Returning to the coastal islands of Akkala, I run out there to find that they are as tall as the cliffs, great natural stone towers. There are a series of gangplanks and rickety narrow bridges connecting to them. Each one has numerous mineral deposits and forage plants, which I harvest along the way.
There are a few helicopter drones patrolling the bridges, but they are very easy to avoid, I find. Along the way, I run into numerous octorocks, and I discover that my Knight’s shield is capable of bouncing their rocks back, which I use to take one out, accidentally. Neat!
Each island tower has walkways at different levels, and it takes a lot of time to explore them thoroughly due to the verticality, climbing, wind, and frequent rain. But each is more of the same. At the top of one, I spot a sleeping chameleon lizal, and wake him up with a bomb that blows him clean off the top of the tower, plummeting to his doom hundreds of feet below. It is very satisfying to see his flailing body fly through the air, only to disappear from view into the mists below.
In other fights, I discover that it’s possible to pick up and hurl baby stone taluses and bokoblin skeleton’s skulls, which I never knew before. I’m surprised it’s taken me this long to learn it, but I’m glad that the game is this flexible and deep that I’m still learning new things about combat after playing the game for well over 200 hours. Granted, most of that time has been spent avoiding combat, which goes a long way to explain why I haven’t learned these things sooner. But it’s still cool.
When I reach the final island, I discover a flat rock covering a hole in the ground with a shrine beneath it. I blow the rock using time-stop power, and the shrine is a little tricky. There’s a balance, which I can use a barrel to lift me up, but it doesn’t get me high enough to get to the monk’s chamber. I find that I have to drop a heavy box on the balance in order to vault me into the air to do it. The box is hidden on a shelf above, and I need to use arrows to shoot the cords that are holding the shelf up. I’m down to my last 7 normal arrows, as I’ve been using them a lot to find koroks that are revealed by beating archery challenges that I’ve been finding along the way.
Outside the shrine, I find a moblin and bokoblin at a camp fire, and the moblin has Royal-level gear: broadsword and shield. I want the shield, so I take it from them. I walk back to the mainland, intent on exploring the remaining coastline of the Akkala Highlands. There’s a narrow trail that runs on the edge of the cliffs, and I encounter a moblin. I take him out quickly, but then slip off the edge of the cliff. I catch myself with the paraglider and grab onto the wall, but before I can climb back up it starts raining again, and it’s set to rain for the next two hours, and I’m not about to wait that, so I teleport back to the shrine I just cleared, walk all the way back, and complete my coastal survey.
At the end of it, I find a little encampment of a moblin, bokoblin, and a yellow chuchu, and the two humanoid monsters seem to be wielding electrified weapons that are powered by the chuchu or something. The moblin has a Thunderspear, and the bokoblin has shock arrows. I climb the cliff near the camp and bomb them; the chuchu dies first, and its shockburst hits both of the remaining monsters. I rain bombs on them until they die, then jump down and loot the place. There’s a chest which has a nice weapon in it, I forget which.
Having completed my sweep of this area, I return northward to pick up my horse Radish again, and we journey back toward Akkala stables.
On the way, I find that shrine I couldn’t locate earlier, at the grotto with the rocks and hammers. To find it, I have to glide down into the grotto, where, in a hard-to-see deeply recessed wall, if you fire a bomb arrow, you can break a hole in the wall to reveal a hidden shrine. It’s a Modest Test of Strength combat challenge. I defeat the guardian and it drops an Ancient Battleaxe+, which is the weapon the boy Nebb from Hateno village wanted to see next. I make a note to bring it to him next chance I get.
But first, I want to continue exploring Akkala, and see if I can find Fang and Bone, or something else useful. I don’t find Fang and Bone, but on my way north, I come back to Tarrytown, the new construction site for Hudson from Hateno village. There’s a goddess statue there, so I pray at it and trade in my spirit orbs for two more heart containers. I also take the time to cook a bunch of new meals so I can replenish hearts when I get into another big combat.
After this, I explore a bit in the lake beneath Tarrytown, finding a korok and a chest under the water.
I then get back on Radish and we ride west, to the other end of Akkala, where I had spotted another shrine off in the distance. As I get closer, I find that this one is next to a stable that I hadn’t known about previously. Apparently Akkala has a South and East stable, and this is the South one. I talk to the people and the girl who works here has a little sister who likes insects, so I get a quest to find out the girl’s favorite insect and then show it to her. It’s night though, and the little girl is asleep, and I have to wait for her to wake up. I decide to go clear the shrine while I’m waiting.
This shrine is a tilt sensing puzzle, and the final one is pretty difficult — I have to get three balls to land on three switches. It takes a lot of finesse, but I manage to do it after several minutes of trying. I don’t bother with the treasure chest in this one, mainly out of being in a hurry to complete the insect finding mission — I don’t want to spend so much time in the shrine that it’s night again when I emerge.
I clear the shrine, and go find the little girl, who likes dragonflies. She wants to see all three types of dragonfly, which I happen to have in my inventory. The big sister hates dragonflies, but wants her sister to be happy, so she asks me to give the dragonflies to her, which I do. The big sister rewards me with 100 rupees.
I transport back to Hateno village and show Nebb my Guardian Battleaxe+, and he gives me 100 rupees, then asks to see a frost spear, which I happen to have, so I show him that as well, which he gives me 300 rupees. Next, he wants to see an ancient short sword, which I’m not sure if I’ve seen one of those or not. I have had a few ancient swords, but I don’t recall them being short swords.
There’s a guy named Rex at the South Akkala stable who’s looking for the Master Sword, and he thinks it’s nearby the Woodland stables, which is a clue if I ever heard one.
I want to get the Master Sword, so that’s probably the next thing I will try to tackle.