I venture out of the oasis in the evening, and first head out to get a closer look at the Divine Beast Naboris. On the way out, I find a korok seed, and get attacked by lizals. As I get closer to the Divine Beast, I get a better look, and it’s impressive. Wind whips up a sandstorm and visibility is terrible. And it generates lightning, which starts targeting me if I get too close. It doesn’t matter if I have metal equipped, or if I wear my rubber helmet and pants, it hits me and drops me to a half heart of life. I try to find shelter, and hide behind a large rock formation, and am safe there briefly, but eventually it finds me again, targets me, and kills me.
I respawn and head toward Gerudo town. Since it’s night, I don’t need the frost wand. And actually, it gets cold enough that I need to pull out the warm doublet to keep from taking cold damage.
On the road, a Gerudo vai is walking my way, and I talk to her. Just as we’re getting acquainted, three lizalfos burst out of the sand and attack us. I fend them off, handling them rather quickly with a bomb and my lizal boomerang. The vai is grateful and offers me a food item that confers cold resistance.
The rest of the hike out is uneventful. I spot an enclave of monsters off to the left as I approach Gerudo town, but I steer clear of them. As I get closer to Gerudo, I see a shrine sitting right there by the main gate.
I go there, and unlock it, then go in.
The puzzle involves a large ball being bounced between to catapults. I’m not sure what to do, but after observing it for a time, I decide to try to grab it out of the air using magnetism. This doesn’t work, so I next try the time stop power. This does work, as the time stop freezes the object and disrupts its momentum, causing it to fall straight to the ground after the statis wears off. Once it’s on the ground, I’m able to manipulate it with magnesis, but what to do with it?
The orb seems to be generating electricity, so maybe I use it to power something? I drag it around and find a small glass pedestal next to the orb master’s locked chamber. I try touching the pedestal with the big orb, and when I put it right on top, it activates the door to the shrine master’s enclosure.
But there’s a chest in a locked room next to the master’s chamber, and I can’t figure out how to open it. I eventually notice what appears at first to be a second chest inside the chamber, on higher platform, but upon closer inspection, it’s the switch pedestal to open the door.
So I open the door, and it gives me a weapon of some kind, but it’s not as good as the weapons I’m already carrying, so I leave it behind, and claim my orb.
I exit the shrine, and talk to the guards at Gerudo’s main gate. They explain that the town is forbidden to men, as has been explained to me at least 20 times already, and I’m not allowed in.
There’s a stocky man standing off to the side, and I talk to him. He says there’s a man who has been sneaking in, and he wants to see how he does it, because he wants to sell his merchandise in the city.
There’s another Gerudo vai to the left of the gate, and she’s training sand seals. These pudgy walruses have mohawk manes and are really cute. She explains to me how to sneak up and catch one, and if I have a shield equipped, the seal will drag me around the desert at a high speed that makes traversing the wastes easier.
I give it a try, and get the hang of it pretty much immediately. It’s not as easy as riding horses, and there’s no way to stop other than to release the seal, but it is fun and works, definitely better than trudging through the sand.
I explore some ruins to the north of Gerudo that I had skipped over on the way out, and there’s several lizals patrolling. The first one I encounter breathes fire on me, the first time I’ve run into something like that. It does a lot of damage to me, but I kill it. I pull out the ice arrows and find they’re very effective against it, taking them out with a single shot.
I clear out the area, and search around looking for anything interesting. I only managed to find a korok seed or two, though. I’m over 100 koroks at this point, so finding them is pretty routine by now. The lizals drop decent weapons, but I don’t really need any right now.
I continue exploring the desert, heading back north, and I see a building in the distance that looks like another Gerudo structure. I get there and discover this is their ice house. There doesn’t seem to be anything to do here, though. So I check it out and explore. I can climb up on the top and scope around with the Sheikah slate. I see a lot of ruined buildings all over the desert, some rocks, and a lot of sand.
Mostly what I see looks like places I’d find more monsters to fight, or else places I’d likely find a korok. It’s a lot of time to trudge around the desert to check out these things, and it’s not like a sand seal would help a lot, with all the frequent stops and climbs that I’d have to do. So I’m not sure how much I want to invest in exploring for what’s likely to be low reward items.
While I’m at the ice house, I decide to head west and check out the desert in that region. After walking a short way, I find a statue of a woman holding a sword. I grab the sword with magnesis, and it’s a rusty Traveler’s Claymore, not an especially good weapon, and I leave it. I find another statue a little further on, and it’s the same deal. But I notice that both of the statues are pointing their swords in a direction. This makes me think they are pointing to some point of interest.
I backtrack to the first statue, and mark its location on the map, and then look carefully at the direction it’s pointing its sword in, and head in a straight line, not deviating left or right at all to check out anything I see, and head in that direction to see if I’ll run into something along the line it pointed me in.
Eventually I come to another statue, and it’s pointing in a new direction. I do the same thing again, mark the location on the map, and then go off in the new direction, and come to a third statue. After the third statue, the wind kicks up and the resulting sand storm cuts visibility. I notice that my sheikah map cuts out due to some kind of interference, and now I’m in danger of getting lost. The only thing to do is put faith in the statue, and continue.
After a while, I lose count of statues, but they do ultimately lead me somewhere: another shrine. I enter this one, an it’s another electricity themed puzzle. There’s circuits in the floor, and gaps at points, and I have to manipulate metal boxes to bridge the gaps to activate switches. The reward here is a Thunderblade, which I already have one, so I leave this one here, and a spirit orb.
I now have four spirit orbs, but I don’t realize it for a while, and I’m more interested in exploring than anything else right now.
I proceed through the desert, going from place to place, fighting lizals and acquiring a lot of monster parts, and burning through ice arrows and meals, and don’t find much that’s worth the time and consumables. I’m really only interested in korok seeds and shrines so I can increase my heart meter or stamina meter, and so I can expand my inventory if I ever find Hestu again. It’s pointless to kill lizals only to get more of the same weapons I’m already carrying, especially when my inventory is already full. It seems that shrines are few and far between in these wastelands.
I note a region of the Gerudo map that looks like someone gerrymandered the district — there’s a “peninsula” on the map, extending into the territory to the north, like a jigsaw puzzle piece. Clearly, it must be an interesting spot for the map to be drawn this way. I decide to head up that way and check it out.
On the way, I note that the tower in the region immediately to the north where the “peninsula” projects into is nearby. I think about seeing if I can get there on the way. As I get closer, it becomes increasingly apparent to me that this tower is much, much, much taller than any other tower I’ve seen before. I can’t even see the bottom of it; the closer I get, the more I can see down into a very deep recess in the ground, while the tower actually extends high enough to be the tallest feature in the immediate area around it, and only a couple of nearby mountain peaks seem to rival it.
What’s more, there does not seem to be any platforms to rest on for the entire length of the tower, making it an impossible climb for anyone who doesn’t have an infinite stamina, or the means to fly. If I had my entire food inventory filled with stamina restoring elixirs, I’m sure I could do it, but I’m pretty borderline with the two or three stamina potions that I do have, and I doubt I could make it.
So it looks like an alternate approach, flying in from one of the highest and closest mountain peaks must be the way.
This means a detour, and I head into the Gerudo “peninsula”, which does seem to be the way up into the mountains. It’s geographically very interesting, a sort of semi-enclosed cavernous series of shelves, split down the center with a deep crack down the center of it, gradually sloping upward and spiraling to the right.
As I make my way up, I spot a lot of interesting things that I want to check out, but I remain focused on my goal of making it to the top, for now, and don’t take any detours along the way. I would have, but it didn’t look like it’d be easy to cross the giant crack in the middle and get back on course.
I go up, up, up. and eventually I have to start climbing the walls to make further progress. Not much farther than that, and I encounter a Yiga warrior, who attacks me with bow and scimitar, teleporting around like a ninja, disappearing in a cloud of colored smoke and sparkles. I’m able to defeat him, but he’s quick and nimble, not easy to hit. I get his bow, and the bow has the power to shoot two arrows at once. Neat.
I proceed a bit further up, and come to an immense, open cavern where there are many frog statues arranged. I’ve been seeing a lot of these statues along the way, but haven’t checked them out up close. These statues have masks covering their faces, which reminds me of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Suddenly, three more Yiga ninjas appear out of nowhere, and begin firing arrows at me and teleporting about the chamber. They make the mistake of getting up close to me, and I make quick work of them with one of my powerful lizal boomerangs.
At the back end of the chamber, there’s a large square rock door. At least, I assume it’s a door. There’s a crack around it, and it doesn’t look natural. I can’t figure out how to open the door, though.
I’m still not at the top of the area, but the cavernous ceiling has wrapped around to enclose the area, making further climbing impossible. So I backtrack to where the cavern ceiling opens up to the sky, and find a way to climb up and out.
On top, it’s snowy, and cold enough to hurt even with the warm doublet equipped. I have a flame spear, so I equip it, and like the ice wand, it confers a localized warming effect that keeps me safe from the elements.
I continue up the mountain, occasionally encountering moblin skeletons or lizals, which I try to avoid, to keep from having to use up my flame spear. I find a couple of baby Taluses, which I blow up with bombs, but a short distance away I awaken a full grown Talus, and this one is icy. I’m not carrying a sledge hammer, so it’s not a fight I can win. I run away, further up the mountain. Fortunately, the Talus doesn’t lob rocks at me, like all the other Stone Taluses I have fought, or I’d be an easy target in the deep snow, unable to run at full speed. It pursues me relentlessly, and not until I climb up and way do I get to safety.
Fortunately up here, I have a good view of the tower I’ve been trying to get to, and I’m actually above it. I take a flying leap, and glide in, landing on the top deck, without any climbing needed.
Kass the bird-man is here, and he sings me a song about a hidden shrine that’s nearby. I don’t make a lot of sense out of the clues, but I’m sure eventually I’ll make some sense of it and find it. I download the map data to unlock the tower, and save.