Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Breath of the Wild Master Log, Entry 6

Welcome to the Jungle

One area that I hadn't touched yet during my Master Mode run other that the Gerudo Desert and the Gerudo Highlands was Faron. So, this was my next goal. I sneaked into the jungle one time already to go to the Spring of Courage and receive Shae Katha's Blessing, but that was it.

Apropos, a common theme during my Master Mode playthrough is that I already have completed most of the Shrine Quests before I actually got them. This one was no exception and Kass usually gives a small remark about.

After climbing the Faron Tower, I made my way into the most treasure chest infested area in the entire game: Lake Floria. There are around 70 treasure chests there and you have to salvage most of them out of the water, which takes quite a while. And of course you have two of the infamous glitched chests in the area, so the Sheikah Sensor+ will never stop beeping...

Afterwards I made my way to Lurelin Village for the first time during this run and it's quite nice that there's this entirely optional village in the game, other than Tarrey Town. All the other villages are tied into the Main Quests, so you will visit them eventually, but you can beat the story and fully ignore Lurelin while doing so.

Props to Nintendo for doing that. With later Zelda games they have been more and more reluctant to add really optional things, where Skyward Sword was probably the worst offender, and it's good to see that Nintendo is willing to create an entire village that some players might never experience. Stuff like that really adds to the exploration value of the game.

But... for the most part you also just keep salvaging treasures there...

I haven't been to Eventide Island yet, because I'm keeping this "strip Link naked" challenge for the end, much like the Trial of the Sword. It's probably easily doable at this part and you can also cheat by dropping good weapons on your raft before going to the island, but I still want to be as strong as possible without any gear this time and maybe not use that cheat tactic...

So, here's my current Hero's Path for the Faron region:

The most important goal for this area was finally completing the Rubber armor set, where two of the pieces can be found around Lake Floria. I've already upgraded them to ★★, so that they have the "Unshockable" set bonus, which should be useful in my adventures ahead.

In terms of armor I also finally got all amiibo pieces by now. To complete the Twilight set I had to save scum, however, because I didn't have any luck with the Super Smash Bros. Link amiibo, while at the same time I kept getting pieces of the Wind set.

Hyrule Castle Raid

If there's another area that has a high density of treasure chests, then it's certainly Hyrule Castle. So, this was my next goal, before I finally head to the desert. However, before I went there, I wanted to see, if the "Royal Recipe" Side Quest can be done without ever visiting Hyrule Castle. And turns out that this is possible, you can just bring a Fruit Cake and a Monster Cake to the guy and be done with this Side Quest without actually looking for the recipes inside Hyrule Castle.

In the castle itself there are many silver and gold enemies, which can drain your weapons quickly, but luckily there are many strong weapons to be found inside the castle. And it's nice, how you can clear the entire castle without the Blood Moon having an effect. The atmosphere and the music of this final dungeon are certainly great and it's always a great feeling to clear the whole thing, so you can just roam the place freely without being bothered by any Guardians.

Anyway, I did place my Travel Medallion right above the entrance to the Sanctum again, much like at the end of my Normal Mode file:

I wish that I would have know earlier that this is actually possible. When I first tried using the Travel Medallion at Hyrule Castle, I was under a roof and therefore probably at the inside part of the map, where you are not allowed to place the thing. I then was under the wrong impression that it doesn't work at Hyrule Castle at all, so I never bothered with trying this again...

And every time I wanted back to the top of Hyrule Castle, I had to go from the Saas Ko'sah Shrine deep down in the basement of the castle. But this will be a nice shortcut for whenever I want to take on the final boss.

Otherwise I got everything inside the castle except for the Hylian Shield. I want to get one with the best possible modifier (Shield Guard Up +54), because in my Normal Mode file I didn't have a modifier at all. It's silly, really, because that way I will probably never use the the shield, because it's irreplaceable, but it might be an interesting thing to have. And before that I will probably have to defeat some more Lynels to make sure that I can get the yellow modifiers on the shield (see this Reddit topic for more info).

Well, at the end I donned my new Rubber set to be ready for the next battle...

Here's my Hero's Path for Hyrule Castle:

Next stop: Gerudo.

Master Mode Progress:

  • Divine Beasts Freed: 3
  • Main Quests: 11/20
  • Shrine Quests: 31/42
  • Side Quests: 70/90
  • Memories: 15/23
  • Shrines: 100/136
  • Koroks: 793/900
  • Talus: 32/40
  • Hinox: 36/40
  • Molduga: 0/4
  • Map Completion: 86.55%

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo Switch: The New and the Old

There seems to be a lot of confusion and discord going on about the question, whether the new Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo Switch will be really a new game or just an enhanced port of Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo Wii U, potentially with contents from Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS included. The internet is in disagreement and the same facts are used to argue for and against a new game at the same time...

We already know that Masahiro Sakurai is working on the title, which for some is proof alone that this will be an entirely new game. On the other hand he also said that they went beyond their limits with the last game, where a sequel would lead to cut character and contents, which would lead to complaints (source). So, getting a full new game two years after they were done with the DLC for the last one seems somewhat unlikely.

The most reasonable assumption is that this will be a mix of both, an enhanced port that slowly became its own game. The development could have started with porting the contents of both Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo Wii U and Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS to the Nintendo Switch, where the 3DS stages saw an HD upgrade. This way Sakurai's team at Sora Ltd. would have a massive basis to expand from, where they can focus on additions and improvements. Instead of starting over from scratch, they take the contents from the previous iteration without cutting anything and start adding things on top and bringing things up-to-date.

The latter is quite important, because one gripe you can have with every Smash after the first one is that they are mostly representing the previous generation, often because the planning and development started during that era. Super Smash Bros. Brawl on the Wii for example added contents based on Super Mario Sunshine, a GameCube title, while Super Mario Galaxy already had been released on the Wii. Contents based on Galaxy then were included in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, but Super Mario 3D World already came out one year earlier on the system... Or Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS featured stages based on The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks and even Ocarina of Time 3D, but sadly didn't have anything from A Link Between Worlds. It's a curse, where Smash games already feel outdated on release. There were exceptions, of course, like a stage based on Yoshi's Woolly World, before the game even was released.

But by re-using the previous game, they can focus on making these exceptions the rule, because the core is already there, which means that they have more time for contents from newer games. And this already shows with Link being present in his Breath of the Wild incarnation, which is one of the most important faces for the Nintendo Switch. Ideally, Mario would also be based on Super Mario Odyssey, where he uses Cappy instead of the F.L.U.D.D., and we get stages from both games, like the Odyssey and the Great Plateau.

Other additions based on recent Switch and later Wii U games are likely as well. Take the teaser from the last Nintendo Direct, replace the Inklings with Spring Man and Ribbon Girl battling it out and at the end put the burning Smash logo into Spring Man's eye to enter ARMS into the franchise. A character from Xenoblade Chronicles 2 is likely as well, probably Rex, the main character (though Pyra and Mythra would be more pleasing to the eyes). With Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker coming to the Switch, Toad should finally become part of the roster as well, because he certainly deserves to be more than Peach's doll for eternity.

If they are really good, they will also add contents based on future Switch games, e.g. something from Metroid Prime 4, like Sylux as a new playable character. If the rumors about Bandai Namco developing the title are indeed true, this wouldn't be too unlikely, since they had been involved with Smash 4 a great deal. And there will be a new Fire Emblem game with new main characters to join the Smash roster, of course. These reveals could go hand in hand with showcases of new games at E3.

At the same time, being an enhanced port of the last game, all the "old" contents will still be present. And that's not a bad thing. Only this way it will have a real chance of becoming the biggest Smash Bros. up to date, yet again. With the DLC of previous titles they even brought back some veterans like Mewtwo, Lucas or Roy and retro stages like Dream Land 64, Hyrule Castle and Tetra's Pirate Ship. And they could keep doing this here. Bring back the Ice Climbers, now that the limitations of the Nintendo 3DS are gone. Bring back Wolf. Maybe even bring back some of those other Pokémon and some more retro stages like Green Greens or Great Bay, this time based on Majora's Mask 3D.

Well, the majority of past stages and characters was already included in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U & Nintendo 3DS. It even felt like they recycled a little bit too much. But by adding on top of that and focusing on delivering new contents, this could certainly become the ultimate Super Smash Bros., spanning the entire history of the series and Nintendo as a whole. That's why Nintendo won't call it "Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo Switch", because it would give the wrong idea, despite this most likely being based on a port. Unlike the Wii U and Nintendo 3DS iterations, this won't be split up into two different games, this will combine it all and add more on top.

Existing characters could also see updates in form of new moves and alternates. Link was already shown in his Breath of the Wild appearance, which could mean many things. It could be just a visual update to the existing character, the existing character could have seen a couple of updates in the moves or it's a completely new "Wild Link" character on his own. Sheikah Slate Bombs could replace the classic Bombs, the Paraglider with Revali's Gale could be his new recovery move, Ancient Arrows could be his new Final Smash, Magnesis could replace the Boomerang, Stasis and Link's newfound climbing abilities could replace the Hookshot, and Daruk's Protection could be his shield. There are many possibilities here.

Let's say that they've updated the existing Link with Breath of the Wild features, it's still possible that you could re-create the classic Link using alternate costumes and custom moves. With Super Smash Bros. for Wii U & Nintendo 3DS they already started giving characters alternates that aren't just color swaps, but completely different models and sometimes even different characters. There's Bayonetta with different hair styles, there are male and female versions of the Fire Emblem protagonists and the Villager from Animal Crossing, there's Bowser Jr. with the Koopalings and Alph as an alternate for Olimar. In addition there were characters, who had completely unique custom moves, like Palutena.

They could expand on that to dive through the history of certain characters. Link could have alternates based on Ocarina of Time, Majora's Mask (Fierce Deity), Twilight Princess and Skyward Sword, while the Gale Boomerang from Twilight Princess could be one of his custom moves. Zelda could also see an update of her appearance based on Breath of the Wild, but offer Ocarina of Time, Twilight Princess and Skyward Sword alternates at the same time.

Other alternates could be real costumes and armors from the respective games, e.g. Breath of the Wild Link could have different armors from the game, like the Zora Armor, the Ancient Armor or the Wild Tunic. Or Toon Link could get different outfits from Tri Force Heroes, like the Spin Attack Attire or the Sword Suit. Samus would be a perfect candidate for this treatment, because so far she only got color swaps based on here different Power Suits, instead of the suits themselves. Give her the Fusion Suit, the Dark Suit, the Light Suit, the PED and so on.

With new characters there's also some potential for real alternates, as in different characters. Inklings will most likely come both in their male and female form. With ARMS it's possible that Spring Man will have Springtron as one of his alternates. Maybe even Ribbon Girl could become one, though it's more likely that she would become a clone with focus on stronger aerial play, if she ever were to be considered for Smash.

The possibilities are endless and Sora should have had more than enough time to polish everything, if this new game is based on an enhanced port of Smash 4.


Take everything from Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and those games' DLC, bring back some more veterans, add new characters and stages on top, update existing characters and franchises based on their newest games, while leaving past appearances as customization options, and done would be the biggest and most complete Smash of all times. There's no need for a do-over, it would only limit of what's possible in this sequel.

Friday, March 9, 2018

Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo Switch Announced

Well, this is one way to end an otherwise lackluster Nintendo Direct, unless you like ports, Splatoon or Mario Tennis. I didn't expect an announcement of the game before E3, but this will certainly generate tons of hype until June, where they can keep some real surprises for the show.

A Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo Switch was certainly expected, as were the Inklings as character additions. They didn't make it clear, but it probably will be just an enhanced port, "Definitive Edition" or "Deluxe" version of Super Smash Bros. for Wii U & Nintendo 3DS with all DLC, stages and characters from both versions, plus some content added on top like the Inklings.

What's interesting is that Link is shown in his Breath of the Wild incarnation:

This could be a skin for the normal Link, but I just recently thought that a "Wild Link" would be a potential addition for the Zelda roster, where he uses his Paraglider for B-Up or the Ancient Arrows for his Final Smash. In any case I'm sick of the Twilight Princess looks for the Zelda characters and an update would be very welcome.

It's also thinkable that they are updating some of the characters based on the new games. So, Link will be closer to his Breath of the Wild counterpart, while Mario could finally ditch his F.L.U.D.D. for Cappy.

With that in mind it's also possible that this new Smash game is in fact meant to be a real new Smash game. Super Smash Bros. for Wii U & Nintendo 3DS might have been the basis for development, but it could have evolved from there into its own game, instead of being another mere port. We'll see at E3.

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Hyrule Warriors: Definitive Edition on May 18th

So, from my list of hopes for this Nintendo Direct, only the first bullet point made it... You never should expect too much out of a Nintendo Direct, especially since we have entered the Age of Ports.

Anyway, Hyrule Warriors: Definitive Edition will be available on May 18th to the rest of the world. That's two months after the Japanese release, which seems a little odd, since there shouldn't be much translation work required.

But it's not like I'm in a hurry. As long as the Switch won't have that Zelda / Hyrule Special Limited Collector's Edition and as long as the Switch just keeps getting ports (now even Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker), I won't buy the system anyway. Hyrule Warriors: Definitive Edition will be some filler for later.

Hyrule Warriors: Definitive Edition - 8-Bit Weapons Confirmed

Yesterday Koei Tecmo released yet another trailer for the Definitive Edition of Hyrule Warriors in Japan and at first I didn't pay much attention to it, because there have been so many trailers for the game lately, showcasing all characters.

However, if you look close at the 2:03 mark, you can clearly see the 8-Bit Fairy. So, the 8-Bit weapons are confirmed as well. This was the last version-exclusive feature, which they haven't shown so far, and in this case it wasn't a safe bet, because the 4+ dual-elemental weapons should make those obsolete, but it's certainly nice to have absolutely everything in some form.

They could even go as far and add more of them, based on the remaining items from the original The Legend of Zelda game. Wizzro could get the 8-Bit Blue Ring for example and Tingle the 8-Bit Hearts. They could also use items from Zelda II - The Adventure of Link, e.g. the 8-Bit Hammer for Ravio or the 8-Bit Boots for Linkle.

Nintendo Direct March 2018 Predictions

Finally a new Nintendo Direct! The one in January was rather lackluster and Nintendo fans were craving for some news ever since and before. This one will also cover new announcements for Nintendo 3DS, which is exciting, because there had been rumors about a Link's Awakening remake earlier this year. And another Zelda game in the engine of A Link Between Worlds would certainly be lovely.

Here are all potential points of interest for this blog:

  • Release date for Hyrule Warriors: Definitive Edition in Europe and North America.
  • A new Zelda game for the Nintendo 3DS following A Link Between Worlds.
  • Zelda on Android/iOS with touch controls and a more chapter-based approach.
  • SoulCalibur VI announced for Nintendo Switch starring Link as a guest character for the first time since SoulCalibur II on the GameCube.
  • Some new Zelda amiibo, of course.
  • A final update for Breath of the Wild to celebrate the game's one year anniversary. It would add new armor pieces and some improvements, including more armor space for your inventory. Available right after the Direct.
  • A Special Edition Nintendo Switch based on Breath of the Wild. It would come with the game and the DLC pre-installed.

The first point should be a given, because the Hyrule Warriors: Definitive Edition will be released in exactly two weeks in Japan already, while we don't have a date for the other regions yet. They need to tell us sooner than later and this Nintendo Direct is the best opportunity to do so. And if the game has any further additions other than new costumes and 4+ weapons, now is the time to reveal them.

The following three points are based on recent rumors, where the fact that this Direct will still feature Nintendo 3DS games makes the prospect of another Zelda title on the platform seem quite promising. However, Nintendo didn't announce anything about Android/iOS titles, so a Zelda game for Smartphones might not be a topic for now, especially since they recently announced Mario Kart Tour for 2019, but didn't say anything about Zelda. But let's see.

The last two points are wishful thinking from my end, where I still hope that Nintendo isn't completely done with Breath of the Wild yet. The game still needs some fixing and I still need my Special Edition Nintendo Switch, so I finally can purchase the system as a Zelda fan.

There also could be another teaser for Metroid Prime 4, but Nintendo will probably save the big reveals for E3. I certainly wouldn't mind to learn more about the game, though.

Breath of the Wild: More Monster amiibo?

Breath of the Wild already got nine amiibo figurines made for the game, while it also supports eight other The Legend of Zelda amiibo with exclusive contents and features, as well as five amiibo of the Super Smash Bros. series based on Zelda characters.

That's a lot, where Nintendo probably overdid things. But Breath of the Wild is a money maker, where they might as well keep going. As for future Zelda amiibo, there are certainly many possibilities, where it already starts with other incarnations of Link and Zelda and where it continues with other characters for a change, like, uhm... different incarnations of Ganondorf.

But Breath of the Wild itself already left some gaps. Well, they did amiibo based on all the character artworks for the game and covered those completely:

  • Archer Link
  • Rider Link
  • Zelda
  • Bokoblin
  • Guardian
  • Daruk
  • Mipha
  • Revali
  • Urbosa

It's unlikely that they would release more character arts and amiibo based on them at this point, but never say never. The clear gaps here are in the selection of enemies. The artworks and amiibo feature the Bokoblin and the Guardian, but not a Moblin, a Lizalfos or a Lynel, which are all equally prominent in the game. All of these would even feature special monster weaponry, which are currently inaccessible via amiibo, while you can get Boko and Guardian weapons from the respective ones. And who wouldn't like to have a Lynel amiibo?

If Nintendo was to squeeze out even more money from their Zelda fans, they could even do special golden variants of the Bokoblin, Moblin, Lizalfos and Lynel based on the game's Master Mode. They did it for Mario, after all...