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The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker

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The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker
Legend of Zelda The Wind Waker (NA)
Developer(s) Nintendo EAD
Publisher(s) Nintendo
Platform(s) Nintendo GameCube platform icon Wii U platform icon
Classification(s) Nintendo-network-icon Miiverse-icon
Genre(s) Action-adventure
Rating(s)
ESRB  PEGI  CERO  ACB

04ESRB E10  02PEGI 7  01CERO A  02ACB PG

Credits • Gallery • Cheats & Hints • Videos

The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker is an action/adventure game for the Nintendo Gamecube, and the 10th in The Legend of Zelda series. The game follows the same formula of a young Link fighting over the Triforce against the evil king Ganondorf, however it is set in a different timeline than the previous games.

The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker was the most controversial Legend of Zelda game to date. When The Wind Waker was first shown, there were mixed feelings about the game. Some people loved the art style of the game, and others highly disliked it. Nevertheless, when it was finally released critics praised the graphics and claimed that it was one of the best games in the series. Reviews remarked about Wind Waker's excellent controls, similar to that of The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. The game introduced new weapons and items not known to the series before. Along with the game cell-shaded graphics came a huge ocean to explore with many dungeons and fortresses as far as the eye could see. This game quickly became a best seller.

The cell-shading gave the game a unique artistic feel that certainly didn't feel out of place. Also despite of the look of the game, it actually has a dark storyline that follows up the legend dropped with the N64 games.

Even so, many gamers thought The Wind Waker had some flaws such as heavy reliance on sailing, a very toned down difficulty, and a lack of enough dungeons when compared to the previous games in the series.

The sequel, The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass, was released on the Nintendo DS in late 2007. While there were many games in the series released prior to Phantom Hourglass, this game is considered a sequel due to the fact that it takes place directly after The Wind Waker and contains similar graphics. A character modeled after the Link from The Wind Waker and Phantom Hourglass was present in the Wii video game Super Smash Bros. Brawl as a playable character. In this game he was known as Toon Link.

Gameplay

The entire world of Hyrule has been flooded by the gods to stop Ganondorf's evil doings when there was no hero to turn to. Because of this, the top of what were once mountains serve the role of islands that are scattered throughout the newly constructed ocean. The player can travel the wide sea via a boat that Link discovered early on in the game. Using the sail and the Wind Waker, Link can choose which direction the wind will flow and then have the boat go there. Because of the vast size of the ocean, it will take quite some time to travel from island to island, though later on in the game you'll be given a song that gives the player the ability to transport to special locations in the game.

Once on an island, Link can traverse it similarly to how he was controlled in the Nintendo 64 Zelda installments. When an enemy approaches, he can wield his sword and slash it in a variety of ways, learning new techniques as the player progresses. Dungeons are found throughout the islands and consists of a boss at the end of each one. Midway through each dungeon the player will acquire a new item and near the end of the game he'll be able to control other characters as well when they're part of your party including Makar, Medli, and various statues.

The dungeons in the game contain a variety of puzzles and enemies. They're considered the most challenging aspects of the series, and that holds true here. Usually to get through a certain dungeon, the player will have to use the newly found weapon he found midway through, and will also have to do so against that area's boss.

The game also contains many different towns in which the player can partake in a multitude of activities and subquests. Sometimes the player will visit these areas directly before they set off for one of the game's dungeons. The most notable town in the game is on Windfall Island.

A hint system within the game requires connectivity with the Game Boy Advance through a link cable. If you save Tingle, he will give you something called a Tingle Tuner which when used will send hints to your GBA.

Plot


The Wind Waker starts out with a cinematic explaining the events that took place prior to the game, mainly referring to what happened in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. It explains that long ago there was a land with a "golden power", and that the golden power gave peace to the world. However, there was one man who lusted for this power. His name was Ganon. So, he took the power for himself, and the one destined to become the Hero of Time was put to sleep for seven years as to be old enough to wield the blade of evil's bane. After the seven years, the hero came fourth and defeated Ganon. Peace was restored once more to the land.

Despite the fact that the evil had been sealed away, there would come a day that Ganon would return. The towns-people prayed for the hero of legend to save them once more, though their prayers were not answered - the hero was around no longer. So, as a last resort, the Gods drew the waters from the sea and flooded the land. The top of the highest mountains became islands, while the rest of the world was submerged in water for all eternity.

The Beginnings

Following the emotional tale, the game starts with Aryll, Link's sister, looking for her brother on their native island (Outset Island). She manages to find him on the island's watchtower, where she explains to Link that their grandmother, their only parental figure, is waiting for him at their house. On this day Link had turned the age of the legendary hero of old, the one mentioned in the prologue (and the one featured in Ocarina of Time). On the island it is customary for young boys to be clothed for one day in a green tunic and matching clothing. Link's grandmother gives this to him, and he reluctantly puts on the uncomfortable clothes (after the player completes the game and starts over, the clothes are invisible. Link won't appear naked however; instead the player will simply see the clothes he was previously wearing).

Another tradition for boys who were of this age were to learn the secrets of the sword. The only man on the island who is knowledgeable enough to teach someone is a guy named Orca. He's aged in life, and his age shows, but nevertheless he's very trained in his art. Before Link does become a master swordsman, his grandma tells him to go have fun with Aryll as she prepares the party later on in the night. Link does so and reaches the watchtower once again, where Aryll allows Link to come in possession of her telescope for but one day. Following this she advises Link to take a look around, and notices a strange bird like creature next to the red mailbox. Link checks it out, and then Aryll shrieks. Link takes a look at the sky and sees a colossal bird flying overhead with a young girl in its grasps. The girl's name is, as the player will soon find out, Tetra, while the beast's name is the Helmaroc King. Tetra's gang of pirates are on the chase and shoot the bird out of the sky with one of their cannons, which causes the bird to drop Tetra into the forest of Outset Island.

Link understands that it's his obligation to go out and save the girl if she is still indeed alive, though will need to equip himself with a sword first. This means it's time to visit Orca, the previously mentioned sword master. Orca teaches Link the way of the sword and gives him one. Link is now ready to save Tetra. He travels up the mountain and crosses the bridge only to come upon a couple of enemies that he easily dispatches. Once inside the forest Link notices Tetra hanging from a tree unconscious. Link kills more enemies wishing to take ahold of the girl, and suddenly Tetra wakes up and falls from the tree. One of her pirates arrives and two leave, barely noticing Link whatsoever, and certainly not giving him his due thanks.

The two pirates leave the forest and Link follows. Once outside, Link sees his sister across the bridge. The both wave and Aryll starts to cross the bridge. Suddenly the Helmaroc King from before spots her, seemingly assuming that she's Tetra the bird quickly snatches Aryll. Link quickly tries to save his sister and makes a foolish attempt at doing so by nearly costing his life by jumping over the edge. Before this happens, Tetra saves his life by grasping hold of his hand.

Following this the game progresses to the beach where Link asks Tetra if he can tag along with them in an attempt to go after his sister. Tetra declines, though the bird mentioned previously explains to Tetra that Link had saved her life by slaying the monsters in the forest, and Tetra reluctantly allows him to go only if he can manage to find a shield. Link heads back to his grandmother's house, where Link recites what had recently happened. Link's grandmother, while extremely distraught over what had happened, gives Link their passed down shield for him to take along on his journey. Back at the ship, Tetra agrees to have him on board and they set sail for Forsaken Fortress, where the Rito from before informed the pirates to go.

Forsaken Fortress

On the ship the group manages to get to the Forsaken Fortress, which is being heavily guarded.

Characters

  • Link - The game's protagonist.
  • Tetra - The damsel in distress.
  • Ganondorf - The antagonist and the game's final boss.

Hint System

A hint system known as the Tingle Tuner is provided within the game. If you save Tingle, he will provide you with a hint device. However, to use it you must have a Game Boy Advance hooked up to the GameCube and turned on.

HD Remake

In 2013, an HD remake of the game was made for the Wii U mostly developed by HexaDrive and Digitalscape with Nintendo EAD3 mostly supervising. It was first announced by Eiji Aonuma in the January 2013 Nintendo Direct where they were experimenting with art styles for the next installment of the Zelda series.  It was released digitally along with a limited Wii U bundle on September 20th for the Wii U eShop but a physical version did not appear in stores until October 4th in America.

Changes

In addition to being 1080p with excellent lighting, the game supports Off-TV Play or having the GamePad function as the map or inventory management without having to pause the screen. The game also supports the Wii U Pro Controller. In addition, items aimed in the first-person can be controlled both through the sticks and using the Wii U's gyroscope, to aim them through motion controls like the Whip, Bow, and Telescope. The Tingle Tuner has been replaced with the Tingle's bottle, which gives players hints from Miiverse similar to Demon's Souls. Traveling across the ocean is now faster by 50% and has automatic wind changes with the Swift Sail. The game had a reworked Triforce quest replacing a few Sea Charts with Triforce pieces. The player can hold 500 rupees at the start instead of just 200. Hero Mode is unlocked from the start. You take double damage in this mode and there are no hearts dropped. It can be toggled on and off throughout a playthrough.

Reception

The Wind Waker caused a lot of controversy before release. Almost everyone was expecting the next Zelda installment to have the realistic feel that was seen on Ocarina of Time and Majora's Mask, but upgraded with the graphical power of the Gamecube. Instead, a cartoonish looking Link with huge eyes was seen running away from some enemies in a teaser shown at SpaceWorld 2001. This caused confusion and concern among the gaming community that were used to Zelda's "mature" look. Still, Nintendo released the game in 2002 hoping it would change people's minds once it was tried out.

The game was also criticized for its emphasis on sailing. Much of the sailing was done manually, making for long and boring voyages.

The game was praised, however, for its cel-shaded graphics, despite the cartoony design of the characters.

The game sold just over 4.6 million copies, making it the fourth best selling Zelda game.

Regardless, The Wind Waker was the fourth best selling game on the Gamecube.

The HD Remake wasn't treated with quite the same level of success despite great critical praise, receiving a 90 on Metacritic and 91.08% on GameRankings, for giving it an excellent graphical improvement despite the original looking so great and great gameplay improvements. The game's first week in Japan sold 30,000 which is one of the worst openings for the Zelda franchise. By the end of 2013, the game sold 1.15 million copies worldwide

Trivia

  • The greeting "Oi!" in this game is actually Portuguese for "hi". However, "oi" is sometimes translated as "hey" in Japanese
  • Unlike most Zelda games, Wind Waker returns the player to the area where the game was saved. Previous games returned the player to one or two specific spots.
  • This is the first 3D game in the series not to include Adult Link.
  • Upon playing the game through a second time, Link will be wearing his 'outset' clothing. Interestingly if you obtain the magic armor it will resemble that of Link wearing his original tunic.

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