Skyward Sword has made an actual comeback with its current HD model, lastly permitting movement management haters (like myself) to get pleasure from taking part in the sport. However one factor that was at all times good about Skyward Sword was the time boat in Lanayru Desert, and it’s even higher in HD.
On Hyperlink’s second go to to Lanayru within the again half of the sport, he’s capable of experience a ship again in time by a desert that was initially an ocean. It’s one of many Zelda sequence’ coolest and most visually hanging moments.
What the hell is a “time boat”?
Skyward Sword’s first two areas are pretty typical Zelda — we’ve bought a typical forest and a typical volcano. However the sport’s third space, the Lanayru Desert, is 2 areas in a single. The Lanayru Desert of Hyperlink’s timeline in Skyward Sword is an enormous, lifeless wasteland crammed with dried bones and unpowered robots.
However there are additionally Timeshift Stones all through the zone; when activated, they pull a small space round them into the previous. Hitting these Timeshift Stones permits Hyperlink to step right into a previous model of Lanayru, the place sand pits grow to be cliffs and lifeless floor is roofed in grass.
Hyperlink makes use of the Timeshift Stones to unravel a wide range of puzzles, akin to bringing close by issues again to life or eradicating limitations which have fallen after years of abandonment. The sport’s third dungeon, Lanayru Mine, has Hyperlink use the Timeshift Stones to maneuver rapidly between timelines, powering and de-powering machines primarily based on his present wants. It establishes a mechanic that Hyperlink must grasp earlier than he can defeat the boss and escape the dungeon.
However on a second go to to Lanayru, Skyward Sword takes the acquainted Timeshift mechanic and turns it into one of many coolest issues I’ve ever seen in a Zelda sport. After making his manner deeper into Lanayru on his second go to, Hyperlink runs into an enormous lake of sand. To succeed in the sport’s fifth dungeon, he wants to search out an historic ship crusing by what was an ocean.
After coming throughout a Timeshift Stone embedded in a small boat, Hyperlink prompts it, waking up the close by boat captain and inflicting the sand close to the boat to return to water. The Timeshift Stone lowers itself into the boat’s hull, and the captain and Hyperlink set off by Lanayru Desert, crusing on small patches of water.
When enjoyable and performance meet
This part of Skyward Sword affords a few of my favourite visuals from any sport, even when Skyward Sword is muddy and tough to interpret. The dungeon you ultimately sail to could be very cool, however the journey is even higher. The Timeshift Stone solely extends to the world across the boat, so whereas the whole lot underneath and round Hyperlink is gorgeous, contemporary water, the sand is at all times only a few ft away.
Hyperlink and his time boat lower by time one part of desert at a time, and the sand immediately shifts round them. Earlier than Skyward Sword HD, when the sport’s visuals have been muddy at greatest, it stood out superbly as one of many clearest visible sections within the sport. With Skyward Sword HD, the whole lot seems to be higher. So whereas the time boat isn’t as stark a comparability to the remainder of the sport, it advantages equally from the upper constancy graphics.
Lanayru wanted a way of scale to essentially promote it as an enormous ocean destroyed by time. The boat experience provides Skyward Sword its open world second, like driving Epona by Hyrule Discipline. Once you look out into the ocean, there’s nothing however sand so far as you’ll be able to see. The change in time provides the ocean terrain, forcing you to maneuver by rocks that all of a sudden seem. However whilst you’re delicately crusing in contained areas, the sand dunes round you give a way that this was as soon as a large space.
The crusing itself is okay, nevertheless it’s the ambiance the time boat affords that actually sells the complete factor. It’s stunning to look at the world throughout Hyperlink rapidly shift from lifeless to life to lifeless once more as you sail over and previous it. It makes crusing by the ocean on the King of Purple Lions in Wind Waker — regardless of how stunning the artwork model — appear unimpressive by comparability. On this second, Skyward Sword is doing extra than simply letting you sail on an ocean, it’s providing you a formidable and memorable visible deal with.
The time boat is such an ideal second in Skyward Sword. It lasts solely half-hour or so, nevertheless it makes an impression. It might’ve simply been bypassed by an easier path to the dungeon, however Nintendo determined to reimplement the time journey gamers have been already accustomed to. And it makes for one of many coolest moments in one in every of gaming’s oldest franchises.