Back to searching for Mei, the lost Zora wife who was washed down river by the rains of Vah Ruta.
I continue following the river. The river forks and I follow the bend left and south, passing to the east of Hyrule Castle. This is probably closer to Ganon than I’ve ever been in the game, and this region of Hyrule is one I’ve avoided purposefully, assuming that it was likely full of stronger monsters than I was ready to face, for much of the game.
Now that I’ve defeated the four Ganon blight mini bosses and restored control over the Divine Beasts, and have some of the best weapons in the game, and my armor is powered up, and I have nearly two full rows of heart containers, though, maybe I’m ready. I could probably use a bit more practice with swordplay, but I can take on just about anything in this game now and come out on top, I’m more than pretty sure.
Along this stretch of the river bank, there’s not much more to harass me than octorocks and the occasional chuchus or bokbolin skeleton. And, a bit more rarely, a Yiga swordsman. Those guys are really starting to annoy me, as they force me to use a lot more arrows than I’d like to, and I have yet to figure out how to get through their defenses reliably with the sword. They either seem to dodge back out of the way, or counter-attack and hit me with a knockback blow that drops me to the ground. My armor withstands most of their attack, so the damage is only slight, but it’s just really annoying to have to pick myself up off the ground and try to close distance to within striking range, only to have him jump out of the way impossibly fast at the last second, and then counter-attack with another strike that knocks me back again, and repeat. I take to shooting them in the head with the bow, and it takes 4-5 arrows, usually, to do them in.
As I travel down the river, I find more korok seeds, and by the time I get to the end of this installment of the adventure, my total in-inventory is back up to around 40, and I’ve found about 290 total in the game.
My quest to find missing Mei takes me all the way down to Lake Hylia, and it’s a very long trip, especially allowing for any and all sidebars to solve a korok puzzle, fight a monster, pull a treasure chest out of the water, or pick up some forage materials. I don’t wander too far away from the bank of the river, except two or three times.
First, I find a Hinox sleeping nearby the shore, and needing Hinox guts for some of my armor upgrades, I take him on and take him down, killing him easily, before he can really get going. He drops a lot of cooked meals, some royal-class weapons, and some guts.
Once, I found a monster camp that looked bigger than the average monster camp. Built into hillside, it was a super-complex composed of multiple big skull caves, covered by calamity goo, and also with some boiling mud to go with it. I cleaned it out and was rewarded with some replacement Royal Broadswords to make up for the royal broadswords I broke clearing it out.
I guess I kinda just break even with this encounter, and because the defeated enemies will be resurrected with the next blood moon, it feels like a hollow and pointless victory. But I do prevail.
A bit further to the south, I spot a column of smoke rising from a little hill, not far from the shore, and run over to it, to find an adventuring Hylian woman who greets me and invites me to take a look around the countryside from up here, because it’s easy to find suspicious looking things from a high vantage point. I do so, and I do see a couple of odd geographical points, but I’m not letting myself be distracted from my main quest right now, and I just mark them with the sheikah scope for later, and move on.
I get down to the bridge that I crossed on my first trip away from the Great Plateau, when I was heading for Kakariko village, and continue to follow the river south to Lake Hylia, stopping along the way here and there to solve a few korok puzzles.
All the way I’m looking for Mei, not even knowing what she looks like, but figuring that a Zora will stand out. I’m expecting to find her prone and unconscious, laying on the bank of the river, but that’s not actually what happens.
When I get to Lake Hylia, I’ve still seen no sign or clues as to her whereabouts. Lake Hylia has a very large bridge spanning it, and I use it to get to the mid-point, and try to have a look around. There’s some islands to either side of the bridge, and the larger and more numerous ones are to the west of the bridge. I figure I’ll start there, and glide down to investigate them.
There are numerous lizalfos among the islands, off shore in the water, zooming about. Engaging them is tough. They are well armed, and the more powerful white and purple striped kind that I think of as “shamans”, which I guess is a throwback to my D&D roots, where the larger groups of orcs and goblins would be lead by a leader with higher hit dice and better arms and armor, and often referred to as a shaman. These lizals wield Royal Claymores, which are not weapons you want to get hit by. I manage to avoid this, but mainly because they seem to prefer to stand offshore and spit at me repeatedly, which doesn’t do much damage, but sure is annoying.
I shoot shock arrows at them, and while they go decent damage, these shaman lizals are so tough that I could nail them 10-15 times with shock arrows before they drop. I don’t have all day.
I find a few hidden treasure chests on the smaller islands, and the largest island in the group has a shrine on it. I unlock it and enter, and it’s a puzzle shrine, where there’s a large stone block that can be send up a vertical rail, using bombs as propulsion. The ceiling is bombable rocks. The solution is to place a square bomb on top of the block, and blow it up to the roof using the round bomb, and then explode the square bomb when the block reaches the top, to break up the ceiling. Then do it a second time, this time riding the block and using its momentum to throw you up into the air, where you can glide and reach a chest and the shrine master.
Emerging from the shrine, I encounter a second Lizalfos shaman, fight him, and then explore the remaining islands. I finally find Mei, she’s out by the last island in the circle from where I started. I talk to her, she really just forgot herself and was having such a good time fishing she didn’t realize that she had gone missing. She gives me five fish and a silver rupee and heads for home.
Mission accomplished. That was quite a long journey, and I’m feeling pretty exhausted.
The Xenoblade Chronicles crossover quest that they gave me says that one of the red shooting stars is visible in the southern sky, standing at the midpoint of the largest bridge in Hyrule, and the bridge across Lake Hylia is surely that bridge. I transport to the nearby tower, and glide down from there to the mid-point of the bridge. This area is guarded by more lizals, but these ones are the garden variety basic green lizal, and are easily dispatched. Having done so, I have a few hours of game time to kill waiting for night and the shooting star.
Looking around, I find a couple more korok seeds along the bridge, and one ring of stones that I’m supposed to throw a stone into, but it’s so high up, I keep missing, and I doubt I’ll ever get that one. Maybe I can put a rock on the raft down by the lake shore and run it out there, instead of trying to drop it form off the bridge, which is at least 100 feet above the water.
Night comes, and before very long I see the red shooting star fly through the sky, and land on the shore on the west side of the bridge, to the south, right by where the raft is, actually. I glide down there, and open the chest, and it’s another piece of the Scavanger armor set.
The final shooting star is supposed to be seen from the top of the “pierced white mountain”, which I think might be a reference to Mount Lanayru, but it turns out that it’s really the tallest peak in Hebra, as I find out after giving up and googling for the answer. I don’t understand the “pierced” reference to know how I would figure out that it’s this peak in Hebra.
I transport to the shrine nearest the peak, and have to melt my way through some ice blocks that block the entrance to the cave where the shrine resides, then I have a bit of a climb to get to the peak. I get up there and it’s soon night time, and I see the shooting star. I glide down to the crash site, and find another chest, with the last remaining piece in the Scavenger armor set. Sidequest complete.
To round out the night’s mission, I run out to Korok woods to fish for stealthfin trout, then to Eldin mountain to try to find more smotherwing butterflies, but I only find three trout and one lousy butterfly. Then I transport to East Akkala stable, and buy another three butterflies from Beedle, and head to the Akkala fairy to upgrade my gear.
I still don’t have everything I need to upgrade all my stuff, and won’t for quite some time yet to come, but I’m getting there. I upgrade two or three pieces of my kit, and call it a session.