I’m stuck clinging to the side of a steep, slippery sloping green hill, slick with rain at 5:00 AM in an uncharted area of the map in the Farun Grasslands, having raced halfway across Hyrule in order to grab a piece of shooting star that I had seen fall to earth while I was gliding high above in the Sky world level of the map. Having just barely reached the shooting star fragment before it tumbled into the sea to be lost forever, the rains started, and there I was, unable to climb or gain any traction.
Or so it seemed. I discover that, at least on slopes this gentle, I’m able to press B to cancel out of climbing without falling or sliding downhill, and enter into Link’s run animation for a bit, which allows my stamina meter to recover somewhat, and maybe also allows me to make a couple steps of progress, before I again trigger another climbing grab, which I can also use to climb a short distance, and press B to cancel out of before the rain causes me to slip and lose that progress.
I can’t use the Purah Pad telescope while in climbing mode, but when I stand I can turn it on, and once I get to a spot where I’m stable, I take the opportunity to look around out from where I am. Although I’m low on the slope, I still have a pretty decent view out into the distance. The slope extends downward to a shoreline of a large body of water, I think it’s a lake. I see a few islands, and I can see the opposite shore beyond. It’s still dark, and rainy, so I can’t make much detail, everything’s just dark shapes and silhouettes. But off to my left, I think to the North, I spot some fires, far in the distance. Thinking they could be signal fires or camp fires, I try to zoom in as well as I can, wondering how they can remain lit during a downpour. As I reach max zoom, I see what appears to be the shape of a huge dragon, with multiple heads! Each of the heads seems to be emitting a flame. I activate the Purah Pad Camera to take a picture, and it identifies the creature as Flame Gleeok. A wave of dread hits me and I realize that eventually I must face this terrible creature. But for now, it’s back to climbing.
It’s slow and a bit of a cheat, but climb-canceling does enable me to get up to a part of the hillside that I can do a true run along, and I’m able to get up to the top of the hill again. By the time I make it to the top, the rain has subsided for a bit. I know that there should be a pool of water that will serve as another trigger point for the story cutscenes that I’m trying to find for Impa’s quest, and I don’t want to move on from this area until I’ve found it, but I have no idea where it is. It’s not at the top center of the geoglyph, as I had hoped, so I just have to start “mowing the lawn” methodically walking up and down until I find it, I guess. Fortunately, I end up stumbling into it right away, along the side to my right as I’m looking down hill.
This story cutscene is a vision of Princess Zelda and King Rauru in the distant past. It appears that Queen Sonia may have died, as it seems Rauru is paying respects to her at a statue. Zelda approaches and they have a conversation about the upcoming battle with the Demon King, which will apparently happen tomorrow. Zelda, being from the future, knows what she and Link discovered deep under Hyrule Castle, and she tries to warn Rauru about the danger, about the outcome. About how now matter how strong or ready they think they are, they won’t have enough strength to defeat the Demon King permanently, and Zelda tries to warn Rauru that although the Demon King will survive, he will not.
Rauru’s duty is to his kingdom, and he must try, he says. And, besides, Zelda’s memories are from a future that may not happen, because in that timeline she had not yet been sent into the past. So there must be a reason why she has been sent back, and he believes that it will change the outcome.
As the vision fades, it occurs to me that these pools that I’m finding, that trigger these visions, must be the titular “Tears” of the Kingdom.
I’d like to get the map data for Faron, and I look around for the Skyview Tower for the region, but when I find it, I realize I’ve been to it already but it was out of order with no apparent puzzle to solve, and it’s on the far end of the zone from where I am standing. So it’s likely to be a waste of time to go back there, although who knows, maybe not, and if I walk it and meander I could run into some adventure or at least pick up some forage.
I climb to the highest point in the immediate vicinity, and I notice the earth seems to quake. At first I think I just imagined it, and then I feel it again. A very light rumble on the controller, and the camera shakes as though something very heavy hit the ground, causing a small tremor. Talus? Giant footsteps? Sky islands falling? It seems periodic and regular, and doesn’t seem to be increasing or diminishing.
Clearly it’s a clue about something but I don’t know what. It’s raining again and dark to where I can’t see far.
Off in the distance I do see something – – a laser beam? A thin orange finger of light, and an explosion. I take a closer look, it’s a short distance away, and might be the cause of the tremor. I see what it is, a Soldier Zonai and a blue bokoblin are engaged in combat. Then I see a second pair squaring off near them. It’s 2 on 2, and they seem evenly matched, but I want to take the bokoblin down, so I swoop in, and take it with a bullet time headshot with my bow, just as it put a killing blow on the Zonai. I claim the item drops and look for the other pair, but they seem to have mutually destroyed each other.
The Zonai were apparently guarding a chunk of sky land that had fallen to earth. I climb it using Ascend, and find a treasure chest containing a nice Zonai weapon.
The tremors haven’t stopped, so the combat couldn’t have been the cause of them.
I scan the horizon again, and spot a new Skyview Tower in the distance, on the far side of the Gleeok bridge. It’s in the distance beyond the bridge, but the bridge isn’t on the path between my position and the bridge; the bridge is a perpendicular road that crosses my path if I’m headed to the tower.
On the near side, the lake, with its small islands, the largest has a chasm to the underworld.
Beyond the bridge, I can’t see anything. The bridge is tall and blocks most everything.
I pin the new tower on the map and decide to try to head for it. I glide down, but only make it as far as the small islands in the lake on the near side of the bridge. I decide to explore the chasm and see what lies below the earth.
When I jump into the hole, it’s so dark I can’t see the bottom, and I hit hard, and if it weren’t for the Fairy I had in my inventory, that would have been game over.
I get up and look around. I’m on a rise of land, a round hump. Below me is very dark, and I can’t see hardly anything. The reddish glow of Gloom is present in many directions, offering me little choice in which way I can explore. I go as far as I am able on foot in one direction, and come to a wide stretch of Gloom, impassible. I go back the other way, and after a while I reach another broad moat of the stuff. It seems like there is little around here at all, few enemies, and little else beyond a bunch of Poes, which I harvest.
Back near the area where I fell down, there was a ruined area where I saw some Zonai tech, so I go back to it and have a better look. I find there are a variety of parts, including wheels, a platform, a control yoke. I can make a vehicle. I augment it with some pieces that look a bit like shielding, hoping that this may offer me some protection if I do run into an enemy. Finally, some parts I don’t recognize, but I surmise may be batteries. As a final touch, I throw a Brightbloom seed at it, to create a “headlight” that will move with me as I drive through the underworld, and hopefully allow me to conserve resources. Hitting the vehicle with the brightbloom activates the Zonai tech, and the machine runs off without me, unexpectedly.
I get in and after about an hour of awkward false starts where I drive up walls and roll the vehicle over onto me, or get dumped into Gloom bogs, or drive clumsily in circles that take me back to where I started, I finally discover a Light Root, hidden away in a cul de sac, and activate it. It seems there’s no where to go but back out how I arrived.
There seems to be nothing else for me to do, and every time I try to drive in the opposite direction of the cul de sac I end up getting turned around, uselessly, so I eventually give up on this area and quick-travel to the nearest activated shrine to the skyview tower I saw on the opposite side of the bridge being guarded by Gleeok.
When I make it to the Skyview Tower, it’s still out of order, and there’s still no one around to talk to about it, and nothing to give me a clue about what’s wrong with it, so I still can’t unlock the map data for this region.
I try climbing the tower, more to have a look around than because I think it’ll help any. After I get about halfway up, it’s getting dark, and a shooting star falls from the sky, and lands some distance away. This one is close enough for me to run over to, so I glide down from the tower, making a beeline for the crash site. I touch down in the water of a river, swim to the shore, and climb up, and run, run, run, until I make it to the star fragment, and grab it.
I’m a long way from anything now, so I just try screwing around, scouting the area, and trying to find anything of interest nearby.
I don’t remember clearly what comes next, since I’m moving about rather aimlessly and have nothing in particular that I’m trying to accomplish. I keep scoping out the area, looking for anything that looks interesting, be it shrine or tower or anything else for that matter.
Off in the distance, I spot a shrine, and decide to head toward it. As I get closer, I also spot a series of smoke rings coming up from the ground. It looks closer, and more or less on the way, so I veer in that direction. Before I get to the smoke signal, I find a Hylian woman camped by the side of the road. She tells me that she’s the cook from a group of monster fighters who went out ahead to combat some monsters in a pirate ship who attacked a nearby village recently, and suggests if I think I’m good with a sword, to head that way and lend a hand, and gives me a sample dish of her cooking.
I’m not interested in taking that on right now, so I continue heading in the direction of the smoke signals, which from what I can see now is a new Horse Stable. I check it out. There’s a lot of new people to talk to, and they tell me a lot of information about things in the area, in all directions. It is a lot to take in, and I don’t think to take notes as they’re telling me everything. Some of it is stuff I’ve heard rumors about elsewhere, but a lot of it is brand new.
The nearby shrine is my priority, so I ignore all this information and potential sidequests, and head out to unlock the shrine so I can use it for a fast-travel destination when I want to come back this way.
Just outside the Stable, there’s a boy who’s standing up a tree, playing a flute. This is most curious, so I go to climb the tree and talk to him. Maybe he’ll give me his flute? One of the people at the stable told me he was responsible for setting a fire, and he tells me his side of the story. He was trying to make a tree glow in order to impress a girl named Haite, and now he’s sorry for the accident he caused, and is trying to make up for it by trying again, this time with fireflies.
It so happens that I’ve already caught as many fireflies as he needs, so I just give them to him, and then he tells me I should bring Haite to see him, but wait until it’s night time. So I do that, and he puts on a performance with his flute, and the fireflies light up the sky, and Haite is very happy. So the flute kid is happy, too. He tells me he wants to go off to a nearby stable and re-join up with his old band and play with them.
I wonder where this is all going, but I suppose we’ll find out, in time.
Then, I notice a well behind the stable, and decide to check it out, since they’re usually quick and offer a lot of forage pickup, free and easy.
This well turns out to be very different from that. It’s small at first, with not much there. but I notice a bombable wall, and blow it up, which reveals a long, long cavern that extends all the way to the southern shore, coming out onto a beach. The way is very dangerous, with numerous blue bokoblins and a few electric Like LIkes, and I have to be very careful as I make my way through the cave. But the cave is rich with forage items to pick up, and the combat also yields some decent drops, of items that I don’t have many of.
I get to the other end of the cavern and make the Discovery of the cave entrance to the southern shore beach.
Just then, the Blood Moon happens, which annoys the hell out of me, because I had just gotten done with the first real combat test that I’ve chosen to take on in ages only to have all that work undone. Now the cave will be full of monsters again, and dangerous, and I don’t want to fight my way through all that again. So I just step into the entrance of the cave and Ascend to get back up to the top of the ground, and hike it overland back to where the Stable and the shrine is.
I enter the Shrine, and it’s a really easy one. There are a series of challenges where you use Ultrahand to pull back on a swinging paddle that strikes a large steel ball, sending it along rails, to knock it into a bowl, which activates a door.
The first one is dead easy, to introduce the concept. The second one requires additional force, so I glue a large steel box to the back of the swinging paddle, which is an obvious solution, and it works, on the first try.
The third one is a little trickier, but the clue is in the title of the shrine, “longer or wider”. This time the ball is too low for the paddle to reach it, but I can attach a panel to it that will lengthen the paddle. This knocks the ball into a bowl, which releases a cart, which rolls down a rail to my position, and then lands on another section of rail. I’m obviously supposed to get into the cart and ride it to the shrine’s inner chamber. But the paddle won’t hit this cart, either. But if I attach the panel that I used to lengthen the paddle, I can turn it sideways, and it will hit the cart.
This again works, first try, and as I’m rolling up to the inner chamber, there’s a treasure chest that I could try to grab, but I’m facing the wrong way and don’t have time or skill enough to rotate and try to grab it with Ultrahand as I’m rolling past.
I don’t care, because whatever it is, almost certainly isn’t worth much. I’ll come back again to make sure, just to be safe, though.
I complete the challenge and receive the Light of Blessing, of which I now have six.
Do I want more Stamina or more Health?
Outside of the Stable, I can see two more shrines, a good distance away, and I mark them with my scope for later.