Saturday, November 5, 2011

The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword speculation

Above is the map of the world in The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword (or at least as much as we currently know of it, prior to the game's release). As the map indicates, Skyloft is situated above the clouds, while Hyrule is divided into three distinct and sizeable regions on the land below. To my knowledge, the names of these regions are as follows: Lanayru - the desert province to the west; Eldin - the volcanic region to the north, and Faron - the forested area to the southeast. There are some pretty distinguishable locations on the map right now - the Eldin volcano, a giant tree in the Faron region (perhaps with some connection to the Great Deku Tree), and the giant Triforce symbol sitting in the desert. I'm assuming that these markers are not to accurate scale, but rather stand out as key locations for the story.

There are a few things that stand out to me as particularly interesting. In one of the most recent gameplay trailers, Link is in the desert fighting what appears to be some sort of clockwork skeleton pirate captain. The only other time I can think of where pirates played a significant role in a Zelda game (aside from the Wind Waker/Phantom Hourglass storyline) was in the Oracle titles. And those pirates were in fact Skeletons. Even more curious is the fact that there is a pirate ship sitting in the middle of the desert on this map, and the pirates in Oracle of Seasons managed to run themselves aground into a desert region (though that was in Holodrum). It may just be wishful thinking on my part, but perhaps there is a connection between the two. The skeleton pirates were some of my favorite characters in the Oracle games, and I'd love to see them make a comeback on a console release.

A number of major races have been confirmed for Skyward Sword. The Deku Scrubs will serve as enemies, popping out of the ground and spitting seeds at Link just as they did in Ocarina of Time. There will be at least one Goron present, and the footage thus far depicts him carrying supplies on his back. It's possible that he might act in a similar fashion to the merchant Gorons from Wind Waker. The Mogma and Kikwis are newcomers to the franchise. The former are dog-like beings that dig under the earth, while the latter are small raccoon-like fuzzballs that can use their tails as camouflage.

The Sheikah will see a return in the form of at least one character. This individual has been referred to as 'the servant of the Goddesses', and as Skyward Sword's Zelda is not a princess at the beginning of the game, this Sheikah could start the trend of serving Hyrule's royal family. This Sheikah is also very young and slender in appearance, and quite clearly female. Depending on the time frame between the end of Skyward Sword and the beginning of Ocarina of Time, this could potentially be a young Impa.

Ever since the release of Ocarina of Time, one of the most prominent races in The Legend of Zelda has been the Zora. The Zora I'm referring to are the more friendly sea Zoras, while the hostile river Zoras have been around since the original NES title. Of all the staples carried over from recent Zelda releases, there has not yet been any mention of the Zoras. However, there is a large portion of the Faron region covered in water, as indicated on the most southeastern point on the map. With such a sizeable area devoted to water, I find it unlikely that the Zora would not make any appearance in this game. Assuming they do, though, the map would indicate their residence to be somewhere beneath the water, since the only recognizable structure above the surface seems to be a dock. I think it would be both interesting to the story and visually pleasing if the Zora lived in a completely underwater community, not unlike the palace in Oracle of Ages.

Finally, Lord Girahim is stated as being a prominent member of the dark tribe. Little is known about who belongs to the tribe or how many members they have, though it is implied that they require Zelda due to some unusual qualities she possesses. I'm going out on a limb here, since we know perhaps the least about the specifics of Lord Girahim, but I would like to think that there is at least a possibility that after the conclusion of Skyward Sword, the dark tribe transitions into the Gerudo tribe. Maybe the fact that they only give birth to a male every one hundred years has something to do with repercussions of Girahim's actions. At any rate, that's all of my last-minute speculations. I'm really looking forward to playing Skyward Sword in two weeks!

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