The Sealed Grounds

Nearly four minutes of new Skyward Sword footage was featured in the most recent edition of “Iwata Asks.”  The video shows off several different areas, some previously featured more than others.  Unlike recent releases, gameplay is featured over storyline, so story spoilers are light.  However, the ending scene teases a potentially pivotal moment from the early part of the game.  Hit the jump to see the actual footage and a breakdown of the highlights.

Gameplay spoilers follow…



This video contains some key features that really distinguish Skyward Sword from its predecessors, mainly in terms of new gameplay and in-game cinematic features.

  • Intro sequences:  most Zelda games contain intro sequences when entering an area for the first time, but not with the length and detail seen here.  The Sealed Grounds (the area shown briefly when Link parachuted down), Faron Woods (originally shown as the E3 2010 demo area), and the Skyview Temple (shown above) all have introductory scenes showing both unprecedented length and detail.  The one for the Sealed Grounds is even interactive, with the player having to pull Link’s parachute out before hitting the ground.

Skyview Temple

  • New gameplay mechanics:  we’ve seen first-person dowsing in previous trailers, and now a new feature is added to that.  When viewing the map, the player has the option to place blue marks at any location within the area.  When switching back to third-person navigation, blue beams of light point skyward from where the mark was placed, and can be seen from all over the area (found two minutes into the video).  This makes dowsing a useful tool for locating items, rather than a tedious and repetitive means of constant navigation.

Marking the map

  • The Silent Realm:  originally shown at a private conference at E3 2011, this ghost-like realm is reminiscent of Twilit Hyrule from Twilight Princess, although seemingly more compact.  The orbs of light that Link must find are hidden in plain sight, with the only danger being the Guardians, which will chase after a weaponless Link if he is spotted.  What really makes the Silent Realm special is its music—a creepy, eerie rearrangement of the melody that plays when in normal Faron Woods, this “silent” version serves as a constant reminder that Link is in danger.

The Silent Realm

The video ends with a scene of Link entering a dark chamber, with the sword on a plinth transforming into Fi.  He’s still wearing his Skyloftian outfit and seems shocked to see her—could this be when Link and Fi are properly introduced?  With less than a month until Skyward Sword’s release in all regions, this video shows off what the finished product will look like, and, all things considered, it’s looking pretty good.  Let us know what you think about it in the comments.  What do you think of these new features?

Source:  Iwata Asks (via GoNintendo)
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