Zelda: Breath of the Wild glitch turns off the cartoon shader - Nintendo Everything

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Zelda: Breath of the Wild glitch turns off the cartoon shader

Posted on August 29, 2017 by (@NE_Brian) in News, Switch, Wii U

Nintendo came up with a unique art style in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. In a way, it almost looks Wind Waker, but not quite to the same cartoonish extent.

But what would Breath of the Wild look like without its art style, you ask? Thanks to a glitch discovered by Reddit’s Rangers_Of_The_North last month, it’s possible to turn off the shaders.

Here’s how he did it:

“While on the hunt for korok seeds on my master mode run, I discovered a strange glitch on the bridge over Lake Hylia. On the left side of the gate there is a broken concave section that I rested at. While zooming in to get a better look, I saw that Link’s look has completely changed! He looks like a doll, he has a shine to him and the shadows on his body became realistic. Other things changed too, fire enchanted weapons, bombs, even Fierce Deity armor have altered looks. The lighting effects of fairies have an awesome glow to them too!”

Unlike some glitches, this one can be somewhat easily replicated. Game Informer was able to recreate it on their end.

And here’s another look at the glitch’s results:

Zelda BOTW graphic glitch

Source, Via

Leave a Reply

  • Reiianuo

    This is actually pretty old, and man, it looks bad.

    • Jack Red

      I can see the emulation scene trying to figure out how to do a code or feature that disables the shaders so they can use something like Reshade with the game to try and make it look more realistic.

      • why though
        the game is perfect
        why change anything

        • Paddy Alfan

          Just the thought that it could be done is what droves people. Doom played on pc is great. But that doesn’t stop people to made it runs on calculator, macbooks touchbar, etc

        • Richieeeee

          perfect… Only in the delusional world of Nintendo fanboys.

      • Bap

        That wouldn’t help anything. The entire game’s graphics where made around that shader.

        • iicyansundayii

          No it wasn’t.. Only the character models.

  • hoteltuesday

    So is there a Korok Seed there?

    • Devlind

      IIRC, yes.


    Shaders do a good job at hiding Link’s low poly model.

  • Reggie

    It looks so ugly and drab this way. The cellshading gives it so much life, not to mention hides the polygons.

    This is why The Wind Waker on GCN still holds up to this day. I wish the HD remake kept the original shading.

    • Pachirisu

      but for the most part the remaster still does, though there are times (like when near fire or a torch) when the lighting conflicts with the shaders and break the illusion

      • Reggie

        You’re right. But I just mean I didn’t like the added softer shadows and bloom effects. TWW is the way it is partially to hide faults with the hardware graphics, partially to give it its own identity. The game was pretty much meant to be like playing a cartoon, or anime if you prefer. I just felt that some of that identity was lost in the HD port. They could have just cleaned up the textures and kept it that.

        I just really love the art direction behind TWW and its attention to detail. I wish more games were like that. Realism just gets too dated too fast.

        • Pachirisu

          yeah, they overdid it with the bloom. it doesn’t look bad per say but WW was the last game that needed any sort of bloom effect.

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    • Rodrigo Pirate

      yeah it looks like those garbage fan creations done in Unreal Engine

  • Devlind

    Yes, it doesn’t look as good, and even it it takes years, the community will be able to mod the game and change its appearance as desired. I’m curious how the world and models would look like with this lighting and added hd textures.

  • theFooFighter

    It honestly looks pretty good, like it looks oddly good for a glitch. Breath of the wild honestly has some really detailed textures but the way they light and colour the world makes it look cartoony. It isn’t like wind waker which is basically flat unshaded textures

    • SpectralDynamite

      I think the cartoony look is better. Makes the game look much more vibrant and welcoming.

      • theFooFighter

        I agree but this is kinda interesting from a design standpoint. I’m curious about how exactly Nintendo actually made the game look cartoony when it looks surprisingly decent from a realistic perspective

    • Edgarska

      Depends on what you’re looking at.
      The world textures (and everything that is actually lit with the PBR model the game uses) are fairly detailed, though very low resolution (most textures are 1024×1024 or lower.
      The character textures are very simple, and lower resolution. I think Link’s textures were 512×256, but some of the outfits have 512×512 textures.

    • Rodrigo Pirate

      it looks AWFUL. Are you blind?

      • Paddy Alfan

        The same thing said to me by my coworker about my missus. Mad, eh?

  • TruExtent

    Am I the only one here who likes the look without the shaders? It really gives me a Twilight Princess vibe. I’d love to play the game with visuals like this as an option. (Note: Twilight Princess was my first Zelda so I may have a little bias.)

  • Annie Anemo

    Link does look like a plastic doll, pretty interesting glitch

  • Rodrigo Coelho Costa Junior

    wow this is insane!

  • KnickKnackMyWack

    Yeesh. I get a weird sense of uncanny valley looking at some of these.

  • ««H3©TöR»»

    Y’know, if done right, Nintendo may have accidentally stuck gold for a newer artstyle. But overall, cel shading FTW.

  • Adrian Brown

    Video version:

  • RoadyMike

    Aside from Link looking like plastic and the obvious low polygons being revealed, this looks pretty cool
    But of course, people hate it cuz it looks “dull”, “ugly” and cartoony is better cuz fk anything that looks somewhat realistic in Nintendo games, amirigh?

    • Busterblade

      Just for the record, I had no trouble with Twilight Princess, as it conveyed the theme rather well.

    • I apologise in advance for probably taking this far off topic and reading way to much into your statement, but I hope I can bring some thoughts worth discussing to the table.

      I can only speak for myself, but I don’t hate it (that’s a very strong word and I doubt any of the commenters despise it with every fiber of their being, which is what hatred implies) – I just think the shader does a lot to beautify this game, whereas the (by design) bare-bones unshaded model lacks charm, which, of course it does, since it’s an unfinished piece. Had the developers gone for that look they would’ve done a lot to brush it up. Also, in my opinion, but also objectively, it doesn’t look any more realistic than the rest of the Zelda games. We’re getting into semantics here, but none of the Zelda games look “realistic”, they’re all stylised, because that’s what all Nintendo games are, their characters have deformed features that don’t resemble real humans all that much and their worlds lack detail and realism for the sake of artistic integrity. Just because some games are grittier or go for a darker look doesn’t make them realistic. When I look out the window to see something “realistic” some vistas actually come closer to Breath of the Wild than anything seen in Twilight Princess or Ocarina of Time, some of the most “realistic” Zelda games in people’s eyes. I think people clamouring for darker and more serious Zelda games should try not to confuse these things with realism. War shooters try to achieve a certain amount of realism, but I doubt that’s what you go to Nintendo for, because that can be had in plenty of other places. I don’t think people would hate realism in Nintendo games, if Nintendo could pull it off. But, let’s face it, they can’t and neither do they want to, since it’s a waste of their creative drive and talent to try and cater to an oversaturated market that’s not their wheelhouse to begin with. If the next Zelda looked like an Elder Scrolls game, or a Mass Effect, most fans would likely feel alienated, and rightly so. Now I’m not saying that a less cartoony look and certain more “realistic” elements would be bad in these games, far from it, and I don’t think seeing these things implemented in future titles should make any fans feel the need to mount the barricades. But I also don’t see the point in complaining about Nintendo being Nintendo and adhering to their style and design choices, because that’s what people came to love about them in the first place. It’s good to go with the times sometimes, but not everything always has to be to everyone’s liking, wouldn’t you agree?

      • Sam

        I think the word “hate” can be taken many different ways . . I also think it’s a waste of time to point this out 😀

        • ^^ I know.
          I guess I’d just prefer if people weren’t throwing it around so much, but what can you do.

  • Goes to show how much a cel-shader can do, although that’s not all that’s happening here, some people are keen to point out what is cel-shading and what only looks like it. Anyway, this is a beautiful one. I get the feeling that games stylised in this way are only now really coming into their own. Look at the stuff Arc System Works has been putting out recently. Back when this style was introduced and we saw games like Killer7 and XIII few would have thought that at some point games would become virtually indistinguishable from anime, despite how fancy these early games looked.

    Either way, I really like the shading in BotW, and the gentle pen strokes when viewing characters up close just add to the amazing flair. This glitch, then, is pretty odd… I wonder what causes it and only in that one spot. When viewed without the shader Link loses quite a bit of character in my regard and looks doll-like, as mentioned. I do get where some see the similarity to Twilight Princess, but, in my regard, it highlights the worst parts of that art style, the stuff that aged the worst since TP came out. If Nintendo made TP today, they wouldn’t go the same route just with higher assets, they’d come up with something visually more appealing, I’m sure. The look of TP was thematically sound, but more could’ve been achieved from a visual standpoint, even then.