I can’t believe it has been ten years already. I remember people complaining about Wind Waker’s art style and I didn’t really understand why. I thought it looked good, but to be fair I hadn’t really got into the Zelda series at that time in my life.
The game released in Spring 2003 for Europe and North America but hit Japanese stores on December 13th, 2002. Can you imagine if Wind Waker had released in 2002 for all regions? There would have been a four month span of incredible first party Nintendo games from their big three franchises. The ones I refer to would be Super Mario Sunshine (August 2002), Metroid Prime (November 2002) and Wind Waker.
Wind Waker got a lot of hate when it first released but it blew away all naysayers once you actually started playing it. The art style gave the characters more personality than anyone expected and the game world oozed charm. Not only that but it added an emphasis on stealth that was seen later in Phantom Hourglass and Skyward Sword.
Sailing the great sea with the King of Red Lions is truly one of my fondest gaming memories. I sold my copy of Wind Waker years ago like a complete idiot and I regret it to this day. I have some hope that the game will release the day that Nintendo gets around to announcing GameCube games for the Wii U Virtual Console.
I don’t think there is a game that has aged better in recent memory than Wind Waker. I would pay $60 for a full on HD remake in 1080p with some assets redone. For the most part the game holds its own graphically against even the very best today, though that may not be the popular opinion. It certainly stands its ground in turns of game play. The Tri-Force fetch quest remains my only gripe with the game.
I loved Ganon’s speech at the very end. It almost made him sympathetic and when I saw Link stab his sword into Ganon’s skull I literally blew a gasket. Even without blood there isn’t a much more gruesome death in video game history than that, save for a few curb stomps here and there in other series.
Do you have fond memories of Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker? Let us know in the comments section and wish the game a happy 10th birthday!