TOTK Diary 57

It’s been about a week and a half since I last played, so where was I?

Oh yeah, outside Lookout Landing, I had just expanded my zonai charge battery pack, and now I have a lot more power to run contraptions.

I guess I ought to go back to Death Mountain and help Yunobo and look for Princess Zelda.

I fast-travel back to the shrine near Goron City, and ride the rails out to YunoboCo HQ. I’m hoping that I can buy the rest of the fireproof armor suit here, but I find out that they only sell the body piece of the set. So where the hell am I supposed to get the pants and the helmet from? I don’t know.

I figure I’m going to need this in order to explore Death Mountain, but for the time being the temperatures are not deadly to me, so I’ll explore the area. Yunobo said that he saw a Hylian woman matching Zelda’s description at the peak of the mountain, and wants to go back there to look for her again. The game doesn’t often tell you that explicitly what to do, so I figure I better get on it.

Walking out over the lava plain from YunoboCo HQ, walking in the general direction of Death Mountain, not far from the HQ I come across a pair of Bokoblins and a Moblin sitting around a fire. I use Yunobo to charge them, and he does a lot of damage, and also triggers some explosive casks near their camp, and takes them out pretty easily. I pick up the loot and move on, climbing up over a rise, and before too long I come to a mining camp, where I find a few gorons, still zonked out on marbled rock roast, some digging, some eating. They tell me I can go ahead and take one of their mine carts if I want, and that the rails here run right up to the summit of Death Mountain.

That’s all they had to say. I hop in the art and hook up a fan, and start it up. I don’t go very far, when I find a spot where there’s a cave that I’d like to explore. It’s the Eastern Death Mountain cave, and blocked with explodable rocks, which I destroy with Yunobo, since I don’t want to waste bombs, and there’s a lot of places where bombs will spontaneously combust here, and I need to be careful.

Inside the cave, there’s a rail system, and the temperature is hot. There’s a lot of lava in the cave, and the only way forward is to ride a rail cart. Fortunately there’s another cart and fan here, which are easily assembled and allow me to make ingress. When I get to the end of the line, I see a green gem, which I recognize as a shrine gem, embedded in a pile of glowing rock, which I rightly presume to be an Igneo Talus. I’ve come this far, I might as well fight the thing.

This is tricky, since I’m not protected against heat fully. I can hit the Talus with frost weapons, which cool it down to where I can stand on it, but I still take damage doing so. I equip my heaviest hitting hammer weapon and run a spin attack, hitting 9-10 times, before being thrown. I also manage to use Recall to reverse the path of the Talus’s arm when it hurls it at me. This requires some close timing, but it works pretty well, I avoid the damage it would have dealt, and it hits the Talus, doing some decent damage. I re-freeze it and jump on to finish it off, and it drops hardly any gems, but I do get an Igneo Talus heart which I fuse to my most powerful sword. Taking this Talus down broke my Flux Construct Core club, which kind of sucks, but at least I won the fight. I also got the shrine gem, which is now projecting a beam in a direction basically pointing back out of the cave. There’s some ore deposits and brightbloom bulbs here, so I take the time to clear out the cave entirely, then grab the shrine gem, put it back on the mine cart, and ride it back out of the cave.

Once out of the cave, the shrine is not a very long walk away, on the other side of the minecart tracks, and I pick up a Rauru’s Blessing, refilling my life meter, which the Talus fight had taken me down to about 1/3.

I feel like I missed something when I was in the cave, so I return to have another look. Sure enough, between the rock island where I fought the Igneo Talus, and the opening of the cave, there was a smaller island, almost like a sand bar, which had some additional forage materials, and a hard to see crack in the wall, which lead to a tunnel, where I found a bubbul frog. I slay the frog and take its gem, and then I decide to check my location on the map to see how close I am to the summit of the mountain. Since I’m inside a cave, I might as well see if perhaps Ascend will get me to the top quicker.

I pop up maybe 2/3 or 3/4 of the way up the remaining slope of Death Mountain, a fairly short climb away from the summit. And it’s an easy climb. I check the temperature, and change out of my Flamebreaker armor and into my Climbing Gear, and get all the way to the top.

The crater of Death Mountain is desolate and empty, devoid of anything. I see no sign of Zelda anywhere. No story cutscene triggers, and I’m left standing wondering what I was supposed to expect. I walk around about the caldera, avoiding hot pots and gloom puddles, hoping to trigger something. Eventually, I do trigger the story cutscene. Apparently, based on the camera angle and the way the scene looks, I was supposed to go back and keep riding the rail cart all the way up. On the other side of the mountain, the final destination of the cart, a platform, is where the cutscene unfolds. Yunobo recalls what he can of his last moments before putting on the mask that Zelda gave him, and then his memory goes blank. It’s pretty clear that this Zelda is a lookalike impostor, but the characters don’t seem to get it yet. I feel like this is maybe storytelling aimed at a younger audience, because it seems to me that if I can tell what’s going on, the characters in the game ought to have some suspicion as well. But it feels like this is a deliberate design choice to allow younger gamers to feel smart since they too probably will have an idea that something’s not right, and figuring it out ahead of the characters in game will make them feel like they’re solving a mystery. But as an adult gamer, it’s not much of a mystery. “Zeda” clearly isn’t Zelda, and we’ve already seen one impostor in the Yiga Clain’s trap on Dueling Peaks, so this Zelda sighting must not be her either, since she’s not behaving like Zelda would, using mind control to take over Yunobo and enslave the Goron people with the drug-like marbled rock roast.

Just then, “Zelda” appears before us, and disappears into the volcano, which suddenly erupts! A huge monster appears out of the crater! It has three rocky, worm-like heads. It spews giant flaming rocks which don’t seem to be terribly well-aimed, thankfully. Yunobo wants to fight it, but says it’s too high in the air for him to charge it. He asks what should we do?

Well, there happens to be a pre-built Zonai wing with two large batteries, four fans, and a cart bottom and control stick laying right there. I grab it with Ultrahand and set it upright, hop on and start to take off. It is extremely heavy and slow, and clumsy to fly, but it does get us up to a level where I can fire Yunobo off at the heads. The heads are extremely easy to target, it seems like the game is auto-targeting Yunobo for me. Which is fine, I’m very happy with that since controlling the wing sucks so much, I couldn’t do much otherwise.

It only takes three hits, one on each head, and the thing is defeated. Zelda is no where to be seen. A deep chasm in the bottom of the volcano crater has opened up. Yunobo thinks she must be down there, and jumps in. I hesitate, but follow. But the temperature is too hot, off the scale.

I notice that although the temperature gauge is telling me it is deadly, I don’t seem to be taking any damage as I fall into the chasm, transitioning between the overworld and the underworld. So I end up having a lot more time than I should. I fall all the way down, and am inside a huge cavern — it looks like the whole mountain is hollow. I spot a Light Root and try to glide toward it, but I run out of stamina and fall, and would have died from the fall but for the fact that I have a single fairy left in my inventory, who revives me. I run to the light root, and activate it. So now I can fast travel back down here. I’m going to need to get more elixirs or flame resistant meals, or find the rest of the Flamebreaker gear if I’m going to explore down here. But for now there’s nothing I can do.

Updated: 2023-Aug-23 — 10:37 pm

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