Saturday, May 20, 2023

Tears of the Kingdom Adventure Log, Entry 5

looking at the dawn with Death Mountain in the background

After my detour to the Great Plateau, there were a lot more detours, where I have been exploring around Hyrule Field, like the Coliseum Ruins, or the Deya Village Ruins. But I've also been to the top of Hyrule Castle, and I took my first tour into the Depths to proceed with the story a bit.

All Is Well

After fleeing from the Great Plateau, I sought shelter at the Outskirt Stable, where here all the talk is about some Zonai ruins that have dropped into the canyon down south. I haven't been there yet, but taken note.

You can also find one of the Great Fairies here, where now they are much closer to the people and everyone is using their powers. This makes sense, where I always thought it was odd how in Breath of the Wild Cotera lives right up on the hill by Kakariko, but no one even goes near her. But after the Upheaval they went back into hiding and need to be soothed by bringing certain people to them, from what it seems, where in this case you need to find a music band. Another goal on my list...

What I could do at the moment was going down into the well nearby, where I really like how this is a thing now and I enjoy having all these little underground caves to explore. The first time I dropped into a well without a ladder, however, I was somewhat confused how to get back up, where I was totally forgetting the Ascend ability in this moment. This was when I went to Hateno to check out the house, where I felt a bit stupid considering how much I've praised this particular ability in advance. But by now I'm a lot more aware about using it, where it's such a good power to have and also a good way of getting out of dangerous caves quickly, other than teleporting.

in an underground well with fairies and Luminous Stones

The well at the Outskirt Stable is anything but dangerous, though. I found my first Luminous Stones here, but also three fairies! They are going to be a lifesaver, for sure. In addition, I met a well enthusiast down there, where she wants to learn about all the wells in Hyrule, with over 50 in total, and she tells you the well where she will go next. This is what I call a fun side quest...

If she knew how the bottom of wells used to be like in the era of Ocarina of Time, then she probably wouldn't be so enthusiastic, however. And I'm sure this game will have some scarier wells as well. Maybe this will be where I find my first Redeads...

I did have a first encounter with another new enemy, where one guy at the stable tells you that you totally should check out the Coliseum Ruins, because you can hear the voices of fallen warriors or something like that. He also mentioned that it is now the home of some fierce beast... In Breath of the Wild it used to be a Lynel wielding a Flame Blade, so how bad can it now be?

From there I went northeast, where I ran straight into an armored Bokoblin, which probably also was the enemy I saw on the Great Plateau. Normal weapons don't do any damage on them. I suppose you can blow off the armor with Bomb Flowers, but he was already in my face, so I teleported out of there, back to the safe haven of Lookout Landing to take a break...

Castle Tour

Now, I have been playing with the Pro HUD mode this whole time, because it makes for nicer screenshots. It's not the most helpful, though, when you're unfamiliar with the game, where I simply couldn't figure out how to activate the sky diving when you're falling or after paragliding. Turns out that I've never tried the R button... Silly me.

Soar along!

But with this new knowledge I wanted to practice my flight skills for real, so I went back to Lookout Landing to use the Skyview Tower. This is where I met Penn for the first time, a pelican Rito, who loves this type of action. In general, I like what they did with the towers in this game, where it's very different from Breath of the Wild. They are not some ancient technology structures, where your goal is to simply climb them. They are freshly man-made and man-maintained, and they offer some additional utility by launching you very high up into the air.

gliding towards Hyrule Castle

So high up in the air, in fact, that in this case it puts you way above Hyrule Castle... The game was nice enough to throw some Stamina Potions at me via the shrine chests, so I made good use of them to glide all the way over, because I couldn't resist to see what would happen if you just went there...

Uhm, hello? Anybody home?

Nothing much, actually. You can actually walk right into the Sanctum, without triggering some final boss fight. But the whole place is recognized as a dungeon with a map, a much better one than the stupid hologram in Breath of the Wild.

And going into this place, which is partly covered in Gloom, is very spooky at first, because you don't know what you might run into and it plays a more eerie version of the castle theme from Breath of the Wild. This was the most dangerous place there, but now it's pretty much vacant, only giving you the feeling that some terrors might await around the next corner. It's really just playing with the respect that you might have for this place.

There are some blue and black monsters around, but they won't pose much of a threat once you've started looting. You can easily find everything from the Royal and Royal Guard equipment... The weapons are decayed, but still quite powerful, and the shields and bows are as good as they were in Breath of the Wild. You have the advantages of going into Hyrule Castle early, but none of the risks...

Afterwards, I could easily take out a group of blue and black Horriblins, which were waiting inside a tunnel, while just the other day I had to run from them in the castle ruins down below. They are like monkeys who can climb all around, even on ceilings. But you can make them fall on their butts, which offers some funny moments, similar to the Ook battle in Twilight Princess.

But I don't know... something doesn't feel right about all of this, where I suppose that I will find out more once you're actually supposed to go there. Maybe this is even meant to be an early game dungeon, because I could explore the whole flying part without much resistance... I guess, the real horrors await you in the chasm down below.

I also found the Royal Guard Boots in a chest, which had been part of the DLC in Breath of the Wild. This felt awfully similar, but maybe you will be able to upgrade them properly this time. I wasn't a big fan of how they had handled all the additional armor pieces from the DLC, where this could be one more thing that Tears of the Kingdom will do better.

Another Korok awaits you in a very familiar position, and you can also find a shrine in the outside areas, so it's easy to go back there, should I be in need of more powerful weapons. I left the place right there and landed near one of the new cherry blossom trees... which let you summon Satori, the Lord of the Mountain, with some fruit offering.

facing Satori on a meadow

This had me super excited for a moment, but sadly you can't ride on him. He will make pillars of light appear, where one led me straight to a new cave. I suppose, this reveals the locations of any missing Bubbuls to the player.

I've also learned from some guy that Impa is traveling around in a balloon and currently found at Serenne Stable. I will have to check this out soon, because it sounds hilarious.

Into the Depths (For Real)

After my tour through Hyrule Castle, I went back to Lookout Landing, where I enjoy the nature of having this place as a base, of sorts. I just hope that Karson will hurry up with building that mini stable, because this would be really convenient. I guess, I need to follow the story first, but this is what I wanted to do next anyway, because I didn't have the Camera yet. Luckily, I was just in the right place.

I must have misunderstood things earlier, because I thought that Robbie was already heading back to Hateno. But he was still at Lookout Landing, supporting the new, young Sheikah scientist, Josha, who is obsessed with the Depths and a supposed tribe of people who has lived there. And your mission is to support Robbie in taking a picture with proof of their existence, so you are told to go down into the Chasm south of the outpost.

This lets you enter a whole realm of its own, the "Depths", which is just this giant, hollow space of darkness. It speaks to your primal fears and couldn't be any more different from what you've seen before, where it's basically the polar opposite to the very bright and layered sky world. The terrain is almost entirely flat, where the exceptions mostly come from the alien plantlife down there. This includes the big "Lightroots", which grow below the shrines on the surface and will light up an entire area, both in the game and on your map. You can also use them as warp points.

activating a Lightroot

Overall, this reminds me a lot of the caves in Don't Starve. I drew parallels between that game and Breath of the Wild early on, but this impression wore off quickly, because the survival aspect is only really there in the beginning. Now, however, some of these thoughts are coming back, where Don't Starve also had living trees as enemies, though arguably more dangerous ones.

And this underground world is so large that it makes you feel uneasy about what might be right in front of you. With each throw of a Brightbloom Seed you might uncover something scary in the dark...

Apropos throwing materials, I love that you can do this now, where it's very practical. But it's a bit inconvenient how they've implemented this. You first have to start throwing your weapon, then open the material quick select, and then select the material you want to throw. Why can't I just throw things from the quick select directly by pressing R? The way it is, it causes a bit of a delay and I'm always worried I might actually throw my weapon. Hopefully, they might patch this in.

Link on a glowing root staring into the darkness

The Depths also seem to be the source of all the Gloom, where a lot of the underworld and all of its enemies are covered in it. You also won't be able to regenerate, so every hit you take down here will bring you closer to your demise. Even the arrows shot by enemies will have the gloom effect...

You will be able to negate this, however, where the Poe statue I saw at Lookout Landing comes into play. You can actually collect Poes in the Depths, where they really were those glowing lights we saw in the trailer from February. They aren't enemies, just the spirits, and this doesn't seem to be like the Koroks, or even the Poe Souls from Twilight Princess, meaning that this isn't a collectible item, where there is a limited amount. The Poes are more like a currency, where I suppose that they will respawn eventually, where you can trade them for gloom-reversing ingredients. And from the looks of it, the Poe merchant also seems to replace Kilton, because you can buy a part of the Dark Link series here.

Speaking of, you can find a guy at Lookout Landing, who wants you to take down Hinoxes, Taluses, and Moldugas, where it would make more sense to get a medal here, for your military service. The difference is that he directs you to a specific monster on the overworld, instead of asking you to kill them all, until you have showered in all their smells...

Smile for the Camera

The whole purpose of this expedition into the Depths was to get Robbie to unlock your Camera rune on the Purah Pad... Which also unlocks Hyrule Compendium, which pretty much works the same way as in Breath of the Wild. You still have to save your pictures into the album, whenever you're just taking them for the compendium entries, so there is literally no improvement whatsoever.

I hope that they at least made sure this time that nothing is missable for your own pictures, where in Breath of the Wild certain enemies and weapons simply disappeared after a while, mostly due to the scaling mechanics.

I did a quick comparison of the numbers of entries between Breath of the Wild and Tears of the Kingdom, where I've used the Normal Mode with DLC as a basis, so it doesn't include the golden enemies from Master Mode:

  • Creatures: 83 vs. 96
  • Monsters:  81 vs. 110
  • Materials: 36 vs. 110
  • Equipment: 185 vs. 175
  • Treasure: 4 vs. 6

Surprisingly, there is actually less equipment than there was in Breath of the Wild! But that's because – LUCKILY – the Compendium doesn't recognize fused weapons, only the components. Thanks to Fuse there is no need for elemental weapons or different arrow types any longer, so that's already like 20 things that won't return from the previous game. So, in the end there will be much more weapon variety thanks to Fuse, but less work with photographing everything for the Compendium, which is nice... Plus, the Ultrahand makes it easier to place the weapons exactly like you want them for a good shot.

Otherwise, the biggest increase is with the materials, which is mind-blowing. There are three times as many now, where they have seemingly made good use of the new environments. But there are also many new status effects for foods which weren't possible before, even stuff like swim speed increase, which in Breath of the Wild could only be achieved via armor.

Monsters haven't seen that much of an increase, but of course not every enemy from Breath of the Wild will return. And most of the new enemies don't seem to come with an overabundance of variants, like the Bokoblins, Moblins, and Lizalfos did. The Horriblins still do, but most of the other new enemies I've seen so far are one-of-a-kind. The Camera / Compendium also doesn't recognize the Gloom variants in the Depths as separate entities, there are simply "Bokoblins" or "Like Likes", even though they look a lot more horrid and are a lot more dangerous.

They remind me a bit of the Malice enemies from Age of Calamity, by the way, where there certainly has been some influence between the two games during their developments. Tears of the Kingdom even has the same type of character profiles in the Purah Pad, which makes good use of all the official artworks.

Curiously, the Sheikah are classified as Hylians... I guess, it makes sense, since they also have pointy ears, so they are essentially a different race of Hylians. Still, it seems a bit weird to have them thrown together like that.

Capture images using the Purah Pad. You can save them to the album.

Also, the Camera rune icon just sits there in the middle of the key items, next to the Purah Pad. So, there is technically still space for one more Zonai arm ability above, which gives me slight hope that there might be something more. All the Zonai abilities so far have been very crazy, where I would be excited if there truly are more, even if it's only one. But the item wheel still has one open space between the Ultrahand and Fuse right now, where I'm now inclined to believe that this isn't just another Purah Pad feature.

Robbie invites you to Hateno, so you can unlock the Shrine Sensor there, but I don't actually want to use any sensors to find stuff, also not the Korok Mask. On my latest playthrough of Breath of the Wild I used both all the time to find Koroks and treasure chests, but this was okay, because I had completed the game before. Right now, I just want to find things on my own and then use the sensors later to find any stuff that I might have missed. But I guess that you will also activate the Hero's Path afterwards, so I should go to Robbie in any case...

Support and Transport

I was finally able to help that Addison guy, who is putting up the signs of Hudson. It is actually not that difficult, but previously I thought that you have to put something under the sign, while it's enough to put something right next to it, so it doesn't fall over.

the sign is standing

This seems to be another series of side quests, where you can find him in various places all around Hyrule, and each time you have to find a different solution to support the sign. But I like it, it's pretty funny.

But not as funny as the backpack Koroks, where I just had to return to the Riverside Stable after getting enough Pony Points for the Horse Harness, which lets you attach horses to things... There were two Koroks who wanted to their friend nearby, but the distance was too large to just carry them with the Ultrahand.

Now, things were different, where there are multiple ways of doing it. At first I wanted to use the nice carriage that you can find next to the stable, but some Bokoblins burned it down, so I had to improvise...

Korok attached directly to the Harness, with the backpack on the ground

Nope, I couldn't do it like that, it was just too cruel, so I build the little guy a new wagon:

And off we went...

driving into the distance with Farosh at the horizon

I love this. It's crafty, it's fun, and no one is complaining about the ride, at least not yet. The side quests, where you had to transport goods or passengers with your train in Spirit Tracks always felt like a chore, but here it's really all about you finding a good solution of bringing A to B. And Koroks still make the most adorable sounds during all of this.

Link, dog, Dueling Peaks in background

I also fed the dog at the Riverside Stable, where they seem to work in the exact same way as in Breath of the Wild. You feed them four times and this spawns a new treasure chest nearby, which you can unearth with the Ultrahand. This will disappoint a lot of people, especially since Wolf Link doesn't seem to work any longer... You also can't pet them. Didn't Nintendo catch any of the memes? At least, it's now more obvious when the dog likes you enough to make a chest appear, because this makes even more hearts appear around him/her.

But I do like how the Riverside Stable became this new place of importance to me, in my early adventure. In Breath of the Wild the place also had some significance to me, because this is near where the Star Fragments will land when you're using the Dueling Peaks method for farming them, but this wasn't about the stable, really, just the shrine nearby. But in Tears of the Kingdom it really became an anchor in my early adventure, next to Lookout Landing.

Tower Time

Transporting the one Korok brought me near the Popla Foothills Skyview Tower, so I simply went for that one. This is in the spirit of Breath of the Wild, where one thing leads to another and it's easy to get distracted... Only that this game is sending you more in certain directions, instead of simply banking on your own curiosity.

In Breath of the Wild the Popla Foothills were quite insignificant. There were like two Koroks there and that was it... So, it's nice to see that they are doing something more interesting with some of these empty locations. In this case the tower is malfunctioning and you have to free another guy with "son" at the end of his name, who got himself trapped in a cave below. You can also find Addison around, but he doesn't care about towers, only signs.

flying above the Deya Village Ruins with Lake Hylia in the background
climbing a wall with the Bridge of Hylia in the background and a Gleeok on there

The Deya Village Ruins now put the wells to good use for some underground action, where you can to a hidden shrine past a Talus. I also met Farosh in the area, but he was descending into a chasm, so I couldn't get one of his materials... Why is he going down there? I will have to investigate later...

With my stronger weapons from Hyrule Castle and some fairies in my pocket, I felt like I should go for the tower in the southwest of Hyrule Field as well, which got fortified by Bokoblins. They let a huge spiked ball roll towards you, where I simply fused it to one of my weapons to turn it into a mace and destroy everyone in the place... Well, I cheesed the big Boss Bokoblin by already entering the tower, where he couldn't follow. But this still counts, right?

at the fortified tower

Three towers are now activated, which covers most of the areas where I have been exploring so far,  and each one was quite different from the other. This is well done.



Afterwards I went exploring around Hyrule Field and went into a slightly more special cave, where you have to climb up a lot of roots... and at the end I was very surprised to find this in a chest:

Fierce Deity Boots - According to legend, these boots were once worn by a hero from a world where the moon threatened to fall. Wearing them provides godlike power.

The Fierce Deity Boots! Well, I knew that you can find the amiibo items normally in the game now, which I very much like, but I didn't expect to find one of the best ones so early. I've been wearing these boots during my recent Breath of the Wild run a lot of the time, because they look good and are really powerful with the attack boost. They were quite the cheat, of course, because they worked the same as the Barbarian stuff, but you didn't have to go through a Lomei Labyrinth to get them, you only had to scan a toy.

But now they are probably easier to find / to get than some of the Phantom Armor pieces in the Breath of the Wild DLC, where those at least put you into the proximity of Guardians and a Lynel. Here it's just some simple enemies from the early game. And even the Phantom Armor could make the early game way too easy... So, I'm not so sure that this was such a good idea to put them into this cave, where instead I probably would have gone with the Trousers of the Hero. It would have even been a better reference for the location where I have found this new item.

They also didn't nerf any of the food stuff, by the way. Hearty ingredients still give you a full recovery and you have no meaningful limits for your food inventory... And now I'm afraid that the game might become too easy too quickly, like it was the case with Breath of the Wild. I've been enjoying the suspense so far, but it might not last very long...

Proving Grounds

Well, it doesn't matter how much food you have or how powerful your armor is when the game simply takes all of it away. So far all of the Shrines of Light that I have encountered felt like a teaching, but now there finally was one where you have to prove yourself...

Proving Grounds: Beginner - Kamizun Shrine

It's basically like a single-room Trial of the Sword, where it takes all your things away, except for the key items. And I'm totally down for this! I do enjoy the survival gameplay, where you have to gather everything you can and be crafty, like in the beginning of both games, or on Eventide Island in Breath of the Wild. The Trial of the Sword offered the same thing, but it was simply too much. The risk of having to start everything over makes me a bit too anxious, while here it's just a single floor. If you can't make it, you simply try again.

Of course, this doesn't mean that there won't be anything like the Trial of the Sword in the game now. But I certainly will prefer these smaller trials in the end.


  • Shrines: 17
  • Lightroots: 2
  • Towers: 3
  • Korok Seeds: 47
  • Bubbuls: 8

1 comment:

Raul said...

Nice the first Gleeok i spotted was a thunder one too. Even knowing they were in the game i was still taken aback for a second by the sight from afar.

Was very excited when the flame one was shown in a trailer since I'd really wanted to fight the 3 dragons in BotW and this might be even better than if that happened.