A guide to the beginning of the story in The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword.
In the Nintendo Switch version, you can select Options to switch between Motion Controls and Button-Only Controls, and adjust various options for aiming and camera controls, and so on. These options can also be accessed in the Pause menu at any time.
The amiibo feature becomes available after you progress a certain amount in the game.
In the Nintendo Switch version of the game, you can skip cutscenes by pressing the - button.
Help Fledge and Horwell
After the opening cutscenes of the game, open your cabinet to get five rupees. Leave your room, then go over to the guy trying to lift barrels near the kitchen. This is Fledge. Talk to him, then pick up a barrel and set it down, then talk to Fledge again and agree to help him. Put the barrel down near the old woman in the kitchen, but keep an eye on the green stamina meter. Put the barrel down if your stamina meter gets close to empty, and wait for it to refill. When you have dropped off the barrel, go talk to Fledge again to get 20 rupees.
Go outside through the large double doors nearby and save at the Bird Statue. (The Nintendo Switch version will also autosave near Bird Statues.) Then go east. Instructor Horwell will call out to you. Follow the on screen instructions to talk to him.
To go up to him, hold the indicated button to run up the wooden boxes. Climb the rest of the way up. Run toward the gap to jump across, then talk to Horwell.
Wii/Wii U Version Additional Dialogue
In the Wii and Wii U versions, he will mention the Stamina Gauge. Your stamina will decrease if you dash or do other strenuous activities. The stamina gauge will fill back up if you rest or walk at a normal speed. But if you let the stamina gauge become empty, you will have to wait for a little while before the stamina gauge refills, so try not to let it get empty.
Horwell mentions autojumping. Go toward the far ledge (walking is fine; no need to dash) to do an autojump to the other side. Then talk to Horwell once more.
Horwell will say that Gaepora's pet, Mia, has run up onto the roof.
To get Mia back, run up the wall to grab onto the wooden ledge. Then move to the left to go along the ledge on your hands. When you see your shadow over the awning, press the indicated button to drop down. Then do a running jump to the next awning, and finally, climb up the vines.
Once on the roof, go to the wooden crate. In the Wii and Wii U version, Horwell will tell you how to push it and use it to reach the roof. Just stand next to it and hold the indicated button and then move forward or backward to push or pull it. Then you can either run toward it to run up it, or you can walk toward it for a moment to climb onto it.
Pick up Mia and hop down, then walk to where the bell on the roof is. Jump down from there and walk up to Horwell to automatically give Mia to him. After some dialogue, Horwell gives you 20 rupees.
Now make your way toward the north part of Skyloft. (Check the Map if you aren't sure which way to go.) Save at the Bird Statue on the way if you wish. You will pass Jahamar, who is repairing the gate. He can give you information if you're not sure what to do next.
At the Goddess Statue, you will talk to Zelda and her father.
Find your Loftwing
After the cutscene, go to the south end of Skyloft. There is a kid rolling into a tree on the way. Follow the on-screen instructions to do a roll attack into the tree. A blue rupee will fall out. You can also roll attack the other trees in Skyloft to get more blue rupees.
At the south end of Skyloft, approach the stone tower and there will be a cutscene.
Afterward, go to the small building north of the academy. This is the sparring hall, where you encounter Pipit and Fledge. Talk to Pipit. Your destination will be marked on your map.
Pipit will warn you that the path there is dangerous, so you should borrow a sword from the Sparring Hall first. The door to the sparring room is just behind Pipit and Fledge, so go inside.
Get a Sword
Talk to the guy at the end of the Sparring Hall. He is Eagus, the Knight Commander. He will say to take a sword from the back, so go do that. Then you can talk to Eagus again if you want him to teach you how to use the sword.
Follow the on screen instructions to draw your sword and chop the logs. Notice that each log has a weak spot in a particular shape. Be sure to slash the sword in the proper direction to slice across the weak point of the log. There is a log that has a small hole in the front. Use a forward thrust attack to break that one. There is also a log that is hanging from a rope. This one is just designed for you to practice dodging attacks. You can't break it. Just hit it with your sword, then practice dodging it while it swings.
After you chop all of the logs, Eagus will teach you a couple of other techniques. You'll practice the spin attack and then learn the Finishing Blow, also known as a Fatal Blow. Follow the on screen instructions to execute the finishing blow.
When you try to leave, and there will be a cutscene. Afterward, leave the Sparring Hall.
Rescue your Loftwing
In the Wii and Wii U versions, as you walk away from the Sparring Hall, a strange statue will come up from the ground. It will say that it can show you some hint movies if you get stuck.
Now make your way toward the X marked on your map. Jahamar has finished repairing the gate south of the Goddess Statue, so you can go that way if you wish. On the east side of Skyloft, you will have to hop over some rocks in the water and then cut away the trees with your sword. Try chopping downward to split them down the middle.
Go inside to find a cave. You will encounter Keese and Green Chuchus here. As you make your way through the cave, be sure to go through the gap in the fence on the right and dash across the gap to reach a chest that contains 20 rupees. Below that chest, you will need to dash to go up the slope.
There is also a chest with 20 rupees that you can reach farther along in the cave by climbing up some vines near a small pond. Up ahead, hold the run button to run up the ledge and climb up. Finally, near the exit, there is a gap in the wall behind some grass that you can crawl into to get two red rupees.
Go out through the exit, save at the Bird Statue, and follow the path. After the cutscene, continue along the path until there is another cutscene. You find your Loftwing locked up behind some wooden boards. The boards are too thick for your sword to cut, but you can cut the ropes that are attached to the ends of the boards. Move the barrels out of the way if needed. Be sure to slash in an appropriate direction to cut the ropes. Cut all of the ropes to free your Loftwing.
After the cutscene, you will be skydiving. Press the indicated button to whistle for your Loftwing. Zelda will ask you to practice flying your Loftwing a bit. As you fly, Zelda will explain the controls. Be sure to follow the on-screen instructions. You will learn how to point where you want to go, and how to change angle and direction. You will also learn how to gain altitude, speed up, dash (also known as charge), slow down, and jump off.
Soon, the practice session will end and it will be time for the Wing Ceremony.