News Article

The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD Hero Mode Details Sail Into View

Posted by Thomas Whitehead

Available from the start

Rumours have been swirling around for a number of weeks that upcoming Wii U release The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD would have an extra difficulty level, though details were scarce. There was naturally speculation on whether it would affect the in-game world and puzzles, like the Master Quest in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D, or whether it'd simply boost the challenge with the same game world.

Courtesy of the demo available at Gamescom in Germany, the extra mode will be a Hero Mode, which adopts the same principles as the option of the same name in The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword. It'll mean that you'll no longer find hearts in the environment and will only be able to heal with potions or fairy encounters, while enemies will also deal out double damage. Unlike in Skyward Sword, however, this mode will be available right from the start of the game, rather than being an unlockable.

If it transpires that there's no such option, are you disappointed that this isn't a Master Quest-style extra, are you simply pleased that this Hero Mode will be available from the start? Let us know your thoughts.

[via polygon.com]

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User Comments (61)

KingDunsparce

#1

KingDunsparce said:

Hero Mode? That will probably get me to purchase the game! I thought the original was a bit too easy at points.

LordJumpMad

#5

LordJumpMad said:

Hero Mode was just a lame way to make you play the game again in Skyward Sword, not that the game was even hard in the first place.
Wind Waker has all that space to make the game even bigger, and longer. Why force us to play it again.
I really hope they didn't bring back the "Photo Quest". Where you have to take a pic of everyone, even bosses, to unlock pointless trophies.

Captain_Toad

#6

Captain_Toad said:

Only potions and fairly encounters to gain back life.... Zelda 2 anyone?
Heh, I like the harder mode being there as an option instead of an unlockable.

AMR

#7

AMR said:

@cyberbotv2 you're in for a treat bro, I had the priviledge of seeing live and the screenshots don't do it justice! It blew me away!

WiiUExposed

#9

WiiUExposed said:

Ugh, the best part of Master Quest was the crazy dungeon maps and path. You'd see some crazy stuff, like getting the Longshot before the dungeon map (I did at least), and the Shadow Temple (hardest Temple in Master Quest).

Sad to see that I won't be able to have this challenge in Wind Waker. Even if it was $10 DLC a fair amount of time later, I'll be happy.

DarkKirby

#11

DarkKirby said:

As someone who complained that dying was actually very difficult in Wind Waker (everywhere except the pit of 100 trials), I will be choosing Hero Mode.

This is artificially raising the difficulty though, the reason Wind Waker was easy was because the enemies did no damage, their AI and attack patterns were poor, and the boomerang was spammable.

Also, I'm not upset there isn't a Master Quest, I'm upset that they didn't add dungeons, for which I feel the excuses they gave as to why were weak. They admitted the game was only 1/2 done (which most people already knew), yet they didn't take this opportunity to fix that.

Cyberbotv2

#12

Cyberbotv2 said:

@AMR : I'm glad I missed the game 10 years ago then. I was so busy with the just as beautiful Resident Evil. Man, I miss my cube.

Neram

#13

Neram said:

This is great news, the game really needed that. I'd say Wind Waker was probably the easiest Zelda game ever made. I don't think I've ever seen the Game Over screen.

Xiao_Pai

#14

Xiao_Pai said:

Only time I died in this game now was the Savage Labyrinth, and even that was rare. (like...last couple of rooms or whatever, lol) So this should be fun. :p
Er, wait, forgot...sometimes I die at the first boss...never understood why....but sometimes Gohma just would not let me do what I needed to to do to damage him. xD

Phantom_R

#15

Phantom_R said:

Hero Mode is an effortless tack-on. It doesn't challenge the player's skill--it challenges their patience by making them constantly leave dungeons to stock up on health. Not one other detail in the whole game changes.

OptometristLime

#16

OptometristLime said:

I've never played Zelda games for their difficulty
and I'm (not?) about to start.
Hm. On the fence about this mode, to be honest.

WindWakerLink

#17

WindWakerLink said:

Hmm....not just wanna know the price....because I don't wanna buy this game if it's $60. I love WW and it's easily my favorite Zelda game but I already have it for Game Cube, you know? Plus, there are a bunch of new games coming out this Fall that I wanna get too. If it's $50, I'll probably get it. But if it's $60..... sigh then it will be a long while until I get it....

DePapier

#18

DePapier said:

Real. First-playthrough Normal mode, second playthrough Hero mode for 100%.

...And even if I've buying the game at launch, I'm still praying for orchestral songs for my second playthrough... PLEEEAAAASSSEE......... :'(

R_Champ

#19

R_Champ said:

@CaptainCharlie

Agreed, the original WW pretty much had a win button. Hero mode (especially from the start) might just win me over in purchasing WW HD. Tacked-on? I'd rather have a hard mode than a bunch fan service, canon-wrecking scenes.

SirQuincealot

#20

SirQuincealot said:

i was hoping it would be a master quest, playing through it on ocarania of time made those old dungeons feel new...

having said that i've never played windwaker so it wont make a huge difference

ThomasBW84Admin

#21

ThomasBW84 said:

@Ryno Not as we originally got the information for this article from a different source, no ;) Just had a read though, the first-person perspective stuff is certainly interesting, though the remainder was familiar from other previews and hands-on time.

This one is day one for me, anyway!

Captain_Gonru

#24

Captain_Gonru said:

Did anyone else get as far as "demo at Gamescon" and start praying for an eShop release to whet our appetite and give the fence-sitters a chance to make a decision?
Oh, and as to Hero Mode, maybe. To be honest, I was done with Skyward Sword when I finished. But, if I can play the second time through with the color camera (for the photo quest) while playing in Hero Mode (for the extra challenge) I may be down. I don't need it, though.

JaxonH

#26

JaxonH said:

@WindWakerLink
It's $60. I got my pre order in with Amazon 2 weeks ago while they were offering the game for $49.99 tax-free with free shipping. Their lowest-price guarantee means I only pay that price even though the MSRP has gone up to $60 now. Still, I'd easily pay $60 for this game, even though I still own a mint copy for Gamecube. The way I see it, is it's only a $10 difference. I blow that in a single day on vending machines at work.

WaveBoy

#27

WaveBoy said:

Would be neat if Nintendo decided to give this Skyward Sword -like 1:1 motion plus support as an alternate control scheme.

Thank NintendOD' they're utlizing the gamepad in semi unique ways which will no doubt breath new life into this Mystical cell shaded journey of rainbow Gannon farts, otherwise if it used the exact same traditional controls as the original GCN WW.... i wouldn't even bother. :P

sinalefa

#28

sinalefa said:

Not interested in Hero Mode, never bothered in Skyward Sword.I would rather have a Master Quest that spices things up a bit AND is harder. .

Still getting this, as I never played the original one. Let it slip used two times, so I guess my fate it is to play it, but in HD!

3Daniel

#29

3Daniel said:

while this will definitely be a day 1 purchase for me, as every Zelda title even the rereleases essentially are, I just watched a video of wwhd's helmaroc battle and its disappointing to me that they haven't fixed some irritating camera issues. running along the sides of a spiraling ramp make for a cool set piece but the experience is hampered by the camera catching the walls forcing the player to rotate it around themselves, sometimes getting stuck in front of the character. while the overall sheen to the graphics is passable, if unnecessary, its moments like these that disappoint. a lack of a master quest or new dungeon is also a let down. Nintendo has a habit of making official polls, in this case they asked if we would like to see new content, and not following through with the results. geno for brawl anyone?
also @jaxonh i'm still seeing it listed as $49.99 US.

if it indeed is shot up to $59.99, the original true cell shaded graphics better be an option.

DePapier

#31

DePapier said:

Actually, I'll play it and finish it solely in Hero mode in both playthroughs: I did 100% the original after all (noy counting the statues). :D

Subie98

#33

Subie98 said:

Ill still buy this but not til its dropped price a few times. Still have my gc copy. Cant justify 60 for it.

Nico_D

#34

Nico_D said:

I have played only four Zelda games: Wind Waker, Twilight Princess, Phantom Hourglass and Skyward Sword. I liked TP a lot, Skyward Sword, for some reason, I did not finish, it didn't appeal to me, but Wind Waker is just an amazing game. I don't know whether to buy it since I've played it twice already but at least anybody who hasn't played it before is obliged to do so.

Madmanonfire

#35

Madmanonfire said:

It seems people won't be satisfied until this HD port stops being an HD port.
They added enough to this port; people need to stop whining.

Trikeboy

#36

Trikeboy said:

If Hero mode keeps the old Triforce quest, I'll be happy. Also, swift sail shouldn't be available.

Trikeboy

#37

Trikeboy said:

@Nico_D Zelda games tend to be like a fine wine, they get better with age. I play Ocarina of Time at least once a year and still enjoy it. It is also the only game I have purchased numerous times.

Limus

#38

Limus said:

Awesome! I was going to buy this anyway but it keeps getting better and better. Also, if it's as gorgeous as it looks in those screen shots, I would play through the entire game just to admire the scenery. I mean seriously, the animation and serene idyllic environments are a breath of fresh (sea) air. Compare to other systems grungy, gritty, "mature" environments. No thank you! I'm going to enjoy my playtime on a sunny beach with a cool breeze! This game will be one of the most beautiful games out this year.

Rod64

#41

Rod64 said:

As long as they don't mirror the whole world like they did in Twilight Princess, then I'm happy.

cheleuitte

#43

cheleuitte said:

I'm happy because now something else will be the extra when the game is finished for the first time in hero mode!!!! :)

LavaTwilight

#44

LavaTwilight said:

I think it's kool. You can't ask for more than that. I'd probably play it from the start because I've found Zelda games after the N64 era just far too easy. I'll be purchasing this anyway so it hasn't affected my decision either way.

Pod

#45

Pod said:

I could stand a "Mega Monkey"-style remixing of the puzzles, like we saw in Master Quest.

Wind Waker didn't require vast quantities of brain power, so if I am to pay for it a second time, I'd certainly appreciate the extra challenge.
Maybe hero mode -is- that extra challenge, though, as I really am not that good at the action.

WiiLovePeace

#46

WiiLovePeace said:

It's a nice addition & I'll play it through my second playthrough (well, third if you count the original). I hope I enjoy it as much as I did originally. I'm one of those gamers who has a really hard time enjoying most games on the second playthrough just because I know what's going to happen. I've been trying to break that feeling for years, lucky speedrunners!

Zombie_Barioth

#47

Zombie_Barioth said:

@Phantom_R
You can certainly play the game that way, but the idea is to make the player stop and think more. Every move you make counts when you can't just stop and scavange for health whenever you get hit. Theres two sides to every coin after all.

The game looks really nice but I'm not buying a remade game just because its the prettiest version, so the more extra-features the better.

rjejr

#48

rjejr said:

Hero mode makes sense for people who may have already played this game before (I mean the original obviously), some maybe even more than once even.

Stupid question - was Master Quest in the original game or an add-on? If it was an add-on, well then wouldn't it make sense for a DLC Master Quest for this game later on?

JellySplat

#49

JellySplat said:

Yes! I was hoping there would be a second difficulty level!!
I've played the gamecube version at least fifteen times and totally mastered it.
I'm excited for the challenge.

drumsandperc92

#50

drumsandperc92 said:

glad it's immediately available but i can't STILL help but feel Nintendo has really dropped the ball on this opportunity. I'm feeling disappointed, and what might have been a system seller for a long time zelda fan has turned out to be another something that "ill just pick up when I eventually get a Wii U'
No Master Quest (which I understand would be an enormous effort) no new dungeons?
the hero mode honestly doesn't sound like the right way to make a zelda game more challenging. I felt the same way about hero mode in Skyward Sword, yet if ANY zelda game should have hero mode it should be SS simply because it's such a combat-centric game with the control scheme. Wind Waker, it just seems out of place. Wind Waker is a game that calls for more difficult puzzles, not "no hearts."
The game was way too easy, fun, but easy. It's one of my favorite zelda games. But the lack of new content and "hero mode" over a master quest type deal isn't enough for me to buy the system and game.

bonham2

#51

bonham2 said:

I haven't played WW since it came out, but I remember it being really easy due to the abundance of hearts found everywhere (especially dungeons). While a master quest would always be appreciated, it certainly isn't expected. I'm happy with hero mode, and I plan on using it for my first playthrough if this is true. I've been asking for a harder difficulty in Zelda games for years now, so maybe Nintendo is actually starting to listen to the fans.

Zombie_Barioth

#52

Zombie_Barioth said:

@rjejr
Master Quest was originally intended for the N64DD, but due to its failure and limited storage on cartridges it was left out. They included it with the re-release on the Gamecube that came with pre-orders for the original Wind Waker, not sure about the Gamecube compilation though.

On a side note, Majora's Mask was also originally an N64DD game made with Ocarina of Time's assets, and both were intended to be an expansion. So yea, they could definitely make a Master Quest version as DLC, and make it a pretty substantial one to boot.

KingofSaiyans

#53

KingofSaiyans said:

I'm glad this is available from the start. As much as I love Zelda games they are pretty easy to me. Skyward sword has been the hardest one for me so far but that's not really saying much. So i'll definitely be playing Hero Mode from the start.

Unca_LzStaff

#55

Unca_Lz said:

To everyone that wants more: you realize adding more dungeons and stuff would require the Zelda team to split into 3 groups, possibly delaying the other two games?

Trikeboy

#56

Trikeboy said:

@Zombie_Barioth you are kinda correct. The 64DD version of OoT would have expanded Hyrule field, adding more locations etc. Master Quest came with reworked dungeons that probably would have been changed on the original. The funny thing is, we have all played the 64 DD game and not realised it. Dungeons and locations were salvaged and placed in other games in the franchise, most likely Twilight Princess where Zora's Domain is frozen then unfrozen during the course of the game. A confirmed example is the cut GameCube Island that should have been in Wind Waker but was cut. The dungeon was confirmed to have been found in another game though Aonuma didn't say which game it appeared in.

Zombie_Barioth

#57

Zombie_Barioth said:

@Trikeboy
Yea, I know how OOT was supposed to be, I just didn't want to go that much into detail. Its true that Master Quest probably would have been different too, but either way it and Majora's Mask were planned as add-ons due to N64DD games being re-writable.

Its funny to think about some of the dungeons being salvaged or remade isn't it, and pretty cool when you think about it. Those "lost" dungeons aren't quite so lost now are they?

MetroidofTime

#58

MetroidofTime said:

Ive always remembered Wind Waker as a fairly challenging game, that was really fun. Nintendo could have decided to not revamp it or add any new content. So Im happy that it was reworked, as it very well couldve been much less. Master quest wasnt in the original after all.

WindWakerLink

#59

WindWakerLink said:

@JaxonH "Oh my gosh! How expensive are those vending machines at your job?! (Chuckles) I see what your saying. It's just for me "money is super tight and can't really be doing stuff like that at the moment. Thanks for the reply and info. I had no idea of the $49.99 thing." Now this Wii U bundle...I'm not too upset at it as I thought I would be.

AJWolfTill

#61

AJWolfTill said:

Very dissapointed, mainly because seeing "hero mode confirmed" got my hopes up. I am glad it's there from the start though, hopefully they have packed some fresh content/islands in somewhere.

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