Zelda: BOTW Diary (27)

Knowing how to defeat the Hinox is going to be critical to succeeding the Eventide Island challenge, and it will be a waste of time running through the challenge only to lose to the Hinox time and again. I need practice and repetition, and a way to experiment with tactics. I don’t want to read any walkthrough, I want to figure it out for myself, for the satisfaction, even though that means the challenge and frustration levels will be higher for me.

I have seen two Hinox in the game at this point: the skeletal one that rose in the forest near the first Stable that I encountered just west of the Dueling Peaks, and the second one was on my recent excursion down the road south of Hateno village. I remember precisely where I saw the second one, but I don’t know that I can find it again easily on the map, and it’s more time consuming to get to.

I wish there was a tutorial battle arena mode in this game, where you could put yourself in a small map of one of the various terrain types, and place say 1-5 enemies in there, so long as they’re of a type you’ve encountered before, and practice fighting them with whatever gear you’ve acquired so far.

Absent that, the next best thing will be to use save states to save the game just before an encounter that I need to practice, and run through it, restore, and run through it some more, as many times as I need to until I feel I’ve mastered it.

OK then. That’s what I’ll do next time I play.

While I’m thinking about it, there’s something else that I’ve found annoying with the controls, having to do with the camera control. In a tight area, such as an enclosed space, or in the woods, or in a treetop, I very often have some useless object blocking my view, such as leaves or whatever. This stuff needs to not be drawn when they block Link’s view, or our view of Link. I’d like it better if the game rendered them transparently, so that you know that they’re there, but otherwise I want to see Link clearly, and I want to see what Link is looking at clearly. Climbing a tree to get a better view of the landscape basically isn’t viable because of this, and being in a dense area of a wooded space also has this problem.

There’s a road leading out of Lurelin village, running along a valley, and I decide to explore along it. I don’t go too far past the nearby shrine, when I spot something that looks interesting up the valley wall to the right. I decide to check it out, and under some odd looking vegetation, I find another korok seed. Back toward the village, I spot a large bokoblin platform, and decide to raid it. I sneak up, do a little sniping, and manage to take out most of them. One of them spots me and runs up to fight me, and I pull out my sword and inadvertently chop down the tree I was hiding behind, but manage to kill him easily. There’s still a few more up on their stand, so I run up and kill them all. They’d been firing arrows at me non-stop while I was behind my tree taking cover, and so I expected that I would be able to harvest maybe 15-20 arrows after the fight was over, but I guess when the tree fell it destroyed them, maybe. I’m a little annoyed, but oh well.

I continue down the road, kindof zig-zagging up and down the walls of the valley to check out whatever looks interesting. I end up climbing up a ridge and walk along it for a ways, then looking down I see a bokoblin menacing a person who looks like he’s from Lurelin village. I drop down on my glider, and take the bokoblin out, dropping on him from above and doing an extra damage strike.

I talk to the fellow I rescued, and he tells me he’s leaving the village to become an scavenger, and how he’s going to get rich hunting treasures around the ruins of Hyrule.

I’m not sure where to go next, but I don’t think I’ve been down south branch of the road, so I head that way, and before not too long I reach a swampy area, where I see some formations that look like massive rib cages from some long dead beast that must have been the size of a mountain. Checking it out, I find… a sleeping Hinox! Just what I was hoping to find. I create a save state, and then approach cautiously, to see if I can get a sneakstrike in on him while he’s sleeping. This doesn’t end up working, but as soon as he wakes up I’m on him, dropping a lot of damage. This one is wearing armor on one of his legs, which makes it a little harder to fight him, since I can only do damage on one side of him. He does manage to hurt me some, but the battle goes my way this time, thanks to my equipment being some of the best weapons I’ve found. I don’t manage to score any eye shots with my arrows, but I take a few attempts at that and manage to get a little closer to hitting the head.

This Hinox has an orb on a necklace, and so I know there must be an altar nearby where I can put it, but I’ve never been to this part of the map, before, and don’t know where it could be. So I loot the area, pick up the orb, and start wandering toward a nearby low hill, hoping that I’ll either find the altar, or be able to see it from up there. The mountain is not very steep, and is more of a hill than a true mountain, but as I’m looking for a walkable path that I can take without having to put the orb down, I come to another swampy area, with another sleeping Hinox!

This one is a darker color than the first one, and probably stronger. There’s also a few bokoblins around him, sleeping, which makes me think this is going to be a rough encounter. I sleepstrike one of the bokoblins, and the Hinox doesn’t wake up. I spot another bokoblin off in the swamp, and for some reason they’re all sleeping, even though it’s the middle of the day. I snipe him with the bow, taking him out with a headshot. I turn around and head back to the slumbering Hinox, and sneakshot the next bokoblin. I don’t see any more, so I think I’m ready to take on the Hinox. I duck down and crawl up near him, and notice him stir a bit, and he raises his arm to kindof scratch himself.

I’ve seen videos showing Link in a Hinox’s hand, being lifted onto his chest, so I try to position myself, climb into the hand, and wait a few seconds, and he obliges, and now I’m on the brute’s chest, with a nice clean shot at his head. I put on my most powerful weapon and charge it up, and take a mighty swing, and it manages to drop him for maybe 1/5th of his total hitpoints. Wow, this guy is tough. Of course he wakes up and is enraged, and I get a flurry of more blows in on his legs.

I sense he’s getting ready to attack so I try to get away, and end up taking only minor damage from the splash of his butt stomp. Then he uproots a tree, and starts coming after me again. I switch to bow, equip my strongest bow, and lock target on him and try to make an eye shot. I fire probably 10 arrows, and all of them connect, but only 1 or two manage to hit him in the eye. He starts trying to cover his eye when I’m readying my bow for another shot, which makes it extra difficult. But this is at least smart AI behavior, and I like it. When I nail him with an eye shot, he is stunned momentarily, allowing me to run up and hit him a bunch of times in the legs, doing a lot of damage in the process.

In the process of running from him, I stumble on another sleeping bokoblin that I missed when I was stalking the camp, and he joins the fight. I’m hoping I can take it out quickly and avoid getting damaged, but before I can do anything, the Hinox throws a tree trunk at us both, and it hits his friend, killing him instantly, and it blocks me from taking damage. Sweet! I manage to score a final eye shot on him, and run up and take a few quick shots to the legs, and he drops.

So now I have two of these orbs, and I still dont’t know where to take them. Looking at the map of the area, I see that there’s a third swamp, and kindof a hill in the center of them, and I guess that’s where I need to go. I carry an orb up there with me, and sure enough I find three altars. I put one orb in, then go back down and find the other, bring it up, and put it in.

Then I go down to the third swamp area, and find a third Hinox. This one is the weakest of the three. I glide down from the mountaintop and land one of the rib-like projections, where I have a very nice vantage point on my sleeping quarry. I save the game here, and try a few different tactics. First, I try headshotting him with the bow, but I don’t have a very good angle to do it, and I don’t think it did any extra damage, maybe I missed the eye or even the head entirely. He wakes up and as he’s walking around, I’m still above his head level, and he doesn’t seem to have any capability to attack above him, which seems like an oversight on the programmer’s part. He’s all about attacking down, but can’t deal with an enemy at treetop level above him. I’d love it if he tore down the rib, or battered it so hard with the tree trunk that it shakes me out and causes me to fall down, or something like that, but none of this happens. I guess the programmers didn’t anticipate anyone would do this.

Well they should have. It would have been great to see the Hinox trying to leap up to grab me, just out of reach, and maybe to grab onto the rib and hang from it, his weight causing it to bend, snap, and if I don’t jump off in time, catapult me through the air, flinging me miles away, if I can even survive the sudden acceleration, much less the landing.

He seems to know where I am, and is standing almost directly beneath me. Now, I could pretty easily just stand here and spam bombs onto him, for however long it takes to bring him down the safe way, but I don’t want to be at it for hours, so I just restore from my save point, and this time I try gliding in and land on his chest. This doesn’t wake him, and I manage to do a sneakstrike with a charged attack. He wakes up, I try to get a few more eye shots on him with the bow, but I don’t manage to get close this time. He gets a lucky hit on me and sends me sprawling, and one of my fairies resuscitates me. Enough playing around, I run up and chop his legs down, and he dies pretty quickly.

I grab his orb and take it up the mountain, and a shrine emerges from the ground. I enter it, and there’s no puzzle or challenge for this one, the shrine master tells me that I’m already worthy by defeating the three giant brothers. I am rewared with a Thunder Blade and a spirit orb. This one looks like it is the bigger version of the Thunder Blade sword that I found in the sunken treasure chest off of Lurelin harbor.

What I don’t get about the Thunder Blade is that it’s clearly a legendary weapon, and I don’t think item drops from Shrine Chests respawn (or do they?) So, if the Blood Moon restores all the dead monsters back to life, and all the really good weapons eventually wear out and break, but don’t replenish, isn’t this a problem? I’m hoping not, that I’m wrong and there’s ways to find these weapons again after they’re used up. Otherwise, this game could be too hard for me if I am taking my time and don’t save my best unique weapons for the encounters they are meant for..

So, great, I have a bit more confidence that I can take out this Hinox on Eventide Island, maybe, with a bit of luck. Looting the marshy area, I find a number of treasure chests, including one with 300 rupees in it, and a lot of old rusty weapons laying about, including claymores and broadswords. It’d be cool if you could take these into town and pay someone to fix them up to make them good as new and restore their durability. But there doesn’t seem to be anything like that in this game

I teleport back to Kakariko village, buy all the arrows in the shop, and grab two fairies at the fairy pond, and sell off a bunch of forage materials for rupees, transport to Hateno, and return to my house, sleep, and save.

Updated: 2020-May-05 — 8:45 pm

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