UPDATE: The data gathered and analyzed for my playthrough of Skyward Sword will not be included in my final evaluation of Handholding in 3D Zelda Games on Home Consoles because it was not held to the same standard as my audits of Twilight Princess, Ocarina of Time, and The Wind Waker. As a result, my verdict in the Hey, Look, Listen series has been delayed and a new article that reanalyzes handholding in Skyward Sword will be released once I can complete another playthrough of the game and write an analysis.
This decision has less to do with the fact that my first analysis of Skyward Sword excluded certain elements from consideration (listed in the Other Handholding Factors part of this article) and more to do with the fact that I did not judge Skyward Sword by the same criteria as I judged later games in this series. As a result, I am strongly considering a second playthrough of Majora’s Mask for the same reasons.
I apologize to the readers who have enjoyed reading this series and who are disappointed to hear my conclusions have been delayed, but I did not make this decision lightly. I want this audit to be the best that it can be, and I hope readers will understand my decision. And on that note, I feel I should give a more thorough explanation for why I am re-evaluating Skyward Sword.
Why I Am Re-evaluating Skyward Sword
At the start of this audit, keeping track of time was something I considered to be optional. I had never conducted an audit that juggled this many factors before, and one of the things I left by the wayside at the start of this audit was keeping track of time. I didn’t see much of a point in keeping track of time, but since Skyward Sword makes checking session length and total play time so easy, I decided to keep track of those numbers anyway.
Keeping track of time turned out to be a great decision, because it allowed me to measure data based on hourly rate rather than just total numbers.
However, my initial tracking of time for Skyward Sword was very irregular, and this is the reason why my spreadsheet at the bottom of this article includes question marks in some of the cells for Total Time and Segment Length.
The fact that I didn’t know how long I spent in Skyward Sword’s first dungeon really threw off my plans to analyze data in some more detailed ways, like a breakdown of how many Chimes took place in dungeons versus how many took place outside of dungeons. Missing this one little piece of the data prevented me from accurately providing information like that, and this troubled me for much of my audit.
By the time I started playing Twilight Princess and reached the game’s second dungeon, I realized something even more troubling: I had to change the way I was evaluating one of my most important counters, Camera Movements. For your convenience, I’ve put together a video explaining this change in the methodology for tallying Camera Movements, which you can view at the top of this article.
Furthermore, a second playthrough of Skyward Sword will give me a chance to at least keep track of some of the most frequently requested handholding elements in Skyward Sword: Fi’s warnings for low health, warnings for low battery life, messages for bugs and treasures, and more. In fact, while my initial playthrough of Skyward Sword kept track of 10 categories of information, (my eight counters plus time and location/event) this second playthrough is keeping track of 19. Some of that information is specific to Skyward Sword, others will be more familiar to readers of this series.
Nonetheless, my goal is for my second analysis of Skyward Sword to be much more comprehensive than my first, and to provide much more accurate numbers to work with as a result.
Other Articles in the Hey, Look, Listen Series
- Analyzing Handholding in Zelda — Methodology and Definitions — December 11, 2014
- Analyzing Handholding in Skyward Sword — December 22, 2014
- Analyzing Handholding in Majora’s Mask — January 16, 2014
- Analyzing Handholding in Twilight Princess — January 16, 2015
- Analyzing Handholding in Ocarina of Time — March 5, 2015
- Analyzing Handholding in The Wind Waker — March 5, 2015
- UPDATE Analyzing Handholding in Skyward Sword — March 5, 2015
- Reanalyzing Handholding in Skyward Sword — March 25, 2015