In my continuing quest to only write strategy guides with the word “Sky” in the title, I was given the opportunity to add some considerable content to the already-packed Skyward Sword book. The original is a fine tome, but time and hind-sight allowed me to look over the original author’s work, rewrite some parts, correct some minor mistakes, add a few layers of strategic content, place some helpful lists, and generally make this book more indispensible than ever.
My previous experience writing the Twilight Princess guide (along with co-author Steve Stratton, who is currently overseeing the creation of The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD to make it the cornerstone of this six-book collection) allowed me to see where this book needed a few adjustments. First though, it was time to revisit Skyloft and rampage through the game again a number of times, until Koloktos was left harmless and armless in record time, all the Goddess Cubes and Chests were ransacked, and every Piece of Heart was gathered. This meant beating the Mini-games (like Bug Heaven), finding all the Gratitude Crystals, and leaving no blade of grass unsliced. But that was mere preparation for the epic nature of the book itself! What exactly are you getting with your additional 100 pages? Glad you asked:
- Redesign: The book receives a pleasing redesign, packing more information into all of the pages, with frills and filigree in-keeping with the look and feel of the game.
- Items Chapter Revamp: Every single item you can find in the game is listed, along with the exact page reference in the Walkthrough. Need to know where the second part of the Song of the Hero is found? Simply look here; there’s background information too.
- World Maps: The Walkthrough begins with an overworld map, and a map of the Sky which shows every single island, and the items you can find everywhere. That way, when you’re piloting your loftwing past a floating rock, you can instantly know what’s on it, and when it becomes available.
- A Link to the Present: At the start of each dungeon or other exploration, dozens of times in the walkthrough, the in-game inventory screen (where your Gear, Collection, and other information can be found) has been recreated, with the optional items flagged, so you know what to bring, what to look for, and where to find it. If a Treasure or Bug is found in Faron Woods during your current exploration there, you’ll see it highlighted. This information can be compared to your in-game inventory to see if you’re missing anything. Handy!
- Optimal Path Walkthrough: Remember that boulder-filled cave you saw in Faron Woods before you found the Bomb Flowers? It would be great if the Walkthrough flagged the earliest opportunity to head back and grab whatever was lurking behind those rocks, wouldn’t it? Good news! The Walkthrough has been completing retooled so every single item (from Small Keys and Dungeon Maps to the Baby Rattle and Small Bomb Bags) is flagged at the earliest possible moment for your retrieval! Below are just some of the items you can find at optimal times:
- Pieces of Heart: Whenever you can find one, it is listed, along with a number so you never lose count of your Heart gathering.
- Item Upgrades: We’ve figured out where the Treasures are that you need to upgrade every item, the earliest time you can nab them, and then listed this in the walkthrough. Need the Sacred Bow at the earliest possible moment? Or the Sacred Shield? Check out the Walkthrough!
- Side Quests: We let you know the best times to return to Skyloft to begin (or continue) the number of Side Quests related to Gratitude Crystal collecting. That way you can visit Batreaux as early as possible and take his consecutive rewards, and make the Skyloft folks as happy as possible, as early as possible. Except for Pumm though; he’s really angry about that chandelier. Goddess Cubes and Chests: We let you know the earliest times to find Goddess Cubes (all 27!), and when their corresponding chests can be opened. Some of these are accessible through crazy falls and other cunning tactics, so you can grab everything as early as possible!Item Counts: Your health bar increases throughout the guide, so you know how many hearts you should have. But the Gratitude Crystal total you’ve collected is also shown throughout the Walkthrough. We also flag the minimum number of Treasures you need to upgrade items, so you don’t spend time finding more than you need (unless you want to!).
- Critical Path; Critical Importance: But don’t worry if you’re not interested in the extra stuff; the Walkthrough is easily navigated so you can ignore any Mini-Games you’re not interested in doing. Phew!
- Boss Battles: We’ve made sure you have excellent tactical know-how when facing every single enemy in the game. Each one gets their own threat level and tactical box, while bosses have a huge amount of proven strategy to make that Thunder Dragon’s Lightning Round as easy as possible.
- Pretty Pictures: Yes, all the screenshots were retaken, and shown with an optimal path in mind (so when you see Link is carrying a Hylian Shield, you know this is the earliest time you can find it).
- Helpful Maps: The Walkthrough has numbered waypoints flagged on every map, which refer to the numbered paragraphs of text, so you can easily flip between the map and text and know where in a map the content is referencing. Handy!
- Bugs, Treasure, Upgrades, and Potions: There’s a separate section at the back of the book covering all aspects of collecting. Where’s my Blue Feather? Aha, here it is!
- We also cover all the shops, including the secret ones! Shhh!
- How about an entirely separate section just on the Mini-Games (and how to beat them, including pictures for every corner of the hardest course on that horrific rollercoaster mine-cart challenge)? Done!
- If you need a separate checklist and knowledge of all Gratitude Crystal tasks and locations, we have that too (as well as where in the Walkthrough you can start each task).
- The Legendary Checklists are back! The final chapters show (with pictures) the locations of every Empty Bottle, Goddess Cube, Goddess Chest, and Piece of Heart, so you can check each off or refer here as you go.
Close to 400 pages, embossed in gold, with gold-leaf pages, and stacked with five other immense books in one big treasure chest, I’m very happy with how this tome turned out, and we all hope you will be, too! Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got a Goron buddy to explain Goddess Walls to… see you in the sky!
This guide is inlcuded in the upcoming The Legend of Zelda Box Set. Quantities are limited, don’t miss out! The Legend of Zelda Box Set is available at these retailers: