I transport back to the shrine near the wasteland stable, and talk to everyone there again.
One of the people was with a group that was attacked by monsters, and he was the only one who made it back. I decide to help him out first, and ride Horsier out to where he said they were when they got attacked. I get out there, and I’m down in a narrow canyon, just wide enough for a road, and not much more. There’s a series of catwalks above me on the right, and they bridge over the canyon to the left. One of the people is being attacked by a couple of bokoblins, and I quickly leap into action and dispatch them. The girl I rescue tells me the rest of her group are up ahead, so I run up the scaffold and fight bokoblins as I come to them. I’m wielding a big spiked bokoblin bat, or was it a moblin club, I forget . It packs a wallop and knocks enemies off the catwalk in two hits, leaving them mostly dead, and the fall to the canyon floor takes care of the rest.
This is weird, but good. When I’ve knocked enemies off of a high place with a bomb, they have survived impossibly long falls somehow, and I had been assuming that enemies do not take falling damage, perhaps by way of compensating for poor pathfinding AI and a tendency for them to fall to their deaths, maybe. But now I am starting to suspect that enemies simply have different falling physics when they are blown into the air by a bomb, and they don’t take extra damage from the fall, perhaps because Nintendo didn’t want to make bombs too powerful, since you get an unlimited supply of them and by themselves they do fairly weak damage. But maybe the enemies do take falling damage if you knock them off with force, such as a weapon. I will have to experiment with this further, and see if knocking enemies off of a height using an object controlled by magnesis also works.
I rescue three of the four people who I’m supposed to find, but don’t find the fourth. I continue climbing the catwalk system up the wall of the canyon, until I reach the top. There, at the top, is a wide, flat, open space, where there’s a large camp, with three lizals and a couple more bokoblins. I attack and wipe them out, but there’s no fourth hostage up here. I loot the camp, and continue forward, and climb and find a few more lizalfos, moblins and bokoblins, and they’re pretty buffed enemies. The lizals have electric powers and I have to be careful with them, but using ice arrows or the ice wand to freeze them, then switching to a powerful melee weapon and hitting them up close hard and quick does them in pretty well.
I also find a few random koroks. I go a pretty far, up and forward, and eventually get to the base of the wasteland tower. Did I miscount and already rescue the four people? I didn’t see a mission update. I think I’d better head back to the stable and see if they’re all accounted for. I return, and talk to the ones who I rescued, but there’s still one more. So I transport back to the tower again, and glide down from it back to the canyon where I started.
In the midst of this, a new Blood Moon happens, resurrecting all the enemies I had just killed, much to my annoyance. I’d broken the boko bat, and in the meantime had picked up a bunch of lizal boomerangs, which are fine weapons, but they don’t have the knockback power of the big club I had before, which makes the fights a little bit harder this second time through.
I make it to a point where I had a fork in the path on the catwalk, and go the way I didn’t go the first time, and find the fourth hostage, being menaced by two last bokoblins. I take them down and complete the mission.
I find Horsier and mount up and ride to where the man I had met on the road way earlier was stranded, and looking for a new horse. He offers to buy Horsier, but I’m not selling him. But I decide to sell one of my other horses, so I ride Horsier back to the stable, and take out another horse I had, who I had named Horst, and ride him out to sell to the stranded man. He gives me 300 rupees, which ain’t bad.
I transport back to the shrine near the stable, and glide down to the stable area, and talk to the old painter man, who tells me again about the oasis nearby, and I decide that’s where I’ll go next, because that’s where one of my 12 memory photos was taken.
I start out that way, and it’s hot in the wasteland, and in the midday heat, the temperature is too much to endure, and I start taking damage. I retreat back to the shadow of the canyon wall, and hang out for a bit to consider my options. I use the Sheikah scope to scout out a bit and see what’s up ahead.
The road becomes fainter as it extends into the desert, but I can see it runs alongside a slight rise where there are some boulders, and it looks like there may be a few monsters lurking there. I scope a bit more and, yeah, there’s a lizal or two, and a couple of bokoblins, and a couple of yellow chuchus. They’re sitting out in the middle of the sun, and it’s a problem. If I go out there, I’ll take damage from the heat, and I’m slow in the sand, so I won’t be effective at keeping my distance and engaging the enemies on my terms. This means they’ll have an easy time surrounding me and ganging up on me.
I think about lobbing a bomb arrow into the camp and seeing if it will even the odds by softening up multiple targets with my opening shot. A good hit on one of the monsters would kill them, and the splash damage and ensuing fire would likely destroy the chuchus, setting off their lightning burst death throes, and that could in turn fry more of them, leaving them with only a couple of hits worth of life bar left for me to take down with a Sheikah bomb or up close with the boomerang sword.
The shadow of the canyon is long in the morning, and extends nearly to where I would be able to optimally attack from, but I screw it up. I can’t get a good angle to fire the bow with any accuracy, and so instead I try lobbing a Sheikah bomb into the camp. It goes off and does do some damage, but not nearly as much as a bomb arrow would have. Worse, the blast radius isn’t as big, so mostly it has no effect, and only serves to alert the enemies to my presence, and there’s no secondary fires. One of the chuchus does get caught in the blast, and its death explosion may have caught someone in its radius and fried them for me.
The rest of them come streaming out of the little depression they had been hunkering down in, and they come to engage me. I fight pretty well, using my shield, which is something I haven’t done much because for the most part my weapons inventory has been all two-handed weapons, and using the shield, it gives me a number of advantages. I can protect myself against melee attacks and arrows, naturally, but also it seems to confer upon me some additional opportunities to attack quickly when I am engaged with them up close and they attempt to strike me.
I remember this happening in one of the training shrines, but I’m not sure how I’m doing it here. I’m not deliberately trying, but it is apparently fairly easy to trigger the condition that allows you to get extra attacks in. Which is good, because otherwise I’d probably be screwed in this fight.
I prevail, and clean out their camp and then continue down the road to the oasis. I talk to everyone there, and it’s mostly Gerudo. Gerudo are all women, like amazons of the desert, and they have a different language then Hylian, so they throw in some foreign sounding words for flavor. They all make a big deal out of explaining this to me, over and over.
I talk to a Gerudo standing guard as I approach the oasis, and she tells me about Gerudo town and the Divine Beast nearby, which is creating a sandstorm with lightning and is making it dangerous to travel, and no one can approach it. Also, as I am a voe (male) I’m not allowed to go to Gerudo village.
I talk to another Gerudo woman who is looking for a husband, and she tells me she is a skilled tailor. This gives me the idea that I could buy clothes from her, and perhaps pass as female, and get in to Gerudo town. But she doesn’t seem to be interested in selling me clothes. I wonder what she needs from me.
I find a bird-man, a different one from Kass, and he tells me it is too hot for him to go on, and he needs an elixir to cool him down. It so happens that I had whipped up a couple of elixirs before I went into the desert, and offer one to him. This completes a mini-quest without me having to actually do anything, but the reward is a paltry 50 rupees. I sure hope this guy does me a big favor later on, because those elixirs are worth a lot more than that. And now I only have one.
I don’t need it, though, because as I discover, when I equip the frost wand that I won in battle against the ice wizzorobe, it radiates a cooling effect that reduces the temperature around me. This is awesome and makes me feel immersed in a realistic world. I’m very impressed that Nintendo’s designers put so much thought into these details.
The downside is that the wand is very fragile, and it’s not a great weapon by itself. Switching to a different weapon immediately removes the chill effect, but if I actually use the want to create a frost blast, it does cool the immediate area for a bit, which is useful to keep me cool while I switch weapons. So if I get into a fight, I can freeze enemies, switch to a powerful weapon, and finish them, and then switch back to the wand.
In theory, at least. My wand is unfortunately near the end of its life, and will break if I actually use it for anything at this point. So it’s a very fragile lifeline that’s keeping me cool indefinitely, at least until I use it up, and then I’m down to one cool elixir that will give me about 11:30 to figure out what to do before I have to transport out of the desert using the Sheikah slate.
I can also stick to the oasis, which is cooler, and I can travel at night, and stay in shady parts of the desert.
It’s so cool that the game gives you multiple tools that you can potentially use to make your way and survive in these extreme climates. Now that I know aobut this, I’m going to have to make sure I pick up a flame wand when I want to go back to some of the colder parts of Hyrule, so I can explore thoroughly and without time pressure.
I’m not sure what to do next, but it seems like the thing to do is rest up at the oasis, make a few more elixirs so I have something to fall back on when I break my ice wand, and try to plan out the next leg of this journey, and figure out how I’m supposed to get into Gerudo town. I think about maybe going back into the Gerudo highlands to do some more wzzorobe hunting, but I dread facing their frosty might again. I need to get lucky and hit them with my fire arrows before they can freeze me and thaw-kill-thaw-kill me.
I should also try to restock on fairies so I can endure a few combats. I seem to go through them pretty quickly when I’m in a close quarters fight, and in the desert it’s a lot less likely that I can use stand-off tactics with arrows and bombs to avoid having to risk my heart meter.