When delivering my Skyward Sword E3 demo impressions, I asked you guys if there was anything else you wanted to know about the game. Some of you left your questions as comments, and some of you emailed them, so I’m going to try to get to as many of them as possible in order to really line out what this game’s about to those who are wondering. If any of you are still curious about something that I haven’t mentioned either here or in my impressions, feel free to send me more!
Besides Stalfos, what other types of enemies did you see in the Sky Temple Demo?
Excellent question! The first enemy I saw was a Keese. They mostly roamed around the central area where you begin the dungeon. They’re more or less the same as in previous games, except now you can tell when they’re about to attack since their eyes will glow red before they dive bomb you. I had the easiest time fighting them with the sword, although the Slingshot’s also effective. The Bow’s unfortunately not quite quick enough to work well against them.
I also spotted Skulltulas in that area. They still have the skull-shaped shells we know and love, but in this game they now sport purple orbs on their undersides to highlight their weak point. You generally need to sever the web lines suspending them with either the Beetle or Bow, then use a sword stab (the stab move specifically as far as I can tell) or Bombs to flip them over so you can hit them. Once they’re on their backs, a simple Finishing Blow is enough to defeat them.
Green Bokoblins also ran about the area. Most of the ones I saw had giant hammers that they used to pound you and to block your attacks. They’re not hard to defeat, but I was a bit surprised by how quickly they shift their guard and was sometimes a bit too slow to get in a good hit. It’s a real testament to battles in this game being more than just “puzzles,” they’re all about skills and reaction time.
Deku Babas hung from the ceiling in some areas. Usually the best way to deal with them was to send the Beetle at them to cut through their stalks. One particular part had a line of them hanging over a tightrope, and I had to clear them all out before I could cross. There were a couple grounded ones, including a yellow version like in last year’s E3 demo, but I admittedly actually never ran into these – I just witnessed others fight them.
There was one more enemy that I ran into (besides the Stalfos), but you’ll have to wait for our Skyward Sword walkthrough for the E3 2011 demo to find out what it is. (I’ll give you a hint: if you’ve been paying attention to all of our video coverage, you’ll already know.)
Was there anything about Zordiana in the demos that you played? Or are they saving that as a big surprise?
Well, her name has now been confirmed to be Phi, and she did actually appear in the demo! She showed up when I obtained the upgrade for the Beetle to introduce the item to me. I was a bit shocked by her presentation, actually – she talks in a stilted, robot-like way, all the way down to beginning her explanation with a single word: “Analysis.”
She also popped up to remind some players that they can refill their hearts with a potion or recovery hearts, mostly during the boss fight, but I never really saw this. You can summon her Midna-style by pressing Down on the Wii Remote’s D-pad, as people have suspected from the GDC 2011 trailer, and she’ll give you a helpful hint. Or at least I think they’re helpful, I never actually tried it out…
Still nothing really as to how she becomes involved in the story – at least not that I picked up on the show floor, where spoilers were pretty much non-existent.
How do you jump? Because in some gameplay I’ve seen Link do it…
While Z-targeting, pressing A causes you to jump. Presumably this will let you leap over an enemy’s low attack, reminiscent of Zelda II, but I haven’t really seen any direct use for it yet. However, while you’re jumping, if you swing the Wii Remote, you’ll perform the traditional Jump Attack from the other 3D Zelda games.
Brian E Scheid
Is Zelda even a princess in this game? Because I’ve been watching all this gameplay at she just seems to be a common person, rather than a princess.
There’s some suggestion that she’s some kind of holy person, which could just mean that she’s a commoner who has some special holy properties – her pure soul, magical powers, or whatever. However, I kind of get the impression that she’s somewhat important due to her role in the birdrider festival – she delivers the ceremonial statue used in the competition, for example. If I had to guess, I’d say she takes on some kind of priestess role, but doesn’t explicitly occupy a position of royalty.
I kind of privately speculate that she’s supposed to be the descendant of an ancient royal line from the surface world before Skyloft was separated, and that this game will involve you retaking the ancient kingdom and her regaining her royal stature – in other words, it will tell the story of the foundation of the Hyrule monarchy seen in Ocarina of Time. Of course, if my speculation is correct, that would still leave an ancient land in the background: time for another prequel!
We’ll see what Zelda’s relationship to this time period in the Hyrule mythos really means soon enough, I guess.
So… did the bow and bombs have ammo in this demo, or were they still unlimited? Seems odd that shields would break, but you have unlimited bombs and arrows…
As far as I could tell, they were still unlimited, probably so you didn’t waste precious time picking up additional ammo – the demo only lasts for ten minutes max, remember? The shield-breaking was featured to show off the new mechanic, as the Shield Meter feature has never really been in a playable public build before. I wouldn’t exactly say there’s some kind of discontinuity in the structure of the demo, since it’s all carefully purposed.
Could you please describe if the Finishing Blow is identical to Twilight Princess bar motion controls?
It was essentially the same – you knock an enemy onto its back, you trigger the move and go in for a downward death-thrust from above. The animation and tempo of the move seemed largely the same, but there may have been some slight differences in terms of how fast it works, etc., so I’m going to hesitate before I accidentally mistakenly say that they’re identical.
I’d just like to voice how I’d LOVE to see and hear more coverage about the DIFFICULTY of Skyward Sword, especially if possible getting to hear more of what Nintendo has to say about this themselves. Sufficient challenge is a must for me to stay with the series, I so wish for difficulty settings.
Combat is much more intense than previous installments given that not only do you have to position yourself in the right place relative to enemies, but you also have to swing at the right angle and at the right time in order to score a hit. Wait until the enemy’s attacking, and they’ll likely stop your blade. Fail to notice that an enemy’s shifted its defensive stance and you’ll meet the same failure.
The best thing I can tell you is to look at the Stalfos enemy as far as how involving the battles are. You really do have to be on your toes to keep up, or else you’ll miss opportunities to get in hits and will probably get knocked around yourself. The Ghirahim battle isn’t really as Motion Plus intensive, but is still pretty difficult in the way the classics were – it’s a challenge to get close enough to hit him in the first place, or with enough time to get some good slashes in before he teleports or otherwise dodges your attacks.
Is it actually possible to complete that SS dungeon demo in the allocated timeframe assuming you just rush through everything?
On my second playthrough of the demo I actually focused on rushing through as much as possible down the path I’d already started and I didn’t reach any kind of set endpoint. I think there’s probably some finish line somewhere – there was a suspicious-looking door behind some bars at a certain point – but no one I saw playing ever got to it. I’ll give it another go on Thursday and see if I can’t get at least a little further.
UPDATE: Looks like there is an end to the demo after all. Proceed through the big door using the golden artifact as a key to complete the demo dungeon.