By Ishaan . November 8, 2011 . 9:01am
Time travel was one of the central functions of The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. It’s back in Skyward Sword, too, but not in a way that you would expect. Time travel in Skyward Sword is limited to the game’s third area, the Lanayru Desert.
Each area in Skyward Sword was designed with a different idea in mind. The forest area, Faron Woods, was created with the concept of changing landforms, so you have something different to do the second time you visit it. The second area, Eldin Volcano, was designed around the theme of changing the rules of how the game is played.
Lanayru Desert, which we recently saw some footage of, is based around the concept of transformation involving time travel. In the past, the desert was home to some sort of ancient race, which is now buried under the sand. Scattered throughout the desert are Timeshift Stones. Hitting these reverses and fast-forwards time, so you can access the ancient civilization as well as the desert in its present form.
Hitting a Timeshift Stone will effect everything in the surrounding area, from the environment to the enemies, instantaneously. It’s also how the desert ends up turning into a sea at one point, and Link has to ride a ship to traverse it.
The idea for Timeshift Stones came partly from Ocarina of Time and partly from Nintendo staff conducting experiments with the idea of time travel. These early experiments involved firing an arrow off into the distance and having it change the landscape around where it landed. Staff then grew attached to this concept and decided to design an entire area based around the concept of transformation.
Food for thought:
There’s been no mention of what this ancient civilization in the Lanayru Desert is, but there’s probably a reason behind its name and the fact that there’s a giant Triforce constructed in the middle of it.