What you see above is the heavenly city of Skyloft, Link and Zelda’s aerial home in Skyward Sword. However, it didn’t always look quite like this. Official concept art of this city in the sky has been released depicting what Skyloft looked like in its early days, consisting of many multiple islands, differently stylized buildings, and even some previously unseen art styles. Read on to see the development team’s vision for creating the beautiful city of Skyloft.
It appears that during the preliminary development days, the concept artists and design team were considering structuring Skyloft as more of a mountainous mass of many small islands, as seen in the first image, or as one large, rickety structure, as seen in the latter two images. Both would be a drastic change from the large, stable island that appeared in the final product, connected to a few smaller sub-islands.
Some images depict Skyloft as being a much more lush village than it ultimately was, and the art style above mimics the bizarre style of Picasso more so than the impressionistic mimics of Van Gogh, as seen in official art. Looking at the last image, perhaps Skyloft was also considered as a much larger city, as well, which could have lead to many changes for Skyward Sword’s non-playable characters.
Seeing all of these changed or unused ideas reminds us that every Zelda game goes through a rigorous planning stage, and that there are so many concepts that we will never see. If you could choose only one concept seen in the above images that didn’t make it into the final run of Skyward Sword, which one would you choose?