As much as I’ve been enjoying it, I wanted to clear Skyward Sword off my plate so that I could focus my leisure time into other activities. Namely, a pair of games about tracking down ferocious and/or adorable monsters. So I hunkered down to play through what was left of the game. Once again, I failed in my quest to make it to the end, because there was a lot more game left than I had thought.
Like, after loading my save, I was standing there at the door to the Fire Sanctuary, thinking “okay, I’ve got this and then Sky Keep to go, then the final battle and we’re done.” That was not the case.
To open the Fire Sanctuary, I needed a “really big container of water” which had me thinking Water Dragon. No problem. Just warp over there, get her to do her thing, and we’re gold. Deities never give away help for free, though, so I- oh, wait, no. She did just hand over the big basin full of water, no questions asked. Well I certainly like how easy that was and how there was no pointless sidequest associated with it!
Oh, but then the little robot who was carrying the basin didn’t want to fly all the way to the top of the volcano, so I had to play a stupid escort mission all the way up Eldin Volcano. This is what, like, the fourth time I’ve had to climb this thing? Eugh.
After that mess, the Fire Sanctuary was pretty ho-hum. It had a very similar design to the Earth Temple from before (and considering their geographical proximity, that’s no surprise), but about half of it took place outside, which is always a nice touch.
The dungeon treasure is the Mogma Mitts, which are an upgrade to the Digging Mitts that I picked up forever ago. Instead of just digging rupees and hearts out of the ground, these allow you to burrow below the surface to activate underground switches and get past barricades, etc, etc. They’re kind of a neat item, but the underground centipede monsters are just annoying, and I don’t think that we’ll ever use the burrowing ability outside of this dungeon.
The boss was round two with Ghirahim, and it was exceptionally harder than the first time that I fought him. Like the first duel, though, it was a very satisfying encounter. The fact that I survived by the skin of my teeth just made the victory all that much sweeter. Zelda bosses are almost never hard anymore, so this was a much appreciated change of pace.
So I found the final flame, and the Goddess Sword turned into the Master Sword. Then I fought the Imprisoned again, and then there was a very long cutscene where Zelda went on and on about the plot, but it was actually somewhat enjoyable. This is also the part of the story where Groose flips from minor antagonist to a genuinely lovable character. In my mind, Groose is one of the best secondary characters in a Zelda game ever. Not only does he steal the show in every scene he’s in, he has the most complete character arc of any Zelda character.
And then… then there’s a heck of a lot more flying. And also a battle in the sky where you have to use the loftwing’s dash attack to hit squirmy, moving targets. It is a nightmare. I don’t hate the motion controls, but they certainly are not fine-tuned enough for this kind of action. Fortunately, it’s short, and then you get to fight a boss that does the usual projectile tennis thing. Only it’s a little more complex than usual, as you have to aim your return volleys with sword swings in the proper direction. It’s pretty fun, and a good way to cleanse your palate after the stupid aerial battle.
And after all of this, when I thought that I was truly heading towards the last dungeon… I get sent on another fetch quest though all the realms. Of course.
So that’s what’s up now. This is also the point in the game where you unlock the boss rush, which of course I did. The lame part is that for every battle you fight, you get a better prize, but the prizes don’t stack. So you have to fight four bosses to earn the piece of heart, and then play it again up to eight bosses to win the unbreakable shield. Not the most considerate design decision. At least most of the bosses are fun, so it’s not a horrible slog. It’s just the second Imprisoned battle that’s particularly annoying. You also get the option to replay the Silent Realm sections, but the prizes are garbage, so those are just for fun (and I skipped them).