Now that Gerudo town has opened up to me, things have gotten more exciting.
I went through the city, and met a woman who needed flint to run her business making jewelry. I have a shitload of flint, so I gave her what she needed, and now her business is open again and I can buy jeweled items that will confer bonus resistance to various elemental effects. It’s all super expensive though, and I just spent most of my money on the Kakariko stealth outfit, so I only have about 220 rupees.
The most expensive item requires three diamonds and 1500 rupees, but it gives resistance to Guardians, which seems like it would be worth the expense to procure. The thing is, in all my time playing the game so far, I have only found ONE diamond. There’s a man back at the wasteland stable who says he will give me a diamond in exchange for 55 rushrooms. Rushrooms grow mostly along sheer climbing surfaces, and I don’t usually prioritize going out of my way to get them because it’s time consuming to climb to them, and if I happen to be climbing I’m more interested in getting to the top safely than I am in diverting to pick a mushroom, so I’ve only managed to get about 40 so far. And who knows where I might find a third diamond. Most of the rest of the stuff also looks like it should be worthwhile and I can afford it once I replenish my rupees. But I also worry about managing my inventory slots. Perhaps the worst thing about this game is that I can’t properly hoard items and aspire to obtain a “complete” set of one of everything. But while I am annoyed by this, I recognize that it makes the game more balanced and challenging. But I really wish that I could take chests that I find back home and put things in them, or bury them in places that I can mark on the map and return to later. This would make chests far more interesting and useful than they currently are. Most of the time when I find a chest, I am disappointed because the stuff I have already is better than what’s in it, or if not then I don’t have any open inventory slots anyway. But if I could put useful stuff away to use later, by now I’d probably have over a hundred of the more common weapons and shield and bows stockpiled, and I’d need a warehouse to keep them in that’s bigger than the Labyrinth of Lomei.
I find there’s a second sand seal place on the east end of town. There, they tell me about sand seal races. I figure renting a seal will sign me up for the race, so I take one out, but it just lets me use it for general transportation. I head out due east from Gerudo, and very quickly I come to a Gerudo outpost building, very close to Vah Naboris, the Divine Camel Beast of legend. It’s dangerous to stay outside for more than a few seconds, so I get inside quickly, and talk to the Gerudo vai who is there to monitor the situation. From the window, I can look right outside and see Vah Naboris, and it looks like he’s right next to us!
I discover that this outpost has a bed that I can sleep in to recover from injuries, so I do so. There seems to be nothing more that I can do here, so I leave, but my stubby walrus ride is nowhere to be found, and I have to hoof it all the way back to town.
On the way, I stumble onto the seal racing course, and talk to the people there. There’s no seal races due to Vah Naboris disrupting them, so if I want to see or participate in any races, I guess I’m going to have to deal with the Divine Beast first.
I continue back to Gerudo town. When I get there, I run into the guy who’s running circles around the town, looking for a vai to woo, the guy with the fancy sand boots. I talk to him again, and since I’m in drag, he thinks I’m a woman, so he is nicer to me, and I lead him on and he gives me a pair of snow shoes so that I can go into the north and find something, that if I get it, he’ll give me the sand shoes. Side quest activated.
I’m a bit far from the gates to the city, so I climb over the wall in the south east corner, and find myself in a courtyard where a Gerudo is tending to a blue sand seal. I talk to her, and she tells me the seal belongs to the Gerudo chief, and that the seal is an oracle, and it will tell me secrets in exchange for fruits. I give it some fruits, and it tells me a couple of things, neither of which are particularly memorable or important-seeming, and I’ve forgotten them by now. Whoops. It’s amusing but stuff I pretty much figured out by now.
I see a stairway leading to an adjacent room, and walk up them. Here, I find the chief of Gerudo’s courtly hall. I walk up and talk and am revealed to be a voe, but also the champion Link, hero of old, resurrected and returned to save the land, so they decide I can stay. I keep dressed as a vai, though. I’m not sure whether it’s acceptable or not to change back to my old clothes, and besides these are more comfortable in this heat. They tell me that in order to calm Vah Naboris, I will need to recover a stolen heirloom called the Thunder Helm. If I have this, it will protect me from the lightning so that I can approach close enough to do the thing. I still don’t know what to do when I get close, but now I know how I can get close. The Gerudo guards tell me more about the thieves who took the Thunderhelm, and a general idea of where I might find them.
A civilian Gerudo is telling me about her husband who has fallen ill and needs the guts from some monster that I’ve never heard of in order to make a cure. Another side quest activated. I wonder how these women keep husbands around if they’re not allowed in Gerudo. Do they all move out of the town? Or what? It seems inconvenient.
Finally, I have a bunch of things I can do, and some of them even have to do with saving the world. After all this time, I still have just 7 heart containers on my life meter, and I wonder if I’ve leveled up enough to what I need to. Regular encounters with moderately powerful enemies still feel like a serious threat unless I am able to use the terrain to my advantage and keep a safe distance from my foes. Somehow or other, it feels like I should have found a lot more shrines in my travels than I have, and as much as I’ve covered of the parts of Hyrule that I’ve been to, my shrine sensor hasn’t been pinging a whole lot, yet there’s a lot of regions with low shrine density, compared to the first few regions I went through en route to Kakariko and Hateno villages.
I think about the shrines that I’ve been to but haven’t completed, and wonder if I can overcome the ones with the combat challenges. I decide that with my good equipment and 7 heart containers, it’s at least worth another try.
I warp to the first one, called A Minor Test of Strength, and defeat this shrine guardian easily. Next, I try A Modest Test of Strength. This one is considerably more challenging. It takes me down twice, but with four fairies in inventory, I manage to prevail. In this fight, the guardian seems to keep its distance from me, which makes it harder to hit. When I do get up close, it uses its shield well, and I have a hard time landing a blow on it. Then I get knocked back, and when I get up I have to do it all again. It also has a charge attack, which I’m able to handle by getting behind one of the columns holding up the ceiling, and using it as a shield. This destroys the column, but is effective at blocking the attack one time. Additionally, it has a spinning laser turret attack which I can’t seem to dodge, and it’s a tough one to deal with. I manage to get in a few good hits, using a jumping attack as well as a shield parry to open up some opportunities. But after the second time I get knocked down, I switch to a bomb arrow attack, running backward and nailing it again and again, my aim improved through focus, and I manage to hit it every time. But now I have broken my Thunderblade and my two tri-forked lizal boomerangs, and am running low on good weapons again. I doubt very much that I’m capable of defeating the Major Test of Strength shrine, but perhaps when I get a bit more combat experience and some even better weapons.
I return to Kakariko village and get another three fairies from the fairy pond. I upgrade the clothing I bought from the Gerudo jeweler, as well. And I try to buy more arrows, but the store is completely out of normal arrows. I have over 170, though, so it’s OK.
I want still more fairies, so I try the other pond where I found them sometimes, but none are there. I wonder what causes things to be there or not be there when I go looking for them. It seems stores will replenish stock slowly on some kind of timer, but I’ve never seen the Kakariko arrow shop completely out of arrows, and they haven’t replenished since my previous visit when I cleaned them out. And fairies are sometimes where I find them, sometimes not, but they seem to be there more often when I have few or no fairies in inventory, and when I haven’t been there in a while, and at night. It is a bit mysterious.
The second fairy pond is nearby the big river that runs along the road to Kakariko village and stable by Dueling Peaks. It occurs to me that I really haven’t explored much north of this river. Crossing it seemed unnecessary, and I never bothered to explore that area of central Hyrule from the Great Plateau to Dueling Peaks. Figuring I’ll probably find a few shrines in the area, I decide to give it an explore. I cross the river, and follow it along on its north bank.
It’s mostly rolling plains with some rocks and some lightly wooded areas, and relatively few monsters, and those that I do encounter are all pretty weak, and I’m not in any danger from them. I take them out if I need to get them out of the way, the most annoying ones are the octorocks. I find a bunch more korok seeds, and eventually I make it to the area by Dueling Peaks Tower, where there are several bokoblin camps dotting the shoreline. It’s night and I’m able to sneakstrike the entire camp, after taking out the sentry with an arrow. The stealth suit makes it easy. They have a lot of loot for being low level creatures, and I end up finding a bunch of arrows and rupees.
The water has many hidden chests submerged here and there, and a few floating boxes, and I find more gems and rupees and a Traveler’s Sword. Remembering the young boy from Hateno village had given me a quest to bring him this sword, and having an open inventory slot, I pick it up to show him later. I continue to sweep north along the west face of Dueling Peaks, and do a little climbing, picking some rushrooms along the way, trying to get to 55 so I can trade them to the old man at Gerudo Stables so I can get a second diamond.
Up the mountain a bit, I come to a flat grassy field with a bunch of rocks. I suspect a Stone Talus lives here, and sure enough there is one. He wakes up, and this one is a Senior Talus. I find him very easy to defeat. I don’t even have an iron sledge hammer, but I do have a bokoblin bat, which I had picked up from the camp that I had raided, and it does good damage against it. It breaks about halfway through the job, though, and I have to finish the Talus off with Sheikah bombs. With the bombs now upgraded, this doesn’t take as long. I just stand on the Talus’s higher shoulder, and then roll the bomb down to his tail end, and set it off. This Talus is especially inept at fighting, and never once manages to do me an injury, but he drops beaucoup gems when I defeat him. I pick up everything I can find, and continue on my way.
A little further north, I’m coming around to the northern slope of Dueling Peaks, when I spot a fully functional Guardian off in the distance, not that far away. I seriously misjudge the distance, as I try firing an arrow toward it and it falls way short. I get closer, and try again, and same thing. I get still closer, and still my arrow drops a little short.
Overconfident, I decide to rush in on my glider and drop in from above to do a little extra damage on my first strike. This goes poorly and I botch the maneuver, and end up having to fight it up close. I manage to cut off two or three of its legs, but when it charges up its laser blast, I mess up my arrow shot, and fail to stun it, and it blasts me, knocking me down, and setting me and my surroundings on fire. A fairy is the only thing that keeps me up.
As I struggle back to my feet, the thing is already readying another blast. I try to hit it with an arrow, but again fail, and again the Guardian blasts me. it gets me a third time, and I’m figuring I’ll probably have to do this fight over again, but somehow I manage to get the upper hand, finally nailing it in the eye with an arrow so that it is stunned, then running in close again and cutting a few more legs, and it becomes helpless. Turned on its side, underbelly exposed, I finish it off.
It drops a whole bunch of parts, and I now have the ancient cores that I need to do my final Sheikah slate enhancement. I’m badly injured and it’s a good time to return to Hateno and Purah’s lab. I go there, and she upgrades my Stasis power, and then I go visit the little boy in the village who wanted to see the traveler’s sword, and show it to him. He gives me a 20 rupee reward. Next he wants to see a flame wand. I had one earlier but it’s gone now.
I go back to my house and sleep to regain health, and cook a few dishes to replenish my meals inventory. Then I transport back to Dueling Peaks tower, and continue my exploration of the northwest face of the northern peak.
I’m trying to return back to where I defeated the Guardian, and I’m pretty close to that spot, which I didn’t mark so I’m not entirely sure where it is, when I hear the familiar Guardian fight music start up and see a targeting laser on me. Another one?! I didn’t see any more Guardians in this area, and I have no idea where it is or how close, but I just need to GTFO, so I sprint to the edge of the mountain and jump off, and glide away. The thing blasts at me twice, missing both times, and I eventually descent to where it can no longer target me, and am safe for the moment.
I move down into the riverlands below, and explore more. Off in the distance I can see a couple of shrines sitting out in the open, and I head in that general direction, stopping to pick up any forage and korok seeds I find along the way. There are more bokoblins about, and a mounted one attacks me. I shoot him off his mount with an arrow, and take his horse, then run into another bokoblin on horseback, and try to fight this one hand to hand from horseback, but this doesn’t go as well, and I get knocked off. I get back up and shoot him off with another arrow, but I’m pretty beat up and have to take a meal break.
I get back on the horse I took, and head into a wooded area, where there’s a bunch of forage available for picking. I dismount to grab as much of the nearby good stuff that I can grab, and have to deal with a couple of pesky octorocks. I lose track of the horse and can’t find it again. Oh well
I emerge from the woods and see that I’m getting close to the shrines. There’s one on the other side of a river, and a conveniently located bridge seems to lead right to it. The other shrine near here is on a small island in the middle of the river.
A bokoblin is on the bridge harassing a Hylian, so I run up and save them, but I’m a little late and they got KO’d, and when they wake up are not appreciative at all. I did my best, sorry.
I go down to the small island first, and this shrine is surrounded by flowers that a Hylian woman planted and tends. She tells me not to step on the flowers, but I don’t see any clear path to get to the shrine. I try several times, but each time I mess up and she gets increasingly upset, until she flips out and kicks my ass. I was trying to climb a nearby tree and glide in, and kept failing at it. After I wake up from her ass-kicking, I find that there is a subtle trail that leads, maze-like to the shrine entrance, and I manage to get in this time.
The shrine is super easy. Just a series of floating platforms that I have to walk on and cross little artificial river channels. I don’t even need the platforms, since I have the Cryonis power. I don’t know why they bothered with this, other than it serves as a very easy tutorial that covers swimming mechanics and currents and climbing onto floating platforms.
I get the spirit orb and some ice arrows, and then head over to the shrine across the bridge.
As I get closer, I see yet another Stables, and…. Hestu! OMG! What up, broccoli beard! I have 120 korok seeds, and I buy 4 additional weapons slots and one additional arrow slot from him before he says he just remembered how to get to Korok Forest, far to the north, and invites me to visit him there sometime. The first slot costs 2, then 3, then 5, then 8, so it seems that the price goes up according to the Fibonacci sequence, which means those final slots are going to be pretty darn expensive. Still, I’ve managed to expand my weapons carrying capacity by almost 2x, which is a huge, huge improvement. I’m going to have a lot easier time getting around prepared now.
The painter man who I first met in Kakariko, and have encountered at other stables in the jungle zone and in Gerudo is also here, and he takes a look at my photos and tells me a clue about where one of my 12 memory photos is, and it’s not far from here. So this is great.
My further adventures in Gerudo are going to have to wait a bit longer.