- "Guardians were originally designed by an ancient civilization to combat Ganon, but these smaller models were placed inside shrines as part of the trials found within."
- — Hyrule Compendium
Guardian Scouts are enemies in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. They are the second most common type of the Guardian enemies. They appear in Shrines and Divine Beasts. They are meant to simulate human combat and acted as autonomous soldiers for Hyrule before the Great Calamity. Almost all of the Guardian Scout remain out of Calamity Ganon's control, unlike the rest of the Guardians. This is due to most of them being enclosed within Shrines. Calamity Ganon did, however, take control of the ones within the Divine Beasts. The ones in the Shrines are used to test Link's combat abilities, and are almost always placed within the "Test of Strength" trials.
Guardians were originally created by the ancient Sheikah 10,000 years before the events of Breath of the Wild to combat Calamity Ganon alongside the Divine Beasts and successfully aided the hero and Princess of Hyrule at that time defeat and seal him. For a time after Ganon's defeat, the Sheikah were hailed for the technology that had played a key role in Ganon's defeat and was even said to be akin to the power of the gods. However over time the people began to fear the Sheikah and their advanced technology which became viewed as a threat to the kingdom, causing the Sheikah to become outcasts in Hyrulean society. This lead to a schism among the Sheikah that spawned the Yiga Clan who swore allegiance to Ganon over the treatment of the Sheikah despite having created the technology for Hyrule's benefit. However most of the Sheikah remained loyal and heeding the people's fears decided to abandon their technology and live simply as such powerful technology was no longer needed as long as Ganon remained sealed and may have even realized the people were right to fear its misuse given the actions of the Yiga Clan. However the Sheikah knew from their knowledge of history and ancient legends that Ganon may one day return, so they chose to bury their technology all across Hyrule so future generations could use it to combat Ganon should he return. At some point before or during this time, the Sheikah Monks blessed by the Goddess Hylia created the Shrines of Trials to train, test, and prepare the hero chosen by Hylia to wield the Master Sword to confront Calamity Ganon as well as the monsters and Yiga Clan members that served him. As part of some of these trials, the Sheikah created scaled down Guardians known as Guardian Scouts to defend the Shrines, test the hero's combat prowess, and/or train him in combat. They created four different models, with some models being designed to wield ancient weaponry allowing them to simulate combat of humanoid opponents and monsters. The weapons they wield could also be picked up and equipped by the hero after defeating a Guardian Scout wielding them serving as a way to encourage the hero to combat them to obtain their weapons. Additionally some Guardian Scouts where placed inside the Divine Beasts, presumably as extra security measure to protect them from infiltration by Yiga who might attempt to sabotage them.
Before the Great Calamity, the Royal Family of Hyrule and the modern Sheikah became aware of these ancient artifacts and began studying them, with even the young Princess Zelda taking an keen interest in the science behind these artifacts. After a learning of a prophecy foretelling Ganon's return, King of Hyrule Rhoam Bosphoramus Hyrule and his daughter Zelda secretly enlisted their Sheikah allies in helping them excavate the technology with Zelda leading a research team along with Purah and her assistant Robbie who was the team's chief Guardian researcher. Zelda and the team managed to uncover the Sheikah Slate which they believed may be the key to open the Shrines of Trials scattered throughout Hyrule. However Zelda and her team failed to comprehend the Slate's true purpose which was to aid the chosen Hero, though they where correct about it being a key as it literally would allow the hero to open the Shrines to take on their trials. However at the Shrine's Guidance Stone terminals lacked the power to open them as they even with the Sheikah Slate. This prevented the Hylian Champion and hero Link from taking on their trials, thus he was unable to receive training within the Shrines. It is implied that Link would have been better prepared to confront the corrupted Guardians had he been able to combat and train against the Guardian Scouts and would have had access to high tech Guardian series weapons they drop as well as increased health and stamina from offering Spirit Orbs to Hylia via her Goddess Statues. Unfortunately, Zelda and her team where unable to figure this out in time, as Calamity Ganon returned and learning from his past defeat created phantoms of himself to kill the Champion pilots and corrupt the Divine Beasts. Additionally Ganon also corrupted most of the Guardians in Hyrule. However he was either unaware of or unable to corrupt the Guardian Scouts inside the Shrines presumably do to the Shrines being better protected from his evil or the Sheikah Monks modifying their Guardian Scouts to prevent them from being corrupted and becoming a danger to the Monks themselves. However the Guardian Scouts inside the Divine Beasts failed to escape Ganon's control and where presumably corrupted along with the Divine Beast they inhabit.
Due to his lack of training and overreliance on the Master Sword to combat the corrupted Guardians, Link was eventually overcome and critically injured by the corrupted Guardians forcing Zelda to have her Sheikah allies place him in the Shrine of Resurrection, a ancient medical facility designed to heal warriors injured fighting Calamity Ganon which Zelda and her team discovered and restored. Link was placed in the Slumber of Restoration where he slept in stasis for a century before he finally awoke, though amnestic and weakened to the point he was too weak to remove the Master Sword from its pedestal in Korok Forest. However Link finds the Sheikah Slate which he uses to activate the Great Plateau Tower which causes it and other buried towers to raise up all over Hyrule, which restores power to the Shrines, allowing Link to access their terminals with the Sheikah Slate, those some remain hidden requiring Link to take on Shrine Quests to access them. After making it to Kakariko Village, Link can learn of Ta'loh Naeg a Sheikah Monk known to the locals as "The Swordsman" who is enshrined in the Ta'loh Naeg Shrine within the village. Steen and Olkin are shown to be aware of Ta'loh Naeg's Teachings trial which both men reveal they wish they could take on to learn techniques that can be learned through taking the trial, though are unable to as knowledge of how to enter it had been lost to the modern Sheikah, though Link can use the Sheikah Slate to enter and take on the trial where he will be instructed how to perform various combat techniques by Ta'loh Naeg to be used to defeat shrine's the Guardian Scout II plays the role of Link sparring partner, thus it acts as advanced combat tutorial and an introduction to Guardian Scouts as well.
Guardian Scouts tend to appear mainly in combat trials in which they act as a mini-boss of sorts though lack the mini-boss health gauge, though sometime models appear as enemies inside shrine dungeon trials which feature basic dungeon elements such as puzzles, hazards, and enemies thus Link should be careful while exploring larger shrines as he may encounter them patrolling around, thus he should make sure to be properly equipped for combat to deal with them should he encounter them. Though uncorrupted, Guardian Scouts are hostile to Link as they are programmed to test him as part of the trial, though as they are uncorrupted, they do not cause the Master Sword's true power to shine, thus preventing Link from taking advantage of swords increase strength in this state until he unlocks it permanently by completing the "EX Trial of the Sword" DLC Side Quest. However as they are a type of Guardian, they are vulnerable to ancient weaponry including their own. Robbie at the Akkala Ancient Tech Lab has developed Ancient Soldier Gear to combat Corrupted Guardians which can be forged by the Ancient Oven Cherry after the Blue Flame is restored to the lab's Furnace. Though designed primarily to combat Guardians corrupted by Ganon, this equipment is also effective against uncorrupted Guardian Scouts in Shrines, though require ancient materials and rupees to forge Ancient Soldier Gear. Link can increase his resistance to damage from their attacks and weaponry by wearing armor that grants Guardian Resist such as the Ancient Helm, Ancient Cuirass, Ancient Greaves, Diamond Circlet, or Midna's Helmet. Outside of the Divine Beasts, combat with Guardian Scouts is optional as most Shrines and their trials are entirely optional. They are also susceptible to conventional weapons more so than other larger Guardian types. For example, they can be frozen by Ice Arrows and ice elemental weapons. However they are resistant to the disarming effect of Shock Arrows and electric elemental weapons.
Guardian Scouts come in four separate models. Each model is identified by a Roman numeral from one through four with their strength, health, and capabilities increasing the higher the model number with model IV being the strongest and model I being the weakest. All models are equipped with a guardian laser technology. Models II, III, and IV are also equipped with arms which allow them to wield "Guardian" series armaments which Link can pick up and equip after defeating the Guardian Scout wielding them. Like other Guardians, Guardian Scouts all drop Ancient Materials when killed though the type of materials they drop depends on the model.
Guardian Scout I
- "Guardians were originally designed by an ancient civilization to combat Ganon, but these smaller models were placed inside shrines as part of the trials found within. The multiple legs and beam functionality were scaled down but kept mostly intact."
- — Hyrule Compendium
Guardian Scout I is the basic model and is basically a scaled down version of the Guardian Stalker with four legs instead of six. It retains the laser beam weaponry uses by most Guardians, though it is far weaker and takes the form of smaller energy blasts instead of a long energy beam. As a result it causes much less damage and Link can even guard it normally with a shield and even take several hits to break a shield. However these laser blasts travel quicker making reflecting them with a Perfect Guard much trickier. Guardian Scout I wield no weapons beyond their laser weaponry and usually appear in shrines as regular enemies often in groups or with the stronger Guardians Scout II model. Guardian Scout I drop Ancient Screws and Ancient Springs when defeated.
A major caveat in Master Mode is that they are also subject to the "upgrade" effect, meaning almost all Guardian Scout models are set at the second tier. The only known units that remain unaffected are those found in the Divine Beasts, making it one of two Compendium entries that can be permantly missed in Master Mode.
Guardian Scout II
- "Although originally designed by an ancient civilization to combat Ganon, these scaled down Guardians were placed inside shrines as part of the trials. In addition to the beam functionality, this particular model was designed to handle weaponry as a means further testing combat prowess of the one undertaking the trials. It takes some serious skill to go toe-to-toe with one of these."
- — Hyrule Compendium
Guardian Scout II resemble the basic model in appearance, though are more advanced and designed to wield "Guardian" melee weaponry and Guardian Shields. Additionally, their laser beam functionally is much stronger and more versatile than the previous model as it takes the form of a laser beam and can charge it to fire a beam capable in strength to a Guardian Stalker's beam, though this leaves them open to attack. Their A.I. is also improved allowing them to switch tactics in order to adapt. They store their equipment and the arms they use to wield them in a compartment under their dome shaped heads which can raises up to unsheathe them. The number of arms and the armaments they wield differ based on where the Guardian Scout II is found. They can rotate the compartment their arms are attached to perform their own version of the Spin Attack while move forward, though they will be stunned if they hit an obstacle such as a stone pillar. Additionally Link can dodge this attack and if timed properly he can Perfect Dodge it allowing him to initiate a Flurry Rush. They will sheathe their weapons and retract their head to use their laser weaponry. They can perform a laser beam variation of the Spin Attack which can damage and push Link back, though this produces an Updraft allowing Link to use the Paraglider to dodge it and puts Link in a position to attack from the air with a Bow or glide attack it. Guardian Scout II wielding Guardian Shields can guard. One Guardian Scout II appears as in the Ta'loh Naeg Shrine where it is used as part of "The Swordsman" Ta'loh Naeg's Teachings Trial which acts as a tutorial to teach Link combat techniques such as Perfect Dodge, Flurry Rush, and Perfect Guard. Guardian Scout II commonly appear during "A Minor Test of Strength" combat trials wielding different equipment based on the Shrine in which they are encountered. Additionally they sometimes appear in shrines alongside Guardian Scout I as common enemies. With the exception of the one in Ta'loh Naeg Shrine, slain Guardian Scout II encountered in either "Minor" combat trials or as common enemies will respawn inside shrines they appear after Blood Moon and any completed combat trials will reset allowing Link to fight them again if he wishes to. Guardian Scout II drop Ancient Screws, Ancient Springs, Ancient Gears, and Ancient Shafts.
Guardian Scouts all wield at least one type of "Guardian" series weapon which Link can pick up and equip when they are defeated. Guardian Scout II models only wield default versions. Some models may wield multiple weapons. Guardian Scouts only wield Guardian Shields in conjunction with a weapon (usually a Guardian Sword).
Guardian Scout III
- "Although originally designed by an ancient civilization to combat Ganon, these scaled-down Guardians were placed in shrines as part of the trials. This model is equipped with twin-blade functionality to further test the combat prowess of one undertaking the trials. It takes a nimble fighter to overcome this one."
- — Hyrule Compendium
Guardian Scout III are stronger than the previous models and equipped with two arms standard allowing them wield two weapons or a weapon in conjunction with a shield. They are much more resilient and drop Ancient Screws, Ancient Springs, Ancient Gears, Ancient Shafts, and Ancient Cores. They appear in "A Modest Test of Strength" combat trials found in certain Shrines. Once completed their combat trial will reset and they will respawn after a Blood Moon. While they resemble previous models, their dome heads feature horn and ear-like protrusions on their heads similar to those protrusions found on the heads of Guardian Stalkers. While they generally use the same tactics as Guardian Scout II, their A.I. is slightly improved.
Enemy Armaments +
Guardian Scout III wield stronger "+" Guardian series armaments which are stronger and more durable than the basic models wielded by Guardian Scout II.
Guardian Scout IV
- "An ancient civilization originally designed Guardians to combat Ganon but then scaled them down to place in shrines as part of the trials. This model is very resilient and has been outfitted with triple-blade functionality, allowing it to wield three weapons. This will put any would-be-hero to the test for sure. A great deal of strength and confidence alike are required to contend with one of these."
- — Hyrule Compendium
Guardian Scout IV are the strongest Guardian Scout model and have been outfitted with three arms allowing them to wield three weapons making them the only enemy capable of wielding three pieces of equipment at once. They are incredibly resilient and equipped with powerful weapons. They only appear in "A Major Test of Strength Trials". They use the same tactics as the two previous models though are far stronger and more dangerous, though not as dangerous as Lynels. As a result, Link should avoid fighting them until he is strong enough to handle one and should have at least a couple high tier weapons, bows, shields, and upgraded armor as well as healing items to make fighting them easier. Using Ancient Soldier Gear forged by Cherry is also advisable. Once completed their combat trial will reset and they will respawn after a Blood Moon. Guardian Scout IV drop Ancient Screws, Ancient Springs, Ancient Gears, Ancient Shafts, and Ancient Cores.
Enemy Armaments ++
Guardian Scout IV wield "++" variants of Guardian series equipment which are the strongest of that series. As these Guardian Scouts are equipped with three arms, they can wield three of these making them a great source for these weapons which actually makes it worth combatting them to obtain them despite the difficulty.