Posted on December 06 2014 by Nathanial Rumphol-Janc
A while back, a good friend of ours, Branden Casper, presented a nice editorial analyzing the reveal of Zelda U at E3 2014 and suggested the game could be a prequel to Skyward Sword. His basis mostly stemmed from Link’s garb and the technology presented. Now that we’ve seen more of the game I’m not inherently sure the game is a prequel, but I am positive that it is related to Skyward Sword in some fashion.
There were things going on before Skyward Sword happened. This was referenced in the opening scenes of the game and since the hero’s clothes were supposedly based off Loftwing riders from the Skyloft Academy, Link not rocking his traditional garb could mean theoretically that this Link is before that garb became tradition. We have some new footage and I find it neither proves nor disproves Branden’s thoughts, but it does solidify that this game relates to Skyward Sword in some fashion.
The most obvious and direct connection is the Sail Cloth. Link has it and can use it to glide laterally, instead of just dropping straight down. This item has only appeared in Skyward Sword, so either this is a sequel where Link maintains the Cloth, or it predates Skyward Sword and was an item brought to Skyloft when Hylia lifted the town into the sky.
However, the most alarming thing that really solidifies this as a very early title and one around Skyward Sword’s placement is the world itself. It’s extremely lush, with trees and hills everywhere and an immense amount of wildlife — we’ve seen goats and butterflies before, but now we have wild horses and even some evergreen to add to the world in wild apples. Extremely long grass is almost everywhere, suggesting the land is not fully inhabited — people tend to pound things down to create smoother passageways for walking.
The world feels alive, but more importantly it feels raw. Of course feeling raw doesn’t mean this is an older timeline game — the demo showed us ruins, so we presumably could be talking about a game that takes place really far in the future and most of Hyrule has been wiped out over the years. Still, the ruins to me almost point to a post-Skyward Sword sequel. Remember, Skyloft didn’t start in the sky — the people once inhabited the land. The ruins could simply be leftovers of a world gone by.
We have zero story details to go off of right now, but I always liked the idea of a foundation game — one where you are helping set up and found Hyrule Kingdom. Demise may be defeated, but does that mean all the threats in the land have vanished? Maybe new baddies have taken over with the future Hylians all stuck in the clouds. It just feels like a really interesting story. Imagine if this story involved the very first version of Ganondorf. Maybe we can witness his coming-of-age story before he became all evil. That story would be a really unique twist.
Getting back into some suggestive evidence, the art style really does give off a closer resemblance to Skyward Sword than anything else. This is a weak indicator at best, since Eiji Aonuma wants each game to feel unique, but it could easily be a nod to create connections to that title. Equally weak suggestions here would also be the inherent link between the Wii and Wii U itself, marrying Skyward Sword and Zelda U together… for better or worse. Nintendo has not really tackled the idea of a direct sequel (or prequel) type event for a while, so maybe they want to give it another shot like they did with Phantom Hourglass.
Link also happens to be rocking a round shield. From my understanding, Skyward Sword was the only game with round shields.
While the connections are certainly there, if you are looking for definitive proof… I apologize, you won’t find any here. This game could have the Mirror of Twilight return and we still can’t definitely say where the game will take place. We won’t know until Nintendo wants us too.
Why does the timeline placement matter? It doesn’t, outside of knowing would give us a great idea of what we can expect from the story itself.
Is there anything else you noticed could create this connection? Do you think I’m totally off base?