Saturday, April 15, 2017

Breath of the Wild Adventure Log, Entry 26

If updates on this blog are getting less frequent, it's because there is less and less to talk about. I'm currently on the hunt for the last remaining shrines, where I'm not using the Sheikah Sensor to target them. I want to find them on my own. Instead I'm targeting treasure chests, where I keep getting distracted. But this way I explore the environments in greater detail, where I'm finding more and more Koroks and ideally also the rest of the shrines.

A Minor Test of Courage

One of my first travel destinations this week were the river isles to the west and east of Hyrule Castle. Since I haven't been there yet, I thought this should be the first place to look for the last 10 Sheikah Shrines...

And this was quite the success, because I found three shrines in total! The first one was the hidden Noya Neha Shrine. I probably would have missed it, if it wasn't for the cave music that in this case also played on top of the hill, where the shrine was under. This gave it away and made me look in the other direction to find the entrance. I also found the Katah Chuki Shrine near the Hyrule Castle Town walls.

Both of these had one thing in common: they offered a "Minor Test of Strength" as a trial, where I thought that this was funny that I'm facing them so late in the game. These areas are patrolled with Guardians, where my instincts always drew me away from these places. I'm not sure, what Nintendo was thinking here, but maybe they wanted to offer something manageable for those, who try to get to Hyrule Castle early on... But for me it was weird to find these minor strength tests so late in the game, after I've done over half a dozen "Major Tests of Strength" already.

(And since we're talking about such weird things... I just found the last entry in the "Ability Controls" menu right below the options. I was missing the "Jump Slash" technique and it turned out that I had to talk to the guy in Kakariko, who likes to train with his sword. It's funny, how you can find the tutorials so late in the game.)

Anyway, I also found another "Modest Test of Strength" in the Namika Ozz Shrine at the Crenel Hills. This area was also quite nice with the these hollow tree chambers, where each of them housed a different type of elemental Wizzrobes and Chuchus together.

Of Kings and Bosses

Now that I'm exploring more of the center of Hyrule, I finally noticed some references to Zelda II - The Adventure of Link: there's a "Helmhead Bridge" and "Carok Bridge", both named after bosses from the game. Earlier I was afraid that there weren't any references to this game at all. Overall I would have liked, if there was a "Parapa" region somewhere, but these bridges are better than nothing.

I also noticed, how there are "mountains" named after all the kings in the series. There's Mount Daphnes, Mount Gustaf and Mount Rhoam all around Hyrule Field. But there's also the "Tuft Mountain" near the southern coast, which is the first (and probably only) reference to Tri Force Heroes that I caught in the game.

Now, the only Zelda games, where I haven't noticed any direct references yet, are the Four Swords games. But it's not like these two games had much original content to begin with. I guess, you could count the overabundant usage of the word "Talus", but this area name originated from Oracle of Ages...

Full Stash

After collecting 441 Korok Seeds, I was "already" gifted with the power of full stashes by Hestu:

Shakala! This seems a little odd. Why not make it an even 450? That would be exactly half of the Korok Seeds. And why not keep giving the player something for collecting the rest? I bet that collecting them all won't be worth the effort, probably just the traditional endless Rupee supply, if anything at all.

A Quest for Shrines

After finding three new shrines around Hyrule Castle, I was somewhat at a loss, where I should be looking next. It felt like I have been everywhere already, so at first I didn't have any specific destinations and I kept heading out towards random locations or just following the Sheikah Sensor+ from one treasure chest to the next.

Since I was at the Korok Forest to make the final upgrades to my stash, I there went after some treasure chests hidden inside trees that I missed, when I went through the Lost Words the first time. And his led me back to the Military Training Camp...

After I got all the chests there, I decided to make a tour around the Thyphlo Ruins, because I hadn't explored the area north of them yet, the Deplian Badlands. But I didn't find anything interesting there, only some Lynels and Koroks. But this was the perfect opportunity to explore all of the ruins to get all the hidden treasure chests in the area and to finally have some use for the fully upgraded Luminous Armor.

It doesn't give off any real light, though, so you still have to carry a torch around. I would have preferred something more similar to the Light Armor in Tri Force Heroes, so that this set has some real use other than looking cool in the dark and silly in the light.

I've also spent more time in Central Hyrule, where other than studying bridge names I rode against Guardians using horses that I tamed on the fly.

After depleting the Master Sword, I also tried out a Guardian Sword++ and the Ancient Spear against the Guardians, which felt even more satisfying than the Master Sword. It was also a good idea to gradually burn down all of my stronger weapons, instead of clinging to them, so I finally had more space in my inventory for basic tools like Korok Leaves or Torches.

Otherwise I mostly explored around the Necluda and Faron regions, where I spent quite some time around Lake Floria. This whole area is infested with treasure chests, which kept me busy for a while and even lured me back in again and again, when I explored in the areas around, like at the Keelay Plain. I spent so much time there that by now I could open a shop for Farosh body parts, because he kept appearing and I kept taking my shots at him, even though it was basically a distraction from a distraction. But hey, at least I found a lot of Koroks on my way and even discovered a new type of Korok puzzle - after like finding half of them. It involves the local statues, so this type of puzzle is probably only present around Lake Floria and Faron Woods.

Finding chests can also be tricky in this area, where the Sheikah Sensor sometimes isn't of much help. I would prefer it, if it made a steady sound, even if you're standing still, as soon as you're very close to your target. The way it is now, pinpointing the location of chests can be quite confusing, because if the chest is below or above you, you don't get a clear reading.

Apropos chests, there seems to be a glitched chest in the ocean at Aris Beach. It's stuck underwater and I wasn't able to pull it out with Magnesis. I even tried Stasis and shooting things at it...

Anyway, I've explored a lot, found many chests and Koroks, but in terms of finding new shrines, this all has been fruitless efforts. So, I decided to return to my original method and try to pinpoint places, where I haven't been yet. After all I still had three Shrine Quests open, where there had to be more to some of the missing shrines.

And my instincts drew me to the Hyrule Ridge, where I had the feeling that I hadn't explored all that much around it. And this was the right choise, because I found two more shrines at the perimeter.

One was the Maag No'rah Shrine, which was hidden quite cleverly, similarly to the Ke'nai Shakah Shrine in the east. It was hidden so well that you even get a Blessing for the sole act of finding it. I guess, it's not so hard to find, if you're using the Sheikah Sensor to locate shrines, but without this cheat device you have to pay full attention to your environment.

Not so hidden, but simply a place, where I hadn't been yet, was the Sheem Dagoze Shrine. It contains the nice and little "Moving in Parallel" puzzle, which is another puzzle shrine not requiring any runes. It's also opened by the Shrine Quest "The Two Rings", where Kass serenaded his final song. He went home to Rito Village afterwards, accompanying his five daughters:

This is just lovely, I didn't even realize until now that these were his children. It would be interesting to see, what happens, if you haven't completed the "Warbler's Nest" Shrine Quest yet. I suppose, the quest goes on normally, but at least there should be some new dialogs with Kass about his daughters.

Also, I completely forgot about his hut at Washa's Bluff, where he left a notebook about his song locations. I guess, I could have just looked everything up there earlier, but I did find all the locations anyway...

Studying the map made me realize that I haven't been to Mount Nabooru and Nebra Hill yet, you can even spot some Korok rock circle formations near the latter right on the map, as well as some other circle thingy near Mount Nabooru. This is where you can find the "Test of Will", another "Gut Check Challenge" by some Gorons, where you have to endure heat and fire long enough, the second time even without any protective gear. You can still use potion effects or just simply endure it.

It gives access to the Joloo Nah Apparatus, where I was surprised that it wasn't yet another blessing, but a three part puzzle about twisting cubes with different objects bound to their sides. I find these motion control puzzles a little annoying, if you have to twirl the entire Wii U GamePad around. So, I just used Fire Arrows to solve the last puzzle with the torches...

Only four Spirit Orbs remain! (And a little under 400 Koroks...)

Current Progress:
  • Main Quests: 15/15
  • Side Quests: 72/76
  • Shrine Quests: 41/42
  • Shrines: 116/120
  • Koroks: 507/900
  • Talus: 29/40
  • Hinox: 29/40
  • Molduga: 4/4
  • Map Rate: 66.58%

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