Zelda Skyward Sword
Zelda Skyward Sword Introduction
The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword was created for the Nintendo Wii. Released in Europe on November 18, 2011; North America on November 20; Japan November 23; and Australia November 24, Skyward Sword was the first Zelda game specifically designed for the Wii system and requiring the Wii Motion Plus.
The North American release of the game brought with it a special edition bundle package that contained a copy of the game, a gold Wii Remote Plus, and some contained a limited edition Legend of Zelda 25th Anniversary Symphony CD.
Skyward Sword Plot
Far off in the past, evil forces flowed out of a fissure in the earth. They came and attacked the innocent people of earth with a great ferocity of terror; they massacred them and left a path of destruction across the land. Why did they do this? In search of the ultimate power left behind by the gods of old; a power that would grant any wish to its beholder. This immense power was guarded by Her Grace; the goddess of the land. To protect her people, the goddess gathered them and safely sent them skyward on a piece of earth to a sanctuary beyond the clouds. Once her people were safe, Her Grace joined the land dwellers to battle the evil. In such a grotesque and fierce war, the evil forces could not retaliate and were sealed away, allowing peace and calm to return to earth.
The Wing Ceremony
The story begins on the day of Skyloft’s annual Wing Ceremony. The young boy Link awakes from a strange dream depicting a dark monster and ominous spirit to a Loftwing owned by his close childhood friend Zelda. Zelda’s bird bears a letter requesting Link to meet her at the Goddess Statue. Link notices the disappearance of his own Loftwing and in his search for it, he hears Groose and his comrades Cawlin and Stritch discussing Link’s Loftwing. Link finds his Loftwing as Zelda hears someone calling out to her. Zelda nervously shares this with Link as they fly to the ceremony together.
The ceremony begins and Link is able to stifle Groose’s attempts to stop him from winning and succeeds in plucking the Bird Statuette from another Loftwing. To complete the ceremony, Link follows Zelda to the Goddess Statue where she bestows blessings of the goddess upon Link and gives him the Sailcloth. Link uses his newly obtained Sailcloth to jump from the statue and complete the ceremony. Zelda suggests that she and Link go flying together, but during their flight a whirling black tornado knocks Zelda off of her Loftwing, knocking her down below the cloud barrier. During the chaos, Link has a vision of the ominous spirit from his dreams. In the process of trying to rescue Zelda, Link is knocked out by the tornado.
Link’s bright red Loftwing loyally returns him to the safety of his bed in Skyloft. When Link awakes, he explains to Zelda’s father, Headmaster Gaepora, the tragedy that has occured. Gaepora tells Link that he must rest, but after the voice of the ominous spirit resonates in Link’s ears, he follows the sound to the Goddess Statue. From the sword in the statue, the mysterious spirit appears and introduces herself as Fi. Fi explains to Link that he is the chosen hero of the goddess and that he must take the blade before him and continue to his destiny. Link has trouble believing that Zelda is still alive, but with the reassurance of Fi, Link draws the blade, ready for an adventure. Gaeopora joins them and reveals his knowledge of a prophecy and explains to Link that no one has ever pierced the cloud barrier. Fi calms Link when she passes on to him the Emerald Tablet; a tool to open the portal through the cloud barrier to travel to the unknown world below.
The Search for Zelda
The following day, Link prepares for his journey after receiving his green knight’s uniform, a token of graduating his class. He descends to the world below where he arrives at the Sealed Temple. By using a Skyward Strike on a spike in the center of the Sealed Grounds, Link is able to open a door that leads into the temple. An old woman inside of the temple hints to Link about Zelda’s whereabouts in Faron Woods. Link travels through the woods until he enters the Skyview Temple. Link looks toward the door of the Skyview Spring where an odd man has appeared introducing himself as Ghirahim. Ghirahim confesses to Link that he took Zelda in his tornado, but she was rescued at the last second by a Servant of the Goddess. Ghirahim and Link engage in a battle where Link comes out the winner. Ghirahim leaves, saying Zelda is no longer in the area, and threatens to kill Link if they meet again. Link enters the Skyview Spring and encounters words the Goddess left for him that Fi translates for him. Link learns that Zelda must purify her body at two different springs.
Link obtains the Ruby Tablet and makes his way back to the Goddess Statue in Skyloft in order to put the tablet beside the Emerald Tablet. A new portal opens and Link bravely makes his way to Eldin Volcano in search of his dear friend. Once Link finds his way through the Earth Temple, Ghirahim shows up, saying that Zelda has been taken once again. To slow Link down, Ghirahim sends Scaldera to battle Link while he tries to get to her first. Once Link destroys the monster, he proceeds to the second spring where Zelda is seen beside a young woman. The woman reprimands Link claiming he has not arrived on time and the two disappear in a flash of light, leaving Link bewildered.
Setting his confusion aside, Link receives a third tablet; the Amber Tablet. He returns to place the tablet inside the Goddess Statue and then exits to continue his journey. Link and Fi end up in Lanayru Desert and locate another temple, the Temple of Time. Inconveniently, the temple’s entrance has been destroyed, leading Link to find a secret pathway in the Lanayru Mining Facility. Once inside, Zelda and the young woman, introduced now as Impa, are standing at the Gate of Time. Link is on the verge of joining Zelda when Ghirahim appears and separates them with an attack. Zelda quickly gives Link the Goddess’s Harp amidst all of the frenzy. Ghirahim’s magic wall dissipates, allowing Link to intervene in the battle so that Impa and Zelda may escape through the Gate of Time. To assure their safety, Impa destroys the Gate of Time so that Ghirahim cannot follow. Ghirahim disappears and Link returns to the Sealed Grounds to investigate his new Goddess’s Harp.
Link begins his descent to the Sealed Grounds when he is intercepted midair by Groose, causing them to fall swiftly, barely aided by Link’s Sailcloth. Groose is baffled by the world around him and Link is able to calm him when he explains the situation. Groose returns to being cocky and tells Link to go back to Skyloft so he can be the one to rescue Zelda. The old woman at the Sealed Temple relays to Groose that he will not be the one to save Zelda. Groose storms off and Link is left to learn the Ballad of the Goddess from the old woman. Link plays the ballad on his divine harp and a large structure appears behind him, revealing a second Gate of Time. A beast called The Imprisoned arrives in response to the gate’s appearance. Link successfully reseals the beast in its prison, leaving Groose feeling sad and useless that he is not a powerful hero. The old woman explains to Link that activating the second Gate of Time is useless until his sword is of greater strength and power. Link is told he must seek out the three Sacred Flames of the Golden Goddesses.
The Three Sacred Flames
Link makes his return to Skyloft to try and learn more about the three flames. A shrine is revealed at the top of Skyloft’s Light Tower and Link can now fly into the Thunderhead where he discovers the Isle of Songs. Once inside, Link learns another song called Farore’s Courage. Link returns to Faron Woods and uses the song to open the portal to the Silent Realm. This realm is a parallel dimension made explicitly for the chosen hero by the goddesses. Link fills the Spirit Vessel with Farore’s Tears and receives the Water Dragon’s Scale, which gives him the ability to spin while swimming underwater. With this new talent, Link heads to Lake Floria in search of the first of the three Sacred Flames. The young hero faces many challenges in the Ancient Cistern and is rewarded with the purification of the Goddess Sword, which is transformed into the Goddess Longsword by Farore’s Sacred Flame.
After gaining this first flame, Link returns to the Isle of Songs to learn yet another song; Nayru’s Wisdom. He voyages back to Lanayru Desert and is challenged again by the Silent Realm. Once completed, he is given the Clawshots and access to Lanayru Sand Sea. Link encounters a former captain named Skipper who once was in charge of protecting Nayru’s Flame. Link boards the Sand Ship and defeats the thieving pirate captain who stole the ship, frees the crew, then is tasked with defeating the enormous monster Tentalus. As a reward for this challenge, Link is able to purify his sword using Nayru’s Flame, turning his sword into the Goddess White Sword.
With two thirds of his task accomplished, Link returns to the Isle of Songs to learn the final song; Din’s Power. He heads to Eldin Volcano and completes the third and final Silent Realm Trial. His completion earns him the Fireshield Earrings. With these protective earrings Link heads to the Volcano Summit to find the Fire Sanctuary. Once through the temple Ghirahim appears to tell him he has discovered the existence of a second Gate of Time and demands to know where it is. When Link refuses, Ghirahim transforms and a battle ensues. Link battles nobly and wears down Ghirahim until he disappears again. Link uses the final flame, Din’s Flame, to turn his sword into the Master Sword.
With his superior blade at his side, Link makes his way back to the Sealed Grounds to open the Gate of Time. The Imprisoned is released and comes to fight. The power of the Master Sword in hand, and the return of Groose with a bomb-flinging catapult, seals the beast away for a second time.
After a long journey and many challenges, the Gate of Time is activated and proceeds to take Link away to an era far away, shortly after the Goddess had sealed away the Demon King, Demise, and sent Skyloft heavenward with the suriving humans and the sacred power. Link meets with Zelda who reveals to him that she is the mortal reincarnate of the Goddess Hylia and apologizes to Link for the Goddess using him to try and bring about the destruction of Demise, the Imprisoned. The Goddess Hylia blesses the Master Sword with the power of the Goddess causing it to take on its true form. She tells Link that she must remain in a deep sleep to keep Demise within his seal. The Goddess seals herself into a crystal and instructs link to track down the Triforce and use it to destroy Demise so that Zelda and the Goddess will be able to wake up in their own time. Link goes back to the present to try and learn about the whereabouts of the Triforce.
The Golden Power
Link returns back to Skyloft in search of the Triforce in its hiding place. He asks Gaepora what he knows about the Triforce. All Gaepora can tell him is of the Great Sky Spirit, Levias, who lives in the Thunderhead and has “encyclopedic” knowledge. Link follows clues and ends up at a popular restaurant where the knights of Skyloft dwell known as the Lumpy Pumpkin. He learns that the owner of the restaurant makes an offering of his pumpkin soup to Levias every year. Link offers to take the offering for the owner and takes it to the Thunderhead. Levias, is possessed by the creature Bilocyte. Link draws out the parasite and destroys it upon Levias’s back, restoring Levias to his normal state. Levias informs Link that he must track down three dragons who each know a part to the Song of the Hero, which allegedly leads to the Triforce. The order in which Link chooses to visit each Dragon is up to the player.
When Link goes to visit the Water Dragon, Faron, he is prevented from going anywhere but the Sealed Grounds. Link teams up with Groose upon arrival to seal away the Imprisoned by flinging onto the head of the Imprisoned and driving the sealing spike back into its head. The old woman tells Link that he cannot enter Faron Woods because it’s flooded and to keep the Sealed Grounds protected, she had to seal them in. Groose decides to use his machine to fling Link over the gate and into the forest. Link lands in the soggy woods and investigates inside of the Great Tree, where the water has allegedly been coming from. Link meets the Water Dragon inside of the tree where she tells him that she had to flood the woods to keep it safe from the monsters. The dragon challenges him to collect the notes to her part of the Song of the Hero in the form of Tadtones. Link is successful and the Water Dragon rids the woods of the flood and restores Faron Woods to its original state.
Link searches for the Fire Dragon, Eldin, but a volcano erupts, throwing him out of the sky. Link is knocked unconscious and is awoken to the Bokoblins setting up a new base and that he has been injured and robbed. Link realizes he’s trapped in a cell and has no way out. A Mogma named Plats from the Fire Sanctuary burrows in to return Link’s Mogma Mitts that he’d stolen from the Bokoblins. Link, now able to burrow, escapes from the cell and begins to recover his items. Without the Master Sword, Link cannot fight the Bokoblins so he must try and sneak past them to get his items back. Once his things are retrieved, Link heads to the Volcano Summit to meet the Fire Dragon who gives his part of the song to Link.
When link goes to find the final dragon, the Thunder Dragon Lanayru, he crawls through the tunnels in Lanayru Cave uncovered by a Goron mining for Timeshift Stones. Link ends up in Lanayru Gorge where the Thunder Dragon supposedly lives. Unfortunately, the only thing in the cave is a skeleton. Link fears the Thunder Dragon has died, but he recovered a key and found a room where the Timeshift Stone was about to be sent to the Thunder Dragon. Activating the stone, Link finds the Thunder Dragon by moving into the past when the dragon was still alive. The dragon is very ill and needs the Tree of Life’s fruit to heal. Since the sapling was not able to survive in Lanayru, Link must use the Timeshift Stones again to bring the sapling back to the Temple of Hylia where he plants it and the fruit blossoms. Link returns to the Thunder Dragon bearing the fruit and saving his life. In return the Thunder Dragon teaches Link the remaining part of the song.
Link returns to Levias with the three parts of the Song of the Hero. Once Levias teaches Link the rest of the song, Link returns to Skyloft and is able to open the final Silent Realm gate. On the other side, Link must face a challenge and is prized with a strange gemstone leading to the Triforce. Returning the gem to the bird statue facing away from the Goddess Statue, the bird opens up the Sky Keep. The hidden temple beneath the statue opens up and Link enters. After many trials he manages to enter three small Silent Realm areas to obtain each piece belonging to the Triforce.
Link returns to the Goddess Statue with the Triforce and wishes for the destruction of Demise. The island of the Goddess Statue suddenly breaks free from Skyloft, plummeting to the surface of the Sealed Grounds, destroying the Imprisoned as it attempts to break free. Link rushes from the statue and into the Sealed Temple to see Zelda as she is revived. Zelda awakens and she and Link are finally together again.
The Final Showdown
As the group begins to settle down, Ghirahim appears and attacks them, snatching up Zelda and running toward the Gate of Time. Link pursues him into the past where he learns that Impa had also been. Link leaves the Sealed Grounds where Ghirahim is starting to attempt to revive Demise, who in the past era, was still sealed. The ritual being performed is trying to absorb the soul of Zelda; the Goddess Hylia. Link storms through the army of Bokoblins to reach Ghiraham. Ghiraham tosses Zelda into the sky and transforms into an awful living weapon. Link and Ghiraham are lifted onto a platform and he announces his intention to kill Link. Link drives Ghirahim off the ledge and performs his move, the Fatal Blow, and Link continues to strike Ghirahim’s weak point until he defeats him once and for all. However, while the battle ensued, so did the ritual and Zelda’s soul was swallowed and returned to the form of Demise.
Ghirahim welcomes Demise back to the world as Demise draws a sword very similar to Link’s Master Sword, but it appears to be evil. Demise proclaims that he is going to take the world as his own now that the Goddess Hylia is gone. As Zelda falls from the air above, Groose appears to catch her, announcing to Link he still has time before Demise completely absorbs Zelda’s soul. Demise requests that he and Link duel in another world, and Link follows through a portal to a dark place with the evil Demise awaiting him. In a heated battle with lightning piercing through the sky, Link is able to run Demise through. Demise warns Link that it is not over and that he would be reborn from hatred in the future. Link disregards the demon and absorbs him into his worthy sword.
Link returns through the portal and goes with Groose and Zelda to the Temple of Hylia where Impa helps them prepare to go back to their own time. Fi instructs Link to return the Master Sword to a pedestal in the Sealed Temple. Fi enters a “slumber without end” and leaves them behind. Zelda, Link, and Groose leave Impa behind as she promises Zelda they will meet again. Impa destroys the Gate of Time and the group returns to the present.
Once the credits scroll by, Gaepora, Cawlin, and Strich are seen flying through the cloud barrier to meet the others. Groosse returns to Skyloft with the others and Link and Zelda relax on the Goddess Statue as Link plays the Ballad of the Goddess on his harp. Zelda confides in Link that she wants to remain on the surface and asks Link what his plans are. Link flashes her a smile and then the screen shows Zelda and Link’s Lowftwings flying back into the sky without them, hinting that Zelda and Link stayed and founded the future Hyrule.
Skyward Sword Gameplay
The use of the sword and shield were tied in the Wii MotionPlus and the Nunchuck accessory’s motion control. The sword is able to be charged when the Wii Remote is held straight into the air and the projectile attack is released when the Remote is swung downward to eject a beam.
The Nunchuck is used as a shield when it is quickly shaken. It is meant to be held up in front as if it were a real shield. There are different blocking attacks used to send the attack back toward the enemy. In addition, there were other common Zelda weapons such as bombs, the slingshot, and the bow for use by the Wii MotionPlus. The Sword Beams make a return and new weapons like the Beetle and Whip are also incorporated.
To access Link’s inventory, the B button must be pressed and held to open up the “radial menu,” which is similar to the menu seen in Twilight Princess. The Wii remote can be pointed or tilted to select the desired item to equipt. The HUD can also be turned off if players find it interferes with gameplay. When items are being selected or potions being drank, there is no pause in the game, so items are chosen during real game time.
The creators discuss their difficulties in getting the Wii MotionPlus to work effectively for the Skyward Sword , but when Wii Sports Resort was released, they were able to re-implement the use of the Wii MotionPlus to make the game successfully functional.
This is the first Zelda game where there is a damage meter that shows how much damage Link’s shield receives during attacks. This means that Link has to be careful how he uses his shield or he will have to have it repaired or replaced.
Overworld and Dungeons
The new map featured in Skyward Sword has been said to be a lot easier to follow and players are less likely to become lost. This game was created to try and focus on fun and change the “traditional flow” of Zelda games.
Link is able to ride his Loftwing after completing training toward the beginning of the game. This minigame allows Link to prove he is worthy of flying his Loftwing and is a proper knight of Skyloft.
Link is able to jump from his Loftwing during any time of flight and drop down to the smaller islands below. There are bird-like Save Statues that allow him to return to the clouds and the central town of Skyloft. The Loftwing is easily controlled by pressing A to go faster and B to go slower. Flicking the controller vertically causes the Loftwing to flap its wings.
Although there was an initial scare that Twilight Princess would be the only Zelda game on the Nintendo Wii, Eiji Aonuma revealed a lot of details about his hopes for Zelda gaming on the Wii at the 2007 E3 convention during a private meeting. The new control system and one-on-one swordplay were new aspects he hoped were appealing to casual gamers and hardcore Zelda fans. Shigeru Miyamoto stated that Twilight Princess is “without a doubt, the last Zelda game as you know it in its present form.”
Game Developers Conference 2011 Preview
In March 2011 at the conference, a new demo was exhibited. The new actions for Link and the environment in which the game takes place was shown. Link faces a redesigned Skulltula and two Lizalfos, manipulates a puzzle in order to open a door, then comes face to face with Koloktos. This demo was very significant to revealing to gamers what this new Wii version would consist of.
The title incorporates a mixture between The Wind Waker and Twilight Princess. The cel-shading and realistic elements are both present in the overworld and in Link’s weapons and appearance. The style was chosen to focus more on swordplay rather than the artistic choices of the designers. The cel-shaded versions of enemies were able to give a better explanation of how the combat functioned in the realm of the Wii MotionPlus. There are many colorful attributes to the game revealed in both worlds.
The unique visual style of Skyward Sword was inspired by Miyamoto’s love of impressionism. The visual cues are helpful in identifying enemy attacks and weaknesses, so “full realism” would not work effectively for those cues. Developers decided the best way to give these cues was to over-exaggerate the character’s design.
Skyward Sword is fully orchestrated, a decision that went back and forth very fervently between the developers. It wasn’t until the end of summertime after the 2010 E3 that they decided for sure that there would be orchestral music.
The storyline in Skyward Sword establishes itself as the very first game known in the Zelda timeline. It establishes the key players fighting for good as Zelda, the incarnate of the Goddess Hylia and Link, the incarnate of the Goddess’s hero. Eiji Aonuma confirmed that although Skyward Sword is currently the first game in the Zelda timeline, it does not mean that it will always remain that way due to the possibility that new games could come before this time period.
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