I transport to the Woodland Tower, then glide down to the road below, and enter the Lost Woods. The Maze Music starts, and I figure I’m in for another a-maze-ing experience.
This is the most frustrating maze I’ve encountered so far. There are no walls; the woods are full of mist, and if you veer too far off the correct path, the mists envelop you, and you hear an evil laugh and you are transported back to the start of the maze. It’s like Wall Masters from the original Legend of Zelda, only completely unavoidable, and there’s no real way to tell whether you’re on the correct path or not.
Just before you get enveloped in mist, the music gets slightly louder, and the mists get slightly more opaque, and you have maybe a tenth of a second, if that, to reverse course and get back to where you’re safe, but 9/10 of the time you don’t make it and have to start over.
Like in the pitch dark maze, there are a few braziers with fire at the beginning to start you on the path, but after you encounter about the fourth one, you see the final two that you’re gonna see, and then that’s it, you’re on your own.
The Lost Woods is full of spooky looking trees that are straight out of the Wizard of Oz, or any other fairy tale with a spooky forest where all the trees have twisted, evil-looking faces. Inside some of the “mouths” of the trees, I find treasure chests. I also find a torch, and, hoping that this will help me somehow, like maybe to light up more braziers that I’ll find deeper in the woods, maybe they’ll drive away the mist, but it doesn’t really seem to do anything at all.
I try about 20 or a hundred times to get through the maze, each time making it a little further in before I get “lost” and taken back to the start. I’m about to give up and cheat by looking up the solution on the internet, when I finally make it through, and find myself in the Korok Woods.
There’s a shrine nearby, and I see little korok dudes everywhere. Not hiding, just hanging out. Like this is their village. Over on one side, I see my man HESTU! STU! Where you been man! Shake those maracas! Give me more slots! High five!
We jam, I give him about all the korok seeds I have, which is close to 190, and he opens my inventory even more. I have near the max (I think) weapon slots, close to as many bow slots, and only a few extra shield slots, because I really don’t go through too many shields.
I clear the shrine. This one is super challenging. On the far wall there’s a map of constellations. I’ve been seeing these designs all over the walls of shrines all along and never realized that they were constellation maps; I thought they were just weird abstract dots connected by lines, purely decorative, and haven’t paid attention to them at all. I wonder if I look at the night sky if I’d be able to identify any of them? That would be cool. There’s a series of rows of basins where I’m supposed to put one of four orbs. At first, I think I’m supposed to, like, draw the constellations on the floor using the orbs as “stars” but there’s nowhere near enough orbs or basins to manage that.
It takes me a long time to figure out, but I notice on the sides of the shrine, each row of orb basins has a number of candles next to it, starting with a single candle, going up to five. Reading these as labels, it seems that perhaps the orbs are like abacus beads, and this is a counting system. Along the front wall, the same patterns that appear on the far wall are repeated, as though column headers. Am I supposed to count the number of stars in each constellation pattern? But some of them have more than 5 stars, so how could that be?
Eventually, and I mean like an embarrassingly long time later, I finally realize that the all of constellation patterns on the wall are duplicated some number of times. Aha! I count them, and then put the orb in each column corresponding to the number of times the constellation pattern appears on the map on the far wall.
Success! The door opens, and I can get into the shrine master’s chamber. There’s a second puzzle, a different combination to open another door and collect a reward from a chest. I get it, I get the orb, and I clear the shrine.
There’s an immense tree growing nearby, as big as a small mountain, and I climb it. At the top, there’s a korok, who tells me riddles. I have to guess which thing, and then he’ll give me a reward. The first one is easy: an apple. The second one is the pumpkins that grow in Kakariko village; I have to transport out there to buy one. The third one is a type of fish, which I happen to have a single one of in my inventory, luckily. The fourth is… something that starts with H and ends with “oof”…. I think “Hoof” but why would they spell out the complete answer like that, isn’t that too obvious? I look through my inventory and I have nothing that matches. I think maybe “Hinox Toof” like maybe these koroks talk like toddlers, or something, but that isn’t it. The only things I’ve seen that have hoofs in the game are horses, and they don’t drop anything when you kill them, and the buffalos and moose, but they only drop meat, not hoofs.
Not having the answer for this one, there’s not much else I can do.
To find out that Hinox Tooth isn’t the answer, I have to go find a Hinox and wake it up, murder it, and collect some of its teef. The nearest one I can think of, and the easiest to get to, is the one near Rito village. So I warp out there, and am reminded that I’ve left Horsey out at the Flight Range this entire time, for, like, a frickin’ month of game-time. Damn, Horsey, I’m so sorry.
I transport to the shrine near the Flight Range, and pick up Horsey, who seems just fine. There are occasional random Yiga ninjas in this area, and one appears, I kill him, and get his duplex bow, which means I can show it to the boy Nebb in Hateno village who wants to see it, and get another 50 rupees next time I’m out that way.
I murder me one Hinox and get his teeth. I happen to have a powerful Royal Claymore with an Attack Bonus that gives it attack rating of 69, and using it I’m able to demolish this Hinox with one arrow to the eye, a flurry of attacks, and a couple more arrows to finish it off.
I collect the teeth, nails, and other loot drops, and head back down to Rito stables to board Horsey. On the way down, I also see Warbler’s Nest, which reminds me of the shrine quest for this, and I try to complete it. The little girl Rito who wanted to sing there has gone there to sing, and she is waiting for her sisters to show up, but they’re not coming. They’ve either forgot, or they want something in order to come. It’s my job to help her get those things. There are three or four sisters, and I have to do something for each of them. It seems a bit much, but OK.
First, I find one and she just needs to be reminded. So she goes. The next one is hungry, and needs me to cook a specific meal, that I don’t know how to cook, but it involves one hearty salmon, and apparently goats butter. I try cooking a meal with just those two ingredients, but that’s not it. I’ve now used my only hearty salmon, and I don’t know where to find more, so I give up, restore, google the answer, and add Tabantha Wheat to the recipe, and that’s the meal. Another one of the sisters is down at the pond at the entrance to Rito village fishing for a hearty salmon to make this dish. I go talk to her, and she goes. I think that’s everyone, but apparently I’m still short one sister, because when I return to the Warbler’s Nest, it’s still not shrine time.
On my way back down to the Rito village to find the last sister, I notice another spot on the ground that looks like a shrine marker. I’ve come to recognize these now when I see them, since the one on Washa’s Bluff. I’m not sure how I missed this one before, it’s right near where the Hinox sleeps. But perhaps that’s why — I usually try to get by the Hinox quickly when it’s there, not wanting to waste time and weapons fighting it.
Anyway, I go back to Rito village and talk to everyone I can find, and still can’t find the final sister. WTF. But I do find the answer to the newly discovered shrine. There’s two adult sister Rito who teach me a song that holds the clue. During a certain time of day, the shadow of Vah Medoh creates a heart-shaped light that highlights the shrine marker. According to the song, lighting a fire at this spot at the right time will reveal the shrine.
I find this out about an hour after the heart-shaped patch of light has passed, and have to wait a whole day for another chance. I say screw that, and set fire to a bundle of wood, and sit there until noon the next day. The fire goes out, so I have to set another fire when the light is in the right position. But sure enough this does it, and I get another shrine.
This one is a cannon puzzle. I have to drop my bombs into the cannon to charge it, and there are orbs that shoot across to hit a target at the far end of the shrine. The targets are obscured by moving shields that make it a little tricky to hit, but it’s a very easy matter to time the shot and hit. I do the first one on the first try, and the second one on the second try. I get a diamond out of the chest from the second one, and a spirit orb.
While I’m in the area around Rito village, I also find two more Korok seeds, that I had somehow missed on earlier passes through the region.
I want to free up the weapon slot for the duplex bow, so I transport out to Hateno village to show the kid Nebb, and he likes it, gives me 50 rupees, and now he wants to see the swords used by the burly Yiga swordsmen warriors. I don’t happen to have one in my inventory right now, so it’ll have to wait until I fight one of those guys again.
While I’m looking at the map, there’s a shrine on an island out in the middle of Hateno bay that appears to have been visited by me, but not cleared. WTF, I thought I had done that one already!? I go back out there, and yep, sure enough it’s not cleared. It’s a Major Test of Strength, so no problem; I go fight the shrine guardian, kicks its spidery robot ass, take its axe and sword, get a spirit orb for my troubles, and move on.
I still don’t know what to do to find the last sister for the Warbler’s Nest shrine. It’s going to drive me nuts going up and down the village talking to every single Rito until I find the one I missed. I wish the quest details were a little more specific about which steps, A through F, I had completed, so I could know which one I still need to do. Grr.
I go back to the giant korok tree and try the Hinox Toof, but it doesn’t solve the puzzle.
Somewhere in Hyrule forest, there’s still my Master Sword out there, and I’m not sure when I’ll get it.