Posted on June 01 2011 by Nathanial Rumphol-Janc
Yes, we do remember Zordiana – but that doesn’t mean that we’re now so paranoid of rumors that we don’t think they’re worth discussing. I think that should be pretty obvious based on all the Project Café stuff we’ve been posting about lately. Anyway, let’s cut to the chase.
These rumors come from 4chan, which unfortunately is an extremely mixed bag in terms of authenticity that makes these hard to peg one way or the other. Yes, this is a rumored “leak” of information about Skyward Sword, similar to the infamous Zordiana rumors from last year – except without reference to a fictional Aonuma speech. Yes, there’s no real way to verify their accuracy – just like most rumors – so I’m not even going to try. I am, however, going to rate the individual parts of this rumor based on how plausible they seem to me. (Note: Me means me personally.)
Skyward Sword is complete, but still needs debugging/testing.
Given that the game’s status in January was “in the final completion stage,” I’d say this is probably pretty accurate. Testing is going to be a very important and very lengthy process given this game’s heavy use of Wii MotionPlus, which of course comes with a whole slew of potential problems that Nintendo’s never really had to work around in any of their games before (since, of course, only one of them has actually used Wii MotionPlus). Of course, this is a pretty “safe” rumor in that it could basically have arisen from information we already knew without any real insider source to tell us so. So while I’d say I probably believe this is the case, I wouldn’t say I believe this means these rumors come from an actual leak.
There will be a demo at E3 with three different aspects of the game explored: Flying combat, overworld + sky exploration, desert dungeon.
Not exactly sure what to think about this one. I’m not even sure there’s going to be any kind of flight combat – although if this game’s gameplay is based on Wii Sports Resort as much as it seems I wouldn’t be too surprised if they found some way of splashing a skydiving/combat hybrid in there. And what would “sky exploration” consist of? I was under the impression that most of the “exploration” would take place on the ground, with Skyloft being a sort of starting point. Maybe the idea is that we’ll finally get to see Skyloft at E3? That’s possible.
The desert dungeon demo sounds pretty plausible, though. We already got a glimpse of the desert area in the GDC Skyward Sword trailer, so it’s not much of a stretch to say we’ll get to play through part or all of it at this year’s E3. (Personally though, I think that fire dungeon we saw way back in the E3 2010 trailer is a more likely contender – although who knows? Maybe they’re one in the same.)
Skyward Sword girl’s name is “Dorella.”
I remember Zordiana too well to really place much stock in this one. There’s no real way for me to say whether a character’s name is especially likely or unlikely, so this sounds like a case where I’ll have to stick to skepticism. “No source, no credibility.”
Magician from GDC trailer’s name is “Nephiburoo,” he’ll be a part of a group of evil sorcerers who wish to obtain the Triforce.
What is it with this obsession with naming in rumors? They’re just about the easiest parts to debunk! At least if you left out names and kept your speculations vague enough you might possibly be able to pass them off as confirmed later on. Ah, well.
The evil sorcerers thing intrigues me, though. I mean, of course that guy was clearly some kind of sorcerer, so already this one sounds pretty neat. But given Skyward Sword‘s chronological placement relative to the rest of the series, this seems like a likely way to retreat an already-prominent backstory: the tales of strife in the land as people fought over the Triforce told in A Link to the Past, alluded to in Ocarina of Time, and featured prominently in Twilight Princess.
And speaking of Twilight Princess, let’s not forget that that sorcerer dude bears some similarities to the Twili – which has already led me to speculate on the subject.
I can’t call this confirmed (and I’m not even going to consider thinking about the name), but I can call it “just about the most likely thing we don’t know about the game.”
Ganondorf is in the game briefly as a child. Isn’t too important to the story.
At first when I read this, I thought “no way, Nintendo never gives that much attention to timeline-related issues.” But then I thought back on the fact that the Spirit Tracks team has moved over to work on Skyward Sword and suddenly this one started to seem a bit more likely. Spirit Tracks was full of direct references to The Wind Waker and Phantom Hourglass, including a handful of specific characters who either lived to old age or were held in cherished memory. Is a young Ganondorf really that implausible given that they featured Niko the pirate swabbie as an over-100? Actually – yeah, it probably still is.
Zelda has a new design, similar to an Egyptian princess with brown hair. She’s still recognizable however.
This one’s a curious rumor as well. Given the game’s largely exotic aesthetic – with hints of zen paradisaical settings, Aztec-style temples, and other strange new landscapes – I wouldn’t be surprised if Hylian culture shows a very different face during the Skyward Sword era than it does in other games. Not to mention that even though there’s definitely a large basis on Twilight Princess graphically in this game – look at Link’s animations especially – almost all of the enemies have gotten some kind of remodeling treatment, and the princess is probably more susceptible to a redesign than Link.
Zelda being essentially Egyptian is oddly specific, though, and unless the source of these rumors is somehow misunderstanding the cultural influence, we haven’t really seen anything to suggest an Egyptian presence. Of course, just because we haven’t seen it doesn’t mean that won’t be the case. I’m gonna slap this one dead in the middle on the accuracy scale since I honestly have no idea what to make of it.
Full orchestrated soundtrack by the person responsible for Super Mario Galaxy‘s soundtrack.
This one was actually confirmed a few days back! Mahito Yokota, one of the major composers for Super Mario Galaxy, is in fact back for Skyward Sword. This of course more than likely suggests more live orchestral performances, which I’m personally ultra-excited about.
I’d be curious to find out whether this leak predated this discovery – although, honestly, with Nintendo already talking about wanting a live orchestra sound in Skyward Sword, bringing the guy behind the Galaxy music seems like a no-brainer.
Two overworlds: Skyloft and Hyrule. Contrast is similar to Heaven and Hell.
Now this one’s interesting. At first glance it sounds like something we already know, but then you look at the implications of calling Skyloft an “overworld” and suddenly it means a whole lot more. I was originally under the impression that it would be some kind of hub world akin to Super Mario 64‘s Peach’s Castle from which you’d access a number of conduits to the lower world, where the real action would take place, but looking back on Aonuma’s statements on the matter it seems as though Skyloft may in fact be a full-blown world in its own right.
So basically the story evolves in his traveling from Skyloft to the land below, and back and forth, as he is led by the Skyward Sword.
That Aonuma describes the relationship between the two lands in the story as “traveling back and forth” makes it sound a lot more like the classic “two worlds” concept seen in many RPGs and several Zelda games.
We know that the surface world is ruled by evil forces, and we know that Skyloft is a heavenly sort of land, so the heaven and hell comparison may for our purposes already be more or less confirmed. How far that comparison could go is still up in the air – the rumors are careful to keep it vague enough so as not to leave much room for discrepancy. We’ll see if Skyloft is actually a true “overworld” in the same sense that the surface world is soon enough, but for now, after rethinking what we’ve been told, this one seems pretty sound.
Ten minute live-action prologue that’ll be posted on the net a couple of months before release.
This was another of those pieces that at first I didn’t believe at all. Then I took a moment to think about it and realized that the idea probably wasn’t to have this as the opening for the game, but rather as a pre-release marketing stunt. But this has never really been done by Nintendo before! It seems like making an actual movie to tell the story of their game is a little out of their ballpark (unless you’re Sean Malstrom, who believes that most games these days try too hard to be movies).
One thought crossed my mind, though: could this be Zelda Williams’ secret project?
UPDATE: Thanks to our commenter mrawful for this observation: Zelda is rumored to have brown hair and take on an Egyptian princess aesthetic. Zelda Williams also has brown hair and could definitely pull off the Egyptian look. Could there be a connection?
After you complete the game, the game goes into a storyless, neverending epilogue. Every dungeon in the game gets another dungeon inside of it utilizing everything you’ve obtained in the game with new bosses. New areas on the overworld are unlocked in places you wouldn’t expect. Similar to the original Zelda.
A true “second quest.” A “Master Quest.” But this time, it actually consists of post-game content rather than rehashed dungeons from the original. Yeah, I have to say I’m down for that. But is it something that would actually happen?
Well, I mean, if you look at Metroid: Other M – then yeah, there’s no reason why Nintendo couldn’t add a real post-game to Skyward Sword that isn’t story-driven and is all about new content. And if they’re really going as “back to basics” with this one as they claim, a second quest that majorly extends playtime seems like common sense. I’m not sure the new stuff would be quite as extreme as this rumor is letting on, but I think Nintendo has learned enough to know the value of such an approach.
Now balance out all that wishful thinking with a heavy dose of reality, and what do you get?
Game will feature horse riding and boat riding. Not as expansive as seen in Twilight Princess and Wind Waker, however, but a boat will be required to complete some dungeons.
Honestly, from what I’ve seen of and heard about the game’s focus on increased content density versus world size and scale, it doesn’t seem like they’re leaving enough open space for a horse or boat to be especially practical. Of course, this doesn’t mean they’re not tossing in a couple large fields or waterways amidst all the dense overworld areas for old time’s sake, but suffice to say that I don’t know that they’d really want to focus on including vehicle travel in any substantial capacity when this game’s supposed to be all about advancing the series’ gameplay with Wii Motion Plus. Not to mention that if any special travel mechanic were to appear, it’d probably have something to do with the sky.
Coming November 1st, 2011.
Wow, this looks almost exactly like GameStop’s projected release date! Not sure I place much stock in the specific date of November 1st, but that timeframe seems pretty likely – Nintendo loves giving their big games the holiday season spotlight. Nintendo of America usually saves the big releases for Sundays – of course with some exceptions – but Japan’s big releases usually fall on Thursdays. November 1 is of course neither a Sunday or a Thursday, but then do you really think Nintendo has a set, specific date in mind already? November is still five months away, and usually true release dates don’t pop up until about two months before the scheduled debut.
As a target date, though? Yeah, I could see Nintendo having a “okay, we’re going to get it out by November” mentality. So while I doubt this is the “real release date,” I do think that “before November” is probably the basic schedule Nintendo has in mind.