The City in the Sky is the seventh dungeon in Twilight Princess and the last major obstacle before heading to face down Zant. The game unfortunately doesn’t hand us tons of information about this mysterious city. However, many fans believe that it may have ties to Skyloft from Skyward Sword. Of course, the major point in its favor is the obvious connection is the fact that they float. Beyond that point, however, there is potentially more than meets the eye that might give credence to this otherwise farfetched theory. I, for one, am a huge advocate for this theory, and I’m going to offer up some evidence that should hopefully convince even the most adamant doubters.
While the exact sense of time isn’t known, Hyrule Historia tells us that at least a few hundred years transpired between the events of Skyward Sword and Twilight Princess, and nothing official has been released regarding the fate or events of any sky-based city between these two distant games. The theory goes that Skyloft eventually transformed into the City in the Sky at some point during these centuries. After the defeat of Demise in Skyward Sword, Link and Zelda, along with many, but not all, Skyloftians traveled down to the Surface to begin the civilization that would eventually become Hyrule. The crucial part here is that not all of the citizens of Skyloft went to the Surface. Many stayed behind, naturally with the Loftwings, their bird-partners of Skyloft. If the theory is true, those who stayed behind would need to transform or evolve into to the humanoid bird creatures called the Oocca in Twilight Princess. At least, that’s the basic groundwork for the theory.
To start down the path of proving this relationship, we can compare the look and character of both Skyloft and the City in the Sky.
Take a look at the rather massive empty space between the floating islands in the second image of the City in the Sky. Curious isn’t it? Towards the end of Skyward Sword, the massive monument of Skykeep plummets to the Surface in order to seal The Imprisoned into his, well, prison. I don’t think therefore it’s too far of a stretch to say that the missing piece between those two islands very well could be Skykeep. But beyond that, just based off of looks, the theory doesn’t look strong yet. Even though a lot of time has passed, these two places don’t look anything like one another. Thankfully, we can go to our Twilight Princess Oocca expert Shad.
In Twilight Princess, Shad explains that there is in fact something he refers to as “Sky Writing” on one of the many Dominion Rod statues scattered about Hyrule. None of these statues (nor indeed any sort of Oocca-related writing or influence) appear on the Surface world of Skyward Sword. We can draw the conclusion, then, that these statues must have fallen at some point after Skyward Sword and moreover that the civilization in the sky must survived for at least some amount of time since the fall of Skykeep given that these statues weren’t part of Skykeep itself.
Take into account the vast time scale that exists between Skyward Sword and Twilight Princess, and a convincing argument for this theory arises. Skyward Sword occurs probably a couple hundred years or so before Ocarina of Time. Not only does Hyrule Historia support this, in Ocarina of Time, the Master Sword is said to be ancient and legendary. That simply wouldn’t happen after just a hundred or so years. Allowing time for Minish Cap and Four Swords to happen, many theorists, as well as myself, estimate it at roughly 500 years before Ocarina of Time. It is also confirmed that Twilight Princess occurs one hundred years after Ocarina of Time.
Hyrule would have had to have seen such sweeping changes that the massive Bridge of Eldin and Great Bridge of Hylia would have had to be built, the names of the regions of Hyrule would be changed back to their original names of Eldin, Lanayru, and Faron from Skyward Sword, the Gerudo would have disappeared from the desert (or perhaps migrated elsewhere), and the child Link from Ocarina of Time and Majora’s Mask would have had to have grown up at least to the point of fighting another battle since we eventually see him in armor as the Hero’s Shade, and then that very same adult Link would have had to become a Stalfos. If all of these changes could happen down on the Surface, then surely it would be possible for these changes to have happened up in the sky. Adding the 500 or so years before Ocarina of Time to the 100 years afterward provides enough time that significant changes are not only possible but highly plausible!
Speaking of drastic changes, the other major issue that would have to be proven is the origin of the Oocca and the disappearance of the Loftwings over the course of these six or more centuries. It may sound strange at first, but, given that significant changes are not only theoretically possible but have also happened in other circumstances, why couldn’t the Loftwings have become the Oocca? After all, we have seen races evolve before. The Wind Waker saw both the Kokiri and the Zora evolve into the Koroks and the Rito respectively solely because of the drastic, goddesses-induced alteration of Hyrule into the Great Sea, and we know that the Koroks also make their appearance in Breath of the Wild, wherever that takes place in the timeline. There’s certainly precedent.
The Kokiri and the Zora evolve into the Koroks and the Rito respectively solely because of the drastic alteration of Hyrule. Why couldn’t the Loftwings have become the Oocca?
Still unconvinced? Well, how about some information direct from Twilight Princess?
While it may not be conclusive evidence, Twilight Princess vaguely hints at the possibility that the part-bird, part-human Oocca play a significant role throughout the timeline in the past. At one point, Shad tells Link that, “… according to legend, long ago there was a race even closer to the gods, and some say THESE creatures made the Hylians.” Given that the Loftwings were there with Zelda, the reincarnation of the goddess Hylia, and given that the manga that serves as the prequel to Skyward Sword features a Loftwing standing behind Hylia herself, one has to wonder.
Furthermore, Impaz tells Link, “Among the legends of my clan, there is a story from the time when the Oocca still maintained contact with the royal family.” Later she continues by saying, “Yes, it said that a mysterious rod was handed down from the people of the sky, and it was called the Dominion Rod…. The rod was only to be carried by the messenger to the heavens when the royal family needed to communicate with the Oocca.” All of these statements link the Oocca with the earliest Hylians, or rather the Skyloftians who founded Hyrule. It is also interesting that one half of the Clawshot pair lies on each the Surface and the City in the Sky, not to mention that the Dominion Rod serves as a link between the two areas in Twilight Princess. It makes sense that the Skyloftians would want to keep in touch with their friends down on the Surface and maintain a way for them to go back and forth to visit or do business.
One last piece of supporting evidence for this is the fact that the Oocca actually speak Hylian. This is seen in the City in the Sky shop where Link can buy equipment from the Oocca without going back down to Hyrule. My own conclusions from these particular pieces of evidence are that the Loftwings adapted to their sky environment and and evolved into the Oocca, quite possibly as a result of the Skyloftians disappearing.
One last rebuttal that doubters can propose is that the landscape is much smaller, more sophisticated, and more refined compared to Skyloft. Well, I would ask to once again consider the time lapse as we discussed earlier. We know that the Oocca developed technology as seen from the Dominion Rod and the very advanced Temple of Time. Over time, it is not unreasonable to think that some of the land eroded away, and since technology was developing, the human/bird hybrids had the means to construct more stable structures in order to keep their home intact. I consider this to be an extremely logical explanation for the condensed size and upgraded technology of the City in the Sky.
Overall, this theory definitely has some wind under its wings (pun very much intended). Given the evidence available and some scientific facts, I feel that Skyloft very well is in fact the City in the Sky, or rather that the City in the Sky is the remnants of the floating islands that our first Hero called home.