Well, back at E3 we had a pretty exciting day. We got to hear a lot about Skyward Sword and see roughly what it’s going to look and play like. But we didn’t hear much about the story. We’ve gleaned bits and pieces of it from quotes over the days following the press conference, but not enough to answer all our questions. So I wanted to go over what we do know and figure out what it all means and theorize on what it could imply.
Let’s start with what we know. Link lives in a land called Skyloft, located above the clouds. Careful attention to wording identifies that this place is not made OF clouds, but of floating islands. Below is a land, not named, which is ruled by an evil force. The Skyward Sword appears, an intelligent sword that takes human form. The sword itself IS the event in which Link leaves Skyloft and uses the sword to travel to the land below. We also know that Skyloft and this land used to be one at some point, and we’re going to find out why it split. Finally, we know the Skyward Sword somehow becomes the Master Sword.
So this is what we know for sure. But what does it tell us about the rest of the story?
Well for one thing, it strongly implies this was a long time ago (particularly in reference to Ocarina of Time). I say this because of a few things, such as the concept of a divided land and the land below ruled by evil. These are significantly different traits of the world than those seen in other games. But the main proof is the Skyward Sword itself. It has yet to become the Master Sword. In every game, the Master Sword was a LEGENDARY BLADE. Legends aren’t made overnight. It was also enshrined in an ancient building in Ocarina of Time, and its very existence and lore was a mythical tale. This alone has to mean that Skyward Sword predates Ocarina of Time by one hell of a span of years.
I’m also dead certain the land below is Hyrule, or rather what is to become Hyrule. I’m pretty sure it will never be referred to as Hyrule within the game, but for lack of a cool name, we’ll call it Old Hyrule. The reason I say it has to be Hyrule (or Old Hyrule) is, again, primarily because of the Master Sword. It was a legendary blade. It was heavily tied to Hyrule’s history, and even to the Royal Family of Hyrule. While it IS possible, it’s incredibly unlikely that such a culturally important artifact would originate from another land entirely.
I’d even go so far as to say Skyward Sword will probably predate the Royal Family of Hyrule itself. We could see the actual formation of the kingdom, or not. This is almost certain if the land below is Old Hyrule, because it’s ruled by an evil force, not the Royal Family.
Let’s talk about The Minish Cap. I am not saying there IS a heavy relationship between it and Skyward Sword. No, unlike my previous points I’m only theorizing here, and noting similarities and common themes. First off, the backstory of The Minish Cap. The Hero of Man is given a sword and power (the Light Force) from the sky to fight off a darkness that had overrun the land, the pictures showing us a tide of monsters. The hero himself looks similar to Link. The similarities with Skyward Sword here are pretty striking. A seriously major problem with this connection, however, is the sword. The Skyward Sword is to become the Master Sword, whereas the blade the Hero of Man used was the Picori Sword, or the Four Sword. This throws a serious wrench in any theorizing there, but some possibilities still exist if you consider wilder concepts. What if the Four Sword or Master Sword are only parts of the Skyward Sword? They never told us how the Skyward Sword becomes the Master Sword. What if the Master Sword is only a part?
Or perhaps the Skyward Sword only becomes the Master Sword in name, and nothing changes. That’s just as possible. Just saying.
Another similarity is the fact that The Minish Cap’s version of Hyrule is significantly different from that seen in other games. Mt. Crenel, Minish Woods, Castor Wilds, Veil Falls, all areas we’ve never seen before. Could this be Old Hyrule? And don’t forget the Cloud Tops. Could this be Skyloft? Of course this brings us to the parallels with the City in the Sky of Twilight Princess, but I’ll get to that later.
Now about Vaati. Some – including me – have suggested the possibility of him being the villain in Skyward Sword. I’m not going to echo statements I’ve said before, which weren’t very solid anyway. I want to make a new point. In Skyward Sword we are told it is an “evil force” that has taken over Old Hyrule. It is also referred to as “evil forces”. While this could imply an actual fighting force, like an army of monsters, that sounds odd to me. It SEEMS to imply a non-physical enemy, or at least an evil driving that enemy. Now what intrigues me is this:
The intro of The Minish Cap states the world was on the verge of being swallowed by shadow. Vaati was stated to have become entranced and obsessed with the evil in the hearts of men. Almost like possession, hm? Skyward Sword refers to “evil forces” that have taken over. I’m just saying this is an interesting coincidence of terms. Perhaps we shall see an evil force that has taken over Vaati, or perhaps at least the force that was to later drive Vaati to becoming what he did?
One thing’s for sure. Skyward Sword cannot have Vaati actually in it and still be a prequel to The Minish Cap. But some connections seem to be becoming clearer. I’m not entirely sure what they are yet. And retconning is always possible. Perhaps we will see some things overwritten, or some sort of unusual event previously unmentioned in the series; a deus ex machina of sorts.
We know that Skyloft and Old Hyrule used to be one, and are supposed to be. There’s a reason they split, and in the story we’re supposed to find out what it was. Could it be the evil force? Was it something else? I don’t know. But could this imply the creation of Hyrule itself? What if the creation of the land of Hyrule was the two lands, Old Hyrule and Skyloft, becoming one again? What if areas such as Death Mountain, which were absent in The Minish Cap, are now up in Skyloft? Was this messed up, split apart land the “chaos before Hyrule” spoken about in Hyrule creation myth? And what does this say about the Goddesses?
Going back to the City in the Sky, the Oocca were the chosen race of the gods. Supposedly they created the Hylians, and even were said to have migrated to the sky. Same with the Wind Tribe of The Minish Cap. If Cloud Tops and the City in the Sky are Skyloft, does that mean the Goddesses themselves exist in this story? As Oocca perhaps? I dunno. Making the Goddesses into mortals would sort of destroy the story in my opinion, make it lose its mysticism and mythology, cheapening the game world. But perhaps I’m the only one who thinks so. Either way it sounds improbable to me.
Besides, it’s nearly impossible for the City in the Sky to be Skyloft. Skyloft is not a cloud land. It is parts of Old Hyrule; floating land masses. The City in the Sky propelled itself, flying. Then again that would seem to rule out Cloud Tops as well. I don’t know. Perhaps I’m taking Nintendo’s wording about Skyloft too literally, or perhaps this is some of the retconning we may see. An interesting note I had brought to my attention is that with both the City in the Sky and the Wind Tribe of Cloud Tops, we see a lot of ruins. Since this is the past (although that’s a bit questionable in relation to The Minish Cap), perhaps we’ll see these ruined civilizations in their glory days? Just another thought.
As you can see, the more we think about this, the more questions that come up, regardless of how many existing ones we’ve answered. We can be pretty certain about it being Old Hyrule, and that this is deep in Hyrule’s history (potentially predating the kingdom entirely), but we can say little else with certainty. There’s only logical theorization at this point.
I’m sure I missed plenty of conclusions, so I may follow up on this sometime later, particularly if we get more information about the story. You guys are welcome to do so yourselves.