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Feature: Celebrating Ten Years of The Wind Waker

Posted by Gaz Plant

A decade under the ocean

This week marked the 10th anniversary of The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker’s European release, a title that’s equally one of the most beloved and controversial titles in the entire Zelda franchise. Launched on the GameCube between 2002 and 2003 worldwide, The Wind Waker had a troubled launch, due largely to a backlash from some fans regarding the change from realistic Link to cel-shaded Link. Yet for some it’s like a fine wine, and The Wind Waker has matured with age – some opinion now is that the cartoonish, cel-shaded styling of the Great Sea is one of the most ambitious and successful graphical palettes ever committed to disk. With its charming cast of characters, storyline and excellent gameplay, it’s now highly regarded by a fair number of Zelda fans.

But 2013 isn’t just the year Link, Tetra and the King of Red Lions celebrate reaching their first decade. Announced earlier this year, Nintendo is hard at work putting together a HD remake of this timeless title, bringing the vibrant and beautiful lands of Outset and Windfall Island into the Wii U generation. It’s an exciting time to be a fan of not only The Wind Waker, but The Legend of Zelda in general; with the HD remake imminent, and a big milestone now upon us, some of the Nintendo Life team have decided to look back on their time with this adventure and share their favourite moments.

Some key sequences of the games are referenced but are deemed minor enough, in terms of spoilers, to be included — read on at your own risk.

Gaz Plant

The Wind Waker is a game of famous firsts for me; it was the first Zelda game I ever played, the first game I pre-ordered, the first game I became utterly obsessed with and perhaps most importantly of all, the first game I wrote a review of, a review that would ultimately spawn my first blog and eventually lead to me writing this. It is a game that stands untouched at the top of my Zelda games list and a game that I can remember playing vividly; but that’s not what makes it so special to me.

Instead, my lasting memory of The Wind Waker isn’t the epic exploration or being called ‘small fry’ by the Map Fish for the first time, but the wait for the game. I remember buying a copy of CVG magazine back in 2002 (a copy I still own) and reading about two GameCube games – Super Mario Sunshine and a title called The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker. Mario Sunshine would be the game that convinced me to buy a GameCube, Wind Waker would be the game that made me fall in love with it. To this day I don’t know why I became so enthralled by it, but in the months leading up to release I read every preview I could find and absorbed every bit of information out there. Despite knowing nothing about the Zelda franchise, I became a huge fan thanks to hours poring over previews and features in magazines. Then it arrived. And it was more magical than I ever could have imagined.

Mike Mason

To this day The Wind Waker is one of the most beautiful games created; I absolutely adore its setting and completely different, sea-based approach, a world away from the stretches of Hyrule Field. I'm actually at that sweet spot where I have forgotten several of the game's finer details — which suits me just fine, since the HD remake is on the horizon — but I recall the key moments and the feeling of utter joy while playing. And despite its art style it also features one of the most shocking, brilliant sequences in the whole series — the end of the final boss battle, of course.

I do remember people always muttering on about the infamous Triforce Hunt, and how it slowed down and stretched out the end of the game. But for me, it was never like that at all — blissfully unaware, I gathered the pieces as I went along and didn't have to collect everything at once. I never felt that The Wind Waker dragged, and it's probably my favourite Zelda game — no Zelda game since has come close for me.

Andy Green

I think the thing I enjoy the most about The Wind Waker is the art style; though I'm probably more a fan of the realistic aesthetics of other games in the series, The Wind Waker has its own special charm that I really can't get enough of. I think the general surprise of my love for it will be a lasting memory for me! I also simply enjoy sailing around in the tranquil Great Sea, the first time you get in your trusty boat is such good fun and although a lot of people find the sailing elements tedious I actually think they add to the game's magic.

But my ultimate favourite thing about Wind Waker is the soundtrack. I mean seriously, it's one of my favourite Zelda scores, right up there with Skyward Sword. No matter where you are in the game or what you're doing the music is simply perfect and suits every situation perfectly.

Also those leaf folk are the coolest. I think of The Wind Waker - I think of the leaf dudes.

Philip J Reed

In the run-up to The Wind Waker's release I was working at Sam Goody. I'm pretty sure the chain is gone now, but at the time it was a great place to pick up overpriced copies of only the most popular media from a very small selection while being served by a totally unknowledgeable sales crew. Great place!

Anyway, we had one of those demo kiosks for the GameCube, and another one for Xbox. I never went near the Xbox ones because the only demo discs we ever got were racing and fighting games, which didn't really interest me. The GameCube kiosk, however, had a demo disc that allowed people to play some quick scenarios from the upcoming The Wind Waker (it also had Metroid Prime, and, if I remember correctly, a trailer or something for Super Mario Sunshine). I didn't get to play the game during work hours, but every time I looked over and saw somebody playing it, I had only one response: this is the single best looking game I've ever seen.

I fell in love with that art style. I had a GameCube at home, but didn't play it much. It was a low ebb in gaming for me, so I wasn't paying attention to what was out, or what was coming out, but seeing The Wind Waker there, for the first time, I absolutely couldn't wait to play it.

We cycled that demo disc out when a new one came in, and my manager told me I could have it. I went home and played those same few scenarios over and over again (one was a few rooms of a dungeon, one was the boss you defeat by using the grappling hook to latch onto the dragon's tail), and though the demo was timed and you couldn't explore very much before the game reset, I spent hours poring over just how gorgeous the game was. The animations were fluid, every item and enemy popped, Link's eyes moved brilliantly toward objects you should investigate. Oh, and it played great too.

When it came out I bought it immediately, and I loved it. To this day it's still among my very favourite games in the series, behind only Majora's Mask and A Link to the Past. But I'll always remember falling in love with that demo, which is something that hasn't happened to me before or since.

Ron DelVillano

Like most new things in my life, the graphical style of The Wind Waker was met with immediate disdain. After my contempt for the unreleased game eventually subsided, I picked up a copy and I absolutely loved it. The presentation was different, and it wasn't at all what I was looking for from an — at that time — next gen Zelda game, but it worked nonetheless. I haven't actually played The Wind Waker since I finished the game nearly 10 years ago but, when all was said and done, I remember having an appreciation for it. I'm really looking forward to giving the HD re-release a go.

Morgan Sleeper

The Wind Waker will always have a special place in my heart, not only because it was the first Zelda title I actually managed to beat, but because it was the first time I remember playing a video game feeling like a true adventure. I played through Link's high seas epic over a long summer at my grandparents' house, sometimes with a friend, taking turns on the Tingle Tuner, and sometimes sailing solo long into the night. The feeling of freedom from crossing the cel-shaded oceans is what's really stuck with me — in fact, even though I count it as one of my favourite games of all time, ten years later I can't remember a thing about the actual story! That's just making me even more excited to experience it again on the Wii U this year though, and I can't wait to jump back into the Great Sea and relive the adventure!

Martin Watts

It's horribly clichéd but my favourite memory from The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker will always be the part where you travel underwater to the Temple of Time. Seeing that part for the first time gave me goosebumps. Everything about it was perfect, especially the setting (with the stained glass windows of the Ocarina of Time sages). It was also at this point in the game that I really managed to get into the story. Cracking stuff all round!

Lee Meyer

My most significant memory of The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker doesn't actually come from the game itself! Back in the "old days" of the early 2000s, information wasn't as immediately available as it is now. When word got out at school that Nintendo announced a new Zelda at E3, I bolted home and went online to discover what everyone was referring to as "Celda" — a cel-shaded, whimsical new Zelda game trailer. It was a far cry from what I'd been expecting for the GameCube Zelda, but I really liked the art style! The trailer showed Link mischievously causing havoc in a dungeon, fighting classic enemies, with the legendary music playing in the background. The trailer proved to be polarizing for fans, but I loved that Nintendo was able to put a new spin on a character and series that everyone thought they knew.

Tim Latshaw

It was a Saturday night in college, and while my roommate had decided to go out and party I felt way too close to the ending of The Wind Waker to let it go. It was a longer trek through the final tower than I expected, but I finally made it to Ganondorf around 2 a.m. What a fight! No magic, no monstrous transformations — just a dual-wielding master taking you on in reflexive physical combat.

Near the end of the battle, I could hear a key turning in the lock. My roommate stumbled in from his revelry just as I delivered the surprisingly vicious coup de grace to win the game. He stared at the screen, jaw dropped, eyes widened.

"...Holy [expletive]!" he slurred.

I had to concur.

Dave Letcavage

Now that I think about it, I never got around to completing The Wind Waker in its entirety. I borrowed it from a friend and spent a weekend so completely absorbed in the experience that I don’t recall ever leaving the house. What I remember most was sneaking around the Forsaken Fortress and being totally horrendous at it. It didn’t upset me though because I was just in awe of my surroundings and the phenomenal graphics. Beyond that, I don’t have any other specific memories. Looks like I’ll have to create some new ones when The Wind Waker HD releases for Wii U later this year.


The Wind Waker is one of those titles that plenty of gamers have something to say about, and with 2013 marking not only the game’s first decade, but its HD re-release, you can be sure there is plenty more to be said about this adventure.

What were your favourite memories from the game? Did the graphics matter to you, and do they matter now? And are you excited for the re-release later this year? We’d love to read your memories and opinions in the comments below.

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User Comments (73)

Rezalack

#1

Rezalack said:

Back when it was released, I had no interest in the game even though I had a gamecube. The graphics just rubbed me the wrong way and turned me off to the game, unfortunately. So I have never played it, but now it gives me just another reason to buy the Wii U and I'm really looking forward to playing it. I actually kind of like the graphics now after playing Spirit Tracks and of course it's Zelda, so it odds are it's a great game.

Wonder_Ideal

#2

Wonder_Ideal said:

I was a late adopter of Wind Waker. I received a used copy for my birthday last year. I already seen what the game looked like, but seeing it in action was incredible. My favorite part was exploring the Great Sea a scouring it for secrets and treasure. The mysterious Ghost Ship was especially interesting. The games music is also some of my favorite in the series. It is easily one of my favorite games ever. Happy 10th anniversary Wind Waker!

Peach64

#3

Peach64 said:

It's far from perfect, and definitely feels like it was rushed out, but I love Wind Waker. I think it's a lot nicer to look at than the HD remake on Wii U, especially when run in HD itself through dolphin. Sadly, I don't think the current Nintendo will take chances like this. Today it's all about playing it safe and relying on the past.

FullbringIchigo

#4

FullbringIchigo said:

@Spuratis you missed out on one of the best Zelda games you know, just because you didn't like the fact it had cartoon style graphics seems a silly reason not to buy it to me or at least rent it or borrow it off a friend, you really should you know play the original Gamecube version at least once

rjejr

#6

rjejr said:

This was the first Zelda game I ever played. I played it for about 2 hours and was bored to tears and returned it from wherever I got it, probably Blockbuster. And I liked the cell- shading, I always like cell-shading, but it was so slow, nothing was going on.

Years later I played Twilight Princess and had a lot of fun, there was a lot to do and it had a bunch of great set pieces on the bridge and in the cave and on the big field. Then Skyward Sword was another big yawn. I don't recall a single exciting thing from that game except those boss battles running around that monster which felt completely apart from the rest of the game.

So I ask, does WW ever pick up and get more exciting? I don't mind exploring and sailing about the ocean taking my time between locations, but I want something to happen when I get there. SS lets you fly everywhere - though never at night when it would have looked cool and they could have had harder monsters to fight and different puzzles to solve, it's like they left out half the game - but nothing much ever happens when you get anywhere.

ajcismo

#8

ajcismo said:

My favorite Zelda and quite possibly my favorite game of all time. There are few games of any console/era that control as tight and as fluid as The Wind Waker. Love the pacing, the style and the sailing too.

Its been weird postponing my annual playthru until the Wii U version is released.

Einherjar

#9

Einherjar said:

@Majin-Naruto The art style of a game is a make or break factor in my opinion. Not liking graphics from a technical standpoint is one thing, but dont liking the art style is a completely different story. I love cel shaded graphics (technical standpoint) but i realy dont like the deformed character models (art style standpoint). Wind Waker is one of the most atmospheric Zelda games, but i cant get past the goofy looking characters.
Even if WW is one of, if not the most eleganz Zelda games gameplay wise (smooth controlls, wide open world), the later siling parts, especially the triforce hunt (and the map pieces) bored me to tears till i eventually quit and never returned to the game.
Its rather funny, since i love playing Uncharted Waters (Online) and that game almost completely consists of long, uneventful sailing trips. Something about WW rubbed me the wrong way. Maybe the HD rerelease can convince me to give it another shot. But i guess ill need to finish skyward sword first...and even that game bored me to no end.

SCAR392

#10

SCAR392 said:

This game was awesome. I pre-ordered it specifically for the Zelda OoT bonus disc, and played that for a month or so before the game came out. It was the first Zelda I bought on release day, because I was finally old enough to think about video games more in depth(to an extent).
I knew immediately it would be a fun game. I had heard people were dissing the game because of the graphics, but I was 11 years old, and cared nothing of graphics. I already understood what a graphic style was.
One of the best games on GCN hands down.

Hunter-D

#11

Hunter-D said:

I was 12. I walked 2 hours with my sister to the nearest town centre that had a GAME store so that I could spend my savings on this.

Best 2 hour walk of my life.

Morpheel

#12

Morpheel said:

I loved the graphic style from the first time I saw it, I used to spend hours and hours lost in the great sea exploring every single island and searching for treasure... Good times!

biglittlejake

#13

biglittlejake said:

Wind Waker had the coolest characters. I loved the fact you could get 99 bombs and 99 arrows, I remember first seeing that you could get that many, it was exciting news. Wind Waker I think was the game I played through the most, what I mean is the side tasks, they were actually fun in that game. I believe I found the most heart pieces too, ugh I can't wait till it comes out. I agree the music was amazing, I mean in the forest haven concert. The more I write the more I get excited. I never was able to use the tingle tuner, I hope the gamepad will be used for that, or better yet the 3DS.

Gamercake

#14

Gamercake said:

Personally, I never got round to playing Wind Waker (shameful, I know) but I can't wait to play it on the Wii U. It looks like a really awesome game and I think it's gonna be great.

Jaco

#16

Jaco said:

Ive played through the game probably 6 times through (3 of each "quest" basically the same though ( every time I'd decide to try and 100% the game and collect everything, my gamecube memory card would corrupt. Its happened 3 times now the last time was a couple years ago, and I haven't really played the game since so ill be happy to play this amazing game again this year!

nik1470

#17

nik1470 said:

Love this game, I remember playing the demo on the Zelda collection over and over until I brought the full version.

Peach64

#18

Peach64 said:

@BestBuck123 It's a pretty common feeling amongst gamers. Even Nintendo said they had to rush it out for Christmas. Everyone knows about the dungeons they cut out, and are hoping they put them back in for the HD remake.

Sjoerd

#19

Sjoerd said:

My first and favourite Zelda-title. Like @Mike Mason I've lost many details growing up, but the love I have for this title has only grown bigger. Can't wait for the HD version!!

Rief

#20

Rief said:

I bought this on release, months before i even got my GameCube, just to get the Limited Edition with the Ocarina of Time Bonus Disc.
Well, Wind Waker is my Number 3 in case of Zelda, the only ones i liked more were Twilight Princess and Skyward Sword, the last one kicking the other ones one place down to stay at the top, so i'm really looking forward to the remake, it is a sure buy, even though my GameCube is still hooked to the TV (well, the one in our sleeping room, like all the other old consoles)

Tornado

#21

Tornado said:

Sailing on the sea is great, but it would've been nice to get an upgraded sail at some point that would've made it such that you didn't have to stop and change the wind all the time. That animation sure gets old. Then add the three missing dungeons back in (pretty obvious where they were cut) and change the Triforce fetch quest, and it'd change a great game to an awesome game. Especially with the cartoon art style in HD--that will be utterly gorgeous, I am sure!

astroshamu

#23

astroshamu said:

My first zelda wasnt till Ocarina of time 3D, now I own Minish Cap, Majoras Mask, Skyward Sword, The Legend of Zelda for nes, Zelda 2, though a lot came from ambassador program, I had no Idea what I was missing out on, I'm excited to try out Wind Waker

Donjwolf

#24

Donjwolf said:

Hello.

I dunno why people hated the cartoony look in WW when the series started out as cartoony in the first place. Even the manual had cartoony looking pictures of Link. Even LttP had goblins doing cartoony animation before falling into a pit.

That said, WW and LttP are my two favourite Zelda games. I grew up watching cartoons and things so I have no issues at all with cartoony games and animated movies. I never liked OoT at all and I'd rather have a cartoony Zelda game than a 'realistic' one, although that is not the reason why I hate OoT.

Spoony_Tech

#25

Spoony_Tech said:

It took me about 9 years to finally realize that this here was my favorite Zelda of all time. I held on to OOT for too many years thinking it was still my favorite. While its still an exceptional game it does feel dated specially compared to Wind Waker! Can't hold on to nostalgia forever!

aaronsullivan

#27

aaronsullivan said:

@Peach64
What are you going on about? lol. You didn't enjoy the visuals in Wind Waker more than the new HD one, because you haven't experienced the new HD one. No one has. It's not finished. There hasn't even been video footage.

You are right about the original being somewhat rushed. That's verifiable fact. Two "dungeons" were never finished due to time constraints.

It's a bit sad how people dismissed it due to the visual differences from the tech demonstration at the Gamecube announcement. Sadly people are the same way today, and none of the big publishers take risks much anymore. And then people complain because everything is the same... but if it's different they mock it. I know not everyone is that way, but it must feel like it to publishers sometimes.

Tasuki

#28

Tasuki said:

This is the only Zelda game that I played but never beat. The graphics just ruined the game for me.

sinalefa

#29

sinalefa said:

Never played this one, and I let it slip twice when I saw it in two garage sales.

Guess Fate had me oblivious so I could enjoy it now that it is being remade in HD. I just hope the hype and the cult status are justified, as I heard wonders about Shadow of the Colossus that I don't share now that I played it. Thankfully this is a Zelda game, so I doubt it will be the same scenario.

Rezalack

#30

Rezalack said:

@Majin-Naruto Yeah, back then I was a little different and for some reason the graphics just didn't appeal to me or make me want to play it at all, it was an instant turn off and I probably would have had to force myself to play and that's no fun. Times have changed though and I'm really looking forward to playing it. I don't have my gamecube anymore, nor do I want to buy a copy of Wind Waker GC just to play the classic version. Especially since the HD version is coming out and that's one of my main motivators to pick up the Wii U.

aaronsullivan

#31

aaronsullivan said:

@Tasuki
Have you played the NES games? The SNES one? The N64 one? I'm assuming no since those all of those have either similar abstraction or simply inferior graphics to Wind Waker. Not every look works for every person but it seems like you, like many others, are depriving yourself. You tried it, though. That's more than many were willing to do back in the day. :)

Sanqet

#32

Sanqet said:

I always loved the look of the game my problem was the last quarter of the game really let it down for me so I hope they sort it for the hd remake

Dpullam

#33

Dpullam said:

Windwaker is easily one of my favorite Zelda games to date. It had loads of charm and I really enjoyed sailing over the vast ocean in search of new locations and treasures. I have quite a few fond memories of this game and I will have many more once I pick up the Windwaker remake later in the year even though I still have the original.

BrightBeing

#34

BrightBeing said:

At the time Wind Waker was released, I was busy cheating on Nintendo with a new Xbox. I sometimes regret not going the Gamecube route, but now that the HD re-release is on its way, I'll be able to see first hand what everyone is raving about!

WaveWarlock

#35

WaveWarlock said:

I absolutely loved the art style & visuals....But that's where the Love ends. :p This was the only LOZ that nearly put me to sleep(got to love that dreadful sailing!). I just about finished it during it's release, but I decided to finally call it quits, after almost quitting 3 times prior to that but as usual I forced myself to see it through until the end, but in this case I never saw the 'end' end.

This was also the first 3D Zelda that I actually got into and it left me extremely disappointed. Mind you, for some odd ball reason I was playing it on a small 20" TV with basic composite cables. :p on a 32" Tube TV with component cables I have a feeling the experience would of been far more grand, exciting and immersive haha. Oh well, I feel like giving it another chance, and I shall with the Wii U remake. ;)

Oh and Phantom Hour Glass > Wind Waker. It had Lineback, the sailing was far more forgiving, the touch screen based controls during the boss battles and puzzle solving were a real treat! And overall it was new way to experience The Legend of Zelda. Nobodies going to back me up on this one. I'm not even in the minority, this is a one man show! haha.

Williaint

#36

Williaint said:

When I first saw it in action, I thought to myself: This is what LttP would look like in 3D...
I loved the graphics, they may be cute, but it was great fun. It's been soo long since I've played it, I can hardly remember it. They only reason I can remember some of the songs is because I'm playing them on itunes. It was one game that I helped my little brother finish (after I beat it, of course). We enjoyed the goofy characters, like Beedle ( "OOOOoooh!" ), and some of the great character design. However, the game mysteriously disappeared (it had something to do with beer, that's all I've been told)... so, I haven't played it for several years. I'm extremely glad they are doing the Wii U remake so I can play it again. I think the G-Pad will work a lot better than the GBA did, as a tingle tuner.

Spoony_Tech

#37

Spoony_Tech said:

@sinalefa You didn't like Shadow of the Colossus!?!?! Not sure but it might be my favorite game of all time!! It was imo a perfect game!

Xiao_Pai

#39

Xiao_Pai said:

@aaronsullivan: Wait, 2 dungeons? What's the other one then? I heard of the one that was taken out at Greatfish Isle. (I think that's what its called anyways)
But anyways yeah, no judging the remake, screenshots don't say much for a game...I honestly think the HD remake is going to look awesome.

DerpSandwich

#40

DerpSandwich said:

I've played through it at least four times, and I'm looking forward to playing it a lot more this fall. One of the greatest games I've ever played.

gohanrage

#41

gohanrage said:

I was wone of those people who were upset when Wind Waker looked nothing like the realistic Demo during Gamecubes Annoucement. But I still pre-ordered it getting the ocarina of time master quest. I ended up loving this game so much. I continue to replay it. I can't wait for the HD version. I hope that they do put back in anything they needed to remove because of disc space or lack of time

SKTTR

#42

SKTTR said:

Played the hell out of this game and completed it multiple times with all the GBA-link Tingle secrets, photo statues, etc. Wind Waker brought me back to gaming. One of my favourite moments is when you get to the point when there´s thunderstorm, rain and huge waves over the ocean. You don´t want to get into shark territory then. This game was just too exciting. :D My other favourite moment is really amazing but it would spoil too much... In 10 years I managed to never talk about it so I must not start now.

gohanrage

#43

gohanrage said:

I will Never Sell My Gamecube version of "THE WIND WAKER" even if the HD version is Equally Great or Better

XFsWorld

#46

XFsWorld said:

Every Zelda game that released, people are always saying its their favorite. Always seeing Link to the Past, Ocarina of Time, Wind Waker, and Skyward Sword. People make up your MINES!

DarkNinja9

#47

DarkNinja9 said:

well i was still a little kid so i didnt know much i had already played OoT though and started on MM so when i saw this after it came out i got it :P seemed fun and seeing links expressions was funny only parts i hated was the sailing from one side of the map to the other >.< till like the end of the game were i get the song for easy traveling

but eh so many things to do and so many places were i was like wtf o.O but in the end just the fighting was interesting to me

RaymanFan2

#48

RaymanFan2 said:

The only 3D Zelda I've never dabbled in, due to it's lack of re-releases and the fact that first-party Ninty games on the GC can fetch $150 in NZ these days.

BossBattles

#49

BossBattles said:

I've always loved WW. When it came out i played it twice in a row and got everything 100%. Played thru it again last year, and will be happy to play the HD Wii U version when it releases!!!!

I am still blown away that people were upset with the visual style that holds up as well as any style in gaming history, as well as why people were "bored" with the ocean....just shows some lack imagination!

SDDMN

#50

SDDMN said:

Wind Waker so far is my favorite Zelda game. I'm really looking forward to playing it again later this year, hopefully this time there will be two new dungeons for me to explore.

superturtleman

#51

superturtleman said:

When my little brother and I saved up our pennies to purchase a Gamecube we were fortunate enough to snag one with the Zelda Collector's Edition bundled inside. We played to Wind Waker demo included on the disc for hours and hours. I could not wait to play the real thing. After another round of penny saving we bought the full version and were immersed in an adventure unlike any other I played before or since. I beat the game numerous times, and I don't know if I will ever enjoy a game as much as I did Wind Waker. It remains as my favorite game of all time. Even now as I work on designing my own games, I look to Wind Waker for inspiration.

Captain_Gonru

#52

Captain_Gonru said:

I was excited for this one from it's first announcement. I loved the look. On the right tv, you could convince yourself it was an interactive cartoon (though that may have been due to some "college" fun). Admittedly, I dislike the first dungeon (just give me my sword already!), and I LOVE the final fight. I'd argue its the one of, if not the, best boss fights in any game on any system. Plus, the time spent sailing was great for grabbing another beverage.

lex0plex

#53

lex0plex said:

One of my favourite things about this game was the combat. Zelda never was as fun to fight before or after this game.

MakeMyBiscuit

#54

MakeMyBiscuit said:

I love this game! It was one of the few games that was in 480p & it still looks great on my HDTV via my Wii and Component cables.

timp29

#55

timp29 said:

I was so disappointed in this game when I saw the cel shaded graphics in the magazines. So much so, that I avoided this game for years until the Wii came out, and with its Gamecube backward compatibility I could go back and check out the Zelda game I had missed.

Initially I still felt the graphics were a let down (especially after playing Twilight Princess) but I came to really love the silky smooth animation which worked perfectly with the cel shaded art style. While I was disappointed by the lack of dungeons and all the boring travel time in the game, the approach to the final temple where you go under water, was the most epic moment of any zelda game I have played.

WiiLovePeace

#56

WiiLovePeace said:

When LoZ: the Wind Waker came out I tried it on a demo unit at EBGames & isn't declared it the worst game ever & that it was on a kiddie gaming console :p (even though I was 13 at the time of the Gamecube's release :P) & hence got a PS2 with Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 4 when that was affordable to me...

... Many years later the Nintendo Wii comes out, I pick one up in Sept. '08 with Wii Sports (of course :P), Mario Kart Wii & Wii Fit. I once again become a Nintendo fanatic (after being a Nintendo fanatic in the N64 era) & some time after that I felt like using the GameCube backwards compatibility hence I played Super Mario Sunshine (as I remembered a particular shot on the back of the game box made me want a Gamecube back in the day, because the graphics had been amazingly enhanced since Super Mario 64 imo). & then after that I decided to get over my years long of needlessly hating on Wind Waker (especially so since it was in numerous top 10 GameCube game lists) & I sat down & actually played it & now it is my #1 favourite LoZ game of all time! :D (Tied with LoZ: Ocarina of Time though, they're both my favourite LoZ game(s)). While playing it I loved everything about WW, including the cel-shading which I hated on back in the day. I loved the boating from one side of the world to the other, just the sense of exploration was phenomenal. Heck, even after I learned the ability to warp I still boated around the place most of the time (only using warp when there was a sense of 'urgency' in the game). The dungeons were great fun too. Oh & the music! Such an amazing soundtrack! :D

In conclusion, I deprived myself of an amazing, amazing game for many years due to stupid "reading a book by its cover"-ness. Then rectified this mistake a few years ago & have since experienced many GameCube classics that I skipped out on back in the day. It's been a while since I last experienced those games hence I'm looking forward to playing them all on Wii U, please Nintendo! :D

citizenerased

#57

citizenerased said:

Not sure what I can say about this. I might think Skyward Sword is the better game, but this is probably my favourite game of all time. Also the most beautiful game of all time. I can only pray for a high-definition sequel at some point (let's face it, the DS wasn't strong enough to handle the artstyle).

One only has to boot up the disc, hear the song and see Outset island to get teary eyed.

Oh and Tetra is the best Zelda, by far!

Mahe

#58

Mahe said:

There is nothing to celebrate about this game. It would be best left forgotten.

SanderEvers

#59

SanderEvers said:

STILL my favorite Legend of Zelda game and none will ever beat that. (Well, maybe the HD remake :p)

Toodles

#60

Toodles said:

Wind Waker wasn't the first Zelda game I played, but it was the first Zelda game I owned, so it was the first one I enjoyed completely. The Zelda series isn't always a series I enjoy that much, but Wind Waker is absolutely sublime.

@Philip_J_Reed: Sam Goody is still around. There's one in the mall where I live. I'd say that's still a fairly good description of the store! The only thing they have going for them is that since they started stocking used products, it's not a half-bad place to track down some obscure movies. Which must be the only reason they're still in business, honestly...

SilverArrow

#61

SilverArrow said:

I can wait for the remake of this game and the new Zelda Wii U title! However, I don't expect seeing that new Zelda Wii U title until winter of next year.

MetalKingShield

#62

MetalKingShield said:

I remember seeing the Wind Waker demo in a shop and being astonished at how much like a playable cartoon it was. From that moment, I knew I had to buy a GameCube. When I actually obtained my copy of Wind Waker, I was spellbound.

Although I loved the N64 Zeldas, now we had a machine that could create far better graphics and let you see much further into the distance. Thanks to the C-stick, we also had the best-ever controls for Zelda, with the player able to view the overworld from almost any angle. The combat was also a series-best, with you able to pick up Moblin staves or Darknut swords. None of this has ever been bettered (or even matched) in subsequent Zeldas.

The story was sublime, but the real star of the show was the exploration. The way you could stand on an island, look into the distance and know there was another island that might link up with your one. Or the way there were so many rocks that could be destroyed or lifted with Power Bracelets, leading into another hidden area. Then there was the way it still had all the best items, like Fire and Ice Arrows.

Nintendo still makes great games, but I'm not 100% sure they can still make them as good as Wind Waker. I hope they can.

rdenton85

#63

rdenton85 said:

I was a complete idiot in 2005 when I owned a Gamecube and wanted another Zelda after completing Four Swords Adventures, which was my first GC Zelda. I didn't like the graphics. Obviously I was completely wrong as when I recommended my Aunt buy this for her Gamecube, I immediately fell for the game.

It was so perfect. Ignoring that I found it to be a better game than Twilight Princess based on gameplay, the graphics are actually better, because they won't age. TP already looks a bit blurry and out of date, while Wind Waker still looks incredible. Games like Eternal Sonata are prettier, but this art style is ideal.
And it helps that the game is amazing, although I always dread sneaking around the Forsaken Fortress. Ah well roll on this Autumn. Hopefully it's coming in a Wii-U bundle.

Ian_Daemon

#65

Ian_Daemon said:

I loved the (SPOILER) and the (SPOILER) that you get after you (SPOILER). I spent so much time playing the game using that. WW is my favorite LoZ title. ;)

Le_Gazman

#66

Le_Gazman said:

I've been playing it from the beginning again on my Gamecube. I got the PAL version and got lost at sea, forgot what I was doing and never went back to it.

When I picked up an NTSC GameCube in the US I re-bought my entire collection, including Wind Waker. I barely played it because I just had so many other games to play.

I always found the sea going bits boring and felt like they went on forever. When I heard Zelda on DS shared the same art style and even some of the sailing, I was worried. That game turned out to be one of my favourite Zelda games so my opinions on Wind Waker softened.

I vowed to go back to it at some point after I finished a load of other Zelda games. Since going back to it I've discovered how poor it is at keeping you up to speed with your objectives. Whether you're in a dungeon or out at sea, quite often you wonder what te hell you're supposed to be doing or where you should be going.

The fish at the start pleads with you to keep your sea charts updated and that is VERY wise advice. I've been taking a lot of notes as I go because I know periods of confusion and apathy set in and it's an easy game to walk way from. It's also an easy game to fall in love with and this time I'm determined to see it through.

Ruthven

#67

Ruthven said:

I absolutely loved this game and have played it through three times over the years. Like Gaz Plant even though I had the NES and SNES and N64 it was the first Zelda game I pre-ordered and played through to the end. It is like playing a beautiful cartoon, I’m so happy its getting HD love. (Nintendo please make use it’s got rumble and works with the Wii U pro controller for that full GCN old school experience)

Henmii

#68

Henmii said:

I waited a few months before I bought it, because I was sceptical of the graphics like many fans where! But when I played it my doubts washed away quickly: It was awesome! And I was in luck since I could still get it with the bonus disc!

In my opinion it's the best 3D Zelda after Oot! Graphically it's still amazing, and I love the big connection it has with Oot, I mean the references and stuff! Also, I loved sailing the ocean! And every little island had something on it! A big contrast to the Sky from Skyloft, wich should have been filled with many interesting islands! That's just my opinion anyway!

Bakajin

#69

Bakajin said:

So many memories, I think this is definitely my favorite LoZ. I was excited not just for the game, but because if you pre-ordered it you received a free GC disk that had OoT and OoT: Master Quest. I really wanted to play Master Quest, and I was freaking pissed when I got a letter from Nintendo stating that they had received too many pre-orders, and they wouldn't be able to give me that disk. There was a $20 check with the letter by way of apology. I didn't want $20, I wanted that disk! Then I walked into a Pre-Played a couple of days later and there was that disk, just sitting on the shelf, for 19.99. It's still the only game I've ever pre-ordered.

And after all that, I never did play Master Quest all that much. WW took all of my attention. The game was just gorgeous, I found the sailing to be relaxing and fun, and there was just so much to do. I was annoyed that they cut dungeons, it definitely didn't have enough, but I couldn't stay too annoyed at the game. I still haven't collected all the figurines but one of these days I will, wearing my favorite lobster shirt.

Yeah, that's another thing I really love about that game. I get bored with Link wearing nigh-identical costumes in every game, and every chance I have to put him in something else I'll take. When I get the red tunic in OoT I never take it off unless I need the blue tunic, and I really, really wished the magic armor in Twilight Princess only sucked rupees when you got hit, I'd have worn it all the time. That lobster shirt, though, that's some pimpin' threads right there.

WindWakerLink

#70

WindWakerLink said:

Possible spoilers for people who haven't played the game yet. I apologize in advance because I'm going to gush out here "a little." Here we go:

#1- Parry!!!!!!!!!! Wind Waker introduced "Parry" system. I love doing it with Marth and Roy in Smash Bros Melee at the time, so for Link to have it in this game.... I was OVERJOYED!!!

#2- Discovering that Hyrule was underwater and you get to explore it.... I was flipping out!!! You go to the castle's basement and there lies the Master Sword. The minute you get it...all of the statues come to life and you have to fight all of them to escape...which you had to "Parry" most of them to defeat them.... "DAMN! I LOVED THAT!!!!"

#3- The final battle with Ganondorf....not only is it just a sword fight...it's also the atmosphere....you're fighting in the raining on top of the castle...and the flood is coming down with wind blowing crazily.... "Gosh man!!! Love it!!!!"

#4- The music of the ENTIRE game...just phenomenal!!!!! From Outset Island to the Forbidden Fortress, to Dragon Roost Island, [which I LOVE that Nintendo put it in Smash Bros Brawl], to Hyrule Castle, to fighting shadow Ganon, to Earth Temple, all the tunes of the wind waker instrument, to all 4 battles themes of Ganon... all the music in WW was SUPER PERFECT!!!!"

After writing all this, I'm even MORE excited for the HD remake!!! Fall season can't come soon enough!

deku-scrub

#71

deku-scrub said:

I was unfortunately one of those who hated the game at first because of the graphics. Although a few months after it came out I read a bit in Nintendo Power where the author urged people like me to give it a try despite the graphics. Soon after I borrowed a copy from a friend and instantly fell in love. Now I'm not even sure why I ever disliked the graphics.

Dpishere

#72

Dpishere said:

Definitely one of my favorite Zelda games ever, right next to Ocarina of Time and Twilight Princess.

FritzFrapp

#73

FritzFrapp said:

In my experience of over 40 years of gaming, WInd Waker is still probably the finest game I've played.

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