Category: games

Zelda: BOTW Diary (72)

I’m on a foraging quest, looking for stuff that I can use to augment my clothing to max it out with Fairy enhancements. I don’t really need do to this, but it’s something to do before I go on to complete the game.  The armor boosts are definitely helpful, but I avoid combat so much, and at this point I have so much of the game completed that it’s unlikely I’ll ever need to wear certain outfits again, unless I decide I want to go back to visit a part of the world that I have no real reason to revisit other than that I feel like it.

Around Goron City on Death Mountain, I collect numerous fireproof lizards, which are needed to improve my fireproof armor suit, which I don’t really need to wear any longer, except if I’m going to Death Mountain.  I also need something called a smotherwing butterfly, which I have found one of, also on Death Mountain.  Butterflies are hard to catch, because you have to sneak up on them, and most of the time I’m trying to move at full speed to get from point A to point B, so I rarely stop to catch them, and usually by the time I’ve spotted them, it’s too late and I’ve already startled them, and they fly away.  Same too with the lizards for that matter, but at least I know they are plentiful around the South Goron Mine site.

I go there, and find a bunch of lizards, but not one butterfly.  I talk to the Goron who’s name ends in -son, Greyson,and tell him about Tarrey Town; he and his little brother Pelison decide to head there to start a new life.

I transport over to Korok village, where I’ve read I can find the stealthfin trout that I need.  I find some at the lake in the southwest part of Hyrule Forest, but not that many — only 3 or 4, maybe, and I need something like 30 of them.

For yellow lizalfos tails and molduga parts, there’s only one place to go for those — Gerudo Desert.  Well, I could get lizalfos tails around Zora’s Domain, also, but in Gerudo I can find both. I encounter a number of yellow lizalfos randomly and hunt and take down two Molduga.  They don’t seem as hard to kill now, I’m sure the stronger weapons I have now make it a much easier quarry to kill.  I take one out with two bombs and a flurry of blows from the one remaining Dragonbone Moblin Club in my inventory, which does the trick just as it is broken on the last hit – exactly one DMC exchanged for one dead Molduga.

I go to the Fairy in Gerudo and augment what I can, and then I return back to Death Mountain to look for more butterflies.  I talk to more Gorons in Goron City, and pick up two new sidequests.  One is to defeat an Igneus Stone Talus by a lava lake near the Abandoned Northern Mine area.  I head out that way, taking a long route looking for butterflies, but I only see one, and it gets away from me.  I do end up foraging a lot of gemstones, though, which is good for selling to get more rupees, which I’m going to need a lot of for the Akkala Tech Lab gear and for the Hateno Tech Lab picture album. 

While I’m in the vicinity, I spot a giant skeleton on the map, and it looks like it may have a skull intact, so I head that way to check it out, and sure enough I found the last Leviathan skeleton to complete that sidequest at Serenne Stable.  I glide down and land on the skull, and hear a lot of monster chatter below.  It seems there’s a large group of bokoblins and moblins hanging out underneath the ribcage.  I drop bombs on them until they all die, which is a lot of bombs, but I’m patient and it only takes time.  Once they’re all done, I drop down and pick up loot, and then snap a photo of the skull.

I find and slay the Talus, and return to Goron City to close out the side quest, and then transport to Serenne stables to show the photo to the scientist and close out that sidequest, and then I decide to head to Tarrey Town to see what happened with Greyson and Pelison. 

They’ve settled in nicely and Greyson works for Hudson, removing rocks and he keeps the minerals, which Pelison sells at his little shop.  It’s way more than I’d pay for the stuff, since I can pick it up at will for little effort, but if I particularly need a diamond and have 2000 Rs burning a hole in my pocket, I guess I can go there.

Hudson is happy, and wants more wood bundles from me to build more houses.  I give him what I have, and he tells me he wants to find a tailor who can mend his clothes. I don’t need the hint, but he mentions Gerudo, so back I go to the Gerudo oasis, where I met the Gerudo woman who was a skilled tailor, and tell her about Tarrey Town.  She heads off to make her fortune there. 

I teleport back to Tarrey Town to find her, she’s set up shop already, and Hudson is happy.  He wants even more wood bundles, which I happen to have enough, so I give them to him, and then he tells me he wants to find a person to run a shop.  There was a Rito in the Rito village who wanted to own his own store and sell his own things one day; I transport out there and go talk to him, and he says he’ll check it out. 

I go back to Tarrey Town and he’s settled in and created his own store, where he sells arrows and I buy some — he has the best price I’ve seen on bundles of normal arrows, plus he has an Ancient Gear that I could use for augmentations, so I buy that as well.  

More people have settled in Tarrey Town, and it’s become a real village, with a diverse population from all over Hyrule. There’s an old couple who moved here to retire, and a rich man who hires me to take care of some Guardians who are patrolling the wetlands down below Tarrey Town.  I glide down there, equip my Ancient armor suit, and fight them; they go down easily with the Master Sword, and I reap a ton of ancient parts from them.  There’s a whole bunch of ruined Guardians scattered all about in this area, as well, so I make sure to visit each one and pick up what I can find there.

I get a bunch of screws, some gears, and a few shafts, but no more cores.  I am low on cores and need to find more in order to augment my ancient armor further.  I guess I’ll just have to continue hunting Guardians, which, now that I’m this powerful, shouldn’t be a problem anymore.

There’s a young family who has moved to Tarrey Town as well, for the health of their daughter, who 

Hudson wants still more wood from me, but I’m tapped out, and it’s going to be a while before I can amass the 50 bundles he needs to continue building.  It seems that Tarrey Town has a lot of sidequests that keep opening up the more you do there.

I go back to the Fairy fountain near Tarrey Town and augment my clothes a bit more, and also to check and see what else I need to find in order to do the rest of it.  On the way back from the fountain to Tarry Town, I spot Kilton’s hot air balloon, down on the shore of the lake surrounding the bluff that Tarrey Town is build atop of.  I glide down to pay him a visit, snap a photo, and see what he has for sale at Fang and Bone, which is now open.

Kilton explains to me that he only takes Mon, a currency he invented, which I can obtain by giving him monster parts.  I happen to have a lot of monster parts in my inventory, and since I don’t make many elixirs, there’s never any shortage, even though I don’t go out of my way to fight a lot, I still have dozens to over a hundred of this and that, most of which I have little use for, and have been trading in for Rupees at the shops of Hyrule so I can pay for clothes and armor.

I trade him enough monster parts to get me up over 1200-1400 Mon, and then I buy his Dark armor, just the body suit part.  It allows me to run faster at night, supposedly, which I guess that’s good.  I take it to the Fairy fountain later and find that it cannot be augmented, though, which means it’s stuck at a defense rating of 3, which is paltry, and that kindof sucks.  Considering how late in the game it is for me to be doing this part of the game, it doesn’t seem like Kilton is all that essential or useful to me at this point.  

He also sells some other stuff — masks, that would allow me to be ignored by a type of monster if I wear it:  lizal, moblin, bokoblin, or lynel.  And some horse gear which I guess accomplishes the same thing for my horse if I’m riding. 

I just don’t see a lot of need for this stuff, especially now.  I can kill anything I want to in the game now, at will, with the exception of Lynels, who are still a challenge, but if I take them on I can prevail.  And anything I don’t want to kill, I can run away from without difficulty, and even if it was difficult, I could just teleport using my Sheikah Slate.  So Kilton’s Fang and Bone inventory seems all rather superflulous.  It’s nice, I guess, but I’m nonplussed.

It’s possible, I suppose, that when I decide to take on Ganon, that some of Kilton’s masks would come in handy to help me avoid encounters leading up to Ganon so that I can conserve hearts and weapons.  But otherwise it’s probably not all that important, and serves more to provide padding to make the game longer and give me more to do en route to 100% completion.

I have my photo of Kilton, which the guard at Akkala stables wanted to see.  So I go there and show him, and complete that sidequest.  He gives me some rupees for my trouble.  I worry though that this will mean trouble for Kilton somehow down the road, and while Kilton is creepy and lacking in charm, I don’t think he’s harmful to anyone but monsters, and deserves to be left be.

Zelda: BOTW Diary (71)

I wait all night by the hot springs where Dugby and Grapp are hanging out, and to pass the time a bit I screw around finding mineral deposits and a couple of korok seeds.  Morning comes, and Dugby finally wakes up, and I show him the drill bit spear, and he tells me I found his secret, so I can keep it.  Gee, thanks, Dugby.  

The spear only does 15 damage, but it can be used to mine ore, so it’s not completely useless, I guess.

I head back down toward Goron City, and on the way back I spot a gigantic ribcage sitting in the magma flow below to the right of the road.  I figure there’s a korok seed there, and I glide down to find out I am right. I was hoping I might also spot the skull of the Eldin Leviathan here, but it’s not anywhere I can find it so far.

I also climb up to some high points and find another seed or two.  This game is nothing if consistent at meeting expectations.

As I come back down the road, I decide to play around with the mine carts on the tracks, and figure out that if I drop a bomb into the basket at the rear, it will propel the mine car.  It looks like the explosion would do damage to someone sitting in the car, but after trying it one time I find that it does not, making them a usable thing. 

On the way back to Goron City, I stop again at the Abandoned North Mine, and try to find the missing Goron.  I glide out to the magma-flooded mine area, and it has been taken over by fire-lizals, who I take out the easy way using ice arrows. At a couple of points, there are cannons set up that I use to shell their fortifications, which makes defeating them considerably easier than it was even with the ice arrows.  I find a few weapon chests, and a shrine signal.  

I locate the missing Goron, he is trapped in the mine, behind some rocks that have sealed the entrance.  They are glowing a dim red, so must be very hot, and yet I don’t take damage from them if I touch them. 

I can’t figure out how to free him.  Ice weapons don’t do anything, nor do the two goron weapons that I’ve found, nor do bombs, magnesis, or time-stop. So I’m stuck for the time being. 

I think, maybe I’m just supposed to locate him, then go back and tell the Gorons, and they’ll put together a rescue operation.  So I go all the way back to the front of the North Mine area and find the Goron who I talked to the day before, and he’s still there, but he just says the same stuff he said the first time I talked to him, and there’s no provision for me to convey that I have found his missing buddy.

I note a couple of other spots where similar looking rocks are, they are a bit different looking from most of the rocks, and they have a slightly translucent, slightly glowing appearance to them, but I can’t figure out any way to interact with them at all.

I  keep thinking that maybe there’s some way to aim the cannons, and there’s one that is close to where it would hit the mine entrance if only it were angled a little more to the right, but there doesn’t seem to be any way to make adjustments to their aim or position.

I do have to say that the voice actor who does the Goron’s screams for help is probably the best voice acting in the game.  He sounds really scared.  In a lot of the voice acting, there seems to be a bit of tongue in cheek humor, or campiness about it.  Like when the great fairies try to kiss Link, it’s supposed to be funny.  But this guy seems real-scared, not comedy-scared.  

I’m not sure how to get him out of there, and it’s probably not going to occur to me for quite a while, as whatever clues there may have been in this area have gone completely over my head at this point, and I have no idea what it’s going to take to get him out.

I wander around the area, looking for something that might help, and decide to investigate that shrine signal.  The shrine is inside a cave that is accessible only by mine cart, and I have to actually put the mine cart onto the tracks using magnesis, so it’s not the easiest to find, but having played with the tracks a few minutes earlier, it’s not that hard to discover.  I give Nintendo’s level designers credit for giving me the clues to put it together, but making it subtle enough that it feels like I’m smart for figuring it out.  Good job, guys.

Inside the shrine is one of the larger and more difficult ones to figure out that I’ve been through.  I give up on it after puzzling for an hour, but come back fresh the next day and figure it out.  At the beginning, there’s a large magnetic block on a guillotine-like track that I can lift it up and down on, and it has spikes on the bottom.  I can lift it high over me and run through just fine, and it falls behind me but there’s no real danger.  Past that, it gets trickier.  There’s two staircases leading up from the platform I’m on, at right angles to each other, forward and to my left, and both of them have breaks in the middle.  The floor is lava, and so there’s got to be some way to bridge the gap to make it up.  The one to the left is obvious:  a couple of metal platforms on rails that I can move with magnetism, and if I go straight up the stairs there’s a blue flame brazier, and if I go left there’s a treasure chest.  The chest contains a torch, so I have to ditch one of my Dragonbone Moblin Clubs to use the torch to light more braziers throughout the level.  

I do so, and walk down to the platform on the original level.  The broken staircase to my left is still inaccessible to me, but there’s a torch atop it, and I need to get up there somehow to light it.  Ahead of me, the platform extends maybe a hundred meters or so, and I see a series of water fountains spraying the platform; somehow or other, I have to make it past them all with a lit torch and keep it dry.

It’s easier than it looks; the first two, I simply walk across, and then I can duck under the third, an I get the next brazier lit with no problem.

This activates an elevator, which goes up and down, conveying an unlit brazier.  I don’t know what to do with it at first, and get stuck here, trying to work it out.  After I quit and come back the next day, I realize I can hit it with a flaming arrow.  I light one of my normal arrows with the blue flame from the brazier and fire it off, and hit the elevator brazier on the first try.  Lighting it triggers the remaining staircase segment to rise up out of the lava to complete the way up to the rest of the level.

I light the brazier at the top of the stairs, and this triggers a chute to pivot downward, and a rolling spiky metal ball comes down at me.  I’m too dumb to get out of the way, and it hits me, knocking me back and into the lava.  I should have expected and been ready with magnesis or time stop, but after I respawn I’m back on the chute, and the spikey ball is gone, so it’s fine.  

I walk up to the next platform level, and there’s more braziers to light and more fountains to confound me.  The next one involves three braziers; the central one is easy to light, and stays lit when I do.  The other two, as soon as I light one, it triggers a fountain to extinguish it.  I use time stop and this prevents the fountain from activating, and so I’m able to light the two remaining braziers, and this triggers the gate in front of me to open.  I proceed through, and have an easy combat with some mini-Guardians, who are standing on dry leaves. Even three of them are not a difficult challenge for me; I use weapons on the first two, but then back up and light up the leaves and the third one is incinerated.

At the end of the level, there’s another brazier-fountain puzzle; this one has a circle of five braziers, and I can only get 2-4 lit at once before the fountains activate, and time stop doesn’t help here.  I solve it by using a charge-attack to spin with the torch, and light all five in a split second.  It’s obvious once I figure it out, but because I’m thinking about more creative solutions, it takes a while to come to the easy solution.

I don’t get anything here that helps me rescue the trapped Goron in the mine, so I resort to googling for help.  It turns out that I was on the right track with the cannons.  They are aimable.  But to aim them, you have to hit a switch at the rear of the assembly with a weapon.  These cannons are clearly made out of metal, and in keeping true to the game’s “multiple answers, whatever works” philosophy, there should have been multiple ways to move these cannons into position: the switch, magnesis, timestop + pummeling, whatever works, right?  I had tried to “use” the switch with the A button, like it was a door or something else you pick up or interact with, but for whatever reason that’s not how you flip these switches — you have to pound them with a weapon.

I didn’t figure that out for over an hour, because so many of the game’s puzzles had multiple correct answers for creative gamers to figure out, and this one has one specific solution.  Boo.

I aim the cannon and blow the mine entrance open, rescuing the Goron.  His name is hard for me to remember how to spell right, but it is multi-syllabic, Japanese-sounding, and starts with Y.  I’ll just call him Y, then.  He is the descendant of Daruk, the Goron Champion from 100 years ago who fought side by side with Link.  He returns to Goron City, and I do as well.  We talk to the Boss, and we decide to try to attack the Divine Beast Vah Rudania.  

The approach is perilous.  Rudania launches copter drones and they start patrolling the path up Death Mountain.  Y needs to come with me, as he’s a “human cannonbal” for the cannons.  He has a special power, Daruk’s Protection, which makes him invulnerable, which makes him an ideal artillery shell.  

This seems, frankly, a bit farfetched, but I guess if Legend of Zelda was an after-school cartoon, it’d be fine.  But it’s a tad lame.

Anyway, I’m supposed to lead Y up the mountain, avoiding detection by the drone copters, and launch him — multiple times — from various cannon emplacements, to weaken Rudania enough to enable me to enter.  There’s no mention of Rudania having a shield or anything.  It seems like Link could realistically just ride up on a thermal with his glider and get onto Rudania directly, without all this cannon nonsense.  But this is what the game has us do.

I have to signal to Y when the coast is clear, and he’s always too slow and too big, so triggers the drone copters anyway.  When this happens, Rudania goes nuts and triggers an avalanche of magma bombs that damn near wipe me out.  I am able to take cover the first time, the second time I’m out in the open and lose about half my hearts, and the third and fourth times I am able to find adequate cover so I’m able to avoid the worst of it.

The rest of the way, I just destroy the damn copter drones, using metal boxes and magnesis to slam them. they’re not the super-powerful, deadly drones I’ve encountered elsewhere, but mini-sentries, so they only take a couple of hits.  

We fire Y at Vah Rudania 3-4 times, Rudania falls into the lava crater, and now finally it’s time for me to go.  I jump down and enter the Beast.

It’s much the same as the others; I have four access terminals that I need to reach and activate, and doing so requires solving some platform puzzles, aided by manipulating Rudania through the map.  He can change orientations by 90 degrees, and that’s it.  I figure it out without a whole lot of fuss. 

Then I go to the main control console to re-assert control over the Divine Beast, which of course triggers the Calamity Ganon Boss to appear, Fireblight Ganon.

I find Fireblight Ganon difficult to hit with the sword, but easy to hit with frost arrows, which seem to do a lot of damage.  When I nail him in the eye, He drops, but not far enough for me to hit him. I swing and miss uselessly, and Ganon recovers, and flies away to resume the attack. 

Fortunately I have a bunch of frost arrows, enough to take him down below half his hit points, which triggers his second attack mode.  He creates a powerful shield, and charges up a weapon to release a big fireball at me.  I can’t penetrate the shield, but the fireballs I can shoot down with ice arrows.  I can’t figure out how to hit him, and I’m starting to run out of ideas, when the voice of Daruk comes in and tells me that my regular weapons won’t work.  I run up closely and hit him with Urbosa’s Fury, and this does get through his shield, and actually does fantastic damage.  Two Urbosa’s Fury, and he’s down for the count, and I’ve cleared Vah Rudania.

After re-activating Rudania, Daruk’s spirit appears and gives me his Defense ability, the same shield that Y uses when he’s a cannonball. I transport back to Goron City to receive the thanks of Boss Bludo.  He gives me a weapon that belonged to Daruk.

I transport to Kakariko village to see Impa, who tells me I am ready to face Calamity Ganon at Hyrule Castle.  I try to touch their sheikah orb, thinking that now, finally, I should be able to carry it up the hill to the basin where I’ve been wanting to take it since I first got to Kakariko. While I’m here, I visit the Fairy and get my armor outfits upgraded as much as possible, but I don’t have all the materials needed to take them up to max.

I make a list of stuff to find, and set out to find it:

I need more fireproof lizards, yellow lizalfos tails, some kind of firey butterfly that I’ve only seen one of, way up on Death Mountain, stealthfin trout, hearty bass, and Lynel parts, Molduga parts, and more.

Zelda: BOTW Diary (70)

Standing atop Eldin Tower, I survey my surroundings for a bit, pondering where to go.  I see a lake of lava with two islands on it, and decide that looks promising, and glide down towards it.  As I get over the lava, the temperature goes up, and I equip my Gerudo male armor, thinking that it will give me adequate tolerance of the heat, but it doesn’t, and I continue taking damage.  I equip an ice weapon, and it does nothing to reduce the ambient temperature in my immediate surroundings.  After a couple of seconds, I catch fire. 

Nope! I teleport back to the top of Eldin tower.  Not ready for that area, apparently!

Looking to the south and east, there’s a canyon below which is filled with a river. The water looks warm and inviting, and I see numerous mineral ore deposits that I should be able to mine, so I glide down that way instead, and explore a bit.  I mine the minerals, and I also find a couple or three korok seeds.  The water is indeed inviting, steamy, and has healing properties, so I get my lost hearts back wading about. But there isn’t much else around here to find or do.

I begin walking along the road to see where it goes; it goes up. Before long, I encounter a fully-functional Guardian, who I fight and defeat without difficulty using the Master Sword.  Along the way there are numerous fire chuchus and fire kees, which are nuissance enemies, and I try to take them out with bombs, or by firing the Master Sword at them.  I discovered that if you try to throw the Master Sword, it shoots a beam of energy — a callback to the original LoZ.  

I’m detecting a shrine nearby, and eventually I determine it’s on the far side of the canyon, after gliding over that way.  I find it, below in a small cul-de-sac of stone.  Above it on the ridge is a large monster treehouse, which I clear out and find another Royal Shield and Royal Bow.  One of the monsters I kill is a moblin who wields a goron smasher,  which looks like it would be a fearsome weapon, but only has an attack rating of 15, making it barely better than a standard iron sledgehammer. I leave it, my inventory is full of better weapons.

I find another korok seed on the ridge, and then cross back over the canyon to explore the roadway up into Death Mountain. I go up and up, mining ore deposits along the way and killing kees and chuchus as I encounter them. There’s also the occasional octorock, and once in a while I run into a moblin or lizal.  At night, more moblin skeletons pop up, and I deal with them.  They drop Dragonbone Moblin Clubs, which are one of my favorite weapons, for they have a heavy damage and do a lot of knockback.  

Along the road, I encounter a sign that tells me I’m on the road to Goron City, and I am glad to know that I’m on the right path.  I keep going, and it gets hotter, and now wooden equipment spontaneously ignites if used.  I get free fire arrows out of this, but I can’t use my wooden bows or shields, or they ignite and burn me.  And if my wood weapons catch fire, they do extra damage, but get burned up quickly.  A short distance past the second roadsign, the heat gets more intense, and I have to use an elixir to resist the heat and prevent myself from catching fire again.  I use the first elixir, which gives me only 3:40 or so of time, so I move quickly, skipping anything that isn’t essential — I quickly dispatch monsters with bombs but don’t bother picking up their remains unless they’re directly in my path, ignore ore deposits, etc.  I encounter a second fully functional Guardian, and fight it, but I manage to get it down quickly, and it drops a bunch of mechanical parts which I do pick up.  

Eventually, after a time I get to a small mining camp where I find some Goron workers digging with picks.  I talk to them but they’re mostly busy, but they seem friendly. I meet a Hylian, as well, who tells me that up ahead it gets even hotter, and more dangerous, and he’s leaving the area to go back home.  He wanted to bring some fireproof lizards home as souvenirs, but forgot to get them, and they’re too fast for him, but if I can find ten for him, he’ll give me his fireproof armor, since he won’t be needing it any longer.

Looking in my inventory, I have but a single fireproof lizard.  Lizards are one of the forage items that I rarely pick up.  They’re fast, somewhat hard to see until the last minute, and if you don’t creep up slowly on them, they get away from you.  In the general area of this mining camp, though, they are plentiful, and I find numerous lizards hiding under rocks.  I use up a second elixir, this one is more powerful, and gives me 6 minutes of heat resistance, and it’s enough time for me to find enough lizards with about 40 seconds to spare.  The Hylian is good as his word, and gives me his fireproof armor.

I equip it, and once the elixir wears off I find I am still comfortable.

One of the Gorons at the mine has a name that ends in -son, which means I can try to convince him to go to Tarrytown in Akkala to help out with the construction, as part of one of my sidequests.  But when I talk to him, he says he’s busy working, and I should come back at night if I want to talk.

It’s pretty early in the day, and I don’t want to just sit around, so I spend as much time as I can, blowing up mineral deposits and foraging gems. But once those run out, it’s still only early afternoon.  I proceed forward, and come to another monster treehouse, this one has two fire lizals, and 4 or 5 moblins, and a couple of bokoblins.  I take the lizals out with ice arrows from afar, and then paraglide to the treehouse and start kicking ass.

Using a royal claymore, I deal a lot of damage and quickly take down the bokoblins and one of the moblins, before breaking my sword; then I switch to a Dragonbone Moblin Club and mop up the rest.  There are three treasure chests here, one with a weapon, one with a Royal Shield, and one with a gem.  I also blow up all their storage boxes and they yield gems and meat, which instantly cooks in the extreme heat.

I continue on the road, fighting a few more octorocks and chuchus and kees, and soon I reach the Goron City.  The Gorons are friendly, cheerful, and hearty, and they love to work hard at mining, and they love the heat, but they tell me that due to the Divine Beast it has gotten too hot even for them, leading to them closing their Northern Mine, which they can no longer safely work, and also magma bombs keep falling from the sky, which is bad for tourism.

I find an armor shop, where I buy the rest of the fireproof armor suit.  The pants are 700 Rs, but the helmet is 2000 Rs.  I have almost 7000 Rs when I get to this store, but I’d been planning on spending it on Ancient Armor at the Akkala Tech Lab.  I guess I’ll have to scrape together even more money to do that now.  

With the full suit of fireproof armor, I’m well protected against the heat, and can survive even hotter parts of Death Mountain.  I talk to a few more of the Gorons in the City, including the Boss, who tells me he is looking for one of his workers who went to the Abandoned North Mine to find painkillers for his bad back, but hasn’t returned.  

I hear my shrine sensor going off, and after climbing a bit I find the nearby shrine, so I go and activate it and enter, and clear a series of challenges involving burning stuff with fire, which aren’t too hard to solve.

Exiting the shrine, I just sortof go off in a direction and eventually I find the Abandoned North Mine area.  There’s a Goron there, but he’s not the one I’m looking for.  He knows the missing Goron, though, and tells me where he last saw him, but tells me that it’s too dangerous for a Hylian to be up here, and I shouldn’t try to find him.  

There’s a cannon at the North Mine, which they use to keep the Divine Beast at bay, and I fire it a few times by dropping a sheikah bomb into it, and setting it off.  It launches a shell, but I don’t seem to have any way to aim it, and it has little purpose.

I continue a bit further along the road, and after fighting some more octorocks and a lizal or two, I find a hot springs area where I meet another Goron who is bathing there.  He tells me that these springs aren’t hot enough for him, but he can’t go to where he likes to go normally because it’s too dangerous now. He also warns me about the Divine Beast.  OK I get it, he’s very hot. 

I proceed a bit further, and come to yet another shrine.  This one involves a massive stone block being launched into the air again and again by a spring-loaded platform.  Each time it launches into the air, an electrified column in its center completes a circuit which briefly opens the gate to the shrine master’s chamber, but only for a split second.  

I figure out that if I stand on the ground next to the massive block, it will launch me into the air, and then I can paraglide and fall slower, and so land on top of the massive block.  From there, I try to figure out the timing to glide into the shrine master’s chamber, but it’s too difficult. After a few unsuccessful tries, I realize that I can use the time stop power on the stone, to lock it into place while the gate is open, and this gives me plenty of time to glide into the master’s chamber.  I do this, and also pick up a chest on a high shelf, and clear the shrine.

After emerging from the shrine, I proceed a short distance further, and reach the bridge, which the Goron at the spring told me was up, to prevent the Divine Beast from reaching this area.  I get my first up close look at the Divine Beast Vah Rudania.  It is very impressive, climbing along the side of the volcano, its feet aflame, fearsome and mighty.  I just stand and watch it for a time as it circles the volcano magestically.

I am not sure what to do about the bridge, but it seems like there must be some story objectives that I need to accomplish first before I can proceed further. I figure I might as well head back down and maybe I’ll find the missing Goron worker somewhere between here and the Goron City.

Looking around, I spot a lava lake with an island in the middle, with a couple of ore deposits, and I decide to go there and harvest them quickly; from there I can probably just teleport back to the nearest shrine or to the City shrine.  When I land on the island, I awaken an Igneous Stone Talus, a red hot magma monster who rises up out of the ground.  I shoot it with an ice arrow to cool it a little bit, then climb on its back, and swing my mighty Goron hammer weapon, which does a great deal of damage.  It’s the perfect weapon for the job, and I manage to take down the Talus without taking any damage, using just one ice arrow and a flurry of blows from the Goron hammer.  It drops many gems, and I pick them all up, then extract the ore from the island’s deposits.  I’m able to glide to a nearby rock wall to climb out.

When I do I go up to the highest local point and look around for anything else that might be interesting.  Seeing nothing that stands out, I glide back down to the hot springs, where I find the Goron I met earlier, and now I notice that he is with a child Goron, who I talk to.  The child, Dugby, tells me he left a treasure between here and the bridge.  I go back and look for it, and find a bombable rock, and behind it there is a Goron drill spear.  I grab it, and take it back to show the kid, but by now it is dark, so he is asleep.

I guess I’ll hang out at the spring tonight, and go back to the City and resume my quest in the morning.

Zelda: BOTW Diary (69)

The Koroks have three more trials for me:

The Trial of Wood. I am given a shield, sword, and bow made of wood, and told to find a shrine along a path that is full of monsters.  I encounter kees, bokoblin skeletons, and chuchus, and octorocks. Some of them are electric or firey.  But none are especially challenging to fight. The restrictions on this challenge are that I must keep the weapons given to me equipped, and cannot break them.  I don’t. I get through it and reach the shrine, and it’s not hard.  There’s also some mud bog places where I use my cryonis power to create a temporary bridge out of ice.  They tell me this is the most challenging trial, but I did it first.

The second trial is a Lost Woods Maze, where the trick is to use your magnesis power to cause iron balls stuck in the mouths of the monster trees to glow pink, and point the way through the maze.  They tell you this, not very cryptically, at the start of the trial, so it’s not difficult to figure out.  At the end of the maze, I have to put a shield in the mouth of one of the trees to make a treasure chest appear in the mouth of another.  Then I have to cross a swamp lake to reach the shrine and collect my spirit orb.  There’s a raft, but it’s swimmable.  I actually use the treasure chest to push the raft using magnet power, which works surprisingly well to propel it across the water, as I do not have a korok leaf.  There were many korok leaves lying about, but I didn’t want to drop an item to pick it up, and then forget it later.

The final trial is the one I find the hardest. I’m supposed to go through the Lost Woods to the northwest of the Great Deku Tree and find a shrine.  I had such a hard time finding my way through the Lost Woods to get to the Korok village in the first place.  As I start out on the trail, I meet a little Korok guy who is scared, but wants to do the trial by himself. Every time I talk to him after that he tells me to stop scaring him.  I walk  forward and can’t find a way to the shrine, and there’s no clues, either.

I step forward to try again, and then I notice another korok, apparently this one’s parent, and it tells me it would like me to hang back and keep watch over the korok going through the trial, without him seeing me, so he thinks he did it alone.  I agree, and try to do it, but the little guy keeps seeing me.

The mist and his natural camouflage make it super hard to see him if I let him get too far ahead, and occasionally he will pause and look around to get his bearings, and at those times he’s apt to look backward and spot me.  If I make noise, or if I move too close, he’ll spot me.  

It takes me 5-6 tries before I finally do it.  Toward the end, there’s an encounter with a wolf, who I have to take down silently in order to keep from being discovered.  I manage to do so using my bow, an arrow to the head with my most powerful bow one-shots the wolf and I am able to keep quiet.

Finally, I let the little guy complete his trial, then I walk up and reveal myself; he thinks he did it himself and tells me to go on and check out the shrine. 

I’ve gotten 3 more spirit orbs from all this, and I think I’m probably done with the Lost Woods area, and I’m glad to have completed everything there is to do in this area.  Well, there may be more, perhaps as yet undiscovered quests, maybe even more korok seeds to trade to Hestu.  I’ve given him my last 30, for another inventory slot for bow and shield.  The bow inventory is maxed out, but I can probably take 1-2 more weapon slots and several more shield slots, if I can find more korok seeds.  It’s gotten very expensive to fund additional weapon slots, and I am probably fine with what I have, but it’s not like I’m going to pass up a korok seed if I happen to find one.

I guess now it’s time to look through my unfinished quests and try to figure out what I can do next.

I take a look through my adventure log and check to see what else I can do quickly.

I go to Hateno village and complete the “Gift for My Beloved” quest.  I could never figure this one out, because it tells me I’m supposed to talk to Prima, but any time I do she just wants to treat me like a customer at the inn.  I cheat and look it up, and to trigger the conversation where she tells me what she likes, I have to walk around the counter to talk to her face to face.  This seems very unintuitive and annoys me, but I do it.  She tells me she likes crickets.  I go back and tell the dude who likes her this, and he wants me to give him 10 crickets.  I have that many in inventory already so I do, and the quest is completed.  He gives me 100 rupees.

At one of the stables there was a woman who was looking for the Hero of Hyrule, and she would know him if he carried the Master Sword.  I go there and show her, and she is impressed with the sword, but not with me, and tells me to go save the world, I’m not her type. Pfft!

At the stables up in Tabantha, there was a woman who wanted to see what a stalhorse looks like.  Supposedly they are found in North Tabantha snowfield, near some ancient ruins to the east.  I go up there and wander about at night for several days and never see one.  I do end up harvesting a lot of ice kees wings, which I need, so that’s good, and I also see two more lynels, who I avoid fighting for now.  I keep running around and I am attacked by bokoblins on regular horses, and lizals who shoot arrows at me, which I pick up and replenish my arrow stocks with.  I also bomb tons of moose and wolves and harvest a lot of meat.  Eventually I give up looking around Tabantha for the stalhorse, and try looking up where the F they are really found, because I don’t even see ancient ruins on the eastern part of the North Tabantha Snowfield.  

The first google result is for a youtube video showing a different location completely, somewhere near Highland stable.  So I go there, walk to the area, build a fire, sit by it until night, and some bokoblin skeletons show up riding stalhorses, I snap a really good picture of one riding at me, about to launch a fire arrow my way, and transport back to Tabantha to show the woman. She gives me another 100 rupees.

Next, I’m supposed to find the leviathan skeleton in Eldin and take a picture of it.  I haven’t really been to Eldin yet, it’s the volcanic region, and all I’ve done there so far is unlock the tower.  I have no idea where to start looking for the leviathan skeleton, and it’s a dangerous, mountainous area where climbing is difficult and visibility is often obscured by mountains in the way.  This one could take me all day, and then some.  And I’ll probably run into other things to do while I’m there, since I haven’t been through it at all yet.

I transport to the tower, and from the top try to scope around with my telescope, hoping to see a clue about where I might start looking.

Zelda: BOTW Diary (68)

I transport to the shrine in the heart of the Hyrule Woods where all the koroks live.  I want to find the Master Sword, and I don’t want to get distracted again by something else before I find it.

I arrive, and see Hestu, and I buy another Shield slot for my inventory.  Then I turn around, and walk literally about 20 feet and find it: The Master Sword!  It was right there, in front of the giant tree that I’d climbed at least four or five times to go up to visit the korok that tells riddles.  If I’d gone around to this side of the tree, I would have found it!  So dumb!

I go to grab the sword, but the Deku tree wakes up and talks to me, and there’s a cutscene where Link hears Zelda’s voice from the past. It’s imparted how important the sword is, and how I must be worthy in order to wield it.

Well, OK.  I pull the sword out of the rock, and doing so drains some of my hearts, but I have enough, and I retrieve the sword.  Hooray!

I notice a few more koroks about who don’t disappear when I start to approach them, so I get to talk to them.  I pick up a bunch of new sidequests.  One wants to see a picture of a blupee which is what those glowing spirit bunnies that drop rupees when you hit them with an arrow are called, apparently.  I don’t have a photo in my album to show him, so I’ll need to go out to Kakariko village and get one.  

There’s a tunnel leading into the heart of the Deku tree, where there’s a few more koroks.  One has created a bed for me to sleep in for free, which is nice; two have shops, and I buy out all their arrows to re-supply.

I talk to another korok, who wants to see a blizzard rod.  I know where to find one — in Gerudo on top of the mountain where I couldn’t figure out the secret of the mountaintop shrine, is where I encountered my first white wizzorobe.

So, then:

I transport to Kakariko village.  I snap a picture of a blupee.  I go to the fairy pond, and get four fairies and get some more upgrades for my outfits.  I go to the arrow shop in Kakariko, and buy out all their arrows.  I go and talk to Impa and her assistant, and they are impressed that I have the Master Sword now, but they tell me I need to get all of the Divine Beasts under control. Only the last one remains, the lizard on the volcano.  OK OK.  I still can’t touch their sacred orb. Maybe later.

I transport out to the nearest shrine to the Gerudo mountain where I solve the riddle of the cold shadow.  Earlier when I had read the clues in the diary about the puzzle, I thought that the “pedestal” it was referring to was the oddly shaped columns nearby, at the top of the peak.  I wasn’t sure if they glowed at night, but it looked like maybe if I squinted they were very faintly reflecting moonlight in a way that could have been a faint glow.  That was a red herring.

Off the mountain, on the wall of the mountain opposite I had observed the round “symbol”, and being that it was on the wall of the cliff face, I didn’t think it was a pedestal.  But given that I’ve seen so many of these now in connection with numerous other shrine quests, I surmise that perhaps these things are pedestals, and I need to cast a shadow on it.  But what is a “cold shadow”?  Well, there are numerous snow balls laying around the mountain top here.  Perhaps I need to pick one up and hold it, at the time of day when the sun is in the right position to cast a shadow on the wall-pedestal?  That was maybe the hardest shrine to figure out for me in the whole game.  Although there have been others that have been pretty hard too.

I have to wait and wait and wait, but I find out that I am right.  OK then.  I go to the shrine after it emerges, and collect my spirit orb.  Then I go find a white wizzorobe and kill him with a fire arrow while falling from mid-air using the bullet-time trick shot technique, and he’s toast.  I pick up the rod, and then teleport to Gerudo.

I try to figure out what to do about the woman on the roof who eats melons non-stop, but it’s night time and I gather that whatever I need to do for her, must be done during the day, because it involves the little girl who wants to grow her garden where the melon rinds collect when they wash down the fountain stream. I’ll come back to it later.

I go over to talk to Rija, and see if she’ll lend me the Thunderhelm now that I have the master sword, but when I ask for it, she tells me that I first have to solve all of Gerudo’s problems.  Well then!  I guess it won’t be anytime soon.

I visit the Gerudo Secret Club and sell off some stuff, and discover that I can sell off the extra diamond pendant that I found in the Akkala labyrinth basement.  It only gets me 325 rupees, though, which is a giant ripoff.  The one I bought cost me 1500!

I transport back out to the Korok’s village, and show the one dude my blizzard rod; he gives me 300 Rupees.  I show the other dude my photo of the blupee, and he gives me 100 Rupees.  I buy more arrows at the shop, and then talk to the one guy who wants me to do the korok trials.  

I guess, why not?  

I’ll see about doing them next time I play.  It feels like I got a lot done this session, even though I didn’t spend a whole lot of time playing.

Master Sword!

The master sword only has a damage rating of 30, which isn’t close to my best weapon right now.  I have royal broadswords with an attack rating of 36 and 52.  I have two handed weapons that have damage above 60, even 74.  This will keep those other weapons relevant in my inventory. I guess from what they told me at the Deku tree cutscene, the sword’s power is greatest when it’s fighting Ganon, so maybe it does extra damage against him.  I sure hope so, or else it’s going to take a long time to kill him.

Zelda: BOTW Diary (67)

Returning to the coastal islands of Akkala, I run out there to find that they are as tall as the cliffs, great natural stone towers.  There are a series of gangplanks and rickety narrow bridges connecting to them.  Each one has numerous mineral deposits and forage plants, which I harvest along the way. 

There are a few helicopter drones patrolling the bridges, but they are very easy to avoid, I find. Along the way, I run into numerous octorocks, and I discover that my Knight’s shield is capable of bouncing their rocks back, which I use to take one out, accidentally.  Neat!

Each island tower has walkways at different levels, and it takes a lot of time to explore them thoroughly due to the verticality, climbing, wind, and frequent rain. But each is more of the same.  At the top of one, I spot a sleeping chameleon lizal, and wake him up with a bomb that blows him clean off the top of the tower, plummeting to his doom hundreds of feet below.  It is very satisfying to see his flailing body fly through the air, only to disappear from view into the mists below.

In other fights, I discover that it’s possible to pick up and hurl baby stone taluses and bokoblin skeleton’s skulls, which I never knew before.  I’m surprised it’s taken me this long to learn it, but I’m glad that the game is this flexible and deep that I’m still learning new things about combat after playing the game for well over 200 hours.  Granted, most of that time has been spent avoiding combat, which goes a long way to explain why I haven’t learned these things sooner. But it’s still cool.  

When I reach the final island, I discover a flat rock covering a hole in the ground with a shrine beneath it.  I blow the rock using time-stop power, and the shrine is a little tricky.  There’s a balance, which I can use a barrel to lift me up, but it doesn’t get me high enough to get to the monk’s chamber.  I find that I have to drop a heavy box on the balance in order to vault me into the air to do it.  The box is hidden on a shelf above, and I need to use arrows to shoot the cords that are holding the shelf up.  I’m down to my last 7 normal arrows, as I’ve been using them a lot to find koroks that are revealed by beating archery challenges that I’ve been finding along the way. 

Outside the shrine, I find a moblin and bokoblin at a camp fire, and the moblin has Royal-level gear: broadsword and shield.  I want the shield, so I take it from them.  I walk back to the mainland, intent on exploring the remaining coastline of the Akkala Highlands.  There’s a narrow trail that runs on the edge of the cliffs, and I encounter a moblin.  I take him out quickly, but then slip off the edge of the cliff.  I catch myself with the paraglider and grab onto the wall, but before I can climb back up it starts raining again, and it’s set to rain for the next two hours, and I’m not about to wait that, so I teleport back to the shrine I just cleared, walk all the way back, and complete my coastal survey.

At the end of it, I find a little encampment of a moblin, bokoblin, and a yellow chuchu, and the two humanoid monsters seem to be wielding electrified weapons that are powered by the chuchu or something.  The moblin has a Thunderspear, and the bokoblin has shock arrows.  I climb the cliff near the camp and bomb them; the chuchu dies first, and its shockburst hits both of the remaining monsters.  I rain bombs on them until they die, then jump down and loot the place.  There’s a chest which has a nice weapon in it, I forget which.

Having completed my sweep of this area, I return northward to pick up my horse Radish again, and we journey back toward Akkala stables.

On the way, I find that shrine I couldn’t locate earlier, at the grotto with the rocks and hammers.  To find it, I have to glide down into the grotto, where, in a hard-to-see deeply recessed wall, if you fire a bomb arrow, you can break a hole in the wall to reveal a hidden shrine.  It’s a Modest Test of Strength combat challenge. I defeat the guardian and it drops an Ancient Battleaxe+, which is the weapon the boy Nebb from Hateno village wanted to see next.  I make a note to bring it to him next chance I get.  

But first, I want to continue exploring Akkala, and see if I can find Fang and Bone, or something else useful.  I don’t find Fang and Bone, but on my way north, I come back to Tarrytown, the new construction site for Hudson from Hateno village.  There’s a goddess statue there, so I pray at it and trade in my spirit orbs for two more heart containers.  I also take the time to cook a bunch of new meals so I can replenish hearts when I get into another big combat.

After this, I explore a bit in the lake beneath Tarrytown, finding a korok and a chest under the water. 

I then get back on Radish and we ride west, to the other end of Akkala, where I had spotted another shrine off in the distance.  As I get closer, I find that this one is next to a stable that I hadn’t known about previously. Apparently Akkala has a South and East stable, and this is the South one.  I talk to the people and the girl who works here has a little sister who likes insects, so I get a quest to find out the girl’s favorite insect and then show it to her.  It’s night though, and the little girl is asleep, and I have to wait for her to wake up.  I decide to go clear the shrine while I’m waiting.

This shrine is a tilt sensing puzzle, and the final one is pretty difficult — I have to get three balls to land on three switches.  It takes a lot of finesse, but I manage to do it after several minutes of trying.  I don’t bother with the treasure chest in this one, mainly out of being in a hurry to complete the insect finding mission — I don’t want to spend so much time in the shrine that it’s night again when I emerge.

I clear the shrine, and go find the little girl, who likes dragonflies.  She wants to see all three types of dragonfly, which I happen to have in my inventory.  The big sister hates dragonflies, but wants her sister to be happy, so she asks me to give the dragonflies to her, which I do.  The big sister rewards me with 100 rupees.

I transport back to Hateno village and show Nebb my Guardian Battleaxe+, and he gives me 100 rupees, then asks to see a frost spear, which I happen to have, so I show him that as well, which he gives me 300 rupees.  Next, he wants to see an ancient short sword, which I’m not sure if I’ve seen one of those or not.  I have had a few ancient swords, but I don’t recall them being short swords.

There’s a guy named Rex at the South Akkala stable who’s looking for the Master Sword, and he thinks it’s nearby the Woodland stables, which is a clue if I ever heard one.  

I want to get the Master Sword, so that’s probably the next thing I will try to tackle.  

Zelda: BOTW Diary (66)

I jump off the left eye tower of Skull Lake and fall an impressive distance before arresting my fall with the glider, swim over the other eye island, build a fire, and wait for night.  At night, I turn from the fire to see an odd contraption, a bit like a hot air balloon, with a creepy looking grey skinned person working on the machinery inside. He doesn’t notice me at first, so I walk up right behind him and startle the crap out of him by introducing myself.

I’ve met Kilton.  He tells me of his business startup, Fang & Bone, and shows me his business card.  We have a brief conversation before he takes off, and I’m left all by myself again.

I guess I’ll see him again sometime…?

I explore the region around Skull Lake, but it’s a lot of difficult climbing and point A to point B is usually anything but direct.  There’s a concentric shell inside shell of rock formation to climb on, and then there’s another wetland region, with some rock formations that I want to check out.  I eventually get there, after much climbing, and waiting around for rainstorms to end, which gets annoying.

I find a Goron camp where the Gorons are all dudebro weight lifters who are all about getting ripped and shredded and challenging each other to do manly feats of strength, such as climbing. They are an amusing parody of gym rats. They have a rock climbing course called Gut Check Rock, which they challenge me to climb. I check it out. There’s an updraft right next to the rock, which makes it easy to get to the top, and I talk to another Goron, who tells me about the challenge and dares me to try it.  As I talk to them, I imagine Hulk Hogan and Randy Savage doing the voices, which makes it very entertaining.

I do, and it’s not too hard.  Starting at the bottom, I climb up and quickly get all the rupees they’ve left along the course, picking up 121 or 141, I forget which.  I only needed to get 100, and I complete the course with 30 seconds to spare.  I’m pretty sure I could glider cheat it in under a minute; fly up, glide down and pick up the rupees as I fall, then glide back to the top again, and blow their dudebroron minds.

I find four or five korok seeds in this area as well, but I don’t really see a lot of reason to spend much time here, so I skip the bokoblin camp I see behind Gut Check Rock, and teleport back to Akkala Stables, and run back up to the Akkala Technolgy Lab, where I go to do the furnace lighting quest.  This takes a lot of time, as the trip is more difficult, I have to clear the route of many moblins and octorocks, it rains every other hour, and I don’t have a torch to keep lit.  I improvise by burning moblin clubs that I loot from defeated moblins, and it takes forever, but I eventually get every lamp lit and the furnace as well.

This activates Cherry, who can now manufacture expensive Ancient Weapons for me, which are awesome, as well as Ancient Armor, which is even more expensive and even more awesome.  Awesome.

Having done that, I do not have the 6000 Rs that I’d need for the Ancient Armor suit, or the 1000 Rs that I’d need for any one of the ancient weapons.  So, looks like I have a couple hundred more hours of play left in this game if I want to afford the good stuff.

I take Radish, one of my horses, out from the Akkala stable, and we ride down the road looking for adventure.  Heading south along the east coast road, I ride a long way, pausing frequently to check out interesting sites, and find some korok seeds and a few forage areas, but I’m interrupted pretty frequently by monsters.  It seems like monster frequency is higher in Akkala than in a lot of other places.  I don’t feel particularly harried or harrassed in other parts of Hyrule, the next most full of enemies probably being Gerudo desert believe it or not, or maybe Faran jungle.  But here it is probably even double that, and it’s often multiple groups of enemies at once, like keese and moblin skeletons, or bokoblin riders and moblins.  Or moblins and  lizals.  I avoid fighting when I can, to conserve weapons, and if I can kill some with bombs, I’ll do that in order to harvest their loot drops so I can sell the body parts later to fund my ancient tech armory.

Coming to a fork in the road, I see a road sign, which says one way is Fang and Bone, so I head that way.  Or I think I do, but I must have read the directions wrong, and took a wrong turn.  I end up getting to the spiral peninsula, which I go check out.  There’s some ancient ruins near the base of it, which I explore and find two koroks, and then I find an orb.  I have to carry this damn orb all the way to the center of the spiral, and then I’ll reveal a shrine.  This takes a damn long time, because of how slow you walk when you’re carrying a heavy object like these balls.  I also have to stop roughly every 20 feet to pick up a rock to chekc to see if it has a gem or rupees under it, or a korok seed, or to pick up crabs or other forage, or to fight moblins and lizals, or to shoot an offshore artillery octorock with an arrow.  It takes what feels like at least an hour, and might have been even more than that, but eventually I reach the center of the spiral, put the ball in the socket, and the shrine appears.

The shrine just gives me its reward, there’s no challenge.  No complaints here this time.  I’m worn out from carrying the ball around the spiral. 

Emerging from the shrine, I decide to cut straight across the water to get back to shore, and find that the water on the inner orbit of the spiral is shallow enough to wade, so I probably could have made this trip with the orb a lot faster if I hadn’t wanted to make sure I missed absolutely nothing of the wonderful spiral adventure loot.  I swim the rest of the way to shore, and climb up the hill back to the ruines where I left Radish.

I get there, killing three more moblin skeletons, as it is night time, and then fire keese appear, and more wolves, and I fight them, too.  Then a swordsman from Yiga clan appears and I kick his ass as well. It’s seriously like one encounter after another like that, sometimes, around these parts.

I decide to get out of the area, and follow the road further south.  I get to a point about at the latitude where the fairy shrine is, so I’ve come pretty far back south, although still well north of Lanayru Mountains, when I come to an area I haven’t explored at all, which looks geographically similar to the features around Zora’s domain, but a bit more like a quarry.  There are loose boulders all over the place, and someone has left iron sledge hammers laying about all over.  I guess I’m expected to slam balls into the valley below.  Presumably for some purpose.  Also, my shrine detector is pinging a lot, but I can’t see any shrine nearby, and I’m having a difficult time triangulating where it could be.  It seems like I must be passing right over it, and not see it, so it’s probably underground somewhere.

At this point it’s grown pretty late and I’ve gotten rather tired, and I was hoping that I could find Kilton’s monster shop, Fang & Bone, but I must have gotten way lost, and now it’s probably like a couple dozen miles away back where I took the wrong turn.

There’s a chain of islands off the shore of the east coast here, and I haven’t explored those yet, other than the southern most of them, where I had my first Lynel encounter so long ago.  It’s just possible that Kilton is somewhere around there, but if not I have no idea where he could be.

I can’t find the shrine, and from being bounced around from a few points, I have a feeling that there’s either more than one, or that there’s a deep underground shrine similar to the one in Hebra.  I move on, climbing further up the cliffs, and eventually make it back to the area near Zora’s domain where I fought my first Lynel, who has reincarnated due to the Blood Moon.  He spots me, we fight, I win again, and pretty easily.  This gives me some confidence.  

I also have a near encounter with Naydra, the dragon of Lanayru, and try to hit him with an arrow, but by the time I get close enough to get a shot off, he has changed course and my shot falls just short, and I am unable to get him to drop a scale.

I take off again from the peak of the mountain near the Lynel’s field, and glide further to the south, to an area I haven’t been to before, and explore, finding korok seeds, and a shrine.  It’s another Kass song shrine, although I find Kass after I find the shrine.  This one involves riding air currents on the paraglider to land on a pad which triggers the shrine to emerge from the ground.  To clear a path, you have to use bombs or bomb arrows.  

I learn from this that bomb arrows do not work in the rain, as the fuse can’t light.  Good to know.

I continue to explore further south, running into moblins, bokoblins, and lizals around the mid-point of Talus Plateau, and a Hinox, who, out of boredom, I decide must die.  I defeat him and he drops some nice royal-level weapons, including a bow.

Further south, I have a run-in with the very first Lynel I encountered in the game, when I took the raft from Lurelin village all the way north to Wintre Island and Tarm Point.  I don’t want to fight him, but before I am ready he spots me, and the fight is on.  I haven’t saved in a while, and decide to just roll with it.  We tangle.  He kicks my ass very, very badly — I use most of my good prepared meals, all of my fairies, and Mipha’s Grace, all of my normal arrows, but I eventually drop him.  He seems to grow in strength as I knock his health bar down, unleashing lightning, fire, and wind attacks in addition to absolutely brutal melee attacks.  He drops some very powerful weapons and a shield, but the rupee chests that I had looted via stealth before when I first encountered him are gone.  I guess they don’t respawn with blood moons?  Well, they’re not monsters…

I return to the North and buy the Ancient armor from Akkala Technology Lab, but I only have enough to buy the cuirass for now.  The helmet and greaves will come later.  I visit the fairy in Akkala and get a few more upgrades on my clothing.

Zelda: BOTW Diary (65)

Having cleared the Akkala Labyrinth, I recall that on the west side of the maze I had spotted a treasure chest behind bars that I couldn’t get to, and noting the bars have retracted from the window of the shrine chamber, I wonder if perhaps they are gone from from that spot as well.  I make my way back down into the maze and find the chest, but the bars are still there.  There must be a way around that I hadn’t discovered earlier; I explore a bit more, carefully, and find it, hidden behind a large metal box that I need to use magnetism to get out of the way.

The chest contains merely a sapphire, but at least the mystery is now solved.  I walk to the entrance of the labyrinth and gaze out into the distance, to see what’s nearby and try to assess if I might be able to reach any of it by gliding.  There are steep and tall cliffs at the northern edge of the Hyrule continent, which is how I was able to glide down to the labyrinth; how I can get back up, it seems is a matter for careful climbing, if I’m able.  I could always just transport to any shrine I wished on the mainland, but something tells me that if I take a more natural path, I’m bound to find some more korok seeds, or perhaps something else of interest. 

Looking down below, I spot a few islands, and as the time is late, and it has grown dark, I also spot some glowing mineral deposits, the type that usually yield luminous stone.

I glide down and first land on the tiny island.  There’s a large flat stone covering a water-filled depression, little more than a puddle, really, but I recognize that I need to use the time-stop power to launch the stone and uncover something; I discover a boulder beneath and lift it to reveal a korok seed.  

It’s a decent swim from this tiny island back to the shore of the main island, and along the beach there are 2 or 3 dead Guardian hulks rotting and rusting away in the surf.  I search them to find some ancient technology pieces, and then I spot a live Guardian patrolling the beach.  I don’t want to fight it, and keep my distance, and manage to avoid it detecting me, thankfully.

I walk up the beach around to the north, and get along the north east corner, where I bomb a few mineral deposits, and find another korok seed.  I make my way as far west as I’m able, before the beach runs out and the water gets too deep, and so I figure I’m done exploring this area and am ready to start to try to climb up.

I get up about halfway, when it starts raining, and then it turns into a full-blown thunderstorm, and doesn’t let up for 6 hours game-time.  I could just stand on the side of the cliff and wait it out, but I’m impatient, and it’s potentially dangerous, so I teleport myself back to the shrine near the Akkala stable.

I run up to the stable and talk to a few people, and Pikango reminds me of the photo in my album that is of a nearby location to the west.  I head out that way directly, veering slightly off course to the south, but realize that I’ve diverged a bit, and head back to the north after dealing with some night moblin skeletons that pop up.  Heading to the north, it gets a bit hilly, and then I spot a herd of wild horses, and try to catch one, but it kicks me and I give up.  But nearby, I see a little gully, wherein it looks like there’s a lake or something, and I think that may be the site where one of my memory photos was taken.  I get closer, and it is a fountain or spring of some kind; a statue in the center of the goddess Hylia, and some other carved stone work give it an ancient appearance.  I drop down to pray at the satue; it tells me to offer a scale from the red dragon here, so I definitely need to get one of those at some point.  I notice the spot where I can recollect my lost memory, and trigger it; a cutscene ensues.

In it, Zelda is frustrated that she’s been praying all her life for the power to contain the calamity, and hasn’t been able to feel it working.  Link stands nearby, apparently on guard, but listening to her, while Zelda monologues for a bit.

I resume exploring the spring area, and there’s a tunnel leading into the rock, which I go explore; it emerges into a quarry area where more of those patrolling hover copters are flying about.  I try to keep out of sight, but there’s a lot of forage around — minerals, mushrooms insects, and more.  I grab a few things, but then more moblin skeletons pop up and start harassing me, and in the process of dealing with them, I am noticed by one of the hovering guardians, and it opens fire on me.  I take some damage from a near hit, but it’s not bad, and I manage to run around a large rock and hide until it resets and leaves me alone.  

I decide to leave the quarry for the time being, and come back another time perhaps. Walking back along the ridge leading to the Spring of Power, I spot a shrine, which looks to be on the top of the next hill.  I head in that direction, and as I get close, I realize that it was an optical illusion caused by two hills lining up with my sight just so; it’s actually further back on top of an even taller hill that the first hill was occluding.  And as I get closer still, I find that it’s not a hill at all, but a massive, tall column of stone.  The closer I get, the more the land around the column appears to sink before me, and by the time I get close, I realize that there’s actually a very deep chasm, and if I were to glide over to this column from where I’m at, it’d be a difficult climb to get up to the shrine.

To my right, I pass another sleeping Hinox, which I leave be, and further past it there’s a mountainous ridge that rises about to the level of the shrine.  If I can climb up that, which looks easier, I should be able to glide over to the column where the shrine is, and land close enough to the top that the rest of the climb to get there will be easy.

I make the climb and the glide, and it is in fact easy.

I reach the shrine, and the game tells me that a shrine quest called the Skull’s Eye has just been completed; I don’t recall triggering the start of this quest, so I guess I just solved it ahead of time.  I unlock the shrine, and go inside.  There’s no trial or challenge; the shrine master awards me a flame blade and a spirit orb.  I don’t take the flame blade, as my inventory is still full, and I already have one.  This one is nicer though, but if/when I need to replace the one I have, I can come back.

Zelda: BOTW Diary (64)

I’m standing atop the Akkala Ancient Technology Lab, looking around, and the shrine at the labyrinth looks so inviting and near.  I hop off and glide, and realize that it’s actually quite a distance away.  But I have more than enough stamina with two full wheels to make it there.  

As I come in for my landing approach, I see helicopter drones pop into view — one, two, three, four. I get closer still, and can see that the outer wall to the labyringth is open in the center, and you can just walk down a central hall of pillars, and see right up to the shrine, which is mid-way up the rear wall of the labyrinth in a large, rectangular citadel with a window, and the window is covered with bars; otherwise one could just easily climb right up there.

In the middle of the open area with the pillars, there’s a Guardian — a large one, but I take it down very easily, hacking the legs off and disabling it before it is able to muster even one attack on me. The drones flying above don’t seem to take any notice of me, and just continue to fly their routes. In fact, the entire time I’m at the labyrinth, they do not once detect me.  Their sensors seem to be unable to reach all the way down to the labyrinth floor, so all they are really there for is to be intimidating, and, I guess, keep people off the roof.

I eventually do explore the roof, though, and they don’t spot me even then.  I’m able to avoid them very easily. They do not seem to have wide angle vision, and literally only can see directly where their search beam is aimed. This means that despite their extremely powerful weaponry and huge amount of hitpoints, they are easily avoided and not much of a challenge.

I get into the maze and start looking for a way to get into the shrine chamber. I explore the east side of the maze first, and I don’t find a way up, but I do find numerous chests, containing rupees, ancient technology parts, and some pretty good weapons — royal broadswords and the like.  I eventually make my way up to the northern edge of the labyrinth, which takes me along a long hallway where I encounter many chuchus, red and yellow, which I hit with arrows from a safe distance, and some keese. The corridor dead ends and there’s a chest with a nice flame sword, but it’s weaker than the weapons I already have, so I just leave it.  I guess if I ever need it, it’ll be there for me when I go back.

I don’t find the way into where the shrine is, though, so I keep looking.  Eventually I decide to climb to the top of the labyrinth and try to see if there are any secrets up there; I discover the central area’s columns are hollow, more like chimneys, and half of them contain a chest with something decent inside.

I explore the west half of the maze, and find a disabled Guardian, who wakes up and attacks me, but I kill it easily as well, and a few more keese and chuchus, some more nice weapons and chests with rupees and such.  

I go back to the east half of the maze and re-explore, and find a path I had missed my first time, which involves a little climb and then turning down a hall.  There’s some more good weapons — a Knight’s shield and a royal broadsword.  I think I must be close to the shrine entrance, but the hall just dead-ends.

I return to the west half of the maze, and again find a path that I had missed my first time, and now I’ve solved the secret of the labyrinth.  I see a chute leading upward to my right, which is blocked by thorns, so I pull out my meteor rod and shoot fireballs at them, and they burn away; I climb up and there’s a flame claymore, a pretty nice two-handed sword, but not as nice as the royal claymore that I’d broken earlier smashing the second Guardian.

I go back down the chute and continue down the main passageway, which leads up some stairs, and spirals around, and leads me up some more stairs, where I find the shrine chamber.  I enter the shrine, and am rewarded with a chest and a spirit orb.  The chest contains another part of the Barbarian armor outfit, which completes my set.  Once I get it enhanced by the fairies, it’ll be a good one to take into battle, since it gives an attack bonus.

Exiting the shrine, the bars are gone from the window.  There was also a hole in the floor that was covered with bars, and the bars are gone from there as well, and now a strong updraft is blowing up from the shaft.

I drop down the shaft, and fall a long way, before emerging into a vast chamber with a high ceiling. Rotting hulks of guardians litter the floor everywhere. I glide to a gentle landing and look around.  The room reminds me of the scene in the movie Alien where they first find the egg pod chamber. It has that same feeling of foreboding.

In the center of the room is a raised dais with a chest on it.  I walk up and open the chest, and it contains a Diamond Circlet, just like the one I bought in Gerudo town already.  So… wtf, now I have two?  Yes, sure enough it takes up an inventory slot.  I don’t think you can sell off weapons and armor, so I hope this doesn’t mean that I’ve wasted a slot with a redundant item, even one as valuable and powerful as the diamond circlet.

As soon as I retrieve the circlet, four of the dead Guardian hulks come to life, and start targeting me with their lasers.  I figured that might happen.  I turn to run back to the updraft shaft that I fell down, but am hit by one, and then two blasts.  I think about trying to fight the Guardians, but I’ve never fought two at a time successfully, much less four, and it seems foolish to try. I make it out, launching myself into the air and evading another salvo of laser fire.

That was exciting.  Well done, designers.

Zelda: BOTW Diary (63)

I did a lot of things in my game session today.
 
I decided to go back to Zora’s Domain and explore the area they mentioned where you can find shock arrows just laying around for the taking.  There’s a lynel up there, and I have a hunch it might be an easier one, kind of a My First Lynel that I can fight and maybe I’ll be able to defeat it.
 
I get going and don my Zora armor and rubber helmet and pants, and travel out the way they said to go. Following the map is pretty easy, and the Zora armor’s ability to swim up waterfalls makes it even easier.  I get up the mountain very quickly by zipping up waterfalls, and I find shock arrows embedded in just about every tree I see up there. I’ve collected a lot of them, and then I see the lynel.  It’s far enough away that I think I’m pretty safe, just going about the outside edge of the plateau that we’re on, and for the longest time he doesn’t seem to notice me.  I go around almost the entire perimeter of the mountaintop getting every shock arrow I see, when I realize that I’ve lost track of the lynel.
 
That’s when he attacks.  From behind.  The arrows go wide, and I escape major damage, but I think that’s more because I have had my armor enhanced a few levels by the fairies.  I turn around and there he is.  He doesn’t seem as big, somehow, like maybe I’m right and he really is a lesser lynel that I get to practice on before I meet the really big bad ones.  Only, I’ve done a lot of stuff kindof out of order, and so this is the last lynel I’ve discovered, or maybe just the latest one so far.
 
I fight him, and actually prevail.  My longer life bar, more powerful weapons, and upgraded armor seem to do it.  I don’t think I developed any great tactics for fighting it, and he hit me a bunch, and I had to take a meal break to regain my health, but in the end I guess our power levels were about equal, and I just had more resources, not really the skill yet.  I did find that I could stun him with an arrow to the face, and do the by-now familiar run up while they’re stunned and pour on some melee damage.  I also managed to mount the lynel, which enabled me to get in some free hits from behind, from relative safety, which was pretty cool.
 
When it died, it dropped a sword, shield, and bow, and a horn and a hoof.  So now I finally have found a hoof in the game, and so I think I’ll take it back to Korok town and give it to that riddling korok and see if it’s the solution.
 
Now that the mountaintop has been pacified, I decide to take advantage of the altitude and get a good look around at the countryside from this vantage point.  I see a lot of places I haven’t been to  — the whole of the northeast part of Hyrule, I haven’t been to yet, and haven’t mapped, haven’t really even seen yet, being that it’s been behind the Lanayru mountain range all this time.  I see a vast, wide countryside, where the trees are fall colors, and I also get a better view of the volcanic area. Everywhere I look I see two or three things that look interesting, and I can hardly decide where to start.  I see shrines, another stable, what looks like a village, and of course the two remaining towers that I have to activate in order to get the maps for these regions.
 
The nearest thing to me is a shrine, so I fly down to it and activate it, go in, and it’s a Lesser Test of Strength trial.  This time the shrine guardian barely puts up a fight and I defeat it easily. I pass on the weapon it drops, and the one in the chest, get my spirit orb, and move on.
 
Next, I decide the best thing to do will be to activate the tower.  It looks nearby, but it requires a lot of climbing to get to it.  Then I notice that I’m very close to another fairy fountain, just below where the shrine I just cleared is, so I glide down to it, and find out that this fairy wants 10,000 Rs to open up.  I don’t have that much, so I’ll have to come back later.  The tower it is, then.
 
As I start walking in the general direction of the tower, I get attacked.  It’s night, and three moblin skeletons pop up, and then for good measure another 3 lizalfo skeletons pop up as well.  As if that’s not enough there’s a couple of bokoblins on horseback riding around, and a couple of fire keese flying through the air.  I don’t want to use up all my weapons fighting these guys, and it’s a bit much to defeat with bombs.  I manage to drop some of the skeletons with bombs, but by that time everyone else has shown up, before I’ve had a chance to finish off their skulls, which is what really kills them.  The keese start setting the ground on fire, and the bokoblin riders open up with fire arrows, and I decide to just get the hell out.  
 
I run away and glide off the edge of the plateau I’m on, and climb the next one, cross a bridge, all the while heading in the general direction of the tower, which is still a long way away.  I get closer and closer, but it’s still far.  It seems like it’s closer than it is, and it takes longer to get to it than I think it will.  It also requires a lot of rock climbing and mountaineering.  But I have the complete climbing suit now — in my last session, I found the climbing shirt to complete the outfit, at the island shrine with the combat trial.  Climbing is super fast now, and that’s a good thing.
 
I climb and climb and climb, and eventually as I’m getting close, I see more bokoblins and a few of those ancient technology hovering drones, like the ones in the canyon that were ridiculously tough.  I give them a respectful distance and watch for them to move away on their patrol circuit, and then move, and they don’t notice me. It’s not hard at all to evade their detection, and they seem to pretty much only notice you if you are standing directly in their searchlight beam, which means it’s very easy to avoid them.
 
I have to fight a few more lizals, bokoblins, and moblins here and there as I climb, and for the most part these fights are not a great challenge, but they’re enough to keep me occupied.
 
Finally, I get to the tower. The tower is absolutely covered in calamity goo, and it doesn’t look like there’s any way I can climb up it.  The whole bottom is just slimed, all the way around.  There’s some ruined stone buildings adjacent to the tower, and I walk around them looking for anything that might be useful, items, a metal object that I could turn into a bridge or ladder, a clue, anything.  I fight a few more bokoblins, and find a few random weapons and rupees.  I also do manage to find one goo-eyeball that I can shoot, and it clears away a little it of the goo, but not enough in the scheme of things to clear a path to the top.  I need to get altitude somehow and then glide in to latch on to the tower mid-way up.  
 
After exploring the ruins a long while, I manage to find a way to get to the very top of the closest ruined stone building, and am able to glide to the tower, getting onto it above the goo, and from there I am able to climb all the way to the top and activate the tower.  There’s no one at this tower waiting for me, no story sequence unfolds.  It feels like solitude.  Even the monsters and enemy drones that were so thick in this area don’t seem to be around up here. You’d think that activating the tower would draw a lot of attention, but nothing happens, nothing comes.
 
I look around at the surrounding countryside, and I can spot two or three more shrines nearby in plain sight.  It’s hard to tell for sure in every case, because the lava from the volcanic region glows the same orange color, and can fool me at a distance.  I see another stable, or at least I think it’s another one, unless I got turned around and am seeing the same one as I saw before, and just think it’s a new one.  There’s so much that I’ve left undone at all of the northern stables.
 
So much to do.  I decide to clear the nearby shrines, and take care of anything else that looks interesting that I run into between them.  Then I go to the final tower, climb it, and activate it.  I now have the complete map of Hyrule.  There’s still a lot left for me to do in this part of the world, I’ve barely started exploring it.  I even barely touched Zora’s domain and the region around it, for that matter.  At the top of the final tower, I’m able to spot the final Divine Beast, the lizard is climbing on the side of the volcano.  So I guess that’s what I’ll eventually do.
 
I decide that before I take on more new stuff, I should cross a few things off of my list. I go to Hateno village and show the boy Nebb a wind cleaver sword, which I picked up from a Yiga swordsman who attacked me as I was traveling through the new region.  He gives me 100 rupees and now he wants me to show him a Guardian Axe+.  I have a regular Guardian Axe, and a Guardian Axe++, but not the single-plus, so I’m out of luck until I can find one.  I hope that’s the last one.  But maybe the last one will be the Master Sword.
 
I travel out to the Korok riddler and show him the Lynel Hoof, and that is indeed the solution to the puzzle.  He gives me a diamond, which is pretty cool for a quest reward.  I’ve only found about 10 diamonds in the whole game so far, although mineral deposits have been dropping them a bit in some of the areas I’ve been through in the last week. 
 
I travel back to Rito village and complete the Warbler’s Nest shrine quest.  I find the last bird sister high up on top of the town. I have to transport up to Vah Medoh to glide down to where she is.  Then I talk to her, and then all five sisters go to Warbler’s Nest, where I follow.  There they all are, singing their song.  The five of them are each a different color, and it reminds me of the Disney Ducks, Hewey, Dewey, and Louie.  I talk to each of them, and each of them says something and asks me to listen to their song, so I oblige and they just repeat the same five notes each time.  But I get it. The song is a clue.  The last sister gives me a korok leaf as a gift, and tells me to use it to blow wind through the rock formations that I’d been trying to shoot arrows through previously.  I do so, going in numeric order, 1-5, and nothing happens.  But each one plays a note.  So I realize that the bird sisters are singing the notes in the order I need to blow through the rocks with the korok leaf.  The sisters stand from left to right, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and they sing in the order 4, 5, 3, 1, 2.  So I use this sequence and it reveals the shrine.
 
I don’t remember the shrines I cleared all that well.  They sortof blur together.  The one at Warbler’s Nest, I know I had to climb a very tall ladder, and at the top of it there was a trapdoor that dropped me down into a lava-filled chamber that was full of blowing fans, and I had to glide from platform to platform while avoiding spikes and falling into lava, open a few chests, and get the orb.  That was not too hard, but pretty fun.
 
Another one, I had to figure out how to get past huge rolling balls that kept dropping down these chutes.  Most of them were stone, but one was a steel ball. The stone ones, I could time stop, and it gave me enough time to sprint up the chute safely.  The metal one, I could grab with magnesis, and push the stone ones out of my way, so I used that to safely get up to the master’s chamber and claim the orb.
 
One was another combat trial, I think I already mentioned that.  In taking care of all this stuff, I crisscross the world map so many times using teleportation that it sortof jumbles the continuity of my memory, and there’s not an obvious order that I remember doing everything in.
 
Eventually, I’ve taken care of those several small quests, and I’m back to Akkala.  I go to the stable and sell a bunch of excess forage to Beedle, and raise the 10k I need to open the Fairy pond.  I go do that, and this is the last of the fairies, and she can now upgrade my outfits to their maximum potential.  I do as much as I can until I run short on materials needed, but now I have a lot of high end equipment, which should make me a lot better protected for combat.
 
I glide down to the little village I saw, and it’s just that dude from the Bolson construction company in Hateno village, all by himself, building buildings.  He says he needs help to attract people to settle here.  I give him 10 bundles of wood that he says he needs, which I happened to have on hand, and then he tells me he needs to find a Goron to hire, and the Goron’s name has to end in -son.  So if I find such a Goron, I have to bring him here somehow.  Ok.
 
I leave the village and go up the road further, and find the stable.  I talk to the people there, and they tell me about the weird scientist guy who hangs out at skull lake and makes special elixirs out of monster parts, and I gather that I should seek this guy out soon.  Pikango tells me I can find another memory photo spot to the west of this stable, so I’ll have to remember to go do that too.  Further out to the northeast, I learn is the location of Akkala Ancient Technology Lab, so I run out there and pay a visit.  There’s a shrine nearby here, so I clear it out.  I think it was another combat trial, and not a difficult one.  I talk to the scientist Robbie and his wife, and learn about their project.  I need to re-start their ancient technology oven, as well, which requires a blue flame like the one in Hateno village.  
 
I don’t know where I’ll find that yet, but apparently not too far off somewhere.  I climb up to the top of the lab and look around, and in the distance I can see another maze, with a shrine in the middle of it.  I take a mental note to go there at some point, but I already have a bajillion other things to do right now all of a sudden.
 
I still want to go back to the Lost Woods area and explore it more and try to find the Master Sword, too.
 
I guess I’m going to be pretty busy for a while.