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Old 03-15-2017, 01:50 AM
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Glass Knuckle Glass Knuckle is offline
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Default Your Breath of the Wild Adventure (SPOILERS)

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Originally Posted by Isrieri View Post
Do you guys have any favorite locations or cool things that happened to you along the way? Because you should totally write them down and tell your story of how you played this game. It would be really interesting to see all the different ways people chose to go the adventure.
I like this idea and just read the posts about potentially organizing the Breath of the Wild talk. I figured this could justify a new thread, both because I'd love to read what general experiences people have had given how open the game is, and because giving an overview on what you did in what order will naturally require more spoilers than people seem to be expecting even in the other spoiler thread. Also, these would likely get lost in the other threads quickly, and I'd like to have them collected somewhere if you guys want to write them. Basically, come here after you've beat it or no longer care about spoilers, and let everyone know how things went for you.

I posted briefly that I was going after Ganon first, but didn't go into detail. This turned out to be a really cool experience that I'm itching to talk about in depth, so I'll share it here. Obviously this is going to be spoilery as heck, but only on the castle and fights; I won't mention the story beyond what happens during gameplay.


MASSIVE WALL OF TEXT AHEAD

Hearing that Ganon would be approachable and possibly beatable from the start of the game excited me more than most. I've always had a fascination with the idea of a final boss that's right there in your face at the start of the game, either fighting you or just being around, bonus points if it can be fought well before the player is prepared. While there are plenty of examples of this happening in cutscenes, or as "fake" fights in which you have to lose or can't damage it, I'm hard pressed to think of examples where those fights are winnable. Anyway, here we are with Nintendo saying we can do this, so they got my attention.

After making my way around the tutorial area and choosing stamina for my upgrade, I went toward the castle with a handful of terrible weapons and a sledgehammer. I didn't have a particular goal in mind yet as I wasn't sure what to expect, but there was a tower between me and the castle, so I went for that. By this point, the only guardians I'd met were the busted ones outside one of the shrines, which I'd already determined weren't worth trying to kill with bombs or my current weapons. So, upon meeting a walker, I had to run. I died to a couple of these, but eventually found a route around them, got to the tower, and found I could hide safely on each platform as I went up despite all the guardians aiming at it.

From here, it was a straight shot to the castle area. I aimed for one of the big pillars with the intent to possibly climb it. This turned out to be too difficult at the time, but I found that the decorations on it stuck out enough that I could stand on them, and I made it far enough up that I could fly across the moat. This put me on a big open path going around the castle, so I headed left looking for places to climb up. This led to a lot of hiding from guardians, looking for safe ledges, and sticking to walls to avoid the flyers, but I eventually made it up to Zelda's room by complete accident, as it was just the most convenient place to climb to next. The enemy inside seemed far too strong for now, so I left it alone and kept climbing. I found some stairs going up to the main body of the castle, with guardians watching the top, and ended up climbing the side of the stairs and making a run for it at the top to avoid them.

At this point, I'm settled into the pattern of climbing whatever looks climbable while avoiding detection, so I kept going up one of the side towers. After flying across to the central tower, I found a room with a mess of evil goo in it that didn't seem to react to me, so I kept going. This got difficult in places with my current stamina, and sometimes required running against a wall I couldn't quite stand on but still sorta counted as walkable to refill stamina for the rest of the climb. Near the top, I found a chest with 5 ancient arrows, which were the first seemingly amazing thing I'd stumbled across here, and at the very top of the highest spire, a korok.

So, as far as the journey goes, I'd made it. Now to figure out what to do here. I went back down to the goo room, which looked really important, since there were red tentacle things in the goo that weren't visible on any of the stuff outside, so I figured this was it. I searched around, shot at it, tried my powers, nothing happened. I wondered if I needed a particular item to trigger the fight, but eventually climbed down to the next open window.

As soon as I enter, I see a big heart in front of me, and the fight starts. I'd been looking around the wrong room all that time, trying to interact with the stuff holding the heart to the ceiling from the other side. In front of me is...I forget the names so I'm going to call it Wind Ganon. This told me some things. First, this clearly wasn't the only fight, as this didn't look like the real Ganon, and there's always multiple forms anyway. Second, this was an elemental boss, implying that there were probably 3-4 of them, most likely 4, by video game standards. Last, the "Scourge of Divine Beast..." title meant that this was almost certainly a dungeon boss, and therefore I was looking at a boss rush.

Ok, so if I've got a bunch of these to deal with, and no useful weapons on hand, I was going to have to do this with bombs, or go look for equipment. I tried some bombs, and noticed in the process that this thing wouldn't be too hard to deal with as far as my health was concerned. At three hearts, all of its attacks would bring me down to 1/4 heart, so as long as I had food on me I could heal up and survive. Also, all it seemed to do was shoot at me or make a tornado, the former of which could be avoided by walking sideways and the latter by not getting too close. I was free to throw bombs without much danger, but they did almost nothing, and I didn't know what I'd be in for after. So my next thought is, if this is a boss rush, will this one stay dead if I kill it once? I figured it was worth a try, so I left and starting looking for weapons.

I don't remember the exact order of things at this point, but I made my way down the castle checking out anything that looked important, and started scouring all the keeps on the walls. I picked up a lot of arrows and some food doing this, but not much else, and somewhere in here I ran into a Lynel. The biggest keeps contain a Lynel fight that's only triggered when entering them, and I got smashed into the floor a few times before it sunk in just how tough this was compared to the boss I'd just seen. I tried climbing up to a window, and it shot electric arrows at me. I tried going outside and hiding behind the walls, hoping I could shoot at it from safety, and it raised some weapon (thunder rod? A sword?) that hit me on the spot with lighting and killed me. I still haven't seen a Lynel outside the castle do this, but I assume it has to do with it deciding it can't reach you but you're still within range to hurt it. So, this wasn't happening. I went back down and kept exploring the walls for arrows, still without anything else useful.

Eventually I went around to the back of the castle, lower down, and saw a large room with a hole in the wall for me to climb into. This was new, as I hadn't been inside the castle itself yet aside from the boss room. I found a big library, with multiple Lizalfos. These looked slightly less dangerous than the Moblin in Zelda's room, and I noticed some magnetizable boxes nearby. If I was ever going to start fighting things, I needed a weapon, and this was my chance. Using a box, I smashed a Lizalfo against the floor enough times to get it to drop its spear, which I then killed it with. From here, I was able to get the other one on the lower floor, and one of the archers above. Now the spear was used up, but I had a strong bow and boomerang. I was hesitant to use the bow, thinking I'd need every arrow I could get, so I left the archer on the other side alone. By sheer luck, I had seen that there were magnetizable objects in the bookshelf walls while I was fighting with the box, so I checked these out.

I don't remember what all was behind those, but I know one led to a dock area by the moat and an amazing looking (by my current standards) flame sword, another gave me an even more powerful stone sword, and the normal exit from the library led to an ice sword. Feeling totally decked out but unwilling to waste these, I continued on using weapons from any Lizalfos I ran into, was killed by my first Moblin multiple times around here, and eventually made it to the dining hall. I found food! Lots of it! And four Moblins, which I'd just discovered I was terrible at fighting. I tried taking on the two near the door on the left, and this went poorly. After a couple attempts where I had killed at least one and checked out its weapon before dying, I realized it wasn't worth killing these for their stuff, but the two on the other side were. I choose to use the ice sword here, giving me a way to keep one of them stunned at all times so I could finish them off. With one side of the room clear, I could easily grab all the food and get out. With that, I felt it was time for another attempt at the boss.

Inventory at this point: two 36 power bows, a 50 power bow from the weapon rack, a handful of other decent bows, the heavy fire sword, two stone swords, a royal claymore, two of the powerful black one-handed swords, and the best lizal boomerang. After using a bow against Wind Ganon, I realized he was easily stunned by shots to the head, and the hitbox for the head was pretty big. Also, the bomb arrows I'd picked up were doing tons of damage, and those ancient arrows were capable of stunning him outright at any time, though I didn't want to waste them this early.

As expected, another elemetal Ganon showed up after, this time Water. The concerning thing here was that I wasn't offered a chance to save, so it looked like this was going to be rough, but I figured I'd at least get a break between these and the real Ganon. Water gave me more trouble, as the range on his big horizontal swipe was always longer than I expected, and his spear throws were tough to avoid if I was also trying to get shots in. His face was also harder to hit, but I eventually got a pattern down and took him out, mostly by focusing on staying safe and taking advantage of the time he gives you after each teleport.

Up next was Fire, and...I'm honestly not sure what he does because this ended up being easier than Wind, as far as hitting him in the face and knocking him down goes. I was using bomb arrows on him, so I didn't notice what he did in the middle of the fight and just kept up the two face shots + melee pattern.

Thunder is a totally different story. I was out of bomb arrows by now, but this thing ignored arrows anyway, and I had no idea how to deal with its fast teleporting melee attacks. I hadn't figured out cooking yet, so while I had enough food items to keep healing back up to three hearts for a while, I didn't have anything else to fall back to. My ancient arrows couldn't interrupt it, my slow swords couldn't hit it, and I didn't understand parries or the dodge counter. I eventually found that if I ran to the right while it was teleporting, it would always miss, and my fast swords were able to catch it before it escaped. I needed a full combo against its shield to break it, which let me start dealing damage, but my fast swords were fragile. Luckily, they were also powerful, so I was able to get to the second phase this way.

After solving the puzzle here, the third phase started, and this destroyed me. His electrified sword was now killing me outright, so every mistake required bomb-arrowing through the other three again, and his attacks were more varied so I wasn't sure when to attack. He also started to electrify his shield, and I had no idea how to bypass this. Finally, I got a lucky run and was able to take him down before he permanently electrified the shield, and thought maybe this was it. Maybe there'd be a break here, and I could leave, restock, and save.

Nope. New cutscene starts, floor breaks, and I'm staring down what looks like the real Ganon. His very first attack kills me. Now I'm on boss #5, out of bomb arrows, and with most of my weapons broken. I can't hope to practice this unless I can properly figure out Thunder, and I've been using all my bomb arrows to speed through the other fights when I clearly need them here. I had to find more stuff.

I scoured the keeps. Everywhere there was a wall, I walked along it and looked for keeps. Almost every one of them had a chest on the roof, and some sort of items at the bottom. I found more food, more arrows, and money I didn't expect to spend. I was also tipped off on how cooking worked, so I was able to go back to the dining hall and make a decent pile of healing meals, one meal that gave 12 extra hearts, and one attack power buff. I came back with mostly the same melee weapons + one or two more good two-handed swords, but I had found 2 more ancient arrows and now had about 40 bomb arrows, plus a decent pile of the other types.

There didn't seem to be much difference between the elemental arrows as far as the bosses are concerned, so I learned to fight the first three with all of my normal arrows and some elemental ones, and my worst swords. Now I was at Thunder with all of my bomb arrows and decent weapons left over for Ganon, but I still needed to figure out how to beat Thunder properly. The strategy I settled on was this:

-Eat the heart and attack power meals right away.
-Use the boomerang to break his shield, then switch to the more powerful black swords for damage.
-When he recovers from being knocked over, back up and blast him with as many bomb arrows as possible before he fixes his shield.

If this was done properly, I could finish him off consistently before he electrifies his shield, allowing me to avoid the phase I didn't have an answer for. The hearts gave me one chance to mess up while his sword was electrified.

Now for Ganon.

Ganon has a lot of attacks, but individually, none are as dangerous as what Thunder does. I took my time, learned what was going on, and used all my best bows to get damage in. Turns out that even with the bomb arrows I had used on Thunder, there were enough left over to take out half of Ganon's health bar without putting myself at much risk. I could stay away from him to avoid the sword swipes, and the beam attack only required running sideways. When he moved to the wall, I could use an ancient arrow to knock him off and return to the ground phase, which I was more comfortable with. Then I got stuck.

After losing half his health, Ganon puts up a shield that blocks all damage. I couldn't figure out how to bypass this, and didn't have a lot of room to experiment before needing to fight through the previous bosses again. I didn't know if there was even a way around this (maybe the master sword was required?) so I had to consult the internet. Given that the game had only been out 2-3 days at this point, I had trouble finding anything about beating Ganon early, but I did eventually find a speedrun video. This explained that Ganon dropped his shield very briefly during his attacks, and if you dodge a melee attack, you can counter with a combo that essentially stops time, allowing you to get hits in. I had no idea that move existed, and parries were never my strong point. I tried a couple more times to get to Ganon, but I only pulled it off once or twice before getting killed, and I needed a lot of hits to finish him off. To make this extra discouraging, the speedrunner had fought the first four bosses, then cut to footage from his main file saying "sorry, I can't do this consistently enough to beat him from the start yet, but here's how you'd do it." Meanwhile, Thunder kept giving me trouble. Once again, I needed more stuff.

I had hoped to finish this using only what I found in the castle, but with how bad my timing had been and how long it took to get back for another try, I knew I needed to be able to survive a lot of missed dodges if I was going to get the pattern down without going crazy. For the first time, I left the castle and started looking around Hyrule Field. I went north-ish, and found a stream with fish in it that had some useful effects. I didn't realize yet that I could only have one buff effect active at once, so my intent was to collect enough things that I could have the best attack and defense effect at all times, as well as tons of yellow hearts. I followed the stream, curved around to the east, and grabbed whatever plants I could, avoiding fights so I wouldn't have to waste my weapons.

I found Kakariko while climbing around the nearby mountains, entering at the graveyard. I found the great fairy and caught a couple faries for myself, which was exactly the sort of thing I'd been looking for, but didn't pay her yet because I didn't know what she was, and had planned to buy whatever items I could from the shops. More arrows were always helpful, and I bought out the pumpkin farm since defense was the main thing I wanted here. I honestly don't remember if I bought new clothes yet or not, but I want to say no, given that the only money I had so far was from chests, which ended up not being a whole lot compared to what you pick up once you start finding ores. My focus was all the defense and hearty meals I could get, and some attack items, and with shopping and some more exploring, I was able to get this much.

I ended up wandering over to the Zora area. I had watched Rivers do part of it by this point, but she turned back before entering the dungeon. As much as I wanted to beat Ganon right away, curiosity got the best of me, as I really wanted to know what effect beating one of the bosses would have, so I went ahead and did this one. The reward was fantastic, and the unique spear replaced the weapon I had used on the boss (I was mostly using arrows, since I could buy more), so now it was time to give Ganon one last try.

I actually wasted Mipha's Grace on the way up the castle, fighting enemies to replace the bows I'd used, but I didn't really expect to beat Ganon just yet. I figured I'd climb up here, give him one more shot, and see how much damage I was taking from him and Thunder with defense buffs active. Water Ganon was now gone, but the first three were only speedbumps by the time I left, and I had more than enough arrows and bows to deal with them regardless. At Thunder, I realized I couldn't use both buffs at once, so I fell back on the attack buff to make sure he died while I could still attack his shield.

Back at Real Ganon, I kept my hearts up (I had 4-5 decent yellow heart meals now) and used my defense meals. This gave me more than enough health to survive his sword if I missed the dodge, and I quickly learned that my timing didn't need to be as exact as I thought. Any moment between the beginning of the swing and the hit itself was valid for triggering the special attack, and Ganon swings slow. That extra few minutes I'd bought myself with the meals was all I needed, and from there it was just a matter of learning to avoid his other attacks and wait for sword swings. He took a long time getting around to those (he seemed to prefer lasers), but finally, he went down. While beating the Zora dungeon had taken away some of his health, I ended the fight with meals to spare, and the resources I'd bought and found around Kakariko had been far more important.

It wasn't over. After another cutscene, it was time for form 6. I was completely spent at this point. I had resources left, but here was another boss I'd never seen and who knows what I'd have to learn or use to fight this one and I STILL couldn't save. Luckily, everything turned out fine. If you read this far and haven't beat the game yet, I won't talk about this one, because it's mostly cinematic. I was terrified at having to deal with anything new after coming this far, but it wasn't a real threat, and finally it was over.

I had no idea this was going to end up as long as it is when I started typing, but now that I've written a small book, TLDR is that I enjoyed the challenge. I love that this was tough enough to really force me to collect any advantage I could find, and exploring the castle while trying to deal with this one chain of fights felt like a complete game by the time I was done. It's unfortunate that the tutorial which included the dodge special move wasn't in the starting area, and I would have preferred a few more options on Ganon's second phase that let me take advantage of the firepower I'd stocked up instead of having to rely on a specific move, but now that I've played more of the game, I think there might be more ways to damage Ganon than the one I knew about, so I'll have to experiment with it later.
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Old 03-16-2017, 12:24 AM
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Having just seen the credits roll myself, I read this story. It is a cool story. Would you like explanations for the things you didn't fully understand?
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Old 03-16-2017, 12:58 AM
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Go for it. I had as much fun with it unspoiled as I needed to by now.
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Old 03-16-2017, 01:35 AM
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Some pieces of purple goop have eyeballs in them which, when attacked, get rid of the stuff, opening up a permanent shortcut. The ones in Hyrule Castle you specifically have to approach from behind, though.

A lynel who is aware of you but too far away to reach you, and who has elemental arrows, can use it to do artillery strikes. Lynels out in the wild have more dangerous patterns because they've got room to maneuver. The ones in the castle are blue (the second-strongest kind) and white (the strongest), and don't drop their weapons when defeated. This is unfortunate, because lynel weapons are among the strongest you can find. For my money, lynels are the toughest enemies in the game; even the red ones are a bigger threat than the four miniature Ganons.

Then again, a lot of time elapsed for me between my first Divine Beast and my last, and their damage seemed pretty respectable in all of them. I know that enemy spawns in the overworld, and the weapons they hold, scale based on your kill count; maybe the Ganons do the same thing. I certainly took plenty of damage from Calamity Ganon despite being decked out in maximum-defense four-star gear.

Thunderblight Ganon is the hardest of the four, but its pattern is very simple. The trick to the first phase is to block its attack with your shield (the shield itself will take damage unless you parry with perfect timing, but it's vulnerable either way) and then break its own shield down with your attacks to reveal its chocolatey center. In the second phase, the lightning rods it tosses out can be moved with Magnesis; grab one and move it in close and it will strike itself with its own lightning, creating an opening for your attack.

The Whateverblight Ganon fights are indeed the bosses of the Divine Beasts. You get to skip them if you've cleared the corresponding dungeon, and Ganon proper's health is reduced as well.
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Old 03-16-2017, 02:07 AM
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Ah, I should have made it more clear that I've also been through the rest of the game normally after beating it this way, so I've caught up on a lot of that after the fact. A few interesting things though:

I still haven't seen a Lynel outside the castle do the artillery strike, so that's neat. The castle ones do drop their weapons though. I started a new file and went straight back to Hyrule Castle to see if I had an easier time with this now that I had a better idea of what I was doing, and killed one of the Lynels this time. It dropped the full set of Savage equipment (sword, bow, shield). It might be that you already had some of these, and they weren't dropping more? I'm not sure on the mechanics yet, but I know the larger assassins won't drop their wind swords anymore once you have two of them.

Also, Lynel spoiler: White isn't the strongest. There's a Silver Lynel with a white body instead of the zebra-ish pattern on the white maned ones. This seems to only appear after either a certain amount of progress, or after killing some number of Lynels or enemies in general. I haven't seen anything definitive on how enemy scaling works yet.

My problem with Thunder isn't the phase where he's in the air (as far as I know, Magnetize is the only way to deal with it), it's when he comes back to the ground and electrifies his shield. This isn't permanent at first, but once he's somewhere below 1/4 health, he'll electrify the shield and keep it that way seemingly forever. I know now that you can still dodge counter him, and possibly parry, but I don't know of any way to get damage in with normal attacks at that point.

There may indeed be some scaling going on with the bosses, or possibly a magic pixel mechanic. Of the four, only the second phase of Thunder was a real threat, because the electric effect on his sword counted for extra damage. Every other attack from a Blight Ganon brought me to 1/4 heart, allowing me to heal from any mistakes on the rest. Even getting hit multiple times in a row wouldn't count as a death, since getting ragdolled normally puts Link in a state where he can still get knocked around, but won't take any further damage until he can stand back up. It's possible that Fire Ganon can bypass this too, but I still haven't seen his full moveset. Real Ganon ignores this, as nearly all of his attacks are deadly at 3 hearts.
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Old 04-09-2017, 05:16 PM
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G.Knuckle! That's a great story! The closest I ever got to the castle early on was a ridge on the southwest side of the moat. Looking through the sheikah slate, I saw it was locked down tight with flying guardians so I bailed on trying to enter early. The walkers had given me enough stress as it was.

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Originally Posted by Glass Knuckle
After making my way around the tutorial area and choosing stamina for my upgrade, I went toward the castle with a handful of terrible weapons and a sledgehammer. I didn't have a particular goal in mind yet as I wasn't sure what to expect, but there was a tower between me and the castle, so I went for that. By this point, the only guardians I'd met were the busted ones outside one of the shrines, which I'd already determined weren't worth trying to kill with bombs or my current weapons. So, upon meeting a walker, I had to run. I died to a couple of these, but eventually found a route around them, got to the tower, and found I could hide safely on each platform as I went up despite all the guardians aiming at it.
This was my experience too. After I lept off the plateau for the first time, I landed in some ruins with a sis and bro fending off bokoblins. NPCs doing anything autonomously gets my motor revving so I mirthfully leapt in to help out. Most of my first hours were wandering around Hyrule Field, running into my first stable by the riverside, and trying to find as much treasure as I could. Everything other than the Guardians seemed very manageable. Most of that time was tame and not of note: Heading to the Giant's Forest, finding a giant and promptly fleeing; going to the top of the hill and offering food to those little altars to find Koroks; my first big adventure was while moving toward the tower at the west side of the field. I came to this tree stump over a lake. "There's gotta be something over there" I said. There was something over there. Blue moblins and a huge red one with a giant club and...a magical red flameblade. Well. Gotta get that.

This was the first time I felt I might be getting in too deep. The blue moblins on the road I avoided (I tried fighting them later only and yet they kept kicking my ass because their having the high ground was working against me), and kept trying to fight my way over the bridge. Trying to fence with a bow-koblin and a moblin with a long-reach blade was no picnic when the strongest weapon I had was the two-handed moblin club lying there with them. But I wanted that flameblade. It was the coolest sword I had yet seen and I wasn't leaving without it. After quite a few deaths, and an especially embarrassing one where a blow to Link's head tossed him right into the lake (and whereupon Link was devoured by lizalfos) I picked up my bootstraps and finally got the knack for how the two enemies fought. Shoot the bokoblin to disarm him temporarily, use the club to knock down the moblin, send the bokoblin over the side with my traveler's sword, and finish off the moblin now that I had no more distractions. I swung that flameblade, and it was amazing. I didn't use it for a long time. The memories of that day were too precious. I think when it finally did break I threw it at a moblin's face.


That was the start of the adventure. I've got more stories!

Beach Combing

After the Hyrule Field shenanigans I took the game over to my bud Gandude's house. His brother Seth was there too and we warped back to the plateau and tried to figure out where to go next. I said I wanted to go to that big inviting bridge, which was the bridge over Lake Hylia. The first thing we did was move over to the conspicuous islands. I didn't have a Korok Leaf and didn't see a boat. The solution? Ice pillars! I think we did it out of a wish to prove that you could surmount issues many ways, and that in the absence of a boat or leaf, you don't have to warp back up and fly down. So we brute forced it. And it worked. This was the first time I had seen lizalfos and I was pretty startled by how quick they moved. It was pretty amazing to be playing in a group and just stumbling across the shrine that was there. Like, “What. Uhhh its a shrine!” Surprises are even stronger when a group is all surprised at once. This was the shrine that had you put a bomb above and below the platform to shoot it up and bomb out the ceiling above, and it stumped all three of us for a good bit until I called to one of our precious bomb arrows. We had swiped a lizal boomerang and were having a lot of fun playing around with it on the bridge. They gave us a bit of trouble, but only because we were all taking turns with it, trying to oudo one another in how to kill them efficiently. I think Seth won that contest, shooting one off the bridge, spearing another off the bridge, tossing the spear at the third, and greatswording him off the bridge, in the span of a few seconds. You had to have been there.

Over the bridge was the tower, guarded by a small army. Gandude took command and his strategy was All Bombs All The Time. It worked pretty well since we could just get high ground and there were a few bomb barrels, until one of the lizalfos just swiped the bomb away. He tried to bust out his sword but he was a little too far away to reach, and another lizard sneaked up behind him and iced him (refusing to wear a shirt will do that to you). At the tower's top we saw the ocean and decided to fly over and see what we could see (not before seeing a big X in stones and trying to puzzle out what it meant, we didn't yet realize it was a complete-the-shape puzzle). We came out to the southern bay's entrance, but had a run-in with a Stalnox. I had only fought a hinox once and gotten sat on, so I insisted that we run, but the others would hear none of it. Seth made short work of it and showed us how it was done. We had so much fun with the lizal boomerang, I can't describe to you the look of elation on Seth's face when we picked up that giant boomerang. The game was already delivering so much on our mutual anticipations, and had been consistently going above and beyond them. This was almost too much.

Once at the shore, Link only had his old clothes so it was perfect excuse to change to those trunks and go for a swim. It wasn't long before we found that strange girl who's just kinda...camping out and snuggling a gobstopper (Glowing Orange Ball). We tried talking with her, we tried leafing the ball away, we tossed a bomb at her (we tossed bombs at everything), I even tried to give her some food and break up her crates. But it was a mystery. So we pressed on.

It was a lot of fun moving down the coast busting up lizalfos, catching beetles, and collecting crabs. There was wood chest out in a tide pool, yet none of us made the logic leap to ice pillar under in. I had assumed you needed a leaf to blow it to shore for some reason. I think it was because we were using ice purely for getting over water so I only ever recalled it as transportation related. It was rupees, which reminds me of earlier. Gandude was the first who thought to use magnesis and smash two metal crates together. When I saw they had rupees inside I was floored. I didn't think rupees would just be lying around in the open! He had a good guffaw over it: Rupees had replaced bottles as the most valuable commodity in Hyrule. Eventually we came a big encampment way offshore, and heavily guarded. I was determined to tackle this one but my strategy was to pillar out to the rocks nearby and try to use them as cover and plan my next move. It only ended up getting me stuck over there with lizards and arrows pinning me down. It was quite the scene and the number of deaths was kind of embarrassing. It might have been easier if I just went back to shore and tried again, but we were all still in that mindset of “No no, its possible to salvage this, this game is good about that.” The parachute at this point was still just for getting around, and the fighting on the platforms was fierce. I think was the first time we fought a black bokoblin and he was strong enough to one shot Link. I really wanted the sword he had so I tried to keep him on the platform. Might have been a mistake. Gandude was ridiculing me this entire time for not just shooting them all. But hitting things with your sword is so much more satisfying! In summation, that entire escapade was like a Fire Emblem chapter. Try one strategy, get shanked, reload, try again. In yet another bay further east there's a lone outcropping of rocks with a greatsword in a chest, surrounded by octoroks and lizards. If you thought the platforms were a debacle, let me tell you: I was stuck out there for so long I joked that I was gonna plant the flag down and claim the rock for the kingdom of Link.

Between electric keese, and rusted guardians, it was becoming clearer that the beach might not be the safest place to go on vacation.

Further east along the shore were mounted bokoblins with bows. One shot, death. And they were good shots, with the terrain offering no cover and with so much distance between Link and them. I think at the time all we had was the giant boomerang, and short blades. We were trying to fight them on foot for some reason until Gandude went and unhorsed one. It was hard to turn around in such a narrow space but we finally managed to overcome them. That horse saved our asses that day, and I didn't forget it. I named it Sandybutt. Sandybutt later got sold for 300 rupees.

There were clear opportunities to just go back inland, go do some exploring elsewhere, but if you've ever gone walking down a real beach, you'll know how tempting it is to just keep going along, because you want to see how far you can go, and if there is an end, and what it may look like. After a brief debate we moved to continue over the shore, only for the rocks where we stopped at to form a Stone Talus. It crushed us. “The beach sucks.” I exclaimed. We went inland.

It was good timing, I think, because soon enough we came across some travelers who mentioned Lurelin village. This was the first town we visited and it got me excited to think of what the other towns looked like. We all get psyched when we saw the boat oars, because we had been lacking a korok leaf and wanted to try paddling a boat. No such luck. Met the first Gerudo we had seen. “DAMN she's tall.” “Her six-pack has a six-pack.” “Isn't rain a good thing?”

After that I had to go home. It was hell of a first sit-down.

Jungle Adventure

Picking back up at the village I decided to move back inland and eventually came to an opening into the jungle. My plan was to follow the road, but as I climbed up a hill to pick some fruit/flowers I heard music!

The game up until this point had been pretty mellow and quiet, so this really stuck out. It was raining perpetually around the rocks here, so it wasn't possible to climb them. At this point I didn't know it was Kass, and we had already encountered the mysterious Stone X and that weird girl. The game was chock full of the promise of veiled intrigue and happenstance meetings. This was far too enticing to pass up. I made it my mission to discover the accordion man. At first I had assumed that the rain might simply let up and allow me to climb the wall. It looked pretty steep but I assumed I could make it up there. It was clear the rain wasn't going away. I kept going around the rock face and trying to look for shorter and shorter outcroppings. Maybe I could brute-force my way up. I barely knew how to cook, and the best things I could make were simple mushroom skewers and that ilk. Still, it kept raining. “Makes sense, it is the jungle, it's super humid.” I reasoned. It was a little irritating that I could move away from the wall and the rain might let up, only for it to pick back up as soon as I reached the wall again. Never during the game did I think to try felling a tree to cross a chasm, my method was to just hug to cliff and climb to the other side. There were times I did so here, and they were risky as hell. But I managed to make it happen. Nothing on the other sides of the cliff but even steeper cliffsides and the maw of the huge lake.

So this wasn't gonna happen. I figured, there must be some other way of getting up the mountain, and at least I could find the tower around here. So I followed the road to the stable. I met with that girl who told of the lightning that keeps striking their stable for some reason, and another man who pointed out the large mound on the hill that storms gathered around, the very same hill I was trying to climb. “Aha! It must be that song, its the song of storms! I'll climb that hill and solve this lightning problem!” I made some attack meals out of the bananas I found and started off. Most of this was spent just trying to find a place I could cross the river. I decided to just leap in and climb up from the bottom, taking advantage of what I interpreted was very limited time of clear weather. Near the bottom however, a wizzrobe awaited me. I wondered, “Wait, is it these guys? Maybe they're the source of the stormy weather. I should hunt these guys down when I see them.” The thunder rods were nifty but I wasn't very good with them so I just kept one to clog my inventory with and miss the enemies a whole lot.

After some climbing, I didn't even need to climb the tower here, I could just parachute right to the top. There were tons of electric keese running around and it was here I learned first hand how dangerous they were. I assumed I couldn't hit them with metal weaponry so I tried to keep a spear around to deal with them, but it was wearing thing after a while. I trudged over to the waterfall area, and spent a good bit trying to gauge just how many thwacks of encouragement it took for a stasis-ed boulder to shove off. I even tried aiming it at a wizzrobe but those suckers are hard to hit. One of the summoned bats and was giving me a run for my money. I kept getting shocked and had to keep scrambling to pick up my weapons, so the fighting was hectic, trying to keep an eye on the keese that dogged Link and the wizzrobe loosing volleys from a distance. In the commotion, I turned the camera looking for the wizzrobe and....there was huge something moving down the waterfall. I don't know how you guys met your first dragons in the game, but try to imagine my incredulity here. Already I was getting an electric beat down, and now this whatever-this-was is shooting off shock waves like its Halloween candy. I sort of just stopped and tried to comprehend if this was a friend or foe before getting thrown back into the fracas. Once I dispatched them, the dragon was mostly out of sight, but I caught a glimpse of him soaring up into the sky. This was turning out to be one hell of an adventure.

Before long I had navigated the cliffs and found the rock faces I needed to barely make the climb with the paltry default stamina I had. I reached the top of the mountains here, and was at last level with the earthen mound, the sun was starting to set, and I could see off at the other side of the clearing a monster silhouette I had never seen before. He looked big, and imposing, and I knew there was no way I was gonna fight this guy. I noticed him too late before he noticed me, but he didn't really move, he was just standing there. I thought this was weird, and drew my weapon. He drew his bow, but didn't really move. As I advanced he shot off a warning volley of shock arrows an OHP. OKAY THATS A LYNEL. Dead. I reloaded and approached him slowly with no weapons drawn. Get too close, he'll draw his own blade but won't move. I was able to get close enough to touch him before he got spooked and sliced me in half. The third time, it was business. I got close enough as I felt comfortable, stopped, stared him down, and drew my own blade. It was on. The fact that this was at sunset was too damn perfect. It went the same way your first Lynel probably did. Quick attacks, mad dashes around, looking for an opening, failed dodge or block attempts that eat through your shields, passing swipes with his blade that knock you on your ass, and a thick hide the eats through all of your weaponry. I only had maybe five hearts or six hearts at this point? Still in the old clothes and with my attack buffs, I wore through almost every weapon I had in my inventory to kill him, but before long it was over right around when dawn broke. Had I been Link in this situation, I would have made a grave for the guy. Anyone who puts up a fight like that deserves a monument or a cairn or something. Lynels are probably way into that.

At at the last, I made it to the music. It was some bird man! It was a Rito! It was Kass! Who was the charming stranger playing accordion in the middle of a thunderstorm? After everything I had been through to get up here, after the burning desire to reach the top of the rock, after hours of fighting and climbing, pouring rain and lightning, here he was. I tried to imagine how Link feel at this point. In my mind it would just be awe, standing mouth agape in the warm downpour. “What are you doing up here? A... are y...are you the guy who's making the lightning happen?” In response, he played him a song. It was clear what needed to happen. I chucked the shield to the top of the mound and waited....and waited....and nothing was happening. Turns out, you need to be near the shield for lightning to strike it. Okay lesson learned. One shrine later, Link emerges with his justly deserved reward.

At last! AT LAST! PANTS! Warm, fitting pants! Proper boots!

This concludes the tale. For me, this was the defining experience of the game. Everything that makes it great, encapsulated here. Everything else was second.
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