Skyward Sword HD for Nintendo Switch is an updated version of The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, which originally launched on Nintendo Wii. The original title divided the Zelda community after its release. Many fans loved the impressionist art style and challenging new mechanics, while others disliked some slower quests and the mandatory motion controls. However, the HD remake made motion controls optional and included several quality-of-life improvements (the ever-present Fi isn't constantly forthcoming with opinions and advice this time around). As a result, Skyward Sword HD is a charming return to the classic Zelda formula and a very different experience to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.

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Skyward Sword HD weaves fun moments with sad revelations and dramatic events, expertly balancing humor and gravity. However, much of its nuance is easy to miss on your first playthrough. The starting area of Skyloft is one of the richest locations in Skyward Sword HD, full of tiny secrets, subtle humor, and nods to other titles, as long as you know where to look. Warning: Some spoilers ahead!


Link's Room: Knight By Day, Sculptor By Night

One of the first secrets you can find is right in Link's bedroom. After the opening sequence, the game urges you to get going immediately. However, if you glance around the room you'll notice random debris on Link's desk. A closer inspection reveals that Link has been carving a wooden Loftwing in his downtime.

Near the unfinished Loftwing, you'll notice carving tools, an open book with Loftwing diagrams, and a few fresh carving blocks. Atop Link's bookshelf, you'll also see painted carvings of a Loftwing and a Remlit. It looks like Link has a creative side.


Zelda's Room: Is It Real Love, Or Just A Tingle?

Zelda's room is packed with small secrets for observant fans. On a shelf, you'll see a painted Loftwing carving similar to the ones in Link's room. On Zelda's desk, you can also find a plush figure that looks just like Tingle from Majora's Mask and Windwaker.

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Most importantly, if you look closely, you'll see a letter with a heart seal sticking halfway out from under a pile of books on Zelda's desk. Who's it from? Who's it to? We'll likely never know, though we can hope for the best. Oh, and don't forget about the Heart Piece in Zelda's wardrobe (one of many to be found in the game, naturally) on your way out.


Groose: Every Bully Needs A Punching Bag

One of the first things you'll notice about Groose's room is that it's far larger than any of the other rooms. While Cawlin and Stritch share bunk beds in a room the size of a closet, Groose has an abundance of workout equipment and piles of crates, a huge mirror, and plenty of floor space.

Groose keeps a large self-portrait on the far right wall as a testament to his illusions of grandeur. Groose's most interesting room feature, however, is a punching bag with Link's face taped to the front of it.


Karane: A Girl Who Knows What She Wants

Early in the game, Karane makes it obvious that she's head over heels for Pipit. She speaks about him constantly and even asks Link what he thinks of Pipit before awkwardly retracting the question. Her love is more than just a simple crush, though. If you head up to her room and look at her desk, you'll notice a detailed drawing of Pipit's face along with stylized letters that look like initials.

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The best part, though, is that Link can play matchmaker, depending on his choices in The Haunted Restroom. If Link delivers Cawlin's love letter to Karane, Karane will wonder what Pipit thinks of the situation. If Link then tells Pipit about the letter, Pipit will barge into Cawlin's meeting with Karane and boldly proclaim his love for Karane. Sometimes love needs a little nudge.


Gaepora: Reincarnating Spirit Guide, Or Just An Old Man?

Gaepora's character has a ring of familiarity to many Zelda fans for a few reasons. His name is similar to that of Kaepora Gaebora, the owl from Ocarina of Time. Kaepora Gaebora is the animal form of the Sage of Light, Rauru.

According to game lore, Rauru built the Temple of Time atop the remains of Skyward Sword's Sealed Temple sometime before the descendants of Skyloft established the Kingdom of Hyrule. Is Rauru the ancient headmaster of Skyloft? If so, just how old is he?


Henya: Even Heroes Need To Follow The Rules

In Skyward Sword HD, Link can cause mischief seemingly without consequence. He can break handcrafted pottery with reckless abandon, destroy the local food supply, enter houses at night to sleep in other people's beds, and raid wardrobes for loot.

There is one character, however, who insists on holding Link accountable for his actions: Henya. If Link goes to the kitchen and takes a seat, Henya will inform him that he's slept through breakfast and that he'll simply have to wait for a meal. Also, if Link breaks pottery in her presence, Henya will yell at him for misbehaving, even threatening to have him expelled.


Piper: Passion Never Rests

Piper is one of the easiest characters in Skyloft to miss because she's literally always cooking. She spends her days preparing food for bazaar patrons, then only she stops long enough to travel to her own kitchen and start cooking again.

Piper's nonstop drive to craft the perfect meal means she has no time for fun, no time for family, and no time for rest. The result is that her patrons rave about her work, even if they sometimes get tired of waiting. This is what passion looks like!


Villagers: What's In A Name?

At first glance, the strange names of Skyloft's citizens appear to either be references to past games (Link, Zelda, Gaepora, Beedle) or simple inventions. A closer look reveals that most of Skyloft's villagers are named after birds or other flying animals.

Cawlin's name references a crows call, while Stritch is a shortening of the word "ostrich." Orielle and Parrow refer to orioles and sparrows, respectively, Henya and Rusta are stylizations of "hen" and "rooster." Peater's name and cocky attitude refer to a peacock. Even Batreaux's name and design are inspired by bats. There are plenty more bird references throughout Skyloft, as well. Which ones can you identify?


Skyloft: A Little Town Of Secrets

Skyloft is full of small surprises that are easy to miss on a first-time playthrough. You can find a replenishing Blue Rupee stash by rolling into the display cabinet at the Fortune Teller's house, and another inside Link's wardrobe. You can strike the bell above the Knight Academy with a ranged weapon to score a replenishing Green Rupee.

If you're low on hearts and you don't want to wait for a long time by sitting at a chair, you can have a drink with Croo at the Bazaar to instantly replenish your hearts to full. Lastly, if you're feeling mischievous, you can visit Goselle's house and break her antiques, though it's best to go with an empty wallet!


The Moonlight Merchant: If You Can't Find It, Buy It

The Moonlight Merchant is the most elusive secret in Skyloft. The Moonlight Merchant is a Gossip Stone that appears at nighttime in the Waterfall Cave after Link completes the Skyloft Silent Realm.

The Moonlight Merchant sells Skyward Sword's rarest treasures, like Golden Skulls and Blue Bird Feathers. These items, especially Blue Bird Feathers, can be tough to track down in the overworld. However, the merchant's goods come at a steep premium. The Moonlight Merchant is most helpful for players who have a few final equipment upgrades to make before starting the end-game sequence.

NEXT: Skyward Sword: Things You Didn't Know About Ghirahim




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Chris Fritz

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Chris Fritz is a USA-based writer, designer, musician, and more. He covers personal finance, personal growth, music news, and video games. Connect with him on Twitter: @who_is_fritz.

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