Shield Surfing & Wolf Burning

Lately I’ve taken a break from progressing the story, and I’ve set off to complete some shrine quests and side quests. And of course, I’ve done some exploring as well. I was quite surprised when I saw what looked like a modern apartment building just off the coast. Even though I didn’t head there yet, it’s something I’ll have to check out at some point.

A modern looking building in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.I ran into this guy Eryck, and when I started a conversation, he never turned around to face me! It was kind of weird talking to the back of his head like this. But maybe I shouldn’t post this here, because now I’m talking about him behind his back.

Eryck: See ya!
How can you see me? You’re looking at the tree.

I then headed to the Spring of Power, where I triggered a new memory. I’m supposed to offer Dinraal’s scale here, but I don’t have it yet.

I ran into Beedle nearby, and he actually called me his stalker! The nerve of this guy!

Beedle: Oh! I knew I'd see you again. I think that technically makes you my stalker!Then he asked me to stop following him around. As if. I want to squash this pesky Beedle.

After completing five shrines, I had enough spirit orbs to redeem two more heart containers. I then headed up to Hebra Mountain, where I met Selmie.

Selmie: Huh... Welcome to the middle of nowhere. Population: us.She gave me a shield-surfing lesson. You just whip out your shield, stand on it, and slide down the mountain. Maybe shieldboarding would be a more appropriate name. I’m not very good at it yet, but this is a cool thing to include in the game.

Shield surfing down a mountain in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild for Nintendo Switch.
Icy what you did there.

It reminded me of the snowboarding mini-game in Final Fantasy VII, but that was a separate mini-game and not something you could do on your own during normal gameplay. But anyway, one lesson was enough for me (for now, at least), so I continued on to Coldsnap Hollow. There, I fought the Frost Talus for a side quest.

Fighting the Frost Talus in Zelda BOTW.
This guy was stone cold.

After that, I headed over to a large maze that was visible on the map: It was the North Lomei Labyrinth.

Dropping in on the North Lomei Labyrinth in Zelda: Breath of the Wild.
This labyrinth is so big, it’s a-maze-ing.

I dropped in on some enemies and then made my way through the maze. Eventually, I found the way into the shrine hidden away here.

After using a meteor rod to melt some large ice blocks, I decided to keep using it for a while. Not only will the fire automatically cook the meat of animals you kill, but sometimes they’ll survive…and continue running around as they’re on fire.

A burning wolf runs away from me in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild for Nintendo Switch.
The wolf. The wolf. The wolf is on fire.

Once I was done in the frozen mountains, I went somewhere much warmer. In the Death Mountain area, I went to Gorko Tunnel in search of Gonguron. And indeed, that’s where he was. He looked exhausted, though.

An exhausted Gonguron in Zelda BOTW.I took him some rock roast, which his brother cooked for him. I watched him eat it, and it looked like it must have really hurt his teeth. But once he finished eating, he opened up a path to another shrine. After completing that shrine, I redeemed more spirit orbs for another heart container. At this point, I wrapped up my game for the time being.

In all, my completed shrine total is up to 54 now. Here’s an updated look at my current status. I may head for that last divine beast next time.

Jeff's Zelda: Breath of the Wild status as of June 19, 2017.Ever wonder how Nintendo came up with the names of all the shrines in this game? I think this is how they did it. 😉

How Nintendo came up with shrine names in Zelda: Breath of the Wild. A Boggle game shakes up and the letter dice make the names.

Vah Rudania & Master Sword

With three fireproof elixirs in hand, I headed off to Death Mountain in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Once I reached the southern mine, I found many Gorons working here. But there was also a guy who offered me some heat-resistant armor if I gathered up ten fireproof lizards for him.

Kima: Say, you look pretty speedy. I bet you could catch a ton! If you bring me 10, I'll even give you some heat-resistant armor.After accepting the request, my second fireproof elixir wore off and I had to drink my last one. That gave me just six more minutes before I would turn into a crispy sausage Link. So I began looking for leaping lizards, and my search turned a bit frantic once my elixir ran down to the last minute. But with just 30 seconds to spare, I found the tenth lizard and got my flamebreaker armor. Whew.

With that hot mess behind me, I relaxed a bit as I continued up the road to Goron City. I explored the village, chatted with Gorons, and did some shopping as well. I quickly learned that it’s so hot here, that I can cook food by just setting it on the ground! You gotta love the facial expressions of the Gorons, especially when they’re shocked.

Aji: Wow, really?! I haven't had a customer in ages!At the armor shop, I bought some flamebreaker boots to go with my armor. That will give me an extra layer of flame resistance. The shop also had a matching helmet, but it was 2,000 rupees and I was a bit short on money.

Anyway, I soon learned that I needed to go to the north mine to look for a young Goron named Yunobo. I headed that way, but I ended up stopping at several shrines on the way. I completed two of them, but during the third one, I ran out of arrows. So I left the shrine and took a little break.

I bought some arrows, I did some cooking, I visited a fairy to enhance my new clothes, and I exchanged four spirit orbs for another heart container. When I was good and ready, I returned to the shrine and completed it.

Once I figured out how to use the cannons at the north mine, I was able to rescue Yunobo.

Yunobo: Monsters! They're here! They found me! Help!
I’m starting to regret rescuing this crybaby.

After making a stop back at Goron City, the two of us headed up Death Mountain towards Divine Beast Vah Rudania. On the way up, we had to sneak past (or destroy) some guardian sentries. Using my horse-calling whistle, I could call out to Yunobo to tell him when to go or stop. The system certainly wasn’t flawless. Yunobo seemed to get stuck standing on small rocks just barely a few inches off the ground.

Yunobo can't reach your location.But we eventually made our way up the mountain, firing cannons along the way to push Rudania further up. Eventually, we got Rudania to retreat into the volcano. That’s when I hopped on board. But before going inside, I wanted to try something else…

So I teleported back to the Korok Forest, where the Master Sword sleeps. I again tried to pull it out…and this time, I succeeded! I now have the Master Sword! 😀

Link pulls out the Master Sword in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild for Nintendo Switch.At last, I finally have a sword that won’t break! Ahh, but sadly, there is a catch. If you use the Master Sword too much, its power will run out and you’ll need to wait ten minutes for it to recharge. So it’s still not a weapon that you can use all the time. What is with Nintendo, anyway? Why can’t we have (and keep) nice things?

After trading in some more Korok seeds with Hestu (to expand more storage slots), I returned to Rudania. When I first went inside, I was surprised to see everything turn dark! You can only see blue flames and certain enemies, and you must use a torch to spread the light to other rooms. Even though the darkness makes it hard to see, I really enjoyed the atmosphere of playing this way. Really cool!

Link holds a blue flame with a torch inside the darkness of Rudania in Zelda BOTW.I made my way to the control station, which gave me the map of the beast. I was legitimately disappointed when the lights then came back on. The controls allow me to rotate Rudania 90 degrees, turning the entire beast. Turning it back and forth will be required to activate all of the terminals.

The map of Divine Beast Vah Rudania in Zelda: Breath of the Wild.Most of the terminals weren’t very hard to figure out, but one of them was a bit tricky. But I got it before too long. I think I’m getting the hang of these divine beasts now. I then went over to the main control unit; activating it caused the boss to appear.

I waled on him with my Master Sword, taking away half of his health before he even had a chance to attack! He then changed tactics so I didn’t defeat him instantly, but it was still a surprisingly quick and easy fight.

That earned me another heart container, and the Goron champion Daruk gave me a new defensive ability. There’s only one more divine beast left! I may head that way next time.

Divine Beast Vah Medoh & The Lost Woods

In Breath of the Wild, I returned to Akkala Tower. I’ve been there several times before, but each time, something prevented me from reaching the top. Either I was short on time, or it would rain (preventing me from climbing), or I just had trouble finding my way past that purple slime. But this time, I arched my back and found a way up.

Link stands on an arch near Akkala Tower in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.I then headed over to the flight range, where I met the Rito warrior Teba. To prove my worth, I had to complete his test. While soaring on my paraglider, I had to shoot five targets within three minutes. It was a shockingly easy task to complete.

Shooting at a target at the flight range in Zelda BOTW.

Once I passed (with flying colors), he agreed to take me up to Divine Beast Vah Medoh. I had to shoot bomb arrows at Medoh’s cannons. I had no trouble doing this, and I found it considerably easier than defeating Vah Ruta.

Flying to Divine Beast Vah Medoh in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.

So I then landed on the bird-shaped beast, and this is basically another dungeon. Once I found the map, I was able to control the tilt of the beast’s wings. It works the same way as Ruta’s trunk: Changing the setting is necessary to reach different areas of the beast. I had to find all of the terminals on board.

Standing on Divine Beast Vah Medoh in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.Inside Divine Beast Vah Medoh in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.

While reaching some of the terminals was a bit more complex than the ones in Vah Ruta, none of them stumped me. As a result, I was able to complete the divine beast (and finish off its boss) in a single play session. I scored another heart container and learned a new ability as well.

I then made a quick stop at Snowfield Stable. Believe it or not, I’ve hardly been using horses at all lately. It’s always a pain to get off the horse each time to pick up an item or investigate something, so I generally travel without one.

Anyway, a sleeping guy named Danton was mumbling in his sleep about a sword that seals the darkness. That would be the Master Sword! I sure would like to get my hands on that, although I didn’t know if I would be able to get it yet. But I kept that thought in mind.

I saw that I still needed to activate a tower in the area north of Central Hyrule, so I headed off in that direction. I soon came across a mysterious, foggy area down below.

Looking down on a foggy enclosed area in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.

That looked very suspicious, so I paraglided down into the fog. But I was overwhelmed by the fog, and soon found myself back on the mountain where I had jumped from! Clearly this was not the way to get in. But it looked like the entrance wasn’t far from the tower I was going to, so I thought I’d try for both.

I soon reached Woodland Tower. I crossed a moat and then scaled and activated the tower. That gave me the map to this area, and it showed me the way into the mysterious foggy area (which was not yet named on the map).

I glided down, followed the path, and soon my suspicions and hopes were confirmed: This is the Lost Woods!

The entrance to the Lost Woods in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.

I’ve been a Zelda fan for a long time, so I know a bit about the Lost Woods. I’ve mist it much! 😉 It’s a confusing place where it’s easy to get lost and find yourself back where you started. But it’s also the home of the Master Sword!

It takes some trial-and-error, some slow movement, and also some quick retreats when the fog starts to surround you. After a while, I made it through and found myself at Korok Forest. I woke up the great Deku Tree! He’s a throwback to Ocarina of Time. The Master Sword was also here! But I soon discovered that I am not yet worthy of the sword.

Failing to pull out the Master Sword in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild for Nintendo Switch.

I chatted with the Koroks here, and I met back up with Hestu…finally! I’ve been looking for him for a long time, but I didn’t have the foggiest idea where to find him. I traded in some more Korok seeds to expand my inventory to hold more weapons, bows, and shields.

Hestu: So you want to expand another stash?

I also learned of three Korok trials. Each would require a new mission into the Lost Woods, and each one leads to a shrine. So I set off on my journey through the woods.

Attempting one of the Korok trials in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.I completed all three of the trials, but my reward for doing so was a bit underwhelming.

Anyway, I saw that only one section of my map was missing. So I teleported to Wasteland Tower, flew down to a shrine, and then continued on. After a little while, I made my way to Gerudo Tower and activated it. My map of Hyrule is now complete!

Gerudo Tower in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.After completing another shrine nearby, I wrapped up my game. Next time, I plan on heading for the land of the Gorons! Of course, there’s always a chance I could get distracted and go somewhere else instead. That’s what I love about this game. See you next time!