Special Report by Agent Parker
“Rise… The time has come for you to awaken… You are fated to have a hand in a great destiny, and it will soon find you… The time has come for you to awaken…”
With that, a legend is born.
Burdened with near impossible tasks, the events of “Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword” send the original hero of Hyru – wait, Hyrule hasn’t been created yet?
This is going to need one hell of an explanation, Nintendo.
Twenty-five years after a young man was told how dangerous it was to go alone into the hills without a trusty blade, fans of the LoZ series finally met the Hero of Origins, a teen at a sky-bound academy for knights, in 2011.
I can’t complain about the whole knight academy aspect, as it does set up some crucial gameplay tie-ins. Why is it customary for boys of a certain age to receive the clothing of the hero? How did this boy get set up as the hero? Is he a puppet of destiny or someone bound for greatness? And why green of all colors?
Turns out that green was the “it” color of Skyloft Academy that year.
Furthermore, why did every LoZ game involve (at a bare minimum) a sword with the word “Master” essentially forged into its hilt and a shield that strangely bore the resemblance of a red bird? How about a pointless exercise in sky island adventuring to find, of all things, your unusually rare red Loftwing to connect the dots?
“So, I have to cut the bird out of this crude prison. OK. Easy enough.”
::swings Wii remote wildly::
“Why the f*(& won’t you cut the damn ropes, Hero?… Oh, I have to swing them across the ropes. Got it”
So begins the struggle to effectively attack and block against anything that moves in the world that lies below Skyloft. The Deku Babas that took a single swipe to become mulch? You’re now spending time slapping them in the side of the head with the world’s most legendary blade that hasn’t been committed to legend just yet. Bokoblins, the Goombas of the Zelda universe, now have the ability to block my wrath.
This is everything I thought I wanted in terms of motion controls with “Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess” but never knew I didn’t want. But I’m getting ahead of myself. This is, after all, the story that starts it all.
Cliff Notes version: Zelda is sucked below the clouds by evil storm. Turns out it’s sent by Lord Ghirahim, a henchman of sorts of Demise, the spirit of evil incarnate. Link dives below the clouds – a place where few, if any, have ever returned from – to rescue her.
From there, LoZ:SS relies heavily on a dowsing ability (pointing the Master Sword in various directions as if it were a metal detector for your lost girlfriend) to direct you through the Faron Woods and into the Skyview Temple.
First temple, easy boss, right?
Ghirahim presents you with an agonizingly long boss battle that essentially challenges you to not destroy the awful wooden shield while batting projectiles back at him. Need tips on how to win? How about asking that spirit living inside your sword?
So, wait a minute, Fi. You can calculate the percentage and probability rates of us following Zelda’s actual path, but you can’t teach me how to destroy this devilish diva?
I hate you so much.
The second and third areas – Eldin Volcano and Lanayru Desert and Mines, respectively, are a bit more rational. The Earth Temple and its boss, Scaldera, are fairly cut and dry. It’s more of an exercise in bomb placement than anything else.
Reach the desert and learn that each of the simplest routes straight to your would-be girlfriend are blocked. Luckily, the guys who built the mines thought of that and built in a roundabout through the Lanayru Mining Facility and, by an even more circuitous route, into the den of Moldarach. The boss is reminiscent of Gohma from LoZ: Ocarina of Time, but we’ll get to that later.
A little extra adventuring and a smart-mouthed robot send you into a dangerous thundercloud and back in the direction you started.
Trust me. It won’t be the first time.