Over the weekend, I finally started on a project that I’ve talked about doing for about five or six years now. I began a play-through of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild where I will allow myself to wear nothing but hats (aside from a few plot-centric moments that require me to wear more clothes such as entering the Gerudo city and certain quests that require me to wear specific things) and rely heavily on environmental fire as a weapon, all while playing the game on Master Mode. I’ve already finished most of the stuff on the plateau and am ready to move into the wider world. I’ve also already died half a dozen times, mostly due to my own hubris and forgetting to focus on any bokoblin with a bow since most of them will be able to instantly kill me. I’ve found myself frequently frustrated by how quickly a fight ends once I make a mistake, but that’s part of the reason I’m calling this whole personal challenge mode the “Naked and Afraid Run.” The kicker for all of this is that I’m streaming it on my relatively unused Twitch channel so that everyone can come watch/heckle me as I play. All in good fun, of course.
Overall, I’ve been enjoying myself since I’ve been forced to rely pretty heavily on meals with temporary boosts and I love a game mode or personal challenge that makes me approach a game in a different manner. Now, I’m actually using up all my stat-boosting foods and elixir materials rather than allowing them to accumulate in my inventory. I’m also putting all of my game knowledge to the test as I try to avoid spending too much time scouring a specific area so that I’m not boring the thus-far one person (a dear friend) watching me on Twitch. I know the general layout of the world well-enough that I usually don’t need to pass through areas more than once unless I’m hunting materials, doing a quest that I unlocked later, or chasing a falling star, but I’ve discovered that I only sort of remember where a lot of foods and materials are generally located. I rarely remember specific quantities and I frequently get to an area I know has stuff and don’t really find as much as I hoped to before I push myself to move on. Still, I’m doing pretty well, even if I have yet to successfully catch the beetles I need to make early damage and defense boosting elixirs.
Most of this is an academic problem, now that I’ve cleared the plateau. The one major concession I’ve allowed myself in this game is the use of Amiibo. I have a large collection of Legend of Zelda Amiibo (every single one released in the US thus far), so I can get myself set up pretty well as soon as I get off the plateau. I’ll have a horse, tons of new weapons, shields, bows, and armors I can’t use, as well as a bunch of materials since those drop along with the chests spawn by each scan. Usually, this is where most of my boosting food inventory comes from, but I’m going to need to stay on top of my hunting and collection game despite this because I’m trying to play (and stream) for about three hours a night instead of my old habit of playing about one to two hours a night so I can hopefully beat the game before Tears of the Kingdom comes out. My goal is to get through all the main quests, finish all the shrines, complete all the shrine quests I can find, do as many side quests as I can locate, fully complete my inventory expansions, fully upgrade all the hats I get, and complete all the DLC as well. All before I pick up my copy of Tears of the Kingdom.
It is a lofty goal, to be sure. The only reason I think I can do it is because I haven’t got a whole lot else going on right now and I know the game like the back of my own hand. As long as I don’t dilly-dally or spend too much time collecting materials, I should be able to complete it in time. Even if I’m slowed down by constantly needing to eat in cold and hot environments so I don’t freeze/burn to death. Honestly, I’m also concerned about my climbing abilities since I usually rely heavily on the climbing boost and stamina reduction of the climbing gear armor set to trivialize the most difficult climbs. Also, without the full stealth and nighttime speed boost of the sheikah set, I’m going to actually need to remove my weapons and shields any time I want to sneak. Sure, food will help overcome some of these difficulties, but I’m also going to need to use a lot of it to boost my hearts temporarily and heal myself up when every single hit just wrecks me thanks to having little to no protection. This whole thing is really going to challenge my usual mid-to-late-game supremecy.
Still, I expect it’ll be fun. I love a challenge and I love an excuse to play Breath of the Wild again. Plus, it’s been fun to wander down memory lane as I recall playing through the game for the first time back in 2017 as I gear up for playing through Tears of the Kingdom for the first time now. I don’t know if I’ll succeed and I’m sure I’ll run into more than a few frustrating encounters, but I am still excited to give this challenge a try. If this sounds interesting to you at all, I hope you’ll join me! I’ll be playing most week nights from about 7 to 10pm central time and I’m sure I’ll be playing even more on the weekends, enough that I’m even going to guess at what my schedule might be on Saturdays and Sundays. Still, if you follow my twitch channel, you can get notifications when I start streaming. Otherwise, I’ll be posting regular updates on my progress each Monday, if not more often.