Wednesday, August 30, 2023

Tears of the Kingdom Adventure Log, Entry 20

small lake filled with sky debris in the Floria area

August is over and I didn't get much play time in Tears of the Kingdom during this month, because of QuakeCon and two weeks of vacation. It's been about four weeks since I've beaten the final boss and since then I was mainly focused on some side objectives, where I've returned to the Faron region and explored the remainder of the Depths, collecting a ton of armor pieces on the way.


That One Cave

Beating the game throws you back to the prologue and afterwards I couldn't help but wonder what happened to all the amazing caves that were shown in the first teaser trailer at E3 2019, where Link and Zelda went spelunking together with a Dondon. Especially that huge underground bridge surrounded by Luminous Stones has ingrained itself into my memory and it would be a huge shame if all of that got cut during development...

But what if those caves are still part of the game somewhere? They may not be, but I don't know yet and the place where it made the most sense to look for them was Lake Floria. It's where you can find the Dondons, as well as a good amount of Zonai architecture and Luminous Stones. And I hadn't fully explored the area yet, so my next goal was set...

in the jungle, with Mineru's Construct next to me

This led to the side quest with the three Hinox brothers, who now dwell inside caves, where the ones around Lake Floria are quite large, but they were not what I was looking for. They also weren't much fun, where I especially dislike that one long cave going through Mount Floria with all the thorns, for example, because it's not exactly convenient to explore.

And I ended up in this particular cave multiple times as I kept running in circles, because my Sensor+ kept pointing at a chest below the Kamah Plateau and none of the caves in the proximity seemed to lead to it. For a moment I was even worried that there are unobtainable chests once more. But I suppose that Tears of the Kingdom is too polished for that and I've ended up missing another cave down at the Floria River, the Sarjon Woods Cave, which leads right to the Rubber Helm.

It seems to me that the radius of chests for the sensor is dependent on their content. The more important the content of a chest, the larger its radius will be... With unimportant chests it usually doesn't start to beep until you're quite close, while in this case the radius was so large that it had me confused. Chests enclosed in rocks now are also not picked up in certain cases, which happens quite often in the Faron region, with those square holes in the ground.

By now I always have the Sensor+ turned on and set to chests, because there aren't that many compared to Breath of the Wild and I do enjoy having the highlight, which is giving you a small goal for the moment. I haven't used the Korok Mask yet, though, only in some rare instances where I wanted to check that I didn't miss anything in certain suspicious places.

With no luck at Lake Floria, I moved on to the Zonai Ruins in the jungle. It's such a good fit that they've placed the Thunderhead and Mineru's quest above this area, but otherwise there isn't much going on in relation to the Zonai here. I've noticed that some of the dragon statues now have a yellow horn on top, which looks to be conveniently fallen sky debris and seemingly acts as a reference to the Light Dragon (or Farosh). There are multiple ones and there might be more to this, but I have yet to find out...

the giant Goddess Statue back in place

But I was able to complete the quest around the Goddess Statues at the springs, because I can now safely approach all three dragons. You receive the Goddess Sword for your efforts, which is called "White Sword of the Sky" for some reason, and I couldn't possibly think of any more fitting reward here, even if it doesn't make sense canonically. This used to be the basis for the Master Sword, after all, where technically you could have multiple Master Swords now.

In Breath of the Wild it didn't really matter, because all the amiibo items were essentially "out of this world" and not even part of Hyrule Compendium. They were just some extras for the fan service. But now that these items are integrated into the main game, it raises some questions...

lights behind a grate in a cave

Back to spelunking, another cave that had me confused was the one at the Pagos Woods, where you can see a Bubbulfrog behind a grate in the wall. I was playing this in the middle of the day and it was so bright that I didn't see the big hole in the ground at the other end of the room, so I've ended up looking for another entrance or cave, some place where I potentially could use Ascend to reach the frog. But I was just making things more complicated than they were, which tends to happen... And overall Tears of the Kingdom is a game where I prefer to play it when it's dark, especially when I'm in the Depths. There are several things that I've missed there because I didn't see them, but we'll get to this.

These excavation sites in the area are cool, though, because they look different than your usual caves, come with a puzzle, and essentially feel like small shrines.

climbing up a pillar with a Thunder Gleeok looming in the distance

Next up was the Herin Lake South Thunder Gleeok, which has made its presence known for quite some time, much like the Flame Gleeok on the Bridge of Hylia. It's a huge "don't come any closer" sign and the flat terrain around it make more difficult to fight, because there is nothing that you can use for protection or as a platform for jump shots.

This is where Mineru comes into play, because you can always leap off her Construct to deliver those slow motion headshots at any time and almost everywhere. It's without a doubt the most useful and convenient of the sages, next to Yunobo, even if I never use the robot itself to fight. (Keep in mind that I don't have Tulin yet, so my ranking may change later.)

at the Koto Pond with Mineru and Shadow Sidon

Anyway, after exploring the entire area for hours and even asking Satori for guidance, I gave up looking for the mystery caverns that may not even part of the game... Instead, I went down into the Depths (at Meda Mountain) and decided to sweep the place.

Dark Drablands

You could say that the Depths are essentially the Dark World to the Hyrule from Breath of the Wild, in the most literal sense. It's mirrored on the z-axis and very dark, at least before you've activated the Lightroots. This is very impressive for a game world of this size, if you think about it, but I stand by my opinion that it's a lot of filler and too much repetition.

flying through the dark Depths with the hover cycle with a Lightroot on a hill

It still can be fun, nevertheless, where it has proven for me to be the perfect gameplay for the evening hours, where I may just want to do, but not to think. "Mine, kill boss, mine, kill boss, open chest, go for the next Lightroot." It's busywork and a bit dull, but still entertaining somehow.

By now I've also made a tour through the northwest corner of the Depths, so that I have activated 119 Lightroots in total, which should be all but one. The last one is where Master Kohga is still hiding, in the Abandoned Mine below Rito Village. This feels like a fitting finale for when I'm to finally go there and I knew this in in advance, because the game tells you at some point that this particular place can't be accessed from within the Depths, only from a chasm above.

Now, while exploring the Depths I've usually been too focused on the map. It's easy enough to spot the Lightroots and once they've uncovered the surrounding areas, I search for details on the map. Groves, mines, enemy camps, and certain boss arenas are the points of interest, where I tend to navigate from one to the next.

flying above a huge skeleton in the Depths

This has the disadvantage that I'm avoiding "blank" areas, even though you may find other bosses and things there, potentially. Another example are the "Dark Skeletons", where so far they didn't really stand out on the map. Luckily, the Hebra Dark Skeleton is hard to miss and this led me to the Cap of the Wild, where all three skeletons have a part of this armor set and I made it my mission to collect them all right after.

I really didn't expect the Tunic of the Wild to come back, because this was the ultimate reward in Breath of the Wild for clearing all shrines. But since you can also collect the tunics of the other heroes, I guess it makes sense to have this as well, and I still expect that Tears of the Kingdom will have something of its own at the end.

And I love the descriptions about how these items fit you perfectly. It's still weird how they have ended up there, since they should have been in the possession of this Link at some point... Or this game takes place in some timeline where Link never bothered with completing all 120 Sheikah Shrines.

giant statue in the dark

I was super impressed by the gigantic statue at the northeast cliff of what's essentially the "Tanagar Depths Plateau". It looks like a giant golem and gave me this uneasy feeling of first going into the Depths in the early game.

Ironically, I was wondering at this point about what happened to the four-eyed Bargainer Statues. I know that you can ask the statue at Lookout Landing for where to find its brethren, which only costs 100 Poe Souls, but I never did this and wanted to find them on my own. But I had been almost everywhere in the Depths and didn't encountered another one since the Central Mine, or at least I wasn't aware of it. I swear, I've climbed all over the big statue, but I didn't notice its face or any interactions... And I'm super blind when going through the Depths, which is why I stick to the map most of the time.

At least I noticed that I hadn't been to the Wellspring of Courage south of the Construct Factory yet, so I decided to check this place out to not only find some hidden altar, but also what I've been searching for...

at a four-eyed statue

It was much easier to see here and now I knew what I have to look for, where I've went back to the giant statue at the cliff to realize my mistake from earlier, as well as the other two springs. I've been to both the Wellspring of Power and Wisdom, but I didn't notice the statues there the first time, because they are a bit in the dark. (As I said, I'm super blind in the Depths, but my screen's brightness is well adjusted, I swear...)

And I suppose that it doesn't really matter how easy they are to see, because there is a pattern here: these statues are all below the big Goddess Statues on the surface, at the three Springs, the Temple of Time, and the Forgotten Temple. Knowing this makes it actually very easy to find them all...

Well, I didn't miss anything important, only the remaining parts of the Dark Link set and the Depths set. The latter was designed after these statues and makes you look like some horror monk:

the Depths set at Cotera's Fountain and the Dueling Peaks Stable in the background

The set bonus gives you "Gloom Attack Resist", where so far the armor only protected you from environmental gloom and I thought that its four extra hearts would now also be taken into account while fighting gloom enemies. But that's not the case... I suppose, it only reduces gloom attack damage a bit or so.

To my surprise, one more Bargainer Statue was missing for a total of seven, but since you can actually spot the statues on the map it didn't take me long to find the last one at the plains... It's below the new Goddess Statue at the Great Sky Island, where I hadn't connected the dots there. This scores you the Champion's Tunic, which is now called the "Tunic of Memories", another armor item that I didn't anticipate to return in Tears of the Kingdom, since there already are the Champion's Leathers.

It seems that almost all armor items from Breath of the Wild are returning... The exception are the items from the Great Plateau, where now you have the "archaic" set of tutorial items. (It's even noteworthy how you now get warm pants instead of a warm top for the early snow sections.) Both the Gerudo Vai set and the Ancient Armor set also seem to be gone now, since they don't serve their original purpose any longer, and I haven't found the Nintendo Switch Shirt yet, but everything else still seems to be there.

riding a Stalhorse through the central plains of the Depths

As for what's hidden in the Depths, I should only be missing the Cap of Time by now. Since the Tunic and Trousers of Time were found in some mines, I'm guessing that it's the same for the cap, but I have no clue where it could be. There should be an old map pointing at its location, however, so I will find it eventually... It may even be at the last large mine, where Kohga is waiting.

It's also the only amiibo armor item that I'm still missing, next to the Hero's Shield and the Sword of the Six Sages, or "Dusk Claymore", how it's now called. I'm putting all the amiibo and Champion weapons in my house, by the way, where I've purchased all three weapon stand containers for this. But it adds up perfectly. One container is for the Champion weapons, one for the two-handed amiibo weapons, and one for the one-handed amiibo weapons.

These amiibo weapons all feel a lot more special now, which is silly, because I could always just scan the amiibo to get more of them. But I like the fact that you had to earn them.


  • Sage's Vows: 4/5
  • Sage's Wills: 13/20
  • Main Quests: 16/23
  • Side Adventures: 50/60
  • Shrine Quests: 24/31
  • Side Quests: 92/139
  • Memories: 14/18
  • Towers: 13/15
  • Shrines: 124
  • Lightroots: 119/120
  • Caves: 113/147
  • Korok Seeds: 384
  • Schema Stones: 10
  • Yiga Schematics: 32
  • Old Maps: 15
  • Map Completion: 68.82%

Sunday, August 6, 2023

Tears of the Kingdom Adventure Log, Entry 19

staring at the Blood Moon above the Great Sky Island, Hyrule Castle to the left

There was one small thing I wanted to do before going to the Rito, which is where I will find the last sage, and that "small thing" was beating the game. I was simply curious of what would happen if you went for the final boss without having completed all the main dungeons, so I decided to find out, on prime time Saturday evening...

This goes without saying, but big finale spoilers incoming! I will put everything in a spoiler box, so you don't accidentally catch a glimpse of anything major while scrolling through this site. I already had seen the final boss before, but I don't want to be that guy who does this to other people without warning or any precautions. So, only click on the buttons below if you've beaten the game yourself already or you don't care.

The Goal

When you leave the Great Plateau in Breath of the Wild, you immediately receive the "Defeat Ganon" main quest, pointing at the top of Hyrule Castle. The game tells you "this is where you will find the final boss, good luck with that". It's a straight-forward as it gets, where it's really up to you how much you prepare and grow stronger before you're going to beat the game. Or at least try.

Tears of the Kingdom handles this differently. The main main quest is called "Find Zelda" and there are lot of loose ends to follow here, like the geoglyphs, the four regional phenomena, and even the rumors around the stables, which all results in various other main quests and side adventures. So far the game hasn't told me where to find the final boss, but this doesn't mean that this is completely out of reach until you're done with all the other things. And you can make an educated guess right away...



After Credits

Once you've beaten the game, it will activate the same post-game mode as in Breath of the Wild. Your save file will be marked with a star and you keep any pictures you took during the final battle, but everything else will reset to before the battle. It also now displays Zelda's Secret Stone on the loading screen, as if she were another sage rescued, which is a nice detail. But technically you already had her Secret Stone since the beginning, since this is the Recall ability.

loading screen

The game also shows you your completion status on the Purah Pad and you can see my current progress below. The most interesting stat is probably the map completion, where I'm at 66% now, which is quite surprising to me. I actually thought that this would be a lot lower. In Breath of the Wild 72% were just the Korok Seeds and I don't have half of them yet, given that there are at least 900 again. But I suppose that with the Lightroots and the caves there is just a lot more stuff to check off on the map.

Needless to say that I will go for the 100%. It's Zelda and I love it. So, stay tuned, even though the credits rolled, this journey is far from over...


  • Sage's Vows: 4
  • Sage's Wills: 13
  • Main Quests: 16/23
  • Side Adventures: 49/60
  • Shrine Quests: 24/31
  • Side Quests: 89/139
  • Memories: 14/18
  • Towers: 13/15
  • Shrines: 124
  • Lightroots: 105
  • Caves: 104/147
  • Korok Seeds: 369
  • Schema Stones: 10
  • Yiga Schematics: 21
  • Old Maps: 15
  • Map Completion: 66.09%

Saturday, August 5, 2023

Tears of the Kingdom Adventure Log, Entry 18

at some ruins at the northern cliffs of the Gerudo Desert, Farosh in the background

With my adventures in the Gerudo Desert and Canyon coming to an end, there was one last stop remaining at the edge of these areas: the Yiga Clan Hideout. Afterwards I was exploring parts of the west, both in the Depths and on the surface, where I wandered back into the Coliseum Ruins to finally settle a score. This led me to a quest to find all the pieces of the Awakening armor set.

Yiga Yiga Bazaar

Since Link successfully invaded the Yiga Clan Hideout back in Breath of the Wild, they finally installed doors... And you won't be able to enter, unless you're wearing the full Yiga gear. The Yiga Blademaster at the entrance recognized me as a fellow blademaster, but I was told that your status doesn't really make much of a difference in this place, save for some altered dialogues and some discounts. As long as you got the Yiga armor you should be good to go.

entrance chamber of the Yiga Clan Hideout

The tapestries with a flame symbol at the bottom are a bit on the nose, but overall the place became a lot livelier, just like all of Hyrule. I didn't really know what to expect here, but the last thing I expected was probably a Yiga bazaar, where you can purchase bananas, the different Yiga weapons, spikes, and even entire vehicles.

You have to leave quite a bit of money for the latter, but I simply wanted to see what happens... The "Gloomdredger", which is one of the spiked, three-wheeled cars, costs 500 (with the Blademaster discount), but you can also get the "HOVERDOOM MK. 3" for only 50 Rupees. These two vehicles are commonly found at the abandoned mines in the Depths, but here you can also take them for a ride on the surface.

sitting in a the Yiga car in front of the hideout

pod racer during the Blood Moon

The second option is not much only cheaper, but also much more useful for the Gerudo Desert. The vehicles are delivered to the front entrance of the Yiga Clan Hideout, where you can freely make use of them afterwards. But of course they won't stay there, so you will have to buy them again... And it's probably not the best idea.

Though, by now things are also looking a bit better on the money front, mainly because I realized at some point that I just can sell excess monster parts. In Breath of the Wild this was a bit of a no-go, because you could trade monster parts for Kilton's own currency, "Mon". But Poe Souls now are the secondary currency, while Kilton's brother Koltin isn't interested in monster parts, so I can just sell of whatever I have in the hundreds already. Plus, you're also getting more stuff from defeating monsters with the new horns and all that.

Selling minerals is usually the best way of making lots of money, but here I'm always hesitant, because you need a lot of those for enhancing armor, especially all the amiibo items. So, I only tend to sell them when I really have lots of a kind.

As said before, Tears of the Kingdom is by far the Zelda game to have the most use for Rupees. Shopping for armor, enhancing armor, purchasing new containers for your house... These three things alone will eat up thousands and thousands.

disguised Link standing next to a drawing of a demonic Link by the Yiga

Back to the Yiga Clan Hideout, one guy tells you that they are disguising themselves as trees to fool Link... Is that what the Evermeans are supposed to be? This can't be right, since you can literally chop them up and in the Depths they also come covered in Gloom. I'm curious...

But I like that drawing of Link that you can find everywhere in the base as a warning. To them the hero really must appear like some demon, who destroys their bases, cuts down their comrades, and just can't be stopped. Well, excuse me.


 Thunder Helm 2

The biggest surprise in the hideout was easily the big prize. Last time I was wondering whether the Thunder Helm will return in this game or not... And I promptly got my answer: it will not. But there is the new Lightning Helm, which looks exactly the same and works exactly the same. And the only real difference is that it was made by the Yiga, copying the Thunder Helm from when they had it in their hands during the events in Breath of the Wild.

Yiga Blademaster protecting the Lightning Helm on a podium

It's their prized possession now and only the best can earn the right to wear it, where the Yiga Clan Hideout essentially became the Gerudo Town of this game. You need to wear full disguise in order to enter it and you will be thrown out when you take the disguise off. And by proving yourself worthy you can earn a helm that protects you from lightning, which you can also wear within the hideout without dropping your disguise.

standing next to a Blademaster with the Lightning Helm

The difference is that you now need to play a mini-game to earn it, where you have to defeat a number of Yiga Footsoldiers within one minute. It's quite fun and easy, where in my case I used to strong spear to easily best them.

You will have to play it multiple times, because there are more rewards than just the Lightning Helm. There is Yiga Clan fabric, where you can show the entire world how much you worship Master Kohga, but also the new Earthwake technique.

slamming the right arm into the ground, which causes a blue light

This lets you perform the geyser attacks of the Blademasters whenever you don't have any weapons selected, which is a really cool idea. This reminds me of the Fist Ring / Expert Ring in Oracle of Ages & Seasons, where you can punch as long as you don't have any items equipped. Same thing, really, though here it's a lot more convenient to use.

Riju: "That helm..."

By the way, if you approach Riju with the Lightning Helm, she will react in form of one of those little speech bubbles, but won't say anything about. It's basically like with the Cece Hat and the crazy people in mushroom costumes. This is a shame, I still would like to know what happened to the Thunder Helm. But I suppose it's on the "we don't talk about it" pile, together with the Divine Beasts, Sheikah Towers, and Sheikah Shrines.

shrine and chasm in the canyon where you first fought Master Kohga

Speaking of shrines, on the other end of  the Yiga Clan Hideout you can find one right next to the chasm. I got worried for a little bit that there might be none in the proximity, but for the most part Tears of the Kingdom has done a good job of placing shrines right where you need them, so you have quick access to important places. You can also enter the hideout now from this side, where I suppose it doesn't matter from which side you approach the base initially.

Zoom Through Gloom

The hole behind the Yiga base is where you first fought Master Kohga and it's how he found the Depths in the first place, after he had fallen down there. Just like the giant hole below the old Gerudo Tower, this one essentially used to be a chasm already in Breath of the Wild, but they got treated as bottomless pits in the previous game.

I don't even think that Tears of the Kingdom has any "bottomless" pits in its game world, except maybe at some of the world borders to the north and west. You still have them inside shrines, but I don't recall anything like the hole behind the Yiga Clan Hideout. These are all chasms now and the Depths themselves don't have any abysses either, other than what's a natural part of the terrain. There are much deadlier holes there, though, like this one:

Link's team around a hole filled with Gloom

This is near an enemy camp and I've accidentally fell into it, because I was approaching while aiming with the bow and didn't see it. It's just Gloom in there and I had no idea how to get out, so I've simply loaded my last auto save, kind of like a soft Game Over.

supply drops in the Depths

Anyway, when I've jumped down into the "Yiga Clan Hideout Chasm", I was expecting something special at the bottom, but it really was just a bunch of supply drops, where this is how they get their bananas into the Depths.

And the surrounding areas didn't really offer anything special as well. I've activated over a dozen more Lightroots, where now I'm guessing that there might be a total of 120 in the Depths, the same number as Sheikah Shrines in the base game of Breath of the Wild, which would be pretty awesome. This would also mean that there are 120 Shrines of Light on the surface, but of course there are more shrines to find in the skies this time.

On a Stalhorse in the Depths
riding a Stalhorse through a Poe swarm

You can also find Stalhorses down here, where usually they are used by Bokoblins, but you can also encounter some wild ones. It's super fun to ride them through the Depths, where they are also immune to Gloom, but sadly the terrain can make this a short trip and I'm quickly back on the hover cycle. It's the same problem with any wheeled vehicle, really.

But this is the most that I've been using horses for quite some time... Well, you can't bring them to the Gerudo Desert anyway, where I've spent most of my time lately, but even everywhere else I couldn't be bothered. This was very different in the early game, but the easier access to Zonai vehicle stuff kind of made them obsolete. I even got over 1400 Zonaite by now, so I can easily build whatever whenever I need it without touching my capsules.

Steward Construct: "Your Energy Cell has been expanded to the maximum extent possible. It will not support more Energy Wells."

My Energy Cell is also completely blue, all 45 expansion slots filled, where I'm not processing the Zonaite any longer. And there was probably no need to process as much as I did, because you can find a lot of Crystallized Charges in the Depths, mainly from re-battling the main bosses

Apropos, my main activity in the Depths is just fighting bosses by now, where I also found several of the temple boss arenas, including two Queen Gibdos, not far from each other. I already know of a third location and it would be a bit repetitive if each temple boss were to re-appear thrice. But they also drop special "building pieces", like a wing of the Queen Gibdo, which you can fuse to your shield for example. So, having more than just one source at a time might be a good thing.

Scourge of the Depths - Queen Gibdo

Also, in case of the Queen Gibdo, taking pictures for Hyrule Compendium may offer a better quality within the Depths, since it's actually a bit brighter than in her chamber and there is no Sand Shroud. There is also no rain in the Depths, which is always a plus and where taking pictures really became the new climbing in Tears of the Kingdom.

Everyone who has played Breath of the Wild has experienced this at least once: whenever you start climbing up some cliff walls, the game just loves to suddenly change the weather to rain. Climbing frankly isn't as important any longer in Tears of the Kingdom, since you can basically just fly all the time, where I've lost interest in getting the whole Froggy Suit a long time ago. I will still get it soon, once I've went to the last stable, but it hasn't been as much of a priority as it would have been in Breath of the Wild, where sadly the suit doesn't exist.

But the rain can still be very annoying, at least when you're trying to take nice photos for Hyrule Compendium. You're placing a weapon with the Ultrahand in just the right angle on some nice and clean terrain. The sun is shining perfectly on the object, lighting it up in a way that it looks very sharp and good. Now you just have to position yourself correctly and release the shutter, just a second... But all of sudden it gets dark and rains for three days straight! And the worst part is that this just keeps happening. The game knows, just like Breath of the Wild knew best when to disrupt your climbing sessions.

Blupee Burrows

The Depths are just pure repetition, there is no denying that. It's all just mines, Yiga bases, groves, bosses, and Lightroots, copy and pasted all over the inverse terrain. So, to find something unique within all of this certainly was an ecstatic moment and it's right below the place where you could find one of the few unique entities in Breath of the Wild, Mount Satori...

A cherry blossom tree, glowing right in the middle of the dark Depths. There are also some Blupees around, which run into holes around the area, where I don't know yet if there's anything special that you can do here. But it certainly felt special in itself.

looking at Mount Satori from the south, the storm cloud at Mount Hebra behind it and the Light Dragon flying above

This inspired me to continue my exploration in the much more beautiful surface world, with a bit of tour to the east of the Gerudo Highlands. There is an Ascension Point that puts you right on Kass's old loft at Washa's Bluff, making a bit melancholic. I also really missed his accordion when I was at the Birida Lookout Chasm, for example, and I will finally go to the Rito soon, where maybe he is still there.

There is truly something absent in the game without him playing the accordion all over the world, but I can also appreciate when there will be still some nice reasons left to go back to Breath of the Wild, other than the Master Cycle Zero. And I've already criticized how it feels a bit too much like Breath of the Wild whenever some of the old piano pieces play at certain places, where I would be a hypocrite if I now want to meet Kass again, just like in the first game. But he should have some new tunes by now...

walking towards the cherry blossom tree and the sundown

Well, I didn't really discover anything all too interesting around Mount Satori. The cherry blossom tree is now just one of many... It still reminds me of the days where I brought Satori to the Outskirts Stable just for fun, and from there to anywhere in Hyrule.

There is even now a side quest at the stable, where an old man wants you come to the stable first on a Stalhorse and than on anything that isn't a horse. The dialogue seems to be unique depending on what you ride on, where maybe there is also the possibility that you can still go there on a Satori somehow. If Koltin could really turn into a Satori, where maybe you could summon him at any cherry blossom tree for a ride, then this would be a worthwhile reward for completing a collectible quest. I've got over 100 Bubbul Gems by now, so I'm on my way to find out.

Link's Gleeokening

Since I was back at the Outskirts Stable and I now had an effective protection against lighting strikes, thanks to my best friends from the Yiga Clan, there was no excuse for staying away from the Coliseum Ruins any longer. It was time to fight my first Thunder Gleeok.

flying above the Thunder Gleeok with the Master Kohga glider

And I was wrong before, the heads aren't actually weak to Splash Fruits, even though this would have been a nice detail. I guess, the fusion simply increased the attack power enough for one-shots at the time, but with a weaker bow I had no luck. Black Bokoblin Horns did the trick for me this time and Gibdo Bones do seem to cause a lot of damage, so you don't necessarily need any elemental weaknesses to take down the heads quickly.

The coliseum really makes this a fun fight, because the different floors can protect you from the dragon's attacks and you can also use Ascend to quickly gain height and go into slow-motion aim mode. In the last phase the lightning strikes caused several upstreams after a while, which helped a lot with getting high enough.

Well, this battle was so much fun that I did it twice in a row... Not really willingly, because it took me so long to figure out how to get to the treasure chest below the coliseum that a Blood Moon ruined my peaceful time there. Well, I was mainly searching for a cave entrance, after I didn't understand how to open the obvious entrance inside the ruins... To my defense, I don't have Misko's hint for this particular chest yet, where I finally found my first pieces of the Awakening set, the trousers.

flying above Hyrule Ridge

The side quests for the other two pieces were already in my Adventure Log, though, so I made it my next goal to complete whole set. And I don't think that I would have solved the new puzzle at the Thundra Plateau without Misko's hint. It's quite clever and was a good reminder that those giant mushroom-like rocks are actually not rocks, but trees. That's something you may not even have discovered in Breath of the Wild, because it's not of much use there...

Anyway, this is where you find the Mask of Awakening, by far the best part of the set. And if you know about this spot, then you can get it easily very early in the game to enjoy all cutcenes as what I call "Toy Link".

in some ruins with a Flame Gleeok lurking further on

The final piece is at the Ancient Columns and that's probably the easiest one to find by accident. But the Flame Gleeok nearby might make you so nervous that you probably won't find it without knowing what to look for.

You don't have to fight the Gleeok in order to obtain the piece, as long as you approach the ruins from the steep side to the east. But I did it anyway, where I had a bit of an Age of Calamity moment, because I ran into a Silver Moblin while fighting the Gleeok, which can be a hurtful distraction.

The giant fireballs the Flame Gleeoks shoot down at you during the final phase also create an equally gigantic updraft, where you can go even higher than them. I somehow missed this when I first fought one at Spectacle Rock, but it makes sense that there is a way to ascend with all three forms. The game can't really expect you to build a vehicle in the middle of the fight, like I did the last time...

the full Awakening set, with the storm cloud above Hebra in the background

Well, I can now proudly present the full Awakening set. I love it! It will take a while to upgrade it, though, because not only does this require plenty Star Fragments, but also tons of Luminous Stones. This is one of those examples where you really don't want to sell the minerals, even when you already have plenty.

For getting Star Fragments the best way seems to be using a Skyview Tower at night, where I've went to the one at the Thyphlo Ruins, which brought me to another sky tablet. This one crashes all the way down into the Depths through a chasm, close to the Gleek Den.

And since the recent Gleeok fighting business went so well, I gave the Gloom King Gleeok there a first try. That was a nasty one, where I had some real troubles during the final phase this time, which cost me two whole fairies, but I defeated it anyway and completed the Twilight set as well. Now I'm only missing a piece of the Hero and the Time sets and then I should have all of the amiibo armor, without using my amiibo to get them. It's a lot more rewarding when you've searched and fought for them.

Golf Cart

There are two new mini-games at the Tanagar Canyon, where I was in the neighborhood after collecting the last piece of the Awakening set. One game is hosted by a Rito and a Goron, where you have to catch objects. Not too much fun, where I hope that this won't offer any unique rewards. The other is at the Tanagar Canyon Course, where the "Boom Bam Golf" used to be, another one that I didn't like all too much.

driving with a giant golf ball attached to my car through a canyon

But there is no Stasis in Tears of the Kingdom, so instead your task is now to carry the golf ball as far as possible, where you can prepare a vehicle for the task, similar to the racing mini-games at Tarrey Town and Lurelin. This is super simple and beating the advanced course scores you 300 Rupees the first time with a 20 Rupee entry fee, so that's 280 Rupees, which is pretty great.

Anyway, these activities brought me all close to the Tabantha region, where I was supposed to go there back when the game started. That's the last big unexplored chunk for me. But there is something else I want to check out (again) before I go there and add the last sage to my entourage...


  • Sage's Vows: 4
  • Sage's Wills: 13
  • Memories: 14/18
  • Towers: 13/15
  • Shrines: 124
  • Lightroots: 105
  • Caves: 104/147
  • Korok Seeds: 369
  • Schema Stones: 10
  • Yiga Schematics: 21
  • Old Maps: 15