All this recent talk of changes to the Skyward Sword official art have brought me out of my pre-E3, pre-finals week hibernation (I say this as if I haven’t had any staff activity at all, who am I fooling?) to toss in my Expert Opinion™. There’s been a lot of speculation, some of it I think is pretty on the mark, while others – like those who have suggested that perhaps the Master Sword won’t make it into the game after all…

Let me make one thing clear: Aonuma’s repeated the tidbit that the Skyward Sword will eventually become the Master Sword several times now. He’s even commented on how this detail makes it pretty obvious that Skyward Sword will replace Ocarina of Time as the oldest story in the Zelda franchise timeline. Back during E3, he also mentioned that the story for the game was actually more or less complete by the time serious development with Wii Motion Plus actually began. Seems to me like the Master Sword’s here to stay.

Why change the official art, then? There could be a number of reasons. First on the list is that it just plain makes sense to feature the game’s “original” sword in most of the promotional and informational artwork. It’s the sword that players will encounter first in the game, and thus the one they’ll first get used to seeing and using. Then there’s the fact that for the average Joe who doesn’t lurk on Nintendo fansites or look up online gaming news 24/7, the transformation of the Skyward Sword into the Master Sword is probably supposed to be a big surprise. Sure, they kind of already ruined this by showing it to begin with, but it’s not as though anybody who looks to the Internet for their Zelda news hadn’t already caught wind of the speculation anyway.

The-Legend-of-Zelda-Skyward-Sword.jpgAn evolving sword isn’t exactly a new concept to the series – remember the Picori Sword in The Minish Cap? We spent that entire game building up its power, and eventually it transformed into the Four Sword, taking on its more familiar shape. As we upgraded the Picori Blade through its intermediate White Sword stages, it started to look a bit like the Four Sword – and the Skyward Sword does still somewhat resemble the Master Sword. Maybe the Skyward Sword will be similarly built up throughout the game? This would certainly explain the absence of the Sword Beam technique from the most recent trailers – the ability would of course be reserved for the blade of evil’s bane. I wonder if it’ll transform after we complete the third dungeon… Some things never change.

All right, so I know my perspective isn’t really the Expert Opinion™, but suffice to say that I don’t think this means as much as a lot of people seem to believe. It’s more than likely that everything we’ve been told about the Master Sword’s presence in the game still holds true, and this shift is merely meant to showcase the Skyward Sword in its original glory in order to more heavily promote the game. And it’s working, isn’t it? Look how much we’re talking about it!

Keep checking out our E3 2011 news hub for all the juicy details about Skyward Sword that we run into in the coming week or so!

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