable, breathtaking quest that made me feel like a real hero. And it was my fascination with the beauty of the snow-covered mountain, despite its perils, that brought me to this truly rewarding discovery.