The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild Guide: How to beat the open world sub-bosses

One of the coolest - and most scary - things about The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is that you can be out exploring the wide open world and suddenly stumble across hugely powerful creatures.

Given that the game doesn't have much in the way of the traditional dungeon structure, these creatures are the closest thing you'll find to a mini-boss, and many of them do reprise that role in super-powerful forms in Hyrule Castle. 

They're strong enemies that are not only a great challenge but also an extremely useful source of loot. On top of that, many quests require you fell them - so to give you a hand, we've put together some tops for taking down stone giant Talus, the cyclops-like Hinox, the sand worm Molduga and the most terrifying of all, the man-lion hybrid Lynel. Good luck!


Stone Talus Strategy - Defeating the Gigantic Stone Creature Boss

The first time you see a Talus, it's easy to panic a bit. A gigantic stone creature seems more than a bit of a problem, especially in a game where all weapons have durability and hitting things against stone is more or less sure to break them.

The first rule we have is simple: don't just go to town on these guys with any old weapon. It'll only end in broken weapons and no progress. Instead:

  • The smaller Talus (known as Pebblit) you encounter - smaller than Link - are pretty easy to beat. Just toss a bomb at them and detonate it - it'll blast them to smithereens in an instant. 
  • If bombs aren't going to work, smaller Talus can be tackled with weapons that are designed to deal with rocks - sledgehammers, for instance.
  • For the larger boss-type Talus, watch out for their primary move: throwing their rock arms at you in an attempt to try and hit you. Your goal is simple: use bombs to blow up their arms.
  • Once you've blown up both of a Talus' arms, they'll collapse. Use this opportunity to clamber up on their back. On their body somewhere - usually on their back - is a giant crystal. That's our target.
  • As with the Pebblits, you shouldn't use weapons such as swords if you can help it. Go for rock-crushing weapons like sledgehammers; they'll suffer less of a dent to their durability this way but also, crucially, do more damage.
  • If you're fighting a fire-type Talus you should be aware that without flameproof-effect armor or an elxir/food buff you'll burn from touching him. Use ice attacks from ice arrows or an ice wand to cool him off, then hit him with the same strategy.
  • If fighting an ice-type Talus you should be aware of the opposite - without unfreezable armor or an elxir/food buff you'll take damage and be frozen solid at the touch. For this one you'll want to use fire arrows, wands or fire imbued weapons, then use the same strategy again.

Hinox Strategy - Killing the One-Eyed Troll Boss

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Link fights a lot of goblin and troll type enemies in his adventures - Bokoblins, Moblins and so on - but the Hinox is like the king of all of these classes of enemy. They're scattered around Hyrule in a few variations - the rede has the least health, the blue a little more, and the black is the smartest and has the most health. There's also a skeleton version of the Hinox, the Stalnox - there's one guarding the Hylian Shield, for instance.

Hinox will usually be asleep when you approach them, but if you make too much noise close to it it'll wake up - sneak up to land a first attack if you're so inclined. Many times Hinox are wearing loot or key items you need around their neck.

  • If you have a full outfit of stealth armor to wear, Link can actually clamber atop the Hinox and steal the items from around its neck without waking it up. Give it a try!
  • The main weak spot of a Hinox once it's awake is its eye - aim to pop it in the eye with a single arrow. 
  • Once hit in the eye with an arrow, the Hinox will tumble backwards onto its ass. Now is the time - get in close and deal massive damage with the highest-stat melee weapons you have to hand - even if they're slow, it remains down for a while.
  • At lower health levels the Hinox will cover its eye - this makes hitting it in the eye harder. Back off and try to find an opening, or get in close and play a parrying and dodging game instead.
  • If you have the upgraded version of the Stasis Rune, you can hit a Hinox with it in order to give you a brief opening to hit his eye - but be fast!
  • If a Hinox picks up a tree trunk, be prepared to back right off - this makeshift weapon for the beast has incredible range.
  • Some Hinox have armor on their legs, so be aware of that and be careful not to waste time wailing on an armored body part.

Molduga Strategy - Beating the Massive Sand Worm

Out in the Gerudo desert there are a lot of dangers, including the heat and the desert itself - it's very easy to get lost and overheat. One of the most pressing dangers besides is the Molduga, a giant sand worm that 'swims' beneath the surface of the sand and then strikes out at those on the surface - their dinner.

When you reach a Molduga's territory, be careful - keep an eye out for the telltale disturbances in the sand that indicate one is coming.

  • As soon as you're in a Molduga's area, you should find some safe ground - anything that isn't sand. There are usually a few rock outcroppings here and there, so use them wisely.
  • Molduga will be searching around for you still. Throw out a bomb onto the sand. If you're lucky Moldulga will notice it and think that it's another poor victim. The aim, of course, is to get it to swallow the bomb. Round bombs are better for this because they roll.
  • Once the bomb is swallowed, detonate it. Moldulga will now be above the surface and vulnerable - use this time to get in close and absolutely leather the creature with the most powerful weapons you have. When Molduga submerges, get back to safe ground and repeat this strategy again.

Lynel Strategy - Killing the Powerful Man-Lion

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The Lynel is probably when push comes to shove the most challenging enemy in Breath of the Wild. There are a few variations of it, and the latter variations (such as the White Lynel found in Hyrule Castle) are some serious business that arguably outclass the game's main bosses. You've been warned.

This is more of a proper duel, and players will come in contact with a Lynel during the game's main progression in the quest to board Divine Beast Vah Ruta - but you have no obligation to kill that beast if you don't want to - you can always stealth to collect the items you need. If you want to fight or you're fighting the other Lynel around Hyrule, here's our strategy:

  • There are four types of Lynel, the red-maned one being the most basic. Blue is more deadly, White deadlier still and Silver utterly devastating. 
  • Don't bother with a ranged assault. Lynel carry elemental arrows and are frighteningly accurate with them. In a bow-on-bow duel, you will lose.
  • One thing to beware of is if the Lynel roars - this roar is often followed up with a slam of their weapon into the floor that causes a large explosion. Either run away from this or block it with your shield. 
  • If a Lynel begins to throw fireballs, try to run close to get in close. The closer you are the harder his projectiles are for him to aim, and if you get right on top of him you can let rip with attacks while he continues throwing useless projectiles.
  • Lynel absolutely love melee attacks, but that's okay - this can work to your advantage. Many of the Lynel attacks can be dodged with relative ease once you get the timing down, and absolutely all of them can be parried/perfect guarded. Use this to chip away health with counter-attacks.
  • The upgraded version of Stasis is your friend here, and can be used to briefly freeze a Lynel when it's charging you and you don't have an easy route out.
  • While we said earlier to not bother with a ranged assault, one of the best ways to hit a Lynel's weak point is with a bow at mid-close range.Hit a Lynel in the face wiuth an arrow and they'll be temporarily stunned, leaving a great opening for you to get some attacks in. This is a great follow-up from stasis, or great for when a Lynel is hurling fireballs.
  • When a fireball causes an updraft, remember you can ride that up using your paraglider and pull your bow out while mid-air to get a nice slow-motion chance at a headshot.


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