I recently started a new game in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild after I took my Switch to my sister’s house and my nephews deleted my save. I’d played a few hours of the game last year but never picked it up again. This time, it’s totally sucked me in, and I spent all day Sunday playing. I had a lot of chores to do, so this could have been a problem, but luckily, I was able to do the chores even as I played the game. That’s because I had plenty of time to kill while I waited for the in-game rain to stop.
I had to wait for the rain to stop, because Link can’t climb in the game if it’s raining. And, well, I’m completely in love with Breath of the Wild’s rock climbing. I recently got super into rock climbing in real life, and I’m relishing the chance to do my new hobby in a video game, so I try to climb mountains in the game whenever I can. I went out of my way to pick up the climbing outfits Link can wear, even though I’m horrified that he spends so long in his climbing shoes, which in real life are shoes that intentionally run small and are uncomfortable to wear for long periods of time.
So I was headed in a straight line across the map, vaguely intending to reach a randomly-selected marker for part of the quest to find the Divine Beasts. I was making pretty good progress – that is, until it started raining. As we’ve noted before here at Kotaku, it rains a lot in Breath of the Wild. Since climbing doesn’t work in the rain, I found myself stuck at the base of a mountain waiting for the weather to change. At one point the weather cleared, but I was immediately attacked by a group of Lizalfos. Once I’d dispatched them, I only had time to get a little bit higher up the mountain before it started raining again. I scrabbled a little bit farther by jumping. By the way, climbers call this move a dyno, because all climbing lingo makes you sound like a 1970s California surfer. Link is very good at dynos, but even he has his limits. At this point, I had only one more section of rock to go before I was at the top. I wasn’t about to head back down now, so I stood on an outcropping, figuring the weather would change soon.
The weather did not change soon.
I spent about an in-game week standing and waiting. After 10 real-world minutes, staring at my Switch screen was starting to grate on my eyes, but the longer I waited, the more I got committed to waiting. I kept checking my map, thinking about warping somewhere else, only to imagine how bad I’d feel if it stopped raining the second I gave up. I was determined to wait it out. Surely it couldn’t rain forever.
Here are some things I did while waiting for it to stop raining in Breath of the Wild:
- Scouted for shrines with the Sheikah Slate. Did not find any.
- Watched the sun set (in the game)
- Watched the sun rise
- Watched the sun set again
- Watched the sun rise again
- Cooked lunches for the week (in real life… using this recipe, if you’re curious)
- Googled whether or not you’re supposed to trim radish leaves to keep them fresh longer
- Pulled the leaves off my leftover radishes and then second-guessed myself about trimming them
- Cleaned the radishes and put them in a plastic bag
- Felt bad about wasting a plastic bag, so put the radishes in a plastic container instead and washed out the bag
- Tried to figure out how I, personally, would climb the bit of mountain Link was stuck on. Because rock climbing lingo is ridiculous, climbing strategies are called “beta.” Now you’ve learned something! Anyway, I don’t think I could do it myself, but it definitely feels doable for someone who’s more experienced than I am.
- Imagined getting good enough at rock climbing to climb the section. Goals!
- Jumped up and down (in real life)
- Admired Breath of the Wild’s sky
- Shouted “oh no, a blood moon!” and then realised no monsters could reach me
- Admired the blood moon
- Googled whether you can climb on wet rocks in real life. Apparently, it can be really damaging to the rocks, so climbing after the rain is very contentious. Admired Nintendo for taking a stance on this issue.
- Wondered if Breath of the Wild was broken
- Googled whether Breath of the Wild was broken
- Saved my game, closed it, and opened it again to see if it would make the weather change
- Held back tears when it was still raining
- Struggled to pull a can off those super-tricky Paktech recyclable six-pack rings, which usually results in either failure or me sending the can flying across the room
- Sent the can flying across the room
- Retrieved the can
- Jumped up and down some more
- Remembered I have a FedEx package that’s been stuck in “shipping label created” for several days
- Checked the shipping status. Still stuck.
- Read some forums about packages being stuck in “shipping label created”
- Debated watching an episode of The Simpsons but couldn’t decide which one. Felt ridiculous thinking about watching TV instead of just giving up on Breath of the Wild.
- Spun the in-game camera around
- Dropped some gear
- Second-guessed myself and picked the gear back up again
- Jumped up and down some more
At this point, I’d had it. It was getting late in real life, and I wouldn’t have much longer to play before I had to go to bed. I picked a shrine across the map, shouted “oh no!” to psych myself up, and made myself warp to it. As Link’s molecules reassembled, I heard birds chirping. The sun was shining. It wasn’t raining.
A while later and many in-game miles away, I was interrupted by several characters called Zora asking me to meet someone named Prince Sidon. When I found him, Sidon directed me toward the marker I had been trying to reach and said that I couldn’t climb because it was raining, which sent me into hysterical laughter. As I trudged along a mountain path, fighting enemies while Sidon cheered me on, I wondered if I’d been coming up the backside of this wet mountain before. Maybe the weather had been scripted and it was never going to change? I tried to remember where I’d been on the map, but I wasn’t quite sure. Had I waited in vain? I’d like to believe I didn’t, because I’m not sure I could live down the shame. At least I got a lot done in the rain.