Tag: BOTW Diary

Zelda: BOTW Diary (69)

The Koroks have three more trials for me:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Zelda: BOTW Diary (68)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

So, then:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I guess, why not?  

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

Master Sword!

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

Zelda: BOTW Diary (67)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Zelda: BOTW Diary (66)

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

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

I guess I’ll see him again sometime…?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Zelda: BOTW Diary (65)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Zelda: BOTW Diary (64)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

That was exciting.  Well done, designers.

Zelda: BOTW Diary (63)

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

Zelda: Breath of the Wild Diary (62)

I transport to the Woodland Tower, then glide down to the road below, and enter the Lost Woods. The Maze Music starts, and I figure I’m in for another a-maze-ing experience.

This is the most frustrating maze I’ve encountered so far.  There are no walls; the woods are full of mist, and if you veer too far off the correct path, the mists envelop you, and you hear an evil laugh and you are transported back to the start of the maze.  It’s like Wall Masters from the original Legend of Zelda, only completely unavoidable, and there’s no real way to tell whether you’re on the correct path or not.  

Just before you get enveloped in mist, the music gets slightly louder, and the mists get slightly more opaque, and you have maybe a tenth of a second, if that, to reverse course and get back to where you’re safe, but 9/10 of the time you don’t make it and have to start over.

Like in the pitch dark maze, there are a few braziers with fire at the beginning to start you on the path, but after you encounter about the fourth one, you see the final two that you’re gonna see, and then that’s it, you’re on your own.

The Lost Woods is full of spooky looking trees that are straight out of the Wizard of Oz, or any other fairy tale with a spooky forest where all the trees have twisted, evil-looking faces.  Inside some of the “mouths” of the trees, I find treasure chests.  I also find a torch, and, hoping that this will help me somehow, like maybe to light up more braziers that I’ll find deeper in the woods, maybe they’ll drive away the mist, but it doesn’t really seem to do anything at all.

I try about 20 or a hundred times to get through the maze, each time making it a little further in before I get “lost” and taken back to the start.  I’m about to give up and cheat by looking up the solution on the internet, when I finally make it through, and find myself in the Korok Woods.

There’s a shrine nearby, and I see little korok dudes everywhere.  Not hiding, just hanging out.  Like this is their village.  Over on one side, I see my man HESTU!  STU! Where you been man!  Shake those maracas!  Give me more slots!  High five!

We jam, I give him about all the korok seeds I have, which is close to 190, and he opens my inventory even more.  I have near the max (I think) weapon slots, close to as many bow slots, and only a few extra shield slots, because I really don’t go through too many shields.

I clear the shrine. This one is super challenging.  On the far wall there’s a map of constellations.  I’ve been seeing these designs all over the walls of shrines all along and never realized that they were constellation maps; I thought they were just weird abstract dots connected by lines, purely decorative, and haven’t paid attention to them at all.  I wonder if I look at the night sky if I’d be able to identify any of them? That would be cool.  There’s a series of rows of basins where I’m supposed to put one of four orbs.  At first, I think I’m supposed to, like, draw the constellations on the floor using the orbs as “stars” but there’s nowhere near enough orbs or basins to manage that.  

It takes me a long time to figure out, but I notice on the sides of the shrine, each row of orb basins has a number of candles next to it, starting with a single candle, going up to five.  Reading these as labels, it seems that perhaps the orbs are like abacus beads, and this is a counting system.  Along the front wall, the same patterns that appear on the far wall are repeated, as though column headers.  Am I supposed to count the number of stars in each constellation pattern?  But some of them have more than 5 stars, so how could that be?  

Eventually, and I mean like an embarrassingly long time later, I finally realize that the all of constellation patterns on the wall are duplicated some  number of times. Aha! I count them, and then put the orb in each column corresponding to the number of times the constellation pattern appears on the map on the far wall.

Success!  The door opens, and I can get into the shrine master’s chamber.  There’s a second puzzle, a different combination to open another door and collect a reward from a chest.  I get it, I get the orb, and I clear the shrine.

There’s an immense tree growing nearby, as big as a small mountain, and I climb it.  At the top, there’s a korok, who tells me riddles.  I have to guess which thing, and then he’ll give me a reward.  The first one is easy:  an apple.  The second one is the pumpkins that grow in Kakariko village; I have to transport out there to buy one.  The third one is a type of fish, which I happen to have a single one of in my inventory, luckily.  The fourth is… something that starts with H and ends with “oof”…. I think “Hoof” but why would they spell out the complete answer like that, isn’t that too obvious?  I look through my inventory and I have nothing that matches.  I think maybe “Hinox Toof” like maybe these koroks talk like toddlers, or something, but that isn’t it.  The only things I’ve seen that have hoofs in the game are horses, and they don’t drop anything when you kill them, and the buffalos and moose, but they only drop meat, not hoofs.

Not having the answer for this one, there’s not much else I can do.

To find out that Hinox Tooth isn’t the answer, I have to go find a Hinox and wake it up, murder it, and collect some of its teef.  The nearest one I can think of, and the easiest to get to, is the one near Rito village.  So I warp out there, and am reminded that I’ve left Horsey out at the Flight Range this entire time, for, like, a frickin’ month of game-time.  Damn, Horsey, I’m so sorry.

I transport to the shrine near the Flight Range, and pick up Horsey, who seems just fine.  There are occasional random Yiga ninjas in this area, and one appears, I kill him, and get his duplex bow, which means I can show it to the boy Nebb in Hateno village who wants to see it, and get another 50 rupees next time I’m out that way.

I murder me one Hinox and get his teeth.  I happen to have a powerful Royal Claymore with an Attack Bonus that gives it attack rating of 69, and using it I’m able to demolish this Hinox with one arrow to the eye, a flurry of attacks, and a couple more arrows to finish it off.

I collect the teeth, nails, and other loot drops, and head back down to Rito stables to board Horsey.  On the way down, I also see Warbler’s Nest, which reminds me of the shrine quest for this, and I try to complete it.  The little girl Rito who wanted to sing there has gone there to sing, and she is waiting for her sisters to show up, but they’re not coming.  They’ve either forgot, or they want something in order to come.  It’s my job to help her get those things.  There are three or four sisters, and I have to do something for each of them.  It seems a bit much, but OK.

First, I find one and she just needs to be reminded.  So she goes.  The next one is hungry, and needs me to cook a specific meal, that I don’t know how to cook, but it involves one hearty salmon, and apparently goats butter.  I try cooking a meal with just those two ingredients, but that’s not it.  I’ve now used my only hearty salmon, and I don’t know where to find more, so I give up, restore, google the answer, and add Tabantha Wheat to the recipe, and that’s the meal.  Another one of the sisters is down at the pond at the entrance to Rito village fishing for a hearty salmon to make this dish.  I go talk to her, and she goes.  I think that’s everyone, but apparently I’m still short one sister, because when I return to the Warbler’s Nest, it’s still not shrine time.

On my way back down to the Rito village to find the last sister, I notice another spot on the ground that looks like a shrine marker.  I’ve come to recognize these now when I see them, since the one on Washa’s Bluff.  I’m not sure how I missed this one before, it’s right near where the Hinox sleeps.  But perhaps that’s why — I usually try to get by the Hinox quickly when it’s there, not wanting to waste time and weapons fighting it.

Anyway, I go back to Rito village and talk to everyone I can find, and still can’t find the final sister. WTF.  But I do find the answer to the newly discovered shrine.  There’s two adult sister Rito who teach me a song that holds the clue.  During a certain time of day, the shadow of Vah Medoh creates a heart-shaped light that highlights the shrine marker.  According to the song, lighting a fire at this spot at the right time will reveal the shrine.

I find this out about an hour after the heart-shaped patch of light has passed, and have to wait a whole day for another chance.  I say screw that, and set fire to a bundle of wood, and sit there until noon the next day.  The fire goes out, so I have to set another fire when the light is in the right position.  But sure enough this does it, and I get another shrine.

This one is a cannon puzzle.  I have to drop my bombs into the cannon to charge it, and there are orbs that shoot across to hit a target at the far end of the shrine.  The targets are obscured by moving shields that make it a little tricky to hit, but it’s a very easy matter to time the shot and hit.  I do the first one on the first try, and the second one on the second try.  I get a diamond out of the chest from the second one, and a spirit orb.

While I’m in the area around Rito village, I also find two more Korok seeds, that I had somehow missed on earlier passes through the region.

I want to free up the weapon slot for the duplex bow, so I transport out to Hateno village to show the kid Nebb, and he likes it, gives me 50 rupees, and now he wants to see the swords used by the burly Yiga swordsmen warriors.  I don’t happen to have one in my inventory right now, so it’ll have to wait until I fight one of those guys again.

While I’m looking at the map, there’s a shrine on an island out in the middle of Hateno bay that appears to have been visited by me, but not cleared.  WTF, I thought I had done that one already!?  I go back out there, and yep, sure enough it’s not cleared.  It’s a Major Test of Strength, so no problem; I go fight the shrine guardian, kicks its spidery robot ass, take its axe and sword, get a spirit orb for my troubles, and move on.

I still don’t know what to do to find the last sister for the Warbler’s Nest shrine.  It’s going to drive me nuts going up and down the village talking to every single Rito until I find the one I missed. I wish the quest details were a little more specific about which steps, A through F, I had completed, so I could know which one I still need to do.  Grr.

I go back to the giant korok tree and try the Hinox Toof, but it doesn’t solve the puzzle.

Nuts.

Somewhere in Hyrule forest, there’s still my Master Sword out there, and I’m not sure when I’ll get it.

Zelda: Breath of the Wild Diary (61)

Divine Beast Ruto is the elephant beast, and it lives in the water.  It is generating a huge amount of rain, which threatens to overwhelm a massive dam that, should it fail, would result in massive flooding that would lay waste to much of central Hyrule. Which, I would think would be at least as much a problem for Ganon, who occupied Hyrule Castle, as it would be for the Hylians, who have mostly fled the central Hyrule region and tend to live as far from the castle, and mostly up in the hills and mountains.  But what do I know.

There’s little time to waste. Prince Sidon takes me on his back, and we swim out to face the beast. The approach is similar to the raid on Vah Naboris, the great desert camel.  To get close to Ruto, I have to hit four glowing spots on its back with shock arrows. Doing this will knock out Ruto’s defenses and enable me to get inside.

Complicating matters, Ruto is generating massive blocks of ice, which it launches at us.  Sidon can’t get me close enough until I deflect the incoming ice. This isn’t immediately obvious to me, and I end up taking a lot of hits trying to figure out how to control Sidon to dodge the flying ice blocks.   It’s confusing to me mostly because it always looks like the ice blocks are going to pass behind us, as we’re moving quickly and they seem like we’re going to outrun them, but they always seem to brush us from behind and do a little bit of damage.  Eventually, I figure out that I can hit the blocks with my weapons, and we get in close enough to take a shot at the glowing spots on Ruto’s back.

Aided by the Zora armor, I’m able to shoot up the waterfalls cascading from Ruto’s back, launching myself in the air where I have an excellent vantage point to hit it with the shock arrows. This is actually pretty easy, and I’m able to knock out two spots on each side, once per flight. My experiences on Vah Medoh have prepared me for this quite well; in fact, this seems easier.

Inside, it’s the usual puzzle of manipulating moving platforms to access switches which I need to flip in order to activate the main switch, which triggers a boss fight. Despite being an elephant, Ruto seems smaller than Naboris, although they’re probably about the same.  I clear out some evil eyeball goo, and using my ice powers and magnesis powers, I figure out how to gain access to the various switches, and activate them. The puzzles are a decent challenge, but don’t take me too long to figure out:

  • One involves lifting a gate by creating an ice block beneath it.
  • One involves using magnesis to twist a crank handle to lift a platform out of a pool of water.  
  • One involves using ice to plug a stream of water to cause a water wheel to stop.  
  • One involves manipulating Ruto’s trunk to shoot water onto the body, where it rotates another wheel so that the switch inside of it becomes accessible.
  • One involves turning a crank to open a hatch in Ruto’s head, to allow his trunk to spray water into a fire-filled chamber.
  • One involves getting to the very tip of Ruto’s trunk.

Once I turn on all the switches, I go to activate the main switch, and the boss, Waterblight Ganon, is revealed. He wields a massive glowing blue spear. I find him enjoyable to defeat, and not too difficult. The mechanics to defeat him are much the same as the other bosses:  hit him in the eye with an arrow, he drops to the floor, stunned, where you can pour on damage with your heaviest melee attacks.  His spear is pretty difficult to dodge, but he doesn’t attack with it very frequently, and has such a long wind-up that I’m normally able to hit him in the eye with the bow and interrupt him with ease.

After taking him down, there’s some more story sequence, where I meet the spirit of my fishy girlfriend and she gives me her healing power, which will refill my heart meter once if I would otherwise die.  This is pretty great, since it effectively doubles my hearts, as long as the power is active.

The Zora King is very happy to have Ruto back under control, and the entire city seems to take part in celebrating the victory.  The King gives me a powerful spear, and I depart Zora’s Domain.

(As an aside, I wonder if Zora’s Domain is perhaps a reference to the website Zophar’s domain, a legendary website created by the ancients as a repository of knowledge about videogame console emulation. It is a curious name.)

I have a few things that I want to take care of, none of them particularly important to the main quest.

I return to Kakariko village, pick up a few fairies, and get my outfits enhanced as much as possible, and talk to Impa, who notes that I’ve made considerable progress toward overthrowing the evil rule of Ganon.

I travel to Hateno village, to show the young boy who likes weapons the Moblin club I found; now he wants to see a Duplex Bow, the kind that the Yiga clan warriors favor.  I don’t have one handy, but next time I get one, I’ll be sure to snag it.

While in Hateno, I visit the Ancient Technology Lab and buy more images for my Hyrule Compendium.  These are pricey at 100 Rs a pop, which means it’ll be a long, long time before I max out my Compendium.

I travel to Gerudo town and pick up the male Gerudo outfit, which have heat resistance properties and better armor rating than the Gerudo woman’s outfit.  Anticipating that I’ll need this outfit when I head to the remaining part of Hyrule that I have yet to explore, with its volcanic mountain.

While In Gerudo I also pick up an Opal necklace, which gives me a boost to my swimming speed, and should go well with the Zora armor.

I go visit the fairy pond near Gerudo to further augment my new clothing, but run out of Ice Kees wings, which are needed to continue augmenting the Gerudo Male suit.  

So then I try hunting Kees in the deep white north of Hebra.  Ice Kees are rare, and I don’t find any, but I do find a Korok seed that I had missed somehow. I try the icy mountain peak on the Great Plateau, and manage to find two Ice Kees, and a bunch of white chuchus, which still isn’t enough to max out my Gerudo man suit, but will allow me one more augmentation, so I guess it’ll have to do for now.

Next, I decide it’s time to look for my long lost Master Sword, and transport out to the Woodland Tower, which is right nearby Hyrule Forest.

Zelda: BOTW Diary (60)

This time as I exit the shrine at the maze in Hebra, rather than hug the rim of the abyss, I try going up the mountain to see what I might find up there. It’s just a couple of bokoblin camps, snow, and ice.  Not a lot to write home about. I’m starting to feel the repetitiveness of the game, and this area feels like filler to me. The only reason this stuff is here is because it gives me more to do if I’m interested in trying to 100% the game.

I clear out one of the bokoblin camps, after climbing the peak of Mount Drena, and then come down southward and east, until I find the road that leads to Serenne Stable.  As I approach, I’m attacked by bokoblins on horseback, and after defeating them I take one of their horses to make the road go by a bit faster.  Further down the road, I encounter more bokoblins harassing a Hylian on the road, and save her; she tells me of a scientist who studies monsters, and that I might find him near a skull-shaped lake, but that doesn’t sound like anywhere I’ve been yet.

It’s not long before I reach Serenne stable.  There, I show the scientist my photo of the Leviathan in Hebra, completing another portion of that side quest.

Pikango reminds me that there’s a nearby spot that looks like one of my memory photos, to the southeast, and this time rather than trying to find it by following the road, I head directly southeast as the crow flies, and after a short gallop over some fields and hills, I spot a tree that looks like it could be it.  I get closer, and sure enough, I’ve found my spot.

This time the memory is of a time when Zelda tried to recruit Link to eat a frog to see what it could do to his attributes.  Link did not seem very interested in eating the frog.

Originally, I thought I would try to go to the Gorons tonight, assuming that I would find them by heading north along the rim of the continent, toward the volcano. But by the time I get to this point, I’m just north of Hyrule Castle, and if I go a little further to the east, I should be able to get to where the road is again, and according to the map that will take me to the southern part of Hyrule Forest, which is below the area on the map that was shrouded in darkness where I found that last shrine that was guarded by the Hinox.

Since it seems like that would be a decent shortcut, and I’ve been hearing enough rumors that suggest I’ll find the Master Sword somewhere in Hyrule Forest, not to mention Hestu, I decide to try heading that way.

I get to the road, and start to follow it.  I have a way to go yet before I will be to where I’ll need to turn to get to Hyrule Forest.  To my surprise, I find yet another Stable, this one called Woodland Stable.  There’s a shrine right next to it, so I go there and complete it.  I find this one frustrating.  There’s a chest with an Iron Sledgehammer in it, and it’s a game of Goron Golf, where I have to hit a hole in one to make an orb fly into a basin at the far end of a water-filled room.  The way is blocked off so there’s really no other way to do it, and I’m pretty inaccurate with the hammer.  I can’t seem to make the arrow point the direction I want when I hit the frozen object, and even when I get my shot to go straight, it either goes too far, landing past the hole and skipping out of the basin, or else falling well short. 

I try repeatedly, and eventually break the sledgehammer, so I leave the shrine and return, only to find that the chest with the sledgehammer doesn’t reset, so it’s gone, and I’m out of luck.  So I restore from my save point and try again, and this time after many tries I manage to get the damn ball in the damn hole.

This unlocks the monk’s chamber, but past it I see another room, where there’s another challenge, similar to the one before, this one to unlock a chest.  I break my hammer, and there’s another chest with another sledgehammer in it, and I break that one too, before giving up and just completing the shrine without collecting the final chest.  I bet whatever’s in that chest must be really good.  I’ll have to look up and find out what’s in it to see if it’s really worth going back to collect, and if I can get the sledgehammer chests to reset (maybe at a Blood Moon?  I hope?) I’ll give it another go.  It’s annoying that it’s so frustrating to aim the damn time stop properly.

Within visual range of the this shrine, I spot another; a little further down the road, there’s a bridge that crosses the river that the road runs parallel to.  The road I’m on intersects with the road crossing the river, and over to the left there’s an island with a shrine on top of a little hill. 

I get close to the intersection, and see a Hylian man standing nearby, so I go talk to him.  He talks to me about shield surfing and asks me if I’d like to try it, but right now I’m much more interested in that shrine, so I tell him I’ll come back later.

I go to the bridge, and spot a ring of rocks in the river where if I throw a rock into it, I’ll get a korok seed.  I try to do it, and there’s a lot of rocks around the bridge, but I keep just barely missing.  As I’m doing this, I keep getting attacked — two octorocks, and then two Yiga clan warriors: a bowman and a swordsman.  I defeat them pretty handily, but it seems like this bridge is a bit more of a pain than I was looking to get into for a simple korok seed.  Eventually, I figure out that the easy way to get this seed is to create ice blocks in the river and carry the rock out to jump into the ring with it, and that’s what I do.  This takes the better part of a game-day, so it’s getting dark by the time I am done, and then I have to run into monsters on the way to the shrine, since more monsters always come out at night.

One thing about this game, it seems like it’s on a regular schedule there will always be a “random” encounter at specific times at night.  You could literally set your clock to it.  9pm and 2am.  It kindof takes the surprise out of it.  I deal with the monsters that pop up at their appointed times, and then climb to a high point along the bank of the river, and glide down to the island with the shrine.

As I come in for my landing, I spot a Lizal patrolling the shore.   He’s weak, and I make quick work of him. It seems that the part of Hyrule that I’m in now must have been intended for me to explore earlier than the places I’ve been recently, because these monsters are not as well-equipped, and not as tough, and overall the challenge level here feels lighter than in Hebra or Gerudo. I kindof feel like the game should be adjusting the challenge level to my power level a bit, to keep things interesting.

The shrine is covered in thorns, so I set them afire using my meteor rod, and when they finish burning, I clear the shrine.  This one is a water puzzle, with a pump that I need to turn on, using a couple of different methods.  The water level rises to allow me to cross and get to the monk’s chamber on the other side, and there’s a chest that  I skip, because I figure at this point any weapons I’m going to get out of these shrines are going to be weak compared to the ones I already have, and I don’t want to take the time to figure out how to gain access to the chest, because the solution isn’t immediately obvious.  I take the spirit orb and leave.  

By now, I’ve wandered a bit further south of my turn to take me to Hyrule Forest, and I’ve forgotten about my Master Sword quest. Exiting the shrine, I spot a column of smoke rising nearby, and decide to investigate.  It turns out it’s bokoblins, and I clear out about five of them, squatting in the ruins of an old stone building from the kingdom of Hyrule.  One of the bokoblins is really tough, and white with stripes, and seems like he’s a shaman or something.  He doesn’t have strong weapons, but does have a lot of hit points and takes a lot of hits to take down.  He drops a lot of loot.  I encountered one of these earlier and took him out at range with arrows and bombs, and it took a long time. This time I hit him with my Attack-rating 60 Guardian Axe++, and it still takes a good 7 or 8 blows to kill him.  Dude.

A little further down the river, I spot a Zora, who sees me as well, and calls out to me.  She tells me to hurry to meet with Prince Sidon. This is the second time now that I’ve run into a Zora who wanted me to talk to the Prince, and this time I decide to go find him.  I do so, and Prince Sidon tells me to head to Zora’s Domain, and to follow a long, twisty path.  It’s raining and so climbing will not be possible, and I have to follow this long, twisty path.  Did I mention it’s long?  It is long.  And twisty.  And there are monsters.  Prince Sidon warns me they use electrical attacks, but gives me an elixir that gives me a defensive boost against electricity for 6 minutes.  I don’t bother using it, and just equip my rubber armor that I picked up in Faron.

I head down the trail, and it takes a really long time to get to the end of it.  At least 3 different times, I figure I’m probably there, before I actually get there.  I mostly encounter lizals, and most of them are fairly weak, although there are some who have lightning arrows.  The lizals drop a lot of extra arrows, which is super convenient because I’ve been running somewhat low on them, and this affords me opportunity to stock up on them.  Many times, I get the drop on my adversaries and kill them before they even know what’s going on, but a few times I have a legitimate combat encounter.  There are at least two spots where I end up in a crossfire with 5-6 lizals shooting lightning arrows at me, and this is almost challenging — it forces me to focus and try, but I’m never in serious danger, although at one point I get annoyed that they keep hitting me with their lightning arrows and cause me to drop sword, shield, or bow.  I finish them off and eat a food, and move on. My Knight’s bow is strong enough that I can one-shot them if I get a headshot with a normal arrow, which makes these encounters reasonably easy, while still engaging enough to be fun.

After a long time and many encounters, I finally reach Zora’s Domain, where everyone encourages me to go talk to the King.  There’s a shrine in the middle of the Zora city, so I go unlock it first.

The shrine puzzle is tricky.  There’s a large inclined plane, a ramp, and water is running down it.  A large number of immense stone balls fall from holes in the ceiling at the top of the ramp, roll down, and fall into a bottomless pit. Off to the left, there’s a basin just the right size for one of these stone balls.  I try time-stopping one, and hit it a few times, nudge it toward the basin, and after a few tries, I manage to get it in.  

Nothing happens.

I puzzle over this, and look around carefully to see what’s changed, but nothing seems to be different.

I decide to try to risk going up the ramp to see what’s up there.  Along the ramp, there are a variety of block platforms built into the ramp, which seem to direct the falling orbs as they roll down the ramp.  I use them as cover to take refuge from the falling orbs, and get to the top without too much trouble. I find a chest, with a weak Zora spear that isn’t any better than anything I have in inventory, and when I get to the very top of the ramp, the balls stop falling from the ceiling, as though the shrine has shut off. 

There’s a large glowing orange orb sitting in a basin at the top of the ramp, but it seems to be immobile.

About halfway down the falls, there’s a laser beam firing from the wall, intersecting a large block.  It doesn’t seem to be movable, and I don’t see what purpose it could have. Ignoring it, I turn my attention back to the glowing orb at the top of the ramp.

I note that it is the only orb that glows, and none of the other stone balls that rolls down the ramp seems to.  I realize that the glowing orb is the special ball , and it needs to roll down to the basin at the bottom of the ramp.  But now that I’ve managed to get one of the wrong balls into the ramp, I can’t get it out.

I leave the shrine to reset it, and return.  I run up the ramp to deactivate the falling balls, and then work out a manner to get the glowing orb to roll down to the bottom of the ramp and get it into the basin.  This is accomplished with carefully placed ice blocks from my Cryonis power, and some timing.  It takes 2 or 3 tries to get it right, but I work it out, and the ball goes into the basin, and the monk’s chamber opens. I collect my spirit orb, and note that I now have 12 of them in my inventory. It’s time to cash them in for some heart containers and stamina containers.

Exiting the shrine, I look around and take a tour of the Zora city. I find a lot of Zora people and talk to as many as I can find. Many of them recognize me, much to my surprise, and I gather through talking to them that I was especially close to their champion. In fact, I think… we were a couple?  Weird. Many of the older Zora resent me and they seem to blame me and the Hylian race generally for the death of their champion. The other Zora are friendly and seem to be happy to see me, welcome me back to their domain, and seem relieved to see a hero who can help them bring their Divine Beast under control. They all urge me to go talk to the King.

I find the King and talk to him, and some lengthy story unfolds via cutscene.  Vah Ruto, the elephantine Divine Beast of the Zora, is amok, and to stop it will require lightning arrows, which the Zora can’t handle or use, being aquatic beings who are susceptible to electrical attacks. So they could really use my help.

Link regains some of his memories, and we see a sequence where the Zora champion, Mipha, and Link share a bonding moment while she heals him. She even made a suit of Zora armor for Link, which is something normally done in Zora culture by Zora women for the Zora man they will marry.

Wow. Um. Ok.

Well, at least that removes the Link-Zelda love interest angle.

One of the elder Zora, Muzu, advisor to the King, doesn’t like me still, and it takes a little more to gain his trust.  After the initial conversation with the King of the Zora, I have to go find him and convince him that I’m OK and can be trusted. All it takes is changing into the Zora armor.  And the game even tells you to do it.  It’s so direct and easy, I wonder why it’s not just built into the scripted cutscene. 

At any rate once Muzu thinks I’m OK, it’s time to go face Ruto.  Prince Sidon tells me to join him, once I have 20 lightning arrows. I already have over 50. If I want more, there’s monsters nearby who drop them who I can seek out and fight. I guess that’s what’s next. But I’m probably ready right now to take on Vah Ruta.