TOTK Diary 35

I feel like I’m missing something.

So far in my travels, I’ve discovered two Fairy Flowers, but have been unable to open either of them. There have been clues about the troupe of musicians who hang out near the stables. They’ve apparently traveled to Eldin, which is in the northeast part of Hyrule, and an area I haven’t been to yet.

If I ever want to be capable of going toe-to-toe with monsters, I need to either power up my armor, or learn the secret to dodging. Mostly when I try to fight monsters, I find that my dodge ability stinks. I can’t gauge whether I’m close enough to an enemy to need to dodge. If I’m focused on one enemy, I get flanked by another and hit by that one instead of the one I’m facing off with taking a swing at. Either way, I get one shotted by just about everything in the game now, and it really sucks.

So I think while I’m going to have to master the perfect dodging to enable flurry rushes, I’m going to have to get hit a lot in the process, so probably the best thing for that is to power up my armor, by unlocking the Fairy Flowers, so that means traveling back out to the Stables and looking for more clues about how to find the traveling musicians.

I helped the boy with the flute a while back, and he said he was going to try to meet up with the rest of the group and re-join the band in Eldin, so I guess that’s where I need to go. But just to be sure, I decide to take a quick tour of the known stables I’ve found so far, and double check to make sure I remember all the clues so far.

On the way there, I’m distracted by another Shooting Star, which falls near Hyrule Castle Gates, and I run out that way to grab the Star Fragment. Since I’m there, I decide to try checking out the Castle. I find that the side entrance that had been guarded and off-limits is now open, so I walk in and look around. I find a lot of boxes, and breaking them yields a LOT of arrows. Pretty quickly, I’m stocked up to 45 arrows! I keep exploring the twisty maze-like passages of the Castle, and end up discovering a trap door in the floor, which I take down, and then this leads me to a spiral staircase, which I take up until I get to a hallway. Inside the hallway, I encounter a tough Bokoblin and Lizalfos, which I am not well enough equipped to fight, so I ditch this exploratory mission and fast-travel back to Lookout Landing, where I pray at the statue to get another Stamina expansion, rest at the free bed to regain my health, and talk to some of the people there. It’s a mostly successful mission, since I filled up with a bunch of arrows, I’m happy about it, but it doesn’t seem like I’m yet ready to take on this area of the world.

I quick travel back down to the South, to the shrine nearest Highland Stables, and talk to everyone there. They reinforce the “travel to Eldin” message, so I guess that’s where I should head to.

Outside of the stable, I find a broken Zonai vehicle made from four wheels and a stone slab. It’s rugged looking and can handle all terrain, it reminds me of the one I built when I was in the underground one time. I decide to try repairing it, I put the wheel back on, and then I find a control yoke, and I have a nice, steerable ATV. I decide to test it out and try to get a better understanding of how the battery system works.

I have yet to expand my battery capacity even once, and I’m starting to think I missed something or forgot/didn’t read some instructions on how to improve my battery pack’s capacity. I would like to have a few expansions so that the Zonai tech will be more useful and therefore more valuable. In the meantime, I need to figure out how this stuff works better. It surprised me when, even after turning off the power to the floating sky block vehicle that I made when I was trying to reach the floating labyrinth up North that the platform broke anyway after a while. I need to find out how that works, and on the ground with a wheeled vehicle seems really safe. I drive it, run the battery pack down, and disable it and hop off, and let my battery recharge, and this seems to allow me to travel indefinitely with the vehicle. nothing gets used up or breaks.

OK, so will that work with sky vehicles, or what? I guess we’ll find out next time I try them.

Driving around, I run into a Korok who needs to find his friend, and his friend is nearby but on the other side of the river. I don’t want to give up the motor cart, so I glue the Korok to it, and try to drive around to find a place where I can cross the river. I think maybe the vehicle will propel itself through water, anyway, so maybe it will just enable me to cross the river.

I drive around a mountain road, and keep having to stop to let the battery charge, but it’s OK because I keep running into patches of forage or running over game animals and harvest their meat. So this is really productive. I only try to avoid encounters with enemies, and learn that jumping off the vehicle without turning it off will continue to use battery, and the vehicle will run out of control. So I need to turn it off, then jump off. But sometimes jumping off and letting it ram an enemy might be just the thing.

I finally get down to where I can see the Korok’s buddy camped on the other side of the river. I try driving into the river, but the vehicle doesn’t work well. It floats, but can’t seem to move forward under power. I’m at the mercy of the current, which fortunately is slow. I decide to detach the Korok I’ve glued to the body of the vehicle, and extend him toward the opposite shore as close as I can using Ultrahand, then swim to shore, and hope I can grab him. This works, but just barely, he’s at the extreme range of Ultrahand when I wade out to just before it gets deep enough that I have to start swimming. But I grab him and take his soggy ass over to his friend, and they give me the customary reward. I’m now up to like 66 Korok seeds, and still have yet to run into Hestu.

I notice a well right by this Korok’s campsite, and decide to check it out. It seems to be filled with Gloom, and I wonder if I can go down it or not. It turns out to be a secret Discovery! –a hole leading to the underworld.

I am super low on bomb flowers, and those are pretty plentiful underground, and I’d been planning on doing a foraging session to stock up on them, so I decide this is a good opportunity to take some time to explore and see if I can find some good stuff.

I spend a long time underground, and I’m pretty well off. I have almost 200 brightbloom seeds, so I’m in no danger of getting lost in the dark. I can use them to light my way. I’m near the edge of the region that I had explored and lit up the Light Roots, but it’s mostly new territory that I haven’t been through before.

I mostly find a lot of Poes, Deep Fireflies, and plants other than the Bomb Flowers I really want. I also find a lot of Zonaite ore deposits.

I have to fight a few times, but mostly am happy to ignore enemies and sneak around them or run away. I end up discovering a chest in the Daphne Mine region which contains a Mining Suit of clothing which has a glow effect on it, which will keep me from being completely in the dark. I find though that it doesn’t do that much to light the way ahead of me, so I keep throwing brightbloom seeds, and switch back to my dark shirt after a while, on the theory that it’s better not to be lit up and highly visible when I’m trying to sneak and avoid monsters.

Due to the ever-present obstacles of cavern walls and Gloom pits, and the extreme dark, it’s really easy to get turned around underground, and it takes a long time to figure out a way forward and keep moving in the direction I want to go in. I spend a lot of time hugging the wall of the cavernous underworld, or a large expanse of Gloom, looking for a way to proceed in the direction I want to go.

I discover that there is more verticality to the underworld than I had appreciated initially. There are large fungus-like trees that are easy to climb, and have large, broad leaves that I can stand on and get a better look at the landscape. And there are some massive tree roots that are easy to climb, gentle curving slopes that wind around and allow me to get high enough to glide a long way. Getting a good glider launch position can really help save time, by getting me over an expanse of Gloom that I otherwise would have had to walk a long time to get around.

I eventually find another mining area, and then a Stalnox patrolling a field. I avoid that encounter until it becomes clear that I need to cross that field to get into a new unexplored territory, and I see a bunch of Poes in that direction. So I arm myself with my best weapons and engage.

I nock an arrow with a Red Keese eyeball, and try to target the eye of Stalnox. Keese eyeballs fused to arrows give them a homing ability, but it doesn’t seem to know to home especially on the eyeball, and so doesn’t really help. The first time I fire, I do manage to hit the eyeball, stunning the Stalnox, and I run up and hit it while it’s stunned with a weapon made of two Bokoblin Arms, which has a damage rating of 48, which is by far my most powerful weapon, but it’s also my least durable, and breaks after just a few hits. It seems weird that the damage bonus for bokoblin skeleton arms is so high, but it’s a quirk that I’m happy to take advantage of while it lasts, which is never very long.

Fortunately, though, these hits really deal a lot of damage. The Stalnox gets up and runs after me, and I am trying to evade it, while the camera wans to look back at it and not in the direction I’m running in, which is terrible when you’re trying to avoid stepping in a puddle of Gloom. But I’m extremely lucky and manage to not step in any Gloom. I waste a bunch of arrows trying to hit the Stalnox in the eye again, the Keese eyeball doing nothing to guarantee a hit on the eye. But eventually, after 6 or 7 more arrows, I manage to connect again and stun the creature. This time the hit knocks the eyeball out of its head, which is when you have the chance to finish it off. Unfortunately the eye rolls down hill a long way, and every time I hit it, it rolls further, toward Gloom and terrain I don’t want to get stuck in while there’s a Stalnox chasing me. Just as it gets to the edge of the Gloom, I manage to deal the final blow, and kill the Stalnox.

It’s a successful fight, I pick up a lot of loot drops, mostly Stalnox parts but also some weapons, and I need to replenish the empty weapon slots from weapons I broke.

Past the Stalnox field, I come to a new Light Root, one I haven’t activated yet. I hurry in that direction, climbing a steep ridge with several switchbacks, and eventually make it to the Light Root, and activate it, illuminating another section of the underground world map.

I still haven’t found very many bombs, and just have 7 now. So I try to continue exploring and foraging. I end up taking a long time in the depths, losing track of time, and exploring a lot. Mostly undisturbed, and I’m able to sneak around, avoiding enemies and running from them when I need to in the more open areas where I can use my extended stamina to outrun them. I do kill lots of stalfos, which is fine because they’re easy to kill, drop decent weapons, plus lots of Zonaite.

When the situation isn’t one I want to deal with, I just fast-travel out of the engagement back to the nearest Light Root, and start over. It’s almost unfair. But the game gives you this ability, which I feel makes the game difficulty “casual” at best until you decide to take on the more difficult challenges.

The monsters I least like to encounter are the the small, squat, lizard-looking creatures that come in groups of 3 or more. They’re fast, they leap at me, and they are good at staying out of the reach of my weapons. I learn to deal with them by fusing two spears together, creating a pike that has super long reach.

At one point I come to a dense grove of trees. Many of these are Dark Evermeans, the trees that come to life and try to kill you. There’s too many of them to waste all of my Fire Seeds and Red Chuchu jelly on, so I just outrun them. The great thing about Evermeans is that they’re so slow, so it’s easy to get away from them.

I don’t recall where, exactly, sometime before the Stalnox fight, but at one point as I’m climbing up a ridge, I find a large square ruin, what looks like it might have been a foundation of a Zonai building. There’s a Flux Construct here, scanning the darkness with a revolving 360 degree laser scan. I don’t get a good look at it, because it’s almost entirely black. Many sessions ago, I tried to do battle with a Flux Construct in the air world, the construct composed of many metal blocks, and it was too much for me, and I’m not looking for a challenge here, so I give this one a wide berth, and manage to avoid its detection, and move on.

At one point I run into a trio of bokoblin stalfos riding on skeleton horses, and I use the skeleton horse to travel over the Gloom, which allows me to take a more direct path without losing hearts to Gloom sickness.

By the end of the excursion, I end up collecting nearly 40 bombs, but using up more arrows, leaving me with just 28 left. But I discover 2-3 more Light Roots and open up more of the map around Central Hyrule. Including an area that looks like it must be directly underneath Castle Hyrule. There’s a section that looks like it should be accessible from where I’m at, that will lead straight into the Castle from below, but I can’t find the entrance to it. The map shows some structures that look unnatural, that is man (or Zonai?) made and not a geological cave, but no matter what I try, I don’t find a way to it. There is a sheer cliff that extends up to the ceiling where the entrance way should be.

Eventually I decide I’ve had enough exploring the underworld. I’ve tossed over 60 brightbloom bulbs, but I’ve explored a lot of territory and gained a few important things.

I fast travel back to Lookout Landing to rest and consider my journey to Eldin.

Updated: 2023-Jun-13 — 1:43 pm

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