Here are my final impressions of my second playthrough of SS (my first Hero Mode file).
1) Is the Goddess Harp the same as the Harp of Ages in OoA?
2) You can use Glittering Spores
from mushrooms on Hearts
to change them. Hearts (but not heart flowers!) turn into Fairies
. Rupees turn into different valued rupees, even a Rupoor. This makes Glittering Spores a handy thing to keep around, on Hero Mode especially, since you get to keep 5
Glittering Spores In one bottle, so that’s good for 5 Fairies. But of course you need to have a Heart Medal
first (Goddess Cubes in Lanayru), otherwise your spores won’t get any use.
Using Glittering Spores on some of the smaller enemies makes them dizzy. So far it seems to work on Bokoblins, Octorocks and Baba plants.
It also works on bugs – I assume it paralyzes them for a short while. Haven’t tested that yet.
3) The 4 extra dowsing targets can be unlocked thusly:
- Goddess Cubes
: by talking to Gordo (next to Eldin’s “Volcano Entry” Bird Statue, or later in the game near Sealed Grounds I guess, but after the Sandship this is where he is so you should get yourself to Eldin anyways).
: talk to the second Mogma in the extensive cave, the portion with all the fire-breathing creatures in those wholes. There’s a bombable wall nearby, too.
: just propose to upgrade an item at Gondo’s (Scrap Shop), you don’t need to actually pay for it, just cancel, and you’ll get to dowse for Treasure. (I already have everything upgraded after the Sandship).
- Gratitude Crystals
: After speaking with Batreaux (I don’t think you need to have just given him more Gratitude Crystals, but at this point in the game you probably got more than enough for the next threshold anyways).
4) Peater (the Item Check girl’s dad and “owner” of Bamboo Island) used to be Mr. Popular. A former knight, handsome, good with the ladies. He’s basically an old and fat version of Link, and that’s exactly why he’s so protective of his daughter and doesn’t want Link to pay too much attention to her.
5) Getting Skipper’s Sea Chart back was a nice homage to PH. You really do need it to complete your map, and one of the posters in Skipper’s house reads: “Dear dad, good luck at work, vrrm!” and another one is about Skipper’s Crew being happy to have him as their captain.
Furthermore, if you sit on the stool before you opened the chest with the Sea Chart, Fi tells you “I suggest waiting to take a rest until you’ve found the sea chart”. Really? You’re gonna act like Midna? Interestingly, when you sit down again after claiming it she points to the roof, and tells you about “a bug infestation on the roof”. You can actually clawshot onto the ceiling, though it doesn’t seem to have a purpose. You need to go outside and climb his house to find 2 Sand Cicada on the wall.
6) The Pirate Stronghold (exterior) is the best place to farm for Monster Claws from all the Keese flying around the teeth of the big mouth thing. They’re not there anymore after you open it, though.
7) The Great Tree is the best spot for just Amber Relics – there’s often 2 of them in the 1st and 3rd niche very close to the “Great Tree” Bird Statue. Very fast way of getting a lot, since you can just go inside the tree to reset them.
8) How did I find the Sandship on this run? I literally bumped into it. I was like: “Why am I not moving? I’m accelerating and steering forward…” Btw, for whoever said they didn’t realize right away the Sandship was a genuine dungeon, the “Link enters dungeon” theme did play when entering the ship. But it’s the only dungeon that doesn’t have Link dramatically descend down some stairs into the dungeon – an homage to the original LoZ.Speaking of homage, check out this list of 10 ways how SS pays homage to the first LoZ!
9) Fi says she admires Scervo (the pirate robot’s) tenacity for surviving all those years. This is true, since you fight him in the present, not in the past!
10) The fact the key to the machine room on the Sandship is called the “Squid Carving”, one should have seen the attack coming almost!
11) I explored the entire Sandship after beating it, and ALL the monsters are gone, except for 10 TechnoBlins in the brig, who incidentally you can all kill (using Skyward Strike sword beams). They do respawn when you enter the room again, though.
But it’s cool since there’s a great many robots around now, in most of the ship’s rooms, not just on the mast (all lined up). They all have something different to say, too, like it’s now their mission to reunite with their former crew mates! Yet another thing that makes this SS’s best dungeon (and one of the most original Zelda dungeons ever).
12) I do like Fi’s analysis of your current pouch items. There’s a lot of permutations, so a lot of things she gets to say about it, also given the fact that many situations are different. Usually you only get 95% when there’s no enemies around whatsoever – I don’t remember what my highest percentage is in most other situations.
13) Fun fact: using the Gust Bellows on rupees makes them spin like crazy!
14) Shield Moblins slowly back away when you throw a bomb near them. This is funny to watch on those watchtower bridges, since they usually end up getting hit anyway cause they’re so slow ^^
15) I discovered you can actually clawshot onto the Great Tree, which is a great time saver if you’re in Faron, trying to get all the Goddess Cubes on the tree branches. There’s 3 of them, and it would suck to have to dive back from the bottom and work your way back up, or faster but still not fast enough to go back to the sky and descend onto the Great Tree. There’s vines you can clawshot onto (near where you claimed the Heart Piece). You have to dispose of some spiders and then climb up and you’re there. Of course if you already have the Clawshot you can use them to get to one of the Goddess Cubes, but for all 3 of them you can just jump from different spots on the Great Tree.
16) A horde of Cursed Bokoblins does stay (and respawn) at the underground portion of the Ancient Cistern (in the room where the water geyser goes up). They take more than 10 hits, so I don’t think it’s the fastest way to get Evil Crystals. Cursed/ Dark Keese would work, but I prefer Clean Cut, since you can beat that under a minute.
17) In Clean Cut
the highest possible score is 64, since only 6 bits seem to be devoted to keeping the score of this game. 64 = 2^6, so if you were to achieve a score of 61, he would tell you your score was 1, and you wouldn’t get any prize, lol. I’m referring to this YouTube video.
18) For Pumpkin Pull
you can get a score of 1050
, by unleashing an arrow as soon as you see Fledge move his arms. Aim close to him like in this YouTube video.
19) In the Silent Realms, those flying guardians fly through walls, which can throw you for a loop!
20) Why can Dusk Relics only be found in the Silent Realms? It’s an homage to TP! Dusk means twilight, and the Silent Realms are basically SS’s version of TP’s Twilight Realm. So there
21) Fireshield Earrings put out the flames when you’re on fire, too.
22) When sitting on the bench near the (originally broken) windmill, the camera zooms out and you get a nice view of Skyloft.
23) Link actually never returns the water basin to the Water Dragon after using it to access the 6th dungeon. I was surprised she didn’t give you crap about that during the Song of the Hero quest.
24) Scrapper’s comic relief continues: “I better get there before Master Shortpants!” (Which ironically screws you over since then you have to play “Protect the robot”).
25) Speaking of which, those Dark Keese really annoyed me this time. If you’re cursed you obviously can’t defend Scrapper, and those Keese really KO him quite fast >_<
26) But he still gives you crap: “Hey! This isn’t the right way! Do you need to stop and ask for directions?”
27) I like the Mogma Elder (Guld) theme
Although he gets a bit creepy towards Kina in that sidequest.
28) Oh, Erla (the Kikwi from that other sidequest) gives you a Goddess Plume when you talk to him/her after Faron is deflooded again.
29) In the 6th dungeon, I thought it was original to make Link crawl for his life to escape the underground lava flow.
30) I liked the Spiral Charge training – fun theme and actually not as easy as it looked, though there were about 12 targets instead of the 10 you need to get. Too bad you couldn’t do this again later as a minigame.
31) The (Sealed Grounds) Hermit drove back the water with a simple spell – it’s still impressive to make such a large protective barrier around the entire woods area.
32) I enjoyed the flooded woods theme – the maritime version of the Faron Woods theme.
33) It seems that once you have 49 Tadtones, you get prompted to go talk to the Kikwi Elder and you get to dowse for the remaining Tadtones. Seemed liked a weird number to me, but I counted it twice. 28 left cause there are 77 Tadtones in total, btw. Lucky number! … Yeah okay.
34) Those poisonous purple bubbles are EVIL on Hero Mode. Since you lose 2 hearts every second, you will usually never make it to the surface in time. I got several game overs. Next time: bring 2 bottles of Air Potion+ . You just can’t make do with one, even with the Potion Medal
35) Where is Kukiel’s dad late in the game? (But before you get all the Gratitude Crystals, cause then he’s on the platform with Kukiel looking at the place where the Isle of the Goddess used to be).
36) I’m pretty sure they switched the Eldin and Lanayru Silent Realm + dungeon with flame around since having Eldin first would mess up the game’s pacing. Getting from Faron’s Silent Realm into the Ancient Cistern takes quite some time too, just like it takes a long time to make all those stops before you can go and beat the Sandship. The Eldin “protect the robot” event is pretty short and uneventful, and you need to go to the Water Dragon for that first, which would have seemed even more lame after you’d only just visited her to get access to the Ancient Cistern.
37) Irony: During the Eldin Eruption Event, when you get your MS and thus Fi back, when you select Analysis she will comment on your Pouch Item selection like usual, even though your entire pouch is stolen. Funny inconsistency is funny.
38) Eldin (the dragon) has a badass moustache, which is on fire on both ends.
39) For some reason after the Eldin eruption event you have to play your harp again to make those gossip statues in those two similar caves on the mountain appear again. They have different dialogue, too. (You know, those caves you can only reach by jumping onto a floating rock platform flowing on the lava stream).
I don’t have another long list of finds specifically about Hero Mode
like in my last post.
- Skyward Strikes are your friend, especially the horizontal sword beams to mow down enemies and grass. Instantaneous charge for the True Master Sword is awesome too.
- In the later part of the game it’s most the Eldin Eruption Event that’s annoying (if you get hit by the catapult once you have to go heal cause a second smacking would kill you)
- The Boss Battle (Lightning Round) mode is especially
hard to master on Hero Mode, even when you use a Guardian + Stamina Potion for your first battle (and hope the ones after that don’t take too long so you can benefit from the potions). Running is only a factor in the Horde Battle, since you can skip most of the Bokoblins that way, and in the Imprisoned Battles I strongly recommend them too (though you don’t need upgraded potions for those battles). I will however try to get better at landing on his head so as to avoid the tedious (and often painful) “clipping” of his toenails. XD I’ve been working on my times, but those speedrunners with the YouTube videos are crazy good. There seem to be many ways to make the fights shorter. Superior sword combos and exploiting bosses’ HP seems to ensure some damn steep times, like the 8 seconds for Ghirahim, and many others for around a minute, where most people take 3 or 4. You should check out this site specifically for these speedruns (with several links to their YouTube videos).
Also I found this VERY detailed list on the best strategies to take on all of the bosses -
good for anyone going for the complete 12-boss marathon.
And a list of when new sidequests are triggered
(I don't think the actual sidequests are mentioned, but the points in the game are more accurate than other sites.)
I do have some more interesting thoughts about some aspects you only find out later in the game (or realize when you’ve already played the game). SPOILERS for late in the game discoveries below:
40) We know why Fi calls link “Master”, but it’s also a reference to the Master Sword and Link being the only one (the Hero) to wield the True Master Sword.
41) Early in the game, that one old geezer (the one that stays at the Lumpy Pumpkin for the rest of the game – he’s actually the husband of the kitchen lady at the Knight Academy) Is standing next to that statue that’s missing the eye (Stone of Trials). He points out it’s old, has always been there, and is missing an eye. You forget about that stuff when you first play the game, but of course you know what the dealio is the second time!
42) In the game’s intro the last line is “A legend that will be forged by your hand.” This has more than one interpretation, and after finishing the game you will realize you can read this as: a /the legendary blade that will be forged /enhanced /tempered (the 3 flames) by your hand (the hand of Link, the Hero, of course).
Remember how Navi in the Temple of Time flew up to the Master Sword and called it “that legendary blade”? Yep, that’s the reference that’s in here too.
43) When Zelda was found by the hermit (Impa) at the Sealed Grounds, she helped her to remember her life and destiny as Hylia, the Goddess. That was something I wondered the first time – how exactly her being the Goddess dawned upon her.
44) Just before the final battle with Ghirahim, he says: “You stand before a demon… or weapon without mercy”, and you briefly see an image of Demise’s sword instead of Ghirahim as we know him
And that wraps up my second playthrough of SS (first one of Hero Mode). From now on I will only be playing the Hero Mode, using the copied file to play another Hero Mode file, and after that saving over that file, and continuing thusly until I have a file that reads 999 hours total playing time ^__^
Of course all highscores (except for Pumpkin Pull) and enemy counts/ battle performance are carried over, and the bugs and treasure. It’s not a big deal anymore if it’s not exactly 99 of each since you have plenty of time in one playthrough to accumulate many of each. Since in my future playthroughs I won’t be obsessing over getting 12 of each Large Satchel / Bomb Bag / Quiver, I won’t be needing that many treasures anyway. And even on Hero Mode I didn’t end up using all that many potions. Just carrying some Heart Potions is fine, no need to upgrade them twice (Starry Fireflies are rare and annoying to catch). Perhaps a Guardian Potion here and there for some of the more combat-heavy parts – rupees aren’t hard to come by since you can sell excess bugs and treasure early on to always be able to buy and upgrade everything as soon as it comes out. This for me is one of the things that will keep this game fun for all future playthroughs, and it’s also fun when beating highscores (especially for the Boss Battles) that you’re competing against your previous times each time you play it.
To sum up all things carried over into Hero Mode in one neat list:
• The slot in the file / quest selection screen will have the goddess insignia on it.
• You can Skip almost all cinematic cutscenes.
• Keep ALL bugs and treasures from previous adventure
• Some characters will acknowledge that you're playing in Hero Mode as they speak with you*
* What they say to you will change telling you what has changed or allowing you to skip some explanations.
• You lose hearts twice as fast as you normally do, for everything
• All hint movies are unlocked and viewable from the start at the two Sheikah Stones
• Maximum strength Skyward Strike always.
* Every Skyward Strike you perform will have the strength as if you had used the Master Sword, including the faster charge. After getting the actual Master Sword, charging is instantaneous.
• Hearts and Heart Flowers no longer appear normally in the game*
Monsters, pots and other sources do not drop hearts anymore. You will have to heal by using potions, fairies, sleeping or sitting on chairs.
* Equipping a Heart Medal will provide a reduced chance for Hearts and Heart Flowers of appearing.
• Fi will remember how many of each type of monster you defeated from your previous adventure, and the corresponding battle performance rating.
• Your highscores at Bamboo Island, Rickety Coaster, Bug Heaven and all Silent Realms and Boss Battle best times will remain from your previous adventure.
• The Boss Rush challenge now includes the game's final battle, with Demise, in addition to the other eleven battles you could access in regular mode. You must have defeated the boss at least once before they are playable. By succeeding at a complete Boss Rush of all 12 bosses you get a whopping 9900 rupees. Keep it a secret from everybody!