Friday, March 17, 2017

Breath of the Wild Adventure Log, Entry 14

Maze Runner

I haven't made much progress the last two days, mostly just exploring some environments. This includes the far north, where I visited the Sha Gehma Shrine with small, but nice "Shift and Lock" puzzle. And from there I made my way past a White-Maned Lynel to the North Lomel Labyrinth.

I didn't find it as impressive as the one in the south, mostly because it didn't have the same maze-quality to it. You could read most of the labyrinth on the map and you could probably skip to the end by climbing the walls. Exploring the entire labyrinth took much longer, but also didn't seem all that worthwhile, save for Qaza Tokki's Blessing at the end.

Next stop was the Thyphlo Ruins, where you can locate Ketoh Wawai's Blessing, if you make it through some really dark forest. And I mean REALLY dark...

This takes me back to the early Twilight Princess trailers, where Link explored some forest at night with his lantern. It's just a little bit more intense here, because you can't see anything without a torch. I want to fully explore this area, as soon as I got that glowing costume, which you can buy at Gerudo Town.

I haven't done the labyrinth at Akkala yet, but I did open the shrine for Ritaag Zumo's Blessing at the Rist Peninsula, where you have to carry an orb over a circling area through the water. There are lots of Black Moblins and Lizalfos here without any weapons for some easy prey, but they will try to grab on to your orb and throw it, if you're not careful.

Trying amiibo

This is something that I hadn't done so far, because it felt like cheating. But everything in the game has gotten so expansive now that I really can use all the materials, Rupees and so on. Upgrading armor is especially expansive and I reached a point, where I don't feel bad about using amiibo.

Also, I've heard that there are exclusive armor sets and weapons that you can get by scanning the various Zelda amiibo. Supposedly this includes many classic looks and weapons for Link, e.g. the Hero's Tunic or the Biggoron Sword. There's even a full Fierce Deity Link set in the game, however, you can only get it from some Majora's Mask Link amiibo, which hasn't been released yet. The same goes for a Skyward Sword set. See a guide with a full list of exclusives on Reddit.

I'm not sure, how I feel about this. On the one hand I didn't want the new Link to slowly transform back into classic Link during the game, where he gets the Hero's Tunic, rides on Epona and uses his indestructible Hylian Shield, because that would be boring. He has the Master Sword, but it's limited now and otherwise the game focuses on new things, which is good. Also, all these items don't make much sense in the game. So, adding this kind of stuff as amiibo presents might have been the right solution, because it doesn't really count and it gives the amiibo owners something special that is related to the figurines.

On the other hand I like, how you can get the Dark Link costume in the game, which isn't some amiibo exclusive, and there's no real reason, why the other stuff shouldn't be available on similar means. I'm not a fan of the practice of locking collectible items behind amiibo, where I was quite happy about the fact that Tri Force Heroes didn't go that route. Since I got all the Zelda amiibo, I won't miss out, but it certainly sucks for everyone, who wants to complete their armor collections, but doesn't want to invest as much money into figurines...

Other than those special armor pieces and weapons, you can also get Epona with the Smash Link amiibo, where I got her right away. And she's essentially a cheat horse with best stats, who is fully tamed right away:

She pretty much makes all the other horses obsolete and this is the stuff that I was afraid about. But since she's just an "amiibo cheat", I can live with it. It seems like the amiibo give you the things that shouldn't be in the game. You can't rename her, by the way, the stable owner will recognize her as the Horse of Legend. (Update: there are horses with better stats in the game and you also can't put saddles or bridles on her.)

Well, I gave the obstacle course at the Highland Stable another go, where the key to winning seems to not use the A button to speed up, unlike in past Zelda games, where you had to speed up to jump over fences. I'm not sold on the new horse controls and it took me many tries to finally beat this minigame, because the steering has similar issues to Twilight Princess HD, though it's not as bad. I also had it quite often that Epona would try to avoid the obstacles going either left or right, where then she would stop in front of the poles. Playing this minigame was rather frustrating, where I almost was about to anger that horse god around the corner...

But I haven't done much with horses in the game so far, to be honest. I usually just walk through the areas, keeping an eye out for Koroks. The obstacle course even gave me my first set of horse gear and the Archer Link amiibo gave me a second one. But otherwise I didn't find a single piece of horse equipment anywhere yet, except for the one in Kilton's shop. I suppose, most of it might be related to other horseback minigames like at the Mounted Archery Camp. By the way, those horse armor pieces were out into the "Key Items" menu, which feels kind of odd. It probably could have gotten its own inventory space.

Of course I also had to try Wolf Link and this is easily my favorite amiibo usage made by Nintendo. It feels really good having him around and he sticks quite for a while. You can even summon him again, e.g. after you teleported, as long as he didn't run out of health.

Major Tests of Strength

Breath of the Wild really is about getting stronger, much more than in any other Zelda game before. And I'm more and more invested in the fighting. I made my way through Lanayru Promenade today and for some reason I ended up with four or five Royal Broaswords with Critical Hits, which is a superb weapon. So, I decided to take on the Lynel at Purifier Lake with success. When I first fought it there, I didn't stand a chance. By now it was replaced by a Blue-Maned Lynel and I could beat the thing without any bigger losses.

However, when I tried taking on another Blue-Maned Lynel at Oseira Plains, I was faced with troubles once again. I also don't like, how quickly the game upgrades its enemies everywhere. I now felt ready to fight normal Lynels, but the game simply replaced them all with blue ones. It feels like you never make any progress.

Anyway, I wanted to burn through some good weapons somehow, where I decided to try the Major Tests of Strengths. I found three shrines so far that offer these and I avoided them up until now, because I didn't feel ready. Well, I'm ready now and the fights were absolutely enjoyable. I especially liked the rooms with water on the ground, where you could use Cryonis to shield yourself during the fight.

But it didn't really help with my weapon situation, because I just ended up with lots of good Guardian gear and the Flamespear from the dragon quest. So, there's even more nice stuff to carry around... Well, let's see, what I shall hunt next...

Current Progress:
  • Shrines: 73
  • Koroks: 163
  • Divine Beasts: 4

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