Posted in Gaming, Nintendo Switch, Zelda Breath of the Wild

Zelda BotW: Wolf Link

botwspoilers

I’m not a big collector of amiibo. I only own two, and those came with special edition orders of Yoshi’s Wooly World (cute yarn Yoshi) and Twilight Princess (Wolf Link).

I totally understand the collect-ability draw behind amiibo. Maybe when I was younger, this would have appealed to me. But now days, I’m a little more practical, and I think to myself, “Where would I put them all if I had them?”

I also have grown to care about functionality… and for the most part, amiibo don’t add a lot to the types of games I play on my Nintendo system (I never got heavily into Smash). However, Breath of the Wild is starting to change my mind… mostly because amiibo have pretty good bonuses to them for once!

Of course, by the time I get slightly interested in looking for amiibo, they’re all gone and hard to find. But there’s one amiibo that I don’t have to go looking for: Wolf Link. I like wolves and I like Link, so I went ahead and bought the bundle for the amiibo back when Twilight Princess first came out. I haven’t actually played Twilight Princess, so it’s been sitting on my mantel every since.

wolflink

I’m now very happy that I did pick this up. Because I discovered that using this amiibo grants me a temporary Wolf Link companion in Breath of the Wild.

Now, if there’s anything I like almost as much as mounts, it’s pets. So this really put even more awesome into my BotW game.

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Wolf Link is pretty darn amazing. His default starts with three hearts, but if you level up the amiibo (?) in Twilight Princess, he can have a lot more. As I said, I haven’t played Twilight Princess yet, so I don’t know how this works. But I’m very tempted now.

He fight enemies with you and he automatically hunts animals in your vicinity, dropping meat for you to gather. If he’s short on life, you can also let him eat that meat to restore his hearts.

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He’s actually not half bad in a fight, and having something that so effortlessly hunts for you is amazing! If he does die, you can’t summon him again till the next day, but it’s still neat. Not to mention it just feels very cool to have a tough wolf fighting next to you.

Now, I’m not saying you should go out and pay the over-priced cost to buy this amiibo just for this, but be aware if you own the Wolf Link, it gives a pretty cool pet in this game. For once, I’m really glad I have an amiibo, and I am excited about the functionality of it.

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Posted in Gaming, Nintendo Switch, Zelda Breath of the Wild

Zelda BotW: Light My Fire

botwspoilers

Last time, I mentioned that I needed to take my incomplete Slate to the lab located in the village. There, I met Purah, who obviously remembered Link, though he didn’t remember her…

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She was more than willing to help restore the Slate, but there was one problem. The fire in the forge used to power the equipment had burned out. So I was tasked with re-kindling this flame.

I was told that there was a forge in town that burned with a blue flame, and that by taking a torch, I could transfer the fire to the one at the lab. Only, this wasn’t totally accurate. The forge wasn’t actually in town (took me a while to find it), more like on the outskirts of town near the sheep farms.

Once I did find it, though, it wasn’t too difficult to light my torch and carry it back. Purah also hinted that I should light the lamps along the way, which seemed like a solid tactic should my torch go out for any reason. So I did that.

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I’ve read about the frustrations of trying to do this when it’s raining outside. Thankfully, the rain held off until I got the forge up at the lab lit!

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Once that was done, I went back inside and restored the missing features of the Slate.

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These features… oh my gosh! As if this game didn’t give me enough to spend my time on!

So. Now, the Slate can work as a camera, something like your own mobile device. As you take pictures of things – creatures, plants, materials, weapons, items, enemies – they get listed in what’s known as the Hyrule Compendium.

Below is my woefully blank page.

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Yet another interesting system that challenges the completionist in you. I didn’t even know I needed (or didn’t need) it until I saw it.

On top of that, the Sheikah Sensor was also unlocked. This allows you to hone in on something, like shrines, and alerts you when you come near one. You can also take a picture of something and track it from the compendium!

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And last, but not least, Link discovers that the Slate already had some pictures on it!

Purah suggests Link take these back to Impa, who informs him that these may be tied to memories of his past. So, in visiting these locations, he might be able to start filling in the story of the past.

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I’m totally there… if I can find it.

This game just keeps on expanding and going in unexpected directions. Now, I’m left not just gathering everything, but trying to frantically fill my pages with pictures of creatures, weapons, enemies, etc.

This is crazy… in a great way!

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Posted in Gaming, Nintendo Switch, Zelda Breath of the Wild

Zelda BotW: Arrival in Hateno Village

botwspoilers

First thing’s first, I caught and tamed a new horse. That handsome blanketed Pinto up there is aptly named Pinter.

Next, I overlooked a little information about the meeting I had with Impa in my previous post. Another thing she told me was that my Slate was missing some of its basic functionality. She said that Link should head to the village of Hateno where there were facilities to get that fixed.

What I didn’t count on was so many other things I’d find there!

Cursed Statue

The first thing I saw when I arrived was this strange kid. He wanted me to follow him, so I did. He showed me this ominous statue, which held a conversation with Link. Basically, you can come to this statue to switch your extra heart containers and stamina points around as much as you like.

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A little creepy, but a good deal!

Housing

The next thing I found was super exciting for me. Somewhere in the back of my mind, I wondered if there would be a form of housing in the game. Well, I discovered, yes, there is indeed.

I found a house that a group of construction workers were going to tear down. Instead, I struck a deal with the head of the company to buy it from him. I just needed 3,000 rupees and a stack of wood.

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Awesome! I’ll get right on that!

Dyeing Gear

Things just keep getting better and better in this village. I found the dye shop! All you have to do is pay the keeper and contribute items of a certain color to get the job done.

And boom! Link in blue!

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New Armor

Of course, right after I dye my old armor, I discover a shop that’s selling better armor than what I have.

Annnd… so I bought it.

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This is good, though. It’s become my go-to armor for battle now days.

I picked up a bunch of quests, explored the village, and eventually made it to the lab at the top of the hill. I’ll talk about that next time, though!

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Posted in Gaming, Nintendo Switch, Uncategorized, Zelda Breath of the Wild

Zelda BotW: Shalaka! Hestu and Korok Seeds

botwspoilers

Up until now, I haven’t mentioned the Korok seed gathering that I’d been doing from time to time. Anytime you see something slightly out of the ordinary, or climb to the top of a place that seems interesting, and find a rock to pick up, there’s usually a Korok hiding there. I really like this because it keeps me on the lookout for little mini-puzzles, and it rewards exploration in little ways.

Plus, they’re just dang cute.

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Anyhow, I didn’t know there was a purpose to the seeds until about this point in the game. I was riding out of the village, and the night was settling in. I saw a strange shape waiting along side the road. I approached it carefully… because after meeting with Impa, I’d been getting jumped by disguised assassins from the Yiga clan. And they’re pretty nasty.

It turns out this tree-guy is okay. His name is Hestu, and nearby baddies have stolen his maracas.

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This sounds like a job for Link!

It really wasn’t that difficult to clean out the camp, which was just up over the hill. I took care of that quickly…

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…and returned the instruments back to their grateful owner…

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Only, that’s not where this story ends. The problem was, there was nothing inside the maracas to make sound for some reason. But Hestu cut me an interesting deal because…

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So, as I bring him the seeds I’ve collected for his maracas, he gives me new slots for weapons, shields and bows. I jumped on this opportunity immediately! The more weapons I can carry, the better!

Upgrades cost an increasing amount of seeds the more that you buy. It starts at one seed, then two, then three, and keeps going. This is individually based on type, so your first weapon slot is 1 seed, your first bow slot is 1 seed, etc. After upgrading a certain amount of times, he will move on to his next location in the game.

There are a total of 900 Korok seeds you can find in the game, but you don’t need anywhere that many to unlock all the inventory upgrades. I doubt I’ll be spending that much time and effort to find all of them, myself, though it’s another fun little system in this game.

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Posted in Gaming, Nintendo Switch, Zelda Breath of the Wild

Zelda BotW: Arriving in Kakariko Village

botwspoilers

A while back, a certain Old Man advised me to seek out Impa in Kakariko Village. So, after I took some time among horses, I headed up that way. This was the first village I came across in the game.

I have to say that I really love the atmosphere of this place. It’s serene and peaceful, giving a good feeling of what life must have been like before the calamity struck. This is the settlement of the Sheikah, and most of them know what it means that Link comes riding in wearing the Slate.

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It’s actually kinda nice that Link is already established as a knight and hero, especially to those who remember him. Instead of being some upstart no one knows about or some forseen prophecy coming true, Link really was already a part of this story 100 years ago.

Seeing the NPCs react to his return in various ways is interesting. And while amnesia is still a bit of a trope, the fact Link doesn’t remember allows the player to take on his role and learn the past through his discoveries. From a storytelling point of view, this works.

So there’s several things that happened in this village. Most of them are spoilers. You’ve been warned.

Most importantly, I met with Impa. And she knew exactly what was up.

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This is where the game’s story starts to open up. She informs me that long ago, Zelda and Link fought against Ganon with the help of 4 Divine Beasts and their Champions. This has a sorta mecha-feel to it since these Divine Beasts are huge magic-technological structures in the shape of 4 animals, and the Champions remind me a lot of pilots.

These Divine Beasts were taken over and turned against Hyrule by Ganon, which was what led to the major defeat 100 years ago. Impa’s quest is, therefore, to find these Divine Beasts and release them from Ganon’s control. Having them on Link’s side is probably a very logical and good idea.

Anyhow, these beasts are scattered across the map. And for the first time, I took a good look at it and saw how large the world really is!

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And that’s really that for what Impa said. I now have a quest to seek out these Divine Beasts, which will send me into contact with the other races/peoples of the world. Sounds cool.

The next thing I did was pick up a new set of armor. I got this neat hooded set, which was a big improvement over the basic shirt and pants I woke up with.

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The village has several small quests for NPCs which I won’t go into, but suffice to say, I stuck around several in-game days to complete as many of these as I could find.

I also found the Shrine at the top of the hill where I had my first battle challenge. This one was meant to teach you about dodging, parry, and other attack techniques you can only do when locked in on an enemy. I did pass the challenge, but I’m still not very practiced in any of the things the game tried to teach me there.

At least I got this cool sword.

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Travelling even further up the hill, I ran across this strange… flower structure. After paying it some gil, I found myself face to face with… uh…

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Yeah… I’ll talk more about her later as I didn’t actually know what her purpose was until a few RL days after I found this place.

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Posted in Gaming, Nintendo Switch, Zelda Breath of the Wild

Zelda BotW: Under the Blood Moon

botwspoilers

So while I was out and about trying to learn how to tame and ride my first horse, something very odd began to happen. Something I’d never seen in the game before.

I noticed that it was getting dark, and the rain moved in. Then, something red began to glow on the horizon.

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Oh crap, what is this? 

I didn’t know if I was about to die, if it was some sort of enemy, or what it meant. Thankfully, the game had it covered, and Zelda narrated the meaning behind what was my first ever Blood Moon.

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Blood moons happen from time to time during the course of the game. I tried to see if this was just a random night, or if there was a set pattern to this, but everything I’m reading seems to say their occurrence is random.

Apparently there’s a fan theory that blood moons are more likely to appear if you’ve killed a lot of enemies. Nothing proven here, either.

What we do know is during a blood moon, enemies that you’ve killed will respawn. Also, I’ve read that the materials you’ve gathered like mushrooms, ore, and herbs, will respawn.

I don’t know if enemies are harder during a blood moon as I’ve never gone out of my way to fight during this time. The thing to be careful of is not to be caught in a camp you cleared out during one of these things… or you’ll find yourself in bad company fast.

Also, this is a good time to try cooking as you can get bonuses to your food during a blood moon.

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Before the blood moon, I did wonder if enemies in the game would ever respawn in areas I’d cleared. It took several days outside of the Plateau before my first blood moon, when my question was finally answered.

I think using a mechanic like a blood moon for enemy respawn is a fantastic idea. This way, you clear camps without worry, have the reward of seeing the enemy defeated for a while, then after respawn, you can come back if you need to fight for weapons or gather more materials.

One guide noted that Guardians respawn in Shrines you’ve cleared as well, so that means you can go back and pick up more guardian weapons from them. Good idea!

Anyhow, this mechanic just goes to show how much thought was put into the BotW systems. I even watched a video last night that justified why weapons break in the game… I guess after thinking about it this way, it does make sense. I still grumble a bit about it, but I suppose I understand.

Next time, Link finally gets to move on in the storyline. I promise!

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Posted in FFXIV, Gaming, MMORPGs, Nintendo Switch, Zelda Breath of the Wild

Zelda BotW: Wild Horse Catching and Taming Guide

botwspoilers

I was informed that there were stables on the other side of Twin Peaks, and that should be my next goal. I was all for this, because where there are stables, there are horses. And you guys know how much of a horse lover I am by now!

I knew nothing about the mount system in this game, so as I made my way towards the first stables, I wondered how much I’d have to save to buy my first horse. I was slowly gathering rupees, which I’d just begun seeing once I left the plateau. So, imagine my surprise when I got there and was told horses could be mine… for free!

In fact, they started teasing me about it the moment I talked to the first NPCs I saw outside the stable.

Why, yes. Yes, I am!

Oh, absolutely. Link even has a pony tail (get it?).

Yes! Yes! Yes!

So they go on to tell me that you can just catch a wild horse and tame them. I was head over heels with excitement! I didn’t expect this game to have a horse catching/taming system in the slightest! But they did give me a bit of advice…

Patterned horses are easier to catch, but have lower stats (will get to stats in a moment). Horses that are more solid colors are harder to catch, but have better stats overall. There does seem to be some inbetweens, too. For example, a paint horse has some lower stats than a blanket pinto does, though both of them were about the same difficulty to catch.

Catching Your Wild Horse

There are several herds of horses out on the plains near the stables. Just have to look around to find them. Also, be careful because a few of the Guardians out there do activate, which can lead to sudden death.

Once you find a horse that catches your eye, crouch down and sneak towards it. On the Switch, that’s pressing in on the left joystick.

Keep in mind that you need to try to be behind the horse. They will see you sneaking up in front of them.

Also, if you alert one of the horses in the herd, they will often send the whole herd scattering, so be careful.

Once you’re close enough to the horse, you’ll be prompted to press A to mount.

The horse will then try to buck you off, depending on how spirited they are (more solid colored horses are more spirited). Start hammering the top L button as fast as possible to wear them down. If you do get bucked off, follow the horse and keep trying. I read that your attempts to catch them do stack as long as you do it within a short period of time.

Once you’re on the horse’s back, your controls will change. This is reflected down at the bottom of the screen.

The horse is not tamed yet, and may not always respond to your commands.

But the first thing you should do is get them to the stables to register them.

Registering Your New Horse

So ride your new horse to the stables and go to the front window to talk to the guy there. You can talk to NPCs while mounted by holding ZL and pressing A at the same time.

Registering costs 20 rupees, but earns you an automatic saddle and bridle. You can also name your horse.

However, before you register, you’ll see something important: the horses’ stats.

Here’s what my first horse’s stats looked like:

Strength – How a horse holds up if they get in a battle. Horses will usually try to flee battle, but if they get hit, more strength is better. Yes, horses can die.

Speed – Overall top speed. Faster is faster, but also makes it harder to maneuver your horse.

Stamina – How many spur icons you have on the screen while riding, allowing you to urge the horse to break into a run.

Then, of course, there’s Temperament, which is self explanatory and the Bond you’re forming with your horse through taming.

Taming Your Wild Horse

Now, it’s time to tame your wild horse. You can do this by pressing the L button to soothe the horse, which increases the horse’s affection towards you.

But you can’t just do this randomly. The kids at the stable suggested to only soothe when the horse does something that you asked it to. Sorta like rewarding the horse for obeying a command.

The easiest way I’ve found to tame horses is to ride them toward fences — they will automatically jump over (or balk at the attempt). Soothing them right after a successful jump always earns affection. 

Taming doesn’t take too long, and is really worth it. There’s nothing worse than fighting with your not-tame horse to go in the direction you need to when enemies leap out of the bush!

Horse Tips

  • You can only register 5 horses at a time.
  • If you already have 5 horses registered, when you try to register another, the stables will prompt you to release a horse of your choice.
  • Horses can die, but they can also be revived.
  • Horses will automatically follow a road without your guidance. So if you ride them to the road, you can just let them do all the navigation work.
  • You can take out a horse at any stable you come across, even if you left the horse somewhere else in the world.
  • Your horse is always marked on the map, and you can use the horse whistle to call them as long as you’re in range.
  • You can customize your horse’s looks at some stables.
  • There are special horses and horse quests, so be on the lookout!
  • You can get Epona in game from scanning an Amiibo. While Epona has good stats, she doesn’t have the best stats of all horses in the game, believe it or not.
  • Added Tip: You can also feed the horse apples to tame it! I didn’t know that — thanks My Gaymer Blog!