I was recently playing “The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker”, and for whatever reason, I used to have some negative thoughts about this game. I don’t know why because now that I play again, it seems fine to me. Must’ve been suffering from the same disease that made me dislike “Twilight Princess” the first time. (Spoilers in the last two paragraphs, so watch out.)
So anyway, the game begins on Outset Island, where Link lives with his sister, Aryll, and his grandmother (I guess she’s not important enough for a name.). It is Link’s 12th birthday, but apparently the villains in this game don’t know or don’t care because it’s not long before trouble arrives in the form of a huge bird that flies over the island carrying a woman, followed by a pirate ship (I mean, the pirate ship’s in the water, oh, you get it!). The pirate ship shoots at the bird, and the woman falls into the woods. Link finds her, and she turns out to be the leader of the pirates, named Tetra. Then, the bird takes Aryll, mistaking her for Tetra. We find that girls have been taken from all over because they are being mistaken for the pirate. I guess it’s a dumb bird, then. So Link decides to go on a quest to save his sister. Which at first, seems kind of lame and not so epic, but along the way, Link also finds out about the reason behind the kidnappings and about the secret that lies beneath the sea…
This game is a lot different from other “Zelda” games, which is my source of unhappiness towards it. A big thing is just that big, huge ocean. Normally, Link travels across a large area of land, and now we have the ocean, and maybe I’m impatient, but the ocean bores me. I just set the wind in the right direction with the Wind Waker (which I’ll get to), turn the boat in the right direction, and then wait. And you only get these little islands to explore. The duck wants lots of room to gallivant about. I can’t gallivant! Also, I know graphics shouldn’t matter, and they don’t usually, but they are so bright and cartoony. Link has these weird, teeny feet and a big head and colorless eyes. He has the eyes of death. And most characters have these short little legs, and I just can’t stand them. They, too, lack the ability to gallivant with such short legs!
And perhaps that all put me in my bad mood, which caused me to also dislike Tetra, the King of Red Lions (Link’s sentient boat), and the Wind Waker. Instead of having an actual instrument to play, Link now has this baton called the Wind Waker, which can control the wind, change the time, and other things. I just never liked that baton. He just waves it around, and these disembodied voices sing, and it’s just weird. Does it not bother Link that voices from nowhere start singing when he waves that stick around? He’s probably just oblivious to it. Just look at that blank look on his face. You sicken me, cartoon Link. And why’d you have to show up in “Brawl”!
Seriously, though, I am no longer so bothered by this game. It is actually fun. And cartoon Link’s fine. I guess. Sure, we’ll just say that. Anyway, this game also does have some good dungeons, especially the two where another character helps you out. I had so much fun working together with another character, trying to solve the puzzles (especially in the Earth Temple, which was awesome). I don’t have any other “Zelda” games that do that. There’s a pretty good story, too. And there is definitely lots to do, as well. Of course, there’s the usual side quests. There’s the Heart Pieces to find. And thanks to that ocean, you also have Sea Charts to collect, which show you where to find treasure in the ocean. Plus, there are 49 islands, some of which are not interesting in the slightest (partly due to the lack of room for gallivanting, as I mentioned earlier), but there are enough interesting ones to keep me busy.
Also unique to this game are the figurines (complete with a short description) you can collect of all the characters, enemies, and creatures in the game. You just need a color camera, and you can snap photos of all kinds of things and get a figurine made of them. It’s a bit of a hassle because you can only keep three pictures at once and must wait a day for each figurine to be made, but it’s still fun.
There’s just a few more random things I wanted to mention. This game has two characters I like quite a bit. Medli, a young Rito (they’re bird people), and Makar, some little plant dude. I’ve always found them to be delightful. Medli’s a sweetie, and I like watching teeny little Makar play his violin, which is as big as he is. I have always liked them muchly, even back when I felt feelings of discontent with this game. They’re my pals.
Something not so delightful, but more on the spooky side, is the ghost ship. It appears in different parts of the ocean at night, depending on what phase the moon is in. I didn’t memorize where it would be, so I never knew when it would show up. It was fun to be out in the dark and sometimes you’d see it, this lonely ship with ragged sails and blue flames floating about it. Chilling. Unfortunately, this time playing the game, I kept missing it. Also unfortunate is the fact that once you find a way inside, it is pretty disappointing in there. And then it disappears for good. It would’ve made a great dungeon. Especially in an ocean/pirate themed game! Gosh, Nintendo. Why do you insist on stabbing me in the soul!
One last thing is that I thought it was funny that I never liked that Link can no longer swim as much as he pleases. He’ll drown if he swims for too long, and it annoyed me, but I realized just recently that they probably did that so people didn’t decide to swim across the ocean. You know some would’ve tried it. Hey, let’s see how long it’ll take to swim from Windfall Island to Outset Island. Then, they’d find themselves in the middle of the sea wondering if that was such a good idea. You know, I think the sharks could’ve solved that problem. Though, they just seem content knocking you into the water and not actually devouring you.
So I actually had much fun with this game, even though it’s my third time through (as long as I wait enough time in between, my games stay fun indefinitely). It seemed too easy, though. I never died once, and the fight with Ganondorf at the end was just sad. I was prepared with three bottles of blue potion, a bottle of Link’s grandma’s soup, and 18 hearts, and I only took a few hearts of damage and didn’t need the potions and such at all. It took me only a few minutes to beat him. Gosh, I remember you being more difficult, Ganon. Maybe it’s just because he looks so darn intimidating.
So anyway, “Wind Waker” is a good game, after all. I still don’t like the big ocean, but I do like the story, and I find Ganondorf to be much more interesting in this game than he is in others, and he seems to actually have more reason for what he’s doing than usual. And I like his character design. So while it’s still one of my lesser favorite “Zelda” games, it does have some good things going for it. I am still disturbed by Link’s eyes, though… So dark…