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Data miners map Breath of the Wild's most elusive secrets

Wandering around and discovering Hyrule's hidden wonders is Breath of the Wild's most alluring and addictive pastime, but let's face it—with Horizon Zero Dawn, Mass Effect Andromeda, Persona 5, and many other lengthy games either out or on the way, not all of us have time hunt down all 120 shrines or uncover all 900 korok seeds.

Thankfully, if you don't want to go through Breath of the Wild alone (it's dangerous, after all), you don't have to. On Zelda Maps, a fan named Danilo Passos is using hacks to extract data from the Wii U version of Link's latest adventure, and is using what he finds to expose some of Hyrule's best-kept secrets using a Google Maps-like interface.

While talking to Gizmodo, Passos confirms that he cracked the Wii U edition of Breath of the Wild using a suite of homebrew applications, which allow him and a few buddies to convert Breath of the Wild's gigantic map into pixel data via a combination of "luck and pure math."

The end result is an interactive display that reveals a number of Breath of the Wild's hidden treasures, including the location of each and every shrine, stable, tower, and korok seed. Currently, the interactive Breath of the Wild map is in alpha, and Passos says that smaller points-of-interest like weapons, recipe ingredients, and ancient machine parts will be added soon.

Of course, Breath of the Wild isn't flat, and climbing is crucial for uncovering everything that Hyrule has to offer. As such, Passos says, there's an upper limit as to how useful a 2D map really is. Once all of the various locations and items have been discovered and added to the database, Passos and his team hope to create a 3D version of the map that takes elevation into account. An immersive, explorable map with a Google Street-like perspective is also a possibility.

If the sheer number of things to do in Breath of the Wild has you feeling a little overwhelmed, Zelda Maps will help. A lot. Like we said, there are a number of great games scheduled for 2017, and while we might never stop playing Zelda, it'd be nice to find some room to enjoy a few of this year's other big titles, too.