I had a task. That task was to assemble a body for the Sage of Spirit. I was in the Depths, and directed to four locations. Four Construct facilities, if you will. None of these locations was particularly far from the Construct Factory, but as I would learn, there would be a fair degree of imagination to get what I needed from A to B.
The depots functioned as mini… well, not even temples, they were just… mini… shrines? I don’t know quite how to compute them. Each required the use of various ‘hand’ skills, and it was useful to make flying machines, floating machines, and wheeled machines, depending upon the depot, to get the arms and legs back to the central facility. None of this difficult, just time-consuming, and once done, I had provided the Sage of Spirit – the King’s sister – with a new body.
Following the revival of this vessel, we journeyed across the Depths to the Spirit Temple, to retrieve the Sage’s secret stone, and thus unite all the sages once more. However, Ganon was prepared for this venture, and had laid a trap to stop us…
Thus began a boxing match of sorts. Link could climb onto the Construct’s back, and from there, you could control it, and fight with the Seized Construct. After smashing it into the walls of the ‘ring’ a few times, it was defeated, and the Sage claimed her stone. She then recounted the story of how the King sacrificed himself to trap the Demon King, so many centuries ago…
With all the Sages together again, I set out on a series of attempts to tackle the Yiga Clan. Yes, I was deferring the main quest once more, but I wanted to power Link up, as much as possible, and remain immersed in this immense game. Besides, Master Yogha had it coming. I confronted him at two different abandoned mines, and whilst his flying machine proved a little tricky, the comical and incompetent Yiga leader proved fairly easy to cut down to size. He spoke of building a weapon for the Demon King, and spoke of a final mine, up in the north-west (placing him under the Rito), but there appeared to be no way to access that location, even after considerable probing on my part.
I wanted that weapon, but it was out-foxing me, so I returned my attention to the Demon King (well, after visiting a few star islands to get their text). Oh, I also went back and completed the Faron mission, to fill in the story. Had I done it first… well, I have no idea how different things would have gone. It was quite interesting, and involved lightning strikes to power up a hidden facility in a river shaped like a dragon, as well as a suit designed to channel electrical attacks.
So, the Demon King. Ganondorf. The embodiment of evil. I had a suspicion as to where he lurked, for I had tested this area once more, but now it was time to dive deeper into the Depths under Hyrule Castle. Down I went, tackling horoblins, evading lynels, and facing off against yet another incarnation of Phantom Ganon. Along the way I bled health to the gloom, and feared if I were to stumble upon Ganondorf that I would be woefully under-powered.
Before any possible confrontation, there was a battle against a vast horde of various enemies. Thankfully the Sages joined me for this fight, and we made short work of Ganon’s minions.
What the Sages couldn’t do was join me to face Ganon. They would be occupied by the revived forms of their respective temple bosses, leaving me to face the Demon King alone.
I learned that if I am to defeat the Demon King, I need to do a lot of work. I put up what fight I could, but I was low on health, unable to improve it thanks to the gloom, and I lacked the meals to repair damage. My defeat was inevitable, but I would return…
First, I had to complete more shrines, and expand my collection of heart containers. Second, I had to go looking for resources. Both tasks would lead me across Hyrule, on a quest to strengthen Link. My immediate act was to tackle a few shrines that had previously out-foxed me, including one of the ‘fighting’ shrines (in fact two of them), where Link is stripped of all his gear. I also hunted various creatures for meat, and collected whatever I could, vegetation-wise.
As I explored, I was also feeling quite nostalgic, and having seen a few comparison videos, I decided to plug in Breath of the Wild for a bit.
As I took a brief respite in the form of the original game, I thought I’d take a detailed look at the world Nintendo had created. I spotted some fascinating details…
It’s no secret that Nintendo wanted to implement a number of ideas in Breath of the Wild, but technological constraints stopped them. Might the idea for the Zonai and their sky world have been one Nintendo wanted to do in the original game, and had they planted seeds for that? How long-term was their planning for Tears of the Kingdom?!
Following this little trip down memory lane, I set about cracking on with my immediate task. I found and completed more shrines. I uncovered more of the Depths. Along the way, I gained an outfit that was reminiscent of Link’s traditional green garb (see what he’s wearing in the Breath of the Wild pics above for how he looks). A battle with several moblins in a colosseum in the Depths yielded Zant’s helmet from Twilight Princess.
I confess to once more using Google to gently nudge me in how to reach the final abandoned mine, and with it, the final battle with Master Kohga. The pathway to the Depths immediately under Rito Village was well-hidden, and whilst it’s possible I’d have stumbled upon it by accident, the reality is I might have taken an eternity to find it. Once in, I discovered the weapon the Yiga wished to bestow upon the Demon King: a giant Construct. Well, one similar in size to my own (not to brag, but mine was pretty big too).
Much like in the fight with the Corrupted Construct, we engaged in a boxing match, and Kohga would also throw spiky balls at me, and shoot at me with cannons. For the first half of the fight it was easier to use my Construct; the second half proved divisive on that score, as his energy cannons were quite difficult to dodge, but eventually, I wore Kohga down. He insisted he wasn’t done, and unveiled his ultimate weapon! This consisted of a spiked ball, fixed to multiple rockets, but as he monologued about how he would end me, the rockets wound up pointing at him, and sent him blasting out of the chasm and into the sky. Would we see him again? Well, if we end up with a third game in this particular Hyrule, perhaps. For the moment, he was defeated.
A final Yiga challenge still loitered over me. I had two out of three pieces of Yiga Clan armour; with the third, I could enter their old haunt in the Gerudo Desert. However, the map denoting their location was either wrong, or I was reading it wrong. I’d been to the third spot, and had no joy.
I’d swing back to that. Alongside the traditional outfit (which was said to be linked to The Wind Waker), I also found the central part of Link’s outfit from Twilight Princess. I had also begun to piece together something that, with hindsight, was painfully obvious, but I had managed to be oblivious to it, until now.
The land of Hyrule and the Depths were mirrors to one another. Where the Depths had huge, impassable cliffs, Hyrule had lakes and rivers. The contours of the edge of both worlds matched. Somehow, I had been ignorant to this, but now I could plot my course through the Depths with more accuracy. I also used the locations of lightroots to track where shrines would be. After a bit of time and effort, I had the means to add four more heart containers to Link. Soon. I had also completed over a hundred shrines, which meant I wasn’t too far off completing them all, assuming Tears of the Kingdom mirrored Breath of the Wild. Now I was using the maps to pinpoint the location of shrines, I hoped to get the last ones in fairly short order.
I also decided to try and fight the huge, three-headed dragons that are the gleeoks. My efforts saw me fail, quite spectacularly. If these things had been bosses in any of the temples, I’d have never beaten them. Discretion once again proved the better part of valor, and so I continued to explore, to gather resources, and to try and find weapons. I’d certainly find some, but more on that next time. It will be spectacular!