Zelda: BOTW Diary (26)

Once more, I attempt to conquer the Eventide Island challenge.

I try to go about it smarter. I have four spirit orbs, so I can exchange them for a heart container, which will put me up to 5 and maybe that will be all the edge I need. So I do that.  I also pay to sleep at an inn, getting the extra comfy bed, which boosts my health by one additional temporary heart, putting me at 6.

I also decide to try alternate approaches to the island. Maybe landing on the south beach side isn’t the best? I seem to run into enemies there immediately, maybe there’s a better way on the north side of the island. One theme that seems to be recurring in BOTW is that taking the direct and straightforward approach is usually the hardest way to go, and if you go around there’s almost always an advantage that you can find that will make things a lot easier.

I try overshooting the island to the west and come around. There’s a few rocks offshore, and the raft gets around them OK. I decided to explore the rocks, and found a treasure chest in the water, and in it there are 10 arrows. Unfortunately, as soon as I set foot on the rocks, the challenge begins, my equipment is taken away from me, and I haven’t yet been able to take out a single aquatic octorock, and there are two on this side of the island, and they both wake up and start shelling me, and I’m completely defenseless.

I take 3-4 hits just swimming to the main island, scramble up the rock, climbing too slowly, but I don’t get hit again, and I run away. I’m already down about half my health, and basically screwed myself. The bokoblin tree stand camp where I found the first orb is here, and they spot me and start shooting arrows at me. I run for it, and make it around the edge of the island, just out of the range of their vision, and disappear into the jungle.

Fire chu chus are common on the island, and they keep appearing, burning down big swaths of jungle in their wake. I avoid coming close to them, and blow them with bombs when i can do it safely.

Nearly everything I try to do, I screw up though. I suck. I admit it, but goddamnit, I suck. I just do not have the knack for fine control with the analog sticks, and it doesn’t matter whether I’m in mobile mode using the joycons, or docked and using the wired controller. Fine control is nothing nothing nothing nothing nothing sudden extreme movement overcorrection and screwup. I climb trees when I’m trying to run away. I can’t climb a tree when I want to climb it. I duck and sneak slowly away while enemies are right on me beating my ass and I’m trying to run. I get to the edge of a platform and fall down just before I’m ready to do a big jump. In short, I’m clumsy, and I shouldn’t feel like this, but I think it’s not me, it’s the controller. The dead zone is too big, and then nearly the moment you’re out of the dead zone, you’re at full motion, and this takes away all the fine, slow movement that you need to be able to do. I whip around wildly like a drunk idiot.

Most of the time, it doesn’t matter in this game. When there’s no pressure, no combat going on, and all you need to do is walk around or climb, or glide, the controls aren’t a problem. There are tremendously long stretches in this game where you don’t have to fight anything. But the moment you do, the controls matter, and doing anything that requires precision and timing is just an exercise in frustration.

I’m going to have to see about trying a Pro controller and see what kind of difference it makes.

Despite my frustration with the controls, I do manage to scout quite a bit and manage to find a few things that will make this island challenge a bit more possible:

In the boiling mud pond where I found the wood cutter’s axe, there’s also a hidden treasure chest sunk in the ground, inside of which is a claymore sword. This is a weapon with actually decent damage output, and will make combat considerably easier.  But it’s a slower weapon, as well, and fighting with it will give the weaker enemies a bit more of an opportunity to get their short in.  I’m actually fine fighting them with the boko spears and skeleton arms that I find, despite them breaking after just a few hits, they are faster, do enough damage, and are replenishable.  So I’ll save the claymore for when I really need it.

If I’m lucky, I can get a boko skeleton to drop a bow, which gives me some improved odds of sniping enemies at a safe distance, without having to rely on bomb spamming. Arrows are still in short supply, though. But if you want arrows, you can taunt the bokoblin archer sentries for a while, and they’ll shoot all the arrows you could possibly want, and all you have to do is dodge and pick them up.  The tree platform camp also has a couple of 5x arrow drops, which are great to pick up if I don’t blow them up with bombs accidentally.

There’s a couple of other rusty swords and shields laying around on the island, on the beach and elsewhere. Combined with the boko skeleton arms, boko spears, and tree branches, you can fill out your inventory slots for weapons pretty quickly.

The thunderstorms are super annoying, since you can’t savestate and restorepoint your way through this challenge, and dodging lighting is very nearly impossible.

But I figured out how to find shelter from the storm.

First, disable your weapon, or arm yourself with a wood weapon. Lightning seems to be attracted to metal. Second, get under cover, and out of the open.

Standing on the beach or on a hill is deadly. Running into the jungle and getting into the trees helps a bit. Lighting will strike trees and start fires, and trees will fall down and can hurt you, so it’s still not completely safe, but it’s a lot less risky under the canopy cover.

I found a rock formation near the bubbling mud pond that has just a little bit of an overhang to it, and I can duck and shelter in there until the storm passes. As long as monsters don’t spawn nearby, forcing you to move and equip weapons, it’s the safest option. The storms can last upwards of ten minutes or so, or at least it seems like it, so this is time consuming.

I can use the bokoblin beach camp fire to manipulate the clock, by sitting down and waiting for morning. It seems that morning is an unlikely time for a rain storm, and most of the storms occur in the late afternoon just before evening. So resetting the clock is a smart way to avoid both the deadly thunder storms, and the night enemies. By only being active in the day time once you’re armed with bow and swords, you avoid a lot of unnecessary combat, and that’s very important since you need to conserve your weapons and health.

There’s a lot of forage in the island, jungle fruits, a few wild animals, and a lot of fish just offshore. If you bomb the waters off the shore, you can get a lot of fish. All the food can be cooked by tossing it onto the bokoblin beach camp fire, and while you can’t cook mixed dishes this way, anything you cook will give you better benefit than eating it raw. Once you’re fully stocked up on mushrooms, bananas, palm fruits, and whatever else you can find, you don’t have to worry as much about taking a little damage in a fight and being unable to heal. By an amazing stroke of luck I manage to catch a fairy in the jungle one night, which effectively gives me an extra life, and my best chance so far of completing this mission.

Taking out the bokoblin beach camp and the tree stand with the first orb are both pretty easy. Taking out the bokoblins up the hill on the southeast corner of the island is a bit tougher, and if it wasn’t for the controllers screwing me up left and right, I’d probably be able to clear these guys out without too much difficulty.

There are some buffed octorocks on the island that are really annoying. The offshore ones are bad enough, but in addition to them, the ones in the jungle are particularly well disguised. They have a harder time hitting you with all the tree cover around, but they can surprise you, plus they can hide and move again and a gain. There’s one who sits under a treasure chest in the vicinity of the southwest corner of the jungle part of the island, and he’ll pop out of the ground, slamming you with the chest, which can nearly one-shot you, plus it knocks you down, briefly stunning you. And there’s a white octorock up the hill on the southeast corner, just before the big camp where you fight several bokoblins and electric chu chus. The white octorock has a wind attack that can screw you up in many ways, blowing you around, sending your arrows or bombs off course, flanking you with artillery fire just as you’re starting your attack on the camp, etc. Taking these guys out is a high priority, but even you know they’re there, they’re still dangerous, and messing up taking them out can ruin a good run.

I managed to get pretty far, putting the first orb in place, and clearing out the three bokoblin camps. That’s when I notice, down the hill from the southeast corner of the map, there’s a sleeping Hinox, and he has one of the orbs around his neck on a necklace. Mother of God. So I have to take out this Hinox with nothing stronger than my claymore sword, and a couple of arrows. There are two huge boulders on the hill, and I think rolling them down might do a bunch of damage and start the fight off with some advantage. Wrong. The boulders barely roll at all, and kinda just nudge the Hinox awake, he sees me, gets pissed off, and runs up the hill to fight me.
I’m terrible with the bow, especially if I’m trying to run and dodge, but it seems obvious that hitting this thing in the eye will do a lot of good, but I can’t pull it off. I nail him about the chest with about 5-6 arrows, shoot a few more over his head, run out of ammo, and they hardly do any damage at all. And then I’m out. I switch to the claymore, and start chopping away at his legs, and he just takes me out with a butt stomp move.

I haven’t studied the strategy guides to learn how to effectively combat these guys, but for the most part they’re slow, cumbersome brutes that seem fairly easy to dodge, if you’re halfway competent at it, which I’m definitely not. I probably didn’t manage to knock him down more than a quarter of his hitpoints, when he connects with me, finishing me off.
Maybe I’m not meant to come here until after I have more power. Maybe 5 heart containers just isn’t enough. Maybe there’s some more tactics that I should practice before I try this again.

One thing’s for sure, though, if I could save, and restore from my last bit of progress, this challenge would be a lot less frustrating and difficult.

I really love the setup and the tactics and strategy that I’m forced to discover in this situation, but I really hate getting far into it and then screwing up one thing and dying, and have to start all over again from all the way back at the Lurelin village dock, and I definitely think that the controllers are screwing me more than anything. That’s a bad form of frustration and I guess it makes the challenge level high and that makes it more memorable. But I would prefer the game allow me to save progress at certain milestones: landing the raft; placing the first orb, etc.
I might have to come back to this challenge another time, when I have more heart containers, and better ability with the controls, or possibly a better controller, and some experience fighting Hinox.

I still don’t know where the 3rd orb is.

Updated: 2020-May-04 — 8:08 am

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