I raced through the end of Skyward Sword.
Link flies into the Thunderhead, talks to Levias (who is totally the Wind Fish from Link’s Awakening), gets the last part of the Song of the Hero, goes back to Skyloft, and plays the song next to one of the lighthouses. Despite all this trouble, I still couldn’t hum the tune to you if you asked me. It sounds sort of like the main Zelda theme, but… It’s not very catchy, I guess.
Having played the Song of the Hero, Link enters the Skyloft Silent Realm, which is a lot of fun. To me, the Silent Realm areas are always fun. This is partially because Link doesn’t need to use his sword or worry about taking damage, but I also enjoy spending more time engaging with each of the area maps. Since I’ve spent so much of the game exploring and becoming familiar with Skyloft, navigating the island’s Silent Realm was an especially cool experience.
Once the sequence is over and done with, Link gets some sort of ruby that he needs to place in the eye socket of a Loftwing statue near the entrance to the cave under the waterfall. A part of the island under the Statue of the Goddess falls away, revealing a stone structure spiraling down. This is the Sky Keep, and Link has to get all up in there to find the Triforce.
The Sky Keep is based on the conceit of a sliding puzzle on which tiles correspond to the rooms of the dungeon, and I imagine that this would have been quite frustrating were I not relying on a walkthrough. Except for the entrance room and a room that serves as a convenient connector (and actually resembles something that might actually exist within the ground supporting a flying island), each of the rooms is supposed to be representative of one of the game’s dungeons.
These rooms test Link’s mastery of his tools, and most of them are cleverly designed, but the room with the flowing lava river was broken in all sorts of ways and had me yelling at my television screen like a crazy person (which is why I eventually ended up resorting to a walkthrough).
Once Link recovers the three pieces of the Triforce from the dungeon, he is transported to the cupped hands of the goddess statue, which form the platform he had initially jumped from during the ritual he enacted with Zelda at the beginning of the game. The Triforce assembles, and Fi tells Link that he needs to focus his heart and pray as sincerely as he is able for Demise to be destroyed.
That’s… kind of harsh, you know?
Like, Link isn’t supposed to pray that Zelda be saved, or that he can save her, or that Ghirahim finds a new hobby, or even that the people of the sky find lasting peace and understanding with the people of the earth, but rather that Demise dies. That is intense.
Link, who has not questioned his orders up to this point and isn’t about to start now, does as he is asked, and the entire island supporting the Goddess Statue drops to the surface, the spiral of the Sky Keep neatly fitting into the spiral of the pit where Demise is imprisoned.
Demise dies offscreen, Zelda wakes up, Groose is a big nerd, and everyone is happy until Ghirahim shows up to kidnap Zelda, who screams and cries and is totally helpless to resist him, because apparently that’s what the plot requires. Yay sexism in video games!
My adventures on the lava river took all my red potions, so I send Link back up to the sky to restock and get his business in order. Surprisingly, no one on Skyloft seems particularly concerned that a part of their island has suddenly fallen. What is wrong with these people? I think it might be possible that they’ve been up in the clouds too long. If Ghirahim hadn’t come along and stirred things up, they probably would have all died from sheer complacency.
( Header image by EternaLegend on DeviantART )