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Spoiler warning: Plot or ending details follow.

Guardians are enemies from The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. They are a group of mechanical enemies, all sharing a similar design and being products of the ancient Sheikah tribe's technology. They were originally programmed to defend Hyrule. However, upon the second rise of Calamity Ganon, the beast corrupted and took control of all the Guardians, turning them against Hyrule as extremely hostile beasts capable of ravaging an entire town alone with their strongest and only attack being a devastating laser of light that is easily capable of killing most living creatures in a single hit. Guardians are resurrected during Blood Moons, despite being mechanical.

Guardians have a weak spot, their eye. Link can cause extra damage and prevent the laser charge by shooting their eye with an arrow. Guardians are particularly vulnerable to the Master Sword and "Ancient" weapons such as Ancient Arrows or Ancient Battle Axes, inflicting more damage than other weapons. "Ancient" armor provides higher protection against them. Simply hitting a Guardian may cause it to shoot a laser, which rids the lock on needed for a Guardian to hit Link. Later, they will be able to fire multiple lasers, with the first hit registering damage, and the following lasers stunning Link further. When nearby to one, the Master Sword will become more powerful as they are possessed by Calamity Ganon.

Story

Spoiler warning: Plot or ending details follow.

Origin

The Guardians were originally created by the Sheikah ten thousands years before the events of Breath of the Wild along with the four Divine Beasts, from their ancient technology, to protect the Hyrule Kingdom and aid the Princess of Hyrule and the Hero to defeat Calamity Ganon and seal him. The Sheikah and their technology was firstly hailed as the power of the gods, but as time went on the people and Royal Family of Hyrule came to fear their power as a threat to the kingdom, resulting in the Sheikah becoming exiles.

Excavation

Main article: Great Calamity

One hundred years before the events of the game, King Rhoam Bosphoramus Hyrule became aware of the prophecy about the inevitable return of Calamity Ganon. This drove a search for the fabled ancient Sheikah relics. Upon their discovery, King Rhoam decided to excavate them. He then formed a group of skilled Champions commanded by Princess Zelda, four elite warriors who were selected from across the kingdom and tasked with the duty of piloting the Divine Beasts to assist Link, the appointed Knight and Hylian Champion. One hundred years prior to the events of Breath of the Wild, while the Champions were making preparations to battle Calamity Ganon, he reappeared and devastated the Kingdom of Hyrule by taking control of the Guardians and the Divine Beasts, killing four of the Champions in the process. A century after the Great Calamity, Link awakens from his slumber in the Shrine of Resurrection he usually first encounters remaining Decayed Guardians at the Eastern Abbey, near the Ja Baij Shrine. He then finds more Guardian variants during his adventure.

Spoiler warning: Spoilers end here.

List of Guardian types

There are several variations of these enemies:

Guardian Stalkers

Main article: Guardian Stalker
Breath of the Wild 2014 E3 Trailer Guardian Chasing Horseback Link (Screenshot)

A Guardian Stalker attacking Link during the 2014 E3 trailer

The Guardian Stalkers found across Hyrule's landscapes are large, mechanical spider-like creatures that remain inactive or partially active until Link approaches. They can fire energy beams from their eye which will explode upon impact. A direct hit can kill Link, unless he wears resistant armor or has high health. If timed correctly, Link can use a shield block to reflect a Guardians' energy beams. He can kill a Guardian Stalker by reflecting the beam five times or less depending on the Guardian and Link's accuracy. Although found mostly in Central Hyrule near Hyrule Castle, some defective ones can be found, in particular at the Temple of Time's ruins near the Great Plateau. Shooting an arrow to its eye can stun it for a short time, allowing for Link to have a chance at combating it using conventional means.

Guardian Scouts

Main article: Guardian Scout

Guardian Scouts can be found in Shrines and on Divine Beasts. They can wield and drop Guardian Swords, Guardian Spears, Ancient Battle Axes, and Guardian Shields of any weapon level (normal, +, and ++). The ones in Shrines do not have a magenta glow, as they were not possessed by Ganon. However, those aboard Divine Beasts do, but this is only a visual difference, as all Guardian Scouts are enemies for Link.

Guardian Skywatchers

Main article: Guardian Skywatcher

Guardian Skywatchers are flying Guardians found in certain parts of Hyrule, particularly south of Tabantha Tower and Akkala Highlands. They also appear in abundance near Hyrule Castle. They have the same HP, weapon, and body to the Guardian Stalkers. However, they are more difficult to hit, since handheld weapons cannot damage them without being thrown, and Link is usually unable to target them, unless at the same height such as on stairs. They have three propellers which can be easily destroyed with Bomb Arrows.

Decayed Guardians

Main article: Decayed Guardian

Decayed Guardians are immobilized versions of Guardian Stalkers located around Hyrule Field and near Ja Baij Shrine (albeit disguised as defective). They are less durable compared to Stalkers, Turrets, and Skywatchers, having a third of their health (500 compared to 1500), they only need to be parried once. They disguise by not having their eyes "active", their bodies glowing magenta, and their heads being retracted. They can be easily distinguished from inactive Guardians by wearing the Champion's Tunic or using the Stasis+ Rune. Unlike the other Guardian variants, they do not drop an Ancient Core.

Guardian Turrets

Main article: Guardian Turret

They are found exclusively in Hyrule Castle. Guardian Turrets behave identically to Decayed Guardians, only with more health and can aim vertically better. They resemble inverted Guardian Skywatchers as their head erects once Link is spotted, causing the Guardian to become more visible.

Sentries

Main article: Sentry

They are found exclusively in Death Mountain. Sentries, like the Guardian Skywatchers, hover in the skies and although they are incapable of attacking directly, they can alert any nearby enemies, in particular Divine Beast Vah Rudania which triggers a hail of magma. They do drop ancient parts, albeit rarely. They also do not drop Ancient Cores, like Decayed Guardians.

Spoiler warning: Spoilers end here.

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