Skyward Sword – Lanayru Gorge

Link and Groose Plant the Tree of Life

When Link touches down at the entrance of the Lanayru Desert mine, the scholar Goron that he’s been crossing paths with over the course of the game tells him that he’s found a tiny passageway in the tunnels that seems to lead to a new area. He says he’d investigate it himself if he weren’t such a big dude, but maybe Link can squeeze his slender bishōnen self through?

The traveling scholar Goron is one of my favorite characters in this game, by the way. I love that guy.

After some fun with bombs, Link emerges into the Lanayru Gorge, where he finds nothing but an enormous skeleton. He therefore goes back into the mines, where he has to run through a timed obstacle course that involves quickly defeating monsters. Because I can never get the motion controls to work properly, I suck at enemies that require precision swordwork, and those types of enemies (mainly Deku Baba, Technoblins, and Beamos) are all over the map. I died many, many times.

The point of this immensely frustrating exercise is to get a mine cart bearing a large timeshift stone from one end of the tunnel to the other so that it ends up in front of the skeleton. When Link activates the stone, he finds the Lanayru dragon alive in front of him. The dragon is sick, however, and it needs to be healed with the fruit from the Tree of Life. Unfortunately, the Tree of Life planted in the desert has died because this is, you know, the desert.

Link therefore returns to the forested Faron Region, where he travels to the distant past via the gate in the Sealed Grounds. He plants the Tree of Life sapling and then returns to the present, where Groose is waiting for him with a ripe fruit from the fully grown tree.

I adore Groose. I didn’t care about him for most of the game, and then I cared about him a lot. That boy is such a cutie pie.

The Lanayru dragon, once healed, teaches Link his part of the Song of the Hero and then offers Link the chance to play some minigames. I have never once been able to do well enough at one of Skyward Sword’s minigames to get a piece of heart as a reward, so I turn him down and use the three to four hours that I would have wasted playing this game to do something productive with my life.

I love the story and characters and visual design of this game, but I really, really despise the controls. I can’t possibly be alone in this. I should probably do some research about how this game was received.

( Header image by u on Pixiv )

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