I beat the game on Friday, and have been busy farming for bugs (mostly treasure - bugs didn't take long) all weekend. I now have the perfectionistic 100% file, with 99 of EVERYTHING, and a completely maxed out item check inventory. My file reads 145 hours
, and yes I'm very happy with that number. Of course it doesn't take that long to get a perfect file, but I did a bit of everything (not just trying to get 99 of something in one go) so I wasn't the most efficient, but I aimed to get all the fun possible out of it. Talking to NPC's after every event, doing some minigames, catching some bugs, etc.
My pouch items are the Hylian Shield, the 2 Life Medals, the Large Seed Satchel, Large Bomb Bag and Large Quiver, and then a Rupee and Heart Medal since the others are in the Item Check.
Item check 1st page: Potion Medal, Cursed m, Treasure m, Bug m, Rupee m, Heart medal
Bottle of upgraded Stamina Potion, Life potion (2 stars/helpings), Air potion, Revitalizing potion (2 stars/helpings), Guardian potion and a spare Goddess Shield.
Page 2 has the 9 Shields (all 3 versions of the 3 Shields), and then a spare Large Seed Satchel, Lage Bomb Bag and Large Quiver.
Pages 3-5 have 1 Small, 1 Medium, and 10 Large versions of the Seed Satchels, Bomb Bags and Quivers respectively. Very neat solution, I say.
By the way, the smitten Item Check girl tells you there's "too much stuff at my storage. My shelves are just like my heart- ready to burst at the seams". Haha. She tells you to trade items between pouch and item check when they're both all maxed out. But there's no penalty, really.
Very interesting, this game. Starting with 6 containers, getting 6 containers from bosses, and 2 as "Life Medals". There's only 24 Heart Pieces, but it feels right. There's so many treasures and other things to find. I'd say this game found the right balance of increasing your amount of hearts. I also like how every dungeon had just one Heart Piece (correct me if I'm wrong - I'm pretty sure they each had one).
Also, I like that when you've found all the Heart Pieces, in your inventory window it shows a full heart container with the message You've collected all the Pieces of Heart". Sweet!
- You can take 5 rupees from Link's cupboard every in-game 24 hours (sleep through the day/night and it's back - you might have to re-enter the Knight Academy). Not a good way to make money, but it's an interesting fact.
- There's Skydivers high above the Lumpy Pumpkin and Bamboo Island (not sure if there's others). You have to fly as high as possible and then drop from your bird - you'll see colorful creatures in formation, fly against them to have them join you, if you can get all of them to form a big circle with you before landing on the island you'll get a lame prize, but still it's fun.
- It's still sneaky how the Item Check girl's dad (also the Bamboo Island guy) and Pipit do not realize that it was Link all along...
who stole the girl's heart + cleaned Pipit's mom's house à la Super Mario Sunshine
- It's great how even when you reach a Temple, you can't just walk in. There's always a locked door or something else preventing you to access it right away. Something they need to keep up.
- What I like about the Dowsing ability is that it's optional. Many things I just looked for myself, since it was more satisfying. But because of Dowsing, they were able to hide some things a bit more sneakily (like some of the Tadtones and Gratitude Crystals). Great stuff.
- On the world map, you can see where the minigames are. Another nice feature.
- I love how you continue to use pretty much all your items at various later points in the game. The Beetle has major use in every dungeon and areas leading up to it (it's also a handy way of grabbing unreachable rupees, treasure and hearts). Even the Slingshot gets some use Pre 7th dungeon:
After the volcanic eruption and imprisonment where you need to find your items again. You need the Slingshot to temporarily stun some Bokoblins.
- I like how after the first couple of dungeons bigger enemies settle in the 3 Provinces. I refer mostly to the Shield Moblins.
- Enough Bird Statues
in the game. Lanayru has 12, Faron has 10, Eldin Only has 6 I think but that doesn't mean it's smaller, it's just easier to get around because of some shortcuts (and the fact you could literally jump or slide from the mountain if you wanna get down fast). Lanayru in many ways is the biggest region
For many parts it also has both of a past and present version, and I also loved how there was a new area to explore to get to the Dragon. Moving Minecart with Timeshift stone stuff will always remain one of the best gimmicks ever.
- More Minibosses might have been nice, although there really weren't many "over and done with" fights to begin with, since even "classic" enemies like Skultullas, Stalfos and Lizalfos posed more of a threat in this game. And of course there's that one particular miniboss which totally stands out and will probably be a new fan favorite
- Dark Lizalfos: that enemy that STILL takes 5 hits to die after having the fully upgraded sword. That
- The music in the game is all simply glorious. The themes to the 3 provinces just don't get old at all. The Bamboo Island themes (outside and inside) are both very soothing, and pretty much everything else is great. The 3rd dungeon theme was a bit eerie, but it changed with the Timeshift stuff.
- They did a good job on Link's emotions. He didn't look clueless, or too emo either. It really worked, especially in the vital cutscenes you could see that they went with the right emotions to go along with them.
- You should draw what the Goron Researcher outside the Sealed Grounds (Behind the Temple) wants to see on the Goddess Wall when it restores. The last thing you need to draw is the Triforce (à la PH). This is also handy in dungeons. You get rare treasure from him several times.
- Did you notice the sign of Farore on the Water Dragon's back? With the orb/ circle being really bright - remember how you needed to draw that circle on the door leading to Lake Floria.
- I know my times can be improved, but I still kicked some major ass. Also the Hordes Battle can either be over really fast, if you run with a Stamina Potion and only do the monsters in front of the barriers - the others won't keep chasing you. But if you do the entire Boss Rush, you'll want to get your maximum number of hearts (18) to face the final battle (well not the final boss but whatever, that's for in Hero Mode.
But it's good you get to pick the first boss yourself: I usually pick The Imprisoned 2, since I often failed at him. And failing means Game Over, even if the Boss Rush mode (for The Imprisoned). So SAVE after getting some kickass highscores. You want to use Stamina Potions for The Imprisoned, you really do. I've gotten good enough at the others to not have to worry about a Guardian Potion - that's cheating anyways
But the bosses you face after the first are usually in the same order I think (although Tentalus seems out of order). But it's good you face Ghirahim 1 and 2 after one another usually.
- For the 4 Trials you get to beat a high score to get a Rare Treasure from the dragon. 3:00 is steep for Faron, while 6:00 is easy for Eldin (it's linear). 4:15 can be tough for Lanayru, but not as tough as the 4:00 for Skyloft. I didn't figure out the fastest way, although dropping from a ledge to land on that one tear on the boardwalk extension seemed like a good shortcut.
- Bug Rock
/ Bug Heaven is a neat sidequest, only found this fairly late as I hadn't noticed Strich standing there. My times are 36:43 and 51:16 for Bug Wrangler - very good times. Doing those a lot is the fastest way to get 99 of each bug, as you get 5 bugs as a reward for these challenges. The bugs you need to catch remain the same.
- Several bugs actually sell for 40 a piece (like the Eldin Rollers, who are easy to catch a lot of in front of the Earth Temple. This is also the best farming spot
for Eldin Ore, Ornamental Skulls and Monster Horns (whip the leader even if he doesn't blow the horn).
- I've found that if you combine multiple medals, there's not really a drawback. For example, you can get both a Monster Claw, Rupee and Heart from killing just one Keese. Yes, enemies can drop 3 things at the same time.The best farming spots in the game:
of course you'll want to equip the Treasure and Cursed Medal.
- Best farming spot for various treasure is from the Viewing Platform
in Faron, go to the Deep Woods area, knock of the Beehive, catch the bees, the woodland rhino bugs, collect the hornet larva, catch a (blue) bird, kill some Bokoblins (the leader is in the area ahead next to some ledges, you can Whip him for his Monster Horn). And there's often an Amber Relic in the grass to the right of the birds. They sell for 30 rupees, so you should sell some when you reach 99 as there's no detour involved in getting it (or several others in the game close to an exit).
- The best minigame for treasure is the Bamboo chopping one (Clean Cut). It doesn't last long at all (just under a minute, dialogue included), and once you realize you gotta keep stabbing, you'll get 20+ almost every time, scoring you Dark Crystals and Monster Horns.
I have no problem getting 28+ either, and it's the easiest way to get lots of Goddess Plumes, and some Blue Feathers and Golden Skulls if you didn't farm enough from the Bokoblins. Even if you max out on something, you can go sell your spares for lots of rupees and return to have everything even out.
My best Clean Cut score is 46
, and you could top even that, still. I think it should be possible to do a type of vertical attack that splits the bamboo so every slice counts double. But even without that often you get a stump that you also hit and get double, so if you achieve that several times in a row you might even reach 50 points. It's hard to get so lucky, though. I rarely feel like I did something different when I get high scores.
- The best game for cash is of course Fun Fun Island. I've walked away with several bags of 500 rupees. But if you want to really work for the money you should go catch lots of Eldin Rollers, collect lots of Amber Relics and Monster Horns, and other things that you will eventually have too many of.
It's better to sell some treasure (yes, to the Gear Peddler at night in his house) if you know that on your farming days you will end up re-acquiring many of them again. In the end it's the most efficient way to keep your rupee count up, as minigames cost money.
- In front of the Earth Temple
is also the best farming spot for Eldin Ore, Ornamental Skulls and Monster Horns (whip the leader even if he doesn't blow the horn). And of cours Eldin Rollers, selling for 40 rupees.
- The best spot for Monster Claws (from Keese) is the Waterfall Cave in Skyloft, or the Volcano Summit (first room to the right, before the Bird Statue). You have to make to stay on the edge so you hit them towards the walls, otherwise your loot will end up in the lava, and you can't pick it up anymore. There's also usually an Amber Relic there.
- For Jelly Blobs you can go just ahead, the area with the torches, pots and chest (which had your missing items). There's a LOT of fire blobs there. Note that this area previously had 2 Lizalfos. Decent spot for Lizard's Tails but these 2 go away after "the event" so you should just go the Shipyard.
- For Lizard's Tails you should go to the Shipyard, and use the side door of the shipyard to make them respawn (you don't even really need a Stamina potion). Be sure to not knock them over the edge, though, or you won't get your loot.
- Ancient Flowers are easy: go to Desert Gorge, make sure the first Time Warp crystal stays activated, and you can just use Beetle to pick up usually 2 Ancient Flowers (both by some Gerudo Dragonflies - I suggest catching these here too as it's 2 birds, one stone).
- Tumbleweed appears to be fickle, but I finally found the best spot: from Stone Cache go past the little rock with Clawshot mark in the middle, close to some grass, to the left is one of those long walls, with a Clawshot mark also. Tumbleweed will fly by often here, and the best thing to do is then Clawshot over and drop on the other side of the wall, walk a bit further so you're in the middle of some open desert (not where the cages are), and there should quickly be another Tumbleweed. Return to the previous spot and bam, you got 99 Tumbleweed very fast.
- Dusk Relic: do the Eldin Volcano Trial 20 times (don't pick up any Tears, there's no point really, as you'll WANT to get caught after finding the 5th one. You'll want to slide down the mountain and have that one Guardian hit you when you get there, than redo the trial.
- Evil Crystal: Well the best spot is in the Ancient Cistern, the part where you climb the rope and they all pop up and go after you, but they all die after you proceed with moving the head and finish the level so I didn't really farm here. Fastest way then is do the Clean Cut (bamboo chopping) as many times as it takes. You only need a score of 20 - 28 for Evil Crystals and Monster Horns.
That's pretty much it for the treasures, I'll list some bugs
, though for most of them you should just go to Bug Rock and do the minigame there several times, it's definitely faster (only stops being handy if you already have 99 of most of them).
- Faron Grasshoppers are easiest at Floria Waterfall. There's usually two, and if you take the exit to Faron Woods they'll be right back to catch again.
- Skyloft Mantises are sometimes in the left jar close to one of the entrances to the Bazaar, and under a jar up the vines close to the Gossip Stone in the Waterfall Cave (handy to combine).
- Lanayru Ants are very common, but the harbor is the best spot since it has many just crawling around, and you can take the boat and return quickly.
- Volcanic Ladybugs are on several walls, the easiest being Volcano Summit RIGHT next to the exit (near the spring at the top).
- Hornets & Butterflies are obviously easy, but the ones I didn't mention are just too annoying so you'll want to get them from Strich (Sand Cicadas, Sty Stag Beetles and even the Mantises are hard to get many of). Bear in mind that you'll sometimes get Eldin Rollers for beating Bug Wrangler, so sell your spare ones (as they're too easy to get in front of the Earth Temple), so you can sell 5 for 200 rupees several times before you do the minigame a lot.
- Once you have acquired ALL of the Gratitude Crystals...
I thought at first there would be only 60, but it turned out I had missed 5 stray Gratitude Crystals and one sidequest! Good thing you can Dowse for them.
Batreaux indeed becomes a cool-looking human, but also, all the monsters at night are gone forever from Skyloft! Turns out HE was attracting monsters to Skyloft! The Remlits (kittens) all stay nice and cute at night too, and there's NO more Keese and blobs in the Waterfall cave! I'd say that similar to MM (where the ending scenes depended on you getting most of the masks), SS expects you to complete all the sidequests too. They feel less optional, probably also cause Skyloft really is your home, and most characters are involved in a sidequest at some point or other.
After Batreaux turns into a human, you can find a special Gossip Stone who will sell you the 6 rarest treasures for 100 or 200 rupees respectively. I used this feature several times to even out my winnings from Clean Cut, and spend my money from Boss Rush and selling all my excess bugs and treasures (before re-acquiring them of course). Still a fast way to make cash.
- I like how the Shield Moblins disappear from the 3 areas after the events leading up to learning a part of the song from the respective dragons. Faron Woods is more peaceful, Eldin doesn't have as many Bokoblins - the Towers
stay down for good, which is realistic, and I think in Lanayru the Shield Moblins are mostly gone too.
- I liked the tangent with the 4 dragons (and 4 parts to "The Song of the Hero". I thought it fit nicely into everything.
- Interesting boss fight on Levian's back! Too bad Bilocyte is only considered to be a mini-boss and thus is not added in the Boss Rush Mode (Lanayru Dragon).
- Stamina Potions are your best friend for dealing with the Imprisoned. I found the second time to be the hardest. The third time is easier imo. But still satisfying cause of the landing on top of his head to bash the sword in. Reminded me very much of certain boss battles in TP.
- Very neat how you can track down the 3 dragons out of order!
- Air Potion+ is what you want to use to track down all the Tadtones in the flooded Faron Woods. I liked it, it wasn't a typical Zelda quest but was challenging nonetheless, and took me quite some time.
- I LOVED the volcanic eruption event. You get imprisoned, lose all your items, are left with one heart... It's like a late-game reboot. Fortunately you didn't get put back all the way back into the first cave thingie (like in TWW's Forsaken Fortress) when you get caught, but getting hit by a big catapult boulder was quite shameful. Fortunately no Game Overs here with this =P
But yeah, was great to feel vulnerable again, having to use stealth, and getting a lot more use out of your Mogma Mitts. And finally you got to go into those 2 similar-looking caves to restock on hearts and such. And of course meet the dragon after getting your remaining items back. At least he didn't give you yet another challenge.
I liked how after this event all the watchtowers stay down, there are few monsters (Bokoblins) left, some of the fences remain, several of the burrowing spots are still there, there's rupees inside and those Wiggler wannabe monsters. The bokoblin camp next to the Earth Temple is still populated, but not the others.
- The Gossip Stones are funny in this game: "Rumor has it you're some kind of genius that remembers things perfectly the first time you hear them".
- One of the robots jokingly refers to you as "LD-Link-16
". Skyward Sword is the 16th Zelda game! I wonder what LD stands for... maybe life form designation or something like that. The Pirate Robot was LD-002G Scervo.
- Completing the song is easily one of the most satisfying cutscenes. The 4 dragons fly around you in the sky, Fi does her imaginary ice skate routine... it's golden.
Original stuff!! Just getting there was epic, with the statue, bombarding, part of the Isle of the Goddess getting killed... You get the Map right away, but the layouts of the rooms actually aren't put on there... only when you actually visit those rooms. Only 8 rooms, but not at all to scale as some of them are quite big. The concept of having the rooms be like a picture puzzle is AWESOME, and it was extremely satisfying to tackle all this. Reminded me of those CUBE movies. Without most of the deadly traps
They threw some new puzzles and contraptions at you, provided even more glorious puzzles with the Timeshift stones, had a creepy purple cave brawly section (damn you archers), and an unexpected similar miniboss. I liked how you went into a specific realm to actually claim the 3 Triforce pieces. It seems the intended order is Power, Wisdom and Courage, which is also the logical order if you look at the 3 pieces (top, bottom left and bottom right).
I also loved the fact that the main 6 rooms were all reminiscent of each of the 6 dungeons
(and had that theme playing!). This was a great conclusion. I was a bit sad to see the entire Isle of the Goddess disappear afterwards, but it was freaky to see it planted next to the Sealed Temple, recreating the original whole. And of course it created a sense of urgency to beat the game, to get the Isle of the Goddess restored to Skyloft. Zelda's dad: "When all catastrophes are overcome, only then will the goddess make her return to the surface".
Also, LINK GETS TO MAKE A WISH TO THE TRIFORCE, all of this was awesome.
- Hordes battle was fun, made you realize just how long that runway to the bottom really is. Bring a Stamina Potion, as it will also help with performing multiple Spin Attacks.
- Ghirahim bashes Groose's hair! Hahaha. And I loved his joy dance when he had Zelda (at the bottom of the pit). It didn't destroy his credibility imo. He was just less controlled than before. He didn't turn emo like Zant. And even when you were fighting him, he mostly got pissed, but not emo.
- Ghirahim 3 I had much trouble with the first couple of times. Had to come back with some potions. Finally cut through his annoying barriers, sword fighting as usually was even more enticing, but that huge sword was hard to break, as one mistake made him retalliate and restore his blade. He looked badass, and it was great to see his full power(s) unleashed. They built up his character and powers neatly from the first dungeon, to the 6th, and then at the end of the game.
- PLOT TWIST Ghirahim was Demise's sword all along! Great stuff, considering he's been such a great and unique character, with lots of personality, and in the end he's just a small part of the big and evil Demise. Makes both of them even more epic.
- Although as a final Boss, Demise isn't terribly hard. He does hit you for 2 hearts with most of his attacks, but it's at least easier than Ghirahim to get the occasional hit in. I wasn't too underwhelmed though, because the things he was saying got me really creeped out. He definitely talked the talk, and even though he wasn't as annoying to beat as some other final bosses, as a character (who, let's face it, only really got dialogue of his own when he got fully resurrected, thus only really after you beat Ghirahim and he absorbed him into his sword, and then when you went into his private little realm. But with only that much screentime he manages to creep you right out, make you realize he's the one true eternal evil that has always been and will always find a way to be around and mess up the world. He's the root of all monsters, and I'm sure that they intended him to be the ultimate evil that later will reincarnate into Ganondorf, possibly also Bellum, and definitely ST's Demon King (since Demise is called the Demon King as well, and there are just many similarities). I'll have to start a separate thread about it, but I'm sure Demise is the true evil essence / soul that we later come to know as Ganondorf. Fi mentions that in each epoch, his representation is different. In OoT times, the great evil is known as a king of thieves, also seeking the Triforce, world domination and all that. And Bellum prays on life force, which of course Zelda as a reincarnated Goddess will have the strongest. Even Vaati realized this when he was draining her of her life force.
Demise tells you he's been seeking the Triforce for millennia, and Fi also describes him as an eternal being, even conquered time, and being the source of all monsters. And then his speech about "the incarnation of my hatred being the curse of those with the blood of the goddess and hero". Basically "I'll be back to exterminate your descendants". Even more badass than some Ganondorf speeches.
So yeah the remnants of Demise fading away into the Master Sword. And I liked Fi's goodbye - it wasn't melodramatic but was given the appropriate amount of attention. I loved how she came back out of the MS to say "Thank you, Master Link. May we meet again in another life". I like to think there's a part of Fi in Navi and some other helping partners. Or at least that a part of her is with you in every game you use the Master Sword
The Goddess Hylia gave up her immortality so she could use the Triforce if needed. She created Fi to contain her knowledge and aid future heroes, and made it so her descendants (every Zelda) would have her strong life force, strong wisdom, powers of prophecy and great intuition, and that certain information would awaken within her when necessary.
Anywho, the ending is exactly what it needed to be. Sweet reunion with Zelda and Groose, Groose being amusing as always. Zelda is crying and he casually walks by: "this adventure I like to call the Legend of Groose". Hahaha.
We now also have concrete evidence that there was more than one Temple of Time. With those doors opening at the end, you realize that the Temple of Hylia at some point became the new Temple of Time (when they built more stuff around it to protect the Master Sword). They also play with this dichotomy in TP, where you find the MS in the Sacred Grove, but in the past the big Temple of Time structure is still intact.
"Grannie" the hermit was Impa from the past staying behind! I love time travel related plot twists. Although I realized just before they went back. She looked more like Impaz from TP
I loved in the first scenes of the staff credits (after all the dialogue) how you saw what happened when Zelda landed near the Sealed Temple. How the hermit found her, guided her, how she found her way to the Skyview Temple Spring to pray, how she was sneaking into the Eart Temple and Impa had to save her from the Bokoblins with her explosives, and how they got to the Temple of Time first. Those were the only things missing to complete the story arc, so it's not like in TP where you're still left hanging even after all those scenes. SS instead could rely on one of my favorite type of endings: after the story and dialogue is wrapped up you get to see the big and beautiful areas of the game in their entirety, with classic Zelda themes playing (the new SS themes are also instant classics btw!), and then a nice epilogue at the end that is exactly what it needs to be. Zelda finishes by stating she'll stay on the surface, and asks Link: "What will you do now"? I personally believe he also stays on the surface for a while. Their two birds do fly off to the sky at the end, so...
As I said before, make a copy of your ultimate game file before beating Demise. You'll be asked to save after the credits and it deletes your save file to replace it with an empty Hero Mode file. It did this twice in a row so I have 2 empty Hero Mode files so I can start one and still have a spare one handy for another time (so I won't have to beat Demise BEFORE starting a new game, whenever I'll do that a second or third time).
A worthy end(ing) to the best game of the year, and the best Zelda game of the decade.
I hope you found my treasure & bug mini guides handy, and my findings and thoughts. I've also made a new thread about the impact of the game on the other titles (and theories discussed in the spoiler tags).