Back to the Future
So much can go wrong with Zelda’s plot to send me back to the future. Ghirahim…. He’ll show; he’s waiting I know it. My quest now is to find the Triforce and I’d rather do it in ancient times. I know I rail on repetition in this series, but it’s like their teasing with this time travel. Also, the game feels a bit small. I don’t feel like I’ve done much besides stumble from dungeon to dungeon. I know that’s not entirely true, but emotions aren’t wholly logical.
The old woman, is she a withered Impa? She bears the Sheikah insignia so why not? Groose wants to talk; it better be worthwhile. He cares about Zelda…I’ll break the bad news. He informs me that he’ll be staying planet side; he’s bound by duty. I really respect that. He also likes the earth’s smell. Ok, a bit wonky, but he wants people on Skyloft to know he’s ok. Yes. I’ve been wondering if there was some way to deal with his absence. Cawlin spends all nights crying, waiting for Groose. He could at least send a letter. But knowing Cawlin, even that could get botched somehow.
I immediately purchase the Goddess Shield. All the goddess worship comes off a little bit weirder now. The Fortune Teller is gone and I quickly learn it’s due to his broken crystal ball. I was always a bit freaked out by his massive eyes, so I don’t think I’ll actually do anything about it.
Item Check Girl is happy. Too Happy. So happy it’s disgusting. She’s pushing the relationship too far. I feel threatened, queasy, even a bit violated. I liked her better when she was bored and inattentive; we’ve lost our spark. But wait! Maybe there’s a reward! After all she does run the only public storage facility in all of Skyloft. So yes, I’ll play into that and tell her it’s love. She’s about to to keel over and I feel a bit guilty. I also feel a bit cheated as I don’t even get a prize. The crackfic conspiracy theorist in me just knows that she was waiting for Zelda to be permanently out of the picture. Now that her only rival is trapped inside a giant piece of ember for all eternity, Item Check Girl has become all too bold. She wants to know if I want her to take care of me forever. Maybe there’s a prize over here? I accept. Now I’m “Darling.” I don’t even remember her name. I’ve made a huge mistake.
The Master Sword has a cool scabbard. You only upgrade the sword, but they magically throw in the cool scabbard. I wonder if it’s special in any way.
The Goddess Temple must have been destroyed at some point. Part of the top is missing. Now for another episode of Link solves your problems. Hey headmaster your daughter is frozen in ember! But I don’t tell you this, or anything really. He knows nothing of my quest, but remembers one thing. Levias? A Spirit. In that hole? The Thunderhead?! A monster Levias.
I was expecting a demonic Leviathan, but instead I got a reunion with the Wind Fish. Ok, it isn’t really him, but they did it for nostalgia. I never quite understood why he was a fish. After a brief boss fight, he nearly drowns in the clouds, but manages to rise up again and starts a bit of a plot dump. Amidst his speech, he praises Link’s parents’ naming choices. What Parents? Where are they? Link’s had a sibling, a grandma, an uncle, but never living parents. Outside of his dead-before-the-plot mother in Ocarina of Time, I don’t think he’s ever had a parent.
Obviously, that would threaten to instill too much characterization onto a blank character. The Zelda series has been progressively handing Link more important relationships, so it seems odd that he almost never has parents. Given that Skyloft is the only remnant of human civilization in this game, how could they be dead without any mention? Even if his parents’ grave was just a Easter Egg in the graveyard, that’d be enough to characterize Link without ruining his status as an avatar. This chain of thought goes rather deep into grounds of personal preference but Link’s detachment from the world seems to limit the Zelda Universe. Recent entries have made long strides in that regard, but I think tradition is weighing things down.
Ahem, so about that Wind Fish clone. He tells me to learn the Song of the Hero. It’s a four-part ballad, that’s been needlessly churned into another quest. I want to puke. Sure it goes in line with the whole Wind Fish nostalgia I love, but I don’t think I can take another dungeon.
Why do I feel like they’re just messing with me?
I stubbornly trudge down to the woods and get bushwhacked by some phenomenon.
The Imprisoned – Round 3!
This time, the creature flies around with an Angel Halo. He isn’t that hard to take down and the little wrinkles help keep things fresh. Groose launches Link onto its head to deliver the finishing blows. These sequences have been well-placed mix ups to the series’ standard flow. Still, I’m not looking forward to what’s next.
Running Play Time 31 Hours 23 Minutes
I find the Tad-Tones, but it’s not enjoyable at all. Why can’t they just say, “You’re saving the world? Cool. I’ll help.” Despite the fact that you’ve already proven yourself as a hero, Faron comes up with an idiotic fetch-quest just to screw with you. This is by far, the worst thing I’ve seen in this game and it doesn’t bode well for the remainder of this arc.
Your descent is ruined…yadda yadda yadda, all items are stolen. At least there’s no Fi to bother me with dumb advice like, “You’ve been captured.” or “Your items are missing.” The most annoying of all Mogma springs up, Plats. Mogma Mitts are back. Sneaking is back, but I’m only up against Bokoblins.
Those fools leave the Master Sword out in the open. The True Master Sword. It’s times like these I wish there were more villains with agency besides Ghirahim. Despite serving some master, he’s the focal point for all motion in the plot. I think the character’s a success, but without additional villains the story has an extremely limited set of possibilities. Tension suffers as well. The Bokoblins stole my gear, only to stash it away in treasure chests for no reason. Their weakness and ineptitude as threats exposes this sequence as filler.
With the sword back, I can talk to Fi again. Great…, now for the dragon. He’s straightforward with his part of the song, but otherwise unmemorable. See my point?
Dragon Fetch 3!
Thunder Dragon. Why Thunder if you mean lightning? I do get paid for my investments. 900% Gain, Thanks Golo.
The Thunder Dragon awaits, but is he truly aligned with thunder or do they just mean lightning? Either way, turns out he died, a long, long time ago. So who knows? Not me. Face to face with his bones, I notice a set of chains. After a brief, but enjoyable adventure, I turn the back the clock and get my conversation. Are those biohazard signs on his shoulders? He designates me as LD-Link-16 and reveals the back-half to this quest. I get the seed and know exactly where to go.
Fun Fun Island
I had to open a Goddess Chest, then I remembered this place from 20 hours ago. A depressed clown now stands alone; he’s missing his party wheel. Sorry, but global consequences are more important for now.
In Old Times
Impa gets weird when I bring the seed through. She must stay in that temple for a long time, unless she has kids or something. Maybe this is why the first Impa was old and the newer ones were youthful. Enough dumb speculation, time to travel time. I harvest the fruit and return to Lanaryu. ‘ZINGA-DINGDING! He offers a gift upon my return: Bottle #5! I remember the days when finding the fourth bottle was a big deal.
Assembling the Song
Something is off during the congratulatory moment. Then the dragons appear and take Link to some magic singsong world. Harps float, Dragons dance and Fi skates around. Link can hardly find an expression besides pure wonderment. If I didn’t hate two-thirds of this arc, I’d have the same expression.
Running Play Time 34 Hours 06 Minutes
After one last Spirit Quest, The Stone of Trials is mine. It seems perfectly plot-centric, yet honestly useless. I find the duckish statue to place it in, but why is it backwards at night? Because no one in this game does anything at night besides hide away in their homes. I’m out saving the world and they won’t even let me off Skyloft after bedtime. The duck-thing fires a cannon into Goddess Isle, which promptly shines and tears. People should be pissed, surprised, or at least on their way to see the commotion. I’m destroying one of the few places where humans can even live right now. And I think it’s a dungeon? Fi estimates an 85% chance of the Triforce inside. Really all that trouble for 85%? Quit pretending, there’s no way it isn’t here.
An even cooler fanfare draws me inside. What awaits the hero?!
I sense a strange serenity as I approach an unguarded chest. Turns out it holds the Dungeon Map. A little ways I along, I find that this place is a maze. There are eight rooms segmented as what can only be considered a childish puzzle toy or an incoherent Resident Evil mini-game. Either way, I like what I see. Fi triangulates the three Triforce triangles and I’m off.
First, The Triforce of Power. Take that Ganon.
Next up, The Triforce of Wisdom. I just knew Courage would be last.
Robot Duel 2
All Set? Ready? Go! I burn through two fairies before remembering the thrust attack. Fittingly, Courage resides within the most menacing part of Sky Keep. It’s not just the décor, there’s a quite a few great fight sequences. In one room, I get swarmed by Bokoblins and Stalfos. I beat down their advance guard then proceed to bust the Stalfos before capping off the remaining archers.
Now for the four-armed Stalmaster and his cursed goons. I struggle initially as they dry-hump Link to let their boss cheaply score hits. Then I remember there’s nothing bombs can’t solve. I go on a rampage of explosions and come out on top. Courage awaits. Zelda’s wish will soon come true. I dematerialize into a mishmash of golden nothingness before rematerializing on the Goddess Statue’s hands.
Fi demands a prayer for the destruction of Demise. I still believe that he’s some weird part of Ganondorf. The prayer rips the tower away from Skyloft. If they didn’t care before, the Skyloftians should be absolutely pissed now. What if someone else was on there? The Imprisoned rears its head, but Goddess Island fits cleanly into the Sacred Grounds. Dark Clouds of Demise stream out beneath us. The Groosenator tracks get busted as well, but it was worth the spectacle. The Triforce has floats in front of the Goddess Insignia and I finally get the sight I’ve been looking for.
Still, I know it’s not over ‘til it’s over. Zelda is waiting inside, ready to be awakened. This should be a good sequence.
Fi confirms that the Goddess Isle has returned to the surface. What an idiot. Demise is dead though, or The Imprisoned or Ganon-Lite or whatever you want to call him. Zelda is waking up, but I still think Ghirahim won’t let this be a pleasant reunion. Groose and old Impa nod to let me know it’s all clear. I know this will go wrong somehow. The cracked doors take me back to the first time I thought they’d matter.
A gold light shimmers as they fly open. There’s Zelda ensconced in Ember for all these years. That must have sucked. It cracks and she jumps out in slow motion. She nearly collapses after walking down the steps, but Link catches her. And here we are again. They hold hands as Link brings her back to the main room. Groose promptly turns into a crying sack of blubber. He did love her, once. Link and Zelda share a laugh before Groose settles down a bit. This game really hits it out of the park with its animation. This entire scene is nothing but Zelda’s Lullaby and sound effects, yet it’s done so well that hardly any need for dialogue.
I still get the feeling that the past will be important. This Zelda is definitely more of a damsel in distress, but she’s not useless.
Here he comes!
My sadistic wishes are granted. Ghirahim is corrupted and now gets his chance “to cut this emotional moment short.” He’s like a stage clown, dramatic poses and all. He wants Zelda. Not for Demise I take it? He levitates her and reveals his plot. Ok for Demise in the past. There’s anger from Link, but Ghirahim doesn’t seem to be up for a fight. I take it he’ll disappear. And he does. He’s now in front of the gate. Link collapses. Groose stands between Ghirahim and his goal. Brave, but terrified.
“His appalling hair makes my gorge rise” Ghirahim disrepects Groose’s hair style before kicking him and Impa aside. Link is too weak now, so into the past they go. When I finally get control back, I follow. And now….
Impa was beaten down and Zelda was taken outside. A minor hope gets crushed as I realize it’s essentially the same pit as in the future.
Ghirahim snaps coolly, summons a barrier and begins a dance sequence between jump cuts. He hums over Zelda’s helpless body. Instead of racing down, Link watches with an anguished look. I’m starting to think Ghirahim is Kefka’s gay cousin. I mean, I wouldn’t be that surprised. The Demon King’s returns approaches. Hordes of Bokoblins materialize! Link worships The Rule of Cool and waits for them to close in, so he can practice his death glare.
As this sequence starts, I’d like to point out a slightly missed moment. There’s incongruence between cutscene’s end and the start of gameplay. Link’s hand is on the sword, but you start with an idle stance. In the long run, it’s a meaningless indictment, but a little unnecessary polish could have put this moment over the top.
I face the mob head on. It’s so perfect, I shouldn’t even talk about it. There’s wave after wave of them and the game just handles it perfectly.
Link versus Ghirahim – Round 3
At the bottom of the corkscrew, Link confronts Ghirahim. “Get your hands off of my woman,” I’m sure Link is thinking that right about now. Ghirahim goes into a frenzy upon being interrupted. He’s spent his whole life on this plot? So it’s what was he made for? He locks Zelda in the air. This is a fitting place to end things and there’s no other time but now. He powers up and levitates us into the Sky.
He’s much less lifelike, yet remains particularly sinister despite his Platinum Blond hair and diamond markings. He briefly flashes as a black master sword. So cool. True to form, he’s prepared and named my death, The Endless Plunge.
“First I will take y time bludgeoning you and when I grow bored of it, I will drive you to the edge and deliver a last strike to send you falling to your doom!” “(My) broken body will serve as fine sustenance for the demon king.” I really respect the fact that this guy means business, but he just told me exactly how to kill him.
Part one takes the form of an awesome multi-layer battle. I follow through on his spoiler and knock him down from platform to platform, making sure to stab him as I follow. The leaping stab is disgustingly satisfying.
He brings out the swords for Part two. I deflect his stabs back after testing out his mechanics. I’ve come a long way skill wise and I finally manage to fight him on consistently equal footing. Then he meshes his swords to make a two hander. My confidence plummets as he whittles away my health with every mistake. I die, but use a fairy to get back into the mix. I plot things out and slow down my strikes to get through this phase. He finally admits weakness and draws forth more power.
Turns out, the ritual is complete. Zelda cries out as Demise’s power shakes through the earth. The Imprisoned is back, that dark tower of scaly evil. The beast devours Zelda’s energy then glows with a purple rage. Chaos swirls about and Ghirahim can’t contain his happiness.
Now, a new creature stands before me with hair of flame. Like Ganon. Who else can he be? Ghirahim shows deference to his master. I just know it’s Ganon somehow. Once again, he kills his underlings, or seizes control of Ghirahim’s flesh. Ghirahim is a sword. I think. Or there’s a sword in him. I’m almost certain he’s Fi’s evil twin. The creature before me looks like Blanka and Akuma in one. I’m surprised he hasn’t done a Shun Goku Satsu yet. The master sword glows. Yes Fi, I know he’s evil.
He speaks. There’s still has a wound in his forehead. Yep, I remember that one. Or do I? He rambles on about his history with Zelda as Hylia. He has that stately grace that helped expand his character in Ocarina of Time. There’s an Upside-Down Tirforce on Ghirahim in sword form, nice touch.
Zelda plummets from the sky, but Groose swoops in to make the catch. To me, he’s much braver than Link. He has no enchanted sword, no destiny, no Triforce; he isn’t even the main character! And yet, I knew he’d come through. Time to fight.
Veins of darkness flow through Demise/Ganon’s head as he speaks of “mewling and praying.” Thank you for using strong vocab; I really appreciate intelligent villains. He’s never seen one of our kind who would stand against him. So then he’s not Ganon? Fine I’ll believe that, but I won’t quite accept it. Demise will prepare a place for the final encounter.
I have to win before Zelda’s soul gets sucked away. Thanks for the heads up Groose. He’s definitely the best wingman in the series, but it’s up to me now.
I’ll sit down first to snag some hearts, but I’m impatient and I rush through the point of no return.
It’s my cloud space. Where all the music was. There’s water beneath us, but I can’t quite tell if there’s anything beneath that. Demise has a cool text background. He likes my “misplaced valor,” but states this will be my eternal tomb if I lose. He wants to subjugate, dominate, and rule, while killing everyone I know. Dude your name is Demise, you really didn’t need to tell me that.
Similar chords to Ganon’s organ theme float through the background of this song. I know you’re in there somewhere.
15 hearts, no Fairies, time to rock. I score first blood, but realize that I’ll need more info. Fi tells me that he’s the source of all monsters and has apparently conquered time itself. Demise appears differently in each epoch and takes a different form for each character who lays eyes upon him. So, is that why I see him as Ganondorf? Fi also chimes in that there’s no Skyward Strikes. Wow, that was really helpful. Now, if she just shuts up until the game ends, my faith will be completely restored.
With 10 hearts left, we enter the second phase of battle. Lightning strikes down in abundance. I catch a few, but wonder how the stray bolts don’t electrocute the two of us. We are fighting on a pool of water you know. Rambling thoughts erode my focus and I quickly go down. Sure the moment is broken, but I feel no shame. The fight is that good.
Let’s do it again. But first, let’s actually prepare. I didn’t think about it before, but there’s no real time penalty as we’re using time travel. Although it doesn’t make perfect sense, as shouldn’t Demise eventually get tired of waiting and just raze the world? That’s probably how Zelda trapped him the first time around….
It’s time for a few goodbyes in Skyloft. I don’t think Link will actually die, but I’m pretty sure the gameplay will end with this fight.
Item Check Girl, I loved you before we got “married.” Now the magic is gone…. Throw in the fact that Zelda’s back and Item Check Girl’s fragile happiness is about to come crashing down. It’s quite sad really. For the first time, I decide to buy potions. Eight hearts recovered for the Red? Wow, everything got weak really fast. I step over to her husband to make these things worthwhile. He wants to use bugs. Wait. This is what they were actually for? That’s gross, extremely useful, and makes me wonder what I’ve been doing all game.
Ten Minutes later, I leave with two Guardian potions and three Heart++ Potions. It’s overkill, but I’m glad to get rid of the extra rupees. Kukiel and her Dad lament at the Goddess being gone. Nice to see that people actually do care. Oh well then, Farewell Skyloft.
That Demise fellow has a strange sense of honor, but it will be his end.
The Point of No Return (Again)
Despite the help of the Guardian potion, I burn through 11 hearts this time around. Maybe I’m terrible or maybe it’s because I’m typing with one hand during every breathing spot. During the Lightning Round, I knock him to the ground, but miss the killing blow amidst Link’s spinning and my hesitance. Third time’s the charm. Why back off now Link? Finish him!
But no more Powah! The Triforce insignia on Ghirahim is momentarily righted before he fades away. Here comes the beast. He compliments my style. His hate never perishes; He will rise again. I take it he’s about to go down. The blood of the goddess and the spirit of the hero are now eternally cursed. An incarnation of his hatred shall follow plague Hyrule forever. Ganon? I think I finally understand how you’re there.
Link raises his sword and takes in all the evil. No more Demon King. The Master Sword, the Blade of Evil’s Bane now has that powerful evil sealed inside.
Back in reality, Impa congratulates me. Zelda is behind. It’s over finally she says. I half expect her to get abducted again, for a sequel hook. Tears. Groose is there too, and he contributed just as much as anyone. I wish we could’ve been more of a team. “The Legend of Groose?” Yeah that would be something. Don’t explain the joke man. Groose wants to hurry back to the future. Quick, to the Delorean!
Fi shines. She wants to be put to rest, dissolving our arrangement. Ok. She’ll sleep inside forever. Battling with the evil of Demise? Or maybe some of that absorbed evil was Ghirahim’s? I’d have liked to see them have a scene alone together. At the very least, I’m just happy that she’ll finally shut up. Link pulls a dramatic twirl and drops Fi into the pedestal. Now she’ll eternally rest before the Gate of Time. Link and the music play into sadness, but I’m ecstatic. She’s gone forever. It’s a complete 180 from the end of Twilight Princess.
This does raises a few questions. Does the Temple of Time move again? How does this even fit in the Cosmology? And why keep the scabbard with no more Master Sword? When the next Link needs the sword, he’ll need some way to hold it. Impa won’t come back to the Future, she has to keep watch. I knew it. Impa, you can’t hide from me. Even if you somehow shrink and manage to bleach your skin.
I really wish I could’ve seen this game from other viewpoints. The Legend of Groose. The Legend of Ghirahim. The Legend of Demise. The Legend of Impa. Zelda gives her a bracelet. Which always had the Triforce logo on it. The gate melts away into a mist of sparkles and Zelda’s Lullaby begins. What a theme. Link and Groose rush to Impa. You know, she’s probably been inside the temple for ages, so I’ll try to understand her paleness. You can still see a faded tear on her face. Impa fades away, in perfect mimicry of the gate.
How did she survive for so long though? It was magic? The bracer falls. I think Groose is a Sheikah. It makes sense. The master Sword still shines. Just take it back, Link. Fi’s gone, so who’s going to stop you. Or leave it there in the Woods, so that it can link to the past. Or something, someday.
Logo Drop. Epilogue? No, credits instead.
There’s little side movies of alternate perspectives. Zelda after her fall to the surface. Zelda at the fountain. At the Temple. Carrying that harp everywhere. Her first meetings with both young and old Impa. For all my complaints, they knew exactly what I wanted. Cap it off with a nice settings montage.
There was a different director. Aunoma and Miyamoto just Produced it. I think that shows a bit.
Zelda returns to Skyloft. All the Loftwings drop down too. Even The foreign surface arrive. Link plays the harp for her as they stand in front of the Triforce. Groose’s gang checks out the Sacred Grounds. That Triforce needs to be protected. The power of the old gods and it’s just out in the open.
I think Zelda wants another adventure. Or she just wants to live down there? Should Link join her? A moment passes, Link takes a stutter breath and his eyes widen. I think that’s psychic mime for yes.
The End – 38 Hours 33 Minutes
This game was tremendous for the last five or so hours, but I’m not sure how I feel as a whole. It’s essentially the exact opposite of my feelings on Mass Effect 3. The one thing I can definitely say is that I’m done with dungeons, or at the very least Zelda dungeons. All the best parts of this game were attached to either cutscenes or boss fights. While I came into the game with a huge sense of optimism, I couldn’t help but find the dungeons to be a chore. Sky Keep did end things well in that regard, but I would’ve appreciated it more had my enthusiasm not been wrung out over the course of the game.
We need to stop thinking of games in such a mechanical fashion. It’s weird to say this as a hobbyist developer with no finished product or tangible experience, but the point still stands. Just because you check off all the big name features doesn’t mean that the full assembly has full value. I enjoyed a lot of things in this game, but I hate the way it came together. The problem is that it’s a 3-4 hour plot with a 38 Hour game. Even allowing for my slow down during writing, large tracts of this game felt empty or off-pace. I strongly believe this game would be better organized around a 15-25 hour total playtime. Instead there’s at least 20 hours of drivel mixed into this game.
I have no problems with the plot, only it’s presentation. There is value in simplicity, but this game doesn’t make full use of what it has. It doesn’t expand, subvert, or deconstruct, classic Zelda. The new characters Ghirahim and Groose help push things forward, but they spend most of the game off-screen. Gameplay-wise the swordplay is a sizable innovation, but it’s attached to a core design that meanders between apathetic and dismal a few times to often. This bogs down the plotline and gives the game its bumpy feel. When this game shines, it’s up there with the best of the series, but there’s not enough consistency to justify another 30+ hour play-through.
The dark side of Zelda’s rampant success is that Nintendo would have to be insane to make a drastic change to this setup during tough financial times. As long as they’re receiving rave reviews and tremendous sales, there are absolutely zero incentives for them to do anything extreme. Thus, the primary Zelda formula has become too specific, too refined. It has to have dungeons, the three-item intro, some form of instrumentation, and the Master Sword (or a perfect substitute). Sure games like Majora’s Mask and Link’s Awakening have twisted the series away from its standards, but they’re considered side-stories for a reason.
What I feel is that the Zelda Universe is shrinking. Instead of using game after game to introduce new elements to explore you get less and less fresh excitement. Demise as Ganon’s predecessor does nothing to create wonder. It doesn’t even amplify the weight of this story on its own. A new Link going through yet another repetition of the fated hero cycle is no longer surprising, triumphant, or exciting. It’s all stale; it’s all expected. Even worse, when older games in the same series capture those qualities in a better light, I see no need for this release. Yes, until recently I likely would have been enraged if Zelda died off as a series, but I find myself increasingly divorced from the newer releases. Toss in Nintendo’s release of the official timeline and there’s a lot less wonder.
A more filled universe is something I typically espouse, but it doesn’t work here. Every Zelda is so self contained that they need to keep generating and resolving conflict within each entry. When this world is under siege, I feel no urgency. I feel no weight. There’s no rational expectation that this version of Ganondorf-Lite will succeed in causing any harm. That’s a massive problem for storytelling that can no longer be waived. With each negative or merely neutral experience, the universe contracts. To counteract this turn, we need a Zelda that breaks all the rules. A new style, a new setting, a new perspective. Maybe a downer ending, a branching plotline, or a complete subversion. It doesn’t even have to be that different, but it definitely needs to innovate in terms of design. Once again, this game made great strides in swordplay, however, that progress was marred by strong adherence to the Zelda formula. In a world without Ocarina of Time and Majora’s Mask, maybe that dungeon-plot-dungeon formula would still ring true, but this is not that world.
When judging this game, you have to factor in nostalgia. By their nature, these games are large enough that you easily forget their finer details as years pass. I could play Majora’s Mask right now and large stretches would feel like a new experience. Instead of having the game carried on hints of nostalgia, I’d be in direct contact with the very source of that nostalgia. The same goes for Ocarina of Time. With those two on my perpetual backlog, I don’t really see any reason to ever play Skyward Sword again. I gave it my best shot, Instead of being a new game to cherish, this game limped along on nostalgia, punctuated with some agonizingly abysmal stretches.
In a perfectly geeky way, I see this post series coming across as a stale breakup. I don’t know exactly when we fell out, but there’s no future here. Barring a dramatically unlikely structural change, Zelda will never capture me as it once did. That’s not to say I’ll never play another, but it’s no longer a priority. It’s no longer a release-day purchase. In the past decade, Zelda hasn’t moved far beyond the shadow of Ocarina of Time. The series will likely continue its financial and critical success, but those two are weighing down on its ability to improve.
It’s disappointing personally, yet on the other hand, it’s time for me to move on. I got what I needed out of Zelda for all these years and in many ways it’s impacted my goals as a creator. So all in all, despite this barrage of grievances, I don’t really bear any ill will for the series’ current path. I just hope that one day, I’ll get back to where I used to be.