Multiple Links to the Past.
As a series, The Legend of Zelda started out as Shigeru Miyamoto’s creation and ever since Eiji Aonuma stepped up and became the producer behind the more recent instalments, that man has often teased us and it only makes us love him more.
With a smile that rivals that of the Happy Mask Salesman, Aonuma has a history of publically teasing new ideas and potential Zelda games. One example would be his teasing back in 2016, back when he said he’d like to make a game where he can live as a thief. The full quote can be seen below:
“Actually, Nintendo has been telling me to create a new IP. But then, they’re also telling me to make more Zelda games.”
“I can’t really share much; I’m not sure I’m allowed to say anything. But I really like the idea of a game where I can live as a thief. That’s all I’ll say.” – Eiji Aonuma during an interview with EDGE
As it would turn out, this would be a tease for the 2018 reimagining of The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening by developer Grezzo, who more recently ported Miitopia to the Nintendo Switch back in May 2021. Yet now, as the July 16, 2021 release of The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD draws ever nearer, we can’t help but reflect on the past and remember everything he said about a possible port of it.
Speaking with IGN back in 2016, during E3 no less, after the full-blown reveal of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Aonuma was asked about the possibility of porting Skyward Sword, to which he responded by saying it’s possible, but would be weird at the same time.
“Yeah it’s definitely possible. As I mentioned earlier in the presentation, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is a result of what we wanted to expand and make a better Skyward Sword. It’s like an evolved or expanded version.”
“Putting out an HD version of Skyward Sword and tossing that into the mix might be a little weird. It’s always a possibility, so I really don’t know.” – Eiji Aonuma during an interview with IGN in 2016
As 2021 has proved, a HD port isn’t just a possibility but a reality, but while we disbelieve the idea of the HD remaster starting way back in 2016, at the earliest, if Aonuma’s next comment is to go by, 2018 is a possible start year.
You see it was in 2018 when, during the Legend of Zelda musical concert that took place in Osaka, Japan, Aonuma had made an on-stage appearance. An appearance that just so happened saw him seemingly tease a Skyward Sword port and was met by thunderous applause.
“I know what you are thinking, “Skyward Sword for Switch, right?” – Eiji Aonuma during a Legend of Zelda concert in Osaka, Japan in 2018
Now at that time, all of Aonuma’s teasing and wording was no guarantee of anything, especially when Nintendo was quick to dismiss the comment by saying there are no plans for Skyward Sword on Switch at that time, but 2020 would tell a different story. Instead of Aonuma being the one to say anything, this time on August 17, 2020, it was noticed that Amazon was now listing Skyward Sword for Switch and the news quickly spread.
The rest of 2020 would pass without Nintendo ever officially confirming the port, but six months later on February 17, 2021, The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD would finally be revealed to the world as part of a Nintendo Direct and Aonuma himself would go on to list the similarities it has to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and how it influenced it.
This writer for one is overjoyed Skyward Sword is receiving its very own HD remaster 10 years after its initial release. As far as story-telling goes and dungeon design, it’s one of the strongest entries in the Zelda series to date. The motion controls may have put most off, but with a HD release offering both button controls and motion controls, now even more Zelda fans and Switch gamers can discover the game that acts as the earliest game in the Zelda series, setting up some of the lore and history.
It also happens to be the essential game that without it, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild would never have come to pass and judging by the E3 2021 Nintendo Direct trailer, it looks like Skyward Sword HD is influencing, if not tied to the Breath of the Wild sequel as well. Only, we’ll have to wait until 2022 to find out just how much and in what capacity.
So, until then, here’s to you Eiji Aonuma, you beautiful legend. May your teasing of future Zelda games forever continue.