4 things that Breath of the Wild borrowed from Skyward Sword

by Ben Kirby
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The Legend of Zelda is a series that has now spanned decades, and in doing so has grown, changed and evolved along the way.  My memories of playing Ocarina of Time and Majora’s Mask on the Nintendo 64 are some of my fondest.  Two of my all-time favourites.

Breath of the Wild turned all of that on its head and swiftly became my favourite in the series.  Little did I know, that whilst it maintained so much of the lore, the history of the world and iconic weapons and items. Breath of the Wild actually borrowed some significant elements from Skyward Sword.

Quick note: to my great shame, I had never played Skyward Sword, until the HD Remaster came out on Nintendo Switch, and boy am I gutted to have left it this long! I’m currently streaming my playthrough and reviewing it over at ninjarefinery.com

Here are 4 things that the excellent Breath of the Wild took from the wonderful Skyward Sword.

Skyward Sword

Sail cloth

This was a big surprise to me.  I never really thought about the origins of the glider in Breath of the Wild, but it’s very clear, very quickly that the sail cloth in Skyward Sword is the source.

Not quite as freeing as the Breath of the Wild version.  The sail cloth is gifted to you by Princess Zelda and it’s there to allow you to drop massive heights (off your Loftwing in the sky!!).

More of a saving grace than a traversal option, but it’s definitely the first iteration.

It works great in Skyward Sword, but the glider is essential in Breath of the Wild. 

Weapon damage

Not strictly weapons……but shields.  Shields are breakable in Skyward Sword and it’s really frustrating.  Just like all weapons and shields in Breath of the Wild.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but I’ve not seen breakable gear in other games of the series.

People largely derided the breakable weapons in Breath of the Wild.  Marked as one of the only glaring flaws in a pretty exceptional game.  Truth is, Skyward Sword brought it into the world of Zelda…..so thank that instead, I guess?

Stamina Gauge

Running, swimming, climbing.  We all get tired doing these things, and use stamina, right?  Well, so does Link in Breath of the Wild.

A massive surprise to me was that Link also has this limiting factor in Skyward Sword.  Truth be told, it’s not that prohibitive, and it adds a little element of challenge to things like long climbs, or running away from particularly persistent enemies.

More life or death in Breath of the Wild, but Skyward Sword introduced the mechanic years before people were sliding down wet rocks on the Wii U and Switch.

Collecting items to upgrade gear

An RPG standard, yes.  A Zelda standard? Nope.

Zelda games have traditionally worked on the premise that you have your sword, your shield and your potions.  Then you discover equipment throughout the game (usually just around the time that you’re going to need it!).  Hook-shots, slingshots, whips (yep!), bows etc.

Skyward Sword allows you to collect items like flora and fauna.  Even level/area-specific items and drops from enemies.  Then you can use these to improve gear, improve potions or repair gear.

Breath of the WIld allows a similar level of crafting, creating meals to heal, creating dyes for your clothes and repairing key weapons.

Yep, no other Zelda game touched upon this, but Skyward Sword did it on a small scale before Breath of the Wild took it one and made it more substantial.

Looking ahead

With Breath of the Wild 2 in development, and focusing on the sky, more than the previous title.  It’s looking like Skyward Sword might be a prime opportunity to pick up some more features.

Hopefully a Loftwing! But possibly the whip or digging mitts.  Let’s hope for the hook beetle, too.

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Skyward Sword HD - Further Thoughts - Ninja Refinery October 1, 2021 - 6:43 pm

[…] I’ll pop my final thoughts up once I’m done! In the meantime, check out my bit on Skyward Sword and what Breath of the Wild took from it, over at Fullsync.co.uk […]


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