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7 Things to Do Instead of Beating Calamity Ganon

The Gerudo don't tolerate unfinished business
That's what she said
Nintendo's The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild has been out for two weeks now, and you'd be forgiven for expecting a review of the game to have appeared already on this site. However, as a steadfast rule, one should never review a game until one has completed it, and this reviewer is too busy savoring the experience to actually run off to Hyrule Castle and defeat Calamity Ganon.

Theoretically, you could go straight to the castle as soon as the world opens up--much like in the NES classic--but that would be ridiculously foolish, as evidenced by the inevitable game over screen you would encounter there. And sure, once you've upgraded yourself to a reasonable degree, you can probably go beat the game as soon as you feel ready. Still, this reviewer is unable to behave in such a manner when there's an open world full of distractions, mysteries, and collectables with which to stay busy. With that in mind, here are the seven things I've been doing while Hyrule risks crumbling beneath Calamity Ganon's evil power.


#1.
Beating Shrines
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#1.
Beating Shrines
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Instead of traditional dungeons like you would find in most other Zelda games, Breath of the Wild (hereinafter BotW) has littered the landscape with miniature puzzle areas known as Shiekah Shrines. These are bite-sized things that are ingeniously designed. Once you beat four of them, you can trade in your spoils for a new heart container or stamina upgrade, so even without the hidden treasures within each shrine, finding and completing as many of these as possible is a nigh necessary step in preparing for the final battle.


#2.
Finding Koroks
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#2.
Finding Koroks
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Less necessary is the countrywide game of hide-and-seek being perpetrated by those lovable little tree creatures, the Koroks. These guys are everywhere: hiding beneath rocks, at the tops of trees, in the bushes, in the water, and anywhere else you can think of. Some have even created challenges for you to complete before they'll show themselves. Each one will give you a seed that you can turn in for more inventory space, but really, after finding a hundred and fifty of these things, I'm just in it for the OCD of it.


#3.
Treasure Hunting
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#3.
Treasure Hunting
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One of the biggest improvements in BotW is the value of rupees. It is now essential to find as many as you can, because you'll be spending them on gear, arrows, food, and more. Rumor has it you can even buy a town. Luckily, treasure is abound in Hyrule, if you know where to look. As you can see in the picture above, I've weighed down a raft with so many treasure chests that it can barely move or stay afloat anymore. Still, as the man once said, you can never have too much treasure.


#4.
Riding Various Animals
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#4.
Riding Various Animals
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Riding horses is for chumps, and everybody who knows anything about Zelda knows you can ride horses. Did you know, though, that in BotW, you can ride a moose? A deer? A bear? A goddamn desert seal? My Link is a terror of the wild, running around and mounting anything with a back. Nothing is safe from the grip of his thighs and the "Hyah!" of his heels to the ribcage. Fear him, because if he can't ride you, he'll slaughter you for meat he doesn't even need.


#5.
Collecting Crap
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#5.
Collecting Crap
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Speaking of which, there is an endless supply of things to collect in this game. Aside from Korok seeds and treasure, there's weapons, armor, shields, plants, fruit, animal parts, insects, frogs, fish, pieces of ancient contraptions, and more to stuff into Link's seemingly bottomless pockets. Sometimes you do it as a favor for others (who will usually reward you with a pittance); sometimes you do it for upgrades; sometimes you do it for cooking (yeah, there's cooking, and it's a time suck all its own); and sometimes you do it just for the hell of it. If you're like me, no amount of collecting is too insane, grindy, or pointless.


#6.
Getting Molested
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#6.
Getting Molested
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Great Fairies once again return in this game, in the form of baroque baronesses of volumptuous enthusiasm who seem a little too interested in Link's clothes. They'll upgrade your stuff as long as you have the necessary equipment, and all they ask in payment is some love. As you progress, that love gets more and more, shall we say, insistent. God be with you if you want to acquire four-star armor, because at that point, all you can do is close your eyes and take it. There is no safe word, I'm afraid.


#7.
Staring at This Damn Door
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#7.
Staring at This Damn Door
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I refuse--refuse--to look online for help. It is counter to the spirit of this adventure. Additionally, I don't want any readers to answer the question I'm about to ask in all caps. WHAT IS THE DEAL WITH THIS FRICKING DOOR IN THE NORTHWEST MOUNTAINS? I've done everything I can think of to it, but I can't get it to open. I'm sure there's nothing terribly important on the other side, but I must get in. The idea that there's anything in this world that is closed off to Link is simply unacceptable. If I have to sit and stare at this thing for the next two weeks, I will. It's certainly more important than saving that whiny princess.



And those are seven things I've been doing instead of getting to work writing a review. You'll just have to indulge me a while longer, but I promise a review of the game will arrive eventually. In the meantime, if you've been playing the latest epic Zelda adventure and have other passtimes you'd like to discuss--maybe you're a fan of taking pictures, mining rocks, conquering the Divine Beasts, locating lost memories, or just obsessively climbing every vertical surface in the land--please feel free to share your hobbies in the comment section below.


-e. magill 3/16/2017

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  • Copyright 2017 e. magill. All rights reserved.