100 is Zelda's Lucky Number
Over the last five years, more than 100 staff members have been working to bring Skyward Sword to light. Considering the immense size of the game, it would seem that not one of there efforts was in vain. The team has already confirmed that the game will take the average player 50 to 100 hours to complete. That's a whole lot of heart piece-hunting goodness. In addition to a possible 100 hours of gameplay, the game is also packing over 100 minutes of cutscenes. Noticing a trend?
Nintendo also confirmed the game has a boss challenge mode (something that's become quite common in recent entries), a second playthrough (a la the original Zelda) and optional hint movies for if you get stuck (similar to the Sheikah stones in Ocarina of Time 3D).
Keeping the Baby, Losing the Bathwater
As the developers have stated many times, the general dungeon-field-dungeon-field formula of past Zelda games has been omitted in this entry -- but that doesn't mean similarities to past adventure's haven't crept their way in. For instance, much like in Ocarina of Time and Twilight Princess, the first two dungeons are the forest and fire temples, respectively.
However, just because you'll be traveling to these dungeon types in the same order, that doesn't mean the portions of the game in-between will remain the same as well. After besting each of these location's bosses, Link will travel to The Silent Realm by placing the Skyward Sword into a spot on the ground.
After reaching this alternate dimension, Link must defeat the giant Guardians that defend it by collecting tears. Link's weapons are useless to him in The Silent Realm, so these parts should hopefully prove a worthwhile challenge.
Skyward Sword the RPG?
Shortly after Nintendo's TGS press conference, a new trailer for Skyward Sword was released displaying RPG elements on a level never before seen in a Zelda game.
In the trailer, Link runs around looting. Yes, you heard correctly -- looting. He takes out enemy after enemy, picking up a piece of treasure left by each.
At the end of the trailer, he then travels to his home world, Skyloft. There he visits a bazaar, where its kooky owner offers to either upgrade his gear or fix his broken shield. Link opts for the prior and hands over his Wooden Shield and three pieces of loot. In return he receives the Banded Shield, which is described as being "much more durable than the standard Wooden Shield."
Double Clawshots, anyone?
Miyamoto's on-stage demo showed off more than just the game's new controls and environments. Sharp-eyed Zelda fanatics should have noticed several item reveals, including some new equipment, as well as some old favorites. Twilight Princess's woefully underused Double Clawshots seem poised to make a return, as does what looks to be none other than Minish Cap's Gust Jar (or at least some sort of ceramic that blows wind).
Also making a return is Link's trusty Bug Catching Net from A Link to the Past, which he uses to sneak up on and catch a butterfly. While none of these have been officially confirmed, it's hard to imagine what else these eerily familiar items could be.
As far as new items are concerned, not much was revealed outside of an Aladdin-style cloth Link uses to coast through the air in much the same way he used the Deku Leaf in Wind Waker. Although it's not exactly a separate item, Link's sword was also shown to have a power not previously known. Apparently, the player can switch into first person mode and aim Link's sword around as a sort of metal detector. Using this, he can find soft spots in the soil that he can plunder for buried treasure. Will Link have his Mole Mitts from Minish Cap to help him dig? Only time will tell.