A Breath of the Wild guide ended up in the new novel from The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas author

By Kirk McKeand
3 August 2020 09:41 GMT

SEO is a powerful weapon when deployed correctly. For video game websites, the idea is to answer the questions players will ask Google, such as: “what ingredients do I need to dye clothes red in Breath of the Wild?”

The author of Holocaust novel The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas recently released his new book, A Traveller at the Gates of Wisdom. Like his previous novel, John Boyne explores human history through a fictional lens. The characters aren’t real, but the events they experience are. It’s the kind of work that has a lot of research behind it.

In one passage, Boyne explains the dressmaking process, which requires a red dye. He writes, “The dyes that I used in dressmaking were composed from various ingredients, depending on the colour required, but almost all required nightshade, sapphire, keese wing, the leaves of a silent princess plant, Octorok eyeball, swift violet, thistle and hightail lizard. In addition, for the red I had used Abrila’s dress, I employed spicy pepper, the tail of the red lizalfos and four Hylian shrooms.”

These are all ingredients from The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. It appears as if the author did a cursory Google search of “ingredients red dye clothes” and turned up an SEO snippet of a guide from a gaming website. Writer Dana Schwartz did the detective work in the Twitter thread below:

Boyne has since held his hands up at the mistake and laughed it off with a “my bad”, so at least he’s a good sport about it.

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