The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD, an updated remaster of the 2011 Wii game, was announced during an hour-long Nintendo Direct livestream. In making the jump to Nintendo Switch, the company was able to keep the original Wii Motion Plus controls intact by mapping them to the Joy-Con gyroscopes.
Additionally, because the Nintendo Switch Lite does not have removable controllers, the development team was also able to remap Skyward Sword’s directional sword combat to the right analog stick. Along with reworked controls, the game will feature, as the name suggests, HD graphics.
Before The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Skyward Sword was the last original console Legend of Zelda game released by Nintendo. It remains somewhat divisive in the Zelda fandom, mainly for its controls. While its precise sword swipes were a novel idea, they made dealing with enemies feel formulaic. If an enemy was blocking from the left, then you always swing from the right, and so forth. The game also had some repetitive padding towards the end, which artificially prolonged its length.
Regardless, many mechanics in Skyward Sword, such as the stamina gauge and being able to paraglide from high places, were later adapted for Breath of the Wild. Plus, Skyward Sword’s music and dungeons remain some of the best in the series.
Nintendo also announced that it will produce new, limited edition Joy-Con game controllers. The right Joy-Con is modeled after the Master Sword, while the left takes inspiration from the Hylian Shield.
Because Skyward Sword came out toward the tail-end of the Wii’s popularity, many gamers never played the game. Plus, there’s an entire generation of younger players who may want to jump in for the first time. Considering that Skyward Sword is currently locked on the Wii, getting standard composite inputs working on a modern 4K television is a bit of a hassle. By giving the game an HD refresh, Nintendo has revitalized Skyward Sword for modern displays.
Skyward Sword and the limited edition Joy-Cons will launch on July 16.