Friday, May 26, 2023

Tears of the Kingdom Adventure Log, Entry 9

near Riverside Stable, with Dueling Peaks and the thunder storm cloud in the background

Well, yes, you've guessed it...! I didn't make any progress in the story whatsoever, again, where I have been looking for Hestu in all the wrong places, before I finally found him. This got me into some hilarious adventures at stables and brought me all the way into Akkala and Tarrey Town. But I've also seen the Master Sword memory, which raised some interesting questions, and explored the northwestern parts of the Depths a bit.

Tears of the Dragon

Since I've already been to the Typhlo Ruins Tower and spotted the geoglyph in the shape of the Master Sword nearby, I thought it to be a good idea to check this out next, because maybe this will reveal how to get the Master Sword back. And the memory shows how the Master Sword traveled back through time, into the hands of Zelda, for those prominent scenes from the final trailer. During this, the sword is making Fi noises again and Fi's theme plays in the background, causing PTSD to anyone who has played the original Skyward Sword on Wii.

The full memory confirmed that the ancient Temple of Time truly once stood at the same location as the "new" Temple of Time, on the Great Plateau, where I really enjoy these type of connections. It's all quite poetic. But the memory also introduces you to the idea that people can turn intro dragons, where this implies that either Rauru or possibly even Zelda has turned into the Light Dragon, who flies around the Great Sky Island at the beginning.

This explains why these memories are called "Dragon's Tears" – they were probably shed by the Light Dragon all over Hyrule, leaving the geoglyphs as a result. So far all memories have included both Rauru and Zelda, but the one about the Master Sword is really just a memory from Zelda, where I'm leaning towards the thought that she somehow became dragon, explaining her phantasmal and mystical appearances in the present... Plus, if Rauru were the Light Dragon, why didn't he introduce himself like that after the tutorial?

back to the Great Sky Island, looking at the Temple of Time

When Zelda said that Link must find her at that point, these words could have come from the dragon, but when I looked for her at the Great Sky Island again, she was nowhere to be found. I did finally spot Dinraal during my adventures, however, so this one is doing fine after all, where maybe the Light Dragon went somewhere into the Depths and the other three dragons are searching for her/him/it, maybe even showing you the way...

Come to think of it, the three dragons always went through the cloud barrier in Breath of the Wild, so they basically kept moving towards the Light Dragon there as well. And now this could be the same thing, just in a different place. In the least, this would be a big motivation to go down there, where so far the game hasn't given you any other than helping Robbie to take a picture for Josha.

Giants in the Dark

The lack of motivation to visit the Depths truly hasn't stopped me from doing so, however, where I just feel the urge to jump down any chasm I'll come across and see what awaits me. Even though I'm not the biggest fan of this area, I can't deny that there is a certain thrill to diving down these ugly holes into the dark.

Now, there is another chasm near the Typhlo Ruins and since I was nearby, I had to go down there as well. Usually, I just try to find the nearest Lightroot(s) to have some sort of save point and then I let it be, but this time it wasn't so trivial, because you run right into what the Little Frox become once they've grown up... Well, they are not so little any longer...

gigantic frog monster with one eye

It's a new overworld boss, or underworld boss in this case, the Obsidian Frox, where these creatures seem to be domestic to the Depths and they are the only living thing down there not covered in Gloom, other than the dragons.

And the fight seemed simple enough at first. It had the classic weakspot with its eye, there are some hills nearby, and I had a Phrenic Bow in my small inventory, so what could go wrong? You have to break Zonaite Deposits on its back, where it's similar to a Talus battle as well, and when it shakes you off, you are so high in the air that you can just aim for its weakspot again.

But this thing can also leap and it does so big time. And its favorite "attack" is inhaling you and then munching on you, where this used up my remaining food very quickly. Still, I came close to defeating it, with only one deposit left, when suddenly it leaped so far away that it despawned... And when I found it again, it was back to full health... Okay, thanks, game! Moving on... All my good weapons were used up to get it almost down, so I had to bail. But I will be back!

I still made it to a Lightroot, but it's not like I had any important business there. So far I've only explored the Depths for the kicks, which scored me the last Zonai ability and some expansions of the Energy Cell, so it certainly wasn't for nothing. But there hasn't been an actual, real reason to go down there, like an objective.

forest in the depths

Well, this is still in the early game and there are at least the treasure marks from the Old Maps that I've been collecting, where I went to one of them in the northwest, below the Tabantha territory, which leads you to the Tunic of the Wind. And this is where I found this gigantic structure left by the Zonai, a huge pillar going all the way up:

You can use Ascend below this thing and this emerged me somewhere at the Tabantha Hills at the foot of the Hebra Mountains. I didn't want to go there yet, so I went back down, but it was interesting that the game let's you use Ascend to rise from the Depths.

This calls for some experimentation later on. Maybe it's just certain points where this is possible, but technically there must be a ceiling and you should be able to go to the ceiling with Zonai devices. I would love to know what happens when there is a cave between the Depth ceiling and the surface. Could you enter certain caves from the Depths?

I guess, there will be some limitations here, but I didn't expect this to be possible at all, because the Depths are probably their own separate world, where the game hides some secret loading times when you dive down or ascend up. But this also means that you could theoretically still play this game without ever teleporting, where I know that some people like to do this (I'm surely not one of them). Though, the places where you can go up with Ascend are probably rare... It's the first one I noticed.

The Search for Hestu II

There was one more thing I wanted to do before continuing the story in one of the four problem regions and this was finding Hestu. I had collected over 100 Korok Seeds already and the lack of inventory space really started to annoy me, so I desperately wanted to trade the seeds, but I kept having the wrong ideas where to look and then started getting into more and more distractions on the way.

My thought process was that in Breath of the Wild you meet Hestu early on your way to Kakariko and Impa. You can't really miss him. Then he tells you that he's heading to the Korok Forest, but you'll meet him one more time at the stables on the way there, where for me it was usually the Wetland Stable.

In Tears of the Kingdom you meet him the first time near the Lindor's Brow Tower. Well, I first met him there, maybe there are several possible points, but the game is directing you towards Impa at the New Serenne Stable, where this is in the proximity and most players will head to the tower from there. So, in my case this was similar to Breath of the Wild, but just in a different location.

Then he tells you that he will be going "east", where the only way he could have been less specific is by saying that he is going "somewhere". Well, he was looking for a new home to feel safe, but this is all I could remember... and in hindsight I simply didn't get the hint, took "east" too literal, and overcomplicated things. I thought that he might be aiming at one of the villages in the east to find a new home there: Kakariko, Hateno, or Tarrey Town. And on your way there you might meet him one more time at the stables, like you did in Breath of the Wild, or possibly another tower, so I was going all around these spots in the eastern half of the map.

rafting with a guy

My first destination was the Wetland Stable, because this is where I always met him in Breath of the Wild. No Hestu there, but you could finally take the raft and bring the guy to the Floret Sandbar, where you learn why Zelda has a picture of the crazy flower lady, Magda, in her house. Well, they both love flowers very much, but this was a neat little quest...

at the new jetty at the Floret Sandbar

I've already been to the Wetland Stable, so I've investigated the Woodland Stable next. No Hestu there either, but I got a bit closer to the Gorons and even activate the Skyview Tower close by, where I've read that Yunobo has now its own corporation. But at the stable they keep warning you that the Gorons have turned rabid after eating rocks filled with Gloom...

Addison holding up a sign at the road to Goron City
above the Skyview Tower with the Ancient Sheikah Glider
looking at some sky islands connected with rails

The tower brought me to another one of those cross-shaped sky islands, where you have a Shrine on one end and a Device Dispenser on the other, with a rotatable pusher in the middle. I guess, they have these absolutely everywhere, but at least the way there was unique with the rails.

surrounded by golden trees and grass

It always feels weird to be back up in the sky again. This melancholic tune that plays on them makes me so nostalgic, as if the tutorial took place forever ago. And it might as well have, considering how long I've been looking for that walking and talking tree.

I searched through the Lanayru Wetlands and out of desperation I went all the way to Zora's Domain, because I just wanted some progression while I was searching. I will talk about this part in my next entry and I was even ready to go help Sidon, but there were so many Zora weapons around that I got annoyed again... Hestu, where are you?!!

The Floor Is Gloom

On my way into Zora's Domain I've ran into the Gloom Spawn monster once more, at the Tabahl Woods, but I could save myself quite easily on a rock, as I did the last time. I tried taking a picture, but the camera didn't recognize anything... So, I will keep calling this "Floormaster", because it seems very much tied to the floor anyway. It will give up quickly and then leave some Dark Clumps, which is the stuff that you can buy for Poe Souls and that can be cooked into something that helps with the Gloom.

shooting with the bow at Gloom hands with eyes, so scary

I had another encounter near the Sahasra Slope again, at the same spot where I met it the second time. So, maybe it's not entirely random when you meet it, but there are certain fixed locations where it can spawn. I will have to be careful around the forest at the Great Plateau again, I guess...

For the Princess!

Hestu wasn't to be found around any of the stables where he gets lost in Breath of the Wild. And while this wasn't entirely surprising, since this game tries to do things differently, I was running out of options where to look. But I thought that Tarrey Town would be the perfect new home for the guy, since people from all the different tribes of Hyrule were living together in this place, it was only missing a Korok. So, I headed there next and checked the stables on the way there, which led me to this...

Link and two other guys in underpants

Apparently, Princess Zelda ordered the Zonai Survey Team to explore a cave full of monsters in nothing but underpants. Clearly, they must have misunderstood something, but it was still hilarious to play along. That's one interesting princess we got there if she wants her people to run around nearly "nekkid".

at the entrance to a cave, with two other guys just in underpants

This leads to another Eventide scenario, where they take all your things away and you have to defeat a bunch of enemies with what you can find. But why did they have to take my weapons? You have to use the weapons in the cave to defeat the enemies anyway, or else you can't possibly win this... Of course, the game needed some excuse to take everything away again, but it was still silly.

sneaking up on an armored Bokoblin just in underpants

Luckily, I already had learned that the best way of dealing with the armored Bokoblins is a rock or boulder hammer, so it wasn't all too difficult. I could just smash the armor with one sneakstrike and then grab the bow for some easy kills. And overall these type of trials are a lot more fun with the Fuse ability, because it gives you many more options than just grab what you can get.

There are also some silly Proving Grounds to be found in Akkala, where one makes you take advantage of the homing devices. I just let them loose and then watched from a behind a corner how they slowly poked the Constructs into oblivion with spikes. Another one is all about vehicles, where it took me this long to realize that inside the Shrines of Light you don't need batteries or your Energy Cells for the Zonai Devices, they will run infinitely. I also didn't see that there is a big car already equipped with emitters right in the middle, but what I had put together myself did the job just fine anyway, so these "Mini Trials of the Sword" were fun overall.

Korok attached to a vehicle at the Maw of Death Mountain

I'm also having more and more fun with putting together vehicles, like this little Korok cart I made to transport the little guy over both land and water. This was near the nudist cave from before, at the Maw of Death Mountain. But I'm not sure how I feel about the Zonai devices and building material stashes found everywhere. Either it feels very contrived, like "use this and this to make it happen", or it's just missing crucial parts, like a steering wheel, where then you have to tap into your capsules all the time. It might not be as contrived then, but it's certainly inconvenient.

This is especially bad with many of the Zonai device "shelves" down in the Depths. There is just enough there to build something useful, but don't expect to be able to steer it afterwards...

Cave of Chests

The girl at the Foothill Stable is really annoyed by all the guys in underpants, including Link, but if you're decent enough to talk to her with some clothes on, she will teach you that dogs become treasure hunters when fed. That's not exactly a secret to anyone who has played Breath of the Wild, but in this case there are three dogs who all lead you to a different chest, which is new. If there were more than one dog a stable in Breath, then only one of them would lead to a treasure.

Anyway, you will be making use of this to find the needle in a needle stack, where the wannabe treasure hunters, Domidak and Prissen, have discovered a cave full of treasure chests, left by Misko... But they are all filled with a single green Rupee. The real treasure is somewhere in there, but they are exhausted and joke about using a dog to sniff the treasure out, which is exactly what you will be doing then. I wonder if you can still find it normally or if you have to use the dog in any case, because the dog chests normally only appear after feeding them. But this dog took twice as much meat as the others, so maybe this is a special case... I will give it a try the next time.

As someone who will be using the chest sensor eventually, such a place is a nightmare and I'm opening all chests anyway, just to get rid of them. It won't be the last that I saw of this cave, however, because there is a gate that will only open when you wear the complete Fierce Deity attire. This will earn you the Fierce Deity Sword, where it's nice to see that you also can find the amiibo weapons, not just the armor. It also teaches you the location of all three pieces, where I already had found one of them and the other two are not far away...

This means, however, that there must a place where you can purchase these special weapons again. And I very much doubt that Cece will simply add weapons to clothing options in her boutique. 

Tarrey Town Troubles

My next big destination was Tarrey Town. While I still hadn't found Hestu yet, I was so close that I simply wanted to know how the town has flourished since Breath of the Wild and say hi to Hudson. But they've totally butchered the place...

Tarrey Town from above with multiple houses missing

It's now just all about Hudson's new company and only the family of the rich guy still lives there normally. Except that he doesn't seem to be rich any longer, because he's scamming people into paying for the railway down to the Torin Wetlands, which aren't wetlands any longer, but one giant construction site.

Can't say I like what they've done with the place. It's like the Zelda team was discussing how to change the villages from Breath of the Wild and someone up top just said, "mess 'em up!", where Hateno seems to be the only place that still looks mostly normal. The other villages all got hit by some catastrophe...

Now, Tarrey Town wasn't the prettiest place to begin with, but they somehow managed to kill all its charm and just turn it into a business, where all the characters with their names ending on "son" you've recruited are now simply workers at Hudson Construction. And none of them remember you, of course, but at least the married couple, Rhondson and the great President Hudson himself, recall the guy who brought them together, so that's something....

They also have a child now, Mattison, who looks like a Gerudo girl with Hudson's hair, which is freaking funny. She's old enough to walk, talk, and write by now, where almost everything in the game suggests that it has been around five to six years since the events of Breath of the Wild, basically the same amount of time that has passed between the release of the two games, which feels right.

I'm saying "almost everything", because there is a glaring problem and that's all the other children. They haven't grown at all. Take a look at Gleema from the South Akkala Stable, for example, who is the girl who wanted to see all the different darner dragonflies:

I used to like bugs when I was still little, but now I like horseys the best!
You are still little!!!

She says that she has grown up, but she looks exactly the same as in the first game. It's similar with other of these side quest kiddies from Breath of the Wild, like Nebb in Hateno, or Shamae at the Woodland Stable. It seems like the developers wanted to update the children and then forgot. Or they didn't bother, because they didn't expect anyone to pay attention to this. But the fans are always paying attention and the devil is in the details, which is at least one thing that Tears of the Kingdom has in common with the previous game.

Hudson, Rhondson, and Link at dawn

Anyway, there is this small quest line about how Mattison has to go to Gerudo Town, to grow up without the influence of men, as by Gerudo tradition. This has the parent worried and sad, where I thought that you need to find a way that Mattison can stay with them. But you're just really helping them out to get her there... still honoring that Gerudo tradition. After the excellent side quests in Hateno this was a bit of a letdown, but at least I should be able to meet Mattison later... given that she has survived, of course. Rhondson even remarks how the desert is not in a good state right now, with all the catastrophes going on all over Hyrule, but this won't stop them from sending their only child into the middle of this mess via a hot-air balloon. What could go wrong, right?

First Look at House Building

Mattison is a necessary sacrifice in any case, because this is the only way to unlock your "dream house", where Animal Crossing and The Legend of Zelda finally have the crossover that I've always wanted. I've been excited about this topic for a while, even before they introduced us to the Ultrahand. But with the Ultrahand this just needed to happen: you can finally put together the Bolson-style container houses in any way you want to build something of your own.

moving a house container with the Ultrahand to a marked patch of land

Zelda might have stolen your house in Hateno, but you get a nice patch of land on a hill in Akkala, close to where the Great Fairy Fountain used to be, just at the right height so that you don't see the ugly Tarrey Town beneath, and so you can watch Dinraal doing its rounds from your balcony in the afternoon.

Grantéson will make sure that everything is within boundaries, where I love how Granté apparently has changed his name, just so he could join Hudson Construction. Well, I told you that in the next game everyone will be named son, even the evil Ganondorfson, or the next king of Hyruleson.

house entrance with a Shrine in the background

This building feature is something that the Zelda team had planned with Breath of the Wild, which is why there were these container houses to begin with. But they had to scrap this, where I'm super happy to finally see this come to fruition, and where I will have a lot of fun putting together a house for myself here.

There are also many different containers with different features. You can have a cooking place, a Goddess Statue, and a bedroom to create a full base for all your needs. You can also have stands for weapons, shields, and bows again, where there are three per container, just like there used to be on the walls in your old house in Hateno, before the evil dragon Zelda took it all down (I'm just kidding, it was very sweet of Link to give her his house). But theoretically you can have more containers of the same type, so if you want nine weapon stands, then this should be possible. I will give this a try once I have enough Rupees.

inside a house with a triangle shaped carpet, a kitchen to the left and a bedroom to the right... it's quite dark

I'm not 100% happy, though... Well, I never am, but that's only because Nintendo refuses to make anything perfect. My biggest complaint is: where are the windows?!! I want to build a house, not a cave. This looks quite ugly without any light from the outside, really, and the normal Tarrey Town houses have them... So, why not here? Just because you could block them by putting a container in front of them?

The other complaint is the lack of greenery. You can place flower spots, but that's really it. I'd like to have some trees, at least, because the meadow for your house looks really bald...

But this is a start. And I'd love for them to expand upon it. Originally, my ideas went even further, where there could be patches like this all over Hyrule for you to build new villages. And if this is not part of the game already, it will make for a fine DLC expansion. They have all the things to make it happen, all it needs is to use some empty spots in Hyrule, where there still should be plenty...

Hyrule Racecars

The Ultrahand activities at Tarrey Town don't end with your house, there is the huge construction site can be used to put together and test vehicles. The Zonai Survey Team has built an entire course and this even got the attention of the former Sand Seal Race champion, Tali, where she and her manager, Shabonne, have come to the place to drive cars now. I didn't expect to see these two here again, but this makes it all the better.

self-made car on the test course

You are tasked with showing them how it's done, after introducing them to the magic steering wheel, and here I've simply put four small wheels onto a cart. This might seem redundant, but the small wheels seem to be the fastest, while the tiny wheels underneath the cart will prevent you from getting stuck on the ramps or other obstacles. So, this worked out pretty good and I cleared both courses on the first try... Not that this was any difficult.

I still miss the Master Cycle Zero, though. You had a lot more control and agility with it, and it wasn't as over-the-top as all this stuff, where I'm beginning to understand the people who feel like all this technology doesn't belong in a Zelda game. I mean, I was in the same place before, where originally I thought that the Palace of Twilight in Twilight Princess was "too Sci-Fi", but the Zelda series has really eased us into this stuff, like with the Lanayru Robots in Skyward Sword. But all the Zonai devices can be a bit much, especially when the people of Hyrule build entire race tracks around them...

having built a ridiculous large car with ceiling and fans on top

Nevertheless, I'm still sure that I will appreciate all of it later in the game, once I start to build my own tanks, where I'm only beginning to understand all the crazy things that you can do with the Ultrahand. 

And that's only one of two very potent abilities, where the things you can do with Fuse are also great. Like, I love using rockets as a one-time use Revali's Gale. Or, the cart from before – you can actually fuse it to your shield to make a skateboard:

Link skating on a ramp

This is ingenious. And I keep saying "this is ingenious" quite often with this game. However, the devil is again in the details, where for some reason this skateboard has the same damage rules applied to it as normal shield surfing. So, if you use this on wood or hard grounds, it's going to break quickly... While it really shouldn't, because it has a car with wheels underneath.

aiming with a bomb barrel on a stick at an ore deposit, where a woman tries to mine it with a sword, because she's stupid

I also love fusing explosives with spears and throw them as a giant Bomb Arrow at my enemies. That's my favorite way of saying "hi" to enemies.


Now, while all the possibilities around Tarrey Town are exciting, it didn't get me closer to my ultimate goal: finding that giant Korok. How hard can it be? I've also searched at the South Akkala Stable, where you have this quirky quest with the talking Cucco, which makes you do stupid trials. Luckily, it's now very easy to climb to the very top of the stables thanks to Ascend.

But I've been to so many stables and pretty much all the towers to the east now that I had to give up searching for Hestu in these areas. There was another idea that I had, that he might make a stop near Lookout Landing, so I went there next... I haven't been there in a long time, because without the mini-stable in place, it's a bit inconvenient and I prefer to warp to one of the stables instead. I probably will have to complete one of the main dungeons first, before it gets ready. Right, Karson?

Karson still thinking, with Hestu in the background

Riiight. Wait, a second... Is that Hestu over there? He was at Lookout Landing this whole time?! Come on, now...! I've never facepalmed so hard in my life. Not only was he very easy to find here, it's not even a stop – he decided to make this his new home, because he feels safe within the walls. And it makes sense, considering that he was threatened by monsters... With a bit of deduction I could have realized this sooner, where I even considered the possibility that he might go there, but it was simply at the bottom of my list...


But I like this placement, because it's funny how he observes the people, while they can't see him. And it truly adds to having Lookout Landing as your base of operations. There is everything there that you might need: a Skyview Tower, a bed, a Goddess Statue, a cooking pot, the Poe merchant, and now also Hestu. In Breath of the Wild I used the Korok Forest in a similar way, but this has more options and is also very central. Now, all it needs is that mini-stable. Looking at you, Karson...

Yeah, yeah, I will go for the first dungeon now... Probably. I've been playing for over a week now with around nine hours per day, which is quite a lot (maybe not compared to others), and I haven't even been to one of the main dungeons yet, so I'm still at the beginning of the story. And that's quite amazing in its own right, considering that I can 100% complete any of the classic Zelda games within the same time span.

Here you start at the center of Hyrule and are told to go into its corners, but there is this giant ring of distractions all around you: first and foremost the stables and the quests surrounding them, then all the sky islands, caves, and chasms, but also also the usual shrines, towers, and Koroks. There is so much to do in this game that my version of Link has proven to be a master procrastinator and might never save Hyrule or find Princess Zelda.

Now... sadly, the part of my vacation that I wanted to dedicate just to myself and my hobbies is officially over, where from tomorrow on I won't have the same amount of time to play this game and write about this game. Well, it can't be helped, so you should expect that these posts become much less frequent from now on. But they will keep coming!


  • Memories: 6/18
  • Shrines: 50
  • Lightroots: 20
  • Towers: 10/15
  • Korok Seeds: 120
  • Bubbul Gems: 23


Raul said...

Yeah the dream home feature is fun despite being fairly limited. Any ideas for which weapons you'll put on display? Might go with amiibo ones myself at least for the swords.

I liked an idea someone suggested of being able to plant flowers, fruits, veggies, etc at the dream home. Would be awesome with how many there are to choose from. In terms of sheer usefulness I'd probably plant bomb flowers, puff shrooms, and elemental ones like ice fruit and hot pepper

TourianTourist said...

Yeah, so far it looks like I'm going to put the amiibo weapons on display, like the Fierce Deity Sword, once I've found them. In BotW you had some really cool-looking stuff, like the ancient weapons, but that's all gone now. Maybe some of the later Construct / Zonaite weapons will look equally flashy.

I love the idea of planting fruits and trees for harvesting the materials, this would be fantastic.