I apologize for the delay in the Skyward Sword Retrospective as I was out celebrating my 20th birthday, had a project to finish for college, and was disoriented most of yesterday. Please enjoy.
Back in the year of 2010 Nintendo revealed the next installment in the Zelda franchise, nearly 4 years after the release of Twilight Princess, fans had reason to be excited, while others were skeptical towards the newly announced title.
Many regard Skyward Sword as depicting the franchise’s first gray hairs, but regardless, the game stands out as a memorable tale of action and adventure for fans and newcomers alike to enjoy.
In a time before Skyloft roamed the open skies, an ancient evil roamed the earth attacking and destroying the homes of many in the hopes of obtaining the Triforce. Guarded by the goddess Hylia, she gathered the remaining humans on a piece of land and sent them into the skies. The goddess and the remaining surface dwellers faced off with the evil entities and managed to seal them away, bring peace to the surface.
Sometime after the previously stated events, on the day of the Wing Ceremony, a black tornado appears and engulfs Zelda and pulls her below the clouds and onto the surface. Link soon wakes up to Gaepora and explains the events that occurred, but is soon called to by a mysterious voice and follows the figure.
Upon making his way to Statue of the Goddess in Skyloft, he finds a sword in a pedestal which the Spirit resides. Introducing herself as Fi, Link is told he must go and fulfill his destiny as the hero chosen by the goddess. Link quickly makes his way for the land below the clouds.
Upon his arrival, Link makes his way to the Sealed Temple and encounters a mysterious and old woman who offers Link her insight to his situation and Link quickly ventures to the Skyview Spring where he encounters Ghirahim, the one responsible for Zelda’s disappearance, who quickly leaves as he notes Zelda’s presence in no longer existent.
Journeying to Eldin Volcano, Ghirahim appears once more and releases Scaldera but is easily defeating by Link. Link continues to the spring and encounters Zelda, but she is accompanied by a woman named Impa who quickly criticizes Link and leaves with Zelda, leaving Link alone.
Making their way to Lanayru Desert, Link finds the Temple of Time but is forced to take a detour and arrives just in time to find Zelda, but is stopped as Ghirahim quickly assaults Zelda and Impa. Zelda in a desperate attempt gives Link the Goddess’s Harp and Link stalls Ghirahim allowing Zelda and Impa to escape.
Making his way back to the Sealed Temple, Groose suddenly appears and decides to help Link after they crash onto the surface. After an encounter with The Imprisoned, Groose falls into despair and finds himself useless, the old woman sends Link out to recover the Sacred Flames so he can activate the 2nd Gate of Time.
After returning to Faron Woods, Eldin Volcano, and Lanayru Desert, Link manages to pass three trials and recovers all three Sacred Flames and is granted the Master Sword. Returning to the Sealed Temple and facing off with The Imprisoned once more, Link activates the 2nd Gate of Time and goes into the past.
Link encounters Zelda who reveals herself to actually be the Goddess Hylia reincarnated and apologizes for her actions that resulted in Link’s destiny. In order to keep the Demon King sealed, Zelda puts herself into a deep sleep and waits for Link to find and use the Triforce to defeat Demise.
Link goes off in search of the Triforce and encounters Levias who after coming back to their senses, tells Link of the Song of the Hero which will reveal the way to the Triforce. Returning to each Dragon and reviving a 3rd, Link manages to assemble the Song of the Hero and points Link in the direction of the last trial.
With the final trial complete and the mysterious gemstone now in place, Link enters the Sky Keep and manages to recover the Triforce and wishes for the eradication of Demise. With their mission complete, Link returns to the Sealed Temple where Zelda wakes up and the two reunite, but Ghirahim quickly reveals that the death of Demise is only in the present and kidnaps Zelda as he returns to the past.
In their final battle, Link defeats the fully evolved Ghirahim, but Demise’s revival managed to continue. Taking Ghirahim as his blade, Demise goes into a dark portal where he challenges Link in one last battle with Link emerging the victor. With his final breath, Demise curses Zelda and Link trapping them in a never ending cycle where their blood and spirit will forever fight the reincarnation of Demise’s hatred.
Link is forced to say goodbye to Fi and he promptly places the Master Sword in its pedestal and returns with his friends, to the present. Impa who chose to stay in the past is revealed to be the old woman from the present, but with her job complete, she passes away.
Now, with the evil threat gone, Link and Zelda decide to remain on the Surface, in the land that would later become Hyrule.
The controls in Skyward Sword aren’t necessarily the kind everyone wanted. Longtime gamers have grown accustomed to using standard controllers and motion controls are considered gimmicky by most, but what Zelda does, it does well.
Skyward Sword used 1:1 motion controls that were used by almost every item available in the game. Item selections were kept in real time. Shields were now more central to the game as shields contained their own health bar which when depleted destroys the shield.
For the most part, Skyward Sword’s dungeons were largely kept intact, but puzzles were slightly altered to accommodate for new weapon designs and motion controls. Enemies have also been regarded as being their own puzzles as players must find a way to break through the enemy’s defense or outsmart them. Despite this, enemies seemed to be easier with enemy weak spots being more evident than ever.
Despite the somewhat negative response Skyward Sword has received from the Zelda fanbase, the title is a wonderful and fun entry that truly stands as what the franchise is. Whether or not future titles will be able to achieve the same feeling Skyward Sword managed to create remains to be seen.
Although Skyward Sword didn’t manage to revolutionize the franchise, it made a basis for which the franchise can build off of and improve. I myself cannot wait to see how Zelda Wii U turns out and whether it will keep its one to one motion controls or will switch to the Wii U gamepad and play like a combination of the 3D, titles with features found in the DS titles such as Phantom Hourglass and Spirit Tracks. Only time will tell.
On another note, this. V