What Is Hero Mode in "The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword"?
What Is Hero Mode?
Simply put, Hero Mode is Skyward Sword's hard mode. This is not the first time that The Legend of Zelda has toyed with bonus adding content on a second playthrough. The very first Zelda game had a Second Quest that was unlocked after beating Ganon in the final dungeon. The most well-known hard mode in the franchise is the Master Quest of Ocarina of Time, which increased the game difficulty by switching up the puzzles in each of the game's dungeons while mirroring the game world itself.
However, Skyward Sword's Hero Mode is much simpler than that. In a nutshell, here's why Hero Mode is more difficult:
- Enemies will deal double damage and will not drop hearts when defeated.
- Following from the above note, Hearts won't drop at all unless you have a Heart Medal equipped. Recall that the reason you use a Heart Medal in regular mode is to increase Heart drop rates. In Hero Mode, you need one just to get Heart drops at all.
This may not seem like much, but remember that most bosses (and mini-bosses) in Skyward Sword deal one Heart of damage upon a successful attack. So, that means bosses in Hero Mode will deal two Hearts of damage upon a successful attack. This forces you to rely on smarter combat tactics and using Potions on a more regular basis. At least Heart Potions are 20 Rupees each, right?
Note: Fairies still appear in the game, so that's one way you can still heal. Sitting down works as well.
Of course, not all is doom and gloom in Hero Mode. Here's a list of other things that occur in Hero Mode that aren't detrimental:
- Bugs and treasures carry over from your previous playthrough. This means that you can farm up a bunch of excess items to upgrade your equipment as soon as you start the game.
- Upon acquiring the Goddess Sword, you will notice that the Skyward Strike has the same charge time, distance, and damage as the Master Sword.
- The Master Sword's Skyward Strike charges instantly.
- As you've already beaten the game, you are now allowed to skip cutscenes by pressing the (2) button. The Sheikah Stone in Skyloft will also give you a full list of hints from the start of the game (but if you've beaten the game already you should be able to complete the dungeons without that sort of help, right?)
- Once you unlock Boss Rush Mode (The Lightning Round), you will be able to fight against Demise as well, completing the list of twelve possible matches at Lanayru Gorge.
Hero Mode is unlocked after beating the regular mode of Skyward Sword. Thus, this article will have spoilers. If you haven't beaten the game yet, proceed at your own risk.
Tips and Tricks
So, now that you know what you're up against, it's time to give you some helpful tips and tricks for surviving Hero Mode:
- Upgrade your Wooden Shield as soon as possible! As one of the few things that carry over are bugs and treasure, you can use them to get a Braced Shield before even leaving Skyloft for the first time. For that matter, upgrade all of your shields as soon as possible. More durability is always a plus!
- Following that train of thought, it's also possible to get upgraded potions from the start of the game as well, provided you have the adequate resources. This will maximize your Bottle usage for potions.
- I recommend having a Revitalizing Potion with you at all times. While having a shield is a perk in regular mode (you don't need one until around the Sandship and you should have a Sacred Shield by then), it is a necessity in Hero Mode. It's better for your shield to break than for you to die. Of course, the optimal situation is that you keep your shield intact. Revitalizing Potions can do that and heal you for four Hearts (eight if you upgraded the potion).
- Be cautious. If you see a large group of enemies, you might want to use your Skyward Strike to kill/lure a few of them towards you, instead of charging headfirst into the mob.
- On that same note, keep in mind that your Skyward Strike does Master Sword level damage at all points in the game, so it's better to use a Skyward Strike than it is to just attack until you get the Master Sword back. Just don't get reckless trying to charge your sword up!
- Once you get the Slingshot, don't forget that its seed shots can stun enemies. You might have not used it offensively much in regular mode, but it's a godsend in Hero Mode.
- Use the Beetle to scout ahead in dungeons and open areas. Surprises can be deadly!
- Once you get the Bow, you can upgrade it to its strongest form and use it in The Imprisoned fights if you want to destroy the foot appendages, but don't want to climb onto his forehead. An upgraded Bow is useful in many places though. Feel free to experiment!
Become the Hero of Time in Hero Mode
As you can gather, Hero Mode in The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword can be a deadly experience. However, it can also be very fulfilling as you overcome dire odds and save the world for the second time in a row!
If you need help with any of Skyward Sword's bosses, feel free to read my boss guides or just ask for help in the comments section of this article.
Good luck being a Hero!
Until the next time, take care and have fun!