The Wind Waker

Quick Info
U.S. Release

- GameCube
- March 24, 2003
- The Wind Waker
Japanese Release

- GameCube
- December 13, 2002
- Kaze no Takuto
(Baton of Wind)
European Release
- May 3 2003

Link, a young boy of twelve who lives near the sea, has recently celebrated his twelfth birthday with his family. One day, Link and his younger sister, Arill, spot a pirate ship attacking a gigantic bird. The bird had carries off the female captain of the pirates, Tetra. The bird drops the captain nearby when it gets hit by a cannon ball. Link goes to investigate, and finds the pirate alive. But Arill is kidnapped in front of Link's eyes by the same bird. So begins a grand adventure for Link, which takes him over land and sea in rescue of his younger sister.


At Spaceworld 2000, Nintendo showed a GameCube demo reel. One video showed Link and Ganondorf fighting, with a realistic graphical style reminescent of "Ocarina of Time." This demo led many fans to believe that the next Zelda game for the GameCube would have the same graphics. However, the truth was revealed at Spaceworld 2001. The new Zelda game would have a young Link, and cel-shaded, almost childish graphics. Many fans were initally disappointed, but after seeing the game in action many have come to like, or at least, accept the new style. The cartoony style allows for a whole new dimension of expressiveness and fun antics. For more information on this issue, see my Thoughts on Zelda GC feature.


Wind Waker is very different from previous Zelda games, because of the graphical style and because much of the game involves ocean exploration instead of land exploration. But many classic Zelda elements have also returned, like old enemies and the Ganon/Hyrule story, in new and exciting forms. A neat feature is the Tingle Tuner. If a Game Boy Advance is hooked up to the GameCube, a second player can use the GBA as a kind of radar map, which reveals many extra items and features. The second player can thus act kind of like Navi from OoT.

Master Quest (Ura Zelda)

As part of the preorder campaign for "The Wind Waker, those who pre-ordered the game received a GameCube demo disc containing Ocarina of Time and OoT Master Quest (Ura Zelda). Ura Zelda was originally a modified version of OoT, which was to run on 64DD, the N64's disc drive add on. It was delayed and cancelled various times, but has now been reborn on the GameCube! This campaign started in America on February 16, 2003.