There’s two things that I’ve noticed about Breath of the Wild as I’ve played through most of it so far.
One is that my multi-shot bows seem to consume multiple arrows per shot, contrary to what I’ve read. When I pull one out to use against my toughest foes, I find myself going through half my arrows after the fight is done. I expect that there must have been a patch that decided to nerf the multi-shot bows by having them consume ammo at 2-5x the usual rate, and I’m sad about it. I can’t complain that it’s not fair, but everything I’ve been able to find in writing about multi-shot bows says that they “curiously” only take one arrow from inventory per shot, as though they magically multiply in flight.
As a result I’ve been consuming a whole lot of arrows as I’ve been going into combat with Lynels using the Savage Lynel Bows, for the extra damage they deal, and since the Lynels I’m fighting generally drop a multi-shot bow, it’s not like I’m going to run out of the things. But as they consume arrows at such a rate, it’s a worse option than I’d hoped it would be based on everything I’d read about them.
Two: I think it’s cool that boomerangs are in the game, and I think it’s interesting that they’re basically melee weapons that are a little more interesting to throw at enemies. In the original LoZ, of course, the boomerang was basically Link’s main secondary weapon through most of the game. In LoZ it had a multitude of uses, from being able to grab items at a distance to stunning many of Link’s enemies to killing the very weak ones. It wasn’t the most powerful secondary weapon — the magic wand, bow, and bombs all had more power, but its usefulness at grabbing items at a distance and stunning enemies made it highly advantageous to keep equipped most of the time. And of course, bombs and the bow had finite ammo, while the boomerang was infinitely reusable.
In Breath of the Wild, though, there’s basically no additional uses for boomerangs outside of combat, and they’re not even particularly good at returning to the hand when thrown. They drop to the ground when they hit something (admittedly this is realistic, which probably befits the greater realism in the 3-D Zelda games) and they’re not automatic catches when they do return to you.
As well, when they’re in flight, you don’t have a melee weapon to fall back on, leaving you a bit vulnerable for close-in enemies. And you can’t easily throw in any direction, as you could in LoZ. It was often the case that I’d sword in front of me, while shooting the boomerang in a different direction, to deal with an enemy threatening me from the flank or behind or whatever. In BOTW, I hardly ever throw a weapon, because mostly I miss with them and disarm myself, and when I don’t I often break the weapon. It’s supposed to be advantageous to throw badly damaged weapons, as they do double damage when they break on their final hit. But I basically never bother with this move, as when I’ve tried I’ve almost always missed, and ended up leaving myself defenseless and open to a counter-attack, and end up taking more damage, and losing a weapon.
But wouldn’t it have been fun if there had been a few boomerang-specific challenges, perhaps shrine puzzles that you could solve by a carefully aimed boomerang toss, using the curved path of its flight to pass through multiple rings or hit multiple targets, or perhaps to retrieve items that are out of reach.
It’s not a major disappointment, or anything, just an observance of a missed opportunity to have a callback to the classic game.
Back to the adventure…
I am still working on maxing out all my clothing upgrades, and this time I decide to try to obtain the Swift Violets that I need to upgrade my snow and sand boots. I know they grow on mountainsides, and with all the climbing I’ve done, you’d think I’d have a bunch, but I always prioritized making it to the top of whatever I was climbing to over collecting the stuff that grows on the way up.
I look up the best places to find Swift Violets, and apparently they are plentiful in the highlands on the east end of Gerudo. I transport out there to a nearby shrine, and set my Sheikah sensor to detect them — one of the few times I’ve actually made use of this capability. Before too long, my sensor is pinging, and it’s still a bit of a trick to find them, because you never know whether they’re above or below, and when they’re below they’re especially hard to spot due to the limitations of the camera system, you can’t lean way out over the edge in order to look down and get a clear view of the cliff face.
Eventually, though, after much walking about and climbing, I manage to get my inventory up to 15 Violets, which is what I need for my next upgrade. I might need more, but for now this is good.
I’m nearby the low-lying desert valley/canyon where there are two Lynels on patrol, and I do need a few more Lynel hoofs and horns for Barbarian armor suit upgrades, so I go find the Silver Lynel nearest the south end of the valley, and pick a fight with him.
He is terrible! I am still barely a match for this one, the silvers are very powerful. This one wields a massive club which any time it connects with me, drops my health by about half, even while wearing good armor. He fires lightning arrows, which I counter by donning my rubber armor suit, to protect me against the shock damage and from dropping my equipment.
He is fast, and the ground is a bit uneven, which makes targeting him for headshots with the bow tricky. This is my favored method of fighting Lynels — stun them with an arrow to the head, and then hit them a few times, mount them, hit them a few more times, and as you’re thrown free, hit them a few more times with mid-air arrows, ideally for additional headshots. My aim and timing are poor this time, and he hits me again and again, knocking me reeling, and I take so much time getting back to my feet that he’s back on me just as soon as I’m getting ready to face his direction so I can try to get off another shot. About half the time he hits me before I’m ready, or just as I’m about to get a shot lined up. I end up wasting about 5-6 durian fruit meals, and use up nearly all my arrows, but I do bring him down, finally.
He drops some horns and hoofs, and I hope it’ll be enough to upgrade something, but I’m probably going to need to fight 1-2 more Lynels at the very least before I can max out the Barbarian suit. The club he drops is a Savage Lynel Club, and it’s the most powerful weapon I’ve seen yet, with an attack rating of 78, which is 4 better than my Ancient Battle Axe++. No wonder it hit so hard.
I transport to Kakariko village — my Sheikah slate photo album says that Swift carrots are found there, and I don’t know that they’re found anywhere else. I know I can buy them from the store, so I just go there. I don’t really know my way around Kakariko village all that well, despite having been there countless times. I always get turned around, the buildings all look a like, and I get disoriented easily. So it takes me about a day and a half of wandering just to find where the damn carrots are grown, and then I find the shop that sells them. I probably checked every building 2-3 times but the right one before I finally found it.
I buy my carrots, I need 10, I can afford them, good. While I’m looking for the carrots, I enter a small house, where I talk to a young woman who tells me that they wish they could see fireflies, which opens a sidequest I never discovered in all my previous visits.
This one’s easy; I have a bunch of fireflies in my inventory, so I talk to the woman again, and she wishes she could see them. I guess I’m not just supposed to give them to her, as you do in so many other similar quests for people who are asking for stuff. So I take them out of my inventory and hold them, then release them into the room of her house.
She’s happy and gives me 50 rupees, and says that she wishes someone named Claree, who I assume lives in the village — I don’t pay that close attention to names half the time — would probably love to see a picture of this, so I take a snapshot with the Sheikah Slate camera, just in case that’s something I need to do.
Later, I find that Claree is the girl behind the counter at the clothing store in the village, but I can’t seem to talk to her about the fireflies. I guess this person who I gave the fireflies to is the girl who normally stands outside the store during the day to bring in customers; at night she stays at this small house that’s set far back away from the road, and I’d never been inside it before, at least not at night when she’s there to kick off the firefly quest. I don’t know if Claree is ever not behind the counter, but I know the girl who manages the counter at the Hateno village inn would give a different dialog tree if you came behind the counter to talk to her; here, I can’t seem to get behind the counter to try this. So I’m not sure what to do or if there’s just nothing more to this sidequest.
I’m about to go head up to the fairy to upgrade my clothes, when I see one of the guards has a red exclamation mark above his head, meaning I should talk to him. He says the sheikah orb that Impa and Paya have been guarding has been stolen!
I go into Impa’s house and talk to them, and learn that it must have happened at night, but they didn’t see anything. It’s a mystery. I have to find out who may know anything, and try to find the thief. There’s an old woman who acts suspicious, but it turns out that she only has been stealing swift carrots, which are her favorite food, from the garden at night. She begs me not to tell anyone, and I’m like, whatever, have all the carrots you want. I’m not a carrot narc.
I decide to head up the hill to where the pedestal is, figuring that there’s bound to be something going on up there that’s connected to the theft, and sure enough on the way up there I see one of the villagers up by the local Shrine (where months ago I learned some of the advanced combat techniques, then promptly forgot how to do them, never bothered to learn them, because I try to avoid melee combat as much as I can. And upon re-visiting the shrine, it’s now cleared and empty, and I can’t re-take the challenge any longer to develop the sense of timing needed to pull off the parry and dodge moves that enable me to unleash a flurry of counter-strikes. I’m not bitter about it or anything.) Anyway, I talk to the guy, and he says the guard Dorian went back into the woods, but he wasn’t sure what for.
I head there, and Dorian is talking to a Yiga clan swordsman, who has been blackmailing him to work for them. It turns out Dorian used to work for the Yiga clan, but broke ties with them, and has been afraid for his family ever since then. I have to defeat the swordsman myself — Dorian doesn’t aid in any way — I was half expecting him to, and end up being mortally wounded during the fight, redeeming himself to save me or something. But after I defeat the swordsman, he confesses and begs me to keep his secret. He is loyal to the village now, and swears to fight the Yiga at all costs.
He tells me that he cannot unlock the shrine using the orb, but that he believes I can, since I am the legendary hero who it was foretold could do it, and of course I can. I put the orb into the pedestal, and a shrine appears from the ground in front of us. There’s no challenge here, just a chest containing a Sword of Duality and a Spirit Orb.
I now have four orbs, and can add another heart container to my life meter, which will leave me needing just one last heart container to finally fill out my meter to the maximum. I leave the Sword of Duality behind — it’s a great two-handed sword with an attack rating of 64, but I have so many Royal Claymores that have an attack rating of 62 that I don’t have room for it, and I’m not discarding an unused Royal Claymore just to pick up an extra +2 to attack. I’ll come back for it someday if I need to, and just leave it for the future, as I have done with so many other shrine chest weapons all over the world map.
I go to the nearby fairy, and upgrade my stuff. I still have a few more upgrades to go, and need to get more materials in order to finish maxing out my stuff.
I need to go talk to Impa and Paya to wrap up any loose ends pertaining to the shrine quest. Paya tells me she is glad that the sacred orb has proven helpful to me, and Impa tells me that I should go and face Ganon now, because she is not sure how much longer Zelda can hold out against him.
I want to try to farm some Naydra scales and horns, so I can complete upgrading my outfits. I run out of Kakariko, past the Great Fairy Fountain, along the road to Lanayru, and veer to the North where the road forks, and follow the mountain ridge as far as I can towards Lanayru. I have not been along this way before, and I find a few Korok seeds, bringing my total up to 55, which is enough to buy the last melee weapon slot for my inventory. There’s a korok hidden under a rock at the top of a tree by a pond with a small waterfall and numerous deer grazing and wading in the water, and nearby there, I find an archery test which is one of the most difficult ones I have had to face. Two balloons, at about maximum range for the Royal bow, arcing past each other periodically, and I have to lead them and aim my shot slightly above point of impact to arc the arrow to its mark. It takes many arrows to get the timing and range close, but I eventually zero in close enough and manage two lucky shots to claim the prize. It probably costs me about 10 arrows to accomplish this, leaving me with only about 20 left. Which, is actually a lot of arrows if you had to carry them around in real life, but at the rate I go through them, it’s not much.
After I win this seed, I see Kass the birdman off in the distance, playing his accordion, which is just faintly audible in the distance. I make a point to come back to him later. Right now I am focused on Naydra.
I also happen across a slumbering blue Hinox along the way, and needing some Hinox parts, take the opportunity to claim them. I try the stand in the hand trick, and as happens to me 2/3 of the time, the trick fails, I clip through the Hinox or slide off of him, causing him to wake up. I just start button mashing and hit him as many times as I can with the Master Sword, and end up getting him down by 2/3 before he is even displaying his health bar, and get him all the way down before he manages even one attack. he drops Hinox Guts, which is what I needed, and few Royal weapons: bow, halberd, broadsword; and a bunch of food and some other body parts. I take everything I can carry, leave the rest, and move on.
At a certain point near the west end of Lanayru Bay, just past where I fought the Hinox, I notice two trees growing near each other, looking a bit like goal posts. Earlier when I was farming Swift Violets, the first location I tried was on the east face of the Dueling Peaks, the northern peak by the Dueling Peaks stable shrine. I didn’t have any luck following the sensor signal there, and gave up, but before I did, I summited the northern peak and observed two trees in a similar orientation, with some nearby boulders, which, when I rolled one through, revealed a korok seed.
I look around for another such boulder, but am unable to find one. Eventually, though, Naydral appears and flies almost directly overhead. I launch myself off the mountain and try to fly as close to him as I can, and manage to score a hit with the bow and knock a scale loose from him. I run to pick it up, and then run around the area looking for more korok seeds and foraging whatever else I can find while waiting for Naydra to re-appear again.
He does, and I try to get a shard of his horn, but it’s so hard to accurately gauge the range to him, and my bow doesn’t ever seem to be capable of reaching him. No matter how close he seems, no matter how much of the screen he takes up with his immense form, I still seem to always be well out of range of the bow I’m using and my arrows fall short. I fail to connect, and waste a bunch of arrows.
I had just recently saved, so I restore and try again, but Naydra doesn’t show up this time for many more hours. I don’t understand the timing of when he appears, or what triggers force him not to spawn.
I was hoping I could pick up another piece of horn, and then I could to go the Korok village to visit Hestu and max out my melee weapon inventory slots. I wait until Naydra appears again, and get up very close to him but still only manage a scale hit, and don’t claim my piece of horn that I needed, but at least I managed to get a scale.
Giving up for the moment, I transport to the Korok village, visit Hestu, and exchange my 55 korok seeds for my final melee weapon inventory slot, then visit the korok shop and buy out all their arrows. For good measure, I transport to Gerudo Town and Hateno village and buy out all their arrows as well. This only brings me up to around 50 arrows, though. I’d like to get about 3x that many. But it’s a start.
I finally remember about Kass.
Kass usually means something hidden nearby, and a puzzle to solve, so I go back and talk to him, and he’s standing next to a Sheikah pedestal. He sings me a song about a forest creature with a crown of bone, who will reveal a shrine if I mount him. Seems straightforward enough. At first I wonder if maybe this song is in reference to the Lord of the Mountain, but I don’t think he has a crown of bone. It seems much more likely that the song is about the local deer, who seem especially plentiful nearby, and some of whom have antlers, which sounds more like a “crown of bone” to me, although antler isn’t bone.
I try sneaking up on a deer, and just happen to glide in at one who doesn’t have antlers, but land perfectly on it, mounting it and tame it quickly. It turns out that they are indeed ride-able. I ride it over to the pedestal, and nothing happens.
I go find a deer with antlers, and do the same thing, and this solves the puzzle. A shrine rumbles forth out of the ground, and I enter.
This one has a puzzle. There’s a switch, which can be triggered by hitting it, which when triggered causes a block to rotate around a circle. I need to ride the block around the circle, stopping to open a chest, and then activate a switch, which opens the gate to the shrine master’s chamber, then get to the shrine master.
To make it complicated, there’s a pillar in the middle of the room that makes reaching the switch difficult from anywhere but the first two positions.
The solution isn’t that difficult. There’s a metal box sitting on a platform adjacent to the switch, with a laser beam blasting it. I use magnesis to move the block, and the laser hits the switch, triggering it. I need the metal box in order to set it on the switch so it will hold the shrine door open so I can enter it. I place the metal box on the floor switch, and the shrine opens. I go back to the hit-activated switch, and I lay a square bomb next to it. I stand on the rotating platform, and hit the laser block with time-stop, which interrupts the laser beam. When the time-stop wears off, the beam fires again, triggering the switch, and I rotate to the platform where I can open the chest. I get a Great Thunderblade. Next, I fire an arrow at the switch, which is an easy shot from this position, and the moving platform rotates to the next station, where I would need to activate the floor switch to open the shrine gate if I hadn’t already done so with the metal box. I just need to activate the hit-activated switch one more time to move the platform I’m standing on to the final position. To accomplish this, I detonate the square bomb, which triggers the switch a final time, rotating the block I’m standing on into position in front of the shrine master’s chamber, and I’m able to walk right in. Easy.
I claim my Spirit Orb and leave. I return to Kakariko village and pray at the goddess statue, and receive my 2nd to last heart container. I visit the Great Fairy and take note of all the stuff I still need to get to finish upgrading my gear:
- 1 Star Fragment
- 2 Naydral’s Horn
- 1 Dinraal’s Horn
- 4 Lynel Hoof (I have 3 already, need one more)
- 5 Ancient Core (I have 1, need 4 more)
- 30 Swift Violets (I have 2, need 28).
The swift violets are easy, just time consuming. The Lynel Hoof is not hard. The dragon pieces are proving very difficult for me to harvest. I guess I need to obtain a good long-range bow. The powerful Royal and Lynel bows do a lot of damage, but only have a short range, and what I need for this is speed, range, and accuracy. Damage is not particularly relevant. The Star Fragment and Ancient Cores are pretty rare. I can just kill Guardians until they drop enough Ancient Cores, but that may take a lot of encounters. I don’t know how frequently they drop, but I don’t think it’s as often as one per Guardian. But I’ve gotten pretty good at fighting them, and the Master Sword doesn’t break, so I can mine the Ancient Cores for basically free, not counting the cost of labor. The Star Fragment will require a lot of patience and/or luck, but fortunately I only need one, and since I’ve seen at least one drop as Lynel loot, maybe I can get lucky with my next Lynel kill and get one that way.
If I can find another 10 korok seeds along the way, I can expand my shield inventory further. I’m not that worried about it, but if I can do it, I will.