Sunday, May 21, 2017

Breath of the Wild in the Timeline

The timeline of the Zelda franchise has been a topic of debate ever since Ocarina of Time (and maybe even earlier), but came to an end in 2011 with the release of Hyrule Historia and the official timeline that put it all into picture. And this certainly this had removed some steam from the Zelda discussion boards all over the internet.

But with Breath of the Wild Nintendo has reignited the flame of timeline theories, where for almost a year now the fans debate over where Breath of the Wild falls into the timeline, ever since the game got showcased at E3 2016. Even after the game has been released, the only thing that became clear was the fact that it takes place over ten thousand years after the rest of the series in an age of ancient technology.

It has resolved some mysteries from last year's E3 - for example it should be clear now that Hyrule Castle and Hyrule Castle Town probably aren't really the one from Twilight Princess, though they certainly share a lot of similarities in design.

But the clues still remain all over the place. The existence of the Koroks points at the Adult Timeline, while the resting place of the Master Sword is very similar to the one from the Fallen Hero Timeline. In the English translation Zelda mentions that the Master Sword has been "steeped in the glowing embers of twilight", though other translations just mention "shadows" at this part. And the Divine Beast Vah Medoh is probably named after Medli (spelled Me-do-ri in Japanese and even called Medolie in French and German), while places on the map are named after many different persons and locations from almost all Zelda games, including handheld games like Link's Awakening, Oracle of Ages, Oracle of Seasons, The Minish Cap, Phantom Hourglass and even Tri Force Heroes.

If you take amiibo goodies into consideration, things get even crazier, because not only can you summon Wolf Link from a different era, you can obtain equipment of many different heroes from the past over all the timelines. But of course some gimmick like this probably shouldn't be considered as true canon material.

However, the problem remains the same. You can't really pin down the timeline placement of Breath of the Wild in any of the three established branches. And the discussions are going on, which is probably even intended by Nintendo.

But the real question is... Does it even matter?

From the perspective of the game, everything that happened in past Zelda games has happened such a long time ago that it doesn't feel like the timeline split should matter even more. Breath of the Wild has literally put thousands of years between itself and the rest of the series. Do we really need to keep up three different timeline branches for this? From this new perspective it's like all the past Zelda games became mere legends, where all of it may have happened, completely independent from the timeline split.

Last year after the E3 I came up with timeline merge theory, where the new game(s) take place in a unified timeline and where everything from the past Zelda games is coming together. This was supposed to explain all what we've seen at the E3 and I even came up with various story concepts for how such a thing could happen.

And while Nintendo didn't go this route with its story, it seems like they still took a similar approach. They created a Zelda game, where the rest of the series takes places at such a distant past that the timeline split doesn't really matter anymore. Breath of the Wild essentially takes place in a new timeline, a reboot so to say, where the entire past of the Zelda series has become the "lore" of this new universe.

It still would be nice to learn more about what happened 10,000 years ago and even before that. How did Calamity Ganon came to be? What happened, before the Sheikah technology was created? Maybe the DLC or a future Zelda title will explore this and maybe at some point Nintendo will really introduce a timeline merge to the story. But until then the most convenient and simplest explanation is that all the previous stories are just lore and legends to this new world.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Breath of the Wild Adventure Log, Entry 34

Horsing Around, Part 3

Because I didn't have any luck finding any better horses, I checked out HylianAngel's excellent Horse Guide to learn what's actually possible. I have been looking in the right places (at Upland Lindor and Taobab Grassland), but I didn't know that it's just not possible to find a horse with all fifteen stars.

To sort things out I've been ignoring all horses that don't have the five Stamina, but then you won't get the five Speed as well. In fact the best possible outcomes in that case are either five Strength and three Speed, which is what I currently have for Hilda, or four Strength and four Speed, which is like Epona with better Stamina.

A horse with five Speed can have only two stars of Strength at best, as well as three Stamina. Anything with only three points of Stamina would have been ignored by me previously, but since I now knew what I was looking for, I found a brown horse like this at Taobab Grassland:

I gave her the highly original name of "Speeda" and she will have to do for now. I do want to have at least one horse with maximum Speed, while Hilda with her stats then covers the other maximums. I might also try to find a blue horse or a pink horse with the same stats as Speeda to name her either "Midna" or "Styla" to keep the princess naming convention. But on the other hand I like the look of a normal brown horse combined with the Knight's Bridle and Knight's Saddle. And overall I would prefer it, if you could collect more than just five horses. With the three special horses in the game, it doesn't leave much room for the "random" horses.

Otherwise I'm probably done with this feature of the game. I'm not using horses that often anyway and since there's so little room to embrace any kind of variety, it's just not that interesting.

Completing Hyrule Compendium, Part 2

This is done as well. I had exactly eight Fauna / Creatures pictures left and as I thought those were mostly just different types of sparrows that are found in the different regions. I only got the Golden Sparrow in the Eldin region previously and these were the ones that I was missing:

  • Common Sparrow
  • Red Sparrow
  • Blue Sparrow
  • Rainbow Sparrow
  • Sand Sparrow

They are scared off easily, which is why I never paid much attention to them, let alone take pictures. You need either the Sheikah Stealth gear or some Stealth effect food / potions to get close for good shots.

Otherwise I was missing Bladed Rhino Beetles and Seagulls, which both weren't hard to figure out. But with the Bladed Rhino Beetles I was convinced that I had found some west of Satori Mountain earlier in the game, which doesn't seem to be the case. You can find them in the Necluda region, though.

The very last entry with the number 066 completely eluded me, however. I had no idea, what it could have been, but luckily it's not like you have to consult the internet or guides to figure this out, since you can just buy any missing pictures. So, I bought the last one from Symin at the Hateno Ancient Tech Lab. Turns out it was a Fairy... Those don't appear anymore, if you have five or more in your inventory, and since I haven't been using them anymore, they essentially vanished off my radar.

You also receive the Classified Envelope containing Sheikah porn for your efforts... It's another useless trophy item in the Key Item inventory, but I guess it's nice to have something that tells you on first glance that you have completed everything.

(However, with the DLC the Compendium should also get new entries, for example for any golden tier enemies or even new bosses. Unless it's really so that you can only find gold tier enemies in Hard Mode and Hard Mode will simply leave out the red tiers, while the new dungeon won't have any new bosses. It will be interesting to see, how Nintendo handles this.)

Other than 202 Koroks, all that's left for now are two remaining Side Quests (still no clue) and grinding about five dozens of Star Fragments for the amiibo gear.

Current Progress:
  • Main Quests: 15/15
  • Side Quests: 74/76
  • Shrine Quests: 42/42
  • Shrines: 120/120
  • Koroks: 698/900
  • Medals of Honor: 3/3
  • Compendium: 385/385
  • Map Rate: 83.29%

Breath of the Wild: Anime Movie?

This is something that came up about one year ago (see this post about a potential Zelda movie), but now that we were able to experience Breath of the Wild it became clearer for how this could work.

It all goes hand in hand with the new way of story telling in Breath of the Wild, where the majority of animated cutscenes take place one hundred years before the events of the game in the form of lost memories that you can find all over the world. You never get the full picture, though.

A Breath of the Wild anime movie could tell the story of what happened 100 years ago in greater detail, maybe even set the main focus on them, while the events in the future are treated as "flash forwards". The movie could even begin with Link fighting Calamity Ganon in the ruined castle as the build-up and from there on explore, how it all came to this dire situation.

A movie for a Zelda game wouldn't work, if it just followed the main game's event. This is what you can already experience in the game as the player and there's usually a too predictable pattern, as you do all the dungeons. It would be boring to watch Link free one Divine Beast after the other. But it would be interesting to learn more about the characters, which used to be your allies in the past, the Champions of Hyrule. And this is why a Breath of the Wild anime movie would probably set the events in the past as its main plot, while the events of the game will be mere flash forwards that deliver the pinnacle and the story's outcome.

And this way a movie would still be quite interesting for players of the game, while it the same time it's enjoyable for people, who haven't played the game yet, and might even motivate those to try it.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Breath of the Wild Adventure Log, Entry 33

This is what I call action!

Hello, my name is TourianTourist and I'm addicted. To fighting Lynels. The combat in this game is just so good, it never seems to get old. And they really turned the Lynels into the mightiest enemies in the Zelda series. It's so much fun to fight them, I'm actually looking forward to the DLC and any potential Golden Lynels.

In some places you can even have some really amazing fight scenes, when one of the three dragons appears in the background or even right above you. This might happen in the East Deplian Badlands with Dinraal (see the picture above), at the East Gate of Lanayru Road with Naydra and on top of the Gerudo Highlands with Farosh. There's another place, where you can have Farosh in the background while fighting a Lynel - and that place turned out to be crucial for my current journey.

Anyway, I didn't have much luck with getting Star Fragments from Lynels these days. I actually had more luck with them dropping from the sky. But with one Lynel I was lucky and got two at once. This has happened before and helped me quite a lot with my upgrading progress. Right now I have the Tunic of the Hero set fully upgraded, so it's three more sets to go. And I will keep going. Luckily I have so much fun fighting the Lynels that I don't mind. I even stepped my game up and I now hunt for the majority of Lynels after a Blood Moon...

I even marked them all with swords on my map to know where they all are. I did the same with all the Talus (using the ore symbol) and all the Hinox (using the skull symbol), so my map is now filled with all the strong monsters on overworld, where I barely have any stamps left. (I did not mark the ones in Hyrule Castle or otherwise I would have used all 100 stamps up, which means that there are exactly 20 Lynels in the game world.)

Medals of Honor

Talking about monsters... My big achievement today was finally collecting all three Medals of Honor. I did get the one for slaying all Talus about a week ago and the two last Talus were the following:

Crenel Hills Stone Talus
South Koukot Plateau Stone Talus

I also found one of my last shrines at Crenel Hills, I just didn't explore the whole hill at the time. So, I found this one quite "quickly", after I had realized that I haven't been to the north side of the hill yet. The other one was at Gerudo Canyon, not far from where I also found one of my last shrines. But I'm pretty sure that I've met this Talus earlier in the game, while exploring the area, I just ignored it, because I didn't know that defeating them all would get you something.

Anyway, afterwards I was looking for the last Hinox for exactly one week (keep in mind that I'm only playing a few hours in the evening). I was convinced that it had to be a Stalnox, because a Hinox is too easy to spot as that you could possibly miss one. So, I even kept targeting Stalnox with my Sheikah Sensor+ and I wandered around pretty much everywhere during the night. With no luck. Well, that was because it wasn't a Stalnox, but just some plain red Hinox at Kamah Plateau:

This one is not even hard to find...! I more or less stumbled over it on my way to the Lynel on the hill right behind him. Well, I did notice the empty place, while studying the map, so I thought I should check it out, before going to the Lynel. I thought that the supposed Stalnox might be there and I just missed it in the jungle. So, I was quite surprised, when I found out that all along there has been a fat red Hinox up there. It's surprising, because I've already fought the Lynel close by multiple times (I usually went there via Riola Spring, though). I also got all treasure chests in the area and I've found Koroks all around Kamah Plateau. But I never saw the Hinox. Funny, how it goes...

But it doesn't matter anymore, because I finally got all three Medals of Honor:

They don't seem to be good for anything other than bragging rights. So, consider this as bragging or whatever. But I really do like, how the Key Item menu is arranged currently. All the horse armor sits perfectly aligned in the second half of the inventory screen. Too bad that it won't stay this way, though. As far as I know, there are still two more trophy items left for me to get, while you also keep the 459 useless Korok Seeds in your inventory. And there will be the Travel Medallion with the first DLC Pack. So, the Key Items menu will be two pages long and leave some horse saddle orphans on the second page... Almost as if Nintendo wants to troll everyone, who is a little obsessed with order.

I still think that it would have been a good idea to have a separate Horse Armor tab (using the horse icon from Hyrule Compendium), it would simply look better and after all those aren't "key items" anyway. Nintendo also could add five more sets of Horse Armor to fill an entire page, because right now the horse customization options feel pretty limited compared to Link's armor collection (I've also added this to my list of suggestions for improvements).

So, what's left other than over two hundred Koroks? I still haven't found the two remaining side quests despite going through all villages and stables again and again. Those might be located somewhere else then. And it really seems like I have to take pictures of various sparrow types for Hyrule Compendium. But now that I have finally found all overworld bosses, I can focus on these tasks.

Current Progress:
  • Main Quests: 15/15
  • Side Quests: 74/76
  • Shrine Quests: 42/42
  • Shrines: 120/120
  • Koroks: 686/900
  • Medals of Honor: 3/3
  • Compendium: 378/385
  • Map Rate: 82.21%

Monday, May 15, 2017

Zelda Smartphone Game?

According to Wallstreet Journal there is a The Legend of Zelda title in development for smartphones. This doesn't surprise me all that much, in fact I'm currently preparing my E3 2017 speculations and this has been on my bullet list. Well, a new top down Zelda game to be accurate, either for smart devices or Nintendo 3DS.

I'm also expecting a "Nintendo Phone" to be announced at E3, where Nintendo might develop something in cooperation with Apple. I'm personally not a Smartphone gamer and I'm not even using one at the moment, but a Smartphone specifically designed for the Nintendo fan would certainly catch my interest.

Anyway, after Breath of the Wild there will be a clear split in the series. Modern Open World Breath of the Wild style 3D Zelda games and classic top down Zelda games, primarily developed for handheld devices. I would have preferred another follow-up to A Link Between Worlds, because the game was just beautiful and after all Nintendo is still strongly supporting the Nintendo 3DS, where soon they will release the New Nintendo 2DS XL. Tri Force Heroes was released end of 2015, which means that this year there could come another title from the handheld Zelda team following the typical two year development cycle. But instead of making a third game for the Nintendo 3DS, they probably focused on a smartphone game.

Of course a Zelda game developed for touch devices would follow the control style of Phantom Hourglass:

So, you touch to move in the direction of your finger and you touch the item icon to use items. A "Nintendo Phone" might offer some additional input like a D-Pad, but the game has to be playable with touch only to support all the phones out there. But it's possible, Phantom Hourglass has done this before and it worked quite well for the most part.

I wouldn't even be opposed to the idea. I started with Link's Awakening on the GameBoy, so handheld top down Zelda will always have a special place in my heart and I would love to see it going in the future, even if it means going mobile like that. And while I spent about 60 minutes in a tram each work day, I'm not playing my Nintendo 3DS there, because it's too valuable. I can see myself playing a new Zelda game on a smartphone, though.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Small Ways to Improve Breath of the Wild

There's no arguing that Breath of the Wild is the next big step for the Zelda franchise and a gigantic masterpiece in the history of gaming. Yet, the game is not perfect, especially if you spend a lot of time with it, some bigger and some smaller flaws are shining through. But it's not too late, because with Nintendo's DLC and update plans for the game some things can still be improved. So, let's compile an update wish list for the game.

Keep in mind that the goal of this post is to provide ideas of what can be improved within the scope of updates and DLCs. Things that still could be added or fixed for real. So, if you don't like the new weapon system (I personally do) or the game's ending (I personally don't), you can only hope that Nintendo will do it better in the next game. What's important now is anything that still can be changed for the better.

Nintendo already crossed off two major points of this list with their 1.2.0 multi language update, where you now can play in Japanese with English subtitles (or any language combination), and the upcoming Korok Mask, where we'll finally get a solid way of tracking down all those little guys.

But let's give them some more ideas:

Multiple Save Games

Zelda games and Nintendo games in general usually offer two or three save games, so you can easily start over without losing your previous progress. Breath of the Wild, much like Tri Force Heroes, broke this tradition, but unlike Tri Force Heroes you can't just replay any part of the game at any time. And since the game invites to experiment, especially with the way of how they set up the final dungeon and boss, you still might want to replay it.

The only way to do this right now would be creating additional user accounts on your Wii U or Nintendo Switch. And that's more of a workaround than a real solution. Maybe Nintendo thought that people only use additional save slots for friends and family, but the replay value of a game is very important and nothing should stand in your way there.

Especially when the first DLC comes out, this will be crucial. People might want to replay the game in Hard Mode, while at the same time they'd want to try the Trial of the Sword or look for the new armor pieces in their current savegame and that without juggling between different user accounts.

Currently a savegame takes 64MB of space on your hard drive, which is a quite a lot for save data, but that shouldn't stop Nintendo from doubling it considering that the game is 11GB large and has over 2GB of updates already.

Improved Options

While the option menu of Breath of the Wild is certainly the most comprehensive in the series, it still does lack a certain level of finesse with some of its options:

  • Separate camera controls for aiming
  • Fully customizable HUD
  • Fully customizable controls

The first issue would be the camera controls, where you can invert them both horizontally and vertically, if you want to. While this is an important option, it does apply globally to all camera controls, even if you're using first person or third person aiming. But here you might want different behavior, because after all that's how the Zelda games on the GameCube did it, where the horizontal camera controls where inverted, but not for first person. Twilight Princess HD already had the exact same problem, where it's not possible to have the same camera controls as in Twilight Princess on the GameCube anymore.

Otherwise the HUD options could have used some more gradation. Right now you can either clutter your entire HUD with all the information or only display your hearts and stamina. Something in between would have been welcome, where for example you can still see your currently selected Rune under the heart meter, but not the full D-Pad shortcuts. Ideally you could just turn on and off every part of the HUD to your pleasing.

Also, most modern games let you fully change around its button layout, while in Breath of the Wild you can only switch X and B buttons for some reason... Ideally you could assign every button to whatever you want. Want to swing your sword with B like in the good old times? Then this shouldn't be a problem!

Stash Chest

As soon as you have fully upgraded your house in Hateno, it should contain a stash chest under the staircase, where you can store additional weapons, bows, shields, armor and even food. It would work similar to the Item Check in Skyward Sword and offer an entire second inventory space: one page for weapons, one page for bows, one page for shields, five pages for armor and three pages for food. The last two might not seem necessary, but the additional armor stash should be nice for those, who like to have dyed duplicates. And overall it should be up to the player, whether he wants to use the stash chest or not.

It would solve what's more or less a midgame problem. Early in the game your weapons break too quickly anyway and at the end the player will invest his weapons in fighting Lynels and Guardians. However, especially when you keep exploring new areas and solve Shrines, you will find lots and lots of good weapons, where you'd want to save some for later. As the game is now, you might end up throwing away good weapons to make space for even better weapons or for basic tools like Torches or Korok Leaves.

Elemental Shields

Breath of the Wild offers an impressive variety of different melee weapons for different situations. And also the bows offer some good variety with different shooting styles and arrow types. Shields on the other hand don't. Other than the Ancient / Guardian Shields they only seem to differ in material and durability, but not in functionality. It's not even that different from what Skyward Sword already had offered with its shields.

The most obvious solution to this problem would be adding shields based on the game's three main combat elements: fire, ice and electricity. These flavors are already used by the different weapon and arrow types and it only makes sense to have the same thing with shields. The Flame, Frost and Shock Shields would respectively burn, freeze or zap your enemies, when they hit your shield. Of course the same happens to you, when you're on the other end, so you have to be more careful around enemies, who are using these new shield types. But this makes perfectly sense and it integrates so well into the current system that you have to wonder, why these shields don't already exist in the game...

(Also, another idea would be a Gust Shield, which would be another technological shield equipped with a propeller that creates an air stream in front of you. You would even be able to propel a raft by simply holding it, though you wouldn't be going as fast as with a Korok Leaf. And using it for shield surfing would be like using a "Hover Board", where you can utilize it in any terrain without losing durability. To compensate this shield would break quickly, if it gets hit, so you have to be careful not to actually use it in combat.)

Additional Rune Upgrades

Only half of the Sheikah Slate Runes can be upgraded in some way... And this feels somewhat unfinished, since there would have been interesting options for the other runes as well.

Magnesis+ should first and foremost offer a bigger distance for its initial beam. Especially with sunken treasure chests the short distance can be sometimes annoying. But of course this wouldn't be all - an upgraded Magnesis could offer one or two additional abilities (inspired by Trine 2). It could be used on Bokoblins, Lizalfos and Moblins, who are using metallic gear, to move a single enemy around as you please. Also, an object in your pull could be magnetically charged to attract other magnetic objects by holding down the "A" button, so that you can move around multiple objects at once.

Cryonis+ would let you create five or even six ice blocks at the same time. A simple, but effective upgrade.

Additionally there also could be an (expansive) upgrade for the amiibo Rune, where you can use all loot amiibo twice a day, instead of just once.

Regional Map Information

When you start the game, your map is divided in various areas, where each Sheikah Tower unlocks the map information for one of them. As soon as you're done with that, all borders will be gone and there's no way of telling, where the different areas were (other than studying certain landmarks).

There simply should be an option to display these boundaries again, maybe together with the names of the region. Next to these names there could be symbols used for your completion status:

  • Shrine Symbol for having discovered all Shrines in the area
  • Korok Seed Symbol for collecting all Korok Seeds in the area
  • Treasure Chest Symbol for opening all Treasure Chests in the area
  • Star Symbol for defeating all overworld bosses (Talus, Hinox, Molduga) in the area

This certainly would be helpful with tracking down any stuff that you're still missing at the end of the game. Can't find that last Talus? Well, just keep looking in the area that doesn't have a star symbol!

Of course if they do that for treasure chests as well, it would be nice, if they'd...

Fix the Unobtainable Chests

There are a couple of treasure chests in the game, where your Sheikah Sensor+ picks them up, but you can't get them for different reasons. Some might be glitched and out of bounds, others simply might not be there at all. Those are the ones that are known:

  • Great Plateau, Woodcutter's Hut (if you got the Warm Doublet from the Old Man directly)
  • Hateno Village, near the Dye Shop
  • Lake Floria, Rassia Lake
  • East of Aris Beach, stuck underwater
  • Chest Game in Lurelin Village

Please fix this, Nintendo, so that our Sheikah Sensors can finally rest!

A Way to Climb in the Rain

This probably doesn't need any explanation to anyone, who has played the game for a bit. Being able to climb everywhere in the game world is revolutionary and part of what makes this game so fun. But this fun goes away quickly, as soon as a single drop of water fell from the sky. In that moment you will struggle with climbing a tree, let alone a mountain. There are techniques to still get where you want, for example each climbing jump "only" makes you slip down by about 70%. However, it's still frustrating.

Ideally the Climbing Gear with its "no-slip gloves" and "no-slip toes" provided by ancient technology would already do the trick. It doesn't, but to keep things balanced they could introduce a new item called "Spiked Boots" (or similar), where you won't have the "Climbing Jump Stamina Up" Set Bonus anymore, but at least you won't slide down at all while wearing these.

Shortcuts for Armor

The armor system in Breath of the Wild is pretty sophisticated. It essentially combines the various outfits from Tri Force Heroes with the changeable boots and the different masks from the Nintendo 64 Zelda games. And with so many activities in the game you change your armor quite often. Climbing a mountain? Don that Climbing Gear! Swimming through a river? Don that Zora Armor! Fighting a Guardian? Don that Ancient Cuirass! Facing some Electric Keese? Don that Thunder Helmet!

However, changing armor is now even more inconvenient than it used to be in Ocarina of Time. You have to open the inventory and scroll to the armor section, which is right in the middle, where it's easy to scroll too far by holding the R-Stick, and then select the pieces that you need, which might even be scattered over different pages. And if you need to change it again, every item that you picked up in the meantime will alter your position in the inventory, if you open it again. So, you have to scroll back to the armor... again and again. And this wastes a lot of time.

Ideally there would be some shortcuts, e.g. pressing up and down on the R-Stick could bring you to the first and last selected pieces in your inventory. Simple as that. Or they could also make it so that Materials, Food, Key Items and Horse Gear get a second row. This way the Armor would be always in the top right and easier navigable.

Other than that it should be possible to equip a set with one button press (e.g. by pressing X), instead of having to equip each piece individually. Often you want the full set anyway and such a shortcut would save even more time.

Armor Set Bonus with Alternate Head Pieces

In the topic of Set Bonuses, there is the issue with jewelry, where the Set Bonus won't apply for no good reason. Getting and upgrading the jewelry is much more expansive than the normal armor, for example they all require Star Fragments on each upgrade step. But at the same time they aren't as good as the silly helmets that come along with the armor sets. And some of them really look silly.

The most prominent example is probably the Ancient Armor, where the greaves and the cuirass look really cool, but the helmet makes you look like the biggest dork in Hyrule. Wearing the super expansive Diamond Circlet fixes the look, but you will also lose the valuable "Ancient Proficiency" Set Bonus, where all Ancient / Guardian Weapons do more damage. And this shouldn't be the case.

Nintendo should make it so in an update that the Set Bonus still applies to jewelry like this:

It would be the same for the Ruby Circlet and the Snowquill set, the Sapphire Circlet and the Desert Voe set, the Topaz Earrings and the Rubber set, as well as the Opal Earrings and the Zora set. And while it's technically not jewelry, the Sheik's Mask is the most expansive piece of armor in the game when it comes to upgrading and shouldn't lose the Stealth "Night Speed Up" Set Bonus.

Upgradable Dark Armor

For some reason you just can't upgrade the Dark Link set. Usually there's a balancing reason as to why you can't upgrade certain pieces of equipment, especially with the various monster masks or the Thunder Helmet. But in this case it's just one tunic of many and there's no good reason, why you shouldn't be able to upgrade it to a full 60 like the others:

Purchasable Nintendo Switch Shirt

Currently there is one piece of DLC armor in the game and that is the Nintendo Switch Shirt. What's weird about it is that you can sell it, but not get it back...

Why is that? Every other piece of armor in the game can either be re-purchased or it can't be sold. Why not just add the Nintendo Switch Shirt to Granté's collection?

Since the shirt gets added to the very end of the armor inventory, it may happen that players accidentally sell it along with any duplicate pieces that they might get from amiibo or certain places in the game. And if you notice this too late, you won't be able to get it back. This issue will be especially troublesome with all the new armor that comes with the DLC, if it behaves the same way.

No full Recovery on Hearty and Endura Ingredients

This isn't really an improvement, but a nerf for certain cooking ingredients. Right now the cooking in the game is completely broken, because you don't have to care about getting good health restoring recipes at all. There's no point, because all you need to do is cook one Hearty Radish over and over again, since this gives you a full recovery and some extra hearts. This also works with Hearty Durians, Hearty Truffles, Hearty Salmon or anything "hearty" really. It's the same with stamina and enduring / tireless ingredients.

Nerf this!

Fixing this would be simple: hearty ingredients only give you the extra hearts, but not the full recovery. That should be the job of other ingredients. As a balance you should now be able to get beyond the 30 hearts maximum using hearty ingredients by adding a temporary third row of hearts.

Riding Buffalos, Rhinos and Moose

Next to horses there are other types of animals that you can ride like deer and bears. But not all of them can be used as mounts, even if they look like they were made for job. It would be nice, if you could also ride around on Buffalos, Rhinos or Moose just for the fun of it.

Show Stats of Horses before Replacements

When you already have five horses at the stables, you need to let one go, before you can register a new one. However, they won't tell you the exact stats of the horse, until you register it. This way you can never be sure, if your new horse actually comes with an improvement. The game should simply show the stats of the new horse within the menu, where you select, which horse should leave your collection. It would also be nice to have more space general, e.g. up to eight or ten horses.

More Horse Gear

While Link does have lots of options to alter his appearance in the game, the gear for horses seems rather limited with only five sets of bridles and saddles. Imagine having some Ancient Horse Armor provided by the Akkala Ancient Tech Lab or something that makes a horse look like a dragon. If all the different outfits for Link or the different sets of boats and trains in past Zelda games have showed us anything, then it's that Nintendo can be really creative, when it comes to such customization options.

Let's have at least five more sets. This way there would be 20 pieces, where it also would be a good idea to have a separate tab for Horse Armor in the inventory, which would give the Key Item tab more room to breath.

Give Endgame Access to All Equipment

Weapons are broken and lost all the time in Breath of the Wild. But you can get almost every piece of equipment again in the game, if you know, where to look. Almost. It seems that there are certain pieces of equipment, where it's not possible to get them back later in the game, mostly stuff gotten from Red and Blue Lynels:

  • Forest Dweller's Sword (only available at the Test of Wood)
  • Lynel Spear
  • Lynel Crusher
  • Mighty Lynel Sword
  • Mighty Lynel Spear
  • Mighty Lynel Crusher
  • Mighty Lynel Shield
  • Mighty Lynel Bow

This is especially a problem, when you want to take good pictures for your Hyrule Compendium. And overall absolutely all resources in the game should be re-obtainable. To fix this, they could just keep some additional Red and Blue Lynels around, while the Blue Lynel in Hyrule Castle could simply drop his belongings, which he currently doesn't for some reason.

Replayable Eventide Event

Probably one of the most interesting Shrine Quests in the game would be Eventide Island, where you're stranded without any of your equipment for a nice challenge. The upcoming "Trial of the Sword" will even make use of the same mechanic.

It would be cool, if you actually could replay Eventide Island as a minigame, where maybe even your best time gets recorded. Going back to the Shrine or leaving the island will stop the minigame.

Any ideas as to what should be fixed or added to the game? List them in the comments!

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Breath of the Wild Adventure Log, Entry 32

In my last entry I told you, how lucky I was with getting Star Fragments from fighting Silver Lynels - it even felt like a 50% chance at the time. But it looks like I'm down on my luck, I haven't gotten any Star Fragments from Silver Lynels in a while now, even after fighting over a dozen of them. According to this research the chance of getting a Star Fragment is at 5% - so much for my estimate. It's even lower with amiibo, where it's at 1% or 2%. Talk about grinding!

At least my collection of Savage Lynel Bows is getting more impressive every day. Meanwhile I had a total of eight of them with the Five-Shot Burst weapon bonus:

Combined with over 800 Shock Arrows and over 100 Ancient Arrows I could probably destroy an entire army of Guardians. Bring it on, game!

Since I got asked this, after a Blood Moon I usually fight the same four Silver Lynels: the two at Oseira Plains (near the Ishto Soh Shrine) and the two in North Akkala, north of the Spring of Power. I've also went through the Deplian Badlans yesterday and fought all four Silver Lynels there, but this area doesn't have an easy access via warp points and there is a long walk between each Lynel. This reminds me, when I made my first tour around Death Mountain, desperately looking for a shrine. Well, there wasn't one here. I still hope that the second DLC will provide some additional shrines in certain places, because some areas really could use the warp points.

I don't like fighting the Lynels in cold areas, because I'm restricted to that ugly Rito Armor, but sometimes I just go for the three in Tabantha Tundra anyway. The ones on top of Gerudo Highlands seem rather impractical, so does the one at Tarm Point. And I usually forget about the one at the Purifier Lake and any others that I haven't mentioned here. But if I ever want to speed things up with the Star Fragments, I'd probably go for them all. Right now I'm still focused on other tasks than just the grinding.

Dog Chests

While the Silver Lynels weren't as generous this week, I did have some luck finding Star Fragments by feeding dogs, though. I didn't know this before today, because I never really bothered with befriending dogs besides feeding them maybe once or twice. Turns out that the third time is the charm. Then they bring you to one NEW treasure chest each, which weren't there before. While I don't like, how this "breaks the rules", because chests normally don't just appear out of nowhere in this game, the dog chests at Lurelin Village and the Snowfield Stable did give me a Star Fragment each, which is nice.

Hero's Path to Nowhere

My main goal this week was still finding the two remaining Hinox, Talus and Side Quests, but I didn't have much success on that front. I only found one more Stalnox at the East Akkala Plains. I keep studying the map for "empty spaces", ideally ones that are named, but mostly I just end up in areas that really seem to be completely empty. Taafei Hill for example. Or the Zodobon Highlands. Okay, the latter has one of the Zora Stone Monuments, but otherwise there doesn't seem to be anything up there on the hill, not even a Korok. And that's kind of frustrating, but at least the East Akkala Plains didn't let me down.

Right now I could really use the Hero's Path Mode to see, which areas I haven't explored in full detail in the last hundred hours. When the first DLC gets released, it's probably too late...

Completing Hyrule Compendium, Part 1

Since my search for the remaining side quest stuff didn't go so well, I focused a lot more on completing Hyrule Compendium and gradually improving the picture quality:

My goal is to only buy the pictures at the Hateno Ancient Tech Lab, if it's really necessary. I already had finished the "Treasure" section (no big deal, it only has four entries) and the "Monster" section, where I had to buy the picture for Master Kohga a while ago. This weekend I completed the "Materials" section, as well as the "Equipment" section.

For the "Materials" I was only missing the Big Hearty Truffle, where you can find some around Mount Satori or the Minshi Woods. For the "Equipment" I had to track down the following weapons:

  • Traveler's Claymore - can be found on the field east of Dueling Peak's Stable
  • Spiked Moblin Club - got that from a Stal Moblin
  • Serpentine Spear - Bokoblins use them at the horseback archery circle near Hateno
  • Forest Dweller's Sword - at the Test of Wood
  • Spring Loaded Hammer - completely forgot about it

However, there were also four Weapon pictures that I simply couldn't get anymore and I had to buy them:

  • Lynel Spear
  • Mighty Lynel Crusher
  • Mighty Lynel Spear
  • Mighty Lynel Bow

The entire Mighty Lynel weapon series is out of reach at the end of the game. It seems like you can't obtain any of it, since the only remaining Blue Lynel in one of the Hyrule Castle Gatehouses doesn't drop its equipment. There's still the Red Lynel on top of Ploymus Mountain, but it only ever uses Sword, Shield and Bow, so you can't get the Lynel Spear or the Lynel Crusher. I only have a really bad picture of the latter (see the above image) and won't be able to improve this for now, which is a shame.

Maybe the DLC will help and you can find all types of Lynels with all the weapons in the Trial of the Sword. However, like with Eventide Island you will probably lose all the equipment, as soon as you leave the trial. Since this Trial of the Sword doesn't take place in the "real world", you wouldn't be able to bring the weapons outside for some nice photos. And it's not even clear, if you actually can use the Sheikah Slate inside the trial.

Apropos Eventide Island, I went back there looking for some of the weapons and for some reasons all the treasure chests on and around the islands were back, containing early game weaponry like Soldier's Swords. I'm not sure, if this is a bug or if this is intended, but it keeps happening. It would be cool, if you actually could repeat the trial just for fun. Then I even would understand, why the treasure chests keep coming back.

Anyhow, now I'm only missing eight "Fauna" pictures in the "Creatures" section of Hyrule Compendium. At least half of them seem to be tiny birds like Sparrows, so I will keep donning my Sheikah gear for the sneaky snaps...

PS: I found my 666th Korok at Eastern Abbey. This can't be coincidence, I still don't like this devilish place from the early game, even though it's a complete joke now.

Current Progress:
  • Main Quests: 15/15
  • Side Quests: 74/76
  • Shrine Quests: 42/42
  • Shrines: 120/120
  • Koroks: 668/900
  • Talus: 38/40
  • Hinox: 39/40
  • Molduga: 4/4
  • Compendium: 377/385
  • Map Rate: 80.72%