You ever just wanted to smack the smugness off someone’s face?
In Skyward Sword, it didn’t take long for a villain to start causing trouble for Link and Zelda. In timing reserved only for the most central of characters, a massive cyclone wreaked havoc upon what was supposed to be the most important day of Link’s life.
There was no in-game context for why the cyclone appeared and seemed to actively abduct Zelda, but I knew, from what I had already known about the game’s characters and plot, as well as from playing almost any other Zelda game, that some big baddie was making his move. That baddie was the legendary epitome of arrogance, Ghirahim.
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He was the only villain I had confirmation of being in the game, but I didn’t think much of him at the time. I thought he was just going to be another Ganondorf wannabe standing in my way. Just a Zant 2.0. He wasn’t going to be a problem.
Then I met him.
He wouldn’t shut up, that was the first thing I noticed. He was also talking to himself at first and ignoring me, which made it even worse. I was only a few hours into the game. I didn’t have a full mastery of the controls yet, but with that shiny gold Wii Remote in hand, and after listening to his unbearable posturing, self-praise, and belittling, I had the motivation to learn quickly.
I was eager to fight him. I was eager to kill him after the bit with the tongue. At least I could see Link felt the same. So when Ghirahim’s mouth finally shut and the fight began, I went to work.
I gave Ghirahim credit at least, being able to play off the beatdown he received. He gave the typical villain’s excuse of going easy on me, then he naturally followed that up with threats for the next time we’d meet, and then finally left (ran away). This is the point when I realized our conflict was going to be a repeated thing throughout the game. I was looking forward to round two.
I didn’t get to actually fight him the second time we met, but the cutscene that played was almost as good. He thought he had Zelda and Impa cornered at the Gate of Time. When Link lunged from behind, giving Ghirahim no option but to back off, I had a smirk on my face. Not only was Link being his typical, awesome self, but that look on his face told me he wanted to end Ghirahim as badly as I did. We didn’t get our chance, but I knew it was only a matter of time.
The true round two finally happened a few dungeons after the last encounter. Ghirahim waited for me in the Fire Sanctuary — to try and fight me in almost the exact same way as our first encounter. He had a couple of new tricks, but by now I was much better with the sword (hunk of motion-sensitive plastic) and could only wonder why he thought it would work. At least I got to watch him rant and complain some more.
When the fourth encounter came, I could feel it. I could feel that this would be it. He was making a desperate play, abducting Zelda and going back in time. The threat of him accomplishing his mission was real, but I also knew he had nowhere else to hide. This time I had him.
It felt amazing to cut a path through his horde as I made my way down to the bottom of the Sealed Grounds. I was getting to him. I enjoyed that more than what would probably be considered a healthy amount.
He bemoaned Link’s repeated interference, set Zelda aside (literally), and let out his inner anime villain by transforming into a more powerful form. Ghirahim was going all out for this fight and was determined to keep up his charade of confidence. He was trying to be flashy, but his showmanship failed to impress. It especially failed for Link, who looked so completely done with everything.
Ghirahim lost. He lost badly. Unfortunately, he was still a little weasel and kept his incantation on Zelda going as we fought, which meant his boss, Demise, was revived, but that wasn’t the irritating part for me. What made me mad was how Demise turned Ghirahim back into the sword. This new guy was robbing me of my chance to end the cocky coward. Yeah, the sword disintegrated after I defeated Demise, which meant Ghirahim was dead, but it was not the satisfying victory I had spent the whole game hoping for. But once it really set in that Ghirahim was finally silent, I got over it pretty quickly.
Skyward Sword might have a few issues, but I give Nintendo credit for the narrative and characters they created for it. Maybe a video game shouldn’t make me so emotionally invested, but I really can’t help it.