I return to the region where the Dragon’s Mouth is, and explore the jungle a bit more, but don’t find much. A couple of korok seeds and a few hidden chests with some gems and weapons. Then a Blood Moon happens and all the enemies resurrect, which makes the area dangerous again. I go through the eastern portion of the jungle, running along a rock wall that serves as a border, and explore a couple of lakes, where I find fish and weapons. Eventually I come to a road, and follow it down to the jungle stables. I still haven’t found Farush’s golden scale or whatever, and have no clue where to look for it. The Goddess Hylia hasn’t seen fit to lead me anywhere.
I decide it’s time to explore an uncharted region and try to unlock a tower somewhere. I teleport to the tower on the map called Lake Tower, in the region just south of the Great Plateau, and look around to the West, there’s a lot of area I haven’t been to yet, and then I spot a far off plume of black smoke, so I move in that direction. I cross over a ridge by the horse goddess spring, and the terrain becomes arid and dusty, and I am in Gerudo.
I find my self in the bottom of a wide canyon. I start to explore and before too long I start picking up a signal of a nearby shrine. I find it without too much difficulty, and enter it.
This one is clever. There’s a platform that moves horizontally, on a track, back and forth, with no apparent purpose. Below, I see a treasure chest, the access to which is blocked by what looks like a trip wire laser. On the far wall, there’s another chest up on a high ledge. And in the center of the floor at the bottom of the room is a glowing orange pillar.
I puzzle over what I’m supposed to do here. First I go to the lower chest, and jump over the laser beam easily, and obtain the treasure. I wonder why they had such an easy problem to solve, but don’t think much of it.
Then I inspect the pillar in the center of the room, and try hitting it with a weapon. It switches blue, and a number of platforms in the room shift, changing elevation. I can see that I could now glide to a point that would allow me to gain access to the second chest, but only if there’s a way for me to trip the switch again to move the platforms back.
I try using a bomb to activate the pillar switch, and it works. OK. So I hit the pillar, to set the platforms low, then glide from the entrance platform to the far wall to the lower platform, then trip a bomb to switch back, which raises me to the level of the second chest. Done. The final challenge is a series of platforms that I have to activate a total of 3 times in order to get to the top on the other side, where I will collect my spirit orb.
I can’t figure out what to do, I try setting the round and square bombs, but it only gets me as far as the second last lift, and then I’m stuck. I try using arrows on the pillar switch, and that works, but it doesn’t help because when I’m in the penultimate position I can’t hit it with an arrow. This is the first time I learn that if you have two bombs active, and blow one up, it will detonate the other if it is in the blast radius. So to make this work I have to space the bombs apart enough so that the switch is overlapped by both blast radii, but each bomb is far enough away from the other bomb that they won’t destroy the other.
I also discover that by holding the B button while running, Link can sprint, which uses his stamina meter. All this time I thought of B as “the cancel/put away/say no” button, and never realized it had this feature. I’m over a month into this game, and well over 100 hours logged, and am just now discovering this.
I try and try for about a half hour to figure out the solution to the shrine, get frustrated, and walk over to the laser tripwire, and put a bomb behind it, and then blow it up. I expect nothing to happen, but to my surprise, the block flies across the room. This gives me the idea to try picking it up, and I can! Now I aim it at the pedestal switch, and it activates. Suddenly, I understand the purpose of the horizontal moving platform. I place the laser on the moving platform and each time it sweeps by, it activates the pillar switch, which enables me to get past the final obstacle and clear the shrine.
Exiting the shrine, I resume looking for the pillar of smoke that I had seen from Lake Tower, and find it actually very close to the shrine. There’s a lot of what looks like burned decaying animal or monster remains surrounding the shrine, and then only a short distance away, there’s a woman tending a fire, trying to cook something. She tells me about different recipes that she recommends making, but they all sound awful, and they would result in “questionable meat”. She won’t let me sit at her fire to pass time, either. I’m puzzled as to what her purpose could be in the game.
In the general vicinity of the shrine and the cooking lady, I find a couple more korok seeds, one of which is a very difficult archery challenge with a single balloon target that is extremely close, fast moving, and erratic. I scout around a bit more, looking for anything interesting nearby, and see a stand of what look like baobab trees below, so I fly down to investigate them. When I land, I hear the roar of a lynel, and get scared. He’s nearby and I don’t see him.
Eventually I do spot him, up ahead of my position, and he’s patrolling a wide open plain at the entrance of the canyon that I had to cross in order to get to this side where the shrine is. I try taking him on, but no, he’s got me outclassed, just like the others. I give up, teleport back to the shrine at the top of the canyon, and, just to mess with him, I tried firing bomb arrows down into the valley to see if I can nail the lynel at extreme long range.
He’s a tiny dot down below, and the distance has got to be over a thousand yards, but I find that I am able to make adjustments to my aim by seeing where the explosions land, like you do with artillery, and mange to actually nail the lynel a few times. I note that the bombs cause him to fly back a lot, which is interesting because when I’ve hit a lynel with a bomb arrow more up close, they don’t seem to budge. I also note that the explosions trigger lasting grass fires, which burn for a minute or two before going out, and that they attract the lynel’s interest, who slowly approaches them.
I also note that if I actually hit the lynel with the arrow, rather than with splash damage from the explosion, he is immediately aware of the direction the attack came from, and sharp-eyed enough to actually see me high up on the canyon rim, and he starts attacking me with lightning arrows. He can not only fire three lightning arrows at a time, in a spread, and he can not only lob them up hill back to my position, where they nearly reach me and land just short, hitting the lip of the canyon rim, but he also has some ability to bring down a lightning bolt from above, which can target me pretty much anywhere I happen to be, and will kill me unless I constantly move. After I run away and get out of sight and wait several minutes, they stop, but he’s a lot more persistent than I would have thought.
While I don’t defeat the lynel this way, I do gain some additional knowledge of its powers and behavior.
I decide to try exploring further to the north.
There’s a lot of coyotes, mineral deposits, and more baobab trees, and some new mushrooms and various insects for forage. I encounter a herd of horses, more than I’ve seen in one place before. I count seven or eight, and one looks a bit different from the rest. I notice he doesn’t seem to move much, just stands still, and he looks bigger. As I get closer I realize that he really is bigger. I try to get him, but he runs off. I sneak up again more carefully, and take a photo, and the Compendium identifies it as a Giant Horse, and says he is the last of his kind and very selective about who can ride him. I sneak more carefully, and down an elixir that grants a temporary extra stamina bar, but it doesn’t help enough to tame him, and he throws me.
Instead, I grab a different horse, one that looks like it’ll be a good one, and after I get one, I have to ride it all the way back to the stable near the horse goddess pond. To get there, I have to ride past TWO lynels, and then I encounter a mounted party of about 6 or 7 bokoblins, who give me a chase for a long way. I’m not in any shape to take on that many at once, with a semi-tamed horse, but I eventually outrun them, get to the stable, and when I go to register the horse I learn he’s nothing special at all actually. So I let him go.
I transport back to the shrine at the canyon, and explore the western lip of it, and eventually come back to the area where all the horses were. I explore that area a bit more. It’s pretty desolate, but there’s a lot of rocks that you can pick up and sometimes there’s something good under them, like a rupee. I get to the end of the canyon, which is one of the walls of the Great Plateau.
The walls of the canyon are a bit too tall, sheer, and difficult to climb so I make it a point to upgrade my stamina bar again next time I can. Which, since I just cleared a shrine, I can. I transport to Kakariko village and pray at the statue to receive the stamina upgrade, then buy out all the arrows at the arrow shop, and do a fairy fountain run, and catch 3 fairies.
I have yet to actually get into any uncharted territory, although I have not been through Gerudo before today. I want to try to find a tower so I can get the map info for the next territory over. So rather than return to explore southwest Gerudo, I transport to the shrine on the Great Plateau that was up on the top of the icy mountain, since that was the highest and western-most point of Hyrule that I’ve been to so far, and from there I look to the west. I can see a couple of nearby towers, and then a bit closer, I see a shrine sitting out in the open, and I decide it’s close enough that I can make it there, so I fly down to it,
I reach it without much difficulty. It’s on the top rim of another canyon. This one appears to have some scaffolding and bridges along its walls, and I’m not sure who built them but they do look rather rough. I expect to see some monsters, but no one seems to be around. The shrine is on the far wall of the canyon from where I landed, but it’s an easy secondary glide across, and then a little climb, and then I’m in.
I unlock it but can’t solve it. There’s a conveyor belt running left to right carrying an orange ball that needs to go into a hole behind and below the conveyor. If I had a korok leaf in my inventory, I bet I could use it to blow the ball off the conveyor and into the hole, but I have too many good weapons to spare a slot for a korok leaf, so I’m not carrying one. I try to improvise and use bombs to blow the ball off the conveyor and into the hole, but give up after a long time. I almost get it once or twice, but it’s very difficult to get the timing just right, and I will just have to come back later with the right equipment, and hope that the korok leaf does indeed work.
Leaving this shrine, I continue following along the bottom of the canyon, and hike a very long way, and eventually run into a guy sitting by a camp fire, who says he lost his horse, and would like to get another horse if I can help him. Side quest activated. If I find some more horses, I’ll go find one and bring it here. But the place where I got my last horse, I don’t know how to get here from there on a horse.
I continue onward, and eventually my shrine sensor starts pinging again. I head in the direction of the shrine I’ve picked up, and find it, and another stable. It’s good to find a stable here. Maybe I can give the guy who lost his horse one of my registered horses. Or if not there’s got to be some more horses nearby.
There’s a bunch of familiar faces at this location. Kass, the bird-man, is here and he sings me another song, about the heroes from 10,000 years ago. The lyrics for this song are written in an awkward meter that reminds me of when Rudy Ray Moore would recite one of his rhymes in the Dolemite movies. So I read the lyrics and hear Dolemite in my head, and it’s unintentionally funny. Nintendo should hire better poets. Unlike Kass’s other songs, this one has an animation to go with it, which makes it seem more significant.
Another person at the stable tells me about a legendary sword that can be found in a woods, I think he said in Hyrule Forest, and I think he said it’s near Gerudo, which is to the Southwest. So that’s an important clue, I bet that will be the Master Sword. And the painter man who appears in other villages is here too, and he tells me about one of my 12 memory photos, and where I can find it. Maybe this was the spot to the southwest. I’ll have to go back and double check to refresh my memory.
Finally, I talk to a guy who says he got separated from four of his friends when they were attacked by monsters and he ran away. He would like me to find them for him if I can.
OK, so I still haven’t opened a tower. I look on the map and see a couple of stamps for towers that are near here, and I pick the nearest one of the two, and head there.
It’s a pretty straight shot, but I have to do a lot of climbing to get there. I head straight for it, and don’t take any time to look at things or pick up anything that isn’t immediately in front of me, and this allows me to get there pretty quick.
I get to the tower, and find that it’s standing in a lake of boiling mud that will kill me if I fall in it. I’m up high enough that I should be able to glide to the tower, no problem. But when I try, the wind picks up and blows so hard I can’t make any headway. I land on the ground by the lake of mud, and observe a quantity of metal boxes strewn about. So I use the magnet power to put the boxes in the mud to stack them up to create islands that I can hop onto.
There’s some stone pillars standing upright in the lake of mud, and it looks like I just need to make it to the first one, and then I should be able to climb it and jump to the next one, climb it, jump to the next one, and so forth until I get to the tower. But while I’m moving the boxes, I accidentally nudge the first block and it falls, domino-like, into the next, and triggers them all to fall into the tower, making for a much less difficult climb, with no risky jumps.
I ascend the tower, download my map data, and have a look around to see what I can see.
Off to the north, I can see what I think must be Hyrule Castle, and I can also see a volcano which I’m guessing is either Death Mountain, or where the Gorons live. I’ve seen the volcano from a bunch of spots around the map, and it always seems far away. To the north, I see a mountain that appears to be split in two, like the Dueling Peaks near the very first horse stable I encountered on the road to Kakariko, but I don’t think this mountain I’m looking at is that one. I pin it with the Sheikah scope, and double check the map, and I’m right — it’s not the same mountain. This gives me some hope, as one of the memory photos in the album looks like it is of the Dueling Peaks, and about a week ago I traveled to where I thought the spot that photo had been taken from was, and when I got there I did unlock a new memory, but it wasn’t the one for the picture showing the Dueling Peaks in the background. So maybe that photo is of this mountain instead? How weird that there should be two mountains so similar to each other in one world.
There’s also a ton of interesting sites nearby. There’s a circle of massive statues, below me and to the south, an easy glide away, and a ruins a bit further out that looks fairly large, and then I see the Divine Beast that looks like a camel. It’s huge, like mountain sized, and enshrouded in a massive cloud of dust.
This seems like a good place to stop and rest.