Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Tears of the Kingdom Adventure Log, Entry 32

on a desert canyon hill with my hoverbike

It's been over nine months since Tears of the Kingdom was released and I'm still trying to complete it, where my motivation isn't the highest, but I play from time to time, and I avoid to start any other games. Maybe I can reach the 100% before the game grows one year old...? Let's see.

In any case, I've made some good progress during the remainder of February, where I was able to locate and check off all the missing side quests, finally completing the Adventure Log on the Purah Pad. And then it was time to do the same for Hyrule Compendium, where overall I've been running around with the Camera a lot, and therefore have truly evolved into a tourist in Hyrule.

Ring Records

Last time I left off with the mystery of having a lot of unknown side quests, where I really had no clue where to look, at first. I noticed that there is no "Rito Fabric", however, while you have a Zora, Goron, Gerudo, Sheikah, and even a Yiga Fabric available. So, I went back to Rito Village to see if I can find anything missing, which wasn't the case.

Well, I suppose that a "Rito Fabric" would be a bit redundant, because the two default Paraglider fabrics – the Ordinary and the Nostalgic Fabric – already use the Rito emblem on them, which is probably why Nintendo didn't bother. But with all the amiibo stuff, where you have something like the "Goron-Champion Fabric" in addition, I don't think this would have been a real issue.

Kaneli: "Hoo hoo! You cleared all the rings? Well done!"

Anyway, during my search I had also played Kaneli's gliding challenge again to set full records for both difficulties, just in case you get some unique reward there, but it was all just Rupees. I don't really mind, because it's okay when mini-games are just there for fun and you're not compelled to master them for something that you cannot obtain otherwise. It's not even that I fully expected to get something out of this. I just gave it a try and then was motivated to go for the highscore.

With the other mini-games I probably won't bother as much, however. I liked the three skydive ceremonies, where I've went to the best possible rewards with each of them, just for fun. I've also cleared the sand seal plushy collecting game in all locations.

But otherwise I didn't get fully invested, at least not that I remember. I haven't even cleared the new transport game at the Highland Stable, because that was no fun at all and it seems like you only get Pony Points from it. Speaking of stables...

Stable Pictures

As for the 14 side quests that were still missing in my Adventure Log, I did receive the hint that I might want to have another look at the stables again. And since there are 13 normal stables in the game, this added up quite nicely, so I followed that advice.

Turned out that the Gerudo Canyon Stable isn't the only one that you can decorate it with your pictures. It's a much more prominent feature in that particular stable, because it's the only real thing to do there (after cleaning up) and the stable owner is literally just staring at the walls. But each stable does have a picture frame like that, I just never noticed them before...

My attention usually went to the other things on the walls, like the recipes. I even cooked everything advertised in the stables, where now it turned out that I could have saved myself the trouble, because you will get the corresponding food items as rewards from doing all the "A Picture for XYZ Stable" quests, alongside lots of Pony Points, which I also didn't need any longer. But at least I found the huge gap in my Adventure Log and was able to finally fill it.

Outskirt Stable decorated with a picture of the cherry blossom tree at Mount Satori with Kilton's balloon next to it

And this is quite an enjoyable line of side quests. It adds something unique to each stable, something of your own making, where revisiting them later really gives you the feeling that you've contributed to this place. I even wish that I would have found out about this much earlier in the game.

In addition, it gives you a variety of interesting photo targets, where each stable owner has a different motive in mind. The Woodland Stable guy essentially wants some Goron soft porn, for example. The funniest was Lakeside Stable, where the owner is asking for clear day view of the Floria Falls. You can actually see these falls right from the stable, but I suppose nice weather is such a rare thing in this area that he wanted the rare occurrence to be eternalized.

The Bird in the Mountains

For the Snowfield Stable you have to take a picture of the giant bird in the Hebra Mountains, which was part of a Shrine Quest in Breath of the Wild, where it's nice that they've made use of such things again, because otherwise they would feel a bit random in the game. And I have even learned something that I didn't know before with the Octorok Lake, which is a new location in Tears of the Kingdom, where the water will take the shape of an Octorok during rain. That's really cool.

Curiously, I felt like the weather engine was playing really nice during these quests, but this just could have been coincidence (and I did have to skip time a bit for the sun to appear in the Hebra Mountains, but it lasted for quite a while).

Overall, they really give you a lot to do at each stable in Tears of the Kingdom. They all have a well, there's a Side Adventure with Penn at almost all of them, many of them have one or two additional side quests, and then there are these picture quests for all of them. They have become big points of interest in this game, making up for the fact that you may not have as much need for horses any longer (which is a nice way of saying that they are basically obsolete with all the Zonai stuff).

Missing Merchant

Now, with putting up nice pictures in all the stables, I was able to complete 13 of the 14 missing side quests, bringing me down to one. And if you're down to one of anything in this game, you're then looking for a needle in a haystack, as long as you don't want to look things up in a guide.

Dugby: "It's actually a secret to everyone."

Luckily, I was able to find the last one by design. Last time I had discovered that Kiana will give you a new recipe every once in a while, making Lurelin Village a regular stop for me. But one time my inventory for meals was full, so I went to the merchant at the docks to sell some of them... Only to realize that there isn't one there yet.

I guess that I was just so used to the fact that there is a merchant at the docks in Breath of the Wild that I never really bothered to check, because they never had anything interesting to sell there. But of course the merchant lady (Mubs) moved to Lookout Landing, while her husband (Garini) is now looking for a boat to continue the business.

I'm on a boat!

You can find boats at Tenoko Island and have to drive one from there to Lurelin, making this one of the more engaging side quests and a beautiful finish. The new "Merchant Boat General Store" will also give you any of their catches for free, where you can buy everything for 0 Rupees. And this makes me feel somewhat bad each time I make use of this, like I'm exploiting their generosity, all while I have over 6000 Rupees in my pockets. But it's just a game, so I probably shouldn't care...

Missing Monster

By now, I'm down to the last three points from my 100% checklist in entry 26: complete Hyrule Compendium, fill the recipe book, and collect all Korok Seeds. I have taken a break from the latter, after spending so much time searching all over Hyrule, and I'm only making slow progress with the food stuff, so my focus is currently on Hyrule Compendium.

So far, I only had the treasure section completed, which is quite trivial, and I wanted to do the monsters next. For the most part I was just missing different variants of the usual suspects, e.g. a Black Bokoblin, a Blue Moblin, or a Stalizalfos. So, it was time to take out that good old Majora's Mask and get friendly.

standing next to a Black Lizalfos, who is doing a Philosoraptor pose... a Philosolfos!

Since you can find them pretty much everywhere, I wasn't really concerned with taking pictures of them, unlike all the different bosses and more dangerous foes. I didn't have the basic Stone Talus in my compendium, however, where I had to search a while to find one on the surface, because most ones got upgraded to Battle Taluses. But I ultimately found one at Tabantha Frontier, next to Nero Hill.

At the end I was missing one entry, number 159, between the Captain Construct IV and the Flux Construct. But this wasn't a mystery to me, where I had been warned about this missable entry back in June, but it was already too late at the time and not worth starting over...

No. 159 - Training Construct

It's the Training Construct. I don't think I had the Camera when I did most of these tutorial shrines and back then I didn't even realize that this Construct was somehow special. The one combat tutorial shrine in Breath of the Wild, "Ta'loh Naeg's Teaching" in Kakariko, used a Guardian Scout II for the job and I had assumed that this was just a Captain Construct I. But this Training Construct doesn't have a horn, probably because it's not supposed to drop one, so it makes sense that this is different somehow...

This is still a shame, though, because this seems to be the only thing where I wasn't able to take my own picture and won't be able to going forward. So, I will be one short of a fully custom Hyrule Compendium, which is also something that I never managed to achieve in Breath of the Wild. It bugs me, but as I already said, it wasn't worth starting over.

After all, I'm on my first playthrough still and going fully blind, so I couldn't be sure that I wasn't going to miss anything else. But the fact that I almost did it is a testament to the thoroughness of Tears of the Kingdom in this area. Other than the Training Construct, I think there are only three bosses where you can miss their pictures: Moragia, the Sludge Like, and (once again) Master Kohga. And the latter now offers multiple opportunities.

Everything else should still be around by the end of the game, which is a significant improvement over Breath of the Wild, where multiple entities can go extinct over the course of the game and sneakily so. Most of the problems were caused by nearly all Lynels upgrading to the highest tier, which isn't the case any longer. From what I can tell, you can still find all variants of all four Lynel tiers somewhere in the world, which is good.

Filling Out the Compendium

Surprisingly, purchasing a single picture from Robbie already clears the "Filling Out the Compendium" Side Adventure. I always had assumed that this meant filling out the entire compendium, which is why I had one Side Adventure left open this entire time...

Side Adventures: Filling Out the Compendium - Complete

But this wasn't case, all you have to do is buy one picture, where this is – like many things – the opposite to what you had to do in Breath of the Wild, with the "Sunshroom Sensing" side quest. At least this way you can still overwrite things in case you want a fully custom compendium at the end, while it technically was never possible to get a complete default compendium in Breath of the Wild.

However, I was curious what would have happened if I didn't miss the Training Construct and I took all pictures myself at the end. Well, according to Gendolkari_82 on reddit, in that case it will play out the way I thought it would, meaning that you also complete the Side Adventure when there's nothing left to buy and the entire compendium got filled already.

There's also the question how Robbie managed to get all those pictures himself. I mean, there are all the variants of the final boss in there and other monstrosities... I can already see how he went down Gloom's Lair and secretly took pictures of Ganondorf. A good explanation would be that he had invented some sort of drone doing this stuff, which was even something considered for the original Sheikah Slate drafts.

Weathered Weapons

Next part was all the equipment, which is the largest category in the compendium, but the one where I had the least amount of missing entries. Overall, I've been quite lazy with taking pictures over the course of the game, but I did make a conscious effort of cataloguing new weapons whenever I found them... At least for the most part.

You're never truly done with the Depths, I suppose, because I still had to obtain pristine versions of the Feathered Edge and the Feathered Spear, where first I had to track down the decayed counterparts, because it turned out that I never used them before. I was even surprised to find out that they now create a gust, which they didn't in Breath of the Wild.

Otherwise, I was mainly missing bows, where the biggest challenge was tracking down a Zora Bow. In Breath of the Wild this was quite straight-forward, because you could find all Zora equipment in and around Zora's Domain. This isn't the case any longer and in the end I became so desperate that I went back into caves, hoping to get a Zora Bow from a Like Like. And I got lucky there...

standing on a metal plate at Death Mountain, looking towards Akkala Citadel

The Knight's Bow was also a bit tricky, because usually enemy archers are either Bokoblins or Lizalfos, who have their own bows. So, you have to find a Moblin archer, which seem a bit rarer in Tears of the Kingdom, but I managed to track one down with a Knight's Bow on the Akkala Span, where you have a monster horde battle. (Update: you can also find a Knight's Bow at Gerudo Town.)

Quite the effort for one bow, but the worst deal was fighting a Gloom Spawn over a Rusty Broadsword. I was searching for the different rusty weapons, where it made the most sense to look for them at the ruins around Hyrule Field. And the Gatepost Town Ruins seem to have everything available, except for the Rusty Broadsword, but there is one in the proximity at the Kolomo Garrison Ruins. But that's also a Gloom Spawn spawn... Of course you can just camp it out on the ruin walls, but it's not like these things still pose a threat.

on a drawbridge of Lookout Landing, a Lizal Bow on the ground and it just started to rain

When it comes to taking the pictures, I've already complained a couple of times how the Camera rune works like a secret Song of Storms. It's blue sky and perfect lighting to take a picture of your weapon? Well, better pull the trigger real fast, because this is going to change in 3... 2... 1...

The next 3D Zelda game better have some weather controls, and not just something to make it rain, but also something to make it sunny again. (I'd also love a 3D Zelda game where you can change the seasons, but that's a topic of its own.) The weather in the two latest Zelda games always seems quite volatile and even if you use the weather forecast (which is only available on the normal HUD for some reason), it doesn't seem to be all too realiable, because the sun may shine only for a few seconds. But you want the sun to shine for the best looking pictures.

Sky Studio

At least on the sky islands you will have reliable weather, which you can use to your advantage for taking nice shots. I've mainly used the area in front of the Temple of Time to create bright pictures of all the Zonaite equipment and the Construct horns.

the eight different Contruct horns within an otherwise unfilled section of the compendium

Materials are the second biggest section in Hyrule Compendium and here's where I still have the most work to do, mainly because I still have to capture all the horns on camera. And it seems somewhat redundant, because you can just scan for the monsters to find their horns.

But it did help me with tracking down some monsters, where I didn't have their pictures yet, but their horns in my inventory. So, you can just take the horn out of your inventory, put it into the compendium, and then use the Sensor+ to find the respective monster. Still, it's a lot of busywork to capture all the horns, because most monsters have them and the Lynels have even two.

a shot of my album, with lots of neatly arranged weapon pictures

Overall, you can spend a lot of time on just taking nice pictures of everything, which is part of the reason why this is taking so long for me, because I can be a bit of a perfectionist. It's also the reason why I went with purchasing all compendium entries in my last two Breath of the Wild playthroughs, just to get away from this. But it's either all or nothing for me, so those 100 Rupees spent on the Training Construct will (hopefully) be the last.


  • Side Adventures: 60/60 (+1)
  • Side Quests: 139/139 (+14)
  • Korok Seeds: 982/1000 (+6)
  • Recipes: 132/228 (+6)
  • Map Completion: 99.31%

Compendium Completion:

  • Creatures: 79/92 (+6)
  • Monsters: 110/110 (+20)
  • Materials: 52/126 (+12)
  • Equipment: 175/175 (+15)

Saturday, February 10, 2024

The State of Silksong

The sequel to the beloved Hollow Knight was announced by Team Cherry about five years ago, on Valentine's Day 2019, with an impressive trailer and a detailed statement. A playable demo followed shortly after at E3 2019, which was even featured by Nintendo Treehouse: Live, where it all looked very promising. Then it took three years for another trailer to release, announcing the game for Xbox Game Pass, where it was claimed by Microsoft via social media that Hollow Knight: Silksong would arrive in the next twelve months...

That didn't happen and this may give people reason to worry. Maybe the game was announced too early? Maybe the game was too ambitious? Maybe Team Cherry couldn't handle the pressure of the success of the first game...? But I personally like to believe that the success of Hollow Knight simply allows Team Cherry to take their sweet time with Silksong, to make it the best it can be and as complete as it can be.

There are also some interesting parallels to The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom here. Both games are the sequel to a fan favorite from 2017, where the development spawned from DLC ideas. Nintendo had been working on the Expansion Pass for Breath of the Wild and out of this came the idea for the Ultrahand and more, where they've decided to make this a core aspect of the next game...

For Hollow Knight Team Cherry released a series of free updates, like The Grimme Troupe and Godmaster, where one of the Kickstarter stretch goals for the game had been a playable Hornet, a character who is both foe and ally in Hollow Knight. But they came to realize that it would be more fun to make a game world designed for her, which then led to the development of a new game (which will be free for the corresponding backers).

Now, Tears of the Kingdom released as the full package. Nintendo launched the game on May 12th last year and – other than two additional amiibo – this was really it. No Expansion Pass, no free content updates, they've done all they wanted to do and have moved on immediately, whether you like it or not.

It's easy to imagine the same for Hollow Knight: Silksong. Team Cherry have the luxury now to take as much time as they need and they will likely want Silksong to be fully done when it ships, where it gets all the features that were added post-launch to Hollow Knight from the start, things like Godhome or the Path of Pain, and probably more than just that, so that Silksong will leave nothing to desire. Maybe they'll make some adjustments based on fan feedback afterwards, but most likely they are going to focus on a completely different project, where fans will obsess over it for the years to come.

Time will tell. The only problem with this situation is the radio silence and the lack of transparency. They don't have to show more of the game, if they don't want to, but at least getting some updates about its state of development from time to time would be good. Maybe they will give us such an update soon, maybe it will take another year, we will see...

About the Next Nintendo Direct...

You've heard the rumors, you've heard the "leaks", but they all don't matter, because what matters are facts. Fact is, however, that Nintendo likes to host a Nintendo Direct presentation around February to show us what's in store during the next six months or so. The only exception in the last five years was February 2020, where they've focused exclusively on Animal Crossing: New Horizons, the game that came out just at the right time.

But everyone is expecting a Nintendo Direct soon by nature and you can feel the impatience out there. I wouldn't hold my breath, however, because next week we're going to get the Mario vs. Donkey Kong remake, on February 16th, and this will be followed by the Side Order expansion for Splatoon 3 the week after, on February 22nd. Nintendo is currently in full advertisement mode for the former, if you look at their social media banners and all that, where they usually wait with a Nintendo Direct until the coast is clear to not detract attention from their new releases.

With that in mind, I wouldn't necessarily expect a Nintendo Direct before end of February, on February 28th/29th. It's also possible that they put it on the day where Side Order releases, February 22nd, in case they want to tie both together, but that's really the earliest. And Princess Peach Showtime! releases March 22nd, where end of February or beginning of March is the perfect window for Nintendo to show us what's coming after, without getting in the way of any of their releases.

Update: I forgot that there is the Pokémon Day on February 27th, where we will usually get a Pokémon Direct. With that in mind, March seems more likely at the moment. In the worst case scenario they'll wait until after the release of Princess Peach Showtime!.

In any case, I also wouldn't expect anything about a Switch 2 in the next Nintendo Direct. It will all be about "Nintendo Switch games releasing in 2024". A new console will get its own dedicated presentation and Nintendo will probably take their sweet time with this, because the Switch is still doing rather well, judging from the latest numbers. Before we move into the next generation, it certainly still has some more remakes, remasters, and ports coming to it, but also a couple of new games, where this will be the focus of the next Nintendo Direct.

All I want at this point is Metroid Prime 2: Echoes Remastered and a remake of Oracle of Ages & Seasons. If we're still getting this for the Switch, I will be more than happy. But let's talk about hopes and predictions once we get the announcement, as usual...

Friday, February 9, 2024

Zelda Orchestra Concert (Nintendo Live 2024)

Zelda Orchestra Concert logo

Today Nintendo has released a recording of the Zelda concert that was planned for Nintendo Live 2024 TOKYO, but had to be cancelled due to threats. So, this was without an audience, but still something for the world to enjoy.

It was very beautiful, I had one or two tears in my eyes at some point, especially around the Link's Awakening and Breath of the Wild parts, where I really would love to get the chance to attend such a concert in person again some day. But the Symphony of the Goddesses is no more...

Now, the concert lasted roughly 30 minutes and felt a bit one-sided, so the variety of Zelda titles featured was even less than I had expected. Here's the full program:

  1. Tears of the Kingdom: Main Theme (Reprise)
  2. The Ballad of the Goddess
  3. Zelda's Lullaby
  4. Link's Awakening Medley 2024
  5. Breath of the Wild: Main Theme
  6. Hyrule Castle
  7. Breath of the Wild: 2017 Nintendo Switch Presentation Trailer
  8. Ocarina of Time: Kakariko Village
  9. The Legend of Zelda Main Theme

The focus on the new games wasn't all that surprising and having the Nintendo Switch Presentation Trailer music in there was an absolute treat. That will always be one of my favorite pieces of music and it was great to see an orchestra performing it.

But with the rest it was very clear that they've restricted themselves to the games that are playable on the Nintendo Switch and where Nintendo has the music rights to them (so nothing from the Capcom Zelda games). With Link's Awakening they've used footage from the DX version and the remake, which are both playable on the Nintendo Switch. But with Ocarina of Time they only used the N64 original for the footage, and nothing from the 3DS remake, while games like The Wind Waker and Twilight Princess weren't featured at all.

Of course you can't have everything in just 30 minutes, but seeing A Link to the Past four times over felt a bit repetitive. And even with these restrictions they could have at least also put something from Majora's Mask in there, where for example the Termina Field music would have been a great addition to the "main theme" portion.

But I don't want to complain too much, because it was a lovely show and I was very entertained. I wouldn't mind getting something like this every year as what's basically a The Legend of Zelda new year concert.

Tears of the Kingdom Adventure Log, Entry 31

on the cliffs of Death Mountain, with my hover bike and Korok Mask, looking at the sunset

This will be a continuation from the last entry, where I'm tying up its loose ends. This means that I've managed to locate the final missing Hinox and Talus, as well as the last Addisons for some rewards, where I'm not all too happy about it all went. In addition, I'm faced with a new mystery about missing side quests...


The Last Medals

After my last search, I had exactly one more Hinox and one more Talus to find, but I also had been pretty much everywhere on the surface world. Hinox are easy enough to spot, even the collapsed Stalnox, so I couldn't imagine that I might have missed any on the overworld, which means that I was back to the Depths again. And indeed, the last one was chilling right south of the Hylia Canyon Mine, at a slope where I had simply never been before.

Hinox Monster Medal - An award presented by the monster-control crew in appreciation for defeating every Hinox in Hyrule. It's very fancy and shaped like the monster it represents.

For the last Talus it was pretty much the same outcome, but my thought process was different here and it took me hours to find it. I really couldn't be sure where it was, because on the surface they can be camouflaged rather well. My biggest worry was that there is still one somewhere in a cave, where I even started to re-explore some larger ones and got super excited when I found one in the "Byroad to Lanayru Wetlands". But I had already defeated that one and simply forgot to mark it on my map...

So, I then started counting them, which led to 31 in the Depths and 55 on the surface. I thought that 55 to 32 is a nicer split in numbers (even though you can't be sure in this game with a random total of 31 Old Maps) and I couldn't rule out the Depths in any case, which meant that it was time for one last hover-bike-powered scan. So, I went from where I was in the south counter-clockwise over the map, checking any gaps in the Hero's Path and also lighting up some of the darker corners, where the Lightroots don't shine.

It's a bit of an irony that the "Ancient Observation Deck" is in one of the darkest areas of the Depths and this is a spot where I kept searching, because there is a big gap here with no giant monsters around and it seemed like a place where it's easy to have missed something. But that this wasn't the case...

a gloomy Talus on my scope

This endeavor kept me busy for about two evenings, until I finally spotted the last Talus on a ledge in the far northwest. For a moment I even doubted that this is really the last one and not just another Talus I forgot to mark on my map, but it was truly still undefeated.

Ascending through the last Talus

Thing is that it was very close to a Flux Construct, which act like beacons. So, that one probably kept attracting my attention away from the rare Stone Talus. I've then noticed for the first time that the Taluses (and also the Hinox) tend to mirror their locations between Depths and the surface. Not all of them do, so there's no guarantee that one will lead to another, but it can be a clue and in this particular case it could have helped, because it was right below a Battle Talus north of the Dragon Bone Mire. Well, it doesn't matter now, because I've finally found them all...

Stone Talus Monster Medal - An award presented by the monster-control crew in appreciation for defeating every Stone Talus in Hyrule. It's very fancy and shaped like the monster it represents.

Gralens: "Impossible... You're saying that each and every large and unusual beast has been torn asunder?!"

If I ever replay the game I will certainly use a guide map, now that I've mapped them all out myself. To be honest, I arrived at a point where it's tempting to already do so and where no one would blame me for doing so. But I know myself, where I usually regret looking things up like this, because it's a lot more satisfying to discover them on your own, instead of just checking off boxes. There is just this special feeling of finally having found the very last thing you're looking for, a moment of pure bliss. And as much as this game drags on for me personally, I do enjoy playing it for what it's worth, so I don't just want to cross-check things online to be finally done with it.

That being said, the game could make things easier. It's a bit paradoxical at times, where it lures in completionists only to behave very unfriendly towards them. The giant monsters are a good example, where there would be no good reason to hunt them all if it wasn't for the medals. The game keeps track of which bosses you have defeated, but it offers no help in finding them all.

It really doesn't make sense, also from a story perspective. Thematically, receiving medals from some sort of military for defeating all the bosses makes a lot more sense than from some monster lover, that's for sure. But why would it even matter when there's the Blood Moon? The monster-control crew already keeps going in circles because of it and by the time you get the medals the majority of the monsters will already have respawned, unless you're doing some crazy challenge.

And who is even keeping track of all these? Everyone down in the Depths is either a Yiga or going to become one, so who is having an eye of all the "large and unusual beasts" down there? But they have the numbers and they know when Link has defeated one. So, why aren't these reports forwarded to Link, so that he can be directed towards any boss that is still undefeated? In fact, it all starts with a series of side quests about such monster sightings. It would be an immense help if Gralens simply told Link where to find another target. It doesn't have to be the exact spot, but giving the player an area to search would already make this a lot more fun and engaging.

staring into the darkness of the Depths as Fierce Deity Link

In addition, there really should be unique rewards from defeating these beasts, like with the Shrines of Light, so that they are a worthwhile goal in any case. If defeating four of them were to score you another Heart Container, then you really would have a good reason to go fight all these monsters. Maybe in the next game...

In any case, I should be done 100% with the Depths now, unless I'm missing a location name somewhere. But if my math is correct, then I should only need the rest of the Koroks for the 100% map completion. That's also a topic in itself... Why can't there be a completion rate for each layer of the map? This would be helpful in many ways if you could tell that you've achieved everything in the skies or the Depths separately.

The giant monsters also should be part of the map and map completion, really. They already should have been in Breath of the Wild, just so that you can use your markers on things that you find personally interesting and not things that you need to keep track of. The same goes for Addison's signs...


Well, hunting for the monsters still went better than putting up all those Hudson signs, where part of the the reason was that I didn't have enough markers for both activities and therefore had no real overview of the existing signs. For a while I even thought that I might find all the Koroks before all of Addison's locations. And I already was at a point where I kept thinking that there could only be one left. But there were two more heartbreaks, before I got to the final one.

next to Addison holding a sign in a canyon-like area

The first was at Oseira Plains, quite prominently up on the slope leading to the junkyard. This was a case where looking for Koroks can detract from other stuff, because you tend to gravitate away from the open spaces towards corners or hills. That's a bad habit from Breath of the Wild, actually, because there could have been a backpack Korok waiting on that slope as well...

The second one was slightly in the off, at the "road" going above Skull Lake, where I wasn't all too surprised to have missed this. This felt more like a possible Korok hiding spot to me, but finding Addison was even better. Still, he had one more sign to place somewhere...

at night at Death Mountain

And that somewhere wasn't too far away, it was right next to the Bridge of Eldin, though it took me two whole evenings and many detours to finally find it.... This place was a lot more dumbfounding to me, because the new railroad that goes around Death Mountain is quite prominent and I've explored this circular area of cooled lava multiple times, because it really invites you to go in circles around the mountain top. I guess, I didn't notice Addison between all the minecart stuff, but that's really my only explanation.

It helps to look for him during the night, though. He carries a lantern and then stands out in the dark, which is how I've spotted him immediately this time. So, if you're still looking for him yourself, this is the best advice I can give...

Addison: "I am! I'm all out of signs!"

Now, that's one more big world-spanning exploration quest finished. I already knew that there was going to be a reward and what it was, and you probably also know, but just in case I'm going to put this as another spoiler:

Despite this being similar to the caves, they are handled completely differently by the game. Caves are marked on your map and checked off if you got its Bubbul Gem, while Addison's signs are something that you need to track manually. You can always consult the Lord of the Mountain to find any missing caves, while there is no help in tracking down Addison.

Ideally, you could ask someone at Tarrey Town, preferably Rhondson, who doesn't really have much to do after you acquired the Dream Home. She could tell you another location where they've sent Addison to. Like with the boss monsters, it doesn't have to be the exact spot, but something like "Addison is putting up another sign at Death Mountain" would already be more than enough.


Everyone Everywhere All at Once

Anyway, once Addison is out of signs you can find him at any stable, where he's developing a new obsession with the Stable Trotters. He even gets angry at you if you talk to him here more than once, because he perfectly knows himself that he's slacking off. Not that I care, he really deserves a break... The poor guy is so damaged that he's stuck in his sign-supporting pose. He really should sue Hudson, instead of admiring him.

Addison watching the Stable Trotters

But it's good to see that the Stable Trotters finally have a fan. I'm certainly not one, because they completely break the immersion once you've unlocked all the Great Fairies, together with a variety of NPCs, because they are always everywhere. If you teleport from one stable to another, they will still be there, performing, even though they shouldn't be able to.

In Breath of the Wild it was really only Beedle who kept doing this and here it was okay, because it was a meme even before the game came out that he effectively has a clone army to sell his goods everywhere. This was already the case in The Wind Waker and this made it easier to connive. In Tears of the Kingdom, however, it's not only Beedle, but a whole band who's doing this. And now there's Addison, too. It would make sense if he's stuck at a stable in Akkala, but he's at all of them, too.

In addition, there are several traveling NPCs who you can meet in specific places, like the cheese-loving lady that hangs around the geoglyphs. If you go from one geoglyph right to the next, she will be there before you. It just takes you out of the game, because even if everyone had their own Purah Pad and kept teleporting around like maniacs, they wouldn't do it in a way where you're to never miss them.

The game really should keep track of where certain NPCs are. Make the Stable Trotters perform at a certain stable for a day and then move on to the next. Why do they even have that stupid Breezer if you never see them using it? It would make things a lot more immersive if NPCs were truly traveling from A to B in Hyrule, instead of just following scripted routines. And it would also make meeting them more special.


While looking for the last Hudson signs, I also made good progress with finding more Koroks, where this is easily the most paradoxical part of completing the latest two Zelda games. You can make a strong argument for how you're not supposed to find them all – you need less than half of them to fully upgrade your inventories and the reward for getting all is a giant piece of poo. It was seemingly the developers' intention that obtaining Korok Seeds is something that you do while exploring, but not what you explore for.

Yet, at the same time, your total number of Korok Seeds is one of the things you always see when loading the game, giving them the same importance as shrines and Lightroots. Unlike the bosses and Hudson signs, they are also part of the map completion, where I have arrived at the last percent with 25 more Koroks to find... If I want that 100%, I will need to obtain all 1000 Korok Seeds. It's that simple. I would do so anyway, but it's not like there is truly zero incentive to locate all the Korok puzzles.

Anyway, there are a couple of patterns that you can use to locate potentially missing Koroks. To a degree this was already the case in Breath of the Wild, but it became a much more obvious patter in Tears of the Kingdom: there is a Korok under almost every bridge. There are some exceptions, of course, mostly bridges that are very close to the water, e.g. the Horwell Bridge, but for the most part this is a good rule to follow.

a Korok in the Death Mountain area, with view of Hyrule Castle behind him

Another "rule" that came clear to me is that Koroks are found in the locations that had the memories in Breath of the Wild. Again, it's not all of them, but this led me to another Korok at the west end of Death Mountain. This was always one of the tougher memory spots to locate in Breath of the Wild, because it just all looks the same in this area, but there's now the new road going around this small plateau, so it's much easier to find.

Well, I'm confident that I will discover them all on my own eventually... But the search has slowed down quite a lot, which is normal. The less Koroks there are still left to find, the slower your progress will be, because there is no indication of where to look for the missing ones. I've already complained lots about this in Breath of the Wild, where sadly this is one of the things that didn't improve with the sequel.

By the way, if you look closely at the above screenshot, you can spot a very low sky island in the background, to the left. I think this might be the lowest floating sky island in the game, where it's actually shown on the surface map, instead of the sky map:

The weird square space right above the Pico Pond Cave... that's this sky island. There is yet another chest with a Large Zonai Charge on there, so not the most exciting find, but still interesting that this is a thing.

Star Fragment Grind

While looking for all the above things, I kept going to certain Skyview Towers at night to catch a falling Star Fragment, because I still needed a couple dozen for the rest of the classic tunics. At one point I grew tired of it and decided to just grind the rest by rotating between three towers:

  • Rabella Wetlands Skyview Tower
  • Gerudo Canyon Skyview Tower
  • Thyphlo Ruins Skyview Tower

They all have a high probability of a falling Star Fragment and a pot nearby. So, what you want to do is skip to the next morning, then skip to the next night, sky dive to catch a shooting star, teleport to the next tower, and repeat the process. This method seemed to work reliably and I was able to farm the rest of the Star Fragments quite quickly, which means that I now truly have enhanced every piece of armor to ★★★★, where eligible.

at the Rabella Wetlands during dawn

And by now I've also gathered ten more Star Fragments, which I'm finally free to use for other stuff... If you explore at night, because you're looking for Addison or so, you will also come across them in the old way often. Just probably not often enough.

Hide Quests

Now, I'm getting closer and closer to completing this game. I will take a break from all the searching and focus on some other things in the upcoming days, like completing the compendium and cookbook. However, there is one area in the game where I'm lacking for no apparent reason and this is side quests. I'm missing 14 in total right now and they are not yet in my Adventure Log – I only had the one about wells open and was able to close it the last time.

But that's an entire village worth of side quests still out there and I have no clue where to look for them. I went back to all the villages and stables, but I wasn't able to find any persons with those red exclamation marks above them. I considered that you may have some side quests with the Yiga, while wearing their full armor set, but this wasn't the case either (and it would feel wrong to help them).

So, I went through the list of existing side quests and tried to find anything that stood out, where I realized that I was still missing "Misko's Treasure of Awakening II". You probably don't remember this, but in entry 18 I had found the corresponding piece of armor at the Coliseum Ruins without any hints and then went for the rest of them. When I found the last part of the set, I didn't bother to read the stone slab there, because I probably expected it to say something like "Misko here, good job finding this, have fun with the new big head of yours".

Misko's Treasure of Awakening II - Complete

But it had the missing side quest and they are all linked (pun intended), where you get the first hint at the Goronbi River Cave and then one piece of the set leads to the next. There are also more of the "Misko's Treasure" side quests, where I have the one for the Fierce Deity and the three transcripts that you get from the treasure-hunting brothers. Maybe there are even more, but I wasn't able to find anything at the other caves, I even went back to some of them to check...

It's a better lead than nothing and I wouldn't be surprised if I have more side quests missing where I already have completed the task, but didn't find the task giver. In Breath of the Wild this was the case with a couple of Shrine Quests, even.


Cooking Mama

Searching through all the villages again led me to some new, helpful discoveries, at least, most importantly in Lurelin. There's Kiana, the mother who will cook a meal for you that you haven't tested yet. This is a surefire way of completing the recipe list and falls into the category of "I wish I had noticed this sooner", because you can't just skip to the next day to get another entry. It takes a bit, where it's either ingame time or slain enemies, like in the Oracle games. I'm not sure, but I have still quite some gaps to fill.

at a bench in Lurelin Village, looking like a resort

And trying to fill them on my own hasn't been easy, where I've made no progress with enhancing horses whatsoever. I always keep helping the NPCs who are fighting Bokoblins, but by now they rarely give me anything new. Meanwhile, if you try to do anything here by intuition, this intuition will be betrayed.

Hylian Tomato Pizza - A pizza made with fresh Hylian tomato. Slices of melty Hateno cheese make it irresistible.

For example, you can make Hylian Tomato Pizza with Tabantha Wheat, Hateno Cheese, and Hylian Tomatoes, like it's taught in the cheese store at Hateno Village. Simple enough, right? Now, following this, I would expect to get some sort of mushroom pizza by adding mushrooms to the recipe or by replacing the tomatoes with mushrooms. But instead you end up with "Tomato Mushroom Stew" or "Melty Cheesy Bread". I've already said this before, but it feels so random and I just don't get it...

Well, what I get is hungry (in the middle of the night, which is bad), so read you next time!



  • Side Adventures: 59/60
  • Side Quests: 125/139 (+1)
  • Korok Seeds: 975/1000 (+87)
  • Old Maps: 31/31
  • Recipes: 126/228 (+12)
  • Map Completion: 98.99%

Compendium Completion:

  • Creatures: 73/92
  • Monsters: 90/110 (+1)
  • Materials: 40/126
  • Equipment: 160/175 (+1)

Remaining Medals:

  • Taluses: 87/87 (+1)
  • Hinox: 69/69 (+1)