5 Reasons why Hero Mode is Not Worth Your Time

ConnorDecember 11th, 2011 by Connor

Hopefully by now you have or nearly finished the first playthrough of Skyward Sword and your about to start hero mode. Yesterday, an article over at Just Push Start was posted about Skyward Sword’s hero mode. In Phillip Price’s opinion, Hero mode is not worth attempting for reasons after the jump. I personally think that his reasons for not trying hero mode are a bit vague and doesn’t really put people off hero mode. Hero mode is definately worth having a stab at, there is absolutely no reason not to try. Jump inside to check out the reasons for yourself and my views.

1. Fi becomes extremely annoying and 99.99% useless
Gamers quickly noticed Fi’s inexplicable ability to state the obvious. We were even given the option to call upon Fi for quick recaps of our current objective (here one and only way to be useful), advice, or analysis of the area Link is currently in. Her “Advice” consists of going over tutorials, or explaining how to catch Deku Hornets regardless of the fact that you already have 86 of them in your collection. Throughout “Hero Mode”, you will constantly find yourself screaming at Fi to just “shut the front door and let me play my game!” There is absolutely no use for Fi whatsoever as you already know where everything is, not to mention the many occasions when she suggests dowsing for items after you have already collected half of what you were searching for.

Ok, I understand that you don’t want to listern to Fi because you know already what to do, but to have this as a reason to not bother with hero mode? Regardless of how useless Fi is, this is not a reason to not attempt hero mode because the whole point of hero mode is to complete it with disadvantages like double damage, no hearts etc.

2. Dialog barely changes
When you start Hero mode, several of the NPCs mention the fact that you are playing in Hero mode; many of them even allow you to skip certain tutorials because you “already know what you are doing.” This made me jump for joy as I thought I was just going to be able to enjoy the best part of this game: gameplay. Then, about thirty minutes in, I started to notice that no one was recognizing that I had done all this before. The game began thrusting tutorials upon me once more as items like the slingshot were explained to a point of redundancy. Hero Mode quickly became nothing more than New Game+ utilizing a different name as a tepid attempt at being different

It doesn’t hurt to have a reminder of how to do things or how to use items, even the NPCs say there’s no harm in reviewing the basics. Again, this is just nit-picking at irrelevant attributes.

3. Difficulty level remained the same
I like challenging video games; after honing my skills for almost two and a half decades it feels good knowing that there are few games out there that can give me a challenge. Hero mode, was supposed to be a more challenging mode than the first quest. At minimum, that should mean more (or at least tougher) enemies, improved enemy AI, and less drops. In “Hero mode”, enemy toughness has not increased Link merely takes double damage from everything; their intelligence has not increased whatsoever. For example, Deku-babas (plant monsters) still try to eat bombs that tossed at them and Lizafos will still taunt missed attacks allowing you to black flip slash them onto their backs. What was almost Hero mode’s single redeeming quality was the fact that hearts no longer appeared in the wild, not did heart plants grow any longer. This genuinely made it feel like a challenge as it forced gamers to rely on potions and sitting to regain health. That is, until I found the heart medal.

I think the double damage alone makes hero mode difficult. I have to think twice before attacking an enemy otherwise my hearts will disappear like that. Although improved AI would make things more difficult, it really isn’t needed if double damage is hard enough.

4. Heart medal makes Hero Mode pointless
The only challenge that Hero mode seemed to present was the fact that the only way Link could replenish health was by utilizing potions, or by sitting on random and rare stools found throughout the game. Enemies no longer dropped hearts, breaking pots and cutting grass stopped producing hearts, and heart plants became extinct. Then, about ten hours in, I activated a Goddess Cube in the southwest region of the Lanayru Desert and unlocked the heart medal that had the ability to reintroduce hearts back into the game. At that precise moment, Hero mode had died. Sure, I could have chosen not to carry the stupid thing around and make the hearts disappear again, but I cannot actively make a choice to make the game tougher. If I could do that, I would never have equipped my shield during the first quest; why did they even put this item in the game? The sole purpose of this medal is to undo what Hero Mode does.

Sorry, but this has to be the worst reason not to attempt hero mode. The Heart Medals are there for there for gamers who want a bit more challenge on their next playthrough, but aren’t up for going without replenishing hearts the old fasion way. I confess I rely on Heart Medals, but even with them in your pouch, hero mode is still challenging. And if you don’t want to use them, put them away in the Item Check.

5. Cannot skip any additional cutscenes
It was a breath of fresh air when gamers began to play Skyward Sword for the first time and noticed that, unlike previous Zelda titles, we were able to skip a large percentage of cutscenes. There were still quite a number of cutscenes that were not optional but these were few and far in between. Mostly these cutscenes contained valuable information as to what the next step in Link’s quest is. Being the fact that Hero mode would indicate this is the second time around for gamers, one would think that these informational cutscenes could then be skipped since we have already been through it all once before. This is not the case at all as there are no additional skip options, and gamers must wade through the shoveling of now pointless information.

It doesn’t really matter, it’s not as if your doing a speedrun or anything. Again, nit-picking at irrelevent attributes.

You may or may not agree with Phillp’s reasons for not attempting hero mode, but I think these are completely pointless reasons, and I highly recommend that you at least attempt hero mode, it is definately worth your time.

What are your thoughts on this article? Do you think Phillip Price’s reasons are pointless or do you think these are actual reasons to not attempt hero mode? Leave your thoughts and opinions below.

Source: Just Push Start


Categorized under: Skyward Sword
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  • Vaati Reborn

    Hero Mode has barely gotten harder. Total waste of time.

  • guest

    Personally, I think that Fi had a lot more in depth character development than navi did.  You felt much more attached to the freakin sword, than you ever did to the ball of light that followed you around in Oot.  It also had a nice symmetry to it.  Fi was the good antithesis to Ghirahim.  It made you like Fi all the better.

  • John

    I am 33 years old and I have been playing Zelda games for days before some of you were even born.
    Here’s why I don’t like hero mode: it’s 90% the same thing again.
    Now, do I mind playing Zelda over and over again? The answer is NO. But the truth in hero mode is that it’s the same thing with minor differences that have been explained in this site or other sites.
    So I don’t like hero mode because ….I was expecting more, but I always love Zelda games especially when I play them over and over 100 times. It never gets boring.

    My favorites so far:
    1. Legend of Zelda
    2. Link to the past
    3. Ocarina of time
    4. Four swords adventures.
    5. Twilight princess.
    6. Skyward sword

    • FiStrangler

      Where is Majora’s Mask on YOUR top 6? Are you kidding me?

      • Devidedistand

        What? Majora’s Mask is one of the best. Its definitely somewhere in my top 3.

    • snakes andert

      My number one is Link’s Awakening. I know. I’m weird. 

  • Borja del Moral Mieza

    Why bothering playing the same game again when you have tons of AAA games out there?? Really, I love Zelda games, but replaying a +40 hours game just to get an extra icon next to your save file is bullshit.

    This Hero mode is (and always has been) just an excuse for replayability, not adding real new value content. It´s the same as kill all doves or recollect all medals in the sandboxes: designers crap which is NOT FUN, just a marketing argument.

  • FiStrangler

    I have been researching Hero mode ever since I finished Skyward Sword… about 10 minutes ago. sigh, I am very disapointed. It took me 70+ hours and I have (had) a bunch of stuff that I wanted to do before putting SS down for a few months and I now have to start all over for the same game. It will take a shorter amount of time to finish it no doubt, but 40 hours is 40 hours. 
    Which seems like an eternity when you wanna strangle the spirit of your sword. I swear this is a good game, not the best but not the worst, but Fi makes this game annoying. Every time she comes out I scream at the t.v. and frantically mash the A button. I prefer Tat’l or Teal (the fairy from Majora’s Mask).

  • Santiago

    I don’t care how similar the thing is, I just finished the game and I want to give it another go after a pair of months, so I´ts better if at least SOMETHING is different. You also keep treasures and bugs so you don’t need to backtrack to upgrade as much.

  • Clappingfetus86

    screw hero mode i spent 40+ hours getting every possible thing in the game and that is the biggest problem why would i want to erase my 100% game when i have 2 blank slots waiting to be filled with hero mode games but they want me to erase the game file i spent so much time working on. If i knew hero mode was gonna erase my game i would have done a speed run on my first play through and focused on the second now it just seems like a waste of time to even attempt maybe if like wind waker it changed enough of the game and more story was revealed but if i get the same thing just take more damage how much fun is that really?  If u want to experieance hero mode with out beating the game a 100% just collect 10 heart containers and stop at that then it would be like taking double damage almost cause u have half the hearsts.  Worst new game + ever

  • Pachi

    This guy’s rebuttals are vague. All five of those are great reasons for skipping Hero mode. Some people don’t like being annoyed for another THIRTY HOURS by a fairy. Having the option to use a purpose defeating item is stupid and ALL Cutscenes should be skippable the second time (and first time for that matter). Also, what if you wanted to do a speed run? What then? Maybe not the OP since he thinks Hero mode is actually challenging, I wouldn’t expect him to be man enough for a speed run on “hard”. As for me? I spent 35 hours 100%ing a game with motion controls…not doing it again. I’m done when I finish Koloktos. >.>

  • Ronsupe

    Overall, the game was pretty epic, and in my opinion one of the best Zelda adventures. However, without any really cool additional features to unlock (Gee, how about unlocking a feature where you’re able to play Zelda through her part of the journey, after all Nintendo, you put relevant cutscenes in the credits…) or other neat playable features, playing another 60 some hours through on Hero Mode is out of the question.

  • PikadudeN64

    they should’ve had an option where you can write over another file for HM like in Wind Waker for the 2nd Quest. and the puzzles were confusing enough! in OoT3D, I never used it, but in SS, i had to run back to the f**kin’ shiekah stone a LOT in the regular quest… :/

  • Fiend

    A huge issue with one of the best games in the francise “Ocarina of Time” was that you couldn’t fight bosses again or re-play certain dungeons unless you were up to do a full game re-play. And we (or at least me) were 150% ready to fight through the early stages AGAIN just to replay some dungeons. Hero mode is definitely tougher with double damage, but it is a really good addition to the game. As always. Hit Go and don’t think about it too much… just have fun and go for it!

  • http://www.facebook.com/ken.thomas.148 Ken Thomas

    Is anyone experiencing the Bazaar potions lady not recognizing empty bottles in Hero mode? I have a work around by going back to the Temple and digging up a fairy. But I was just curious.
    And for those of use who are a little older (63) and have chemo brain (poor memory), Hero mode is fun to go back and try and remember how you solved the problem before. It’s almost like a new game. Just have fun and relax. There are things more important o worry about (like cancer).

  • caitlin

    i don’t think hero mode is a waste of time, plus its optional, you don’t have to play it. also i’ve now discovered places i didn’t the first time i played it!

  • MyMbrain

    I would recommend replaying on hero mode after taking a break of a few months to a year to refresh my memory of the game, or if you really loved the game enough that you could have played it a second time on Normal Mode.

    Why? It is like watching a movie twice. For me, watching the same film twice back to back is really boring, no matter how great it is. However with time (the longer the better), I find that I have forgotten some aspects of the movie and rewatching it becomes so much more enjoyable because I always notice something new about a particular character or scene the second time around. However, some people do love a film enough that they can watch it repeatedly for hours (I am not one of them). It is only in this respect do I think this game has replay value.

    My experience playing hero mode the day after normal mode:
    My unenjoyable experience of playing hero mode right after normal mode was because the game became tedious and predictable. Despite the inaccesibility of hearts and the damage ratio adjustments, there was no real challenge since I already knew how to overcome each enemy and how to solve every area from my first runthrough. In fact, I found myself bulldozing my way through hero mode and taking less damage overall as compared to my first runthrough on normal mode.
    The only real challenge I had was the boss run at the end but it wasn’t worth waiting through scenes of events you knew were already going to happen.

    Overall, I appreciate that they did make a slightly harder replay version. I would definitely have replayed this game on hero mode a year after completing normal mode.

    My Advice: WAIT

  • Multak32

    if nintendo was trying to make the game harder they should have also gave enemies double hearts but even if they did they left your skyward strikes as strong and as far and as quick to charge as the master swords skyward strikes

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