Zelda: Breath of the Wild


i haven’t tried hard mode yet

OK now i have. The hard mode bumps all enemies up a rank (red -> blue -> purple etc.), which functionally means they hit harder and soak more hits like in any other hard mode. OK, boring but fair enough. The other addition is much better: enemies regenerate HP, so you can’t wear them down with attrition (as easily, i mean you can still probably cook a hundred meals and outlast them if you want to).

What this means is there are fights you flat out cannot win early on. Rather than being a drag i think this is really cool, it means you have to rely on your wits more than ever and try to avoid combat as much as you can until you have some more hearts/stamina and better gear. The open-endedness and the kind of emergent play that can happen when you’re fighting or sneaking around a lot of enemies in this game helps even if i occasionally just get one-shot by a moblin with a lightning arrow.

It also means that when you CAN engage, you have to more actively try to use your special attacks and combo them. It doesn’t exactly make the combat harder but it brings out a little more of its fun kineticism.

PROTIP for evading hard enemies: carry an ice spear and ice arrows at all times. Hit them once to freeze them and then run for it. Very helpful for exploring Hyrule Castle early on.

oh and hard mode also adds archers on balloon platforms which is mostly just weird and entertaining. They do use them cleverly by putting them by bridges as chokepoints. They also do this for uhhh every bridge in the game apparently


Once you have the rhythms of your stamina circle and movement down, the most fun way to play this is to drink 3x speed boost potions and skitter all over the place like a hyperactive little weirdo, all scrambling up rock walls and dumping bombs on bewildered enemies and gliding away like some kind of bat man.


There are also more enemies in certain places, like one of the big horseboys on the tutorial plateau.

I need to pick this game back up


Oh yeah, i forgot to mention the big boy

i can’t even imagine fighting a lynel yet. i got pretty good at them on normal mode but the high level ones felt like they took days to beat


I could see lynels being unbeatable until you get some weapons from the castle or expand your capacity for melee weapons.

I decided to go ahead and finish the game, even though I only found around half the shrines, so I can get the DLC in like a year when the software slump gets bad and come back for a hard playthrough. Fun game! I did wind up liking it a little better than Mario Odyssey, in the end.


Also, I don’t know if y’all saw this when I posted about it on Facebook, but the grunts and moans in the voice acting this time around is astonishing. Somebody with more video editing skill than me should make a video compilation.


Do you folks think I’ll get all 120 shrines without a guide before the year is up?


I will eat one (1) pistachio for each shrine you complete without a guide in 2018


eat 2 then, cuz that’s what i got so far, just need 10


Down the hatch


doing all the shrines at least once was totally worth it. there are some wicked cool ones like the pitch-black island and the ruined temple full of guardians.

Never going to do it again
it’s nice to be able to walk into one and have it be some motion control bullshit and skip out like NOPE thanks for the warp point


The first two motion control shrines I encountered I solved with lateral thinking instead because I didn’t even know motion control shrines were a thing. I love that the game allows you to do that.


the first motion control one i did i kinda just bounced the ball to the goal, after like, an hour of both myself and my fiance trying to navigate the maze


The maze shrines I just flipped the whole thing over and used the flat bottom surface.


i did all of those!! and i appreciated that they were usable situations. whatever form BotW’s sequel takes i hope that flexibility is carried forward most. However i did not feel like spinning the tablet all over the place in order to brute force those unorthodox methods, when i could have instead been shieldboarding down grass mountains.


btw i recc the roads down from Hateno and Akkala labs for carving up slopes

also you can parachute whilst shieldsurfing and switch shields mid slope

don’t use shields for actually blocking unless you are parrying guardian lasers like a cool cat :bbcool:


why use shields when you have daruk


Yes! but why even Daruk them when you can jump out of the way and MUDA MUDA MUDA them off of a cliff


My hard mode replay of this game has really made me appreciate how involved the various villagers’ routines are. Did you know that in Kakariko Village one of the children cries for roughly an hour at her mother’s grave every day? Or that there’s a guy in Lurelin Village (the fishing one) that you can keep lending money to feed his gambling addiction if you talk to him during the day when it rains? I’ve yet to see him win though and pay me back…

Has anyone managed to complete the Master Trials from the first DLC? Because I’m starting to think it might actually be impossible on Hard Mode. This hot new tech that’s being discovered might just help me next time though:

EDIT: whoa on rewatching 5:21 here. had no idea that you could use blue chu chu jelly to drench enemies and make them weak to electric attacks


I’m sorry, these are the last pistachios you will ever eat.

I had to sell my wii u, and consequentially zeld, so i’ll never get those shrines (until I get a switch)