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This game has loading screens, each usually giving helpful hints. The loading happens when you fast-travel or enter specific areas. The entire world is loaded, so you could go from one end of the map to the other with no loading. Right now, we’re not going to get many loading screens.
Anyway, I had the second update all ready and recorded, but after getting a couple of suggestions…
…I decided, screw it. Let’s get this going proper!
The game Breath of the Wild most resembles is the original Zelda, with that sense of exploration and not really sure where you’re going. Thus it’s appropriate that the first NPC we meet in both is some unnamed old man.
Normally, most people will walk towards the old man and speak to him. He’s right along the obvious path, right?
But we’re trailblazers. We’re going our own way!
…Oh. Fall damage. Welp!
Anyway, first let’s get started with general gameplay knowledge. We’ll get into the basics to start, but we’ve got plenty of game to go into finer details.
Objects lying on the ground will sparkle. If you’ve obtained one before, you’ll get the name of it beforehand. Otherwise, you’ll have to pick it up to find out what it is. This…
…is our first weapon. As you’ve probably heard, one of this game’s biggest points of contention is weapons having durability. They will break after some use, and you have a limited number of weapons you can hold. Some people hate it, but I think it works well with the spirit of the game. You’re constantly forced to adapt your tactics based on the state of your weapons, and you’ll usually get plenty just from enemies and the environment.
The tree branch itself is incredibly weak and fragile. Definitely not a long-term weapon, but it’ll do for now.
Further down the path, we see some mushrooms.
Unlike previous Zelda games, you won’t find hearts from cutting grass, smashing pots, or killing monsters. It’s tough to heal yourself in this game, and the majority of the time you’ll be doing it from eating food and other edible items like these mushrooms. It’s not suggested to eat them raw, if only because cooking them will increase the amount of hearts they restore. Cooking can wait for later, though.
So, we want to avoid the old man, so the best way is to go the opposite way, right? But the only path down that doesn’t involve dying is by the old man, so that leaves only one option…
You can scale almost everything, assuming your stamina allows it. Run out and you’ll fall off, so…don’t run out of stamina.
Eventually, we reach the top and get a nice view of the nearby mountains. All in due time, however.
We go to the northwest, eventually reaching this snowy area.
We’re not quite ready to tackle this area yet, as it’s cold and thus will slowly do damage to Link. Even if we were wearing the clothes we got from where we started, the cold would still get to us.
Technically we could just eat and try to tank it through, but it’s easier to come back later. But we could technically explore there now if we wanted!
Gotta love that soft-gate approach to content. The game doesn’t force us not to explore there, but it does discourage us until we’re ready. That won’t be long, don’t worry.
As we explore…
…we hear a voice.
Exploring is good, but it might be a good idea to have an actual goal, too. You know, when we feel like getting to it.
There are three types of quests, but right now we’ve only got a Main Quest. Complete all of these to get the best ending.
There’s only a handful of main quests we have to do, though, all but one being the quests we do on the Great Plateau. We’ll reach this place at the end of the update.
The Sheikah Slate works as a map. The arrow is us, the building is where we woke up, the dot is our destination, and the X helpfully tells you where you last died.
Continuing on, we reach one of numerous enemy encampments on the plateau. All of them have these guys, Bokoblins. They show up in Wind Waker, Twilight Princess, and Skyward Sword. They’re this game’s basic enemy and are generally easy to defeat, at least one-on-one. If we went the way with the old man, the game would ease us into fighting them one-on-one before taking them on in groups.
But we’re going the opposite way, so…
Music: Battle Theme
I rush right in and start attacking the nearest Bokoblin. This is generally a poor idea, especially early on, but I’ve played before and have the combat down pretty well at this point, though I’m going to avoid advanced moves right now…for the most part.
When a weapon breaks while attacking, it deals double damage and can knock off an enemy’s weapon. Leaving us the perfect opportunity to take it…
Our reward is our first spear.
Spears are low-powered but can get off several quick hits at once. Of course, this also means their durability tanks more quickly as well.
Bokoblins usually drop Horns and sometimes Fangs. Monster items like these have a couple uses, mostly for elixirs. More on those later, though.
One of Breath of the Wild’s big innovations is how the environment reacts to changes. My wooden spear hits a fire, so it catches fire, dealing increased damage to enemies. There’s lots of lovely tricks like that, and part of the fun is experimenting to see what works to your advantage!
Bows, a standard in Zelda, are a separate weapon slot from regular melee weapons. There’s a few differences beyond weapon power, but they’re less diverse in general as far as use. There are some cool ones later on, though.
Unfortunately, we don’t have any arrows to use. Yet…
…but you can pick up the arrows that enemies fire into the ground.
It’s down to me and this Bokoblin. If I can hit it just right…
…or maybe I’ll die instead.
The damage formula is simple. Weapons - Armor, where each quarter heart counts as 1 damage. We probably would’ve lived longer if Link was wearing clothes, but…
If you’re wanting to watch some combat where Link doesn’t die, here’s a full video of said encounter, attempt #2.
I start off in worse shape, breaking my only melee weapon and being stuck with a bow and no arrows! Have to wait for a Bokoblin to fire one at me, killing off the bow user that had five more arrows.
That’s enough to kill the spear user, letting me counter on this guy until he falls. He has some good loot as well.
The final major equipment slot is for shields. There’s really no difference other than their strength and material (wood or metal). You can’t use them while holding two-handed weapons either, obviously, so be careful using those in combat.
Luckily, we got another one-handed weapon, albeit a simple one. Handy for now, though!
Holding right on the D-Pad and navigating with the right joystick lets us select weapons mid-battle. Left D-Pad does the same for shields. If you have a bow out from pressing R, then right handles bows, and left arrows.
Anyway, the last Bokoblin has fallen.
…Quite literally, in fact.
Some encampments have a special chest that unlocks once all enemies have been defeated.
This is a rather basic gem. They’re pointless for now but will have their uses soon enough.
Meanwhile, I decide to destroy these crates with fire.
They had some apples and an acorn which just happened to cook due to being set on fire. Free food is always nice!
Moving on, we see the top of this pillar.
Scaling it is a bit of a climb, but…
…the reward’s not half-bad at this stage of the game.
You also want to take advantage of high points, as it lets you scout the area and find points of interest.
For instance, this camp of Bokoblins. If I was paying attention, I would’ve seen the obvious way to scale up to that platform. Sadly, I missed it and thus could not get up there.
Not that it stops me from slaughtering the enemies, of course.
Insects will fly away from you if you run at them. If you walk quietly, though, you can sneak up and grab them. They’re useful for making elixirs (which, again, I’ll get to in a later update).
We can crouch for added stealth. Noise and visibility are factors in trying to get the drop on enemies and to avoid being detected.
We can set arrows on fire. Why not?
All I can do is snipe at these guys, because I’m dumb and didn’t notice the entrance.
If we wanted to cook, we could use these to make a dish that would make braving the cold easier.
However, there are other ways as well.
Torches are mainly useful for transporting and setting things on fire. You can’t dash with it though or else you put out the fire.
Another cooking ingredient, one that recovers Stamina. Useful for scaling mountains!
There are a variety of ways to protect from the cold. We saw one method from cooking spicy peppers, but simply holding a lit torch will keep us warm as well. You know, as long as it stays lit.
We don’t really have a way to cross that bridge, though, so we’re done here for now.
Uh oh. That’s a Blue Bokoblin. These guys are much hardier and have much better gear. This guy can easily one-shot me.
Got to be careful for this one. Make my distance and plan my attack.
I take care of him, but I’m not showing you how quite yet as I “cheated” and used some more advanced combat moves, stuff I want to wait to show off until it’s appropriate.
That said, I get some really nice gear as a result. That sword will be incredibly useful for awhile.
The higher-ranked enemies drop more stuff.
Horns are most common, then fangs, and then guts. Guts are pretty useful in general, so it’s always great to grab monster guts.
We can’t really pass the boundary right now, so our best bet is to hug the northern border and head east toward our destination.
This leads to a cliff we need to climb down. Thankfully, just going to the edge allows us to scale down safely.
We can’t reach these areas yet, of course, but it’s good to get a general lay of the land since we’ll be striking out eventually.
Apples are incredibly common in this world. By the end of the game you’ll be swimming in them.
Hmmm… Two boulders, and some enemies beneath…
Gotta love the panic that sets in once they see one of their friends get flattened! Sadly, that’s not enough.
Notice how there’s a lot of brown-looking grass near the area. Now notice there’s a fire that’s just there for no reason.
At first, nothing seems to happen.
Apparently, there’s an exploding barrel under that platform. Though it does benefit one of the Bokoblins by setting its weapon alight.
Guess we’ll have to climb down and finish the job ourselves!
Snipe one with an arrow, then sneak around and wallop the other.
Inside the skull structure are some fire arrows. There are five varieties of arrows, including regular and fire. Fire, of course, set stuff on fire. Very handy to have!
Another pillar to scout and hopefully obtain treasure from.
We barely make it up top, completely using up all of Link’s stamina in the process. Luckily it regenerates rather quickly.
Our reward are ten more arrows. Nice!
There’s another group of Bokoblins ahead, so a good time to heal up!
At this point, I’ve got enough gear and the right tactics to be able to handle a group like this relatively easy. Don’t get cocky, though.
Before I grab the chest, I grab a few more items along the way.
Another gem. Alright, then.
Then more food.
It’s incredibly easy to get sidetracked on your way to the next goal. Which, of course, is part of the charm and draw of this game.
This makes you quieter when cooked.
Yet another Bokoblin encampment.
Watch the background for this one. Yes, that’s a Bokoblin trying to chase a boar. Enemies will do their own thing if they don’t see you.
Of course, I kill them all. Another monster chest, another opal.
Often you’ll see something a little…off. Like, say, a stone in an odd place.
If you see something odd like that, investigate! Because usually…
…there’s something hidden there.
Huh? You’re not Hestu! But you can…see me? I didn’t know your kind could see the children of the forest! Well, if you run into Hestu, please return this to him.
These are the Koroks. They originate from Wind Waker, where it’s implied they’re the evolution of OoT’s Kokori. Here, they give you rewards for exploring weird spots in the overworld.
There are nine hundred of these guys. Needless to say, I’m not obtaining all of them.
Dropping the rocks back on their heads is always the best part. I do it often by accident.
Further on is a rather weird-looking structure.
This shrine looks important, but we can’t do anything with it for now.
Let’s move on.
This game lets you swim without any flippers, though it’s also tied to your stamina. If you run out, you drown and go back where you were last on land, albeit with slightly less health.
At last, we’re near our destination!
But first, a pool of fish!
More cooking fodder!
Fish can be hard to catch if you chase them, but you can also kill them with arrows and make life easier on yourself.
We’re at our destination, but I decide to snipe this Bokoblin first.
A small but handy upgrade, but…
There’s a limit to the number of weapons you can carry. Same with shields and bows.
Now, we could simply drop a weapon, but that’s boring.
That’s why there’s a button dedicated to throwing weapons!
Isn’t life grand?
And with that, we’ve finally reached our destination! The rest of this update will cover this cutscene, so feel free to watch it in video form.
Sheikah Tower activated.
There’s a whole lot of shaking going on…
…probably due to this massive tower rising up to the sky.
And it doesn’t look to be the only one, either.
Looks like our first quest is done, then.
So this is the Great Plateau Tower.
Music: Rune Extraction
These towers let you fill in the map for that region. Pretty handy for getting an idea of your surroundings, and for giving you a better sense of direction in general. Well worth the lengthy trek here!
Guess we’re done here.
The voice seems to be coming from the direction of that castle.
Music: The Beast
Now then… You must hurry, Link.
…Looks like we’ve got our work cut out for us.