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‘The Legend of Zelda’: Tales from the Wild – Pt. 3

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In this series of articles, our staff discusses their unusual experiences and highlights playing The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Click here for part 1 and here for part 2.

Eventide Island

I’ve already written about two of the many highlights I’ve experienced so far playing The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild but now it’s time to write about what I think is the best portion of the game. Eventide Island which lies far away from the mainland of Hyrule somewhere near Cape Cales (next to the Muwo Jeem Shrine) offers perhaps, the most original and possibly most challenging shrine quest in the entire game (which is saying a lot since there are a whopping 120 shrines to discover). For the unfamiliar, when you first arrive on the beach, your supplies are stripped away. Every weapon, shield and every piece of food you’ve collected over time is no longer accessible and the only way you’ll get those items back is if you complete the quest. It literally strips Link down to his underwear and isolates him in a situation where his reliance on using the weapons he’s scavenged along the way is no longer an option. It’s a disorienting setback indeed especially since now you have to survive using only your wits and whatever new supplies you can scavenge from the area.

Your objective is to place three metal orbs on altars located on each of the triangular island’s three edges. You can’t save your progress along the way either and since Link is without any armour, enemies inflict more damage than usual. The only good news in this castaway scenario is that Link can at least rely on his runes and paraglider to get the job done and to complete the island you will need to rely on bombs to uncover secret areas and magnesis to retrieve them from precarious places. Regardless, it is still tough and it took me a good two hours to defeat every enemy and find all three orbs. There was no Gilligan’s Island or even Lost underlying positive feeling in this situation and things got progressively worse when after killing most of the enemies a blood moon appeared respawning each heinous creature. Eventime Island is bleak and challenging, to say the least, but nevertheless, it is still my favourite part of the game. There was a real thrill in finding ways to take down the giant hinox who chased me around the entire island, and an even bigger thrill in raiding the bokoblin camp, stealing their weapons and using the giant explosive barrels to kill them all. But it wasn’t the bokoblins, moblins or even the hinox that gave me the most trouble but rather the unexpected thunderstorm. You see, not only did the rain make it nearly impossible to climb any surface but a lightning bolt struck the third and final orb I needed and sent the orb spiralling down the mountain. So despite killing every single enemy, I had no way of actually finishing the quest since I could not carry the orb back up the mountain. No matter how hard I tried to carry it up the mountain (and believe me I spent well over one hour trying) Link just could not get the job done. It was impossible since Link would eventually run out of stamina and considering he can’t carry the orb and fly at the same time, there was nothing I could do to resolve the problem. I tried using stasis so I could hit the orb and send it up the mountain but that didn’t work. I tried taking multiple paths up the mountain and it didn’t work either.

So there I was, stranded on the island with nobody, not even one creature left alive and no way out. Or at least no way out unless I wanted to leave the island and lose every single one of my items including the Master Sword and never get them back. I had no choice. I needed Link to commit suicide. So I climbed the highest peak and jumped to presumably my death only to have Mipha’s grace bring me back from the dead. I was frustrated. The fu**en game wouldn’t even let me die. After scouting the island for a good fifteen minutes I finally came across the first sign of life, a Chuchu buried under the sand. Normally I hate these guys but this time the Chuchu was a breath of fresh air, or rather it provided a way out. I stood there and let him burn me to death, knowing that once it drained me of all my health and the Game Over title card appears, I could start my quest all over again.

In the end it was worth revisiting the island and getting a second stab at it because as I mentioned above, Eventide Island is, in my opinion, the best part of the game –a moment that captures every bit of the beauty of this picturesque island and the innocent Link as well as the inner-cum-outward menace of each of the princely-cum-feral creatures who claim the island as their own. Over the last three decades, the Zelda series has been incredibly innovative but also stubborn in mostly sticking to its own conventions. Breath of the Wild is a different beast. It has a confidence rarely seen in open-world games and is a refreshing take on the entire franchise that has made all one hundred plus hours of playing the game so far completely worth it. (Ricky D)

  

Dueling Peaks

Think back to Skyrim; anyone who played it understands the indescribable thrill of scaling the region’s many mountains. The vistas on the way to the top are a hallmark of Skyrim’s vertical exploration, yet the journey up the Dueling Peaks in BOTW stands as one of the remarkable detours I have ever made. Much of this is attributed to being able to climb anywhere, at any time. There is no prescribed path or small selection of options, Link can journey up the Dueling Peaks however he sees fit. My trip began on the horse stable side of the peaks, carefully navigating my way up the waterfall via a repeating sequence of ice blocks. I could have climbed sure, but the sheer genius of BOTW’s interlocking mechanics makes waterfall climbing possible, so who am I to pass that up? Finally, at the top, a slow and long climb up the rocky slopes began. It’s hard to describe the feeling, seeing the sun set on Hyrule Castle as Link nears the summit. Once there, I noticed a familiar orange glow off to the side. It looked like a shrine, but couldn’t say for sure. Navigating around the cliffside confirmed my suspicions, yet I was still focusing on the shrine on the opposite peak. “Are these shrines linked?” (lol) I thought. Anyone who has conquered the Dueling Peaks likely understands the beauty of mastering these twin shrines, truly evocative of masterful storytelling in Nintendo’s magnum opus. As soon as I came upon the Dueling Peaks, I knew I could climb it. This is freedom beyond any previous notion; no icons or markers slapped on a map, simply a geological landmark waiting to be explored. I spent an entire afternoon climbing the Dueling Peaks, a memory that I can safely say will last a lifetime. (Patrick Webster)

Humans by birth. Gamers by choice. Goomba Stomp is a Canadian web publication that has been independently owned and operated since its inception in 2016.

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