Rooms with multiple game modes In our comparison of BOTW and ALTTP, we found that the clear separation between the different game modes increases the sense of mystery, because the player cannot have clear expectations about what “he” will find and where. Mysterious Mile In this article I critique some aspects of Breath of Nature, but I want to highlight some things that gave me a sense of mystery and wonder: the menacing Lost Forest, the mysterious ruins of Tiflo, and the three deceptively large mazes of the world. Imagine the sense of mystery in ALTTP if the dungeons clearly conveyed “this dungeon follows the classic pattern” or “this dungeon is the exception” as soon as you see the entrance? This would greatly reduce the intrigue of dungeons following the pattern because it would be clear what to expect from them. One question that might be asked to determine if the limited cameras in the game are disconnected from the global world: is there ever any limited camera in the game that has a single connection to the global world? Does navigation in that type of space affect navigation outside of it, and vice versa? And one strategy we can use to increase integration is to design at least some of its elements as an extension of space for that type of confined space, so that navigation in and out of space affect each other. It may seem questionable to emphasize this overlap between game modes: sure, you can explore and find all sorts of secrets in both dungeons and the outside world, why not? But the sanctuaries on both sides show that this is not a given – should all sanctuaries start with a tube elevator? Does it have to be a room separated from the outside world? Consider blessing-type shrines, where the task is to be the first one to find and reach the entrance to the shrine, usually in a hard-to-reach place, while there is no task in the space of the shrine. This can be applied in Nature’s Breath to give ancient shrines a greater sense of mystery, sometimes giving them a separate exit from the entrance. The pattern-breaking surprise is not in itself the main reason for their inclusion, but increases the sense of mystery afterward because the player no longer knows what to expect. But the sense of mystery created by these “exceptions” to the pattern does not translate into sanctuaries, simply because it is very easy to tell if something is a sanctuary or something else. In this article I have focused on the sense of mystery that is especially associated with exploration, and I think it is rarely frustrating not to be able to predict what you will find when you explore a new area. So far, I’ve mostly talked about how to achieve a sense of mystery and wonder by designing systems that never become too formal and predictable so that the player can remain vigilant. One of the questions we can ask ourselves to determine if we’re not getting the best mystery content from the different room types in the game: can the player easily distinguish and clearly associate the different room types with each other? And one strategy we can use to increase ambiguity is to reduce or eliminate values that would otherwise unambiguously distinguish different room types, or to introduce exceptions that question or confuse a simple classification. For an interruption model to be effective, it must arrive late enough for the player to form clear expectations based on a fixed model, but not so late that the greatest perplexity after the interruption is not rewarded. Not only do many elements of the game give a sense of mystery — certainly more than in an open-ended racing game — but there are also many missed opportunities. These design changes would have broken the sharp separation between ancient sanctuaries and other systems and activities in the game, while at the same time making the sanctuaries feel like an integral part of the world.