Monday, November 21, 2011

Skyward Sword Chapter 1: I Feel Like I'm Watching Spartacus

Hello, Zelda fans! As you're probably aware by the thread title, my copy of Skyward Sword (and a pretty gold Wii remote!) arrived in the mail today and I was able to get some playtime in. So, let the non-replay begin!

I will preface this by saying: DO NOT READ IF YOU DON'T WANT SPOILERS!!

Okay, so. After syncing my beautiful gold Wii remote to my Wii, I put the game disc in and embarked on a glorious new Zelda adventure. BEHOLD!!!

The opening story began with a mysterious female voice talking about how long ago, the enemies of the land rose up from wherever and started destroying everything.

HOW DARE THEY? Clearly, something's going to have to be done about this.

I wonder what that ultimate power could be. I'm sure we'll find out at a time appropriate to the plot!

Yeah! You fight those weird-looking monsters. Hey, why does this art style remind me of Dragon Age? Huh, weird. It was around this point that the music got so bombastic and overblown that I thought I was watching some history epic from the '60s or something, but I digress.

And then the first cutscene started! It was in a forest, and suddenly the ground was torn asunder, and...

That thing...does not look friendly.

Aww, that's so cute. It's made even better by the fact that I'm 25. I'm the same age as the Zelda franchise! Truly I was meant to play them.

Then the cutscene started up again. Yay, it's a town in the sky! Called Skyloft! And there are people flying around on birds!

Also, there's a familiar-looking blond girl playing a harp and singing a song that sounds suspiciously like Zelda's Lullaby being played backwards!

I wonder who she could be. Well, whoever she was, she gave her bird a letter and sent it on its way. Meanwhile...

It's the hero, having a scary dream about the monster from earlier! And some chick with a weird voice is trying to talk to him.

Navi? Is that you? Oh, dear God, please no!

...and then I fell out of my bed.

I opened my eyes to find Zelda's bird staring at me through the window that was apparently designed for the express purpose of birds delivering mail.

The bird spat my letter out onto the floor, looking nonplussed, then left, presumably to go back to Zelda. I mean, the mysterious girl who sent the letter who couldn't possibly be Zelda.

Real subtle. Whatever. She wants me to meet her before the big race, or ceremony, or whatever it is I'm supposed to participate in. But first I have to explore my tiny room.

Ha! I can sit on chairs. This is awesome. Also, apparently Link is a woodcarver this time around. I guess it's a worthy hobby. But wait! I need to check my wardrobe before I go.

AHA! I suspected as much. Five minutes into the game and I already have some rupees. Yay! Okay, let's go.

When I left my room (apparently I'm a student at the "Knight Academy"), I almost immediately ran into this guy.

Why do I feel like they pulled him straight out of Phoenix Wright? Because that's who he looks like to me.

And here's the school's "We Don't Want To Get Sued" sign.

Oh, so the birds are called Loftwings. Okay then. I wandered over to the other end of the school, where I found a kitchen (they'd already stopped serving breakfast while I was too busy sleeping) and a kid who looked like he got into his mom's makeup when he was a kid and nobody bothered to tell him not to.

Actually, maybe he failed out of Clown School first, then went to the Knight Academy, which he also failed out of, so now he's been relegated to moving barrels in the kitchen. Whatever. There was a bathroom right next to the kitchen, so I headed on in to check it out.

Well, then. That was unexpected. After an experimental sit-down on the throne, it made a flushing noise when I got back up. Awesome. Although the whole thing was made a bit awkward by the fact that I could hear the clown kid grunting and groaning right outside as he was trying to move a barrel.

So, after I was done in the bathroom, I headed upstairs and did some more exploring. There was nobody in Headmaster Gaepora's room (I see what they did there...kind of), but there was a chair I could sit in. Yay! Eventually I found this chick.

So that's what the knight's uniform looks like, huh? Looks familiar, but shouldn't it be green? I suppose it'll become green when the plot calls for it, am I right?

After I was done talking to the girl and exploring some more, I finally left the Knight Academy, and was treated to some sweeping views of the rest of Skyloft.

Have I mentioned that I'm liking the graphics so far? They're like a combination of Wind Waker and Twilight Princess, or maybe just a less grimdark Twilight Princess, or some kind of moving watercolor, or all of the above. It would be nicer if the Wii were capable of HD graphics, but I guess we can't have everything.

That big statue at the top is where I'm supposed to go. But first, some guy on the ledge above the door wanted to talk to me. First he had to teach me how to Z-target someone so I could talk to them from a distance (like I haven't done this a million times before), then I had to jump/climb my way up to where he was (Apparently Link is good at free running now?) so I could talk to him. Turns out he had a favor to ask.

He wants me to bring back the pet from wherever it disappeared to. From how he described the situation, I thought Mia would turn out to be a monkey, but instead, she's...this thing.

I think that's a cat. It sounded like a cat, and....vaguely looks like a cat, although I've never seen one with ears that size. And no, I didn't throw it off the house, although later on I'd wish I had.

So, I dragged the cat back to the guy (I think he's one of the instructors) and continued on my way, until I met this guy.

There's a joke about this guy somewhere in here, but for the life of me, I just can't figure out what it is. But anyway. His purpose was to tell me about the bird statues scattered around the island, which I'm supposed to use to "send my prayers to the goddess" in order to save my progress. Cool, they actually attempted to explain this in the game! I don't know why they bothered, since the last guy I talked to openly told me to use the Z-button to target him from a distance so I could talk to him, but whatever.

The guy mentioned how he was fixing a gate because it wouldn't do to have a broken gate on Ceremony Day. Dude, it's the day of the ceremony. You should have fixed the gate yesterday, you slacker! Well, it's your funeral if whoever's in charge here catches you. Let's move on.

I made my way up the hill and through a building that seemed to be crumbling, although it hadn't crumbled enough to completely obscure something very familiar:


Finally I arrived at the giant statue, where Zelda was standing with her back to me, playing her harp.

Somebody really likes her, I think.

For the next 30 seconds, I sat back and listened to Zelda sing her pretty song. I can't help but wonder if it's going to be reversed at some point in the storyline, so we can have Zelda's Lullaby. This is supposed to be a prequel, after all.

Finally she finished the song, and we got to see her face at last!

Then she started talking about the ceremony and how she's taking part in it and she hopes I win the race.

By the expression on Link's face, he's probably thinking, "OOH, SHINY!"

After some more talking, Headmaster Gaepora showed up. Turns out he's Zelda's dad! I am not surprised by this at all.

Uh, I head to break it to you, sport, but I was blissfully asleep until ten minutes ago. No sleep problems here!

Ritual? With Zelda? Are they suggesting what Link hopes I think they're suggesting? Wow...

Sorry for the blurriness of this one, but the look on Link's face was hilarious. They just started talking about him like he wasn't even there.

You said it, man. Looks like it's time for some exposition. Gaepora went on to explain how the Loftwings are guardian birds who accompany everyone on Skyloft, and when Link first met his Loftwing (a rare Crimson Loftwing!) they immediately had a special connection, etc. etc.

But somehow we're still screwups? I don't know. Then Zelda pushed me off the edge of the island!

That is correct. But she pushed me anyway. After I flailed for a second, Gaepora finally mentioned that it was taking my bird too long to catch me, and Zelda frantically called her own bird, caught me, and brought me back to the island.

Well, she just about killed both of us there, but yeah, we're okay.

You think? Ugh.

After some deliberating, we decided to have Gaepora postpone the race while Zelda tends to her Loftwing and I look for clues as to the location of my own Loftwing. A lot of wandering around later, I made my way to the town square...

I have a bad feeling about this Groose guy.

Nice hair, douchebag. What did you do with my bird?

He's in a pen, huh? I'll keep that in mind.

Long enough to hear you bragging about stealing my bird, you jerk.

Alone time? Yeah, they're definitely suggesting something here. Well, whatever. Yes, I would like some alone time with Zelda, you musclebound freak. It was right about this time that I actually got a chance to tell him he had stupid hair.

Whatever. He started picking on me again, but Zelda showed up and cut him off before he could get very far. So he and his buddies decided it was time to bounce.

And your special flavor is a crappy haircut and lame pose, but I suspect you're already used to that. Carry on, then. In the meantime, it looks like I'm going to have to go talk to that guy who's supposed to be a bird expert. Yay!

And that's where I think I'm going to end things for today, as I don't want this post to be impossibly long. Until next time, heroes!

1 comment:

Styve said...

Hello, again! Styve has begun his quest (under the alias of "Link" in his game) to save Skyloft/Hyrule... I think there's a Hyrule. Are you there Hyrule? It's me, Styve!

The opening scene was pretty good but the ending with that giant brown fang-worm was a little anticlimactic. Cool stylized paintings on parchment and then... that thing.

I'm not liking this whole "everybody thinks Link is a flake who over sleeps and slacks off on his studies." In the other Zeldas he was just misunderstood, but so far he sounds a little douchy.

By the by, if you carry a barrel into the kitchen for that clown guy, he'll give you 20 rupees as thanks. He still keeps the other half, though, which doesn't seem fair.

I discovered the "restroom" incidently, but I did not know we could sit on other "stools" (ha ha). Also, if you open other people's wardrobes you get a scolding message not to look in people's stuff without their permission. I keep looking. There could be rupees!! And when has the game ever respected other people's property rights before, anyway?

Pretty colors, freaky "cat" thing. I remian neutral on the visuals thus far.

I assume the ceremonial "special alone time" will include Zelda strumming out some Marvin Gaye on her shiny harp while Link goes, "Ooh! Shiny" (But we can't be certain he is actually looking at the harp...)

Why does Link never have any parents? He always ends up dependent on Zelda and dealing with some jerk like Groose. So glad I got to make the "Nice hair." comment to him, though. I'm appreciating the tone of sass that's crept into Link's selection of responses.

However I was truly shocked, SHOCKED, I say, that the douchebag who's jealous of Link got together with his lackies and pulled a shenanigan on Link's bird. That is not in accordance with the Knight Academy moral code of honorable conduct... or whatever they posted on a random wall somewhere. Surely Groose speaks in jest! Gaepora will hear about this! (Unless of course it would serve as an overall distraction to the larger hero-destiny plot...)