Little evidence exists today that details the origins of the legendary Master Sword. The original story, explaining the reason for the sword’s creation, was lost in translation and became obscured by the mists of time. Thankfully, an investigation of the source text reveals the true nature of the blade’s existence:
There was no guarantee that only a good person would get their hands on the Triforce. Accordingly, to repulse any evil that may kidnap the Triforce, the people of Hyrule were informed by a divine oracle to make a blade of evil’s bane. That sword was called the Master Sword, and it was said that only a true hero could use it.
– A Link to the Past Japanese SNES manual translation
The more recent Twilight Princess also briefly introduced the sword’s creators, adding another piece to the enigmatic puzzle:
[T]he blade of evil’s bane… was crafted by the wisdom of the ancient sages…
– Twilight Princess, Princess Zelda
Now, Skyward Sword promises to finish the story once and for all by depicting the tale of the transformation of the titular Skyward Sword into the ancient blade of evil’s bane. Will this story fit in with the previous legends, or will it feature a drastic departure from the original narrative intent? There’s no way to tell for sure, but that’s no reason not to give this mystery the old college try.
One of the very few characters we know about from Skyward Sword gives us a potential link to the Link to the Past origin story: the “feminine form” the blade takes when guiding Link. Since this character already has the traits of a guide sent by the gods—a semi-human ethereal form, a link to a magical artifact, and the role of summoning a hero—it seems fitting for her to be the “divine oracle” spoken of as the instigator of the Master Sword’s creation.
Purists will of course note that the sword technically already exists, but as the Skyward Sword, which thus means that the story has already shifted somewhat from the original tale. Like most of the other stories in the series, though, this is only to be expected. The Wind Waker introduced new sages whose responsibility was to maintain the Master Sword’s divine power through prayer to the gods, whereas before there was never any need for such figures. Twilight Princess explained that the sages were behind the blade’s creation, whereas A Link to the Past placed the task in the hands of “the people.” Stories are bound to evolve as we unravel the threads that compose them; the question is merely whether they stand in light of new developments.
Strictly speaking, there’s nothing in A Link to the Past‘s narrative that requires that the Master Sword have been originally forged as a sword with the purpose of combating evil kidnappers of the Triforce; it just came to exist as such in response to a heavenly warning. It could very well have been another magical sword, one which only later came to be chosen by the gods to receive the power to repel evil. Of course, this seems to be the scenario in place for Skyward Sword. The Skyward Sword itself is a preexisting weapon that will eventually become the Master Sword we know and love.
Another example of this kind of situation in Zelda is the story of the Picori Sword, which over the course of Link’s adventures in Minish Cap gained the powers that transformed it into the Four Sword. Since Minish Cap and Skyward Sword share the same director, Hidemaro Fujibayashi, the similarities between the two should come as no surprise.
As for the sages, we haven’t heard anything about whether they will appear in Skyward Sword, so it’s hard to say whether their role in the Master Sword’s creation will be fulfilled. However, Twilight Princess shed some light on the origins of the ancient sages that we ought to peer into.
We ought to note that the sages’ greatest legacy, the Temple of Time, was credited to the “ancestors of the Hylians,” not directly to the sages themselves. We know of course that the sages were responsible for the temple’s construction, however, and since they also take on an appearance similar to the Hylians, could it be that the sages themselves are among those ancestors? Of course, there’s another group in Twilight Princess that holds the status of predecessors to the Hylia: the Sky People, the Oocca. Could there be a relationship between the sages and the legendary sky folk?
To make matters even more interesting, Skyward Sword starts Link off in a land in the heavens, and the Skyward Sword itself seems to come from his realm also. So if the the sages have some connection to the Sky People, it’s very possible that they might reside in Skyloft too, thus putting them in the perfect position to be the the creators of the sword.
There’s one clog in the cogs of this idea, however, and that’s the Oocca’s bizarre form. They take the form of birds with otherworldly heads, while the sages have a decidedly more humanoid appearance. If there’s a connection between them it’s far from apparent based on their physical attributes. Frankly, there’s really no answer for this one. The Oocca don’t even resemble the Hylians they’re supposed to be the progenitors of. But I feel secure in saying that if the Oocca can be the ancestors of a humanoid race of mortals, certainly they can have some relationship to the spiritual sages.
It seems as though, as far as the Master Sword’s upcoming origin retelling is concerned, all is well in the Zelda-verse. The new skyward story seems to fit pretty well with established facts, and it’s not difficult to imagine solutions to potential problems. It would take a royal case of rushing the game to release for Nintendo to miss the mark on this one.
The Skyward Sword Speculation Series is a new regular column that will focus on speculated possibilities for Skyward Sword‘s gameplay and storyline. The idea came from a general speculation article we published in the wake of E3. While we try to make our guesses based on confirmed or suggested facts, bear in mind that they are still just that – guesses – and may or may not prove to be true, or even at all accurate.