The Cortica River Midstream, located in South America, is the fifth main location to explore in Endless Ocean 2. It is also the eighth overall map in the game, and the first (and only) freshwater location in the series. There are no new mechanics introduced in this region, but there is an evolution of some previously-introduced concepts, most notably the introduction of conditionally dangerous creatures.
During the player's first visit, "Dúlamán" by Celtic Woman will play in the background, making it one of only two main maps in the game to have its own vocal track. Following the completion of Chapter 4, the track becomes available via Nineball Island's jukebox, provided it has been purchased from Nancy beforehand.
"This Amazon tributary is known for its many shallows and large variety of freshwater animals. Divers must be careful when swimming along its narrow channels, as its muddy waters cause poor visibility."
"The Cortica River is a medium-sized river that flows eastward from its source in northeastern Brazil.
It merges with the Amazon at longitude 53° west, which then empties into the Atlantic. Its location means that the Cortica River's ecosystem is very similar to that of the Amazon.
Even in Brazil, where the rivers are being actively developed, there are parts of the river basin that have never been explored. There was a sensation when ancient ruins were discovered there two or three years ago."
The points from which the player can enter the water when starting a dive are:
This is the first location from which the player can dive into the Cortica River. While this area is called the Midstream, the player cannot access a "downstream" area - if they try to proceed any further south, they receive the message that the current is too strong, and that it would be dangerous to keep going. Continuing to the north brings the player to the Perilous Waters area. This is the only place in Blue World where the player can find alligator gars, one of GG's favorite creatures.
This section of the river, which ranges from coordinates C3 to D3, contains dense shoals of "dangerous" red piranhas, which give it its name. They are mainly a passive fish, and can be easily distracted if the player drops pellets of food for the fish as they swim through the area.
After swimming north through the piranha-filled waters, there is shallow area ahead with a small island in it - this is the Eastern Sandbank. If the player goes ashore on this island, they'll find giant otters lounging about. In the narrow channels to the north and south of the island, many spectacled caiman adults and young swim. Here, it is recommended that the player equip and use the Pulsar, as the parent caimans are willing to go to bat to protect their young.
The Western Sandbank is similar to the Eastern Sandbank, but a slightly different selection of animal life may appear here; however, the resident caimans still patrol the waters to the north and south of the local small island. In the wide, relatively-shallow area to the west, there is a large group of giant otters; going ashore here greets the player with more spectacled caimans (which are not dangerous on land). The sandbanks are locations that may occur as photo requests, both above and under water.
This area, south of the west end of the Western Sandbank, is originally blocked by a fallen tree. The player needs a special companion to unblock the mess to explore inside. Once there, they will find this tranquil lake mainly populated by Amazonian manatees and tambaqui. A legendary creature (being the only one on the map) will also appear there after the area's been unblocked, but only while it's raining. If the player uses the Multisensor here, they'll usually be able to find a large crate.
This part of the map is a tangled mess of mangroves, featuring arapaimas, silver arowanas and electric eels. Due to the fact that the Pulsar was mainly designed for saltwater use and that the eels are resistant to it anyway, there is no highly effective way to control them; the best one can do is to swim carefully around them. If the player uses the Multisensor in the Maze, they'll usually find a small box and a doll, though there is another notable object here that only shows up at night.
This comparatively barren area north of the Mangrove Maze functions as the second point from which the player can enter the water, as well as the passage to the Cortica River Upstream (true to its name). The only residents of the area are some silver arowanas and tambaquis, as well as some zoom-mode life. Utilizing the Multisensor here, the player can often find a small sphere.
During the progression of the story, specifically at the start of Chapter 4, GG joins your team and mentions some information about the Amazon Basin to the player. This will open up the Cortica River as a dive location.
Upon diving at the Cortica River Midstream, Hayako will inform the player of the dangerous creatures in the river. When the player gets through the midstream to the Upstream, they will find Spirit Falls, and the two frog statues that guard the entrance to King Amaru's Aqueduct. Hayako then relays the puzzle sequence that requires the Multisensor and opens the door to the Twilight Temple. When performed successfully, the path to King Amaru's Aqueduct is opened, and with that the path to the Twilight Temple is clear.
Inside the Sacred Chamber of the majestic temple lies one of the Okeanos Tablets, the one known as the Cortica Slate. When the tablet has been found, the player is told to return to the boat - but, before they can, a minor catastrophe strikes. Out of nowhere, the player hears the Song of Dragons, and on cue a very angry spectacled camian arrives through King Amaru's Aqueduct and attacks. Once the caiman has been pacified via use of the Pulsar, the source of the Song is discovered - a lost Antarctic minke whale, swimming outside of Spirit Falls.
After all of this has occurred, the player is finally able to return to the boat without further incident and continue the story.
Animal Scene Events
- Amazonian manatee eating: Automatically plays upon entering Queen's Lake for the first time.
- Spectacled caiman with young: Unlocked by surfacing near one of the Sandbanks for the first time.
- The Cortica Midstream is the only map in the game that contains more than one resident dangerous species; these are the red piranhas, spectacled caimans, and electric eels.
- This region is the only map besides the Iceberg Cavern to not contain any resident cetaceans or rideable animals. It is also the only main map in the game to not contain a befriendable species.
- That being said, the Iceberg Cavern is temporarily home to a lost spectacled porpoise in the same manner that the Upstream is temporarily home to a minke whale.
- Whenever the player dives in this area, the creatures they can see on the loading screens include red piranhas, butterfly peacock bass, and silver arowanas.
- Despite in-game text stating that the Cortica River's waters have low visibility, this issue never actually pops up during gameplay.
- The Cortica River is the only main map in the game to play a vocal theme during the player's first visit.
- The Cortica Midstream is one of only three main maps in the game where no dolphins are befriended, the other two being Gatama Atoll and the Weddell Sea.
- The Cortica Midstream has the lowest number of animal scene events out of any main map in the game.
- Unlike the cold and deepwater areas in the game, the freshwater environment does not complicate the player's diving ability in any way, shape, or form.
- The Midstream is one of only three maps in the game to house non-legendary creatures who can only be encountered after completing its story mission; the other two are Deep Hole and the Cavern of the Gods.