Divine Beast Ruto is the elephant beast, and it lives in the water. It is generating a huge amount of rain, which threatens to overwhelm a massive dam that, should it fail, would result in massive flooding that would lay waste to much of central Hyrule. Which, I would think would be at least as much a problem for Ganon, who occupied Hyrule Castle, as it would be for the Hylians, who have mostly fled the central Hyrule region and tend to live as far from the castle, and mostly up in the hills and mountains. But what do I know.
There’s little time to waste. Prince Sidon takes me on his back, and we swim out to face the beast. The approach is similar to the raid on Vah Naboris, the great desert camel. To get close to Ruto, I have to hit four glowing spots on its back with shock arrows. Doing this will knock out Ruto’s defenses and enable me to get inside.
Complicating matters, Ruto is generating massive blocks of ice, which it launches at us. Sidon can’t get me close enough until I deflect the incoming ice. This isn’t immediately obvious to me, and I end up taking a lot of hits trying to figure out how to control Sidon to dodge the flying ice blocks. It’s confusing to me mostly because it always looks like the ice blocks are going to pass behind us, as we’re moving quickly and they seem like we’re going to outrun them, but they always seem to brush us from behind and do a little bit of damage. Eventually, I figure out that I can hit the blocks with my weapons, and we get in close enough to take a shot at the glowing spots on Ruto’s back.
Aided by the Zora armor, I’m able to shoot up the waterfalls cascading from Ruto’s back, launching myself in the air where I have an excellent vantage point to hit it with the shock arrows. This is actually pretty easy, and I’m able to knock out two spots on each side, once per flight. My experiences on Vah Medoh have prepared me for this quite well; in fact, this seems easier.
Inside, it’s the usual puzzle of manipulating moving platforms to access switches which I need to flip in order to activate the main switch, which triggers a boss fight. Despite being an elephant, Ruto seems smaller than Naboris, although they’re probably about the same. I clear out some evil eyeball goo, and using my ice powers and magnesis powers, I figure out how to gain access to the various switches, and activate them. The puzzles are a decent challenge, but don’t take me too long to figure out:
- One involves lifting a gate by creating an ice block beneath it.
- One involves using magnesis to twist a crank handle to lift a platform out of a pool of water.
- One involves using ice to plug a stream of water to cause a water wheel to stop.
- One involves manipulating Ruto’s trunk to shoot water onto the body, where it rotates another wheel so that the switch inside of it becomes accessible.
- One involves turning a crank to open a hatch in Ruto’s head, to allow his trunk to spray water into a fire-filled chamber.
- One involves getting to the very tip of Ruto’s trunk.
Once I turn on all the switches, I go to activate the main switch, and the boss, Waterblight Ganon, is revealed. He wields a massive glowing blue spear. I find him enjoyable to defeat, and not too difficult. The mechanics to defeat him are much the same as the other bosses: hit him in the eye with an arrow, he drops to the floor, stunned, where you can pour on damage with your heaviest melee attacks. His spear is pretty difficult to dodge, but he doesn’t attack with it very frequently, and has such a long wind-up that I’m normally able to hit him in the eye with the bow and interrupt him with ease.
After taking him down, there’s some more story sequence, where I meet the spirit of my fishy girlfriend and she gives me her healing power, which will refill my heart meter once if I would otherwise die. This is pretty great, since it effectively doubles my hearts, as long as the power is active.
The Zora King is very happy to have Ruto back under control, and the entire city seems to take part in celebrating the victory. The King gives me a powerful spear, and I depart Zora’s Domain.
(As an aside, I wonder if Zora’s Domain is perhaps a reference to the website Zophar’s domain, a legendary website created by the ancients as a repository of knowledge about videogame console emulation. It is a curious name.)
I have a few things that I want to take care of, none of them particularly important to the main quest.
I return to Kakariko village, pick up a few fairies, and get my outfits enhanced as much as possible, and talk to Impa, who notes that I’ve made considerable progress toward overthrowing the evil rule of Ganon.
I travel to Hateno village, to show the young boy who likes weapons the Moblin club I found; now he wants to see a Duplex Bow, the kind that the Yiga clan warriors favor. I don’t have one handy, but next time I get one, I’ll be sure to snag it.
While in Hateno, I visit the Ancient Technology Lab and buy more images for my Hyrule Compendium. These are pricey at 100 Rs a pop, which means it’ll be a long, long time before I max out my Compendium.
I travel to Gerudo town and pick up the male Gerudo outfit, which have heat resistance properties and better armor rating than the Gerudo woman’s outfit. Anticipating that I’ll need this outfit when I head to the remaining part of Hyrule that I have yet to explore, with its volcanic mountain.
While In Gerudo I also pick up an Opal necklace, which gives me a boost to my swimming speed, and should go well with the Zora armor.
I go visit the fairy pond near Gerudo to further augment my new clothing, but run out of Ice Kees wings, which are needed to continue augmenting the Gerudo Male suit.
So then I try hunting Kees in the deep white north of Hebra. Ice Kees are rare, and I don’t find any, but I do find a Korok seed that I had missed somehow. I try the icy mountain peak on the Great Plateau, and manage to find two Ice Kees, and a bunch of white chuchus, which still isn’t enough to max out my Gerudo man suit, but will allow me one more augmentation, so I guess it’ll have to do for now.
Next, I decide it’s time to look for my long lost Master Sword, and transport out to the Woodland Tower, which is right nearby Hyrule Forest.