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Here's how Hylian shrooms and other Zelda ingredients ended up in an Irish historical novel

(Image credit: Nintendo)

An Irish historical novel has an unexpected The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (opens in new tab) Easter egg, and the accident behind its inclusion is entirely too relatable.

A Traveller at the Gates of Wisdom is a historical tale set across many generations of history (it also isn't officially coming out until August 11 (opens in new tab), but there are apparently a good number of pre-release copies out there). Dana Schwartz, who is also a writer, noticed a Reddit thread about the book (opens in new tab) that calls out some strange inclusions in a list of ingredients for dressmaking dyes.

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Every single one of the 11 ingredients listed is an item from Breath of the Wild. You could argue that nightshade and sapphire both exist in our world as well, but there's no doubt about where Octorok eyeballs, red lizalfos tail, and least of all Hylian shrooms come from. Why in Nayru's name does this straight-faced historical novel suddenly take a Ready Player One (opens in new tab) turn in this paragraph about preparing a poison for Attila the Hun?

Schwartz had a hunch, so she Googled "ingredients red dye clothes" (opens in new tab), as anybody doing a quick bit of historical research might. There in the info box that Google shares before it even gets to the standard results was a list of the fantastical items, pulled straight from a guide to Breath of the Wild. But could such a silly oversight really be the explanation? As author John Boyne himself confirmed, the answer is an embarrassed "yup".

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The author says he has no plans (opens in new tab) to edit the list out of future editions of his book, so this strange little nod to Hylian dye making will remain in perpetuity. Now we've just got to work out where A Traveller at the Gates of Wisdom falls on the Zelda timeline…

I wonder if Nintendo will reference this reference in the Zelda: Breath of the Wild sequel (opens in new tab).

I got a BA in journalism from Central Michigan University - though the best education I received there was from CM Life, its student-run newspaper. Long before that, I started pursuing my degree in video games by bugging my older brother to let me play Zelda on the Super Nintendo. I've previously been a news intern for GameSpot, a news writer for CVG, and now I'm a staff writer here at GamesRadar.