Hold on to your unnecessarily long green hats folks, because you're about to witness what The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker could look like if it were made inside Epic Games' Unreal Engine.
The video below has been shared online by Brazilian artist Vitor Maccari. "This is my first personal project using Unreal Engine," Vitor says. "I did it for educational purposes and of course, for fun. I've reused the animation and the 3D assets from a short movie I made a few months ago. I've also modelled some new assets like grass, palm trees and rocks."
The short clip shows Link sailing across the vast sea alongside his talking boat, The King of Red Lions. It takes the original game's cartoon aesthetic and transforms it into something new, offering up an art style different to the one present in Nintendo's own HD effort, The Wind Waker HD on Wii U.
Check it out:
For some, nothing could ever possibly live up to the feel of the original and the memories they have attached to it, but for a project created just for fun, it's hard not to be impressed with what's on show here.
Nice work, Vitor! We'd absolutely play this given the chance.
Water and environments look great, but I wish they’d’ve kept the cell shading.
I just want Wind Waker HD on Switch ;-;
First off, I get annoyed with some of these Unreal engine concepts. Or at least the hype some bring to them. They are pretty on the surface but tend to be lifeless without the polish (or in these cases, the Nintendo polish and charm)
With that being said, I like this look and would love to see Zelda (or even a Mario) game in this style someday. Again, with the Nintendo polish and charm to top it all off
@TommiKinder I just want Wind Waker HD on Switch ;-;
Play it on Wii U and besides, you don't JUST want Wind Waker HD on Switch. If you get it you'll want another game ported to the Switch within a week.
I don't understand the technicalities, I'm no game designer nor a programmer, but I don't like much how Unreal handles light and reflective surfaces. You only need to look at a cave wall in DQ11, Trials of Mana or BD2 demo to tell it was made in Unreal. They all give me a samey feeling, but that might be only me.
That said, as fan art goes, the video above looks nice
When the King of the Red Lions said "Hey eurrghhe" I felt that.
The fact water was expressed as simple chevons of white was utter genius. The game has one of the most authentic cartoon aesthetics in any game that transcends the cel shading.
This lacks the appreciation of the originals direction I fear and yet again steers too closely to realism. I go outside for that.
Wind Waker without cell shading is unnatural, other than that, it looks great
I will say it like it is. This looks worse than the HD one as the cell Shade artstyle is just amazing...
There is something mildly horrifying about Link's mouth...
Every time one of these ‘Unreal Zelda Remakes’ surfaces I am amazed at the hype. They are all hollow tech demos with not a hint of the artistic expression you’d get in an actual Zelda. Good work for the student making it, but I hope we never get a full game that looks like this.
@Crono1973 I think it’s a bit of an unfair comment, most people don’t have a wii I and they’re now pretty expensive to come by for what they bring to the table, plus even on the Wii au you can’t play 100% portable which is a huge selling point for a lot of people.
I can honestly say that those Zelda HD remasters but more specifically wind waker are the only switch port that I really want from the Wii U. That and if Nintendo could let me get the virtual console (I honestly just want the Metroid gba).
I'm definitely in the camp that believes cel-shading is part of WW's identity.
That said, this seems like one of the better "___ in Unreal Engine" examples. Feels like the artist did more footwork than just dropping a character in a generic, high-fidelity environment, and calling it a day.
Nah. Definitely a lot of effort in this piece but Link looks like clay (and a bit off in general) and doesn't mesh with the environment. There's a reason this game is cell shaded.
Yeah... No. I guess nice resume piece but for windwaker... Just no.
So much negativity in these comments!
Personally, I love the way this looks.
Just because we love the original cel shaded style doesn't mean we can't appreciate this also.
@UmbreonsPapa I'd like Mario to get a makeover (they've been using pretty much the same character models since 2002) so I'd be down for them experimenting with this... But I think a Yoshi game may fit better with this weird claymation style
Feels a bit more like Link's Awakening HD on Switch if the character designs were in the "toon" style. That is, everything has a plastic or wooden or toylike sheen as if it's a diorama or something.
It's quite cute, but it also doesn't feel like Wind Waker to me. There's something about stripping away that "realism" and the contours and leaning into just what is necessary to deliver emotions. It feels a bit more like when the HD version of the game bugs when you get a treasure item and suddenly the cel shading is stripped away (you can get this effect somehow in Breath of the Wild, too, and it's a bit disturbing).
I'm not saying it's bad by any means. I just think there's purpose in WW's cel shaded, cartoony art style. If I wanted a more rounded, polished, diorama-y version of the game, I want them to replace the characters with versions that look more like Link's Awakening HD - it's a very different cartoon style, so to speak, and the merging between the two is a bit uncanny for me.
This is coming from someone who was taken aback in 2011 by SS's more cartoony style after TP's "gritty realism" and early posters of SS showing a TP-like Link, of course. It may be that I just need time to get used to it (the half-step between style works REALLY well for SS, and then BW is a half step again between SS and TW and that works really well for that setting). I certainly don't want a Skyrim-style work for a Zelda game (even TP is far from TES' artstyles). But each Zelda game also has themes and motifs and I just don't think this necessarily works for WW.
But still, hats off to the artist. As a famous dark lord once said, most impressive.
This is beautiful, it has a bit of a claymation quality to it that I love. I’m good with ditching the cel shading if a new aesthetic is applied. I’d definitely play this again, top three LOZ title in my opinion.
@Crono1973 - You’re one of the most miserable people on the internet, which is a staggering achievement. You have no original thought and only snipe on other people’s comments to push one of just a couple gamer tropes on repeat. It must be really sad and lonely in that basement.
I just want Wind Waker HD on Switch
@MS7000 I’m glad I wasn’t the only one to think that…
Ah yes, another Unreal fan rendition for the trashcan...
They really just miss the point of the original art direction and go for those overused and basic rEAlIsTIC graphics. Not to mention that most Unreal games on Switch look or play like ass so those demos are always a kick under the belt. Also Link looks like a kid who just shaved his beard, looks horrifying
Everything looks great - and then you see Link! 🙈 The clay model of Link I made at college in 2004 looked far better!
Not for myself, as I've played both it and TP HD and don't replay games very often. But I want all legacy titles available on the latest most available hardware so that folks who haven't played them such as my nephew have a chance to do so.
It's convenient to consolidate game consoles, of course. But it's primarily about getting more value out of my Xmas gifts. I don't want to buy a 3DS to introduce someone to OoT3D or MM3D and since I'm not really into handhelds I've never played those titles though I really want to. I'm going to play them emulated if Nintendo doesn't announce them this year.
I liked my Wii U but give me WWHD and TPHD and Xenoblade X (with an actual ending) and I can clear that space on my TV stand.
@Crono1973 so let me get this straight, you're upset with someone for wanting more than 1 game ported to switch? 🤣
Buckleup buttercup, because I can think of a dozen, at least 😃
It's nice, I don't wish to belittle the effort, but aside from the shape language of Link and the King of Red Lions, it's lost most of the style and charm of Windwaker that made it so popular (after an initial bout of unpopularity).
I don't need a Windwaker where the water looks real, the simplistic graphic interpretation of the waves and foam in the original looked more unique and stunning to me. I don't need hyper realistic lighting as lovely as it is, the cell shading made it feel like I was playing a cartoon and that was amazing. And the textures here, again wonderful and lovely but not in keeping with the tone and feel of the world. The colours also seem kind of muted, but that's probably the lighting.
I dunno, it feels like taking Into the Spiderverse and removing all the drop-frames, cell shading and 2D work on top to have it look more like Luca. Yeah Luca is beautiful but Spiderverse was stunningly striking in it's visuals, removing them is doing it a disservice.
But yeah, very skilled and lovely work all the same.
Imagine if Nintendo actually remade the 3D Zeldas instead of giving us these overpriced remastered ports. =/
Not that I think this is the right style for a WW remake, but Nintendo could definitely do it better.
Classic mom move. We have Wind Waker at home, you don't need another one with true portable gaming. Play it in that system I got for you 9 years ago, it's in the storage somewhere.
@Classic603 You guys want everything ported to the Switch because it's portable, it's annoying. Also, every article gives you guys an opportunity to port beg.
@bimmy-lee Oh wow, a personal attack. Thanks for that.
This one has heart.
My gut reaction when watching the video was "yeah, no. It's this again..." but then it won me over. The look of the painted wood was great, and the character interaction was the focus. The water was a little weird but I could imagine a great game with this style that is not just simple realistic cut and paste replacement objects.
All of that said, Wind Waker is in the least need of any kind of makeover as the style is just about timeless. I liked the HD version and found it to be an improvement, but some people even find parts of that distracting from how the original was.
I can't help but dream about Nintendo with some modern graphics power for newer titles, and this is much closer to what that might be than previous Ocarina and Mario Unreal Engine experiments.
@Ogbert I mostly agree, but I'd say the Luca art direction and character design is spectacular — as spider-man. It's plenty abstracted and beautiful just in a different and fitting way.
I liked Wind Waker, but Link's eyes weird me out now for some reason.
I think Ocarina of Time/Majora's Mask/Twilight Princess would lend themselves better to an Unreal makeover, you really need that cell shading to make Wind Waker work.
Haha yeah, I do want every game I've loved enhanced and portable. Boy is that weird. As long as it doesn't prevent new games, it seems like a win for everyone.
Not like Nintendo needs to personally make any remakes, plenty of studios out there.
Nintendo fans love to make Nintendo related things instead of...you know....playing games.
@Crono1973 - What that, all I hear is farts and sad trombone?
@bimmy-lee What that, all I hear is farts and sad trombone?
LOL, that's kind of revealing of your current environment but it has nothing to do with what I typed.
@aaronsullivan Oh yeah it's a beautiful film and it has a distinct visual feel to it. I'm more meaning the overall rendering of everything. The water in Luca looks like water, the stone looks like stone, there are no halftones or cell shading or overlaid 2D visuals.
I feel like this rendering of WW is similar, it's got the distinct shape languages and playful feel, but it doesn't have that extra layer on top. That bold graphic feel WW had.
And this is not to say Luca is any worse for not having that (I thought it was one of their best in a very long time) nor any other film for that matter. Or indeed that films and games need that sort of visual gimmick, for lack of a less stigmatised term.
But when something does have that extra already, taking it away feels like the wrong thing to do. Lean into it, adapt it, alter it, layer things on it by all means but don't remove it.
And I know Unreal Engine is more than capable of stylised graphical visuals. It just seems to be the case of every time someone takes something into Unreal as a fan project the result has all the same lighting and water and such. I want to see more, especially if it's taking such a visually distinct game in the first place.
@Crono1973 - Nah, it’s what I hear when I read your posts. Sad person wants everyone else to be sad about happy things. I guess we’ll all be sad when the BOTW2 is delayed do to the Zelda Game and Watch, which will be a super happy day for you, but still sad.
Looks great. But some Nintendo fans proudly state they’d rather play BOTW on NES and dismiss console power.
Looks cool, but it really needs to be cel-shaded though. Granted, I critique, but I wouldn't be able to build that myself!
While impressive, it simply proves how brilliant Nintendo's work is and how badly anything else would age.
@bimmy-lee You hear farts when you read my post? You may need to see a doctor about that.
@Crono1973 - Haha, this can end on that real zinger you just put out there. See you next time.
There's a man who has artistic vision
He's showing up Nintendo with each decision
He makes it in a flash
And all the assets clash
Do his artistic skills know no boundaries?
Nintendo, hire this man
Nintendo, hire this man
He's using Unreal Engine in any way he can
I just need it
Wow that looks horrible
Would we play this. Lol. There comes a point when the answer to a question is so obvious, it's barely worth asking.
@sketchturner I get you, but if it wasn't Link sailing on the King of Red Lions, I doubt anyone would have given it a second look.
NICE...now we need a remaster of the game....
Definitely cool, but I really enjoyed the cell shaded cartoon look more.
It's cool that they paid respect to how expressive Link was in Wind Waker by making him almost completely expressionless here.
Looks better than the original.
Looks better than previous fan UE projects I’ve seen, but it still manages to lose some of the original charm.
The shadows make it look like he's sporting a 5 o' clock shadow goatee.
@Crono1973 LoZ The Wind Waker HD is the final Wii U game that I want on the Switch.
I would love to see a puppet styled Zelda game.
Realism isn't always going to work, and this is one of those examples where the art styled used in The Wind Waker (and various other Zelda games) work better when it is cel-shaded.
The Wind Waker HD certainly brought out the potential of what an amazing "toon" Zelda game would look like, and I would much prefer seeing that over a realistic version. Not that it's bad, but it works better with other Zelda art styles.
The Wind Waker HD: "Am I a joke to you?"
The Wind Waker has already been remastered (certainly better than Twilight Princess HD and Skyward Sword HD). All we have to do is wait for the inevitable port from the Wii U.
A port of The Wind Waker HD would definitely make sense, just that it would sacrifice one of the defining features of said remaster - the Wii U GamePad functionality.
Well said. The Wind Waker HD just works so well on the Wii U (...except when the game decided to give off a blurring effect whenever you cut down small trees).
@ModdedInkling Well said. The Wind Waker HD just works so well on the Wii U (...except when the game decided to give off a blurring effect whenever you cut down small trees).
Crazily enough, I still prefer the look of the original on the Gamecube.
Good effort, but wasted on a game that nailed it’s art direction 100%. Looks great if it was adapting Link’s Awakening Remake look to a new 3D game, but don’t mess with success.
Can't disagree with you there. The original does have its own merits of ACTUALLY being a cartoon. Cel-shading feels like its own entirely separate thing.
Someone should hire this person to lead a remake of Rudolph's stop motion Christmas special. This would rock for that but as a game it looks a bit saccharine. Like it's made of candy or something. It's beautiful though, just not very gamey. Maybe it needs a filter.
I actually agree with @Crono1973 not everything needs to be ported. Windwaker is/was on GameCube and Wii U. Just look at the fandom demanding Metroid Prime Trilogy ports for Switch. That game has been on GameCube, Wii, and Wii U. The funny thing is if Ninty were to port it you all would complain about the price or call it lazy.
The main problem is Nintendo is not future proofing their e-Shops. You should be able to download any of the games mentioned digitally but they are segmented by artificial eShop separation. The same will probably happen with the Switch successor.
The link just looks to cute! Toon link in general is just very cute to me haha.
If this was gameplay footage I'll be impressed, but this is the equivalent of a game trailer that doesn't show actual gameplay, it looks beautiful yes, but it is no gameplay
Console fanboys will talk down anything they know won't be a reality for them anytime soon lol same goes for Nintendo I guess
Ehh, now it looks like everything else
I sense Playmobil movie or something similar.
Beautiful it is !
The world looks gorgeous but the character design for Link (and presumably for all human characters if it follows suit) is a million times less charming.
I think Wind Waker HD is rather timeless graphically and probably as perfect as that game's vision will ever get.
I like the style the artist picked for this and wouldn't mind a game in that style tbh. a lot of fanboying about "nintendo's charm and spirit and creativity" in the comments.
Stuff like this just makes those Pokemon remakes seem even worse. One guy doing this as a hobby can make a better looking thing in their spare time than a group of professional developers are doing as their day job.
I’d like to see Wind Walker done in the same style as the new Links Awakening on Switch
I don't really care much for "teh best graphixs", this video did put a smile on my face before my jaw hit the floor. Stunning.
@AvianBlue Agreed. All console digital stores should operate like Steam. Microsoft seems to be doing it. It's why I bought a Series S (also because I play on a 32in TV so I don't need more than 1080p). I can play many of the most popular Original Xbox games and 360 games as well as all Xbox One games and Series X/S games all on one console.
Even if they won't do it like Microsoft does it (backward compatibility), at least they could continue supporting the digital stores on older systems. They made untold millions on each of those stores, they can afford to keep the games on a server and keep the connection open. They can also afford to update those older systems when necessary (for security reasons) for many years to come.
I thought it looked nice. It's getting ripped to shreds because it's Windwaker, and Windwaker is on a pedestal and you don't mess with Windwaker...
I enjoyed the claymation style graphics. I'd like to see Nintendo do games in a similar style. I think it would fit practically any of its 2D platform franchises (Mario, Kirby, Donkey Kong, Yoshi etc). So far they've only used it in the Wii-U Kirby game - which was good but felt short on budget and development time (like many Wii U games).
It loses some of its charm, it needs the cell shading animated look. That said, the level of detail in the video is amazing. I really want WW HD on switch, the music alone is my favorite in the series.
Made me smile. Incredible
The texture work on King of Red Boats is gorgeous.
I think it looks pretty but also looks like it’s an advert for a wind waker inspired toy. Overall I think the aesthetic it’s going for is pleasing and the vibrancy is pretty but I think I’d prefer to just have the HD remaster ported to switch. Realistically no matter how it looked I’d end up buying and playing it
Would love a full on remake or even better a sequel, with much bigger and more varied islands, the potential with the more powerful hardware, even on the Switch would be awesome.
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