The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker, released as The Legend of Zelda: Takt of Wind . “The Legend of Zelda: Baton of Wind”) in Japan,is an action-adventure game and the tenth installment in The Legend of Zelda series. It was released for the Nintendo GameCube in Japan on December 13, 2002, in North America on March 24, 2003, in Europe on May 2, 2003, and in Australia on May 7, 2003. The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass for the Nintendo DS is the direct sequel to The Wind Waker.
The game is set on a group of islands in a vast sea—a first for the series. The player controls Link, the protagonist of the Zelda series. He struggles against his nemesis, Ganondorf, for control of a sacred relic known as the Triforce. Link spends a large portion of the game sailing, traveling between islands, and traversing through dungeons and temples to gain the power necessary to defeat Ganondorf. He also spends time trying to find his little sister.
The Wind Waker follows in the footsteps of Ocarina of Time and its sequel Majora’s Mask, retaining the basic gameplay and control system from the two Nintendo 64 titles. A heavy emphasis is placed on using and controlling wind with a baton called the Wind Waker, which aids sailing and floating in air. Controversial during development for its use of cel shading graphics and younger Link character, The Wind Waker received acclaim on release and is one of the Nintendo GameCube’s most popular games.
The Wind Waker takes place approximately 1000 years after the defeat of Ganon in Ocarina of Time, and is set in a sea scattered with several islands, which necessitates frequent sailing and naval combat. The hero Link lives with his grandmother and younger sister Aryll on Outset Island, one of the few inhabited islands of the Great Sea. The people of the Great Sea pass down a legend of a prosperous kingdom with a hidden golden power. Ganon found and stole this power, using it to spread darkness until a boy dressed in green sealed the evil with the Blade of Evil’s Bane. The boy became known as the Hero of Time, and passed into legend. One day, the sealed evil began to return, but the Hero of Time did not reappear. The inhabitants of the Great Sea are unsure of the kingdom’s fate, but it is clear that this legend is the story of Ocarina of Time.
When boys of Outset Island come of age, they are customarily dressed in green like the Hero of Time. The elders hope to instill the courage of the Hero in the children. It is Link’s birthday as The Wind Waker opens, and he receives the familiar costume. Aryll’s present to Link is permission to use her telescope; as he looks through it, he spots a large bird carrying a girl to a nearby forest. After retrieving a sword, Link sets out to investigate. Link rescues the girl, only to have Aryll kidnapped by the same bird as it returns. The girl rescued in the forest is Tetra, captain of a pirate ship. At Link’s request, they sail to the Forsaken Fortress, where a mysterious figure is holding Aryll and several other girls. Following an unsuccessful raid, Link is thrown from the fortress. A talking boat called the King of Red Lions rescues Link, and tells him that the master of the Forsaken Fortress is Ganon, the evil of legend.
The King of Red Lions gives Link the Wind Waker, a baton able to control the wind and move it in all directions, and instructs Link to sail the Great Sea in search of the three Goddesses’ pearls. Link retrieves the pearls and takes them to the three Triangle Islands, causing the Tower of the Gods to rise from the sea. After battling Gohdan in the tower to prove his worth, Link sails into a ring of light and is taken beneath the waters to Hyrule Castle, overrun with enemies and frozen in time. Link descends a hidden staircase and finds the Master Sword, the evil-repelling blade used by the Hero of Time to seal Ganondorf. By removing the sword, Link awakens the castle and all enemies inside. He destroys the enemies and returns to the surface.
With the Master Sword in hand, Link returns to the Forsaken Fortress and joins Tetra and the pirates. He frees Aryll and the other captives and slays the Helmaroc King, the bird that captured Aryll, but is easily overpowered by Ganondorf. Ganondorf tells Link that taking the Master Sword has fully lifted the seal, unbinding his full power; furthermore, the Master Sword has lost its own power to repel evil. Ganondorf lifts Tetra by the neck, and notices that she is wearing a fragment of the Triforce of Wisdom as a necklace. As he calls her Princess Zelda, two Rito that Link helped while finding the Goddesses’ Pearls rescue Link and Tetra, and the dragon Valoo sets the entire fortress ablaze.
Link and Tetra sail back to the castle at the bottom of the sea and descend the staircase, where they meet Daphnes Nohansen Hyrule, the King of Hyrule and the voice of the King of Red Lions. He tells Link and Tetra that the prayers of the people in the legend were answered—the gods sealed Ganondorf and all of Hyrule with him by flooding the kingdom with a torrential rainstorm, ordering those chosen to take refuge on the mountaintops, revealing that the islands of the Great Sea are the tallest points of the now-flooded Hyrule. The King combines a piece of the Triforce of Wisdom with the fragment in Tetra’s necklace, causing her to transform into the traditional appearance of Princess Zelda. The King then discovers that the cause of the Master Sword’s loss of power was the assassination of the Sages of Earth and Wind. Link plays the Earth God’s Lyric to Medli and the Wind God’s Aria to Makar, awakening in them the knowledge that they are new Sages of Earth and Wind. Their prayers restore the full power of the Master Sword.
Link goes on a variety of quests to find and decode eight Triforce charts that mark the locations of the pieces of the Triforce of Courage. Link raises the pieces from the sea and restores the Triforce of Courage, which dwells inside Link, marking him as the Hero of Winds.
With the restored Master Sword and the Triforce of Courage, Link returns once more to Hyrule Castle, where Zelda disappears before him. Link breaks through the barrier beyond Hyrule Castle and enters Ganon’s Tower. Ganondorf reveals himself to Link, claiming that Link is the reborn Hero of Time and that fate has allowed him to bring the Triforce together again, just as he had with the Hero of Time. The three Triforces are extracted from Ganondorf, Link, and Zelda and combine to form the complete Triforce. As who ever touches the complete Triforce gets their wish granted, Ganondorf demands that the gods expose Hyrule to the sun once more, under his control. Before he can reach the Triforce, however, King Daphnes suddenly appears and touches the Triforce. He asks the gods of the Triforce to give Link and Zelda a future and to wash away Hyrule and Ganondorf. The Triforce splits apart and the ocean above begins to pour down all around the tower.
Knowing that the King has just ensured his own destruction, Ganondorf laughs and begins battling Link. Zelda assists by using Link’s bow and shooting Ganondorf with Light Arrows. Once Ganondorf is stunned, Link plunges the Master Sword into Ganondorf’s head, turning him to stone. Link and Zelda float to the surface in a bubble, leaving Ganondorf and the king to drown underwater with Hyrule. Link and Zelda, now in the form of Tetra, sail away on the pirate ship and the now inanimate King of Red Lions in search of a new land with the wind as their guide. These events are immediately followed in The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass.
The control scheme of The Wind Waker is largely unchanged from Ocarina of Time and Majora’s Mask. Link’s basic actions of walking, running, attacking, defending, and automatic jumping at ledges are retained. Link also uses the control system introduced in Ocarina of Time that allows him to “lock-on” to an enemy or other target. An addition to this basic control scheme is the ability to parry. When Link is locked-on to an opponent and not actively defending, certain attacks by the opponent will trigger a visual cue, a vibration of the controller, and a chime. Attacking at that point causes Link to dodge or parry then counter-attack from the rear or while leaping over the foe’s head. This tactic becomes crucial for defeating armored enemies or bosses.
The new art style used in The Wind Waker gives Link eyes that are much larger and more expressive than in previous games. This allows Link to focus his gaze on approaching enemies or important items. For example, if Link needs to solve a puzzle by lighting a torch to set a distant object on fire, his eyes might turn to look at a nearby stick, giving a hint to an observant player on how to proceed.
As with all Zelda games, The Wind Waker features several dungeons—large, enclosed, and often underground areas. Link battles enemies, collects items, and solves puzzles to progress through a dungeon, fighting a boss at the end. To complete a dungeon, Link primarily uses a sword and shield. Other weapons commonly used by Link include a bow and arrow, a boomerang, bombs, and a grappling hook. Certain enemy weapons can be picked up and used, a feature new to the Zelda series.
The Wind Waker, like most Zelda games, includes many side-quests, such as the Nintendo Gallery. When Link is in the Forest Haven, he can use a Deku Leaf to glide to a cylindrical island with a hatch containing the sculptor Carlov and his gallery. Once Link obtains a color camera called the Deluxe Picto Box, he can take pictures of non-player characters and enemies, which Carlov uses to sculpt figurines. There are a total of 134 figurines to collect, but Link can only hold three pictures at a time.
After completing the game, the player can replay it with minor modifications: Link starts with the Deluxe Picto Box, making the Nintendo Gallery side-quest easier to complete; Aryll wears a maroon dress with skulls given to her by pirates; Link can understand the Hylian language; and Link wears his blue crayfish outfit, as in the beginning, throughout the game, instead of the traditional green tunic and cap.
Another side-quest present in all Zelda games (except The Legend of Zelda, Phantom Hourglass and Spirit Tracks), collecting Pieces of Heart, returns. The Wind Waker also includes Treasure Charts, which are scattered throughout the Great Sea. The player can find these maps and recover them, then search for whatever is charted on the map. Treasures include Rupees, Pieces of Heart, and other various charts such as the “Big Octo Chart” and the “Island Hearts Chart”.
|The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker|
|North American box art|
|Series||The Legend of Zelda|
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