To amplify your excitement for Skyward Sword, we’re featuring an intriguing boss concept that explores the possibilities of Skyward Sword mechanics and 1:1 combat. It’s a unique boss design by ZU member Catch that will chill everyone who’s suffering from the summer heat or make everyone who’s currently going through winter embrace the season and expect this level of excitement in our upcoming Legend of Zelda game.

More after the jump!

Having completed two dungeons already, Link finds himself being drawn towards the frozen mountains of Northern Hyrule. At the base of one of the largest mountains, Link comes across the village of several Anouki. These Anouki all treat Link strangely; stuttering, asking Link to leave immediately. The shopkeeper will refuse to sell Link anything, and the Mayor will shoo him out of his office…

That’s strange; the Anouki are normally very welcoming and helpful people. Something must be wrong… I wish we could do something to help them but we really must press on. Nowhere to go but up!”

Leaving the village and beginning the ascent, Link will find his movements slowed by the deep snow and find his life meter depleting at an alarming rate.

You won’t last long in this snow and wind… I suppose we have no choice but to try to get the Anouki to help us.”

Upon returning to the village, Link will find most of the Anouki acting in the same manner as before. Going into the shop, however, will yield different results.

“Hey, Guy. Welcome to the Anouki General Store, home of Anouki general merchandise. No offense, but that fur ya got there is pretty puny. And don’t take this the wrong way, but it’s lookin’ kinda green too. Maybe I can interest you in this imitation Anouki coat. It’s a steal at 450 Rup–” the storekeeper will suddenly put his palm over his mouth, “oh, yeah. I forgot that that General Geckold Guy told me to keep outsiders like you out…”
Again he will place his palm over his mouth. A large smash is heard from behind the counter followed by a high-pitched squeal; Link notices a door behind the counter and begins walking towards it. The shopkeeper will block Link and whisper something to him, “Okay, Guy. About an hour before you arrived this General Geckold fella and a few of his cronies came. We never got along with the Geckolds; they’ve been stealin’ from me for years. Personally I think they’re just jealous of my fur.” He will look behind him at the door as another crash is heard. “I tried stopping him the first few times, but he’s just too strong for me, Guy. Think you could maybe teach him a lesson?” If Link agrees, the shopkeeper will give a little hop of joy and move aside. “I’ll stay here and, uh… keep lookout. Yeah, that’s it, Guy. Let me know if you need any help so I can igno– err, I mean help you. Good luck, Guy.”

The store’s backroom is very dark aside from a few lamps burning here and there. Several barrels and crates line the walls; dead fish can be seen hanging from parts of the ceiling. At the far end of the room, several Geckolds can be seen rifling through the contents of various chests. Amongst them is the largest Geckold of them all, General Geckold. Spotting Link, the General will order his cronies to cease. The general will then give Link the option to turn around and walk away. If Link refuses, the General will laugh and order his cronies to the sidelines.

First Phase
General Geckold begins the battle standing at the far end of the storeroom, pulling out his swords and situating his self into a defensive stance. His icy armor will ensure that no damage can be done to him at this stage of the battle; Link’s job is to first remove it. General Geckold has three attacks during this phase:

Sword Strike: General Geckold will only use this attack at close range. He strikes swiftly and powerfully with both of his swords at once [either] vertically, horizontally or with a thrust. The angle of his strikes can be predicted by paying close attention to his pupils. Sword Strikes are always preceded by a sound.

Wintry Breath: General Geckold will use this attack at both close and long range. The General will let loose an icy breath, both freezing Link in place and damaging him. The player must shake the Wii remote and nunchuck in order to free Link before General Geckold has a chance to move in to attack with his swords. This attack is signaled by General Geckold when taking a deep breath and puffing up slightly. The attack lasts about five seconds.

Tongue Grab: General Geckold will only use this attack at long range. His tongue flies at Link with incredible strength and speed. If the attack connects, Link will be dragged towards the General to be directly attacked at close range. General Geckold signals this attack when he gulps and nods his head slightly.

Technique: The point of this phase is to remove the General’s icy armor. In order to do so, Link must stay out of range of General Geckold’s sword strikes and wait for the tongue grab by a wall. Avoiding the wintry breath can be achieved by sidestepping, giving the deluge of cold air a wide berth. Once General Geckold is about to use the tongue grab, Link must quickly sidestep, readying his bow as he does so. When the tongue hits the wall, Link must then fire an arrow, pinning the General’s tongue to the wall. The Geckolds in the room will boo as their leader shrieks in pain while jerking his head around trying to free his tongue. Unable to do so, he will begin walking backwards in an attempt to pull his tongue from the wall. When the General is unable to walk back any further (having reached the tongue’s maximum elasticity), Link must administer a vertical strike to the center of the tongue, cleaving it in two. The General will fall backwards hard due to the object he was pulling on being suddenly freed (at least half of it); a cracking noise can be heard, and shards of ice will fly from his armor. General Geckold will get up and continue his attack with increased fury.
The above must be completed twice more to shatter General Geckold’s Ice Armor completely. Each time, the General’s tongue attack will both increase in speed and decrease in range; this forces Link to move faster in order to avoid the tongue.

Partner’s Hints:
There’s no way your weapons can break through that armor, Link. We’ll have to trick him into breaking it off!” “That tongue is scary! It’s too thick to cut, though. Can you think of a way to make it thinner?”

General Geckold Wearing Armor Illustrated by IGNIS

Second Phase
Having lost his armor, General Geckold can now be damaged by Link’s sword. He no longer has use of his tongue, but the General can still use his wintry breath and sword strikes. He will also actively pursue Link. Maybe those cronies of his will have a part to play as well…

Technique: During this final part of the battle, General Geckold will do his best to keep Link in range of his sword strikes, using his wintry breath on occasion (Link must use the same method described above to avoid the wintry breath). Even though General Geckold’s armor is removed, Link will still find it difficult to land an attack due to General Geckold’s impeccable blocking ability. In order to do so, Link must employ counter attacks of the correct angle at the correct time. The trick is thus:

General Geckold’s sword attacks can be predicted by paying close attention to his pupils;

-A vertical slit means that the General will next use a vertical attack

-A horizontal slit means that the General will next use a horizontal attack

-A single diamond means that the general will next use a thrust.

In order to counterattack, Link must perform a sword strike opposite of General Geckold’s at the same time as General Geckold’s. Using the sound preceding each of General Geckold’s attacks is key to getting the timing just right. This will cause the General to lose his balance and allow Link to get in a free hit. Note that thrusts [indicated by diamond pupils] cannot be countered, and Link must always avoid them.

Visual Countering Guide:

Illustrated by Catch
After damaging General Geckold a total of five times, he will call for backup; several of his cronies will begin firing arrows at Link. Link can pick them off with arrows; however, this is made very difficult due to General Geckold’s speed. After an additional five hits, the Anouki shopkeeper will come storming into the storeroom, incapacitating the Geckold cronies firing on Link and begin cheering for the hero. Infuriated, General Geckold’s attacks come out faster and in quicker succession than before. A final five hits will bring the General down for the count.

Partner’s Hints:

Who knew a creature could move so fast? If only there was some way for us to predict his attacks… keep your eyes open, Link!”

General Geckold and his bits of tongue, still pinned to the walls, will disappear in a puff of blue and red smoke. The rest of the Geckolds will drop their weapons and flee the storeroom, not to be seen again until much later in the game. They will no longer steal from the Anouki. “Well I sure showed them, didn’t I, guy? One look at these antlers had them heading for the hills! I guess you helped a little bit too, distracting that big oaf while I took care of the lit– err, scarier ones. I guess I owe you something for that.” The shopkeeper will then circle around Link taking in his appearance. “Okay, guy. I’ve decided that it would be a disservice to let you leave here with that puny green fur of yours, I’ll even whip up a pair of antlers for ya– no extra charge.” The shopkeeper will then run back into the main part of the store, the sound of banging, ripping, snipping, and sanding followed by the Zelda secret theme. The shopkeeper will come running back with a big wrapped package and set it in front of Link. “Well go ahead and open it, guy! I made a few alterations, but it should be a good fit.” Link then opens the package, claiming his prize:

The Anouki Coat! Link will automatically put it on, much to the satisfaction of the shopkeeper. “It suits you, guy. I’ll give ya that. I should probably get back to minding the store. Be sure to stop by if ya need anything; the folks around here should be a bit more welcoming now that you’ve solved our reptile problem for us. See ya around!” The shopkeeper will then waddle back to the main part of the store to stay.

Well, we got to help the out the village and find a way up the mountain all at once. It’s nice when things work out like this, isn’t it, Link? Better get going again!”

Leaving the shop, Link now has the option to mingle with the villagers if he so chooses or he can use his newly acquired Anouki Coat to venture towards his next challenge.

Link Wearing the Anouki Coat Illustrated by IGNIS

Catch of ZU submitted this boss idea to the last Design a Boss contest and was awarded with a pre-order of Skyward Sword.

Thanks, IGNIS, for the tip!