The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker (JP) is an action/adventure video game for the Nintendo GameCube, and the 10th in The Legend of Zelda series. The game follows the usual formula of a young Link fighting over the Triforce against the evil king Ganondorf. However, it is set in a different timeline than the previous games.

Two sequels, The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass and The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks, were both released on the Nintendo DS in 2007 and 2009, respectively. While there were many games in the series released prior to Phantom Hourglass, this game is considered a sequel due to the fact that it takes place directly after The Wind Waker and contains similar graphics.

The cell-shading gave the game a unique artistic feel that certainly didn't feel out of place. Also, despite the lighthearted and cartoon-like look of the game, it actually has a dark storyline that follows up the legend dropped with the Nintendo 64 games.

A character modeled after the Link from The Wind Waker and Phantom Hourglass was present in Super Smash Bros. Brawl and later in Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U as a playable character. In this game he was known as Toon Link. Later, the game was remade for the Wii U under the name of The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD and released in September and early October 2013.


The Wind Waker starts out with a cinematic explaining the events that took place prior to the game, mainly referring to what happened in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. It explains that long ago there was a land with a "golden power", and that the golden power gave peace to the world. However, there was one man who lusted for this power.

His name was Ganon. So, he took the power for himself, and the one destined to become the Hero of Time was put to sleep for seven years as to be old enough to wield the blade of evil's bane. After the seven years, the hero came fourth and defeated Ganon. Peace was restored once more to the land.

Despite the fact that the evil had been sealed away, there would come a day that Ganon would return. The towns-people prayed for the hero of legend to save them once more, though their prayers were not answered - the hero was around no longer. So, as a last resort, the Gods drew the waters from the sea and flooded the land. The top of the highest mountains became islands, while the rest of the world was submerged in water for all eternity.


The entire world of Hyrule has been flooded by the gods to stop Ganondorf's evil doings when there was no hero to turn to. Because of this, the top of what were once mountains serve the role of islands that are scattered throughout the newly constructed ocean.

The player can travel the wide sea via a boat that Link discovered early on in the game. Using the sail and the Wind Waker, Link can choose which direction the wind will flow and then have the boat go there.

Because of the vast size of the ocean, it will take quite some time to travel from island to island, though later on in the game, you'll be given a song that gives the player the ability to transport to special locations in the game.

Once on an island, Link can traverse it similarly to how he was controlled in the Nintendo 64 Zelda installments. When an enemy approaches, he can wield his sword and slash it in a variety of ways, learning new techniques as the player progresses.

Dungeons are found throughout the islands and consists of a boss at the end of each one. Midway through each dungeon the player will acquire a new item and near the end of the game he'll be able to control other characters as well when they're part of your party including Makar, Medli, and various statues.

The dungeons in the game contain a variety of puzzles and enemies. They're considered the most challenging aspects of the series, and that holds true here. Usually to get through a certain dungeon, the player will have to use the newly found weapon he found midway through, and will also have to do so against that area's boss.

The game also contains many different towns in which the player can partake in a multitude of activities and subquests. Sometimes the player will visit these areas directly before they set off for one of the game's dungeons. The most notable town in the game is on Windfall Island.

A hint system within the game requires connectivity with the Game Boy Advance through a link cable. If you save Tingle, he will give you something called a Tingle Tuner which when used will send hints to your GBA.

The Beginnings

Following the emotional tale, the game starts with Aryll, Link's sister, looking for her brother on their native island (Outset Island). She manages to find him on the island's watchtower, where she explains to Link that their grandmother, their only parental figure, is waiting for him at their house. On this day Link had turned the age of the legendary hero of old, the one mentioned in the prologue (and the one featured in Ocarina of Time).

On the island it is customary for young boys to be clothed for one day in a green tunic and matching clothing. Link's grandmother gives this to him, and he reluctantly puts on the uncomfortable clothes (after the player completes the game and starts over, the clothes are invisible. Link won't appear naked however; instead the player will simply see the clothes he was previously wearing).

Another tradition for boys who were of this age were to learn the secrets of the sword. The only man on the island who is knowledgeable enough to teach someone is a guy named Orca. He's aged in life, and his age shows, but nevertheless he's very trained in his art. Before Link does become a master swordsman, his grandma tells him to go have fun with Aryll as she prepares the party later on in the night.

Link does so and reaches the watchtower once again, where Aryll allows Link to come in possession of her telescope for but one day. Following this she advises Link to take a look around, and notices a strange bird like creature next to the red mailbox. Link checks it out, and then Aryll shrieks. Link takes a look at the sky and sees a colossal bird flying overhead with a young girl in its grasps.

The girl's name is, as the player will soon find out, Tetra, while the beast's name is the Helmaroc King. Tetra's gang of pirates are on the chase and shoot the bird out of the sky with one of their cannons, which causes the bird to drop Tetra into the forest of Outset Island.

Link understands that it's his obligation to go out and save the girl if she is still indeed alive, though will need to equip himself with a sword first. This means it's time to visit Orca, the previously mentioned sword master. Orca teaches Link the way of the sword and gives him one. Link is now ready to save Tetra. He travels up the mountain and crosses the bridge only to come upon a couple of enemies that he easily dispatches.

Once inside the forest Link notices Tetra hanging from a tree unconscious. Link kills more enemies wishing to take ahold of the girl, and suddenly Tetra wakes up and falls from the tree. One of her pirates arrives and two leave, barely noticing Link whatsoever, and certainly not giving him his due thanks.

The two pirates leave the forest and Link follows. Once outside, Link sees his sister across the bridge. The both wave and Aryll starts to cross the bridge. Suddenly the Helmaroc King from before spots her, seemingly assuming that she's Tetra the bird quickly snatches Aryll. Link quickly tries to save his sister and makes a foolish attempt at doing so by nearly costing his life by jumping over the edge. Before this happens, Tetra saves his life by grasping hold of his hand.

Following this the game progresses to the beach where Link asks Tetra if he can tag along with them in an attempt to go after his sister. Tetra declines, though the bird mentioned previously explains to Tetra that Link had saved her life by slaying the monsters in the forest, and Tetra reluctantly allows him to go only if he can manage to find a shield. Link heads back to his grandmother's house, where Link recites what had recently happened.

Link's grandmother, while extremely distraught over what had happened, gives Link their passed down shield for him to take along on his journey. Back at the ship, Tetra agrees to have him on board and they set sail for Forsaken Fortress, where the Rito from before informed the pirates to go.

Forsaken Fortress

On the ship, the group manages to get to the Forsaken Fortress, which is being heavily guarded.


  • Link - The game's protagonist.
  • Tetra - The damsel in distress.
  • Ganondorf - The antagonist and the game's final boss.
  • Medli- Helps Link in one dungeon.
  • Makar- Helps Link in one dungeon.

Hint System

A hint system known as the Tingle Tuner is provided within the game. If you save Tingle, he will provide you with a hint device. However, to use it you must have a Game Boy Advance hooked up to the GameCube and turned on.



  Main article: The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker/gallery



The Wind Waker had caused a lot of controversy before its release. Almost everyone was expecting the next Zelda installment to have the realistic feel that was seen on Ocarina of Time and Majora's Mask, but upgraded with the graphical power of the GameCube. Instead, a cartoonish-looking Link with huge eyes was seen running away from some enemies in a teaser shown at SpaceWorld 2001. This caused confusion and concern among the gaming community that were used to Zelda's "mature" look. Still, Nintendo released the game in 2002 hoping it would change people's minds once it was tried out.

The game was also criticized for its emphasis on sailing. Much of the sailing was done manually, making for long and boring voyages. However, the game does give the player the ability to warp later on in the game. The sailing issue was mostly fixed in the HD remake. However, one of the main reasons for this game often not being considered among (with Ocarina of Time and A Link to the Past) the best in the franchise is the Triforce Fetch Quest. The player is forced to sail around and uncover underwater treasure in order to find the Triforce. This quest has become infamous among fans, and causes the game to often be buried under Majora's Mask and Twilight Princess on best Zelda games lists.

Despite some of these acknowledged flaws, the game still received a similar level of critical acclaim to its predecessors, to the point of scoring 96 out of 100 on Metacritic based on 80 reviews, indicating "universal acclaim". Among other things, the game was praised for its cel-shaded graphics, gameplay, level design, music, and story.

The HD Remake wasn't treated with quite the same level of success despite great critical praise, receiving a 90 on Metacritic and 91.08% on GameRankings, for giving it an excellent graphical improvement despite the original looking so great and great gameplay improvements. The game's first week in Japan sold 30,000 which is one of the worst openings for the Zelda franchise. By the end of 2013, the game sold 1.15 million copies worldwide

Reviews remarked about Wind Waker's excellent controls, similar to that of The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. The game introduced new weapons and items not known to the series before. Also, this game is credited with the revolutionizing Z-targeting. Along with the game cell-shaded graphics came a huge ocean to explore with many dungeons and fortresses as far as the eye could see. This game quickly became a best seller.


The game sold just over 4.6 million copies, making it the fourth best-selling Zelda, as well as the fourth best-selling game on the GameCube. While this made it a success overall, it was considered a bit of a disappointment at the time though, due to being quite weak compared to the 7.6 million copies sold of Ocarina of Time, which was attributed to the divisive reaction of players and fans had to the art direction, with some loving it and some hating it. This is what lead to Nintendo deciding to shift to a much more realistic and gritty art style for Twilight Princess.

Other Translations

Language / Region: Translates to:
Simplified Chinese Zelda Legend: Wand of the Wind
Traditional Chinese Zelda Legend: The Rhythm of the Wind


  • The greeting "Oi!" in this game is actually Portuguese for "hi". However, "oi" is sometimes translated as "hey" in Japanese
  • Unlike most Zelda games, Wind Waker returns the player to the area where the game was saved. Previous games returned the player to one or two specific spots.
  • This is the first 3D game in the series not to include Adult Link.
  • Upon playing the game through a second time, Link will be wearing his 'outset' clothing. Interestingly if you obtain the magic armor it will resemble that of Link wearing his original tunic.
  • This is the first game in the series to get an HD remaster.

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