TOTK Diary 51

I restore the game from my save point and look around from atop the citadel, scanning below with my Purah Scope. Off in another direction, I see far below at the base of the citadel mountain there is a bridge, which is partially collapsed, leading to what in all likelihood was once the main entrance to the fortress. Leading away from this, there’s a deep gorge with steep rocky walls, with another, longer bridge crossing it. This bridge seems to be mostly intact, and I spot a large group of monsters — at least three Moblins and I think about six Bokoblins — apparently camped out, guarding it. I decide to glide down to attack them, and as I get close enough I fire bomb arrows at the Moblins, trying to score headshots, and hoping that the blast damage will take out the bokoblins.

This attack is fairly successful, but it does blow two of the Moblins clean off the bridge, and either destroys the monster parts dropped by the Bokoblins, or blows them off the bridge as well. I’m left fighting two remaining Moblins — I guess there were four — but the bombs seem to have destroyed the Bokoblins outright, and the fight isn’t too bad. I take out the Moblins, and then drop down into the gorge to finish off the remaining two Moblins, in order to completely wipe out the group. The group has its own life bar, so it seems that there may be some special reward or mission to be accomplished by destroying the entire group. But when I succeed in doing so, nothing much happens.

I have a long climb to get back out of the gorge to the top where the bridge is. I’m just barely able to get to the top using all my stamina, the climbing suit, and un-equipping my weapons and shield. Looking back at the bridge, one of its main support columns is broken in half, and I see a korok puzzle in the hollow of the column. I swoop back down to solve the puzzle — Ultrahand glue a heavy rock to a cork on a chain, and drop it off the column to pull the cork and the Korok appears.

Then I climb back up the bridge once more, and look around trying to find any clue as to what else I was supposed to have done. I don’t see whatever it is I’m missing.

I’m very low on bombs now, I think I have fewer than five in my inventory. And this means it’s time to brave the depths once again, and go on an extended foraging session.

There’s a chasm to the underworld nearby, in the bottom of the gorge I just climbed out of. So I drop back down into it, and land in a new area of the underworld map that I haven’t been to previously, beneath Akkala.

Perhaps not so surprisingly, the ground down here is as rugged and steep as the terrain on the overworld above. It seems that there is some connection, a mirror like connection, to the worlds above and below. I don’t know everything there is to know about this, but I’m starting to notice some interesting connections. It’s an old Zelda trope that goes all the way back to Zelda III: A Link to the Past, where you have a dark world and a light world that you had to travel between, and which were linked together in numerous, subtle ways. So I bet there’s something like that going on here in TOTK as well.

The first thing I come to in this part of the underworld is a bokoblin mining operation. I put on my Boko hat and try to fit in, hoping to mine the Zonai ore in front of them without arousing their suspicion. But they get too close to me and when I swing my hammer at the ore it hits one of them, angering it, and it triggers a combat. Very well, then, fine. I fight the bokoblins pretty well, and defeat them without much trouble, loot the place, mine the ore, and move on.

It’s very dark and I seem to be moving along the top of a steep ridge, and I can see a Light Root off a ways. Distance is deceptive underground and stuff that looks near in the Purah Scope is often much farther than it seems. I mark the Light Root and look and it doesn’t look that far even on the map, but in reality it’s fairly far. I try throwing brightbulb seeds to see what’s in the space between us, and observe the brightbulb falls way, way, way farther than I had expected it would. So there’s an incredibly deep chasm below and this Light Root I’m looking at is on the far end of it, on another high ridge.

Looking down into the ridge, I see that there is actually a Light Root right below me, easily within reach, all have to do is drop down to it. This will sacrifice a lot of altitude and mean a big climb back up, but I can’t pass it up. I drop down and open up the map by activating the Light Root, and then make my way in the direction of the first Light Root that I had spotted, hoping to find my way to it.

I’m making pretty decent progress, and not really running into any problems. Some Lizalfos skeletons pop out of the ground, but I dispatch them quickly with a thrown Dazzlefruit seed. It’s the quick and easy way to deal with skeletal enemies, they die instantly from the burst of light if they’re caught in the radius of it. I climb a bit further, and encounter some flat, man-made looking stone platforms, fight another Lizalfos, this one not a skeleton, but a Blue Lizal. I climb to his level and am right there in front of him when I get to the level ground where I can get my footing. He doesn’t attack right away, surprised to see me I guess, and I hit him hard enough to knock him down and disarm him, which makes the rest of the fight go easily.

I’m almost to the next Light Root, and the way is very dark. I spot one of those mysterious pedestals with a shadowy statue atop it, holding a weapon. I figure I should take it, so I move in that direction. It’s very dark in the nearby surroundings, and there’s a bit of gloom off to the left, which I’m trying to avoid. The way to the right looks open and flat, as I can see a lot of Poes in the near distance, which give me some idea of the topography without burning a Brightbulb seed.

As I get close to the weapon pedestal, I’m spotted by a Lynel. I quickly duck and hide behind the pedestal, hoping that he doesn’t see me clearly and turn hostile. The Lynel comes closer for a better look and I sneak around the base of the pedestal, trying to stay out of sight.

This more or less works, but when the Lynel is what looks like a safe distance away, I need to use a Brightbulb seed so I can find my way. The Light Root is very near, but the ground is very steep, and there’s a lot of gloom around. Unfortunately when I throw the Brightbulb, it alerts the Lynel, who runs over and starts roaring, and move in to attack me. I try to run for it, pressing through Gloom that saps my life strength, and then I catch fire. I’ve stepped into a region of extreme heat, but with the combat underway I misinterpret this as the Lynel hit me with a flame based attack. I don’t realize what’s really going on, and before I know it I’m dead.

I respawn, and wait a bit longer this time for the Lynel to get further away, and am more careful about how I get to the Light Root this time. I manage to avoid the Gloom spots, and don’t trigger the Lynel to attack me, but still catch fire, and realize that this Light Root is in a very hot zone. I put on my Flamebreaker armor suit, and even that’s not putting the flames out. I equip my sapphire rod, and still I’m burning. Down to my last heart.

There’s a third Light Root nearby which I had spotted, and marked with my Purah Scope, but I’m too near death to try to make it there. I need to fast-travel to safety, and it seems like a good idea to go back to Lookout Landing and replenish some stocks, cash in some Korok Seeds, and see what else I can do before I go back into the underworld again.

At Lookout Landing, I have enough Korok seeds to expand my weapon, shield, and bow inventory slots by one each. I talk to a man at the armor shop aboveground, and he mentions he wants to add another shelf so that the merchant can offer more wares. I wish I had rupees enough to buy some of the armor suits. It seems like there are a lot more of these suits in TOTK than there were in BOTW. I don’t even know how many there are in total. There’s one called the Fierce Diety, that I can get by finding more of the Legendary Bandit’s stashes, and the Frog Suit one for completing the Lucky Clover Gazette missions. And most of the armor suits from BOTW, and probably more that I haven’t learned about yet.

While I’m in Lookout Landing, I talk to Purah’s two assistants. One wants me to go back into the underworld to look for these statues that seem to be leading to some interesting discovery; the other wants me to go to Hateno Village to use their research lab to expand the powers of the Purah Pad. I have yet to go to Hateno Village in all my travels in this game so far. So I think that is what I should do next.

If I want to go back to sub-Akkala, I’m going to need to complete the Fireproof suit, which I might be able to do if I go back to Goron City and sell off some diamonds. And if I’m there I might as well complete the quest with Yunobo. So that’s something I’ll be taking care of soon, as well.


Amid the prelaunch talk about the Atari 2600+, Atari also recently released a teaser for a new modern game, QOMP 2.

Was there a QOMP 1? Yes, there was!

I have to admit, I must have missed the original QOMP, which was released in 2021.

The trailer shows what looks like a story-driven pong-breakout/platformer mashup.

Looks decent.

If Atari’s strategy for their modern releases is to align with indies who are doing interesting things in the retro space, I’m here for it.

It’s too bad Atari didn’t have a slew of these lined up to launch as system exclusive 1st-party titles in 2017 when they were hyping the much-delayed, underwhelming AtariBox console. It would have been a much different story how that system was received.

TOTK Diary 50

Once I’m out of the Shrine, it’s dark out and raining. I’m not sure what to do next. I feel like I have ADHD. No matter where you go, there’s something else to do, and if you go a little bit off the trail of the path that accomplishes whatever that is, you get into something else. It’s great that Hyrule is so densely packed, but at the same time it is very easy to get sidetracked, distracted, and lose track of what you were doing and what was really important about it. Things like leads and hints are easy to lose track of, even if you’re trying to keep a diary of everything you’ve done, need to do, seen, heard, or noticed.

I wanted to clear a few more map pins that I’d placed so long ago that I couldn’t remember what they even were. But most of them are probably Shrines I spotted from way far off when I went up to the sky from a SkyView Tower I unlocked in one of the regions of the land.

Anyhow I feel like I’m losing the plot a bit. I travel from one place to the next, without really knowing why, just following the next visible distraction that just came into view, and it all becomes a blur.

So, one of the markers I put down when I summoned the Lord of the Mountain was over a ridge, and it’s hard to know where the actual origin point of the glowing beacon was, but I tried to mark it with the Purah Scope as best I could, and I go to that point, and when I get there, I’m well into the southwest part of the map, in the area between the central Hyrule area, Gerudo Desert to the west, and Farron to the south. It’s a rocky gorge, with steep walls that are very high and would be difficult to climb up from the bottom without a ton of stamina. There’s a road running through the gorge, about midway up, I guess, with bridges connecting between some rocky high spots. The pin I’ve put on the map happens to be right on a Zonai device dispenser, standing on a tall pillar of rock in the middle of this gorge, off to the side of the road. I was hoping to find a cave or something, but OK, it is what it is. I use the dispenser, might as well since I’m here, and look around to see if maybe there isn’t anything else of note nearby, say a well hidden cave or anything like that. But it’s pretty hard to get around in this area, and there very easily could be plenty of stuff hidden just out of sight, or out of reach, where you’d need to climb down and take your time getting around if you wanted to see it, and unless you knew it was there, you likely wouldn’t bother. Not if you were in a hurry and had other places to go and things to do.

I don’t especially feel like taking the long route to the next map pin, so I look at the map for the nearest spot to fast-travel to. There’s a pin where I spotted a Shrine, I’m pretty sure, up on the mountainous ridge separating Gerudo desert and Farron. I’d like to go there and check it out. So I fast-travel to another shrine that’s nearby, but it’s still going to be a bit of a trek to get to this pin location on the map. I have some climbing and some gliding to do to reach it.

When I get close, I spot a smoke signal coming up from the top of the far side of the ridge. I think that must be it, the location of interest that I pinned, and not a Shrine necessarily, and head towards it, taking a somewhat long route to avoid having to climb a steep, tall cliff. When I reach the smoke, I think the area looks a bit familiar. It’s the place where I met the woman cooking terrible meals in BOTW. The fire is still burning here, but now there’s a dark skinned Hylian woman who’s trying to clean up the area with a broom. It’s even more of a mess than I remember it being in BOTW, with a ton of tumbleweeds. She’s complaining about the tumbleweeds, they’re everywhere and she can’t get rid of them all. I grab one using Ultrahand and hold it near the fire until it catches, then touch it to the others which start to light up creating a huge fire in no time. After they’re all burned away, the woman is thankful and rewards me with a special shield, and it’s actually a very nice one, with a defense rating of 55.

I look around to see what else might be worth checking out nearby, but seeing nothing very obvious, and not really wanting to get into the Gerudo Desert again, I decide to fast-travel again, this time to the Eldin region where I have some more map pins to check out. The destination I picked happens to be the horse stable where the weirdo Hylians hanging out in their underwear were staying. It’s right on the edge of Goron territory, and the moment I arrive, Yunobo is back. But my pin destinations lead me away from Goron City, and he says goodbye again as I head in the other direction.

The first thing I encounter is two Hylians, a woman and a fancy dressed man, who appear to be waiting to talk to a chicken who is sitting near a tree. They say the chicken has strange powers and can tell them the future, or something. I try to talk to the chicken, but the man in fancy clothes says not to interrupt. It’s pretty weird, and I’m not sure if it’s supposed to be comic relief or what.

But it’s not the thing I had pinned, so I move on. It’s a fairly long haul over land to get to the Shrine I can see, and no faster way to get there than to run. I run and run, and get into a fight with some bokoblins who happen to be carrying a load of fire seeds. As I’m fighting them, two or three more bokoblin skeletons appear. I don’t have too much trouble with them, with Tulin helping, and end up taking a decent haul of materials form their corpses.

While I’m collecting them, I spot a balloon off in the distance, near by the Akkala Skyview Tower. It looks like Kilton’s balloon. I take a detour to get to it, and when I do I find Kilton’s brother, Kolton. He remembers me and wants more bubbul gems. I give him most of the 13 I have, and get a Lizalfos mask, Moblin mask, and the Mystical suit body piece, which has the special property of trading rupees for hearts if I take damage. Interesting. If I get rich, I could be nearly immortal in that. He also has a helmet and boots for the complete set, but doesn’t offer them this time. Kolton also offers to trade common items for bubbul gems, and I’m not sure if I should refuse them and come back later, holding out for something better, but I do take a load of fire keese eyeballs from him. I’m not sure that I should have.

The Shrine I want to check out is still in view, but still distant. I head back in the direction of it, and as I’m going up a ridge, I suddenly realize where I am — approaching the village of Tarrey Town from the north approach. It looks like it’s bustling. I decide to stop in and check things out. There’s a lot doing on. My first stop is to pray at the stature, since I have enough to cash in for another Heart Container.

An old man and woman are talking about life in the town. Hudson Construction is headquartered here, and Hudson and his Gerudo wife now have a daughter, who is coming to the age where she needs to travel to Gerudo Town to learn the ways of the Gerudo women. There’s a man who wants to sell access to a rail car that will take me down to a construction site below the town. And also he has a glowing gem, of the kind that is always attached to a shrine quest. I buy the gem from him for 50 rupees, and pay him the 20 he wants to grant access to the rail car. I ride it down, carrying the gem, and talk to the workers at the construction site. Apparently there is a lot of rock falling from the sky, and a lot of Zonai devices landing in this spot. They are studying it, trying to figure out how to make it work. I carry the gem until I get to the edge of the water of the lake that fills the southern side of the area near the construction site. Then I put it down and take a walk to get a better view of where its beam of light is pointing to. It’s across the water; apparently I need to build a raft or other vehicle capable of carrying the gem to its destination so I can open the shrine here.

It’s not easy. There are no steering sticks around here, and I have none in my inventory. I manage to glue together some wood pieces, enough to float the gem, but without a way to steer it, it’s hard to get it where it needs to go. I manage through a lot of trial and failure to steer with a fan, and correcting course every time it turns the wrong way, which it does a lot because the load is unbalanced and causes the boat to turn in a wide arc. But eventually I manage to get the rock to the shrine location, and after unlocking the shrine I have enough Light of Blessings for another Heart Container.

One of the workers at the Construction Site is trying to demonstrate a vehicle they’ve constructed to two Gerudo women. They are trying to figure out how to control the vehicle, which has no steering stick. I have none, either, so I can’t help them. But there is a Zonai dispenser in the Construction site, so I go over and try using it, hoping it will give me the piece we need. And guess what, it does. I get four steering sticks, and run back over to the vehicle and show them how it works. They are thrilled and give me 100 rupees and a sleepover ticket for the Stables.

The other workers at the construction site are Gorons, and they talk about Yunobo and Goron City like I didn’t just come from there and know all about them. They even seem to be ignorant of what happened with Yunobo, who was under the spell of someone until I broke the mask that had been used to charm him. I feel like this is a bit poor game design on the part of the developers; I should have been able to deliver important and interesting news to these Gorons, and they should have treated me differently for having already befriended and saved Yunobo.

I return to Tarrey Town and use the Statue again to increase my life meter. And there’s still one more Shrine, further up the ridge, to the south of Tarrey Town, which was the thing that originally brought me out this way.

I head back out onto the path out of Tarrey Town, and head up the hill to the south, and follow the curve around to where the shrine is. As I get closer, I spot what looks like some kind of stage, set up on a flat part of the ground just below the level where the shrine I’m heading to is. And I see a Hylian standing there. Curious, I run over to talk to him. He says that he is with the Hudson Construction company, and will be building “dream homes” on this very spot in the future. For more information he tells me to go to Tarrey Town, where I just came from, and talk to Hudson, who I just did speak to. Again, I feel like this is disappointing work on the part of the game developers, who should have anticipated that I might come there through the way I did, and prepared different dialog in that case.

At any rate, now I’m finally at the Shrine I wanted to visit, so I enter. This one is a “vehicle test” where they take away all my gear and provide me with some weak, basic weapons, and then set me loose in a large arena filled with Zonai Construct soldiers, who have weak hitpoints and mostly have weak weapons. All I have to do is defeat them all. It’s not that hard, now that I have a big health meter, but it’s not that easy, either. I am given a few arrows and a weak bow and a thick wooden stick to start out with. I use the arrows to headshot the first, nearest Zonai Construct Soldier, knocking him down and then run up and beat him to death with the stick. He drops his weapons and I get access to a vehicle. The vehicle sucks, it’s just a sled with a fan on it and a control stick. It has decent speed but terrible turning, and is pretty much useless. I proceed around the arena clockwise, trying to figure out what it is that I’m supposed to do, until I realize that all I actually have to do is defeat these construct soldiers, which I’m capable of doing without the vehicles getting in my way. But spread out in every area of the arena, there are various vehicles of different types. I suppose if I wanted to, I could use them to ram or run over the Zonai constructs, and perhaps conserve weapons. But I find that I don’t need to. The constructs are spread out enough that I can fight them one on one, without the others also getting alerted and ganging up on me. Maybe 1 or two will alert and come over, but by the time they do I’ve defeated the one I’m engaged with, and picked up an extra weapon. About half of the construct soldiers are armed with bows, and so when they shoot at me, and miss, I pick up their arrows, and replenish my stock. A few of the later construct soldiers have fire weapons, but I head shot them, knock them down, and steal their weapon, and then finish them off. I end up not actually needing the vehicles at all, and could have done better ignoring them entirely. There’s a cage-like structure in the middle with what appears to be some more advanced Zonai tech weapons — I see what looks like a beam emitter or a flame projector. The only way in is through the top, which is open to the sky, and the only way to get up there seems to be to fly over with a zonai wing vehicle that happens to be included in the arena. But I don’t see how you can get the vehicle out of this cage, unless there’s a trigger inside of it, or something.

I wonder if maybe the idea for this challenge was to commandeer the wing craft, use it to drop in to the cage, then quickly assemble a vehicle and arm it, trigger the walls of the cage to open, and then go on a cleanup sweep around the arena using the vehicle mounted weapons to make short work of the remaining soldiers. That would have been fun, and probably necessary if I had any fewer hearts than I now do.

After clearing the fight, I pick up another Light of Blessing.

The last point on the map that I’d pinned is nearby, but it’s high atop a mountain, and there’s nothing nearby that I can get to easily to come at it from above. Looking at it, it seems like there’s some kind of structure, a castle or fortification of some kind, built at the top of it. It looks foreboding and difficult, and I imagine if it were populated by an intelligent defender, would be very difficult to take.

Well, as it turns out, it’s dark and raining out when I get near the place where I’d have to start climbing. And as it turns out, I’m right back near the South Akkala Stables, the place with the talking cucco and where I pick up Yunobo. I decide to wait the rain out, and to kill time I go back to the Stable, and explore the well. The chicken is still down there, and has laid two eggs. I talk to the woman tending the sheep, and she tells me she hears him sometimes, but can’t find him, and hopes that his is OK and that he has company. I guess maybe I could try to find another chicken and throw it down there…

While I’m here, I happen to spot Penn, the Rito who partners with me on stories for the Lucky Clover. I talk to him, because he has a red “!” to indicate he has something important to tell me. He says that the word is that the talking cucco who knows all is someone I should talk to. Well, OK I guess now I can do that, then.

I walk back over to where the All Knowing Cucco is, and find that the fashionably dressed man is walking away. He tells me his fortune, which is that great wealth is to be found in the northeast. Hmm, OK. The woman who was waiting after the well dressed man tells me to go ahead, because she’s still trying to decide what questions she wants answered. I talk to the cucco, who says that he recognizes me, and says that I need to complete some trials before I can learn my fate.

The first one is to make it to the top of the Stables under a time limit. This takes me a few tries, but isn’t that hard. I run to the edge of the hill that I’m standing on, then glide down to the back of the Stable, use Ultrahand to lift a box high into the air, put it back down, stand on it, and use Recall to lift myself up, then climb the rest of the way to the top.

The second trial is to bring three logs to the top of the hill where the cucco is. There’s three trees right nearby, and I use bomb arrows to turn them into logs, and Ultrahand to put them on the hill right in front of the cucco.

Having passed my trials, the Cucco reveals my fate: to be ambushed by the Yiga Clan! I’m attacked again by three ninjas, who I kill pretty easily. I just switch over to my sapphire rod, freeze them, and then hit them hard with a high damage weapon. They don’t stand a chance.

Penn the Rito swoops in after the action is over and tells me that he found out too late what was going on. He thanks me for the story and pays me 50 rupees, plus a 20 rupee bonus from Traysi herself. I wonder how close I am to earning the frog armor suit.

Well the weather is nice again, and it’s the middle of the day, so I might as well get to work climbing up that tall mountain to find out what’s up there.

I start climbing, and get to a ledge where I can rest and regain stamina, then walk over to an outcrop which I Ascend through. Then I climb some more, and reach another resting spot. Then it starts to rain again. I get under another outcrop and Ascend again, and then I’m stuck until the rain subsides. When it does, I resume climbing again, and don’t stop until I get to the top.

Here, the mountainside turns into castle walls, and I’m in a location called South Akkala Citadel. I climb up and over the wall, and as I get to the top I’m alerted to the presence of a monster just on the other side of the wall. I see it when I get to the top: a bokoblin, and he’s well armed. He seems to have some kind of electric weapon.

I’ve forgotten that I unequipped my gear so I can climb faster, and am at a temporary disadvantage as I try to fight unarmed and unarmored. I try to throw a bomb, but my fingers can’t find the right button. He hits me, and the shock damage causes me to drop the weapon I’d just drawn, and takes me down to about 1/3 of my health. Fuck this. I should have saved.

I switch to another weapon, and hit the Bokoblin repeatedly, until he falls down. Unfortunately he drops shockfruits, and I step on one taking some more damage. Fortunately I don’t die and the Bokoblin does die. I pick myself up and gather the loot that is lying about.

I am on a pathway spiraling up around the mountain top citadel, and I start following, as the pathway turns slightly to the right.

A little further up the path, I come to a lone moblin, and he’s sitting next to a campfire, unaware of my presence. I knock a bomb arrow with my multi shot bow, and try to nail him in the head. The explosion knocks him clean off the mountain, dropping him far below, but he’s only about halfway damaged. His weapon is on fire, but he’s out of my way and no longer a threat.

I scout out the campsite, and there’s not much left. A downside of using bombs is you tend to destroy useful things.

Looking over the edge of the spot where the Moblin was camped, I see a large flat area covered with rocks below, and at the far end of it, I spot an electric Gleeok. It’s too far away to see me, and I’m glad for that. Looking around the area, I observe a row of cannons facing outward, to defend the citadel from outsiders, looking like a rather formidable defense. I’m not interested in trying to take on the Gleeok yet, but more interested in continuing the climb up.

I know that not much farther above my location, there is a Shrine. And once I unlock it, it’ll be a great fast travel spot to return to this location with ease.

Unfortunately it starts raining again. It seems to be raining about every four hours here, and usually there’s a threat of lightning. I’m nearly to the top of the mountain, about to enter the citadel proper, but now I have to wait for the rain to stop so I can climb again. While I’m waiting, I look around and find a pathway leading further up. I go up a short stairway, then branch off to follow a natural trail up a ridge. At the top of the crest, I see a courtyard with some stonework walls laying in ruin. In the center, a pool of Gloom with five hands coming out of it, each with an eye in the palm. Gloom Hands! I have only encountered these twice before… the first time I was very new to the game and pretty weak, but used high ground to avoid them. The second time was in the Labyrinth in the northern part of Hyrule, deep in the north, and deep in the Labyrinth. That time, I was up on the top of the walls, well out of reach of the hands, and rained bombs down on them, quite effectively, and managed to destroy them; then Phantom Ganon appeared, but after a few minutes as I tried to figure out a way to engage him from atop the labyrinth walls, he disappeared.

This time, I’m not on high ground, but I’m a lot better equipped. I fire some arrows from my double shot bow, tipped with bombs, and these seem to do a lot of damage to the hands. I take the hands down to about half their hitpoints before I have to engage them with my melee weapon. They do grab me once, but I shake out of their grasp and continue fighting back, using my sapphire rod to freeze them. This works, but only very briefly, as they seem to break free of the ice almost immediately, allowing me insufficient time to follow up with a switch to a heavy hitting melee weapon to do extra damage. But it is enough time to hit them with another arrow.

Before I know it, the Gloom Hands are defeated. Now I’m expecting to face off with Phantom Ganon, but he doesn’t appear! Strange. I wonder about these encounters, are they random? If so they seem very uncommon. Are they in specific locations? Is there any “progression” to these encounters — as I have more of them will they become “deeper” events? I have no idea.

With the Gloom Hands defeated, it seems the entire mountaintop citadel is empty. I find a treasure chest, and some boxes which I loot, but nothing much worth the climb. I look around pretty thoroughly and don’t find hardly anything at all worth mentioning. Well, there’s some remarkable looking cannons mounted along the walls, facing outward, but they are decorative only. Very old, rusty and full of cobwebs, and with no way to interact with them, it seems. I wonder if I could go back in time to see this place in its glory, what it would be like. Looking down from here, I see the Thunder Gleeok that I saw before, down below, seeming to guard its territory.

I don’t figure I’m capable of beating the Gleeok still, but I want some practice, so I save the game, and jump down to glide in and try to target the heads with my bow. This doesn’t work so great. The bow isn’t strong enough to do them a lot of damage, they don’t get stunned, and when I land it shoots lightning at me, killing me instantly, despite having two pieces of the rubber armor suit on.

Oh well, time to restore.

TOTK Diary 49

After exploring that cave in the Death Mountain region, and not finding Zelda, it feels like the next place to go is to the mountain top. It may be that the shrine I discovered in the cave serves as a useful waypoint for fast-travel back to here. I’m not sure where to go next, but I think I was pretty thorough in clearing out that cave, although it could be I missed something. But finding both a shrine and a bubbul frog and getting a lot of forage material, it feels like I completed it.

I think about walking up Death Mountain to see if I can find “Zelda” but something about that plan doesn’t feel like right now is the right time to do it. I can explore a lot more in this area, and I’m sure there’s a lot of minerals, caves, forage materials, and treasure chests to find in the area. Not to mention some monsters to fight, including octorocks who can upgrade my weapons. I try looking around to see what looks like a promising direction to explore in, and get irritated that I have no free Pins to use with the Purah Pad scope. I have six different colored pins, and all are in use marking placed on the map that I noticed looked interesting and wanted to check out when I had a chance. They’re all far away now, and I have a choice. Either I can replace the Pins with Markers and then try to remember which ones I’ve been to and which I haven’t, or I can fast-travel around the world and try to visit all the Pin points in person, and do whatever there is to do there. I’m sure a few of them are Shrines that I need to clear out, and that will help me increase my life meter, and that’s always a good thing.

So I decide to fast-travel to the one of them and figure out why I pinned it. As I’m about to leave, Yunobo says he’ll stay here and keep looking for Zelda until I get back; I guess he can’t travel with me, which only makes sense. I wouldn’t know how to fast-travel with him, at any rate. And it would probably break the game to have him going with me wherever I want to travel to, without completing his special mission. But it makes me wonder how I’ll hook up with him again when I return to the Eldin region. Will I find him at YunoboCo HQ? In Goron City? In the spot on the map where I left him? I guess we’ll see.

The first Pinned location I travel to happens to be right near a stable. It’s the very stable where I first met Impa, where she had me launch into the sky with a zonai balloon and find the first Geoglyph. It turns out that the thing I had marked was a campfire which I probably saw from far away, and in the dark, and thought might be a place where I might meet a character, only I didn’t realize I’d already done so. Oddly the fire is still burning, and there’s a torch next to it, but that balloon that Impa had been travelling in is gone — I expect she’s likely still in Rito Village where I last saw her, and that must be how she travels. I wonder if there’s any purpose still served by the lit fire, and if so what it could be.

At any rate this frees up one of my pins. The next is not that far away, although it’s still a good journey by foot. I run out over the grasslands, past several horses. Along the way I find a couple of koroks. It’s near dusk, and at a point near a large rock formation, there’s a glimmer in mid-air, which I can’t examine without finding a way to stand on a platform that isn’t there. But there’s some building materials conveniently nearby, and I construct a platform to stand on. Korok found. From atop this platform, I can see another Shrine off in the distance, and so I mark it with my newly freed up mapping pin. I check the map to verify whether it’s a Shrine I’ve been to or not, and it’s not.

Suddenly I notice I’m being watched. Off to my left, I see an “!” in the distance, and below it, for the first time I notice the imposing form of a Lynel. Quickly, I duck behind the boulder and hide. The Lynel doesn’t seem to have spotted me, and I sit a while, wondering how I can extract myself from this predicament. I don’t particularly want to fast-travel again, and I don’t want to fight a Lynel just yet. I figure I’ll sit tight and wait for it to turn around and move on, it must be on patrol in this field, and probably when it turns around I’ll be able to move freely past it. As a precaution, I save the game here.

Then, suddenly, out of nowhere, I start hearing an alarm-like sound, and fight music starts. WTF? I think the Lynel did spot me at first, but I look again and he doesn’t seem to. I’m standing there, looking all around me trying to figure out who my assailant is, and don’t see anyone. Suddenly, I’m hit from above. As though something fell from the sky and hit me, only I don’t see what it is. Whatever it was, didn’t do much harm, but now I’m more confused than ever. There’s no good way out of this, and if I can’t see what’s attacking me, I’m going to be killed in short order, so I need to move. I try to run for it, but the Lynel spots me, and although it doesn’t immediately attack, it seems interested in following me. I run at full speed but it easily keeps up with me, as it seems that most of the monsters in the game now aren’t so easy to run away from.

You can run from chuchus and evermeans and that’s about it now. Anything else, once it is interested in fighting you, will easily keep up with you on normal terrain, and the only thing you can do to get away from them is climb a hill or mountain, or fast-travel away.

I notice that one of the items I’m carrying in my weapons inventory is a magic rod, and I want to try to create a frost staff with it, so I can try freezing the Lynel to get away from it. Unfortunately I screw this up, and instead of fusing a sapphire to it, I end up fusing a damn broadsword that was on the ground nearby me, which I didn’t notice was there.

Annoyed that I just ruined my staff, I opt to restore back to the save point I had created earlier.

Having done so, I find that the Lynel’s no longer suspicious about my location, and I’m able to just make a run for it and get far enough away while its back is turned that it doesn’t spot me darting over the meadow.

Before too long, I’m in another area where I find a korok. There’s a few earthen forms, which have hollow circles standing up from them, which appear to be some sort of puzzle, I guess. I recall something similar involving archery in BOTW. I don’t want to waste a lot of time here, or arrows, at the moment. But I head over to check it out to see if I can figure out anything. There’s a sign post in the ground, pointing like an arrow at one of the rings formations. I walk over to the ring and look through it, and I can see another ring in the near distance. I walk towards it, look through its ring, and see another ring formation, and walk over to it. Finally, there’s a final ring formation, and when I approach more closely I notice a glimmer, and there I find a korok.

I’m also nearby a shrine here, so I go in and clear it out. I’d be lying if I could tell you what the challenge was; it was something rather easy, so simple that I’ve forgotten it now.

Then there’s another shrine, the one I was originally heading for, the one I had marked with a pin a long time ago. It’s up a foothill, and takes some climbing to get to. I also have to glide over a deep gully with a river at the bottom, which seems to be a boundary separating two distinct geographical areas.

I’m focused on getting to that shrine, though, so I keep making for it. It takes a while, but finally I’m close. As I get closer, I come to an area where the forage seems to be especially bountiful. An apple orchard with many apple trees, each with perhaps a half dozen or more apples in them, where a typical tree may have 3-4. And plenty of apples on the ground, besides. And 3 or 4 foxes milling about. It reminds me of the rich forage in Satori Mountain in BOTW. I start gathering up the apples, and two of the trees awaken, turning into Evermeans, and start attacking.

I’m right by the Shrine now, so I just activate it and enter to duck out of the fight that I didn’t want to have right now.

This shrine is a little bit more interesting of a puzzle. I have to combine Ultrahand, Ascend, and Recall to get past the obstacles. Ultrahand to move blocks through a path, then Ascend to get on top of them, and finally Recall to get the blocks to move through the path I’d drawn using Ultrahand while I ride them to get where I need to go. It’s not difficult, but requires the ability to combine your abilities to solve a problem, so a bit advanced.

I complete the shine, and after I emerge, the Evermeans have gone away. I see that the foxes have been replaced by crows — there’s a bunch of crows here now, at least 6 or 7. It feels like their gathering has some purpose. I look around, and notice the hill above me seems to have a dead zone, where at the next level up in altitude, the trees are all dead and devoid of foliage. I decide to go up and check it out, and maybe I can pick up some wood, which I’m low on.

When I get up there, I find a cooking pot, fire burning under it, but no person around. I’m starting to feel like I should be on alert if someone’s near. Just then, three moblin skeletons burst up out of the earth, and attack me. I climb up to a higher vantage point, to escape being cornered or surrounded by them, and throw a Dazzlefruit down at them. This is a very effective way of dealing with skeletal monsters. You don’t have to hit them with the fruit, just being within its burst of light will destroy them in one shot. One fruit takes out two of them, and the third retreats back into the ground. As I’m moving around, I also attract the attention of a yellow Wizzorobe, who I shoot with my bow, taking him out with a couple of arrows. I pick up his lightning rod and move on.

Nearby, I see a satori bunny, who I shoot to get some rupees, and then just past him I notice a cave. I enter, and the cave Discovery! announces that this cave is Satori Cave. So I am indeed in a special region of the map! This cave is FULL of forage, lots of lizards, some bomb flowers, and lots of bright bulbs. A few Horriblins and two Like Likes. But nothing I can’t handle. I don’t find a bubbul frog here, which is curious — I may have missed something, although I did explore pretty thoroughly.

Up the hill from this cave, I find the familiar grove where in BOTW the Lord of the Mountain would appear. The place looks much the same, but… maybe slightly less lively. There’s something off about the place, it has the look of the aftermath of a party, or like it’s sometime after the peak of the blooming season. The cherry tree here is still in bloom, but not as full as I remember it being. I wonder if it’s the natural changing of the season, or if it’s got to do with the Gloom and the upheaval.

I notice an offering basket near the base of the tree, and drop an apple into it. The Lord of the Mountain appears, and the surrounding landscape is lit up once again with multiple glowing beacons of light, each marking a special spot somewhere in Hyrule. I try to mark as many as I can with the Purah Pad map pins, and to avoid running out of pins, after placing a pin I swap it for a Skull marker, since I don’t generally use that one, it’s a good way to indicate on the map a place where I want to go.

Then I notice that one of the glowing beacons is yellow, not blue, which indicates that a shooting star has fallen nearby. I pin it, because on the map the shooting star beacons don’t appear, and use the pin to find the location where it fell on the map. Then I fast-travel to the nearest skyview tower, and ride it up, and then glide as far and as fast as I can toward the landing site. I get almost directly over the star fragment just as the last of my stamina runs out, and I freefall a huge distance, what looks like at least 1000 feet, and manage to time my last-second parachute deployment perfectly, safely landing right on the star fragment, which I immediately grab.

I’m nearby another map pin that I placed on a shrine, so hike there and enter. This one is not very difficult. I have to transport a large heavy ball by sliding it down rails over a bottomless pit, connecting four large platforms together. The first is easy, I just roll the ball down the rails. The second isn’t much more difficult, the rails are too wide, but I can attach some metal stakes to the side of the ball using Ultrahand, and it rolls nicely to the next platform. The third one is just a single rail, and I have to build a hook so that the ball will hang from it and ride the rail down. I solve it pretty quickly, the solution each time is pretty self-evident.

Atari 2600+ announced

Today Atari announced a new console product, the Atari 2600+.

The $130 system looks like a miniature Atari 2600 4-switch “woody” model from the early 1980s.

It features HDMI output, a cartridge slot, and compatibility with Atari 2600 and 7800 systems. One CX-40 type joysticks are included, along with a 10-in-1 cartridge that includes the following titles: Adventure, Combat, Dodge Em, Haunted House, Maze Craze, Missile Command, RealSports Volleyball, Surround, Video Pinball, Yars’ Revenge.

A second CX-40 controller costs $25. CX-30 paddles can be purchased for $40, which includes a 4-in-1 game cartridge. This brings the total to build a “complete” system as they were originally sold back in the day to $195.

Significantly, I do not see any solution given for playing 7800 games requiring 2-button controls, which is most of the 7800 system’s library. This is a real drawback if, as it appears, there is no modern 7800 controller available or planned.

Inside the console is an Rockchip 3128 SOC (system on a chip), and since it’s a SOC-based system, this means that there will be compatibility problems with certain cartridges; a compatibility list, which does mention that some original titles do not work on it, as is typical of SOC systems, due to minor differences between the original hardware.

As of this writing, the compatibility list only notes 4 games that failed testing, along with another 113 games that they were unable to test. 515 titles passed testing. Weirdly, Atari were unable to test the console with Pitfall II, one of the most popular and easy to find Atari 2600 games.

For gamers who are running original hardware, but would like to hook up to a modern HDTV, and not have to worry about the eventual death of their 40+ year old consoles, this looks like a possible solution, assuming it supports the games you want to play on it. Of course, the original cartridges that you’ll be plugging into the slot are going to be 40+ years old too, unless you’re using a Harmony cart.

At first glimpse, I was excited about this product, but after looking more carefully, I’m going to have to give it the same C rating that I gave to the Retron 77.

Grade: C


  • Looks like an Atari 2600
  • Real cartridge slot
  • Real joystick port
  • HDMI output
  • Plays most 2600 and 7800 games


  • SOC implementation doesn’t support all games
  • 4-switch model, not a 6-switch model
  • Only 1 CX-40 joystick included; a second controller costs $. (Many Atari 2600 games have 2-player modes or require PvP play.)
  • No paddle controller included (CX30+ sold separately $40)
  • No 2-button controller option for 7800 games, other than vintage joysticks from the ’80s.
  • “Only” a 10-in-1 multi-game cartridge is included.

Recommendation: Maybe

If you can look past the shortcomings and focus on the positives, I think this can be a good buy that provides decent value. If you have a bunch of old cartridges laying around, but your console isn’t working reliably any more, go for it. But if you already have the means to play your Atari games, I’d recommend holding off for something `better. This system seems about as good as Hyperkin’s Retron 77 console, maybe a little better due to the build quality of the CX-40 joysticks and the inclusion of the 10-in-1 cartridge.

Hey, Atari: Make it better, do it right

If Atari had consulted with me before producing this, I would have given them the following advice to earn an A-rating and recommendation:

  • Implement the hardware with FPGA technology for the highest possible fidelity to the original hardware spec.
  • Use a 6-switch console shell, with real working switches. (Certain games, such as Space Shuttle, used the console switches as well as the joystick for controls, and the tiny, hidden difficulty switches of the 4-switch models just aren’t as good of a solution.)
  • Include 2 CX40 joysticks and 1 CX30 paddles.
  • Provide a 2-button joystick option for 7800 support.
  • Rather than a 10-in-1 cartridge, bundle the entire multi-volume Flashback Classics collection series, in cartridge format. Also, include a collection of 7800 titles in the box. There’s no reason not to do this. The entire Atari 2600 library was small enough to fit on a 3.5″ Floppy Disk (1.44 MB).
  • Sell as a bundle for $200.

If Atari can do all that, they would have a real winner that I would be excited to buy.

As it is, this product as it is isn’t bad, just not as good as it deserves to be, and a bit of a disappointment for someone looking for a premium modern system that can keep the original games running on modern TVs.

TOTK Diary 48

I figure I should take care of the easiest things first. I offer meat to the doggos. There’s three dogs at this stable, and when I drop meat two are close enough to chow down. One leads me to a ruby, the other to a weaker weapon than I already have. Out that way, I find a korok who needs to go meet his friend, and while carrying him there I find another korok. When I go back to feed the third dog, the two dogs I already fed are back, and I can’t tell for sure who I fed and who I didn’t. And I don’t have a lot of meat to waste, so I just skip the third doggo for now. I am not sure that works, but maybe if I leave and return all three will replenish after a blood moon, so I can keep coming back. Or maybe not.

I figure next thing I should do is look into the disappeared Hylian Underpants Brigade guys who went looking for monsters at Princess Zelda’s request, and never returned. I go up the road intending to look for them. But I don’t run into them, or monsters, and instead end up on the road to Death Mountain and the Gorons. It’s a long hike, and along the way I do some mountain climbing, some hunting, and some foraging. I pick up some lizards, butterflies, mushrooms, raw meat, and monster parts. At one point I end up climbing a mountainside and end up right in the middle of a bokoblin-moblin hideout. For once I decide to stand my ground and fight them, and it doesn’t go too bad. I don’t get surrounded or ganged up on, and make decent use of my arrows and materials to make the fight a little easier, blowing up the monsters’ own explosives to take out the first Moblin, and then dealing with the two blue Bokoblins swiftly with arrows and finish them off with my melee weapon. There’s another moblin and a final bokoblin down on the ground, and I kill them before they even know I’m there.

I get some arrows, some monster parts, and then I encounter octorocks, and I know the trick with these guys is to let them inhale a degraded weapon, and they’ll spit it out in better condition. Since just about everything in Hyrule was decayed by the Gloom during the Upheaval, this seems like a much more important thing to do in TOTK than in BOTW, so I feed the octorocks as many weapons as I can, and get cleaned-up versions of them back which increases their damage rating, and hopefully also their durability.

A little further down the road, and I discover a Goron restaurant, where I talk to some Gorons. There are some Hylians here too. The Gorons are eating this new meal called Marbled Rock Roast which seems to be very popular. The Gorons are obsessed with the stuff. It’s like an 80’s War on Drugs allegory. All they want to do is eat the Marbled Rock Roast and nothing else. Some Gorons have even turned to ripping people off, demanding the meal in lieu of any other form of payment, and then withholding their goods or services and demanding more of the food. Others have stopped working and only eat the rock all day. The elders and the young Gorons seem to be unaffected, but this is explained because their teeth are not strong enough to eat this type of rock.

Curious. I’m warned against going to Goron City right now, but I ignore that and continue up the road. Along the way I find some mine carts and tracks, and I play with these a bit just to see if they take me to anything good, which one takes me to a cave, but it is too hot in there for me to go without catching fire, so I turn around and continue heading up the mountain toward Goron City.

Before long, I’m there. And it’s much the same as down below at the restaurant. Gorons are all obsessed with Marbled Rock Roast. The young are concerned and frightened, and the elders are frustrated. Yunobo seems to have started a company, called YunoboCo, a mining outfit that hires Hylians as well as Gorons, but all they do now is mine the Marbled Rock and eat it. Nothing else is getting done.

There’s a Shrine here in the city, so I go there and solve some easy obstacle course involving rivers of lava. In the center of town, I talk to an elder and a child Goron, and then Yunobo himself comes up. He remembers me and is not exactly hostile, but isn’t exactly friendly, either. He is wearing a strange mask, or helmet, and mentions that Princess Zelda herself has directed him to mine the Marbled Rock Roast, and that he doesn’t have time to help me with anything else, and suggests that I leave the city. Then he goes back to where he came from.

I continue exploring and just outside the city, further up the mountain, I find some more mining carts and tracks. There’s a young Goron here who tells me he wants to find Goronia, the ancient Goron city. To do this he needs to take the mine cart, but the cart isn’t working. I use ultrahand to put a fan on the cart, and talk to the kid again, and he hops in and we go to down the tracks together. At then end of the line, I find YunoboCo HQ, where I find a shop selling the flamebreaker armor suit. It’s 700 rupees, and only have a little more than 200, so I sell a diamond in order to buy it right away. I don’t want to waste time and material creating elixirs that will only give me temporary heat resistance, only to run out of them and be stuck somewhere lethal and my quest half-finished.

Nearby, there’s a cave, guarded by two of the Goron children who I spoke to in the town. They’re working for Yunobo, but they’re concerned about this Marbled Rock Roast business, and don’t think that Yunobo is acting like himself. They ask me to help them, and of course I tell them sure I’ll try. They tell me that Yunobo is in this cavern with Zelda, and the temperature there is too hot to enter without protection. I put on the armor suit and they allow me to pass.

Inside, I see Yunobo and Zelda talking. The kids speak up first, and tell Yunobo to knock it off with the Marbled Rock Roast and take his mask off. This enrages Yunobo, who attacks me. He has a charging attack where he rolls at me, which is pretty easy to dodge. After he hits a wall, he’s knocked dizzy for a bit, which enables me to hit him. Each time I hit him, his mask cracks a bit — the game seems to be breaking out of the normal combat engine to show a scripted event to establish that this is what’s happening. After three hits, the mask is broken, and Yunobo comes to his senses. He wakes up as though coming out of a trance, and says he wants to talk to Zelda to understand what’s happened, only she’s no longer in the cave. We see her briefly just outside the entrance, and then there’s a landslide, which seals us in the cave.

No one is hurt, and Yunobo’s charge ability enables him to dig us out. He asks me to guide him, and this is how I pick up a new ability. Another special ability like Tulin’s gust of wind, Yunobo’s charge attack is a little like bowling. After breaking out of the cave, Zelda is nowhere to be seen. Yunobo thinks that she might be found at the top of Death Mountain, which is where he first saw her after the Upheaval. So we head that way.

Yunobo suggests riding in the mine carts, so I grab one and put it on the rails, and hop in. He turns into a ball, and it seems like I can shoot him from the car and he’ll come back. In this way I can use him to hit things along the tracks, and it seems there are rail switches that I need to hit with him in order to go the right way.

We end up getting to the end of a line, and I discover a cavern in the ground just at the end of the line. I jump down into it, and find a mine car line that takes us through a complex. We have to team up to trigger switches in order to continue through the cavern. Eventually we make it to a central cavern with a large circular track running along it, which if I hit switches at the right times, I can bet closer to an island of rock in the center. This central rock is guarded by a pair of tough Moblins, who are aided by fire keese and octorocks. It’s a tough fight, but I am able to summon Tulin who helps out with his bow, taking the octorocks out of the fight early, and then I hit the moblins with a sapphire powered sword freezing them, and this allows me to finish the fight.

There’s a treasure chest here, and looking around I can see that if I take the card line a different way, there’s a switch to a track that leads to a cave where I see a shrine. We get back in the art and start rolling back, these tracks are confusing and tricky, but they’re not difficult to stay on, and I don’t fall off or anything, and if I miss a switch the line just loops around again and lets me have another try at it. So it’s not too frustrating, and kind of easy once I get the hang of aiming Yunobo. I make a few laps and notice a side-cave with a bubbul frog in it, so I hit him with Yunobo, and collect the gem for it. Then I get into the shrine area. There’s a lot of brightbulb seeds, a few lizards, and a lot of ore deposits, and then shrine itself is a Rauru’s Blessing, no challenge, just walk in and get a blessing.

So that’s pretty nice. But we didn’t find Zelda, and I’m not sure where we’re supposed to go now. Do I try to Ascend? There doesn’t seem to be any other way out, so I try that. On the surface now, somehow Yunobo follows me, and we’re back above ground. I’m not sure what to do, I guess once I get re-oriented, I’ll try to figure out how to make my way up to the top of Death Mountain and see if we can find Zelda. I’m convinced it must be another imposter, and I want to find out what she’s up to and put a stop to it.

TOTK Diary 47

I decide to fast-travel out to the SkyView Tower in Akkala. I recall there’s something I wanted to do there. One of the map Pins I planted is near there, and I want to go back and look at what it was that I pinned — probably a Shrine.

I make the trip and shoot up into the sky so I can quickly glide to where I need to go. Once up in the sky level, though, I see something else that grabs my attention, and head toward it — a Geoglyph, far to the South. Between where I am and that point, there is a sky island, which I can land on to rest.

I glide that way, using Tulin’s gust for aid, which gives me a whole lot more range. I can recharge the gust about 3 times and still have a good half a wheel of stamina left to get me to a soft landing.

I make it to the island. Looking at it on the map, it appears to be shaped like a fish. But the entire island is covered with muck. I clean off a lot of it with Splash Fruits, looking for treasure hidden beneath the mud, but I don’t find any. I don’t bother to clean off 100% of the mud, and after I leave I wonder if I might have triggered an event of some kind if I had done so. I guess I’ll have to return again and find out. There are only a few boxes and barrels up on this island, and breaking them all open nets me about 14 arrows, which is a pretty good haul.

I take off again, and fly down to the Geoglyph. I land right next to the Tear pool, and examine it, and see the next vision: Rauru and various Hyrule Champions from the Goron, Rito, Gerudo, and Zora tribes are having a meeting with Princess Zelda and the Queen. The news is grim. The last stronghold in Gerudo Desert has fallen to Gannon and his evil forces. Rauru declares that it is clear that it is up to him to stop Gannon. The Queen advises him that he is not strong enough to do it alone. Rauru tells the assembled that he wants to show them something, and leads them into a room where he presents them each with a Secret Stone, the comma-shaped stone that enhances the innate powers of its possessor.

The vision is over quickly, and I am back to reality. It is dark and raining, and the field I’m in where the Geoglyph is drawn seems desolate, with only meadow, trees, and some rocks around, and nothing else of apparent interest. Off in the distance, across a bay, and halfway up a hillside I see a Shrine, and decide to make for it. I don’t have any difficulty reaching it, with a bit of gliding, climbing and hiking. I enter and the puzzle involves gliding wings, which I must use to carry a steel ball across a chasm to place it in a bowl to unlock a gate that bars the inner shrine. It’s easy; this must be a beginner’s tutorial shrine, and I’ve done more complicated and difficult versions of this puzzle already. So I solve it easily, collect the Light of Blessing, and move on.

Further up the mountain, I find that I’m in the Lanayru region, in Zora territory, close to their city, but to the south, on the opposite side of their lake. What I see is disconcerting — everything seems to be covered in mud and muck. It looks like there are several massive mud waterfalls originating in the sky islands, which are coating the land in thick sludge. The water has turned a sickly brown.

I guess this must be one of the Regional Phenomenon that Purah wanted me to investigate. I recall that back at the Lanayru SkyView Tower, I met a Zora and freed him from some muck that he was caught in, and in thanks he offered me a spear but I didn’t want it because my inventory was full of better weapons. I figure I should go back to talk to him, and maybe that will kick off the storyline for this area. So I go back to the Lanayru SkyView Tower, and find him still waiting for me. I talk to him, and he offers me the spear, which I accept. I learn that the spear has extra durability and does extra damage when wet. But it is by itself a relatively weak weapon, being rusted like most other weapons since the Upheaval.

I noticed that to the South there’s another SkyView Tower, one that I haven’t yet visited. I would like to travel there, but it looks like it’s at the very top of a very tall mountain, and it seems like it will be time consuming and difficult to get to it, as I don’t see any good options for fast travel or flight to get up that high, which means if I want to go there it’ll be hiking and climbing the whole way.

I decide to put that off for a bit, and see what else I can get into. In almost the exact opposite direction from the un-visited Tower, I spot a column of smoke rising up from the ground a good distance away, and check it out with my scope. It looks like a Stable, not too far away, and one I don’t think I’ve visited before.

I head there. It’s an easy glide from the tower, and with Tulin’s aid I’m there in a single non-stop flight. As I get closer I observe a second column of smoke, rising up from a campfire nearby a small tent. Interesting. I also spot another Shrine. There’s always one nearby every Stable, and it’s good to unlock the fast-travel spot, so I head there first. I find that this one is a fairly simple puzzle as well, involving fans and turbines. I need to attach two fans to a large rotating wheel, and then activate them. Activating the fans spins the wheel and also turns the turbines that are standing about the wheel in a circle. Getting all these spinning doesn’t take a lot of effort, and unlocks a gate to the inner sanctum of the Shrine, and I collect another Light of Blessing.

Outside the shrine, I go over to check out the campfire. I see two familiar Hylians, the treasure hunting brothers I met elsewhere earlier, along the northern road to Eldin. They speak of a cave full of treasure chests, but each filled with just a single Rupee. There’s supposed to be some treasure in there, and they can’t find it. They give away the secret, which is that I should give some meat to the dog they have with them. This is a pretty commonly known secret dating back to BOTW. It works here; I give the dog four regular meats, and he goes and shows me the correct chest to look in to find the treasure, which is a pair of pants that have heat resistant properties. It’s another of Miska the Bandit’s secrets. There’s also a bottle in the treasure chest, with a note that talks about how I can find a secret called the Sword of the Fierce Deity, and there’s mention of some other suit or outfit for the Fierce Deity as well.

I make note of the clues and open chests until I’m at an even 500 rupees, which I figure will be good enough for me to buy my next piece of armor at one of the clothing stores in one of the villages, whichever one I go to next.

Outside the cave, though, I find the two treasure hunting brothers, still talking about more treasures they know about. And to tell me about three of them they want 100 Rupees for each clue. So of course I pay them, and they tell me what they know. Again I make note of their clues. Suddenly I have a bunch more to do, with leads to 6 or 7 different items. And I haven’t even checked out the Stable yet.

Which is what I do next. The Stable has three doggos, Hylian Retrievers, and a cute girl is training them. She tells me that if you befriend a dog and give it food, it will show you the location of a treasure. And there’s three dogs here, so… wow, that must mean there’s three treasures nearby!?

The dog trainer also complains that the people staying at the Stables right now are all wearing nothing but their underpants, and are weird. I go and check it out and find out that indeed that’s what they are doing. At first I suspect that these are Lurelin Villagers, who perhaps are dressed in their tropical garb. But they tell me that they are part of the Zonai Survey Team, and are acting on orders from Princess Zelda to dress this way. I learn that two of them went to check out a Monster Hideout nearby and haven’t returned. Probably got captured. And Penn, the Rito journalist for Lucky Clover, is here, covering this story as well.

There’s also another Addison puzzle, which I help him prop up his sign for Hudson Construction, to earn his rewards.

Inside the Stables, there’s a poster on the wall for a recipe, which I photograph, and another poster on the wall showing the footprints of some unknown new creature, which I presume to be the DonDons that I’ve already learned about and seen for myself down in Farron. The Lucky Clover news mentions something about Gorons acting crazy and eating red rocks, which is puzzling. It is interesting that this is the Foothills Stable, and is named such because it is at the base of Death Mountain, with a road leading directly to Goron City.

Oh, and of course there’s a well. I go out back behind the stable and jump down it. This one has a few treasure chests embedded and semi-submerged in the ground, and I need to rig a platform to stand on using some construction materials that happen to be laying around down here. It’s not a difficult puzzle, but the items I retrieve are nothing special.

So there’s a whole lot of things for me to do around here, I have a lot more to do now than when I started.

TOTK Diary 46

I’ve upgraded all I can for now from the fairy near the Dueling Peaks Stables. I guess I should investigate the claims that the Yiga Clan have captured Princess Zelda and are holding her hostage. I don’t believe it, because Zelda seems to have the ability to appear and disappear at will, but I can’t take the chance that somehow they’ve got her.

I’m near the eastern end of the rift that split the peak in two, and I figure I’ll try to move quietly between the two peaks and see if I can find any sign of the Yiga clan.

Only, I end up making a bit of a wrong turn, and go off to the south before I reach the peaks, and end up in East Necluda. I start running into Bokoblins in the woods, and they’re weak enough that they don’t worry me, but I don’t want to waste my time on them, so I run a bit to lose them, and in so doing I end up taking the wrong fork of a path and end up missing the Dueling Peaks mountain pass. There’s a lot of forage in the forest, though so I take the opportunity to stock up on whatever I can find.

I end up finding a few koroks, and then I make a Discovery! of a large cave system. This cave is dripping wet, and full of thorny brambles. It’s also crawling with Bokoblins. By this time, I remember that I have a Bokoblin mask, so I put it on. I blend in this way, and as long as I don’t hurt a Bokoblin, they regard me with curiosity but don’t attack. I take full advantage of this, robbing the place blind, and when I’m done with picking up every item I can carry, I sneak attack the Bokoblins and take them out by surprise. I don’t take much damage in the process, either. To advance through the cave system, I need to figure out ways to burn the briars that are blocking my way at several points. It’s not easy — I have just one bundle of wood on me, so making fires with wood isn’t going to be easy. But the brambles ordinarily are flammable enough on their own — it’s the moisture of the cave that makes them nearly fireproof. I try shooting fireballs with the ruby sword and sometimes I manage to ignite something, but more often than not it fizzles.

The bokoblins do have some explosive barrels in this cave, and I can pick them up and place them where I need to, and then set them off. I’m trying not to do that, though, because I don’t want to accidentally hurt any Bokoblins, or alert monsters of another type, which I do not have a mask for, and end up having to fight them. I’m trying to run this cave without fighting much, and using stealth and trickery as much as possible.

I do manage to get through the entire cave system, using a bit of ingenuity. The cave walls are slick with dampness, and not easy to climb. At some points there are ladders, and others platforms that I can Ascend through. In one part of the cave, there’s a handy Zonai spring platform, which I use to jump up to get on top of a rock formation, where I discover a secret chest.

Eventually I clear out the entire cave, at least I’m pretty sure I did. I could have missed something, though, just due to the sheer size of the place. But I find a bubbul frog, in a part of the cave hidden behind a bombable wall, which seems to be the designer’s cue that you’ve found everything.

I ascend up through the roof of the cave, and seem to travel a long way up before I break through the surface, most of the way up a mountain. It’s the middle of the day and the weather is beautiful, the sun is shining. I can see two SkyView Towers from where I stand, both of which I’ve never been to before. One is so near that I can easily glide to it; the other is a long of a distance away, so I mark it with the Purah scope, and glide down to the nearby tower.

When I reach the tower, the weather has changed. It’s dark, and rainy. The tower seems defended. It’s surrounded by brambles. But no one is actually here. I find some building supplies and a note from one of the Hylian construction team. Apparently the place is subject to constant rain, and they can’t do much but try to keep their materials dry. There’s a few bundles of wood under a tent, which I grab, and a lot of wooden crates and construction material.

I walk up to the Tower entrance, and it’s completely blocked off by brambles, and since I just went through the wet cave, I know that these are not going to be flammable unless I do something clever. I notice that there’s some construction scaffolding around the base of the tower, and I decide to use it to construct a rain shelter. I glue several planks together using Ultrahand, creating a long makeshift bridge. I lay the bridge over the gap between the two sections of scaffolding on either side of the entrance, creating kind of an awning. This shields the brambles in front of the door from the rain, allowing them to dry out after a few moments. I then place the wood bundles I just picked up, and for good measure I add in a few Hylian Pine Cones, for an extra flammable burst. I step back and use my ruby sword to set it off, and it does the trick. In no time I have a huge blaze burning and the brambles are reduced to ash, clearing the way.

I open the door and walk in, activate the tower, and zoom up into the sky. The map updates.

Looking around, I see one of the Dragons is flying below. It’s near enough that I think I might have a chance to catch up to it and maybe see it up close, but it’s moving away from me and too quickly to catch up to. I realize this and change my mind and decide what I should try for instead is a nearby chasm. I fall from the sky level down into this hole, and end up in the underworld.

I happen to be fairly close to one of the X’s that were marked on one of the Old Maps that I’ve found, and I figure I’ll try to find out what’s there, and if not at least I’ll get to explore and stock up on underworld materials.

The way is difficult. It seems there are a lot of wrong turns. I have over 240 brightbulb seeds, so I’m not worried about wasting them, but it seems like every time I want to go in the direction of the X on the map, there’s a sheer wall in my way, or else a sea of Gloom. The terrain is very uneven, and at one point I even find a waterfall of lava. I glide a little too close to it and take heat damage, and my shield and club catch fire. I unequip them to extinguish the flames, and glide away from the intense heat, and end up in an area where there are deep gorges and sheer walls most of which are covered in Gloom. I have to be careful to climb while avoiding gloom poisoning, and just getting out of one gorge is enough of a challenge, but each time I end up turned around and going in the opposite direction of the X.

It’s pretty frustrating and I keep thinking about giving up and fast-traveling back to the surface, but I try to stick it out for as long as I can, and as long as I can avoid dangerous encounters with creatures I think I’ll be OK, and I can try to map the place out a little bit.

I eventually find a lightroot and activate it, and then maybe an hour later I find another one, not that far away. I haven’t made much progress because the terrain is so damned difficult, and I keep getting turned around and looping back to where I came from.

Somehow or other, after much struggle and getting lost and re-orienting, I find a Bokoblin mining camp. I have the Bokoblin Mask on still, and they accept me. I rob the camp of everything I can grab, and even get their ore. There’s a Boss Bokoblin leading this group, and while I’m standing on a rock pile in the middle of their camp, he takes especial interest in me. He tries to come closer and ends up walking into one of their own torches, which burns him. He doesn’t seem to notice that he’s on fire and taking damage, and after burning for a few minutes, his life bar drains away to zero and he dies, dropping a bunch of monster parts. I haven’t fought boss Bokoblins much, and this is a freebie. Even better, since the fire damage wasn’t caused by me directly, nobody suspects a thing still. I pick up all the loot I can, and now that the Boss is dead, I decide to take down the rest of the Bokoblins. There’s four or five of them, and most are armed with bows, so it’s a lot of free arrows for me. I run around and collect arrows they’ve fired at me when I can. I let Tulin’s avatar wear them down, but he’s not doing it very quickly, only shooting arrows occasionally, so I switch tactics and start hitting them with my melee weapons when I can. But this opens me to taking some damage, and I am down hearts due to the gloom here, so it’s not going well. I end up using a fairy resurrection, because fortunately I had a bunch of fairies from that one incredible well I discovered at Dueling Peaks Stables.

Finally, I manage to kill the Bokoblins and grab everything they dropped.

Now I’m hoping I can finally re-orient myself and figure out the way to the X on the map. I find one more Light Root, and when I activate this one, it seems to open up a lot more of the map than the first two did.

I stumble across some Zonai building materials, and use them to craft a wheeled vehicle that I can use to cross over the gloom without taking damage. But the terrain here is so awful that I frequently have to get out of the vehicle, pick it up with Ultrahand, and move it over some rock formation that I can’t get it to climb over. So the going is incredibly slow, and I still am having a lot of difficulty keeping my travel in the right direction. Eventually I give up on the vehicle. It’s gotten me across some areas of heavy gloom, but now I’m in a new area of the map and it seems to be more open, and there’s more climbing so the car isn’t very good here.

I end up going quite a ways east of the point where I am trying to go, and end up discovering a mining site. These are usually interesting and worth exploring, but apart from zonaite ore and a few weapons left laying around, there’s not much at this one. I cross a canyon and find another mining site, and then another. The third one that I find seems to be recently in use, although no one is around. It seems to have been fortified with spikes and brambles, and there’s equipment and material laying around. It looks like people from the surface have been here. Then I spot a Hylian and run over to talk to him. He tells me a story about being part of the Hylian underworld exploration committee, or something, but then he reveals that he’s Yiga, and this is an ambush. I’m surrounded by 3 or 4 Yiga Bowmen. I’m lucky and somehow manage to not get hit by any of them as I take them out. My bow, Tulin’s bow, and my Topaz sword are what I use to do it. The topaz sword is great because of its electrical stun effect, which helps me to prevent the Yiga from using their teleportation ability so I can get in some extra hits on them while they’re down, and this enables me to deal with them very effectively.

When they are all dead, I discover more hints of their presence — mighty bananas, and a notebook that has some information about their operations. They have discovered the secret of the Sundelions, and are trying to mine zonaite so they can use it to create weapons.

I thoroughly explore the area and find a couple dormant Zonai Constructs. One operates the zonai smelting equipment, and has a store of refined Zonai items for me to buy. I can trade raw Zonaite for refined Zonai charges, and I have enough of that on hand to buy him out. The other Construct says he has something for me, but I’m not ready for it yet, and that I should first visit the mining camp in central Hyrule underworld, and then come back.

I continue to explore the area, and once it’s cleared out I resume heading toward the X on the map. I am moving in the general direction of the X, when I spot a pack of those lizard like creatures that like to lunge at me and stay out of reach of my melee weapons. These guys give me trouble, so I climb up a giant fungus tree that happens to be nearby. Then a bokoblin on a stalhorse charges and I manage to hit him with a Bomb, and blow him off his horse. The horse survives, and if I can deal with these stupid lizards I can use the horse to get around. I decide to play safe and use arrows on the lizards, which is very effective. They don’t stand a chance, and I wipe them out with well aimed shots, some of the longer range ones I use a zonai bow and keese eyeballs for homing.

I get on the stalhorse and take it for as long as I can. Eventually I come to another bokoblin camp, and somehow the bokoblins make the horse disappear. I’m not sure how that happened. I loot this camp and move on without taking the time to fight the enemies here. I’m near the X and I don’t want to risk getting killed now.

I have to climb higher to get to it. It’s a tough, long climb, and I can’t even see whether there’s a top to reach, or if the wall I’m scaling will hit the ceiling and be a dead end. But eventually I do reach a flat spot where I can stand, stop, and rest. It’s yet another mining area, and it seems that I’ve finally made it to the X. The item I find is the Hero’s Cap. It’s the classic green cap that Link has been wearing ever since his first adventure. Cool.

There are tons of Poes around down here. I have so many, over 350 now.

I’ve managed to do everything I came down here to do, not that I really knew what I was here for.

I try to explore around a bit more, hoping to find another light root, but before long I end up in a confrontation with more bokoblins, when I stumble upon another camp, this one having a Like Like in it. When run into a camp with mixed enemy types, your mask doesn’t fool any of them once the monster type that you’re not wearing the mask of gets a look at you. I get mobbed, and rather than try to win an unexpected fight that I hadn’t prepared for, I fast-travel back to the surface world.

One other thing worth mentioning, while I was down in the depths, when I encountered the group of lizard-frog creatures, I observed that they eat brightbloom seeds that I’ve thrown down! When I was up the tree, safe from them, I observed four or five of them approach one of my brightblooms, and after a few seconds, they devoured it, and it was gone!

My target is the shrine near Dueling Peaks stables. I visit the well there to try to pick up more fairies, but I end up scaring them. Immediately after I exit the well, a blood moon occurs, so I to back down hoping that the blood moon will have replenished the fairies, but no. I’m down on health, so I rest at the Inn. The next morning, I run out to explore Dueling Peaks. I cross the busted bridge, and meet a traveler, and help him get past the bokoblins who have set up a camp just on the other side of the river. They’re easy to take out, and I don’t mind the practice.

This time I run down the right road and get in between the peaks, following the river that flows between them. I find a korok who needs help crossing the river to meet up with his friend. There’s a bunch of construction material nearby so I build a bridge for him and carry him over.

Further down river, toward central Hyrule, I encounter a few more monsters. Some Lizalfos in the water, some bokoblins on the opposite shore, near where I helped the korok. Some octorocks. I come out of the Dueling Peaks pass, and have seen zero Yiga. They must be hiding, or perhaps are up top in the peaks. I go back, and explore the mid-level, but still don’t find them, but I at least pick up some more forage materials. Down and back through the peaks, but no Yiga still.

This time when I come through the peaks I go a little further, and discover a small stone building has fallen from the sky, and there’s a Zonai Construct in there. I activate him to talk to him, and he tells me a riddle, something about three water borne keys that need to be placed in three receptacles in this building to unlock a shrine. This doesn’t trigger a Shrine Quest, so I’m not sure what’s up. I don’t know what his clue means, either. I puzzle over it for a bit but can’t figure it out, and continue on, heading west toward central Hyrule, and turn South, heading toward Lake Hylia and Faron.

I find a cave in this area, which I explore, and find another piece of the rubber armor suit. I now have the helmet and breastplate, and once I have the legs I’ll have a complete suit.

I explore kind of randomly, mostly just trying to stock up on forage materials while I look for anything interesting — a shrine, a cave, whatever I can get into. I end up coming close to where the Battle Talus is, near the SkyView Tower that I couldn’t figure out how to open up. I try fighting it, but I can’t get on top of the damn Talus’s platforms, to hit its weak point reliably. I keep getting knocked off quickly, or failing to get on top when I try. It’s frustrating. I end up giving up on the fight, and just head to the SkyView Tower. I have no idea what I need to do but I’m hoping that since I’ve done so much since I was last there, maybe something will have changed.

When I get to the tower, I notice a well in front of it. Strange, I had not noticed this before. Did it appear here, or did I simply fail to observe it because I wasn’t yet familiar with the wells of Hyrule? I go down it and find a little underground tunnel and cave system. Around the corner, I find a man-made portcullis, which has trapped a Hylian who was exploring. He’s excited to see me, the prospect of rescue giving him joy. He tells me he’s with the Hudson Construction Company, and begs me to trigger the release, and tells me how he came in through a different tunnel. I face the way he points, and Ascend to the surface, then run downhill until I find the cave entrance he was talking about. Then I stand on the trigger and open the portcullis, freeing him. He thanks me and gives me a reward, then rushes off to repair the mechanisms in the SkyView Tower. After he goes, I notice another tunnel, with a treasure chest behind another locked portcullis. This time, the trigger is on the other side of the barred gate, and I can’t get through it. But I’m smart enough to know that I can use Ultrahand to move the treasure chest, so I move it to place it on top of the switch, opening the gate, and I receive my reward.

I Ascend to the topside, and find myself outside the SkyView Tower, and the construction worker who I just rescued is there. He’s fixed the problem with the tower, mentions that it was caused by humidity, and tells me he’s needed elsewhere and takes leave. I go up the tower and activate it. Update the map, and fly up to the sky.

From above, I see the sky island that fascinated Picango, the painter, when I met him on the south side of the Lake Hylia Bridge. I dive down to the island, and there’s another one of those stone tablets that I need to take a photo of so that Wortsworth can translate it at his Kakariko Village research station. I take the picture, but I also want to see what Picango will say now that I’ve been to the island he’s been painting.

I visit him, but he doesn’t say anything new, which seems odd. I’m disappointed. He suggests that I should visit the island, and I’m like DUDE, I JUST DID! But he doesn’t seem to be getting that message. How weird, did the developers for get to program his reaction? I even have pictures of the island for him, but he doesn’t seem to care, and just repeats that it’s a fascinating shape and easy to paint, and that I should visit them somehow. Grr.

Well, enough screwing around. I go to Kakariko and show Wortsworth the photos, and at least he’s interested. He gives me my usual 100 rupees reward, and translates the inscription that I photographed. It talks about how King Rauru’s sister was able to use Zonai constructs to store Zonai’s souls so they could live on after they died. So that means… oh, wow.

Next, I fast travel back to Lookout Landing. I have four Lights of Blessing, and trade them in for another Heart Container. I also talk to the Well Girl and tell her about three more wells that I’ve found since I last talked to her. I thought it would have been more than that… oh well. Lol. Oh well!

I feel like tying up some loose ends while I’m in this part of the world. There’s two X’s on the map, to the north east and northwest of Hyrule Castle. They’re a short journey up the road from here, and I want to check them out. I go to the cave in the northeast and find a Stone Talus in a big cavern, defeat it, and then find a bubbul frog, and finally, behind a bombable wall, an armor chest with the Barbarian armor breastplate in it. To the northwest, I have to sneak past the sleeping Hinox on the bridge, and then I find a cave across the river. In here, I find the rubber armor body piece, giving me two of the three pieces now.

I decide I want to go back to Dueling Peaks Stable and track down that story lead on the Yiga kidnapping of Princess Zelda. This time I climb higher up onto the peaks, going over the top of them. I’m on the northern peak, and fight some weak bokoblins who’ve camped there, a little to close to their own explosives, which I use to blow them off the mountaintop.

On the other side of the valley, I spot some Yiga Clan flags and out in plain sight, there’s Princess Zelda, in a cage. I know it’s not her, and this is a trap, but I have to go complete the quest. So I glide over, and “Zelda” calls to me to rescue her. I use Ultrahand to lift the cage off of her, and she thanks me, then immediately in true Yiga fashion tells me that this was all a trap and she’s going to kill me.

I’m ambushed by 3-4 Yiga bowmen, but I’m able to deal with them effectively. It’s not an easy fight, as when they gang up on me they can really make life difficult, knocking me down repeatedly and then teleporting away when I’m ready to hit them. But thankfully Tulin is a great help with his bow, keeping them occupied and knocking them down so that I can target them while they’re prone and recovering. They don’t have a lot of attack strength or hitpoints, and I take them down pretty quickly once I connect with my attacks.

Once they’re vanquished, my Rito friend Penn swoops down and fills me in on what he has been able to find out about the story. I tell him my half, and then he pays me and flies back to file the report with the Lucky Clover Gazette.

I travel out that way myself, because I want to see if anything changes when I talk to Traysi. She says the same thing as before, that if I’m looking for Penn I should go out into the Hebra mountains. I guess I gotta do that eventually.

I also spend a little time at Rito village, talk to the Rito elders. Tulin’s father, Teba, tells me he’s crafting a new bow which he will make a copy of for me if I provide him with the materials. Cool; but right now I don’t have a great need for what might be one of the best bows in the game, as I have a few really good bows right now and no open inventory slots.

Teba’s wife tells me about a legend about something hidden that will be revealed when three water sources are restored. It sounds like there’s something for me to do out in the Hebra mountains, where apparently I’ll find some hot springs that maybe I can divert or something.

Also in Rito Village, unexpectedly, I find Impa and her assistant. They’re here to check out the Geoglyphs in the area. Her assistant mentions to me that they wish they had a photo of the map room from the Forgotten Temple, which showed the location of every Geoglyph. I thought I took a picture of that map already, but he doesn’t act like it. So I fast-travel out there and do it, and then fast-travel back to Rito Village, and he still doesn’t seem to care, so I give up. Either he’s just trying to hint at me that I can use a camera in the game, for no actual reason, or I didn’t take the picture in quite the right way the game wants me to, and I have to figure that out another time.

While I’m out here, I try Ascending to the very top of the Rito Village stone formation, whre I find a korok hiding under a rock out at the very end of the tip. I scope around, looking for more Shrines or other interesting features to check out, and spot another rock pillar in the Rito Village lake, which appears to have a hollow bowl shaped crater at the top. I glide over and discover a pair of statues. They’re not goddess statues, but look like a mother and child. There is a crude wooden frame over them, with a partly-assembled roof. The missing piece of the roof is nearby, so I place it and am rewarded with another korok. I was hoping for something a bit cooler than that, but hey. I’m back up to 30 korok seeds, so I might be able to open another inventory slot.

I guess the next thing I’m going to do is try to scout out Hebra and find more Shrines, that Geoglyph Impa is looking for, and see what else is out there.

TOTK Diary 45

Well, I guess the next thing to do is go and try to find that drummer for the travelling band.

I hike back out the way I came, back up the road toward Kakariko village. When I get close to where the road goes into the mountains, I hear the drums. I don’t see the drummer right away, but he must be near.

I scout about the area a bit, and quickly home in on him, as the volume of his drumming is like a beacon that I can follow. He has a little campsite with a tent. He wants honey, for something, and tells me where it can be obtained, but there’s a gloom chasm that has opened up where it is abundant, and he’s not about to go near it. So it’s up to me.

He only needs three honey. I happen to have two in my inventory already, so I have to get some more. I wish I would have had enough to just give it to him and save a little time, but oh well. I fast-travel back to the shrine near Kakariko Village, since it’s a bit closer, and then glide in the direction of the gloom chasm, and then immediately find some honey. I need a way to get it without getting attacked by the swarm of bees that protects it, and without creating a big fire. I discover that wind will blow the bees away, and I have a wind source available to me in the form of a weapon that I fused with a zonai fan a while ago. I also have my buddy Tulin’s spirit warrior who I can summon as needed.

Some of the honey I find is too high up in the tree for me to hit it with the gust from my wind sword, so I switch to my ruby sword, and use fire to drive the bees away. This works, but is more dangerous, and I end up burning one of the honeys, and only manage to pick up two. I only needed one more, but as long as I’m here I figure I should try to get all the honey I can find. I also pick up a bunch of other forage found in the general area, mostly mushrooms, some nightshade, and the rare silent princess flower. I also end up getting attacked by some Evermean trees, but the ruby sword is a good weapon to use on them, so they are easily scorched into submission.

Having exhausted the resources of this area, I return to where I found the drummer boy, Beetz. He’s happy to have the honey, and gives me a 100 rupee reward for finding it for him. Then he tells me he’s going to join his bandmates back at the Dueling Peaks Stables. So I glide out back that way again, and as I cross the field I come across a group of zonai construct soldiers guarding an area. I decide to clear them out and get some practice. With Tulin’s help, I’m a little bit less prone to being surrounded. I have a topaz sword, and want to see how it affects them. The topaz sword shoots lightning balls, which don’t seem to do extra damage (no instakill) but do affect them with a stun effect and cause them to drop weapons, so it’s a very useful tactic to disarm them, pick up their weapons, and then kill them more easily once they’re disarmed. One of them must have had a bow, because after the fighting is over, I find about a half dozen or more arrows lying about all around the battle field. Or maybe… does Tulin shoot arrows that I can pick up? That would be pretty convenient if that’s what happened. I’d really like to know. With all the excitement I couldn’t really tell, and I didn’t realize that there was a bow-armed zonai soldier among the group, until afterward. I did pick up a bow from them, so it remains to be seen where these arrows came from.

Back at the Stables, I find two small children playing in the road, and go up to talk to them. They are trying to draw the hoof prints of some creature they claim to have seen, or heard about. In talking to them, they seem to think that the Don-Dons that I found match the description of this creature. I describe it to them, and they draw its likeness on the ground. They reward me with a Swift Carrot, which can be useful in taming wild horses, they tell me. This completes a side quest that I didn’t even know about.

Over at the musician’s stage, I find Beatz is playing with Mastro, Violyn, and the flute boy. They want to perform for the Fairy to bring her out of the flower, but they can’t get to her, because they need to cross the river and the bridge got smashed by falling rocks from the sky. They’ve taken the wheels completely off their Breezer buggy for some reason. Fortunately, right nearby is a load of construction material from Hudson Construction Co., as well as some zonai pieces: a control stick, a glider wing, two fans, and a battery.

I try to use this stuff to figure out a way over the river. First I try to build a bridge, but there’s not enough material to construct a safe enough bridge. Or maybe I just don’t know where to build it or how to set up the materials most effectively.

I end up solving the challenge by attaching fans to the back of the buggy, and using the wood from the construction materials to add buoyancy to the cart, and we just turn it into a makeshift boat, and manage to get over to the opposite bank, right where the Fairy is. The musicians play for the Fairy, who stirs and emerges. Mastro gives me another 100 rupees, and then leaves with the band to go to the other Fairies to try to play for them. The Fairy offers to enhance my clothing, so I take her up on that, doing everything that I can with resources on hand. I can tell this is going to get really expensive by the time I’m done upgrading everything. Not only will I have to grind a ton of materials, but these upgrades now also cost rupees as well.

Having upgrades the outfits that I can, I guess I’m buffed enough now that I can try to take on the Yiga who’ve supposedly kidnapped Princess Zelda.

TOTK Diary 44

While I’m in Kakariko Village, I figure I should revisit a few things.

The goddess statue now mentions Sage’s Wills, so I guess that’s how you upgrade those too.

Koko is out selling wreaths again. I still don’t know what I’m supposed to do with them, and since they’re a bulky carry-able item, I don’t want to buy one from her right now. But she doesn’t seem to mind and wishes me well.

I walk up to the Kakariko Inn, and it’s not open for business. I’m told that the proprietor went missing. But it turns out that the proprietor was the Hylian who I woke up with the Truffle, a while ago, so as soon as I find out that the Inn is not open for business, I also find out that I already completed this quest, and now the Innkeeper is back and the Inn is open after all.

I check out the arrow shop and vegetable shop as well, and buy some butter. The vegetable lady is out of stock with her eggs, and wishes she had 10. I have 10 in my inventory and offer them to her, closing out an easy sidequest. She gives me 50 rupees, and then I see the eggs are on sale for 12 rupees each. What a racket.

Then I go back to the clothing store, and buy one of the stealth armor set, the top piece.

I decide from here to take a walk down the road leading out of town. I find abundant forage along the road, mostly mushrooms of various types, also a lot of Hylian tomatoes, and some frogs.

I encounter Addison, holding up a sign, and aid him, and receive my customary reward.

Continuing on the road, I encounter a few other characters on the road. I meet a Gerudo vai, who asks me if I hear a drum beating. I don’t hear it yet, but she tells me it’s probably because it’s raining. A short time after I talk to her, I do hear a drumbeat added to the music. Or is it actually a drummer in the game?

Off in the distance, I spot another SkyView Tower, and uncertain whether it’s one I’ve been to already, I mark it with the scope, and check the location on the map, and it is a new one for me. I note it to visit it when I can.

I continue on the road a ways, meeting a man on a horse, and a young woman. They seem to recognize me, but I don’t remember them. Did I meet them earlier in the game? Or was it during the BOTW days?

Before long, I come across a familiar looking bridge. I’m coming up to the Dueling Peaks Stable, and I recognize it from BOTW. A little further back in the distance, I spot another Fairy Flower.

Near the Stable, halfway up the nearby mountain, there is a Shrine. I beeline toward the Shrine and enter. It’s a combat trial, to train me on perfect parry. There are two Zonai Soldier constructs armed with fire and lightning weapons (in TOTK these are fused items, made from a regular melee weapon and a gem, ruby for fire, topaz for electricity). None of my other weapons are effective; I *must* use my shield to reflect their attacks back at them.

It’s not that difficult. Z-trigger to bring up your shield, then A at the right moment to parry. Do it perfectly, and you reflect the shot back at the enemy; too early and you take damage, too late and you just absorb the attack with your shield. Your wood shields will catch fire, and your metal shields will shock you with the electricity, so you need to use the right type.

These are all the lessons to learn. I reflect the fire attack easily, but the lightning is so slow, I have a hard time getting the timing right, way early several times, and end up taking so much damage that I burn a Fairy, but eventually I pass the challenge, and claim my Light of Blessing.

Exiting the shrine, I want to get down to the Stables and do some news work. I glide down, and as I approach I spot a Rito perched on the roof of the stables. It’s my friend from the Lucky Clover, Penn! I talk to him, he tells me the story here is that Princess Zelda has been kidnapped! By the Yiga clan! They sent a letter to the Lucky Clover to claim responsibility. They say she’s being held at the nearby Dueling Peaks (although they’re poetic about it, intending it as a bit of a riddle, the meaning is pretty clear it seems.)

That seems like the most important thing I should do next as my top priority, but I’m a little bit skeptical. The Yiga clan have no honor, they are full of deception. And there have been sightings of Zelda everywhere. She seems to disappear at will, so how could the Yiga hold her captive? And isn’t she stuck in the past? We don’t really know. It must be investigated, but I’m not going to just run off like a fool into some trap.

I want to find out more, whatever I can, so I talk to the people at the Stables. One by the cooking pot is looking for a pumpkin called the Master Gourd, which is rumored to be somewhere in the woods nearby. But he says no one believes that it exists, and he wonders if he’s been lied to. Talking to him doesn’t open a side quest, and I try offering him a Mighty Pumpkin out of my inventory, but he doesn’t seem interested in it.

The musicians are here, and talking to them I find that the flute player has joined the band. They mention that they need to get the drummer to re-join the band, so they can wake up the Fairy at the nearby flower. So that drum I heard back up the road must be the drummer, only I couldn’t find him then. But now I will look harder.

What else? The stable keeper says his children draw pictures. There is an empty picture frame on the wall, but when I look at it he tells me that he wants a photo of the most beautiful sunrise in Hyrule, as seen from a mountain peak near Lurelin Village.

I offer the stable doggo a couple of pieces of raw meat, and he gets happ, and then leads me to a treasure chest where I find a nice sword, the 8-fold blade.

I also know to look for a well near any stable, and this one is something special. I drop down and explore, and at first it seems small and just has a few mushrooms. Then I notice what looks like a second well, within this well. I go down again, and find a chamber full of mineral ores. I clear this area out, and find a third well. I go down again, and this one has fairies! I grab three fairies, and some frogs and fish.

I Ascend to the surface and emerge right in front of the stable. Then I notice off in the distance there’s a korok looking for his friend. I talk to him, and the friend is a bit of a distance away, but the terrain is easy so I just take him, stopping along the way to pick up lots of forage in the middle of the field we need to cross to get the korok to his friend.

I get him there, and get my two korok seeds. Near the korok buddy’s campsite, I notice two caves. I enter one and clear it out — there’s a couple of Horriblins, a Like Like which I think is armored, I have to hit it with a bomb arrow before I can hit it, and it shoots boulders at me, but they don’t do a lot of damage although they knock me back pretty hard. I pick up a bit more forage — mushrooms, lizards, mineral ores, a chest containing a weapon of some kind, and then discover a bombable wall that leads to a deeper cavern where I find a bubbul frog, which I kill and claim its gem.

Next thing I think I’ll do is look for the drummer and try to open up the fairy flower so I can boost my armor rating higher and be a bit better equipped for the Yiga battle I’ll have to do when I get into the Dueling Peaks.