Reviewers from the big gaming sites have started to get grander glimpses at Skyward Swords story and gameplay. Today, the beginnings of the game were revealed, shedding light on Skyloft’s rich culture and tradition. Things go awry quickly, though, and Link begins his journey.
Huge Spoilers ahoy.
It begins with a dream, Link’s dream. He is alone in darkness and as screams ring in his ears a black mouth advances to swallow Link… Then, light. Link awakens in his room with a blue bird nudging him awake, a Loftwing.
Loftwings are special birds, and each resident of Skyloft is bonded to their own Loftwing, and it was Zelda’s Loftwing that saved Link from his nightmare, and also dropped off a letter. This note was from Zelda, not a princess this time, but the daughter of Headmaster Gaepora of the Knight Academy. This note said to meet her before the ceremony.
This day was a rather important day; Skylofts Wing Ceremony, the ceremony we’ve heard so much about. The Wing Ceremony is a tradition in Skyloft where young men undergo tasks to prove their honor and earn a status of knighthood.
When Link finally exits his house, he meets Pipit, another young native of Skyloft wearing a familiar outfit- a yellow version of what we’ve seen Link wearing for so long, a tunic and hat. As it turns out, that outfit is that of Skyloft Knights, and color indicates the year of graduation. This years color just so happens to be green.
After some activities to get you aquatinted with the basic controls, we meet Zelda, a childhood friend of Link’s. As mentioned, Zelda is not a princess; rather than a lofty, royal attitude, Skyloft’s Zelda is light hearted and spirited. In their meeting, Zelda says she’s been chosen to play the goddess during the ceremony and has Link practice for the aerial race later that day. This of course leads the player on a flying lesson to get them acquainted on using the Wii remote to guide Link’s Loftwing though the clouds.
After Link’s return from flying, we are introduced to Skyloft’s obnoxious thugs, led by Groose. Groose fancies Zelda and is jealous of Link, you see, and that is his motivation for stealing Link’s Crimson Loftwing and locking it away in hoping that Link could not participate in the Wing Ceremony. To retrieve your friend, you need a sword, which leads you to the sparring hall to practice the trademark skills Link possesses. During this time, it’s learned that Link has an even more special bond with his Loftwing, something the other villagers haven’t seen before.
After traversing a cave, Link finds his kidnapped Loftwing in a cage. At this time, Zelda returns on her own bird to help Link, telling Link of a voice calling out to her and mentioning the “surface”, a land beneath the clouds. To free Link’s Loftwing, precision is needed to cut through ropes holing the cage together, foreshadowing the need to make use the the Wii Motion Plus throughout the game. With Link’s Crimson companion free, he can finally dive off a ledge, with absolute faith the Loftwing will catch him and soar into the sky.
Upon Link’s return, it is finally time to begin the Wing Ceremony and the race. After shaming Groose and winning the race, Link Meets Zelda on top of a giant statue, where Link is given a Sailcloth Zelda made herself. With this Sailcloth, Link can fall from any hight and take out the cloth to save himself.
With the ceremony over and Link the victor, he and Zelda go on their ‘date’, riding their Loftwings. At this point, Zelda is taken by a dark, twirling murk- she is gone.
That night, Link is lead away by a fairy-like spirit known a “Fi”, and she resolves to accompany Link to save Zelda and begin the quest. She guides Link to a sword at the center of a temple, thrusted in stone. Taking the sword, Link dons the green tunic and hat that of a Knight of Skyloft and plunges below the clouds to the mysterious surface below.
What are your thoughts? Was the beginning of the game what you expected?