So here's where it gets a little strange. If you're just joining the party now, here are Part 1 and Part 2 of this 24-Hour Liveblog. Part 3 will begin with us having just beaten the first temple - we need to venture back to Skyloft before heading down to the surface again. Zelda is still missing. The key villain (or is he?) has been introduced. This third and final section will run up until 07:00am, Saturday 19th November. See you on the other side, maybe.
23:05pm - The above poster, of Link and Fi, was the first promotional image that Nintendo released for Skyward Sword back at E3 2009. The game didn't even have a title at the time.
23:26pm - Popular UK TV charity fundraiser Children In Need has apparently reached the grand total of £19,555,068 so far tonight - that's roughly 391,180 copies of the Limited Edition Skyward Sword!
23:58pm - Another significant aspect of the Zelda games is the way the environment is constantly being recontextualised around you as new items are gained; in a similar way to, say, the Metroid games, previously unreachable areas become accessible and little secrets are revealed everywhere as your character progresses. Back on Skyloft, having inserted the second tablet inside the Statue of the Goddess, another beacon of light has opened up. But before I head there I'm going to see what I can unearth with my new slingshot and the beetle (a mechanical fly you can send into the air and operate manually, so as to survey otherwise inaccessible places). For those who just want to read about the action, I hope this will be okay.
00:04am, Saturday 19th November 2011 - I made a joke at the expense of Madeleine McCann at 13:08pm in Part 1, but what's this?! It's Kukiel's mum, and she's worried that her daughter may have been kidnapped!
00:43am - Just paid a visit to Beedle's Airshop, which you have to call by striking the bell hanging below it (I used my slingshot), and bought a Bug Net. The Airshop made its first appearance in the DS game Spirit Tracks, which we hope to be running a retrospective on next week.
00:53am - "How long do you want to sleep?" - these are the questions I don't want the game to be asking me right now. Nevertheless I need to put Link to bed and have him wake up at night, when all the monsters come out, as I have a feeling this is when we'll find Kukiel.
01:30am - Skyloft at night is beautiful. The only lights at sea are the coloured beacons leading to the surface level, whilst on the island itself the only lights are those from inside houses. We're currently standing atop the Light Tower, which has one of the best views.
02:02am - Still looking for Kukiel, and just as I was about to give up was given a lead that'll take me back to The Lumpy Pumpkin. Have spent the last half an hour catching bugs and fighting off bats.
02:10am - For an old drunk sitting alone in a pub, that is a very good tip.
02:45am - SPOILER!
I may have been complaining earlier, but following the breadcrumbs and finding Kukiel was definitely worth taking an hour or so away from the main plotline. The "Skyloft monster" who she's eventually found with, goes by the name Batreaux, and is hilarious. All he wants is to mingle with the ordinary Skyloft folk, but because of the way he looks nobody will be friendly to him. This is a little bit like the Elephant Man wandering onto the set of High School Musical. He sets Link a quest, asking him to find Gratitude Crystals (which are dropped when humans are nice to each other). These crystals will apparently turn him back into a 'normal' approachable human. Now I'm no scriptwriter but I can see the following development: poor Peatrice is lonely and bored (last time we met her she said: "Isn't there anyone special out there for me?...I wish I could find someone to share a beautiful love with..."), so naturally Batreaux in human form will likely turn out the dream guy she's always longed for. Forget Zelda, we want to make Peatrice happy! We need Gratitude Crystals!
02:48am - Actually there's no forgetting Zelda - we're now off to Eldin Province!
03:56am - There's a very tricky bit at the Eldin Volcano which we think involves throwing a bomb onto a sinking bridge, and then collecting the same bomb and throwing it again before it explodes, all while making sure that we don't touch the lava. There may well be an easier way to do this. The music in this stage is ace by the way.
04:58am - I'm not proud, but I had to look up the solution for the section described above. I'll blame my lack of sleep for not working it out sooner because the answer, as this video shows (spoiler alert, obviously), is simple. Anyway, good progress now being made in the Eldin Volcano. I now have Digging Mitts!
04:59am - I think I also dozed off for about twenty minutes, complaints to the usual email address.
05:27am - A mysterious figure in black robes has just appeared to tell us that "Zelda is ahead", before quickly disappearing himself. You would think that perhaps the Princess could just slow down for a bit to let us catch up? Anyway, had a lot of fun exploring the volcano, especially using Link's new-found digging ability. If it wasn't already clear, this is a marvellous game.
06:09am - Into the last hour!
06:10am - If you get the chance, go visit Tubert, the friendly owner of Thrill Digger - Skyward Sword's own top-down interpretation of Minesweeper. Very addictive. There are also Rupee Ore fragments in the wall, and shooting these with your slingshot instantly drops money.
06:46am - And so this is where the journey ends (for now), on the cusp of entering the second Temple of the game, having collected all five pieces for the key that opens the main entrance. Suffice to say, Skyward Sword is a meticulously designed, engrossing game; perhaps most importantly, it feels fresh. Perhaps this is because it's been so long since the last console Zelda, but you can clearly see why Skyward Sword has been the most intensive and expensive undertaking in Nintendo's history. Everything from the visuals, to the score, to the implementation of MotionPlus has been thought through with the greatest care, and the attention to the world's detail is superb. Because we were playing at a leisurely pace I get the impression that the game has plenty more surprises in store; I've barely scratched the surface of the story, and there are already numerous sub-quests waiting to be completed. This is clearly a game to savour. I need sleep, but I wish I didn't... Thank you for reading!