A Recovered Memory is a special replayable cut scene from The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Most of these cut scenes represent the lost memories of the Hylian Champion Link, whom suffers from amnesia as a result of the Slumber of Restoration.
Once obtained, they can be accessed via the Adventure Log's "Memories" section which lists the memories in order and gives a brief synopsis of what occurs in each memory cut scene. These memories deal with the events leading up to the Great Calamity and how Link became injured defending Princess Zelda. However, the final one chronologically is a vision of Princess Zelda entrusting the Master Sword to the Great Deku Tree which occurred after Link was placed in the Shrine of Resurrection. These memory cutscenes provide much of the backstory of Breath of the Wild.
Memories are recalled during certain Main Quests. Due to the game's non-linear nature, most memories can be acquired in any order save for one specific memory. Some are recalled during the story though, 13 is acquired through a specific quest. There are a total of 18 memories along with 5 more included in The Champions' Ballad DLC Pack. Completing the 5 DLC memories unlocks the first post-credits scene, and recovering all the memories from the Sheikah Slate unlocks the second post-credits scene.
Captured Memories of Zelda
After Link restores the Sheikah Slate Album with the assistance of Purah, she discovers 12 permanently stored pictures of places as they appeared before the Great Calamity which Purah concludes were taken by Princess Zelda a century ago as the Princess had kept the Sheikah Slate she and Purah's research team had discovered in her possession for study. Purah notes Link probably was with her when the pictures were taken and could be useful in restoring his memory. She suggests he talk to her younger sister Impa as she was closer to Zelda due to having been a trusted royal adviser.
Link returns to Kakariko Village and Impa notes the pictures were indeed taken by Zelda. She suggests Link find and visit the locations to recall his memories of them. She tells him to report back to her after recalling at least one memory as their is something she wishes to give him. Link can visit the locations in any order though each memory is tied to a specific location though the location data for the pictures is encrypted in Sheikah Language.
If Link assists the Sheikah artist Pikango in a Main Quest in Kakariko Village, Pikango will appear in various locations in Hyrule and provide Link hints to each pictures location thanks to his keen eye for detail and landscapes of Hyrule. Some however feature identifiable landmarks that still exist in Hyrule albeit slightly altered due to the Great Calamity and the passage of time. Once Link discovers the correct location a glowing spot will appear where Link can recall the memory associated with that location. There are twelve locations which Link shall visit:
- Sacred Ground Ruins
- Lake Kolomo
- Ancient Columns
- Kara Kara Bazaar
- East of the Woodland Tower, west of Death Mountain
- Northeast of the Royal Ancient Lab Ruins
- Lake Hylia
- Hyrule Castle
- Spring of Power
- Sanidin Park Ruins
- Lanayru Road - East Gate
- North of the Bottomless Swamp
After recalling one of the 12 memories Link can return to Impa, who rewards him with the Champion's Tunic he wore in the past which she had been keeping safe for a century while he slept. After recalling a memory, its picture in the Sheikah Slate will have its location name revealed and a film reel icon will appear on the picture marking that its memory has been recalled. These pictures are permanent and cannot be deleted at any point. However, before Purah restored the album, their data was corrupted and unreadable due to the Sheikah Slate's missing components. Fortunately, Purah's Guidance Stone was able to repair the corrupted data, leaving them a photographic log of various locations in Hyrule before the Great Calamity.
After recalling all 12 memories, Link should return to Impa, who reveals there was a 13th picture which was printed and hung on the wall of Impa's House. Link can take a picture of it to help find its location, which is Blatchery Plain. This final recovered memory shows how Link was injured during the Great Calamity and how Zelda was responsible for saving him with encouragement from the ancient spirit of the Master Sword who's voice Zelda could hear. After the memory ends, Link hears a telepathic message from Zelda indicating she had been the architect behind the Captured Memories quest which was intended to help Link recover his memory of her and the Great Calamity with Impa acting as an intermediary under her orders explaining the 13th and final picture. However, there are several memories not acquired through this quest.
Link's Memories of the Champions
During Link's quests to free each of the Divine Beasts, Link will recall memories of his fellow Champions, Mipha, Urbosa, Daruk, and Revali during one of the four quests to free their corresponding Divine Beast. These are received automatically during the story, though can be accessed via the adventure log like his other memories. Each memory deals with a specific Champion when Zelda was not present.
Memory of the Master Sword
Upon gaining enough Heart Containers through trading Spirit Orbs to Hylia, Link is eventually able to reclaim the legendary Master Sword from its pedestal in Korok Forest, and Link's final memory will trigger. Link's final recovered memory is actually a vision of an event he was not even present for. After the memory ends, the Great Deku Tree reveals it is a vision of the past and notes he hoped to see the Princess' smile again once Calamity Ganon is defeated, comparing her smile to life giving sunlight. Though it is a vision, Link's memory of the vision is recovered as his 18th and final recovered memory.
Zelda's Memories of the Champions
After freeing all of the Divine Beasts, Link will encounter Kass on various occasions, who is seen playing music in honor of a Champion, based on his location. As Link listens to the music Kass performs, he will receive visions of Zelda's perspective of meeting the Champions; events when Link was not present.
Later, Kass will complete and perform an unfinished song from his instructor to Link, known as the Champions' Ballad. This will trigger one final vision of Link, Zelda, and the Champions all meeting for the first time at Hyrule Castle.
There are a total of 23 Recovered Memories all of which are numbered, entitled, and recorded, in the Adventure Log's Memories section allowing them to be reviewed at any time once said has been recalled. Each memory also has a corresponding still frame from the cut scene and synopsis.
EX Recovered Memory #1
- "Zelda tracks down Rito warrior Revali and enlists him to pilot the Divine Beast Vah Medoh. During their encounter, she witnesses an impressive display of his archery skills, as well as the hidden side of his personality that makes it all possible."
- — Champion Revali's Song synopsis
As Zelda and her guards approach Revali, they witness Revali testing out his powers, only to fail moments after. Zelda offers Revali a role as the Champion of the Rito, who immediately accepts under the condition that he should not take the blame, should the Champions fail to seal away Calamity Ganon. During this time, he perfects his abilities to harness Revali's Gale and displays his aerial archery skills.
EX Recovered Memory #2
- "Zelda enlists Daruk, the mightiest Goron, to pilot the Divine Beast Vah Rudania. Although he fearlessly fights off hordes of monsters with great courage, he has an unexpected weakness."
- — Champion Daruk's Song synopsis
After accepting the offer, Daruk walks down the path of Death Mountain, accompanied by Zelda and her guards. They speak about Zelda's appointed knight, shortly before encountering a group of Bokoblins surrounding someone. Daruk demonstrates his combat abilities by attacking the Bokoblins, and as they flee Zelda finds out that they were going after a stray dog. Daruk then cowers in fear, revealing his condition of cynophobia; a fear of dogs. Daruk reveals his ability, which he in defense. He later jokingly questions on whether Calamity Ganon is a dog-like monster, resulting in laughter from both.
EX Recovered Memory #3
- "Zelda visits the Zora princess, Mipha, and enlists her to pilot the Divine Beast Vah Ruta. While teaching her brother Sidon to swim up waterfalls, Mipha entrusts him with the duty of the Zora royal family, displaying her dedication as both princess and sister."
- — Champion Mipha's Song synopsis
On top of one of the waterfalls surrounding Zora's Domain, Zelda and Ruta discuss about the Champions. After mentioning Link, Mipha turns to see a young Sidon waiting at the bottom of the falls. Mipha asks for Sidon to swim up, who refuses due to his inexperience. With that, she swims down the waterfall and meets with Sidon, offering him a ride to experience what a waterfall is like. The two make it up to the top, and Mipha speaks to Sidon about the future of Zora's Domain.
EX Recovered Memory #4
- "Zelda entreats Urbosa, the Gerudo chief, to pilot the Divine Beast Vah Naboris. After Urbosa formally accepts, the two companions take a nighttime stroll in the desert, and Urbosa shares cherished memories from their shared past."
- — Champion Urbosa's Song synopsis
Zelda offers Urbosa a position as Gerudo's Champion, and she accepts partially due to the lingering threat of the Yiga Clan. After, the two walk in the outskirts of Gerudo Town and speak in a less formal tone about Zelda's childhood, when Urbosa takes notice of two undercover Yiga Footsoldiers. After compromising them, she engages in combat with them, displaying her combat skills and her ability to perform a Perfect Guard, shortly before she used her powers to summon lightning on another footsoldier. Sparing the two, she then reveals to Zelda that she and Zelda's mother were great friends.
EX Recovered Memory #5
- "Link, Mipha, Daruk, Revali, and Urbosa are called to Hyrule Castle and formally appointed as Champions by the king. After the ceremony, they congregate at the castle's garden where Mipha asks Zelda for a favor...to use the Sheikah Slate's Camera for a special picture."
- — The Champions' Ballad synopsis
At Hyrule Castle, a ceremony is held to introduce the Champions of Hyrule. Later, the Champions discuss about the Sheikah Slate's ability to create realistic images, which Mipha then requests for all of them to have a picture. Purah readies the group, with some adjustments to the group's pose, and Daruk suddenly pulls everyone in and startles them, just as the picture is taken.
Recovered Memory #1
- "Link is chosen to be the appointed knight to Zelda, princess of the royal family of Hyrule. Zelda does her best to facilitate the fabled "ceremony of legend," as suggested by Daruk, but her own insecurities are laid bare..."
- — Subdued Ceremony synopsis
After Link acquires the sword that seals the darkness, Zelda performs the ceremony of the legend, although lacking motivation and effort. During the course of the ceremony, the Champions speak of the lack of effort and who's fault it was, only to be interrupted by Urbosa who explains to them about Zelda's situation.
Recovered Memory #2
- "Revali, Champion of the Rito, openly expresses his opposition to supporting Link. He confronts Link in Rito Village, but to what end?"
- — Revali's Flap synopsis
At Rito Village, Revali surprises Link with Revali's Gale, and then expresses his jealously towards Link's role. He then jokingly challenges Link to an archery match up in Divine Beast Vah Medoh, before flying away.
Recovered Memory #3
- "Zelda and Link head to Goron City to make adjustments to the Divine Beast there. Zelda expresses her commitment to researching ancient technology and still struggles with her own quiet anguish."
- — Resolve and Grief synopsis
At Lake Kolomo, Zelda and Link head to Goron City. During their walk, Zelda begins to question Link's role as the Champion of Hyrule.
Recovered Memory #4
- "Goron Champion Daruk is training with his Divine Beast on Death Mountain, but when he feels the ground rumble, he protects himself and Link from a landslide of boulders - and wonders whether the strange event was natural."
- — Daruk's Mettle synopsis
Daruk demonstrates to Link his control over Divine Beast Vah Rudania, before a sudden tremor forces Daruk to protect Link from falling rocks. Then he wonders about the cause of it, given that Death Mountain hasn't erupted in ages.
Recovered Memory #5
- "Zelda continues her research on the shrines, but her repressed frustration builds as she is denied entry. When Link appears, Zelda loses control and is overcome by her anger."
- — Zelda's Resentment synopsis
While inspecting the Tena Ko'sah Shrine, Zelda attempts to access it with the Sheikah Slate, but with no success. After a while, Link arrives on horseback, but in frustration Zelda explains again to Link that she has no need for a bodyguard, despite what her father says. Eventually, her frustration takes over and she tells Link to stop following her, in an angry tone.
Recovered Memory #6
- "Link is called to the Gerudo Desert by Urbosa. There, he sees Zelda, exhausted and asleep. Urbosa opens up about her concern for Zelda and reminds Link that is is a warrior's honor to protect a member of the royal family."
- — Urbosa's Hand synopsis
Link meets Urbosa at Divine Beast Vah Naboris. Urbosa talks about Zelda's childhood and her hardships, then reminds Link about his responsibility and how his position is honored by a warrior. After taking notice of the cold temperatures, she decides to wake Zelda up with her lightning. It startled Zelda awake and Urbosa began to laugh, with Zelda asking numerous questions.
Recovered Memory #7
- "Zelda is attacked by members of the Yiga Clan. She attempts to escape, but to no avail. At the last moment, Link appears and saves her."
- — Blades of the Yiga synopsis
Sometime after Link's meeting with Urbosa, Zelda is pursued by a group of Yiga Footsoldiers, where she attempts escape. The pursuit led her to the Kara Kara Bazaar, where she was cut off and surrounded. A Yiga Footsoldier closes in and prepares to kill Zelda, but was stopped short by Link, who intercepts the attack and takes a defensive stance in front of Zelda. Zelda notices Link's prowess with the Master Sword and begins to reconsider her opinions about Link.
Recovered Memory #8
- "Zelda explains to Link that in order to properly fulfil his role, he must exercise caution. She then expresses her unease about the growing numbers and types of monsters that have been seen recently in Hyrule."
- — A Premonition synopsis
After a battle with numerous monsters, Zelda speaks with Link about how the Master Sword does not fully protect Link as he is, despite its powers. She then goes on about how the rise of monsters may mean the Calamity Ganon is close to returning, which she then decides would be the factor in warning the kingdom.
Recovered Memory #9
- "Zelda shows Link some of the rare types of wildlife in Hyrule. She explains her admiration for a flower called the silent princess. She also catches something unexpected and inspiring!"
- — Silent Princess synopsis
Zelda and Link experiment with the Sheikah Slate's Camera Rune, taking images of various different plants before Zelda spots a Silent Princess. She explains to Link of its endangerment and the failure to domesticate it, before spotting a frog. She then explains about the frog's potential effects, before pressuring Link to consume it
Recovered Memory #10
- "Mipha quietly expresses her concern for Link while tending to his wounds atop the Divine Beast. She reassures Link that he can count on her in the upcoming trials ahead."
- — Mipha's Touch synopsis
Mipha uses her powers to heal a wound on Link's forearm, and then she later expresses her opinions on the whole situation, wishing that they could spend more time with each other, just as they had during their childhood.
Recovered Memory #11
- "While Zelda and Link seek refuge from the rain beneath a tree, she opens up to Link about her own doubts and the choices she has made."
- — Shelter from the Storm synopsis
Zelda watches as Link practices his sword combat, wielding the Master Sword against the rain. During this, Zelda speaks of how she admired Link's dedication to his training, and how much he followed his father's footsteps.
Recovered Memory #12
- "Zelda gleefully watches the experiments with the Guardians at Hyrule Castle, but her demeanor changes quickly with the entrance of her father, King Rhoam..."
- — Father and Daughter synopsis
Zelda watches the progress of the Sheikah's research on a Guardian Stalker, speaking with Link of how they've gotten to the point of being able to control the weapons. However, she was interrupted by her father, who forbids Zelda to associate with any more research until she unlocks her power to seal away Ganon.
Recovered Memory #13
- "Zelda engages in a secret ritual at the Spring of Power in hopes of awakening her sealing power, but she is overcome with the frustration and seeming futility of her dedication."
- — Slumbering Power synopsis
While at the Spring of Power, Zelda attempts to unlock her sealing power, but to no avail. Link stands guard and listens as Zelda curses to the statue of Hylia.
Recovered Memory #14
- "Upon returning from a field survey, Zelda shows Link Mount Lanayru towering in the distance... Zelda commits to going to the mountain to initiate the sacred rities that may awaken her hidden powers there."
- — To Mount Lanayru synopsis
While riding through Sanidin Park with Link, Zelda speaks of how effective Link's horseback training was. Later, she mentions her birthday is arriving the next day, and at her age she would be allowed to traverse up Mount Lanayru, where she hopes to unlock her sealing power at the Spring of Wisdom.
Recovered Memory #15
- "Zelda's efforts at the Spring of Wisdom on Mount Lanayru bear no fruit. Upon completing her descent down the mountain, she and the Champions witness the awakening of Ganon."
- — Return of Calamity Ganon synopsis
Zelda fails to awaken her sealing power at the Spring of Wisdom, meeting up with the Champions afterword. It was only a short moment before Calamity Ganon returns and attacks Hyrule Castle. Despite her lack of sealing power, she refuses to run to safety and joins the Champions in confronting Ganon.
Recovered Memory #16
- "Four of the Champions, King Rhoam, and everyone inside the castle lose their lives when Ganon takes control of the Divine Beasts and Guardians. Link suffers an unfortunate fate fighting Calamity Ganon alongside Zelda."
- — Despair synopsis
After a failed confrontation of Calamity Ganon, along with the deaths of the Champions, Zelda's father, and a large number of Hyrule's population, Link and Zelda are left with no choice but to flee. Their run was interrupted as Link's grip goes loose and Zelda falls over. Zelda breaks down in grief over her own powerlessness and inability to do anything despite all her effort as Link consoles her.
Recovered Memory #17
- "Link continues to fight, protecting Zelda from a pack of pursuing Guardians, but collapses in exhaustion, terribly wounded. As the Guardians close in, Zelda stands against them and finally unleashes her sealing power."
- — Zelda's Awakening synopsis
During the Battle of Fort Hateno, Link continues to protect Zelda from Guardians, despite her insisting Link abandon her. However, he eventually succumbs to exhaustion and his injuries, forcing Zelda to attempt to selflessly shield him from the Guardians which is the spark that finally awakens Zelda's sealing power. Despite her success, she despairs over Link's condition until she hears the spirit of the Master Sword speak revealing Link can be saved remaining Zelda of the Shrine of Resurrection which had been uncovered during her research. Found by two Sheikah warriors, Zelda insists Link be taken to this Shrine in order to save Link's life revealing Zelda is ultimately responsible for Link's survival and recovery.
Recovered Memory #18
- "Zelda entrusts the Master Sword to the Deku Tree. When she attempts to relay a message to Link, the Deku Tree suggests that she simply tell him herself upon his return."
- — The Master Sword synopsis