Skyward Sword HD: Tips, tricks, and secrets for beginners
The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD is a unique Zelda game with plenty of hidden secrets and things to collect. Whether this is your very first time playing Skyward Sword or your first time replaying it since the Wii version, we're here to help with some tips, tricks, and secrets. There are definitely some things you can do to make the game easier, and also more exciting.
Skyward Sword HD tips and tricks
I'll start this guide off talking about helpful tips and tricks. If you're interested in learning about Skyward Sword HD secrets, continue on to the next section below.
You don't need to have played previous Zelda games
Skyward Sword HD is actually the very first game in the Zelda timeline. Aside from being able to recognize returning characters and understanding how Zelda games work, having played previous Zelda games doesn't give you a big advantage. Just jump on in and enjoy the story.
Make sure to unlock Gratitude Crystal sidequests
Shortly after starting the game, players are confronted with a mother looking for her lost child. If you take the time to locate that child, you'll unlock a set of sidequests that allow you to earn Gratitude Crystals. It's important you unlock these missions as soon as you can. When you've earned enough of these crystals, you can turn them in for awesome rewards like a Heart Piece or a larger wallet.
For more help, check out our guide on how to find all Gratitude Crystals in Skyward Sword HD.
Try using your latest gadget on puzzles and bosses
Link will acquire several tools during the course of his journey. If you're stumped on a puzzle or just don't know what to do next, see if there's anything you can do with your most recently acquired gadget. In fact, sometimes a Skyward Sword HD boss can only be beaten using a specific tool obtained in their dungeon.
Gather Heart Pieces to gain more health
Every time Link collects four Heart Pieces he adds another heart to his overall health. Taking the time to search for all the Heart Piece locations or figure out the puzzles they're locked behind can make it harder for your enemies to kill you. There are 24 Heart Pieces to find which can add a total of six additional hearts to your overall health.
Get all five Empty Bottles
Having Empty Bottles in your inventory allows you to hold onto potions, special bugs, fairies, and more during the course of your game. There are five of them scattered throughout Skyward Sword HD and they're often acquired through sidequests or simply by taking the time to explore the map. Here are the five Bottle locations:
- Skyloft Potion Shop: Speak with Luv in the Bazaar after Zelda disappears and she'll give you a free Bottle.
- Sealed Temple: Open the chest to the right of the old pointy woman to get this one.
- Skyloft Orielle sidequest: Talk to Parrow near the lighthouse to start this quest. After you've helped his sister, Orielle and gotten her safely back to Skyloft, return to Parrow and he'll give you a Bottle.
- Fire Sanctuary: After acquiring the Mogma Mits, return to the room where you defeated the Magmanos (the lava hand enemy). Now go through the hole and open the gate to the next room. You'll find a Bottle in the Chest.
- Thunderhead: First, enter the Fire Sanctuary and locate the Goddess Cube sitting on an island in the lava. Activate it with Skyward Strike and then go back to the sky. Fly to the Thunderhead (if it hasn't been unlocked, you won't be able to get it yet) and land on the small island north of the Bug Rock floating island. Use the Mogma Mits to burrow into a hole and you'll come across a chest with a Bottle in it.
Pink Fairy locations
When you've acquired some bottles, always make sure to visit fairy spawning locations and scoop them up for later. Should Link faint in battle, a fairy will break out of its glass and revive him with six hearts.
- Sealed Temple: Break open the pots upstairs.
- Goddess Walls: Draw a triforce on the wall to make fairies appear.
- Faron Woods: Check the tree in the section of the forest where you first meet Bucha, the giant Kikwi leader.
- Behind Skyview Temple: You'll find them floating around the spring.
- Earth Temple: When you get to the eyeball room, a pink fairy can be found on a platform.
- Lake Floria cave: Break open a skull to release a fairy.
- Sky: Head southwest of Skyloft until you get to a volcano-shaped island. A fairy can be found in the cone.
- Fire Sanctuary: Dig into the hole in front of the Gossip Stone to release them.
- Faron Woods: Hit a mushroom with your sword and then scoop up the Glittering Spores. If you empty the contents on a Heart Flower, you'll release a fairy.
Sitting and sleeping heals the soul
Link's hearts will refiill if you take a moment to sit down on a bench, chair, or take a nap. Of course, you'll need to be near some interactive furniture for this to be useful to you.
Taking a nap in a bed also allows you to change the time of day. Since some sidequests can only be completed at day or at night, this is something you'll frequently want to take advantage of.
How to survive the Silent Realm Trials
Skyward Sword HD's Silent Realm Trials can be terrifying if not frustrating (especially the Lanayru Desert one). Link must run around a large area of the map collecting all of the Sacred Tears for his Spirit Vessel without running out of time or getting caught by Guardians or Watchers. If you're having trouble, consider these tips:
- Collect everything in each section before moving on: I know Fi said to try to keep easier collectables for last, but she's crazy. You don't want to have to run all the way across the map just to get that last Sacred Tear you saw earlier.
- Strategically get spotted: Collecting a Sacred Tear resets the Guardians, so sometimes the best thing you can do to save time is intentionally run into the view of a Guardian as long as you're about to run into a Sacred Tear. Just make sure to be careful when you leave not to upset them again.
- Turn down the music: Let's be honest. One of the scariest things about the Silent Realm Trials is listening to the calm music crescendo into panicked clanging while a Guardian chases after you. I suggest muting the game temporarily. You might be able to steady your nerves better if you can't hear it.
- Run in circles: Guardians can easily catch up to you if you run in a straight line. If you're near a Sacred Tear, consider running in a wide circle towards your objective as this can sometimes keep the Guardian from catching you. Then when you've collected the Sacred Tear, the Guardian will get reset.
- Never run out of stamina: You're more likely to get away from Guardians if Link has stamina. Never let it get down to zero as this will make him an easy target. You can sometimes out walk the Guardians, to a Sacred Tear.
Consider buying the Zelda & Loftwing amiibo
This summer, Nintendo announced that a new Zelda & Loftwing amiibo would be releasing on the same day as Skyward Sword HD. It's a rather costly figurine and there's definitely some controversy surrounding it, but scanning it allows Link to instantly fast travel between the ground and the sky instead of having to rely on saving points to do so.
As with all Zelda amiibo, It's very popular and sells out quickly. So you'll need to jump on it if you see the Zelda & Loftwing amiibo in stock.
Skyward Sword HD secrets
There are a lot of hidden things in Zelda games. Some are more helpful while some are silly easter eggs. Either way, they're fun to find. Warning, some slight spoilers ahead.
Gaepora is a hoot
Zelda's father and the headmaster of the Knight Academy is designed to look like Kaepora Gaebora, the knowledgable owl seen in various Zelda games including Ocarina of Time. That's why he sometimes says "Hoo" while talking to you.
Messing with Groose's hair
Eventually Link will acquire a tool called the Gust Bellows. If Link blasts it at Groose, he'll freak out and the minute Link stops he'll frantically start patting down his hair to put it right. It's fun to mess with him considering how much of a butt he can be.
Fi can be a jerk
It's no secret that Skyward Sword HD's Silent Realm Trials can be pretty tough to get through. If Link fails them enough times in a row, Fi will start saying things about how she doubts Link is actually the Chosen Hero. It's kind of funny if you're intentionally failing, but incredibly frustrating if you're not.
After talking to Gorko the Goron near the Sealed Temple, Link can learn how to make Gossip Stones appear by playing the Goddess Harp. What the Goron doesn't tell you is that you can interact with these stones in multiple ways. Go ahead and see for yourself.
- Bomb it: Make a bomb go off next to one of these stones and it will shoot into the sky like a rocket.
- Gust Bellows: Give it a blast and it will get smaller.
- Shoot an arrow: It will drop a Rupee.
- Play the Goddess Harp: It will move to the song.
- Pour water or Glittering Spores on it: It will shrink to a smaller size.
- Horizonal Whip Strike: It will spin around.
- Verticle Whip Strike: It will rock to the sides.
Link's robot name
When Link meets Lanayru, the dragon disapproves of his name and assigns him a new one: "LD-Link-16". This goes in line with the names given to the Ancient Robots. The LD stands for Lanayru Desert while the 16 refers to Skyward Sword bing the 16th Zelda game released.
With these Skyward Sword HD tips and tricks, you should be able to more conveniently make your way through the game. Zelda is full of little secrets and Easter Eggs. If we happned to miss one of your favorites, tell us about it in the comments below.
*Skyward Sword HD is out on Nintendo Switch on July 16. Interested in streaming your Skyward Sword HD playthrough? You'll need one of the best capture cards for Nintendo Switch. *
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Gaming aficionado Rebecca Spear is iMore's dedicated gaming editor with a focus on Nintendo Switch and iOS gaming. You’ll never catch her without her Switch or her iPad Air handy. If you’ve got a question about Pokémon, The Legend of Zelda, or just about any other Nintendo series check out her guides to help you out. Rebecca has written thousands of articles in the last six years including hundreds of extensive gaming guides, previews, and reviews for both Switch and Apple Arcade. She also loves checking out new gaming accessories like iPhone controllers and has her ear to the ground when it comes to covering the next big trend.