Hey everyone, and welcome to The Ten Reasons, where I discuss ten reasons why I like or dislike a game. I’ve got one hell of a column for you this month, folks! Not only is it my longest The Ten Reasons ever, but it’s the first one about a game that I have more reasons to dislike than like. Yep, this month, I’m talking about the much-hated Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker.
Reasons Why I Like The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker
1. Under the Sea in Hyrule
What I like most about this game are the parts that take place under the sea in Hyrule. You first show up in the ruins of a mysterious and creepy black-and-white castle. Shortly after, Link finds the hidden Master Sword, and, in what is surely the best transition from black-and-white to color since The Wizard of Oz, the castle comes to life and Link has to fight over twelve of the game’s most difficult enemies all at once. Awesome.
What’s also awesome about this part of the game is just how good everything looks. The stain-glass windows of the seven sages from Ocarina of Time look great. Zelda and Link (as you see in the picture), look pretty good together as well, although, now that I think about it, it is a little creepy that they look so much alike. Maybe they’re secretly related, or something?
The cutscenes are good, too. In fact, they’re so good that you hardly notice that the “Tetra turns out to be Zelda” story was copy/pasted from Ocarina of Time’s “Sheik is really Zelda.” You can even forgive the game for changing Tetra from a badass pirate queen to a wussy, girly princess in two seconds flat. Almost, anyway. I hope Tetra reverts to her pirate queen personality in Phantom Hourglass. If anyone’s played that game, let me know, OK?
2. Link’s Magical Talking Boat
In this game, Link has a magical talking boat. How cool. I want one of those in real life, just so I could use it to impress the ladies .
The boat isn’t that cool in the game itself, though. Mostly, all he does is boss Link around like Link is a worthless piece of crap, instead of giving Link the credit he deserves for saving the entire world. But the idea of a talking boat is still kind of cool, so thumbs up for that.
3. The Seagulls
In this game, the seagulls are actually pretty cool, unlike the stupid ones in that Finding Nemo movie. Yeah, that’s right, I thought the seagulls in Finding Nemo were stupid. What’s so great about countless characters all doing the exact same thing mindlessly? Of course, that’s a perfect description of what happened when people went to see Finding Nemo, so I guess people like the seagulls because they empathize with them.
Where was I? Oh, yeah, the seagulls in Wind Waker. Well, I’m told the seagulls in this game are official GameCola award winners. That makes them good enough for me!
4. Controlling Link’s Friend Medli
At one point in the game, Link gets to possess his friend Medli. Once he’s possessed her, he controls her completely and can make her do whatever he wants. That’s kind of creepy, but I really like it. I mean, I like it waaay more than I should.
I expect it says something about me that I derive pleasure from controlling a bird-girl’s body, but my excuse is that the opportunity to control anyone but Link is a welcome change of pace. Which brings me right to…
Reasons I Dislike The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker
5. Link’s Character Design
The topic of the graphics of this game has been beaten to death already, but, I’m sorry, I think Link is kind of ugly looking. Most of the game looks good, but Link does not. And since Link’s the character you see most often, I think this is a (minor) drawback.
It’s strange, because the hand-drawn pictures of Link in the manual and promotional material all look good. I mean, I have no problem with them. If Link in the game looked exactly like Link in those pictures, I’d be happy. Unfortunately, something got lost in translation from the concept art to the character design, and that’s just too bad.
6. Using the Wind Waker
One thing in this game that kind of bothered me was the Wind Waker itself. The Wind Waker had semi-complex controls, involving use of the C-stick to keep time while using the other stick to hit the proper notes. That’s more complicated than it needs to be, given the fact that the songs you play are simple melodies like “Left, right, down.” More than once, because of the Wind Waker’s controls, I had to try four or five times before I played a song correctly. Fie on the Wind Waker’s controls, I say.
7. Character Distribution
It looks like Link is about to kiss his friend Medli in this picture, doesn’t it? Huh? Doesn’t it? Reminds me of the time that I went to the island of bird-girls and had some romantic (but mostly freaky) adventures. But that’s a story for another column.
There were a lot of characters in Ocarina of Time. Right off the top of my head, I’ll name all of them that I can remember: Saria, Mido, Malon, Talon, Ingo, Dampe, Zelda, Impa, Ruto, Darunia, Sheik, Ganondorf, Nabooru, and a bunch of unnamed characters like the Windmill Guy, Little Boy in the Graveyard, Cucco Woman, and the Rabbit Runner.
Now, I’ll name all the Wind Waker characters I can remember off the top of my head: King of Lions, Aryll, Link’s Grandmother, Tingle, and the Pirate Leader. Do you see a difference between this list and the previous one? Clearly, I have a better time remembering characters from Ocarina of Time, even though I played it years before Wind Waker.
Why is that, you wonder? Simple: In Ocarina of Time, the characters were spread out somewhat evenly thoughout the eight or so different sections of the game. But in Wind Waker, the characters are NOT spread out evenly though the game; out of the forty-nine islands in the game, only three of them have populated towns. That’s three out of forty-nine, or about 5%. I think this decision to spread out the characters like that hurt the game’s overall quality.
Tingle is not a popular Zelda character in the U.S. (people like him more in Europe and Japan). People say he’s ugly, stupid, and needs to die. I’m not sure about that, but I am sure that I don’t like him in this game.
For those of you who haven’t played Wind Waker, in this game, Link saves Tingle from prison. Tingle thanks Link, and then returns his kindness by gouging Link for several thousand rupees on a overly long treasure hunt. Finding all the money to pay Tingle is not fun, and hunting for the treasure maps is not much fun, either. That whole section of the game is pretty much devoid of fun, mostly thanks to Tingle, the money-hungry jerk.
9. Sailing is Boring
The way this game is set up, you spend a LOT of time sailing. It’s an awful lot of time spent doing nothing but sailing. It gets pretty boring, really fast. Wikipedia says that the main point critics raise is how the sailing is overly tedious, and I agree with them 100%.
10. The Pirate’s “Get Across the Room” Challenge
At the beginning of the game, a pirate treats you to a timed “get across the room” challenge that you have to win in order to beat the game. I don’t know if the controls for swinging are faulty, or if I just suck at using them for some reason, but I had to retake the challenge over and over again for about twenty minutes before I could get it right.
Then, later on in the game, you have to do the challenge again, only it’s even harder than before. Well, crap, it was already hard enough the first time! I didn’t like doing that part of the game much at all.
Special Bonus Reason: 11. Link’s Victory Dance
For some reason, I really hate Link’s stupid “I just killed a boss!” victory dance. Does anybody else feel that way, or is it just me?
Well, that’s it for this month, everyone! Next month, I’ll probably either discuss Twilight Princess, or talk about those adventures on bird-girl island I mentioned in this article. Who knows? See you later, everyone!