Having fled from a lynel last time out, I told myself I needed a clear plan for what to do next. I told myself ‘Ben, head for Kakariko village’, so naturally, I went to to find the Spring of Power instead. This was nestled in a little waterway, not far from the Zora, and like the Spring of Courage, I had to offer a part of a dragon in order to help revive the Goddess Statue. I had a part from the right dragon, but not what the spring required. Typical!
I did not want to go dragon hunting, so I did indeed go back to Kakariko, to try once more to get the ruins to reveal their secrets. In the end, I had learned the message of every stone tablet save one: the one guarded by an over-eager researcher, who was acting on ‘Zelda’s’ orders. I tried to sneak onto this remaining ruin in several different ways, but got caught sneaking, every time. Foiled in my ambition, I instead took myself back to the depths to explore. Here, I encountered another Gohma…
… which was beaten quite easily, and then I got distracted. I followed a series of Zora statues (this is yet another element of the incredible complexity of Tears of the Kingdom) to an underground mine, then fought another Construct, a Construct II. A combo of the ultrahand and time reversal powers allowed me to overcome this particular Lego brick monster.
As I had ended up underneath the Zora Domain, I decided to pop to the surface and pay them a visit. I had briefly explored their territory before; now I had to seek out Prince Sidon, but first, I had to get my Zora Armour back, which meant getting an ancient fish from the Sky Islands. Yeah, I know, it’s all a bit side-questy, but the armour allowed me to scale waterfalls, and I was never going to get near where I wanted to be without it. This process allowed me to find the Zora King, who revealed that Zelda – or someone looking like her – had sent a sludge monster to the Zora. He gave me some of his scales, as they had properties that may be of use, and I was given a quest to find a sky fish-shaped island, and rocks shaped like water droplets.
The island was quite easy to find, but it took me a few minutes to realise that the water droplet was made up of a collection of floating rocks, and that the shape would only become apparent if I stood in the right spot. I fired an arrow tipped with the King’s Scale through the droplet, and this triggered a beam of light to the sky. Upon returning to inform Sidon of this news, we were set upon by a mud-spitting LikeLike, and Sidon revealed his power. He could shield Link in a bubble of water, and that could then be directed in a jet towards an enemy by a swipe of one’s weapon. The LikeLike was easily slain, and now I was free to join forces with Sidon, and find out where the mud coating the Zora was coming from.
The attention to detail here is quite remarkable. The time, and care, taken to make Tears of the Kingdom as good as it can be, is a demonstration of why Nintendo remain so loved by so many.
Off we went, and the point of light became, at Sidon’s urging, a whirlpool. This sucked me down to a sanctum…
To reach the central platform, I had to raise the water level (the surfaces were too slippery to climb). This started out easy, but soon became tougher, when there appeared to be no remaining blocked pipes to clear. To that end, I fashioned a crude bridge/ramp using wooden slates. Was this the method Nintendo intended? Or was the option to do this a further symbol of the freedom they wanted players to have?
Once I activated the controls at the platform, a new waterfall was created, leading to a new sky area. I had encountered weakened gravity before, but here, it was more important than ever.
To proceed, I had to use balls of water to help swim (or float) towards my goal. I could use the ultrahand ability to drag these balls around, and some of them naturally propelled themselves in any given direction. Between this, and the recall ability, the journey further upwards was quite straight-forward, though some sentinel constructs did prove annoying.
The Water Temple itself was next. A huge blob of sludge spat still more sludge from the middle of the large, central platform, and whilst one giant tap already poured clean water, four more were required to have a chance of stopping the muddy deluge. Interestingly, the previous two temples had both required five ‘key’ activations, so why the Water Temple was different… well, it was less work for me, so I wasn’t complaining! Sidon’s power was to cover Link in a bubble that could repel one attack, and with a swipe of my sword, I could direct that bubble as a wave of water towards enemies. It wasn’t massively helpful, but was I traversed the temple, it had its moments.
I would have to say that the temple itself was the simplest so far. The four ‘keys’ were watermills, and whilst each key required a bit of creativity to activate, none were difficult to find, and the biggest barrier was running out of splash-fruit to clean mud. I foolishly wasted a load of it trying to shoot a mud pile that blocked a waterfall, and thus spent a bit of time running around on the surface looking for more… and getting distracted.
I presented another statue with a piece of Naydra’s claw, which two of the three springs had been restored. I went shield surfing to uncover a shrine…
… and I saw one of the dragons ascend from the depths.
With all of that done, I finally got me more splash-fruit, and returned to the Water Temple.
Once the last of the watermills had been activated, all five taps filled the water bowl, and dumped gallons of clean water upon whatever was spewing mud everywhere. It turned out to be…
This guy. It seems harmless enough, this octorok variant used sludge to create a mud shark, and you had to go chasing after it. using Sidon’s water attack, I knocked it out of the shark a few times, cut its health to half, and then the second phase began, which was extremely annoying. It was basically the same as part one, but with more sludge, and whenever I needed Sidon’s help, he was taking his sweet time to meander across the stage. Eventually, I got in the required damage, and put an end to this annoying little piece of… trash.
With the Water Temple completed, and the waters of the Zora restored to their former glory, Sidon’s ancestor told her version of the tale to stop the Demon King, and bestowed upon Sidon the role of the Sage of Water. Sidon granted his water power to me, via means of his Secret Stone, and upon returning to Zora’s Domain he was declare to be the new king by his father. King Sidon wished me well, and I returned to general exploring.
I encountered a few more shrines, but did not have much success in beating them. Several shrines involve stripping Link of his armour and weapons, in a similar vein to Eventide Island in Breath of the Wild. I have a very mixed record with these shrines, and another involved rotating a platform whilst within it, to unlock a path. I was tired, and not in the mood, so withdrew. At least finding the shrines meant they became travel points, which was better than nothing.
Venturing back to Castle Town, I decided to get some revenge on the stalnox that had killed me once before. With three sages attacking it, it proved quite easy to kill, though I had hoped defeating it would yield some form of reward. Alas, it did not. I did find treasures though, via a quest bestowed upon me right near the start of my adventure. Three suits, one for a climbing boost, one for electric resistance, and one for… um… my mind has gone blank. One for something else.
With all of that said and done, my instincts pulled me to return to the Gerudo. With three of the four key parts of the story finished, it seemed right to see what lay in store in the desert. A more detailed exploration of Gerudo Town led me to a bunker, where the Gerudo took shelter. From there, I met the Captain of the Guard…
She told me to head just north of the town, where I would find Riju, who was trying to improve her use of the helm she had used to such great effect in Breath of the Wild.
To help her refine her power, she asked me to shoot arrows at a training dummy, and used her lightening strikes to hit the arrows, as they reached the target. We were then interrupted by another Gerudo, telling us of a monster attack! Would we prevail? What was causing the huge dust storm? Tune in next time!