The clock on the Quest Log screen tells me that I’ve been playing this file for 68 hours. I like to consider myself an expert on the Zelda series, but I really suck at this game.
Skyward Sword is fairly linear and not particularly difficult, but the controls are impossible.
I started and quit the game once because I couldn’t figure out how to fly the bird for the race that occurs during the opening scenes. I started and quit the game a second time because I couldn’t figure out how to glide during the scene that plays after you win the race. I started and quit the game for the third time because I couldn’t figure out how to control the sword appropriately during the first battle with Ghirahim. That was back in 2012.
One of my resolutions for 2015 was to play this game from start to finish no matter what. No matter how many hours I invest into developing my skill set for this game, I still can’t get the controls to work the way I want them to 100% of the time. I especially hate the harp. Every time the game requires me to play something, I know I’m looking at an hour of uninterrupted trial and error.
I’ve been working on this game since January. I’ll go through periods of enjoying myself, but then it will force me into a situation in which the controls absolutely fail to work properly, at which point I’ll put it down for a few weeks before forcing myself to continue.
I was actually driven to spend an inordinate amount of money on a new Wiimote and Wiimote sensor, and I’ve even re-arranged my living room several times, but I just can’t figure out what this game wants from me. It’s like the worst sort of romantic partner, and I resent it.
The gimmick for Link’s third descent into Eldin Volcano is that he is captured by Bokoblins after he falls from his bird during an unexpected eruption. The grumpy little critters take his sword and all his stuff, so of course he has to go get everything back. This means two things. First, Fi doesn’t bother you during the entirety of this mission. Second, Link gets to go on a fun stealth adventure that is all about map reading and puzzle solving.
I suspect both of these elements are supposed to be stress-inducing, but I enjoyed myself immensely. Although I love Fi as a character, her barrage of unnecessary messages annoys me; and, since I can’t get the sword to work anyway, most of my playthrough has already been a stealth adventure in which I’ve done my best not to put myself into situations where I have to start killing things.
The dragon at the core of the volcano (who is also named Eldin) sings Link his part of the Hero’s Song without any trouble. If you come back and talk to him later, he tells you that the mountain used to connect the people who lived on the ground with the people who lived in the sky. Does this mean that the civilization in the sky was once much more advanced, and that the people on Skyloft are the only remaining descendants of a much larger population?
( header image from Zelda Dungeon )