I am now a week into streaming myself playing Breath of the Wild in a mode I’m calling “Naked and Afraid: Hats Only Master Mode.” I’ve streamed every day since Sunday the 9th, except for last Thursday, and I’ve done about twenty-two and a half hours of streaming in that time. I’ve run into a bunch of technical issues (all of which I now have quick solutions for, thankfully), found a few ways to streamline my recording and editing process (since I’m hoping to put all of my deaths into a compilation video once I’ve finished the challenge), and learned a bunch about Nightbot (though not nearly enough to get all of my commands working the way I’d like). Honestly, I’m having a great time. I love a new project and this is something I can REALLY sink my teeth into. After all, it’s based around one of my favorite things!
So far, I’ve made decent progress in Breath of the Wild, though it remains to be seen if I’ll actually complete my challenge. I’ve worked through a bunch of DLC quests (though only finished about half of them), made solid progress through a bunch of the early side quests, and unlocked about a third of the memories from the Memories-based plot quest. I’ve gotten a bunch of the gear that makes traversing the world easier, like the climbing gear hat, the Ancient Horse armor, and the Royal White Horse. I, of course, started with Epona, the best horse in the game available only via Amiibo, but I stopped using her after getting the Royal White Horse I’ve named Parsnip, because Epona’s saddle and bridle can’t be changed and I NEED a teleporting horse to really speed through this game. After all, most of the 40 shrines I’ve cleared and the 130 Korok Seeds I’ve collected are the low-hanging fruit easily available in the area around the start of the game and the first places the main quests take you. I still have many hours of gameplay left to go and only three and a half weeks left to play it in.
Thankfully, though, I’ve set myself up for success since I’ve gotten myself two of the most important hats for the early stages of the game. Having the Korok mask means that I can usually find most Korok seeds in the areas I travel through, since the mask gives me a clear indication if there’s a Korok hiding nearby. I’ve also gotten the Phantom helmet, which gives me a bigger armor boost than any other hat might until I’ve made my way to a second Great Fairy Foundation AND it boosts my attack, which has been integral in most of the fights I’ve been in. Of course, I still tend to get assassinated quickly when I’m wearing the Korok Mask, with it’s minimal armor, but I’m usually fine as long as I’m not failing to gallop over a bridge or forgetting about some of the enemies around me in a mass fight. Which is most of the ways I’ve died so far. My death count is currently at 38–which feels very high for me–but that’s kind of the way it goes in this game mode. That’s part of the challenge. I have, however, gotten better at deflecting Guardian lasers and figuring out how to use environmental fire to kill the toughest of my enemies. My only regret thus far is that fire doesn’t seem to do much to Guardians. I know that it kind of makes sense, since they’re machines, but it’s still very disappointing.
I have no idea how many quests are left to do at this point. I might try to defeat Calamity Ganon early, rather than leaving it to be the last thing I do, just so I can get the quest counter. I’ve also still got a few regions to map and explore, but so far I’m definitely feeling like I’ve gotten myself on solid footing. It’s going to probably take as much time as I can give it, to beat this challenge by midnight on May 11th (well, 12:01 AM on May 12th, I guess), but I think I can do it. After all, I wouldn’t have issued myself this challenge if I didn’t think I could do it. That said, my Achilles’ Heel is my own hubris. It has gotten me killed many times and most of the times it didn’t get me killed is because of luck rather than skill. It’s entirely possible that I am going to fall victim to my own hubris again, in terms of the challenge this time rather than in terms of getting Link killed again.
Regardless, I’m having a good time. I’ll be able to see just how far I can get in this challenge mode and finally be able to put to rest all thoughts of trying to beat the game without armor in the most difficult game mode. Even if I don’t win, I’ll still have had lots of fun along the way and, honestly, that’s what I’m really aiming for here. Lots of fun.