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The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker

aka: LOZ:WW, TLoZ: TWW, The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD, Zelda no Densetsu: Kaze no Takt
Moby ID: 8725
GameCube Specs
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Description official descriptions

Link is a young boy who lives with his grandmother on the Outset Island, one of the many small islands lost amidst the waters of the Great Sea. On his tenth birthday, Link encounters a giant bird carrying a girl. Link rescues the girl, but as a result his own sister is taken away by the bird. The unknown girl is a pirate captain named Tetra, who agrees to help Link find and rescue his sister. During the course of their journey the two realize that a powerful, legendary evil is active again, and must find a way to stop him.

The Wind Waker is the tenth installment in the Zelda series. Like its predecessors, it is an action game with puzzle-solving and light role-playing elements. Basic gameplay mechanics are similar to those found in Ocarina of Time: Link explored 3D outdoor areas and dungeons, fighting enemies and occasionally solving environmental puzzles. An addition to the combat system is the ability to parry at specific times, which is needed to overcome armored foes. Another new feature is picking up and using some of the weapons wielded by the enemies. Similarly to previous games, Link can use tools such as bow and arrow, boomerang, and bombs.

Link needs to sail through the Great Sea in order to travel to other islands. He uses a baton called the Wind Waker to change wind direction by conducting it and producing melodies. The Wind Waker is also used for teleportation and puzzle-solving purposes. Link can use wind currents to glide and access remote areas.

Visually, the game utilizes cel-shaded graphics to create a cartoon-like appearance. The characters' bodily proportions and facial features are not realistic, complementing the style. Link's big eyes, in particular, also have a gameplay-related function, giving clues to the player by looking at specific items needed to solve puzzles.

Spellings

  • ゼルダの伝説 風のタクト - Japanese spelling
  • 젤다의 전설 바람의 택트 - Korean spelling

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Credits (GameCube version)

165 People (141 developers, 24 thanks) · View all

Reviews

Critics

Average score: 92% (based on 105 ratings)

Players

Average score: 4.1 out of 5 (based on 250 ratings with 6 reviews)

An adventure with an amazing presentation!

The Good
This game blends in so many good things, both old and new, into one great package.

Let's start of with the biggest change; the graphical style. It's totally unlike older games such as the legendary [i]Ocarina of Time[/i]. Instead of the rather realistic look used in that game, this title takes a more cartoonish approach to the graphics to make it look like [i]Four Swords[/i] for the Gameboy Advance but in 3D. But don't be fooled by it's kiddy look! While controversial at first, after seeing it in action it looks amazing. By using a cell-shaded look for characters this game succeeds remarkably well in creating this cartoon style. The characters become much more expressive. Link, the main character, has huge eyes to make his facial expressions much easier to see. This style allows for smooth animation, too. Good examples are clouds of dust or explosions. These look very stylish. While it's totally different it doesn't hurt the series at all, and allows for a style that is simple yet amazingly beautiful at the same time. Kids may find Zelda more enjoyable, too, in this cute, yet cool looking world. The graphics are stunning, just stunning!

The story has Link finding out that his sister has been kidnapped and taken to a fortress in the sea. Since the land of Hyrule has been covered in the sea by the gods to prevent the evil Ganon to threaten the people, most of the map is now water. Once Link arrives at the fortress he finds out Ganon has returned and sets out to find a way to get his sister out of there and defeat Ganon. Although rather simple at first, the story becomes much more complex after playing the game for a few hours. Many characters are new but some fan favorites return, such as Tingle or the Deku Tree. I am not going to spoil it here, but I can say the storyline is great.

Although the graphics are very different from the N64 games, the gameplay remains very similar, but also blends in some new things. As I said before, instead of green fields, there is now a HUGE ocean to explore. There are lots of Islands to see, some big, others tiny but all with their own little secrets. These islands will invite you to explore them and you will often find, in good Zelda fashion, that there's more to them than meets the eye. Since you are out at sea, you travel between them by boat. This boat, the King of Red Lions, can actually talk to you and leads the way by showing where to go on your sea chart. Since it is a sailing boat. You control the sail so if you want to get somewhere, you must have the wind blowing in the right direction. That's where the most important item in the game comes in: the Wind Waker, a magical conductors baton that gives Link the divine power to control the wind, if he knows the right songs. This is much like the Ocarina of Time was in previous games. Besides controlling the wind, other songs have other purposes, which I will not spoil here. There are other elements that are affected by the wind such as parachuting with your Deku Leaf. This item allows you to glide, but if the wind is blowing in the wrong way, you won't get very far. This element has a big and interesting impact on gameplay. While these items are new, most of them are familiar, such as the Boomerang, Hookshot, Rupees, Triforce Shards etc. For the rest of the game, it's all pretty much the same formula as before, but once again done so well that this is not a bad point at all. There are towns to replenish your health and stock up on items, fairy fountains to be found and, off course, the dungeons. These dungeons are once again full of fun puzzles that challenge you but never grow to tough to find out. At the end of each dungeon there is the occasional boss fight. As always, the new items you have found in the dungeon will be vital to defeating the boss, you just have to find out how to use them on it. Other enemies are mostly familiar but require you to use different items to beat them. Although the main quest it not too hard, there are lots of side-quests to do, such as finding the heart pieces, collecting treasure charts and making pictures of characters which will serve an interesting purpose if you look carefully. If you need help finding the treasures there is the Tingle Tuner item, a great GC to GBA connection that will give you hints where to fish up treasures. You can fish these up with your Grappling Hook when aboard your boat. Trying out items aboard your boat will get different results compared to when they are used on land. Bombs will become a cannon, the Grappling Hook becomes a crane etc. This is a very nice touch to the game. All these little touches will make you come back for more. They all add up to one of the greatest gameplay experiences on the GameCube. Amazing, simply amazing!

The sound is great but it doesn't add too much to the game. Although you'll be humming them soon, you may miss some classic tunes if you've played other Zelda games. Sound effects are classic, which I liked.

The Bad
Sailing across the sea gets boring quickly when you sail long distances, which is often!

Playing the wind song all the time to change the wind's direction gets irritating after a while.

Sometimes there really is no clue where to go next, especially when about halfway through the game.

Some classic tunes are absent.

The Bottom Line
A very stylish adventure with lots of things to do and see. Difficult to put down. It's easily one of the best titles for the GameCube and will amaze you from it's charming visual style to it's excellent gameplay.

GameCube · by Rensch (203) · 2007

Don't be fooled, this is Zelda at its best

The Good
I'm sure by now you've heard about the drastic change to the Zelda series, taking the 3D styled Ocarina of Time adventure and turning it on its head with a cel shaded style presentation. It's a major risk by the Big N, especially with so many fans backing the series with every passing title, but I for one am proud to say The Wind Waker is a shining light in the industry.

Yes, this is a kids styled game. The controls are easy enough to get into for any age, the graphics are more like something you'll expect in a saturday morning cartoon, and the adventure itself is far from the detailed world of a Final Fantasy, etc, but don't hold that against lil' Link. You see, behind it all is a game that's probably one of a few that are really worth playing all the way through. The cel shading lends an element of style rarely seen in any other.

I dare you not to be taken aback by the transition from day to night as you sail across the ocean, small fish following in the wake of your boat and the light breeze sifting across the sail. It really is a sight to behold, no matter how detailed other games might be.

The Bad
The adventure itself isn't too short, but at the same time isn't too long either. As with the Zelda franchise of old, there are plenty of side quests and items to collect that can add plenty of extra hours to the game time, but The Wind Waker, if you sit down non-stop for a couple of days, won't take too long to complete the major quest at hand.

There isn't much else, however, that detracts from the experience. Yes, there are fans who hate the graphical overhaul, but I don't hold the originality of the title against it.

The Bottom Line
Until the next big Zelda title comes along, Ocarina of Time will forever stand as the best of the series. But the Wind Waker isn't that far behind. The only real let down, a slightly short playing time, and the fact that it is so easy to sit down and play may deter experienced and older gamers. But if there is one GameCube title that deserves a place on your shelf, this is it.

Nintendo made a brave move shifting from the OoT and Majora's Mask worlds with this cel shaded title. It's a solid and entertaining entry, so please don't let the kiddy like display on the screen put you off playing. You don't know what you're missing.

GameCube · by Kartanym (12418) · 2006

Celda? Hell no!!! It's Zelda!!!

The Good
The graphics. O_O They are gorgeous. Link walking out of water with water droplets making a mark on the ground, the facial expressions, and the cool anime style all impress me. Oh, and the storyline's great, the action's there, and there's just this feeling of content while playing this game

The Bad
How come Link doesn't get to keep all his cool weapons that he accumulates from past Zelda games? Wait, they're different Links!!!

The Bottom Line
Don't be iffed by the cel-shading. This is one step forward in graphical achievement.

GameCube · by Maceart BeefKing (6) · 2004

[ View all 6 player reviews ]

Discussion

Subject By Date
Credits Nial Gauntlett Jun 9, 2015
Wii U Michael Cassidy (21289) Nov 25, 2014

Trivia

1001 Video Games

The GameCube version of The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker appears in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die by General Editor Tony Mott.

Cut content

The programmers left in some really bizarre levels from the beta stages (and maybe even one from the alpha stages) of testing. You can access these with Action Replay.

Development

At some point a Japanese company released a product called The Zelda Box. Inside the box was exclusive information, media and figures from The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker. Included in were prints of concept art for the game, one of which reveals that the team was considering having an adult Link in the game.

Pigs

You can not drown the pigs of Outset Island by throwing them in the ocean (the first thing I tried when I got the game), but with luck you can trap them behind one of the rocks you're supposed to practice jumping on. The pig(s) will swim back and forth along one side of the rock for an indefinite amount of time, making them much more suited for an archipelagian adventure than the wimpy kid you have to control.

References

Rito

The bird-like Rito are believed to be descendants of the Zoras from Ocarina of Time. Medli, an important NPC has a symbol similar to the Zora's Sapphire on her clothing. She is also mentioned as being of the bloodline of an important Zora.

The Rito may also be inspired by the Watarara, who are also avians and who only appear in the Legend of Zelda series manga. These people were more like giant birds than humans, but had a similar gaining of wings past a certain age and the same chieftain leadership structure.

Sales

On August 31, 2003 the game has won the Gold-Award from the German VUD (Verband der Unterhaltungssoftware Deutschland - Entertainment Software Association Germany) for selling more then 100,000 (but less then 200,000) units in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

According to publisher Nintendo, the Wii U version sold 1.62 million copies worldwide (as of September 30, 2015).

Awards

  • 4Players
    • 2003 – Best Console Action-Adventure Game of the Year
  • GamePro (Germany)
    • February 13, 2004 - Best GameCube Game in 2003 (Readers' Vote)
  • GameSpy
    • 2003 – #5 Game of the Year
    • 2003 – GameCube Game of the Year
    • 2003 – GameCube Game of the Year (Readers' Vote)
  • Golden Joystick Awards

Information also contributed by ~~, Late, Mark Ennis, piltdown_man, Tiago Jaques and Xoleras

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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Kartanym.

Wii U added by MegaMegaMan.

Additional contributors: Xa4, JPaterson, Exodia85, Tiago Jacques, gamewarrior, Chris Jeremic, CalaisianMindthief, Patrick Bregger, GTramp, Rik Hideto, FatherJack.

Game added March 25, 2003. Last modified January 10, 2024.