Thursday, January 25, 2024

Tears of the Kingdom Adventure Log, Entry 30

Lookout Landing at dusk

At the heart of Hyrule lies Lookout Landing, your base of operations. This is where you get most of your main assignments, but also a variety of trophy items, where I have my eyes on those. There were more Hinox to hunt, Taluses to crush, and wells to find, which is what I've primarily been up to for the last two weeks. But I also found the missing Old Maps, as well as lots of Koroks on the way...

Missing Maps

After the long grind for materials in order to enhance almost all armor, I was in need for a quick win. And in case of the Old Maps there were only two left to find for me, so this seemed like a good goal. Previously, I thought that those might be somewhere on the surface, at fallen sky islands, but I couldn't find anything new here. So, I moved away from this assumption and returned to the skies to look for them there once more.

on a sky island, looking at the dawn, standing right next to a hoverbike

Essentially, I just kept flying from island to island again with my sensor set to chests. I also went back to all the Flux Constructs, because I was afraid that I might have missed one of their treasure chests after the battle. But this wasn't the case.

In the end, one was left at the South Hyrule Sky Archipelago, at the island around the middle of the east side, with its chest hanging quite high up, which is probably why I had missed it before. And the last one was at the small waterfall island near the Zonaite Forge Island. Nothing spectacular, this was just a place that I've kept ignoring during my other search efforts.

Old Map - A very old map that shows a marked spot. What could be there?

Of course, at this point neither of the maps were pointing at anything that I didn't have yet, so this was purely for the sake of completion and having all 31 Old Maps in my inventory. As I said, I wanted a quick win and this was it.

Highest in Hyrule

During my search for the remaining Old Maps I even went up to the star island above Lookout Landing, even though there weren't any treasure chests on any of the others. You never actually have to go there, because the respective tablet has already fallen down at the beginning of the game, but it might be worth a visit anyway, because it's actually the highest point where you can stand on, even above the Room of Awakening, something around 2600 on the z-coordinate.

standing on one of the stone leafs of the star island, looking down on Hyrule, right next to a Travel Medallion

teleporting to the star island

I decided to place my third Travel Medallion there, because this is a cool place for sky diving, you can even go down into the Hyrule Castle Chasm from here for an extra long (and epic) dive. Or you can just plummet down to Lookout Landing, though sadly this doesn't seem to be an area that gives you Star Fragments on a reliable basis (I've yet to get one here) or else I would use this spot more often.

Curiously, if you fast fall directly into the Emergency Shelter, then the game even will have trouble with loading all the assets, where the room looks a glitched for a moment:

Goddess Statue floating in front of some naked brick walls

It will all have loaded before you can do anything, though. Speaking of glitches, I've encountered my first noteworthy glitch after all this time. I was in the Sage Temple Cave and tried to duck through the grate there, which clipped me inside the wall, so that I was stuck inside the wall and had to teleport in order to get out:

These type of clipping errors are commonly used for speed-runs, of course, so this wasn't anything special. But it was still weird to experience this myself, because I normally don't try to force such errors and Nintendo games in general are usually very robust, so that these things don't happen to you accidentally all too often.

You might wonder what I was even doing back in this cave to begin with, since I already got all the Bubbel Gems a while ago... And this brings us to the next topic:

Those Who Remain

There were still two hands full of giant monsters to hunt, six Taluses and four Hinox to be exact, so I made it my next goal to find them all, to obtain the last two medals from Sergeant Sergeant Master Sergeant Gralens. And this search was pretty much all over the place, where I only could exclude the sky islands. There could have been some left in the Depths and some caves, so it wasn't just a matter of scanning the surface for anything that I might have missed.

I wish I could exclude the Depths at this point, because I've spent so much time searching down there already and it all looks the same. A new version of HyruleGuessr based on Tears of the Kingdom won't be any fun with the Depths, that's for sure... But at least you can spot any of the bosses from a good distance, because they glow with Gloom and the Taluses are all standing, so you don't have to thoroughly cover every square meter down there to not potentially miss anything.

Now, I always mark the position of defeated bosses on my map (where I wish that it would do this by default as map feature), so in case that I really can't find the very last, I could always quickly compare it with online guide maps. I don't really want to do go there, but you never know. And doing this helps in other ways as well, because I can see on first glance when I've already defeated a boss. In case of the Depths I can also theoretically use this to determine possible locations of any of the remaining giant monsters, because they are distributed quite evenly, along with all the other "attractions" down there.

And I managed to find one more Black Hinox this way, near the Secluded Coliseum. According to my Hero's Path, I only went through the Bubinga Grove nearby, going straight for the treasure, so there was a gap where I might have missed something. Figuring this out felt pretty good, but this was the only hit so far.

All the others I've found afterwards were on the surface and I was quite disappointed in myself by how sloppily I've been exploring the new old Hyrule, because most of them where quite close to places where I've been before. I blame it on the fact that I've already spent so much time in this world in Breath of the Wild, where my motivation to turn every stone once more was pretty low. But I was still left dumbfounded by how unobservant I must have been at times.

For example, one Hinox was resting at Upland Lindor, at a small forest patch. Right next to this forest patch is a hill with a Korok puzzle that I had already solved a long time ago, but for some reason I didn't see the giant monster close by. But this is nothing compared to the Stone Talus right next to the Horse God Bridge:

ascending through a Rare Stone Talus at said bridge

I had crossed this bridge multiple times before – you have to do it at least once for the Giant White Stallion, which I found very early in the game. And there is even a Korok puzzle only two meters away from the Talus that I've solved before. But for some reason I never saw it and also didn't activate it by accident, even though I must have gotten very close... It is hilarious how stealthy these giant stone monsters can be. And how blind I am without the Stasis+ rune. I would use the sensor to find them, but the problem is that there are multiple types and I can't set multiple targets at once.

Well, this showed me that they could be possibly hiding anywhere, even at places where I've been before. My worst fear is that the last ones are hiding inside caves, which is why I've started to re-explore some of them. It even helps that my Hero's Path has started to delete from the beginning, because this now leaves gaps where I've been early, which is where I'm more likely to have missed something, because I've been too focused on the shiny new things.

Right now I still have exactly one Hinox and one Talus left to defeat. Where are they are hiding? Are they true masters of evasion? Or were they simply saved by the blinders that I must have been wearing while playing this game? Stay tuned to find out...!

Going Well

While I haven't completed my medal collection yet, I was able to find all of the 58 wells for another side quest. And this is something that happened at the sidelines, while I was searching for the bosses, where this was mostly straight-forward and these wells are usually near ruins.

For some reason I missed the Mabe Village Ruins Well, however, even though I've been there before. And for the last one I was using the sensor, where this worked very nicely, because similar to the Shrine Sensor it only targets the wells that you have yet to visit. So, I basically just had to keep going until it beeped at some point.

inside a well with a diary

This point was the Dronoc's Pass Well, which was out in the open right next to the T-junction that leads to the Flight Range and the Hebra Trailhead Lodge. That's not exactly my favorite area, so I wasn't surprised to have overlooked this well there. I was surprised about the reward that you get from Fera, however...

Just One More Sign...!

One thing where I absolutely have no sense of progression is Addison with his signs. I keep running into him and every time I think that this must be it, this must be the last time, only for him to say that he's off to put up more.

Yes, I'm aware he was right next to a shrine... Maybe I need glasses, okay?!

But I can feel it, there is truly only one sign left this time! I bet it's right next to the last Talus and Hinox, where they are all having a party together... Too bad that I wasn't invited.

Unlike the boss monsters, however, I haven't marked any of Addison's locations on my map. There aren't enough markers available to do both anyway. But if I were to use a guide map to find the last one(s), then I would have to use my incomplete Hero's Path to figure out the locations where I wasn't doing some circles. I'm confident that this won't be necessary, however, because Addison is easy enough to spot, certainly easier than some of the Taluses.

Korok Flow

The area where I've actually made the most progress since the last time is Koroks, where I've went up from 777 to 888 Korok Seeds. And yes, I'm stopping to write my progress posts at such numbers on purpose. Next stop will be at 999!

But for real, this has been going well as well. There is just something relaxing about riding my hover bike close to surface while donning the Korok Mask, and stopping whenever it goes "yehee!" In many cases I can already see the puzzle even before the mask reacts, where the most obvious ones are the giant block statues. But I like how they often recreate things from the nearby environment, like the windmills at the Tanagar Canyon:

a static windmill made out of stone blocks

These monstrosities of a puzzle often look quite out of place, but at least this way they can be seen as some Korok artistry. And not all of the Korok puzzles are as easy to spot, where for some you still have to thoroughly explore the environments, like many of the acorns.

a Korok with an arrow right above his head

Or the occasional single stone somewhere. I even discovered that every of the new Bokoblins fortresses has a Korok on top, which I never noticed before, because I simply assumed that they wouldn't place Koroks into enemy camps. But I have to let go of such assumptions if I want to find all of them.

Another wrong assumption was that there aren't Koroks hidden inside caves, because I've found at least two exceptions with the Leviathans by now. And maybe these are the only exceptions, but I cannot be sure of this right now. The last Koroks will be the hardest to find, but I'm determined to not look anything up on the internet, no matter how long it takes, because I will only regret doing so. Once I've found the last Korok, this game will probably be done for me.


  • Side Adventures: 59/60
  • Side Quests: 124/139 (+2)
  • Korok Seeds: 888/1000 (+111)
  • Old Maps: 31/31 (+2)
  • Recipes: 114/228 (+6)
  • Map Completion: 95.66%

Compendium Completion:

  • Creatures: 73/92
  • Monsters: 89/110 (+3)
  • Materials: 40/126
  • Equipment: 159/175 (+2)

Remaining Medals:

  • Taluses: 86/87 (+5)
  • Hinox: 68/69 (+3)

Wednesday, January 24, 2024

Zelda Orchestra Concert Announced

Today Nintendo has announced via Twitter that they are going to release an orchestra concert for The Legend of Zelda on Friday, February 9th, where we will be able to watch the pre-recorded concert on Youtube. Well, that's certainly cheaper than visiting a live symphony, but I also wouldn't mind if something like the Symphony of the Goddesses were to return at some point.

This is giving me 25th Anniversary vibes in any case, because the corners of the artwork use the same design as the special 25th Anniversary Edition of the Nintendo 3DS, which was released together with Ocarina of Time 3D in 2011. This artwork was also used for the 30th Anniversary Concert album, which has been available in Japan in 2016, where this might be related.

We don't have a major anniversary coming up before 2026, however, where they may have simply updated their program with music from Breath of the Wild and Tears of the Kingdom, as a bit of advertisement. I'm not expecting much here, other than some lovely entertainment, but there is also the slight chance that this may tie into some upcoming announcement...

After February 9th the next Nintendo Direct should be just around the corner, maybe it's even the day before. And if we're getting some remake or remaster for the Zelda series this year, then that's where we will learn about it. This Zelda Orchestra Concert then could be the perfect opportunity to feature some music from the upcoming release, to get us in the mood.

I'm personally hoping for a remake of the Oracle games and a big question always has been how they will handle the music there, because music rights are somewhat complicated in Japan. It's probably part of the reason why the Capcom Zelda games never got featured at the Symphony of the Goddesses and similar concerts. But maybe the remake could be getting new music to make it happen and this is where we will first get to hear some of it... It's wishful thinking, I know, but I'm looking forward to it in any case.

Update: this concert was originally supposed to be part of Nintendo Live 2024 TOKYO, an event scheduled for the last weekend, which had to be cancelled because of some threats (source). So, this pre-recorded concert, where there will be also one for Splatoon, is simply a replacement. With that in mind, I wouldn't expect it to feature anything that is currently unannounced, of course.

Friday, January 19, 2024

Tears of the Kingdom – More Nintendo Switch Icons

Starting today, Nintendo will distribute four new waves of Nintendo Switch Online user icons about Tears of the Kingdom. There will be a cute, little Backpack Korok icon, among others, adding to the 101 icon elements from before, though some of those are returning as well.

Right now they also have the icons for the five Zonai abilities: Ultrahand, Fuse, Ascend, Recall, and Autobuild. They look really cool, so I recommend to grab those while you still can. I made myself an icon with Ascend, because that one is underrated.

Sometimes they do re-runs of previously released icons, like over last Christmas, but I don't think they've ever brought back such an extensive collection as a whole, so there is a bit of FOMO with this stuff. You can also only get them with an active Nintendo Switch Online membership, where it cannot be the free trial period.

Source: Twitter

Nintendo Switch: Remaster & Port Wish List

Nintendo Switch with fake box arts for The Wind Waker HD and Twilight Princess for the system

The Nintendo Switch will soon enter its eighth year and has the potential to become the best-selling video game system of all time, if Nintendo keeps it going for a little while longer. Still, they are with all certainty in the middle of preparing its successor and a number of new games for it, where it's even likely that any big titles that remain, like Metroid Prime 4, are going to be saved for the new system. In the meantime, Nintendo will tie us over with smaller titles, remakes, remasters, and ports, like Mario vs. Donkey Kong, or Luigi's Mansion 2 HD.

Now, this is going to be a wish list of ten titles, where I would still like them finding their way onto the Nintendo Switch, either for the sake of convenience or the sake of completeness. I will focus on games that can be either remastered or ported, meaning that they wouldn't need a from-scratch remake in order to look good enough. This essentially limits the choices to GameCube, Wii, Wii U, and Nintendo 3DS titles.

This can be anything previously published by Nintendo, so this won't just be about Zelda games. If you want to read more about those, check out my Future of Zelda Remakes & Remasters article, though there will be a bit of overlap here. Also, I'm perfectly aware that this post may look ironic, considering that I wrote this about six years ago. But times change and by now I really prefer having all games on my Nintendo Switch, where I rarely go back to my older Nintendo systems to play on them.

Luigi's Mansion HD

We're soon going to get Luigi's Mansion 2 HD for the Nintendo Switch, a remaster of the Nintendo 3DS title. The first game was brought onto the Nintendo 3DS as well in 2018 by GREZZO, where this could serve as the basis to later also have it remastered in the same style. With that we would have entire trilogy on the system.

The Wind Waker HD & Twilight Princess HD

These titles always have been such an obvious choice for ports from the Wii U that this kept coming up ever since the dawn of the Nintendo Switch. And after such a long time it's perfectly okay to take the last bit that the Wii U still has going for it. It would allow to play all 3D Zelda games on the Nintendo Switch, which is a big deal for those who don't own any older Nintendo consoles.

On the other hand, if Nintendo was willing to put more effort into these, then they would make great titles for the next console. Imagine Twilight Princess getting the same treatment as Metroid Prime Remastered – it would certainly make a lot of fans very happy if this were to happen over a simple port of the previous HD remaster.


Metroid Prime 2: Echoes Remastered

Speaking of Metroid Prime Remastered, it would be nice to see the sequel getting the same treatment, because it's really one of the best looking and most impressive games on the Nintendo Switch from a technical standpoint. This would serve as another filler in 2024, before we're finally getting Metroid Prime 4 and it could also be shadow-dropped in the same style as last year.

As a separate title once more, they could also put bigger focus on the multipayer mode, maybe even allow you to play it online for the first time ever. If Metroid Prime 4 also were to get multiplayer, this could serve as a play test, so to speak.


Metroid Prime 3: Corruption Remastered

At one point it will be nice to have the entire Metroid Prime trilogy on the Nintendo Switch in some form, but there may be a split here. If Metroid Prime 4 really is one of the first major games for the Nintendo Switch successor, then a remaster of Metroid Prime 3 might be something that they will keep for later, also making use of the better hardware. After all, there was a generational gap between the first two games and the third, even if it only was a slight one.

Wario Land: Shake It! / The Shake Dimension HD

This Wii game was the last entry in the Wario Land series, which is a shame, especially since it returned to its roots of Super Mario Land 3: Wario Land here, meaning that Wario won't transform whenever he gets hit by something. It is a hidden gem made by Good-Feel, the studio that would later make such cozy platformers like Kirby's Epic Yarn or Yoshi's Woolly World. Both of these got ported to the Nintendo 3DS as some of its last titles and maybe the Nintendo Switch will get a similar treatment from Good-Feel in its last years...

Donkey Kong Country Returns HD

Coming from Jump 'n' Runs and games made by Retro Studios, we move on to a combination of both, where they had revived the Donkey Kong Country series with two fantastic games. Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze was already one of the first ports for the Nintendo Switch and it would be nice if its predecessor were to find its way right next to it. There was a Nintendo 3DS version, Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D, which added a couple of levels, better controls, and some helpful extras, but came at the price of the frame rate. A Nintendo Switch release therefore could become the ultimate version of the game.

Kid Icarus: Uprising HD

This was one of the early Nintendo 3DS games and the only "recent" game by Masahiro Sakurai that wasn't a Super Smash Bros. title. It was also the revival of the Kid Icarus franchise, which didn't last... But it had a number of barriers, where the biggest one were probably the controls. The whole AR card collection thingy, which was going on at the time, may also have been something to put you off. There have been rumors that Sakurai has been working on a remaster of this title, where this certainly would do it some good...

Xenoblade Chronicles X

Just for the sake of completion, to have the entire series on the Nintendo Switch, there's one more game to port over from the Wii U: Xenoblade Chronicles X. But if we're truly getting a "Xenoblade Warriors" this year, as I'm personally predicting, then this could also be something for later.

Metroid: Samus Return HD

Finally, after the success of Metroid Dread, MercurySteam may update their first Metroid title from the Nintendo 3DS for some quick cash. Well, they will probably go for another remake entirely, like Super Metroid or Metroid Fusion, or they are already working on Metroid 6. But in case that the assets for Metroid: Samus Returns already were developed in HD and only got downscaled for the Nintendo 3DS (which happened with other games, e.g. Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS), then a remaster would be a very good side project for the meantime and allow you to play this excellent game in the same glory as Metroid Dread.

Sunday, January 14, 2024

The Future of Zelda Remakes & Remasters


"Aus Alt mach Neu."

This is a German saying that translates to "from old make new", and fits nicely into the topic of enhanced ports, remasters, and remakes of video games. You may not like it, you may not need it, but it's an important topic nevertheless, because it helps keeping games accessible to newer generations of gamers, while it's also always a chance to improve older games, to make them as good as you remember them – or even better.

This may backfire, as in case of Majora's Mask 3D, where it's possible to improve something for the worse ("Verschlimmbessern"), but for the most part the Zelda series has a solid track record when it comes to bringing its old games back in new glory. And in this article we will go through all generations of the Zelda series and evaluate their likelihood of making a return on the Nintendo Switch or its successor in the upcoming years.


Status Quo on Nintendo Switch

With the sole exception of Four Swords Adventures, all Zelda games were made playable during the previous generation in some form, on either the Nintendo 3DS or the Wii U, some even on both (see here). But with the Nintendo Switch came the first hard cut in a long time, providing no backwards compatibility whatsoever. And there also came a big wave of new players, who didn't have a Nintendo console for a long time or maybe even never.

So, before we talk what Zelda games will potentially be remade or remastered in the upcoming years, let's first look what the Nintendo Switch has to offer at the moment. The following games run natively on the system:

  • The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening (Remake)
  • The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD
  • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
  • The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom
  • Cadence of Hyrule: Crypt of the NecroDancer feat. The Legend of Zelda
  • Hyrule Warriors: Definitive Edition
  • Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity

With a Nintendo Switch Online (+ Expansion Pack) subscription you can also get access to a variety of emulated games:

  • The Legend of Zelda (NES)
  • Zelda II - The Adventure of Link (NES)
  • The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past (SNES)
  • The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening DX (GBC)
  • The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (N64)
  • The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask (N64)
  • The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages (GBC)
  • The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons (GBC)
  • The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap (GBA)

All in all, that's twelve of the 20 mainline titles and three out of six spin-offs (from those released outside of Japan), which is very solid. But there is still a good chunk missing and some of the emulated games haven't aged all too well, which is why we will also consider them for potential remakes despite their presence.

There is currently no reason to believe that the next Nintendo system won't be backwards compatible, which means that all of the above titles will likely carry over, some might even get performance improvements or upscaling. In the very least, it should be in Nintendo's own interest to keep their current account model, together with the Nintendo Switch Online service, which gives you access to the classic console libraries.


Nintendo Entertainment System

The two Zelda games for the NES are the most re-released titles in the series, where they have been playable in some form on every Nintendo system for the past 20 years, with the sole exception of the Nintendo DSi. They were on the Collector's Edition disc for the Nintendo GameCube, they were part of the NES Classics series for the Game Boy Advance, they were on the Virtual Console on the Wii, Wii U, and Nintendo 3DS. And finally, you can play them with a basic Nintendo Switch Online subscription, as mentioned above. In addition, you can also find them on dedicated hardware, where we had the Nintendo Classic Mini in 2016, as well as the Legend of Zelda Game & Watch system from two years ago.

Nintendo made sure that you can play these two games somehow, if you're truly interested. Still, despite the availability, they aren't the easiest games to get into, where fans have been asking for remakes since the 90s. But the NES classics aren't exactly remake material, because they are lacking many of the elements that make a Zelda game today and that were introduced with A Link to the Past. Better graphics and controls wouldn't change that these games are rather archaic in comparison to later titles in the series.

modernized screen of a dungeon from the first NES Zelda
Fan Remake by Lloyd Empty

They are better candidates for re-imaginings, similar to Metroid: Zero Mission and Metroid: Samus Returns, where you still have the same premise and roughly the same worlds, but it's been updated in every possible aspect, putting them on par with games of their era. But by doing so you are more likely to end up with something that becomes a Zelda game of its own...

In fact, that's what happened with Oracle of Seasons, where originally Capcom was going to remake the first The Legend of Zelda for the Game Boy Color, but then they've added in new ideas, like the animal buddies or changing seasons.

It would still be nice to get something one day, which captures the magic of the original games in a new livery. But the reality is that there is to gain a lot more with less effort from remaking or remastering any of the later Zelda games...

Nintendo 64

We are skipping over A Link to the Past for now and move right on to the next duo of games, Ocarina of Time and Majora's Mask. Both already got remade on the Nintendo 3DS, but at some point Nintendo will start over with the 3D Zelda games. And there already have been rumors about a potential remake of Ocarina of Time coming to the Nintendo Switch, but the timing is rather odd, because you can't say Ocarina of Time without Majora's Mask. These two games belong together and whatever treatment Ocarina of Time gets, its sequel should get it as well.

With that in mind, it makes more sense to have a remake of Ocarina of Time in the early lifecycle of a Nintendo system, so that they can follow up with Majora's Mask, using the same engine and assets, later on. They could potentially make HD remasters of the Nintendo 3DS remakes (which are technically close to being remasters as well), or they could remake both games from scratch.

Whatever will be the case, they should undo some of the changes made with Majora's Mask 3D, which weren't well received. With more buttons available you can already separate the fast swimming of Zora Link from his magic barrier, and there is no good reason to limit the Ice Arrows like they were... But let's not dwell in details here.

Game Boy Color

Ocarina of Time and Majora's Mask are of course not the only case where two Zelda games share the same visuals and engine, which ties them together. In this case we even have three...

The Nintendo Switch saw the excellent remake of Link's Awakening and it makes all the sense to follow up on this with a remake of the other two Game Boy Color titles, Oracle of Ages & Seasons, which were made by Capcom back in the day. They've reused a lot from Link's Awakening, where GREZZO could just take what they had created for the remake to bring back these games in the same glory in one neat package.

Oracle of Ages & Seasons logos pointing with arrows on a Nintendo Switch system running the Link's Awakening remake

There is a lot of potential for improvements, where you can read all about it here: Oracle of Worlds. And this could also be something that still makes it onto the Nintendo Switch in 2024 or 2025. If we're going to see another Zelda remake in the near future, it's likely going to be this, because everything needed is in place. The only problem might be music rights, but they could just make new music for this.

While Oracle of Ages & Seasons are already playable on the Nintendo Switch via the Game Boy library, the whole password system for linking both games has never been all that convenient and can also be a bit confusing at times. To experience both games as a whole, without having to deal with that, would be an additional selling point, other than the upgraded graphics and other quality of life improvements.

Game Boy Advance

If there's one 2D Zelda game that still looks very good today, then it's without a doubt The Minish Cap. You can play it on the Nintendo Switch via the Expansion Pack online membership, which features the Game Boy Advance library, and its visuals have aged very gracefully.

This doesn't mean that it wouldn't profit from a remake. 3D graphics really could make the shrinking effect a lot more impressive and let you dive even deeper into the world of Picori. It could make an already beautiful game even more astounding... But because it still looks and plays as nice as it does today, The Minish Cap is not very high on the priority list, where other top-down Zelda games have to gain a lot more from being remade.

Now, The Minish Cap probably wouldn't exist without Four Swords, where the multiplayer Zelda episode was used as a basis for Capcom's final Zelda project. That game was once re-released as DSiWare during the 25th Anniversary of Zelda, which added a singleplayer mode and new levels, but this is already its whole history.

Remakes or remasters of the multiplayer Zelda games will be questionable in general, because Nintendo would probably invest that effort into a new multiplayer game instead, which was designed for the Nintendo Switch. But in case of Four Swords there is at least the chance to see it again, since the Nintendo Switch Online game libraries all support online multiplayer with friends. If A Link to the Past & Four Swords were to make it onto the service, the game really could really see a new dawn, and this may even allow some Zelda fans to experience it for the first time ever.

Nintendo GameCube & Wii

This may sound like a broken record, but The Wind Waker HD and Twilight Princess HD are some of the few Wii U titles that haven't been ported over to the Nintendo Switch yet. With such ports all 3D Zelda games would become playable on the Nintendo Switch and that in itself is already a desirable milestone, where this would be the perfect filler for the year 2024.

Nintendo Switch OLED with fake boxes of The Wind Waker HD and Twilight Princess HD for the Switch

The real question is how they are going to bring back these two games. Most people would certainly prefer a two-in-one collection, but since we're talking about Nintendo here and these two games couldn't look any more different from each other, it's also possible that they could see individual releases. But maybe those would come at a discounted price, like Metroid Prime Remastered, or they could follow the excellent example of Super Mario 3D World + Bowser's Fury, where they add they add a side game as an incentive...

In case of Twilight Princess HD it would make a lot of sense to include a remaster of Link's Crossbow Training. This small Wii shooter was fully based on Twilight Princess, so they could bring it back in the same HD assets, and maybe even add some new levels to it. That would certainly sweeten the deal.

With The Wind Waker HD on the other hand it's not as obvious, but there is one game that would fit nicely here and which was never released in the west: Navi Trackers. It uses the same art style as The Wind Waker and is even a direct follow-up, where Link has to master a pirate test.

It was originally meant to be its own title on the GameCube, but then got released as part of the Japanese and Korean versions of Four Swords Adventures, which is in a similar position to Four Swords. Maybe one day the Nintendo Switch Online service will offer GameCube titles (which is more likely to happen on the next system) and with it you will be able to emulate the unique setup that Four Swords Adventures required, where each player had their own screen in the form of a Game Boy Advance, while the TV showed something for everyone.

In an online environment you could just put the player's screen and the main screen both on the TV together, so this could actually work just fine. Navi Trackers could also be played alone or against a CPU Tingle, so it wouldn't necessarily require an internet connection to be played today. But overall it remains questionable whether Nintendo would be willing to put in the effort to fully remake/remaster such a title. At least it would bring some novelty to the table for the players in the west.

Alternatively, Nintendo could also decide to save The Wind Waker HD and Twilight Princess HD for later, to upgrade them to UHD on the next system(s), maybe even make a 4K-collection together with Skyward Sword. The graphics of both The Wind Waker and Skyward Sword should scale very nicely and look beautiful in any resolution, but in case of Twilight Princess they will eventually arrive at a point where upscaling the textures isn't enough. Here you would need more detailed models, which means a lot more effort.

This may even be an argument for why it's in Nintendo's own interest to bring Twilight Princess HD from the Wii U on the Nintendo Switch as soon as tomorrow. On the other hand, if they have the resources for a remaster that turns heads the way Metroid Prime Remastered did, then they will be making something that gets much more praise and potentially also more sales.

Nintendo DS

The two Zelda games that would easily profit the most from a remaster or remake – in visuals, controls, and gameplay – are without a doubt the ones on the Nintendo DS, Phantom Hourglass and Spirit Tracks. Their graphics have aged very poorly, where they look worse than N64 games today. The touchscreen controls weren't received well by everyone, and parts of the gameplay are despised. Here's an article from 2016 about this topic, which still holds up today:

Remaking Phantom Hourglass & Spirit Tracks

One concern remained at the time and that was how button controls couldn't possibly match the speed and precision of the touchscreen controls, especially when it comes to aiming with the Bow or Boomerang. But the newest Zelda games have provided a solution for this problem: just slow down time. Whenever you take aim, it will make everything around you go in slow motion, giving you the necessary time to align your shots.

If we're getting more remakes of handheld Zelda titles, then Oracle of Ages & Seasons should have priority. But Phantom Hourglass and Spirit Tracks would certainly be worthy candidates to become the next duo of Zelda remakes afterwards.

Nintendo 3DS / Super Nintendo

Remastering A Link Between Worlds is what you would call an "easy win". The remake of Link's Awakening already has re-used some of the assets from the Nintendo 3DS title and brought them into HD, where this could go full circle and GREZZO could use the same engine to bring A Link Between Worlds onto the Nintendo Switch. It's not that easy, of course, but out of all Zelda games that aren't already available in high definition resolution, this probably would be the one that requires the least amount of effort to make it happen.

early artwork of A Link Between Worlds in the style of A Link to the Past

Now, we haven't talked about A Link to the Past yet in this article and this was for a good reason: if they ever remaster A Link Between Worlds, they could remake A Link to the Past right along with it. A Link Between Worlds is entirely based on the Super Nintendo classic and provides at least 80% of the assets required for a remake. It's one of the reasons why fans already wanted such a thing on the Nintendo 3DS, because it seems like a no-brainer. The graphics, all the enemies, most items and sounds... It's all there, it just needs to be re-arranged accordingly.

So, this could become a nice two-in-one, A Link to the Past & Between Worlds, where you both get to re-experience the beloved Super Nintendo and the Nintendo 3DS classics on a modern Nintendo system. A very sweat deal.

Tri Force Heroes on the other hand wasn't as beloved and falls into the same multiplayer trap. We may see it again one day, especially since it also shares part of its visuals with A Link Between Worlds and the Link's Awakening remake, but since this game wasn't a big hit, Nintendo may just move on and create a completely new multiplayer Zelda game instead.

Nintendo Switch

Now we're already getting ahead of ourselves, but both Breath of the Wild and Tears of the Kingdom will eventually get remastered at some point. Their graphics allow for some upscaling, maybe not as simple as with The Wind Waker, but still. Theoretically, we could even see an update for both games on the Switch successor, making them 4K-ready. But full re-releases in the form of remasters probably won't happen until the generation after.

Friday, January 12, 2024

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate: New Spirits

Event: Fresh New Faces! New Spirits have made their way onto the Spirit Board!

There's currently an event in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, where you can obtain four new Spirits from the Spirit Board. These are:

  • Rauru from The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom
  • Noah & Mio from Xenoblade Chronicles 3
  • Deep Cut from Splatoon 3
  • Oatchi from Pikmin 4

Each of these games would have been worth a Spirit Event of their own, where the last one to receive such an event was Metroid Dread in 2021, back when Super Smash Bros. Ultimate was still being updated via the Fighters Passes.

Interestingly, they don't even need to update the game to add new Spirits to it. It still runs on version 13.0.1, which was the final update in late 2021. But for events and such it must have its own API, where it's also possible to add more "content" at any time in the form of Spirits. Makes you wonder why they didn't... Well, they did this once before, in fact, with the Evil Ryu Spirit in early 2022, but that was it.

Even if they are just glorified PNG files, the Spirit battles are all unique challenges. It would have been a good reason to get back into the game regularly if they had kept making such events. Multiplayer games really profit from content additions, no matter how small they may be.

And at the same time this is great advertisement for new Nintendo games. Titles like Bayonetta 3, Fire Emblem Engage, Super Mario Bros. Wonder, and of course Tears of the Kingdom could have all had events of their own with a number of Spirits. Why not also have the new Ganondorf and the Sages along with him? Seems like a missed opportunity if it's that simple.

Ganondorf (Calamity Ganon) vs. Mewtwo (Rauru)

Anyway, the Rauru Spirit battle itself is quite neat, where you're basically reenacting the Imprisoning War, but from Ganondorf's side. You can choose any character, of course, but he works pretty well here, because you can just spam his Smash Attacks. I did it first try, even though it's a Legendary Spirit.

It's played on the Battlefield version of Hyrule Temple, which looks just like a sky island. The six Sages are represented by Pit (Rito), Charizard spamming Flare Blitz (Goron), a blue Inling (Zora), female Robin spamming Elthunder attacks (Gerudo), R.O.B. (Mineru), and Zelda herself. Then, at the end you will have to fight a giant Mewtwo, who represents Rauru.

Unlocked! Rauru - Support, Legend, Special-Move Power Up

And it's perfect how they've chosen Rauru's spirit form for his Spirit. For what's possible with the Spirit system, they did a great job here and had some cool ideas. I also liked the Oatchi battle, where the dog gets represented by a giant, yellow Kirby.

Overall this was quite the fun event, even though you can finish it in like 15 minutes... But maybe this gets you back into online play or some other mode for a bit as well. For me this came at the right time, where I didn't have to dust off the game, because I was playing it more often lately, trying to get better at at it, facing people online. But this is a different tale for a different day.

Monday, January 8, 2024

Tears of the Kingdom Adventure Log, Entry 29

at a ledge with Tulin, looking over the field before Fort Hateno with Mount Lanayru in the background

This was going to be the last update of the year 2023, but I hadn't reached my intended milestone yet, where over Christmas and the New Year I've been mainly hunting different materials to enhance all of my armor sets to ★★★★.

I've also been adding a good number of entries to my Hyrule Compendium, where both of this went hand in hand at times, because with certain materials and critters it really helps to set your Sensor+ on them. And I've also started to wear the Korok Mask most of the time to see where I may have missed some of the little forest spirits.

Back to the Kingdom

Since I should be mostly done with exploring both the Skies and the Depths, it was time to get back to Hyrule itself. And it's not the most enticing layer of the map, because it's just the world of Breath of the Wild all over again, as a glorified 2nd Quest, even though this is where you have the most variety with all its different biomes.

The one thing I really didn't miss elsewhere is the weather... This game has just the perverted need to make it rain whenever possible and I still hate it. Yes, there is the Froggy Armor now, but that doesn't really help if you're trying to get somewhere with a vehicle and then it gets too slippery.

using the Ultrahand to lift a Korok attached on a vehicle up a hill

I'm not even sure why I still bother to use whatever is available for transporting Koroks or supporting Addison. You're wasting your time if you don't just throw out your hover bike or a hover stone to be done with it, but it's more fun and satisfying to solve the given "puzzle", which is why I keep doing that. If I ever replay Tears of the Kingdom, then I probably won't bother, however.

Searching for Koroks and Addison isn't my primary goal at the moment, though. At first I thought I would just study the Hero's Path to aim at major gaps, but it looked like I've been pretty much everywhere already, just with small gaps here and there. Of course it's often these gaps that can still hide something, but I also ran past by stuff many times without noticing, because I haven't been paying close attention, and/or I wasn't wearing the Korok Mask.

standing with the Korok Mask next to a Korok camp

I didn't want to use the Korok Mask or the treasure chest sensor when first going into any area, because it's much more satisfying to find and discover things by yourself. That's why I never really liked the Maiamais in A Link Between Worlds that much, because they are always cheeping "I'm here, I'm here". Wearing the Korok Mask effectively turns all the hidden Koroks into Maiamais, but for the most time I'm noticing the puzzles before the masks even starts reacting, because they are much more obvious this time. There are literally arrows pointing at some of the locations, while there is also still the occasional single rock at some random cliffside deadend.

But I was in need of a better goal than simply "comb through every corner of Hyrule", which is why I decided to focus on filling out the Hyrule Compendium and collecting any missing materials required for the armor enhancements that I don't have yet. This brings me all over the world anyway and I can check some of the gaps in the Hero's Path while I'm at it.


Filled Path

Speaking of the Hero's Path... During my efforts I finally reached its limit. And this makes me a bit sad, because it documents how I've been adventuring all over the place. Since you can only replay it from either the beginning or the end, it's not all too valuable other than seeing where you've already been. And even with that it may be a good thing that it starts to erase where I've been in the beginning, because those are the places where I've likely missed something. Still, it's part this playthrough's history and I'm sad to see it go.

at the pond where you first land in Hyrule

It gives you 256 hours and it's not an issue if you play more efficiently, but that's obviously not me on my first time. The same thing also happened when I first played Breath of the Wild on the Wii U. Anyway, I decided to capture it all, right when it started to dissolve, just to have it saved somehow. So, if you're curious about how aimless I was most the time, you can now take a look for yourself:

There are no deaths recorded, but that's only difficult to achieve during the early parts, which now get erased anyway. Just like in Breath of the Wild, you can also close the game right when you get a Game Over to avoid it being recorded, where I think I did this once very early on, so this should still work. And loading older save files also won't merge the path with the latest save any longer, so you have all the possibilities to fix things.

Maybe I should have used those possibilities a bit more, because there are some weird straight lines going all over the map, where it shows me as teleporting when I replay these parts. Not sure what has happened there, but this looks to be a glitch...

Compendium Close-Ups

When it comes to Hyrule Compendium, I've been quite lazy so far. I tried taking good pictures of weaponry whenever I found something new and I also tried to not miss any of the bosses, especially the one-timers, but that's about it.

To be completely honest, I wouldn't miss this feature if it were not to return in the next 3D Zelda, because it triggers so many OCD'ish quirks in me. I don't want to miss anything, but I also want to take nice pictures of everything. They need to look the part, where my inner perfectionist is hard to satisfy. I definitely prefer the figurines in The Wind Waker here, where it doesn't matter how the photo looks. As long as you have captured on camera whatever you want to have, it will create the desired outcome.

Well, you can always just buy the compendium pictures from Robbie (or Symin in Breath of the Wild), where you don't have to worry about anything. That's what I did in my last two playthroughs of Breath of the Wild, but with my first playthrough I want to play more thoroughly, soak all aspects of the game in, no shortcuts whatsoever.

all the fish in Hyrule Compendium lying on the same blue surface

And by now I'm starting to have fun with this again. Like in my first playthrough of Breath of the Wild (check this out), I have done this wonderful arrangement of all the fish. It just looks nice and you don't get this when purchasing the default pictures, where it can be nice to have a level of creative freedom with such things.

Anyway, the bad weather in Hyrule is also a problem for when I'm trying to take pictures, as I had mentioned before. You spot a creature and get close to it, have the perfect angle and everything, but then clouds suddenly appear before the sun, rain ruins the image, and then lightning strikes directly into whatever you wanted to capture... Ugh.

You can resort to your house, however, which has its own climate zone of "Always Sunny", but the flowery underground or the green wood slats might not be for everything. Alternatively, the sky islands and the Shrines of Light can serve as a good photo studio, where I mostly use those for anything related to the Zonai. I want the underground to match the subject. But this only really works with weapons, fish, and materials anyway, where everything else has to caught in the wild. It sometimes helps to take a bad picture first, so it's easier to find whatever you're looking for later, so that you can improve said picture. You may not even find what you're looking for so easily again...

Anyway, I've updated my progress at the bottom of the post with my current Hyrule Compendium completions stats. It wasn't my focus this time, so there's still lots to do here, but it's a start and it will become my next bigger focus after this episode.

Material Master

As already mentioned at the beginning, my main goal this time was to fully enhance all armor sets. And with the exception of the Hero of Time and Hero of Twilight sets, where I still need to grind a good number of Star Fragments, I have achieved this goal. It made sense to prioritize this, because if it's the last thing I'm going to complete, I won't get much out of it. So, I placed one of my Travel Medallions right next to Cotera and got ready for material hunting business.

Curiously, I had most of the new armor sets – the Glide set, the Froggy set, the Miner's set, the Depths set, and the Yiga set – already finished, where most of my remaining work was about fixing up all the armor from Breath of the Wild... again. But it does make sense, because I had focused on exploring the new environments with the sky islands, the caves, and of course the Depths, which is where you will find the necessary materials for many of the new armor items. Not all of it, though.

Now, for the remainder of this post I will mainly talk about the struggles of getting enough of everything... As with most things about this game, I did this blindly and I wanted to discover as much as possible by myself, so I haven't looked up the best farming spots on the internet. But this also means that I may not be giving the best advice, if you're also looking to do the same. I'm also aware that there are duplication glitches that would help tremendously with this, but I refrain from using glitches when playing Zelda.

Let's start with the Star Fragments, because that's still in progress and something that I kept doing periodically. You need a lot of them to enhance all the armor, over 100 in fact, primarily from all the pieces that can be gotten via amiibo, where this is an issue that carried over from Breath of the Wild. At least, it's easier to get Star Fragments now, because you can often grab them directly while sky diving through the night. And you may even spot a normal shooting star in the process, so it's possible to get more than one per night now. I even got multiple falling fragments during the same night, but in different locations...

sky diving above the Gerudo Desert

Certain areas seem to be likelier to give you Star Fragments during a sky dive than others, where I think that it correlates with the dragons' routes. For example, the tower at the Typhlo Ruins usually gives me one, where the Light Dragon and Dinraal cross paths. I also got good results from the Rabella Wetlands and Gerudo Canyon, where Naydra and Farosh pass by respectively. You don't necessarily want to use the Skyview Towers there, however, where jumping down from any sky island can do the trick. The towers are more fun, though.

Anyway, because the locations are close to the dragons, this can go hand in hand with farming all the necessary dragon parts, where you need plenty of them as well to enhance the Champion's Tunic and Leathers, the Fierce Deity set, the Hero of the Wild set, and for some reason also the Snow Boots. I had already fully enhanced the Fierce Deity set before, because that's my favorite and very useful, which needs one of all the dragon parts from Breath of the Wild. The new Champion's Leathers, which only requires the new Light Dragon parts, was also already done, but I had some grinding left to do for the rest. Luckily, this turned out to be not much of an issue, since you can often combine this with hunting Star Fragments. Just land on the nearest dragon afterwards.

And both of these activities is what I kept doing at the sidelines, while I was searching for any other missing materials. Let's first talk about something simple, where you have to collect Swift Violets for both the Sand and the Snow Boots, as well as the Climber's set. The problem here is the amount, where you need 90 for everything and I had like 70 left. They have increased those amounts over Breath of the Wild for some reason...

climbing up a pillar in the desert towards a Swift Violet

Well, you just have to know where to find one, put it into your Hyrule Compendium, and then follow the beeping sound. They grow plentiful all around the Gerudo Canyon and Highlands, but it still took me a while to get enough of them. And I certainly made good use of the Climber's set, which is what this was all for, only to put it away afterwards. At least I'm using the Snow and Sand Boots quite often.

Speaking of, you also need five Hearty Lizard for the Sand Boots, and this is where I was running into my first mystery item, where I had no real clue where to look for them. I had some in my inventory, but I didn't take a photo, so I couldn't set the sensor on them. Well, you could theoretically let one go and try to get a picture, but good luck with that... And it won't let you take compendium entries of dead animals, believe me, I tried (with Hightail Lizards, because I have 150 of them from all the Evermeans).

The description states that you can find Hearty Lizrads "deep in the forests", where I don't think that's true for either game. In Breath of the Wild they were mostly sitting on palm trees, around Lurelin Village and such, which doesn't seem to be the case any longer. But then I remembered that I found the ones I had inside caves, and I hit the jackpot in the Mount Dunsel Cave, right next to Lurelin Village.

Another mystery item where the Rhino Beetles, which are required for the Barbarian and Hero of the Wild sets. For a moment I was even beginning to understand why Beedle is so obsessed with them, because they had escaped me until now. In fact, I hadn't gotten a single Energetic Rhino Beetle yet and I didn't have any of them in my compendium.

Well, I vaguely remembered that I saw one in Akkala, before I got interrupted by randomly spawning annoyers, but I wasn't sure whether this was in Breath of the Wild or in Tears of the Kingdom... When I went back there I couldn't find any, but at that point I was missing the crucial information that they only appear during the night. The insect maniac, who you can rescue from attackers all over Hyrule, teaches you about this, but you have to be in the right spot to learn this and not something about the other insects.

running through the giant tree forest south of Washa's Bluff with the camera

In Breath of the Wild you could find some on the large elephant trees, but again I was looking there during the wrong time of day, because whenever it became dark I went immediately off diving for Star Fragments. At least I was able to finally find one at the Faron Grasslands and take a picture, but it was a Rugged Rhino Beetle, the only type that you don't need for any upgrades...

It was a start, however, which brought me to the Guchini Plain, where you can find both Rugged and Bladed Rhino Beetles on the trees there. I ended up going in circles, eyed by the Thunder Gleeok in the distance, just to collect as many as I could. Their compendium entries both state "West Necluda, East Necluda" for their common locations, where I'm also not sure that this is correct..

I headed in that general direction anyway, into the Faron Woods, but this is where I really started to hate those Forest Octoroks again. I don't think they could have possibly designed a more annoying enemy for this game and the Sages are pretty useless here, where Wolf Link did a much better job of hunting them down. In the early game I was happy that you can take them out with Recall now, while the Earthwake technique also works quite well, but it doesn't really help much in areas where the forest is crawling with them...

Phantom Ganon Link next to the Dondons with their glowing horns

But after some struggles I finally found the Rhino Beetle Paradise: it's the Bronas Forest, right at the Dondon pen. On the trees around here you can find all three types of beetles, which is where I found my first Energetic Rhino Beetles. And almost every tree had some beetle on it, where this might be one of the best farming spots for all of them.

The Great Fairies ask for nine of the both the Bladed and the Energetic Rhino Beetles, however, where I still needed some more of the latter. But its Hyrule Compendium entry states that you can also find them on the Great Sky Islands, which made a shocking amount of sense – the yellow beetle for the golden trees!

on the Great Sky Island in the golden grass

So, I was back to where it all began, collecting the rest of them. There was a certain irony to it that you can potentially collect enough of these rare beetles right at the beginning of the game, given that you're paying attention to them between all the new stuff that is going on. I was also able to find one more Korok who had escaped me back then...

Needless to say, when dealing with any kind of critter you want to approach them with double or even triple stealth effects. The Stealth, Yiga, and Evil Spirit (Phantom Ganon) sets will do the trick here, where I've been wearing all of them at some point. The Evil Spirit is the weakest one in terms of defense, but it's closest in the menu to the other armor pieces I use regularly (Fierce Deity set and Korok Mask), so it's a bit more convenient. And for a while I've been picking the Yiga set over the Stealth set, because I hadn't fully upgraded the latter yet, so the Yiga set offered the better defense values.

Which brings us to the next item on the list: trouts. You need Stealthin Trouts for the Stealth set, just like in Breath of the Wild, but also Sizzlefin Trouts, Chillfin Trouts, and Voltfin Trouts for the new dragon sets. And yes, I'm enhancing everything, whether I'm actually using the items or not, where I'm not sold on the weather attack boost stuff (yet). Luckily, I had all the fish in my compendium already, so I was good to go with the sensor.

Sizzlefin Trouts were probably the easiest to find out of all of these, because you just have to visit the hot springs around Death Mountain or the Hebra Mountains. If you go to the Sturnida Secret Hot Spring, you may also find Chillfin Trouts in the cave there, so that's a good spot to hit two fish with one stone.

Voltfin Trouts are not that far away, for some reason, where I mainly got them out of the Hebra Plunge and the Strock Lake, which is also where you can get more Chillfin Trouts. That may seem convenient, but they are sharing their territories with some other types of fish as well and you have to catch them all over the lakes. Ideally, you want a small body of water that primarily has one or two types of fish, but I wasn't able to discover something like that for the Voltfin Trouts. You'd think that they would be all over the Faron jungle area, because that's where you obtain the Charged set and have this big thunder theme going, but nada.

As for the Stealthfin Trouts, they don't appear in Lake Saria any longer, which was their best farming spot in Breath of the Wild. I really don't get the change, because this location is actually more of a secret this time... Instead you have to go around the Lost Woods "moat", Lake Mekar, in the hopes of getting some.

driving a fishing boat through the ghostly mist

I tried using the "Fishing Trawler" Yiga Schematic for this, but this was a waste of time. It's too slow and it kills the fish so early that they will usually drift past your boat. As with most problems that want to be solved with some Ultrahand/Autobuild construction, it's just the easiest and fastest to go with the hoverbike. It swims upright in the water, so you can just drop it whenever the sensor tells you that the desired fish are below you and then pick it up again. And if you wear some stealth-boosting armor, the fish won't swim away from you. So, just jump into the water, collect the fish, get back on your hoverbike, repeat. This seems to be the best method to collect fish from larger lakes and possibly also the ocean.

Let's move on to materials that come from enemies. For the Zonaite Helm, I first had to collect all the different Captain Construct Horns one last time. You can find Captain Constructs IV pretty much everywhere at the end of the game, because many of the captains are scaling up, so those are not the problem, but finding the lower tiers was...

As for Captain Constructs I and II, you can revisit some of the Shrines of Light with "Proving Grounds". You can replay them without the Trial of the Sword restrictions and collect lots of lower tier Construct stuff, which is helpful. The following trials have lowest tier captains:

  • In Reverse
  • Lights Out
  • Low Gravity
  • Vehicles

And the Captain Constructs II are still present in these trials:

  • Ascension
  • Flow
  • Intermediate

Curiously, there is a "Beginner" and an "Intermediate" Proving Grounds shrine, but no "Advanced". But these are some of the few places where I still could find Captain Constructs II, making them quite rare. The only other one was on Wellspring Island, not far from the Shrine of Light there. The Captain Constructs I on the other hand are still plentiful on the Great Sky Island. One is in the Shrine of Light that teaches you the Fuse ability, two are right next to the shrine for the Ascend ability, and one more can be fought on the detached island in the southwest corner. So, the lowest tier is easy enough to find.

The Captain Constructs III seem to be equally rare as II, but there are two of them sitting right in the Typhlo Ruins, where you can combine this with Star Fragment farming. Catch a Star Fragment and then land right on top of one of the two captains, where the other will be waiting in the adjacent chamber. You can also still find another one south of your house, close to a White-Maned Lynel.

running over the Kaepora Pass with the Fierce Deity set and scythe

This is the great thing about Tears of the Kingdom: because most enemies now come give you unique materials with their horns, the developers made sure that you can still find one of everything somewhere in the world. No more Lynels going extinct this time. In fact, you can just replay the Floating Coliseum if you need any more Lynel materials, because it has all of them. They are also easy to find in the Depths, because they linger right below stables on the surface. And I'm pretty sure you can find one of every tier and every fighting style somewhere still in the game... I really wish that Breath of the Wild would have done this.

Moving on to what was probably the worst grind after the Star Fragments: elemental Lizalfos Tails. I already had complained about their low drop rate in entry 22 and received a very useful tip from Florian Cova back then: go for the Gerudo Canyon. It doesn't help with the low drop rate, but you will find many groups of two or three Fire- or Ice-Breath Lizalfos there and not so many other enemies.

Their type changes with the day of time, where in the freezing night you will have Ice-Breath Lizalfos and during the hot day Fire-Breath Lizalfos. This causes some glitched spawning behaviors that may let the Lizalfos respawn without a Blood Moon whenever it becomes night or day. The sensor may also detect enemies that aren't currently there, but overall this is really ideal for farming many of those rare tails, which you need for the Snowquill, Desert Voe, and Yiga sets. It's 48 fire tails and 54 ice tails, so quite a lot...

hover biking above the Gerudo Desert with the Lightning Helm

You also need 54 of the Electric Lizalfos Tails for the Rubber and Yiga sets and here I'm afraid there are no shortcuts. I just kept swooping over the Gerudo Desert until I finally had enough... of both the Lizalfos tails and of grinding in general.

Finally, there is the supreme discipline of earning Gleeok Guts. As mentioned in entry 24, you need 19 of those in total: one for a side quest, nine for the Royal Guard set, and nine more for the secret last armor set. Only the latter really should have needed them, because this was getting a bit too much. And it may seem like a daunting task with the low drop rates from the three "basic" Gleeok types.

Scourge of Hebra Sky: King Gleeok *Defeated

The King Gleeoks, however, are guaranteed to drop their guts (which are actually called "hearts" in some European translations). I'm not sure if it's a 100% drop rate, but I got some Gleeok Guts every time I had defeated a King Gleeok. And this made this task quite manageable.

My only real problem was that it takes so long to get to them, where they are very high up far away from everything else. The shortest to reach is the one above Hebra, but here you need to sacrifice some fire power for cold protection. You don't have this problem above Eventide Island, but it takes forever to get up to the sky island above. And at the Gerudo Skies it's both cold and takes too long...

Ironically, the most convenient King Gleeok to battle is the one in the Depths, in the Gleeok Den. This location is quick to reach and you only have to worry about the Gloom. Originally, this one gave me quite some trouble, so I was hesitant to go back there, but I got so much practice at fighting these things that it didn't concern me any longer after a while.

Mineru really is the VIP in these fights, given that she doesn't run away from you. After downing a Gleeok and dealing some good damage, you want to immediately get on her back and shield you from the wind attacks. Then you simply jump off for some easy slow-motion headshots. This is crucial for the final phase, because you reaaaaally don't want them to fly up. Just quickly hit their heads one last time and finish the job.

Phantom Ganon surrounded by fire

The best weapon to do this is the Demon King's Bow, so I'm also regularly confronting that guy as well, just to keep a nice stash of them. It does up to 60 damage and with some damage boost, e.g. from the Fierce Deity set, it's enough to take out each head with a single arrow and without any fusions. Its range is also very good, so you can snipe those Gleeok heads easily, even when they are further away.

Of course, if you can do all this, there's no need to enhance any armor any longer. But at least the Royal Guard set is very fancy and the other set has the best armor value in the game with a total of 84, so there's is something to get out of all these troubles, even if it's probably not worth it.

Material Madness

I can't finish this post without talking (once more) about the main issue of the material systems in Tears of the Kingdom and partly also in Breath of the Wild. While it's fantastic that most materials in the game got so much more utility thanks to the ability to weaponize them via Fuse and throwing, the armor enhancement system goes directly against this and all other uses, like selling or cooking materials.

Unless you look it all up on the internet (which I don't want to do), you cannot be sure that you still need certain rare materials until you've found and enhanced all armor pieces to at least three stars. And even if you have all the information, it's still a massive pain, because this prevents you from making good use of all the materials.

The gemstones, for example, sell for a high prices and give you very potent effects in combat. But up until now I was in no position to make use of any of that, because the armor enhancements are so demanding on them. In fact, I've completely used up all my Sapphires and Rubies for the Sky and Hero classic sets... (If you need Rubies, you can grab three from "Proving Grounds: Lights Out".)

watching Farosh from the snows of the Great Plateau

It's just way too excessive and actively discourages you from making the most out of your rare materials. Now, only after all this time, I'm free to do with them whatever I want and free to experiment. And that's certainly not how it was supposed to go. True, it is only a problem if you want to fully enhance all the armor sets, a "completionist issue", where you may not care.

But unlike in Breath of the Wild all the material-heavy armor sets that you can get from amiibo are now rewards for exploring the new environments. And they are great rewards at that, where you may want to wear them for the sake of nostalgia, which is why it would have been nice if the developers had put in some efforts into balancing the material requirements accordingly.


  • Side Adventures: 59/60
  • Side Quests: 122/139
  • Korok Seeds: 777/1000
  • Old Maps: 29/31
  • Recipes: 108/228
  • Map Completion: 91.29%

Compendium Completion:

  • Creatures: 73/92
  • Monsters: 86/110
  • Materials: 40/126
  • Equipment: 157/175
  • Treasure: 6/6

Remaining Medals:

  • Taluses: 81/87
  • Hinox: 65/69