Tag: TOTK Diary

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.

TOTK Diary 43

I am up in the top of an immense tree atop a small hill, which looked like it might have something special in it, and would have in BOTW, but there’s nothing here in TOTK. It’s a small distance away from the Purah Pad geoglyph, and since there’s nothing here, I’m looking around for something to do, somewhere to go. It’s late at night. I check the map, and see that I’m fairly close to a region on the map I haven’t visited to previously, and haven’t unlocked the map for yet. I’m thinking about going there to open the SkyView Tower, when I see a shooting star fall from the sky.

I mark its landing with the Purah scope, and check the location on the map. It happened to land very near the SkyView Tower, which seals my decision. I make all haste in that direction, and run all night. I encounter a yellow Wizzorobe, who I have to fight quickly, and fortunately am able to defeat it without losing any health, but it slows me down too much. Unfortunately, the terrain is very difficult, with many rocky cliffs to climb, but with little to no opportunity to glide for great distances and cover ground quickly. A bit further on I encounter another Yellow Wizzorobe, and as I’m fighting it I end up being ambushed by chuchus, and this combat ends up taking a bit longer than I wanted it to. I end up running and climbing all night, but don’t make it to the site of the falling star by morning, and it fades from view just as I’m closing in on it.

I am near the SkyView Tower, anyway, so it’s not like this was all in vain. I walk a bit further to where the base of the tower comes into view, and I’m noticing a strange muck covering the ground here and there. It’s a dull brown color, and doesn’t look like gloom, but does look similar. Near the Tower, I encounter a Zora soldier who is embedded in a pile of the stuff, helpless and in trouble. He begs for assistance, asking for water. I happen to have some things that might help here, and in my inventory I pull out a Splash Fruit and throw it at him. This does the trick, the muck dissolves, and he is rejuvenated.

In thanks, he offers me his spear, but since my weapons inventory is currently full, I cannot accept it.

I walk over to the SkyView Tower, and the entrance is covered by muck, but another Splash Fruit takes care of that. I walk in, activate the tower, and shoot up into the sky to update the map data.

It seems that this region of the sky is especially dense with floating islands, some of which are especially nearby. One of the closest is a perfect sphere, which seems to be rotating. I deploy my glider and head towards it, and as I do so an opening rotates into view, and I dive down to land inside of it. The entire thing is hollow, and inside are a number of Zonai devices: a wing, a sled, a fan, and a dispenser. There’s also a shrine in here, so I enter it.

This shrine is fairly difficult. It’s a vast open chamber with a very high ceiling and no floor. But there are several platforms, and on these platforms a variety of Zonai devices spawn, roll off down a ramp, and then fall into the abyss until they despawn and reappear at their starting point and roll down again. Far off in the distance at the other end of the room there is the goal, but it is such a long way off it seems like it would be impossible to glide there on the wings that spawn here. Over to the right, there’s a platform where I find a chest containing a Large Zonaite. Then I try various things and mostly fail, for the better part of a half hour, until I finally get a lucky glide. The way I solve this, I launch from the right platform, carrying a wing with a fan attached to it as close to the edge as I can get, then lift it as high into the air as I can using Ultrahand, drop it, get on, and turn the fan on, then activate Recall to use the time-reversal to lift the wing into the air, and when it gets to the top, I cancel Recall, and it flies free. It has enough forward momentum with the fan up to speed, and I stand right at the rear of it, which balances the weight such that it doesn’t fly nose-heavy and dive, and by so doing, I’m able to retain enough altitude that I make it all the way across the chasm to the goal.

I claim the Light of Blessing and exit. I’m still left wondering about the purpose of this spinning orb in the sky. What is it for? What can I do here?

First, the entire orb seems to be spun by the mechanical action of a wheel with a Zonai fan attached to it. I can arrest the wheel using Ultrahand, and even grab the fan and tear it off, and then deactivate it.

With the orb no longer spinning, I can exercise fine control over the spinner, and when I do so the opening in the outer shell of the sphere aligns with a sky island slightly below and a short enough distance away that it would seem possible to glide to it.

I have wings handy and the fan, so it seems like just the thing to do.

I make several attempts, but the physics of it are difficult. I can’t seem to get a stable flight, like I was able to in the shrine I just cleared. It seems like that shrine was there to tell me how to do this, but I can’t get it to work reliably. I just fast-travel back to the shrine and try again and again when I fail.

I notice on one of these attempts that there seems to be an underside to the orb as well as the floor that I have been launching from. There’s a pair of holes in the floor, covered with a grate, which I can see through into the space below, and it not only appears to be hollow, but there are lights, so it seems to be an intentional space rather than an accidental void.

I try climbing down from the edge of the opening of the orb, and sure enough it’s easy to climb within and make it inside the lower half. Here, I find a treasure chest, and in the chest there’s a Sage’s Will. This is just the second one that I’ve found so far in the game, so one of the rarest items I’ve yet to discover in the game. The description says that when I have four of them, I can increase my power with one of the Sage abilities. So far the only one I have is Tulin’s gust of wind.

I resume trying to rig a glider so that it will reach the sky island in the distance. I eventually figure it out, what I was supposed to figure out in the shrine: that by attaching a sled to the bottom of the wing, I’m able to roll over the ground with the propulsion of a fan, enabling me to get some speed up which helps me fly more stable and lose less altitude by avoiding stalls.

This way, I’m easily able to reach the sky island in the distance. Here I find another treasure chest, this one has another Old Map in it, which shows the location of another item that I imagine is some part of an outfit. I’m going to have to start prioritizing finding these soon.

Beyond this island, there’s another floating off a short distance away, I’m able to use the glider to reach it easily, and here I find a korok seed. There’s a tree stump that if you stand on it, a firework shoots out, and falls toward the earth below. You can jump off too, diving after it, and if you can catch up to it and Look at it using the A button, the Korok is revealed.

This fall takes me directly into the heat of the Zora kingdom. I don’t want to go here yet, though, and fast-travel from mid-air back to the shrine, because there are at least two more places that I wanted to investigate in the sky nearby.

The first is another of the small sky islands that looks like a five-petaled flower. It is on the other side of the Orb, and by rotating the shell around so that the entrance is behind the Zonai dispenser, I can see it. It is not far, and I can glide to it easily by jumping out the hole at this point. I glide lightly to it, and when I land on the center, the entire thing drops out and falls to the ground below. I follow it, gliding to safety as the ground gets near. The center section of the island has another engraving on it, which I take a photo of.

After that, I decide that I’ve gotten enough of these that I should head to Kakariko village, where Wortsworth told me he was heading to after a very similar stone pillar with an engraving fell to earth at Lookout Landing.

I fast-travel there, and find him. He has been teaching Purah to read the Zonai language too, and she is still a beginner, struggling but determined. I talk to Wortsworth and he is excited by the photos I’ve found. He tells me that there are a total of 12 of these tablets, and if I find any and bring back some sort of visual evidence that he can translate, he will reward me. I’ve already found three of them. He translates them for me, and rewards me 100 rupees each.

I’m still stuck trying to figure out what will allow me to get into the floating ring ruin above Kakariko, which Zelda herself had declared off-limits.

TOTK Diary 42

I feel like before I go off and try to complete any more quests, I should wrap up the ones I’ve almost completed.

The pause menu has a handy Adventure Log section that tells you everything you have going on, which is a nice summary. If I wasn’t keeping this diary, it would be my only way of remembering where to go and what to do next between play sessions.

There’s a quest attached to the demonic voice that was heard beyond the hole in the wall in the Lookout Landing citadel. I’m supposed to find something there, but I haven’t found it yet.

I return, and when I went through previously I was trying to conserve my hammer and bombs, and only broke rocks enough to continue through. By so doing, I inadvertantly failed to discover that the first area where I had broken through a rock wall concealed a tunnel off to the side. I find it this time, and behind the broken rocks, I find a familiar looking demon statue, just like the one that was in Hateno Village in BOTW, who would bargain with me to exchange rupees and heart containers or stamina to re-balance my vital essences.

After discovering the statue, I return to tell the cleaning lady what the voice she had heard was, and she is relieved that it is not a demon who will take her away. This concludes the mission. I don’t think I’ll ever need or want to deal with the demon statue.

Next, I return to Lucky Clover Gazette and talk to Traysi, who wants me to continue to investigate the Zelda sightings and visit all the Stables in Hyrule. I’m unclear whether these are connected to each other, or separate tasks. She also tells me she will give me the suit of frog armor in time once I have proven myself by providing her with more news stories.

I’ve already talked to the people in the Stables who are reading the Gazette, and they have updated the stories to reflect some of the progress I’ve made in the game that they’re covering, namely the events at Rito Village.

By the cooking pot at the Gazette, I run into the character who I’ve met earlier, who dresses fancy and tells me about the famous bandit who hid some special outfits throughout Hyrule in hidden caves. I’ve already found one or two of these things, but I haven’t had much luck finding the rest of them, and from what I gather there must be many.

Next, I check out the down bridge to Rito Village, and find that Karson is there to do the repair, but hasn’t gotten started yet, because they underestimated the amount of supplies they need. I happen to have 20 wood on hand, which is all they need to finish repairs. I give it to them, and Karson gives me 100 rupees out of his supply budget as a reward. That closes another side quest.

Now I have to decide what to do next.

Looking at the Adventure Log, it looks like the Find Princess Zelda main quest is waiting for me to return to the Great Sky Island and find a Steward Construct. There’s a little red ! next to it, which means I need to do something, but it’s unclear what exactly. There were several Stewards on the island, and I’m not sure which one it means for me to go see, not that I really remember where any of them were.

I decide to try fast-traveling up there to see if I can find any to talk to, and hope it’s the right one.

I end up at the Shrine near to where the Zonai refinery was. I recall talking to a Steward there who told me about the battery pack that I carry. He said if I returned with enough Zonai charges, he could add to my battery capacity. I talk to him again, hoping for an upgrade, but I still don’t have enough. It’s crazy, I’ve been collecting a lot of them, and yet I still don’t have anywhere near the 100 needed.

That’s another reason why I haven’t bothered messing around with building things with the Zonai artifacts, yet — not enough battery power. I maybe get 20 seconds or so out of a device, and then I either have to dismount/deactivate it, or it self-destructs, and it’s not really worth it for all the limitations. If I could expand my battery power, it would really help.

I try fast-traveling to another part of the island, where I thought I recalled another Steward near the Temple of Time, but it isn’t there now, and I am left unsure where to go, or if I’m really supposed to be here.

I look around, surveying the land below, and spot another Geoglyph, one that I haven’t found the Tear pool for, and decide I might as well try to get there. I glide a long way, but it’s further off than I thought, and I have to dive at the end of my stamina meter, and then pop my glider just at the bottom of my fall. Fortunately this time my timing is perfect, and I take no damage.

I have a short overland jog to get there, but between my landing point and the Geoglyph there’s a Shrine I want to check out.

I go to it, and it is a series of challenges revolving around floating objects (that float in water). I can push them under with Ultrahand, and their buoyant property shoots them out of the water with great force, which can be used to do useful work in the right circumstances. I easily navigate all the obstacles and claim my Light of Blessing.

I also find a well neary some ruins, and go into it to explore, but there’s barely anything here. Just a few lizards. I Ascend up through the roof and come up right next to a Blue Bokoblin, who is surprised. I attack him first, quickly knocking him down, and finish him off. He has two friends nearby, and I face those as well, the spirit avatar of Tulin helping out with some arrow attacks. I defeat them easily and without taking damage.

Nearby, I find two korok seeds.

Then I decide to save time by fast-traveling to a nearby SkyView Tower, and from there it’s a short glide into the Eldin region, I’m near the volcanic lava field from Death Mountain, and below me is the Geoglyph I had spotted from high above. This one looks like the Purah Pad. I find another Korok here, and then I find the memory pool. This one reveals a vision of Princess Zelda, trapped in the past with King Rauru and the Zonai people. Zelda is showing her Purah Pad to another of Rauru’s sages. She says the device is interesting, but is not of Zonai origin. I assumed it was Sheikah technology, like the original BOTW Sheikah Slate, and this seems to confirm that. They discuss Zelda’s predicament of being out of her home time, and she is trying to figure out how to go back. Rauru’s sage explains that her Secret Stone has the power to amplify her innate talents with the powers of Light and Time, but that to master the power is up to Zelda. So for now she is stuck in the past. They mention that if a mortal eats a Secret Stone, they will become an Immortal Dragon, but doing so is forbidden, because to become an Immortal Dragon is to lose one’s self.

I kind of predict that this is a set up for Zelda to become an Immortal Dragon, sacrificing herself so that she can live all the way into the present day age, thereby returning again to aid the Kingdom of Hyrule, and perhaps to have the power needed to defeat the Demon King.

Well, that was interesting.

TOTK Diary 41

I walk down from the heights of Rito Village to check the bridge down at the bottom to see if it’s been repaired yet. It’s not, but there is a Hylian and a Rito talking about fixing it. They mention they need a Hylian specialized in construction, and I overhear them say that there was one such individual at Lookout Landing, so I make a note to head there real soon.

I also stop in at the Lucky Clover Gazette to talk to the boss, who suggests that I go to the Stables at Eldin.

So I fast-travel to the shrine near Woodland Stables in Eldin, and find that the Rito who works for Lucky Clover is already there, talking to the musicians. This time, they allow me to repair their wagon, by affixing wheels to it. I catch a horse, but can’t register it because I don’t have any more slots left, so I let it go and take Horsey out from the stables, attach a towing harness to him, and tow the musicians over to see the Great Fairy at her flower. I also learn that there has been sightings of a blond woman, who apparently matches the description of Zelda. But it’s hinted that this Zelda may not be the true Zelda, so I guess there’s maybe an imposter. But it’s very scant information, not much to go on.

They play a song, and the Fairy emerges, and I’ve completed a side quest, and unlocked clothing upgrades. I only have the one Fairy at the moment, so I’m very limited in the upgrades I can get, but I upgrade everything I can. It costs both rupees and materials, and only takes me up from the base rating of 3 to 5. But everything is necessary and will help some. The Fairy tells me the location of the other four Fairy Flowers, but in fact I’ve already located them through my previous travels. But now they are marked on the map and that’s good.

The musicians say that they are going to try to get the rest of the band back together, and I guess that will play into how I’ll need to unlock the remaining Fairy Flowers.

Some of the people are talking about Gorons and Death Mountain. And some kind of restaurant near there. And some of the Gorons have “strange rocks” and these should not be trusted.

After I’m through here, I fast-travel to Lookout Landing to try to find the builder who can repair Rito Village bridge, and the first thing I see is a Goron standing near the entrance to the underground citadel. So I run over and talk to him, and he’s apparently nice enough, but is lost and can’t remember how to get back to Goron City. His excuse is that he hasn’t forgotten, but that with the eruptions of Death Mountain the roads have changed. He gets instructions to head up the road toward Woodland Stable, where I had just came from.

I did just spend some cash at the Fairy Flower, so I need more, and to do that I pay a visit to the Well Investigator, who gives me 30 rupees and tells me that there are still 44 wells left to be discovered in Hyrule. Out of the 56 that the game started with, that means I still have a lot to discover.

I Ascend back up through the ground and emerge into the citadel. I talk to a few people who look like they have something important to tell me. The older lady who was sweeping the dust has knocked a hole in the wall, right where they suspected there might be a passageway. She says she thinks she can hear a demon in the tunnel, and is afraid it will come to take her. I gotta check that out right away, then. Hopefully it’s something they mistaken for a demon out of fear, and I’ll get some useful info out of it from whoever it is.

Another guy I talk to, Gralens, tells me about some info he knows. Hoz, Toren, and Flaxel have taken monster hunting squads on expeditions around Hyrule. It looks like I’m going to have an opportunity to help each of them, in turn, at some point. Suddenly I have a lot of things to do. He also tells me about the bigger monsters, the ones they have a hard time handling: Stone Talus, Hinox, Molduga. I don’t tell him about the other things I’ve seen: Lynels, Flux Constructs, Frox, Gleeok. Not even I’m ready to face them, yet.

I go back to the newly opened wall that the cleaning lady discovered, and explore the tunnel a bit. As I suspected, it’s an access tunnel to go between the citadel at Lookout Landing and Hyrule Castle. Only, it’s mostly collapsed and in a state of ruin. Much of the way is blocked by fallen boulders, and I don’t have that many bomb flowers to clear it all, and I only have but one hammer weapon to smash through with. I go as far as I can, encountering a couple of Like Likes, but just ordinary Like Likes, and I’m able to take them out without getting hurt. I do hear a mysterious growl as I start to enter the tunnel, but I don’t find the source of it, despite searching exhaustively. At one point, I hear a sound that I think is the sound of a snoring Hinox, but again there’s nothing to be found down here. I don’t get it. Eventually the tunnel changes from a rough hewn cavern to a more proper stonemasonry in the style of Hyrule Castle. I explore a bit more, hoping to find something interesting, a bit of information hopefully. At one point I find a chamber with a table and some old, moldy and tattered books, and it looks like this could be it, but they’re not interactable, which is disappointing. In a game as sophisticated and deep as this, if a thing looks like a thing, it should work like the thing.

All I’m able to find is a bunch of forage material, mostly minerals, and some weapons, but I don’t have any open slots, except when I break a hammer, and then I just pick up the nearest weapon and Fuse a rock onto it to make a new hammer, which I quickly break. None of the weapons I find is particularly good anyway, just more of the same decayed royal arms that I’ve been finding when near the Castle.

Eventually I explore the full cave, and unless I’m missing something, which I guess probably I am, I never did find the source of that demonic growl or the snoring Hinox. I decide to Ascend to the surface to see where I’m at, and emerge on the ground just outside of Lookout Landing, not quite halfway to the Castle.

I decide to return back to Lookout Landing and see who’s there who I haven’t talked to in a while, or at all, and it’s pretty much everyone.

I pick up a lot of new quests, and it’s hard to keep track of everything. Purah’s assistants want me to check out the depths again, I forget why for the moment. Thes male science guy says he can improve the Purah Pad again to give it a shrine detecting ability. I had been wondering about that.

I find at the clothing shop there are a bunch of outfits that I would like to buy, but I don’t have money and I don’t want to trade in a bunch of material right now. I think the game has done a good job at making all the materials more useful and interesting to keep. In BOTW all you could do with them is make recipes, which were mostly unnecessary, or trade them in for rupees or use them to augment your clothes, and sure, yeah, some of them had some useful special abilities, like octorock balloons that you could use to lift things, but the usefulness was always pretty limited and specialized. In TOTK, you can also use them for Fusion to improve your weapons and shields, which gives them a lot more utility.

Then, I turn around and see my old friend Hestu! That big walking broccoli has been missing for a while. I wonder when he showed up here!? I talk to him and give him as many korok seeds as I can to open up my inventory slots, and I have a lot of seeds — 73. When I’m done I just have 8, and I’ve added 6 weapon slots, 5 bow slots, and 4 bow slots. I think. Anyway I can carry a lot more stuff, which is great, because it means I can experiment with Fusion a lot more and carry some stuff that will be useful, like flame projector and rockets fused to things.

I talk to a man training with swords, and he offers me three swords. I was looking at one of them and thought it looked like the Master Sword, but it was just a Royal Claymore.

I talk to the man by the mini stable, and he needs help fixing the roof. Karson from the Hudson Construction Co is there, but he needs assistance. So I use ultrahand and put a piece of nearby lumber in the roof and that fixes it, and unlocks the Stable, giving me a Pony Point, and entitles me to a reward at the next full Stable I go to. Then I may be able to register that new horse I found, if it’s still possible to do so.

I tell Karson that the bridge is out in Rito Village, and he’s finished up with his work here, so he goes off to do the repair there. So I need to return back to Rito Village soon, and check on that, and also see what my next assignment is and get paid by the Lucky Clover.

Oh, and a big chunk of sky island fell from above and landed in the fishing pond. It has an inscription on it, and the resident expert on Zonai script tells me he needs to go to Kakariko Village to consult his notes so he can try to translate it.

And people are telling me that I should head to Eldin next. It’s the nearest point with one of the anomalous weather conditions that Purah wanted me to check into.

Suddenly I have like twenty things to do, the game has really opened up. I guess that’s what was meant to happen if I had followed the more obvious hints and been braver about the cold and went exploring Rito and the Hebra region first. Suddenly, I have so many directions to go in, and I’m not really sure which one I should do first. Some seem simpler and easier, while others seem more important.

TOTK Diary 40

When I played through BOTW in 2020, I completed the game in 90 diary entries, totaling some 300 hours of play.

I’m approaching the halfway mark of that in TOTK, and I feel like I am maybe a quarter of the way through the game. It’s tough to say, of course, I could be just an 8th of the way through for all I know. Either way, it seems like I’ve barely scratched the surface of what can be done in this game. Never mind the things that you can build with Ultrahand and zonai technology, or the things you can fuse together, just the places you can go, the creatures you can encounter, the quests you can complete.

This game is huge. Vast.

I’ve tried to avoid spoilers as much as possible, but without a total social media blackout, that’s been all but impossible. Gamer websites, youtube, reddit, and facebook video clips abound with clips of people demonstrating skill, exploits, secrets. I’ve managed to avoid most of the plot spoilers, but the spectacle of some of the achievements of TOTK players is something to behold. People pulling off amazing trick moves, improbable events caught on video, creative or impressive engineering in zonai builds…

I haven’t done very much building, apart from basic vehicles. Although the mechanic definitely is fun and can be very useful, I don’t feel like it is an ideal fit for the character of Link as I envision him. Link is a youthful, courageous, resourceful sword-wielding adventurer. Occasionally a spell caster and wielder of magic. I tend to play the game, thinking like I think Link would think. So I think about how to defeat monsters with weapons, not how to engineer complex constructions and ways to combine the properties of different objects to create a useful effect.

As I’ve played, I’ve very gradually, and only slightly, started to think in terms of the full set of abilities the game designers have empowered the player with.

I feel like BOTW was a game that was a good bit more grounded in the reality of the world. Link’s abilities are enhanced by some magical capabilities, particularly by the end of the quests to quell the Divine Beasts. But most of his capabilities revolve around, and extend, his basic physical capabilities: to move faster, jump higher, hit harder, or add an elemental flavor to an attack. In comparison, TOTK’s abilities feel like the designers have removed limits and enabled cheats, and don’t mind how game-breaking an ability they’ve given you is, as long as you can have fun with it, and exercise your creativity, unleash your imagination, explore possibilities, and express yourself almost without limit. That’s not to say that one is better than the other, or even that I prefer BOTW. But I don’t know that you could have given Zelda fans TOTK without first giving us BOTW. I think we needed a more reality-grounded, lower power bounded adventure in this edition of Hyrule, before we could be ready for the more unbounded, over the top things that we get to experience in TOTK.

I start off today’s session standing with Tulin and some of the adult Rito warriors, who have given their blessing and encouragement to us to press onward and upward, to investigate what’s going on inside the giant storm cloud in the sky. The young warrior has given me a new ability, a means of generating a gust of wind while I’m gliding, which can push me forward at a high rate of speed for a brief period. He also seems to lend a hand with his bow, when enemies are around, although he’s not very aggressive or fast compared to me.

At first, I think the game intends for me to just take off from this mountain peak, right here, and begin to ascend through this new ability. Well that turns out to be completely wrong. I blow forward toward a taller mountain peak, where I land, and find a Korok who needs help getting over to his friend on the other side of a snow-covered mountain trail. Looking down to the trail below us, there is a camp of bokoblins and beyond that, quite nearby, a trio of Zonai construct soldiers. The Bokokblins have erected a wooden barrier, which keeps these two groups from seeing each other. I decide the way to handle this situation is to knock down the barrier and let them fight each other, then clean up what’s left.

I launch a fireseed arrow at the wooden barrier, it burns, and when it is destroyed, the two groups see each other immediately and start to attack one another. The Bokoblins make quick work of the Soldier Constructs, however, and take hardly any damage from them. I take them down with the bow, pretty quickly, and easily, however. The Zonai Constructs have some balloons and platforms, and I attempt to use these to help my Korok buddy, who needs just a little bit of height to get to his friend. Unfortunately, I screw this up and the balloon lift gets caught on a rock overhang, and remains stuck until the balloons are exhausted and disintegrate before my eyes. I have nothing else to work with, other than Zonai gear I have in my pocket, and even though I’ll probably never use it all, I’m stingy and leave the Korok for now, vowing to return later, and marking the spot on the map so I can find him easily again.

Moving on, I continue climbing up the mountain peak, step by step, with Tulin flying along beside me. We encounter another Zonai construct, and then reach the top of the mountain, where we meet another adult Rito warrior, who gives us some further encouragement and tells us to continue forward. From here, we can ascend into the sky level of the map, and we’re back in the chain of little islands leading upward higher and higher, into the area where I’ve already explored a bit, where I found the air ship trampolines, and got a good close up view of the storm cloud.

As we get closer, we being to encounter more Aerocudas and then we start to encounter Zonai construct soldiers, and we work together efficiently to take them out as we continue making steady progress, hopping from sky island to sky island, the gusts of wind making it a little easier to manage the larger gaps, but not all that necessary. Eventually we make it to the area where the Shrine I had previously cleared out is, and now I know that I could just fast travel to this point and not really miss anything by doing so.

We keep moving forward and eventually make it to a point where I don’t think I could have reached before without Tulin’s Gust. I’m exploring new territory. After a time of moving carefully forward, I make it to a new island. Tulin mentions to me that it’s cold up here, even for him, and he hopes that I am OK. My cold weather pants and armor seem to be holding up, but the temperature needle is just above where it would start to do damage if it went any lower. Up ahead, I see a Shrine, which I rush up to and enter without hesitation. Another quick-travel location to resume from if I fail and turn back. There’s no challenge here, just Rauru’s Blessing, a free one for making it so far.

A little further and I’m at eye level with the bottom of the storm. The storm system is surrounded by ships, as I had seen from below much earlier. But now I’m at an altitude where I can touch them. Looking up at the storm, we see multiple flashes of lightning, which illuminate the cloud, giving us a glimpse of an immense sky ship, much larger than the long boat type I’ve seen so far. It must be the fabled Stormwind Ark. That’s our ultimate destination. And to reach it, we must make our way still upward, jumping from long ship to long ship until we’re above the storm winds and can safely descend to the Ark from above.

I jump onto the first one, and am catapulted into the air, high enough to glide to another, higher ship. I make 4 or 5 such jumps in succession, ascending into the upper reaches of the sky like I’m pogo sticking up a moving staircase. My flight paths and drops have to be planned and executed properly or I’ll fall back down, possibly all the way back down to Hyrule level, and I’ve come too far to let that happen. Fortunately, I make it all the way up to a sky island at the very top of the storm, and this seems like the last place where I can stop and catch my breath before I can get high enough to fall into the storm from the top, and discover what’s waiting for me.

On the ship, we briefly see what appears to be Princess Zelda, who vanishes before our eyes, apparently stepping through a portal of some kind. Is she a ghost? Is this a vision of her from the past? Who can say?

What we see confirms that the Stormwind Ark is generating the winter weather that has been freezing out Rito Village, and we need to turn off the mechanism that is powering this disaster. There are five locks on the ship, which we need to open, in order to achieve this. A voice speaking to us informs us. I can see the position of these locks on the map, and it should be a simple matter, I would think. But as I go about the ship, looking for a way in to access them, I’m blocked by gates that allow me to look in, but don’t seem to be openable.

I find several treasure chests with medicore weapons, and fight afew Zonai constructs and an Aerocuda or two swoops in on us, but Tulin takes them out for me. There are white chu chus here as well. The monsters seem rather modest and weak, fortunately. But these obstacles are stopping us cold, a puzzle that I cannot figure out.

I climb up as high as I can on the ship, and look around, but while I can explore a bit more and find some more chests that don’t help me, I’m unable to find a way into the ship to the places where I can open these locks.

The ship is a puzzle, of course, and it takes time and observation to figure out how to get into parts of it where I need to go to activate the locks. The aft end of the ship has a turret with a massive cannon, which traverses and elevates. At first I think maybe I’m meant to jump down the barrel, it’s that big, and access the turret’s inside, but that’s not it. The turret is there to shoot me out of the sky if I try to hover for too long in one place in the updraft being generated at the center of the ship. There’s a tower at the forecastle of the ship, which I can glide up to on the updraft from the center of the ship’s main deck. I can land there, and discover that there are large steel doors covering a hatch into the tower, which is open and has a fan blowing up from below, with laser tripwires that I have to dodge. It’s not that hard, and I manage to get down to the bottom of the tower, where I find a bit of machinery, which I puzzle over, until I finally figure out that the way to turn it on is to use a gust of wind. Tulin is able to provide this, and I imagine my Feathered Edge blade could as well, or even a Korok leaf, if I had one. I’m not sure they exist in TOTK, I don’t believe I’ve seen even one so far in all this time.

There are similar turrets mounted on sponsons on the side of the ship’s hull, as well. The sides of the ship have some open hatches, and some with gates blocking them, I discover, and I can easily glide to them from the top deck, and access the inner portions of the ship. It’s a bit twisty, but I manage to find how to access 4 of the 5 locks that I needed to activate, and only one remains, the one located on deck B1.

I know once I start up that last turbine, the lock mechanism will be fully working, and I can expect a boss fight at any point after that. I’ve managed to get injured enough times by falling too far and minor scuffles with the enemies here that I’m down to just one heart, so I eat a food to bring me back up to full health. I guess this is supposed to be a Dungeon, or like one of the Divine Beasts, but the combat portions of this have been really easy, more like nuisance skirmishes than actual challenges, with weak-powered enemies that don’t take much to kill, and only one at a time. So it’s a little surprising that the designers don’t seem to think that much of making the combat a big part of the challenge in this part of the game. The enemies put up token resistance — the chu chus and aerocudas go down in a single hit, the Zonai Construct Soldiers only take a couple of hits with a decent weapon, and are easy to disarm with arrow headshots before they’re close enough to be a threat. And with Tulin’s help, it’s not a great challenge even with no armor upgrades. But I expect the boss fight to be different.

I consult the map of the Stormwind Ark, and try to figure out how to access the final lock. The B1 deck seems to be divided into two separate but interlocking sections. I’ve been through half of it, but the other half, I’m not sure, but I don’t think I have.

From the F1 Deck, I do a little more thorough inspection of the hatches in the side of the hull, and only now do I realize that there are four: starboard and port, fore and aft. One of these is an accessway into the final area of the B1 deck where the last lock is. This portal is blocked by icicles, so when I glide over edge, I first have to clear it out with a bomb arrow. I wasn’t expecting to need to do this, so I’m a little too close, and end up taking some damage, and the blast knocks me away from the hatch. I somehow just barely manage to recover before I fall too low to get back into the ship, and feel very lucky.

This last area of the ship only has one Zonai soldier guarding it, but he’s got a shield, which makes him a little tougher to deal with. But with Tulin’s help, we outflank him and he can’t use his shield against both of us. Tulin’s arrows keep him off-balance, and I manage to stay out of reach of his attacks when he tries to land them on me. I hit him with an arrow and them land a few blows with my melee weapon, taking him down.

Now, it remains to find access to the machinery that we need to activate in order to unlock the final lock. There’s a gear turning in the room where we juts fought the construct, and it seems this is connected to a gate, but there’s a missing linkage. Only problem is, there doesn’t seem to be anything available there that I can fuse the two parts of the gear system together to open the gate. I end up improvising by dropping a spear from my inventory and use it to bridge the two halves of the machinery. This does just barely work, the gear only seems to connect to the spear on one end, and the other just freely meshes with the other side of the machinery, but it does the job. The gate opens, I climb in and use Tulin’s wind blast to start the turbine, activating the final lock.

I retrieve the spear and head back up to F1 Deck using Ascend. From there, we proceed to unlock the main hatch on F1 Deck.

A massive blast of wind comes up through the opened hatch, and Colgera, the boss of the Wind Temple, emerges. At first I think it’s a dragon, but it has a more insect-like look about it, with pincers and arthropod-like carapace and five eyes. It is icy and as big as a dragon. Tulin and I are blown high into the air, with a constant updraft keeping us aloft. I catch the wind in my glider, but the winds are powerful and sometimes I’m knocked reeling. Colgera flies at me, and I have to use Tulin’s gust to evade it.

This boss battle was not terribly difficult — I managed to win on the first try, using some meals at about the midway point, and one fairy at the end, and all of my Fireseed fruits.

The Colgera flies at me, and when it hits it does only very light damage, allowing me to absorb the hits even though I have no armor upgrades. Maybe the cold resistant properties help here? It can shoot ice at me, and wind blasts, and towards the end it even generates a swarm of tornadoes. Most of this looks more dangerous than it apparently is, because I manage to dodge most of it, and when I do take a hit now and then, I lose about a heart and a half, and am knocked reeling, which disrupts my glider and puts me into a dive that I have to recover from. But this is a good way to dive out of harm’s way and avoid taking further damage, it seems.

Colgera’s weakness is a series of three body segments which are rounded, almost disk shaped. There’s a carapace covering these, which opens briefly, and enables Colgera to launch his ice attack at me. But this also leaves him vulnerable. I fire into the open body segment with fireseed arrows, and these only take 2-3 hits to destroy. Once destroyed, the body segment becomes hollow, like a ring, and I’m then able to turn my focus on to the next one.

I go through about 20 fireseed arrows, because I miss with a lot of them. The wind is a factor, a bit, but also the range, which is very tricky to estimate. I do my best when I fall very close to Colgera and then enter bullet time when I’m at near point-blank range, and let loose with a couple of arrows.

Managing my stamina meter isn’t that difficult, although it definitely helps tremendously to have two full wheels of stamina at this point. But it seems that I get free refills of the stamina meter whenever I’m knocked reeling and recover my glide in mid-flight, which is pretty generous of the game designers. The “arena” where this fight takes place is encircled by a broken ring of sky islands, mere rocks that afford a bit of a standing spot to land on, and provide a tiny bit of shelter, shielding Link from the attacks which, mostly come from below.

Tulin doesn’t do much directly to help, but his gust is very useful for dodging or getting into position where I have a good shot at the vulnerable spots.

I finish the battle with my last two fireseed arrows, and then I switch to bomb arrows, and down he goes.

We’re victorious, and we meet the mysterious voice we’ve heard while up in these clouds. It is the Sage of Wind, an ancient Rito ancestor of Tulin, who passes his legacy on to the youth. Tulin swears an oath to give me aid in the battle against the Demon King for all of Hyrule, and seems honored but mainly excited beyond belief that he has been chosen for this.

Back at Rito Village, the weather has turned warm again, and the snow and ice rapidly melts away. The elders meet with me and Tulin, and thank us and congratulate us. Tulin’s father gives him his bow, and Tulin shows me he has some ability through the sage’s stone to project his spirit, so it can always be with me to protect me.

This completes one of the Anomalous Conditions, one segment of one of the Main Quests.

Well, hey, I did a thing.

TOTK Diary 39

Down the road a short distance from the Lucky Clover News, there’s a Shrine standing off the road, overlooking the large crater-like geography where Rito Village stands. It is surrounded by thorn bushes, which are no problem for me since I have several means of creating fire at my disposal.

I burn away the brambles, and enter the shrine. The challenge is not terribly difficult.

Exiting the shrine, I see that I’ve ascended a gentle slope and now am standing at a level slightly above the lowest pillars of rock which form the foundations of Rito Village. I’m curious if the obstacle to enter is more than that simple wrecked bridge. I know I must have multiple easy means of crossing — create a new bridge out of building materials and Ultrahand; glide over on my glider, even build a zonai vehicle that can fly. But maybe there’s something more to the situation than meets the eye — high winds, or, say a monster of some kind.

I decide to try gliding to the village and find out. I manage it very easily, and land without incident on the small rock pillar just past the fallen bridge, and walk the rest of the way into the Village proper. Picking up pine cones along the way, I come upon a trio of Rito children, practicing their singing. They are about to do a song about the Stormwind Ark and the god — the same story I first learned of when I talked to the Rito at the cabin outpost.

The children tell me that food is scarse in the village, and that many of the adult Rito have fled the village, leaving the children behind to run things. That seems crazy to me, leaving the children behind to freeze and starve? But maybe they are off doing battle against the Upheaval, or doing something else equally dangerous, and the village is really the safest place for the children.

A bit further in, I finda prayer statue, where I can exchange Light of Blessing for Stamina and Heart Container upgrades. I have 11 so I get one of each, and need just one more Shrine to get another. I now have two full rings on my stamina meter, and 8 heart containers. I proceed up the path further into the village, and find the inn and a food store and an armor shop, much the same as they were in BOTW, but with lower stock. I have almost 500 rupees, and buy some food ingredients that I can use for cooking recipes, and then sell off a bunch of mushrooms that I’ve collected an excess of, enough to afford purchase of the body piece of the Rito armor suit. The pants and the helmet are too much for me for now.

I notice right near the armor shop, there’s a Shrine, right here in the village, so I jump over a fence and enter it. This shrine is a flight challenge. Full of large, open chambers with very high ceilings, and fans blowing massive updrafts from far below. I proceed forward, easily navigating the challenges as I’m pretty used to flight by now, but there are a few parts that are a bit tricky, where I have to manage my altitude and descend through an updraft-filled room by diving and then catching myself. I also have to use the bow to take out some Zonai construct soldiers, and am rewarded when each of them drops a bundle of 5x arrows. A treasure chest contains a bow as strong as the weakest in my possession, so I just leave it, and then go into the next chamber to collect the Light of Blessing. Now I can add another heart container to my life meter. I’m not sure how much more stamina I really need now that I have two full rings, but lately it seems that my stamina has not been a limiting factor in the climbing, running, and gliding that I’ve been doing, so I think it’s time to start adding more hearts so that when I am in combat I can survive a bit more easily.

Outside the Shrine, I notice a slight indent in the side of the massive stone pillar that the entire village is built upon, and thinking it might be the entrance to a cave, I investigate it. It turns out to just be a shallow pocket of a cave, but there’s a small boulder which I pick up, and discover a Korok. I try Ascending, and yes, the shallow pocket cave has enough of an overhang that I can zip upward and back into the village again, a nice shortcut.

The remaining Rito children are working hard at keeping things running at the village, and have amazing spirit, but they are cold, hungry, tired, and too few and too young. By talking to them I find two easy side quests that I solve instantly: one Rito wants some icefruit so they can make a recipe with it, another wants icefruit or white chuchu jelly so they can fuse it to an arrow and make an ice arrow. I have both in my inventory and just give them to each, instantly closing the quest. These were intended to teach me about the potential of fusing materials, but I’m already clued into that from doing other side quests and experimenting and paying attention to things.

I find the last two remaining adult Rito: the new village elder, Teba, and his wife and adolescent child, Tulin. The child is ready to become a full-fledged warrior and wants to fly up to the clouds to investigate the storm seen high above, but his father says it’s too high and too dangerous even for adult Rito. The elder suggests I fly out to the Lodge where I can ask a Rito named Harth if he has seen Princess Zelda around.

I’ve already been there, I came from there, so I’m coming through this area kind of backwards, but it doesn’t much matter. The elder points in the direction of the two marker bonfires, and I jump off a ledge and fly out that way again.

At the Lodge, I talk to Harth, and he tells me he hasn’t seen Zelda and has been too busy to look for her, dealing with the cold emergency and hunting food. He suggests I try asking the child of the elder, who he last saw going out on a hunting expedition, and he points the way deeper into the cold frigid wastes, and uphill.

So I guess my choice at the moment is to continue with this, or go back to the newspaper quest. I think the newspaper quest is what will lead me to becoming able to upgrade my clothing, and make me more capable in combat and better able to finish the rest of the game. So perhaps it’s best if I leave Rito Village behind for now and return to that storyline.

Ah, who am I kidding? I go up the mountain path and look for Tulin.

I climb up some ladders and trudge a short distance, and encounter an adult Rito by a small campfire, and they tell me there are many caves in the area, which are good shelter from the cold. The Rito have been using them, and making large bonfires to mark the way for others.

I continue on and spot a couple of ice keese, which I try to kill with my spear, but I manage to get frozen by one of them. Then a bokoblin comes at me from up the hill. I hit him with an arrow, taking him out in one shot before he can get to me. But then another four bokoblins emerge from the right, along with a White Chu Chu. Fortunately, I kill the Chu Chu with an arrow, freezing all of them with its burst of cold. This makes it easy to kill the three red Bokobs, but the last one is blue and has more health, so when I hit him it’s not enough to take him down. He unfreezes, and then swings at me with a weapon that creates a gust of wind that knocks me back, and I go tumbling down the mountain trail, I get up and try to hit him, and he hits me again, doing damage this time, and I am blown back again, almost all the way back to the Rito woman and her campfire. Fed up, I ready my bow when I’m back on my feet, and nail him in the head at point blank range, just as he’s about to swing at me a third time, and this slays him. He drops a Rito sword called the Feathered Edge, which doesn’t have a lot of damage potential, but the gust of wind ability is probably handy. So I drop the honeycomb boomerang I’ve been carrying since the Hylian Plains, trading a swarm of bees for a gust of wind. Some nutjob Boko I fought a long time ago had a bee hive honey comb stuck to a boomerang, and I discovered that when you hit stuff with it, bees come out and swarm it to do a tiny bit of extra damage. But it’s real value is that the bees also distract the target, making it less of a danger to you, and easier to hit with a follow-up attack. It was a clever way early on for the game to tell me I should think about fusion with materials that would seemingly be impractical or even nonsense in the real world. But I haven’t experimented with it all that much so far, really.

Anyway, a little further up the mountain trail, I find a cave marked with bonfires, a Rito camp. I approach and spot another Rito woman, and talk to her. She tells me that Tulin went further into the cave, and I can find him if I go deeper. This cave is full of those brambly thorns, and for the most part I just move cautiously around them rather than try to burn them away. The cave goes pretty far into this mountainside, and I find a lot of forage and minerals to pick up along the way. At one point, I find a frozen over puddle, which I break through, and discover a deeper underground chamber full of even more mushrooms, cave fish, and minerals. I clear it out and continue further into the cave, and there’s a chamber with a gust of wind blowing upward through a vertical shaft lined with brambles. I fly up it and am fortunately not to collide with them, spot a tunnel branching off the top level of the vertical shaft, and make my way toward it.

Here, I encounter a Horriblin, who I take out with my bow. One shot. My strong Zonai bows do a lot of damage, and I hope I can find more of them when these break, because they are kick ass. I proceed further on into the cave, and find another chamber leading up into a tall vertical shaft lined with brambles, this one has a campfire, extinguished, and no updraft. Well that’s plain as day what I need to do, I put down a flint and a hylian pine cone, and light the campfire, it blazes brightly and I glide up the draft, and find the tunnel at the top, and continue onward. This time, I encounter a male Rito standing guard over some supplies they’ve gathered. He tells me that Tulin went ahead impetuously without waiting for help, to try to chase some monsters back to their “nest”.

I push forward, looking for Tulin. The Rito told me that he would be at the top of a mountain with a lone Cedar tree growing on it. I exit the cave, and there’s a trail leading up the mountain. I spot what looks like a small Bokoblin campfire, and come upon two reds and a blue huddling around a fire. I don’t want to screw around, so I just fire a bomb arrow and headshot the blue, killing him, and the bomb blast takes out the reds, so I take out the entire camp with one arrow. That’s what I’m talking about! Unfortunately the bomb blows away most of the stuff I might have looted from this campsite, but there is one treasure chest, which I open and discover a weaker bow than I have, but it’s a Rito bow that has rapid fire capability which is useful when flying, because bullet time takes so much stamina to get shots off. But I leave it behind, not wanting to give up my other bows. There are a couple of large crates, which I bust open and find an arrow in each. It’s weird how these giant 5 foot by 5 foot crates only have a single arrow or apple in them all the time.

Then I notice down the hill slightly, there’s Addison, holding up a sign. It’s crazy. He’s not dressed for cold, although he says he ate some chili peppers, so that explains it. I try to help him but I just busted up the only boxes around that I could have used to help hold up the sign. Nearby I spot some snowballs, but they just roll off the mountainside when I try to stick them together, and splatter far below. The only other thing I can find is a big boulder. Normally I have to use 2 or 3 things glued together to hold up his sign, but this time I am super lucky, and the one boulder holds the sign up by itself. I don’t know how, I just placed it perfectly I guess.

He rewards me, and then I continue back to my mission to find Tulin. I climb up the mountain some more, and encounter a large Boss Bokoblin and an entourage of small bokos. I duck behind a rock and let them pass, they don’t notice me, and I am relieved. Probably I’ll have to deal with these guys eventually, but in these snow covered trails, I can’t move very fast, and would be quickly surrounded and pounded into jelly by that group if I had to fight them on level ground out in the open.

I climb up the mountain some more, taking a shortcut by climbing directly rather than spiraling around the peak using the path.

Here, I finally find Tulin. I spot the Cedar tree, and just past it, looking out into the abyss surrounding the peak, is Tulin. He’s lost his bow to an Aerocuda, and cursing his luck. His spirits pick up when he sees me, and he asks me for help getting his bow back. He tells me he can give me aid by creating a gust of wind that can propel me forward, so I jump out and glide toward the Aerocuda, and use the gust to boost me but it doesn’t really seem to do much to help. I end up landing on the side of another mountain peak, one with a flatter area, a piece of stone that looks like Sky Island that fell from above. I climb up it, and take aim at the Aerocuda who is flying just above me, but somehow doesn’t seem to have noticed me at all still. My aim is good, and one shot is all it takes. The Aerocuda drops the bow and dies, and before it hits the ground Tulin swoops in and grabs it.

Just then, two adult Rito emerge from the darkness and tell us they saw everything. Tulin is ashamed for having been impulsive and disobeying, and for losing his bow and not being able to handle the monsters by himself. But he says he learned that teamwork is what really wins battles, not taking risks. The adult Rito tell him that now that he has learned this, he has matured enough that he is finally ready to be a Rito warrior.

So now the Rito warriors want me and Tulin to investigate the storm cloud. They know that there is something in there, and want us to check it out and find out what it is. They say it is impossible to get into the storm clouds from the side due to the high winds, and the only way in is from the top, but no one else but Tulin has the flying skill to be able to do it.

This seems a bit weird, because to me Tulin seems like he’s maybe 12-13 years old, and they’re acting like he’s the equivalent of a 17-18 year old who’s just become a man. But it’s cool; this is what we’re supposed to do, complete quests and stuff.

So I guess the next step in this quest is to go into the Hebra sky islands and find out way up to that storm. I have been up there and I kind of think I know where to go, but it’s distorienting to get around up there and I’m not sure if I can find that place where I saw all the long ships again.