At the top of Ridgeland Tower in Zelda: Breath of the Wild, there's a NPC named Branli that rewards players for taking part in a Paragliding challenge; glide as far away as you can from the top of the tower in one go. My best distance is just over 600 meters. YouTube user Yukino’s record is over 7’000.
Yukino achieved this staggering distance by making clever use of the game’s elemental systems; she would set off bomb arrows midflight to create patches of fire along Link’s flight path, using the upward draft of hot air to gain altitude and extend his glide.
Oh, by the way, hot air rises in Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Did you know that? I sure didn’t.
Having discovered this astounding exploit, Yuniko set a course from Ridgeland Tower (located in Hyrule Ridge, just northwest of Central Hyrule) all the way to Eventide Island (which resides in the southeasternmost corner of the map), deciding this was the farthest point on the map from the mini-game’s starting point.
Before taking flight, Yuniko prepared her course by clearing out most of the enemies in the immediate vicinity of her path. She also stocked up on stamina potions, falcon bows, and an impressive stock of 367 bomb arrows. (According to Yuniko, the majority of these arrows were purchased from the vendor at the Mounted Archery Camp.) Once her course was ready, Yuniko took to Ridgeland Tower, waited for the rain to pass, and initiated takeoff.
The first 2,000+ meters went off without a hitch; with plenty of grasslands to ignite, Yuniko maintained a steady rhythm of bombarding the ground beneath her and maintaining Link’s stamina meter—which depletes both over time while gliding and, more drastically, when shooting arrows in midair—with an elixir every few hundred meters, refilling her impressive 3 rings of stamina.
This rinse-and-repeat process of igniting grass and chugging elixirs goes on mostly uninterrupted for the duration of the twenty minute video, though the entire stunt is nearly thwarted around 3,000 meters by a couple of rogue Octorok, which come frightfully close to grounding Yuniko. Fortunately, our hero catches her updraft just in time to evade both of these unexpected projectiles.
Occasionally, Link’s bomb arrows fail to ignite the grass below him. Noticing the defect, and closing in too close to the ground for a bomb arrow, Yuniko would quickly whip out some fire arrows just before hitting earth and litter the ground with flames, launching Link back on his trajectory.
The whole endeavor culminates in an uphill ‘climb’ up the Cape Cales peninsula, which outlooks the southeast ocean and, Yuniko’s finish line, Eventide Island. The upward slope proves a bit more challenging, as the grass is less likely to catch fire. Nevertheless, Yukino makes it to the edge of the cliff, sets off one last bomb arrow, and leaves the rest to fate as she makes her final descent over the bay, towards Eventide Island.
At the last second, just before Link is about to plant his feet, Yukino sets off a rune bomb, adding an extra 10 meters to her final score of 7,615.8 meters.
Yukino is now trying to beat her current record, but it will be interesting to see how other players approach this mini-game using these tactics. Perhaps we’ll see an attempt to glide over Death Mountain? (Unlikely, as there generally isn’t quite enough grass to set ablaze on volcanoes.)