TOTK Diary 32

It’s hard to remember exactly what I did in this session, because mostly I screwed around aimlessly and fucked off and died a bunch of times.

I wasn’t trying to do anything in particular, but I found a few korok seeds, saw another shooting star fall to earth and collected the meteorite from it, wandered into a Stalnox encounter, which I ran away from, found another korok looking for his friend, the first one that I wasn’t able to find a solution for. This one was near a stable, the one near the ruins of Hyrule Colosseum, and his friend was way the hell up on top of a cliff that I couldn’t find a way to walk to. I tried building a big long ramp to get up there, and still couldn’t manage it, so I gave up for a bit, and tried climbing the cliff myself, but even with two Stamina boosts I couldn’t get up there, and so I decided to try something else.

I noticed a piece of Hyrule’s Sky Land falling to earth nearby, and this was the first time it occurred to me that I could probably use Recall on it, to get it to fall upward, and use that to ride it up as high as I could get while time was moving backward. I tried it, and sure enough it worked. This got me WAY high in the sky, but not high enough to reach any sky islands, so instead I used the glider to land on top of the tall cliff that I couldn’t climb. I had pinned a location there, and wanted to check it out.

It turned out to be a Goron, who had built a test of strength. Kind of like the Goron Golf game that you can discover in BOTW, only this one was a bell ringing thing. It cost 30 rupees to try. I tried shooting the bell with an arrow, which “worked” but didn’t ring loud enough to earn me any reward. I then understood that the point of the test was to build a contraption out of Ultrahandable parts laying about, and come up with a way to ring the bell. There were rockets, uprighters, some bombs, a spring platform, rocks, tree trunks, platforms.. it seemed like a lot of different approaches were possible here. But which one would create the biggest ring?

I tried and tried for like an hour at least to put shit together in such a way that it would make a big loud ring, but it was frustrating, mainly because of balance. Whatever you get for scoring high enough to win, it’s not worth it. So I gave up on it and went back to trying to find a way to bring the korok down below up to his buddy. I looked at the map and it appeared that maybe it would be possible to carry the korok all the way around the base of this mesa, or whatever you want to call it, and carry him up the back of it. But it would take a long time at the speed at which you can walk while carrying a korok with Ultrahand. It seems like there should be a better solution, involving your powers, that is clever and quick, but I can’t figure it out. I try scouting out the long approach, and discover there are Aerocudas and Bokoblins along the way, so I try fighting them to clear them out, and keep dying because I can’t get the timing and the controls to do the perfect dodge or parry, and trigger a flurry rush.

So eventually I try just running past them, and that kind of works, but it gets the entire valley chasing my ass, and I have to run a really long way to get monsters to give up on trying to kill you in this game.

I tried again and found that it’s fun to shoot an enemy from far away with a muddle shroom arrow, confusing him and turning him enraged so that he tries to kill the other enemies nearby. Either that reduces their strength to where you can clean up afterward, or you can just sneak by while they’re distracted with fighting each other, which is also pretty good.

I also discovered that if you sneak, and stick close to the edge of the cliffs, in the shadows and in the tall grass, you stand a good chance of getting past them without being spotted. It’s cool that there’s so many ways to approach the game and they’re all viable and all valid and fun in their own way.

Around the backside of the mesa, I do find a way to go up, but it’s still a bit steep in places and requires climbing. Probably I could manage to carry the korok up this, put him down on a flat spot, climb where I need to, pick him back up again, but man would that be fucking tedious, and I don’t think it’ll be worth the two korok seeds.

I do find another korok seed, a new type of puzzle where you see what looks like a giant dandelion. I think I’ve seen this dandelion before, but didn’t know what it was or what to do with it. You can hit it, and it causes the dandelion seed to launch into the air, and then gently parachute down. I think I’m supposed to hit it a second time, maybe with an arrow, because that seems really challenging and fun, but that isn’t it. I try a bunch of times, and waste what few arrows I have, but it’s OK because I can find them and pick them up again, so all I’m actually doing is wearing out a bow. Well, eventually while I’m trying to do this, night falls, I see a shooting star fall (the one I mentioned at the start of this post), and I go run across Hyrule to get it. I get to where it lands, and while I’m at the landing site of the meteor, after I pick it up, I discover another one of these mysterious dandelions, only this one is on a bit easier ground to climb off of, and I discover that rather than try to hit it again, you’re supposed to try to “catch” it by using the A button (“Look” command). And it’s just a korok seed… well OK fine.

But now that I know that, I can go back and get the other one, so I do that.

After that, I don’t really know what I want to do, but I feel like I should return to Lookout Landing, and trade in some Blessings for more Stamina, and visit the girl I met in one of the wells, and tell her about some of the others that I’ve discovered.

After that, I don’t recall exactly where I go next, if I fast traveled somewhere, or just ran around, or what I did, but I end up at Ancient Tree, the giant tree stump in the middle of a lake in Central Hyrule, the one which in BOTW came with a Bokoblin bridge leading to a small camp of Bokoblins. This time, it’s abandoned, and more hollow — down the center of the tree, I make a “Discovery!” of a cave underneath the hollow tree trunk. It’s huge, twisted, and there’s tree roots everywhere, making it easy to get turned around, get lost, or miss a hidden corner. But it is full of forage. Due to the difficulty of climbing around and the need to swim a lot, it’s very slow to obtain the forage that’s there, but I do pick up a lot of brightbulbs and bomb fruits, and I even find a bubbulfrog, which I kill and take its glowing thing that it drops. I notice when it gets hit by my arrow that it seems to turn into one of those blue glowing spiritual rabbits, which hops quickly away and disappears. So these bubbulfrogs are tied to the forest spirits or something. Their glowing items that they drop are in the “special items” inventory page, and I have no idea what they might be for.

I fast travel back to… oh hell I forget where, I think the shrine near the horse table to the South that is closest to the Lake of the Horse God, maybe? and just sort of start wandering around. I find that fast travel really interrupts the continuity of my memory when I think about where I’ve been and what I’ve done in the game. It’s a super useful ability to have when I need it, and if I have some deliberate purpose to fast-travel to some location for story reasons (say, I just completed a mission and want to travel to the person who sent me on it, and fast-travel is the quickest, most direct way, I’ll remember that) but if I fast-travel back to a location that is closest to an area I haven’t explored fully, and I want to go back there, I have a hard time remembering exactly how it was I got there.

Anyhow, let’s say I’m around that area. I’m exploring, finding koroks, running away from monsters that I don’t want to fight right now because it’s pointless if it isn’t necessary to do it to complete a mission. And I’m just sort of heading in the direction of a shrine that I pinned on the map a long time ago, a long distance away, in the region of Faron, and I’m gradually working my way in that direction.

It’s slow going because I don’t have a lot of gliding opportunities, I’m kind of at a low lying area on the map and working my way back up in altitude as I make my way east and to the south.

At some point in all this, I don’t know exactly where, I find a big stone pillar that is begging to be climbed. I do, I find a korok at the top. I look to see how far away the shrine I’m heading to is, it’s still very far from here. I look down, I see an interesting square shaped stone formation, looking like it’s the foundation to an old building, and it looks like there’s something in the center of it that I should investigate. So I can choose, do I take off from the top of this pole with the glider and go as far toward the shrine as I can get? Or do I go back down to the ground and check this thing on the ground that I spotted?

I decide to check out the nearby thing on the ground, mainly on the theory that I know the point on the map where the shrine is pinned will still be easy to find, but this will not necessarily be so easy to find again. I drop down and there’s a bombable rock in the center of the stone foundation. It’s night and monsters spawn right when I’m getting into this, so I have to fight off some skeletons, and then I blow my self up a few times trying to get a bomb into this hole, which isn’t easy when you can only throw because you’re out of arrows and the angle is such that it’s easiest if you’re within range of the bomb blast. But eventually I open the chest and… it’s just an old halberd that isn’t particularly good.

Nearby there’s a wizzorobe dancing about, but it hasn’t noticed me, so I’ve bene lucky. I look around some more, and spot a grove of what looks like cherry trees in full blossom, looking very Japanese. They stand out with their pink flower petals blooming, and I obviously need to go check that out. As I get closer, I see a gerudo woman sitting by the trees. I talk to her, she tells me she has come to this place hoping to meet her true love, someone who she hasn’t met. She hopes I am he, but quickly determines that I am not, based on the look on my face. Then she tells me of Satori, a magical animal, and something to the effect that Satori likes offerings of fruit. She wishes she had some fruit. Then I notice a fruit basket at the base of the tree in the center, and it’s obvious to me that I need to put a fruit into this basket.

I try it, and the Lord of the Mountain from BOTW appears, then runs off. All around me, bright blue pillars of spiritual light shoot out from the ground! At a distance, it looks like they’re creating a straight line, and I think I’m meant to follow this line. I have no idea how long these lights will be active, so I hurry and ignore absolutely everything else as I sprint at full speed straight as I can toward the closest light in front of me. This takes me across a river and into Farun, and as I get close to the light it seems to disappear, but when I get to the ground where the light seemed to be emanating from, I notice a well-hidden cave!

Was this what I was meant to find? It seems so. This cave is covered with overgrown vines, so I burn them away with a fire seed, and enter. Inside, there’s a river with a fast moving current. There’s little in the way of forage, but there are a few horriblins, walking about on the ceiling. It’s good to hit a horribilin with an arrow, because that causes them to drop from the ceiling, and then you can fight them with melee weapons more easily. But I am down to my last 3 arrows and there’s more than three horribilins in this cave. Fortunately, I discover that horribilins can’t swim, and when they fall into the water they struggle for a bit and then die, so one arrow is all it takes. And when I run out of arrows, I can throw an object at them, like a bomb or a fire seed, and it’ll knock them down the same way. In this way, I proceed through the cave. At one point there’s a Like LIke, and I am not equipped to deal with it, so I stay out of its way and proceed past it. Eventually I go through a couple of waterfalls, leading to a tall waterfall, and as I go over I spot a bubbul frog, but the only way I could hit it would be arrows, and I have none, so I can’t. At the bottom of the falls, there’s a small grotto, within a cave chamber there’s a treasure chest containing a Rubber Helmet!

Armor is one of the best things to find in these games, because unlike weapons armor is permanent, so this is a major find, for once.

Suddenly I’m really enjoying the game. I seem to be at the end of this cave, and there doesn’t seem to be a way out, so I use Ascend.

When I pop up out of the ground, I am surprised to find that those Satori lights are still active, and there’s way more than I had thought there were! They seem to be all over the place. I quickly run to the next one, and discover ANOTHER cave! This one is a zonai excavation. There’s a gate with a crank wheel that opens when I turn the crank, but immediately shuts if I stop turning it. I use Recall to get the crank to turn without me touching it, and this allows me to get through the gate. There’s another treasure chest, but this one just has a Big Zonai charge. I Ascend to exit, and make it to one or two more Satori lights, before they finally fade. I guess they are time based, but whether it’s a full day or just some set amount of time that they stay lit, I don’t know. I need to go back and mark the Cherry grove on the map so I can go back to it again and offer another fruit. There must have been dozens if not hundreds of spots that lit up, and it’ll be much easier to find them if I can use those lights.

Right now, I’m deep into Faron territory, and the Shrine I wanted to check out is still a bit of a distance from me, but I’m closer to it now than I have ever been, so rather than turn back at this point, I proceed forward. I’m thinking if I can reach it, I will be able to use it as another fast-travel point to get here quickly again in the future.

I don’t know how many rivers and other bodies of water I either glided over or swam across, nor how many rocks, hills, and mountains I climbed over. But eventually, I find a falling piece of sky island, which drops conveniently near me, and I stand on it and activate Recall, and ride it all the way back up into the sky, all the way until the Recall power is spent, and the rock begins to fall again.

I jump off and start gliding, activate my Purah Pad scope to see if I can spot the pin, and it’s really not too far away, I think I should be able to reach it easily by gliding. I do so, and then dive down several hundred feet to land right at the Shrine. I hear familiar theme music, and see the familiar smoke rising from a nearby stable. So this is a double find, then. Every stable seems to have a shrine nearby it, so that you can quickly fast-travel to any stable in Hyrule and take your horse out if you want to explore on horseback.

I enter the Shrine, and this one is a series of bridge challenges. The bridges are links that sag like a suspension bridge without cables. The first one I can cross easily, the second I need to hook up using Ultrahand. The third and fourth are more challenging. The third one has too much slack in the middle and so hooking it up, the bridge is still laying on the ground, and the way forward is to jump to this platform in the middle of the bridge span, but with the bridge laying limply on the ground, it’s not helpful.

It takes me a few minutes but I quickly figure out that I can hold the bridge up like it needs to be using Ultrahand, and then drop it, and use Recall to get it to lift back up and hold itself in place long enough for me to pass the obstacle.

The rest of the shrine is just variations on that theme. If there was a treasure chest in this shrine, I didn’t spot it. I get the Light of Blessing, and have enough of those to trade in for another Stamina or Heart Container.

But first I’m going to visit the stable nearby and see what’s going on there.

The Stable man mentions that there is a well behind the Stable (this seems to be a thing with Stables) which is normally full of water when it is raining, which is all the time, but when the rains stop the water level drops and you can go inside. Looking at the weather upcoming on the HUD, it’s going to stop in another 2 hours, which is like 5 minutes in real time, so I run right over and check it out. Sure enough the water level does drop, and I explore the cave under the well. There’s not a lot to it, though, unless I missed something hidden. It’s small, and not a lot of forage to be had. Still, it’s one more out of the 51 remaining to be discovered somewhere in the world…

There’s a man in a hut looking out across a ravine where there’s a pen with some strange animals and a girl tending to them. I find out that they are called Dondons and I take a picture of them. Some people at another stable were talking about these creatures, and were interested in seeing one. Apparently Princess Zelda found them, there are only 5 known specimens, and they eat luminous stone and (it’s hinted) poop out gemstones of other types. I try offering a luminous stone to the Dondons, but they don’t do anything.

I also help out Addison get another sign posted while I’m here, and there’s a Korok who needs to be taken to his friend just down the road. Both are very easy tasks, and I do them. I’m not really sure what else I should do at Faron Stables or in this region, but they tell me that there’s pirates attacking Lurelin Village nearby. So I should probably help there soon. But combat is my least favorite part of the game still.

A few other things while I’m thinking about it:

  • There’s a musical act called the Stable Trotters. The kid with the flute who I met at one of the other stables was a member, and after I helped him he said he wanted to go back to rejoin them. I think, hope that this means that he will play the flute and the fairy who lives near one of the Stables I found will hear him, or maybe he’ll give me the flute and I’ll go play it for the Fairy, and then it will come out, and then I can get my clothing up-armored, and then I can start to enjoy combat a little bit more. With no armor, I get one-shotted by pretty much everything in the game, and I suck at dodging and activating flurry rushes.
  • Most of the Stables have posters on the wall depicting a meal recipe. I have yet to try making any of them, but I will be doing that eventually. I try to take pictures of the posters so I can remember them.
  • I haven’t been to Rito Village yet, because I’m still trying to find some more cold weather gear, but that seems to be the place everyone wants me to go. The newspaper is headquartered there, and I’ve heard enough to know that it’s an important side quest. Word is the weather in Rito is so cold that the people are starving. I might try cooking some cold resistance meals and just go there if I don’t find any more warm clothing soon.
  • I have a similar problem with making progress in Gerudo, but I know how to avoid the desert heat a bit better, since I can travel by night and also stay in the shade. So I might head that way soon, maybe even next.
  • I had a really cool Korok score. On the tall column I climbed, there was a Korok pinwheel, which is an archery contest. I only had a single arrow in my inventory, and there were three balloons that I had to take out. They were moving about in a pattern, and would get close together at one point in the pattern. I watched it a while, and loaded up a bomb arrow and took my shot, and fortunately the bomb explosion took out the other two balloons when I hit the one I was aiming at, which was really cool.
  • I am getting annoyed with always being low on arrows, but at the same time I kindof like it that the game seems to give you lots of reasons to use arrows when you do have them, so you tend not to be able to keep well stocked on them. I use them as quickly as I come by them, and I can’t seem to find more than 7-8 at a time. I find them all over in crates and such, but 1-2 at a time, or a bunch of 5 if I’m lucky. I can also get them as loot drops from fights, but I’ve been avoiding fighting, and I can farm them by dodging archer enemies when they are shooting at me, but this seems to stop producing new arrows after about 3-4, so it’s both slow and not going to build up a stockpile very quickly. Arrows are much more useful in the game now because they can be used to activate switches and Zonai tech, and with Fuse power you can combine an arrow with just about anything, which invites experimentation and the wastage of shit tons of arrows. This constant arrow shortage probably actually makes the game more “strategic” than it would be if I had 60+ arrows at all times, but between not having unlimited bombs like I did in BOTW and having arrows in short supply, it makes it a lot harder to handle myself in fights. It does make the game more challenging, which I like. But I think I’m going to have to trade in a bunch of forage to get rupees and turn apples and junk I don’t really need much of into arrows and armor, because otherwise coming by rupees is pretty rare, too.
Updated: 2023-Jun-09 — 2:58 pm

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