The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker
The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker (known in Japan as Zelda no Densetsu: Kaze no Takuto (ゼルダの伝説 風のタクト) is an action-adventure game developed and published by Nintendo for the GameCube. It was released in Japan on December 13, 2002; in North America on March 24, 2003; in Europe on May 2, 2003; and in Australia on May 7, 2003.
A remastered version for the Wii U was released on September 20, 2013, titled The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD
Why It Rocks
- Link explores and travels the vast ocean known as the Great Sea, with the help of the King of the Red Lions, a boat that is capable of human speech.
- With the help of the new item called the "Wind Waker", Link can control at will the direction of the wind's flow, which is helpful to navigate across the waters.
- The game features a total of 49 islands to visit.
- Amazing cel-shaded graphics and one of the best for any game.
- Heat wave effects in Dragon Roost Cavern now only appear when the fire fountains are spouting. When Link uses a Warp Jar, the transition effect is a shrinking/growing circle instead of the fade-out in the original game. The shallow water in the boss room for Puppet Ganon, which in the original game did not reflect Link and some other objects, now reflects everything within the room. Though all other graphical elements were updated for high-definition display, the 3D models and character animations of the original game were left untouched in the remaster.
- Tight and responsive controls, especially compared to the previous 3D games in the series.
- The combat system is very well designed. For example, the game introduces the parry attack which allows you to counterattack striking enemies. This move is very recommended because many enemies are meant to be parried.
- Traditional Zelda gameplay similar to that of Ocarina of Time.
- The game features a trading sequence, much like the Nintendo 64 games before it.
- Interesting story which takes place centuries after Ocarina of Time.
- Link can use a Grappling Hook to uncover sunken tresure chests, which can be found by collecting Treasure Charts.
- The Wind Waker was the first Zelda game to make use of the connectivity between the Nintendo GameCube and Game Boy Advance.
- Link can use a Pictograph Box, which can be used for a side-quest called the Nintendo Gallery, that consists of taking a pictograph of every single character, creature, and any other living being, either divine or merely mortal, in the game and turned into collectible figurines.
- The game features a Second Quest, which becomes available after finishing the game for the first time.
- It is one of the few Zelda games that feature a New Game Plus.
- The game introduces a lot of new characters who are all unique and likable.
- Fun bosses.
- Other altered gameplay elements include:
- The starting Wallet holds 500 Rupees instead of 200. As a result, obtaining a wallet upgrade is no longer mandatory to pay Tingle's fees and thus complete the game.
- There are 5 additional Treasure Charts that replace the removed Triforce Charts.
- The Hero's Charm is no longer obtained from Mrs. Marie. It is found at the bottom of the Savage Labyrinth. The Piece of Heart that was there in the original game was moved to an underwater chest, found via the new Treasure Chart #46.
- Link does not get knocked out of the King of Red Lions when he takes damage at sea (aside from some exceptions, such as explosive barrels).
- Enemies have less invincibility after being damaged, making it possible for certain sword swings to hit twice.
- Conducting with the Wind Waker does not begin until a direction is input.
- After being learned the first time, the preanimated version of Wind Waker melodies is only cued the first time the song is played since loading the game.
- While gliding, Deku Leaf shows a Tingle Tuner-like glowing symbol below Link's feet where he will land.
- While using the cannon, the projectile's trajectory is displayed on the screen, thereby making aiming the cannon much easier.
- Once obtained the first time, a Fishman's advice can be read from the Sea Chart.
- The Fishmen no longer change their location after feeding them bait.
- Pots which previously contained 3 of an item now only contain 2.
- Items dropped by enemies defeated at sea are automatically drawn towards Link.
- Forest Water lasts for 30 minutes instead of 20.
- The figurine of Knuckle is required to complete the Nintendo Gallery.
- When a Big Octo's eye is destroyed, it glows blue instead of turning black.
- Lenzo's Legendary Pictographs cost 150 Rupees instead of 50.
- The chest that Treasure Chart 18 leads to contains 50 Rupees instead of one.
- The Forest Firefly is no longer needed to get the Deluxe Picto Box from Lenzo. He gives Link a Joy Pendant for bringing him one.
- Jump Attacking on top of the chest in the Ghost Ship no longer freezes the game.
- There is now a northwest wind in Hyrule, as opposed to no wind.
- The Boomerang no longer hits Kalle Demos through the bulb when it comes back to Link.
- Molgera's tongue no longer extends and his tongue cannot be latched onto while he is flying towards Link.
- The Octorok figurine no longer states that Octoroks are the "winners of the perfect attendance award", since they were absent from Twilight Princess.
- The Goddess Pearls symbols now are always visible regardless of which direction they are facing.
- Medli and Makar will follow Link through doors in the Earth and Wind Temples, instead of having to be carried through them.
- A circle of light no longer appears around Link when he enters a dark area.
- All-Purpose Bait now costs 30 Rupees when purchased from Beedle, as opposed to just 10.
- Seagulls can no longer fly through the small tree saplings that are found throughout many different islands.
- After clearing the Forbidden Woods, the Octoroks near the entrance to the Forest Haven will disappear.
- Certain character animations that were repeated in the original game are now only used once.
- Some cutscenes where Link makes a facial expression silently have voices added to match the expressions. The ending cutscene and staff credits, which were prerendered in the original game, are now fully real-time cutscenes in the remaster. However, the smooth transition effects from the original cutscenes (the first part of the ending cutscene transitions with a fade effect to the credits, which then fade to the second part of the cutscene) have been replaced by fade-to-white effects, presumably due to the difficulty of implementing the original cutscenes' transitions in real-time rendering. The intro cutscene, which plays upon the start of a new file, is skippable, but no other cutscenes are.
- The game includes a higher-difficulty Hero Mode, but unlike other incarnations it has no unlocking requirements, and can be toggled on or off when starting a new game or when a save game is resumed. Recovery Hearts do not appear in Hero Mode, forcing Link to use potions to regain health. In addition, enemies deal double the amount of damage as in normal gameplay.
- Link's actions have been altered slightly. He is now capable of changing direction while swinging on a rope, without having to stop first. He can also move while in first-person view while aiming the Grappling Hook, Boomerang, Hero's Bow, and Hookshot. However, the shield button is no longer the "grab" button for draggable objects, and instead both the "grab" and "climb" commands are part of the primary action button, making block controls act like older games.
- The Tingle Bottle allowed players to randomly send messages to other players, replaces the Tingle Tuner in the original game prior to the shutdown of Miiverse. The Tingle Bottle could be used to send messages in bottles, which would subsequently appear on the shores of other players' islands. The Tingle Statues, previously only accessible via the Tingle Tuner's Tingle Bombs, can now be obtained with regular Bombs. Knuckle now appears on Tingle Island after all five statues have been found.
- Some items, such as the Picto Box, have new and improved functions. The Picto Box can now store 12 pictographs as opposed to 3. Link is now able to take self-portraits while making any of nine facial expressions. Upon activating the Nintendo Gallery side quest, a mark appears in the upper left corner of pictographs that are eligible for figurine-making. In addition, Carlov can now sculpt up to 12 figurines per day, as opposed to only one. The gallery can thus be completed more rapidly and efficiently. All the pictographs can be sent to other players in the Tingle Bottle. The receiving players can add the pictographs to their own Picto Boxes and use them to complete their Nintendo Gallery. Additionally, he no longer needs a Forest Firefly for the Deluxe Pictobox.
- The HD remaster version made for Wii U was actually superior to the original version.
- The Wind Waker HD runs at 1080p, compared to the original game's 480p. The remaster uses an enhanced version of the original game's cel-shading, the soft-shading. It utilizes a full-fledged lighting and shadowing system that allows for more realistic and fuller lighting than the original. The remaster also features bloom lighting to give a sense of "surreal realism". In low-light areas, the cel-shading gives way to a softer, more realistic shading system. The lighting from torches and other point light sources is made more softer and realistic, and objects now subtly reflect the color of nearby light sources. Other shaders are used to increase the expressivity of characters. The textures used are the original high-resolution ones created during development of the original game, which used scaled-down versions of the textures to match the GameCube's hardware capabilities. 2D elements such as icons and the HUD are completely redrawn to match the style of the game's promotional artwork.
- The Wii U version features improved sailing with an upgrade for it, called the Swift Sail, which can be obtained after the events of Dragon Roots Island: It enables the King of Red Lions to sail faster by merely pressing the A button. In addition, it automatically changes the direction of the wind to the boat's heading. This replaces the function of the A button in the original game, which was used to stop the boat from sailing. The changed functions came about as a result of technical limitations in the original; the GameCube version loaded only a single "chunk" of ocean as Link traveled, requiring the slower sailing speed to mask loading times, while the Wii U can and does load the entire Great Sea at once. This does, however, result in occasional framerate issues, particularly during rainfall.
- Music in The Wind Waker HD uses higher-quality instrument samples than the original game. The updated instruments are most noticeable in fanfares and some boss themes. Some music includes new instrumental tracks, creating a fuller sound. However, most sound effects are unchanged from the originals. While the original game used Dolby (Surround) Pro Logic II, which encodes surround sound using analog stereo audio, the remaster uses true digital surround sound encoded for and sent through HDMI.
- Because The Wind Waker HD was developed for control with the Wii U GamePad, additional control methods have been added. The Inventory has been made accessible through the GamePad's touchscreen, with no need to pause the game. It is now possible to slide an item icon on the GamePad to one of the three slot icons at the top of the screen, allowing players to switch items quickly. The older style of item selection by pausing and using the D-Pad and buttons must be used when playing the game with the Wii U Pro Controller, and may also still be used with the Wii U GamePad. Some items, such as the Wind Waker, are permanently mapped to certain buttons as opposed to being equipped to the three item slots. This allows players to quickly and conveniently access these items, as they are key to playing the game. First-person aiming of items is achieved through either the right analog stick or the GamePad's gyroscope, though there is an option to disable the latter. Link can also move in first-person mode, though item usage is limited to ranged weapons such as the Hero's Bow.
- Sailing was tedious due to how slow the sailing experience is (thankfully it was changed on the Wii U HD remaster).
- You had to constantly change the wind direction with your Wind Waker, which is bit of a slow pace due to have playing it, watch the wind going the direction and then start sailing again (this was fixed after the "Swift Sail" was released on the HD remaster where you don't have to use the Wind Waker constantly).
- The Triforce hunt on the original GameCube version is annoying. To decipher the Triforce charts, you must visit Tingle and order to decipher it you must pay Tingle 398 rupees per chart. On the GameCube version there are total of eight charts so they total amount to pay Tingle is 3184 Rupees!!! Thankfully, you don't have to pay that much on the Wii U version as there are only three charts to find.
- There are fewer dungeons in this game compared to the other Zelda games. There were more dungeons intended to be in this game, but they were scrapped.
- Ever since the shutdown of Miiverse, the Tingle Bottle is completely useless meaning if you need help, you'll have to use a guide.
- Several people criticize the cartoon looks in the game, but is almost completely overshadowed by how good the game is.
- Whatever you do....do not play Mila's Father's Mini-Game, the reason is because he will trick you (or as he says it, swindled you), for those who don't know there are a set of vases in the bottom floor of the his house, that if Link destroys, he will have to pay 10 Rupees, if you talk to Mila's Father for money, he will place three red Rupees in one of the vases, and keep in mind that if you destroyed any one them, you will have to pay him, so you could break the vases into thinking that you will get an easy cash, only for you to now have to pay him.
Wind Waker received strongly positive reviews from critics. Review aggregator website Metacritic calculated a score of 96/100 based on 80 reviews, while GameRankings calculated a score of 94.43% based on 73 reviews.
Wind Waker was the fourth game ever to receive a perfect score from Famitsu magazine, with the reviewers praising the rich design and gameplay. Several reviewers favorably noted the gameplay similarities to Ocarina of Time despite the cel-shaded graphics.