Friday, March 24, 2017

Breath of the Wild Adventure Log, Entry 17

Nothing major happened this week, which is why this is the first post in five days. My main goals for this week were exploring some of the areas, completing my armor collection and going after Link's memories. I found some interesting mounts on my way, fought my first White-Maned Lynels, destroyed lots of Guardians and did also a couple of shrines.

amiibo and Armor

Isn't it somewhat ironic that you fight a Blue Hinox at the Talus Plateau? You know, instead of an actual Talus? Well, I get that the whole area around Lanayru Bay is riddled with references to the lands from Oracle of Ages & Seasons, but it still would have been nice to put a Talus there.

Well, I did the "Master of the Wind" Shrine Quest in the area and received Shai Yota's Blessing, as well as another Great Flameblade for the little trouble. Otherwise the areas towards the east coast seems to hold many Hinox, which includes the one on Eventide Island. I went back there for a little revenge and scanned my amiibo afterwards on the spot...

And I was really lucky that day. Almost all the amiibo that unlock exclusive armor pieces gave me one. The only exception so far is the Smash Link. I was probably quite lucky, when this amiibo gave me Epona right away, and it seems to be burned out on luck. But with the other sets I got two pieces each and I also got Sheik's Mask. And I wish that alternative head pieces would still count for the set bonus, because some of them look a lot better.

It's the same with the Ancient Armor set. I really like the Ancient Cuirass and the Ancient Greaves, but the helm just looks stupid, where I'd wish that the Diamond Circlet would give me the same effect and count as an alternative for the set bonus.

Well, other than the Ancient set, I also bought the Desert Voe set and the Radiant set from the secret shop in Gerudo Town. The first is what you need to resist that greater heat in the outer desert regions and it even gives some resistance to shock damage as a set bonus. The Radiant set on the other hand doesn't give any advantage in the Thyphlo Ruins, so it's not like the Light Armor in Tri Force Heroes. It looks funny, though... It makes Link look like a luchador in the light and like a skeleton in the dark. I suppose that this is a nod to how the Gerudo's Fortress in Ocarina of Time was influenced by Mexico with the design and the music.

Lord of the Mountain

Sometimes you can spot this glowing light at Satori Mountain. I saw this a couple of times in the game before, including at the time, where I was still at the Great Plateau. But when I first arrived at the mountain, it wasn't there and I also didn't understand the meaning of the pond with the big cherry blossom tree next to it.

Well, when I saw the light from a distance again I decided to warp back there via the Mogg Latan Shrine to investigate. And I was greeted with some ghostly presences around the pond. Lots of Blupees and this thing called the "Lord of the Mountain", where my first intuition was to shoot it with arrows for some Rupees. But luckily I didn't, but decided to mount and tame it instead...

It's like a super horse and underneath its glowing white skin it seems to be of a mechanical nature based on Sheikah technology. Hyrule Compendium also talks about this being a resurrected sage. So, it's all very mysterious, but this "horse" seems to have perfect stats, limitless stamina and offers full control right from the start. Riding it felt good. And it's a shame that you can't keep it...

But then this probably would be too much of a cheat... Anyway, at least I managed to find the "Royal White Stallion" around the area later on, where I still pretend that it's a "her" and gave her the name "Zelda", like I said I would.

She has five stars for Stamina, similar to how the Ganon horse has five stars in Strength. I suppose that the Lord of the Mountain has everything maxed out with five stars, if you could register him. And there might be a third special horse in the game that you can get with maximum speed. I'm not sure, whether normal wild horses can get five stars. Epona only has four stars with all stats and even made me believe for a moment that this would be the best. But maybe you can get lucky and find an even better horse...

Apropos special mounts, I found and rode a bear today... Because I can!

Cold Hiking

I wanted to clear some of the Shrine Quests, where two of them were still left around the Rito Village. The "Ancient Rito Song" led to another pedestal, where you had to do something around a specific time of day. And to my positive surprise it didn't just hand out a blessing, but let you play Bareeda Naag's little "Cannon" trial. It wasn't difficult, in fact I did both courses on my first try, but I still liked the concept.

The other Shrine Quest called "The Bird in the Mountains" led me back to the Hebra Mountains, where I explored the northwest area. And to my surprise these mountains turned out to be quite large.

I also encountered some enemies using Frostspears for the first time, which was quite the relief. After getting these elemental spears from the quests for the three dragons, I was afraid that you could only get these spears again by crafting them somewhere with a scale or a fang from said dragons, similar to the Champion Weapons. But luckily that's not the case and you can just find them in the right spots as well.

Apropos frost weapons, it's fun to freeze enemies and work with that. For example you can push them off an abyss, where the fall will potentially kill them off.

Anyway, after a long time of exploring and climbing I finally solved the Shrine Quest and made it to the Mozo Shenno Shrine, where "Major Test of Strenght" awaits. So, there were even more than just the four! In this scenario you have to use Magnesis to build some protections.

I also found the Shada Naw Shrine with the "Red Giveaway" trial, which is right next to Selmie's Spot. She's like this huge shield surfing enthusiast and you can play a little minigame here, which luckily isn't as unforgiving as the snowboarding in Twilight Princess. Curiously, I found it much harder to beat the time of the beginner's course than the time of the advanced course. With the latter you can just take big shortcuts with the Paraglider, while the beginner's track was pretty straightforward.

Selmie also made it sound like the Royal Shield is the best one - for shield surfing at least. She probably would have been super jealous that I have so many of them by now... I got lots of them by using the amiibo. But it also made me wonder, if you still can find Hylian Shields in this game. Maybe in Hyrule Castle?

Hot Hiking

After spending so much time in the cold, I had to warm myself up, where Death Mountain seemed like the best place. My main goal here was collecting some Smotherwing Butterflies to upgrade the Flamebreaker set, but that turned out to be a tedious task. While I enjoyed collecting lots of insects in Skyward Sword, here they are a little bit too small and realistic. It's hard to capture them with your camera and it's also hard to notice them in the first place. I often only see them, when it's too late and they are flying already away.

I also have to say that I'm somewhat underwhelmed by Goron City in this game. It was one of my favorite places in Ocarina of Time, but they weren't really able to capture its magic. It starts with the annoying trumpet music, but it just feels way too small, especially when compared to the new and glorious Zora's Domain. For this game they could have created Goron City as a huge mine pit on Death Mountain, where in its shape it would be similar to the original...

They also could have done a little bit more with the minecarts. It's fun, how you use them with bombs and they act entirely based on the game's physics, but there only seem to be the two tracks...

At least these tracks lead to a nice shrine, the "Blue Flame" puzzle by Shora Hah. That's a longer one, where I got more weapons than I wanted. Other than this shrine I also discovered the Qua Raym Shrine ("A Balanced Approach"), which was visually well hidden inside the lava lakes. And there was the Tah Muhl Shrine ("Passing the Flame") near the stable with a Shrine Quest leading to it. In this one I liked, how you had to use Magnesis on a traditional item in the series.

Strong Memories

Another thing that you can find around the area of Death Mountain was a memory of Link and Zelda. In this one Link took down an horde of enemies including multiple White-Maned Lynels, while only receiving a cut. So far I couldn't even take down one! It's like the Link of 100 years ago was on this whole other level and now you're trying to live up to it.

So, for me this was the incentive to finally defeat some White-Maned Lynels. That and the fact that I finally had to make some good use of my weapon collection. So, I went back to Oseira Plains, where you can find two of them. The first fight didn't go too well, I got hurt plenty and had to invest lots of food to beat this guy.

The second fight right after, however, went down quite smoothly. Of course I got a little bit better at fighting them, especially shooting arrows at their heads to stun them briefly helps quite a lot. But the main difference came from their weapons, where the first one used a "Savage Lynel Crusher" and other one a "Savage Lynel Spear". The crusher did a lot more damage and its shock wave could even kick you out of a Flurry Rush. The spear wasn't as bad and became a really nice weapon for the time. Still, I would like to practice more on easier models, but I can't find any blue ones anymore. There's only the red one on Ploymus Mountain, but there's no quick way up there.

I also grew more curious about the story and decided to look for the missing memories, which brought me right into Central Hyrule. There for the first time I went to the Coliseum...

This place is very interesting. During the Great Plateau phase of the game you can almost touch it, but from there it just looks like a mountain, where it would be a lot of fun to climb it. But looks can be deceiving. If you actually paid close attention, you could already spot the coliseum from the Great Plateau, right at a corner, but the full picture really unfolds, if you actually go to its front.

This place looks like a death trap, where to my unpleasant surprise a "Silver Lynel" awaits... So, there is one last stronger kind of these things! Oh, boy! I haven't engaged it yet, I want to grow more confident about fighting the White-Maned Lynels first (which are essentially "Black Lynels" in the hierarchy).

On the bright side, the coliseum walls hold lots of black enemies equipped with all kinds of elemental weapons. Flameblades, Great Frostblades, Thunderspears... They had it all! So, if you ever want to stock up on them, looks like this is the place.

Guardians Kaput

For the final memory in Central Hyrule I had to go right to the gates of Hyrule Castle Town, either avoiding or fighting the Guardians in the area. And the memory there probably wasn't worth the trouble...

Still, fighting the Guardians went surprisingly well. I did it on foot, which is probably a mistake, because they can easily run from you and keep shooting you. But you can temporarily freeze them with Stasis and the Master Sword wrecks them good. You have to focus on destroying their legs first, so that they are immobilized. Then they are as easy to fight as their decayed counterparts.

Being more confident about the situation, I decided to go even further and explore Hyrule Castle Town, while I'm there...

And I could stand my ground. Mostly because the Master Sword stayed active a lot longer than usual. I suppose, it has to do with its glowing light or maybe it doesn't deplete as fast while fighting Guardians, but it certainly was helpful. I destroyed around half a dozen Guardians (probably more) and only used a single Ancient Arrow. I even made myself feel at home and did some cooking within the middle of the Castle Town Ruins...

This also opened all gates in Akkala. I did the Lomei Labyrinth Island, where it turned out that I didn't have to worry about the Guardian Skywatchers at all. They only patrol the top of the walls and they don't see you inside the labyrinth. I had imagined that they would hunt you through the maze, which seemed like a nightmare scenario... You're also greeted with a Guardian Stalker right at the entrance, but in my case this wasn't an issue anymore. And if it was, you can probably just lose it in the maze.

Finishing the maze scores you Tu Ka'loh's Blessing and the Barbarian Helm, where now I should have all armor pieces that aren't amiibo exclusive. At least I think I do, there still could be some set in a shop, which I have forgotten or so.

Well, underneath the maze is some kind of Guardian Graveyard, where you can get a Diamond Circlet... It's good to know this, because saves you a lot of Rupees and diamonds in the end. I already bought the thing and didn't even get remotely enough for selling the duplicate.

There's another big Guardian Graveyard in the Torin Wetlands near Tarrey Town. There's even sidequest about destroy the two active Guardian Stalkers in the area, but the reward turned out to be a joke. However, I think I've trained enough. Unless Hyrule Castle is swarmed with Silver Lynels, I should be ready for Ganon. And I'm eager to learn, how the story ends...

Current Progress:
  • Shrines: 92
  • Koroks: 244
  • Divine Beasts: 4

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