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Is Skyward Sword Really the First Zelda Game?

Posted October 5th 2011 by Adam Grayson.

With the imminent release of The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, fans are beginning to get a little rabid about the game (myself included). To make matters harder on the (not so) patient Zelda fanatics, Nintendo has been releasing a lot of information about the game as of late, and as more and more members of the gaming press get their excited hands on it, details about Skyward Sword have been spreading around the Internet like a virus. Due to this, gamers have been sharing rumors and theories about the game, hoping to find the cure to their burning curiosity. With fans clinging to every word uttered about the game and meticulously trying to make sense of them, isn't it about time we do the same?

We've been told over and over by Nintendo, Miyamoto, and Aonuma that Skyward Sword is the first game in the Legend of Zelda timeline, but is it really the first in the timeline? Surely we cannot argue with what the creators of the series are saying. If they say it's the first, then by golly it is! However, while it may be the first of the games so far, is it actually the game that will have no prequels? Is Skyward Sword the originator of the legend of Zelda?

Not so surprising is the fact that many Zelda players, especially younger ones, have not played Zelda II: The Adventure of Link. It is widely considered the worst of the series (except for the Philips CD-i games, of course) due to its vastly different controls and gameplay and its difficulty. What is surprising is the importance of the story the game tells. In short, in Zelda II, players learn about the legend of Zelda.

In the game's introduction in the instruction manual, which takes place immediately before the start of the game, Link discovers a strange mark on his left hand shaped like the crest of the Royal Kingdom (the Triforce). Worried and confused, Link goes to Impa, Princess Zelda's nursemaid, to ask her about the mark. Upon seeing the symbol on Link's hand, Impa reveals to Link a secret room within the castle holding a young woman who appears to be sleeping on a bed. Impa informs Link that this young woman is the original Princess Zelda and sits him down for story time.

"Link, the time has come when I must tell you the legend of Zelda handed down in Hyrule.

It is said that long ago, when Hyrule was one country, a great ruler maintained the peace in Hyrule using the Triforce. However, the king too was a child of man and he died. Then, the prince of the kingdom should have become king and inherited everything, but he could inherit the Triforce only in part. The Prince searched everywhere for the missing parts, but could not find them. Then, a magician close to the king brought him some unexpected news. Before he died, the king had said something about the Triforce to only the younger sister of the prince, Princess Zelda. The prince immediately questioned the princess, but she wouldn't tell him anything. After the prince, the magician threatened to put the princess into an eternal sleep if she did not talk, but even still, she said nothing."

"In his anger, the magician tried to cast a spell on the princess. The surprised prince tried to stop him, but the magician fought off the prince and went on chanting the spell. Then, when the spell was finally cast, Princess Zelda fell on that spot and entered a sleep from which she might never awake. At the same time, the magician also fell down and breathed his last. In his grief, the prince placed the princess in this room. He hoped that someday she would come back to life. So that this tragedy would never be forgotten, he ordered every female child born into the royal household should be given the name Zelda."

This, ladies and gentlemen, is the actual legend of the princess named Zelda.

So, in order for Skyward Sword to be the very first game in the entire timeline, players would need to experience the events detailed in the legend. This does not seem to be the case. None of the events we've seen in Skyward Sword so far are mentioned in the legend, nor have we seen any of the events in the legend appear in Skyward Sword. Not only is Skyward Sword's Zelda not royalty (though admittedly Nintendo could pull a Wind Waker on us...), but there isn't even a King of Hyrule, nor have we seen a brother to Zelda. So what this means is that while the events of Skyward Sword will take place before the events of any other game so far, the game will eventually see a prequel(s).

Remember, readers, all of this, of course, is assuming a few things that many Zelda fans (myself included) tend to believe, or rather, hope. One, there is a timeline that spans the entirety of the Zelda series; two, the first Zelda games (the NES games) are part of the timeline as separate entities and not just retellings of the stories of other games in the series; and three, Nintendo cares enough about all of this to put the pieces together to eventually make a complete puzzle. Now that is quite a bit of assuming, but hey, it's fun to speculate!

Now let us know what you think! Any speculation (wild or otherwise) about Skyward Sword's story, characters, or relation to the other games in the series? Zelda's harp looks mighty familiar... We've seen the symbols on the game's box art before... Who's that girl in the new trailer? Could it be...?

By the way, that image up top is part of a hilariously relevant video that any fan of either Zelda or Back to the Future should enjoy.

Tags: Trailer, Link, timeline, Skyward Sword, Zelda, Legend

Posted in: News, Gaming, Entertainment

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