Sunday, March 12, 2017

Breath of the Wild Adventure Log, Entry 10

Hebra Hiking

With the Snowquill armor set I finally had the necessary means to freely explore the extreme cold areas, where there seem to be three in the game: Mount Lanayru, the Gerudo Highlands and the Hebra Mountains to the north of Rito Village.

I went to the latter first, where I had mostly issues with despawning entities. For example I wanted to take a picture of a Moose, when it disappeared right in front of me. And I fought a Steppe Talus up in the mountains, where it reset, after I tried to get some distance. I get that the game can't just keep processing everything for miles, but in these cases I was still in the proximity...

Well, up there in the mountains is another Blessing Shrine offered by the lazy Lanno Kooh. All you had to do here was crossing some ice water without the help of Cryonis. It's like the game isn't even trying anymore...

From there I made my way to Hebra Tower, where you only have to melt some ice to get up. Thing is that melting the larger icicles in this game takes forever. In past Zelda games you would shoot it with one Fire Arrow and it was gone. Here you have to make a fire and watch it melt slowly. You can also just stand right next to it with a Flameblade and go grab a coffee in the meantime. It takes that long and sometimes the game is too realistic for its own good.

From the Hebra Tower you have quick access to two new shrines and stables: the Rin Oyaa Shrine (that one had a clever chest) at the Snowfield Stable and the Monya Toma Shrine at the Serenne Stable. I gathered 15 Heart Containers at this point, where it was finally time to try it again...

Claiming the Master Sword

Well, I got it...! Turns out that you only need 13 hearts to pull it, which is an odd number, but whatever... And I was right about the Master Sword being limited in this game. It doesn't break permanently, but like with the Champion abilities there is a cooldown for the sword, after you've used up its energy. It also doesn't take one of your existing inventory slots, but adds a new one (just getting the "You can't carry any more melee weapons" message after drawing the Master Sword would have been hilarious).

It does 30 damage normally, where it's even surpassed by certain weapons, but it does 60 damage with Evil's Bane, which only seems to work around the cursed things. It's not as much as I had anticipated, but still seems to be the strongest weapon in the game and you can even use it against Guardians. You can wreck them with the Master Sword and I even managed to tip one over, which was hilarious.

Storming Hyrule Castle

Like when Link got the Master Sword in Hyrule Warriors, I started feeling cocky and decided to pay Hyrule Castle a visit. While trying to fight Ganon at this point crossed my mind, I mostly wanted to check the place out to assess the situation there and to see what I will be up against.

Yesterday I had the ingenious idea to climb one of the pillars around the castle, but that doesn't work, because they are made out of the Sheikah tech metal that prevents you from climbing. But you can still cross the castle moat quite easily, where my new Revali's Gale ability came in handy to get some height at first. Well, I approached from the east side and was able get into one of the tunnels of the castle basement, where you have a series of holdings. And I was not disappointed by the atmosphere one bit.

This wouldn't be the first Zelda game that has some dark version of Hyrule Castle as its final dungeon, but this exceeds it all. You really feel, how evil has plagued Hyrule Castle for a hundred years. The place is gloomy, decayed, dirty, rotten with the dark goo that Ganon spreads everywhere and filled with black enemies (where I thought that they are the strongest kind). But you can also find some really good weapons here, for example I found my first Blizzard Rod in the game just waiting in one of the cells.

The dungeon seems also to be quite big with lots of tunnels spreading out. It reminded me of the Great Palace in that sense. But after exploring for a little bit, I decided to finish the main quests, before I proceed here. Warping out of the dungeon places you right in front of the castle gate, where this was the way, how I first arrived at the Hyrule Castle Town Ruins. It's very reminiscent of Hyrule Castle Town from Twilight Princess, but you have to look closely to recognize this, because the damage done here is just breathtaking. It's all in ruins and covered by the dark goo, with Guardians idling around. (They really idled, like the one at the beach. Probably on energy saving mode.)

I also noticed here, how the Guardian Skywatchers aren't exactly the biggest threat. One went right past me on the bridge. It appears that you need to step into their red lights, where I probably should give the Akkala Tower another try. That's the only tower that I haven't conquered yet.

Warbler's Nest

After visiting what probably is the darkest place in the game, I needed something adorable to cheer me up. So, how about some Rito ducklings performing a song? I started this Shrine Quest last night and wanted to finish it earlier today, where I had the issue that I forget what ingredients I got from the various Rito girls for the cooking. Normally the Adventure Log keeps track of every little detail, which is a nice feature, because you don't have to remember everything or write things down. But seemingly it doesn't work all the time, where the Adventure Log just kept telling me to gather the five sisters without taking note of the individual steps. And the sisters won't tell you about it either...

I figured it out anyway (one Tabantha Wheat, one Goat Butter and one Hearty Salmon), but then I was at loss about what to do exactly at the Warbler's Nest. There are five numbered stones with a hole in the middle and the girlies sing notes in a specific order. The order was clear, but I didn't know what to do with the stones. I tried shooting arrows through the the middle, even throwing round bombs through them... with no reaction. I was confused, but all you had to do was talking to one of the sisters to figure it out, so silly me.

To my surprise the shrine didn't turn out to be yet another Blessing, but the so called "Winding Route" trial by Voo Lota. It reminded me somewhat of the minidungeon at the north end of Eldin Bridge in Twilight Princess, where you jump down in the lava, but get caught by magnetic streams. It's wind streams here, but otherwise a similar concept. And I'm always happy to see a good shrine.

It just seems that the Blessing Shrines are a little misplaced, like there's one after solving the "Secret of the Cedars" near Mount Lanayru. You can just stumble over the shrine randomly while exploring without ever listening to the riddle. So, getting "Tahno O'ah's Blessing" here was another shrine letdown. And it even gives you an unique piece of gear all for just running through the mountains...

Gerudo Highlands

I'm very annoyed about the fact that there are no Item Checks in this game. The weapon system would be much more enjoyable, if you could store and collect them somewhere, maybe even have them repaired for a fee. Right now I'm constantly faced with the first-world-hero-problem of having too many good weapons. I don't want to waste them on small fries, so the game forces me invest them properly. Most of all, I have many flame and frost blades, where I want to save the frost blades for Death Mountain. Luckily, I can fully access all cold areas now, so I decided to pay the Gerudo Highlands another visit, where the flame blades make short work of all the Ice-Breath Lizalfos. One of my goals here was to look for that Eight Heroine, which is a sidequest for some piece of gear.

I made it to the Kuh Takkar Shrine with the "Melting Ice Hazard" trial, which was one of the most difficult puzzles in the game so far. Took me about half an hour and quite some creativity to solve this problem, but it was truly genius.

Up to this point I thought that the black tier enemies are the elite, but it seems that there is even another tier in this game, where I met my first Silver Bokoblin. Might there even be golden enemies like in Oracle of Seasons or The Minish Cap? There's also a "White-Maned Lynel" patrolling Gerudo Summit, but I'm not sure, what his "tier" exactly was. I just watched from a vantage point, where he started to fire arrows like an artillery in utmost precision at me.

Around the area you have even more slow ice melting to do, if you want to find all treasures, but there are often also enemies inside the ice. You can see the silhouette, however, if you walk around the ice blocks and look closely. Also, Farosh is active in this area, which surprised me, because he's far from home here. I would have expected to meet Dinraal instead.

Well, after I found the Eight Heroine, I moved north and found the well hidden Kah Okeo Shrine with the "Wind Guide" trial. Here you have a funny physics puzzle with a platform floating with the help of balloons.

The Three Dragons

Probably the most interesting goal under the cold areas was Mount Lanayru, where several questions about the three dragons were answered at once. Where is the dragon of Lanayru? What do I have to do to claim their scales?

Turns out Naydra is caught up in the cursed goo and you have to free her. And to get on the dragon scales all you have to do is shoot them in the head with an arrow... Who does that?!! Since these dragons don't attack you, I never tried attacking them. I first thought that I had to climb them on their backs to reach the head somehow, but this had proven to be difficult. And all this time a headshot would have sufficed...

Right afterwards I headed for Farosh at Lake Floria and got his scale as well, where I finally solved that Serpent's Jaw Shrine Quest. In both cases a Blessing Shrine (by Jitan Sa'mi and Shae Katha) awaited me, where you get elemental spears for your efforts. It seems that for every weapon type there is one weapon for each of the three elements in this game: fire, ice and electricity. For example there are Ice Arrows, the Frostblade, the Giant Frostblade and the Frostspear. All that seems missing are corresponding shields, where a Frostshield would be awesome. It could offer better protection against fire attacks and freeze your enemies, if they hit the shield. It would be similar for a Flameshield and a Thundershield.

But I had my house finished today with and for the decorations I'm currently using the elemental swords, where matching shields would be nice. Maybe these shields exist in the game and I haven't found them yet, but if not, then there's still the DLC coming...

So, all what was left was Dinraal, where I met him at the Tanagar Canyon, after descending from the Gerudo Highlands, and got my scale there. I also got a "Shard of Dinraal's Fang" at Hyrule Castle today, where I wonder, if they can be gotten by shooting a dragon's hands and if they are used to craft those elemental spears (if they can't be gotten otherwise).

Well, all I had to do now was bringing the scale to the spring, but I didn't have a clue, where it could be. My first instinct was the thunder cloud area near Ridgeland Tower, but this was a shrine puzzle by Toh Yahsa, where you had to bring some orbs to their goal without using metal tools. I fully expected another Blessing Shrine here, but was positively surprised with the "Buried Secrets" trial, which was a fun and simple puzzle. You can use a magnetic block here like some wrecking ball to smash through lots of cracked blocks. You get a Rubber Armor in this shrine and when I went for Farosh I also found the Rubber Helm, so I'm onto something here. And I like getting these unique pieces of gear.

Afterwards I decided to use my head and simply look for the "Spring of Power" on my map, since the other scales were offered at the Spring of Wisdom and the Spring of Courage. Well, it turns out, it's not on my map, which means that it's located in Akkala, where I haven't conquered the tower yet. And this leaves us with another problem...

To be continued...

Other than Akkala my Goal for tomorrow will be exploring Death Mountain and getting to Goron City. The scales of the dragons can apparently be used to cook something with high level protection. Or at least I think, they do. So, this might be my ticket.

On the other hand this might not be necessary... So far cooking elixirs and food with resistance was fully optional, there was usually some other way. For example you can eat something with Spicy Peppers, if you want to get to Mount Hylia without doing the quest for the Warm Doublet first. Or you can just travel at night through Gerudo Desert. There should be a similar solution here, because I would hate it, if I run out of resistance time, before I get to my goal. Also, so far all the tribe's areas were quite accessible right from the start, which encourages you to do these quests in any order. Maybe Goron City is even underground and there are safe tunnels leading to it. Let's see...

End of Day 10 Progress
  • Shrines: 63
  • Koroks: 113
  • Divine Beasts: 3

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