Saturday, March 25, 2017

Breath of the Wild Adventure Log, Entry 18

Final Preparations

My big goal for today was exploring Hyrule Castle and facing the Calamity Ganon, but before that I still did a couple of side quests and shrine quests, where for the latter I only had "A Brother's Roast" open for now. In this little quest, you had to bring one of the Gorons a "Rock Roast", which was similar to the "Rock Sirloin" in Majora's Mask. You even had to carry the thing, while avoiding some enemies. This led to Kayra Mah's "Greedy Hill" trial, which reminded of the boulder slopes from the Earth Temple in Skyward Sword.

I also got an Ancient Short Sword in the hopes that it might be useful around Hyrule Castle, where I showed it to Nebb to finally complete the "Weapon Connoisseur" side quest in Hateno. It doesn't strike me as any different from a Guardian Sword++, but it might be more durable. Otherwise it wouldn't really justify the high price.

My last stop before Hyrule Castle was the Woodland Stable, where I did the side quest with the little girl and the balloons. I didn't even know that you could tie them to things to make them float! That's funny and there seem to be many things that you can play around with. Other than food and wood I rarely ever take stuff out of my inventory... But it might be fun to investigate, what's possible with the various items.

Hyrule Castle Ascension

Nintendo certainly outdid themselves with this "dungeon". It's fully intertwined with the overworld, it's massive and completely non-linear. Many roads lead to Ganon. While I haven't explored the whole thing yet, I would compare it to the Great Palace in Zelda II - The Adventure of Link. If you know, what you're doing and where you're going, it's not as difficult and you can even avoid the tough fights on your way to the final boss. The only difference here is that you're going up, instead of down.

There are some rooms, where you get trapped together with a Lynel, where finally I found a blue one again, which still feels like the right difficulty at the time. However, it didn't drop his weapons or his shield, which has me worried about this upcoming "Cave of Trials" in the DLC. So far all enemies always dropped their stuff, if you beat them (sometimes also when you hit them hard). In a Trial Cave this would ensure that you never run out of weapons... But if the game also has the option to remove drops, then I have a bad feeling about this... (Update: when I fought the White-Maned Lynel in a similar room, he dropped his things. Might have been a bug / false alarm earlier.)

Well, instead of going through the tunnels like last time, I decided to simply climb the castle from the outside, which is plastered with Guardian Turrets. They seem quite sturdy, if you try to destroy them with the Master Sword. But it's possible to avoid them and thanks to the Zora Armor you can even quickly climb up the various waterfalls in the area. So, it didn't take me long to reach the top part, where I was hoping to find that last memory and maybe a even a travel gate, so you can quickly fight Ganon later on. Well, I didn't pay too much attention to the big glowing orb on the map that is labelled as "Calamity Ganon" and instead of finding some travel gate, I accidentally ran into the final boss himself...

At first I was afraid that finishing the final boss would eradicate your savegame, but luckily that's not the case. It even gets marked with a star and there doesn't seem to be a death counter, which is good. While I died quite a lot on the Great Plateau, I never died again later in the game, because I simply would retreat or load a previous savegame, when the battles turn too resource-intensive. And I wouldn't like it, if my savegame got tainted now after spending over 160 hours on this.

Well, after the fight the game put me right back to where I accidentally ran into the final boss, so now I could avoid the thing and explore some more of the top in the hope to find a Travel Gate.

While I had no luck finding a Travel Gate up there, I remembered the words of some guy at the Woodland Stable, who talks about some docks in the north and that there would be even a shrine there. You can't see these docks from the other side of the mold, but if you study the map, you can spot this cave entrance right in the water. So, I decided to go down there and check it out, where I really found the docks and even the Saas Ko'sah Shrine... looks like I found my travel gate after all. It's not on top of the castle for some fast access to the final boss, but it will have to do. It offers another "Major Test of Strength", whee the Guardian wields all three ++ weapons. Handy.

From there you can make your way to the library, which is connected to another sidequest about finding a recipe. While I haven't found said recipe yet, I did find another recipe, which seems to be a funny reference to Spirit Tracks. It's the Chancellor's favorite "Monster Cake", which motivates you to plan evil schemes! Ha, nice one! I wonder, if this really is from the times of Chancellor Cole or if chancellors in Hyrule just turn out to be evil in every generation.

After beating the game, it also gives you more information about your completion status. There is now a total for Side Quests and Shrine Quests visible and there is a completion rate on the map. It doesn't seem to be explained in the game, but according to IGN it includes Divine Beasts, Shrines, Koroks and place names. I'm at roughly 40% now, but I haven't even found a third of all the Koroks yet.

And for the completionist that I am, it feels like the game just has started...

Current Progress:
  • Divine Beasts: 4/4
  • Shrines: 94/120
  • Koroks: 252/900
  • Shrine Quests: 34/42
  • Side Quests: 60/76
  • Map Rate: 40.69%

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