I’m Tired and Sad, So Let’s Talk About The Legend of Zelda: Episode 12

One of my favorite techniques for wasting time, resources, and my enemies in Breath of the Wild is attaching things to Octo Ballons. If you get the right number of balloons for your object, you can cause it to float at about chest height, which puts it in the perfect position to blown wherever you like using a Korok Leaf. Since you’re not striking anything with the leaf, a single leaf can last you through a number of battles. Unfortunately, the balloons will pop after a short time, so you have to be precise, quick, and dilligent. Otherwise your carefully arranged maze of traps you’re going to blow onto the unsuspecting Bokoblins will fall at the wrong time and ruin the whole effect. After all, it’s only impressive if YOU set off the series of explosions that causes fire or shock or ice to rain upon your enemies.

Thanks to the malleability of the physics engine in Breath of the Wild and the Stasis power that allows you to set something up to ignore physics for a short period of time, you can create your own sky ships. It is most commonly done using actual rafts or the various objects you’re meant to move using the Magnesis power or by using Stasis and then hitting them, but you can do it with boulders, tree trunks, or even stones if you’re careful. Really, the only limitations on what you can fly is your imagination and the number of Octo Balloons you have in your pockets. For instance, you can use Bombs, Stasis, or Magnesis to push a minecart around, or you can attach a bunch of balloons to it and fly over the lava instead of confining yourself to the rail system you found your new airship attached to.

In Master Mode, there are a huge number of floating platforms, holding a range of chests and enemies meant to provide you with extra resources and extra challenge as you explore a world filled with enemies that are not only astep above the strength you should be facing, but who also possess the power to regain a certain amount of hit points if you stop dealing damage to them for a few seconds. These can seem like a hassle, at first, as you now have to be cautious while riding along major roadways, crossing bridges, or exploring places you used to be able to largely bypass by flying or swimming. Once you realize that all the game has done is provide you with a ready-made airship, all you have to do is fly up to one yourself and defeat the enemies you find there without damaging your precious Sky Octoroks. You can always replace one with a series of balloons if you need to, but I find it’s best to avoid popping the Sky Octoroks all together. It’s much cheaper that way.

Once you’ve done that, then you can tour the entirety of the world on your new ship. It might take you a very long time to get anywhere, and you might lose your ship to enemies on the ground attacking you the way you attacked the previous occupants of your ship, but you’ll have a ton of fun in the meantime. There’s nothing quite like floating up on a bunch of enemies and raining arrows down on them from the safety of your airship. As long as you’re either high enough or fighting enemies without bows, nothing can touch you. Watch out for storms, though, since lightning can destroy an entire airship if you forget to unequip your metal gear. And Guardians. A Guardian will fuck you up if you don’t abandon ship right away or get super lucky with dodging the beam from an incredibly far-away Guardian

I’ve toured most of the world from the comfort of an airship, and while I did get pushed off course many times by some frustrating weather effect and had my entire ship burn away the time I wanted to find out what would happen if I took my ship to a volcano, it was definitely still worth the time and trouble I went to for the experience. There’s just something about being able to look down on all your problems that feels incredibly satisfying. Being able to just drop down onto shrines or Sheikah towers is even better. Someday, I’ll figure out how to get one of these airships into a battle against Calamity Ganon and show him the true power that is air superiority.

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