Following the HD remasters of Wind Waker and Twilight Princess, many Zelda fans were hoping that Skyward Sword would be next in line. According to attendees of a recent Zelda concert in Japan, series producer Eiji Aonuma even teased Skyward Sword for Switch during the event. So can we expect an official announcement soon?
Well, not so fast. After reporting on this story, Eurogamer managed to get a follow-up comment from a Nintendo spokesperson, and it wasn’t exactly promising. The Nintendo rep told Eurogamer ” At this time we have no plans to release The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword on Nintendo Switch.”
So the official word is currently “no,” but I wouldn’t say that’s cause to lose hope altogether. Aonuma has been known to tease things ahead of time (although usually in a much more subtle way), and Nintendo has been known to drop the ” no plans” PR line when an in-development product leaks ahead of time. I wouldn’t exactly hold my breath, but it’s still possible that it’s on the way and Aonuma simply jumped the gun on teasing it.
Last generation, Nintendo revisited two Zelda games from the GameCube era, and the result was HD versions of Wind Waker and Twilight Princess. Skyward Sword, the next console Zelda in line after those two, has not yet received the same treatment. Many have speculated that this could change on Switch, with the Joy-Con controllers replacing the Wii Motion Plus controllers originally required for the game.
Nintendo has yet to make any official announcement in this area, but according to recent rumblings from Japan, Zelda producer Eiji Aonuma just threw some major fuel on that flame. According to numerous attendees of a recent Zelda concert in Osaka Japan, Aonuma addressed the crowd and said “We know what you are thinking. Skyward Sword on Switch, right?“
While we obviously can’t confirm that this occurred, it’s being claimed by many different people who attended the concert, so it seems likely to be true. We also know that the Zelda development team once experimented with some concepts for Skyward Sword HD years ago, so there’s definitely been interest on Nintendo’s end.
Could we see an announcement soon? With The Game Awards just around the corner, it’s certainly a possibility. Personally, I’d love to see a bundle with the HD versions of Wind Waker, Twilight Princess, and Skyward Sword all packaged together.
No other video game series has touched my soul or inspired me more than The Legend of Zelda has. For both myself and many others I’m sure, this is the case. In terms of Zelda games that really are the full package combining innovative gameplay, lovely fantasy art styles, and powerful musical scores with impactful storytelling, the 3D entries come to mind. For many, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild may be the new gold standard in those departments. But for me, The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword still reigns supreme in all categories.
For the sake of controversy and my personal standards, I’m going to compare Skyward Sword to Breath of the Wild in this editorial. I consider them by and large the two best Zelda games, and in some aspects, for very different reasons.
I view these two titles as nearly perfect in their own niches in the pantheon of Zelda; since Breath of the Wild came out this year, I have said these two games are two sides of one marvelous Zelda coin. Breath of the Wild is the escapist’s Zelda game. It’s all about exploring, actively choosing what to do, and adapting to whatever the land of Hyrule can throw one’s way (which is a hell of a lot in terms of combat, puzzles, and more). Skyward Sword, on the other hand, is all about precision. The precise motion controls, wonderfully executed narrative, and linear design all echo that sentiment. The thing is, if I was forced to choose one of the two, I would choose Skyward Sword any day.
After saying something that bold, I doubt anyone still reading this would be shocked to hear that story can be just as important to me in a video game as the gameplay itself. I can still play a game like Super Mario Bros. and be completely satisfied. That being said, I know what I can and should expect from the Zelda series. And Skyward Sword‘s story is by far the best in the entire franchise.
That might actually be the only thing about Skyward Sword people agree on. I’m betting that few people would make the argument that the story of Breath of the Wild is superior to that of the 3D Zelda adventure before it. That’s not to say the story of Breath of the Wild is bad, far from it; heck, I even wrote an editorial about why the story of the newest Zelda is so freaking amazing.
It’s actually just testament to how nearly flawless the storytelling in Skyward Sword is. What with two imposing (and for completely different reasons to boot) antagonists, some of the most fleshed out side characters in the series, and epic moments aplenty, it’s hard to know where to start gushing about the plot, tone, and characters of Skyward Sword.
The most sensical origin point then must be the motivations. Link’s driving force at the start of his adventure among the clouds is no intrinsic desire to be the hero or because some fairy told him to get out of bed. Instead, Link, the Chosen Hero, does everything in his journey first and foremost for Zelda. The romance between them in this game is strong and full of heart. Whether this relationship is providing some of the most memorable moments in the game through cleverly timed comedy or dramatic tension, it’s always driving Link, and therefore the player, forward.
If story means little to you, that’s just a bit of context to surround you as you move your way through dozens of hours of adventuring. But if you become as connected to the characters as I always do at the start of my playtime on Skyloft, then this driving force to save Zelda or assist her becomes the most potent narrative force in almost any video game.
Everything Groose, Ghirahim, Demise, Fi, Impa, and the supporting cast do to either help Link or stand in his way is also made more profound and important due to the relationship between Link and Zelda established in the long but necessary beginning hours of the game.
And since this is a video game after all, what the player does is important too. With the enhanced capability of the Wii MotionPlus, every movement the player makes is more important than ever before in Nintendo gaming. One-to-one swordplay works amazingly well still to this day. For the flight of things that are practically extensions of Link’s being such as the Beetle and his Loftwing (*cough* his name’s Crimson in my headcanon *cough cough*), the player’s arm movements are replicated to a tee.
Every item being motion controlled in Skyward Sword honestly serves to immerse the player more. Thank Hylia it works nearly all of the time if your Wii is set up correctly. Otherwise, this sense of immersion would have been lost, and an ambitious gameplay goal would have fallen flatter than The Imprisoned after Link’s wish on the Triforce.
For me, this balance of heartfelt, well-paced storytelling and unprecedented interactivity with Link’s arsenal creates an addictive phenomenon in Skyward Sword that no other game can match. Every move I make ties into the game’s plot somehow, both in little ways like when rolling a bomb to blow away rocks blocking the way or in big ways like using a Skyward Strike to unlock the Gate of Time. Every bit of progress I make seems to be rewarded with an amazing moment, like a transformation in one of some of the best dungeons in the series, a reaction from my lovable devil Ghirahim in a duel, or a tear-jerking monologue from Zelda herself.
That type of feedback loop is so satisfying to me, the player (or the hero if I must indulge myself). And not even Breath of the Wild has topped Skyward Sword‘s implementation of it in my opinion.
The only thing that could make all of Skyward Sword‘s Zelda goodness better for me is an HD remake (do it, Nintendo!) because while I dearly love the watercolor art style that smartly masks some of the Wii’s limitations, the 480p game can still leave a lot to be desired in looks. Otherwise, get rid of the game’s redundant explanations for treasure and bugs every time you turn the game on again, and we’re set. We already know the game’s soundtrack is perfection (the best in the series as well if I must say so), so Nintendo really better make a re-release of this gem happen on the Nintendo Switch, or there’ll be Demise to pay.
So what about you? What are your thoughts on Skyward Sword? Do you understand my love for this wonderful game and could you perhaps share my sentiments? What is your favorite Zelda game, and why? I can’t wait to read your thoughts, and thanks for listening to some dork’s opinion on an underrated beauty in gaming’s greatest franchise!
During today’s Nintendo Direct, Nintendo announced that it is launching a new series of Amiibo this year to celebrate The Legend of Zelda‘s 30th anniversary. These Amiibo will be based on Link’s look in previous entries in the series. There will be three figures, made to look like Link in Majora’s Mask, Twilight Princess, and Skyward Sword. This new line of Amiibo will launch on June 23rd.
Along with this line of Zelda-themed Amiibo, Nintendo is also finally releasing the last few Amiibo for the DLC characters in Super Smash Bros. Wii U and 3DS. Cloud, Corrin, and Bayonetta will each be getting two Amiibo figures in different outfits (and, in Corrin’s case, different genders). We also finally have a release date for these Amiibo: July 21st.
Are you excited for the new Zelda Amiibo? Or are you just happy to finally have the last group of Smash Amiibo on the horizon? Let us know in the comments!
Late last year, Nintendo celebrated the 30th anniversary of The Legend of Zelda by releasing some Amiibo based on some of the franchise’s most popular games. Included in this release were three Link figures, based off of Ocarina of Time, The Legend of Zelda, and The Wind Waker, as well as a Zelda figure also from The Wind Waker. As part of the huge Breath of the Wild data leak last week, some prying eyes noticed that nestled within the list of Zelda Amiibo were three new names, suggesting that Nintendo might be planning on releasing even more 30th anniversary figures.
The files listed the three unknown figures as “TableKing30th_Link_Twilight,” “TableKing30th_Link_Majora,” and “TableKing30th_Link_Skyward.” Since these do not correlate to any known figures, it seems reasonable to assume that these represent new figures. If it wasn’t already clear from the names, these hypothetical figures would likely be based off of Link’s Twilight Princess, Majora’s Mask, and Skyward Sword incarnations. I don’t have any idea what the Twilight Princess figure could look like since we already have Wolf Link, but I can easily see the Majora’s Mask figure showcasing the mask itself or maybe even Fierce Deity Link. For the Skyward Sword design, I think Link riding a Loftwing would be really nice.
For now though, these figures are purely hypothetical. Nintendo hasn’t released any information about the possibility of new Zelda Amiibo, so read into this what you will. I, for one, am hopeful to expand my collection even further!
Today’s Nintendo Direct had a ton of great news for gamers, but even it didn’t contain all the Nintendo news for the day. Alongside The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, a second Wii title was re-released for the Wii U Virtual Console today in Europe: New Play Control! Pikmin, the Wii version of the GameCube cult hit that uses the Wii Remote as its controller. Not only that, but to celebrate these two titles’ arrival on the eShop, Nintendo of Europe is also offering a special deal on these two games: buy one, and you can get the second for 50% off! This deal will only last for two weeks, from the look of things, so make sure you take advantage of it soon!
Will you be taking advantage of this sale? Or are you like me, wishing that such a deal had come to the States as well? Tell us your thoughts in the comments!
Zelda fans are eagerly awaiting the launch of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild on Wii U and NX, but another Zelda game is launching on Wii U first. During today’s Nintendo Direct, Nintendo announced that Skyward Sword, originally on Wii, is coming to the Wii U eShop. No pricing details were announced, but Wii re-releases on Wii U are typically $19.99. You’ll be able to pick up Skyward Sword on Wii U sometime today.
At this point, YouTube users looking to satisfy their itch for gaming soundtracks have likely already come across SilvaGunner’s “high quality rips.” What began as an affectionate parody of GilvaSunner’s uploads of actual video game music has quickly grown on listeners as it became a hub for some of the greatest—and meme-worthy—gaming music mashups ever heard this side of the Internet.
One such mashup came from YouTuber BotanicSage’s comment on how “Lost in Thoughts All Alone,” the theme music of Fire Emblem Fates, sounded just like the “Ballad of the Goddess” featured in The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword. Lo and behold, such a combination now exists on Silva’s channel, and you can give it a listen in the video above.
What are your thoughts on this wondrous mashup of Zelda and Fire Emblem music? Do you have a favorite high quality rip among SilvaGunner’s videos? Sound off in the comments below!
Over the past few years, Zelda producer Eiji Aonuma has talked extensively about his goal of re-thinking the conventions of the franchise. With series creator Shigeru Miyamoto taking a step back and giving him more creative control, Aonuma and his team have eschewed the formula followed by most of the recent entries in the franchise to create something fresh in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Speaking with Game Informer after E3, Aonuma elaborated on his decision to shake the series up, citing Wii title The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword as a key influence.
Game Informer: “This Zelda game is dramatic change from previous Zelda games, we’re curious why you felt like now was a good time to change up the formula.”
Eiji Aonuma: “So this came up a little bit in our Q and A session earlier, but someone, a user who played Skyward Sword, said, ‘We want to know what happens in the places you can’t go to.’ And I think for people, especially the Zelda fans, they have a curiosity to find out what happens in those places where you can’t go, where you’re not supposed to go. So we wanted to create a world where you can further that investigation, you can go further and further and continue to search for places where you can’t go.
“And to make this happen, we needed to create Zelda in a very different way and so that’s why it took a little bit longer than we had expected, the development took a lot longer than I had expected. Mainly because as we’re developing this game, we realized there’s all these new possibilities coming up. Like, ‘Oh, we can do this’ or ‘Let’s expand on that.’ And so that’s why development just took a lot longer. And of course there’s stuff that we couldn’t include because of time constraints, but I really feel like we were able to shape out the Zelda that we really wanted to, that really lives up to what we had envisioned.”
The map in Skyward Sword was fragmented and restrictive, and progression through it was largely linear. Breath of the Wild aims to be the exact opposite, encouraging players to explore every nook and cranny. This focus on free exploration also drove the development team to expand on the stamina bar and climbing mechanics of Skyward Sword.
Game Informer: Where did the idea to allow Link to just climb on everything came from. I mean why allow him to climb up a rock face to begin with?
Eiji Aonuma: So having to use some sort of stamina gauge and run and dash that’s a function that was available in Skyward Sword and we really enjoyed how that feels and how that works out but we thought about how can we expand on that idea. In Skyward Sword you’re only able to climb in certain designated areas and we kind of threw that all those limitations and made it so you can climb anywhere. And when you’re able to climb anywhere you’re able to get to high places, and look down and then adding the paraglider, you can really go down and enjoy this experience. Where it started was wanting to expand on the idea from Skyward Sword.
If you were among the Zelda fans left dissatisfied by Skyward Sword‘s overworld, Nintendo has heard your voice loud and clear!
During an interview at Nintendo’s E3 2016 Showcase, Zelda series’ producer Eiji Aonuma revealed that a HD remake of The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword is “definitely possible.” However, Aonuma believes that releasing a remake alongside Breath of the Wild may be a little “weird,” because this new game is meant to be an evolved and expanded version of Skyward Sword.
It is still a possibility, though, and it hasn’t stopped Nintendo in the past, with Ocarina of Time, The Wind Waker, Majora’s Mask, and Twilight Princess all receiving remakes in the past five years.
“Yeah it’s definitely possible. As I mentioned earlier in the presentation, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is a result of what we wanted to expand and make a better Skyward Sword. It’s like an evolved or expanded version. Putting out an HD version of Skyward Sword and tossing that into the mix might be a little weird. It’s always a possibility, so I really don’t know.” — Eiji Aonuma
Good Smile Company is known for their fantastic hobby products and beautifully detailed figurines. Earlier this week, Good Smiles released a new video showcasing their latest figurine of Link from The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword. The Link figurine is is approximately 20 cm in height and will cost you 15,800 yen ($143.00). While the figurine will not be released until November, you can preorder the figure from now until July 27th at 9:00 PM JST.
This was one of the talking points on last week’s episode of Nintendo Week, our Nintendo-themed podcast here at Gamnesia. Check out the discussion video above for our full thoughts, or keep reading below for a brief, brief summary.
We don’t think it’s likely Nintendo’s still hiding much, if anything at all, about their E3 show. Though we don’t come to any strong conclusions, we discuss the possibilities that the teams at Nintendo could go all out for this year’s booth, possibly designing a real-life Zelda dungeon or an incarnation of Hyrule Field to compliment Zelda U. And if this year is all about Zelda, we wonder whether they have one last HD remake—Skyward Sword—to complete the Zelda collection on Wii U. We ask whether it would have been worth it to bring some of their upcoming Wii U and 3DS games to E3, and though it’s hard to give a concrete answer, we certainly understand the thought process behind their decision.
If you like this video, you can subscribe to Nintendo Week on iTunes, where we release new episodes every Wednesday, or you could check out the full episode. If you don’t like long-form podcasts, you can subscribe to us on YouTube, where our discussion segments are uploaded on Thursdays, and these select snippets from the rest of the podcast—which we call NWC—are uploaded throughout the week. If you like what you hear, we’d love it if you leave us a review on iTunes, where you can find episodes covering tons of other subjects, or send us your feedback! We’d love to know what you think of the show, and how you think we can improve it.
Mechroid, an official gaming merchandise retailer, is now taking preorders for two new The Legend of Zelda replicas. Fans, cosplayers, and collectors can obtain the highly detailed models of the Master Sword and Hylian Shield from the Wii title The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword.
The Master Sword, equipped with a usable sheath, comes in at a height of 25.98 inches. The sword and accompanying sheath are both made of high quality plastic with minute details. The duo piece is being sold for £25.99/€42,99/$39.99. The Hylian Shield, meanwhile, stands at 18.8in x 14.9in x 3.5in, and Merchoid crafted it with the same attention to detail and material as the Master Sword. The shield is priced at £22.99/€39,99/$34.99.
Both the Master Sword and Hylian Shield replicas have free world-wide shipping and will be sent out on the 15th of July.
News and reveals from the toy world circled around the Internet in the wake of Wonder Festival this past weekend. Max Factory is putting out more of their popular Figma figures. Below you can see a custom Link figure from Skyward Sword and Samus from Other M. It was also unveiled that a Samus figure from Metroid Prime 3: Corruption is in the works right now, as is a Link figure based on Twilight Princess HD.
There is yet to be a release date or pricing information announced for the figures yet.
What do you think of the figures? Let us know in the comments below!
Yesterday we reported that a Title ID for Twilight Princess HD had been discovered on Wii U eShop. More digging has been done since then, and in addition to confirming the listing for Twilight Princess HD, a handful of listings for other popular titles have been discovered on the same server. Super Mario Galaxy (without ‘HD’ on the end) was found listed for both Japan and Europe.
Also listed for Japan was Metroid: Other M, The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, Wario Land: Shake It!, Mario Strikers Charged, and Super Paper Mario, suggesting that all of these games are planned for release on the Japanese eShop. So far there’s no official word from Nintendo on the subject yet, but we could very likely be hearing announcements soon.
The man. The myth. The Groose. For almost four years, this mystical beast of erotic beauty and titillating trombone accompaniment has eluded the understanding of mortal men. With the physique of a Greek sculpture and the chiseled face of confidence, we must ask ourselves how exactly the Groose came to be. Did he rise from the fresh flowers of the spring? Or was he once a dove, now transformed into a man? Or did he fall from sky (he actually did)? Former Treehouse employee and current writer for The Tonight Show Mike Drucker revealed why exactly he graced Groose with such an elegant name.
Well, the process was actually pretty simple. Since most of the citizens on Skyloft were named after birds, Drucker decided to roll with that theme. After hearing the pompadour-sporting superior was a bit of a jock, the writer decided to combine the name “Bruce” with the word “goose.” A few seconds later, Groose was born, and the world was never the same.
I wish I had a job involving naming Zelda NPCs. Braunda. Cherene. Clymette. Fimbo. Mario. It’s not that hard.
The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword introduced a new character who quickly took his rightful place as the indisputable most fantastic creation in history. But in addition to Groose, Skyward Sword was also our introduction to Ghirahim, a memorable and intimidating villain who took the spotlight for a great deal of the game. Since then, he’s quickly become arguably the series’ most popular villain behind Ganondorf himself. In fact, Ghirahim was a big talking point during this week’s episode of Nintendo Week, where we discussed our personal most-wanted newcomers for the future Smash Bros. series.
Ghirahim one of many characters we spent some time discussing a potential playstyle for. Check out the discussion video above to hear our ideas, or keep reading for a brief (albeit less fun) explanation in text.
Ghirahim would best fit in Smash as a sort of foil to Link’s moveset. He would be able to use melee attacks with his swords, and even some demon magic, for his collection of jabs, tilts, Smashes, and aerial attacks. Ghirahim would mainly focus on speed and small hits, much like Sheik, so that players would quickly rack up strings of smaller attacks with just a few finishing moves at their disposal, rather than Link’s more balanced approach or Ganondorf’s power-heavy style.
His specials could emphasize focus on projectiles and ranged magic. He could fling quick daggers not unlike Link’s bow, he could launch his fiery version of the Skyward Strike as a forward special, his Down Special could be Ghirahim’s unique version of a counter (which may be overused, but would perfectly fit his excellence at predicting Link’s telegraphed attacks in Skyward Sword), and his teleportation abilities would serve as his recovery and dodges. He’s got a lot of options for a Final Smash, but we came up with having Demise appear on screen to use Ghirahim for his true purpose—I won’t spoil Skyward Sword for you, though.
By far the most important necessity, however, is that his taunts are made up by his fabulous dance moves from Skyward Sword‘s ritual scene. Any moment when a villain dances to the sound of their own voice singing their own theme song cannot be left out of Smash.
Of course, there’s more than one way a character could work. What would you like to see out of Ghirahim if he ever joins Super Smash Bros.?
Welcome to the second chapter of Secrets of Skyward Sword. This series digs deep into the game, uncovering mysteries of Zelda lore throughout Hylian history. This week’s article takes a look at a mysterious and spiritual parallel world called the Silent Realm that plays a key role in Link’s quest in Skyward Sword. Let’s dig in!
In Skyward Sword, the Silent Realm serves as a testing grounds for Link as the prophesied hero. This ethereal dimension can only be entered through portals which must be opened by a combination of sacred songs and the Goddess Sword, which later becomes the Master Sword. Despite its distinct appearance, its layout is virtually identical to Hyrule – a parallel world. Perhaps the most interesting and important fact about the Silent Realm is that it houses the sacred Triforce.
Link is told in the game that the Sky Keep in Skyloft contains the Triforce, but that’s not entirely true. The Sky Keep is filled with enemies and puzzles (once again testing the hero), and completing these puzzles brings Link to the crests of the three Golden Goddesses of Hyrule, Din, Nayru, and Farore. These crests serve the same purpose as the Silent Realm portals from earlier in the game. Although it’s not specifically stated as such, plunging the Master Sword into each crest clearly transports Link to the Silent Realm. Here Link finds the three pieces of the Triforce.
If all of these descriptions of the Silent Realm are starting to sound familiar, it’s because it is strikingly similar to another well-known spiritual realm in the Zelda series – a realm that serves as the resting place of the Triforce. Like the Silent Realm, the Sacred Realm of A Link to the Past and Ocarina of Time is said to be the place where the Triforce has rested since ancient times. In A Link to the Past the Sacred Realm is only accessible through a series of portals, and its layout is nearly identical to Hyrule. In Ocarina of Time only one portal exists (that we know of), and it can only be opened by a combination of a sacred song (the Song of Time) and the act of pulling the Master Sword from its pedestal.
The parallels between these realms are pretty obvious, but there’s another link that’s equally as interesting. In Skyward Sword, the spirit Fi tells Link that many of Hyrule’s legends have become inaccurate over time because oral tradition is “one of the least reliable methods of information retention and transmission.” This is particularly relevant when considering the story of the Sacred Realm and the Triforce in A Link to the Past, as the game’s manual depicts the Sacred Realm (based on legends) as a cluster of floating islands in the sky.
This visual, of course, is very similar to the floating islands of Skyloft in Skyward Sword, including the Sky Keep where the Triforce is found. The cutscene in Ocarina of Time that talks about the creation of the Triforce and the Sacred Realm also shows the Triforce floating high in the sky. Although islands are not present in Ocarina of Time‘s depiction (legends continue to evolve over time), it’s clear that throughout Hylian history the Sacred Realm and Triforce have been associated with the sky.
Of course, what we know as Skyloft wasn’t always an island in the sky. The evil demon Demise sought to find the Triforce and use it to conquer the world, and Hylia sacrificed her immortality to stop him. With the power of the Triforce (which she could only use by giving up her divinity), she sealed Demise away for as long as she could, gathered the survivors of Demise’s assaults together, and sent the land upon which they stood skyward, forming the floating islands of Skyloft. At the end of the game, the Sky Keep plummets back to the ground below landing in its original resting place, just ouside of the Sealed Temple.
As such, the original resting place of the Triforce was likely just outside the Sealed Temple. A Link to the Past shows us that changes to terrain in Hyrule can affect the Sacred Realm and vice versa. Assuming that the Silent Realm is the Sacred Realm (or even just that it follows similar rules, just as other parallel dimensions in the Zelda series have been shown to do), Hylia’s act of raising the patch of earth into the sky would also affect its Silent Realm parallel. Only the survivors of Demise’s war were left to pass on the tale of the Sacred Realm and the Triforce, and over time the legend became blurred. Skyloft (or more specifically the Silent Realm/Sacred Realm parallel to Skyloft) was the resting place of the Triforce for ages, and so through the telling of legends Hylians came to believe that the Sacred Realm itself consisted of floating islands.
With the Sky Keep back on the ground outside the Sealed Temple, the resting place of the Triforce in the Sacred Realm also returned to the ground. However, in Ocarina of Time the Triforce is found by entering the Sacred Realm through the Temple of Time, and in Skyward Sword the Temple of Time is nowhere near the Sealed Temple. How did the Triforce (or the temple) come to change its location between the two games? I think the most likely answer is that it didn’t.
The Zelda series has been around for a long time, and the history of Hyrule spans countless ages. As such, we’ve seen many temples bearing the same name. There have been multiple Fire Temples, Water Temples, Forest Temples, and others, each in a different location but bearing the same name. Just as in the real world, buildings are built, re-purposed, and torn down over time. New buildings are constructed, and they often bear the same name as a predecessor. The Sealed Temple itself is referred to as the Temple of Hylia in the sections of the game that take place in the past (built in honor of the goddess) and it was later renamed in honor of the sealing of Demise.
The Temple of Time in Skyward Sword (found in the desert) is called that because it houses a Gate of Time, but that portal is destroyed during the events of the game. However, a second Gate of Time is discovered in the Sealed Temple, and Link uses it to travel back in time and defeat Demise. I believe this event eventually causes the Sealed Temple to be renamed (or rebuilt) as the Temple of Time in honor of Link. Just as the Sealed Temple is the closest structure to where the Triforce rests in the Silent Realm and is used by Link to travel in time in Skyward Sword, the Temple of Time is the closest structure to where the Triforce rests in the Sacred Realm and is used by Link to time travel in Ocarina of Time. The legend continues.
Nintendo now offers themes for the Nintendo 3DS user interface. For a small fee, you can add some life to your 3DS menu with music and background images from your favorite Nintendo games. A new theme has just been added in Japan (so hopefully it comes to the West soon!) that should appeal greatly to Zelda fans. You can now style your 3DS after Skyward Sword, including a beautiful, painting-esque background and some fantastic music! Click above to check it out.
Welcome to the second chapter of Secrets of Skyward Sword. This series digs deep into the game, uncovering mysteries of Zelda lore throughout Hylian history. Last time we explored the possible true identity of the Goddess of Time. This time around, we’re going to be focusing on one of the beloved and mysterious races in Hyrule: the Sheikah tribe.
The Sheikah have been mentioned in multiple games, but we still know very little about them, and in most games they are treated as a dead race or a legend. Still, from the ancient tales, and from a combination of Sheikah artifacts and locales, we can get a pretty good idea of their history.
The Sheikah tribe is first introduced by name in Ocarina of Time, where they are referred to as the guardians of the Royal Family of Hyrule. Impa is the only living Sheikah seen in Ocarina of Time and serves as Zelda’s caretaker. The Sheikah tribe is said to have sworn allegiance to the Royal Family, but over time they disappeared (following a long period of peace) and Impa is believed to be the last. They are ninja-like in appearance and function, described as “The Shadow Folk” and “The Shadows of the Hylians.”
Despite their absence, the presence and relevance of the Sheikah tribe can be felt throughout Ocarina of Time by the keen observer. All around Hyrule we see Sheikah artifacts known as Gossip Stones, each one containing a piece of information. Their name derives from the fact that their purpose is to listen to the gossip of those passing by and store it. As a gameplay mechanic they are used for discovering helpful hints, but from an in-world perspective, they are devices used by the Sheikah to spy on the inhabitants of Hyrule. Much like modern day monitoring methods like a wire tap, the Gossip Stones gathered and stored information on all the citizens of Hyrule.
On top of that, the Gossip Stones can only be accessed using the Mask of Truth, another Sheikah artifact. According to the Happy Mask Salesman, the Mask of Truth is capable of reading people’s minds. While the Mask of Truth gave the Sheikah access to things hidden away in the minds and hearts of people, the Lens of Truth gave them access to things hidden away physically. Also bearing the symbol of the Sheikah, the Lens of Truth can see through walls, uncovering secrets. With these two artifacts, investigations and interrogations based on information gathered by the Gossip Stones would be a very simple process. Nothing could be hidden from the Sheikah.
Things take a bit of a darker turn when we look at the locations left behind by the Sheikah tribe. Two buildings in Ocarina of Time can be clearly tied to the Sheikah. The first is the mini dungeon inside the bottom of Kakariko Well, in which the Lens of Truth is hidden. It is said that a man once lived in a house where the well now stands, and that he had the ability to perceive the truth, possibly tying him to the Mask of Truth as well. Kakariko was founded as a village exclusively for Sheikah tribe members, and was only recently (in relation to the time period of the game) opened up to outsiders, so we can safely assume this man was a Sheikah. Inside this little fun house we find blood stained jail cells, coffins, and a host of undead creatures. Secrets hidden behind false walls and invisible trap doors make the Lens of Truth a necessity to navigate it.
The second Sheikah building we see is quite similar to the first. The Shadow Temple, also referred to as the House of the Dead, has all that the Bottom of the Well had to offer, as well as a host of other dark secrets. Guillotines, invisible spinning blades, and a boat said to transport people to “the other world” fill the Shadow Temple. An inscription can be found on multiple walls reading, “Here is gathered Hyrule’s bloody history of greed and hatred.” This is particularly telling, as it gives us insight into the dark actions of the Sheikah tribe. What could drive this “good” race to such invasive practices like eavesdropping, spying, and mind reading? Even worse, what could justify the evidence of torture, brutal imprisonment, and execution? To understand this, we need to look to Hyrule’s past.
That yearning for the Triforce soon turned to lust for power, which in turn led to the spilling of blood. Soon the only motive left among those searching for the Triforce was pure greed. — A Link to the Past manual
Ocarina of Time is set after a long period of peace, and we see that the various races of Hyrule (such as the Zoras, Gorons, and even the Gerudo) are in an alliance with the Royal Family during the game. This peace is recent, coming at the end of a brutal war. From both Ocarina of Time and mentions of the same time period in A Link to the Past, we know that the various races of Hyrule waged a “fierce war” against each other over the Sacred Realm and the Triforce. In Ocarina of Time, we see the result of that war. An alliance has been formed, and the four keys to the Sacred Realm (the three spiritual stones and the Ocarina of Time itself) have been split up among the races to ensure that no single race controlled the fate of the Sacred Realm. Only the Gerudo are left without a key, as they had only recently joined the alliance when the game begins.
It is likely that the Sheikah tribe was instrumental in this process of ending the war and maintaining “peace” in the land. With all of the races of Hyrule battling against each other in a bloodlust for power, the Royal Family of Hyrule turned to the Sheikah to collect information by any means necessary in order to maintain control over the Triforce and put an end to the long war. This is further supported by the fact that the Sheikah tribe has far more knowledge of the Sacred Realm and the Triforce than any other race. Throughout the game more information is steadily given to the player regarding the Triforce and the Sacred Realm in the form of ancient Sheikah legends.
So why did the Sheikah tribe choose to align itself with the Royal Family of Hyrule, and what drove them to such a deep commitment that they were willing to use such dark tactics? The fact that they used a sacred temple of Hyrule as a place of torture, imprisonment, and execution suggests that their actions could be religiously motivated. Twilight Princess also supports this, as the Oocca (who are said to be “the closest race to the gods”) chose to leave the Ancient Sky Book containing their language in the care of the Sheikah tribe, suggesting a divine connection. Of course, the full extent of their divine calling can be ascertained by digging into Skyward Sword.
In Skyward Sword we learn that the battle for the Triforce is nearly as old as the world itself. Demise, a being of pure evil, sought to use the Triforce to conquer the world, and the Goddess Hylia (the star of our first Secrets of Skyward Sword article) sacrificed her immortality to stop him and save the lives of Hyrule’s inhabitants.
The original Impa (a family name passed down, not unlike Zelda) was right there for the first ever battle for the Triforce — the first ever battle of good and evil. Impa is described in the game as “the servant of the goddess,” and she dedicated her whole life to following Hylia and and serving her in the war against Demise. That war would extend for ages, as Hylia would be reincarnated in the form of Zelda, and Impa (at Hylia’s request) would continue her role of servitude under Zelda.
Impa’s undivided attention and sense of duty towards the greater good is unquestioned throughout Skyward Sword. Several times during the game her actions, such as harshly criticizing Link and forbidding Zelda to waste time in seeing Link, seem to border on cruel, but her motives remain true throughout. As the servant of the goddess nothing is more important than fulfilling Hylia’s order: protecting the Triforce. Even with Demise defeated and the Triforce presumably safe, Impa chooses to stand guard over the Master Sword for a thousand years to ensure its safekeeping. Simply put, nothing could come in between Impa and her divine calling.
As the ages went by and the face of Hyrule changed, the duty of the Sheikah tribe remained the same, but their methods evolved. Serving Zelda and protecting the Triforce during the time of Skyward Sword meant preparing Zelda and Link for their prophesied roles as the goddess and hero incarnate. We even see the Gossip Stones being used as visual hints for Link instead of spying devices in Skyward Sword, but during the fierce war that preceded Ocarina of Time, their methods took a much darker turn. To the Sheikah, there was nothing evil or foul about their actions in the fierce war. The Sheikah tribe does not answer to the morals of mankind, but to a higher calling bestowed upon them at the very beginning of the eternal struggle between good and evil.