The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword is the second game in the series to be released on the Wii. It was the first game in the series to employ the use of the Wii Motion Plus add-on for the Wii Remote. Skyward Sword used the idea of an impressionist painting as its visual style. Much of the game was notably quite cartoon-ish, harking back to the cel-shaded Wind Waker, but it featured a more mature Link similar to his The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess incarnation.
Link is a boy who lives in the land of Skyloft, which is a group of islands which exist in the clouds above another land which none of the inhabitants of Skyloft know anything about. Link rescues his Loftwing, a bird which the inhabitants of Skyloft fly on, from a cave where it was captured and held by Groose, a Skyloftian with red hair, who did so to give himself a chance of winning an upcoming Loftwing race. He then proceeds to win the Loftwing Race, for which he receives the Sailcloth from Zelda. However, as they are flying afterwards, a storm appears and a giant whale appears to swallow Zelda as she falls, knocked off her Loftwing by the winds. Link acquires the item known as the Goddess Sword, he uses it to reveal a hole in the clouds, allowing him to drop down through the gap to reach the land below, landing safely with the Sailcloth. He is accompanied by Fi, the spirit of the Goddess Sword.
When Link lands at the Sacred Grounds, he finds an ancient seal which he restores by hitting with the Goddess Sword. He meets an old woman inside the Sealed Temple who reveals that Zelda was saved by Impa, a member of the Sheikah, and is travelling to sacred springs to purify herself. Link follows Zelda's trail using the Gpddess Sword's Dowsing ability.
Link encounters Lord Ghirahim, the self-proclaimed Demon Lord, in the Skyview Temple in the Faron Province, who is also following her. He defeats Ghirahim, just to discover that Zelda already left the spring in the next room. He sees her at the spring in the Earth Temple in the Eldin Province, but Impa makes her leave before telling Lik he is much too slow. Link encounters the two at the Temple of Time in Lanayru Desert after navigating through the Lanyaru Mining Facility. However, Ghirahim blows up the wall protecting the Temple. Link engages Ghirahim in battle so that Zelda and Impa can escape through the Gate of Time. Zelda gives Link the Goddess's Harp before she leaves.
After Zelda goes through the Gate of Time, Link returns to the Sealed Temple. However, as he is diving from his Loftwing, Groose jumps down with him and grabs him, causing the two to crash into the ground. They begin to talk with the old woman, but a trembling in the ground causes the old woman to warn them of The Imprisoned, who is about to break free from the ancient seal Link resealed earlier. She says that it must be stopped at all costs. Link fights off the massive beast while Groose hides with the old woman. She then reveals that a second Gate of Time is in the Sealed Temple, but Link requires a great force to activate it. This force is the Master Sword, the Goddess Sword in its true form.
He sets out to forge the Goddess Sword into the Master Sword by infusing it with the three Sacred Flames; one for each Goddess. When he has forged the Master Sword, he opens a second Gate of Time in the Sealed Temple, since the Gate Zelda used was destroyed. He finds Zelda in the past, who tells Link that she is the reincarnation of the goddess Hylia, and that she must go to sleep to prevent The Imprisoned regaining his full powers and becoming the Demon King, Demise. She tells him that he must find the Triforce before she can wake up, for that is the only way to truly defeat the Demon King.
Link learns the Song of the Hero from the great Dragons and Levias, and uses it to reveal the Sky Keep, a dungeon which holds the three separate parts of the Triforce. Upon obtaining the full Triforce, he makes a wish; to destroy The Imprisoned. The third island of Skyloft, the one on which is the Goddess Statue, becomes detached from the other islands and plummets down to the ground, filling the gap at the Sealed Grounds. However, as Link reawakens Zelda in the Sealed Temple, Ghirahim appears and takes her back through the Gate of Time, for the Demon King still lives in the past and he plans to use Hylia to free him. Link attempts to stop him, but he is too late and Demise is freed. It is revealed that Ghirahim is the spirit of his sword, just as Fi is the spirit of the Goddess Sword.
Link follows Demise through a portal which leads to a dimension in the sky, where they battle. Link is victorious, and returns to Zelda. Demise's final words state that his evil and hate is so great that it will return in other incarnations to destroy Link and Zelda's descendants. It is implied that Ganondorf is the incarnation of this hate. Link and Zelda choose to stay on the surface, beginning the Hyrule empire.
The player uses the Wii Remote with the Wii Motion Plus to swing around Link's sword in various directions, and uses the Nunchuk to move Link around and use his shield. A number of items in the game can also be controlled with Wii Motion Plus, and they are often found in the Dungeons, of which there are six. The total number of items has dropped dramatically from Twilight Princess, featuring only 8, but it includes an upgrade system to improve these items. These items include the bow, the whip, and the Beetle which can be used to retrieve items and activate switches. The Bug Net also returns from A Link to the Past, allowing you to catch bugs/insects which can be used to upgrade potions or sell.
As well as these items, Skyward Sword features a new item system: the Adventure Pouch. In this pouch, other items are kept, such as bottles, potions and medallions, which increase your chances of finding hearts, bugs or something else.