The Legend of Zelda Skyward Sword Wiki Page Info
The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword is a Zelda game that was developed for the Nintendo Wii. This game is the sixteenth installment in The Legend of Zelda franchise, and is the first one that was created specifically with the Wii’s controls in mind; Wii MotionPlus is required. To help with this requirement, Nintendo released a bundle that included a limited edition golden Wii Remote Plus and a copy of the limited edition 25th Anniversary Symphony concerts CD along with the game itself. This bundle coincided with the game’s launch in November of 2011.
This is a story you humans have passed down through uncounted generations…
It tells of a war of unmatched scale and ferocity, the likes of which would never be seen again. One dark, fateful day, the earth cracked wide and malevolent forces rushed forth from the fissure. They mounted a brutal assault upon the surface people, driving the land into deep despair… They burned forests to ash, choked the land’s sweet springs, and murdered without hesitation. They did all this in their lust to take the ultimate power protected by Her Grace, the goddess. The power she guarded was without equal. Handed down by gods of old, this power gave its holder the means to make any desire a reality. Such was the might of the ultimate power that the old ones placed it in the care of the goddess. To prevent this great power from falling into the hands of the evil swarming the lands… The goddess gathered the surviving humans on an outcropping of earth. She sent it skyward, beyond the reach of the demonic hordes. Beyond even the clouds. With the humans safe, the goddess joined forces with the land dwellers and fought the evil forces, sealing them away. At last, peace was restored to the surface. This is a tale that you humans have told for many ages, generation to generation… But there are other legends, long hidden away from memory, that are intertwined with this tale. Now, a new legend bound to this great story stands to be revealed. A legend that will be forged by your own hand.
The Wing Ceremony
This game begins with the celebration of the Skyloft Knight’s Academy’s 25th anniversary, an allusion to the Zelda franchise being 25 years old. Link is awoken from a nightmare by his childhood friend Zelda’s Loftwing; Link and Zelda are very close, and she wants him to meet her before something called the Wing Ceremony. The two rendezvous at the Statue of the Goddess, where Link finds that his Loftwing has gone missing. He overhears Groose and his two lackeys, Cawlin and Strich, he discovers that the trio was responsible for the bird’s disappearance. He goes out to find his companion, and as he does, Zelda hears someone calling out to her. She confides in Link after his bird is free, but quickly brushes it off, and the two fly to the Wing Ceremony together.
Now that all participants are ready, the Wing Ceremony can finally begin. In spite of the efforts of Groose, Link succeeds in taking the Bird Statuette from the talons of another Loftwing. After winning the Wing Ceremony, Link and Zelda head to the top of the Statue of the Goddess to complete the ceremony, where Zelda bestows the blessings of the goddess upon Link and passes along the Sailcloth to him. To wrap up the ceremony, Link must jump off the top of the statue and safely land using the Sailcloth. However, he gets unceremoniously shoved off by Zelda. After the ceremony, she proposes she and Link go flying. When the two are flying together, a mysterious black tornado appears, pulling Zelda off of her Loftwing and throwing her below the Cloud Barrier. Link receives another vision from the mysterious spirit who visited him in his dreams. He snaps out of the vision and attempts to go after Zelda, but gets knocked out in the process.
Link wakes up in his bed that night, and then explains what happened to Zelda’s father, Headmaster Gaepora. Despite his insistence to rest, Link hears the same mysterious voice again, and follows the spirit to the Goddess Statue. The spirit appears from the sword that lay hidden within the statue, and introduces herself as Fi. She informs that Link must take the blade and begin his journey, destined to him by the goddess. He is hesitant at first, until Fi tells him that Zelda is still alive below the clouds; after hearing this, he pulls the blade. Moments later, the two are joined are Gaepora, who explains his knowledge of a prophecy that foretold what was taking place right before his eyes; he proceeds to warn Link that no one has pierced the cloud barrier. Fi solves that issue by bestowing Link with the Emerald Tablet, which opens a portal through the clouds to the surface world below.
Searching for Zelda
The following day, Link descends to the surface world after getting his green knight’s uniform, being the only graduating member of his class. He arrives at the Sealed Temple upon arriving on the surface. He uses a Skyward Strike on a strange spike in the center of the Sealed Grounds, opening a door to the temple itself. Inside, a mysterious old woman gives Link a hint as to Zelda’s whereabouts in the nearby Faron woods. Link goes to the woods and continues along his journey until he arrives at Skyview Temple. There, a man appears at the door to the Skyview Spring; this man introduces himself as Ghirahim and proceeds to explain to Link that he was responsible for the dark tornado on the preceding day, whisking Zelda to the surface, only for her to be rescued by a “Servant of the Goddess” at the last possible moment. Link and Ghirahim battle until Ghirahim realizes that Zelda’s presence is no longer in the area, and leaves with a threat to Link should they meet again. Link enters the spring, and Fi translates the words left for him by the Goddess, indicating that Zelda must purify her body at two different springs.
Link receives the Ruby Tablet and returns to Skyloft to place it within the Goddess Statue; a new portal opens to Eldin Volcano, where the young hero travels to in an effort to continue his journey to find Zelda. He makes his way through the Earth Temple only to have Ghirahim appear and tell Link that once again, someone managed to snatch Zelda from his grasp. He then leaves Link to fend for himself against Scaldera while he goes to try to reclaim Zelda. Link’s triumph over the monster is dampened severely when a young woman who was seen with Zelda chastises him for not arriving in a timely fashion. The two then disappear in a flash of light, leaving Link behind.
Link receives an Amber Tablet and places it inside of the Goddess Statue, completely unsure of Zelda’s whereabouts. Link and Fi travel to the Lanayru Desert where they find the Temple of Time. The entrance is destroyed, forcing Link to enter via a secret path found in the Lanayru Mining Facility. When he gets inside the temple, Zelda and the woman, who is introduced as Impa, are standing at the Gate of Time. Ghirahim attacks before Link can rejoin Zelda, blocking the way to her. He lunges at the hero, only to be blocked by Impa. Zelda manages to give Link the Goddess’s Harp amongst the chaos. Link is able to intervene in the battle as the wall of magic keeping him back dissipated, allowing Zelda and Impa to escape. To ensure Ghirahim cannot follow, Impa destroys the Gate of Time behind them. Ghirahim leaves as well, and Link returns to the Sealed Grounds to learn how to use the Goddess’s Harp.
When Link tries to fly back to the Sealed Grounds, however, Groose intercepts him and the two go tumbling down to the ground. Groose take a minute to absorb what he is seeing around him with Link explaining the situation to calm him down. Groose’s heroic antics quickly return and he tells Link to return to Skyloft in the hope that he can find and rescue Zelda by himself. When the old woman informs Groose that he will not be the one to save Zelda, he leaves the temple, thoroughly upset. This gives the old woman a chance to teach Link the Ballad of the Goddess. When he plays it on the harp, a large structure appears, revealed to be a second Gate of Time. However, outside the temple, a beast known as The Imprisoned is released from a seal in response to the appearance of the Gate. Link cannot outright destroy The Imprisoned, but he is able to re-seal the beast. Groose is left lamenting that he couldn’t be Zelda’s hero, and the old woman tells Link he cannot activate the Gate until his sword is more powerful; she tells him to seek out the three Sacred Flames of the Golden Goddesses.
Three Sacred Flames
Link returns to Skyloft in an effort to find information on the whereabouts of the three flames. He reveals a shrine at the top of Skyloft’s Light Tower, opening the way to the Thunderhead; it is here he finds the Isle of Songs, where he learns a song known as Farore’s Courage. With that song, Link is able to enter a place known as the Silent Realm, a parallel dimension created by the Goddesses for the chosen hero to prove himself. After filling the given Spirit Vessel with Farore’s Tears, Link receives the Water Dragon’s Scale, allowing him to swim underwater. Link uses his newfound talents to head to Lake Floria, where he hopes to find the first Sacred Flame. He overcomes many challenges in the Ancient Cistern, and the Goddess Sword is purified with the first Sacred Flame, transforming it into the Goddess Longsword.
Link heads back to the Isle of Songs and learns a song called Nayru’s Wisdom. Link heads for Lanayru Desert, overcoming another Silent Realm and obtaining the Clawshots, along with access to the Lanayru Sand Sea. There he meets Skipper, who once captained a ship that was tasked with protecting Nayru’s Flame; they track down that ship, called the Sandship, and board it. Link defeats the pirate crew that had stolen the ship, frees the crew, and defeats Tentalus; he receives Nayru’s Flame and his sword is purified into the Goddess White Sword.
Link returns to the Isle of Songs and learns Din’s Power, with only one flame left to obtain. He returns after this to Eldin Volcano and tackles the third Silent Realm, receiving the Fireshield Earrings. He uses these to head to the Volcano Summit, wherein he finds the Fire Sanctuary. After he manages to get through this temple, Ghirahim appears to him and reveals his knowledge of a second Gate of Time. He asks Link to reveal its location, attacking when the hero refuses. Although Ghirahim transformed part of his body in an effort to decimate Link, he is still bested and leaves once again, allowing Link to obtain the final flame; this flame transforms his blade from the Goddess White Sword to the Master Sword. He returns to the Sealed Grounds to open the Gate of Time, only to have to fight to reseal The Imprisoned, who was released in a reaction to the power of the Master Sword. Link is able to seal the monster away for a second time with the aid of Groose, who had built a bomb-flinging catapult for the sole purpose of dealing with the beast.
The young hero is able to finally activate the second Gate of Time and is taken to an era long gone, shortly after the Goddess had sealed away the Demon King known as Demise and sent her people heavenward with the sacred power, creating Skyloft. He meets with Zelda, who explains her true purpose as a mortal reincarnation of the Goddess Hylia; she apologizes to Link for, as Hylia, trying to use him for orchestrate the utter destruction of Demise. She blesses the Master Sword, allowing it to take on its true form before telling Link that she must seal herself away in a deep sleep to keep Demise imprisoned within his own seal. She urges Link to find and use the Triforce to destroy Demise so that she will be able to wake up in their own time. He returns to the Present to find clues on where to find the Triforce.
The Golden Power
He travels back to Skyloft, where the Triforce is hidden, and asks Gaepora what he knows. However, the Headmaster has little knowledge of the Triforce, and can only tell Link of the Great Sky Spirit known as Levias, whose knowledge is described as “encyclopedic.” However, Levias has been acting strangely. Link follows further clues to the Lumpy Pumpkin, a small diner that is popular among the knights of Skyloft; he learns there of an annual offering of Pumpkin Soup that is make to Levias by the owner of the diner. Link offers to take the soup to Levias in his stead, and brings it to Thunderhead, drawing out the sky spirit with it. He finds that Levias is possessed by a creature called Bilocyte, and Link draws out the main parasite and destroys it upon the sky spirit’s back, rescuing it from his influence. With Levias back to his old self, he informs Link that he must seek the three dragons who will be able to teach him three parts of a song known as the Song of the Hero, which will lead the way to the Triforce. The order in which Link visits these dragons is ultimately up to the player, however he has already met the Water Dragon who presides over Faron Woods from Lake Floria.
When Link descends to visit the Water Dragon, Faron, an anomaly prevents him from landing anywhere other than the Sealed Grounds. Upon arrival, Link teams up with Groose to seal the Imprisoned away for a third time, but only after Groose has to fling Link himself with his contraption onto the head of the now-flying Imprisoned to drive the sealing spike into its head. The old woman explains to Link that he cannot enter Faron Woods because it is flooded, and that she had to place a seal on the gate to the woods to keep the Sealed Grounds safe from the waters. Link cannot enter through the gate, for the seal that was placed will only hold as long as the gate remains shut; Groose decides to use his machine to fling Link into the woods. He lands in the flooded woods and investigates the inside of the Great Tree, the place from where the water was said to have come. Link meets the Water Dragon inside of the tree, and she informs him that she flooded the woods in order to get rid of the monsters that had recently appeared in the area. She gives him the challenge of collecting the notes for her part of the song in the form of Tadtones. He completes the challenge and is given the Water Dragon’s portion of the song before decides to allow the flooding to recede.
When Link pays a visit to the Fire Dragon, Eldin, a volcanic eruption knocks him out of the sky and he falls unconscious. When he comes to, he finds that the Bokoblins set up a new base in the area and stole all of his equipment. Link finds himself in a cell with no way out until a Mogma known as Plats, whom he had met prior in the Fire Sanctuary, burrows in and reveals he had taken Link’s Mogma Mitts back from the Bokoblins, giving Link a way out. He is able to begin recovering his items but without the Master Sword, he is unable to fight the Bokoblins directly and must sneak around to avoid direct confrontation. After all of his items are recovered, he makes his way to the Volcano Summit to meet the Fire Dragon, who imparts his portion of the Song of the Hero to Link.
When Link visits the Thunder Dragon, Lanayru, he crawls through a small tunnel in the Lanayru Caves uncovered by a Goron mining for Timeshift Stones, and he ends up in Lanayru Gorge, where the Thunder Dragon supposedly lives. However, all he finds is a skeleton; the Thunder Dragon somehow died. Link finds a room where a Timeshift Stone was about to be sent to the Thunder Dragon, allowing Link to travel back to a period before he had passed. He is shown to have become deathly ill, and needs the fruit from the Tree of Life to recover; however, the sapling that was seen in the present era Lanayru Desert was unable to thrive in the harsh, arid climate. Link digs up the sapling using Timeshift Stones and brings it back through the Gate of Time to the Temple of Hylia. It grows and bears the life-giving fruit, allowing Link to bring that fruit to the Thunder Dragon, saving his life, and allowing Link to learn his part of the Song of the Hero.
With the three parts of the Song of the Hero in hand, Link returns to Levias, who combines the parts of the three dragons with his own to teach Link the full song. With this song, Link returns to Skyloft and uses the Song to open the gate to the final trial within the Silent Realm. Link completes a trial in his own home and receives a gemstone that will lead to the Triforce. Placing the gemstone where it belongs, as the missing eye of a bird statue that faces away from the Goddess Statue, Link opens up the way to the Sky Keep. Link enters the spiral dungeon that lay under the Statue of the Goddess and manages to enter three small Silent Realms within to collect the separated pieces of the Triforce. With the Triforce in his grasp, the hero wishes for the destruction of Demise. The entire island that contains the Sky Keep and the Goddess Statue plummets to the ground, crushing and destroying The Imprisoned as it attempts to break free of its seal once more. Link rushes to the Sealed Temple to witness Zelda’s awakening; the group is there as Zelda returns from her long sleep, and Link and Zelda are finally reunited.
The Final Battle
Just as the group believes that the journey is finally over, Ghirahim appears to attack them, taking Zelda and making for the Gate of Time, knocking Groose and the old woman out of the way as he goes. The hero regains his strength from Ghirahim’s initial ambush and then pursues him into the past; he learns that Impa was ambushed in that time. Link heads out to the Sealed Grounds where Ghirahim is beginning the ritual of Demise’s resurrection; Demise was still sealed in that area, and he could be revived by absorbing the soul of Zelda, the reincarnation of Hylia. Ghirahim has his troops rush at Link in an attempt to stall him, but Link is able to get through the army of Bokoblins and reaches the villain at the bottom of the spiral pit.
Ghirahim expresses his anger at Link for being too quick and throws Zelda into the air before finally taking his true form – a living weapon, a sword spirit comparable to Fi. He raises Link and himself onto a high platform where he announces his intention to kill Link. The two battle furiously and Link succeeds in defeating him once and for all. Ghirahim, however, reveals that while they were fighting, the ritual was still going on, and The Imprisoned rises, having swallowed Zelda’s soul and returning to his original form: Demise. Ghirahim welcomes back his master before being drawn into a large sword that looks to resemble a corrupted version of the Master Sword. Demise announces his intention to take the world as his own now that Hylia is gone, and then allows her body to fall from the air above; Groose catches her and tells Link that it will take some time for Zelda’s soul to be fully absorbed, so he still has time to save her by defeating Demise.
Seeing Link defy his expectation of humankind’s cowardice, Demise gives Link a chance to duel him in another realm for the fate of the world. Link follows him through a dark portal, finding himself facing nothing more than the Demon King and pure sky. Demise speaks before the two battle, telling Link of his intentions to wrest the Triforce from him and destroy him, ruling the world for eternity. Link outmaneuvers Demise with fair swordplay, causing the Demon King to summon a lightning storm to power his blade. Link uses this storm to his advantage, ultimately defeating Demise by running the Demon King through with his blade as it is struck by lightning. Link’s enemy stumbles to his feet, congratulating the hero, but warning him that it was not over; his hatred would be reborn as a being to pursue domination of the world, and those with the blood of the goddess and the spirit of the hero would be trapped in a cycle without end. Link then raises his blade and absorbs the remains of Demise 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 insistence, Link plnges the Master Sword into a pedestal in the Sealed Temple, leaving it and Fi behind, since her purpose to guide Link had been completed. She tells Link that she feels something that she would equate to happiness, despite being unable to feel true emotion, and that she hopes they meet again someday. Outside, Zelda is pleading with Impa to return with them to the present time; Impa tells her that they’ll meet again, despite the destruction of the Gate of Time. Zelda gives her one of her bracelets before they return to their own time. On the other side of the gate, the old woman destroys the gate from that side and says that she told Zelda they’d meet again before holding up her wrist, showing her the bracelet Zelda had just given to Impa and revealing that the elderly woman was Impa all along. She then vanishes into light, her duty to the Goddess finally being completed. The group laments Impa’s death, turning to the Master sword and where it lay in the pedestal Link had left it in within the past era.
After the credits, it is shown that Gaepora, along with Crawlin and Strich, fly down through the cloud barrier to meet with Zelda, Link, and Groose. Groose returns to Skyloft, bidding farewell to Link as Zelda, who are seen on the Goddess Statue as she plays the Ballad of the Goddess on the Goddess Harp. Zelda expresses her wishes to stay on the surface world, and asks what Link’s intentions were. Link smiles at her and the camera then pans to their Loftwings flying back into the sky, suggesting that Link chose to stay with Zelda.
Skyward Sword kept a lot of traditional elements that the Zelda series is so well-known for. There is the traditional element of exploration; Link explores the different regions of Hyrule and also explores dungeons, obtaining an item to help further advance him in his quest. There are many puzzles in the overworld as well as the dungeons. Skyward Sword does a lot more integration with these two facets of exploration than past Zelda titles, making this game one that has been labeled as denser, compared to other titles.
Link travels between a series of floating islands called Skyloft that acts as the game’s central hub, and Hyrule, which lie directly below on the surface world. His mount is a large red bird called a Loftwing, as opposed to faithful steed Epona that he usually obtains; this Loftwing allows Link to effortlessly fly between the islands in the sky. The game begins with being restricted to Skyloft, with the surface world of Hyrule being cut off by a thick barrier of clouds. As the game progresses, there are portals that open up, allowing access to different provinces of the surface world.
There are the typical gameplay mechanics that long time players of the Zelda franchise will be familiar with. There are your sword attacks, and a repertoire of items that aid Link throughout his journey. Some of these are familiar, such as the Bow and Arrow and Bombs. There are also quite a few new items, like the Beedle. The battle mechanics are fairly new, having only been used prior in Twilight Princess. The player swings the Wiimote as if it is Link’s blade, and the joy stick for standard movement is on the nunchuk.
This game also has a lot of newer things that greatly affect gameplay. One new function that was introduced was a stamina meter; in past games, Link has always run at a set speed and has been able to hang from ivy or vines for an infinite amount of time. This new stamina meter allows Link to sprint and dash up walls. However, this meter decreases quickly, meaning that he can only sprint or hang off of something for a short time; this meter also drains when Link performs intensive attacks like the infamous Spin Attack. Another new mechanic that was introduced was the concept of item durability. This was only seen in the shield, but as you used it to defend from attacks, there is a durability meter that slowly depletes. This created a need to either buy newer and stronger shields or to actively repair Link’s as you travel.
This game also borrows heavily from MMOs in that there is a large section of crafting materials. These materials range from trophies from enemies to natural materials found while exploring throughout the game. These materials can be used by a shopkeeper in Skyloft to upgrade the various items from Link’s inventory, increasing their abilities. There is a limited amount of items that can be taken in your “Adventure Pouch,” such as potions, quest items, and the like. This causes the player to often have to think about what combination of items would be most effective; the extra items are deposited in the “Item Check” in the Bazaar, similar to a bank in an MMO.
In April of 2008, Shigeru Miyamoto confirmed that the Zelda team was getting together once again to work on new games; he later clarified at E3 of the same year that the staff members had been working to develop a new Zelda installment for the Nintendo Wii. The development team began the production of Skyward Sword between the two Zelda games for the Nintendo DS; more specifically, it began after the completion of Phantom Hourglass and before Spirit Tracks. Director Hidemaro Fujibayashi and his team worked on Spirit Tracks and Skyward Sword simultaneously until the former was completed, the entire team was transferred over to put forth all their efforts into Skyward Sword.
While the implementation of the graphics was not advanced enough for footage at E3 2009, the story of the game was near completion, and a single piece of concept art was revealed to a select group of journalists. The image was released to the public a few days later, depicting a near-adult Link with a shield in his left hand and a mysterious female figure at his back. Miyamoto had provided a story hint during an interview by pointing out the lack of a sword in the image; this raised speculation about the depicted female being a personification of the Master Sword.
Miyamoto had also announced use of the Wii MotionPlus peripheral for integral parts of the gameplay, such as sword fighting. Support for the MotionPlus was actually dropped for a stretch of several months, because producer Eiji Aonuma didn’t feel it was effective enough; this decision was eventually reversed when Miyamoto told game designer Katsuya Eguchi to challenge Aonuma with creating swordplay similar in quality to the motion controls seen in Wii Sports Resort. Aonuma confirmed later that Wii MotionPlus was actually going to be mandatory, describing the aforementioned swordplay as very natural. The development of this game focused around the gameplay first and cutscenes second, in an effort to correct the too-large vacant areas of Twilight Princess while maintaining and focusing on the realism that Skyward’s Sword predecessor portrayed. Nintendo president Satoru Iwata had initially revealed plans to release the game by end of year 2010, mentioning that it would debut at E3 that year.
At Nintendo’s press conference that coincided with the trade show in June 2010, it was announced that the name of the Zelda Wii installment would be called Skyward Sword, along with the game’s delay until 2011. The presentation also revealed the graphics style of the game, resembling the work of impressionist painters like Cézanne; this was chosen based on the desire to tell a more fantasy story and allowed more exaggerated character designs, to emphasize both enemies’ attacks and weaknesses. The game’s soundtrack was primarily composed by Hajime Wakai, and the long standing musician for the game, Koji Kondo, provided additional compositions. The initial wish of staff members to have orchestral recordings was granted by Miyamoto after the summer of 2010; Super Mario Galaxy composer Mahito Yokota joined the team as an orchestration director and composer. At E3 2011, the game was finally given a release date in Q4 2011.
Skyward Sword received universal acclaim, gaining a Metacritic rating of 93/100. It obtained a 10/10 from IGN and 98% from the UK Official Nintendo Magazine it is tied with Ocarina of Time 3D for the highest-ever review score. The game received a perfect 40/40 from the Japanese Famitsu as well.
However, Gamespot rated it lower than its predecessors, giving a 7.5/10 and heavily criticizing the combat system, the too-linear progression, and formulaic gameplay.
The game has received numerous awards, such as “Game of the Year” from multiple places, and plenty of “Best of” awards. As of December 2011, not even a month after its launch, Skyward Sword sold a recorded 3.41 million units worldwide.
1. The main theme of Skyward Sword, known as the Ballad of the Goddess, is Zelda’s Lullaby orchestrated and played in reverse.
2. A game-ending glitch occurs if the quest for the Song of the Hero is done in a certain way, and this prompted the release of the Skyward Sword Save Data Update Channel.
3. Skyward Sword is the first 3D Zelda title that does not feature the idle passage of time. To change from day to night or vice versa, Link must sleep in a bed on Skyloft.
4. This is the second Zelda title which required the use of an external accessory with the Wii MotionPlus, the first one being Majora’s Mask with the Expasion Pak.
5. Despite being the first game within the Zelda timeline, it features the most technologically advanced peoples, showcasing a dungeon that was staffed by robots and a mining corporation that created the dungeon and its robotic inhabitants.
6. The American boxart features Hylian text from Twilight Princess, even though a new Hylian language is introduced in Skyward Sword.
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