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Nintendo Wonder World: Waking the Winds of Change in The Legend of Zelda

by Neal Ronaghan - December 26, 2012, 7:14 am PST
Total comments: 36

Could Wind Waker be an allegory for the entire Zelda series?

When I first saw The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker in that fateful Space World 2001 video, I hated it. In my defense, I was young and stupid, but, in all of my tween glory, I wanted that realistic Zelda experience teased the year before. Wind Waker, at the time, seemed like a step backwards. It wasn't until I replayed it last year that Wind Waker endeared itself to me more than ever, and also seemed like a larger step forward for the series than I previously thought. (Editor's Warning: Wind Waker spoilers below)

Wind Waker is one of the few games where the Zelda structure is changed significantly. While the main parts are there (dungeons, bosses, puzzles, etc.), the game is a lot more open and free. Especially in the second half when you're searching for Triforce pieces, the game hearkens back more to the whimsical and deliberate exploration of the series' early entries. Comparing Wind Waker to Ocarina of Time, Twilight Princess, or Skyward Sword highlights the differences between the games, as to varying degrees, those three entries are very much focused on getting to the next dungeon. Wind Waker takes its time, forcing you to smell the roses.

The story of Wind Waker, mostly the ending, seems to be allegorical for the entire Zelda series. The King of Hyrule talks about how he and Ganondorf were focusing too much on the past, and then urges Link and Zelda to go find something that isn't Hyrule. The former King of Red Lions wants our heroic pair to find something that is their world.

"If only I could do things over again... Not a day of my life has gone by without my thoughts turning to my kingdom of old. I have lived bound to Hyrule. In that sense, I was the same as Ganondorf. But you... I want you to live for the future. There may be nothing left for you... But despite that, you must look forward and walk a path of hope, trusting that it will sustain you when darkness comes." - King Hyrule

It's almost like some rogue developer wanted to issue a call to arms to Zelda fans everywhere, demanding that the series evolve after Wind Waker. The game's finale and themes almost declare that Zelda games shouldn't be stuck in the past, paying homage to 20-year-old games. They should instead move forward and become their own new thing. Ironically, the game before Wind Waker, Majora's Mask, did just that.

The more likely scenario out of my observation is that it is nothing but a coincidence that I'm reading too much into (Odds of this allegory nonsense being correct? Probably a million to one). And, as we found out in Phantom Hourglass, this new world that the King of Hyrule wanted Link and Zelda to go to is apparently nothing more than the same old crap with new DS touch screen controls. Go figure.

Skyward Sword seemed like it had the potential to change up the formula, and while it made some strides, the latest Zelda game, while still excellent, was just the same formula with some tweaks. I'd say here's to hoping the next Zelda game shakes things up, but let's get real: it won't. Whether that's a bad thing or not, I don't even really know. I suppose time will tell, but as long as these games remain similar, I doubt any game will top my love and affection Wind Waker. The risks Nintendo took in the game's development don't happen often, but when they do, great things can happen.

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Talkback

NWR_KarlKarl Castaneda, Contributing EditorDecember 26, 2012

My opinion is in the minority, but I would've been fine with Wind Waker being the literal end of the classic Zelda formula. It was a lean distillation of what makes that formula great, and I don't think Twilight Princess or Skyward Sword were close to topping it. The series just feels kind of bloated for me. There are plenty of people who love that Zelda takes at least 40-50 hours to complete, and they're going to keep on enjoying those releases, so more power to those guys. It just doesn't interest me much anymore.

I'd love to play a console Zelda game that took 10 hours to complete. With a cap like that, they'd have to go with a much different design direction (unless they wanted to just make it a one-or-two dungeon game, which would be boring as all hell), and that'd be pretty darn cool.

What it comes down to for me is that I pretty much know what I'm getting with each Zelda game now. And while hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of people are totally fine with that, it takes a little of the specialness away. If it weren't for the fact that console Zelda games only come out once every four years, I doubt I'd even pay attention.


EDIT: But to gush about Wind Waker a bit, I'll agree with Neal here that I think Wind Waker is the most successful game in the series when it comes to giving you a sincere feeling of adventure and discovery. Perhaps Ocarina at the time of its release was more effective because it was the first entry in 3D, but when you compare those games side-by-side, Wind Waker looks and feels epic in scope. The random islands scattered throughout the ocean were way more inviting than the hodgepodge villages and wayward travelers from Ocarina.

AnGerDecember 26, 2012

My solution to the problem: Let Yoshiaki Koizumi take the stand. That guy wrote the sidequest scenarios for Majora's Mask, the plot for Link's Awakening and was responsible for Ocarina of Time not becoming a First-Person-AA. Also, he wrote a certain scene for Mario Galaxy.

ShyGuyDecember 26, 2012

That title is a tongue twister!

Mop it upDecember 26, 2012

My problem with The Wind Waker isn't that it's different, it's that the new ideas weren't implemented well. I won't get into that since we've heard it all before, but I appreciate what it tried to do. I enjoyed the game overall, but it's too rough to be anywhere near my favourites. I think the style was a little too cartoony though, Skyward Sword is closer to my ideal Zelda look.

What I don't get is why some people think the series needs radical changes. That's like complaining that Mario still stomps Goombas. There are many factors that make Zelda, Zelda, and if they are going to be removed/changed, then at that point, the new game should be a new IP instead. Even when you have games like Wind Waker and Majora's Mask, they still have enough of the Zelda formula to fit in. Zelda games don't come around often enough for me to feel tired of them, and each new one brings enough new and old for me to enjoy them just as they are.

Super Mario 3D Land is the type of thing that I'd like to see in a Zelda game. That game was familiar, but added new mechanics and ideas in a new playstyle.

I guess, basically, just throw EAD Tokyo on Zelda.

AnGerDecember 26, 2012

I wouldn't call it "radical", but it could definitely use some tweaks to make the series ready for the 21st century. The (somewhat ominous) "Zelda formula" can still be kept intact, but there were no major additions to it ever since it made the jump to 3D. Make a more interesting plot – if you want, yes, you can include a love interest for Link (though I deem it somewhat unnecessary) – that caters to both a mature and a young audience. Start using voiced characters, at least in the cutscenes. And most importantly: Look at "the big picture" – don't glue stuff together hastily, instead Nintendo should be more careful of creating a well-rounded experience where things don't give off a vibe of being put into the game for the sake of being needed – don't focus on "gimmicks".

Luigi DudeDecember 26, 2012

Quote from: NWR_Neal

Super Mario 3D Land is the type of thing that I'd like to see in a Zelda game. That game was familiar, but added new mechanics and ideas in a new playstyle.

I guess, basically, just throw EAD Tokyo on Zelda.

And so did Skyward Sword.  Once again, Skyward Sword has done more to change the series then a game can without turning the series into a completely different genre.  Skyward Sword completely changed up the overworld design, where they're all more like dungeons now instead of straight paths like the previous 3D Zelda's.  Even Wind Waker which you're praising in this topic, was still pretty much an Ocarina of Time style overworld that's just straight paths to get to all the different dungeons you need to get to.  The only difference is you're sailing in a boat to reach them now instead of walking or riding a horse.  The area's in Skyward Sword are pretty much dungeons leading to other dungeons, which some people might have a problem with, but doesn't change the fact it did change up the experience quite a bit.

They completely changed up the combat system, where it's much more strategic now since you have to aim at the right area's of enemies now in order to defeat them and the enemies will block and change the area's you have to hit them at.  Even using the shield was changed up were you have to block at the exact moment an enemy attacks to block or deflect, or else your shield will get damaged and eventually break, leaving you defenseless.  Unlike previous 3D Zelda's where players can just block forever until they get the moment to stab.

They also changed up dungeon design as well where the dungeons have a lot more action and puzzles going on per room then the previous 3D dungeons, and they designed dungeons to make more use of all the items, unlike previous 3D Zelda's where the dungeons were based around almost entirely around the item you found in the dungeon.  Plus there's the Beetle item that opened up a whole new set of puzzles never seen before in the series since there had never been a flying item in the series before.


Seriously, I sometimes wonder if some of you accidentally replayed Twilight Princess again instead of actually playing Skyward Sword because comment on it still being close too Ocarina of Time are completely false.  To change Zelda anymore then Skyward Sword already did would be to basically create a whole new IP since the series wouldn't even be Zelda anymore at that point.

NWR_pap64Pedro Hernandez, Contributing WriterDecember 26, 2012

Ironically, I didn't think Wind Waker was THAT radical. Link's horse became the boat, the field turned into the sea, and the dungeons were island. The art style certainly changed, but as Twilight Princess proved, art style does not a game make.

Truth is there HAVE been Zelda games where the formula has been changed, and they are usually met with extreme criticism from the fans. Zelda II changed completely after the first game, and people see it as the first. Majora's Mask also played a big role in the change after Ocarina of Time and gamers found it to be frustrating. The two Game Boy Color games were well received but didn't get a lot of exposure. Four Swords Adventure added multiplayer to the mix and that didn't set the world of fire. So naturally, Nintendo sees this and thinks "well, we gotta stick to the formula since that is what gamers want, apparently".

I think the problem here is that the cost of game development has risen dramatically in the last few years, and thus it has become harder for the big companies to implement innovation onto their games. Hell, the Wii U doesn't have a lot of games that truly change the way games are play (there are a few games, yes, but they play it safe). So with a series like Zelda, expect them to take slow instances of innovation because they know that gamer acceptance isn't always a guarantee, even with a rock solid concept at play.

AVDecember 26, 2012

I feel like too many give Wind Waker a pass .


Its way too easy, unless I attacked a pig I never came close to death
The abilities to counter attacks in battle were fun but made you too powerful against enemies
The sailing was boring and took way to long
Changing the wind for sailing is just too tedious too
The final triforce quest and getting money to get triforce quest is tedious and unforgivable to me


i think this is a great game, but I feel people are too nostalgic about the game and brush aside problems. I really like Skyward sword but the problem the series has had is the endings are just too long and over extended. So we get a 20 hour game that tight and has great pacing, I'll be happy with that. Wind Waker started this trend in 3d games that the story and gameplay are just too bloated for their own good.

EasyCureDecember 26, 2012

I've had this discussion too many times so I won't start another long post about it. I'll only make 2 points:

1 Luigidude is absolutely right in pretty much everything he said. The Zelda series has had plenty of games that try to change the formula and they're always met with harsh criticism from the loudest fans.

2. To anyone that thought the triforce quest was tedious: you're not a good explorer and probably shouldn't be playing Zelda games ;-)  I had most of those triforce maps before the game told me I needed them to proceed.

Read my Skyward Sword review, Luigidude. I loved that game, and I agree with you on all of those points, but to slightly different conclusions. I think that Skyward Sword still slavishly follows and adheres to that overall formula, despite doing really awesome things (the dungeon-like overworld segments, the combat, etc.). It does do things like make a horrible overworld (the sky) and also overstays its welcome by about 5-10 hours.

My focus for this specific post was more on the allegory aspect of Wind Waker. I do indeed think some excellent aspects of Wind Waker were kind of just ignored in the face of making Twilight Princess be the most Ocarina of Time game it could be. Skyward Sword might have right some of those issues, but Wind Waker still stands out for me.

AnGerDecember 27, 2012

Quote from: Luigi

They completely changed up the combat system, where it's much more strategic now since you have to aim at the right area's of enemies now in order to defeat them and the enemies will block and change the area's you have to hit them at.  Even using the shield was changed up were you have to block at the exact moment an enemy attacks to block or deflect, or else your shield will get damaged and eventually break, leaving you defenseless.  Unlike previous 3D Zelda's where players can just block forever until they get the moment to stab.

"Much more strategic"? I cannot disagree more. Sure, they changed the input mechanics, but the result of this process was rather combat becoming more like a reaction-based puzzle instead of the "realistic" combat they intended to make. At least this was the feeling I got from Skyward Sword and I'm hoping for a more dynamic combat experience with future titles.

CaterkillerMatthew Osborne, Contributing WriterDecember 27, 2012

Anyone remember how alive some of the enemies were in WW? Bombs scared Moblins and Bokoblins away. Knock a weapon out of someone's hand and they go rushing for the nearest one. If they couldn't find a dropped weapon they would fight each other for one. The Darknuts would do some spinning round house kick on you to buy time before getting a new weapon, lol.

That was some good old fashioned high attention to detail right there. For me that was the biggest aspect lost in the following sequels.

As for what's being discussed SS changed things for the better as far as I'm concerned. The game was one big Metroid like dungeon world with a hub and I liked that, yet it still had a big boring over world.

The input for combat was a major change and huge plus for me but to piggy back off of Anger an element of "real" sword play needs to present. Instead of just striking at the appropriate spot many of the enemies should have heated back and forth. I feel like Giriham and the last boss almost felt that way but not quite what I am envisioning.

So basically to evolve the sword combat one step further the strikes would need to NOT follow through for every swing. There would need to be a way to make the strikes a little more elegent like fencing or Chinese sword play. While that isn't impossible, what makes that difficult is a virtual opponent stopping links sword and the player being able to react to that accordingly, instead of the strike just bouncing off or going through the blocked opponent no matter what.

With a proper learning curve, super intense, rapid back and forth sword fights could be possible, as well as the more classic ones where you just wait for an opening. I mean I certainly hope to fight like the warriors in Lord of the Rings some day or a Jedi.

Evan_BDecember 28, 2012

The Last Story was a better Zelda game than Twilight Princess or Skyward Sword.

I said it.

Luigi DudeDecember 28, 2012

Quote from: Evan_B

The Last Story was a better Zelda game than Twilight Princess or Skyward Sword.

I said it.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v287/luigidude/1340826256938.png

Evan_BDecember 30, 2012

Either you haven;t played it or you're amused because it's true- either way, it's story is more compelling, its villain is more Ganondorf-y, and the boss battles are unique puzzles that deal with the game mechanics in more interesting ways than the last handful of Zelda bosses.

Luigi DudeDecember 31, 2012

Only I have played The Last Story and while it's a good game, it's plays nothing like Zelda.  Having a better storyline and bosses then the most recent Zelda games doesn't make it a better Zelda when the core gameplay is nothing a like.

By that logic I could say Viewtiful Joe is a better Zelda game then recent Zelda's because it has a better storyline and bosses as well.  Yet I wouldn't because Viewtiful Joe plays nothing like a Zelda game just like The Last Story plays nothing like a Zelda game either.

AnGerJanuary 01, 2013

His logic makes sense. Still, there is a better Zelda game out there and it's called Pandora's Tower.

broodwarsJanuary 01, 2013

Quote from: AnGer

His logic makes sense. Still, there is a better Zelda game out there and it's called Pandora's Tower.

From what little I've played of Pandora's Tower so far, I agree. It's very Zelda-esque and so far I'm enjoying it a LOT more than I did Skyward Sword.

Mop it upJanuary 02, 2013

I agree The Last Story has a better story, but I've never felt that story was a focal point of Zelda games. I guess they have had more story elements more recently, and if they are going to have them then they should be good. But it doesn't matter that much to me if they aren't. As for everything else though, any Zelda game is definitely of higher quality than The Last Story.

EasyCureJanuary 02, 2013

I don't like arguments about Zelda games having weak stories only because most Zelda titles revolve around Link saving Zelda for whatever reason, hence "the legend of" part; hero goes on a quest to save princess, faces many dangers on his journey (and for the most part) alone. Quick and to the point, which I like.

If there was a Zelda title to come out that included multiple playable characters, or Link as part of a party, and there was lackluster story I could understand because if you as Link are going to go on this epic quest, you'd want there to be story elements that bring you and those characters together, you'd want that dynamic. LoZ isn't really about that though. The overall stories do well enough the way they are, and the few times other major characters are introduced, there are enough story points to make you feel for those characters as well, BUT at the end of the day (game) it's about Link saving Zelda/Hyrule. The story in this case is the journey, aka the legend that will be passed down through Hyrule's history.

Imagine the Hyrule that existed in Wind Waker, BEFORE it was flooded You have a statue of Link in the center of a great hall in Hyrule Castle as well as stained glass portraits of the Seven Sages in the chamber housing the Master Sword. Do you think that the people of that time were telling stories of how the Hero of Time got all emo because Mido blamed him for killing the great Deku Tree? No because irrelevant shit like that wouldn't of made it in to the Legend. The tale they told was about the Hero venturing away from home into a world he had never known, proving his power wisdom and courage by defeating giant monsters and unlocking the master sword from its resting place, only to be frozen in time until he was old enough to truly wield it; but how in his absence a dark warrior wizard used the opportunity to seize power and take over the castle, forcing the hero to seek out the power of 7 sages including the imprisoned princess herself in order to defeat him.

I dunno about you but that sounds like an awesome story to me, and getting to experience it as the hero is what LoZ is all about. If you want a love story or a tale of friendship, go play RPG's.

EasyCure, YES!

That's really all I've got to respond to that.

chickenspyJanuary 03, 2013

I pretty much agree. I upgraded from lurker to registered just to elaborate:


It is revealed at some point (i won't put in the details so that this may be somewhat spoiler free) that Zeldas, Links, and Ganondorfs are forever cursed to be in conflict over Hyrule. This repeated conflict playing over and over in history (though it may not have the original intent) being a curse seems to symbolize the aging mechanics behind Legend of Zelda stories. With the urge to find a new land, maybe Link can escape the curse and find new adventures and new conflicts. The Windwaker was based around a new land yet was type of post-apocalyptic version of hyrule, ala a great Flood. To find new land, like the lands Link finds in Spirit Tracks, would severe the ties that bind him to Hyrule, storywise. This may be why Ganon is specifically never encountered in all games after the Windwaker story in that branch of the timeline. This specific timeline, IMO, may be the Devs rogue timeline branch. They'll keep the other timelines more or less very Zelda to appease to the fans, and have this rogue timeline explore new boundaries with the series. Maybe that's a little bit of explanation behind why there needed to be more than 2 separate timelines.

Ian SaneJanuary 03, 2013

I don't think Wind Waker is a bad game but there were a few things I just didn't like about it.  The visual design was too cartoony to a point where it came across as being for kids, instead of "all ages" like the other Zeldas (the Spaceworld switcheroo did NOT help).  While exploration is emphasized there is little to explore in the big blue ocean of nothing.  And the Triforce hunt was just blatant padding.

I find that in the Gamecube years Nintendo was really lost in regards to where to go with their established series.  The move to 3D on the N64 really allowed them to update their series in a fresh way.  Then on the Cube it was like "Okay.  Now what?"  In any videogame series there are obvious updates and directions to go in until the concept is truly polished.  Nintendo had done that during the SNES and N64 generations but on the Cube it was no longer obvious where to go, especially with Mario and Zelda.  Where do you go from Super Mario 64 or Ocarina of Time?  Metroid was a major exception because they had not get gone 3D with it.

But at that point Nintendo had a reputation for making essential sequels and cookie cutter was not going to fly.  So they threw in this water pack for Mario and made Zelda a cartoon with a flooded world because they had to do SOMETHING different, right?  I think trying to do something different is a good concept but sometimes it does not work in the execution.  Not all new ideas are also good ideas, but that doesn't mean that new ideas have to be bad.  WW just didn't work in the execution and frankly I don't think Skyward Sword did either.  TP was just blatant cookie cutter crap though and that's WORSE.  Nintendo did manage to turn things around with Mario and Super Mario Galaxy, where they had a pretty fresh twist on the formula and the execution was also perfect.  Super Mario Sunshine's problem was not that it did something new but just that the specific new idea it had in FLUDD sucked.  Galaxy's space idea however was awesome.

Of course Nintendo is far more open to cookie cutter sequels now.  They cheated to overcome their "what do we do now?" problem but going with gimmick controls and then shoehorning them into their otherwise generic cookie cutter sequels.  It's the same bullshit but with new goofy controls so the illusion of innovation is there (I actually am not sure if Nintendo is trying to fool us or themselves).  Though not all of their gimmick games are cookie cutter and I consider Skyward Sword a legitimate effort to do something new.  It's just hurt by too much filler and the Wii's restrictive design meant that they pretty much HAD to focus on motion controls.  They could never make a great game with "we HAVE to prove that motion controls are super awesome or the Wii will look like a joke" pressure hanging over their heads.  The DS Zeldas are ruined by that same pressure to "prove" the value of touchscreen controls.

EasyCureJanuary 03, 2013

Quote from: NWR_Neal

EasyCure, YES!

That's really all I've got to respond to that.

thanks, even though i screwed up the spoiler tags lol

KhushrenadaJanuary 03, 2013

Quote from: Ian

I find that in the Gamecube years Nintendo was really lost in regards to where to go with their established series.  The move to 3D on the N64 really allowed them to update their series in a fresh way.  Then on the Cube it was like "Okay.  Now what?"   

I don't think Wind Waker is a bad game but there were a few things I just didn't like about it. WW just didn't work in the execution and frankly I don't think Skyward Sword did either.  TP was just blatant cookie cutter crap though and that's WORSE.  Nintendo did manage to turn things around with Mario and Super Mario Galaxy, where they had a pretty fresh twist on the formula and the execution was also perfect.  Super Mario Sunshine's problem was not that it did something new but just that the specific new idea it had in FLUDD sucked.  Galaxy's space idea however was awesome.

You've made the point about Nintendo not knowing what to do with their franchises post-64 before quite a few times and I don't disagree with you. It's true that up to the Gamecube each generation before had brought changes and upgrades to the franchises because of the new abilities/challenges gained from stronger hardware. When Gamecube came out, Nintendo had already proven that they had mastered 3D space and games and all the Gamecube gave was more power in a way. Whether or not you believe new controls can add any value to breathing life into a series, with the Gamecube, they didn't have that luxery. It was still traditional controls. Personally, it seems to me, that Nintendo's response was to make some of the best entries in all of their series.

Although you state that Wind Waker failed in execution and Sunshine's Fludd sucked and Galaxy was a turnaround as though it were fact, I highly disagree with you on all 3 points. I'm not sure why you knock the Fludd device as it basically serves as the Mario transformation in the game. For example, just like the Bee suit can let you fly and hover a bit in Galaxy, Fludd let's you do that in Sunshine. It gives you some different options of mobility and gameplay challenges. Maybe you can't fly and soar like Mario 64 but it's overall usage/gameplay advantage was limited anyways. It's only used in a few spots. Frankly, I loved the Fludd device and especially the hover ability as it helped me correct/save myself if I made a mistake. It's one of the reason's why the areas with no Fludd are more challenging. You can't correct youself if you misjump. Those zones become easier when you replay them with Fludd but I could move a lot faster in them and I could have a bit more reckless abandon in them. Can you tell me how Fludd was so sucky because I don't get it. Heck, I could spray a little water on the ground and then slide on it and speed up getting around a level instead of walking and running. Those are awesome little touches.

The complaint that I hear way more often is that it lacks variety compared to Mario 64 or Super Mario Galaxy. In Super Mario 64, you go into 15 different worlds to find 6 stars (7 with the 100 coin challenge of each level) with a few hidden levels scattered around also and in Sunshine, you stay on the island, it all has the same estectic and instead of 15 different worlds, there are 7 parts of the island you visit with 8 missions and 2 extra shines hidden in them and 1 more for the 100 coin challenge. The rest of the shines are obtained through the main Delfino hub and 24 are obtained by getting blue coins and just purchasing them. And if people want to complain about that or they don't like Bowser Jr. or the Pintas or other parts of the setting or story, I understand that. Personally, I don't have a problem with any of it and like it. (Maybe not Bowser Jr. but he doesn't break the game for me.) But I disagree that it lacks variety.

That is my biggest complaint against Mario Galaxy. It just seems highly repetative. I seem to feel about Galaxy what a lot of people feel about Sunshine or what Insanolord feels about Super Mario World for all you hardcore forum readers. I just don't get how everyone keeps rating it so highly. I beat the game and got all 120 stars but didn't beat it with Luigi and that was a couple years ago so I thought I'd pop it in again and see if my opinion might be changed especially after all the high praise it got from the recent best of Wii lists done by staff and forumers. Sadly, my save file disappeared so I've had to start again from scratch. Absence has not made the heart grow fonder in this case. I've just gotten to the fountain again and played a couple missions in that and already the game has come off repetative and boring. I might just do a review of this game as a rebuttal to all the people praising it about why I don't like it but people complain there's enough negativty around here already so I might not. Mario Galaxy was pretty much the last game I played on the Wii before pretty much going on a 2 year hiatus from Wii. Aside from cracking out Rock Band here and there with some friends, I went on a TV and movie watching catch-up phase and only played a bit of handheld gaming. I personally feel that it was because I found Mario Galaxy so unentertaining that by the time I finished it, I was getting more enjoyment out of other forms of entertainment that I just kind of stopped playing games. On the other hand, I've played and completed Mario Sunshine 100% at least 5 times possibly 6. I never played Mario 64 that much either. Sunshine is an amazing example of how to do a 3D platforming game.

At this point, I've written another essay which seems easy for me to do lately but just touching on Windwaker, I haven't played many Zelda games. As of right now, I've only played 5 of them (although I've currently got a copy of all but the GB Color games) and of those 5, I've completed them all once except for Wind Waker which I've played through and completed 3 times and enough time has passed that I would be willing to play it again. All the things that people cite as flaws, I never had a problem and I totally enjoy sailing.

Infinitys_EndJanuary 04, 2013

Nope, Wind Waker isn't as great as everyone makes it out to be.  The ocean is boring and only tolerable after you get the warp spell.  The Triforce hunt is again, boring, and barely tolerable.  The dungeons are easy.  The bosses are cool, but then are reused at the end (dev time constraints?).  And then there's that part where Jabun just GIVES you the pearl without having to go through a dungeon first since I think there was more dev time constraints so they had to nix it.


The only redeeming quality is the Ganon battle at the end, which I truly loved.  But that alone doesn't save this game.  And don't get me started on that grueling figurine mini quest, which absolutely was not worth it.  Almost as worthless as the Skultula quest in Ocarina.  What is it with pointless mini quests in Zelda games?!

TJ SpykeJanuary 04, 2013

Wind Waks IS as good as everyone says, easily the best Zelda game and one of the best GameCube games. The ocean is not that bad. The Triforce hunt isn't hard unless you were lazy and not doing anything before that since it's easy to get the maps before then.

And you are bitching about an OPTIONAL sidequest? You don't have to do it. And to whine about it is beyond nitpicking since it has nothing to do with the actual game. It would be like whining about how collecting all the trophies in Smash Bros. doesn't get you anything cool.

KhushrenadaJanuary 04, 2013

Quote from: Infinitys_End

Nope, Wind Waker isn't as great as everyone makes it out to be.  The ocean is boring and only tolerable after you get the warp spell.  The Triforce hunt is again, boring, and barely tolerable.  The dungeons are easy.  The bosses are cool, but then are reused at the end (dev time constraints?).  And then there's that part where Jabun just GIVES you the pearl without having to go through a dungeon first since I think there was more dev time constraints so they had to nix it.


The only redeeming quality is the Ganon battle at the end, which I truly loved.  But that alone doesn't save this game.  And don't get me started on that grueling figurine mini quest, which absolutely was not worth it.  Almost as worthless as the Skultula quest in Ocarina.  What is it with pointless mini quests in Zelda games?!

Oh boy.

The ocean is boring? I guess the empty Hyrule field in Ocarina is better? What about the multiple vast expanses of land in Twilight Princess? It's no different. Yes, it would be great if every square had an island like Windmill Island full of characters and stuff to do but they all had some objective and purpose whether it was getting an item or map. There are many times I sailed the ocean without warping so that I could scan around for sunken treasures or enjoy the scenery of islands I'd been too or yet to see pass around in the distances. I could come upon pirate subs and outposts. Sometimes I'd have to engage in battle with a giant squid. I felt like a master of the ocean.

The Triforce hunt is no big deal since I'm already out trying to explore everything and check off all the things I have to do in squares like pirate outposts and solve an island's puzzle or get its bounty. I liked the aspect of a treasure hunt. I found the dungeons just fine and since this was only the second Zelda game I played, I still found them difficult and got stuck a couple times. That's all relative. I don't care that Jabun just gives me a pearl. I'd never thought that there was a dungeon missing until people started complaining about it after the fact. It makes sense since you have to earn the other two pearls but I just considered it a prelude to the Tower of the Gods dungeon. I think there is too much focus on dungeons sometimes. Twilight Princess basically ends with you just going through 3 consecutive dungeons pretty much. I prefered this approach of fewer dungeons and more exploration over that approach.

If you have an issue with reusing the bosses at the end, that's fine. I can understand and don't get the purpose of doing that except that it helped me with my figurine quest. And as for the figurine quest, that has been my favorite sidequest in any Zelda game I've played so far. I liked the photography aspect and walking through my galleries and zooming in on the details of all the statues. It's like the Smash Bros. trophies. I never hear anyone complaining about having to unlock those (unless they think it is too challenging). I prefered that over the Skulltala challenge way more or the Poe/Bug collecting challenges in Twilight. Frankly, the only worthy sidequests are ones that give you a new item or heart peice in a Zelda game.

Ian SaneJanuary 04, 2013

I think the Spaceworld graphics switcheroo makes it hard to get a good read on Wind Waker and younger Zelda fans that weren't following the series when the game first came out will have a more accurate opinion of it.

Almost every Zelda fan took some side in the debate when they first showed Wind Waker.  You either liked the graphics or you didn't.  I think this taints our opinions on the game.  If you liked the graphics, then Wind Waker better have been a damn good game or you look like a fool.  If you didn't like the graphics, then the game must be flawed in some way so that you could be right about the Zelda you wanted.  When Wind Waker was new we would have been going in with our own opinion about the graphics and thus would intentionally look for reasons to support our argument.  A younger fan that was not part of the graphics pissing match has no pride on the line and thus can provide a more unbiased opinion.

WW discussion comes up a lot and it's because of the graphics switcheroo.  Same with TP but that again is related to the graphics switch because that's from Nintendo switching BACK as a direct response to WW.  WW is either a disgrace or the best Zelda ever and both opinions are so extreme I have to assume that they're biased.

EasyCureJanuary 04, 2013

but this thread was regarding how different WW was from other Zelda's, now if it was the definitive Zelda experience or not, since that will always be subjective. I hate these arguments. Next topic.

Mop it upJanuary 05, 2013

Quote from: EasyCure

I don't like arguments about Zelda games having weak stories only because most Zelda titles revolve around Link saving Zelda for whatever reason, hence "the legend of" part; hero goes on a quest to save princess, faces many dangers on his journey (and for the most part) alone.

I don't know whether or not I was one of the people at which this was directed, but this isn't what I was saying. I'm fine with the actual content of Zelda stories, it's the presentation that lacks for me. As just one example, I think it'd be better, especially in Skyward Sword, if Link had dialogue. The kinds of stories in more recent Zelda games, Skyward Sword most of all, don't really fit the silent protagonist anymore. Skyward Sword's Link is stuck in between the two styles, he reacts to things and clearly talks to people even though we can't hear what he says, so he's not really a player avatar anymore but also not quite his own character either. I would prefer him to become his own character since he's closer to that as is, but at the least, they should pick one style and stick with it instead of hovering between the two.

That's the main thing I'd want to see, but that's just me.

EasyCureJanuary 05, 2013

Quote from: Mop

Quote from: EasyCure

I don't like arguments about Zelda games having weak stories only because most Zelda titles revolve around Link saving Zelda for whatever reason, hence "the legend of" part; hero goes on a quest to save princess, faces many dangers on his journey (and for the most part) alone.

I don't know whether or not I was one of the people at which this was directed, but this isn't what I was saying. I'm fine with the actual content of Zelda stories, it's the presentation that lacks for me. As just one example, I think it'd be better, especially in Skyward Sword, if Link had dialogue. The kinds of stories in more recent Zelda games, Skyward Sword most of all, don't really fit the silent protagonist anymore. Skyward Sword's Link is stuck in between the two styles, he reacts to things and clearly talks to people even though we can't hear what he says, so he's not really a player avatar anymore but also not quite his own character either. I would prefer him to become his own character since he's closer to that as is, but at the least, they should pick one style and stick with it instead of hovering between the two.

That's the main thing I'd want to see, but that's just me.

If I wanted to call you out I would have :D

I do agree that presentation wise there are things that can be done better, like Link having dialogue to some extent, but it doesn't bother me because I play the game in order to experience the adventure, not the story. Honestly, I wouldn't have any problems with Nintendo making a new Zelda in the vein of the original LoZ..

Have an intro similar to Wind Wakers to set up the story, then throw you in the game world with only a vague sense of what to do, and explore EVERYTHING. I don't care if there are only 10 NPC's to talk to and only have 1 sentence to say.

CalibanJanuary 05, 2013

A bajillion years later, and we're still arguing which is the better Zelda game. Sham... it's Zelda II of course.

EasyCureJanuary 06, 2013

Quote from: Caliban

A bajillion years later, and we're still arguing which is the better Zelda game. Sham... it's Zelda II of course.

I dunno about that.. I don't mind the side scrolling like I hear most people complain about,what gets me is the overworld traveling, I just hate that style.. everything else was fun, the game was quite difficult and it by FAR had the best game over screen of any Zelda game - and that cannot be argued.

ThePermJanuary 06, 2013

I like how Zelda fans are so divided about which one is awesome and which one is terds.

I was in college when Wind Waker came out so i'm not going to have some crazy nostalgic feelings over it. I really liked it though. It did some attention to detail type things that Twilight Princess didn't do.

Majora's mask was awesome though. It had a different attention to detail thing going on. Most people don't like the 3 day thing. I liked the 3 day thing because it gave characters schedules. Shenmue did the character scheduling thing better though. The only problem with Shenmue was you would be sitting around and waiting for a long time. They didn't add a time skip until Shenmue 2(or did they lol, its been soooo long since iv played). The Majora's mask characters were much more interesting though. If Nintendo were to pull the Majora's mask thing they should make it more than just 3 days.

so i really dont know that much about last story...so its an action rpg? Not a jrpg type game?

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