We had arrived back on Terra, er, Hylia, having heard Zelda’s voice, imploring us to find her. The map indicated Hyrule Castle would be the first, best place to find the errant princess, but would this prove to be true? What else waited upon the surface of this new, unhinged Hyrule?
This little fortification held some familiar faces. Robbie, from Breath of the Wild (an inventor who had tinkered with Guardian technology) was back, and he was studying the technology of the Zorai (the mystical race that had apparently once lived in the clouds. A lot of people expressed their surprise in seeing Link, and wondered if I knew where Zelda was. They directed me to meet the Captain of the Guard, who was at the castle, but first, I met another familiar face…
Purah suggested I head to the castle before doing anything else, so off I went. I found a guy trying (futilely it seemed) to erect a sign on behalf of Hudson Construction (Hudson having played a role in building Link a home in Breath of the Wild), and I attempted to help him using Link’s newfound powers, but soon grew bored of that. I may well return to that, for it seems like a subtle side-quest that could yield, well, something. I also found a nice little touch:
This nod to the events of the original game is a nice detail, and I can’t help but wonder what else might be left over from those events for me to stumble across. I headed to the castle, or at least, what remained of it that was still on the ground, but as I approached, the ominous red fog that had characterised Ganon’s presence in Breath of the Wild began to thicken. It was clear this was a place of evil, of darkness, of danger, but nothing untoward happened as I made my way along the ruined fortress. Some guards acknowledged me (and one refused to let me pass an archway, refusing to believe I was Link), but that was it. I did learn that the affliction to befall the Master Sword had also affected every weapon in the kingdom; every sword, every blade of any kind, had decayed. It seemed this damage could not be reversed.
I met the Captain upon a small tower, and together, we watched as Zelda appeared… and subsequently transformed into a bolt of light that took off into the distance! Jeez Zelda… you tell me to find you, then vanish as soon as I find you! Talk about not making life easy.
I reported this news back to Purah, who decided the best course of action was to investigate the uprising of the castle, and several other possibly linked events, across Hylia. The Rito, Gerudo, Zora and Gorons had all reported strange goings-on, so I would in time pay them all a visit. However, first, I was entrusted with another task, namely to start unlocking the map. To that end, I needed to pay Skytowers a visit, and the first of this was conveniently located within the encampment. I also received the glider, which would probably come in handy! The tower launched me, rather spectacularly, into the sky, whereupon the slate gathered information, and unlocked the first area of the surface map.
I left the encampment to begin my quest, though I wanted to do a little exploring too. The holes in the ground where the Gloom spread from struck me as possible places to explore, despite the warning of danger. I returned to the first one I had found, and jumped into it. Darkness enveloped me, but I did indeed find solid ground!
So, not only was there a sky level, and ground level, but also an underground level to this world! Corrupted forms of familiar enemies like moblins and bokoblins were lurking down here, and they did in fact kill me, but in between deaths, I found I could bring light to the darkness by activating giant, well, bulbs. From what I can gather, these bulbs are directly beneath shrines (at least, based upon the small number of shrines I’ve found so far), and if that pans out to be the case, that cannot be a coincidence.
There are new aerial enemies. I fought something that was several times bigger than a bat, and I thought it might prove dangerous, but it’s quite amazing what a bomb arrow to the face will do…
I explored a giant tree trunk, found some new trousers in there (yeah, these games are weird), and found another shrine, only this one had me stumped. I have to direct a ball at a target to unlock the shrine, but that involved constructing a lever, and that is where I am ending part two. I am completely stuck, but I will figure it out. I just need time!