Hints are given by the Gossip Stones all over Hyrule. There are 40 Gossip Stones in total that give hints once the requirement to get them have been met. This requirement can be set to nothing, having the Stone of Agony in your inventory, and wearing the Mask of Truth. A Gossip Stone was added on the largest island in Lake Hylia which doesn't give a hint, but is instead used to lower and raise the water level in the lake once Morpha has been defeated.
- 1 Hint Categories
- 2 Hint Overlap
- 3 Hint Distributions
- 4 Hint Logic
- 5 Hint Regions
Hints are split up in multiple categories, to allow customization of the amount of hints of each category in the different hint distributions and with Plandomizer. Some hint categories only show up in certain hint distributions, and some only show up if certain settings are enabled.
Trial Hints tell you which of Ganon's Trials are enabled, if this isn't implicitly known from the settings. There are different possibilities for this to happen, so the amount of them varies by setting:
- If trials are set to random and all 6 trials end up being enabled you will get a single hint: "Ganon's Tower is protected by a powerful barrier."
- If trials are set to random and no trials end up being enabled you will get a single hint: "Sheik dispelled the barrier around Ganon's Tower."
- If 1-3 trials end up being enabled you will get 1-3 of the following hint: "the [Medallion Type] Trial protects Ganon's Tower."
- If 4-5 trials end up being enabled you will get 1-2 of the following hint: "the [Medallion Type] Trial was dispelled by Sheik."
Location hints are hints that tell you which item is at a specific location. Excluded Locations will never get a hint. These hints are split into four different categories:
- Song Hints
- Minigame Hints
- Overworld Hints
- Dungeon Hints
Locations are also classified as either "Always" or "Sometimes" hints.
Always Hints are hints for item locations that are considered to be so bad that they will get a hint in every seed. Some of these are dynamic based on other settings in your seed.
Sometimes Hints are hints manually picked for race settings (Weeklies and Tournaments) and therefore only show up in the Tournament Distribution.
For more information on which hints falls into which category see List of all location hints
Entrance Hints are exclusive to Entrance Randomizer, and are similar to Location Hints, but instead give you info about which Entrance leads where.
Item and Random
Item Hints and Random Hints are hints that state that an area has a certain items in it. For example: "The Hookshot can be found at Zora's River" or "Spirit Temple hoards a Red Rupee". Item Hints only hint towards Major Items, whereas Random Hints can hint towards any item in the game.
Junk Hints are hints that tell you nothing about the seed. They can be funny in nature or give general gameplay tips.
Way of the Hero
Way of the Hero (WotH) Hints are hints that tell you that an area holds an item that is logically required to beat the seed. For Example: "Kakariko Village is on the way of the hero." It will only tell you that an area is way of the hero if that specific instance of the item is required. For example, even though a Bow is always required to beat Ganondorf, it might not be on the way of the hero if you have a choice on which one to get first, since there are multiple of them in a seed. WotH Hints give info only about that area, not any sub-areas. For example, Gerudo Fortress being on the Way of the Hero tells you nothing about Gerudo Training Grounds.
In any seed, a maximum of two WotH hints can point at dungeons (including two hints pointing at the same dungeon) unless the hint distribution is set to Very Strong.
Path to Reward (Goal Hints)
Goal hints point to an area with an item logically required to complete the specified goal. One way to think of goal hints is a Way of the Hero hint for a given goal. For example, "Kakariko Village is on the path to Queen Gohma" hints that there is an item in Kakariko Village logically required to beat Queen Gohma directly or indirectly. The item could be a Slingshot, or it could be the Mirror Shield to reach the Kokiri Sword on Twinrova's Heart Container. Goal hints also inherit the same sub-area rules as Way of the Hero. Gerudo Fortress on Path to Queen Gohma does not provide any information on the Gerudo Training Ground.
Goals are created for major milestones defined by a seed's settings.
- Goals for dungeon rewards or skulltula tokens to spawn the rainbow bridge to Ganon's Castle.
- Goals for dungeon rewards or skulltula tokens required for Ganon's Castle Boss Key, or the key directly.
- A goal for any enabled trials.
- Path of Gold goal for Triforce Pieces in Triforce Hunt.
- "Path of the hero", equivalent to way of the hero. Only active with open bridge and Ganon's Castle Boss Key removed/vanilla and zero trials.
Each milestone is assigned a goal "category". Items required for any goal in one category cannot be hinted for goals in later categories. For example, the trials goal will not hint towards an item required to complete a medallion dungeon for the rainbow bridge. The only categories that can share items are keysanity variants of Ganon's Castle Boss Key and trials.
Each category is guaranteed one hint in the order listed above. After all categories have at least one hint generated, further goal hints randomly choose a category. Goals within a category are always chosen randomly.
Goal hints will only point towards reachable goals. With Guarantee Reachable Locations set to Required Only (also known as Beatable Only), dungeon rewards, skulltula tokens, and plentiful item pool copies that are never logically reachable will never be hinted. Additionally, the rainbow bridge category filters goals for those reachable without access to Inside Ganon's Castle. This is only relevant when the rainbow bridge and Ganon's Castle Boss Key require different types of collectibles.
The intent of goal hints is to provide a consistent number of potentially required item hints with variable win conditions such as 2 stones for rainbow bridge and 5 Medallions for Ganon's Castle Boss Key. For "fixed" conditions such as all medallions, goal hints become identical to way of the hero with one exception. If trials are disabled, goal hints will not point to an item required only for the Light Arrows.
Goal hints do not have any limits on number of hintable dungeon areas containing required items. This is different from Way of the Hero.
Path of Gold
Path of Gold hints are exclusive to Triforce Hunt and replace Way of the Hero hints in that mode. They point to items that logically lock any of the Triforce Pieces in that seed. They cannot point at the Triforce Pieces themselves. The hinted item isn't necessarily required to beat the seed, since the amount of Triforce Pieces in the world can be higher than the goal. Otherwise, they work similarly to Way of the Hero hints, including the maximum of two dungeons.
Foolish Choice Hints (also commonly called Barren Hints) point towards areas that contain no Major Items. This means that you can ignore this area when looking for progression in the seed. To increase the amount of Foolish Areas per seed, there are three exceptions where a Major Item can show up in a Foolish Areas:
- The Major Item isn't shuffled (For example Ocarina, or Ganon's Boss Key if it is set to be on LACS), or not considered in logic (Bombchus).
- The item in question doesn't unlock any Location. This list is mostly predetermined and consists of Double Defense, Ice Arrows and Biggoron Sword. Nayrus Love is also in this list damage is not set to Quadruple Damage or OHKO, Scrub Shuffle is disabled, and ER is disabled or set to Dungeons Only. Stone of Agony is also in this list if it isn't used for hints and the trick to open hidden grottos without it is enabled. Serenade of Water and Prelude of Light are also in this list unless Full Indoors or Overworld ER is enabled.
- An exact duplicate of the item is on the WotH AND getting that duplicate would make the item in the Foolish Area obsolete. For Weekly/Tourney standards this can only be Bows, Bombs, "Normal" Bottles, Slingshots and Magic. Depending on other settings this can also include Bombchus, Ocarina, or any non-progressive item if the Item Pool is set to Plentiful.
Special Progressive Major Items are items where getting copies of the item changes the functionality of the item in logic. These items can only be in Foolish Areas if there are more copies in the item pool than there are useful upgrades, and only if the amount of them that are WotH is the same as the amount of useful upgrades. For example: If there are 3 Hookshots in the pool, the third one can be in a Foolish Area, since you only need 2 upgrades to get the Longshot, but only if both other Hookshots are WotH. Special Progressive Major Items and their amount of useful upgrades are: Hookshots (2), Wallets (3), Strength Upgrades (3), and Scales (2). Small Keys (Infinite), but only with Keysanity. Gold Skulltula Tokens (Infinite), but only with Token Bridge and Tokensanity.
One tiny caveat with this is that Skulltula Tokens are not considered Major Items when not playing with Token Bridge, even in tokensanity. This means there's a chance that you'll be required to get Skulltula Tokens from a Foolish area to get to a certain Token Reward.
Foolish Choice Hints give info only about that area, not any sub-areas. For example, Gerudo Fortress being a foolish choice tells you nothing about Gerudo Training Grounds.
In any seed, a maximum of one dungeon can be hinted as Foolish, unless the hint distribution is set to Very Strong.
This type of hint indicates the area in which one instance of a specified item from a provided list can be found, not taking logic into account. For example, you could get a hint which states "They say that Hover Boots can be found in Kakariko Village." which indicates that the only set of Hover Boots are somewhere in Kakariko Village. It is important to note that logic is not taken into account when providing the location. In the case of unique items (such as the hover boots in the example above), this is less important. However, for items with multiple copies, like Slingshots, Bows and Bomb Bags, it is possible for the hints to point towards a self-locked copy of that item. For example, the hints could point to a logically Bow-locked Bow in GTG or Forest.
Named-item hints can be set as 'vague', which will result in the hint only indicating the area which the item may be found, not the specific item that is there. For example, the hint given above, "They say that Hover Boots can be found in Kakariko Village.", would be given as "They say that Kakariko Village may be on the hero's path." if Named-item hins were set as vague.
The list of items from which this hint type can draw is defined by the hint distribution.
Item locations can never be hinted towards by more than one hint. For example: This means that if you get a hint for the Song on Ocarina of Time and a hint that Hyrule Field is on the way of the hero, that WotH hint isn't pointing at the song. The hint types that follow this rule are:
- WotH hints
- Location Hints (Song, Minigame, Overworld, Dungeon, Always, and Sometimes)
- Item and Named-item Hints
- Random Hints
This also includes Foolish Choice Hints. However, it will only follow this rule if the Foolish Choice Hint is chosen before the other hint. This means that it is only consistent in the Tournament Distribution. For more info on why this is, see the next section.
How hints get distributed amongst the 40 available gossip stones is quite flexible, but falls into two main camps: Weighted Distributions and Exact Distributions. These two main categories have commonalities otherwise, such as allowing duplicates of certain chosen hint types. These are done by type, some having a single copy while others having multiple copies. It's also imporotant to keep in mind that some of the hint types such as Trials hints and Entrance hints are only placed if the settings allow for it.
Most hint distributions don't have a set amount of hints for each category. Instead, they use weights to pick hint types randomly. The higher the weight, the higher the chance of that hint type getting picked. Trial Hints and Always Hints are exempt from this, and their amount is dependent on the settings.
The amounts and weights for each of the built-in weighted hint distributions are as follows:
|All other types||0.0||0|
Note that this distribution doesn't have any Trial or Always Hints, since the amount of copies is set to 0.
Rather than use weights to randomly choose how many hints of a given type should be chosen, these distributions instead specify exactly how many should exist. For example, you can specify that there should be exactly 4 Way of the Hero (or Path of Gold if Triforce Hunt is enabled) type hints, rather than simply giving them a weight. This allows for structuring the hints so that they are the same every time, particularly useful when a lot of players will be using the same settings for a long time, such as the case with weeklies or tournaments, which is where these types of hints originated.
An important note: if not enough hints of a certain type can be generated, it will just move on to the next type. Additionally, Entrance, Trials, and Always type hints are still dependent on settings, and as such you will often see their amounts as 0. This can be misleading as these hint types will still be generated, but their amounts will vary based on settings.
The Scrubs Distribution is a continuation of the original Tournament Distribution as was in use from Season 1 to Season 3. This distribution was renamed and is still in use by the Scrub Community and others.
The description from the Hint Distribution file reads: "Tournament hints used for Scrubs Races. Duplicates of each hint, Skull Mask is an always hint, 5 WotH, 3 Foolish, 8 sometimes. Can also be used to simulate S3 Tournament hints."
The Sometimes and Random Hints are used as filler hints. This means that once all other hint types above have been placed, it'll start placing Sometimes hints on the remaining Gossip Stones. If it runs out of those, it'll start placing Random Hints instead.
This distribution covers the current Ocarina of Time Randomizer Tournament's choice of hint distribution as it changes season to season. The description from the Hint Distribution file reads: "Hint Distribution for the S5 Tournament. 5 Goal Hints, 3 Barren Hints, 5 Sometimes hints, 7 Always hints (including skull mask)."
And lastly the distribution itself is:
This distribution uses a feature which allows for certain items to be removed from consideration from a specified hint type. On this distribution, Zelda's Lullaby cannot be a Goal hint.
This distribution covers the hint distribution used for weekly races of the DDR ruleset. The distribution itself is:
The list of items used for the Named-item hints is: Hover Boots, Hookshot, Din's Fire, Bomb Bag, Boomerang, Bow, Megaton Hammer, Iron Boots, Magic Meter, Mirror Shield, Fire Arrows, or Strength Upgrade. This selection takes place after the WotH hints are chosen, and so the later takes precedent for overlap purposes. The Named-item hints are also set as 'vague', and so they do not indicate the specific item in the hinted area.
In addition, Zelda's Lullaby, Ruto's Letter, Zora Tunic, and Goron Tunic are prevented from appearing as Way of the Hero or sometimes hints; they can still be logically required to complete the seed, but the Way of the Hero hints will not directly indicate these items. Similarly, regions containing a Bow, Bomb Bag, or Magic Meter cannot be hinted Barren.
The Sometimes Hints are used as filler hints. This means that once all other hint types above have been placed, it'll start placing Sometimes hints on the remaining Gossip Stones.
Miscellaneous Hint Distributions
Copies of WotH hints
Because the amount of copies of every hint type is known, you can determine how many WotH items an area has at minimum by the amount of hints you find for it. For example, if you find 2 WotH hints for Shadow Temple in the Tournament Distribution, that only means there's at least one WotH item in there (original hint plus the copy). Once you find a third hint you know for certain that there has to be a second WotH item in Shadow Temple (original hint plus copy plus another hint). Ditto for 5, 7 etc. In distributions where there's only one of each hint you can treat every WotH hint as it's own separate WotH item.
When a hint points towards a Major Item (WotH hints, location hints, random/item hints), at least one of the hints has to be available before you have to use said item. For example: If Ruto's Letter is on 50 Skultulla Tokens in a non-ER seed with Tournament Distribution, both hints towards it can't be at Zora's Fountain at the same time. At least one of them has to be available without the use of Ruto's Letter. You can (very rarely) use this info to your advantage. For example, if instead Ruto's Letter is at Man on Roof in Kakariko village and you find two WotH Kakariko hints in Zora's Fountain, you now know that at least one of those doesn't point towards Ruto's Letter, so there has to be a different WotH item in Kakariko.
In Beatable Only, some of these hints can still end up on completely unreachable Gossip Stones. You probably won't notice this during gameplay since the stone is completely unreachable in logic. You would have to sequence break to get to the hint in the first place.
Hint regions are the regions referred to by WotH, Foolish Choice, and Item hints. For example, in the hint "The Hookshot can be found at Zora's River", Zora's River is the hint region. Grottos and interiors fall under the hint region of their encompassing overworld location, but dungeons do not. So, for example, if you get the hint that plundering Zora's Fountain is a foolish choice, this includes the Great Fairy Fountain interior at Zora's Fountain, but does not include Jabu-Jabu's Belly or Ice Cavern, as dungeons are their own hint regions. Also note that Zora's Fountain does not include Zora's Domain, as they are separate overworld regions.
- Although it is an interior, Temple of Time is considered its own hint region.
- Outside Ganon's Castle and Hyrule Castle are separate hint regions.
- If Cowsanity is enabled and hints are on, both ends of Impa's house must be in the same hint region in ER, or a hint for the cow would cross multiple hint regions. Otherwise, the Piece of Heart is considered within the hint region connected to the back of the house.
- For similar reasons, both ends of the Kakariko Potion Shop must be to the same hint region when hints are on.
- However, Windmill/Dampe's Grave are allowed to go between different hint regions. The Windmill Piece of Heart and Song of Storms check are considered part of the hint region connected to the Windmill exit, while Dampe's items are considered part of the hint region connected to the entrance to Dampe's grave.