News Article

How to Avoid Skyward Sword's Game-Ending Glitch

Posted by James Newton

Pay attention

The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword is a fantastic game, but if you're not lucky you could encounter a serious bug that completely halts your progress. Now Nintendo has released instructions for how to avoid it — but no word of a fix.

The following email comes from Sharon Matheny (via Zelda Informer:

We have been made aware of the issue that results in being unable to progress in the Song of the Hero quest. If the game has been saved after completing the sequence of events, it will no longer be possible to proceed through the game on that save file. The only options at that point are to either start the game over or to use an earlier save file to continue.

The situation is caused by performing the following sequence of events during the Song of the Hero quest:

1. At the beginning of the quest, go to Lanayru Desert to retrieve the song of the Thunder Dragon.
2. In the Lanayru Mine, speak with Golo the Goron.
3. Complete the Thunder Dragon's event, and receive his song.
4. Before heading to the forest or volcano regions, speak with Golo in the mine again.
5. At this point, the forest and volcano events will no longer occur, making it impossible to continue.


  • This issue WILL NOT OCCUR if the Fire and Water Dragon songs have already been collected before collecting the Thunder Dragon's song. Talking to Golo in the Lanayru Caves will also NOT trigger this issue.
  • If the game has been saved after completing the sequence of events, it will no longer be possible to proceed through the game on that save file. The only options at that point are to either start the game over or to use an earlier save file to continue.

I wish I had a better answer, but I'm afraid there currently is no other fix available. I can assure, however, that we are documenting all feedback we receive on this issue. Thank you for your patience and support.

Of course the big lesson is to back-up your save file regularly, and definitely before you take on the final boss.

Last year Nintendo of Japan attended to a Metroid: Other M bug fix by inviting users to send in their save file on an SD card for an update.


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User Comments (61)



SpaceKappa said:

This happened with Twilight Princess as well, didn't it? Wasn't there a room where if you saved and quit, then reloaded your file there you couldn't get out?



Monsti said:

Now we know, so we'll all avoid it. Is still prefer this to patches every week.



Kagamine said:

good thing i am doing them in the order that you first go through them. forest, volcano, desert.



nick_gc said:

@Monsti? That's daft. If this could be fixed in a patch, I would much prefer that. As would the people that will play this and know about it.



gabrielwoj said:

The situation is equal to Zelda Twilight Princess. Both Cannon and Bridge of Eldin (when destroyed), if you save, you will be stucked:
Cannon: No idea why, the guy just dissapears.
Eldin: The respawn point after load the save is before the bridge, and if the bridge is destroyed, there is no way to advance



komicturtle said:

Dunno why they can't send a firmware update for Wii to fix this. They did it for Wii Sports Resort to fix an issue with Wii Motionplus for that game to patch it up.



Link79 said:

I Did the water Dragon part first then Thunder dragon and last the fire Dragon and had no problems.
I have also never encountered this Other M glitch and I played through it three times.
It is rather unfortunite that glitches like these still get into games after all the delays before they release. What were they doing with all that extra development time?



SLiM said:

I haven't made it to that point yet, but I will definitely NOT be going to the desert first when I do



Kid_A said:

I heard about this so I just copied my save file to another slot once this quest began. Problem solved.



LztheQuack said:

I did the Thunder Dragon last. Problem avoided

Also, glitches like these seem very specific and obscure and not even thousand hours of beta-testing could detect all of them.



Lan said:

@4 yeah this is preferable to companies like bethesda who release a buggy game just cuz they know they can eventually patch



NESguy94 said:

Good to know, I still haven't received my copy (Very slow mail here).

@SpaceKappa Yes, if you saved in the cannon room after Ilia gets her memory back and you haven't warped the canon out, you cannot get out. Nintendo never releases a patch but can download a new save file off the internet.



The_Fox said:

How about just patching the damn thing Nintendo? We shouldn't have to take special steps to avoid something you could easily fix.



KrazyBean said:

Unfortunately, Nintendo can't patch this game due to the crappy online service the Wii has.



Crunc said:

The WiiU can't get here fast enough... at least I'm presuming that it will allow for downloadable game patches. Knowing Nintendo, I guess that isn't really a given, is it?



Crunc said:

@23 - if they could patch games, they would have patched Metroid Other M. They didn't. They can't.



ThumperUK said:

It has generally been an advantage that the Wii does not have an easy patch facility. At least this means most games have been comprehensively tested, rather than the Xbox/PS3 standard which seems to be "dont bother testing we'll just fill up the users hard drive with bug fixes as the customers find them"
Both this and the Metroid M are pretty obscure and won't happen to the vast majority of gamers (who will be collecting the songs in order). No amount of testing will ever be able to 100% guarantee no problems, but at least having a difficult system to patch means developers can't be lazy!



LordJumpMad said:

I didn't get that glitch at all, and I did the Thunder Dragon quest first
What a rip-off!
Maybe because I ask to do his quest for the Shield right away.



The_Fox said:

"It has generally been an advantage that the Wii does not have an easy patch facility. At least this means most games have been comprehensively tested"

No, not really. It just means that the games can never be fixed when the problems are discovered.



Megumi said:

I usually deal with Faron Woods first, I dunno...but yeah...yikes. o.0



Noire said:

I totally dodged a bullet because I did the Thunder Dragon piece first and I remember talking to Golo a lot. D: I guess I must have been in the cave and not the mine. Glad I know now and can prevent it from ever happening.



aaronsullivan said:

It's nice that Nintendo is forced to get it right when it ships... but it doesn't work. Because they get it wrong. Sure it's a little problem but it's a big problem for those that find it, and now it can't be easily fixed.

What's needed is Nintendo's usual discipline — very few polish and hone their games like Nintendo — and the ability to patch. Gotta imagine this is coming in Wii U if EA is going on and on about how happy they are with how Nintendo is listening to devs about online strategy.

On another note I appreciate that this was done in a mostly non-spoiler fashion so I could read this before playing. Saving Skyward Sword for my family at Christmas time. Can't wait!



LztheQuack said:

For those who keep saying that testing wasn't done: Imagine how glitchy it would be if testers don't test it. I can assure you it ain't gonna be just one big glitch



jpfan1989 said:

... wait ... how am i supposed to do the fire dragon if the game wants me to do thunder?



MasterGraveheart said:

So... basically, if I was going to do waht I was going to do anyway, go through the three regions in order, I wasn't going to get glitched anyway. ^^;



SunnySnivy said:

Hm, I wasn't aware of this glitch. Thanks for posting. I will follow this and copy my save over before I begin the quest just to be safe.



Capt_N said:

Nintendo has little reason to patch this. Very little is riding on SS's success.



WolfRamHeart said:

Thanks for the heads-up guys. I was a victim of the infamous cannon-room glitch in Twilight Princess and I would hate to go through that again.



Nintendo6400 said:

Wow! Good think this came up when it did. I was just about to go through all that. Good thing I only talked to Golo once, probably would have talked to him again. At least I hope I avoided it.



3DS said:

I avoided that but I did the Thunder Dragon part first before Faron Woods and Eldin Volcano



FluttershyGuy said:

Well, I've finally found a good thing about having endless school work to close out the semester: It delayed my Skyward Sword progress enough that word of this glitch came before making it to this point in the game!



AlbertoC said:

I haven't progressed to this point yet. It's a shame to see a bug of this magnitude in Skyward Sword. I'll make sure to remember this in order to avoid it.

@ People who want this patched: The game's programming is contained entirely on the disk, and can't be "patched", not even by content on the wii firmware. It has also nothing to do with a bad online service.



TikiTong said:

I just got the dragon's song parts in order of Faron Woods,Eldin Volcano and Lanayru Province, so lucky me.



bonesy91 said:

This glitch happened to me sadly. -_- still an amazing game.

But Nintendo, please be more thorough with your testing next time.



TKOWL said:

Pretty stupid glitch. Maybe Nintendo is punishing you for doing things the way they don't want you to?



Henmii said:

And I hoped there wouldn't be game-ending glitches this time! Anyway, I am warned now!



CowLaunch said:

You shouldn't have to keep yourself up to date through the internet (and come across spoilers) so that you can play a game that you've already paid a lot for.



Gamesake said:

That's disappointing. Nintendo can kiss Skyward Sword's game of the year chances good bye.



NintyMan said:

Well, this is good for someone who won't get the game until Christmas, which happens to be me. It sure would have be a downer if I was unexpectingly caught in it, but this sounds like something that could be easily missed if done in the original process. I would likely do the order the straightforward way.



irken004 said:

I'm doubt that there is a large number of players affected by this, I'm making my way just fine without the glitch



ThumperUK said:

It can't be happening very often otherwise some downmarket newspaper like the Sun would be running scare stories like they did with the 3DS launch!



Kage_88 said:

This very disappointing - especially considering Nintendo's track-record with well-polished software. Between this and Metroid: Other M, I certainly hope Wii U will download patches more efficiently than the Wii.

@8 - It's weird, but instances of patching (and DLC) on Wii have been evident in titles like Call of Duty and Conduit, yet I've seen claims that the console is incapable of the 'regular' patching seen on PS3 and Xbox 360 (like the piece of fan art that accidentally made its way onto SEGA All-Stars Racing).

According to an article I read once, the Wii's architecture makes patches difficult and cumbersome, as the console is incapable of erasing the 'garbage' that is supposed to fixed - and that patches merely 'cover them up' - so to speak.



Henmii said:

"This very disappointing - especially considering Nintendo's track-record with well-polished software. Between this and Metroid: Other M, I certainly hope Wii U will download patches more efficiently than the Wii"

Yeah, it's sad to see that evil glitches appear in some of the latest Nintendo games. In the past this wouldn't have happened! Nintendo should get their act together to get back to their "game-breaking bugs less" era!

But speaking about patches: Yes, it must be possible on the Wii u. But Nintendo and other developers shouldn't become lazy! On PS3 and Xbox360 there are games that are full of evil bugs. Let that not happen to the Wii u!



QueenBri92 said:

Why are all game ending glitches so close to the ending. Nintendo really needs to find a better way to patch their games.

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