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Zelda: Skyward Sword a "school drama"

Warning, plot spoilers within.

Nintendo's Zelda custodian Eiji Aonuma has let slip a few big plot points regarding Link's forthcoming Wii adventure, Skyward Sword.

According to a Famitsu interview, translated by 1Up, the game's opening sections break with Zelda tradition and see Link and Zelda friends at a boarding school.

"Link, Zelda and their other friends all go to the same boarding school, and you've got teachers and a principal as well. It's a bit of a different setting from previous Zeldas," he explained.

"The flying sequence at the E3 demo is Link competing against his classmates. One of them looks kind of a like a bad guy, as you saw, and he shows up in other ways in the game too, since he has a major thing for Zelda."

At the start of the game at least, Zelda isn't actually a princess. She disappears early on and Link duly embarks on a quest to track her down.

Aonuma also highlighted a few other ways that the game is attempting to mix up the tried and tested Zelda formula, emphasising a new approach to item unlocking.

"With previous Zeldas, the common pattern was that the really neat items wouldn't show up until later on in the game. You need to have the basic item set or it wouldn't be Zelda, so the new items tended to get shunted to the latter part of the game.

"Miyamoto said that had to change, like 'This is neat, let's bring it out from the start.' So a lot of neat new items will show up pretty early on."

He added that the game follows a similar structure to N64 classic Majora's Mask.

"The game starts in Skyloft, this city that's floating in the air, and you'll come back to this town multiple times," he said.

"Things are always proceeding along in town, and in that respect it's very much like Majora's Mask. Like with Majora, there are a lot of game events involving the townspeople that get intertwined with the main story."

The game's plot apparently ties in with Ocarina of Time in some way. “If you play Ocarina of Time 3D and move on to this game, I think you'll catch on to a lot of things," he explained.

Nintendo hasn't announced an official release date for the game yet beyond late 2011. However, Aonuma confirmed the game is finished and the aim is to release simultaneously worldwide.

"The whole game is complete and we're fine-tuning the balance right now. We were going to have it wholly done by around E3, but there's so much volume to it, neither I nor Miyamoto have gotten to fully play out every aspect.

"The non-English localisations are proceeding along now, and we're trying to make this a simultaneous worldwide release. You have to put Zelda all out at once or else the story's going to get spoiled - although, really, there's a ton to enjoy here even if you know a little about the story beforehand."

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Fred Dutton

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Fred Dutton was Eurogamer's US news editor, based in Washington DC.

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