Between Monster Hunter Generations and the new season of BoJack Horseman, I barely touched Skyward Sword last week. Didn’t accomplish a whole lot, which shouldn’t come as a surprise.
My first objective was to round up some treasures from Goddess Cubes. Which, of course, was a short nightmare because it required flying to and fro in the sky. I know I’ve said it before, but flying is super tedious. Absolutely the worst part of the game. The sky isn’t really that big, just enough to create a good sense of scale, but it feels so massive and empty when you have to fly from one end to the other. Gah.
I also discovered that I had secretly gotten a new power: the ability to dowse for certain types of collectibles. I learned this after collecting a few more gratitude crystals and visiting Batreaux for a prize (rupees). Fi popped out afterward and told me I could now dowse for gratitude crystals. Then she popped out again after I upgraded a few weapons and gave me the ability to dowse for upgrade materials. I suppose it’s a good power to have, but most of the time, random materials lying around are just amber relics, which I already have like thirteen million of.
The best one, when I went back on plot, was when Fi let me start dowsing for Goddess Cubes. Which is mostly great, because they’re the big treasures, which can be great things like power-up medals and heart pieces but are sometimes less helpful things like rupees. Maybe extra ammo satchels? I kind of hope not. I just spent a lot buying and upgrading a new quiver because 20 arrows isn’t really enough. It’d be a shame to find one for free now.
I’m still waiting for an upgrade to Link’s stamina meter, but I’m quickly losing hope that it’s even a thing that exists.
The third (and final?) Silent Realm trial was far and away the hardest of the bunch. Which stands to reason. But it’s considerably harder than the last two combined. Like, I actually got caught by one of the robots in this one. It doesn’t help that Eldin Volcano is an area defined by discrete paths, rather than being an open playground like the other two areas. Also, it was a major pain in the butt to collect the tears on the stupid slide. I cleared it, though, and won the worst upgrade in the game: the Fireshield Earrings.
Every item that Link has obtained up to this point has some sort of actual use, be it a tool or something that improves or adds to Link’s natural abilities. The Fireshield Earrings simply let you walk through one passage that is “too hot” before you have them. They are literally just a key to a single door. They are never used for anything else in the game, as there are no other places that were too hot to pass through before. There is a slight side benefit in that Link can no longer be set on fire, but other than that, this is the kind of upgrade that shows that the designers didn’t have any actual ideas left. And that concludes the only portion of this feature that could actually be described as game design critique.
And that was basically it for this week. I did a sweep of the new area I’d just “unlocked” and proceeded to waltz up to the front door of the next dungeon, but I guess it’s got some sort of abstruse lock that I’ll have to go on another mini-adventure to figure out how to open it?
Nah, I’m pretty confident that I know exactly what to do. Of course, this brings us to a point in the game that I remember really disliking, so… yeah. Here’s hoping that it’s not as annoying as I think it’ll be!