Friday, March 10, 2017

Breath of the Wild Adventure Log, Entry 8

Today was a strong day! I took down my first Guardian, my first Lynel and finally that dreaded boss of Vah Naboris.

Labyrinth Time

I went to the South Lomei Labyrinth in the southeast of the Gerudo Desert, but I went there by climbing over the hills, starting from the Ishto Soh Shrine (my first shrine outside the Plateau). I expected this thing to be patrolled with Guardian Skywatchers similar to the Maze Island at Akkala, but it wasn't. There only was another stray Guardian Stalker on one of the hills, where I could safely watch it from a distance.

The labyrinth itself was breathtaking. You feel so small inside and it's easy to lose orientation, despite the advantages of being in a video game. I approached this labyrinth from above, so I could just glide on top of it, but it wasn't possible to see the solution from high up. You have to plunge down and deal with all the tunnels the direct way. The atmosphere inside is quite nice thanks to the Lost Woods music and the massive heights of the walls. The reward is the Dila Maag's Blessing Shrine, where for once I agreed that doing the labyrinth was a good trial and the shrine itself didn't need one.

However, there's another Blessing Shrine in Akkala, Zuna Kai's Blessing, where I don't agree at all. It's the one on the "eye" of the area that looks like a skull. All I had to do is glide down from above, where I had easy access thanks to the shrine with the Goron climber thugs. That's all. You don't even need to pay attention to the Shrine Quest, it's not hard to find and to get to this shrine. So, why in the world wouldn't it have a trial?

Well, I went to Akkala looking for the carpenter Hudson, but all I found were many Yiga attacking me. But I got a nice Windcleaver, Duplex Bow and Moblin Club from the area. All three items were wanted by the weapon nerd Nebb in Hateno in that exact order, so it was still worth it.

Guardian Snap

Another area that I visited today was the Puffer Beach. It has a shrine there, where a crazy woman makes love to the orb that you need to enter the shrine. To get the orb you have to show her pictures of living guardians, where luckily I still had some Skywatcher shots from Akkala and one of a Sentinel. All I needed was a big one, where at Puffer Beach there's one close by that either is inactive or pretends to be. It's not moving and you can get quite close to it without it targeting you, but the Camera still registers it as a "Guardian Stalker".

Maybe this is a trap, but in any case it gave me easy access to the Shoqa Tatone Shrine, where another "Modest Test of Strength" awaited. It took away my confusion about these Combat Trials, where I first thought that you just be doing the same thing with different stats. But like with most enemies in the game there are in fact different tiers of Guardian Sentinels. And thanks to the Champion's Tunic I could clearly tell that enemies of the same tier always have the same health stats.

Anyway, I was able to best the thing, where afterwards I also gave the "Modest Test of Strength" at the Muwo Jeem Shrine another shot. I visited this place early on my third day of playing, but I was seriously outmatched, where I now got my revenge. This even scored me a Battle Axe +, which was the next weapon that I needed for Nebb.

Lurelin Village

Up from the shrine I decided to explore the shoreline a little more, where I quickly landed in Lurelin Village... The people of Hateno do speak of the village here and there, so discovering it wasn't a surprise. And it's also probably the most uninteresting village so far.

It does remind me of Papuchia Village from Spirit Tracks and the wooden boxes in Lurelin are also branded with a logo that looks very much like one of the stamps from the game. And again Nintendo decided to go with a certain ethnicity with their fishing villages, but at least you get various skin colors and appearances in all the different tribes now, which I like. There's lots of variety with the NPCs.

They also nailed the atmosphere here, especially when it storms. How the rain masses whip against the shoreline, it all looks quite realistic. Though it does seem to rain a little bit too often in this game, where on my next journey I was plagued with thunderstorm after thunderstorm.

Faron Jungle

Since the village wasn't all that interesting, I ventured northwest towards the Faron Tower. I attempted going there earlier in the game from the other direction, but I didn't get far, because I wasn't prepared for the electric enemies.

And before you get there, you wander through this beautiful waterfall area at Lake Floria. It just looks amazing and it turned out to be another place, where the giant dragon Farosh hangs out. It's even much easier to get close to him here than at Lake Hylia.

The Shai Utoh Shrine at the Lakeside Stable was very well hidden. Well, maybe it was because of the constant rain storms, but I just couldn't find it at first, even with the Sheikah Sensor active. And the Faron Tower was "protected" by a Keese cloud, where you have no balconies to fight them off. But you can just shoot them from below to lure them in.

From the tower I continued to the "Serpent's Jaw" shrine quest, which was showcased by Nintendo in December already. It looks like you will need a scale of Farosh to complete the mission, which I will do later on. At least now I know a good spot to jump on the dragon...

Way back

Away from the jungle, I hiked towards the center of the map, to the road that leads from the Great Plateau to Dueling Peaks. I managed to jump on a deer here and wanted to know, what happens, if you brought one to a stable. Well, at least you get a funny dialog:

Well, my bad!

After I checked out the "Serpent's Jaw" today, I decided to also go for the other area outside the Plateau, which Nintendo had showcased as a preview: going for Hyrule Field right north of the Great Plateau.

There's the Kaam Ya'tak Shrine there with the "Trial of Power", which has to be one of my favorites. There's lots to do here, several small Guardians to fight and lots of stuff to loot, even a Diamond. After experiencing many lazy Blessing Shrines and Combat Trials, this was a nice change.

What didn't change was the weather, though. Ever since Lurelin Village I had one thunder storm after another. But the dark weather made me more confident at sneaking towards the Central Tower, where thanks to Nintendo's footage I knew that at least one Guardian would be there...

Not that it makes any difference, these machines spot you anyway. But I have a couple Ancient Arrows now and decided to put one to use by gliding towards the Guardian and using the mid-air slow motion effect with the Bow. Right in the eye. One shot, one kill. "Shooting an arrow into the eye" is one of the biggest cliches of the Zelda series, but Nintendo managed to make it fresh again thanks to the Guardians and the Ancient Arrows. Here it is suddenly cool and thrilling.

The Central Tower is also protected by two decayed Guardians, but I didn't want to waste any arrows on them. And you can avoid their shots by using the balconies, if you climb up fast enough. It still might be a total death trap for inexperienced players. (And those Guardians don't stay dead. I returned here later today and the Guardian was back.)

Now I basically followed the way from the Nintendo footage backwards over the Gleeock Bridge to the Outskirt Stable with the Rota Ooh Shrine, which has a nice puzzle with a red/blue switch flipping an entire wall.

I also made it to the Dah Kaso Shrine under a sleeping Hinox on the Digdogg Suspension Bridge. There's also a "Manhala Bridge" close by and a "Aquame Lake"... Now, where are Gohma and Dodongo? But I do like all the naming references on the map. Anyway, the shrine only holds another "Minor Test of Strength" Combat Trail, so nothing special.

Revenge of the Fallen

Thanks to all the shrines and combat trials I got a lot of Guardian gear in my inventory and I decided to give the boss of the Vah Naboris Divine Beast another go. With success this time. The key to winning at the end were those perfect dodges and releasing a flurry rush on the enemy. It is really hard to pull off the perfect timing, but I like, how the fights in this game are not just some glorified puzzles. You have to master the combat in this game and it feels great to get better at it.

But the boss wasn't the only unfinished business inside Vah Naboris, because there still was this chest hanging on a rope:

It ultimately doesn't matter, if you get all the chests in a dungeon or anywhere really, unless they contain a unique piece of armor, but they rarely ever do. But I still have the ambition to go for every chest that I see and this was no exception. The problem with this chest is that you can screw up, where it falls down into the abyss. Then you have to leave the dungeon to get it back on the rope. But I figured it out and could finally close this chapter after so many days.

(It's funny, how Riju remained on the tower the ENTIRE time, waiting for my success at Vah Naboris. After my retreat I was doing quests all over the world, which took days.)

I like Urbosa quite a lot, she will certainly be part of the next Hyrule Warriors game with Lightning based Gerudo Scimitars. She's just too perfect for the role. And I liked, how she commented on Ganon being a Gerudo in the past. She also confirmed that Vah Naboris was named after Nabooru, where I suppose that Vah Rudania was named after Darunia and Vah Medoh was named after Medli. And this would strongly suggest a timeline placement after the Wind Waker, if it wasn't for the references to pretty much all the games. So, I still think that a timeline merge could be a thing in this.

Urbosa's Fury also seems like a cool ability, where I now understood that those Champion abilities have a cooldown after using them. So, the only reason to disable Mipha's Grace would be, when you want to save it for a boss fight.

Sandy Sidequests

Like with Zora's Domain, you get the possibility to do lots of sidequest around Gerudo Town now. Some of it could be done before conquering Vah Naboris, but now you have access to all of it. And unlike with the Zoras there's even a grand price in it. You can get Rija's oversized Thunderhelm, if you make all her people happy.

And you now can fully explore the desert. As a start I went back to the sandstorm area near Gerudo Tower, where for some reason the sandstorm suddenly vanished, after I solved a Korok Puzzle. I'm not sure, if this was related or if this just was coincidence. But I was able to spot a shrine, which was previously hidden well within the sandstorm. It was the Dako Tah Shrine with some electric line puzzles and lots of chests to find. (Update: seemingly getting to the shrine itself cleared the sandstorm.)

Lynel Hunt

After defeating both a Guardian and my arch nemesis today, I tasted blood. I wanted to see, if I can really claim the Master Sword, after getting one of the hoofs. So, I decided to aim for the Lynel, which is in the grasslands below the Ishto Soh Shrine, at the Oseira Plains. I tried using an Ancient Arrow on it first, but it just looks like it vanishes into some small black hole and it leaves nothing behind (unlike the Guardians). So, you can't use those to cheat.

Don't worry, I didn't waste that arrow, but loaded a savegame right before the action. The savegame feature really invites you to do experiments. You can always go back, if it fails.

So, I had to fight the lion centaur mano-a-mano, where I did pick a weaker subject. It only was equipped with a giant club, not swords, and despite having a bow, it didn't use it to shoot any arrows at me. It did make use of its fire breath, though, which is a feature of the Lynels from A Link Between Worlds. Nice to see that this also made it in.

But in the grasslands this was to its disadvantage, because I could use the upstreams to fly above it and rain down all kinds of arrows. I was even able to land on its back once, but it shoved me off quickly. It seems like you can actually sneak on Lynels and try to mount them. How hilarious would it be, if you could actually tame and ride one! THEN I would like to see the reaction of the stable owners!

The fight was tough and it cost me all my health enhancing food, because I still screw up dodging and those Lynels hit hard. But I got my hoof...!

I have 12 Heart Containers by now, which is the exact number that you needed to get the Magical Sword in the first The Legend of Zelda game. So, I tried pulling the Master Sword both before and after giving the hoof to Walton, the Riddle Quest Korok. And it ended both the same way:

To die a hero...

This might be placebo, but finishing the Riddle Quest seemed to make a big difference, where I almost had the blade out. I suppose, I could do it with 15 Heart Containers, which is one full row of hearts in this game. The Deku Tree even suggests switching vessels at the dark statue in Hateno, but this thing creeps me out and costs a lot of Rupees. Also, I like having a second Stamina Wheel, it's very helpful with the climbing. Still, from now on I will invest all my Spirit Orbs into Heart Containers, so I can finally get the Master Sword.

End of Day 8 Progress
  • Shrines: 48
  • Koroks: 89
  • Divine Beasts: 2

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