The game opens with a cloaked character arriving at Hyrule's Castle Town, brandishing an illegible packet of seeds. They advance to the garden and present the packet to the nearby guards, asking to plant their imported seeds nearby and watch them grow. The guards think it a strange request but see no harm in it, allowing the character to do so. They hunch over to bury the dark seeds, and water the soil.
After a few seconds, thick, pitch-black, thorny vines burst from the ground and grow erratically, causing harm to the guards in the process. As the vines damage Hyrule Castle, the character throws off their cloak and takes the time to monologue. They introduce themself with the name Za'ad, and demands to be dubbed King of Hyrule. Za'ad threatens, if he is not crowned, to plant more of the Seeds of Shadow—seeds native to the remote island of Avifon, which are said to blot out the light.
Soon thereafter, Link and former princess Zelda are banished from Hyrule. As they sail away, Zelda wonders why they were exiled, reasoning that Za'ad saw them as a threat. But why? This and other questions confound our heroes as they run ashore with a sprawling island. As Shadow Vines and a variety of birds come into view, it becomes clear that they have arrived on Avifon.
Zelda recalls many stories claiming the island to be cursed, such as a legend that living on Avifon could turn men into harmless birds. Her conversation with Link is short-lived as they sight monsters in the distance. The two abscond to a deserted hut until the monsters pass on. Noticing a hearth inside, Link volunteers to find materials for a sword so they can defend themselves. They forge two weak swords, one of which Link brings with him as he explores the nearby area. Zelda decides to remain in the hut, offering "self-defense advice" to Link if he needs it.Link advances into the wilderness of the island, learning along the way that striking the flowers of Shadow Vines is a stimulus that causes them to recoil. Soon, he enters a jungle filled with various birds. Among the bird songs and calls, he seems to hear a whisper guiding him to stand on the hollowed tree stump nearby. With nothing else to do in the area, Link trusts the voice. A / button prompt appears, and pressing it causes Link to lose his balance and fall into the trunk. He shoots out of a branch in bird form and lands on the ground below as a heap of feathers.
As Link gains awareness of his new form and begins panicking, a canary named Koko lands at his side. She explains that she lured Link into using the Bird Portal, mentioning the same legends of the island turning men into birds. However, Koko adds that the islanders believed in a hero who could use both species to his advantage to save the world from darkness; Link's human appearance and ability to understand bird language fit the bill of this hero's description.
Link explains his own situation, and Koko suggests forging the legendary Lustrous Sword, returning to Hyrule with it, and using its power to defeat Za'ad. To forge it, several Avifonian artifacts must be collected. Finally, Koko provides a tutorial on the basics of controlling Bird Link, including flight, attacking, and using Bird Portals to return to human form.
With legend on his side, Link sets off on his quest.
Retro NES Face
Retro GameCube Face
The traditional aspect of gameplay in The Wings of Avifon plays similarly to previous 2D installments of the series. Since the game runs on a 3D engine, Link can move, attack, and defend from more angles, and fire projectiles at various heights.
Link receives the ability to turn into a bird using Bird Portals. In this form, he is weaker but can take to the skies and navigate areas differently thanks to his smaller size. In flight, the camera follows behind him, making these segments play more closely to those of a 3D game. Bird Link can find and buy specialized equipment to grant this form special abilities, for combat, exploration, and puzzle-solving alike.
Due to the smaller island setting of the game, there are fewer dungeons to beat. The upshot is that most dungeons can be explored a second time using later items; which unlocks a second dungeon item, a new route to solve, and a different boss encounter.
|Hyrule Castle||With the Lustrous Sword in tow, Link, Zelda, and Koko finally decide to return to Hyrule and overthrow King Za'ad. First, they must work through his defenses and open the door to the inner sanctum. Then it's time for the final boss battle.
For the first stage, Za'ad forces Link into bird form. Link must evade the Shadow Vines he swings while closing in on him to attack.
Za'ad flees outside, using the castle courtyard as his next battlefield. He ingests a packet of Seeds of Shadow, mutating into a giant, eldritch beast fused with Shadow Vines. Link uses a nearby Bird Portal to return to human form and fight a more traditional battle. When Za'ad leaves his limbs vulnerable, Link must swing the Lustrous Sword to dissociate them. This is the opportunity to whale on Za'ad, eventually resulting in his defeat.
- The idea of using seeds as an implement of evil was inspired by complaints about the Korok Seed sidequest in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.