Skyward Sword: Faron Woods and Skyview Temple
**post by Chani-chan**
I am back, and soon too! This game is such fun! When I left off, I had entered Faron Woods (above) and was going to play from here through the first dungeon and then blog on that, so here goes.
My mission in Faron Woods, initially, was to continue the search for Zelda with my companion, Fi. Fi is quite hilarious in an odd way – she gives SO MUCH DETAIL on every piece of information. As I said before, she tells you how well equipped you are in a percentage to handle the area, and reports everything in probabilities. My favorite was when she calculated a 100% probability of Link being irritated (or something) if the Guay’s (crow-like enemies) droppings landed on his head. See? Funny. And the droppings do land on Link, covering him with green smoke and making him stinky for a while. Puts me in mind of the Sims games when their hygiene gets low. LOL.
In order to find Zelda, Fi helps you to employ a ‘dowsing’ technique using your sword to look around and it tells you when you are close – kind of like hot and cold.
Well, the dowsing led me not to Zelda, but to a small creature being attacked by Bokoblins, a basic enemy. I thought the creature was a Deku Scrub at first, as those have appeared in other games:
BUT it was not, I found out when I defeated the Bokoblins and rescued it. It was something new! These RIDICULOUSLY ADORABLE forest-grassy-penguin-looking creatures called Kikwis!
Everyone together now – AWWWWWWWWW! And they make little squeaky sounds too, I was reduced to much squee-ing over their cuteness – good thing no one else was around, LOL 🙂
This one thought I was dangerous at first and I had to chase it around a bit but it finally realized Link was harmless. Apparently Zelda had been through here previously and anything she came in contact with elicited a dowsing response, thus I had located the Kikwi rather than her. The Kikwi explained that Zelda was with the Kikwi elder and I was to go find this elder.
The Faron Woods has a really complex layout and it was hard for me to stay oriented, but eventually I think I explored every area and I found the Kikwi elder (Not quite as adorable as the little Kikwis), who could not tell me what had become of Zelda until I found three more Kikwis and reported back to him that they were safe. Hooray, more cute critters! I used dowsing to find add them as a target and locate them as well.
Upon completing this mission, the elder informed me that Zelda had gone on to Skyview Temple in the Deep Woods, and gave me a slingshot as a reward.
My first ‘real’ item! Hooray! So, let’s talk about the slingshot for a bit, then. The controls in the game are still a bit new to me, but I am getting better with them as I go along. The ‘B’ button on the Wii remote is used to select weapon items and use them. If you hold B down too long, it brings up your item selection screen, thus I have to be sure to tap B lightly if I just want to use the item I already have equipped without wasting time. I’m getting better at it. Aiming, of course, uses the Wii MotionPlus controller, and I admit that I’m better at aiming with regular controllers than I am at aiming using the Wii controller – maybe I’m just too old but I think I’m not the best at Wii controls in most games, though I certainly wouldn’t say I’m bad at it. Guess I’m still used to the more typical style of controller.
Either way, equipped with a slingshot, now Link must go to the Skyview Temple in his continuing pursuit of Zelda.
Now, I was really hoping that we’d get some of the same tune that plays in the Faron Woods of Twilight Princess, because I really do get attached to certain BGM in games, but sadly it was not to be, even once I entered the Deep Woods. The tune remained the same cheerful one – not bad, but I am always hopeful for newly arranged versions of old favorites. The Deep Woods wasn’t really any darker or deeper or more mysterious than Faron Woods, there were just a bunch of cliffs to fall off and tightropes and ropes to swing on to get across them. More use of the Wii MotionPlus in these scenarios, though it’s kind of fun, especially wiggling it back and forth to balance on the tightropes.
In the Deep Woods area, there are a few blocks, introduced to me by Gorko the Goron (who is apparently following me :-p) ,that he calls “Goddess Cubes” – I have to strike them with the Skyward Strike from the Goddess Sword (the whole gimmick of the sword is that you swing your wee control and nunchuk to work it and the shield – for the Skyward strike, you raise your hand high into the air, and then strike down – kind of fun ^_^) and then they proceed to glow, fade, and shoot up into the sky with a beam of light. My initial guess was that maybe they create new places in Skyloft for you to go down through the clouds, so you don’t always have to fly to the first one, but that was not the case. Instead, they allow you to open various treasure chests in the Sky that were unopenable before.
You can return to the sky at any time by using these bird statues:
The statues are also save points, which is nice, especially as there are a great many of them scattered around on the surface. Thus, I was able to take my slingshot back up to Skyloft and use it to ring the bell on Beedle’s floating shop and buy both a larger wallet (I HATE it when you reach the point that you can’t collect any more rupees because your wallet is full – I’m hoping that eventually this game works like Wind Waker and you can get a wallet to hold 5000 rupees – Teehee), and a BUG CATCHING NET!
I LOVE the bug-catching net! As I am an entomologist (I study bugs) in real life I love that this game and Twilight Princess have bug catching side-quests. In this one, it seems there are an infinite number of bugs to capture, as you can use them (as well as treasures collected from monsters such as ‘monster claws’ and ‘jelly blobs’ and the like) to upgrade your potions or equipment, respectively. That’s so fun; I really love that that is an option, it adds depth to the game. Also, the fact that you can run around with the net – which you actually control directly by swinging the Wii remote around, making it as though you are actually trying to catch the bugs, which is AWESOME – and get bugs whenever you like. It gives the game a more open-ended feel. For me, I like video games which have a clear beginning, middle, and end and which I can play by myself (I am NOT a fan of MMO-RPGS… I just can’t see the point in playing a game that never ends with a bunch of random strangers online, but it’s the never concluding part that bugs me the most), but I also like games that allow me to do things a little more freely in the middle, so this game really delivers in that department.
On the subject of controls, there is one other thing that I adore about this game. It seems, at least with the equipment I have so far, that once the system calibrates your Wii-MotionPlus controller, you no longer need the sensor bar – this is great for me, because I have a battery-powered Sensor Bar (my cat chewed through my original one with a cord – lovely, huh? :P), and the batteries tend to drain really fast. I have a charger, but I’d still rather not drain them any faster than I need to. Thus, I can just turn the bar on initially for 1 hour (the shortest option I have on my particular one) and once it turns off I can continue playing the game for hours without turning it back on. Only when I re-start the game do I have to re-calibrate. This pleases me a great deal ^_^
Still on the subject of Skyloft, there are some very adorable creatures that live there called Remlits. Actually, they’re only adorable during the DAY, where people keep them as pets and they meow like kitties. At night they turn monstrous and attack you. Zelda’s father, Headmaster Gaepora (connection to the owl Kaepora Gaebora from Ocarina of Time? I guess I’ll find out) has a pet Remlit named Mia. One of the earliest tasks in the game is to go and find her.
Also, another interesting feature in this game seems to be that you can buy as many expansions for holding items or money as you would like. I have yet to test this fully and see if there’s a limit, but I bought a small seed satchel in the Skyloft bazaar which allowed me to carry 10 extra seeds, and then I was able to buy another one. However, you can only keep, it looks like, eight or so items in your ‘adventure pouch’ at one time, and you can store other items at the ‘Item Check’ and switch them out if you like. The often-bored girl who works there, Peatrice, seems to be developing a crush on Link:
Either way, the item collecting and ability to organize your pouch strategically for specific tasks or dungeons also adds a lot of depth to the game.
This is getting lengthy, but there isn’t much else to say. As for Skyview Temple, the inside has a ‘glowy’ feel with some luminescent mushrooms and things that look like crystals but break easily. I was a little annoyed that the first temple presented such a challenge to me, but then again I’m still getting used to the controls. And I did manage to figure out MOST of the puzzles on my own, given time, although I had to ask a friend who had already played the game for help with one or two small things.
The mini boss was a Stalfos and that quite a challenge, but upon beating him I got the BEETLE!
As you can see, this is a Beetle-shaped item, but you can send it flying through the air on its own and control it with the Wii-mote to collect loose items like rupees and hearts. It’s so fun and actually quite easy to control! I’ve heard most people in addition to myself really like this item.
The temple was a lot easier after getting the beetle, because the Skulltula enemies were especially challenging, but with the beetle you can cut the strings they hang on from the ceiling and fight them on the ground, which is much easier.
Upon getting through the temple you face the boss, Ghirahim:
Interesting looking dude, right? LOL. Well… HE WAS HARD! You are supposed to use the Wii Remote to swing your sword in the “opposite” way he expects you to or he blocks you or steals it, which confused me forever.
Actually, I only guessed AFTER I finally beat him that “opposite” maybe (I haven’t tested this to find out, though) means you should swing vertically instead of horizontally. I thought it meant coming at him from a different side, which didn’t work for me very well. I’ll have to check this out later, but not any time soon, as that battle frustrated me to no end. The second half of the battle I didn’t really catch onto right away either. The problem is that he REALLY likes to block you. Well, five tries and almost as many temper tantrums and screams at the screen later I finally did manage to beat him. I still think, for a first boss, they could have made him a bit easier, but oh well. At least it’s over.
So he tells me afterwards that Zelda’s presence has vanished from the temple. Well, I sort of expected as much. I REALLY hope this game doesn’t consist of just following her around in a million wild goose chases only to find she ‘just left’ as soon as you get where she’s supposed to be. That annoys me. My guess is I’ll do that for the first 2 or 3 dungeons, then find her and there’ll be some sort of turning point and I’ll have a different type of goal for the remaining dungeons. Zelda games do tend to follow vaguely set patterns like that, after all.
So after defeating the boss you head to a lovely spring where you can obtain the “Emerald Tablet”.
This I placed in a spot on the wall underneath the Goddess Statue, and THIS opened up a new beam of light in the sky where I can fall down to the Eldin Volcano on the surface and continue my journey! More on this in the next blog! 😀
Good overview of the things you’ve covered so far. Oh the things you have yet to encounter that shall both please and frustrate you mightily. :-p