With the Wii’s release schedule looking like a toxic waste zone, Nintendo fans are looking forward to Skyward Sword even more so than they normally would a console Zelda game. If the wait is killing you, we’ve got some great news: Nintendo’s Eiji Aonuma recently sat down to have a talk with Famitsu about the game, and IGN was able to get all of the details.
“The whole game is complete, and we’re fine-tuning the balance right now,” Aonuma-san stated. Because the game is so vast, neither him nor (series creator) Shigeru Miyamoto “have gotten to fully play out every aspect.” The revelation that principle development has wrapped comes as a bit of a shock, since the title is not expected to ship until the holiday season. In light of this news, however, it’s possible that Zelda could end up releasing sooner.
Speaking of release dates, the designer said that Nintendo is targeting a worldwide release; because he fears that, otherwise, the “story’s going to get spoiled.” Naturally, he stayed away from spoilerish story elements during the interview. But he did drop some tidbits in regards to Link’s home town and how the setting will come into play throughout the adventure.
The game starts in Skyloft, this city that’s floating in the air, and you’ll come back to this town multiple times. Things are always proceeding along in town, and in that respect it’s very much like Majora’s Mask… Like with Majora, there are a lot of game events involving the townspeople that get intertwined with the main story. Link, Zelda and their other friends all go to the same boarding school, and you’ve got teachers and a principal as well. It’s a bit of a different setting from previous Zeldas.
Of course, it wouldn’t be much of a Zelda game if the player was restricted to one town for the whole journey, though. Aonuma assured fans that they’ll be exploring plenty of other locales as well. Link and his fellow Skyloft inhabitants “don’t have any awareness of there being a mainland beneath the clouds and so forth – that gets expanded upon once Zelda goes missing, and you get access to the areas under the clouds.”
As you’ve probably already deduced from the trailers and screens (and the fact that Link lives in the sky) giant birds are used as the preferred method of travel in the game’s world. Link’s personal mount is a rare breed of sorts that permits him to travel below the clouds, unlike his fellow Skyloftians. (Skylians?) “So the hand of fate gets involved here, like it always does in Zelda games sooner or later,” Aonuma said. Early on, the birds were only designed to be used as a means to travel quickly to objectives. Speedily swooping through the open skies was so exhilarating, however, that they decided to expand it to other uses.
The E3 trailer revealed that Zelda resides amongst the clouds with
Lando Calrissian Link, and she’s apparently not a princess – at least, not from the onset. “She’s not a princess this time, which is something I’ll pretty much have to put forth right now in order to talk about this title,” he said. “She’s a childhood friend, but she goes away in the midst of the game and it’s Link’s job to search for her.” Furthermore, Link and Zelda are schoolmates and that theme carries over into the larger plot of the game.
This game’s plot is something like a school drama, you could say… The flying sequence at the E3 demo is Link competing against his classmates. One of them looks kind of a like a bad guy, as you saw, and he shows up in other ways in the game too, since he has a major thing for Zelda.