One of the main quests in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is the Captured Memories quest. It involves visiting various locations in the game in order for Link to remember events from his past. The game has 18 memories to recover in total, and 13 of those memories come from this quest alone. These memories of the past involve some of the best character development and storytelling in the entire game. The downside? This quest can be really intimidating when you first unlock it, as it involves visiting locations spread throughout the game world with only still images to guide you. In a game as large as Breath of the Wild, finding a very specific spot based on only one photograph is a huge challenge! The goal of this guide is to help you complete this quest and enjoy the storytelling that accompanies it.
This guide will be in two parts to cater to two levels of need. The first section will be the GUIDANCE section – maybe you really want to find the locations yourself, but you’re a bit stuck and you just need a little bit of help figuring out a method of searching. This section provides advice for your search while also not giving the solution away. Conversely, maybe you’re fed up, tried everything, and just want someone to give you the answer. In that case, the GIVEAWAY section is catered to you, telling you how to get to the right location without all the vague hints and dancing around. No matter which guide you use, both of them are SPOILER-FREE; that is, they don’t give away the actual content of the memories. This way, you can safely use the guide while still experiencing the story of the game for yourself. So let’s jump right in and complete that Captured Memories quest!
As I mentioned above, this section is going to be focused solely on helping you to find the locations yourself without flat-out giving away the answers. I’m going to lead off with general advice and then get specifically to each picture.
The first thing you’ll want to do when tackling this quest is to visit each Guidance Tower in the game. Every time you visit a tower, it unlocks a map of one of Hyrule’s regions. These unlocked map segments are super valuable because you can zoom in on them to find the names of locations and also get a general idea of the topography. I often used this feature to help me narrow down potential locations for each photo. While you’re unlocking towers, be sure to visit any shrines that ping on your Sheikah Slate along the way. The towers and shrines all serve as waypoints for fast travel, making it much easier to get around when you’re zipping from point to point to try out a location idea.
Next, be sure to use context clues. Each picture has some details in it that help you narrow down the location. This is generally in the form of a recognizable landmark you can see from some distance away. The perspective of that landmark – the angle from which the picture views it – is another valuable clue. And even if there’s not a recognizable landmark, there’s something there. Use your map to help you narrow down the region and look closely at the details available to you in the picture. Really pay attention to your surroundings when you explore.
Finally, know your limits. Hunting these locations down can be really draining. There’s some mindless exploring involved and unless you just LOVE aimless wandering in search of a vague point on the map, chances are you’re going to get burnt out on this quest when you encounter barriers. So take a break. I found it helpful to not actually explore any shrines I discovered while looking. When I got tired of exploration, I’d solve the shrines I found along the way. Alternatively, play a different video game or read a book or write a blog post or something. Come back to it after a couple of hours or on the next day. A fresh set of eyes will do wonders, and I often found a location that had really been giving me trouble when I took some time away and then came back later.
Now let’s take a look at each picture one at a time, starting with the top left.
This area was pretty easy to find and very easy to identify on the map. The big landmark here is Hyrule Castle, which can be seen from a lot of points on the map. You’ve also got this circular platform with columns that you can use. Try opening your map to check out Hyrule Castle and see if there are any points nearby that look like this. And what angle is this on the castle, do you think? Hmm….
This picture gives us quite a bit to work with. First off, those mountains off in the distance would be pretty hard to miss, what with that huge gash down the middle of them. That’s probably a good starting point. You then want to get far enough away from them to get this angle, where they are pretty distant and kind of to the right side. Our next clue is this lake-like structure with an island. A close look at that picture reveals a little something-something on the island: is that a ruin or a building, maybe? Finally, that little hill in the foreground of the picture gives you the final piece to the puzzle. Find the mountain, find the island, find the hill, and you’re good to go.
Yo, see that shrine? That’s a pretty awesome clue! That means there’s only like 100 different places on the map that this place could be, right?! Seriously, though, the shrine is pretty nice, because if you can identify the area in the background you can just use the Shrine locator on your Sheikah Slate to do the rest of the work. The big clue here is that giant bird-looking thing in the upper background. There’s only one specific area of the world that this thing flies around. And if you’ve been to that area, then the weird landform under the bird should be familiar as well. Like a tall pillar with some kind of rounded piece jutting out. Find that location and then start shrine hunting!
Now this area has a very unique look. Sandy with a lake, plus that interesting structure in the background and some pretty unique foliage. If you can identify what kind of region this is, then you’ve already narrowed things down a lot. Here’s another big hint for this one: this place is actually a location you will organically visit as part of a main quest. So maybe don’t hunt so hard for this one and let it naturally arise from your playing of the game. It was actually the very first memory I found specifically because I went to this place while just trying to experience the story.
This location has a lot of clues, but even with them I had a hard time nailing it down. Getting just the right angle is certainly a challenge. Let’s focus on landmarks first: we’ve got Hyrule Castle on the left side, a river depositing into a circular spring with some sort of structure in the center, and then a fog-covered area with some barely visible trees with pink leaves on the right side. First, bust out your map and see if you can follow that river to its end from Hyrule Castle. And then it’s just a matter of securing this weird angle from above. Get ready to climb, adventurers!
Yet another picture prominently featuring Hyrule Castle in the background. Of course, with this one we don’t have much else to go off of. Finding this angle on the castle is going to be very important. So what are we looking at, exactly? Is this the front or back? Left or right? If you need help narrowing it down, go to the nearest tower and get a bird’s eye view of what the castle looks like. That should help you identify the angle. Then it’s a matter of tenacity, exploring that side of the castle and looking for this standalone tree.
This area can be tricky because you have a very recognizable landmark in the foreground – this gnarled tree with the shrine-looking structure and two stone statues – but it isn’t the sort of thing that can be easily identified from a long distance away. So how do we narrow down the area? Well we do have a nice lengthy bridge to work with, and off in the distance behind it a set of mountains. Mountains are a great clue because each set of mountains has a distinct “look” that you’ll learn to identify as you explore. In this case, we have a bridge where mountains can be seen in the distance. Bust out your map and see if you can find an area where this could happen, and then start searching from there. The nice thing about the great close-up clue is that you will have no doubt you are in the right place once you find those little statues.
Personally, I thought this location was super obvious when I saw the picture. “Oh, with the architecture here, this picture is most definitely showing ______.” And I was right. The tricky thing is that this location is a pretty large structure with a lot of places that could sort of appear to resemble this picture. Particularly when you factor in that the place has changed a bit since the picture was taken. There are also a crud-ton of dangerous enemies here that makes it difficult to navigate the area with your mind primarily focused on the landscape. Try to get a bird’s eye view if you can, and remember to focus on survival first: once the enemies are cleared out of a specific area you can look around it in more detail in order to see if it’s the right section of the building or not.
Remember what I said earlier about close-up clues being harder to locate? Yeah, this location is ALL close-up clues. We’ve got a pool of water surrounded by cliffs with two trees positioned around a stone statue. Definitely hard to narrow down exactly where this could be with almost no context to work with. This is where my map definitely came in handy. You see, there are multiple locations in the game that have this basic structure – stone statue across a lake – and they have a very specific look on the map. Once you find one and realize what it is, you can very quickly identify where the rest of them are on the world map. Then it’s a simple matter of going to each one until you find the one that’s actually in the picture. So where did I start? I decided this picture had a “swampy” feel to it, so I started out looking somewhere with a lot of trees and water. That led me to my first statue, and from there my map helped me with the rest.
This is where my earlier point about mountains having a specific “look” can really start to come in handy. There are not one but two different mountains in this picture, and by the time you’ve unlocked all of your guidance towers they should look pretty familiar. In particular, the mountains on the left here have a very distinct look that I immediately recognized when I revisited this picture. The trick to this one is to identify an area where these two sets of mountains could be viewed from this perspective, with one set on the left and the other on the right. And if you look on your map, the unique shape of the area around this horse statue could end up being a clue as well…
This picture has two great clues: the archway in the center and the misty mountain in the background. Again, I will point out that the mountains in this game have pretty distinct looks about them. There really is only one that has this cloudy, misty formation obscuring the uppermost parts of the mountain. Once you identify which mountain this is, go there and start looking for the road at its base. From high up with the help of my scope, I found this area to be rather easy to spot. It was just a matter of being at the correct mountain.
This picture is the one that really just made my brain flip upside down. “How the heck am I supposed to find this specific set of trees? There are trees everywhere in this game!” Your powers of deduction are going to be super important here. Focus not just on the fact that there are trees – focus on the TYPES of trees. That’s right, mountains aren’t the only things in this guide with a specific look to them. Regions with different climates have different trees, so there’s really only one (admittedly large) region that these specific trees can grow. The apple tree in the left middle ground can help you narrow it a bit. Once you have the right region, you’ve still got a lot of places with trees to look at. But if you look carefully at this picture, you’ll see that this area is ringed by cliffs. The jutting stone on the right and left sides of the picture indicate that you’re looking for an area with this specific type of tree situated between two cliffs. Even with that knowledge, finding this one will still take some exploring. Stay determined, be patient, remember to take breaks, and you will find this area same as all the others.
That’s twelve memories covered – but didn’t I mention earlier that this quest unlocked 13 of the 18 memories in this game? The last one I’m not going to spoil in this section here. Use the skills I taught you and the clues given in the game to locate the final memory. And honestly, it’s a pretty easy location to find – if you’ve started this quest at all, chances are you’ve already passed through it at least once. And Impa gives a really solid clue when she tells you about this place. I have faith that you can discover this one using the skills discussed with each of the memories above!
Now maybe you’ve been looking for these locations for awhile using the advice above or your own intuition, and you’re just fed up with it. At this point, you just want something to flat-out tell you how to get to each location. That’s what this section of the guide is for! Now as far as story content, there are no spoilers, but this section does give specific instructions on how to reach each memory point, so if you still want to find it for yourself you need to stick to the GUIDANCE section above.
Here’s the format – each picture will be part of a slideshow showing not only the image itself but also the exact point on the map where you can find it and a picture of Link standing there looking at it. There will then be a paragraph of text with specific instructions on how to reach that location. I’ll be using Guidance Towers exclusively as fast travel points, for the convenience of those who maybe have somehow missed shrines that could be closer. Make sure you have all towers unlocked before starting this quest.
The first picture (again working from the top left of the album) is an image of the Sacred Ground Ruins. These are positioned in front of Hyrule Castle and are pretty easy to identify on the map. If you look at Hyrule Castle on your world map and head south, you’ll find a circular watery area ringed by trees. Very easy to identify, a little bit trickier to reach. This is mainly due to the fact that Guardians tend to run around Hyrule Field, making any type of travel there dangerous. Warp to Central Tower near Hyrule Castle and leap off of the tower headed northeast towards the castle. If you head due northeast you’ll pass through a small set of woods. After that, just keep heading due northeast until you hit the Sacred Ground Ruins. They look straight at Hyrule Castle and it’s very easy to find the memory point glowing on the platform.
For the second image, the lake in the picture is Lake Kokomo, and the ruins on the little island are the Kokomo Garrison Ruins. This area is actually really close to the Plateau where you start and is very simple to reach. Use the Oman Au shrine as your warp point (you have to complete this shrine to get off the Plateau and get this quest, so I know you have it unlocked). Face north and head to the edge of the Plateau, then jump off. Straight north you’ll see some woods with a lake to your right side. Just keep running north until you find that recognizable little hill facing the ruins. The glowing memory point will do the rest.
This shrine is definitely one of the easier memory points to reach once you know where it is. This area is called the Ancient Columns, and it’s south of the Rito Village you’ll visited as part of the Free the Divine Beasts quest. Reaching this shrine is simple. Warp to Tabantha Tower in the Tabantha Frontier. Face south and look through your scope. The shrine you can see is the Tena Ko’sah Shrine, which is where this memory point is located. Simply leap off of the tower and glide south, passing over the Great Fairy Fountain (pay it a visit if you haven’t unlocked it yet). Then just glide over to the cliff with the shrine and climb up!
I honestly think this is the easiest memory point in the sense that the main story of the game passes right through this area, the Kara Kara Bazaar. The Gerudo portion of the Free the Divine Beasts quest will require you to come to this area. Need some help reaching it? From the Wasteland Tower at Spectacle Rock, jump off and glide west until you reach the desert. Keep heading west until you reach the desert road. The road is recognizable because it has a more gravely, rocky appearance than the sand, and the sun reflects off of it in a way that the sand does not emulate. Once you reach the road, follow it west-south-west until you reach Kara Kara Bazaar, and then face the tower as shown in the picture above.
Golly did I hate trying to find this one. This little point is situated east of Woodland Tower and west of Goronbi Lake, on top of a rock formation in the Eldin Canyon. This area is very mountainous and therefore a pain to navigate, since there is a lot of climbing involved. And finding just the right angle for this shot is difficult to do without a hint. Luckily, I’ve got a pretty solid one for you. Start out at Woodland Tower then jump off and glide to the east. Once you’re up in the mountains, open up your map and zoom in. The spot you are looking for is situated on a cliff with a circle of stones upon it. This circle of small stones is a very recognizable landmark – so recognizable, in fact, that when you are fully zoomed in on the world map you can actually see it! Use your map function to place a glowing pin on that circle of stones, climb up to the pin you created, and then turn to face Hyrule Castle. You should find the glowing memory point pretty quickly from there.
This sneaky little spot is positioned between the Royal Lab Ruins and Irch Plain. Reaching it is honestly not much of a challenge. Fast travel to the Ridgeland Tower and leap off, gliding towards the northeast. On your right side you should see what appears to be the bare remnants of an old building. Head to that area. Those are the Royal Lab Ruins. Keep charging northeast and you’ll pass by a small body of water. From here, you should be able to clearly see the standalone tree from the image in your album. Head up the hill to the tree and face the castle, and the glowing memory point should reveal itself.
This memory point is located beside Deya Lake, which is situated near the Hylia River and the Squabble River. The bridge in the image is the Bridge of Hylia. To get to this area, start out by fast traveling to the Dueling Peaks Tower and gliding west, following the Squabble River towards the Hylia River. Cross south over the Squabble and head towards Deya Lake. Once you reach the lake, stay close to the edge and follow west and south around the lake. From this perspective, you should be able to see the gnarled tree over the stone shrine with the little stone people inside just up the hill. Head up to the tree and watch as the glowing memory point forms!
This area struck me as being very obvious, and in a sense it is. This area is absolutely 100% Hyrule Castle. The thing is, Hyrule Castle is where Calamity Ganon’s forces are most concentrated and navigating this place looking for a specific point on the map can be a serious pain. The memory point is positioned near Zelda’s study on the western side of the castle. When you enter the castle from the front “south” side (the only angle I’ve found so far you can enter from), follow the road. It curves west and continues to wrap around the castle, but a goopy mess of Malice blocks the path. On your right side there’s a waterfall cascading down the cliffside. Use your Zora armor (which you should have if you’ve completed the Free the Divine Beasts quest series) to climb up the waterfall and land on the next level of the cliff upon which the castle is situated. Head right to where there’s a fork in the road and take the left fork, which leads through a broken down segment of the castle to a stone archway situated between two cliffs. If you look up and to your left, you’ll see a tower with a spire just beyond the cliff there. That’s your tower. Climb up the cliff and take the shoddy bridge to the tower on your left. From the bridge you can jump onto the tower and start climbing. Be careful here as there’s a sentry circling around and some guardians positioned nearby too. I recommend climbing the back side of the tower, the side farthest from the bridge where you jump on. Once you reach the top of the spire tower, stand on the bridge leading from the spire tower to the shattered tower nearby. The memory point will be there, right in the crosshairs of multiple Guardians. Have fun!
This location is known as the Spring of Power. There’s a shrine hidden here if you can complete the quest given to you by the statue of the goddess. As to how you get here? The Spring is located in the Akkala region, so start out at Akkala Tower and glide down northwest to the nearby stable (you can mark the stable from the tower with your scope). Scoop up your horse and ride it along the road to the west of the stable. Follow that road through the Shadow Pass, a series of woods in the colors of autumn. Once you break clear of the trees you’ll see an area of cliffs that drops off on your left side. At this point, open up your map. Those cliffs are the Ordorac Quarry, and northeast of them is a watery area with some stones and platforms visible on the map. Pin this location, as it is the Spring of Power. Glide over the quarry and head to the spring. It’s at a lower elevation that the rest of the cliffs around it, so once you reach the area you’ll drop down into the spring. Stand on the platform facing the goddess statue and activate the memory point there.
Check out that horse! Seems like a racetrack or something, right? That’s what I thought it would be at first, but it turns out this is the Saladin Park Ruins. This area has a pretty distinct horseshoe shape on the map that gives it a unique look and makes it easy to find and pin. By tower, the closest one is Central Tower, from which you need to glide west past Mount Daphnes and across Regencia River, then south along the river until you hit the horseshoe ruins on the map. The cool thing about this memory point is that it is actually right along a main road. If you’ve discovered Outskirt Stable, just head north from there and hang a right at the first intersection and you’ll come up on the ruins naturally. That certainly beats the gliding and climbing!
This area is called the Lanayru East Gate, and it’s the entryway to a mountain with lots of cool stuff to discover. It’s not an area you’ll ever come across organically in your travels, though, so getting there might be something of a pain. Start out at the Hateno Tower and jump off gliding northeast. As you’re gliding, you’ll no doubt notice a waterfall in the distance. That waterfall and the lake it is depositing into is Nirvata Lake, and the Lanayru East Gate is a hike directly north of the lake. So glide towards that waterfall, put on your Zora armor (again, this is assuming you’ve completed the Zora portion of the Free the Divine Beasts quest) and swim up those falls to the Nirvata Plateau. From there, head due north and you’ll find the road where the gate is located. The memory point is on the western side of the gate, looking through it towards Mount Lanayru.
This spot was my least favorite one to hunt for. Few good clues, no real landmarks – it was a serious pain to find. And that’s probably why you’re here, eh? Turns out this little spot is in Hyrule Field, just west of the Hylia River. To the southwest is the Bottomless Swamp, a bone-ridden place full of bubbling pools of Malice. There are actually two different towers that are both within a pretty much equal distance of this point, so let’s look at each path. The “straightforward” path is the one from Central Tower. Jump off and glide as far east as you can, then proceed east on foot. The cool thing about this path is that it is incredibly straightforward, no real climbing or other physical challenges. The bad thing is that you might run into Guardians going this way. Alternatively, you could head north northwest from Dueling Peaks Tower. This path is hillier and requires you to cross the Hylia River at the Horwell Bridge, then swing up the eastern side of the Bottomless Swamp. More landmarks here, though, if that helps you feel good about heading the right direction. Once you get to the point on the map shown in the slideshow above, look around until you find the perspective in the photo.
Finally, the last picture. The 13th memory is only unlocked when you’ve discovered the first twelve. Return to Impa in Kakariko Village and tell her that you’ve found the other memories. She will show you a painting of the location of the final memory (shown in the slide show above). Use your camera to take a picture of the image. She tells you that the location is roughly a half-day travel from the village. You may recognize it as the graveyard of Guardians that you passed on the road to Hateno Village. This location is situated near Blatchery Plain and Ash Swamp, located west of Fort Hateno and east of Dueling Peaks stable. Using the towers as our main waypoints, warp to Dueling Peaks tower and head east through the mountains following the river. You’ll come across Dueling Peaks stable and Ha Dahamar shrine. From there, continue to head east until the point on the map picture above, positioned between three ponds. Face east towards the Guidance Tower off in the distance, and you should find the glowing memory point with ease.
And THAT, adventurers, is the end of that! I hope you found this guide to be helpful and that it has led you to fully experience the wonderful story told by these memories. If while running around the overworld you find yourself having some trouble keeping yourself alive, why not check out my Breath of the Wild Survival Guide for some pointers? Or consider using the Great Fairy and armor upgrade guide to optimize your equipment. And be sure to keep your eye on the blog for more Breath of the Wild content in the coming weeks. Thanks for reading!