Yesterday and today I was warping all over the world to find Cane Sugar, while I kept exploring Hyrule Castle for the third Royal Recipe. Two things in the game that apparently don't exist... But I did find various other things on my way.
This includes "Hero's Stash" at Kitano Bay, where Kass doesn't lead you to a new shrine for a change. Since I was around the area, I also visited the Hateno Ancient Lab. After beating the game it gives you access to "Elite Enemy" pictures (I don't think you could get those earlier), where I was still missing Master Kohga. He was one of the first bosses in the game that I took down and I wasn't really prepared at the time, so I forgot about taking his photograph in the heat of the moment. I did snap all the other bosses, but it's nice to know that you can still get their pictures for the Hyrule Compendium later on. So, unlike in the Metroid Prime Trilogy or the Wind Waker you don't have to worry about missing any scans or pictographs.
Overall it seems like there's nothing permanently missable in the game. From what I've heard, you can even still get the Heart Containers from bosses, if you left them inside the Divine Beasts earlier. They will be lying on the ground next to the Divine Beasts afterwards. But that you can't miss anything is really important for a game of this scale. You don't want to invest hundreds of hours just to learn that you missed something at the end.
Big Game Hunter
Also in Hateno I discovered this little deer hunting game that you can play. It's another symptom of the "I don't talk to people, unless they have red exclamation marks above their heads" disease, where I certainly could have found this earlier, if I would just take the time to talk to everyone. But there's so much to explore and so much to do in this game that it's easy to miss things.
I was also on the hunt for the big bads: Hinox, Talus, Silver Lynel, Guardians, you name it. I take them all down. It's impressive, how much stronger and more courageous you can get in Breath of the Wild after a while. It really puts more emphasis on growth than any other Zelda game and you can feel this. A while ago I hardly could face any White-Maned Lynels, by now I don't have trouble taking down the silver ones.
It's the same with Guardians, they don't hunt me anymore, I hunt them. But my main focus is finding all the Talus and the Hinox on the overworld. I know that there are some Talus that I simply dodged, because I wasn't in the mood for fighting them earlier in the game. Now I have to revisit all these places to see, which of the Talus I already had defeated and which ones not.
One of them brought me back to Dueling Peaks, where to my surprise I couldn't find the Talus at first, but I ran into a total of three Guardians roaming the area. If you read Entry 6 of this series, you will find that originally I only ran into the Talus, but I didn't notice any Guardians. Either the game adds more Guardians (and enemies) later on, which I haven't seen anywhere else yet (it only replaces enemies with stronger variants), or I again was super lucky by avoiding certain death early in the game. Anyway, I already had defeated the Talus, but I found another one in the area.
I also took down all three Guardians on horseback, which is the first time I fought them while riding a horse. And this is quite powerful, especially with the Master Sword. The Guardians hardly stand a chance, you can just hit them strong enough to tip them over again and again. And once their feet are cut off, they have nowhere to run. As I said, I hunt them now, not the other way around.
Hyrule Castle Revisited
My other big goal was exploring the rest of the interior of Hyrule Castle. I remembered that there was still a Stalnox in the Lockup, which I didn't touch during my first visit there. That was almost three weeks ago (see Entry 10) and I did miss a big catch at the time, because you can actually get a Hylian Shield in this place. And here I thought that this shield wouldn't be in the game...!
But I should have expected this, because otherwise the Hylian Shield would probably have been an amiibo exclusive, and part of me really thought that the Hylian Shield could be found inside Hyrule Castle somewhere. It did make sense. And while it certainly appears to be the best shield in the game, it doesn't seem to be indestructible, so Nintendo didn't make the same mistake as in Skyward Sword, where the Hylian Shield was too powerful and made all the other shields in the game obsolete. I still don't like, how ever since Twilight Princess the Hylian Shield gets treated like the most powerful shield of all times, because this was originally not the case in Ocarina of Time. It's almost as Nintendo has forgotten that Mirror Shields were a thing, even A Link Between Worlds replaced it with the Hylian Shield...
Now, I suppose that there is some NPC somewhere, who will make a new one, if you ever break it, similar to the Champion weapons. But just to make sure, I have put it on a stand in my house for now, so I'm not tempted to use it.
The other reason, why I went back to Hyrule Castle, was the "Royal Recipe" sidequest. I previously had found two recipes in the library, but since the Adventure Log didn't update any information, I thought I had to keep looking for another one. But it turned out that giving "Gotter" any of the cakes will complete the sidequest, where additional recipes just earn you more Rupees. And there might not even be a third cookbook in the castle...
I didn't realize this earlier, because I was lacking one ingredient: Cane Sugar. I expected it to grow in the wild similar to Minecraft, where I looked in all places that made sense to me without any luck. In the end I decided to check all stores, where the one in Rito Village finally had it, so I could complete the sidequest after all. From the description it seems that you can only get it from shops.
At least due to this misunderstanding I kept exploring most wet areas in the game, because I expected the Cane Sugar to grow next to some water. I found the Zalta Wa Shrine with the "Two Orbs to Guide You" puzzle during that, but I also explored all of Goponga Village, where the Guardian there now wasn't a threat anymore.
To the west I came across the Bottomless Swamp, where on top you have another spot that reminded me of the title screen of Zelda II - The Adventure of Link with the sword pierced into a cliff:
Main Quests: 15/15
- Side Quests: 66/76
- Shrine Quests: 34/42
- Shrines: 97/120
- Koroks: 297/900
- Talus: 10/40
- Hinox: 17/40
- Map Rate: 46.15%