lost woods botw guide

Lost Woods BOTW Guide: Great Hyrule Forest Guide

The Great Hyrule Forest is a major location in Breath of the Wild, most notably because it’s the resting place of the Master Sword. While finding the forest is relatively easy (there’s a whole tower region named after it), navigating the Lost Woods is another story. Not to mention that there’s much to do once you get inside, from pulling the Master Sword to completing the Korok Trials. 

Let’s lift the fog from this confusing location and go over everything you can do and find here. 


Region: Woodland
Shrines: Keo Ruug, Maag Halan, Kuhn Sidajj’s, Daag Chokah
Important characters: Hestu, Great Deku Tree, Kula, Chio, Peeks, Walton
Quests: Master Sword, the Korok Trials, A Freezing Rod, Legendary Rabbit Trial, Riddles of Hyrule, EX Strange Mask Rumors

The Great Hyrule forest is one of the main “towns” in Breath of the Wild. It is the home of the Koroks and the Great Deku Tree, and since it’s a sacred, magical place, it’s well protected. The area is surrounded by the Lost Woods, a foggy woodland where you’ll quickly get lost if you don’t follow the correct path. 

The Korok Forest at the center of the woodland is not only home to the Koroks but also the Master Sword. This is where you’ll find the sword and attempt to reclaim it. 

This area has lots of references to previous Zelda games. The Great Deku Tree is an element of this, as he’s been a recurring character in the series for decades.

On top of this, a couple of locations are also references. During the Korok Trials, you’ll encounter Mido Swamp and Saria Lake, both named for Kokiri from Ocarina of Time. The Kokiri are suggested to be the ancestors of the Koroks. There’s also Mekar Lake and Mekar Island, named for the Korok character Makar in Windwaker. He’s also the design source for the Korok Mask. 

Navigating the Korok Forest can be difficult. To make things easier on yourself, consider the Master Sword as the center of the area. You can follow the bean lamps to various points of interest from here.

Points of Interest

The Great Deku Tree

The Great Deku Tree Great Hyrule Forest
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By climbing up his roots, you can reach a small ledge from which you can directly talk to the Great Deku tree. He has vague things to say about your quest, particularly concerning the Master Sword and the Trials of the Sword.

The old tree himself is a recurring character across Legend of Zelda games. However, he isn’t the same character in every game, as we see him die in Ocarina of Time, later replaced by his successor. As such, this tree likely isn’t the same one we see in, say, Twilight Princess or Windwaker. 

You can also climb the Great Deku Tree, although I can’t imagine he feels comfortable with you scaling his face. At the top is a small plateau covered in pretty cherry blossoms and a spring. This area is home to a korok with a side quest.

Inside the Great Deku Tree

In preparation for Link’s visit, the Koroks wanted to set up some amenities to help Link, assuming he would visit them at some point to collect the Master Sword. While he’s probably a little uncomfortable being turned into a tourist spot, the Great Deku Tree has allowed them to open business inside his trunk. These businesses include two stores, a bed, and a cookpot.

The Spore Store

The Spore Store Great Hyrule Forest
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Run by Natie. He sells you mushrooms, which can be incredibly useful if you use them correctly.

  • Ironshroom — 20 rupees
  • Rushroom — 12 rupees
  • Stamella Shroom — 20 rupees
  • Hearty Truffle — 24 rupees
  • Razorshroom — 20 rupees

General Shoppe

General Shoppe Great Hyrule Forest
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Run by Daz. He’s put some arrows and food out that he thought would help. He recommends the shock arrows.

  • Hearty Radish — 32 rupees
  • Apple — 12 rupees
  • Hylian Rice — 12 rupees
  • Cane Sugar — 12 rupees
  • Arrow x5 — 20 rupees
  • Shock Arrow x5 — 80 rupees

Great Deku Tree’s Navel

Great Deku Tree's Navel Great Hyrule Forest
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This bed is staffed by Pepp, who is the drowsy sort. He made a bed from leaves for you and lets you use it for free. He waves your question away if you ask him how much it costs. Pepp just wants to help Mr. Hero get some good sleep. He will wake you up when you request in the stead of your typical inn staff.


Hestu Great Hyrule Forest
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Hestu is a very large Korok and the character which increases the size of your inventory by exchanging Korok Seeds for additional slots. Once you’ve initially met him and helped rescue his maracas, you can find him here in the Korok Forest. He stands in a small clearing to the right of the Master Sword. 

The Exits to the Korok Trials

These trails lead to the three Korok Trials around the Great Hyrule Forest. There’s one in the southwest, one in the northwest, and one to the East. The bean lamps will direct you to each of these paths. The Korok Trials are a series of shrine quests you can undertake in the lost woods.

The Master Sword Pedestal

The Master Sword Pedestal Great Hyrule Forest
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It may be your navigational point of reference, but it’s also an essential area feature. When you enter the Korok Forest, it’s the first thing you’ll encounter. This is where the Master Sword rests until you are strong enough to pull it from the stone, for which you need sufficient health.

The Lost Woods

The Lost Woods Great Hyrule Forest
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The first hurdle of the Great Hyrule Forest? Getting inside.

Finding your way through the Lost Woods is a puzzle in and of itself. You’ll see lanterns forming a trail into the fog when you first enter. However, these don’t last, ending in twin lanterns with a torch leaning against one. You must pick this up, light it, and follow the smoke stream. 

If you walk too far off course, the fog will overwhelm you, and you’ll be transported back to the twin torches to try again. Of course, the biggest priority is not letting your torch extinguish. Therefore no sprinting, no sheikha slate, and no pulling out your bow. Once you reach the Korok Forest at the center of the Lost Woods, the fog will lift, and you’ll be free to explore the inner, much greener, area.

Then there’s getting back out! If you walk back out into the fog, you don’t have a way of finding the precise path again. Luckily, there’s a special exit. Next to Hestu is a sign, to the right of which is the ‘forest exit shortcut.’ A tree with an open mouth is at the top of this hill trail. Climb inside, and you’ll be taken to the entrance of the Lost Woods.


Hestu Kakriko Bridge Great Hyrule Forest

Hestu stands in a clearing just east of the Master Sword’s pedestal. He will exchange korok seeds with you for increased inventory space. Hestu is also the one that directs you toward the Great Hyrule Forest in the first place.

Hestu is first found on the path between Kakriko Bridge and Kakariko Village. Like all other Koroks, he’s surprised you can see him and enlists your help in retrieving his stolen maracas, guarded by a bokoblin camp just up the road.

Once you retrieve and return the maracas, Hestu will be shocked that all the seeds inside are gone! They don’t shake anymore! The other koroks must have taken them as a prank. When you return some of these seeds to Hestu (he can smell when you have some), he’ll use them to expand your inventory. He’ll perform a little dance to do this, shaking the maracas about.

The three inventory types are increased separately, and the price of each new slot will increase exponentially. For example, for the weapon stash, the first slot is 1 seed, then 2, then 3, then 5, then 8, and so on.

After expanding your inventory twice, Hestu will bid you farewell and return to the Great Hyrule Forest, saying that if you meet him there, he’ll exchange any more seeds you find.

You can meet Hestu again on his journey at the Woodland Stable, the closest stable to the forest. However, once you’ve found Hestu by Kakariko Village, he’ll be in the Korok Forest, where you can enlist his inventory expansion powers whenever you have enough korok seeds saved up.

The Master Sword

Great Hyrule Forest The Master Sword
Link pulling the Master Sword from the pedestal

Pulling the Master Sword is probably the most important thing you’ll do in the forest. It requires 13 hearts, so you must have gained ten additional containers. If you don’t have enough health and try to pull the sword, you’ll be unable to do it. The first time you fail, the Great Deku Tree stops you, but on consequent attempts, Link will die.

Pulling the sword changes a couple of things in the world. Having the Master Sword will change how the elders of the four principal towns in Hyrule view you, and people will comment on you having it. There are even a couple of quests that require it. Not only this, but you unlock a new memory of when Zelda returned the sword to the woods a hundred years ago.

The Master Sword is, despite its surprisingly low attack power, the best weapon in the game, and for one reason: it doesn’t break. That’s what makes it unique. Using it too much will cause it to ‘lose its power’ and require a ten-minute recharge. But you never lose the sword. It also doesn’t take up space in your weapon inventory, instead having its own slot.

The sword’s base attack is 30, but when you’re close to the calamity, most notably when you enter Hyrule Castle, the sword powers up and doubles its attack to 60.

On top of this, like in previous incarnations of Zelda, if you throw it at full health, the sword will throw a beam of light so you can attack from a distance. You can’t actually throw the Master Sword in the same way you can’t display it in your house. Once it’s been claimed, you can’t get rid of it.

While the sword’s base damage is low, part of the game’s first DLC, aptly called Trial of the Sword, allows you to complete brutally difficult challenges to increase this base damage. It puts you through a series of monster encounters you must win without any of your armor or equipment, including food.

These can be as simple as killing a couple of chuchus to dealing with lynels in the later stages. There are three rounds of this, and completing each one will improve the sword’s attack by ten until its base attack is equal to its enhanced attack.

The Korok Trials

The Exits to the Korok Trials Great Hyrule Forest
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These are trials put forward by Chio, the elder of Korok Forest. They’re to help you as the hero to grow stronger and prepare to pull the Master Sword.

The Korok Trials are apparently a ‘coming of age’ event in the life of a Korok, something they must complete to become a ‘real grown-up,’ and they’re based on the legends of the ancient hero. There are three trials, and they are: Trial of Second Sight, The Lost Pilgrimage, and The Test of Wood.

Once you’ve finished all three trials (in any order), return to Chio. He’ll give you a reward for doing all three: 3 Big Hearty Truffles. These are rare and excellent healing items. They provide more bonus health than a Hearty Durian if you cook them into a dish.

Trial of Second Sight

Trial of Second Sight Great Hyrule Forest
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This trial is found to the southwest and is staffed by the Korok Zooki. This trial involves finding your way through the mist of the Lost Woods without getting lost, eventually reaching the shrine at the end. The hint Zooki gives you to complete this trial is: “The hungry trees will show you the way. Spy their iron to win the day.” 

In this trial, the magnesis rune will reveal large metallic boulders lodged in some trees, which you must follow like a trail. Not every waypoint will be immediately visible from the last one, so explore until you find it. This trail will lead you to a rusty shield.

Behind the pedestal with this shield on top is a tree with a message in front of it.

“Feed me the aged shield guarded by monsters eternal. My brother will repay you in kind.” The monsters eternal part refers to the stalbokoblins that spawn when you approach the shield. Put the shield in the mouth of this tree, and the game will cut to another tree and a chest falling into its mouth before panning to a lake with a raft.

This chest has a piece of amber inside, which isn’t very exciting. Now, you’ll need to get yourself across the lake. You will find korok leaves floating in the water to power the raft. Reach the other side, and you’ll find another note reading: “Please place my chest in my mouth. The shield eater’s brother stole it from me.”

Great Hyrule Forest

Welp, you heard the tree, go back for the chest (or if you’re smart and read ahead you can bring it with you the first time) and magnesis the chest into this tree’s mouth. There is no penalty for having taken the amber. Once you’ve done this, the Kuhn Sidajj shrine will appear, and you’ll have finished the trial. This rewards you with a Giant Ancient Core.

The Lost Pilgrimage

Lost Pilgrimage Daag Chokah Great Hyrule Forest
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This trial is found to the northwest. At the entrance is Tasho, who is busy worrying. Another Korok, Oaki, has set off to do this trial, but Tasho is worried about Oaki wandering into the woods all alone. So the korok asks you to follow Oaki without getting seen. This is a stealth quest: follow Oaki to the end without being seen.

This is easy, even without the Sheikha Gear. The route is entirely scripted, and Oaki follows the same prompts every time. He speeds up and slows down at various points and even gets distracted by pretty flowers. Unfortunately, Oaki is tiny; he is a Korok, after all. You’ll need to keep your distance to avoid getting spotted.

But if you lose him, finding him again is tricky. However, if you stay too close, you’ll get caught out about halfway through when he gets spooked and doubles back. This happens just after he’s passed through the big hollow tree trunk, so you won’t be seen if you hide in there.

Luckily, if you’re far enough, Oaki can’t see you, even in plain sight. Stay out of his radius, take it slow, and Oaki will eventually lead you to the shrine. Also, watch for his speech bubbles; those will tell you where he is even if you can’t see him. And getting caught isn’t the end of the world. There’s no penalty. You just have to start again.

Reaching the end will bring you to the Daag Chokah shrine. Run up to Oaki, and he’ll be surprised to see you but happy to share this accomplishment. Inside the shrine, you’re rewarded with an ancient core.

Test of Wood

Test of Wood Great Hyrule Forest
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This trial is to the East. This is the hardest of the three trials, and the game knows it. The Korok staffing the Trial, Damia, even warns you of it. You’ll need an open inventory slot for a weapon, shield, and bow. You have to fight through an enemy-riddled path while only using forest dweller equipment, which you’re given at the beginning of the trial. If they break or you unequip them, you forfeit the challenge.

The path is difficult to traverse, not just because of the enemies but also because of the Mido swamp. If you fall into the swamp, you’ll drown instantly and be sent back to the beginning. Use the cryonis rune to help get across.

You’ll encounter keese, elemental chuchus, octoroks, and stalbokoblins with ice and fire arrows. You want to be particularly careful of the fire arrows and fire chuchus. Don’t let them burn your wooden equipment, or you’ll have to start again.

However, if you’re looking for an easy solution to this trial, this fire can help you cheat the whole thing. When you encounter a fire enemy, you’ll notice that the grass starts to burn, creating an updraft. You can use these updrafts to paraglide over everything, minimizing damage and cutting your time in half.

Of course, that’s not how it’s been intended to be completed, and you’re free to try it the authentic way. I’ve done it, and it’s a fun challenge. But this is the easiest method if you’re just here to tick another shrine off the list.

Once you reach the end, you’ll be stopped by Damia again to congratulate you and let you know you can retake the trial if you want. You can now enter the Maag Halan shrine and claim your last prize, another giant ancient core! Fantastic! You get to keep the equipment you were given, too.

If you want to try it again, Damia will greet you again at the entrance. On the redo, you’ll have a time limit. You have to complete the trial within five minutes. You can try as many times as you like, but it’ll cost 20 rupees to rent the equipment. If you make it to the end in time, Damia will reward you with 100 rupees. Not too shabby. But you can’t keep the equipment.

Other Quests

While ‘The Hero’s Sword’ and ‘The Korok Trials’ are the most notable quests in the Great Hyrule Forest, they’re hardly the only ones. One of these, from the DLC, even rewards you with the Korok Mask.

A Freezing Rod

A Freezing Rod Great Hyrule Forest

Kula is one of the Koroks hanging around in the Korok Forest. He has prepared a trial to help Link in his quest. Kula wants Link to bring him an ice rod, which Ice Wizzrobes use. He thinks it’s handy and that Link would look super cool if he had one.

Ice rods are easy to come across until you want one. I picked one up from Crenel Hills, East of Hyrule castle, but you could also get one from the Wizzrobe hanging around the Foothill Stable.

Legendary Rabbit Trial

Legendary Rabbit Trial Great Hyrule Forest

Another Korok you can talk to is Peeks. He really wants to see a blupee, even if it’s just a picture, so he asks you to bring him one. 

Blupees are strange rabbit-like creatures you’ll encounter in the woods across Hyrule. They glow blue and have antlers. You’ll know one when you see it. It will drop rupees if you shoot it with an arrow or get close enough to whack it with a sword.

The most consistent place to find them is around the Great Fairy Fountain near Kakariko Village. If you teleport to the Ta’loh Naeg Shrine and turn into the woods, you almost always find a blupee.

Sometimes you’ll find two. Snap a quick picture, and you can bring it back to Peeks. Another option is the top of Satori Mountain. When the Lord of the Mountain spawns, it’s accompanied by a hoard of blupees. This is another good chance to get your picture. 

Return to Peeks, and he’s thrilled to finally see a blupee, saying it’s more beautiful than he’d hoped. As thanks for showing him this, he gifts you a silver rupee. 

Riddles of Hyrule

Riddles of Hyrule Great Hyrule Forest
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If you climb to the top of the Great Deku Tree, you’ll meet Walton. He will challenge you to the ultimate trial. He’ll give you a riddle, then you have to solve it and bring him the correct object. He’ll give you five riddles total, and you need to place the item on the small leaf in front of him.

The reward for getting all five is a diamond. Most of the items are easy to find, but the fifth one is far more difficult than the rest. I hope you’re up to killing a Lynel!

First riddle: Small, red, round, and sweet! Bring me one of this simple treat!

Answer: Apple

Second riddle: Kakariko Village’s specialty fruit! Its rock-hard flesh is quite resolute!

Answer: Fortified Pumpkin

Third riddle: This sultry shroom will warm your bones. It makes its home in warmer zones.

Answer: Sunshroom

Fourth riddle: Its scales and tail will zap you, no doubt! This shocking swimmer is called a… fish

Answer: Voltfin Trout

Last riddle: If stepped on by this, you will go poof! It starts with an H and ends with an oof!

Answer: Lynel Hoof

EX Strange Mask Rumors

As you can tell from the title of this quest, this is a DLC quest. The game’s first DLC included a handful of items to find across Hyrule with unique abilities. This included the Travel Medallion and the Ancient Horse Gear. And, in the Lost Woods, you can find the Korok Mask.

You activate this quest by reading Super Rumor Mill V1 in the Woodland Stable; this is the book on the table by the recipe card. The clue to its location is “in a tree hollow in a forest that makes people lose their way.” So while we know that the chest is inside a tree in the Lost Woods, there’s no suggestion of where this tree is. And the problem with looking around is that you’ll get, y’know, lost in the Lost Woods.

Lucky for you, I’m here to tell you where it is. To find it, head directly south once you reach the twin lanterns (the end of the lantern trail). You need to go in a straight line with your magnesis rune activated. The rune will make the metal chest much easier to see.

I’ve included a map with the location of the mask indicated by a chest marker.

location Strange Mask Great Hyrule Forest

The Korok Mask is useful because if you’re wearing it and standing near a Korok, it will start to shake, letting off particles and making cute Korok noises. Using the mask, you can play a game of ‘hot and cold’ to find nearby Korok Seeds, of which there are 900.

Lifting the Fog

There’s much to see in the Great Hyrule Forest, not least the Master Sword. There are plenty of quests to be found there, shrines, and even shops with valuable items. There’s even a free-to-use bed. While getting inside can be a hassle, once you’ve activated the shrine nestled in the roots of the Great Deku Tree, you’ll be teleporting back here time and time again to make use of the area. And for the Trial of the Sword if you’re brave enough.


Question: Why can’t I go through the Lost Woods?

Answer: To get through the Lost Woods, you have to follow a specific path through the fog. Light a torch and follow the smoke trail to figure out where that path is. The wind changes direction to lead you through the woods. You can find a torch leaning against one of the lanterns.

Question: How do you get the Master Sword in the Lost Woods?

Answer: Once you’ve reached the Korok Forest at the center of the Lost Woods, you must pull the Master Sword from its pedestal. To do this, you require 13 hearts of health. If you don’t have enough, Link will die from the effort.

Question: Where did Hestu go?

Answer: After you retrieve his maracas for him, Hestu will return to the Great Hyrule Forest, where he lives. This is the home of all Koroks. The Great Hyrule Forest is in the Woodland Tower Region, north of Hyrule Castle. Find your way to the Korok Forest in the middle of the woods, and you’ll reunite with Hestu, who can further increase your inventory. 

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