Timeshift Thursday – the Silent Realm

Hi, and welcome to another episode of Timeshift Thursday where I take you along to explore some of my favourite areas in Nintendo’s ground-breaking Zelda series! Today, I’d like to show you one of my most loved parts of the Skyward Sword adventure; an area which by namesake’s really proved to be an extensive “trial”. The entrance to this area known as a “trial gate” leads to the testing of Link’s courage, strength, and wisdom while also reflecting that trial upon the gamer who must not make any dangerous error while trying to clear through the hallowed grounds.

So today I’d like to take a detailed glance at the Silent Realm. This is one of Skyward Sword’s darkest moments; a very sacred place where Link gains a unique item for his journey if he completes the strenuous test. You can follow my writing and learn more about the Silent Realm by clicking the jump below!

As I stated above, the Silent Realm is one of the darkest parts to traverse in Skyward Sword because of its gloomy visuals, setting, and ever-watching guards testing your ability to sneak past and accomplish your important objective. Your mission is to collect the 15 Sacred Tears placed in strategic positions around the respective region and head back to the entrance before the Guardians catch you. This may seem simple yet Nintendo intensified the difficulty by placing other guards called Watchers who hold non-attacking, alerting lights which, if shone upon Link, summon the Guardians. Link can pick up Light Fruit placed along the ground which act as beacons to direct the player to a certain Sacred Tear yet Link only has 90 seconds in between collecting each Sacred Tear before the Guardians appear to chase Link to his doom. Because Link only has a limited amount of running stamina, the actual chance of escaping becomes hopeless unless our hero grasps a Sacred Tear and puts those Guardians back to their 90 second slumber. It really is a frightening experience and possibly the only time I truly screamed while playing a Zelda game!

The Silent Realm can certainly be seen as reminiscent of the Twilight Realm from Twilight Princess as both areas happen to be a draw away from the games’ natural worlds. Because Skyward Sword takes place before Ocarina of Time many fans are led to wonder whether the Silent Realm ends up becoming the Sacred Realm as both play a part in being mirror realms of the surface world, hiding the Triforce from the public eye. The Silent Realm was also originally planned to be named the Siren Realm which is why the Hylian letters around the protective circle spell out SIREN. Personally, I’m glad Nintendo hunted for a better name! Another interesting fact is regarding the depiction of the Sacred Realm in A Link to the Past. The representation shows numerous floating islands in the sky with the Triforce appearing above a large island in the center. This depiction could be related to Skyloft and the Sky in which it is located. Click here to see the depiction from A Link to the Past.

The Silent Realm’s music is haunting, although, it appears to be a softer version of the corresponding area you are currently exploring. The scariest composition is in fact when the Guardians awaken and start chasing Link! It’s a message of doom pushing you not to stop running even though it’s giving you a sense of panic and uncoordinated control. Because the music is orchestrated, it sounds more realistic and powerful. Take a listen below!

I personally enjoy the Silent Realm in Skyward Sword because of its dark theme and strong difficulty, especially when trying to complete the Skyloft area of it. It’s one of the only areas in the Zelda series which truly frightens me while playing and gives me a sense of insecurity and unsureness about a guaranteed accomplishment of that particular part in the game. Those Guardians and Watchers were beautifully detailed by Nintendo and are some of the creepiest figures Link will ever face. The music is also to my liking as it describes the area Link is exploring perfectly; via a somber and dark melody.

What are your thoughts on the Silent Realm? Is it one of your memorable moments in Skyward Sword? Has the Silent Realm been a frightening and discomforting experience for you? Please be sure to leave a comment and share your opinions and thoughts below!