Nintendo announced today that its fantasy action-adventure game for the Wii Console, Zelda: Skyward Sword will be released on November 20 in North America and November 18 in Europe. As a prequel to The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, the game will make use of the Wii MotionPlus peripheral for sword-fighting, with a revised Wii Remote pointing system used for targeting.
The incarnation of protagonist Link that appears in the game was born and raised in Skyloft, a group of islands floating above the clouds. Leading an ordinary life there, Link discovers the Skyward Sword one day, which leads him to another, previously unknown land beneath that is ruled by evil forces. Using the sword to travel back and forth between sky and land, the mystery of why the two worlds became separated is gradually revealed to Link. The Skyward Sword becomes the Master Sword at some point in the game, and assumes the form of a female figure while giving Link advice. Producer Eiji Aonuma has stated the game’s plot to be comparable to a school drama. Unlike in previous series installments, Zelda is not a princess in Skyward Sword, but a childhood friend of Link. Throughout the course of the game, Zelda disappears and Link has to find her. He is opposed on his quest by the Demon Lord Ghirahim, a mysterious and powerful figure who rules the surface world, who wishes to kidnap Zelda for unknown purposes. Skyward Sword connects to the story of Ocarina of Time, and elaborates on the reason for Ganondorf’s appearance.
The gameplay of Skyward Sword departs from the Legend of Zelda series’ traditional flow of alternating overworld and dungeon exploration. The controls are revised, with swordplay based on the Wii MotionPlus peripheral, which allows one-to-one motion control between the Wii Remote and the in-game sword. In contrast to earlier installments, battles do not focus solely on timing attacks, but also on their target, such as the direction in which enemies are hit. In addition to the sword, there are items such as a mechanical flying beetle to grab items from a distance, a whip, and series staples such as bombs, a slingshot and a bow, which can also be controlled with the Wii MotionPlus. A stamina meter will allow for sprinting and running up walls.Drinking health-restoring potions does not interrupt the gameplay anymore, and the maps were made easier to read, which makes it harder to get lost in the game. The player will have the option to turn off the heads-up display.