Zelda: BOTW Diary (20)

I continued my search for my lost memories.

First I went to the stables to get my horse. Here, I found that Horsey was alive and well, and had been re-boarded automatically. I signed out Horsey again for old time’s sake, even though Horsey isn’t the fastest now. We headed out down the road, back toward the Great Plateau.

Consulting my photo album and the map, I headed to where I thought the picture showing the Dueling Peaks had been taken. The photo shows the peaks off in the distance, the taller of the two is on the right, and in the foreground is a small lake or pond, with a fairly large boulder in the middle of the frame, on the near shore, and a couple of beech trees in the foreground off to the side.

I thought I could find it, and I headed off in the direction of the Great Plateau, crossing the bridge and checking back over my shoulder every so often to see if the perspective was getting closer.

Past the bridge, I encountered ruins that were infested with bokoblins and moblins, and I took my time going through there, killing them as I encountered them.

Near the bridge, there was a shrine that I had somehow missed on my way out to Kakariko village, so I went in and cleared it. There was a series of fans that I could use to boost my glide speed and cross horizontal gaps without dropping altitude. I easily obtained the spirit orb, but the second of two treasure chests was beyond my ability to figure out how to get to it. I bet there’s something good in there, too.

I gave up on it, and left the shrine. The weather was bad, and it started raining very hard, and then there was lightning strikes! I ran for cover and just barely got out of the way of a thunderstrike, which still knocked me off my feet, but didn’t do a lot of damage. I got up, and another lightning strike came out of nowhere and nearly killed me. I ran back to the shrine and got under cover, and this seemed to keep me safe. I even called Horsey to take shelter as much as I could get him to fit inside the shrine doorway. I didn’t want to find out if lighting would hurt him.

On horseback, it’s fun to gallop and charge enemies at full speed, swinging at them as you pass. Targeting seems semi-automated, which makes it fairly easy to connect with them, and it seems to do extra damage, and is hard for the enemies to hit you, so it seems like a very advantageous tactic. I am not quite so good at stopping, reversing direction, and passing through on another charge, though, so I need to work on this more.

I eventually made it all the way to the base of the Great Plateau, when another lightning storm suddenly came up, and I had to take shelter under a tiny overhang along the pleateau wall. There were moblins directly in sight, and I don’t know how they didn’t spot me. I guess it was dark and all. If they had seen me, I think it would have been very difficult to fight them in the rain with lightning crashing down about us.

I waited out the storm, clinging to the wall and crouched down, trying to keep out of sight. The storm cleared and it was sunny again, and morning. I consulted the map and determined that I needed to head further south. I observed that there was a road heading in the direction I needed to go, so I followed it, and made pretty good time with Horsey making it a bit faster than it would have otherwise, but I don’t think I was as thorough as I could have been in terms of searching and exploration. But, with as many enemies as there are in the vicinity, I really wanted speed and the capability to outrun them if I ran into a group I didn’t think I could handle.

I rode South until I came to a bridge with twin tower gates at either end. It was in ruins, but looked to have been a strong fortification at one time. I rode across the bridge at full gallop, and in the center of the bridge, it widened into a round sort of courtyard-like area, with a fountain in the center. There were three lizard guys standing guard, and I surprised one, smashing it with my sword as I ran by at full speed, Horsey adding a bit of trampling damage as well. A lizard guy off my right flank started firing arrows, and then a third one on the far side of the fountain began to close in, and I decided the best thing to do was keep going, so I did, breaking through them easily, and made it to the other side.

I was in an unmapped region of the world at this point, and so I spotted the tower and proceeded to head toward it. The terrain here was interesting, different from other parts of Hyrule that I’ve been to so far. Rocky, but the rock formations had a distinct shape about them, jutting up out of the ground at an angle, creating slopes. I really like the design work that the put in to the geography. Everywhere you go, it’s beautiful and intereseting to explore.

I was making my way up hill, toward the tower, when I spotted a bokoblin in the distance, and it looked like he was heading away from me. I followed him a bit, and observed that he was heading toward his home camp. I quickly spotted two other bokoblins, and then two more, for a total of five. It looked like they were guarding the pass. The road wasn’t really a road anymore, but it was a walkable path between two higher ridges of rock, creating a sort of natural corridor. I decided against risking a frontal assault uphill, figuring that would be the toughest way to take them on, and likely suicide. I did manage to take out the returning bokoblin with an arrow to the head before he got back to his companions, and then I climbed to the top of the ridge along the stone corridor, and looked for a bit to see who else is around.

Wouldn’t you know it, off to my left there was a similar group of those lizard guys. At least four, probably more, and they’re a lot nastier. Fast, better armed, much better fighters. They go down pretty quickly if you hit them with a good weapon, but I was suddenly feeling rather outnumbered, and needed to employ stealth and strategy if I was going to get through this.

I didn’t have that many arrows left, and there wasn’t any rocks or explosive barrels about, so I would have to rely on rolling Sheikah bombs down to them. Fortunately, this worked rather effectively, and I managed to take out both groups without coming to harm, and minimal use of weapons. I did have one or two spots where I had to finish someone off up close and personal, but I managed to soften them up with bombs and arrows, and only had to land a coup de grace with the sword on a nearly dead foe who managed to spot my position and climb up to get at me.

I was starting to run low on good weapons at this point. The better stuff that I had obtained in the vicinity of Hateno village was all used up, and I’d been picking up inferior drops form the bokoblins and moblins near the plateau. The lizard guys had some interesting gear, including a “boomerang” sword that had a weird bend to it. It was short-range, but very fast, and did repsectable enough damage.

At the base of the tower, there were three final lizard guys to get past. I thought I might be able to avoid them and just climb up the far side of the tower, but I messed up and the spotted me. I headshotted one with an arrow, and then quickly followed up with a bomb, blowing him up and doing some splash damage to the other two. Two of them were fairly weak, and I could probably take them out up close pretty easily if I had to, but the last one was very tough, and had a nasty looking weapon, and I knew he’d be trouble.

I jumped down to try to make this as quick as possible, and engaged them with my sword, which broke almost immediately. I switched over to my double bladed axe, which I’d been carrying for a long time, and had been saving for cutting wood, but hadn’t needed it since I’ve been felling trees with bombs instead. This axe was fantastic, and swung very nicely, much, much better than the woodsman’s axe you get in the start of the game. It seemed to do double hits and I could swing it around for a follow-through blow and do some secondary damage. It felt nimble and just a very nice weapon to have in this situation, where I had two enemies up close against me and needed to land strikes on both of them to keep them from being able to counter-attack me. I somehow managed this much better than I have any previous combats, and actually took down the tough guy without him hitting me even once, and took only minor damage from the weaker fellow.

I grabbed the tough guy’s weapon and it was a dragon bone lizafos spear, which has a damage rating of 45! If he’d hit me even once with that thing, it would have killed me for sure in one shot. This is nearly 2x the next best weapon I’ve found so far, the knight’s broadswords that I kept finding south of Hatenov village.

I cleared out the Lizalfos little camp area, and then proceeded to climb the tower. The climb was easy, and I activated it and updated my map. Then surveyed the lands surrounding the tower using the Sheikah scope, noted a few interesting landmarks, and pinning them on the map for later exploration.

Out in the distance, I spotted a shimmering pale dragon flying through the air. It was one of the Four Legendary Beasts! (Edit: I was wrong about that.) I snapped a photo of it, and wondered what I needed to do with it. It was huge, and clearly I could in no way be a match for this creature in a fight. It did not appear to notice me, though, and it was very far off in the distance, so I did not worry too much about it.

Remembering my original purpose, I went back to studying the new map to see if I could see any areas that looked like they had the right geographical features and were in the right location to be where that photo had been taken. Sure enough, I found a likely looking spot, back the way I came, over the fortified bridge, and then across another river.

I called Horsey and got back on him and we rode back. I was feeling bold and thought I’d try to take out the Lizalfos who were guarding the bridge, who I had rode through on the way out. I charged and dealt a double blow to the first one, but he wasn’t finished off yet, and he got up and gave chase. These things are super fast, and he was right on me. I tried riding in a circle around the courtyard-fountain part of the middle of the bridge, but got hung up on a corner of the bridge, and then horsey ran right off the edge, and we plummeted into the river below! It was probably about 60-100 feet down, and we survived the fall, but I had nowhere nearby to swim to safety. Horsey began swimming for the shore on his own, and I could not whistle for him to come, because I was swimming and you can’t call the horse when you’re swimmming or climbing. I tried to do a dash move to catch up to Horsey, hoping that I might be able to mount him and ride out to safety, but in the end I couldn’t keep up with him, and kept missing, used up my stamina meter, and drowned.

I respawned, back on the bridge, and on foot. No Horsey! And now I had to fight the three Lizalfos on foot, and wouldn’t be able to run from them if I coulnd’t handle it. I considered just using the Sheikah slate to travel to a shrine near where I wanted to look for the photo location, but I didn’t want to take the easy way out, and it felt too cheap to over-rely on that. I just ran up and quickly hit them with that wicked boomerang sword, and made quick work of the three guards. I checked the area for loot and picked up a few weapons to fill the empty slots that I’d created by breaking weapons in fights. My arsenal was starting to dwindle, and the replacements were not as good as what I came in with, but would do.

Then I looked down in the river to see if I could see Horsey, and there he was! He was still swimming to shore, and had a long way to go. I think it took him probably twenty minutes. I kept an eye on the map, which shows his location, and it was a LONG swim. I guess horses do not get tired. Horsey’s course had him making the far shore of the river, right by where I needed to go anyway.

I climbed up a bridge tower, and hang glided to the near-shore bank of the river, which was at high elevation, an area on the map called Scout Hill, and then from there I glided across the river, right to where I wanted to go. Horsey showed up eventually, about 5 minutes later. I called for him, and he came to me! I was surprised and thrilled to be reunited. I found the spot where I thought Zelda had taken the photo 100 years ago, and found one of the 12 spots that unlock my lost memories! But to my surprise, the memory I had found was for a different photo! This photo is the one showing two little statues near a large, gnarled tree. So now I am very puzzled. How did I guess the wrong location for one of the photos and have it end up being the right location for one of the other photos?

The memory triggered was of a conversation between Link and Zelda, where she asks Link if he would choose to be someone different if he knew he wasn’t meant to be a warrior, but had been told that he had to be one because of his family tradition. It seemed like Zelda was hinting that she felt that she wasn’t meant for the life she was told she must lead, and that she felt she had to disobey expectations and be who she knew she was meant to be.

I guess a lot of people have conflicts about their lives.

I explored the area near the lake where the memory trigger location is, hoping that I would find a second trigger location nearby, because it seemed very certain that I was in the right vicinity for the photo I was thinking of. But all that came of it was I found several more korok seeds, some rupees, and fought a few more lizalfos. I think I’m up to nearly 30 korok seeds by now. I enjoy finding them, and I enjoy the incentive and reward they offer for exploring every last corner of the world. They make it rewarding for going to places that you’d ordinarly probably find too difficult to bother going to otherwise, but are very worth it for the view. And there’s usually some kind of puzzle or challenge involved to reveal the korok. Some are just a matter of finding a special flower, or standing in a circle of plants or stones. Others are hidden under rocks, or up a tree, or on top of a hill. Some you find by placing apples in offering baskets next to the little deity statues that people pray at. These are neat little games within the main game, but have precious little to do with stopping Ganon, other than that you can trade the seeds in for inventory slots. But it seems like they make the quest to destroy Ganon a lot more circuitous. Not that I mind; I really enjoy finding them, and the game would be less enjoyable without them. But strictly from a storytelling standpoint, they seem to pad the game out a lot and it takes away from the urgency of the main quest.

Like, imagine you were watching a movie, where the hero is on a quest to destroy the big evil, and he has the mcguffin, and he knows where he needs to go with it, but rather than do that, he goes to literally every square inch of the world first, for reasons that are at best tenuously related to the central conflict and plot. And this made the movie run 200 hours long, instead of 2.

Well, that’s the difference between film and video games.

I decided that was enough for one night.

Oh. I almost forgot about a couple of other noteworthy things that I have enjoyed and need to mention.

In the new part of the world, there are FLOCKS of Keeses that will attack you all together in a swarm! You get stormed by like 20-30 Kees all at once. Normally they come at you 3 at a time, but it’s really something when you get a huge cloud of them come at you. You can take down a bunch of them, but you never get the whole swarm, and they inevitably do some damage to you. They are a lot of fun, and are quite a surprise the first time they come at you.

Second, I’ve observed several instances where bokoblins and moblins are engaged in doing something nominally evil, and you happen upon them, and have a choice to make, to intervene and be the hero, or not. Sometimes they are menacing travelers on the road, but often I have run into them trying to hunt an animal, usually a boar, or sometimes trying to catch a horse. They never seem to kill the boar, but chase it around in circles for as long as you care to watch at a safe distance, until such time as you decide to intercede and turn the hunters into the hunted. It’s a nice bit of world-building flavor to present the bokoblins doing things in the game world that aren’t simply standing in the way of the hero to become fodder for experience points and loot drops, but give you a new way to interact with them, or just observe them. So much of this game is that it’s simply enjoyable to sit in a spot and watch and observe time passing and things happening in a natural way, like the sun setting, or a storm coming in. Oh, that reminds me, you can see rainbows over Hateno village after the frequent rainstorms there. Rainbows, really!

Updated: 2020-May-03 — 10:03 am

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