The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is an open-world adventure that is simply staggering in scope, and it's easy to spend hours simply wandering around and exploring without furthering the storyline. However, while large portions of your quest will no doubt be spent hunting wildlife, discovering shrines and grabbing the best loot, there are some key plot points to unearth - and like so much of this amazing adventure, many of them are entirely optional. Each memory is tied to a photograph taken before the fall of Hyrule, and visiting the spot - denoted by an ethereal glow - will trigger a cutscene from 100 years ago, detailing the last failed attempt to bring Calamity Ganon to justice.
There are 13 memories to find in total, and we've listed them below in the order in which they appear in your photo album. While you don't have to follow this list to the letter, they make chronological sense when watched in this order.
Sacred Ground Ruins
This is the first memory you'll uncover, and is part of a quest set by Impa in Kakariko Village. The closest warp point at this juncture of the game is the Central Tower - you'll need to paraglide north through Hyrule Field towards semi-circular construction on your map. If you've already unlocked it, Katah Chuki Shrine is a closer warp point that Central Tower. Beware of marauding Guardians along the way, as you'll be too weak to fight them early on in your quest.
From the Grand Plateau Tower, paraglide across Hyrule Field in the direction of Hyrule Castle. The location is on the banks of Lake Kolomo.
From the Tabantha Tower, paraglide towards Piper Ridge and the Ancient Columns. The memory is located right next to Tena Ko'sah Shrine.
Kara Kara Bazaar
From the Gerudo Desert Wasteland Tower float down to the road head which leads to Gerudo Town. The memory is found at the edge of the pond in the middle of the bazaar itself - see the photo below if you can't find it.
If you've found and activated the Kay Noh Shrine then that's a good warp point to use as well.
Starting from the Eldin Tower, paraglide over Goronbi Lake - it's quite hot so make sure you've got the right gear. Another option is to start from Woodland Tower and head into the mountains; the memory lies roughly halfway between the two towers so it's entirely up to you which you decide to take. The memory is on quite a high mountain so you may need to have a decent level of stamina - or climbing gear and stamina-restoring items - to reach it.
Start off from the Ridgeland tower. Paraglide north-west as if you're heading towards Korok Forest; there's a small U-shaped body of water and the memory is found nearby.
From the Great Plateau Tower, paraglide towards the Dueling Peaks. You'll probably find that you don't make it all the way, so land on Scout's Hill on the west bank of Hylian River and look down - you should see a tree on a hill with a rock at its base, like the one in the image below.
Out of all of the memories in the game, this one is without a shadow of a doubt the hardest to find as it's located deep within Hyrule Castle, which is packed with Calamity Ganon's underlings. It's perhaps wise to wait until you've got the best gear (doesn't hurt to have the Master Sword and Hylian Shield) before attempting to tackle this one.
The best entry point for this memory is denoted by a sword badge on the map below, on the west side of the castle's moat. There are few Guardians around this area, so be careful on your approach to the moat's bank.
Use your paraglider to drift as far as you can and then swim to the small rocky bank on the other side. You're going to be doing a lot of climbing from this point on, so make sure you've got as many stamina wheel upgrades as possible and some stamina-restoring items. It's also wise to have at least a couple of pieces of the Climbing Gear armour set, if not all three. You'll need to avoid the unwanted attention of several land and air-based Guardians during this section, too.
As soon as you touch down on the bank climb up the rockface. You're headed towards the tower marked on the map below - pick your own route but whichever way you go, you'll need to climb and sprint to evade attacks.
Once you get to the base of the tower, you'll need to climb it - ignore the passageway underneath. The climb requires a lot of stamina, but don't concern yourself with the flying Guardian which circles the tower itself - it will ignore you.
Once you're at the top, find the open window and drop down in Princess Zelda's Study. The memory is located just outside, on the walkway which joins the tower to the rest of the castle. Once you've watched the cutscene don't hang about - the flying Guardian will lock on with its laser and attempt to attack.
Spring of Power
If you've activated the warp point at the Akkala Ancient Tech Lab or have accessed the Katosa Aug Shrine, then these are the two closest points to start from. The Spring of Power is easy to find.
Sanidin Park Ruins
From the Central Tower paraglide towards Mount Daphnes. Land and then use one of the nearby peaks to glide crossing the Regencia River. On the large hill ahead there's a horse statue, with the memory close by.
Lanaryu Road East Gate
This memory is right out in the middle of nowhere, and as a consequence you'll find that Kakariko Village's Ta'loh Naeg Shrine is your best starting point. From there, walk towards the Great Fairy Fountain and head through the valley between the two hills (see below).
An unmarked road will take you to through Lanaryu Road's West Gate, through the Lanaryu Heights and (eventually) to Lanaryu Road East Gate. It's a bit of a trek, but at least it's picturesque - although you shouldn't let your guard down as there are several enemies to face along the way.
This one is located near to Central Tower and Dueling Peaks Tower, on a road just off the bank of the Hylia River. If you've activated it, the best place to start from is the Kaya Wan Shrine, just next to the Wetland Stable.
The is the thirteenth and final memory, and is only available once you've found the first twelve. Head to Kakariko village and visit Impa, who will show you a picture with the location. Once you've done this warp to Hetano Tower and head towards Blatchery Plain - if you've already accessed Ha Dahamar Shrine next to Duelling Peaks Stable and have a horse to hand, that's another possible route to this, the final memory.
Once you've unlocked it you'll have a better understanding of the events which occurred 100 years ago, but there's another bonus - you'll get an additional scene when you finish the game.
This is part of our Zelda Breath of the Wild walkthrough, which includes All Shrine Locations And Maps and help with specific shrines, including the Keo Ruug Shrine Puzzle Solution, Mirro Shaz Shrine Puzzle Solution, Sha Warvo Shrine Solution, Shae Loya Shrine Puzzle Solution, Eventide Island - How To Beat The Hardest Shrine Quest, and Shee Vaneer And Shee Venath Shrine Answers and Solutions.
If you're just starting out, Getting Started And Beginner Tips will be useful. We also have BOTW guides to help you with the Tarrey Town Quest, how to get equipment such as the Hylian Shield, the Master Sword, the Green Tunic, and the Radiant Set, plus advice on the Best Clothing And Armour Sets and How To Find Every Item in the Master Trials DLC. We can help you find key places such as All Captured Memory Locations, All Great Fairy Fountain Locations, and Where to find The Lord of the Mountain, too.
If you're looking for general advice on various topics, you might want to check out the Best Recipes And How To Cook Food, How To Farm Star Fragments, How To Farm Dragon Parts, How To Defeat Guardians, How To Shield Surf Like A Pro, and How To Get Unlimited Korok Seeds. And if you're wondering what amiibos work with the game, our guide to All amiibo Unlocks lists them all.