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Why Skyward Sword will be a must-buy

Delving deeper into Link's latest adventure

Announced with a flurry of slashes, slices and lops, it was hard to leave E3 not jabbering about Zelda's all-new MotionPlus controls.


But as visitors swung remotes to bury hot steel in Bokoblin belly, Zelda producer Eiji Aonuma buried hot words in journalist ears.

Players should be familiar with the basics of Zelda Skyward Sword by now, the controls and general design decisions.

What you may not know is all the bombshells Aonuma's has kept to himself.

Fortunately we've gathered the best and converted them to ten easily digestible points and explain why they'll make the new Zelda a must play.

SKYWARD SWORD IS THE FIRST ZELDA

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The Zelda timeline has baffled academics for eons. A writhing mass of contradictions, alternative universes and multiple Links, it ranks up with kite strings on the Fiddly Knot-O-Meter.

Joker that he is, Eiji Aonuma encourages such debate by dating Skyward Sword as a precursor to Ocarina Of Time (currently held to be the earliest Zelda).

This is the tale of how the Master Sword came to be, born from the Skyward Sword and setting the whole Hyrulian shebang in motion.

Aonuma also confirmed our suspicions that the sword transforms into the female figure spotted in the 2009 E3 concept art, giving Link some Midna/Navi-ish company.

LINK TAKES TO THE SKIES

Link begins the tale in Skyloft, a cloudy realm high above a chaotic Hyrule (an echo of Minish Cap's Cloud Top?). As the adventure unfolds he travels between the two realms (alas, not by winged Epona).

Aonuma is yet to reveal how Link makes the journey, though we'd bet on skydiving la Wii Sports Resort. Resort inspires lots of what we've seen so far - swordings and archery - and Aonuma speaks of a big debt to its development team.

Oh, and the E3 trailer shows our elfin go-getter hurling himself into a cloudbank. We assume this means skydiving. That or he's sick of this adventuring lark and wants to end it all. Hopefully not.

THE DIRECTOR HAS QUIRKY ZELDA PEDIGREE

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Hidemaro Fujibashi takes the director's chair. Formerly of Flagship (a studio jointly owned by Capcom, Sega and Nintendo) he was responsible for Link's Game Boy Color Oracle adventures and GBA's Minish Cap.

With Phantom Hourglass also nestling on his CV, Skyward Sword sees him finally graduate from handhelds. Could this inform the Wii game's design? Miyamoto wants Skyward Sword to offer a more compact play experience after a bloated Twilight Princess - a portable sensibility fits the bill.

We just hope he brings his eye for item design too. Minish Cap's Gust Jar, Mole Mitts and Cane of Pacci boasted innovation that's been lacking in more recent Zeldas.

THE SWORD HAS SECRET TRICKS

On Ocarina Of Time Shigeru Miyamoto had a vision: Link riding Epona with his sword held high. A vision unattainable until the age of MotionPlus. The demand for dramatic combat poses calls for a new projectile system.

Steadily hold the blade outstretched - above or to the side - and it charges with energy unleashed with a swipe (a beam traditionally reserved for a full-health Link). Aonuma also says the sword can be used to hunt for treasure.

He's been shy with the details, but we can envisage pointing the blade as a divining rod and listening for remote speaker noise to guide us to the treats. If that isn't the idea, Aonuma can have that one for free.

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