The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword

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The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword
LoZ Skyward Sword Box Art.jpg
Developer(s) Nintendo EAD
Publisher(s) Nintendo
Series The Legend of Zelda
Platform(s) Wii
Release date(s) EU November 18, 2011
NA November 20, 2011
JP November 23, 2011
RU November 25, 2011
Genre(s) Action-adventure
Mode(s) Single-player
Input methods Wii Remote with Wii Motion Plus + Nunchuk
Compatibility 4Stars4.pngEdit rating: The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword
Playable
GameIDs SOUE01, SOUK01, SOUP01, DAXP01, DAXE01, SOUJ01
See also...

Dolphin Forum thread
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The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword (ゼルダの伝説 スカイウォードソード, Zeruda no Densetsu: Sukaiwōdo Sōdo) is an action-adventure game for the Wii console and the sixteenth entry in the Legend of Zelda series. Nearly 5 years in development, the Skyward Sword departs from many of the traditional Zelda norms, featuring new controls, a new art style, and formula differences. Skyward Sword requires either the Wii Motion Plus add on or a Wii Remote Plus.

Skyward Sword heavily integrates the use of the Wii MotionPlus; swordplay, for instance, is integrated with the controller to a point where the player has one-to-one motion control over Link's sword and its attack directions. In contrast to earlier installments, battles do not focus solely on timing attacks, but also on their target, such as the direction in which enemies are hit. This also allows for the sword to be integrated into puzzles to a greater extent than in previous titles.

Problems

Wii MotionPlus

Skyward Sword requires the Wii MotionPlus add-on. Dolphin is currently not capable of emulating the Wii MotionPlus; the only way for official Dolphin builds to play this game is to use a real, physical Wii remote with Wii MotionPlus. See issue 3446.

  • Pre-3.0 revisions of Dolphin had rudimentary Wii MotionPlus emulation, but it does not work properly, lacking calibration and constantly disconnecting.
  • Unofficial builds with Wii MotionPlus emulation are available. See the forum for details.

Banding

Banding may be present in shading on characters and surroundings. To fix it, use the DX11 backend, and set Anisotropic Filtering (AF) to 16x. AF should not cause a performance hit, but it may on some weaker systems. See issue 5361.

Half of Link

When some time stone effects are on screen and in the Pirate Stronghold, Link may appear cut in half, with the floor going through part of him as if he is sinking. This only occurs on DX11 with EFB to Texture, so use DX11 with EFB to Ram, DX9, or OpenGL through these areas to correct it.

Pellets/Arrows Aim

Enabling "Skip EFB Access from CPU" can prevent you from aiming properly.

Sword Missing

If "Cache Display Lists" is enabled, Link's sword's blade may disappear. Do not enable "Cache Display Lists" to prevent the problem from occurring.

  • If you want to use cache display lists, there is a method that allows it to be on while keeping the sword. First, make sure "Cache Display Lists" is not checked, then load the game. Pull out the sword, then go into the graphics options and enable the "Cache Display Lists". The sword will remain, even after putting away the sword or traveling to other areas. It appears to hold even after resetting emulation. It may however give out at some point, and require a repeat of this procedure.

Anti-Aliasing (AA)

Skyward Sword uses a Depth of Field (DoF) effect to blur distant objects in a painting like style. Anti-aliasing brings this DoF effect closer to Link, blurring the game more than the developers intended. Keep anti-aliasing off to prevent the problem. This issue has been fixed.

Shadow Flickering

Shadows in the game can flicker when the internal resolution is set to "Auto" with the DX9 back-end. Either use DX9 with a preset internal resolution (example: 3x Native), or use DX11. This problem has been resolved.

Configuration

Only configuration options for the best compatibility where they deviate from defaults are listed.

Graphics

Config Setting Notes
Video Back End Direct3D11 Required to fix banding
Anisotropic Filtering 2x-16x Required to fix banding
Skip EFB Access from CPU Off Disrupts Aiming

Version Compatibility

The graph below charts the compatibility with The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword since Dolphin's 2.0 release, listing revisions only where a compatibility change occurred.

Δ
5.0-10912 (current)
Δ
Δ
Δ
Δ
Δ
2.0 (r5384)
Compatibility can be assumed to align with the indicated revisions. However, compatibility may extend to prior revisions or compatibility gaps may exist within ranges indicated as compatible due to limited testing. Please update as appropriate.

Testing

This title has been tested on the environments listed below:

Template:Test EntryTemplate:Test Entry
Test Entries
Revision OS Version CPU GPU Result Tester
r7718 Windows 7 x64 Intel Core i5-2500K @ 3.7GHz nVidia GeForce GTX 560 Ti Perfect with 3D11, 1920*1080, without AA, Anisotropic Filter 16x, Native 3x.. But during some dialogues, the game slows... Sanitarium026
r7719 Windows 7 x64 Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 @ 3.6GHz ATI Radeon HD 4870 Works perfectly, 30 FPS all the time (D3D11, 1280x1024, 2x Internal Resolution, 4x AA and 16X AF, with "Skip EFB Access to CPU" unticked all the time TheWing
r7719 Windows 7 x64 Intel Core i5-2500K @ 3.3GHz nVidia GeForce GTX 570 I'm using D3D11, 1920*1080, 4x Internal Resolution, no AA, 16x AF, with "Skip EFB Access to CPU" unchecked. The game works perfectly with a solid 30 FPS all the time and no issues. Little detail: to obtain a perfect control of WiiMotion+ with my internal Bluetooth device (included on my motherboard P7P68 Pro REV 3.1) and fix the slowness of the pointer, I had to turn my PC tower to have the device in front of me. Since this change, the accuracy is like on Wii. iPoulpe
style="white-space:nowrap;Expression error: Unrecognized word "r".Expression error: Unrecognized word "r". Windows 7 x64 AMD Phenom II X4 955(Black Edition) @ 3.4GHz nVidia GeForce 560 GTX 30 FPS all times. Works great! 1080P, D3D11, Internal Resolution 3x(1920x1584), No AA, 16x Anisotropic Filtering, Force Texture Filtering, unchecked Skip EFB Access from CPU, EFB copies disabled. SmeagleSmeagle
style="white-space:nowrap;Expression error: Unrecognized word "r".Expression error: Unrecognized word "r". Windows 7 x64 Intel Core i7-2700k @ 4.3 GHz nVidia GeForce GTX 560 Ti Perfect, played through at 1080p from start to finish with 30 FPS. Settings: DX11 renderer, 1920*1080, No AA, 16x Anisotropy, Internal Resolution: Auto (Window Size) Empyrien
r7729 Windows 7 x64 Intel Core i7 @ 4.1GHz nVidia GeForce GTX 460 Works near perfectly, Some scenes slow down to 25-30FPS but gameplay is near perfect. (D3D11, 3X Native, and 16X AF, with Skip EFB Access to CPU ON. Force Texture Filtering ON, Scaled EFB Copy ON Dormantreign
r7729 Windows 8 x64 Intel Core i5-2500 nVidia GeForce GTX 580 Works on 30 FPS all the time (1920x1080, D3D11, 4X Native, 16X AF, 2x FXAA via driver, Fore Texture Filtering On, OpenMP on). Chrisblue
r7729 Windows 7 x64 Intel Core i7 @ 4.1GHz nVidia GeForce GTX 460 Works near perfectly, Some scenes slow down to 25-30FPS but gameplay is near perfect. (D3D11, 3X Native, and 16X AF, with Skip EFB Access to CPU ON. Force Texture Filtering ON, Scaled EFB Copy ON Dormantreign
3.0-208 Windows 7 x64 Intel Core i7-950 @ 3.07GHz nVidia GeForce 460 1920*1080, No AA, 16x Anisotropy, 3x native int. res, EFB to Texture.

D3D11: Works well except when there are timestones in the loaded area, where Link will render behind objects and the terrain if it is within a certain distance of the camera. OpenGL: Also works well, except dynamic meshes (That is, the piles of sand that are around in Lanayuru) don't render at all. The only way to spot them is by looking for strange artifacts in the DoF "bands".

LimEJET
^3.0-199 Windows 7 x64 Intel Core i7-930 @ 4.0GHz nVidia GeForce GTX 560 Ti Direct 3D11, 1920*1080, Anisotropic Filtering 16x, Skip EFB Access from CPU, EFB Copies set to RAM, Cache enabled. Depth of field banding issues resolved, shader issues resolved, very minimal slowdowns. Using a real WiiMote with MotionPlus built in, along with a wireless sensor bar. Invena
^3.0-201 Windows 7 x64 Intel Core i5-2500K nVidia GeForce GTX 570 Direct 3D9, 1920*1080, Anisotropic Filtering 0-16x, Skip EFB Access from CPU, EFB Copies set to RAM, Cache enabled. Severe banding regardless of AF, AA, skip EFB access, EFB copies to ram/texture. Using a real WiiMote+ with stock sensor bar. ermacaz
^3.0-201 Windows 7 x64 AMD Phenom II x4 965BE @ 3.6GHz AMD Radeon HD 6990 Direct 3D11, 1920*1080 4x Native, Anisotropic Filtering 16x, AA off, Skip EFB Access from CPU disabled, EFB Copies (Severe banding but full speed on Texture, Perfect visuals but 9 FPS on RAM). Using a real WiiMote+. Sensor bar only used for initial calibration paintball9
style="white-space:nowrap;Expression error: Unrecognized word "texcache".Expression error: Unrecognized word "texcache". Linux Ubuntu 11.10 x64 Intel Core i5-2500K @ 3.8GHz nVidia GeForce 9600 GT Works fairly well keeping at about 30 FPS except in "busy" areas where it can lost about 5 FPS. Sometimes has a funny issues where menus fall down to 10 FPS, but moves back to 30 when in game. Can't think of any outstanding graphical issues I can identify. Real Motion+, OpenGL, 2x Native, 0xAA, 16xAF, Skip EFB CPU OFF, EFB Copies RAM OFF, EFB Copies Virtual ON Eyecreate
^3.0-204 Windows 7 x64 Intel Core i7-950 AMD Radeon HD 6970 30 FPS with reglage recommended; 2.5x Native for Full Screen 1920x1080 Franck97
^3.0-204 Windows 7 x64 Intel Core i5-2500K @ 4.9GHz AMD Radeon HD 5830 Had troubles with FPS so tweaked a few things and managed a constant 30 FPS. There are a few graphical glitches, but they only seem to happen during dialogue/cut-scenes. D3D11, 2x Native, 0xAA, 16xAF, Force Texture Filtering, Skip EFB CPU, Ignore Format changes OFF, EFB Copies RAM - Enable Cache ON Ammorth
^3.0-204 Windows 7 x64 Intel Core 2 Quad Q8300 @ 2.5GHz ATI Radeon HD 4670 20-30 FPS,D3D9, 1920*1080, Anisotropic Filtering 16x, AA off, 1x native,Skip EFB Access,EFB copies to texture, i have strange issue in some areas i have 30 FPS but some time later performance keeps dropping 30-28-26-24 FPS in the same area,when i restart emulator FPS back to normal 30 Bombado
3.0-223 Windows 7 x64 Intel Core i5-2500K @ 3.8GHz nVidia GeForce GTX 460 30 FPS constant. D3D9, 1600x1200, 2.5x Native, 16X AF, No AA, EFB Texture. 3D Vision enabled, 19% separation in nVidia Control Panel, convergence set so that Link is at screen depth. 3D Vision has issues with water reflections, but lowering the separation minimizes this problem. Also, some minor double image problems in cut-scenes and on polygon edges. Game looks wonderful in stereo 3D. zelin
3.0-223 Windows 7 x64 Intel Core i7-950 @ 3.27GHz AMD Radeon HD 6870 x2 Perfect graphics and 30 FPS everywhere. No problems at all.
3.0-224 Linux Ubuntu 10.04 Intel Core i7-965 nVidia GeForce 9400 GT 15-30 FPS, totally playable. Infrequent crashing, not enough to ruin the gameplay. - Enable dual core, lock threads to cores, 1x Native res, No anti-aliasing, 1x anisotropic, etc. a8ksh4
3.0-314 Windows 7 x64 Intel Core i5-2500K @ 3.9GHz nVidia GeForce GTX 560 Ti Perfect With OpenGL, 1920*1080p, 2.5x or 3x Native (internal resolution), 2x AA, 16x AF, with OpenMP & OpenCL ON, Cache on Texture (not RAM). NO slows ! constant 30 FPS. (I'm Using JITIL experimental engine) Sanitarium026
^3.0-204 Windows 7 x64 Intel Core i7-3930K @ 4GHz nVidia GeForce GTX 470 played in 1080p 30 FPS constant settings: DX11, 4x native internal resolution, 16x anisotropic filtering and anti-aliasing 8x. No slow yama27
^3.0-243 (motionplus build) Windows 7 x64 Intel Core i5-3570K @ 4.5GHz nVidia GeForce GTX 570 Runs perfectly. Upgraded from a 955 BE and the improvement is enormous. It may dip below 30 at stock speeds (especially at night in Skyloft), but with an easily-achievable overclock (given a capable cooling system), it can run 30 FPS through hell and high water. Anonymous
^3.0-260-gfce09c6 (emulated motion+ branch) Linux 3.0 x64 Intel Core2 Duo E6420 @ 2.7GHz nVidia GeForce GTX 420 2x IR, 20 FPS in Skyloft, 21-26 FPS outside, 24-30 FPS in dungeons. No reproducible crashes, graphics issues or any other issues with the OpenGL plugin. Game is fully playable with the emulated motion+ controls. A few selected points in the game are very difficult with those, tough. scummos
3.0-371 Windows 7 x64 Intel Core i5-2500K @ 3.8GHz nVidia GeForce GTX 460 Plays at 30FPS 100%. D3D11, 1920x1200. 3x Native, 16X AF, 8 samples (quality level 32) AA. No slowdowns. Character distorted when viewed in front of water and the usual doubling of character images during cut-scenes. penguinswithpie
3.0-397 Windows 7 x64 AMD Phenom II X6 1100T @ 3.3GHz AMD Radeon HD 6850 Game works fine, 30 FPS almost every time, close to perfection with just a little of audio glitches, if u are out of range of a time shift orb link disappear or is "cut off" out of the screen in place with a time shift orb or a TS stone but the game is still playable. Aldaris
^3.0-370 Windows 7 x64 Intel Core i5-2500K @ 4.5GHz ATI Radeon HD 4890 Haven't beaten it yet (at Lanayru's mining facility) but so far the game has played almost flawlessly, some slight lag here and there, but a lot of the time it's smooth. A few graphical glitches that are very minor. D3D9, 1080p 3x native, no AA, 8x AF, Skip EFB CPU off, EFB Copies "Texture", using DSP LLE recompiler. meta087
^3.0-371 Windows 7 x64 Intel Core i7-2600K @ 3.4GHz nVidia GeForce GTX 570 Broken Graphics when using DX11 when inside the Pirate stronghold dungeon. Link appears to be sunk up to his waistline to the ground. Using DX9 with version 3.0-681 will solve this issue. Cry30
3.0-397 Windows 7 x64 AMD Phenom II X4 960T @ 3.8GHz AMD Radeon HD 6870 Works great, 30 FPS most all of the time since overclocking to 3.8 GHz, turned off turboboost; also JITIL Experimental Recompiler (improved performance); Other Settings: 3x Native, AA: None, AF 4x, Unchecked Skip EFB Access from CPU, EFB Copies = Texture (I have not finished the game, but w/ AF, looks better than my real disc on real Wii). DiBBKa
3.0-458 Windows 7 x64 Intel Core i7-2637M @ 1.7GHz nVidia GeForce GT 540M Played through the whole game now on my Alienware M11xR3. Game runs smooth with 25 - 30 FPS except in large open areas where it can drop down to 15 - 20 FPS. The game is totally playable this way. Settings: Direct3D11, 1366 x 768, V-sync, 1x Internal resolution, No AA, 2x filtering. Used a real Wiimote with Motion+. DomiStyle
3.0-506 Windows 7 x64 Intel Core i5-2500K @ 4.3GHz AMD Radeon HD 5850 x2 Game had stuttering and slowdowns during battles using dsound and DX11 plugin. But after switching to xaudio2 (resolves stuttering) and OpenGL(resolves slowdown), game runs flawlessly at 30 FPS all the time no matter the in game situation. No graphical or any glitches so far at 29hours into the game. Using real wii remote with following settings: JITIL experimental, 1080p at 3x internal resolution (setting to auto causes shadow glitch), OpenCL and OpenMP, vsync, 16xAF, 0AA. LaysBBQ
3.0-589 Windows 7 x64 Intel Core i5-760 @ 3.66GHz nVidia GeForce GTX 470 Runs at full speed in all situations with settings: 2560 x 1440 @ 4x internal resolution, AA none, AF 16x, skip EFB unchecked, OpenMP checked, DSP HLE, XAudio2; using a real wiimote plus and Toshiba stack. DSP HLE sometimes results in audio glitches during cut scenes. With DSP LLE (on own thread) enabled, speed regularly drops to 90%, resulting in audio stutter. tuna
3.0-592 Windows 7 x64 Intel Core i5-2500K @ 3.70GHz nVidia GeForce GTX 560 Ti With new rev of Dolphin, the game runs Perfectly (Speed 100% VPS:60) with OpenGL (3x Native internal resolution, 1920*1080p, 16X AF, 4x AA, OpenCL & OpenMP ON, Texture, XAudio2 HLE. Sanitarium026
3.0-631 Windows 7 x64 Intel Core i5-3570K @ 4.7GHz nVidia GeForce GTX 275 Fullspeed and runs great. DX11 and DSP-LLE will lag in some scenes at stock speeds, but a strong overclock (4.5GHz give or take) can power through it. At 4.7GHz it runs beautifully even with LLE. MaJoR
3.0-681 Windows 7 x64 Intel Core i7-2600K @ 3.4GHz nVidia GeForce GTX 570 Broken Graphics when using DX11 when inside the Pirate stronghold dungeon. Link appears to be sunk up to his waistline to the ground. Using DX9 with version 3.0-681 will solve this issue. After I beat the Abyssal Leviathan boss, stuck on black screen after hitting the goddess symbol with skyward sword. This issue is not present on version 3.0-413. Cry30
3.0-716 Windows 7 x64 Intel Core i5 650 @ 3.2GHz nVidia GeForce GTS 250 Using DX9, almost 30 FPS for all the game, just drop around 20 at some open areas. Using XAudio2, audio is perfect with no glitches. Freeze on black screen after getting the claw. Thanks to Cry30 in the previous comment, using an old build (3.0-413) the game doesn't freeze. dr4g0n3
3.0-735 Windows 7 x64 Intel Core i7-2600 @ 3.4GHz nVidia GeForce GTX 560 Ti Works almost perfect. Doesn't drop below 30 FPS with 3x Internal Resolution and No AA Enabled. Has some sound issues with Background music, but the game is perfectly playable in 1920x1080. Anonymus
^3.0-243 (custom motionplus emu) Windows 7 x64 Intel Core i7 @ 2.6GHz nVidia GeForce GT 650M Haven't gone far at all yet, but Skyloft is 100% with rare and unnoticeable framrate drops. IR emulation is a bit weird, and I think it's not calibrated correctly. The DOF glitch appears to be present, but it doesn't break the game, and it only really affects Free Look. Ac
3.0-766 Windows 7 x64 Intel Core i7-920 @ 2.66GHz nVidia GeForce GTX 480 Was working fine with perfect speed, some issues with background music (it sometimes starts to loop some short sequence) but freezes on black screen when entering the second boss chamber (Scaldera). Played it through with an older version of the emu, and next area seems to work again. etnmich
3.0-766-g208d25c_XBHLE31_L102_x64_ICC Windows 7 x64 Intel Core i7-2500K @ 5.9GHz AMD radon 6870 Runs perfectly fine with some audio sounds miss place perfect at 60fps CCDavid
3.0-842 Windows 7 Ultimate x64 AMD Phenom II X4 975 Black Edition @ 4.0GHz AMD Radeon HD 6850 Runs @ ~30fps in D3D9, 1920x1080, auto-scale, no AA, no anistropic filtering. Fails to load next areas when loading save states created inside some buildings and on the flying overmap. Occasional sound corruption, spewing out sped-up, scratchy audio from other parts of the game. tengokujin
3.0-878 Windows 8 Pro x64 Intel P8600 AMD Radeon HD 4850M 25-30 fps, 1920x1080, DX11. Fully Playable, sound problems sometimes (1 in 2 hours playing). Parfaitement jouable, quelques problèmes de son parfois (1 sur 2h de jeu pour ma part). Val83

Gameplay Videos

See also

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