Monday, 21 March 2016

Zelda Week: Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker

And you thought Pokemon had too much water

In a convention called Space World in the year 2000, a few Gamecube tech demos were released. One of these showed Link and Ganondorf sword fighting. Fans speculated that this is a demo to a brand new Zelda title for the Gamecube. Not too long after, another tech demo was shown in Space World, 2001. It was shown with Link in a new cartoonish style. The fans were confused about the cute art style of Link in this tech demo, and not the darker tone of the Space World 2000 tech demo. Fans at the time were afraid that every proceeding Zelda title was going to be in this style.

Although some, as well as myself, don’t mind the different cell shaded cartoonish style. I find it rather refreshing. As with most new Gamecube titles, it showcases the power of the Gamecube, although does it pretty well. The water physics for the ocean move up and down simulating waves. The grass moves with the wind. Not to mention that the entire overworld map is just one expansive area with no walls. You can loop around the map as if it were on a globe.

The story of Wind Waker is you as Link setting off on a journey to save your sister Aryll from a demon bird. After you meet the pirate girl Tetra and her crew in a fateful encounter, you set off to save your sister as well as some other characters you meet along the way.

Wind Waker has you travelling on boat sailing from island to island, which is pretty cool. Although, I hear conflicting arguments saying whether or not the traveling in this game is tedious or not. I’d say it’s all depends on how you look at it, and how much patience you have. This game, as many Zelda games or even any RPG for that matter is about the journey. I feel like this game does a pretty good job on it’s theme of adventuring out. Even if it takes a while sailing to each individual island, and if you just don’t have the patience, the Wii U version has a faster sail to accommodate this. The real joy is finding little islands with treasure along the way of your quest. Even for the main story islands have really good atmospheres about them. Forsaken Fortress taking place at night. The lush green Forest Haven. My favorite is when you approach Greatfish Isle and the atmosphere becomes more gray and rainy as you approach it.

This game’s main mechanic besides seafaring is the titular wind waker. The main draw of the wind waker is, big surprise, that it controls the direction of the wind. Though it’s pretty fun to play with combined with the deku leaf item that lets you sail with the wind to reach places you wouldn't otherwise. Another small mechanic is that you can use enemy weapons against them which is really fun. It makes the first staple stealth section of this game more bearable.

The typical theme of sidequests are apparent in this game as with every Zelda title. Of course almost every island has a little sidequest, as well on main islands. Although, the biggest sidequest is the Triforce pieces. There are 8 Triforce pieces as well as 8 Triforce charts (3 charts in Wii U). It costs roughly 400 rupees each to get each chart deciphered. This and the sailing is why some people call this game very tedious. Again, Wii U version accommodates this for the fewer charts. Also considering the fact that this sidequest is only for 100% you’re not missing much if you are casually playing the game for the story.

Before we finish I should mention Tingle. Yes, that weird fairy guy, although he gives you something useful if you have a Gameboy linked to the Gamecube. The Tingle Tuner is a Gamecube exclusive item. It almost acts as a Wii U pad. You can spend rupees for small power ups that help you throughout your adventure. You can write on your map, drop bombs, get potions, ect. It’s basically a mobile shop, which is pretty nifty. Although this is exclusive if you have a Gameboy link cable with a Gameboy Advance, so not a lot of people actually use it. If you can get it, good for you since it’s a really helpful item. This feature was replaced in the Wii U version in favor of the Tingle Bottle, which is just Miiverse compatibility. Tingle Bottles wash up on random islands depending on where you post it which display Miiverse posts. Fun, although clearly not as useful as the Tingle Tuner.

So at this point you’re probably wondering which version do you want to play? Well, I personally play Wind Waker on the Gamecube just because I have it. Of course the Wii U version has gamepad functionality so it’s easier to swap items. The Wii U version fixes a lot of complaints, thus making the game easier to pick up. A full list of changes from Gamecube to Wii U can be found [here] if you are interested. Overall, I’d say get the Wii U one if you want an easier time. Get the Gamecube one if you want authenticity, and have access to the Tingle Tuner.

Overall this game is pretty amazing. The expansive Great Sea makes this game feel huge. Exploration is a key part, and they do this fantastically well. The game looks beautiful on both versions for their respective hardware. Even if you’re not a huge fan of the Zelda series, this is a great game to start out with.

-Marissa (keybug55)

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