The recent announcement that The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker will be released on the WiiU with high definition graphics has made the game seem like the perfect topic for this month’s memory.
It’s hard to forget that not everyone was thrilled with the graphics style of The Wind Waker when it was first shown. I was never on board with the hate, but I was questioning why Nintendo chose to use the cel-shaded art style instead of the graphics style used in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time.
Of course, ten years later, few doubt Nintendo’s decision; The Wind Waker is now considered one of the best video games Nintendo has ever developed. It’s somewhat ironic how the originally derogatory term “Celda” is now nothing more than an alternate name for one of the greatest games ever made.
This month, I will be discussing three of my favorite moments in The Wind Waker. Everyone has their own favorites, but there are a few that are likely on everyone’s list. I’m intentionally avoiding those major moments. I will not be discussing how it felt watching the Tower of the Gods rise from the sea, the nostalgia as I pulled the Master Sword from its pedestal, or the epic conclusion of the fight against Ganondorf. No, instead, I will be discussing some simple events that made the The Wind Waker a memorable experience for me.
1. It’s a Trap! Finding the Pictograph Box.
I could write about how amusing it is to find Tingle in prison on Windfall Island, but the truly memorable moment happens in the secret tunnel inside Tingle’s prison cell. If you navigate the maze correctly, you will find a pictograph box. However, when you make a wrong turn, you’ll come face-to-face with a rat that will promptly open a trap door and drop you into the Great Sea.
It was a fairly frustrating experience when I was a boy, but that’s also what makes it so memorable. I’ve long since learned how to avoid the rats, but to this day I am cautious as I navigate the simple maze.
2. Battle on the Great Sea
A lot of players complain about traveling by boat, but I always found it to be a very enjoyable part of the game. It is true that the game includes a couple of long and boring trips from one side of the map to another, but they are few.
What makes sailing enjoyable are the enemy ships and lookout platforms. It is a lot of fun to bomb the lookout platforms from a distance before “boarding” them to wipe out any enemies who dodged your assault. The fact that many lookout platforms fight back with their own cannons only makes the experience that much more enjoyable.
3. Entering the Savage Labyrinth
Anyone who finished The Wind Waker is familiar with the Savage Labyrinth. It is a fifty floor cave full of enemies, and completing part of the labyrinth is required to complete the game. While the labyrinth itself is quite memorable, my favorite part is reaching it.
The labyrinth is located on a cliff on Outset Island and is only accessible by gliding with the Deku Leaf. The glide takes you from one end of the island to another offering a great view and a memorable moment. It is one of the few times in the game where the Deku Leaf feels like a great addition to your inventory.
High Definition Memories
It is truly hard to believe that ten years have passed since I first played The Wind Waker, and even more time has passed since I first saw the bizarre cel-shaded graphics style. I know I am not alone in being excited about the upcoming remake of The Wind Waker, and I am looking forward to reliving these memories and more later this year.