TOTK Diary 17

Up in the clouds. Gliding to a floating rock wasn’t difficult. But there’s nothing on it of interest, other than the view. I’m a long, long way up, and yet there are skylands towering above me off in the distance, at even greater heights. How shall I reach them, I wonder?

I have a clear view of Hyrule below, in all directions, except where clouds are passing over, between the land and my position. Some clouds are at my level, or higher, but most are below. Some even seem to be dark and raining, with lightning illuminating them frequently. It’s a marvel to behold. I spend a few minutes just taking it in. Surveying the land, I try to note and pin a few more Map Towers, but there’s far too many interesting things to note, and not enough pins.

The world is mind boggling in its vastness, and I’ve done so little to explore it. I feel like if I just continue going from one thing to the next, like in the ADHD Heaven picture, I’ll miss so much and never see all of what the game has to offer. On the other hand, if I go methodically, slowly, and “mow the lawn” back and forth over every square inch of the world map, it will take forever and be very tedious, yet be faster and more efficient than sporadically skipping about all over the place.

Nearby, floating just a little below, are a few more “stepping stone” skylands, leading to a larger mass. It seems this is the natural path forward, and it’s a bit more to explore, so I go and check it out.

There’s nothing much about, at least in the way of living beings, although there are plentiful birds who have landed up here, and seem to be a bit surprised to see me.

After they take off, the skyland I’m on is clear, and it’s just me, the trees, and the breeze through the leaves. It’s very peaceful, and beautiful. For a moment, I wonder why I should try to solve the world’s problems, when up here they seem so small, and I could live happily, eating mushrooms and apples and hearty radishes that grow here.

But I want to explore, more than forage, I want to find something cool, something useful, something that will inform me about what this place is, and what it was.

Looking around, it seems there are clues, but I don’t know enough yet to make much out of them. Mostly it is just a peaceful, beautiful ruin. These rocky skylands have some verticality to them, which I can climb down the sides a bit and see if there’s perhaps a small ledge containing a secret, or a sub-level sheltered beneath the top level.

I see a structure on a nearby skyland, a short gap that I can cross with the glider, and it looks to be Zonai, so I go for it. Up close, it’s one of those giant gumball machines, so I put in some Zonai materials and it spits out a bunch of balls, including some new items that I haven’t seen before. I still haven’t played around with these much to make use of them. A cannon, a time bomb, a spring, I’m starting to get more interested in playing around with this stuff. But I suspect that it will be a lot of trial and error, save and restore, until I figure this stuff out and how to control it well. I have a strong suspicion that it will be even harder to control than the horses, which I’m still not very good on.

I can just imagine setting up a platform with some wheels and fans, and having no way to steer it once it’s turned on, being frustrated as the machine careens out of control in not quite the right direction, and I end up deciding that it’s not worth it and that I’m better off just doing things on foot. But I hope the game isn’t like that, really. I want for there to be controls that I can sit at and steer a vehicle that I’ve built, but I haven’t seen anything like that yet.

Next to the Zonai gumball machine, there’s a large stone platform, which I can aim by turning a crank wheel. The platform retracts, only to violently launch at an angle. It looks like it would pulverize me if I were to stand in front of it, but that’s exactly what I do, and it launches me across to a nearby skyland. I land there, and look around a bit, and there’s a hole in the center of this one, a well that goes all the way through, showing the Hyrule landscape far below.

I notice what appears to be some kind of Zonai device dangling from a long cord or vine. I’m puzzled about how I might retrieve it, forgetting for the moment about Ultrahand, and I climb down to try to get a better look, but after my stamina meter drops about half way I think better of this, and climb back to safety.

I continue looking around and see what looks like a Korok challenge tree stump, the kind where if you stand on it, something will happen for you to try to do. I try standing on it, and indeed a thing happens: a flare shoots out, and starts falling far below. I guess I’m meant to chase after it, then? So I dive off the platform. I fall faster than the flare, and end up shooting past it. Trying to slow my descent, I try deploying the glider, and then try to look back upward to see if I can still track the flare, but I’ve lost it. I maybe see it, but it’s hard to tell, as there are other streaks of light streaming down near it and it’s hard to tell which is the real thing.

I decide to just continue falling and see what happens at the bottom. I end up plummeting into Kakariko Village, splashing down in the moat surrounding Impa’s place.

I climb out of the water, and enter, but the place is empty. No Impa, but there’s some books strewn about and I read them. I find that Impa retired as chief of the village, and turned the responsibility over to Paya. After the sky fell, Paya became fascinated with these “Ring Ruins” that came down from the sky and surrounded Kakariko Village. There’s a Hylian man named Tauro, who leads the investigation squad, and who is an expert on the Zonai culture, and who can read their language a bit, who is here to learn what they can. Tauro wants to check out one of the Ring Ruins in particular, but was forbidden to do so by Princess Zelda, who declared them off limits. Apparently Zelda appeared in the village sometime after we disappeared during our exploration under Hyrule Castle, which triggered this geographic transformation.

It’s a bit of a mystery, then, how and where Zelda appears, and how she is traveling about, and why she doesn’t stay with her people. It’s almost like seeing a ghost.

I guess there’s a lot to catch up on and discover here, with a lot of potential side quests and storylines to advance, and I’m not sure where to go next or what to do, exactly.

I feel like instead of reading a book, cover to cover, in page order, I’m doing random seek and playing a 10 second sample of a Compact Disc, skipping around from one snippet to the next in a completely random fashion, and it’s so distorienting. It’s a very postmodern way of constructing narrative, and I find it a bit difficult to get into.

I feel like I should take a break and pick it up again when I have more time. But not having a sense of a direction I should go in next leaves me feeling a bit lost.

Updated: 2023-May-22 — 10:14 pm

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