Early Thunderhead

Discovered by Aruki

──────── How To ────────


By starting a file in BiT as the thunderhead opening cutscene begins to play, you can open the thunderhead on that file before you are supposed to. This trick skips everything between learning Ballad of the Goddess to the Faron Silent Realm, including fighting the Imprisoned and repairing Scrapper.

Triggering the Thunderhead Cutscene

In order for a file to trigger the thunderhead cutscene in BiT, it must have a specific scene flag: the flag that triggers the thunderhead cutscene on Skyloft is scene flag 2x20: "Play Ballad of the Goddess on top of light tower". Any file that has that scene flag set can trigger the thunderhead cutscene. In the various areas, that flag corresponds to:

  • Completing the Harp Tutorial in the Sealed Grounds
  • Opening the Door to Skyview Temple in Faron Woods
  • Hitting the Switch that opens the Gate to the Heart Piece in the hub room of Skyview Temple
  • Blowing up the boulder that hides a key piece on the last slope section in Eldin Volcano
  • Cutting the Highest Rope of the first Drawbridge in Earth Temple
  • Talking to the robot next to the first timeshift stone in the Lanayru Mines
  • Hitting the first crystal switch to get to the boss key in Lanayru Mining Facility
  • Opening the Iron Bars in the Entrance Room of Sky Keep

To see what 2x20 amount to in other areas, check the Scene Flag Documentation section on the Reverse BiTMagic page.

Once you have such a file, selecting it while in BiT and causing a scene flag change will cause the thunderhead cutscene to play as soon as it can. If your file is saved at a Deep Woods statue, then the cutscene will trigger immediately as you select the file, due to the Skyloft Auto-Commit effect (see BiTMagic for more info). If another dialog or cutscene is playing, the thunderhead cutscene will not play until that one is finished. Things that can delay the thunderhead cutscene include:

  • The glitched cutscene from falling off BiT Skyloft
  • Other triggered cutscenes in BiT such as the shed opening cutscene for example
  • Bird Statue dialogs
  • Talking to Fi, reading a sign, or picking up an item (rupee, stamina fruit, heart)
  • Being in the air or hanging off a ledge

The goal is to start the file and then get the Thunderhead cutscene to play during the loading transition. This performs the Story Flag RBM that opens the Thunderhead.

Notes: For some of the following methods, it is required for your file to have the "auto-commit" effect. Usually this is done by saving at any Deep Woods Statue. This is because Deep Woods always has the room 0 zone flag 1x02, which causes an auto-commit in BiT Skyloft (see BiTMagic). The other methods only need to have done one of the events listed above and be saved in that same area.

──────── Methods ────────

Method 1 - Early Thunderhead

With Auto-Commit

  • Have your file saved at a Deep Woods Statue with the Doors to Skyview Temple opened. This allows this file to be immediately committed on selection in Skyloft BiT. This method of auto-commit is usually only used in this specific instance.
  • Activate BiT.
  • During the first glitched cutscene of falling of Skyloft and spawning back on ground, select your file.
  • Start your file when the camera stops panning.
  • You should see the thunderhead opening cutscene begin to play as the screen fades to black.

As soon as you select your file, the thunderhead cutscene is queued, and as soon as the first glitched cutscene is done, it will play. So by loading your file right before the thunderhead cutscene starts, you'll trigger the Early Thunderhead glitch. The window for this trick is about 1 second, as that's how long it takes the screen to completely fade to black after you start your file.

With this method, you will be loaded back at the bird statue you where saved at in the Deep Woods.

Regular Method

  • Have your file meet the 2x20 requirement. This time, the file can be saved anywhere.
  • Activate BiT.
  • Select your file before gaining control of Link.
  • Run off the wooden platform to the right
  • Start your file then bonk into a tree.
  • Either the Thunderhead cutscene or the cutscene showing the door to Batreaux's shed opening will trigger (if you have that flag set) while the screen fades to black.

If you didn't see anything special happening after bonking the tree, it can mean one of 3 things:

  • You failed to make the tree drop its rupee. This can happen if you bonk into the tree in a bad spot. You can notice when that happens by the fact you don't see the rupee drop and you don't hear the jingle.
  • Your file is saved with the temporary scene flag that corresponds to the tree you bonked set. This is extremely unlikely to happen however
  • Your file doesn't meet the requirements

If you have the shed opening cutscene flag, this method queues the thunderhead cutscene behind the shed-opening cutscene, but it still gives the thunderhead story flag at the beginning of the shed cutscene. You will respawn wherever your file is saved, since you did not do a BiTSave. You can then go to the sky and proceed directly to the thunderhead to open the Isle of Songs.

Method 2 - Combined with BiTSave

If your timing is off while doing this method, the BiTSave will still happen, making the trick difficult to reset. You can try again by going back to the area you where saved at: save, and try again.

With Auto-Commit

  • Have your file saved at a Deep Woods Statue with the Doors to Skyview Temple opened (any other "auto-commit" does also work though).
  • Activate BiT.
  • Do NOT select your file until you reach a bird statue.
  • Run to the bird statue you want to teleport to.
  • Select the statue and your file simultaneously.
  • Save your file, but do NOT Start immediately.
  • About 1-2 seconds after the screen says "Saved", Start your file.
  • You should see the thunderhead opening cutscene begin to play as the screen fades to black.

Regular Method

  • Have your file meet the 2x20 requirement.
  • Activate BiT.
  • Run to the bird statue you want to teleport to.
  • Select your file first, then select the statue (in that order)
  • Save your file, but do NOT Start immediately.
  • About 1-2 seconds after the screen says "Saved", Start your file.
  • You should see the thunderhead opening cutscene begin to play as the screen fades to black.

When you are not saved in the Deep Woods, selecting your file will not cue the thunderhead cutscene immediately. In that case it is required to BiTMagic the thunderhead cutscene flag in by updating any scene flag in BiT. This is usually simply done by checking the statue you want to BiTSave to with that file. Note that sometimes the file that meets the requirements will have already set the flag corresponding to checking the statue you want to BiTSave to in BiT, and in that case the Thunderhead Cutscene will not trigger and this trick will fail. In that case, either use another statue or BiTMagic the flag with an event that triggers a cutscene, such as opening the shed in BiT. Then go on with the trick following the Deep Woods method instead.

Method 3 - Combined with Early Farore's Silent Realm

Regular Method

  • Have your file saved in Faron Woods with the Doors to Skyview Temple opened. Make sure to be saved in the main Faron area, and NOT at a Deep Woods Statue.
  • Activate BiT.
  • Run towards the Waterfall Cave entrance
  • Start your file then slash the trees. You should see the Thunderhead Cutscene play during the loading fadeout

This RBMs the Water Dragon Scale Trial Gate to be opened in Faron Woods, while also at the same time opening the Thunderhead.

Video forthcoming

With Auto-Commit

  • Have your file saved at a Deep Woods statue with the Doors to Skyview Temple opened (for the auto-commit effect).
  • Activate BiT
  • Commit the story flags of a file that has the Hero's Tunic (if the deep woods file has the tunic, you simply need to select it when Link fall onto the title screen at the beginning of BiT).
  • Commit the inventory flags of a file that has the Goddess Sword (usually by picking up a stamina fruit with that file). Both of the previous commits together allows for calling Fi in BiT.
  • Run towards the Waterfall Cave entrance
  • Charge a Skyward Strike and perform a diagonal slash towards the logs. Right as the strike starts hitting the logs, call Fi (the timing is very strict). You can now select your deep woods file without triggering the thunderhead cutscene.
  • Cancel talking to Fi and start your file before gaining control.

If done correctly, this should RBM both the thunderhead story flag and the logs scene flag, opening up the thunderhead and the faron trial gate at once.

Method 4 - Combined with Earth Temple Boulder Section Skip or with Key Shards Collection Skip

  • Have your file saved inside Earth Temple with the highest rope of the first Drawbridge cut (for Earth Temple Boulder Section Skip), or have your file saved in Eldin Volcano with the boulder hiding a key piece on the last slope section blown up (for Key Shard Collection Skip).
  • Activate BiT.
  • Enter Rupin the Item Seller's house, and sleep in the bed
  • Leave the house while selecting a file that does not have the Hero's Tunic yet (otherwise you will crash)
  • Slash the gravestone, then start your file and push it. You should see the shed opening cutscene play during the loading fadeout.

While you do not see the Thunderhead cutscene during the fadeout with this method, it does set the story flag for the Thunderhead to be opened on your file. At the same time it rises the Earth Temple bridge or opens the doors to the Earth Temple in Eldin Volcano.

Unused Methods

There are more ways to perform Early Thunderhead that are generally not considered useful, usually due to requiring very long Back in Times, or because the needed setup rarely happens. For exemple you can go to Faron Back in Time in order to use Reverse BiTMagic to set scene flag 2x20 onto Skyloft.

You may have noticed that all the methods above require the file you perform Early Thunderhead on to have scene flag 2x20 in some area. There is one way however to perform Early Thunderhead on a file that does not have scene flag 2x20. The file setup is the following:

  • File 1 saved in an area with scene flag 2x20.
  • File 2 saved in the same area as File 1 (without scene flag 2x20).

Now commit the flag from file 1 and delay the thunderhead cutscene (either by bonking a tree and have the shed cutscene play, or by checking a statue). Then select file 2 and start the file at the correct time. The thunderhead cutscene will still play after you start the file, despite file 2 not having 2x20. This happens because file 1 and file 2 are saved in the same area. See more information about scene flages in BiT here.

─────── Consequences ───────

Early Thunderhead and Scrapper

Opening up the Thunderhead advances the Headmaster text inside the Academy. This makes you unable to start the quest to repair Scrapper, and thus the quest to retrieve the Windmill Propeller to repair the Village Windmill. This locks you out of every Scrapper-related crystal quests, because one of the triggers for being able to start them is having the Village Windmill repaired. This makes it difficult to perform this sequence break in 100% speedruns.

The Early Boss Rush sequence break can be used to set the Imprisoned 1 as being defeated which is the trigger to start the Scrapper repair quest. However, it also sets the Ancient Cistern as being defeated, which sets Skyview to layer 3. This makes it impossible to talk to the mogma in Skyview 2 to unlock goddess walls, and thus locks you out of the gorko heart piece at Behind the Temple.

There are however still ways to skip the Imprisoned 1 fight in 100% speedruns using both the Early Thunderhead and Early Boss Rush sequence breaks together, while not getting locked out of any item.

  • The first way to do so is to have your run file on File 3, and perform Early Boss Rush on File 1. Then, perform Early Thunderhead on File 1, and fly to the Isle of Songs. Save the game and perform a File Dupe Teleportation (with Bed Trick or Death Trick) to warp File 3 to the Isle of Songs. This allows you to learn Farore's Courage on a file that hasn't opened the Thunderhead. Then, on that file, obtain the Water Dragon Scale and unlock goddess walls in Skyview 2. Now you can beat the Ancient Cistern in order to get the Goddess Longsword. Then go back to Lanayru Gorge and enter the Imprisoned 1 rematch to set that boss as defeated. You can now talk to the Headmaster, repair Scrapper and the Village Windmill. You can then perform Early Thunderhead again, and get Nayru's Wisdom.

  • The second way is to simply ignore obtaining Farore's Courage for a while. Perform Early Boss Rush on File 3 and enter the Imprisoned 1 rematch with it. You can then escape the Lanayru Gorge by Reverse BiTWarping File 1 into the Faron Trial, using the Faron layer from file 3 (because the Faron trial can appear on the post-ancient cistern layer). This allows File 1 to get the Water Dragon's Scale without having performed Early Thunderhead, and to talk to the mogma in Skyview 2 without having done the Imprisoned 1 rematch. Now, beat the Ancient Cistern to get the Goddess Longsword. Then you can do the Imprisoned 1 and 2 rematches, then talk to the Headmaster and repair Scrapper and the Village Windmill. Finally you can perform Early Thunderhead and obtain Nayru's Wisdom. To get Farore's Courage, you can wait until the very late game and go to the Thunderhead in BiT, and Reverse BiTWarp or Cutscene Wrong Warp into the Farore's Courage Cutscene.

Last updated 05/18/2024 – azer67