Most gamers that love the Legend of Zelda series have differing opinions on what their favorite in the series is. The SNES classic, A Link to the Past? Ocarina of Time, the entry that bridged the gap from 2D to 3D? Maybe Majora’s Mask, with it’s darker plot and more macabre setting?
While many people debate on what is the best Zelda, the consenting opinion is that Skyward Sword is the worst.
Released on the Nintendo Wii in 2011, Skyward Sword is meant to be the first game in the Zelda timeline, setting the tone for the tale of Link, Princess Zelda, and Demise, who would become the evil foil known as Ganon.
The game has received unanimous praise from gaming magazines and websites, but fans have written it off as “gimmicky” and “lacking the Zelda formula,” such as Arin Hanson, aka Egoraptor, who mentioned his dislike for the game in one of his videos.
Fans seem to knock on the game for being too linear, the motion controls, and backtracking being overused between the 4 main areas: Skyloft, Faron Woods, Eldin Volcano, Nanayru Desert.
These opinions on the games elements are just that: opinions, make of them what you will. However, there’s one saving grace that makes the game incredible: the relationship dynamic between Link and Zelda.
In the other games, the relationship between these two rarely went past “she’s the princess, you’re the hero, hop to it.” In Skyward Sword, the game takes time to establish a connection between Link and Zelda, in which there’s a real high school, friends-since-childhood theme in the game.
When Zelda is kidnapped after some time, Link sets out to save her, and in time, finds her in the Temple of Hylia, where Zelda reveals that she is the reincarnation of the goddess Hylia, and that she must put herself in a deep sleep in order to hold back the power of Demise until Link gains the power to defeat him. In the scene that follows, Zelda states that while she may be the goddess reborn, she is still Link’s friend….“I’m still your Zelda.” In the linked video, at the 11:33 mark when Zelda puts herself to sleep, to quote the Simpsons, “You can actually pinpoint the second when his heart rips in half.”
This is a very powerful scene that captures the relationship between the two PERFECTLY. Instead of saving her because she’s a princess, Link is saving his best friend, the girl he’s grown up with, the girl he’s spent so much time with…the girl he loves and who loves him back.
No matter what people say about the games mechanics or motion controls, they cannot deny the connection between Link and Zelda in this game.