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The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword

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This article is about the game. For other uses, see Skyward Sword (Disambiguation).
The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword
Skyward Swordlogo3.png
Skyward Sword US Box Art.jpg
Developer(s)
Publisher(s)
Designer(s)
Hidemaro Fujibayashi (director)
Eiji Aonuma (producer)
Koji Kondo (sound composer)
Takeshi Hama (sound composer)
Shiho Fujii (sound composer)
Mahito Yokota (sound composer)
Hajime Wakai (sound composer)
Release date(s)
North America November 20, 2011[1]
Japan November 23, 2011[2]
European Union November 18, 2011[3]
Commonwealth of Australia November 24, 2011[4]
Republic of Korea November 24, 2011[5]

Wii U Download
North America September 1, 2016
Japan September 1, 2016
European Union September 1, 2016
Content ratings
ESRB: E10+
PEGI: 12
CERO: A
CB: M
USK: 12
DEJUS: 10
GRB: A
Platform(s)
Predecessor
Successor

The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword is the sixteenth main installment of The Legend of Zelda series. It is the first The Legend of Zelda game created specifically with the Wii in mind, and requires Wii Motion Plus.[6][7] It was released on November 18, 2011 in Europe,[3] on November 20 in North America,[1] on November 23 in Japan,[2] and on November 24 in Australia. Upon its North American release, a special edition Skyward Sword bundle became available at the price of $69.99. The bundle includes a copy of Skyward Sword, as well as a gold Wii Remote Plus. Additionally, a limited edition CD, featuring music from The Legend of Zelda 25th Anniversary Symphony concerts, is also packaged alongside all early purchases of the standard and special edition copies of Skyward Sword.[8]

Story

Prologue

Main article: Ancient Battle

Long ago, the earth cracked and evil forces rushed out of the fissure. These forces attacked the people of the earth, slaughtering them and destroying their land. They did this in search of the ultimate power capable of granting any wishes of its holder. This power, passed down by the gods of old, was guarded by Her Grace, the goddess of the land. The goddess gathered the surviving humans and the ultimate power on a piece of earth and sent it skyward beyond the clouds. This outcropping of rock came to be known as Skyloft. With the humans safe, the goddess joined the land dwellers and fought the evil forces in a war of unmatched scale and ferocity. They eventually sealed the evil forces away, restoring peace to the surface. However, the humans remained in Skyloft, as Hylia knew that the seal on the evil would not hold forever.

The Wing Ceremony

The story transitions to the present day in Skyloft, where a young man named Link is having a strange dream depicting a gigantic dark beast and a mysterious spirit. He is awoken by a Loftwing owned by his childhood friend Zelda. The bird gives Link a letter asking him to rendezvous with Zelda at the Statue of the Goddess in preparation for the annual Wing Ceremony scheduled to take place that day, where he discovers that his Crimson Loftwing has gone missing and begins to search for it. After overhearing his rival Groose and his two cronies, Cawlin and Strich, Link discovers that they were responsible for his Loftwing's disappearance and that they hid the bird behind Skyloft's waterfall. Link takes a sword from the Knight Academy and enters a cave under Skyloft's waterfall. On the other end of it, he meets up with Zelda, who has come to assist Link in finding his Loftwing. After stating that Link's bird may be ahead, Zelda hears a strange voice and wonders whose it is, but quickly assures Link that nothing is wrong. The two find Link's Loftwing and free him. Zelda then asks Link if he heard the voice she had heard earlier, and says that she feels as if someone is calling out to her. She proceeds to tell him about the possibility of a land beneath the clouds called the Surface, said to be far more vast than Skyloft. She quickly brushes it off, and the two fly to the ceremony together.

With all of the participants ready, the Wing Ceremony begins. Despite Groose and his lackeys' efforts to prevent him from winning, Link succeeds in plucking the Bird Statuette from the talons of another Loftwing, making him the victor. Link and Zelda proceed to the Goddess Statue to complete the ceremony, where Zelda bestows the blessings of the goddess upon Link and gives him the Sailcloth. To conclude the ceremony, Link must jump off the statue and land safely using the Sailcloth. Zelda pushes him off instead, and Link is successful. Zelda praises Link and proposes that the two fly around the clouds together in celebration. However, as they are flying, a mysterious black tornado suddenly appears and plucks Zelda off of her Loftwing, causing her to fall beneath the Cloud Barrier. Link tries to rescue her, but is knocked out by the tornado himself in the process.

Link's Loftwing takes him back to Skyloft. That night, Link has a dream depicting Zelda free falling into the mouth of the same beast from his dream at the beginning at the game. After waking up in his bed, he explains the events that transpired to Zelda's father, Headmaster Gaepora. Although Gaepora tells him to rest, Link soon hears the voice of the mysterious spirit once more and leaves his room, following the spirit to the Goddess Statue. The spirit appears from the sword within the statue and introduces herself as Fi. She tells Link that he must take the blade he sees in front of him and embark on his destined journey as the chosen hero of the goddess. Although he is apprehensive at first, Fi tells him that Zelda is still alive, and Link draws the blade. The two are joined moments after by Gaepora, who explains his hidden knowledge of a prophecy that foretold what was taking place before him before telling Link that nobody has ever pierced the cloud barrier. Fi remedies the situation by bestowing Link with the Emerald Tablet, which opens a portal through the clouds to the world below.

Searching for Zelda

The next day, after receiving his green knight's uniform as the only graduating member of his class, Link makes a few preparations and heads to the surface to find Zelda. As he descends, he arrives at the Sealed Grounds, where he sees a dark aura emanating from a spike in the center of a large pit. Upon witnessing this, Link has yet another vision of the dark beast. He descends and approaches the spike, and hears a voice telling him to strike it with a Skyward Strike. Link does so, and the sinister aura disappears. Afterwards, Link heads to the Sealed Temple. Inside, a mysterious old woman gives him a hint about Zelda’s whereabouts, in the nearby Faron Woods. Link proceeds into the woods and continues his journey until he enters the Skyview Temple. There, a strange man appears at the door to the Skyview Spring. He introduces himself as Ghirahim and explains to Link that he is responsible for the tornado that brought Zelda to the surface. Ghirahim tells Link that he and his forces nearly captured Zelda before a "loathsome servant of the goddess" helped her escape, and states that Zelda now lies beyond the door. He prepares to fight Link, threatening to "beat him within an inch of his life." After Link defeats him, he realizes that Zelda's presence is no longer in the area and leaves, threatening to kill Link the next time they meet. The young hero enters the Skyview Spring, and Fi translates words that the Goddess left for him, indicating that Zelda must purify her body at two different springs.

Link receives the Ruby Tablet and returns to Skyloft to place it alongside the Emerald Tablet inside the Goddess Statue. With a new portal to the surface accessible, the young hero travels to Eldin Volcano, where he continues his journey to find Zelda. After making his way through the Earth Temple, Ghirahim appears to Link and tells him that once again, someone else took Zelda from him. He sics Scaldera on Link and leaves them to battle each other while he tries to reclaim Zelda. Link triumphs against the monster and proceeds to the second spring. There, Zelda is seen with a young woman in front of a golden portal. The woman prevents her and Link from reuniting, and Zelda sadly tells Link that she has to go and apologizes to him before entering the portal. Link tries to follow her, but the woman stops him. She chastises Link for his failure to arrive in a timely fashion, and follows Zelda through the portal, which disappears in a flash of light. Link is left hurt and frustrated, and Fi translates another message from the Goddess intended for him, revealing that Zelda is headed to Lanayru Desert.

Link receives another tablet known as the Amber Tablet, and returns to Skyloft to place it inside the Goddess Statue. Another portal to the surface is created, and Link and Fi set out for Lanayru Desert. While exploring the desert, they find the Temple of Time. However, the entrance has been blocked, forcing Link to enter via a secret passage in the Lanayru Mining Facility. When he gets inside, he sees Zelda and the strange woman standing at the Gate of Time. Just before Link can rejoin Zelda, Ghirahim breaks through the rubble blocking the entrance to the Temple of Time and casts a barrier of fire in front of Link, preventing him from reaching Zelda. Ghirahim proceeds to engage in battle with Zelda's escort. In the midst of the frenetic action, Zelda gives Link the Goddess's Harp. As Ghirahim's magic barrier dissipates, Link intervenes in the battle, allowing Zelda and her companion to escape Ghirahim by entering the Gate of Time. On their way through, Zelda's companion destroys the gate to prevent Ghirahim from following them. After vowing to kill Link the next time they meet, Ghirahim leaves the scene. Link decides to return to the Sealed Grounds to learn how to use the Goddess’s Harp.

As Link descends to the Sealed Grounds, Groose intercepts him in midair and both fall to the surface. As Groose is shocked with what he sees around him, Link explains the situation, calming the former. Groose's old attitude quickly returns and he tells Link to head back to Skyloft, hoping to find and rescue Zelda himself. However, the old woman at the Sealed Temple tells Groose that he will not be the one to save Zelda and he leaves the Sealed Temple in anger. The old woman reveals that Zelda's bodyguard's name is Impa before allowing Link to learn the Ballad of the Goddess. As he plays it on the sacred harp, a large structure appears behind him and is revealed to be a second Gate of Time. However, outside the Sealed Temple, a beast known as the Imprisoned (the same monstrosity from Link's visions and dreams) responds to the appearance of the Gate and breaks free of its seal. Although it is too powerful for Link to destroy, he succeeds in sealing the Imprisoned back into its pit. Groose is left with a feeling of uselessness and laments that he is unable to save Zelda, while the old woman tells Link that he cannot activate the second Gate of Time until his sword is much more powerful. She tells him to seek out the three Sacred Flames of the Golden Goddesses.

The Sacred Flames

Link returns to Skyloft to find clues to the whereabouts of the three flames. Following clues in the lyrics of the Ballad of the Goddess, Link rotates the two windmills in Skyloft to make them face each other. This unearths the Light Tower, and Link performs the Ballad of the Goddess on the Goddess's Harp at the shrine on the top of the structure. In response, the Light Tower fires a beam into a large thunderhead in the distance. Link is able to fly into the thunderhead, where he finds the Isle of Songs. Inside, he learns a song known as Farore’s Courage. With this song, Link travels to Faron Woods and opens the portal to the Silent Realm, a parallel dimension created by the Goddesses for the chosen hero to prove himself. After filling the Spirit Vessel with Farore’s Tears, Link receives the Water Dragon's Scale, allowing him to swim underwater and perform a spin maneuver. He uses this new ability to head to Lake Floria, where he hopes to find the first Sacred Flame. He encounters Faron, the Water Dragon presiding over Faron Woods, and discovers that she was gravely wounded from an attack by Ghirahim and his forces and is recuperating in a basin of water as a result. She tells Link to bring her Sacred Water to heal her wounds, promising to reveal the path to Farore's Flame in return. Link returns to Skyview Spring and collects the Sacred Water, and heals the Water Dragon with it. Faron reveals that Farore's Flame lies within the Ancient Cistern, and tells Link that they will meet again. After conquering the challenges in the Ancient Cistern, the Goddess Sword is purified with Farore’s Flame and is transformed into the Goddess Longsword.

With the first flame obtained, Link returns to the Isle of Songs and learns the song known as Nayru’s Wisdom. Link heads for Lanayru Desert and completes another Silent Realm challenge there, giving him the Clawshots, which he uses to access the Lanayru Sand Sea. There, he meets Skipper, a robot who once captained a ship tasked with protecting Nayru's Flame. After tracking down the Sandship and boarding it, Link defeats the pirate captain that had stolen the ship, frees the crew, and battles the gargantuan monster Tentalus. After these ordeals, Link receives Nayru’s Flame, which purifies his sword into the Goddess White Sword.

With only one flame left, Link returns to the Isle of Songs and learns the song known as Din's Power. He returns to Eldin Volcano to complete his third Silent Realm trial, after which he receives the Fireshield Earrings. Using the protective jewelry, Link heads to the Volcano Summit, where he finds the Fire Sanctuary. However, after traversing the temple, Ghirahim appears to Link once more and tells him that he has found out about the existence of a second Gate of Time. He asks Link to reveal its location, but he refuses. Although Ghirahim partially transforms his body to become more powerful, Link succeeds in besting him, incurring his wrath. Ghirahim leaves once more and Link obtains the final Sacred Flame. Din's Flame improves the Goddess White Sword into the Master Sword. With the evil-repelling sacred blade in hand, Link returns to the Sealed Grounds to open the Gate of Time. However, the Imprisoned is released once again, reacting to the power of the Master Sword. The young hero seals the beast away for a second time with help from Groose, who came out of his depression and built a bomb-flinging catapult to deal with the monster.

Link finally activates the second Gate of Time and proceeds to the distant past, arriving shortly after the Goddess had sealed away the Demon King Demise, and sent Skyloft heavenward with the surviving humans and the sacred power. Link meets with Zelda, who reveals her true nature as the mortal reincarnation of the Goddess Hylia. After she sealed away Demise, Hylia knew that her power would not bind him forever. With this in mind, she devised a plan to destroy the Demon King once and for all. Hylia knew that the Triforce would eventually have to be used by someone worthy of its power, someone with an unbreakable spirit, to destroy Demise. She created Fi to assist the chosen hero who would inevitably fulfill the goddess's wishes on his quest, and decided to transfer her soul to the body of a mortal: Zelda. The goddess knew that Link would charge headfirst into peril without hesitation if it meant saving Zelda, and Zelda apologizes to Link for using him (as Hylia) to bring about the ultimate destruction of Demise. She also reveals that the Imprisoned is Demise's weakened form, and thanks Link for repeatedly confining it in the Sealed Grounds. She blesses the Master Sword with the power of the goddess, causing it to take on its true form, the True Master Sword. Zelda tells Link that as the reincarnation of Hylia, she must remain in a deep sleep for thousands of years to keep Demise imprisoned within his seal. She seals herself into a crystal and tells Link that he must find and use the Triforce to destroy Demise so that she will be able to wake up in their own time. After an emotional parting, Link returns to the present and sets out to find clues to the location of the Triforce.

The Golden Power

Link returns to Skyloft where the Triforce is supposedly hidden, and asks Gaepora what he knows about it. However, the Headmaster has little knowledge of the Triforce, and can only tell Link of the Great Sky Spirit, Levias, who lives in the thunderhead and whose knowledge is described as "encyclopedic." However, Instructor Owlan informs Link that Levias has been acting strange lately and suggests that he is possessed by something. Owlan tells Link to speak to the owner of the Lumpy Pumpkin, a small diner popular among the knights of Skyloft. The owner makes an offering of his pumpkin soup to Levias on a yearly basis. Link offers to take the soup to Levias in his stead, and brings it inside the thunderhead, drawing out the sky spirit with it. However, Levias is indeed possessed by a creature known as Bilocyte, and Link is forced to battle and destroy it to rescue the sky spirit. After returning to his senses, Levias tells Link to seek out the three dragons on the surface who know of three separate parts to a song known as the Song of the Hero, which will supposedly lead the way to the Triforce.

When Link descends to Faron Woods, an anomaly prevents him from going anywhere but the Sealed Grounds. Upon arrival, Link teams up with Groose to seal the Imprisoned for a third time. The old woman explains that Link cannot enter Faron Woods because it is currently flooded and, to keep the Sealed Grounds safe from this flood, she placed a seal on the gate to the woods that will only hold as long as the gate is not opened. Groose decides to use his machine to fling Link into the woods. Link lands in the flooded woods and investigates the inside of the Great Tree, where the water supposedly emerged from. Link meets Faron again inside of the tree, where she informs him that she flooded the woods in order to get rid of the monsters in the area. She offers him the challenge of collecting the notes to her part of the Song of the Hero in the form of Tadtones. Link completes the challenge and is given the Water Dragon's part of the song before she decides to cause the flooding to recede, returning Faron Woods to its original state. Link then sets out to his next destination.

When Link descends to Eldin Volcano to visit the Fire Dragon, Eldin, a volcanic eruption throws him out of the sky, knocking him unconscious. As he comes to, he finds that the Bokoblins had set up a new base in the area and took the opportunity to badly injure Link and steal his items. Link finds himself in a cell with no way out, until a Mogma known as Plats, whom he had met before in the Fire Sanctuary, burrows in and reveals that he had stolen Link's Mogma Mitts back from the Bokoblins, allowing Link to burrow out of the cell and begin recovering his items. However, without the Master Sword, Link is unable to fight the Bokoblins directly and must use stealth to evade them and find his items. After some time, Link recovers all of his items and proceeds to the Volcano Summit to meet Eldin, who imparts his part of the Song of the Hero to Link.

When Link descends to visit the Thunder Dragon, Lanayru, he crawls through a small tunnel in Lanayru Caves uncovered by a Goron mining for Timeshift Stones. Link ends up in Lanayru Gorge, where the Thunder Dragon supposedly lives. However, he finds nothing but a skeleton, suggesting that the Thunder Dragon had somehow died. Link recovers a key and finds a room with a Timeshift Stone in a mine cart, which is about to be sent to the Thunder Dragon. Activating the Timeshift Stone, Link is able to proceed around and through the caves to reach the Thunder Dragon, shifting time backwards to a point when the Thunder Dragon was still alive. He is shown to have been deathly ill, and needs fruit from the Tree of Life to recover. A sapling has been planted in the present desert era, but it is unable to flourish in Lanayru Desert's climate. Using Timeshift Stones, Link digs up the sapling and brings it back through the Gate of Time to the Temple of Hylia, where he plants it, allowing it to grow into a tree that bears the life-saving fruit in the present day's Sealed Temple. Taking the fruit, Link brings it to the Thunder Dragon and saves his life. The Thunder Dragon recovers and teaches Link his part of the Song of the Hero.

With the three parts of the Song of the Hero, Link returns to Levias, who combines the three dragons' parts with his own to teach Link the full song. With the full song in hand, Link returns to Skyloft and uses the song to open the trial gate to the final Silent Realm. On the other side, Link completes a trial in Skyloft and receives a mysterious gemstone that will lead to the Triforce. There is a similar gemstone somewhere in Skyloft, and bringing the two together will reveal the path to the Triforce. Link identifies the stone as the missing eye of a bird statue facing away from the Isle of the Goddess. He inserts the stone into the bird statue's eye, which opens up the Sky Keep, a hidden, spiral-shaped temple beneath the Isle of the Goddess. Link enters the mysterious dungeon and conquers its many trials, obtaining the three separated pieces of the Triforce along the way.

With the Triforce in hand, Link ascends onto the Goddess Statue and makes his wish: the destruction of Demise. The entire Isle of the Goddess breaks free from Skyloft and plummets down to the surface, returning to its original location at the Sealed Grounds, crushing and destroying the Imprisoned as it attempts to escape its confines once more. Descending from the Goddess Statue, Link rushes into the Sealed Temple to witness Zelda's awakening. The group bears witness to Zelda's return from her long sleep, and Link and Zelda are finally reunited.

The Final Showdown

However, just as the group believes that Link's long journey is finally over, Ghirahim ambushes them. He abducts Zelda and enters the Gate of Time, intending to use her to resurrect Demise in the distant past. Regaining his strength from Ghirahim's initial ambush, Link pursues him to the past, finding Impa on the ground as he emerges from the Gate of Time. Impa reveals that Ghirahim ambushed her and passed through the large doors at the front of the temple with Zelda. She assures Link that she will be fine and urges him to pursue Ghirahim. Link heads out to the Sealed Grounds, where Ghirahim is beginning the ritual to revive Demise, who is still sealed in the past, by having him absorb Zelda's soul, as she is the reincarnation of Hylia. He has his troops assail Link in absurd numbers to keep the hero at bay while the ritual progresses, but Link charges through the army of Bokoblins and reaches Ghirahim at the bottom of the spiral pit.

Ghirahim expresses his rage at Link for being too quick and throws Zelda into the air before finally taking on his true form - a living weapon, a sword spirit comparable to Fi. He raises Link and himself on a high platform, where he announces his intention to kill Link in a "fitting," ironic way - by driving the boy from the sky to the edge and throwing him off. However, Link does exactly that, driving Ghirahim to the edge of the platform and knocking him off before plunging his sword into the Demon Lord's chest to damage him. Ghirahim's rage peaks as he summons blades with which to battle. Link continues to strike the gemstone in the center of Ghirahim's chest, eventually defeating him once and for all. However, Ghirahim reveals that the ritual he started continued while they battled. The Imprisoned rises from the pit in the Sealed Grounds, swallowing Zelda's soul and returning to his original form: Demise.

Ghirahim welcomes back his master before the latter silently raises his hand, using his power to draw his blade (a dark, corrupted version of the Master Sword) out from within Ghirahim. Ghirahim's lifeless form is drawn into the blade, and Demise announces his intention to take the world for himself now that Hylia is gone. He then causes Zelda to fall from the air, but before her body can hit the ground, Groose arrives from nowhere and catches her. He tells Link that it will take some time for Demise to fully absorb Zelda's soul, giving Link a chance to save her by destroying Demise. Seeing Link defy his expectation of humankind by standing against him, Demise decides to give Link the chance to duel him in another realm for the fate of the world. Link follows him through a dark portal and finds the Demon King against a backdrop of the sky. Demise speaks with Link before their battle begins, telling him of his intention to destroy him and take the Triforce to rule the world for eternity. Link manages to outdo Demise at swordplay, causing the latter to summon a thunderstorm and power his blade with lightning. However, Link does the same with the Master Sword and uses electrified Skyward Strikes to match Demise's power. Finally, Demise is knocked down on his back, and Link leaps into the air, plunging the Master Sword through the Demon King's chest. Demise stumbles to his feet and commends Link, but warns him that he is not finished. He explains that his hatred will be reborn as a being to pursue domination of the world, and those with the blood of the goddess and spirit of the hero will be trapped in a cycle without end. Link raises his blade and absorbs the remains of the Demon King into the Master Sword.

Link returns from the battle to find Zelda and Groose, and the three return to the Temple of Hylia, where they meet with Impa and prepare to return to their own time. At Fi's behest, Link plunges the Master Sword into a pedestal in the Sealed Temple, leaving it and his partner behind now that her purpose to guide Link has been fulfilled. Just before she enters a "slumber without end," Fi tells Link that while she is unable to feel true emotion, she feels something best equated to happiness due to her time spent with Link. Despite Zelda's pleas, Impa is unable to return with the group to their time, as she is a being of that era. Impa states that as a member of the Sheikah, she must watch over the Master Sword to ensure that Demise does not reawaken. She declares that she will also watch over the Triforce, and that it will eventually be secreted away from the knowledge of humankind to preserve the peace. Impa promises Zelda that even though she will destroy the Gate of Time, they will meet again. Zelda gives Impa one of the bracelets that she had been wearing throughout most of the game before she, Link and Groose return to their own time. On the other side of the gate, they see the old woman as she destroys the gate from that end. She remarks, "See? I told you we'd meet again," before showing her the bracelet that Zelda had just given to Impa in the past, revealing that the old woman was an elderly Impa all along. As the group realizes this, Impa vanishes in particles of light, her duty to the Goddess finally fulfilled. As the group laments Impa's death, the large gate in the back of the Sealed Temple opens to reveal the Master Sword, remaining in the pedestal where Link had left it in the past.

Epilogue

After the credits, it is shown that Gaepora, Cawlin and Strich fly down through the cloud barrier to meet with Zelda, Link, and Groose. Groose returns to Skyloft with the others, bidding farewell to Link and Zelda, who are seen on the Goddess Statue once more as Link plays the Ballad of the Goddess on the Goddess's Harp. Zelda tells Link that she had always dreamt about the surface and that she wants to remain there, and asks what Link's intentions are for the future. Link smiles at her, and the camera pans to show both his and Zelda's Loftwings flying back into the sky, implying that Link chose to stay with Zelda.

Gameplay

Controls

Faron Woods shown during the press conference.

At E3 2010, The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword was revealed during the Nintendo Press Conference, introduced by Reggie Fils-Aime and Shigeru Miyamoto. Miyamoto discussed that the use of the sword and shield would incorporate the motion capabilities of the Wii MotionPlus and use of the Nunchuk accessory. The sword could also be charged up by holding the Wii Remote straight up in the air, and, once it's charged up, the Remote must be swung downwards to release the beam as a projectile attack.[9]

Since the Wii Remote serves as the sword, the Nunchuk becomes the shield: quickly shaking the Nunchuk will cause Link to raise his shield. The Nunchuk should be held up in front as if it were a real shield. Miyamoto demonstrated this by blocking attacks from Octoroks and even using the shield to send the projectile back at the enemy.[10] Weapons such as Bombs, the Slingshot, and the Bow, the return of Sword Beams, and new items such as the Beetle and Whip were all showcased, all using the natural aiming and directional applications of the Wii MotionPlus.

The inventory is accessed by pressing and holding the B button, which brings up a "radial menu" on the screen (similar to the one in Twilight Princess). To choose the item that Link will equip, the Wii Remote must simply be either pointed or tilted in the direction of the desired item to select said item.[11] The HUD can also be easily turned off if players find that it takes up too much space.[12] One of the major changes in choosing items from the item screen or while drinking potions is that there is no pause in the action, so items are chosen in real time.[13]

Previous rumors of a flying element were pushed further in an interview with Eiji Aonuma and Shigeru Miyamoto preceding the Nintendo E3 press conference on the Nintendo E3 Network with Aonuma saying that "the sky plays a key element." He also mentioned that the new Zelda isn't as big as Twilight Princess (as far as physical places go), but rather more dense and in-depth.[14]

Aonuma also mentioned that Wii MotionPlus was not originally intended for use with Skyward Sword because the controls weren't working well. But when Wii Sports Resort came out, it worked perfectly for that game, so they re-implemented it.[14] Miyamoto has furthermore stated that the Wii MotionPlus will not be used for every item in the game, saying that item and weapon controls "will be carefully weighed to see how MotionPlus/sensor bar [...] can make for the optimal control scheme."[15]

This is the first (and currently only) Zelda adventure where it's indicated by a damage meter that Link's shield is taking damage under enemy attacks. Because of this, Link will have to use more strategic ways of defending against enemies and, if the shield gets damaged in battle, he will have to buy a new one or get it mended.

Overworld and Dungeons

Skyward Sword features a new map that is "a lot easier to follow than previous attempts." According to Aonuma and Miyamoto, this should "cut down on the amount of time you spend lost." Moreover, since some previous Zelda games had been focusing on things like story and dungeons, this title focuses more on "fun."[16]

In the September 2010 issue of Nintendo Power, Eiji Aonuma once again spoke of trying to alter the "traditional flow" of Zelda games. He mentioned that the development team tried to take some elements of a dungeon and "actually move it out of those small connected rooms" into an area that is usually considered a field, with there not always being a boss at the end of that area.[17]

Flying

Main article: Wing Ceremony
Link flying on his Loftwing in during the Wing Ceremony.
As revealed during E3 2011, Skyward Sword includes flight. Link can go to different regions in Skyloft by riding a Loftwing but only once he completes his flying training at the beginning of the game. In this minigame, which is used to teach the young hero how to fly properly, Link must catch a specific bird that is carrying a Bird Statue to prove his worth as a knight of Skyloft and a Loftwing rider.

While flying, Link can jump off the Loftwing he's riding at any time to drop onto the smaller islands scattered throughout the sky, allowing him to explore each individual island as in The Wind Waker. At any point, Link can drop below the clouds to find bird-like Save Statues found around Hyrule that will allow him to return to the clouds and be back to the central town of Skyloft.

Controlling the Loftwing is done similarly to controlling planes in the Wii Sports Resort Air Sports games, as the gliding is achieved through the Wii Remote. Pressing A allows Link to go faster, the B Button slows the Loftwing down, and flicking the controller vertically will make the Loftwing flap its wings.

Game Information

Early Development

Link as he appears in the Skyward Sword trailer shown at E3 2010.

When Eiji Aonuma was asked in a 2007 interview if Twilight Princess would be the Wii's only Zelda title, he replied, "I can't say, but I guess for now, maybe, yeah [laughs]. Not to say that it's going to be the final game. There's still a lot of potential with the Wii so there's still a possibility that there could be another Zelda for it. We do have some ideas in the works, but I can't say for sure because none of them have been approved and we're still very much in the planning process, so I hope you look forward to whatever comes out."[18]

In a private meeting at E3 2007, Eiji Aonuma began to give details about the then-soon-to-be-released Zelda title, Phantom Hourglass. He then began speaking about Skyward Sword. In his excitement, he began to reveal more details about the game, but was withheld from divulging too much information by Shigeru Miyamoto. He indicated that he would like to have a whole new control system for the game, and that it was possible that one-to-one swordplay could be implemented. He also said that he would like to make the game to appeal both to the casual and the hardcore gamer,[19] a sentiment echoed by Miyamoto in a later interview.[20]

It was stated by Shigeru Miyamoto that Twilight Princess is "without a doubt, the last Zelda game as you know it in its present form."[21] However, the meaning of this quote leaves quite a bit to interpretation. In that same vein, Eiji Aonuma more recently revealed that he is looking to alter the "traditional flow" of Zelda games, which usually consists of exploring a field, entering a dungeon, conquering the dungeon, and then returning to the field.[22]

At E3 2008, Miyamoto confirmed that Skyward Sword was not the only new Zelda game in development at the time, and that separate teams had gotten together to create both DS and Wii Zelda games.[23] Spirit Tracks was produced alongside Skyward Sword by a separate team and released before the end of the following year.

At a round-table at the E3 2009 Convention, Shigeru Miyamoto disclosed that Skyward Sword would be announced at E3 in 2010. Artwork shown at the roundtable was leaked shortly after, depicting a swordless, adult, right-handed Link, as well as a mysterious female figure, bearing resemblance to both the Fairy Queen and the Master Sword.[24] Miyamoto admitted that Skyward Sword's version of Link is older than those of past titles, and placed an emphasis on Link's lack of a sword in the leaked artwork, particularly when questioned about the girl.[20] The actual title of Skyward Sword was not revealed until E3 2010, before which it was known only as "Zelda Wii".

Game Developers Conference 2011 Preview

During the Game Developers Conference in March 2011, a new demo was exhibited, showing several new actions Link can perform during the adventure, not to mention new locales and environments.[25] Link faces a redesigned Skulltula and two Lizalfos, manipulates a puzzle-like key in order to open a door, and comes face-to-face with Koloktos. The first significant NPC was revealed to be a mysterious, white-haired man, who can vanish into thin air similar to the way Midna and Zant teleport in Twilight Princess.

Graphics

The graphics portray a cross between The Wind Waker and Twilight Princess.

Graphically, the title incorporates a mixture between The Wind Waker and Twilight Princess: cel-shading and realistic elements, the former in relation to the overworld, and the latter in respect to Link's appearance and weaponry. However, in the September 2010 issue of Nintendo Power, Aonuma mentioned that neither style contributed to the choice of art styles, and that they simply chose it since the developers are focusing on "swordplay", meaning that they wanted to make the swordplay accessible and clear to the user.[26]

Cel-shaded versions of enemies such as Octoroks, Deku Babas, and Bokoblins were apparent during the gameplay at the Conference in order to further explain the motion capabilities of the sword with Wii Motion Plus and the weapons during combat. In terms of the overworld, an open forest-like area was shown, that housed a large, central tree and a multitude of colorful attributes such as mushrooms, foliage, and even temple-like entrances along the area's walls.

Skyward Sword's unique visual style was inspired by Miyamoto's love of impressionism, and the skies in the game are a tribute to Cézanne.[12] Plenty of visual cues to identify enemy attacks and weaknesses will be given, and since "full realism" wouldn't work for these kinds of cues, the game developers decided that the best way to do so was to overexaggerate the character designs.[27]

Audio

Skyward Sword has been confirmed to be fully orchestrated, with Miyamoto saying that "Nintendo couldn't do what it did with Galaxy 2 and not do the same with the next Zelda."[28] However, an IGN interview with Aonuma states that the question whether to use orchestrated music had still not been answered by the time E3 came up. Moreover, Aonuma said that he was actually surprised at Miyamoto's response during the roundtable, saying that he hasn't had a chance to talk to Miyamoto for his approval and that he might tell Aonuma that "he was just joking around."[29]

In an Iwata Asks interview with Super Mario Galaxy composer Mahito Yokota, it was confirmed again that the game's music would be orchestrated.[30] According to Yokota, Shigeru Miyamoto said that adding orchestrated music for Skyward Sword's E3 2010 showing was not necessary at the time, but at the end of the summer, they decided to add in orchestral music and Mahito Yokota joined the development team.[31]

Timeline Placement

Skyward Sword's in-game story establishes itself as the first game in the known Zelda timeline, exploring the beginning of the battle between good and evil within the legend, and establishing its key players: Zelda, as the incarnation of the Goddess Hylia, Link, as the incarnation of the Goddess's hero, and Ganondorf, as the manifestation of the Demon King Demise's hatred.

Eiji Aonuma had already confirmed during the game's development that in terms of the Zelda Timeline, Skyward Sword comes before Ocarina of Time, which was later confirmed in the timeline published in Hyrule Historia, when it was placed before The Minish Cap and Four Swords. Aonuma did however state that Skyward Sword will not necessarily always be the first entry in the chronology, giving the possibility for future games to occur earlier.[32][33][34]

Completion Records

Main article: Speedrun Records
Time Performer Date Notes
4:56:56 [35] Nimzo August 29, 2017 Any%
7:41:20 [36] Bob September 21, 2015 100%

Reception

The game received universal acclaim, gaining a Metacritic rating of 93 (out of 100). It obtained a perfect score from IGN (10/10) and 98% from the UK Official Nintendo Magazine; it is tied with Ocarina of Time 3D for the magazine's highest-ever review score. However, Gamespot rated it lower than previous games in the series, giving it a score of 7.5 out of 10. Fans have praised the new combat system, but complained about free-roaming in the sky, saying it lacked more interesting places to explore.[citation needed] In addition, the game has been criticized for being too linear.

The game sold over 2 million copies worldwide on a month of release. As of March 2012, the game had sold 3.52 million copies worldwide.[37]

Listings

Characters

Bosses

Enemies

Dungeons

Places

Items

Translations

Credits

Glitches

Trivia

  • Skyward Sword is said to have taken the longest development period in the history of the franchise.[38]
  • This is the second game in the series that requires an external accessory (the Wii MotionPlus) to be played, the first being Majora's Mask in the Nintendo 64 version (which required the Expansion Pak).
  • The main theme of Skyward Sword, known as the Ballad of the Goddess, is an orchestration of Zelda's Lullaby played in reverse.
  • Skyward Sword is the second game in the franchise that shares its Japanese subtitle with the rest of the world, being a direct romanization of the English title (スカイウォードソード); the first is Twilight Princess (トワイライトプリンセス). The Legend of Zelda, The Adventure of Link, Four Swords, Ocarina of Time, and Majora's Mask all use the same title in English and Japanese, but they are not directly romanized.
  • Despite being the earliest game in the timeline, the Hyrule of Skyward Sword is one of the more futuristic Zelda games in the series, having some of the most advanced technology yet, with an entire dungeon staffed by robots and the existence of a large mining corporation that created the dungeon and its robotic denizens.
  • Skyward Sword is the first Zelda game to have the element of electricity on a major scale.
  • Despite being a Wii game, Skyward Sword only runs in 16:9 widescreen, even with the fullscreen setting for the Wii on. In the event that the Wii's default fullscreen mode is on while playing the game, the image is displayed in a letterbox format so as not to inconvenience those without widescreen televisions.
  • The American box art contains Hylian Language from Twilight Princess even though Skyward Sword introduces a new Hylian Language. Twilight Princess Hylian is also scarcely featured within the game.
  • This is the first time the names "Din, Farore, and Nayru" are mentioned in the same game as "Faron, Eldin, and Lanayru."
  • In the short Hylian text in the box art, the two words read translated "DIN" and "NAHRU" as a reference to Din and Nayru.
  • The division of Skyward Sword's surface world into three separate provinces that Link must dive into from The Sky is very similar to the division of Freshly-Picked Tingle's Rosy Rupeeland into three continents that are only accessible if Tingle uses his Tingle Balloon from the top of Rupee Tower.
  • A game-ending glitch occurs if the quest for the Song of the Hero is done in a certain way. This prompted the release of the Skyward Sword Save Data Update Channel.
  • Skyward Sword is the first 3D Zelda game on a home console where day and night do not alternate on their own. The only way for time to progress in the game is by having Link sleep on a bed in Skyloft.
  • This is the first Zelda game and the first 3D Zelda title to have a run feature without the need for an item such as the Pegasus Boots. This was also the first Zelda game in the series to feature a stamina meter.

Nomenclature

TMC Forest Minish Artwork.png Names in Other Regions TMC Jabber Nut Sprite.gif
Language Name Meaning
Japan Japanese ゼルダの伝説 スカイウォードソード (Zeruda no Densetsu: Sukaiwōdo Sōdo) The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword
People's Republic of China ChineseSI 塞尔达传说 天空之剑
Republic of China, Hong Kong and Macao ChineseTR 薩爾達傳說 天空之劍
Federal Republic of Germany German The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword
Republic of Korea Korean 젤다의 전설 스카이워드 소드

Gallery

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External links

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 "NORTH AMERICAN EDITION
    Release Date: November 20, 2011
    Console: Wii"
    (Art & Artifacts (Dark Horse Books), pg. 380)
  2. 2.0 2.1 "JAPANESE EDITION
    Release Date: November 23, 2011
    Console: Wii"
    (Art & Artifacts (Dark Horse Books), pg. 380)
  3. 3.0 3.1 "Link is once again tasked with rescuing Zelda, on November 18th in the eagerly anticipated European debut of The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword on Wii."Nintendo announces packed 2011 line-up of upcoming games, Nintendo, retrieved Aug. 17 2011.
  4. The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword
  5. Official Korean website
  6. [1]
  7. GameTrailers TV Reggie Fils-Aime Interview
  8. "The limited-edition gold controller bundle for The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword will be offered at a suggested retail price of $69.99. The game will also be sold separately at a suggested retail price of $49.99, though the gold controller will only be available as part of the special bundle. As an additional 25th anniversary treat for fans who purchase the game early, every copy in the initial production, whether sold by itself or as a part of the limited-edition bundle, will come with a free CD featuring select orchestral arrangements of iconic music spanning the history of the franchise which will be performed at The Legend of Zelda 25th Anniversary Symphony Concert performances in October 2011"The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword Bundle Highlights a Golden Autumn for Nintendo Games, Go Nintendo, retrieved Aug. 29 2011.
  9. "Miyamoto explained that the Wii remote and the Wii Motion Plus accessory would be required, with the remote used primarily to swing your sword. The Wii Motion Plus' one-to-one movement translation would make fighting more accurate, Miyamoto said, and demoed it on screen when he came upon some deku babas. To defeat these carnivorous plants, you'll apparently need to swing your sword in the same direction its mouth opens--Miyamoto showed this by slicing horizontally to defeat a deku baba with a horizontal mouth, and vertically to defeat one whose mouth opened in that direction. Your sword will also get a powered-up attack--holding the Wii Remote straight up in the air will see Link do the same with his sword on screen, charging it up with "energy from the heavens". You can then release this beam as a projectile attack by swinging your hand downwards."[2], gamespot.com.
  10. "With the Wii remote as your sword, the nunchuck becomes your shield in Skyward Sword. Quickly shaking the Nunchuk will bring up your shield, and you'll need to hold it in front of you as you would a real piece of defensive gear. Miyamoto once again demoed this by blocking projectile attacks from some Octoroks, but he also showed that you'll be able to turn defense into attack by quickly pushing forward with the nunchuck just as a projectile hits. This will send the projectile hurtling back at your foe."[3], .
  11. "The way you access your inventory will also get a makeover in Skyward Sword. Pressing the B button will bring up a radial menu on screen, and you'll simply use the Wii remote to select your item."[4], gamespot.com.
  12. 12.0 12.1 Kotaku.com's Nintendo Developer Roundtable
  13. "Unlike in past Zelda games, there's no pause in the action when you switch between tools or weapons; you press the B Button and select the desired item from a circular menu in real time. The action doesn't halt when you drink life-replenishing potions, either." (Nintendo Power (Nintendo), pg. 52)
  14. 14.0 14.1 E3 Iwata asks
  15. E3 2010 - Ten minutes with Shigeru Miyamoto
  16. Kotaku.com's Nintendo Development Roundtable
  17. "So traditionally, a dungeon would be a bunch of small rooms connected and you'd have to clear one to get to the next and to the next and then finally you get to the boss at the end.... However, this time around what we're trying to do is to take maybe some of that dungeon structure and actually move it out of those small connected rooms and, say, into an area that might traditionally be considered a field. [We may] take some of the same elements--some challenges that allow you to progress through the field rather than it being an area of small connected rooms--and maybe there's a boss character at the end of that...." (Nintendo Power (Nintendo), pg. 53)
  18. E3 2007: Aonuma and Miyamoto on Next Wii Zelda Game
  19. Gamernode: News - E3 '07: The Director, Phantom Hourglass and Zelda's Future
  20. 20.0 20.1 E3 2009: What Happened to Link's Sword? - IGN
  21. Wii Zelda: Unfortunate Reality
  22. "So far, the basic flow of the Zelda games is you’re exploring a field, you go to a dungeon, you conquer it and return to the field. We’re looking at altering that traditional flow."Nintendo - Zelda Wii in 2010 and New Handheld in the Works, www.vgchartz.com.
  23. Zelda Team Working On New Games?
  24. First Look At New Zelda Game's Concept Art - Kotaku
  25. Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword GDC 2011 Trailer (Higher Quality)
  26. "We didn't choose this art style for this game because we preferred one art style over another. Those art styles really didn't contribute to our choice of art styles this time around. The reason we have the art style that we do, and this is something that [Zelda creator] Mr. [Shigeru] Miyamoto talked about as well, is that we're focusing on swordplay. And to make the swordplay accessible and clear to the user, that had informed how we created the character designs and why we have some of the exaggerated features for the characters." (Nintendo Power (Nintendo), pg. 53)
  27. "There will be lots of visual cues to identify enemy attacks and weaknesses, and the best way of relaying this to the player is through overexaggerating character designs, so full realism just wouldn't work. If we used the same graphics from Twilight Princess, the game would already be done."[5], IGN's Nintendo Developer Roundtable.
  28. "Mario Galaxy 2 had a big, thunderous orchestral soundtrack. Will Skyward follow suit? Miyamoto says Nintendo couldn't do what it did with Galaxy 2 and not do the same with the next Zelda."[6], kotaku.com.
  29. "Aonuma: This is actually something we've been talking about for quite a while. I've discussed with Mr. Miyamoto, "are we going to do orchestration?" and mulled it over for a while. We got here to E3 and still didn't have an answer, so last night in the roundtable when the question came up, Mr. Miyamoto just said "I guess we're going to have to." And I said "We can? We can do it, really?" But, to be honest, I haven't had the chance to sit with him and get the OK on that. So, to be honest, I don't know either. He might tell me he was just joking around later."[7], ign.com.
  30. Iwata Asks : Nintendo 3DS: The Everchanging Music of Hyrule Field, Nintendo.com.
  31. "Yokota: Yes. That's about the time. At the E3 last year, when we were going to exhibit The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword for the first time, we talked about using orchestral music. But (Shigeru) Miyamoto-san said it wasn't necessary. [...] Right. Then, toward the end of summer break, they finally decided to put in orchestral music and I joined the development team." — {{{2}}}
  32. Official Nintendo Magazine Scan
  33. ""Yes, there is a master timeline but it is a confidential document!" explains Aonuma-san. "The only people to have access to that document are myself, Mr. Miyamoto and the director of the title. We can't share it with anyone else! I have already talked to Mr. Miyamoto about this so I am comfortable releasing this information--this title [Skyward Sword] takes place before Ocarina of Time. If I said that a certain title was 'the first Zelda game', then that means we cant ever make a title that takes place before that! So for us to be able to add titles to the series, we have to have a way of putting the titles before or after each other."" (Official Nintendo Magazine (Future Publishing), pg. 51)
  34. OMN Interviews Eij Aonuma, Talks Skyward Sword and More
  35. The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword - Any%, Speedrun.
  36. The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword - 100%, Speedrun.
  37. Supplementary Information about Earnings Release, April 2012, Nintendo.
  38. GoNintendo - Zelda Wii has the longest development cycle since Ocarina of Time
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