Aside from Link, only three other Hylians in Breath of the Wild remember the Calamity: Impa, Purah, and (most importantly for us) Robbie. 100 years ago, Robbie was one of the top Sheikah researchers employed at the Hyrule Royal Palace, and he’s continued his work in the wake of the apocalypse.
Now that Link’s woken up, Robbie’s ready to share everything he knows to aid in the defeat of Calamity and save Princess Zelda. It may have taken a century to reach this point, but his life’s mission is finally coming to a head. So, what’s this research? What help does Robbie have to offer? How can you even find him? Well, settle in because I’m going to take you through it all!
Who Is Robbie?
- Race: Hylian
- Family: Jerrin (Wife), Granté (Son)
- Location: Akkala Ancient Tech Lab (Akkala Region)
- Sells: Ancient gear (armor, weapons, and arrows)
Doctor Robbie is a researcher of Ancient Sheikah technology; his lab is based in northeast Akkala. Robbie worked alongside Purah to fight the Calamity a hundred years ago and is one of the few non-Zora characters who knew Link before he was laid in the Shrine of Resurrection. As such, he is very old.
Robbie is short, with his hair pulled far back with a topknot, which does nothing for his receding hairline. Although, at his age, having hair at all is impressive. He wears traditional clothes of the Sheikah tribe, the kind you see in Kakariko Village, and a pair of steampunk-esque goggles that hide his eyes.
He’s energetic and has a sense of showmanship. However, his attitude gives the impression that he’s an old man clinging to the rockstar charm he had in his youth. We meet Robbie in his prime in Age of Calamity, where he looks largely the same but taller and has impressive pompadour in place of his topknot.
From his voice lines, we can tell he’s a Michael Jackson tribute character, dancing around during his speech, posing for flourish, and punctuating his sentences with Jackson’s signature ‘hee-hee.’ At least, this is the case in the English dub.
Robbie lives in the Akkala Ancient Tech Lab with his wife, Jerrin. He will assist you in your adventure by creating the ancient gear set in exchange for guardian parts and a lot of rupees. This gear is designed to help you fight Guardians, with most of the pieces having unique properties to both protect you and target their weaknesses.
Akkala Ancient Tech Lab
Reaching Robbie’s lab isn’t hard, but it is at the extremity of the game map, with the Lomei Labyrinth the only thing further than it. Follow the roads through Lanaryu to the Akkala Region in the Northeast.
The path will fork, but both will lead you to the tech lab. Be careful as you approach the lab, as a decayed Guardian sits near the entrance. You can run past it, but taking it out is a good idea, especially if you have the Master Sword.
The lab is empty when you first arrive but talking to the ancient machine in the middle of the room prompts Robbie to show up, asking what you want. He recognizes you and the Sheikah slate but wants you to prove your identity to be safe. He asks to see the scars you sustained in the fight that almost killed you 100 years ago, which you do by taking Link’s shirt off.
He will explain to you who he is and his mission, making gear to help Hyrule’s Champion, you, finally defeat Ganon and save Princess Zelda.
Unfortunately, his ancient oven, Cherry, isn’t working right now as the blue flame that powers the lab has been extinguished. So before you can reap the benefits of Robbie’s assistance, you’ll need to relight it.
To get Cherry up and running, you must relight the blue flame outside the Akkala Ancient Tech Lab. In all likelihood, you’ve already done this once for Purah in Hateno. So you should have an idea of how to do this.
But just in case, you need to bring a blue flame from Tumlea Heights using a torch to the Akkala Ancient Tech Lab to relight the lantern in front of the door. This will fix Robbie’s ancient oven and activate the tech lab as a teleport point.
Unfortunately, while the Hateno version of this task only requires you to carry the flame across Hateno Village, this one takes you through Moblin-infested woodland. Plus, Akkala is prone to rain. Well, buckle up and grab a torch (there’s one inside the tech lab) because this will be a bumpy ride.
Finding the Flame
You can see the source of the flame from outside the tech lab. It’s on the hill opposite the lab called Tumlea Heights. While you can paraglide over there, I wouldn’t recommend it. Unlike Hateno, navigating your way back to the tech lab can be tricky when you have a lit torch and can’t climb anywhere.
Instead, try and follow the path of ancient lamps. This path will lead you back, and you’ll see the terrain you’ll encounter on the way. Plus, you’ll be less likely to get lost.
You also see just how many Moblins are hanging around, along with a handful of Bokoblins and wolves. You can kill them, but they’ll respawn once you’ve collected the flame. They’re on that hill to get in your way, and the game doesn’t want it to be easy for you.
The path winds around the hill confusingly, so take note of a good route on your way up. Now that you’ve found the flame, here are my tips for getting back to the lab as painlessly as possible.
1. Bring a Horse
You might think a horse would get in the way, but the benefits outweigh the potential drawbacks. Riding a horse is faster than running, and it’s handy for running from Moblins.
You’ll have to stop to fight enemies a few times, but a horse gives you the option of fleeing instead. Also, riding a horse will eliminate the potential for extinguishing the torch by sprinting on accident.
2. Light the Lanterns
Your path back to the lab is indicated by a trail of ancient lanterns; all of them can be lit to hold the blue flame. Of course, you don’t have to do this, but each lit lantern will function like a checkpoint where you can relight your flame if you have to draw your weapon or just put the torch out by accident.
Plus, the lanterns don’t go out when it rains, so a change in weather won’t be such an inconvenience. If you are riding a horse, it won’t matter which side you approach a lantern from. If you attack with the torch, Link will reach out to light the lantern as long as you are close enough to it, even if it’s on his left.
3. Watch out for Forest Fires
You’re holding a lit torch, so of course, some things are going to get set on fire. The brush around your feet will end up alight just by you walking through it, but if you aren’t careful, you can end up with fire everywhere, hurting you or, worse, your horse.
If your horse gets burned, it will kick you off and run in a random direction, potentially off the cliff side, which could even kill it.
This isn’t hard to avoid. Don’t stay still for too long, and watch out for things you can get your horse stuck on. If this means you miss lighting the occasional lantern, so be it. Better to miss one than get thrown off the cliff.
4. Kill the Decayed Guardian Ahead of Time
This was why I said it was a good idea to take it out earlier. You can run past it, but when you’re trying to be careful and have a horse with you, a rogue guardian beam could really ruin your day.
Especially if you aren’t riding a horse: sprinting will automatically cause Link to sheathe whatever weapon he’s carrying, extinguishing your torch.
Once you’ve reached the tech lab, light the final torch in front of the door, and the teleport point will activate.
Cherry, the Ancient Oven, and the Ancient Soldier Gear
Once you’ve restored power to the Akkala Ancient Tech Lab, return to Robbie, and he’ll tell you the good news. His love has fixed Cherry! Although he’s sure you relighting the flame helped.
Now that Robbie’s ancient oven is working again, he can cook you up some ancient soldier gear. But only if you bring him guardian parts… and rupees. Funding dried up after civilization fell, so you’ll need to shell out the big bucks if you want some of this stuff.
As extortionate as the prices are, this equipment is worth the hassle it takes to get your hands on it. Robbie will sell you Ancient gear and the Ancient armor set. While they’re all sold on the same menu, I’ll split them into weapons and armor to discuss them separately.
Ancient Arrows, Weapons, and the Shield
|Ancient Arrow||N/A||N/A||90||Ancient Screw x2
Ancient Shaft x1
|Ancient Arrow x3||N/A||N/A||250||Ancient Screw x6
Ancient Shaft x3
|Ancient Arrow x5||N/A||N/A||400||Ancient Spring x5
Ancient Shaft x5
|Ancient Short Sword||40||54||1000||Ancient Spring x15
Ancient Shaft x5
Ancient Core x2
|Ancient Shield||70||32||1000||Ancient Gear x10
Ancient Spring x15
Giant Ancient Core x1
|Ancient Bladesaw||55||50||1000||Ancient Screw x15
Ancient Shaft x5
Ancient Core x2
|Ancient Spear||30||50||1000||Ancient Gear x15
Ancient Shaft x5
Ancient Core x2
|Ancient Bow||44||120||1000||Ancient Gear x10
Ancient Spring x15
Giant Ancient Core x1
Of all the gear, the arrows are the most useful and affordable items to purchase. You can buy them in groups of 1, 3, or 5, and they’re cheaper if you buy them in bulk.
Ancient arrows are notable because if you hit a guardian in a weak spot with one (in the eye or its underside), you’ll kill it instantly. Using them against the blight-ganons will knock them down, allowing you a follow-up attack.
If you use an ancient arrow on any non-guardian enemy (aside from Hinoxes and Taluses), it will disappear to nothing. This includes Lynels. While you defeat the enemy in one shot, it won’t drop any loot. As such, it’s a great panic button if you need to escape a fight quickly and aren’t bothered about collecting the spoils of war.
They can get expensive if you buy a lot of them, though, particularly in terms of guardian parts. But they help you quickly gather more if you’re a good shot. It’s a good idea to carry a handful on you at all times in case a guardian shows up where you aren’t expecting one.
Ancient Short Sword, Bladesaw, and Spear
I’m grouping these three as they’re all very similar. They fall into the three main weapon archetypes and don’t have any special abilities. This might make them appear unremarkable, but they’re still powerful and durable weapons. And they’re cheaper in terms of materials than the shield and bow.
What might turn you off these weapons is that their sister set, the guardian++ gear, has the same attack stats and can be obtained free from shrines.
It’s hard to recommend buying all of these over running through a Major Test of Strength once or twice for something of equal value. The main difference is that the ancient soldier weapons have double the durability of the guardian++ equipment.
I think it’s worth picking them up at least once, although later in the game when you have the rupees to drop.
Ancient Shield and Bow
Now, these two are fun. Both items have special properties which set them apart from most other weapons in the game. The Ancient Shield can reflect guardian beams without requiring a perfect parry; it’s also the second strongest shield in the game behind the Hylian Shield and the fourth most durable.
The bow can shoot arrows in a straight line, so you don’t have to worry about the shooting arc. It’s also the single most durable bow in the game and the third most powerful (second if you discount the bow of light).
As you can see, these two items are some of the best this game has to offer. So, unsurprisingly, the trade-off is their price. While they cost the same as the Short Sword, Bladesaw, and Spear, the Ancient Shield and Bow both require one giant ancient core to create. These are some of the rarest items in the game and are difficult to get your hands on.
They’re very occasionally dropped by guardians (not including decayed guardians or scouts) and sometimes found in shrines. For more detail into giant ancient cores, check out this article.
Ancient Armor Set
|Item||Protection (0/1/2/3/4)||Price||Required Materials|
|Ancient Helm||4/7/12/18/28||2000||Ancient Gear x20
Ancient Shafts x5
Ancient Core x3
|Ancient Cuirass||4/7/12/18/28||2000||Ancient Gear x20
Ancient Screw x5
Ancient Core x3
|Ancient Greaves||4/7/12/18/28||2000||Ancient Gear x20
Ancient Spring x5
Ancient Core x3
The ancient armor is expensive, almost double the price of the next most expensive armor set. It’s also costly to upgrade the gear; the final upgrades require a star fragment and two giant ancient cores for each piece. However, this is the trade-off for an excellent set of armor.
The ancient set provides resistance against damage dealt by guardians up to three levels. However, they aren’t the only items that offer this kind of resistance, with the Diamond Circlet and Midna’s Helmet having the same effect. The set also has a high strength, sharing the same strength as the Soldier’s Armor.
Each piece provides 28 protection at max level, all three totaling 84. Finally, the Ancient armor has a set bonus called ‘Ancient Proficiency,’ which improves the strength of any gear in the ancient or guardian set by 80%.
Beyond his function as a game NPC, Robbie is a character with purpose and backstory. Robbie is one of a handful of NPCs with a journal telling his life story up to this point, in Robbie’s case, since the Calamity. You can find it on a desk behind Cherry in his lab.
The telling of his life differs from most in that it’s not a diary but a memoir. It’s written with hindsight, which gives a unique insight into what parts of his life are important to him. Unsurprisingly, his account focuses much on his research and work over the past 100 years. But it slows down to focus on his family the closer he gets to the present.
After the Calamity, he, Impa, and Purah decided to separate so that if something happened to one of them, the other two would still be there to meet Link when he awoke. Robbie and Purah migrated to two strong ancient energy sources in Hateno and Akkala, decided by a game of rock, paper, scissors.
After escorting Purah to Hateno, Robbie started his long and perilous journey to the farthest reaches of Akkala, finally settling in an abandoned lighthouse.
For decades, he focused on nothing but his research. He developed Cherry, named after his first love, to create ancient soldier gear and waited for the day he would lend his help to Link. At the ripe age of 90, Purah sent a research assistant to help him with his work, Jerrin, and despite their age difference, the two quickly fell in love and married.
From Purah’s diary, we know this happened about 30 years ago. The two later had a son, Granté, and the three lived as a happy family until Granté grew up and left to pursue his own research.
To the point we find him, it seems that Robbie led a largely isolated but fulfilling life. And now that Link has awakened, the time has come to put his research to good use.
Jerrin and Granté
Robbie’s family also has a part to play in our adventure. Jerrin, his wife, lives with him at the Ancient Tech Lab and is eager to discuss her own research. In Robbie’s memoir, he says that despite helping to build it, Jerrin eventually grew jealous of Cherry, who they designed to speak like a regular person.
Devastated that he was hurting her like this, Robbie reverted Cherry back to a mechanical way of speaking and took to calling her the Ancient Oven. The two seem perfectly happy now, working together as a well-oiled team.
Jerrin’s research is focused on Shrines, and if you talk to her about it, she’ll tell you of one nearby. In the left eye of Skull Lake (on the map’s right) is a shrine at the top of a tall rock spire. She hopes you can reach it, even though she can’t scale the rock, and this gives you the shrine quest ‘The Skull’s Eye.’
Robbie’s son, Granté, is significantly harder to track down. If you don’t know where to find him, you could play the whole game and never cross his path.
A young man who takes after his mother, Granté has an adventurous spirit and an enthusiasm for rare gear and armor. He’s been traveling Hyrule, making his own adventure, and searching for artifacts.
You can only meet Granté after completing the quest “From the Ground Up” and establishing Tarrey Town with Bolson. Once the town has reached its full glory, one of the houses will now have a donkey tied out front.
This is Granté’s donkey, and you can find the man himself sitting on the balcony of this house. He’ll tell you about his search for rare armor and offer to sell you some of his finds. Granté’s store is how you buy additional armor and equipment found in chests instead of shops. This includes the Barbarian Armor, Climbing Gear, and Rubber Armor.
But he’ll only sell duplicates once you’ve found the same item through exploration. He’ll also sell you the starting clothes and DLC items. This is in case you accidentally sell them or want a second set to dye a different color in Hateno.
Most importantly, Granté will sell the Hylian Shield if it breaks or gets lost. Breaking it in the first place is a feat, as it has 800 durability, but it is still possible, and this is the only way to get a new one. He’ll sell you one for 3000 rupees, provided you don’t have one already. This replacement shield will never have a modifier attached, however.
Akkala’s Eccentric Genius
For an NPC with a seemingly limited purpose in Breath of the Wild, there’s a surprising amount to learn about Robbie, his family, and his fantastic gear for sale. If you haven’t yet, take yourself to Akkala and get your hands on Robbie’s wares. The Ancient Soldier Gear is near unparalleled in its strength and utility.
Despite the hefty price tag, you’ll find yourself returning for replacements. Although thanks to their high quality, it won’t be too often.
And once you have your goodies, maybe you’ll stick around for a chat or a quest. You might read through Robbie’s memoir or look for his son. Like everything in Breath of the Wild, Robbie has surprising depth beyond his function. It’s what makes this game feel special.
Robbie BOTW: FAQs
Question: Where is Robbie in Botw?
Answer: You find Robbie in northeast Akkala, in the northeastern corner of the world map. You can reach Akkala from the Lanayru region, following the road north of Inogo Bridge. Just make sure you don’t accidentally detour into Eldin.
Question: How Do I Activate the Akkala Ancient Tech Lab?
Answer: You must bring the blue flame from Tumlea Heights and light the torch out front of the Akkala Ancient Tech Lab to activate it. This will unlock the lab as a teleport point and allow Robbie to sell you Ancient Solder equipment.
Question: How Do You Carry the Blue Flame to Robbie?
Answer: You’ll need a torch, which you can find inside the tech lab, and possibly a horse. You can see the source at the peak of Tumlea Heights, and there’s a trail of ancient lanterns leading back to the tech lab.
You’ll need to carry the lit torch from the source to the lab while avoiding enemies and hoping it doesn’t rain. Lighting the ancient lanterns along the way will allow you to relight the torch without returning to the source.
Question: Is Ancient Soldier Gear Worth it?
Answer: Yes, the Ancient Soldier gear is worth all the money and materials required to build it. The weapons and shield are among the best in the game.
The armor provides strong protection against both guardians and regular enemies, and the ancient arrows can kill all guardians in one shot when hitting a weak point. While the price is steep, these items are convenient to obtain (bought rather than scavenged) and last a long time.