The Legend of Zelda Skyward Sword: Intro
Hello all! Well, it’s finally happened – Chani is here to fulfill the promise she made back when she wrote her Ocarina of Time 3D review a million years ago! Yep, I’m here to blog on my experiences while playing the newly released Legend of Zelda video game for Wii, Skyward Sword! (Or, well, ‘newly’ released since November; I’ve been quite busy and haven’t gotten a chance to play much). I am a huge fan of the Zelda video game series, my favorite game being the oh-so-nostalgic A Link to the Past, which I played first on my Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES) when I was only around eight years old. I’ve been hooked since then and I’ve heard nothing but great things about this newest title in the series. So far, I have played through the introductory and initial portions of the game and I am floored by how amazing and fun it is. I plan to release a blog post, though some of them might be short ones, for this, the intro, as well as after completing each dungeon, and after completing the game entirely.
So, now, without further ado: The Intro! (Please forgive me if some places lack detail or contain small errors – it’s been some months since I last played the game, I’ve been so busy. I hope the rest of the blogs will be published more immediately after I finish the relevant sections).
Since this is the latest game in the series, it obviously has the latest graphics. The introduction shows us these, and we see that the style is somewhere in-between the extreme realism of Twilight Princess and the more cartoony or less graphically advanced games, although it leans closer to the realism side of things. You can see with Link and Zelda on their birds here (we’ll learn more about these birds later):
In the introductory scenes we also encounter this black toothy monster, which is clearly supposed to be an extremely evil enemy but I actually find kind of cute (LOL) – We shall, presumably, learn more about it later:
Now that we’ve been introduced, it is time for the game to start and we meet our favorite hero Link! He is, apparently, training to be a Knight in the Knight Academy in the city of Skyloft. The legend has it that when there was danger on the ‘normal’ surface, the goddess (we are only introduced to one goddess at this point, not the three goddesses, Din, Farore, and Nayru, that have been referred to in prior Zelda games) protected the humans by lifting their world up into the sky, thus the city of Skyloft was created, and in order for the citizens to get around in the world of the sky, they have been given familiars in the form of ‘Loftwings’, massive birds that appear to be soul-bonded to the citizens of Skyloft. Link is special because he, alone, seems to have the rare Crimson Loftwing, whereas everyone else’s seems to be blue:
Rather than being a princess, she is the daughter of the headmistress of the Knight Academy. As I have read that this game is intended to be, chronologically, set prior to all the other Zelda games, it perhaps makes sense that there is no royal family yet and thus she is not a princess. Either way, in this game there is clearly a romantic interest between Link and Zelda.
However, Zelda seems quite jealous and lonely at times because Link is so attached to his bird… if the birds are soul-bonded I’m not sure why she should feel this way, but maybe it’s because Link seems to have so much fun on his bird without her. Either way, she does tend to get a little dramatic at times. But I still like her character. I admit I am a Link x Zelda fan, coupling-wise. Some of the cartoony (read: cel-shaded) games in the series, particularly Wind Waker, Phantom Hourglass, and Spirit Tracks, also hint at a Link x Zelda (or Link x Tetra for the first two games) romantic relationship, but I don’t think the implication has ever been as strong as it is here in Skyward Sword so far.
It is nearly time for Link to take his test to become a Knight, and this involves controlling the Loftwing as it flies through the skies around Skyloft. This is where I first became impressed with how ridiculously vast the game is. The map of the sky is below:
It’s small but each of those specks is a single island and you can fly to ALL of them, some of which contain treasure chests or other things. It would take forever, in my opinion at this point, to get a 100% game, which I tend to try and do as much as I can for Zelda’s, meaning I get all the extras, do all the side quests, open every chest, etc… but we’ll see if I feel like doing it for this one if it seems like too much. Either way, the game is quite fun, and with a sky so vast we STILL have an entire ‘surface’ world to explore, but that comes later.
Now, there can’t be romance without rivalry, right? So, Link’s rival is this weirdo, Groose, who is also attending the Knight Academy:
Groose is a total jerk around Link, but a bumbling fool around Zelda, who doesn’t want anything to do with him and gets quite pissed off when he’s nasty to Link.
Still, the goof doesn’t seem to get the message. Well, I’m not going to go into excessive detail but Groose tries to mess up Link’s test, but, never fear, he passes it. (Took me forever to do, though, because I felt like the controls for flying in the sky on the Loftwing were rather difficult to master. Perhaps I’ll get used to it).
Again, I’m skipping over details here but it would take forever to recap the whole thing and, again, it’s been awhile since I played this part of the game. In the ceremony where Link became a Knight, Zelda played the role of the goddess, and I believe the game made a point of the “goddess” and “hero” counterpart roles, in the legends. Always there has to be the story of a “hero”.
At any rate, after all of the ceremonies are over, it is inevitable that things cannot be all happy and joyful forever.
The toothy monster makes an appearance again and Zelda is seemingly devoured and disappears in the night:
Upon waking and realizing this Link follows a mysterious being down into the area beneath the goddess statue that stands tall in Skyloft. Turns out this being is “Fi”, a (female) spiritual embodiment of the “Goddess Sword”:
As I recall, it seems Zelda is not “captured” so much as she was whisked away to fulfill a role as she has a very special part in what is about to happen. (Sorry, I’m a little fuzzy on the details here, but I really really don’t want to go back and play what I’ve already done again just so I can get everything perfect. Future blogs will be better, I promise).
Still, there is clearly evil about and it is Link’s job to take the sword, along with Fi, and fulfill his “hero” role by going to the surface and figuring out what’s up (sooooo bad on the details, sorry XD).
As a knight, now Link gets to wear the uniform… and, well, who can guess what that uniform is?
Hooray, it’s the green outfit we all know and love!
It is at this point where the game became slightly more open and I could run around and do things. I tried to fly around the sky area and OMG it takes FOREVER to get anywhere. There are even places in the sky, little tubes you can fly your loftwing through to give you bursts of speed but it STILL takes forever to get anywhere. At any rate, I explored there a bit and came across some of the other islands, highlights of which include “Fun Fun Island”, which is run by this clowny dude and not open for business yet at this time in the game:
And, the “Lumpy Pumpkin”, a pub where I got my first heart piece by knocking down a chandelier and pissing off the owner (what fun, now I have to do odd jobs for him – but it sounds like the beginning of a sort of “trading sequence” side quest as has appeared in other Zelda games and which I have always enjoyed, so YAY! ^_^):
One of the selling points of the game is that you can use your sword in a more realistic manner by swinging the Wii remote around and, so far, that’s pretty easy to do and rather fun.
Now, for the surface area below. If you look at the picture of the Lumpy Pumpkin above, you can see the shining pink beam in the sky behind it. Areas like that mark places where you can fly your loftwing through holes in the clouds down to the surface.
When I first arrived on the surface I arrived in a place called the “Sealed Grounds”:
And, let me tell you, I was completely floored. THIS PLACE WAS HUGE! And for only being a small area of the surface and not even a main space, as far as I can guess, this Sealed Grounds area was VAST. This game is so VAST!!!! I keep using that word but it’s the best word I can come up with. A friend mentioned to me that it’s not really that much bigger than Hyrule Field in Ocarina of Time, but no, no, Hyrule Field was the BIGGEST area in Ocarina of Time and it was the main field area. That’s different. This is just one ‘little’ spot and it’s STILL this huge! And, besides, Hyrule Field didn’t feel as vast in Ocarina of Time as it was just supposed to be a wide open space. Similarly, wide open spaces in Twilight Princess were also immense, but this is a CLOSED SPACE, or feels like one, and it’s STILL as bit as the OPEN spaces in prior games, I mean… WOW! Okay I’ll stop shouting now. But the Sealed Grounds really impressed me.
Another amusing part of the game now is Fi. She is, like Navi in Ocarina of Time, Tatl in Majora’s Mask, Ciela in Phantom Hourglass, The King of Red Lions in Wind Waker, Midna in Twilight Princess, and Zelda herself in Spirit Tracks, a guiding character that tells you what to do next and about the enemies you encounter, etc. But Fi is very… scientific and specific about things. She, for instance, tells you what kinds of things and enemies you will encounter in the area and how well you are equipped (in a percentage) to handle that area… pretty amusing, really.
The Sealed Grounds leads you into an ancient ruined wooded temple where the music is amazing and mysterious and – ohhh, glorious music, I could go on forever, but I won’t. At any rate, you encounter an old shamanistic woman who guides you along, but we have no idea who she is or what her purpose is. Oooooh the mystery, and the music to accompany it, and… and… yep , this is why I love Zelda games.
Anyway, moving on. From where we exit into Faron Woods, an area that also made an appearance in Twilight Princess, but this is, presumably, before those events. Incidentally, Twilight Princess, though a great game, seems the most awkward in the Zelda series as it’s hard to even try to figure out any way it connects to most other games, especially in a timeline sense, but maybe this game will help make the connections as I continue to play it.
There is a Goron in Faron Woods. My friend told me that it’s the only goron she’s seen in the game yet. If this is prior to all the other games in the series, one wonders how it fits into things, if there’s only one goron at this point. Oh well, time will tell.
We leave off in the lovely Faron Woods where I am supposed to find Zelda (using Fi’s curious dowsing technique) and where, I am guessing, my first dungeon will lie. More blogging to come after I reach that milestone! Thanks for reading this and enjoying my babbling! It’s time for me to go play some more Skyward Sword and explore Faron Woods! 🙂