Poes are creepy little ghosts that haunt Hyrule. They have collectively cursed a man named Jovani, who made some sort of deal (with them?) in exchange for wealth. He sits immobilized in a filthy house full of gold coins and spider webs, and if Link brings him enough poe souls then his curse will be lifted (somehow?). It’s not entirely clear what’s going on with Jovani, but wolf Link can sense and kill poes, ripping their souls out of their ghostly bodies like a complete and utter savage. There are a total of sixty poe souls that Link can collect, and they’re scattered around Hyrule. Now that Link has access to all of Hyrule field, hunting poes is as good an excuse as any for exploration and adventure.
The poes seem to be concentrated around Lake Hylia and the Gerudo Desert. Lake Hylia Cavern, a series of passageways twisting into the mountain chain separating the lake from the desert, is full of them. The cave is also full of treasure and standing torches. If the Gerudo used to be thieves, I wonder if this could have been a secret hideout for them? Are the poe ghosts murdered or executed Gerudo?
Although the poes that hang out in caves are ready to party at all hours of the day, the overworld poes only come out at night. The day-night cycle in this game progresses fairly slowly, so Link has a lot of time on his hands as he waits for the sun to set.
I decide to occupy him with the Malo Mart sidequest. The general store in Castle Town is ridiculously expensive, so Malo, being the precocious toddler he is, decides to buy it out and open another branch of his store on the property. Link is asked (by one of the Goron elders, of all people) to contribute 2,000 rupees in startup funds, which he happily does, as the Lake Hylia Cave hides more money than he can possibly carry around with him.
Once Link has made the initial investment to help Malo Mart and its Goron shareholders repair the western bridge into Castle Town, he is presented with a miniquest in which he must deliver a barrel of hot spring water to one of the Goron workers who is too exhausted to move from the bridge. Since West Hyrule Field is crawling with monsters who will break the barrel if Link touches them, and since the water will cool if Link takes too long to deliver it, this sidequest is surprisingly difficult and a huge pain in the ass. There’s actually a trick to it – none of the monsters chasing Link will actually attack him if he just runs in a straight line to the bridge – but it took me at least a dozen tries to figure this out.
Once he’s collected a bunch of poe souls, rupees, heart pieces, and equipment upgrades, Link finally heads over to Telma’s Bar, where he meets the members of the resistance. One of them is actually Link’s mentor Rusl, who apparently isn’t particularly concerned that his son Colin is still missing or that his wife is super-pregnant and could birth at any time. Okay dude, you just sit at a bar and feel important, don’t worry about me standing over here and judging you.
One of their members, Auru, is over at Lake Hylia watching the desert. The desert is where all the evil is (because of reasons?), so Link is told to go find him. He does, and Auru gives him a piece of paper to show to Fyer, the sad middle-aged clown who operates a giant cannon in the middle of the lake. Once he sees the memo from Auru, Fyer shoots Link over the mountain range and into the desert.
Yes, canon travel makes zero sense, but it’s a cool reference to Secret of Mana, so I decide not to worry about it too much. Cannons are awesome.
( The above image is from RPGFan Reviews )
( Header image from the Watch Us Play Games “Poes You Missed” guide )