Digital Dreams Come True

I feel the need to reflect on just how amazing my recent video game history has been. Between long-delayed releases, unexpected new favorites, and wild dreams come true, I’ve been utterly spoiled. Let’s take a look back at six incredible games I’ve played within the last year or so, from the earliest I experienced to the latest:

 

THE LAST GUARDIAN

 

the-last-guardian-1
Screenshot from GamingBolt

 

First glimpsed in 2009, it was a long seven years of speculation and broken dreams as The Last Guardian, Fumito Ueda’s much-anticipated successor to the legendary Shadow of the Colossus, became more myth than tangible game. After finally resurfacing in 2015 and making its way into my hands at the end of 2016, it still didn’t feel real. After four days and one of the most incredible video games experiences of my life, I can definitively say it was worth all the build-up. There were times in this game that I was in utter disbelief, both because I still couldn’t believe I was actually playing The Last Guardian but also because of just how emotionally profound the experience can be. This is mostly thanks to the amazingly lifelike companion, Trico, and the bond we formed over the course of an unforgettable journey through a wonderfully-realized world of peril and mystery.

 

FREEDOM PLANET

 

freedom planet fortune night boss screenshot
Screenshot from PlayStation.com via MobyGames

 

This one took me by surprise. I knew a love letter to the classic Sonic games and 90s Sega Genesis era in general would be right up my alley, but I wasn’t prepared for just how much I would fall in love with Freedom Planet. Sometimes a work just resonates with me on a higher level and Freedom Planet is undoubtedly one of those special games. Essentially the spiritual successor to one of my favorite platformers of all time, Sonic 3 & Knuckles, Freedom Planet nails everything I love about the genre: inspired and memorable levels, fluid mechanics that are satisfying to master, and a truly killer OST. I even dig the often-criticized cheesy storytelling, which I think fits the game’s 90s Saturday morning cartoon vibe perfectly.

 

THE LEGEND OF ZELDA: BREATH OF THE WILD

 

2017102023293300-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39
Screenshot by me

 

If there’s a centerpiece game here, this is it. As much as I love every game in this line-up, Breath of the Wild really is a dream come true and I was sometimes brought to tears while playing it by simply standing in a field and marveling at how it was all real. I opened this blog with a piece about the game (and yes, Breath of the Wild served as an inspiration for me to create “Art Imitates Nature” in the first place) and I just got finished with a twenty-one-chapter photo diary of my experience, so yeah I kind of love this game. Never before has my love of art and nature intertwined in such beautiful, literal ways as in Breath of the Wild. I’m not sure a game has ever immersed me, impressed me, and filled me with such awe and wonder and joy and just…feelings on such a regular basis as this one. Breath of the Wild doesn’t perfectly match my every wish, but it comes so close to my dreams that it’s almost uncanny and I’m both grateful to have it and excited for where my favorite video game series will go next.

 

SONIC MANIA

 

Sonic-Mania-Studiopolis-Boss-1
Screenshot from USgamer

 

Whereas Freedom Planet feels like the spiritual successor to the classic Genesis Sonic games, Sonic Mania is meant to be the actual successor. Spearheaded by a dedicated group of Sonic fans turned official Sonic developers, Mania plays and feels like the classics, features beautiful artwork that feels like a proper evolution of those titles, and perhaps surpasses them just in terms of how tight its excellent level design is (most of the time anyway). As someone who grew up with classic Sonic and has always daydreamed of a true “Sonic 4”, all of this put a huge smile on my face and between all of its references and little details, Mania is pretty much the ultimate fan-service game. This is also where the game disappoints me to a degree though as Mania is mostly comprised of remixed classic levels and largely lives in the colossal shadow of Sonic 2 and especially Sonic 3 & Knuckles instead of establishing a strong identity for itself. As it stands, the game is great fun, but I hope it is ultimately a launch point for the fully original classic Sonic successor that my inner seven-year-old truly craves.

 

METROID: SAMUS RETURNS

 

Metroid_Samus_Returns_Chozo_Statue_(Area_4)_Spazer_Beam_(Arm_Cannon_Beam_Upgrade)
Screenshot from Wikitroid

 

It’s been nearly a decade since the last proper Metroid title, Metroid: Other M, failed to live up to the series’ excellent pedigree in the eyes of many, myself included. So while a remake of Metroid II isn’t exactly a dream game for me, Samus Returns is still a very significant release. This is especially true considering how dramatic a remake this actually is. I was skeptical of Samus Returns when it was first unveiled, but after getting my hands on it and about five minutes of creeping through the dank tunnels of planet SR388, I realized just how much I had missed this series. Oozing with that patented Metroid atmosphere and featuring surprisingly impressive art direction, detailed environments, and possibly the best use of the 3DS’s 3D effect to date, Samus Returns exceeded my expectations in all sorts of delightful ways right up until its incredible finale. I wasn’t sure if I’d ever see the day, but Samus Returns healed the deep wounds inflicted by Other M. Now bring on Metroid Prime 4.

 

SUPER MARIO ODYSSEY

 

2018041117363900-8AEDFF741E2D23FBED39474178692DAF
Screenshot by me

 

After years of uninspired New Super Mario Bros. games and the pretty good but still highly derivative Super Mario 3D Land/World titles, I was beginning to lose hope for the core Super Mario series ever being something truly special again. I’ve already written a fairly extensive piece on Super Mario Odyssey as well as shared my extended thoughts on its many fabulous kingdoms, but suffice it to say Odyssey calls back to a time when what a Super Mario game was supposed to look like and be like wasn’t chiseled into granite and we got games like the one where Mario battled zombies in a world themed after ancient China. Now we have a game where Mario helps sentient watering cans get their flowers back from UFOs and possesses a T-Rex and has elaborate musical numbers with Pauline from Donkey Kong. If Breath of the Wild is a game that I’ve been dreaming about for half my life, than Super Mario Odyssey is a beautifully imaginative reminder of why I dream about games in the first place.

Advertisements

Scrapbook of the Wild Bonus: Photos of the Wild

To start at the beginning of the journey, go here.

 

Well, here we are. The final entry in my Scrapbook of the Wild. Boy this took longer than I thought it would!

 

In this final chapter, I share the photos that I took with the in-game camera that’s a part of the Sheikah Slate. Unlike the previous chapters, I won’t be captioning any of these screenshots and will instead simply let the photos do the talking. If you’ve been following along since the beginning, some of these scenes might look familiar, though certainly not all will. This chapter can be seen as a recounting of the entire journey, with a more close-up look at the people and places of Hyrule. Like with the standard screenshots, I took these photos over the course of the entire adventure (or from the moment I got the camera anyway) and they appear in chronological order.

 

I took even more photos than these, but since the Sheikah Slate’s album has limited space, I had to narrow things down until these shots were the ones I ended up with at the end of my playthrough. Unfortunately, there is no option to directly share camera photos, so I had to capture “zoomed-out” screenshots of the photos so to speak. This might come across as a little jarring, but I did my best to work around the “visual noise” of the Sheikah Slate.

 

Anyway, enough preamble. Let’s take one last stroll through the magical land of Hyrule!

 

2017110102395000-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39

2017110102401400-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39

2017110102402800-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39

2017110102405100-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39

2017110102410600-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39

2017110102412200-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39

2017110102420100-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39

2017110102421200-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39

2017110102423900-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39

2017110102425400-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39

2017110102430900-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39

2017110102431600-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39

2017110102433200-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39

2017110102434700-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39

2017110102450500-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39

2017110102452000-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39

2017110102461300-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39

2017110102465100-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39

2017110102471800-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39

2017110102472900-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39

2017110102474500-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39

2017110102483800-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39

2017110102485400-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39

2017110102491700-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39

2017110102501100-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39

2017110102510400-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39

2017110102511900-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39

2017110102515900-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39

2017110102525200-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39

2017110102530800-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39

2017110102532200-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39

2017110102534500-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39

2017110102542400-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39

2017110102550300-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39

2017110102551800-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39

2017110102555600-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39

2017110102570500-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39

2017110102574300-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39

2017110102583700-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39

2017110102593000-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39

2017110103002400-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39

2017110103010200-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39

2017110103013000-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39

2017110103021100-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39

2017110103030400-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39

2017110103035900-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39

2017110103043700-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39

 

It feels a bit sad to be at the end, doesn’t it? I originally intended this series to be a straightforward collage of screenshots, but along the way it somehow evolved into one part extended review, one part epic retelling of my own personal story through the game. Did I get a little carried away with some of my melodramatic storytelling? Maybe, but I sure did have a lot of fun writing it! It was also a genuine reflection of just how much I got into this game as well though.

 

Whether you’ve been here for the entire journey or popped in for any chapter along the way, I want to thank you for taking the time to peruse my scrapbook. It probably goes without saying at this point, but The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is more than just a video game to me. It’s a dream realized, and I’ve never been so completely immersed and enthralled in a game before. It consumed much of 2017 for me and I spent hundreds of hours journeying through the vast and beautiful land of Hyrule. With this scrapbook, I hope I was able to successfully share some of the beauty and mystique of Hyrule with you, whether you are familiar with the land yourself or are completely alien to it.

 

Thank-you Eiji Aonuma, Hidemaro Fujibayashi, and the rest of the Breath of the Wild team for creating such a wonderful experience.

 

It was a journey I will certainly never forget.

 

*The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild by Nintendo

All photos and screenshots taken by me in-game

Scrapbook of the Wild #20: Journey’s End

To start at the beginning of the journey, go here.

 

I have been on a great journey. My travels have taken me to peaceful mountain villages, sparkling streams and lakes, a hallowed and ghostly forest, lush autumn wonderlands, harsh mountain crags filled with fire, forlorn and frigid peaks, blissful sunny beaches, and vast and beautiful desert wastelands. I have chased dragons, conversed with spirits and fairies, survived on a deserted island, infiltrated gigantic mechanical deities, lost myself in dark and desolate ruins, and wandered to the very ends of the world. I have helped a little girl make dinner for her sister, a Goron find his brother, a traveling father reunite with his five children, and ease a desert monarch’s grieving heart. I have witnessed the creation of a beautiful community and the happy union that it birthed. I have battled vicious creatures, cooked an abundance of lavish meals, and have spent a little too much time watching dogs chase their tails. I’ve made friends…I’ve lost a very dear friend. I have helped to heal the sorrows of long departed friends. There have been a lot of sunsets and a lot of crescent moons. There have been tears. And laughs. There has been a lot of beauty.

 

But she’s waited long enough.

 

And so I finally make my way to the glowing castle at the heart of it all.

 

2017102616250300-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39

2017102616254300-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39

2017102621231600-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39
I imagined what Castle Town would have been like and was sad I couldn’t experience it

2017102621383600-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39

2017102623134600-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39
I’ll never forget the moment when I finally burst through those doors
2017102623223100-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39
Hyrule Castle is amazing
2017102623252100-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39
The music, the atmosphere, the intricate design, all the little details and secrets…
2017102700174800-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39
…it’s not just my favorite final dungeon in Zelda, but a highlight of the whole series

2017102700262900-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39

2017102702245000-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39
The Blood Moon seemed to constantly happen here; not sure if that’s always the case
2017102702515000-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39
Maybe it’s because I came here on a Blood Moon night; it didn’t revive anything luckily
2017102703080700-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39
So many secrets in the library…

2017102723224000-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39

2017102800391900-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39
The outside of the chamber where Calamity Ganon is fought; such a cool detail

2017102800451500-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39

2017102800484300-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39
One of two remaining shrines found…but where was the other?
2017102802040500-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39
It took me a long time to find this place; I love that such a big area is so well-hidden

2017102818283500-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39

2017102818292500-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39
My heart was pounding…but I still had to find the last memory and shrine
2017102900293600-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39
The Guardian that almost took my life before Zelda intervened; it was time to repay her
2017102900340900-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39
So at this point, I had a problem…
2017102900351600-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39
I mean, besides the world ending…
2017102900361700-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39
I was ready to face Ganon, but I was missing a single shrine
2017102922320700-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39
I decided to brave the top of the castle, thinking there might be a clue there…
2017102922565400-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39
…but there was nothing; somewhere out in the world…I had missed one
2017103022524100-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39
After a mad Sensor search, it turns out I had literally walked right by it way earlier
2017103023000000-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39
The final, unassuming shrine: “Toto Sah Apparatus”

2017103023115300-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39

2017103023514300-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39
I admit, the classic green clothes caught me off guard
2017103100151100-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39
I did have some fun frolicking around in them though
2017110100523800-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39
So it all came down to this
2017110100535700-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39
I suppose this is what they call “destiny”
2017110102135600-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39
One last prayer
2017110102260100-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39
That was so long ago…

2017110102314500-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39

 

This is where the chronicle ends.

 

Though there is no visual record of it, I can assure you that I stormed Hyrule Castle in one final, legendary assault. Taking out every Guardian and Lynel in my path, I climbed to the Sanctum of the castle where I encountered the disgusting abomination known as Calamity Ganon. After slaying it with the help of the four Divine Beasts, the Champions’ arms, and the legendary Master Sword, it clung to life in the form of a colossal Dark Beast. I charged ahead atop my faithful companion, Destiny, and in the end, with my weapons and Zelda’s magic, the three of us finally managed to destroy Ganon. The Champions and the king could finally rest. With Hope and Destiny at our side, and Courage in my heart, Zelda and I then set about making preparations to rebuild Hyrule.

 

At long last, my journey had come to an end.

 

But this scrapbook has not quite yet! In one final bonus chapter, I will share all of the photos I took with the in-game camera built into the Sheikah Slate. The photos can’t be shared directly, unfortunately, but I did my best to capture clear screenshots of them. I hope you’ll join me then for the final page in my Scrapbook of the Wild.

 

*The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild by Nintendo

All screenshots taken by me in-game

Scrapbook of the Wild #19: The Eve Before the Battle

To start at the beginning of the journey, go here.

 

The battle for the fate of Hyrule is nigh. In a remote corner of the kingdom, people from all over the world, from all tribes and all cultures, come together to build. To build a community that is a symbol of hope in the desolation. A celebration takes place on the eve before the battle in the lovely town of Tarrey. A beacon of happiness that lights the way to the hard-earned end of my long journey.

 

2017101523170500-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39
The completed Tarrey Town
2017101523183900-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39
The true reward for the best side-quest is hearing the complete Tarrey Town theme

2017101600120200-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39

2017101600253000-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39
It was a beautiful ceremony
2017101600254800-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39
The newlyweds: Hudson and Rhondson

2017101600323200-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39

2017101600551100-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39
No time to tarry

2017101621225700-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39

2017101722080900-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39

2017101723244900-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39

2017101821292200-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39
I said I would return
2017101821540100-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39
One more friend before the end
2017101823444700-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39
Ironically, they were the easiest to tame
2017101823500900-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39
I named this gentle giant, Tao, after the Taobab Grassland where I found them

2017101900482000-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39

2017102000241400-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39
The final tower; I had fully mapped Hyrule

2017102023125400-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39

2017102023293300-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39
Look familiar?
2017102023432700-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39
There’s a Lynel in there somewhere
2017102100514300-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39
I love the birch tree areas
2017102100535700-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39
The view of the Dueling Peaks never gets old to me
2017102100554600-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39
I haven’t included any screenshots of Taluses, have I? Well, here you go!
2017102302204700-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39
It was time to prepare for the end
2017102421313400-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39
I had enshrined all of the Champions’ weapons in my house in Hateno Village
2017102421355200-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39
I had saved them for the fight against Calamity Ganon
2017102421415200-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39
Mipha…
2017102422161600-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39
Daruk…
2017102422195500-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39
Revali…
2017102423082400-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39
Urbosa…
2017102423150200-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39
I would fight for them all
2017102501243700-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39
And for Courage and Hope
2017102503004100-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39
And for Destiny and Tao
2017102523422400-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39
And for my old friend, the king
2017102600062900-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39
But most of all…
2017102615583500-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39
I would fight for you, Zelda

 

In chapter twenty, my journey comes to a close.

 

*The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild by Nintendo

All screenshots taken by me in-game

Scrapbook of the Wild #18: There and Back Again

To start at the beginning of the journey, go here.

 

With the desert behind me, I head back to the Great Plateau to plan my next move. The battle with Calamity Ganon is close, but I want to be as prepared as possible so as not to repeat the mistakes of one-hundred years prior. With this in mind, I decide to embark on one final quest around Hyrule, both revisiting familiar territory and making new discoveries in the “places between places” that I had overlooked the first time around. My mission is ultimately to find every shrine, keep every promise I made, and generally explore as much of the land as I feasibly can.

 

2017091503444100-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39
I had come a long way
2017091503520300-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39
The battle was close, but I would be prepared this time
2017091716051900-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39
One with lightning
2017091716161200-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39
I adore the “ruins in the woods” aesthetic of Faron Woods
2017091717265100-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39
It didn’t take long at all to make a new discovery and meet a quirky new character

2017091922141800-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39

2017092002343400-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39

2017092003263600-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39
This was also the time when I went back and activated all the towers I’d skipped

2017092003505700-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39

2017092020112500-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39

2017092020411900-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39

2017092101203600-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39
Every corner of the world held memories of past adventures…
2017092223515600-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39
…and of the people and creatures that I’d met
2017092504243000-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39
This beautiful land of Hyrule…I would fight to protect it

2017092505095200-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39

2017092520542100-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39

2017092521110500-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39
I did end up meeting the Lord of the Mountain again
2017092602062500-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39
It was still exciting to explore a new place that I’d passed by before

2017092602435500-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39

2017092602525400-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39
Getting closer

2017092617313800-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39

2017093023364700-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39
KA-BOOM!

2017100123420800-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39

2017100123433000-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39
Kass’s full song was one of the most emotional and gratifying moments in the game
2017100123571700-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39
Culmination

2017100201154700-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39

2017100304165200-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39

2017100323421800-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39
There were several spots in Hebra that I hadn’t touched
2017100401190700-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39
Discovering there actually WAS a village in Hebra, only in ruins, was a sad moment

2017100705313300-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39

2017101100505000-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39

2017101102062000-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39
Somewhat reminiscent of one of my favorite pieces of A Link to the Past artwork

2017101105510200-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39

2017101222375300-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39
Paragliding to the lands beyond…
2017101223432500-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39
…nah, just kidding; it was worth a shot though
2017101305034000-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39
I hadn’t been to Zora’s Domain in a very long time; I was looking for a priest…
2017101422142800-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39
Inevitably, my travels took me back to Akkala

2017101422254100-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39

2017101506192300-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39
There was going to be a ceremony…
2017101522293000-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39
…and so Destiny and I made haste to Tarrey Town

 

In the next chapter, I have a wedding to get to!

 

*The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild by Nintendo

All screenshots taken by me in-game

Scrapbook of the Wild #17: Between Two Worlds

To start at the beginning of the journey, go here.

 

In chapter seventeen, I journey into the Gerudo Canyon to discover a hidden complex, admire some of the most beautiful views in Hyrule, and pay the enshrined Divine Beast Vah Naboris a visit before finally leaving the enchanting lands of the Gerudo behind me.

 

2017090316283500-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39

2017090316452800-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39
For such a big structure, this was surprisingly well-hidden
2017090316555700-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39
This is my least favorite labyrinth, and the simplest I feel, but I still enjoyed it

2017090319240900-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39

2017090319325900-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39
This (Mt. Granajh) is my favorite view of Hyrule; it is just breathtaking on a clear day
2017090320164900-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39
Of course, it’s also pretty breathtaking on a clear night
2017090423204300-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39
Ridiculous theory: this labyrinth is just a giant Lego brick dropped by a deity

2017090423393800-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39

2017090500055600-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39

2017090500530600-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39
Mt. Granajh is just a beautiful place in general

2017090500534400-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39

2017090602040800-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39

2017090721154400-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39
It was a great surprise to run into the Goron Blood Brothers again here

2017090722381200-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39

2017090803125700-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39
This reminds me of Mt. Tamaranch from Link’s Awakening
2017090805262500-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39
I always appreciate side-quests that involve actually helping people

2017091016380800-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39

2017091018045900-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39
I don’t even know

2017091018462200-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39

2017091018511400-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39

2017091018520200-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39
I love these kinds of dizzying moments of scale in video games

2017091019480100-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39

2017091020153300-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39

2017091021480600-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39

2017091200141900-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39

2017091200522800-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39

2017091201384200-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39
Ruins at the edge of the desert
2017091201482000-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39
She who pierced the sun

2017091202042800-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39

2017091202091600-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39
Between shield and sand seal surfing, moving around the desert was a blast
2017091202233100-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39
I could watch this sunset a hundred times and not tire of it…I mean, I probably did…

2017091202322300-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39

2017091202360100-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39
Good night, Gerudo Town

2017091203003200-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39

2017091502302600-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39
Though I wish I could explore its entirety, the desert lived up to expectations

 

In chapter eighteen, it’s the beginning of the end.

 

*The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild by Nintendo

All screenshots taken by me in-game

Scrapbook of the Wild #16: The Great Desert

To start at the beginning of the journey, go here.

 

In this chapter, after taking some time to rest in Gerudo Town and attending to some errands in lands beyond, I venture into the heart of the Gerudo Desert to see what I can find.

 

2017081221344800-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39

2017081221454500-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39
I love this cozy canteen so much

2017081222051200-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39

2017081302120100-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39
I got a kick out of this relationship class; Risa (on the right near the door) was hilarious

2017081302143600-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39

2017081302250100-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39
Gerudo Town nights are so peaceful and magical
2017081303152200-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39
And now for an abrupt change of scenery

2017081303341700-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39

2017081304533900-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39
I love the view outside Tarrey Town
2017081305290700-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39
Something about this new outfit feels a little…off
2017081306032300-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39
It took a moment to dawn on me that I technically was wearing the classic outfit…
2017081323524800-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39
Ok, now where were we?
2017081400104900-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39
Sunsets in the desert are absurdly beautiful
2017081701155200-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39
Getting in touch with my inner Lizalfos
2017081715510400-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39
I finally solved the mystery of that giant statue I’d seen earlier in the Gerudo Highlands

2017081801585700-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39

2017081803595500-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39
My first Molduga caught me by surprise; definitely one of my favorite monsters

2017081823244300-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39

2017081901331900-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39

2017081902404000-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39

2017081904080200-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39
The sandstorms kind of terrified me
2017082003205300-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39
I found the sand seal race to be pretty easy, but it was still fun
2017082222330900-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39
The intoxicating mystery of the sandstorms

2017082301113700-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39

2017082301183000-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39
The eye of the sandstorm

2017082302341500-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39

2017082303455600-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39
This may be a stretch, but my theory is that this was an Aquamentus (Zelda 1 first boss)
2017082304434200-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39
It has wings and a hole in its head where a horn could have been

2017082416243300-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39

2017082416464400-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39
The edge of the desert; I can’t help but wish I could explore out there

2017082417001700-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39

2017082702404000-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39
Back in the Gerudo Highlands

2017082801543700-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39

2017082806532000-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39

2017083001363400-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39

2017083002150900-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39
The tallest tower
2017083002590500-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39
Running into Kass was always a delight

2017083004093700-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39

2017090121395500-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39
Notice how Spectacle Rock resembles Death Mountain in A Link to the Past from here?
2017090202155100-F1C11A22FAEE3B82F21B330E1B786A39
The desert stretches ever further…

 

I had trekked across the vastness of the great desert, but what of the rusty mountains beyond it that formed a barrier to the rest of Hyrule?

 

In the next chapter, I wander down a lonely canyon pass beyond the desert on an expedition to explore uncharted corners of the Gerudo Canyon…

 

*The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild by Nintendo

All screenshots taken by me in-game