Zelda: BOTW Diary (80)

Back to farming and foraging for materials to upgrade my armor.  I need Hinox and Lynel parts most, plus I also need a bunch of Hightail lizards and Swift Violets.  I also need some rare stuff like Ancient Cores and Star fragments.  And I need a Dinraal’s scale, and one more Farosh’s horn.

I transport out to Eldin and fight the Lynel out by the Leviathan skeleton.  I screw up the first two attempts at this fight and restore from my save point.  The third time it goes well.  I nail the lynel in the face with arrows, mount him, and hit him 5 times, get thrown off, hit him in the back of the head a few times with more arrows on the way down, and repeat.  I manage about 3-4 cycles of this, and then mess up the timing once and he gets me for a good hit, I have to eat and replenish, and then he does it again, and I have to take another meal to replenish.  But after that I recover and take him down.  

The Lynel drops a strar fragment (!),  and his usual compliment of top tier weapons, about 20 lightning arrows, and the usual hoofs, guts, and horns.

I notice a stone circle nearby this Lynel’s patrol area, and find another korork seed here.  

Then Dinraal the dragon makes his appearance, and I manage to collect my scale this time. 

After picking up the scale, a Blood Moon occurs, and I get to fight the Lynel again.  This time I fight him just about as well as the first time, maybe a little worse, but 2-3 meals to replenish my life meter after my mistakes, and I win.

I transport out to the shrine near the fairy by Tarrey Town, visit the Fairy, and upgrade my clothes, boosting one of my Barbarian Armor pieces and my Ancient Greaves.  

Then I head to Tarreytown and buy out their arrow shop.  It’s late at night, and down below at the lake’s bank, I see that Fang And Bone is open below.  I have a bunch more monster parts that i can exchange for Mon, and so I do so, and get enough to buy myself the rest of the Dark Link outfit, as well as a Lynel Mask, and a Lizal mask, and then I’m down to not enough Mon to buy anything.  

I’m not really sure that I have a lot of interest in the rest of the stuff that Kilton has for sale, but there are the boko and moblin masks left, some horse gear, monster elixir, and a spring loaded hammer.  But I have very little practical need for any of this stuff, and would only be buying it out of curiosity to see what it does, and this late in the game most likely whatever it does will be disappointing.

I transport up to the shrine near East Akkala Stables, and take a short walk West to the Spring of Power, where I make an offering of Dinraal’s scale, to reveal the shrine here.  This shrine, unlike the other shrines in the game that you reveal by completing shrine quests, has an actual challenge inside:  a Major Test of Strength. 

I arm myself, and step forward to do battle with the shrine guardian.  With the Savage Lynel Sword that I took from the Lynel I just defeated, plus a Guardian shield and shock arrows, this fight goes pretty quickly.  I manage to break the Lynel Sword, but I don’t take more than a heart and a half of damage from this guardian, which is awesome.  

The guardian drops another shield, an axe or spear (I forget), and sword, so I pick up what I can that is worthwhile for my current inventory.  The shrine also has a chest with a flame spear with an attack bonus, but I don’t take it.  I get my spirit orb, and leave.

I transport back to the shrine south of Tarreytown and pray at the statue there, and receive another heart container.  Now I am just two heart containers shy of two full rows, and I still have two more spirit orbs.  I guess there are 10 shrines left in the game for me to find somewhere.

I now probably need to kill 1-2 more Lynels, 1 Hinox, and pick up two shards of Naydra’s Horn, and pick 14 Swift Violets and collect about 20 Hightail Lizards, and I’ll be maxed out.  Once I do that, all that remains uncompleted for the game apart from hundreds of still-undiscovered korok seeds, is the 10 remaining shrines, plus Ganon.

Pac Man Championship Edition NES Demake

In 2007, Pac Man creator Toru Iwatani gave me all the reason I needed to buy an XBox 360 when Namco released his farewell game, Pac Man Championship Edition.

The original Pac Man Championship Edition for XBox 360

Easily the best Pac Man game ever made, it was a fantastic modernization of the classic game which updated the design to maximize Flow, the zen-like state of consciousness sometimes called being “in the Zone”. Featuring a split maze, where completing one side spawns a prize on the opposite side, which, when eaten, refreshes the completed side, the game is perfectly set up for non-stop maze running and high score runs, where your goal is to maximize points in a timed run through a combination of eating dots, prizes, and ghosts.

I learned yesterday that a NES demake of Pac-Man CE has been released on the latest Namco Museum anthology, available on Nintendo Switch.

Graphical glitches aside, this is absolutely amazing!

The demake has actually been around for several years, and is available for download if you can find it.  You can play it in a NES emulator, or on real hardware, if you have an Everdrive. It’s implemented on MMC3 and weighs in at 257kb.

The original Pac Man CE was designed for 16:9 TV screens, while the NES is obviously engineered to display its graphics on an NTSC 4:3 display at 240i resolution. So to work around the limitations, the demake uses an ingenious programming technique to scroll the maze, using the NES’s video buffer to create an infinite horizontal wrap when you use the warp tunnels.

This is a must-play, must-own if you’re a fan of Pac Man or the NES. It’s also worth owning on the Switch. Apart from online leaderboards, it is fully featured, quite faithful to the XBox 360 original, and extremely well done.

Zelda: BOTW Diary (79)

I am looking for things to do beyond farming forage materials that I need to upgrade my various armor suits, but not things that are directly related to finishing the main quest to defeat Ganon today.

I think about taking on the Eventide Island challenge and getting that crossed off my list, finally, but I don’t feel like it today. 

Instead, I try transporting to Gerudo and see if I can get the sidequest completed for the little girl, Dalia, who wants to start an orchard but can’t due to the garbage in the water.  I go there, and it’s daytime, so Dalia is out, and she has new things to say to me when I talk to her this time.  After talking to her, I climb up on the walls and talk to Calyban, the Gerudo vai who is eating melons all day long, and she is still rude and doesn’t want to be bothered at first, but I tell her about Dalia’s problem, and she feels a bit guilty, and offers to quit polluting the water with her melon rinds if I bring her some wild berries.  I happen to have the 10 berries she needs in my inventory already, so I just talk to her again and give them to her.  She takes them, and apologizes, then goes to help Dalia clean up the garbage.  After this, I talk to Dalia and she is happy and starting to plant wildberry plants, because Calyban gave her the berries that I gave her.  

This completes the quest, and so I go to visit Riju, to see if I’ve solved all of Gerudo Town’s problems yet, so I can borrow the Thunder Helm. But apparently there is still more for me to do in this town, only I don’t know what else there is.  I go around and talk to everyone I can find, and don’t pick up any new leads.

I’m puzzled by this, but perhaps it’s one of those things where it depends on what time of day it is.  Several of the Gerudo I speak to do seem to have problems but non starts a quest.  There’s a vai who complains that she has a headache, and another one who I keep interrupting when I go to her house and she’s practicing talking to men in her bedroom, and gets embarrassed that I’ve seen her doing this. I’d help her out if I could, and I’ve met a few Hylian fellows who are looking to score with some Gerudo hotties, but nothing ever seems to come out of these conversations.  I guess Link is just not in the matchmaking business.

There’s the old woman who sits by the goddess statue and likes to talk and tell me about how she traveled all over Hyrule looking for the heart-shaped lake where you’re supposed to meet your true love.  I go back to the tavern, and the women who you can eavesdrop on are talking about one of their friends who went out by this lake; I’ve already helped her hook up with a Hylian dude, a long time ago, but hearing them talk makes me think maybe I should go back out there and see if there’s anything new going on with them.  I do so, and there’s nothing new going on with them at all.  

So… I dunno.  Somewhere in Gerudo Town there’s someone, at least one more someone, with a problem that I’m supposed to solve, and I guess I’ll find them someday, or not.

Since I’m way the heck out east now, I think about what else I could do.  I’m near the coastline, and I am in need of Hightail lizards, for my armor upgrades.  I forget which suit I need these for, maybe the climbing gear, I forget.  But I need a bunch.  I recall that there seemed to be many lizards along the shoreline on the beach, so I go for a very long walk down the southern coast of Hyrule, and find a couple of the lizards, but only about 3 Hightails.  I also find numerous crabs, and maybe a half dozen korok seeds that I hadn’t found on my first pass through the area.  In Faron I run into another stalnox, the skeletal Hinox who sleep during the day as a pile of giant bones, and then wake up at night, and defeat it, earning a Great Flameblade, which I swap out for my old Great Flameblade, which was probably starting to get close to being badly damaged anyway.  I mine ore wherever I find it along the way, and kill lots of lizalfos, and bokoblin skeletons, keese, and chuchus who harass me along the way, a few bokoblins on horseback, a couple of Yiga bowmen, a Stone Talus, and a Guardian on the beach, who drops an Ancient Core, which is another item that I need.  I think I need at least 6-8 Ancient Cores, though, and it’s going to take a long time at this rate to get that many.

A little bit further on down the beach past where I fought the Guardian, I come across a Hylian woman on the beach who is caressing a Sheikah orb like it’s her favorite thing in the world.  She is calling it Roscoe, and seems off her rocker.  I try to talk to her; there’s a nearby shrine pedestal, where I know if I put the orb in it, I will reveal a new shrine that I can clear, but she won’t let go of the orb until I show her four photos of guardians.  

That’s going to take a lot of work to track down the different types of Guardians that she wants to see, but I’ll make an effort to do it when I run into them.  

I continue along the beach still further, and come to a river channel that leads inland to where Lake Tower is.  I follow the river, along the east bank, and find a few more korok seeds.  This is an area I hadn’t really been through previously.  I also find yet another stalnox skeleton, but it’s day time and so inert; this is the third Stalnox I’ve discovered now in the game.

I explore around the area and find some treasure chests, and get some more rupees and gems out of them.  Then I see a few horses, and one of them looks like a good one, so I tame it and ride it to the nearest stable, which is Highland Stable to the southeast.  I get there and try to register it, but it’s not as good as my horses that I already have, so I don’t bother.

I still need a bunch of Hightail lizards and have a new sidequest to photograph Guardians, so I continue on with those objectives.

I guess I’ll take on the Guardian photo safari first, since I know where I can find at least two of the types of Guardians that the weird woman wanted to see.

I transport out to the Akkala Maze and photograph the flying Guardian and walking guardian there.  Then I transport to a shrine where there’s a combat trial and photograph the guardian there, and warp out back to the nearest shrine to where I met the weird Hylian Girl, and run over, show her the photos, and she gives me “Roscoe” and I unlock the shrine.  There is no trial here, I just get a spirit orb and a chest.

Next, I decide to return to Gerudo. There’s one more place I didn’t check in Gerudo for more sidequests: the military training academy.  I go there, and sure enough there’s a quest for me.  Barta (I think she’s the one who I rescued from the Yiga Clan when I went to recover the Thunder Helm) has gone missing (again); this time she was last seen by the Leviathan skeleton out in the desert.  I transport to the shrine there, and find her.  She is exhausted and near death, and her last request is to taste a Hearty Durian one last time.  I give her one from my inventory, and it heals her (of course) and she’s fine again. I tell her the royal Gerudo Guard is looking for her, and she returns home.  Mission accomplished. 

I talk to Riju, and she agrees to let me borrow the Thunder Helm.  It is a bit underwhelming:  3 defensive rating, and cannot be enhanced, and immunity to lightning. But it doesn’t seem to work — I still take damage from lightning strikes, Farosh, and other elemental attacks, but I guess it doesn’t cause me to drop my weapon.  But it doesn’t repel lightning to being attracted to me if I’m holding anything metal, and the lightning still does damage.  Maybe (probably?) not extra damage for being elementally vulnerable due to holding metal, but WTF, the dang helmet created a huge bubble of lightning repulsion when we went up against Vah Naboris, so come on!  I think the Thunder Helm is a huge disappointment, and would just give it back to Riju, as it’s worse than just wearing the complete Rubber Suit from what I can tell.

I spend the rest of the session running around the desert, looking for Yellow Lizalfos to kill for their tails; I need a total of 20 in order to max out the remaining pieces of the Rubber Suit.  It takes hours, but I eventually manage to get all the Yellow tails I need. With all the practice, I get pretty good at taking down Lizalfos when I’m prepared for them.  They like to lie dormant, and camouflage themselves, but you can easily see them, due to their shape.  I just run up and toss a bomb at them, blow them away, and run up, and ready another bomb as soon as I can, and keep hitting them with it, knocking them around, stunning them, causing them to drop their weapon.   If they get too close to me to use the bomb on them, I whip out my weapon and hit them 3-4 times, and when they go down, I run right over and hit them 2-3 times extra while they’re down.  Depending on the strength of my weapon, and the toughness of the particular Lizalfos, they don’t last very long, and I keep them stun-locked to where they can’t manage much if any counter-attack.

I also found a great many chests in the desert as well.  And one additional shrine, out in the western part of the Gerudo Desert barrens, there’s a set of four stone braziers in a square; I lit them all with my great fireblade, and a shrine appeared.  This one had a minor test of strength trial, and I defeated this guardian easily, loosing only 1 1/2 hearts.  The Ancient Armor really helps protect you from them, and the Master Sword apparently does extra damage to them as well.  Plus, I’m just getting better at learning how to exploit their weaknesses though tactics.

While exploring the desert, I find three more swift violets, which means I have enough to enhance to maximum one of my two pieces of climbing gear that still needs to be enhanced.

I have enough spirit orbs to add another Heart Container to my life bar, and that will leave me two short of two rows of hearts, which is the maximum you can  have.  I think there’s now fewer than 10 shrines left in the game for me to discover, and I know where two of them are.  The rest are likely somewhere in Central Hyrule, near Hyrule Castle, or else very well hidden elsewhere.  There’s so much territory in the world map that it’s easy to completely miss an area, but I’m starting to feel like I’ve been just about everywhere.  I know there’s still some places that I have only barely explored, but they’re no longer entire regions, and are more like small sub-areas where natural boundaries channeled me into other areas of the map that I explored instead when I first came through the region.

Zelda: BOTW Diary (78)

Today I spent a lot of time farming.  

I got all the stealthfin trout I needed to upgrade my stealth suit to the maximum.

I got all the smotherwing butterflies that I need to upgrade my fireproof suit to the maximum.  

I got Farosh’s Horn, but I think I still need some more of that in order to do further enhancements.

I need a bunch more yellow lizalfos tails to completely upgrade my rubber suit to the maximum.

I need more Hinox and Lynel parts to enhance other stuff.

I need at least SIX Ancient Cores, which are pretty hard to come by; even fully mobile Guardians don’t seem to drop them very often.

I need Dinraal’s scale so I can unlock the shrine at the Spring of Strength.  It seems like it should be easy to get, but I keep just missing him.

I need Star fragments, if I can find any more.  If I see a shooting star, that will have to become my #1 priority over anything else in the game, due to how rare they drop.

I need a bunch more Swift Violets to finish enhancing my climbing gear to maximum.

Ever since the days of the NES, I’ve found that one of the joys of adventure games is maxing out your character, getting all the equipment and powering up all the way.  Even when I don’t really need to do it to beat the game, I still like to do it.  I’m about 100% certain that I don’t need to do it, I can in all likelihood go and fight Calamity Ganon right now, and have everything I need to prevail.  But still I want to max out my armor enhancements for everything, even though I basically don’t need to ever wear a lot of these suits.

I like to have it, just to have it.

I wish I could keep the high end weapons forever. The Savage Lynel Sword with the Attack Rating of 68, best for a 1-handed weapon I’ve found; The Boulder Crusher, Goron Champion Daruk’s weapon; The Guardian Axe++; a Royal Claymore and Royal Broadsword; a Savage Lynel Spear, one each of the Thunder, Flame, and Frost spears; maybe one each of either the one- or two-handed elemental swords; maybe a Dragonbone Moblin Club or Dragonbone Boko Bat, just so I’d have a good wooden weapon for use where metal isn’t ideal.   That would probably about fill out my melee weapon inventory pretty nicely.  If I could have those all permanently, never breaking, never wearing out, I’d be all too pleased.

For bows, I’d take multi-shot Savage Lynel Bows that fire x3 or x5 arrows, and some of the bows that do long-range shots with a zoom magnifier, because those come in so handy.  Plus 255 or 999 or whatever the max is for every kind of arrow.

Then life would be pretty complete.  A Hylian can dream.

For the stealthfin trout, I drop in at the tower near the entrance to the Lost Woods and walk along the shore of the wide river that borders it, and walk a long way, not seeing many fish, but occasionally seeing 3-4 that I can catch, and I get what I need.

Along the west end of the Lost Woods, I see an island out in the middle of the river, and it seems worth checking out.  It’s small, with steep banks rising up maybe 20-30 feet out of the water.  I swim over and climb up, and am attacked almost immediately upon reaching level ground by a bunch of skeletons.  They’re well armed, the bokoblin even fires bomb arrows at me, and I have to run around a lot to keep from being targeted.  I manage to take them out relatively easily, although I do take a lot of damage.  After finishing up the fight, there seems to be nothing at all else to do on this island.  It’s a lot of weapon drops of pretty decent weapons but they’re all below my power level now, and I don’t need any of them.  I was expecting there to be a korok seed, maybe even a shrine on the island, but there seems to be nothing here, other than a test to do battle with a bunch of weak skeletons who have above-average arms.

Next, I visit Gerudo Desert to farm Yellow Lizalfos tails.  I manage to get a few, enough to enhance one of my Rubber suit pieces, but I need a lot more.  I find the lizals a lot easier to kill now that I have these high-powered weapons, they do the job in 2-3 hits, oftentimes, which makes the fights take a lot less time.  For some reason, though, it seems I encounter way more green, red, and purple lizals, not the yellow ones I need.  So I kill about 3-4 times the number of lizals I really need, and don’t get all that many yellow tails for my effort.

I do run into a couple of guys in the desert, who are apparently lost, and rescue them from some marauding bokoblins.  They don’t really thank me, and don’t give me any kind of reward. They just talk about how they’re going to go to Gerudo and live like Kings, getting with all the foxy Gerudo ladies.  These guys are like the Beavis and Butt-head of Hyrule.   They’re never going to get into Gerudo, and they’re never going to score.  For a minute, I think I’m supposed to do something for them, like lead them to Gerudo Town, or I don’t know, but they don’t say anything more after I talk to them a few times, and they don’t follow me, or do anything. So I just continue on, leaving them.

I return to Floria Falls and have another fight with the Lynel there, and the Hinox.  The Lynel fight goes pretty well.  I only need to heal one time during the fight, my upgraded armor protects me well, and I manage to dodge pretty well.  I struggle to nail the Lynel in the face with my arrows, though, and because of this I don’t get to mount him to do a flurry of free attacks very often, until toward the end I finally manage to start hitting him. But I am able to hit him a decent amount with regular melee attacks, and he seems to have a hard time connecting with me when he swings his spear.  Mostly he hits me with his fire attacks and charges.

After the Lynel dies, I pick up the loot and then drop down to where the Hinox sleeps, and try to glide to land right on his belly, but somehow or other I screw this up, he wakes, and I just have to fight him.  It goes very easy, I manage to put 8-10 blows on him, which takes his health down to maybe 10-15%, and then finish him off with a couple of arrows.  He manages to throw a tree at me, and it barely does any damage.  I get a free bundle of wood out of it.

I transport back up to the falls, and swim up them in the Zora suit, then change into the Rubber suit and wait for Farosh. When he appears, I chip his horn and get the pickups I needed.

Then I go to the Fairy and enhance what I can, and take careful notes of how much I need of everything else that I need in order to finish upgrading my armor, and call it a night.

Zelda: BOTW Diary (77)

Back to searching for Mei, the lost Zora wife who was washed down river by the rains of Vah Ruta.

I continue following the river.  The river forks and I follow the bend left and south, passing to the east of Hyrule Castle.  This is probably closer to Ganon than I’ve ever been in the game, and this region of Hyrule is one I’ve avoided purposefully, assuming that it was likely full of stronger monsters than I was ready to face, for much of the game.

Now that I’ve defeated the four Ganon blight mini bosses and restored control over the Divine Beasts, and have some of the best weapons in the game, and my armor is powered up, and I have nearly two full rows of heart containers, though, maybe I’m ready.  I could probably use a bit more practice with swordplay, but I can take on just about anything in this game now and come out on top, I’m more than pretty sure.

Along this stretch of the river bank, there’s not much more to harass me than octorocks and the occasional chuchus or bokbolin skeleton.  And, a bit more rarely, a Yiga swordsman.  Those guys are really starting to annoy me, as they force me to use a lot more arrows than I’d like to, and I have yet to figure out how to get through their defenses reliably with the sword. They either seem to dodge back out of the way, or counter-attack and hit me with a knockback blow that drops me to the ground. My armor withstands most of their attack, so the damage is only slight, but it’s just really annoying to have to pick myself up off the ground and try to close distance to within striking range, only to have him jump out of the way impossibly fast at the last second, and then counter-attack with another strike that knocks me back again, and repeat.  I take to shooting them in the head with the bow, and it takes 4-5 arrows, usually, to do them in.

As I travel down the river, I find more korok seeds, and by the time I get to the end of this installment of the adventure, my total in-inventory is back up to around 40, and I’ve found about 290 total in the game.

My quest to find missing Mei takes me all the way down to Lake Hylia, and it’s a very long trip, especially allowing for any and all sidebars to solve a korok puzzle, fight a monster, pull a treasure chest out of the water, or pick up some forage materials.  I don’t wander too far away from the bank of the river, except two or three times.

First, I find a Hinox sleeping nearby the shore, and needing Hinox guts for some of my armor upgrades, I take him on and take him down, killing him easily, before he can really get going.  He drops a lot of cooked meals, some royal-class weapons, and some guts.

Once, I found a monster camp that looked bigger than the average monster camp.  Built into hillside, it was a super-complex composed of multiple big skull caves, covered by calamity goo, and also with some boiling mud to go with it.  I cleaned it out and was rewarded with some replacement Royal Broadswords to make up for the royal broadswords I broke clearing it out.

I guess I kinda just break even with this encounter, and because the defeated enemies will be resurrected with the next blood moon, it feels like a hollow and pointless victory. But I do prevail.

A bit further to the south, I spot a column of smoke rising from a little hill, not far from the shore, and run over to it, to find an adventuring Hylian woman who greets me and invites me to take a look around the countryside from up here, because it’s easy to find suspicious looking things from a high vantage point.  I do so, and I do see a couple of odd geographical points, but I’m not letting myself be distracted from my main quest right now, and I just mark them with the sheikah scope for later, and move on.

I get down to the bridge that I crossed on my first trip away from the Great Plateau, when I was heading for Kakariko village, and continue to follow the river south to Lake Hylia, stopping along the way here and there to solve a few korok puzzles.

All the way I’m looking for Mei, not even knowing what she looks like, but figuring that a Zora will stand out.  I’m expecting to find her prone and unconscious, laying on the bank of the river, but that’s not actually what happens.

When I get to Lake Hylia, I’ve still seen no sign or clues as to her whereabouts.  Lake Hylia has a very large bridge spanning it, and I use it to get to the mid-point, and try to have a look around.  There’s some islands to either side of the bridge, and the larger and more numerous ones are to the west of the bridge.  I figure I’ll start there, and glide down to investigate them.

There are numerous lizalfos among the islands, off shore in the water, zooming about. Engaging them is tough.  They are well armed, and the more powerful white and purple striped kind that I think of as “shamans”, which I guess is a throwback to my D&D roots, where the larger groups of orcs and goblins would be lead by a leader with higher hit dice and better arms and armor, and often referred to as a shaman.  These lizals wield Royal Claymores, which are not weapons you want to get hit by.  I manage to avoid this, but mainly because they seem to prefer to stand offshore and spit at me repeatedly, which doesn’t do much damage, but sure is annoying.

I shoot shock arrows at them, and while they go decent damage, these shaman lizals are so tough that I could nail them 10-15 times with shock arrows before they drop.  I don’t have all day. 

I find a few hidden treasure chests on the smaller islands, and the largest island in the group has a shrine on it.  I unlock it and enter, and it’s a puzzle shrine, where there’s a large stone block that can be send up a vertical rail, using bombs as propulsion.  The ceiling is bombable rocks.  The solution is to place a square bomb on top of the block, and blow it up to the roof using the round bomb, and then explode the square bomb when the block reaches the top, to break up the ceiling.  Then do it a second time, this time riding the block and using its momentum to throw you up into the air, where you can glide and reach a chest and the shrine master.

Emerging from the shrine, I encounter a second Lizalfos shaman, fight him, and then explore the remaining islands.  I finally find Mei, she’s out by the last island in the circle from where I started.  I talk to her, she really just forgot herself and was having such a good time fishing she didn’t realize that she had gone missing. She gives me five fish and a silver rupee and heads for home.  

Mission accomplished.  That was quite a long journey, and I’m feeling pretty exhausted.

The Xenoblade Chronicles crossover quest that they gave me says that one of the red shooting stars is visible in the southern sky, standing at the midpoint of the largest bridge in Hyrule, and the bridge across Lake Hylia is surely that bridge.  I transport to the nearby tower, and glide down from there to the mid-point of the bridge.  This area is guarded by more lizals, but these ones are the garden variety basic green lizal, and are easily dispatched.  Having done so, I have a few hours of game time to kill waiting for night and the shooting star.

Looking around, I find a couple more korok seeds along the bridge, and one ring of stones that I’m supposed to throw a stone into, but it’s so high up, I keep missing, and I doubt I’ll ever get that one.  Maybe I can put a rock on the raft down by the lake shore and run it out there, instead of trying to drop it form off the bridge, which is at least 100 feet above the water.

Night comes, and before very long I see the red shooting star fly through the sky, and land on the shore on the west side of the bridge, to the south, right by where the raft is, actually.  I glide down there, and open the chest, and it’s another piece of the Scavanger armor set.

The final shooting star is supposed to be seen from the top of the “pierced white mountain”, which I think might be a reference to Mount Lanayru, but it turns out that it’s really the tallest peak in Hebra, as I find out after giving up and googling for the answer.  I don’t understand the “pierced” reference to know how I would figure out that it’s this peak in Hebra.

I transport to the shrine nearest the peak, and have to melt my way through some ice blocks that block the entrance to the cave where the shrine resides, then I have a bit of a climb to get to the peak.  I get up there and it’s soon night time, and I see the shooting star.  I glide down to the crash site, and find another chest, with the last remaining piece in the Scavenger armor set.  Sidequest complete.

To round out the night’s mission, I run out to Korok woods to fish for stealthfin trout, then to Eldin mountain to try to find more smotherwing butterflies, but I only find three trout and one lousy butterfly.  Then I transport to East Akkala stable, and buy another three butterflies from Beedle, and head to the Akkala fairy to upgrade my gear.

I still don’t have everything I need to upgrade all my stuff, and won’t for quite some time yet to come, but I’m getting there.  I upgrade two or three pieces of my kit, and call it a session.

Zelda: BOTW Diary (76)

Pikango tells me one of my photos looks like it was taken nearby, across the river, in a wooded area northeast of a swamp. I head out from Wetland stable to check it out.

Near the Wetland Stable, by the river bank, there’s a man named Izra looking into the water.  I approach him and talk, and he tells me he sees a treasure chest in the water that he can’t get to, but wishes he knew what is inside of.  I guess this is the designers’ way of making sure that you know about underwater chests in case you’ve never seen one by now.  Since I’ve seen probably over a hundred, I know exactly what to do.  I use magnesis to pull it out of the water, and open it.  It’s a royal broadsword, and I have to ditch one of the royal broadswords already in inventory in order to take it out and show it to Izra.  Izra says I can keep the sword, and he is impressed by my powers.  Thanks, Izra.

I cross the river and there’s a footpath leading to the south along the bank.  As I walk along it, I’m attacked by three Yiga swordsmen, one at a time, in separate incidents.  They have some new attack modes that I haven’t seen them pull before:  an attack that transmits through the ground, creating an updraft that I can use to glide away to escape it, but if I don’t it knocks me off my feet; I use the glider to get away, and drop down on the swordsman.  These guys are nimble and get out of my way quickly, so I resort to taking shots at them with the bow when they are out of range, just so I can get some damage in.  I can also stun them with a bomb.  They’re hard to hit with a sword.

The third swordsman dies right at the site of the memory photo location.

I watch the memory.  Link and Zelda are on the run, in full retreat after a disastrous defeat at the hands of Calamity Ganon. The Guardians, the Four Divine Beasts, all have turned against them and all seems lost.  Zelda blames herself for failing to harness her powers. Link awkwardly comforts her.

I have but one remaining photo to find.

I turn my attention now to completing side quests.  I look over my Adventure Log and see what’s left.  There’s a bunch of Zora Domain quests, and a couple of shrine quests:  the Spring of Power, the Eventide Island.  I haven’t been able to get a Dinraal scale, still, and I don’t feel like attempting Eventide right now.  I want to wrap up things that are quick and easy.

There’s an odd sidequest called Xenoblade Chronicles Crossover, which has to do with these red falling stars that you can find in the sky in different places.  I think originally there were 4 or 5 of them to find, and now there’s just 3.  I have occasionally spotted a red falling star at night when I’ve been out adventuring, but haven’t really sought them out.  The first one was way early in the game, when I left Kakariko village for my first memory photo quest on the road to Lanayru.  There are clues for each of the remaining ones; one is in the Left Eye, which I take to mean the Left Eye of Skull Lake.  I transport to the shrine there a few hours before nightfall, and sure enough, not long after 9pm a red shooting star falls from the sky.  

Now that I’ve tracked down star fragments, I think I should find here this one lands, and see what it drops.  I spot the beacon as it shines, and mark it on the map, and head in that direction.  It is not terribly far away, and it’s a chest.  I open it, and there’s a suit of armor inside.  It’s low-powered, and confers a bonus to swimming, the same as the Zora armor I already have.  So I don’t really need this, but I guess it’s neat.

I wonder how many other unique/rare items I missed by not trying to find the landing spot of a red meteor.  Now, there are just two more left in the world to find.  One is at the longest bridge, which has to be the bridge at Lake Hylia.  The other, I’m not sure.

I have a lot of Zora quests to complete, so I transport to Zora’s Domain and start on it.

The first one is to slay a Hinox who lives nearby.  No problem.  I run out there and brutally murder the sleeping Hinox, and it only manages to get off a single attack at me before I drop him.

Next is the matter of the missing Mei, who was washed away down river by the torrents of mighty Vah Ruta. I start off going down to the river below Zora’s Domain and follow it.  Along the way, I find a korok seed or two, a hidden treasure chest, a few weak green lizals, who seem to drop a bunch of arrows, to the tune of 5-10 each, which makes me glad to kill them.  There’s also some ore spots to bomb, but mostly I’m looking for Mei.  I have no idea where to find her, and her husband said that she could have washed all the way down to Lake Hylia which is a LONG way away.

I continue to travel down the twisting Zora river, and encounter a young Zora girl, who seems like she’s way too young to be out by herself, especially this far out, with so many lizalfos about. I talk to her, and she is sending a letter down the river in a bottle. She has a pen pal, and I guess she has a crush on him, but she wants to know what kind of person they are, so she asks me to go and follow the note as it goes down the river, and see who has been receiving them.

This is a pretty involved side quest.  I have to follow this thing down the river, keeping it safe from breakage, and it’s slow going.  I can hop in the water with my aqua gear equipped so I can swim fast, and just let the current take me, but it seems to go a little faster than me.  If I just tread water, it doesn’t take any stamina, but if I move, I use up my stamina bar and I can’t recover without getting out of the water and standing.  

This is the way I do it on the first attempt, which fails when the bottle gets stuck at one point, and I pick it up and try to throw it in the water, but it breaks on the rock wall of the far bank.

Cursing, I run all the way back to the little girl and she says no problem, she’ll just send another note, and I can follow that one.

I do it again, and this time am successful.  The note rides the current all the way to a lizal complex, where I have to fight several lizalfos, and also break a barrier fence in the water that is designed to catch flotsam that streams downriver.  In the midst of the combat, I lose track of where the note went, and have to look everywhere, underneath all the platforms in case it got stuck again.  I can’t find it and am about to give up, when in the far distance on the shore of a cove, I spot something that is too tiny to see clearly, but I think may be it. 

I whip out my Sheikah scope and get a better look, and that’s what it is.  Relieved, I run out that way, and as I get closer I see a Hylian man who is living out of a lean-to. 

We talk and he tells me he wants to go meet his pen pal and soul mate.  I think this is creepy, because this man is fully grown and looks to be in his 30s or so, while the girl could have been about 4 or 5, maybe 6 at most, at least in human equivalent.  It does seem that Zora live longer than Hylians, but how much is unclear, as there are numerous Hylians who are advanced in their years but who were adults around the time of 100 years ago when Hyrule fell to Ganon, but there are Zora who are also from that time who are still apparently fit and in later years of their life, but not absolutely ancient.

Still, if Zora live longer than humans, then a young, immature Zora would be worse to date, one would think.  This seems icky-creepy, and basically cross-species pedophilia, and I’m disturbed by it.  WTF, Nintendo?

Seriously, WTF?  The inter-species thing is pretty weird to begin with, but for F’s sake, make the Zora chick old enough to be dating. 

According to the adventure log, I’m supposed to transport back to Zora’s domain to see what’s going on with them.  I find them, and they’re a happy couple now.  Ick.  I was really hoping that they would meet and realize that they were not right for each other because their ages are so off, but remain friends… but no, they’re lovey dovey love birds in love.  Ew.

In thanks they give me 300 rupees, which considering the effort involved in tracking the stupid note, is barely adequate.  I actually consider restoring back to a point before I accepted the quest, but unfortunately the game doesn’t record save points going back that far, and autosaves have already overwritten past that point.

Seriously, Nintendo.  Update the character model for the Finley when you release another patch for this.  She does not need to look like a freaking toddler. That’s all you need to do to rescue this.

Back to the search for missing Mei.

I transport down to a shrine near the point in the river that I reached when I was following the note, and go past there to a stretch of the river that is familiar to me — I’d been this way relatively recently, when I was exploring the roads north of Hyrule Castle and trying to find the map towers to the northern provinces. 

I’m at the point in the river where there’s an island with the shrine that was covered in thorny brambles that I had to burn away, and the bridge that crossed the river where I had to throw stones into a circle to bring out the korok who lived at the bottom of the bridge, and kept getting attacked by octorocks and Yiga swordsmen.

I haven’t seen a sign of Mei, and despite coming so far, there’s a long, long way between here and Lake Hylia, and I’m sure I’ve skipped over tons and tons of shoreline, and Mei could be literally anywhere.  It seems like an extremely wide area to have to search to find her.  I consider cheating and looking up the location(s) where shy may be found, but I don’t do it.  I think this is the game designers’ way of giving me reasons to explore this part of the world map, so I will do it, even though it might take me an extra week or longer, or I might never find her.

A short distance past the bridge, I come to an area where there seem to be a large number of the giant skull caves, and many of them are semi-submerged in the river water, and all of them are green, as though covered in moss.  A noticeable change in the geography.  A short distance in to this new region, and my shrine sensor starts pinging off.

I take a brief detour and head in the direction of the shrine signal.  Walking towards it, I come to a large, hollow Deku Tree stump, inside of which I encounter a yellow wizzorobe and a couple of baby stone taluses, all of whom I kill pretty easily, and then I’m attacked by some weak bokoblin skeletons because it’s night.  I destroy them quickly, and continue searching for the shrine.  I find it eventually, inside another hollow Deku Tree stump, and enter it.

It’s another Modest Test of Strength.  I gear up and fight the shrine guardian.  It’s not a difficult challenge by now, I know what to expect.  I’ve picked up on a few things as well.  For example, when the shrine guardian gets to about 1/2 of its hitpoints, it starts doing this turret spin move where it shoots a laser in a circular pattern, which generates an updraft.  I’d never tried jumping the laser before, always just got hit and knocked back by it.  But now I know that I can ride those updrafts and it enables me to get in close and deliver a hit on it with my melee weapon rather than relying on bomb arrows to finish it off. 

I feel like I still have a lot of things that I need to learn in order to fight proficiently.  For the most part I just run up to things and bash them, and don’t do trick moves like the jumping dodges, backflips, parries, and shield strikes that require a better sense of timing than I have.  And for the most part the combat challenges in this game are really lightweight, making it an easy enough game for casual gamers to play in without feeling too frustrated. 

I’ve definitely been frustrated at times in this game, but it’s mostly been because I can’t figure out where a shrine is that’s been pinging nearby forever, or I can’t figure out the solution to a puzzle.  If I get completely stomped in a fight, I don’t think it’s because the fight was unfair, I think it’s because I lack weapons, armor, and heart containers.  But, really, I probably could handle a lot more combat if I really knew how to work Link’s move set and extract maximum advantage from it.  

But mostly, due to the temporary, fragile nature of your weapons, I do everything I can to avoid melee, and instead fight as much as possible using dirty tricks and indirect methods like bombs, dropping boulders from above, and metallic items that I can slam enemies with using magnesis.  So in a lot of ways, the game dis-inivited me from discovering, practicing, and mastering the advanced combat moves in the game.  I think of this a weakness of the game’s design. Only now that I’m fighting Lynels am I starting to understand that there’s some deeper power moves that I haven’t really tapped into.

Zelda: BOTW Diary (75)

After the wedding of Hudson and his Gerudo gal, I go around Tarrey Town and talk to everyone.  Bolson and Karson are still hanging out, but after I talk to Bolson he says he needs to head back to Hateno, so he and Karson bid me farewell. 

The little girl who is sick and wants to eat cake is still sick and still wants to eat cake.  There is an old retired couple who moved to Tarrey Town, and the wife is a cake chef from the old days to the royal family, but I can’t seem to figure out how to get her interested in making the cake for the sick girl.  The mother tells me I should talk to the husband when he comes home at night, but when I wait for night to come and return to their house to talk to him, he’s having a discussion with the wife, and she tells me it’s personal and asks me to leave, so I do.

There’s another new house in Tarrey Town, where I walk in, and up on the roof porch patio there’s a young man who tells me he is studying to be an ancient technology scientist, and has collected some suits of armor that I can buy.  He is selling the Rubber suit, the Barbarian suit, and one of the other suits, I forget which one, maybe the Zora suit?  All for very expensive prices, and I already have them and don’t need them.  He also has the snow boots and the sand boots, for sale at a reasonable 800 Rs.  But I have these already and don’t need them.  So he’s basically pointless at this stage of the game, but if I had done the Akkala quests earlier in the game, I might have gotten the boots more easily out of him, and then been annoyed at spending 12k on a suit of armor that I could just find in the course of my travels as I complete quests and clear shrines.  

I still need more stealthfin trout in order to upgrade my stealth suit, so I transport to the shrine at Lake Saria in the Korok Forest, which is the only place I know of to find them, and pick up another four.

I need a Dinraal scale in order to complete the Spring of Power shrine quest, but he keeps evading me.  I tried to find Dinrall in Tabantha Canyon, where he flies through daily, but he wasn’t near the Forgotten Temple when I went there.  I know he also appears around Eldin Mountain, near the giant Leviathan skeleton.  According to the internet he spawns there daily at 9am, and it’s a sure thing to catch him there.  

I transport to a shrine near the Leviathan bones, and hike over. I also need to pick up more Smotherwing Butterflies, but they’re so hard to see, and so very rare.  I do manage to find 5 this trip, but I spotted at least 3 more that I couldn’t catch.  

When I get to Dinraal’s morning spawn spot, I wait and watch but no Dinraal.  I find a korok seed in the eye socket of the skull of the Leviathan, and another korok seed or two, and a bombable rock wall that a chest is hiding behind in the vicinity.  Past the tail of the Leviathan skeleton there’s a Lynel on patrol, and I need some hoofs and horns to upgrade some of my armor, so I decide to challenge it to combat.  

The fight goes pretty well, and I defeat the lynel, but in doing so I end up consuming sevral Hearty Durian meals and use a Mipha’s Grace and break a sword.  I keep being slow on the draw with the bow and getting hit just before I can get a shot off.  I go through about 20-30 arrows in this fight, as well, but when I do manage to connect with an arrow, I stun him with the shot to the head and can mount him for some free attacks.  The Lynel drops a Savage Lynel Sword, which is the most powerful one-handed sword I’ve found in the game now, and a shield with a defense rating of 70, which is the best I’ve found in the game.  I get lynel guts, two hoofs, and I think two horns as well.  

I give up again on waiting for Dinraal to appear, and go scouring the mountainside looking for butterflies.  I go all the way around the coast line of a magma lake and find 5 of them, and a few fireproof lizards as well, and many, many ore deposits and baby stone taluses who all drop lots of gemstones, but it’s mostly flint, rock salt, and amber, with a very occasional sapphire or ruby.  I also fight a Igneus Stone Talus at one point, who drops about 8 opals and a couple of other gems.  There are many octorocks, fire chuchus, and fire kees along the way as well, and a couple of fire lizals.

This foraging safari ends up taking several hours, and by the time I’ve orbited the lake, I see Dinraal flying through the sky, and I have a shot at him, but I don’t have the range on my bow, my shot falls short, and I don’t get my scale; he gets away from me.

I note that the time of his appearance is more like midnight, not the morning time the internet says he appears.  I don’t know why or how my copy of the game could be different, but it’s curious.

I have gathered enough butterflies to do some upgrades, so I transport back to the fairy fountain near Tarrey Town and get whatever I can upgraded.  I am still in need of more smotherwing butterflies, though, and rather than spend a million years crouch-walking around Death Mountain trying to find them, I look up to see if there’s anywhere else they can be found, and the internet tells me that Beedle sells them at East Akkala Stable and also at Wetland Stable.  

I look on the map for Wetland Stable, and can’t find it anywhere.  Could it be that after all this time there’s still an undiscovered Stable that I somehow haven’t found? 

There is!  It’s in the marshy lands near the tower to the north of Kakariko village, which was one of the first towers I unlocked in the days after making it to Kakariko, but at the time I was so weak and underpowered that I didn’t feel like I could safely travel through this part of the world, so I just unlocked the map in that part of the world and stayed away until much later, having returned only relatively recently, and then mainly stayed in Zora’s Domain area, not the west area where this Stable is located.

I transport back out to the tower in the swampy area, and scout around, and spot an orange glow to the west that looks like a shrine I haven’t cleared yet.  I mark it on the map and glide out that way.  I really haven’t been through this marsh land at all, and gliding over it I see there’s a lot of ruins and many spots where I can encounter monsters to fight.  I glide over most of it, and land just past the swamp, in a grassy area a little east and north of the shrine that I’d spotted from the tower.

I run off in that direction and have a monster encounter.  There’s a ruined building where I see a column of smoke rising, and I take a little detour to investigate; it’s bokoblins.  I have found and fought a similar group in a similar situation somewhere else on the map, but I don’t recall where, exactly.  Probably in the vicinity of Eldin Tower or Akkala tower.  These ones are not too tough and I just run in and fight them all, heedless of their attacks or numbers.  After defeating them I loot the bodies and take what I can that is useful, which isn’t much. 

I move on, heading back toward the shrine.  Just as I get there, I see a shooting star in the sky, and track the star fragment down to the ground, where I see its beacon glowing in the distance.  I need more star fragments, too, so I opt to skip the shrine and head right for it.  I try to mark it with my scope marker on the map, but it’s hard to pinpoint the exact spot, and I only get kinda close.  

In my excitement and haste, I forget that I can unlock the shrine to enable it as a transport destination, and just run out after the star fragment.  

It’s a lot longer run than I was expecting, and I keep running into monsters along the way.  A shitload of skeleton enemies, chuchus, and a huge flock of kees harass me, yiga warriors, and two guardians.  I end up running out all the way into deep central Hyrule about directly south of Hyrule Castle, when after I fight the second Guardian, I lose track of the star fragment beacon, and I guess it has faded out and disappeared.  

I’m annoyed at having gone so far to come up short, but at least I’ve managed to find at least one more ancient core, which I need for upgrades to the Ancient Armor suit as well as to make more ancient weapons at the Akkala tech lab.  In fighting hte second Guardian, I discover that Guardian weapons are particularly effective against them — using a Guardian sword against it, it only takes one hit to sever a leg, where most other weapons take at least two hits.  I suppose this should not be a total surprise, maybe it’s even obvious, but it’s good to note their effectiveness, as in the last part of the game I can pretty well expect to run into many more Guardians.

In the vicinity of the stand of trees where I thought the star fragment had come to rest, there’s a little stone courtyard, where I find another one of Link’s memory photo locations.  I recognize it even before I see the shimmering cloud that indicates the memory spot, because I’ve looked at the photo many times, and it’s easy to recognize.

I recall the memory; Link is receiving some kind of ceremonial blessing from Zelda at this location, to bind him to the Master Sword.  The Four Champions stand on, watching, and commenting to each other.  One of them mentions that Link is the living embodiment of Zelda’s failure, and a constant reminder that she hasn’t managed to unleash or tap into her own powers, or something.  I guess that means they have a strained relationship.  He is loyal, brave, trustworthy, and skilled, and she still seems to have a hard time personally accepting his  heroic deeds of valor in the service of the kingdom of Hyrule, even while she is duty bound to honor them officially.  This is a sad story, and the lack of harmony between Link and Zelda seems tragic.  Perhaps this is why Ganon is always able to return to menace the land again and again.

Now I have a long hike back to the stable that I had just reached, but forgotten to unlock the shrine as a transport destination.  Considering how long that took me, I am not really looking forward to retracing my steps back.  And I’m annoyed at having lost the star fragment, even though finding the lost memory and picking up another ancient core are somewhat good consolation prizes.

Rather than run all that way back over cross country, I opt to transport to the shrine near Riverside Stable, and take my faithful and first mount, Horsey.  We run out, and along the way I stop to find a korok seed or two, and while doing that I keep getting attacked by stalfos and Yiga clansmen.

Eventually, I get all the way back to the Wetland Stable, where I buy three Smotherwing Butterflies from Beedle, talk to Pikango the painter about another nearby memory photo location, talk to a little kid briefly who knows the local geography, and talk to a guy who is pretend/practicing sword play with a torch he mockingly calls the Master Torch.  I equip the Master Sword and talk to him to see if he’s interested in it, but he doesn’t believe it’s real.  I demonstrate by firing a sword beam, but he doesn’t seem programmed to respond to that in any way.  I consider shooting him with the sword beam, but I don’t think it’ll do anything, and seems like kindof a dick move, even for someone who isn’t showing proper respect, it’s not something a hero would do, so I don’t do it.  But I want to.

I go the shrine and unlock it, enter, and it’s a water puzzle, that requires creation of ice blocks to create steps to climb a waterfall, to lift a gate to gain access to a chest where I find a Royal Broadsword, which is a really nice weapon for this area of the map, although by now I have plenty of high level weapons that are its equal or better.  And then I have to navigate a short river-filled corridor with strong currents, and glide down off of a waterfall at the end, to reach the shrine master’s chamber and receive my Spirit Orb.

Emerging from the shrine, I talk to Kass the bird-man, who I ignored earlier, and he asks me if I had seen the shrine that I just finished clearing.  I gather he might have had more to say about it if I hadn’t already just cleared it. He offers to sing me a song of old Hyrule, so I take him up on it, but it’s the same song he’s sung in many other locales.  I don’t know why they don’t give him a different verse to sing in each place, it would keep the game fresh and more interesting.

It seems there’s still a lot of game left in this game.  Large areas of the map that I still haven’t adequately explored; 19 more shrines remain to be discovered, and I am only certain of the location of two of them.  Hundreds of undiscovered korok seeds, and who knows how many little sidequests from various people around the land.  Certainly at least a few more stable quests and definitely at least one in Tarrey Town, and a couple in Zora’s Domain, one in Gerudo, and possibly another one or two in other villages.

I could go straight to Ganon and defeat him to end the game now, if I desired, but I’d like to come close to 100% completion after having done so much.  I don’t care to find every last korok seed in the game, as I’m not that obsessive, and I’ve read that there’s supposedly close to 1000 korok seeds throughout the world, and I’ve barely found a quarter of those, if that.  I’ll pick up every one that I can, but I’m not going to scour every pixel on the map to find every last one, that’s just insane.

Zelda: BOTW Diary (74)

Well, I guess I’ll head down to the jungle area by Floria Falls and see if I can get another piece of Farosh, the lightning dragon.  I transport to the shrine behind the big waterfall, and come out, and using my Zora armor I shoot to the top of the falls, and he’s there.  I shoot him and get a scale.  But checking my notes, I needed to collect his horn, not his scale, to upgrade the Hylian Tunic to the next level.

After taking the scale, I get attacked by bokoblin skeletons, and chuchus, and have to fight them off before I can go pick up the scale from where it landed.  I found a chest or two in the area by the scale, and encounter a yellow wizzorobe, who I manage to fight with reasonable effectiveness, taking him down with the bow. I don’t know what a lightning enemy is weak against, so I have to just take him out with regular arrows and it takes 3 or 4 to do the job.  They’re hard to hit when they dance.

I also need some lynel horns, hoofs, and guts, and there’s a Lynel atop the cliffs west of Floria Falls on the high plateau.  I head there, and it starts raining, which makes getting up the sheer cliffs a challenge.  I end up harvesting some Hearty Durian fruits and a couple of Hightail Lizards on the lower tier of the plateau, both of which are highly useful.  A hearty Durian by itself will cook into a full-heal meal + 4 bonus hearts, which is all I need.  The hightail lizards are good for one of my armor upgrades, but I need a bunch of them, and it’s going to take forever to find that many.

The rain subsides, and I climb up the cliffside to face the Lynel.  I equip the Master Sword, a good Royal bow, and my rubber armor suit, since he seemed to favor electric attacks, and pop out from behind a boulder and run up, no subtlety whatsoever.  

I win the fight, but it takes two meals plus a Mipha’s Grace heal to prevail.  I break one of my swords, and a bow, and use plenty of arrows taking him down, but he yields a savage lynel spear, which has an attack rating of 33 which is a lot for a spear, and some other parts that I need for upgrading the Barbarian armor suit.  I’m going to need to kill a bunch of Lynels to max out that armor, though.

While I was fighting the Lynel, I had spotted a shooting star falling across the sky, but didn’t note the landing spot, and after the battle is over, I go to look for it, and can’t find it.  I know the general direction, but can’t locate it at all.  

Climbing a ridge in the hope of a better view of where the star fragment may have landed, I find a stand of pine trees, and I need to farm wood bundles to help Tarrey Town grow, so I take the time to bomb the woods into splinters.  

Doing so attracts the attention of a powerful moblin, who comes over and attacks me, and I beat him, with the Master Sword at first, until it runs out of energy, then switch to a Royal Claymore.  I find another moblin and bokoblin near a campfire nearby, and kill both of them, mainly just to do it.

I round up my 50 bundles of wood, and then, looking around, I spot an odd green spot on the side of a mountain a distance away, and decide to mark it with my scope pin, and check it out.  I go all the way over there, and it’s nothing, just a grassy patch that looked odd due to the way the rendering engine drew it in the current light and weather conditions.  It had looked especially green, and not at all misty or hazy, which made it stand out and look odd. I guess just a glitch.

Well, I guess it’s time to go to Tarrey Town and drop off the wood.  On my way there, I stop at the nearby fairy fountain, and see what upgrades I can do with what I’ve scrounged so far, and I make a number of improvements to the rubber suit and the barbarian armor, and the glow in the dark suit, until I run out of ingredients to do any more.

Then I head to Tarrey Town, where I talk to Hudson, and give him his 50 wood bundles.  He thanks me and then tells me that he got engaged to the Gerudo woman who came to work here.  Now he needs me to find a Zora priest to officiate their wedding.  Great, new quest.  

I go down to Zora’s domain, and look for a priest who’s name ends in -son.  I don’t know where to find him, so I wander around talking to fish-people, and uncover a couple of new sidequests that I hadn’t previously known about.  

One Zora woman wants me to photograph a lynel so she can warn people not to go up to the cliffs where their local lynel has been spotted.  I’ve killed that lynel two or three times now, and he’s not so bad really.  I already happen to have a photo in my slate of a lynel, so I just show her, and she gives me the Zora Greaves, the bottom part of the Zora armor set.  Now I guess there must be a helmet around somewhere, but I haven’t seen or heard anything about it.

I go to one of the Zora buildings, and see an odd, old-looking stone carving, with a Zora man standing near it, reading it.  I walk over and read it myself, and it has a lot of illegible bits, but I gather that it tells of a story about Link from 100 years ago, fighting a lynel in the area and defeating it to pacify the region.  The Zora man tells me about 10 more such carvings around the area that he wants me to find. So far, apparently I have found two of the 10.  He tells me about some of the other locations, and mentions that there a treasure associated with them, and if I find it, I can keep it.  Probably the Zora armor helmet, I bet.  Well, now I have something else to do.  

I can’t find the Zora priest, and after looking all over for him and talking to every single Zora I meet, I’ve picked up several more sidequests, as well as completed a few of them. 

Someone needs help finding their missing wife, who likes to catch fish by the river but must have gotten washed away when Vah Ruta was rampaging.  Their son is catching frogs in order to make money for the family while she is missing, so I give him some frogs.  I’ll have to look for his mom soon.

A builder is repairing the Domain, and needs ten luminous stone for the work, and I have plenty of luminous stone, so I give them to him, and he gives me two diamonds, which is pretty great.

Down below the city, I find two treasure chests, which have rupees and an opal.

Finally, I find the priest, and tell him about Tarrey Town’s need for a priest.  He’s always wanted to perform a wedding, so this is perfect for him, and he goes right away. 

I transport back to Tarrey Town, and now Hudson needs me to go to Hateno and invite Karson and Bolson to the ceremony.  So I do that, and they have their wedding, and the whole town is there, and life is good.  The town feels complete now.  Hudson is so grateful of my help that he gives me three diamonds for everything I’ve done for him, which considering what that amounts to, is pretty reasonable.  It’s actually the biggest reward I’ve gotten for completing any sidequest in the game.

Zelda: BOTW Diary (73)

More foraging.  I return to Death Mountain looking for smotherwing butterflies, and still come up empty handed. But I pick up a new sidequest, and finish another one, and find an old memory spot.

First I return to the Korok woods to farm more stealthfin trout, but I only find two.  Next, I transport to Ridgeland Tower.  I recall the large mushroom forest that I barely explored, and want to see if there’s anything of interest there.  I glide down from the tower the mushroom forest, and it’s raining and thundering intensely, pretty much non-stop, and I have no non-metal weapons at the moment, so this is not too great.  I land on the top of the nearest tall mushroom and walk forward, and a voice tells me that I’ve been challenged to put some balls where they belong and it will reveal another shrine for me.  OK swell.  I live for this kind of thing. 

It’s night, dark AF, raining and thundering on top of it.  Ahead of me there’s a raised circle of land, built up like the foundation of a building, and there are four stone pillars.  It’s too rainy to climb them effectively, but if I wear the complete climbing outfit and use the jump-climb technique, I can just barely get to the top of one using all my stamina.  I see a purple ball and put it in the socket in front of the purple statue.  Nearby, but off the raised circle of land, I see two more balls, red and orange.  I can’t figure out how to get the balls up on to the land so I can  put them in their sockets.  It’s rainy, they’re exceedingly heavy, and I don’t have a lot of options.  It seems like maybe I’m meant to knock them using time-stasis, like golf balls, but I screw it up and they’re down in the swampy ground now.  I give up and leave, hoping they’ll reset when I return.  

Up in the sky, I see a shooting start falling, but it lands way far off, and I am too low to be able to see its landing spot in order to mark it on my sheikah scope, and lose the opportunity to pick up another star fragment.

I decide to return to Death Mountain to farm more lizards and butterflies.  I talk to a Goron in Goron City who is looking for his brother, and tells me to find him in a tunnel, where the brother had gone looking for a Hero’s Secret. Which, I assume is a shrine. I go there, and find the brother, passed out and weak with exhaustion.  His big brother shows up and tells me to fetch some food from down by the cliff, and bring it back and he’ll cook it up for him.  I go, and the way is paved with moblins.  I fight the moblins, and they are well armed and use fire arrows, but of course I’m wearing my fire proof armor suit and am well-armed as well.  I fight my way down to the bottom where the food is, and then have to carry it up the way I came, where somehow more moblins have returned, and also now there’s rocks rolling down the hill.  It’s a bit unpleasant, but I manage OK, and revive the brother.  He is so rejuvenated that he digs away the rock he had been working at before he passed out, and reveals the Hero’s Secret, a shrine.

The shrine is very simple.  It’s a long ramp that I have to walk up, while large metal balls roll down at me.  They’re mostly easy to avoid, and you can use magnetism and time-stop on them as well.  I do get hit a few times, and this sucks because it knocks me way back down.  It’s a steep incline, about a 30-40 degree slope, I’d guess, but I make it to the top, there’s a treasure chest on a high shelf that I can easily glide to from the top of the ramp, it just has rupees in it, and I claim my spirit orb.

I talk to a Gerudo woman who’s visiting Goron City, and she is trying to mine gems, and wants to buy amber from me, so I sell her some amber that I happen to have plenty of on me, and this completes another sidequest.  I also run into Pikango the painter, who tells me where I can find another memory photo location.    

I find a few more korok seeds in the area as I explore around looking for the photo spot.  It takes me a long time to find it, but I eventually do so by triangulating — lining up the points in the middleground with the background to work out where the photo must have been taken.  It’s difficult because of the terrain, but eventually I get closer and closer, and after exploring for about two solid game-days, I find it.  In this memory, Link is being tended to by the Princess, after fighting a huge number of strong-looking enemies.  Bodies of moblins, bokoblins, and lynels are strewn everywhere.  Zelda expresses her concern for Link’s safety and advises him to be more careful, and then expresses her belief that the increase in the number and strength of monsters likely means a return for Calamity Ganon.

Ya think?

I’m still looking for materials to improve my gear to 100%, and I’m also looking for shrines.  I need 4 heart containers to complete my second row of hearts on my life meter.  I know about the shrine quest in the mushroom forest, so I return there, transporting to the nearby tower and then gliding in as I did last time.  This time, I don’t mess up my golf swings and I manage to get the balls on the green.  The other balls that I had successfully placed in their basins are still where I left them, which is nice.  I place the final two in their sockets, and the shrine is revealed.

This shrine is called Buried Secrets or something to that effect, and it involves bombing rocks to reveal a steel box which I need to use to trigger a floor switch to open the shrine master’s chamber.  It’s a very simple solution, not tricky in any way. 

There are two chests in the shrine, one hidden behind a bombable rock underneath the starting platform, which contains the rubber armor to complete my set.  I’d been wondering where I would find it, and of course it’s in the shrine that’s in the middle of a thunderstorm.  The other chest is on top of a tall square pillar, too high to climb, and the blocks are no help at all, as they are not climbable and I can’t push them together to make stairs.  I solve this one by using the magnetic block to knock the chest off the pillar and onto the floor.  My reward is a silver Rupee.

Exiting the shrine, the thunderstorm has dissipated outside, and the skies are fair.  

Thinking about where else I can go, I decide to try to finish the Spring of Power shrine quest, and for that I will need Dinraal’s scale.  The red dragon appears regularly flying over the deep canyon by Tabantha snowfield, so I transport there.  I see him, but not close enough to get a shot at scoring a scale.  While running, my shrine sensor starts going off, and I follow the signal, across the canyon to where the weather is warm and rainy.  I have to fight monsters along the way, and eventually I zero in on the shrine, and it’s halfway up a cliff behind a bombable rock.  To get to it, I have to climb to the top of the cliff and then fire a bomb arrow down, and glide into the cave that it opens up.  It’s too rainy to climb up from the bottom, so I walk a long way and go up a walkable grade around to the left, and then make my way back until I’m up above the bombable rock.  At first I try dropping remote bombs down to it, but I can’t quite reach with a throw, and my timing isn’t good, and it’s taking too much time, so I bite the bullet and fire a bomb arrow down and it does the job in one shot.

I swoop in and the shrine has no challenge, it’s just a blessing shrine, finding it is its own reward.  I get another 100 rupee chest, and a Spirit Orb, and then I’m on my way again.

I still want to find Dinraal the fire dragon, so I can get some pieces of him to improve my armor, or whatever, I forget what exactly needs it, but it’ll be good if I can find it.  I go back to the canyon, and head north-east until I get to the start of it, near the location of the Forgotten Temple.  I’m sure Dinraal will appear here if I wait long enough, but I’m not sure what time.  So I wait and wait, and it rains and rains, and Dinraal never shows up. I get tired of waiting for him, and give up and try to find the other dragon, Naydra.  I’ve never gotten a scale or anything from Naydra, either, and I’m sure those would come in handy.  I transport out to the Spring of Wisdom and climb up to the top of Mount Lanayru to see if he’s there, as he often is, but this time he’s not, and after waiting around for the better part of the day all I’ve managed to do is waste some time.

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.