The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword Quest Is 50-100 Hours Long

A ton of new details have come out regarding The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, a game that took Nintendo over FIVE YEARS to developer(!) with a staff of over 100, resulting in the largest game Nintendo has ever produced with the biggest game world they have ever made!

Nintendo says to expect over 50 hours of gameplay from the title (and up to 100!), extras after you beat it like an unlockable Boss Rush mode, Hint Movies like we saw added to The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D and much more. The game will even contain a minecart level! And Nintendo says they have worked hard to make the entire overworld feel like one giant dungeon! They have also worked hard to strip away all that fans think is Zelda, and rebuilt it anew. This promises to be the first Zelda game that isn’t built on the molding of The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time N64.

Here is a giant list of new information from the Game Informer Zelda: Skyward Sword coverstory transcribed by the fine folks over at GoNintendo, for your perusal pleasure. Please be aware that spoilers are contained within! Read at your own risk!

But before that, here is ELEVEN MINUTES of new The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword footage, with Shigeru Miyamoto’s pre-Tokyo Game Show 2011 appearance! Where he is dressed with Master Sword and Hyrule Shield in hand once again!

Anyhoo, I will not be reading the below info myself. Don’t want no SPOILERS! But for those who don’t mind…. BAM!

“Some of the fun we had back then was lost in the creation of later games. The problem is that when you do something once in a game like Ocarina of Time, when you make the next game it becomes expected that all of that is there. You end up spending a lot of time creating all these elements of the game just to meet expectations. (My goal with Skyward Sword is to) take the franchise into new places.” – Eiji Aonuma

– Skyloft is a group of floating islands, and Link is a Skyloft resident
– Skyloft residents travel between islands through the use of birds
– Link befriends a rare breed of this bird early in the game, via a special ceremony
– Link and Zelda are out flying on their birds when they encounter a tornado
– this tornado sucks up Zelda
– spend the rest of the game finding Zelda using a powerful weapon that eventually becomes the Master Sword
– Forest Temple is Skyward Sword’s first dungeon
– Fire Temple is the second dungeon

– Eldin Volcano is where the a race of Mogma live
– Mogma are muscular creatures that have unique hair styles, and only pop their upper body above the ground to talk
– The Mogma warn link about a group of shady ‘guys in red’ as he heads deeper into the volcano
– Fi fills the role of Navi this time around
– Fi makes a loud beeping noise to let you know of a point of interest
– Fi is a female spirit who inhabits the Skyward Sword
– this Skyward Sword has the power of dowsing
– to use the dowsing ability, you hold the sword out in front of you and the game goes into first person
– the sword makes a noise when pointed in the direction you need to go
– use this ability to find keys, hearts and even Zelda herself
– the sword tells you that Zelda is indeed in the Fire Temple
– no compass in this version of the game, as it’s replaced by the dowsing ability
– dungeon maps automatically fill in treasure and boss locations

“A number of people working on Zelda now are people that grew up playing Zelda. From their perspective, they’re looking at it as, ‘What are some of the things that failed to be helpful in getting through the game?’ They’re stripping that out and streamlining.”

– developers are treating the overworld as a big dungeon itself
– between dungeon segments now feature combat and puzzle solving that would normally be in dungeons
– seal-like enemy called a ‘Pyrup’ hides beneath rocks and inside walls
– the Pyrup will climb into walls and spout fire that blocks you
– depending on how you hold the Wiimote, you can perform an overhead bomb, or roll one
– you can put spin on bombs as well by twisting your wrist
– throw the bombs into the cracks to blow up Pyrups
– some enemies require bomb tosses to destroy
– orange slime monsters split into smaller enemies when you hit them
– these smaller bits grow in size if you don’t destroy them quickly enough
– some Pyrups drop Eldin Ore
– slimes may drop collectible goo
– items grow more powerful as you continue on by upgrading them
– upgrade system is still being worked on
– example of how it might work: collect materials and rupees to upgrade a slingshot to utilize a spread shot
– every item has multiple levels of upgrade
– unclear if you choose upgrade paths, have to upgrade items to progress or have the ability to use all upgrades
– the Game Informer dev that played the game was playing for over an hour and still hadn’t reached the dungeon
– statues are scattered about dungeons and the overworld
– statues are save points and portals to the world above the clouds
– Skyloft’s map resembles that of Wind Waker
– bird flight is much faster than boat speed in Wind Waker
– you’ll come across enemies and tornado while flying
– Bomb Bag returns, which allows you to store bomb flowers
– use the Digging Mitts to find rupees, hearts and other secrets
– Whip can grab onto certain elements of the environment, and also stun enemies
– gain a new musical item that uses the MotionPlus to play

“I went to university at essentially an art school, but I wasn’t studying art per se. I was really doing more sort of craftwork, particularly creating wooden puppets. As I was wrapping up school, I realized that really wasn’t something that would be easy to get a job with. Mr. Miyamoto was in on my interview (at Nintendo) and saw the puppets that I made, and he thought they were pretty interesting. I think I won him over with my puppets.”

– no worries about controlling wind patterns while flying
– beams of light shoot up from the clouds to indicate locations
– green beam above the forest, red beam above the volcano
– set your own blue beacon to guide yourself during flight
– treasure hunting system
– while on ground, find hidden rune-encrusted boxes
– raise your sword to build up power and slash the boxes to teleport them to the clouds
– this unlocks treasure chests above the clouds
– chests are glowing points on your map
– Link can jump off his bird above any island or beacon
– control the fall by moving the Wiimote and then pressing B for your parachute
– if you overshoot your target, your bird will swoop in and save you
– return to Skyloft at most points during the game
– you’re only required to return to Skyloft between dungeons and at certain plot points
– use your dowsing mechanic to find pieces of a key to unlock a door to the Fire Temple
– grab a refreshing fruit to refill your stamina meter, or let it slowly refill on its own
– if it empties all the way you’ll be immobilized for a few seconds
– dash up steep hills
– dash into a wall to climb up a short distance
– climbing puzzles have you figuring out where to go so you can rest and climb more, or find a spot to eat a fruit and continue on
– run up a hill while bokoblins throw boulders from above
– you have to use certain types of swings to take out this enemy, and when you do they’ll hit the hill below and roll down to the bottom before they disappear
– Bokoblins will also stomp on your hands when you’re climbing up ledges and swing at you with their maces
– some Bokoblins have horns that allow them to call in reinforcements
– some Bokoblins hide in wooden towers that you have to blow up with bombs
– Aonuma credits director Hidemaro Fujibayashi for these new additions

“He has a fairly young team that hasn’t been involved in a lot of Zelda games before. One of their objectives from the beginning was that they wanted to do thing in Zelda that haven’t been done before. They spent a lot of time coming up with ideas for new interactions in the Zelda series.”

– Aonuma discussed the series’ timeline to a degree

“We’ve made so many games now that we can’t help but think about how those games connect to one another. However, that consideration comes late in the development process. When we create a new game, we don’t start with a preset notion of what the story is going to be or how it’s going to flow. We start by focusing in on what the core gameplay element is going to be and then develop from that.

There is a document on my computer that has a stamp on it that says ‘Top Secret.’ I actually haven’t even shown it to many of the staff members. One of the special privileges of being the producer of the series is that I have the right as we’re finalizing the game’s story to then decide what fits in.

People start to focus in on the storyline and gapes in the timeline. This is a backward way of creating a game.”

– it took the Game Informer staffer 3 hours of overworld action before he could enter the dungeon
– a Mogma will ask you to get a bomb bag for him, but then lets you keep
– pick up bomb flowers anywhere and refill your bag
– the volcano has a fish enemy that pops out of the lava and shoots fireballs at you
– defeat the enemy by tossing a bomb in its mouth
– if you get set on fire and pull out a bomb, it will explode
– Lizalfos can block all sword attacks at first
– dodge his move to make him taunt and then you can attack
– balance on a stone ball and navigate through lava
– another section has you running towards the camera to avoid an oncoming boulder
– Ghirahim shows up in the Forest and Fire temples
– Ghirahim calls Zelda a ‘precious oracle’ and a ‘female servant of the Goddess’
– Ghirahim summons the Fire Temple boss, tells you you’ll never find Zelda and then flees
– Mogma are accompanied by upbeat, jazzy music that features snapping fingers
– Guardians of the Silent Realm are accompanied by industrial music akin to something in Silent Hill
– this new approach to music comes as Aonuma’s goal to ‘break down some of the typical patterns you see in Zelda games’
– Aonuma reveals details behind the main theme for Skyward Sword, which is Zelda’s Lullaby reversed

“Sound director Hajime Wakai actually created that. He did it secretly and didn’t let me know. It wasn’t just a matter of them being silly or playing around but really looking at what they can do with the music that would draw on the rich musical history of the series but still offer something new.

The main theme is called ‘The Goddess’ Song.’ There is an intentional connection between the Goddess and Zelda, so we wanted those two songs to relate to one another.”

– other musical cues in the game that long-time fans will appreciate
– includes a surprising use of the overworld theme from the original Legend of Zelda
– original composition by Koji Kondo
– this is the song you hear before starting the game

“Mr. Kondo did something interesting with the arrangement. He requested that when we record it with the orchestra, there must be a bugle that sounds as if it’s coming from off in the distance. When you hear that sound in the prologue, what sounds almost like a military bugle, it adds this great feeling to it.” – Wakai

– Fire Temple boss battle takes place on a narrow ramp with a pit of lava at the bottom and bombs/hearts at the top
– the boss’ name is Scaldera, which looks like a giant boulder with legs
– Scaldera climbs the ramp and shoots fireballs at Link
– he will also try to suck Link up
– toss a bomb in his mouth to chip away at his exterior, revealing molten skin and a single eye on a stalk
– eye can dodge and position itself in ways that require you to slash in specific ways
– The Silent Realm lets you take on ‘spiritual tests that Link must go through in an alternate world’
– return to twisted versions of previous areas
– this Silent Realm location involves the overworld area that surrounded the Forest Temple
– mixes tear collecting of Twilight Princess and stealth of Phantom Hourglass
– shove the Skyward Sword into the ground to access these areas, and enter with no weapons
– fill a spiritual vessel with tears, all while Guardians try to block you
– these Guardians can knock you out with one hit
– you enter the Silent Realm in a circle of safety, but the Guardians activate as soon as you leave that circle
– this is when the Guardians raise their arms/swords and the industrial music begins
– Guardians deactivate as you pick up tears
– you get 90 seconds after grabbing a tear to get the next, or the Guardians wake up
– lantern-wielding ghosts float by, and if you are hit with their light the Guardians activate no matter how much time has passed
– collect light seeds to make the remaining tears shoot a beam of light into the sky for 30 seconds

“We’ve been talking a lot about how we’re trying to make this Zelda game feel new and different, but there will come a point in the game where you’ll still get that final feeling that this is still a Zelda game.”

Big thanks to GoNintendo for transcribing all of this information, and Game Informer for providing it.