Tears of the Kingdom Part 12: Dungeons and Dragons

I had finally put 2+2 together, and now I understood that Hyrule and the Depths mirrored one another. This connection had allowed me to discover shrines, and it showed me the way to other oddities.

The Coliseum Ruins near the Great Plateau had held a lynel in Breath of the Wild. That discovery had been faintly terrifying, but the powerful three-headed serpent gleeok in there now was a whole new level of fear. What I noticed was that in the Depths, directly under this building, was another coliseum. This was called The Floating Coliseum, and being a curious meerkat, I wondered inside. A gate closed to seal me in, and another opened, permitting a lynel to enter. A fight obviously ensued, but with my sages, it was fairly brief. The lynel was beaten, but it transpired it was not alone. Another gate opened, allowing a second lynel in, and once again we did battle. Lynel 2 was slightly tougher, but was still beaten, as was lynel 3 (yup, they kept coming). Lynel 4 was more difficult, and by this point, my health had been ground down, but I did manage to destroy it. Lynel 5 then showed up, and 5 was armoured, making it that much harder to kill. At this point, I’d harvested weapons, a lot of arrows, and other things from the lynel corpses, and decided fighting 5 was pointless. Sure, there was a chest containing something, but I would have to burn through my resources to defeat this last opponent, and I didn’t want to do that.

What I truly wanted to do was confront the Demon King again. This stood as the final element of the main quest. Everything had built to a rematch, and so once again I ventured to the Depths beneath Hyrule Castle, and tried to navigate the traps and enemies as best I could. I intended to preserve my meals as best I could, as well as my best weapons. I’d also learned that attaching a shard of the Light Dragon’s hide to a weapon meant using said weapon would restore health to Link, so I made sure to do so.

My passage through the Depths was as tense as it was before. Many enemies awaited, and in some cases it was better to bypass them (such as the lynel). Others (such as a reappearance of a Phantom Ganon) didn’t give you much choice but to fight. However, after swatting aside various baddies, I was back to where Ganondorf waited.

I made more progress in my second duel, but I misused my resources and was eventually slain. I was greatly aggrieved, but the following morning, I returned to face the Demon King again. There’s a saying about only losing if you give up, and if I were to embody the spirit of Link, I could not give up. After fighting the huge hordes of minions once more, I stepped into Ganondorf’s chamber again.

His first form was of a fast, aggressive swordsman, and to make life more complicated, he could perform a swift dodge, alongside powerful attacks with swords, clubs, and spears. A blow from Ganondorf carried gloomy consequences, so I made sure to equip myself with meals to resist gloom, and to restore heart containers broken by it. My approach was to try and keep my distance, and to use my lynel bow to deliver a trio of homing arrows (in the form of keese eyeballs) to grind Ganondorf down. After a time, he acknowledged he was in quite the fight, and unleashed several phantoms to encircle me, but my sages returned, and kept them occupied.

Did I mention that Ganondorf’s health bar not only replenished, but doubled in size? Yeah, Nintendo had upped the ante here. I continued to try, where possible, to attack from a distance, only attacking up close during very brief windows of vulnerability. My use of meals was timed better, and whilst at the halfway point Ganondorf crippled the sages, I continued to keep moving, and to fire off as many arrows to the face as I could. Slowly but surely, I brought the Demon King to his knees… but he refused to yield. In an act of desperation, he consumed his own Secret Stone, and transformed into a huge, hideous dragon that rose into the sky. I was trapped in his teeth, unable to break free, and all seemed lost… but I was not alone.

Ganon was prepared to burn the world, just to destroy me.

Princess Zelda had sacrificed her mind to deliver the Master Sword to me by becoming an immortal dragon, but something of her spirit remained, for she came roaring in to confront this new, primal Ganon. I have to say, I got echos of Ganon’s Calamity form, but this was more intense.

Zelda might not have been herself, but instinctively, she knew what she had to do.

Zelda carried me to the sky, and Ganon spat gloom-ridden fireballs at me. Upon his dragon back, several weird eyeballs revealed weak points, and I dove to land upon them, and to destroy them. Ganon’s body was coated in gloom, but the light of the sun had healed my broken hearts, and thus Link was restored. I weathered the gloom to destroy the eyes, and then came the final effort. The Secret Stone had taken form in Ganon’s head, and upon landing on it, I drove the Master Sword through it. Without the power of the Stone, Ganon was broken, and in one huge burst of energy, he was gone.

The light had conquered the darkness.

It was a satisfying, emotional victory, but Zelda was still a dragon. As we rose into the sky again, the spirits of the King and Queen of Hyrule channelled their powers through Link to avail Zelda of her affliction, and restore her human form. In the process, Link’s regular arm was also restored, and both of them fell through the clouds. I dove to catch Zelda, which I did, and she awoke, somewhat confused. We took in a gloom-free Hyrule Castle, and the Sages gathered at the Temple of Time, to pledge anew their duty to Zelda, and to Hyrule. The Demon King was defeated, and peace had been restored to the world.

That is the end of the story, but it’s not the end of the game. I have shrines to find, and treasures to discover. There are plenty of quests that remain undone. However, that’s all for another day. For now, I want to bask in the satisfaction of an epic story, and a game that has stunned me with its beauty. Nintendo will have a hard time topping this, but I wouldn’t bet against them! To all those involved in making this game, I wish to say thank you for a moat amazing, beautiful adventure.

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