So much is familiar about Kakariko Village, yet so much has changed. Pretty much everything is new, or transformed. It’s like starting all over again.
Paya is the new village chief, after Impa retired. I haven’t seen Impa yet, and I wonder if she is still alive, but no one has mentioned that she has passed, only that she has retired. So I hope she is still with us.
Dorian, one of the village guards, has two small children. Dorian’s wife died and is buried in the village cemetery, but with the Ring Ruins having fallen, and the one that is off limits per Zelda’s strict orders, they are unable to visit her grave.
I meet a man on the streets who is a visitor to Kakariko, who wants to see the Ring Ruins up close, but is afraid of heights, so cannot.
Tauro, the leader of the Zonai Investigation, who is working on learning the mysteries of the Ring Ruins, has an underling named Calip. Calip is ambitious and wants his name to be remembered, while Tauro seems to be all but consumed with the discoveries that he can make. Calip guards the forbidden ruin, and will not allow anyone near it, not even me. Even Tauro is unable to go against Zelda’s orders.
The clothing shop in Kakariko has fallen on hard times due to the illness of the family’s grandmother. They have raised prices on everything, but if she returns to health they say they will lower them. The Stealth and Radiant outfits are here, but everything is marked $5000 rupees. The shopkeeper also mentions that her sister wants to study fashion in Hateno Village, which has become renown for its fashion design.
The house up the hill is where I find the clothing store’s family. I talk to the younger daughter, she is trying to discover a recipe that will cure the gloom sickness that has affected her grandmother, who is stable but can only eat porridge and rest in bed for now. She has most of the ingredients needed to make porridge, but is missing some ingredient that will be a cure for Gloom. So it’s up to me to find that ingredient and bring it to her, only I don’t know what it might be.
Back in the rest of their property, I find the grandmother in a small house. She is resting and doesn’t have much to tell me that I find useful.
There’s a couple of gardens on the property, one growing carrots but I am not permitted to take them. There’s also a water well on the property, which I notice has a ladder leading down. I climb down it to explore, and find a surprizingly large cave complex, where there are brightshrooms growing along the walls, and some other plants as well. There’s even a chamber with a few brightseed bulbs glowing, and they evidently provide enough light to enable a small crop of pumpkins and carrots to grow. I even find a treasure chest, containing a weapon called the Eight Fold Blade, which seems to have some bonuses to stealth. I don’t need it right now, so I leave the weapon there for later, but I take everything else I can find. There’s a small fire and a cooking pot, and I discover a recipe notebook which suggests a few things to prepare:
- Pumpkin + meat
- Apple + goat butter
- Honey + apples
It seems that the notebook of recipes was written by the deceased wife of Dorian, so it seems to be a hint that if I produce these recipes and give them to her family, that will probably be rewarded somehow.
I like this.
I don’t have all these ingredients, so I need to come back with Goat Butter and Honey. But I intend to make them in this specific kitchen, to make it that much more like the home recipes that Dorian and his children will recognize.
I try to find the exit for the well, but it’s dark and the passages are twisted, and after a while I use Ascend to transport myself to the surface, and come up on the hillside next to Kakariko Village, and in the immediate vicinity I see one of those Zonai gumball machines, and a shrine a bit further off in the distance. Next to the gumball machine, there’s a girl from the Zonai investigation squad, named Cori, who talks to me about Sundelions. She tells me that they grow in the sky level, and seem to repel Gloom. She is studying them, trying to see if they can be cultivated on the ground level here.
Perhaps this is a clue to cure Gloom. I think I have Sundelion in my inventory.
I put some Zonaite items into the gumball machine, and it spits out a bunch of balls. Some of the items produced are new to me: Big Wheel, Stabilizer, Balloon. Cori is impressed. She’s also interested in studying the Zonai tech.
I run up the hill a bit, to collect some forage objects I see. I also want to gain some altitude so I can more easily glide across the valley to reach the shrine that I spotted.
I keep going up, up, and it looks like I’m near one of the Ring Ruins. I find two older looking men standing, arguing about which is better: offense or defense, and a younger looking man sitting under a lean-to. The young man is frustrated with the bickering, and only wants to get rid of some monsters that have occupied the ring ruin, before they damage the inscription on the stones there.
This sounds like a job for Link.
It seems like everything I look at or see is something else for Link to do. I’m just walking around the village and I’ve already picked up a half dozen or so things to do, and I feel like I’ve barely scratched the surface here.
I wonder how many hundreds of hours it will take me to do all these things.
I wonder how people will react to me differently based on the time of day, or what things I’ve seen and done, or what equipment I have, or what clothing I’m wearing. There’s an astronomical number of things I could conceivably try, and no way to try them all in a single lifetime.
I take out the bokoblins at the Ring Ruins. First, I hit them by surprise from a distance, using a bomb arrow to nail one of them in the head. The explosion does some extra damage, and as well they are set on fire, causing further damage. The two bokoblins who survive the initial strike get up and run at the two Hylian swordsmen discussing combat strategy, and engage them. This enables me to come up from behind and deal killing blows without taking any damage.
The swordsmen are thus impressed by my fighting ability, and each learns that focusing solely on offense or defense is not the best way, and that balance is the key.
The younger Hylian thanks me and is able to access the Ring Ruins again, and studies them. There is a stone carving with runes, which he wants to discover the meaning of.
I leave the area and head over to the shrine that I wanted to get into. This one is called An Upright Mechanism. This one gives me a lot of trouble.
First, I know that there are these Zonai devices that stand upright. They act like anchors, so if I attach something to them, they will stay upright, like feet planted firmly on the ground. This makes it possible to raise blocks and keep them upright that normally would fall over due to balance and gravity.
I am able to solve the first part of the challenge with ease. I use Ascend to get through an overhang to reach the first area, then take an L-shaped platform and raise it upright, climb it, and use it as a platform to glide across an open chasm to the other side.
There, I am in a larger room. There is a high wall of bars to my left, which I can see through, but cannot climb. To the right there is a locked room, barred, and a platform with a bowl attached to it, and a ball. There’s another L-shaped platform in the main area where I am, and I can use it to climb over the high wall, then use Ultrahand to glue the ball to the bowl platform, and use another uprighter to stand them up so I can climb them and get over the wall again. Throwing the ball into a small socket in the center of a depressed part of the floor in the main area opens up the barred room, and gives me access to another platform.
From here there is another, wider chasm to cross, only I can’t do it. I think that I could create a lever using the L-shaped piece and the two bowl platforms, gluing them together, using the bottom of the L as a fulcrum, and the weight of the ball in the cup on one side to launch me across the gap.
Only, I can’t get it to work. There’s no way to generate enough force with the ball.
I next try using the three platforms to create an ultra-high ladder, but it still isn’t enough to get me high enough to glide across the gap.
I try many times, and cannot solve the puzzle.
The original idea I had to launch myself using the ball and bowl platforms is so close to the solution, but I’ve missed a critical bit of information about the uprighter device. It can be activated by striking it with a weapon. This exerts the necessary force to launch me like a trebuchet over the gap. Only, I don’t know about hitting the uprighter. I just know that it seems to have inertia when it is set upright, and it can balance things that ordinarily would fall if not attached to them.
So in the end, I have to rely on my first cheat, I look up the solution for this shrine, and it shows me how to activate the uprighter device. There is a clue at the very first challenge, that was too subtle for me to catch: an activated uprighter next to the deactivated one attached to the L-shaped platform. I never activated it previously, just placed it upright by manipulating it with the Ultrahand ability and natural balance. I might have solved it in 20 minutes instead of two hours if I had observed this.
I emerge from the shrine at night, just before the Blood Moon.
After it passes, I look around to see what else there is to check out in my immediate vicinity. It appears there is something more nearby, up higher. I climb and find one of the Ring Ruins. This one is being actively investigated by the Hylian people of the Zonai Investigation Squad. I talk to them, there is a stone slab with Zonai writing on it. One of the investigators is sleeping, or ill, I’m not sure which, and is talking in his sleep about Hearty Truffles. So I bet if I bring him a Hearty Truffle something good will happen.
I continue climbing up above this encampment, and find a treasure chest, which has a Big Zonaite in it. And climb further still, until I reach the top, where there’s a rock that I lift to reveal the hiding place of a Korok. Well, I guess some things never change.
I’m way high up above Kakariko village, with all the climbing that I’ve done, and I can see in all directions, quite a long distance.
I have so much to explore and do. Not only is the game world vast, but it is also especially dense with points of interest and things to do. I can’t imagine fully exploring this game, it’d take years at the rate I’m able to put time into it. It must be incredibly easy to overlook things, or to miss a hint, or to forget something that someone told you about.
How could anyone keep track of all this without taking notes like I’m doing as they play?