It turns out there’s a few areas I had yet to explore in the jungle region.
I get on my horse and take a ride out on the road, and let him take me where he wants to go, and I end up in a part of the map I hadn’t wandered to on my own. Somehow or other I had just missed this entire branch of the road, and it takes me through some low-lying jungle floor part of Faran.
I don’t get to explore much, for one because I’m on horseback, but more because it’s raining like hell again, and I am dodging thunderbolts. I forget that I’m equipped with a metal weapon until I start sparking, and just in the nick of time do I put it away, and thanks to Horsier’s speed, I just barely evade a humongous thunder blast that crashes behind me. Wow.
I continue on the road a ways, until I notice a bridge up ahead, and I almost stumble right into a bokoblin treehouse. This one is up an embankment to the right of the road I’m following, and there’s a ramp leading up to it, but it’s destroyed, and I have to climb up a tall tree right next to their platform, and jump over. Fortunately the bokoblins are pretty weak, and I take them down quickly. I find an opal, and a few arrows, which is good, because I’m all out of normal arrows.
I’m also hearing Kass’s accordion song again, and after crossing the bridge I find him at the road side, and here he’s singing a song about a dragon and a secret shrine that’s located in its jaws.
I puzzle over what this could mean, and continue down the road a ways, and run into an ambush of lizalfos, which I just ride through, speeding up a bit, but then not much past them I run into another ambush of bokoblins. These guys have arrows, and I want them, so I dismount and run them down, killing them all pretty quickly, without taking too much damage. I manage to get up to 19 arrows, pretty good replenishment up from 0 without having to spend a rupee.
A little further down the road, I run into a girl who I’ve encountered a few times, who is always talking about dragons. Something she says clues me in to check the map for a river that looks like a dragon, and sure enough, there’s a river that looks to me like a dragon. But it’s clear on the other end of the jungle area. I look again at the map, and there’s another river nearby that looks like a dragon too, and I decide this looks more like a dragon than the other one (I mean, who knows, really, and is it really a contest?) but this one has a much more pronounced delta that looks like jaws, so I go to check it out.
It seems the most direct way is to follow the river, which means leaving Horsier behind. I dismount near the bridge, and right by the bridge, there’s three rocks in the river. Two of the rocks have smaller rocks on top of them, and the third rock is bare. I scan the water with magnet-vision, and spot a third rock. This seems like a novel korok puzzle, but I can’t figure it out. The rock in the water was chained to one of the other rocks, and the slightest movement causes the first rock to fall off the rock. It’s extremely touchy, even with plenty of slack on the chain, so I feel like it’s an unfairly difficult puzzle due to poor physics simulation of the chain.
After several minutes of frustrating attempts, I finally try arranging ice blocks to hold the rock in place, but it doesn’t work. I give up and move on down the river.
Further in, I find a circle of water plants in the river, which I know from other ones is another korok spot. I jump in and find my guy.
I’m up to 78-79 korok seeds, and have yet to find Hestu again to give him more of them. Where the hell could he be? I first encountered him on the road, maybe I should try traveling down more roads, instead of veering off all the time to check out the local forage or hunt for more korok seeds. But the road has a lot more encounters, and if you want to get anywhere, you need to avoid them. But if I want to find a guy who’s known to hang out on the side of the road, I can’t avoid them!
Well, I continue down the river, and check the map to note my progress and correct course every so often.
Eventually, I get up to the area near the mouth of the river. I encounter two lizalfos ahead of the mouth, and then I enter into an open area. There are a couple of small, primitive foot bridges crossing some water into the center of the delta, and I can see stone ruins, pillars, and statues that have an ancient look to them.
Upon entering into the area, I’m immediately attacked. Horn blasts, and then lightning arrows. The lizalfos here are well equipped, and there’s a good 8 of them, I think. I’m quickly incapacitated by a shock arrow, and drop my weapon, and then am killed quickly thereafter.
I try again, with another frontal assault, feeling I’m ready this time, but I’m really not, and I quickly go down again. The lizalfos are so fast afoot, jumping and dashing, and they are hard to close to fight hand to hand. And at range, I can’t move much while I try to aim, and the arrows don’t do enough damage to take them down quickly. So I don’t have much good options to take them on this way, and my execution is even worse than my non-existent tactics.
Determined, I take a sneakier approach on my third attempt, and skirt around the outside of the kill zone. I stalk the lizalfos, one at a time, and kill them quietly, a single shock arrow to the head in most cases, and in some cases at extreme range, angling my shot to arc high into the air in order to get the range I need to connect. This works much better, and I clear the area methodically, probing ahead cautiously and backing off when I find the next target, assessing, and then taking it out with cruel, merciless stealth.
At the far end of the kill zone there’s an ancient stone construction built to look like a dragon’s head.
The mouth of the dragon is guarded by two more powerful lizalfos, but I spot them from far off, and take them down the same as I did the first 8, the only difference being that these two take several arrows to bring down.
The final enemy is a moblin, even more powerful than the two elite lizalfos. This one I could probably take on hand to hand, but I’m in bow mode, and I just lob bomb arrows in from probably the maximum possible range I can hit from using the bow, and drop him. In all, I’ve expended a small fortune on special arrows, but it was worth it, I had an easy time and got through it by using my abilities effectively and planning.
Inside, I’m expecting the usual shrine, but instead of that, I found a different sort of… I guess temple? Altar? Whatever you want to call it, it’s a statue, similar to those where I’ve prayed at to trade spirit orbs for heart containers or stamina meter upgrades. This one tells me about a quest, that I need to find a scale from this dragon, and then do something with it? I’m kinda vague on what I remember from this. I’ll go back and read it again.
Also, on top of the dragon head temple, there’s what looks like another korok puzzle, a rock block arrangement that I have to match to the one next to it. This one appears to be missing perhaps two blocks, so I go looking for blocks. Much later, it dawns on me that maybe the first one has the extra block that needs to complete the other one, so rather than one needing two blocks, one needs to give one to the other. Sure enough, that’s the solution, and I feel so smart that I figured it out on my own by just intuition and reading the obscure visual language of the puzzle correctly. This one was more difficult than most, but not as frustrating as the river stones that were chained together.
Hmm, I wonder if I hit the chain with a strong weapon if it might break, and then I could… Hmmmm.
I’m sure there must be a lot more in the area, but it’s night and not a good time to be foraging in a place that’s likely hostile and I’m not confident I’ve completely cleaned out the entire area, although for the immediate moment I appear to be alone and safe.
I wish there was a fire nearby that I could sit next to until morning, but you know how that goes.