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

Nintendo Switch Weekend: Zelda BotW & Minecraft

So I spent a good chunk of my weekend playing my Nintendo Switch, and I had every intention to blog about it yesterday. But that was before I came down with this cold/flu business, and before the Stormblood hype took my attention away.

I juggled between Zelda and Minecraft most the weekend, and overall had a pretty awesome time with them both.

Minecraft

Most of what I did in Minecraft this weekend was to take the little village I discovered and start building protection around it. Seen here, it has a nice snowy mountain backdrop and everything.

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I built my own house as part of the town, and tried my hand at actually building something more than a box for once. It’s not fantastic, but functional for now.

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As I started putting a fence around the village and placing torches, I found a hill I decided I wanted to level so I could use the land as pasture or more building space.

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As I started pulling it down, I discovered there was a tiny underground cave with a pool there. I thought that was kinda neat, so I kept the water and turned it into a village swimming pool area. Here’s what it looked like after I got it cleared and fixed up.

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Me being me, I also captured a bunch of horses, including this mother and son pair. Once the son grew up, I tamed him, too!

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I’ve got most of the fencing and lighting complete, and have been testing it at night to see where danger might come from. I’ll be building more houses to hopefully expand the population soon!

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Zelda: Breath of the Wild

I’d wanted to chronicle my adventurers of Zelda, but lost momentum with that back when a power surge took out my Switch’s dock and power supply. I did get this repaired, and actually was able to replace the power supply of all the gadgets I owned, except for my TV (RIP). I ended up replacing my TV with a nice monitor, so all is well.

However, with the Switch out of commission, I didn’t make my goal of defeating my second Divine Beast in Zelda in April. Over the weekend, however, I rectified that!

Warning: Spoilers!

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I went in thinking that Rudania would be as difficult or harder that Ruta. I was really surprised when I breezed through it, including the boss fight. Unlike Ruta, I only got stuck on one of the doors, and it was due to a technicality.

So I beat up the boss there and gained a new protection skill for Link!

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Following that, I cleared a handful of Shrines, and found a new fairy for gear upgrades!

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I then tackled clearing some of the towers, including one up in the north that I’d been puzzling over for a while. This unlocked a bunch of the map I didn’t have before, and I felt pretty darn accomplished. I still have a lot more to go, though.

I headed off to the south west where the land turned dry and desert. Though I’d faced Death Mountain, which required fire resistance, this area required heat resistance instead. It’s still very neat and atmospheric.

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I got my first glimpse of the next Divine Beast on my list. This looks like it’ll be a doozy with sandstorms and lightning.

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And then, I run into Gerudo Town, which doesn’t allow Link to enter because he’s a guy. Of course, the answer to this was pretty simple.

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Anyhow, I got in to talk to the chief there, and they gave me a quest to recover a stolen artifact to prove I’m really a legendary hero. And…. that’s pretty much where I left off.

Honestly, my quest log in BotW is getting quite long with unfinished quests to the point I’m getting antsy and feeling a bit behind in that area. I know it’s not important and that you can play the game at your own pace, but I don’t like a messy quest log. So I might have to clean that up before I keep moving forward.

Disgaea Disappointment

One last thing about the Switch. Disgaea 5 came out today, and though I pre-order a copy from Amazon a week ago, my copy didn’t come. It seems Amazon had oversold their pre-order stock or something, and they don’t know when they’ll be getting any more in.

Seeing that between the Prime discount and some Amazon trade-in credit I got the game for an extremely discounted price, I’m going to try and wait it out on this. I’ve got plenty enough to keep my attention with Zelda and Minecraft, especially after hearing just how deep down the rabbit hole Disgaea can take you.

If you want to know more, check this out:

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

Zelda BotW: Features Around Every Corner

botwspoilers

I’ve seen folks try to describe why Breath of the Wild is such a good game (in their opinion). I have a hard time pinning it down myself, but one thing I do know that I like is the game’s ability to surprise me with features I didn’t even know I wanted until they were introduced.

For example, the whole camera and gallery collection tied to the Slate. Hunting down location memories. Housing. Taming and riding horses. Riding… other things…

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Granted, not all of these features are super deep. But put them all together, and they have kept my interest for hours.

Gear Upgrade

Upgrading Link’s gear is another system that I discovered by accident. This is a cool system because it makes the monster drops worth more than just potion brew or vendor trash. It’s a bit similar to the Monster Hunter system, without being too overbearing.

I ran into this system by accident… In returning to the first village, I saw that the painter there had a quest for me. Now that my Slate could take pictures, he commissioned me to photo the Fairy Fountain that I’d found earlier.

I knew where it was already, but I walked up there with him anyhow. I snapped the picture he wanted, and decided that since I was already there, I may as well talk to the great fairy. Imagine my surprise when she informed me that she could upgrade my current gear!

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Yes, please!

In returning to the painter, he was so happy about the picture that he even gave me a hint about the location of one of the memory photos.

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That’s some handy info, thanks!

I later discovered that helping him out with the fairy fountain unlocked the painter who begins to appear at different stables on down the line. He gives hints on where memory locations are based on the pictures, usually somewhere near to the stable. I’m quite thankful because otherwise, I’ve wasted a lot of time trying to find locations without success.

Anyhow, discovery is usually fun in BotW, and the game often sends lots of pleasant surprises. And sometimes unpleasant surprises…

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Just a short post today. Tomorrow I’ll have something a little longer when I become a home owner in Hyrule!

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

April Gaming Goals

I feel like this month is going to be a little light on goals. At the end of the month, Mario Kart for the Switch is releasing, so I know I’ll be putting time into that. I have a few things that I want to accomplish in FFXIV, but it’s mostly just cleaning up stuff before the expansion at this point.

So, let’s see what’s on the list for this month.

Zelda: BotW

  • Defeat second Divine Beast

I’m still taking my time figuring things out in this game, discovering new fun. But I do want to at least beat a second Divine Beast if I can. Make a little progress in the story since I’m enjoying what I do see.

Final Fantasy XIV

  • Complete Singing Cluster Stage of Dragoon Relic ✓
  • Level Black Mage ✓
  • Upgrade Crafter Tools ✓
  • Buy Fokelore Book ✓
  • Buy Master IV Crafting Book(s) ✓

Yep, it seems pretty lax. Most of this can be done through the weekly Delivery system, which I enjoy so much. Fokelore might require a bit of gathering and fishing, however. It would be nice to be able to start gathering stuff I couldn’t gather before.

Going to try to get Black Mage to 50 if possible so the job can share gear with Red Mage and Summoner on down the line. I’d honestly like to get most of my jobs to at least 50 before Stormblood, but I’m not sure how I feel about unlocking Dark Knight and Astro until I have the other three complete!

One job at a time. 🙂

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

March Gaming Goals in Review

I actually did a pretty great job of meeting all my goals this month, even the ones I doubted I’d meet (Umbrite Relic Stage). I spent most my gaming time between Zelda: BotW and FFXIV, as expected. Now that I’ve gotten further into Zelda, I can make next month’s goal a bit more specific.

Here’s what happened in March!

Nintendo Switch Launch

  • Dive deep in Zelda – Breath of the Wild ✓

Yep, definitely did this. I put in more than 30 hours on this game (which is a lot for me) and have only cleared the first Divine Beast. I still have so, so much more to do in this game!

Final Fantasy XIV

  • Upgrade Dragoon Gear ✓
  • Upgrade Alt Job Gear ✓
  • Finish Umbrite Anima Relic Step✓
  • Level Paladin ✓
  • Earn scrips for Crafter and Gatherer ✓

I’ve upgraded all of my Dragoon gear to 270 using tokens earned through the alliance raids. I really don’t feel the need to keep running them at this point, so I’ve been taking a break from Dun Scaith and company. Aside from the weapon, my Dragoon is sitting pretty for the expansion.

I have been upgrading my alt job gear as well. Most of the Bard pieces are at least 260 — I believe I just need hands and feet (or something), which I plan on earning through Scripture over time. I’ve also been upgrading my Intelligence gear in anticipation of Red Mage, and working on a complete set of 200 gear for my Paladin. I’m just piecing together drops from Expert at this point with no real urgency. I get what I get.

I finally finished the Umbrite Step for the Relic Weapon! For a while, I didn’t think it was going to happen this month. But last weekend, I put my nose to the grindstone and finished it up!

My goal was to simply “level Paladin.” My reality was level Paladin to 60. Being a shy tank, I stayed away from leveling roulettes, and did it mostly through Beast Tribe dailies, hunts, FATEs and a solo PotD. It honestly didn’t take as long as I thought, and encourages me to work on my other jobs, now.

My final goal was to earn scrips for crafters and gatherers. Oh, man, did I ever! Thanks to the new Deliveries, I made 300 out of the 450 cap for crafter red scrips last night. That’s more than I’ve ever done before (I don’t craft weekly for scrips, just don’t have time). The result has been upgrading all kinds of gear, both crafting and gathering, as well as purchasing Master crafting books and saving up for my first Fokelore for gathering.

Between this and the scrips I get from my Squad, it’s been a beautiful thing. I’m really excited to be making progress in this area! I hope Deliveries stick around.

So, how did your month go? Meet any important goals?

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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