Yesterday morning, Legend of Zelda fans flocked to Nintendo World in New York City for the release of Skyward Sword. Folks dressed in their best Zelda attire packed the store and lined up outside for a chance to purchase the game a day early.
We were fortunate enough to have a chance to speak with Kit Ellis, the PR Manager for Nintendo America, who confirmed our suspicions that Skyward Sword would live up to its hype. “People have been anticipating this game for years,” Ellis said. “For the launch we wanted to give them the opportunity to get it early — and this is the only retail store in the U.S. that is doing so.”
Mere steps away from us, fans were lining up to get their photo taken with a replica of the infamous Master Sword. The sword was forged in the company’s Canadian offices and sported a shimmery gradient coloring reminiscent of the watercolor effect on the sword in-game. Lucky for Nintendo World, the sword will remain in the store for patrons’ enjoyment. “The idea [for the sword replica] came to us when we knew we wanted to do an event for the game,” Ellis told Dualshockers. “Drawing out the sword is iconic to all the games.”
“I think [Skyward Sword] the best Zelda game, maybe the best Wii game,” Ellis went on to say as behind us fan after fan left the store’s register grinning ear to ear. “It changes up the Zelda formula. We evaluated the core tenant of the series, thought about what could be changed, and the motion control offers great depth and fidelity of swordplay. There is also lots of emotion to this story, and the those emotions are conveyed by the great range in facial expressions.”
We had to know, so we asked: what is up with Link and Zelda in Skyward Sword? As if the “Romance” trailer didn’t tip us off that something cute was going on. “There is definitely more of a connection between Link and Zelda in this game. There are lots of hints at romance — this is more emotional of a story, and the game builds the relationship between the two of them and shows how close they are,” Ellis explained. “It’s more motivation for Link to save her.”
Ellis went on to explain that while many elements of Skyward Sword are fresh to the series, the game still borrows elements from previous titles in the franchise. “The story uses the foundation of core things found in other Zelda games, but when I finally finished it my mind was blown. There are revelations you don’t expect.”
So why are people so attracted to Zelda? What is it that has made this franchise so beloved by many, and has caused it to take root deep in our hearts and keep us coming back for more? As one of the first games for the NES, The Legend of Zelda has survived a twenty-five year run and flourished into one of the most popular and iconic video game franchises. Ocarina of Time alone attracted an entire generation of gamers, and Nintendo is hoping Skyward Sword will do the same. “There is something so timeless and pure about these games,” Ellis said, smiling as we watched a young boy get his photo taken with the Master Sword. “The adventure, the story… it’s all open to interpretation.”
The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword releases today worldwide.