Speak to me, Skyward Sword. Tell me of a world combining the cartoon imagination of Wind Waker with the adult epicness of Twilight Princess. Tell me of a watercolour world that is equally painted with the strange and dark characters of Majora’s Mask. Tell me of a land in the sky and a land below that could rival the wonder of Link to the Past. Tell me a story of lost innocence, ostracized childhood, and grim determination that Ocarina of Time provided. Give me a challenge worthy of the hardcore gamer, as when Link first appeared in The Legend of Zelda.
For Wind Waker had irreplaceable humour and tone, its characters with their wildly expressive eyes and stylized exaggeration at home in an oceanic land. Talking boats, spiral explosions, child pirates, and vast seas provided a sense of youthful, whimsical wonder. Skyward Sword, take note!
For Twilight Princess was grim and large, a heavy epic. Its world – coated in shadow – saw an odd pairing using each other in vain attempt to return their separate homes back to the way they once were. Even the game’s strangeness was sucked downwards into its somber tone, allowing an unprecedented number of epic moments soaked in serious. Skyward Sword, do you see a wolf lost in twilight and a princess hiding in shadow? Will you learn the lesson Twilight Princess did not and know to walk the line between empty and vapid?
For Majora’s Mask is the story of a fallen hero in a doomed world. Endless attempts, an infinite cycle of 72 hours, and the novel inability for Link to save every soul. Temptation of power, human nature in the face of disaster, and deep-seeded evil inform the strange and unexpected world. Every action and relationship Link engages in is almost cruelly temporary. He learns and grows as the world around him does not, as if trapped in some sort of bizarro-Neverland. Termina gave birth to the darkest, weirdest, and most tragic characters that Zelda has seen. That is why it is burned into memories, Skyward Sword, do you recognize that?
For Ocarina of Time was able to juxtapose the magic and wonder of childhood with the responsibility and despair of growing up. As an adult, Link faces lakes that are dried up or frozen, towns overrun by the undead, and power handed to the greedy and undeserved. But even the bright past is not a safe haven for a boy rejected by almost everybody he has known as a child. Link may be brave, but he often has no place to belong. Will you understand his story, Skyward Sword?
Unlike Peach, Princess Zelda does not sit idly by and wait to be captured. She is a leader of pirates in Wind Waker, she is a powerful selfless defender of her people in Twilight Princess, she is one of two remaining Sheikah ninjas in Ocarina of Time, and she is the knight in shining armor in Spirit Tracks. Remember this, Skyward Sword!
So Skyward Sword, rise above the chains of waggle. Learn from your ancestors, but realize your ability to carve your own path. Build a world brimming with life. Design your inhabitants without hesitation. Allow for wonder and exploration and never forget the importance of well-placed silence. Join Mario Galaxy 2 in standing against all the other steps backwards that Nintendo insists upon.
So speak to me, Skyward Sword. Transcend and innovate. I must admit to only expecting competence and disappointment, but please surprise me. You have the potential for greatness.
The Eternal Fanboy