The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker

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The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker
TWW logo.png

The Wind Waker U.S. Boxart
Developer(s) Nintendo EAD
Publisher(s) Nintendo
Designer(s) Eiji Aonuma (director)
Shigeru Miyamoto (producer)
Yoshiyuki Oyama (character design)
Release date North America March 24, 2003
Japan December 13, 2002
Europe May 3, 2003
Australia May 7, 2003
Rating(s) ESRB: E (Everyone)
PEGI: 7+
ELSPA: 3+
CERO: A
Genre(s) Action Adventure
Modes Single player, Two player
Platform(s) Nintendo GameCube
Predecessor The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords
Successor The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Adventures
StrategyWiki Favicon.png Guide/Walkthrough at StrategyWiki
Quote1.png This is but one of the legends of which the people speak... Quote2.png
— Prologue
File:3D WW Link.png
Link's first appearance in cel-shaded, cartoon-like form

The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker (ゼルダの伝説 風のタクト, Zeruda no Densetsu Kaze no Takuto) is the tenth installment of the series. It is the first Zelda game for the Nintendo GameCube, and was released in Japan on December 13, 2002, in Canada and the United States on March 24, 2003, in Europe on May 3, 2003 and in Australia on May 7, 2003.

The Wind Waker is notable for being the first game in the series to employ cel-shading, a lighting and texturing technique that results in the game having a cartoon-like appearance. It also differentiates itself from other Zelda games with its massive overworld, the Great Sea, which must be explored using a boat, the King of Red Lions. It is an indirect sequel to Ocarina of Time,[1] taking place several hundred years after the events of the previous games.[2]

Although the sea-faring gameplay and cartoon-like graphics were a point of critique for some, The Wind Waker was in the end the fourth best-selling GameCube game of all time.[3] However, it should be noted that pre-orders of the game were significantly boosted by the inclusion of a pre-order bonus disc, which features Ocarina of Time and Master Quest. Master Quest is an enhanced remake of the original Ocarina game, but features partially re-designed dungeons.

In 2007, a direct sequel to The Wind Waker was released on the Nintendo DS, and was entitled Phantom Hourglass.

Contents

Story

Synopsis

Set hundreds of years after the events of Ocarina of Time, The Wind Waker finds the hero Link in a sea scattered with several islands, which necessitates frequent sailing and naval combat. Link lives with his grandmother and younger sister Aryll on Outset Island, one of the few inhabited islands in the Great Sea. The people of the Great Sea pass down a legend of a prosperous kingdom with a hidden golden power. An evil man found and stole this power, using it to spread darkness until a young boy dressed in green sealed the evil with the Blade of Evil's Bane. The boy became known as the Hero of Time and passed into legend. One day the sealed evil began to return, but the Hero of Time did not reappear. The inhabitants of the Great Sea are unsure of the kingdom's fate, but it is clear that this legend is the story of Ocarina of Time where the Hero of Time, Link, fought Ganondorf.

Zelda-TheWindWaker-Title.png
When boys of Outset Island come of age they are customarily dressed in green, like the Hero of Time. The elders hope to instill the courage of the Hero of Time in the children. It is Link's birthday as The Wind Waker opens, and he receives the familiar green clothes and cap as a present from his grandma. Aryll's present to Link is permission to use her telescope. As he looks through the telescope, he sees a large bird, the Helmaroc King, carrying a girl to a nearby forest. After retrieving a sword, Link sets out to investigate. Link rescues the girl, only to have Aryll kidnapped by the Helmaroc King as he returns.
Spoiler Warning

The Great Flood

The memory of the kingdom vanished, but its legend survived on the wind's breath.
Ganondorf, the great evil that all still thought to be sealed away in the Sacred Realm of Hyrule, crept forth, eager to resume his dark designs. As the darkness was spreading over the kingdom, the people hoped that the Hero of Time would once again appear to save them, but the hero, after defeating Ganon, had left on another journey, and did not appear. Ganon’s next step was to make another aggressive move for the Triforce. The king, Daphnes Nohansen Hyrule, attempted to stop the fiend, but was not strong enough.

As doom drew nigh, the king and his people prayed to the gods, leaving their kingdom in the hands of fate. The goddesses answered their prayers by instructing those chosen to flee for the mountaintops, before they flooded the land. Ganondorf and his minions were sealed along with Hyrule in an enchanted air chamber at the bottom of the sea, with the Master Sword serving as the key suspending the flow of time within the chamber.

Over the centuries, the memory of the kingdom vanished, but its legend survived on the wind’s breath. On a certain island at the south of the Great Sea, it was customary to garb young boys in green when they came of age. The youths aspired to find heroic blades and cast down evil, but the elders wished only for the youths to know courage like the hero of legend.

Link's Quest

Link getting his new tunic.

On that island, a young boy named Link finally comes of age to wear the green of the hero. Unfortunately, his birthday plans were about to be dashed. A giant bird flew over his island, carrying a young girl in its talons. Hot on its tail is a pirate ship, sending a catapult barrage after it in an attempt to force it to touch down. One of the projectiles causes the bird to drop the girl, who lands in a tree in the forest atop the island. Link grabs a sword and rushes off to find the girl. Her name is Tetra, and Link learns that she is the captain of that band of pirates.

As Link leads her back to her ship, the bird swoops down and kidnaps Link’s younger sister, Aryll, mistaking her for Tetra. A Rito postman informs the stunned Link and the unsympathetic Tetra of stories of a large bird who kidnapped young girls with long ears and took them back to the cursed Forsaken Fortress.[4] He charges Tetra with helping young Link rescue his sister from that wicked place. Tetra reluctantly accepts, and with her help, Link is able to infiltrate the fortress and reach the cell where his sister was being kept. But the great bird discovers him, and, at the command of a sinister shadowy figure, it hurls him into the sea.

Zelda and Link-Stained Glass.jpg

He is recovered by a talking boat, who introduces itself as the King of Red Lions. The King tells him of the story behind that shadowy figure, and the threat that that wrongdoer posed. The shadow was Ganon. Somehow, someway, the seal of the gods had failed. Ganon had returned, and the world was once again in danger.[5] The key to defeating Ganon was locked away in a great power that could only be wielded after much toil and hardship. Only one who was able to overcome the trials that awaited in the Tower of the Gods would be permitted to wield the power to destroy the great evil. That power was none other than that of the Master Sword, the blade of evil’s bane, and it could banish Ganon from the world above. Or, at least, so the King of Red Lions believed.[6]

Before entering the Tower of the Gods, Link has to gather the three pearls, which he accomplishes with the help of an ancient conductor’s baton called the Wind Waker. Though he does, indeed, succeed in the trials of the gods and claims the Master Sword from Hyrule below, when he returns to the Forsaken Fortress, destroys the monstrous bird, and proceeds to challenge Ganondorf, he learns of the unfortunate fate that had befallen the Master Sword, that it no longer sparkled with the power to repel evil.[7] As it is revealed later in the game, Ganondorf had already attacked the temples where the sages were praying to the goddesses so that the Master Sword could retain its power to repel evil.[8] He also gathered that by withdrawing the blade from its place in Hyrule Castle, he had broken the final seal placed by the gods on Hyrule and on Ganondorf’s magic, stirring all the monsters frozen in time in the kingdom below from their centuries-long slumber.[9]

Tetra rushes to his rescue, and yet another revelation transpires. When Tetra approaches Ganondorf, his Triforce of Power resonates. This could only mean one thing—Tetra possessed the Triforce of Wisdom, none other than the sacred power of the gods that the royal family had kept from Ganon’s clutches for so many long years. Her mother had instructed her to keep it close, and to safeguard it always. The Triforce of Wisdom was proof of her birthright—Tetra was the true heir to the royal family of Hyrule, the last link in the bloodline. Tetra was Princess Zelda. Of course, Ganondorf notices this immediately, and so he tries to seize the Triforce of Wisdom then and there.[10] Luckily, a pair of Rito manage to swoop down and rescue the children from Ganondorf’s grip.

Zelda is brought to Hyrule Castle below the waves, and the King of Red Lions imparts news of her identity and her role in these events before giving her the missing shard of the Triforce of Wisdom. He then instructs her to remain in Hyrule and sends Link back to the sea above to reawaken the Master Sword’s power and reunite the Triforce of Courage—split when the Hero of Time left the land after completing his mission[11]—until then, the portal to the world below the waves would be sealed, and he would be unable to return again to Hyrule.

To complete his task, those who carried on the blood of the sages had to be found to take the stead of the old in the temples and ask the gods for their assistance. The Korok Makar and the Rito maiden Medli are the ones who awake as the new sages of Wind and Earth respectively. With their power and prayers, Link is able to restore the blade of evil’s bane to its original form. He then hunts down the scattered shards of the Triforce of Courage and brings the completed piece back to the Tower of the Gods to present it to the gods. The Triforce piece then dwells within him, proving that he is the true hero, the Hero of Time, "reborn". Because Link had used the power of the Wind Waker to travel the Great Sea, the King of Red Lions declares him the Hero of Winds.

The final battle.

When Link descends beneath the waves, he discovers that Ganon had kidnapped Zelda and taken her to his headquarters, Ganon’s Tower, a daunting fortress that even the legendary Knights of Hyrule had been unable to assail in ages past.[12] Link makes haste for the tower, and, when he scales it, Ganon is waiting for him. Ganondorf catches Link off guard and, since he has once again gathered the three crests, he manages to summon the full Triforce. He wishes that the rays of the sun expose Hyrule anew so that the kingdom and the world, may be his.[13]

But the King of Red Lions touches the Triforce first. The King wishes for Hyrule and Ganondorf to be buried beneath the waves of the Great Sea. He also wishes for hope for his descendants; that they might be able to create a better world.[14] The Triforce then vanishes, possibly floating away to the sacred lands to await a new owner.

In a fit of madness, Ganondorf attacks Link. With the Master Sword at its full power, Link deals the final death blow to Ganondorf. Link and Zelda are spirited away to the surface of the sea, and the floodwaters come crashing down, burying Hyrule beneath the sea. Link and Zelda sail away in search of a new land — with the wind as their guide.[15] This scene marks the beginning of the first Nintendo DS Zelda game, Phantom Hourglass.

Gameplay

The Wind Waker, despite initially concerning fans because of its visuals,[16] not only was praised in the graphic department, it also retains many elements from the two N64 Zelda games. As Link progresses through his adventure, he meets and helps many characters, usually leading to rewards. During his quest, he also explores dungeons, solves the puzzles within, fulfills various crucial challenges, and defeats multiple enemies. The game's controls are similar to those of the previous 3D titles as well, albeit with new improvements; for example, the C Stick allows the player to control and adjust the camera. The controller's buttons, once more, are used for multiple actions, including rolling, using the shield or an item. Along with these elements, new ones are implemented, debuting in this game.

Sea Exploration

Main articles: Wind Waker (Item) and Treasure Chart

Sailing is the main method of transportation in The Wind Waker.

Like Majora's Mask, The Wind Waker is mainly set outside Hyrule, although the once known Sacred Kingdom is visited this time. Link explores the vast ocean known as the Great Sea, and he travels with the help of the King of the Red Lions, a boat that is capable of human speech.[17] With the help of the titular Wind Waker, Link can control at will the direction of the wind's flow, which is helpful to navigate across the waters.[18] As he does so, he frequently visits multiple islands (49 in total), all of which should have something interesting, from merely a hidden prize to a crucial area related to the main quest. When Link enters the territory of an island, he can ask a Fishman for information on said island, as well as to draw the territory's position in the Sea Chart.

While Link looks for an island, he deals with threats from the sea, including enemy bases, deadly creatures, and natural phenomena. Besides the islands, submarines and the aforementioned enemy bases can be visited as well, usually populated by enemies and housing interesting treasures. Link can foresee sunken treasures (pinpointed by rings of light on the water surface), and he can bring them towards him with the help of the Grappling Hook.

As Link defeats enemies, solves puzzles, helps people, and conquers obstacles, he will often earn Treasure Chart maps. When Link opens one, he can find previously inaccessible prizes, which will then be pinpointed by intensely shiny lights emanating from the sea. Important, as certain key items needed for access to the final level will indeed be hidden under the sea, only located after collecting special charts that, additionally, need to be deciphered somehow.

As with most Zelda games, in The Wind Waker Link learns to Warp from one place to another. This time he does so with cyclones, after defeating an important deity named Cyclos.

GBA interaction

File:Tingletuner.png
Tingle Tuner
Main article: Tingle Tuner

The Wind Waker was the first Zelda game to make use of the connectivity between the Gamecube and Game Boy Advance. When Link rescues Tingle from his imprisonment in Windfall Island, the 35-year old man will give him the Tingle Tuner, along with the Tingle Chart; after this point, when the player connects a Game Boy Advance to the Gamecube through the Nintendo Gamecube Game Boy Advance Cable, the young hero will be aided by Tingle in many ways.[19] For example, when inside dungeons, he can watch its rooms even if the dungeon map has yet to be collected; Link can also purchase items from Tingle for use, and a special sidequest (also regarding the dungeons) will be unlocked. This is also the only way to find the elusive Knuckle, whose figurine is impossible to obtain otherwise (since he won't appear at all normally in the game).

Wind control and new item usage

Main articles: Pictography and Playable Secondary Characters

As mentioned above, the magical baton gives Link the ability to control the wind's direction as soon as he learns the proper melody. But that not only makes sea navigation faster, manipulating wind gives the legendary hero multiple possibilities, such as being able to fly (with the Deku Leaf more properly), making a character give different notes of information, making a certain Rito character fly more easily to a hill, and even making a treasure chest appear when Link stands before a marked wind spot, among other things. After learning another certain song, Link can use the power of cyclones to warp from one island to another, reducing to a greater degree the backtracking. Other melodies serve for purposes less related to wind, but still give more versatility and usefulness to the Wind Waker.

Link will also be able to find and use item bags able to house up to eight different item types each, which significantly increases gameplay possibilities. For example, the Spoils Bag keeps several jewels and items that certain enemies guard, and that can be used for further purposes, such as preparing potions, receiving rewards, or helping people in need of them. The Bait Bag is of great utility as it keeps food for animals and creatures in exchange of either prizes, new information regarding something or even control of seagulls. The Delivery Bag is used to keep letters, souvenirs, or even documents, and is heavily used in a sidequest regarding a trading sequence that ultimately leads to an optional magical artifact.

Some gameplay elements from Majora's Mask also return here, except with variations. Link can again use a Pictograph Box, which this time has a much more extensive use; for example, there is a sidequest, the Nintendo Gallery, that consists of taking a snapshot of every single character, creature, and any other living being, either divine or merely mortal, in the game. The camera can be upgraded to take full-color shots and, unlike in the game it debuted, it can now support three. The Nintendo Gallery is on a small island outside of Forest Haven. Link must hit a series of switches before the vault leading into it can be opened. Another returning element is the possibility of controlling other characters, except this time not by a mask transformation, but by psychic faculty. Here comes another utility from the conductor's titular baton: after learning the right melody, Link can control seagulls, statues, and secondary characters he previously met in his travels. This is important as at least three dungeons require the player to interact with characters or statues, which is part of the main adventure.

Unlike previous Zelda games, The Wind Waker features items with two or even three ways to be used, leading to a much more versatile usefulness of them. The Grappling Hook, for example, can be used to pass over cliffs and big holes, to steal enemies' items, and to retrieve sunken chests from the sea; the Deku Leaf can be used for flight or for shots of wind gusts. Bombs can now be used both in land and from the boat (which has a long-range cannon incorporated) while on the sea; the arrows now support the ice, fire and light magic in a single space of the Item Subscreen; the Hookshot can both take Link to higher spots and, together with the Iron Boots, be used to remove heavy statues out of the way; and the Boomerang can now hit up to five targets at the same launch.

Second Quest

Link wears his starting outfit for the entirety of the Second Quest.
Main article: Second Quest

The Wind Waker was the first 3D game in the franchise to feature the option of a Second Quest. When the game is cleared for the first time, opportunity is given to restart it with some important changes; for example, the outfits for Link and Aryll are different than usual, the Hylian text spoken by the deities (the spirits Valoo, the Deku Tree, and Jabun) are translated into English, and the Deluxe Picto Box is available from the start (which not only makes the Color Pictography Quests possible to do earlier, but allows the player to continue the Nintendo Gallery completion, which is retained from the first playthrough).

Game Style

The Wind Waker, at first glance, looks less mature than previous installments of the series, but one may consider it among the more emotional games, mainly thanks to the expressiveness of the characters, including Link, who actually show how they are feeling in regards of a situation.[20] However, one may also have interpreted this as a loss of subtly. Additionally, its graphical style is said by some to evoke the spirit of the older games more than the N64 games did,[21] as this was very difficult to be seen in the N64 games because of technology constraints. Some also consider the Eastern-inspired music score to have helped recreate the atmosphere of the game.[22]

The game's storyline has more detail, and the narrative is much deeper; many aspects of Hyrule's past and its fate are revealed in this game, and it's also seen that even Ganondorf and the Hyrule King aren't completely like they are known. The Wind Waker reflects and recreates what is happening around Link and the characters near him. Also, because of the aforementioned interaction with other characters, Link is aware that he is not alone on his mission, and that others are doing the best to help him progress through his important mission.

Game Information

Graphics

As previously noted in the above sections, the game makes use of cel-shading graphics. Contrary to popular belief, programming the game with an engine based on this style was more difficult than programming Twilight Princess, after modifying said engine, to favor realistic graphics.[23]

Among the visual effects present in the game are the smoking explosion the enemies and most bosses experience after being defeated, as well as the drawings indicating the wind's blow. Also, when something is hit, an instant spark of light can be seen. Characters' clothes and hair, as well as flags, leaves, trees, and other loose objects are affected by a real-time cloth simulation engine.

The Wind Waker is unique among cel-shaded video games for its lack of an outline around displayed objects. The usage of advanced effects, such as bump-mapping, heat haze, and depth-of-field blur also set this game apart from others of its type.

Audio

The game features strings, flutes, and horns in the background, such as when opening a Treasure Chest. Many electronic instruments are used in themes such as Gohdan's boss battle theme, whose main melody is played on an entirely electronic instrument. It also features Link being more active with his speech. For example, when stalking Mila, he will "meow" when she may have noticed him, or scream after falling from a high point.

Like the two N64 games in past years, The Wind Waker includes a tune that is heard during enemy proximity, but it's more developed because more notes and sounds of instruments are added when either Link or the enemy is attacked, especially during the attack itself; a similar detail is appreciated when a mini-boss is faced.

The audio in cutscenes are in a recorded music format, as opposed to the MIDIs used for background music tracks, marking the first step towards orchestrated music in the Zelda series.

Japanese Version

Being there a three-month difference between the game's Japanese release in December 14, 2002, as opposed to North America's in March 24, 2003, not too many changes were made from one version to another, aside from characters' and places' names. However, one of the few changes is noticeable: The fifth Triforce Chart is found after unveiling consecutively various Treasure Charts from the sea, one pinpointing another (these charts, in the NTSC and PAL versions, are found in the dungeons, pinpointing Silver Rupees). Also, some Pieces of Heart have their locations changed, so anyone expecting one of them at the end of, for example, the Savage Labyrinth will only find a yellow Rupee in the chest.

Setting

Main article: Great Sea

The game is set in the Great Sea, a vast body of water consisting of 49 islands, which are of different sizes, shapes, and purposes. Some are inhabited islands, and they house dungeons, sidequests, shops, and many other things; these include Dragon Roost Island (inhabited by the Rito tribe, and guarded by the sky spirit Valoo), Forest Haven (inhabited by the Korok tribe, and guarded by the earth spirit Great Deku Tree), Outset Island and Windfall Island (both inhabited by Hylians). Greatfish Isle used to be inhabited by Hylians as well and guarded by the sea spirit Jabun until Ganondorf destroyed it and cast a curse on the entire Great Sea.

There are islands that are either uninhabited or overrun by monsters, but are still key places for Link's quest. Forsaken Fortress houses the whereabouts of the evil Ganondorf, and is where the girls hijacked by Helmaroc King are held captive. The ancient Tower of the Gods shows the gateway to the deceased land of Hyrule, but it will only appear after the chosen one retrieves the Goddesses' pearls, and the aforementioned gateway will only open when that hero completes the challenges given to him by the deities. Mother & Child Isles, Fire Mountain and Ice Ring Isle all house major treasure weapons and tools that help the young hero have access to temples where the sages blessing the Master Sword must pray; said temples are, respectively, in the Headstone Island and the Gale Isle. Additionally, there are numerous islands where Link finds the widely-spoken "triumph forks", which pinpoint the fragments of the Triforce of Courage as long as they're deciphered (which can be done by negotiating with Tingle in Tingle Island).

There are also islands that are similar to each other, for they share a similar purpose. For example, the three triangle-shaped islands are where Link must place the sacred pearls in order to unveil the aforementioned Tower of the Gods. Five islands house Great Fairy entities, ready to improve Link's capabilities for weapon ammunition or even money amounts. There are also six giant coral reefs invaded by multiple enemies and belic cannons, hiding Treasure Charts that lead to much more special charts. These charts give Link location of a wide variety of quest items or secret features. Finally, there are three archipelagos that are nothing but isolated rock formations with no possibility for human landing.

The rest of the islands serve for optional and minor purposes, mainly collection of charts and other prizes.

Timeline Placement

Main article: Timeline

The Wind Waker directly references places and events from Ocarina of Time and gives some indication of what happened between the two games, making clear that it happens after Ocarina of Time. Some examples of background references include the prologue, the decorations within Hyrule Castle (which allude to the Hero of Time with a sculpture and the Sages through the glass windows in the basement), the final dungeon being the same, etc.

During the time of this game's release, the split timeline theory was confirmed by Eiji Aonuma in a summer 2002 Game Pro interview;[24] thus, the confirmed timeline placement for The Wind Waker is after the Adult ending of Ocarina of Time, but in a separate timeline from Majora's Mask and Twilight Princess, which both follow the Child ending.

There has been some debate over the time passed between Ocarina of Time and The Wind Waker, since in many interviews Shigeru Miyamoto and Eiji Aonuma had stated that The Wind Waker takes place "a hundred years" after Ocarina of Time. It was later revealed to be a mistranslation, and that they actually spoke of "hundreds of years."[25][26]

After Link defeats Puppet Ganon, Ganon remarks about Link being "the Hero of Time, reborn".[27] According to the original Japanese text, . Ganon most likely says that metaphorically. Link in this story is the Hero of Time "reborn", since he possesses the same skills as his predecessor (despite not being an actual descendant).

The Wind Waker has spanned two sequels: Phantom Hourglass (featuring the same Link) and Spirit Tracks. The former game takes place short after the events of this game, and starts with Link and Tetra looking for a new land, beyond the realms of the Great Sea; the latter game is one century distant, taking place on a new rendition of Hyrule, and has various continuity nods to its two predecessors. The availability of these games, as well as the confirmed connections between The Wind Waker and Ocarina of Time, make the Adult Timeline one of the most developed and extended periods in the series' chronology.

Completion Records

According to Speed Demos Archive, the fastest completion time for The Wind Waker is 6 hours, 42 minutes by Mike 'TSA' Damiani on April 18th, 2005.[28]

Listings

Characters

Bosses

Enemies

Dungeons

Places

Items and Objects

Charts

Credits

Glitches

Hacks

Reception

Sales

The Wind Waker was commercially successful, selling around 3.07 million copies worldwide,[29] becoming one of the most popular GameCube games of all time. However, most of the success comes from Europe and North America, as in Japan the game fared much worse than expected;[30] in fact, Eiji Aonuma commented that the low popularity of the game in the region would have meant the end of the franchise.

Reviews

Reviews of the game were mostly positive.[31] IGN editor Matt Cassamassina praised the graphics and gameplay, stating that the game takes the best of Ocarina of Time and improves it;[32] however, he criticizes the sound for the insistent use of MIDI tracks and nearly null voice speech.

GameSpot editor Jeff Gerstmann called the game "The Wind Waker is a strong achievement in every way, from its stunning graphical presentation to its tight control and interesting story line,"[33] but also criticized the relatively long periods of sailing (particularly in regards of the search for the Triforce Shard collection) and the relatively easy puzzles and boss battles.

From Eurogamer, another review site, Tom Bramwell also praised the game, giving his personal recommendation to it, although he also argued that Epona used to be a better means of transportation than the boat.[34] Nintendo Power ranked it sixth in their list of best The Legend of Zelda games, criticizing its sailing concept but praising the graphics and the refined gameplay "while on land."[35]

In March 2011, The Wind Waker was ranked 5th on GamesRadar's list of "The 100 Best Games Of All Time", placing it above Twilight Princess (29th), and A Link To The Past (17th).[36]

Fan Reception

Consumers' reception on the game was positive, with an average reader score of 9.1 on IGN[37] and a medium user score of 9.2 on GameSpot.[38] While fans initially expected a more realistic game more in line with the scene shown in the SpaceWorld 2000 GameCube Tech Demo, this was not the case for the final game. In 2001, the impressions on the game using cel-shading graphics were nothing short of mixed, rendering the game as controversial as The Adventure of Link and Majora's Mask initially were in past decades.[39] Upon its announcement, many in the fan community decried the art style of the game as childish and unfit for a Zelda title.[40] Video Gamer X, webmaster of The Odyssey of Hyrule, compared early screenshots for the game to the much-maligned CD-i titles, and accused Nintendo of making games with limited appeal to young children. He described the graphics as "animated C-quality Disney garbage."[41]

However, the game ultimately satisfied the consumer, leading to commercial and critical success. Yet, some players expressed complaints in regards of the sailing concept;[42] opinions were also mixed in regards of Tingle's role in this game, to the point that IGN editors requested his exclusion from the then-upcoming game Twilight Princess.[43]

Nonetheless, in 2006 The Wind Waker was placed in the 26th position on IGN's reader list of greatest games of all time.[44]

Legacy

  • Although the Game Boy Advance version of Four Swords was historically the first game published to employ Cel-shaded graphics, The Wind Waker started its period of development first, hence why it's the one credited for introducing this style to the series.
  • The engine of the game was the basis for Twilight Princess's realistic graphics, which also borrowed some of the cel-shading elements from the 2003 game.
  • It's the first game to evidence that the Zelda universe's timeline is actually split into two.
  • By extension, it's also the first game to evidence that the character Link, like Princess Zelda, has multiple incarnations over the decades/centuries.
  • The sailing mechanic inspired the creation of the means of transportation seen in the Nintendo DS Zelda games.
  • Many properties of this game were borrowed by Super Smash Bros. Brawl, including Link's animated incarnation, a stage, soundtrack, and several trophies and stickers.
  • It's the first Zelda game where every single boss has its own audio theme. In the subsequent games, however, at least two bosses share a common track.

Trivia

  • According to the original Japanese text, the Master Sword was sealing Ganon's minions ("mazoku", translates to "Demon Tribe" or "Demon Race"), as it can be observed in the game, and not his magic.
  • The community is known for mispronouncing, misspelling, and misreading the name of The Wind Waker. Names such as "The Wind Walker", "The Wind Maker", and even simply "Wind Waker" are common mistakes found throughout the forums, walkthroughs, and fansites in the Zelda community.
  • According to the ‘Guinness World Records Gamers Edition 2008’, The Wind Waker had around 500,000 pre-orders and was at the time (2002) the most pre-ordered game on record.
  • The game's main theme song includes both the Earth God's Lyric and the Wind God's Aria.
  • Link yells "Come on!" when he calls Medli, Makar, or a statue. This marked The Wind Waker as the only canon Zelda game to date in which Link has spoken in actual words until the release of Twilight Princess, in which Link can be heard yelling "Giddy-up!" as he rides Epona. In The Adventure of Link, a textbox does say "I found a mirror under the table" at one point, but the Japanese version used no pronouns and is written in much the same way as the "You got" speeches (that is, it's from Link's perspective, but not him speaking). Other characters also speak actual English words, most notably Beedle, who says "Welcome!", "Thank you!" and "Bye!".
  • On the disc of the American version, the Hylian reads "Zeruda no Densetsu Kaze no Takuto," which is the game's name in Japan.
  • The greeting "Hoy!" in this game is similar to the Portuguese "Oi!" or the Dutch "Hoi!" Additionally, "Oi!" is the equivalent of "Hey!" in Japanese. "Hoy" is also a saying used by pirates, of which the game holds many elements.
  • The game contains a few references to previous games in the series, notably Majora's Mask. One example of this is after defeating a boss; when Link is warped back outside the dungeon, overtones of the "Final Hours theme" from Majora's Mask can be heard.
  • The entire ending cinematic, from when Link and Tetra are picked up by the pirate ship to the very end of the epilogue cutscene, is a pre-rendered FMV, as opposed to other cutscenes which are rendered in real-time, marking the first time prerendered FMVs have been used in a Zelda game. This prerendered FMV may have contributed to the lack of content in the game, as the FMV file takes up nearly half the space on the game disc.
  • If the player has a file of both The Wind Waker and the GCN version of Metal Gear Solid, in the latter game the boss character Psycho Mantis makes a cameo mention of the former game during the battle.
  • Along with Skyward Sword and possibly Twilight Princess, The Wind Waker has some of the only examples of bump-mapping in the Zelda series.
  • The Wind Waker is notable for its test rooms, which are accessible with an Action Replay device. Interestingly, the textures in the test rooms and even one of the rooms themselves are shared with Super Mario Sunshine 's test rooms. The Wind Waker's first test room contains transparent water in a pool, likely a leftover from the earliest stages of development when transparent water was going to be used in the ocean.

Gallery

Prologue

Illustrations

Sages Stained Glass Windows

Box Art


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Related Articles

The Wind Waker: Original Soundtrack

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The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker


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