Divine Beast Vah Ruta

After some more exploring in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, I made my way to Tabantha Tower. I scaled it and activated it.

Activating Tabantha Tower.From the top of the tower, I spotted a new fairy spring. So I paraglided down and met the Great Fairy Kaysa!

Kaysa: How would you like to live here with me, hmm?After paying her a fee, she upgraded some of my clothing to improve my defensive stats. I then completed a nearby shrine.

I traded in four spirit orbs for another heart container, and I decided it was time to head back up to Ploymus Mountain. Fortunately, the big angry dude from before didn’t spot me, and I was able to sneak past him. Even better, I found enough shock arrows stuck in trees that I got more than the 20 that I needed!

Once I got to Shatterback Point, I had to glide down to the lake below. On my first attempt, I tried to land directly on the Divine Beast Vah Ruta. But it had a force-field around it, and I died pretty quickly.

I bounce off a force field surrounding Ruta.So I tried again, realizing I needed to find Prince Sidon. He told me I needed to ride on him as he swims up to the giant mechanical elephant known as Vah Ruta. Sidon took me close, then I had to swim up the waterfalls and shoot the elephant’s pink orbs with shock arrows. Once I landed enough hits, the water coming out of Vah Ruta slowed down. I thought I was done…and then Sideon took me closer, telling me now the real work starts.

Sidon: Looks like this is where the real work starts.He took me to the entrance of Vah Ruta, and told me to look for a map inside. That actually sounded good to me, because it meant I was finally getting to a dungeon in the game! I was surprised there hadn’t been any dungeons yet, although some shrines are kind of like mini-dungeons in a way.

Inside, I activated a terminal (the first of five) and began exploring. A bit later, I found the map and acquired the ability to adjust the trunk of the elephant. Water constantly streams from the trunk, so adjusting the trunk is necessary to reach certain areas–including the big top of the elephant.

The map of Divine Beast Ruta.Paragliding inside Divine Beast Vah Ruta.Through exploration and some trial-and-error, I was able to activate most of the terminals. But there was one terminal in particular that was causing me problems, and it took me several play sessions over a few days before I finally figured it out.

For those who don’t know how I play, I try to avoid spoilers if at all possible (and other people’s videos/walkthroughs) because I feel it’s more satisfying to figure everything out for myself. Even if it means some puzzles (or other obstacles) may take me longer than if I just watched a video or Googled it.

But once I finally activated that last terminal, I fought a boss and completed the dungeon. That earned me another heart container. The story advanced, I got a very helpful reward, and then I found myself back in Zora’s Domain.

The crowd gathers to thank me at Zora's Domain.Everyone thanked me, and I took the time to shop and do some cooking. I met up with a Zora named Torfeau, and he had a side quest for me. He told me to defeat the Hinox (a giant) over by Ralis Pond. He said that this should be a piece of cake…fish cake, to be exact.

Torfeau: For he who saved the domain, this should be a piece of fish cake.
Mental note: Do not order dessert while in Zora’s Domain.

So once I was done in Zora’s Domain, I checked my map and headed for Ralis Pond. I found the giant there, and after I woke him up, he had his eye on me. I think he just wanted a big hug.

The blue hinox looks at me with his one eye, as his arms are outstretched.Okay, not really. He literally pulled trees out of the ground and then tried to beat me to a pulp with them. If I ran too far away, he would throw the logs at me. I think I barked up the wrong tree by picking a fight with guy.

While I wouldn’t call him a piece of cake (fish or otherwise), I wood not be deterred. After several minutes of fighting, I defeated him and collected some interesting items…namely his guts, teeth, and toenails. I bet I can gross out Zelda with these!

Hinox Toenail: A nail obtained from a Hinox. It's as thick as a plate of armor and can be stewed with critters to make elixirs.
This makes for an interesting footnote.

I returned to Torfeau, and he rewarded me with 100 rupees. Rupees aren’t exactly my favorite reward, but I’ll take them. I then left Zora’s Domain once again and headed off for some more exploration. I made my way to Eldin Tower and activated it.

Activating Eldin Tower, overlooking some lava.From there, I glided down to Foothill Stable and chatted with the people there. I then completed a nearby shrine before wrapping up my game. I have no idea where I’ll go next time, but we’ll see. 🙂

Spring of Wisdom

When I continued in Breath of the Wild, I soon found myself at Highland Stable. Something about the woman feeding the horses caught my eye. Her shirt tail was hanging down, and…well…I thought it was her butt crack. Feeling a Draft of the Wind perhaps?

The back of a woman's shirt resembles a butt crack.
Maybe I shouldn’t be cheeky and crack a joke about this, butt I can’t help it.

Picasso Pikango the painter was inside the stable, and he told me where I could find the location shown in one of Zelda’s photos. So I decided to head that direction, after I completed a nearby shrine first.

When I was ready, I made my way around the east end of Lake Hylia. I found several Korok seeds along the way, and I also fought this thing. And I’m not trying to be bigheaded or anything, but I really like this picture. 😛

Link prepares to attack an enemy with a very large head.
Time for some brain surgery.

I soon reached my destination, and a glowing spot on the ground allowed me to trigger the memory of training in this spot a long time ago. I then returned to Impa, and she gave me some new clothes, the champion’s tunic. It allows me to see the hit points of each enemy I encounter.

While I was in Kakariko Village, I also traded in four spirit orbs for another heart container. I then had the fairy upgrade my new tunic.

After that, I started exploring in a completely new direction. I headed to Gerudo Valley, where I did a lot of climbing, and I was up really high. I’m not usually scared of heights, but that almost changed here. 😉 I kept thinking “don’t fall, don’t fall, don’t fall.” 😛

Link stands on a small platform at the top of a canyon.Eventually, I made my way to the Wasteland Tower and activated it. I didn’t venture into the desert though, I just continued through the canyon. Eventually, I decided to teleport to Outskirt Stable to complete a side quest.

Later, I headed west. Despite the thunderstorm going on, I recognized a scene from another of Zelda’s photos. I recovered another memory there.

A horse statue in a thunderstorm.I then made my way to Ridgeland Tower, where I had perhaps my most frustrating moments in the game so far. After crossing the lake to get to the tower itself, I was having a lot of trouble climbing up the tower. I was under attack from lizards and wizards, and their projectiles (lizard spit and the wizards’ electric balls) kept knocking me back down.

Link getting zapped while climbing a tower.Even when you eat food that gives you shock resistance, the zaps still knock you down. And once you get farther up, you have to deal with electric bats too.

Between deaths, I did stop to see my first rainbow, though.

Link admires a rainbow in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.It took me a number of attempts, and I used an even greater number of food items, but I eventually made it to the top. There, I found a man who was stranded with no way to get down.

When he learned I could use my paraglider to safely soar to the ground, he was excited. He wanted me to show him how I do it, and to see how far I can travel. So I did. I traveled 450 meters, and his reaction was quite surprising.

Branli: This does NOTHING for my research!He started insulting me and saying my paltry performance doesn’t help his research at all. EXCUSE ME? You’re the guy that’s stuck up here without a way down, and you’re insulting me for only flying 450 meters? You can’t even glide at all! I wanted to hurt him sooo bad.

Animated GIF of Link trying to beat Branli at the top of the Ridgeland Tower.I explored nearby, and I met up with Kass, a bird of the Rito tribe.

Kass: Have you...never met a Rito before? Odd.
A bird playing an accordion? Are you “Weird Owl” Yankovic?

He gave me a hint as to how to open up a new shrine, but I didn’t find the right spot to do it just yet. Instead, I continued exploring. My roaming led me to the coliseum ruins. But when I saw this guy inside that had 2,000 HP, I ran out of there before I was slaughtered.

A large enemy with 2000/2000 HP.After returning to Hateno Village, I decided to try visiting the Spring of Wisdom up on Mount Lanayru. So I put on my warm doublet, ate some spicy sauteed peppers, and started climbing.

Climbing Mount Lanayru.I won’t give away all the details, but once I got there, I ended up fighting a dragon in mid-air! Very cool, and definitely not what I was expecting!

Flying over a dragon in Breath of the Wild.A new shrine opened up, and after taking the weapon in a treasure chest, I was able to walk right up and complete the shrine. The Spring of Wisdom now provides another place I can pray to exchange spirit orbs for heart containers or stamina vessels. For some reason, I was expecting there to be a fairy here.

I did a little shrine hunting after that, completing a couple and failing at a couple others. I’ll see you next time.

NES Classic, At Last

It took me an insane four and a half months to track one down, but I finally got my NES Classic Edition earlier this week. I posted about the NES Classic when it was first announced last July, but now I own one for myself.

I knew the NES Classic was going to be small, but it didn’t fully sink in how small it is until I saw it first-hand. For comparison, here’s the NES Classic next to my New Nintendo 3DS XL.

NES Classic Edition system next to a red New 3DS XL.THE GOOD

I really like the game library overall, and it really helps that it includes third-party games. The 30 games provide a good variety of genres and include many of the system’s best games.

I also like that there are different ways to sort the game list. Sort them alphabetically, by publisher, by two-player games, by recently played, by the number of times played, or by release date.

You can also save your progress with “suspend points,” and you can keep up to four suspend points per game. Very helpful.

And of course, I also like the HDMI cable. You get a much better quality picture than composite video or RF. My top-loader NES only has the RF connections, so the quality isn’t very good. That’s also a reason I haven’t made many NES game videos on my Youtube channel. You can expect videos of some of these games in the future.


The controller cord is too short. WAY too short. Only 2.5 feet (76cm) long. So you’ll need to be sitting very close to the system. Also, you can’t change games by using the controller alone; you have to press the reset button on the system itself. Well at least it won’t be more than a couple feet away, I suppose. 😛

And while the menu has a tab for manuals, that tab only provides a QR code. You’ll need to scan that QR code with a smartphone or tablet to view the manuals. Why aren’t they built in, as they are in Virtual Console versions? Nintendo keeps making it more and more difficult to access game instructions.

The Games

The NES Classic has 30 games built-in, and while I haven’t played them all in depth yet, I have at least sampled each one. There are many that I’m already quite familiar with, and some others that are new to me. I’ll talk about them in groups, based on my previous experiences with each game. You can also view my page of NES Reviews for my thoughts on the games I’ve already played on the original hardware.

2-Player Favorites

Dr. Mario, Super C, Double Dragon II: The Revenge, and Tecmo Bowl have long been among my favorite two-player games on the original Nintendo Entertainment System. While I do already own these four games in one form or another, the NES Classic provides an easy way to take it all with me without having to lug around a bunch of cartridges. And fortunately, the second player can use a Wii Classic Controller or Classic Controller Pro.

Gameplay screenshot of Super C on NES Classic Edition.
Super C
Single Player Great-NES

The Legend of Zelda, Super Mario Bros. 1-3, Ninja Gaiden, Castlevania, Mega Man 2, Metroid, Kirby’s Adventure, Excitebike, and StarTropics are enjoyable NES games I’ve played in the past. But a few of these, particularly The Legend of Zelda and Ninja Gaiden, are games I haven’t owned in years. So it’s good to have them back in my collection.

Gameplay screenshot of Super Mario Bros. 3 on NES Classic Edition.
Super Mario Bros. 3

Donkey Kong, Donkey Kong Jr., Mario Bros., Balloon Fight, and Castlevania II: Simon’s Quest are games that I’ve played before, but aren’t really anything special to me. Galaga and Pac-Man also fit into this category, even though I haven’t played them on NES before–just on other platforms. They’re decent games, but they’re not as great as the games mentioned above.

Gameplay screenshot of Balloon Fight on NES Classic Edition.
Balloon Fight
Know the Series, But Not the Game

Final Fantasy, Gradius, Ghosts ‘n Goblins, and Zelda II: The Adventure of Link are games that I haven’t played before, but they’re from series that I am familiar with. These should be good games to delve into.

Gameplay screenshot of Gradius on NES Classic Edition.
Mostly New to Me

Ice Climber, Kid Icarus, Punch-Out!!, and Bubble Bobble are mostly new to me. Why mostly? Because three of the four (all but Bubble Bobble) were featured in NES Remix Pack on Wii U. The full games weren’t included of course, just very brief challenges from those games.

Gameplay screenshot of Bubble Bobble on NES Classic Edition.
Bubble Bobble

Overall Thoughts

I’m really happy with the NES Classic so far. I will probably end up buying an extension cable for the controller, though. I’m enjoying playing some of these old games once again, and the system itself is just a cool collectible that I’m happy to add to my collection.

I particularly have an urge to (fully) re-play Super Mario Bros. 2, Super Mario Bros. 3, and the original Legend of Zelda. It’s been a very long time since I’ve completed those games, and I’m looking forward to enjoying them once again. I will likely talk about them in a future blog entry, although at the moment, I want to get back into Breath of the Wild soon.

If classic games (and the NES in particular) appeal to you, I think you’ll be pleased with the NES Classic Edition. If you’re able to find one, that is. Good luck and happy hunting!