Saturday, July 1, 2017

Breath of the Wild EX Log, Entry 2

The Trial of the Sword - Middle Trials

Those midpoint floors in the Trial of the Sword must be my new favorite thing in the game. These little havens of peace, where you can rest, cook and (mentally) prepare for the challenges ahead. You might even grab a fairy or two, unless they decide to fly away, even if you approach crouched and very slowly...

Overall the Middle Trials weren't that bad, probably even easier than the Beginning Trials. I thoroughly enjoyed the Guardian Scout part at the end and the air section was also pretty nice, because in aerial combat you can avoid most attacks and easily land lots of slowmo headshots on your enemies.

The dark room section on the other hand was creepy, because you can't even see the enemies right in front of you, unless they glow like the one Decayed Guardian... The room that probably gave me the most trouble was the one with the Fire-Breath Lizalfos, but I just realized that I could have used the Ice Arrows that you can obtain on Floor 3 to take them out quickly. You don't need them otherwise in this section.

And I actually died after blowing myself up with explosive barrels at the Decayed Guardian. And this was quite stupid. I was locked in a mindset, where in each room you have to be "smart" to deal with the enemies, while just rushing in with Stasis+ and hitting the thing with your strongest weapon (like you normally would on the overworld) was still the best way to deal with this situation...

But it was actually nice to repeat the first section and go in prepared. It's the thing with this kind of trial pit dungeons - I usually don't enjoy them on first try, where you head into the unknown, but they get a lot of fun once you know the rooms and all the tricks to them. It also goes down a lot faster.

Trial of the Sword - Final Trials

So, after I took a pause, I went on into the final trial. This time I abused a little trick, where you take any status effect into the trial with you. So, I prepared a triple defense boost lasting for 30 minutes (by cooking three Armored Porgies and one dragon horn) and used this right before going into the trial, which helps with the lack of any armor in the beginning.

Overall the Trial of the Sword was the first time, where I put more thoughts into cooking than the usual "cook one hearty ingredient after another" method for unlimited recovery. This cooking guide is a really helpful site for this, where you can try out any recipe in the game online, before you actually waste the ingredients ingame. For example I never would have bothered with cooking dragon parts, because those are such a rare item, but in this case it was good to find out about the added time bonus of 30 minutes. Anyway, you still find some hearty ingredients in the Final Trials in some of the resting places. And those give plenty of recovery for the trials ahead.

Well, the Final Trials consist of four zones in total, which I would call the "Thunderbone Zone", the "Scorching Zone", the "Frozen Zone" and the "Ruined Zone". It essentially follows the game's three main elements and then offers a Guardian-heavy finale.

The first zone is a little special in that it offers constant thunder strikes and lets you fight stal enemies for the most part. It ends with a Stalnox battle, who has three different elemental weapons attached to its body: a Thunderblade, a Great Frostblade and a Flamespear. The Giant Frostblade and the Flamespear are quite useful in the "Scorching Zone" and the "Frozen Zone" respectively, because they allow you to one-shot many enemies there and also help you battle the surrounding temperatures without any potion effects.

With the ice blocks in the "Frozen Zone" wood also became useful in this. I collected some in every trial, wondering if it ever would be of use (e.g. lighting a cooking pot), but this didn't happen until there. And this can be quite significant, especially with Frost Talus boss. There it's a good strategy to melt the ice blocks to open the air streams right before you wake the boss. With the air streams you can easily take out both the Igneo Talus and the Frost Talus using midair shots.

The Final Trials are the longest part with 23 floors in total (including three resting places), but it wasn't that hard overall. I did it on first try. A big role in that played the Ancient Arrows that can be gotten in this trial and used as a wildcard for any strong enemy. If used right, it makes this trial quite easy. I found a total of nine Ancient Arrows and took note, where they were located:

Ancient Arrows might be the main reason, why Nintendo used the Eventide mechanic and didn't let you bring any equipment into these trials, because otherwise you could just gather lots of Ancient Arrows and bomb every room with them.

I'm still surprised that they put some into the trial and with a total of 9 you can take care of every dangerous enemy here. There are two Lynels, two Guardians Stalkers, two Guardian Skywatchers and two Guardian Turrets towards the end. And you can one-shot all of them. I did defeat the first Skywatcher and the first turret in a "normal" manner to save some arrows for later, because I didn't know exactly what would be waiting for me (I expected fighting a Lynel and a Guardian at the same time). But it turned out that you can just kill them all with Ancient Arrows, if you want to... This takes away a big part of the challenge, but I'd rather clear the trial once and then play it for fun or for some extra challenge later on, where I don't have anything to lose.

For now I'm done with the trial and that's what counts.

After you complete the trial, you get this little cutscene with the Master Sword making Fi sounds again. They even subtly play Fi's theme in the melody during this.

Overall I found the Trial of the Sword quite enjoyable. It's certainly one of the better pit trials in the series, especially with the variety in room designs and themes. I also like, how it's split into three different trials, similar to the Treacherous Tower from A Link Between Worlds, while you can still play it all consecutively like with the Den of Trials in Tri Force Heroes. That's probably not worth the trouble, though, because each trial gives you all the items you need to survive. Only maybe saving some ancient weapons from the Middle Trials for the later Guardians might be worth it.

Things might also become very different in the Master Mode version. There it's possible that you don't get any Ancient Arrows at all or that Nintendo added more stronger enemies.

Chilling in the Deplian Badlands

Now that I've gotten all the new armor pieces and fully upgraded the Master Sword, there's only thing left to do for me in Normal Mode... Hunting down the remaining Koroks!

This certainly will relieve me of the stress from the Trial of the Sword. I really felt, how much I was on the edge after finishing the trial, when suddenly I didn't have to worry about getting hit anymore...

As my first tour, I exited the Lost Woods and wandered around the Great Hyrule Forest to the Deplian Badlands. I wanted to test the new Master Sword on some of the Lynels there and I also wanted to place my Travel Medallion in the area:

I still remember, how early in the game I wandered around there looking for a shrine without any luck. And I still hope that Nintendo will add additional EX shrines with the 2nd DLC, where this area would be well suited for an additional teleportation point.

Chest Rain

The tour around the Deplian Badlands led me to Mount Drena, where I witnessed a weird phenomenon. Probably caused by the floating platforms in Master Mode, there is a new glitched chest here in the game. It keeps dropping from the sky at the top of Mount Drena and then bouncing out of range, where the game immediately respawns the chest and the same thing happens again. So, you can watch a chest fall from the sky again and again, which is kind of funny.

Unlike the other glitched chests you can actually catch this one using Magnesis or Stasis, however...

It contains a Royal Halberd (or a random spear weapon). And apparently this also happens in Master Mode.

Current Progress:
  • EX Side Quests: 7/7
  • Koroks: 722/900
  • Map Rate: 85.27%

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