This game was developed by Nintendo and Explorer Media as a joint project to build off of the engine of Breath of the Wild. It started off feeling almost like just more Breath of the Wild, so, the developers decided to throw in twists, making the game more original and building it to stand on its own, a new game built off of the groundwork of its predecessor.

Development for this game started in late 2018, and the initial decision to twist Breath of the Wild instead of just creating the same thing again took place in mid spring 2019, and they went right in to developing the game. Over the course of this, there was some back and forth on the ideas presented, and quite a few mechanics were scrapped in development, as they felt it would make the game too complex.

In development the companies also made one more major decision. They decided to make a Zelda game for their older audiences, and break away from the child audience for one game before going back to the younger audiences with their next Zelda titles.

This shift in audiences allowed them to create a game which had more mechanics then they normally had, along with a shift in story tone which would prove essential in this game's design and plot, as well as for the difficulty, as it was raised significantly, and the length of the game got a bit longer, with more dungeons which were uniquely themed and were also far longer.


Path of Shadows is split into two major types of gameplay. Daytime, and nighttime. During the day, the player can roam the terrain freely, exploring and fighting monsters, searching for the next dungeon, taking on side quests, defeating world boss type enemies, preparing for the night, avoiding leaving trails, and so on. The nighttime, however, is built around stealth. During the nighttime, Princess Zelda will try and track you down, meaning that you must avoid getting caught at all costs. And if the player dies, they lose 50% of their coins that they have on them, meaning that banks are extremely important to getting money.


During the night, everything that happens during the day is counted up invisibly, and is tallied up into a score behind the scenes. From this tallying, the player will then have a certain "tracking level" for that night, and that tracking level will determine how many clues Zelda has to find the player with. The night is a period of 10 minutes, and during that time, Zelda will attempt to track the player down. The player's goal?- don't get caught.


Zelda, as mentioned in the story of the game, was corrupted by the spirit of Demise, resulting in her following Ganondorf's orders. During the course of gameplay, she acts as a "roaming death" type of characte, as she cannot be killed or visibly damaged, only driven back temporarily. Another major factor is that, since she is still the princess of Hyrule, the townspeople are on her side, but won't fight or even get angry at the player, just act confused. Zelda has two major restrictions though. She cannot follow the player into dungeons or other interiors, and she cannot attack the player in towns or when another citizen is nearby. It also will take exactly 3 hits from her to take out the player, no more, no less.

If Zelda is beaten back temporarily, however, she will be unable to attack the player for that night, and will respawn the next night at the spot where she was beaten back. Zelda can be beaten back in 3 ways: Pushed off of a cliff, hit with a Lynel Arrow (Made from: 1x Lynel Guts, 2x Lynel Hooves, 1x Lynel Mane, 1x Golden Arrow Shaft, and 1x Phantom Core), or finally, if she is seen attacking in public.

Zelda is also a character who doesn't stay the same throughout the game. She will get upgrades as the player progresses through the 8 dungeons of the game, slowly getting her new equipment and making her even harder to escape from. Zelda, throughout the whole game, can run a bit faster than Link could in Breath of the Wild at max speed, and she can climb at the same speed she runs, meaning that outrunning her is not an option. Below is a table of the upgrades she gets throughout the game.

Unlock Requirements Appearance Changes New Abilities Reccomended Strategy
Beat the Deep Woods Temple Zelda gains a small guardian-style belt. Zelda can now wield swords as well as bows. Just avoid her as much as possible.
Beat the Rito Mining Company Zelda gains a pair of phantom themed boots. Zelda can now stay roaming through slightly longer falls. Listen for the sounds of her boots.
Beat the Faron Logging Company Zelda gets a guardian-like backplate. Zelda can now traverse the land using guardian-like tentacles to walk and climb. Run faster, and improve your health and stamina.
Beat the Anouki Ice Fishing Company Zelda gains a chestplate of the phantom style. Zelda gets less knockback from weapons. Use only extremely high knockback weapons if you decide to attack back.
Beat the Hylian Farms Zelda gets a special eyepiece over her left eye, that looks like a guardian eye. Zelda can shoot a guardian beam from her eyepiece occasionally. Be aware of any cover in the area.
Beat the Goron Steel Mill Zelda gains a pair of metal leg pieces. Zelda can now run 5% faster. Stay as far away from ground as you can.
Beat the Temple of Time Zelda gets a green ribbon in her braid. Zelda can now use Farore's wind to fast travel. Know where all of the fast travel points are.
Beat the Train Station Zelda gets an arm cannon. Zelda can launch explosives at the player. Run to Ganon's Castle as fast as you can, and do not stop


During the daytime, there are many activities that the player can take part in. The gameplay here is pretty similar to Breath of the Wild, but contained in more smaller sections. Actions like running and climbing are still available to the player, and the player can up their stamina by going to Training Springs, and can up their heart count by collecting heart pieces, finishing certain side quests, or completing dungeons. There are many side quests in the game, which fall into three categories: Exploration (Involves the player going to a unique locale or something of that sort), Combat (Sees the player fighting a powerful enemy, or many of a weaker type of foe), and Specialized (These quests can be almost anything that doesn't fall into the other two categories). During the day, players can go to any of the many towns in the 8 unique "zones" of the game (Semi-encolsed regions with a unique theme, though these zones in specific blend seamlessly). The daytime is a total time of 15 minutes.


Towns at the beginning of the game are only for the necessities. In early game towns, the player can find things such as a banktown hall, and maybe a general store, with the only other utilities being more unique to each town. These utilities allow the player to work with money, and allows them to upgrade the town. The player can, through these upgrades, add many things to the towns, including weapon storesclothing storesstableskeeps, and more specialized places, such as inns. All towns have a train station, which cannot be upgraded, but gives the player a good way to travel from town to town.


Banks are where the player can store and withdraw money, as well as a way to keep all of the player's money after suffering a Game Over screen. These places are in every town at the start of the game, and are very helpful with keeping any extra money. Banks also can be upgraded, and have 6 different levels that the player can attain for each one. Note, banks do not share upgrades between towns, each town's bank is different and a seperate entity.

Level (And Upgrade Requirements to This Level) What is Added or Improved Additional Effects 
Level 1 (N/A) The bank can store and send money, as well as hold it after player death. N/A
Level 2 (1,000 Rupees, 20 Bundles of Wood, 2 Iron) The bank can additionally allow players to store raw ores and other base materials. It will make it 3% harder for Zelda to track the player from that town
Level 3 (2,000 Rupees, 40 Bundles of Wood, 5 Iron) The bank gains the ability to hold gemstones and more rare materials of that sort. It will make it 6% harder for Zelda to track the player from that town.
Level 4 (5,000 Rupees, 50 Bundles of Wood, 10 Iron) The bank becomes able to hold monster parts. It will make it 9% harder for Zelda to track the player from that town.
Level 5 (7,500 Rupees, 50 Bundles of Wood, 15 Iron) The bank gains multiple inventory windows for the player to sort through at their own pace. It makes it 12% harder for Zelda to track the player from that town.
Level 6 (10,000 Rupees, 60 Bundles of Wood, 25 Iron) The bank now has 15 windows of space, and the player can store anything, including armor and weapons. It makes it 15% harder for Zelda to track the player from that town.
Town Halls

The town hall is the main structure at which the player will upgrade other buildings or town facilities. The town hall is almost always central to the town but it is also the location where Zelda will start each night, and begin tracking you from, so it is best to stay far away from the town hall during sunset or later. Note, the town halls are all seperate entities and upgrades to one does not mean upgrades to all.

Level (And Upgrade Requirements to This Level) What is Added or Improved Additional Effects 
Level 1 (N/A) The player is allowed to upgrade any buildings up to a third of their max level. N/A
Level 2 (5,000 Rupees, 25 Bundles of Wood, 20 Clay) The player is allowed to upgrade any buildings up to two thirds of their max level. It takes 10 more seconds for Zelda to begin following the player.
Level 3 (10,000 Rupees, 50 Bundles of Wood, 30 Clay) The player can upgrade any buildings to their max level. It takes a full 30 seconds longer than default for Zelda to begin following the player.
General Store

The general store is the standard hub of commerce in each town, and holds many different stock objects that the player can buy. This store is all run by the same group, who all travel from one spot to another, so an upgrade in one is an upgrade to all, meaning that the upgrades are far more expensive.

Level (And Upgrade Requirements to This Level) What is Added or Improved Additional Effects 
N/A The shop sells basic items, including arrows and wheat. N/A
Level 2 (10,000 Rupees, 25 Bundles of Wood, 10 Clay, 10 Iron) The shop will now sell ice and fire arrows. N/A
Level 3 (20,000 Rupees, 100 Bundles of Wood, 15 Clay, 20 Iron) The shop now sells meat and more plants. N/A
Level 4 (30,000 Rupees, 150 Bundles of Wood, 30 Clay, 50 Iron) The shop will now sell gunpowder. Player gets a 2% discount on goods.
Level 5 (40,000 Rupees, 200 Bundles of Wood, 50 Clay, 75 Iron) The shop will sell more varieties of plants and better meat. Player gets a 4% discount on goods.
Level 6 (50,000 Rupees, 300 Bundles of Wood, 75 Clay, 100 Iron The shop will now sell fish and even some basic weaponry. Player gets a 6% discount on goods.
Level 7 (65,000 Rupees, 350 Bundles of Wood, 100 Clay, 125 Iron) The shop will now sell potions of minor to medium potency. Player gets a 8% discount on goods.
Level 8 (80,000 Rupees, 425 Bundles of Wood, 125 Clay, 150 Iron) The shop will now sell explosives, like bombs and bombchus. Player gets a 10% discount on goods.
Level 9 (90,000 Rupees, 475 Bundles of Wood, 140 Clay, 175 Iron) The shop will now sell building materials. Player gets a 12% discount on goods.
Level 10 ( 100,000 Rupees, 500 Bundles of Wood, 150 Clay, 200 Iron, 1 Diamond) The shop will now sell an extra heart piece and will sell fairies in bottles. Player gets a 15% discount on goods from previous levels.
Weapon Store

Weapon stores are a special type of store which, as the name implies, only sells weapons. These places are individually run, so each one has a seperate upgrade tree, which is generally pretty short, but very expensive.

Level (And Upgrade Requirements to This Level) What is Added or Improved Additional Effects 
Level 1 (25,000 Rupees, 20 Clay, 50 Bundles of Wood) This shop will sell basic swords and a couple of spears. N/A
Level 2 (50,000 Rupees, 40 Clay) The shop will now sell bows and all spears, along with some hammers. The store gets a target for the player to shoot at.
Level 3 (75,000 Rupees, 100 Clay) The shop will now also sell some components for the player to make weapons, and shields. The store gets a training dummy for the player to attack.
Level 4 (100,000 Rupees, 150 Clay) The shop will now advanced components for making new weapons. The store gives the player a 10% discount on all goods
Clothing Stores

Clothing stores are a speciality store which only sells clothes. The clothing type is different depending on which town the player is in, but there is only one level for the clothing store, and they will instantly sell any of their stock.

Level (And Upgrade Requirements to This Level) What is Added or Improved Additional Effects 
Level 1 (50,000 Rupees, 100 Bundles of Wood, 50 Clay) The clothing store will sell several pieces of armor/clothing depending on what town they are in. N/A

Stables are a special spot where the player is able to store their horse, and interact with the horse (Customizing the horse, training with horse, equipping the horse with alternate saddles/armor, etc.)

Level (And Upgrade Requirements to This Level) What is Added or Improved Additional Effects 
Level 1 (5,000 Rupees) The stable opens with 2 slots to store horses. N/A
Level 2 (10,000 Rupees) The stable gets another 2 horse slots. N/A
Level 3 (15,000 Rupees) The stable gets another 2 horse slots. N/A
Level 4 (20,000 Rupees) The stable gets another 2 horse slots. N/A
Level 5 (25,000 Rupees) The stable gets another 2 horse slots. N/A

The keep acts as a sort of "extra life" in the specific instance where Zelda catches the player. If Zelda catches the player, and they are in the same zone as a town with a keep in it, the player will only be locked in the keep, and can escape, keeping their coins and all.

Level (And Upgrade Requirements to This Level) What is Added or Improved Additional Effects 
Level 1 (100,000 Rupees, 500 Bundles of Wood, 100 Clay) The keep is now built in this town. Makes it 50% harder for Zelda to track the player down when starting from this town.
Level (And Upgrade Requirements to This Level) What is Added or Improved Additional Effects 
Level 1 (50,000 Rupees, 50 Bundles of Wood) Link can use the inn to restore health and pass time. N/A


Exploration in this game is very diverse, as there are many ways to roam the vast kingdom of Hyrule. There are also many places to explore, so it's a good thing that there are so many different modes of travel. Firstly, there is walking and running. Walking and running are pretty slowl methods of transport, and running will create a trail for Zelda to follow the next night, but, walking will not create any trail to follow, making it a great way to explore the kingdom.

The hookshot, zipline, and paraglider are the next three prominent forms of transportation. The paraglider works in the same as it does in Breath of the Wild, except that now the player can use things like the hookshot and zipline while gliding. The hookshot allows the player to shoot a hook at a surface, and pull themselves at that surface. The zipline is an item which allow the player to throw a knife-like contraption into a far away surface, with a rope attached, so they can then zipline along that rope.

Trains are great for the purpose of getting from one place to the other quickly, but they are not great in terms of exploring, as they give Zelda a clue to where the player is, and makes it a fair amount easier to find the player. If the player is on a train, and Zelda tracks them, she will either board the train and follow them that way, or will wait at the station they are going to.

Horses are just generally great to use. They are fast, allow you to explore, and so on, with one major flaw. Horses leave exact tracks to where you are, allowing Zelda to track the player down with ease to at least the point at which they got off the horse. While on the horse, the player is able to use swords and other weapons to fight, making it slightly more viable.

The final major mode of transportation is fast travel. Fast travel allows the player to move around quickly, but allows Zelda to know exactly where the player is, no clues needed.


Combat is quite similar to that of Breath of the Wild, except there are a far greater variety of enemies in this game, and they still kept the several different colors for each enemy ranking up, which in this game, the order is: Red, Blue, Green, Silver and Purple.

Enemies get progressively harder through the various zones the player goes through, with enemies getting tougher and tougher the further the player gets from Hateno Town. The mechanics as stated previously stay the same, and there is little need to elaborate on the same mechanics.


The game starts in a clouded sky, with two shadowed figures standing on a battlefield made of ash. Behind them is the ruins of Hyrule castle, crumbled into nothing but tar and rocks. The two figures both walk into each other, and the larger one merges into the other one, and the light shows through the sky, revealing Princess Zelda. Zelda is standing as the light shines on her, before she is stabbed through the chest with a with a sword. After this, she crumples up, before her hair turns grey, and her eyes become red. Zelda then stands up fully, removing the sword from her chest, as the wound disappears. Zelda then simply gives a nod, as the screen fades out.

The screen then cuts to Link sleeping, as the moonlight shines into his bedroom. The light shines on Link's face, causing him to eventually wake up, as he squints before sighing, getting out of bed. After this, control is given to the player. The player can walk around the room, change into Link's guard outfit, and read through his journal, which details how to do certain actions.

After Link has changed clothes and walks to the door, a cutscene begins. Link walks to the door, and as he goes to open it, he would hear shouting from the guards, and then he looks towards the window, as the screen fades out to black...

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