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Memories are flashbacks which form a major part of the storytelling in Breath of the Wild and Tears of the Kingdom.

Breath of the Wild

Main article: Recovered Memory

In Breath of the Wild, the eighteen memories in the base game are called "Recovered Memories", and relate to Link's life as Zelda's appointed knight before his near-death, followed by a century slowly healing in the Shrine of Resurrection and awakening as a complete amnesiac. They are prompted by situations and events in the game as follows:

  • 13 are part of the Captured Memories quest, associated with pictures - twelve on the Sheikah Slate, and one as a painting on the wall of Lady Impa's Hall. They are each triggered by going to the location shown in the picture, and cannot be triggered before the picture is made available to Link.
  • 4 are part of the Divine Beast quests, each triggered by a sight of something associated with the relevant Champion
  • The final memory is triggered by Link successfully pulling the Master Sword from its pedestal in Korok Forest.

In addition, there are five more "EX" Memories which are only available as part of the The Champions' Ballad paid DLC. Unlike the base game memories, these are representations of songs sung by Kass rather than Link's own memories returning, and show Zelda recruiting Daruk, Mipha, Urbosa and Revali as Champions, followed by the inauguration of them all.

Tears of the Kingdom

Main article: Tears of the Kingdom Memories

While Tears of the Kingdom also has "memories"; they are memories of Zelda, not of Link. There are eighteen of them, which break down as follows:

  • The first memory shows Link and Zelda taking the Master Sword from Korok Forest once more, shortly before the events of the game, and is triggered by Link speaking to the Great Deku Tree for the first time after saving Korok Forest
  • The second memory is, uniquely, a cutscene shown "live" as part of the opening to the game, rather than a flashback; and is only a "memory" so that it can be replayed at will from the Adventure Log.
  • 12 more of the memories are part of The Dragon's Tears quest, where Link must find small pools of water within features called geoglyphs which trigger memories of what happened to Zelda after she disappeared at the start of the game.
  • Three of the other four memories are part of the same narrative as the "Dragon's Tear" memories, but are not part of that quest and are triggered by events elsewhere in the game
  • The final memory is triggered by Link retrieving the Master Sword from the head of the Light Dragon.