Shrine of Trials
"More than 100 Shrines of Trials dot the landscape, waiting for players to discover and explore them in any order they want. As players work their way through the traps and puzzles inside, they'll earn special items and other rewards that will help them on their adventure."
Shrines of Trials, or Ancient Shrines, are mini-dungeons scattered all over Hyrule featured in Breath of the Wild. In total there are 120 shrines, and within each shrine is a Sheikah Monk who holds a blessing for the one who manages to complete the challenge contained within the shrine. Some shrines can be discovered while Link wanders Hyrule as they sit in the open and can be approached with minimal effort. However, some shrines can only be accessed through the completion of a Shrine Quest which requires Link to complete a task that will reveal a hidden shrine. Shrine Quests are received from various individuals throughout Hyrule, most commonly Kass or Stable residents or visitors.
Breath of the Wild
To activate a shrine, Link only needs to walk up to a shrine and examine it. Examining the shrine not only opens the shrine for Link to enter, but also makes it an active travel gate for Link to use on the map. Upon detection, the Shrine's icon will be an orange color in the map; when activated, the icon will have an orange center with a blue border indicating that its Travel Gate can be used, and will turn blue when the shrine is clear.
Once Link has completed the shrine's challenge and reached the Sheikah Monk within the shrine, the monk will bless Link with a Spirit Orb, which can be collected and traded at a Goddess Statue for additional hearts or stamina. Clearance of the shrines replenishes Link's health, but whatever temporary heart containers lost therein are not replenished. The shrines don't have to be cleared for their Travel Gates to be active.
Sixteen additional shrines are added as part of The Champions' Ballad DLC pack. Only the first four, part of the One-Hit Obliterator challenge, return additional Spirit Orbs. The remaining twelve return Emblems tied to one of the four main Divine Beasts - on collection of the three Emblems associated with one of the Beasts, the corresponding Blight Ganon may be refought with a specified set of equipment.
Once inside the shrine, Link faces one of four scenarios:
- A tutorial
- A puzzle to complete,
- A Test of Strength, or
- A blessing
Albeit most of the shrines teach Link about the mechanics of the game in controlled environments, tutorial-specific shrines are in the minority, with only five in the game (Oman Au Shrine, Ja Baij Shrine, Keh Namut Shrine, Owa Daim Shrine and Ta'loh Naeg Shrine). They are meant to teach Link about the usage of the Runes in the Sheikah Slate and special melee combat moves.
Shrines with puzzles are completed by solving the puzzle presented inside. Little to no direction is given, leaving Link to determine the objective of the shrine and how to complete it. Many of the puzzles require the use of various Runes found previously on Link's adventure, but some may also require the use of weapons or arrows in order to complete. These shrines often contain Treasure Chests which hold weapons or various types of gems. A select few shrines will hold pieces of Armor.
- Minor Test of Strength (against a Guardian Scout II)
- Modest Test of Strength (against a Guardian Scout III)
- Major Test of Strength (against a Guardian Scout IV)
Blessings are found in shrines which can only be accessed through significant effort before even reaching the shrine. Reaching the shrine is, in itself, considered the challenge for shrine and upon entering the shrine, Link may continue directly to the Monk for his blessing. Occasionally, Link may find a chest in one of these shrines as well.
The types of in-shrine environments may also mirror the outside environment and characteristics of the places where they're located:
- Shrines in Hebra may have ice/wind puzzles;
- Shrines in the Gerudo Province may have electricity puzzles;
- Shrines in Eldin may have fire/lava puzzles;
- Shrines in Lanayru may have water/ice puzzles.
- Ancient Rito Song, The
- Bird in the Mountains, The
- Brother's Roast, A
- Ceremonial Song, The
- Cliffside Etchings
- Crowned Beast, The
- Cursed Statue, The
- Desert Labyrinth, The
- Eye of the Sandstorm, The
- Fragmented Monument, A
- Guardian Slideshow
- Gut Check Challenge, The
- Into the Vortex
- Landscape of a Stable, A
- Lost Pilgrimage, The
- Master of the Wind
- Perfect Drink, The
- Recital at Warbler's Nest
- Secret of the Cedars
- Secret of the Snowy Peaks
- Serpent's Jaws, The
- Seven Heroines, The
- Shrouded Shrine
- Sign of the Shadow
- Silent Swordswomen, The
- Skull's Eye, The
- Song of Storms, A
- Spring of Power, The
- Spring of Wisdom, The
- Stolen Heirloom, The
- Stranded on Eventide
- Test of Wood, The
- Test of Will
- Three Giant Brothers, The
- Trial of Second Sight
- Trial of the Labyrinth
- Trial of Thunder
- Trial on the Cliff
- Two Rings, The
- Undefeated Champ, The
- Under a Red Moon
- Watch Out for the Flowers
- The four Sheikah Monks in the shrines on the Great Plateau hold their hands in the shape of triangles (three right-side up and one upside-down), together forming the shape of the Triforce.
- The fact that the access to some shrines is conditioned by current situations outside of those imply that the Sheikah Monks may be somewhat aware of the happenings outside their shrines. This includes scenarios like the access to Misae Suma Shrine, Raqa Zunzo Shrine and Lakna Rokee Shrine among others, as requirements for their access rely on solving problems currently happening with contemporary individuals by the time Link encounters them, instead of puzzles set up thousands of years before the fact.
- In spite of being physical locations with doors and an elevator, no monsters or outside creatures may access shrines with Link, even while being attacked.
- No non-guardian monsters are found inside the shrines themselves, and Guardian Scouts are only found in the Divine Beasts in the overworld other than inside the shrines.
- Guardian Scout weapons are exclusive to both Shrines and Divine Beasts. Variations of said weapons can be bought from Cherry at the Akkala Ancient Tech Lab.
- Link cannot use the Champions' powers inside the shrines, should he have received said powers.
- Shrines and their inner walls are composed of the material that is used in all of Sheikah Technology, which is a material that Link cannot climb, magnetize or burn. Should the puzzles therein presented require some form of those, cubes and surfaces of different materials are usually provided.
- The interiors of some Shrines are immeasurably big, calling into question whether these are actual physical locations, as they defy physical conventions.
- The Sheikah Monks have been embalmed inside the shrines for an undetermined amount of time, suggesting that no other Hero before the current Link had come to need their blessings, if any.
- Only the base game's 120 shrines are counted in the total shown in the game's loading screen, and the are the only ones counted towards the quest A Gift from the Monks, which awards Link with the Hero of the Wild Set. The DLC-exclusive shrines do not affect the counter either way.
Age of Calamity
Albeit shrines may be visible in Age of Calamity far in the horizon (like Shee Vaneer Shrine), these are not accessible in the game, nor they are part of the game's story or gameplay. The activation of the Central Tower doesn't trigger the activation of shrines either.