Back down into the Depths I go. This time, rather than returning to the area under Akkala, I go back down the chasm directly south of Lookout Landing. I realize that it’s too hot for me to handle the Akkala underworld for now, and I mainly want to try to build up my forage supplies, especially bomb flowers. But I’m also trying to complete part of the subterranean exploration mission that Purah’s assistant, Josha, wanted me to do. She mentioned that there likely are statues in the underworld which match the carving she’s studying, and they seem to be pointing the way toward something important.
I head down the chasm and land safely. I try exploring to the east, and make my way forward. I have almost 500 brightbulbs so it’s easy to keep the way lit up. I am making good progress, finding a lot of bomb flowers, muddle buds, and puff shrooms, and also picking up lots of zonai ore. I find mostly minor enemies, and I don’t want to waste a lot of time dealing with them. I have 50 Dazzlefruit, and make use of them when skeletons pop out of the ground, so I can take care of them in an instant and just move on. I also don my Bokoblin Mask, and use it to sneak into their mining camps, loot them, and leave without arousing suspicion. I do end up having to fight them a few times, but I’m well armored and they don’t hurt me much, and I kill them off quickly without too much trouble.
I get about as far to the East as I can, and I am actually getting close to the second Light Root that I had spotted and marked on the map in the Akkala region, but wasn’t able to activate before I left during my excursion there. I try to get to it, but my way is blocked by an immense wall of rock. I follow along its length, hoping to eventually get around it, but it’s slow going, and I’m constantly getting turned around whenever I have to negotiate an obstacle or a puddle of Gloom. It’s aggravating, because I feel like I’m just going in circles around this huge pillar, only I can’t tell because the map has no detail here, and no matter what I do, it seems like the Light Root on my map is just on the other side of the wall. Is this a mesa, rather than a wall? Do I need to climb up it to get to the Light Root here? Or is it just on the other side of a wall that’s about as long as the entire continent?
It’s hard to tell, and eventually I grow tired of trying to figure it out, and decide to just follow the wall as far to the south as it will go. Along this route, I spot Light Roots I had visited previously and activated during my first extended excursion to these depths. Eventually I get so far south that I’m into uncharted territory. By this time, I’ve been down here at least an hour of real time, and probably more than that. I’ve picked up tons and tons of Poes, as well as a bunch of the other forage items I mentioned above.
After making my way forward into the unmapped region south of my previous exploration, I encounter a Flux Construct I, patrolling around on a large round stone arena-like platform. I decide I want to try to defeat it in combat now, and give it a try. The combat goes surprisingly well. I equip my best armor, bow, and melee weapon, and take food to max my health out, save the game, and run up to the construct. It’s a pile of boxes arranged in a pyramid-like structure, the “main” one lit up with a dim red searchlight. When I get close enough to detect, it activates. I don’t wait an instant, and bring up my bow, and fire a bomb arrow into the box. It clatters to the floor, and I run up and hit it 6-7 times with a weapon with a damage rating of 37. I take it down to under half its hitpoints, when it reassembles itself into a humanoid, and begins walking at me. I use Ultrahand to rip it apart, and hit the “main” box again, and to my surprise onely 1-2 more hits is all it takes to defeat this one. It hasn’t even hit me, and I’ve wiped it out. It drops a Flux Core, which I can’t add to my inventory, so I have to fuse it or carry it. I fuse to a sword with a damage rating of 16, and it increases by +25. Nice.
Proceeding on into the dark reaches, I eventually come to an open field where I find the Frox, a huge frog-like creature whos back is studded with ore deposits, like a Stone Talus. I was afraid of this beast the first time I saw it and retreated, but this time I am interested in seeing what it can do. I observe it at a distance. It has a huge head, a central, cyclopean eye, and a wide, flat, beaver-like tail, and four legs. I’m pretty sure I need to get on its back and hit the ore deposits to kill it, and I bet its eye is a weakpoint.
I run up to it and it notices me and begins an inhale attack, using its mouth like a vacuum to try to pull me in. I fire a bomb arrow into its mouth, it swallows, the bomb explodes, and it is stunned. I run right up its face and start pounding on the ore deposits. It wakes up and I’m flung into the air, high, and due to the darkness I’m disoriented and don’t realize what’s happening. Before I can attempt to glide to a safe landing, I hit the ground, hard, and it takes me down by almost 2/3 of my health. I get back up and hit the Frox again, stunning it in the mouth like before, and run up and do another round of attacks. I also manage to hit it in the eyeball with an arrow, which also stuns it, and I have it almost down to 0 hitpoints, when it manages to hit me into the air again, this time I don’t go sky-high, and instead am slammed sideways into a wall, leaving me with a fraction of a heart, and then it gets a lucky hit on me and I’m killed.
I respawn and try to return to the place where I found it before, but it’s not there. Disappointed, it was an easy fight, and I know how to defeat it, and can probably do so without making mistakes next time. I bet it drops lots of gems, too.
I continue to explore to the south, still further, going deeper than before. At some point, I find what looks like a stonework construction of possibly zonai origin, which looks like a small temple or altar. I suspect a Shrine could be here? But that’s weird, normally the Shrines are above ground. I stand in the center and look up at the ceiling, and see what look like some kind of runes. It looks like the ceiling is low enough that I can ascend, and I think maybe I’ll get to the top of a tower and find something of value. I try it, and ascend all the way up to the surface, to find that I’m actually out on the top of one of the towers of the large bridge over Lake Hylia, the one that is guarded by the fierce Fire Gleeok.
I don’t want to leave the underground yet, and I don’t want to fight the Gleeok, so I cancel the Ascend and return to the depths. I mark the spot on the Map, and note that there’s already a Flag symbol marking the location. So clearly this is a special spot.
I start to make a connection after this experience, and look at the map more closely. I put the map pointer on one of the Light Roots that I’ve found, and then switch up to the surface level, and notice that there is a Shrine in the exact spot above the light root. I check several more spots, and find a corresponding relationship between Shrines aboveground and Light Roots below! This is a major discovery! I spend some time flipping back and forth between the surface and underworld maps, noting positions on both where I’ve found one but not the other, and mark those places where I need to go with Heart icons (since the Light Roots enable to restore gloomed hearts in my life meter, and Shrines enable me to add to my life meter, it makes sense to me.) Now I have a lot more places to try to make it to on the underworld map.
The terrain thus far had been mostly flat, and not too difficult, but now it’s gotten very steep and I seem to have found a drop-off where I’m at the edge of a vast underground canyon. I see some rail tracks going down, and it looks like another mining site. I jump into the void and glide down, and as I get closer it reveals that I’ve entered the Great Abandoned Central Mine. I enter the area and explore a bit, meeting a couple of Hylians who appear to be explorers, but are actually disguised Yiga.
They’ve found a Zonai Steward Construct, and are unable to wake it. They are trying to research a Zonai technology that allows them to quickly fabricate machines from Zonai parts. Asking me for help, I walk up and activate the Steward, who says I am authorized to receive a new ability, and grants me the quick construction ability. This is something I’ve been wishing the game had! It can remember past devices you’ve built, and re-assemble them for you quickly. You can also find schematic templates to add pre-designed vehicles to your quick-build capabilities. To start me off it gives me a tri-fan glider wing and a 4-wheeled car.
The Yiga reveal themselves to me, and I’m surrounded. In addition to the two I had talked to initially, Master Kohga himself and two lieutenants appear. Kohga challenges me to a combat, and seems to have some ability to create Zonai materials and assemble them himself. He quickly assembles a small arena, trapping me in with him, and quick-constructs a vehicle that he uses to charge me. I shoot him with a bomb arrow, blowing him off and he lands in the ground, stunned, and I hit him a bunch of times with my best weapon. He gets up, disappears, and then reappears on the other side of the arena, creates a new vehicle, and charges again. This time the vehicle has some additional shielding, but I’m good with the bow and manage to blow him out of this vehicle. I do this 4-5 times and manage to drop him on the first try.
It’s a story fight, though, so he’s not truly dead. He retreats, cursing me and says that he’s going to go to the mining site in the southwest next, and will be giving his power to someone who I suspect is the Demon King Ganon himself. Well, we can’t allow that, obviously. But before I can do anything, he crafts an airplane and flies away.
So if I got this ability that he was lusting after, and was jealous that I had “stolen” from under his watch, how’s he doing it now too? Did he copy it somehow while fighting me? It seemed like he already had it when I started to fight him.
Well, who knows. But it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. There are three Zonai Stewards, in addition to the first one I activated I find two more. One teaches me how to construct a car vehicle, and the other is refining Zonaite and allows me to buy his supply of refined charges, which I do. I want to make a new battery cell so bad now, but I still don’t know where to do that other than up in the sky world.
One of the Stewards advices that I should travel toward a light in the distance, where I see a new Light Root. There’s a launch rail for launching Zonai wings, so I use the new quick build ability to create a tree-fan wing, and launch straight in the direction of the light root. My battery takes me about 3/4 of the way there, and I jump off and glide the rest of the way, and activate the Light Root, opening up the map of this region.
From the position of the Light Root, I can see a statue. I run towards it, and when I get close, I see another Hylian, standing next to a Zonai balloon vehicle, looking at it. It seems like another Yiga ambush, and of course it is. I walk up and talk to the Hylian, who reveals that these are the statues that I’ve been looking for, which point in the direction of a path to something… but it won’t do me any good, because they’re here to kill me, but I’m ready for them, and hit them with a freezing blast from my sapphire staff, and take them out.
This is probably the most fun I’ve had in the depths so far, and I’ve gained a new power. I feel I’ve made a huge amount of progress. I defeated my first Flux Construct, Master Kohga, and almost defeated a Frox, going into my first fight with it blind and not knowing what to expect or what to do.
I press onward, following the statues. They are not spaced very far apart, but sometimes the way is tricky due to the terrain and the placement of Gloom puddles. If I can walk in a straight line, I always go directly to the next statue with no problems. If I have to detour around a rock or a puddle, getting back in line can be a little tricky, if I can’t look back and see the previous statue. I mark each statue’s location that I find on the map with a Sword icon, because I haven’t used that one yet and because the statues have swords, and this helps me to orient myself. I can also throw a brightbulb forward before I deviate course, which makes it an easy target to get back on the straightline path to the next statue.
In this way, I have a pretty easy time of it. Encounters with monsters are few in this part of the map. Occasionally I encounter Yiga, mostly in disguise, which is predictable, or sometimes in vehicles.
At one point I am at the lip of a precipice, looking down into a deep valley or canyon below, so large that I cannot see the other side. It’s all black. I throw a few brightbulbs to get a general idea of how far down the descent is, and it’s maybe about 100 feet or so from the look of it. Ahead of me and slightly to my left, there’s a tall mesa, which has been fortified as a Yiga fortress. I’m more interested in following the statues, so I try to stick to that for now, but I get off-track and can’t find my way forward, so I backtrack to the last statue I find, and this time I decide to try to get into the fortress. This is right by the Yiga I met by the first statue, who was next to a campfire, and he happened to have a balloon vehicle. I put some wood in the vehicle and use the nearby fire to ignite it, then with Ultrahand I put it in the basket and up I go. I’m patient and wait until I’m very high in the air, about twice the height of the mesa, and still I haven’t hit the ceiling. A little more and the light begins to brighten, am I about to float out of the underworld to the surface? I want to stay down here, still, and check out that fortress. I leap from the balloon and glide toward the fortress. As I get closer, I observe a Yiga warrior piloting a flying vehicle, patrolling the sky above the fortress. I deploy my bow to get into bullet time, and nock an arrow, tipped with a fire keese eyeball, and target the craft, giving it just a bit of lead, and loose. The arrow flies true, killing the Yiga warrior, and his craft flies out of control into the ground. This cues a momentary cutscene of a locked door of one of the buildings opening. It’s the building atop a tower, which I can glide to. I do so, and enter, and there are two chests. One contains another zonai vehicle schematic, cool, and the other contains I forget, a zonai charge or arrows or something. I stealthily take out a few other Yiga soldiers in the fortress, all of whom are piloting vehicles which make them more troublesome to take on up close, but an arrow tipped with an eyeball is an easy way to hit them reliably and can kill them in one shot.
After clearing this area out I proceed further, and still deeper, downhill, following the statues. At one point the statues seem to be pointing me straight into a high sheer cliff. There’s several more balloon vehicles here, and torches, and I fight another disguised Yiga soldier. It seems like the thing to do is put more wood in one of the balloons and ride it up, so I do so, and once I’m high enough to see the top of this cliff, I spot another statue, and I know I’m on the right path.
I press on, finding a light root in the distance, which I mark with my scope, and then another, also far in the distance, and a bit to the right. Distance is always deceptive in the depths, and these things can be seen from an incredibly far range, due to the dim light which they emit before being activated. I usually underestimate just how far it will be to them when I spot them. I head in the direction, when I come to another sheer drop. And I stop to observe, when far below, I spot another Light Root, directly below. I have to glide down to it, to activate it, and when I do so the map lights up, and I can see a bit of the surrounding area. I’m at the site of an underground Labyrinth, and it appears that the Light Root I had initially been trying to get to is at the very top of its walls. The only way up is to scale the walls, so I do so. They are very tall, and it is so dark I really can’t see whether I can get to the top from the place I picked to climb. But luckily I can make it, and when I do I quickly throw down another brightbulb so I can see, and avoid falling off the edge. The way forward is clear, and I run to activate this Light Root as well.
The third Light Root in this area is a good bit further away, though, and will have to wait until next time.