The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker

The ninth game in the famous Zelda series
IAmResolved - Guest Reviewer
Content at a glance:

Mild Violence

Combat against non-human and human-like enemies, enemies disappear in a puff of smoke when defeated, one boss is stabbed in the head. No blood in any case.

Fantasy Magic

Magical items, player can control the wind and objects, supernatural enemies (i.e. walking skeletons and zombies), Zelda storyline involves other gods, one character is an inanimate object given life.

“This is, but one of the legends of which the people speak…”

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Those words begin the first game in the Legend of Zelda series for the Nintendo GameCube and the first to take the series in a new direction in terms of graphics. In this title, The Wind Waker, Link and his entire world have been given a new, cel-shaded look. This new look gives the world of Zelda a more cartoon-like look, but before you think that the look is any indication of the quality of the game, rest assured this game is still the classic Zelda you know.

Note: Spoilers may be present

Plot

The Wind Waker begins by giving us the legend of an ancient kingdom where a golden power laid, a power great enough to attract the attention of a man, a man they say of great evil, who took the power for himself. Even as he spread evil across the land, hope appeared in the form of a boy dressed in green. The boy, who came to be called the Hero of Time, battled the evil man with the blade of evil’s bane and defeated his enemy.

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After this, we are taken to an island known as Outset Island. The people of this small piece of rock floating in the middle of the ocean pass down this legend from generation to generation; so much so that every boy who comes of age is given a green outfit much like the hero himself. And for one boy in particular, a boy named Link, that day is today. It’s his birthday, so Link gets the green outfit from his grandma. His little sister Aryll presents him with a telescope which he uses to look out over the seas to see what he can see, and he ends up seeing trouble. He sees a large, evil-looking bird with a girl in its talons and not far behind, he sees a pirate ship in hot pursuit. The bird is forced to drop the girl who happens to land in the forests of Outset. Grabbing a sword, Link hurries into action. After saving the girl, Tetra, Link ends up with another set of problems. The evil-looking bird returns only to scoop up the unsuspecting Aryll, while Link can only look on in horror. Link quickly takes it on himself to rescue his sister, little realizing his adventure is only beginning.

Gameplay

If you’ve played Ocarina of Time or Majora’s Mask for the Nintendo 64, you’ll have an idea of how this game works. You move Link with the control stick and draw his sword with the A button. Link keeps his auto-jumping feature from the old days. If you walk towards a gap Link can jump, he does so automatically.

You can assign sub-items, like the telescope, grappling hook, and the sail for your boat to the X, Y, and Z buttons for quick access. Speaking of your boat, you’ll spend a lot of time sailing, since this game takes place on the sea. You can make your boat jump with the B button.

Combat is done with your sword mostly. Link can target the enemy in front of him with the L button. This means Link will focus on that enemy, and attacks are delivered with the B button. He can also perform a parry attack while L-targeting, which avoids an enemy attack and delivers a counterattack. It’s a handy move to master.

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Just like in other Zelda games, there is an overworld made up of the Great Sea and the islands on it. In some places are dungeons where Link finds items to help him proceed in his quest and where the bosses are found.

Offensive Content

Violence

The only thing to actually change with the new look of the Zelda series is the violence. While you still attack with your sword, nothing happens. In the old N64 days, some blue dots, apparently their version of blood would spew from some enemies. Now, nothing at all. Enemies disappear in a cloud of purple smoke when defeated. There are a couple of exceptions to that, though. One is the ReDead. This enemy will not disappear instantly, but instead lies lifeless on the ground for a long time.

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*****************Spoiler******************

Link drives his sword into the final boss’s head. We still don’t see blood, but we do see the blade sticking out of the boss’s head.

**************Spoiler End****************

Spiritual Content

The same magic of previous Zelda games is still present in this one. Last time, Link gained a magic instrument. This time, it’s a magic baton called the Wind Waker. With it, Link can change the wind’s direction and take control of certain objects, like statues. Link also gains a bow that later shoots ice, fire, and light.

The Zelda series also involves other gods, and that is still the case with this title. Tthis time around, we meet two of them, a pair of frog-like beings who call themselves wind gods.

There are also a number of enemies that are monsters, I suppose you could call them goblins. Some other spiritual enemies are the ReDead, a zombie of sorts (very disturbing even with the new look),  a walking skeleton, and the ghostly Poe.

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One character is also your boat that is strangely alive.  In some places, you find faries.

*****************Spoiler******************

The game also revolves around the same golden triangle, the Triforce, seen in past Zelda games. Once again, its power is to grant the desire of whoever touches it.

**************Spoiler End****************

Noteworthy Elements

The lines between good and evil are clearly drawn. Link at first fights to save his sister, and then continues fighting when he learns that there are bigger things at risk, even though he has no other reason to get involved. One character also sacrifices everything dear to him, even his life, to defeat evil.

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Conclusion

The Wind Waker was my first venture in the Zelda series. I’d heard about the series and reacted with a lot of doubt about how good it really is. But I’d done some readng on it and decided to give it a chance.

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I found a game I never expected. True, it dealt with things I never thought I’d see, like a world filled with other gods, but it was also at its heart a tale of heroism and courage in the face of overwhelming odds, much like the previous Legends of Zelda. Despite its kiddy look, Wind Waker remains a favorite of mine the Zelda series. But I would strongly advise you to stay away from this legend if any of this offends you.




Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this Spotlight review are those of the reviewer (both ratings and recommendations), and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Eden Communications or the Christian Answers Network.

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