The recent release of The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD has allowed players to return to, or experience for the first time, the beginning of the series’ long and sprawling story. Serving as Hyrule’s creation myth, it recounts the story of the Goddess Hylia’s battle against the first evil, the salvation of humanity, and the birth of the cycle of heroes. To help summarize the events of this story and its effects on future games, including BOTW 2, here is the ending of The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD explained.
The story opens by recounting the history of the Triforce and how Demise emerged from the earth with a legion of monsters to use its power for destruction. To keep the Triforce away from Demise, the Goddess Hylia gathered a group of humans onto a section of earth and sent them into the sky before sealing Demise beneath what would become the Sealed Grounds. Hylia then sacrificed her divinity in order to be reincarnated as a mortal, Zelda, and left behind a powerful sword for a future hero, Link, to wield when Demise would inevitably return.
The events of Skyward Sword then begin when Demise’s servant, the Demon Lord Ghirahim, brings on a storm that sucks Zelda out of the sky and forces Link to assume the role of the Goddesses’ chosen hero. Link wastes no time in chasing Zelda across the surface and fighting back Ghirahim and his monsters. Link nearly catches up to Zelda but is forced to fend off Ghirahim at the last minute so that Zelda and her guardian Impa could escape by traveling back in time. Now, with Zelda somewhere in the past, the latter half of Link’s journey begins.
Skyward Sword HD’s Ending: Link, Zelda, & The Triforce
To get the ability to time travel to the past and reunite with Zelda, Link must awaken the true power of the Goddess Sword in order to open the Gate of Time. To do so, Link must find the three Sacred Flames which will strengthen the Goddess Sword and imbue it with new abilities. Farore’s Flame extends the length and power of the sword, Nayru’s Flame increases the sword’s dowsing ability, and Din’s Flame gives it the power to ward off evil. With this final flame, the Goddess Sword awakens and takes its true form as the Master Sword.
Since the Master Sword in Skyward Sword HD was made with the ability to manipulate the flow of time, Link activates the Gate of Time and travels to the past to reunite with Zelda. When he arrives, he learns that in order to stop Demise from breaking free, he must acquire the Triforce and wish for Demise’s destruction. To make sure Link has the time he needs to do so, Zelda remains in the past and seals herself in a crystal in order to keep her power from being used to revive Demise while Link travels back to the present.
Link learns that the pieces of the Triforce have been split and in order to activate the ancient relic and use its power, he must recover the three pieces and reunite them in the Sky Keep. Link successfully does so and when the Triforce takes form, Link makes his wish. Below Sky Keep is the Sealed Grounds where Demise’s weakened form, named The Imprisoned, has broken from its seal yet again. However, with Link’s wish, Sky Keep separates from Sky Loft and plummets toward the surface, crushing The Imprisoned and preventing Demise from fully breaking his seal.
Skyward Sword HD’s Ending: Ghirahim & Demise’s Plot
Link quickly finds Zelda, who has been in a deep slumber since they last talked in the past, and awakens her. Seeing how Link beat Demise and successfully prevented his return, Zelda finally enjoys a brief moment of peace – at least until Ghirahim suddenly appears to kidnap her and travels back to the past. Link, once again, wastes no time in following them and confronts Ghirahim for the final time.
Since Demise was successfully destroyed in the future, Ghirahim’s new plan is to use Zelda’s power to revive Demise in the past and, in turn, rewrite the future. To keep Link from ruining his plans yet again, Ghirahim holds nothing back and fights Link in his most powerful form. Link is victorious once again, but Ghirahim was able to buy enough time for his master to take the power he needed to break his seal and return to his true form.
In one final twist, Ghirahim reveals that he really is the spirit of Demise’s Sword, a dark and twisted version of the Master Sword and its spirit Fi. In his final attempt to stop this ancient evil, Link challenges Demise to a duel for the fate of the world. Demise, full of hubris and impressed with Link’s courage, accepts the challenge and takes them even farther back in time.
They travel to a time thousands of years before the events of the game and into an ethereal pool of water surrounded by sky. Demise is incredibly strong and doesn’t hold back, but Link is able to best him by using Skyward Strikes imbued with lightning to weaken him and quickly attack. Link ultimately defeats Demise by performing a powerful fatal blow, plunging the Master Sword deep into Demise’s chest. In the moments before Link seals Demise within the Master Sword, he utters this curse:
“My hate… never perishes. It is born anew in a cycle with no end! I will rise again. Those like you… Those who share the blood of the goddess and the spirit of the hero… They are eternally bound to this curse. An incarnation of my hatred shall ever follow your kind, dooming them to wander a blood-soaked sea of darkness for all time!”
Skyward Sword’s Ending Is The Beginning Of The Zelda Timeline
With these final words in Skyward Sword HD, Demise is sealed within the Master Sword and Link returns to the present to reunite with his companions. To complete the seal, Link returns the Master Sword to its pedestal where it will remain until it is needed once again. With Zelda and the world finally safe from the return of Demise, the pair remain on the surface and establish the Kingdom of Hyrule.
While Skyward Sword ends here, its impact does not. Demise’s curse kickstarts The Legend of Zelda‘s timeline and explains how Link, Zelda, and the major villains of Hyrule are all reincarnations that are trapped in an eternal battle. In The Minish Cap, which chronologically takes place after Skyward Sword, the hatred of Demise partially reincarnates as the villain Vaati. However, it isn’t until Ocarina of Time that Demise’s truest and most powerful reincarnation, known as Ganondorf, would be born.
Ganondorf, and his primal alter-ego Ganon, would be Link’s most consistent antagonist after his initial appearance. The most recent appearance of Ganon occurred in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild in the form of Calamity Ganon. This powerful version of Ganon comes in the form of a substance called Malice, which Skyward Sword HD reveals is a physical manifestation of Demise’s hatred. With the recent trailers for Breath of the Wild 2 revealing the return of Ganondorf, floating islands, and an abundance of Malice, it seems as though the seal may be breaking and that Demise may return to the series once again.
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