talismancer has finally noticed that I'm padding out NaBloPoMo with a liveish-blog of Skyward Sword. I'll retort to his retort by pointing out that these are not written in advance...
The Silent Realm was indeed just as beautiful and scary as I remembered it being last time. It all looks so peaceful until you step outside of the starting area, the music and light completely change, and the Guardians wake up and chase you. At least this time I managed to avoid stepping in the expanding/shrinking puddle of waking water that surrounds one of the Sacred Tears - on my first playthrough, I didn't spot that puddle into it started expanding at which point it was too late to dodge.
I don't know whether it's intentional or not, but I'm finding bits and pieces of the music remind me of other games entirely. The theme for the Silent Realm, along with the way the Watchers jingle their lanterns when they chase you, puts me in mind of one of the dungeons of Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles. Specifically Selepation Cave, with the atmospheric wind-chime-esque parts of the the music. Another is the Ancient Cistern - the music there reminds me strongly of Dragon Rock from Starfox Adventures of all things (the pads/strings in the second part of the Dragon Rock theme, where there drums have paused for a moment).
After picking up the Water Dragon's Scale it's time to go and see the Water Dragon herself, though first you have to climb the giant tree to find a hidden Kikwi who'll tell you the way in. A completely random thought: could this tree in the middle of Faron Woods be the Great Deku Tree? This tree doesn't speak to you in Skyward Sword, but there are passages inside it like the tree from Ocarina of Time. And Faron Woods could well become the Lost Woods as time goes on.
Anyway, Water Dragon. Unfortunately it's nowhere near as simple as visiting the dragon to get the flame - before she'll open the way to the Ancient Cistern, you first have to go and pick up some sacred water. Which involves revisiting the very first temple (I feel like I'm doing Metroid levels of backtracking here). And, of course, the baddies are slightly tougher, have bows and arrows (no fair, I still have only a slingshot!), and have relocked one of the doors. On the plus side the Mogma reappear and tell you that the key is buried somewhere, but on the minus side they don't tell you where. And it's tucked up in a little side room that's only accessible by an easily-overlooked underwater passage.
I'm sure I spent ages searching for it on the last playthrough as well, which shows how much I've remembered (or not) about the details of the temples. At least all the other doors are unlocked.
The other surprise is that the boss room now contains not one but three Stalfos, and that when you fight a group of them they all gang up on you. I was expecting something like the fights in Ocarina of Time where if you Z-target a Stalfos then you get a one-on-one duel with the others merely circling, but here they all go straight for you. I think I resorted to keeping my distance and launching Skyward Strikes into whatever opening they left, until there was only one standing at which point I could finally close in. On the plus side they do stay down, unlike in Twilight Princess (where you have to bomb the remains) or Ocarina of Time (where if you take too long to defeat the others they get back up!).
Having got the spring water it's now time to take it back to Faron and then finally enter the Ancient Cistern.