I’ve been replaying the Legend of Zelda: Skyward sword during my evening game time lately and I’m remembering how painful so many parts of the game were. While the HD remake fixed a lot of these problems (like allowing you to zip through most dialogue and cutting WAY down on the amount of times your sword states the obvious to you while you’re just trying to run around the new area you got to), one of my personal pet peeves remains. Collecting weird shit to upgrade your stuff.
What frustrates me the most is how it undependable most of it is. I am midway or so through the game, maybe a bit further, and I have found exactly one “common” item I need for some basic upgrades. I’ve found almost a dozen of the rare golden variants of it, but I don’t need that many. And you need bugs to upgrade potions, which is gross, but also annoying because they randomly spawn as well. Anything that doesn’t just randomly show up is easy to get, but most items need one or two dependable objects and then one random one or one rare one (which means there’s just a limited number in the game but that they’re generally just in chests or whatever).
It’s incredibly frustrating because I’ve killed a couple hundred of the enemy that is supposed to drop this item, but gotten exactly zero. The only one I got was in a chest. So there’s a whole pile of items I want to upgrade that I can’t upgrade because I haven’t found this supposedly common item.
This is especially rankling after playing through Breath of the Wild and experiencing its complex but easy to follow system for collecting things to upgrade armor. Though the game doesn’t directly tell you where to find things, most of them are named in a way that suggests where to find them, there are NPCs who hint at how to get them, and the general exploratory and creative nature of the game encourages behavior that would result in getting even the rarest of the collectible items (like fallen stars or dragon horn fragments). Once you’ve found one, or figured out what you need to do in order to get more, it works pretty much every time. Even the randomly dropped monster loot can become dependable if you find the right colored monster (they’re color coded to show their difficulty).
Going back to this game and spending an hour wandering around an island in the sky to find enough mantises to upgrade my potion that fixes my shield is just so draining. And I apparently never saw one type of bug that’s apparently needed for the second tier of potion upgrades, so I’ve just been stuck with the single-upgrade versions this entire time since I didn’t want to waste an entire evening hunting bugs that may or may not actually appear for me.
Even the in-game item that’s supposed to make bugs way easier to find hasn’t done me any good. It can’t locate what never spawns. Maybe I’m just cursed to do a no-potion-upgrades run of this game (which is way more acheivable since I’m not dealing with the frustrating Wii motion control bullshit), but it’s just so frustrating to essentially be denied higher-tiered items and potions just because I’ve apparently got shit luck.
As much as I love the franchise and will debate myself for hours when it comes to picking my favorite Legend of Zelda game, picking my least-favorite is easy. Even Link’s Crossbow Training is less frustrating that Skyward Sword’s collection system. Here’s hoping Breath of the Wild 2 comes out soon (like, early 2022 maybe?) so I can move on from this souring experience. It’s not like I can justify playing through Breath of the Wild 1 for a fifth time.