Posted on: March 30, 2023 Posted by: admin Comments: 0

When The Legend of Zelda was Released in 1987 it gave gamers a promise. That old man in the cave giving you a sword because it was dangerous to walk alone wasn’t just the beginning of the game. It was the promise of a new kind of interactive adventure, one where you weren’t bound by the limits placed on you by the developers. Where you were not led to specific places at specific points that someone else determined you should be. When Link came out of that cave, with that sword, you as the player were free to go in any direction you wanted. No longer bound, this adventure was indeed yours.

There were still limitations and you had to complete some dungeons before you could others but it offered a freedom that games didn’t have back then. The ability to explore where you wanted instead of where the game led you on the leash. But as the series goes on it has become more linear. The Legend of Zelda series still offered the greatest adventures, but after the first game, player freedom faded into collected experiences. Link’s adventures set paths and you went from dungeon one to dungeon two to dungeon three and so on. There were still some dungeons you could do wrong, but the exploration was no longer open and free. You were moved from area to area.

to enter Wind Waker. There’s a lot to be said for how the game popularized cel-shading (even though Zelda fans were so mad about it in the original that it bordered on parody) or how the game finally gave Ganondorf real depth as a villain with real, emotion-driven motivations. But the real victory of Wind Waker Thus she finally brought the original Zelda’s promise of freedom into the third dimension.

Wind Waker Begins much like the Zelda games that came before it. It’s a fairly linear adventure where you explore small areas collected on your way to a dungeon. But then something magical happens, after the second dungeon you get the ability to sail anywhere you want on the high seas. The main quest is still linear but now you have the freedom to explore the vast ocean of what was once Hyrule. You are free to explore the sea in any direction you want and go to any islands you want.

Image: Nintendo

The horizon is yours to explore Wind Waker, the original game’s promise of your own adventure, is finally back and in full 3D. You can go do the main quest or sail around and find optional islands, each of which has something worthwhile. It’s not the biggest game world, especially by today’s standards, but it’s filled with the same awe and wonder that the first Zelda had.

It may not come close to the breadth of Breath of the Wild But it was an important first step to get there. Gamers at the time could hardly handle a new art style, a complete overhaul of the Zelda formula they grew to love may not have gone over well. Wind Waker Brilliantly uses the familiar linear formula to make it easy for players to re-enact the original promise.

This is Zelda as people who have played Ocarina of time and Miura’s mask Knowledge but with the added freedom of the great sea. And what a freedom it was. The optional islands that inhabit the flooded Hyrule of Wind Waker They are not just an illusion of exploration. Each one offers something meaningful, whether it’s new characters to interact with, optional puzzles and dungeons, and great rewards to help Link on his journey.

The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker Link
Image: Nintendo

Open world games were very new in 2003, and yet Nintendo managed to create one that is almost perfect. It’s big enough to get a sense of adventure but compact enough that it never feels overwhelming. Breeze Walker Offering you a horizon that beckons you, the distant shadows of the islands beckon you to extend your adventure. It’s the same philosophy and design that Nintendo later used Breath of the Wild.

Wind Waker There was a radical Zelda game, from its new shadowy art style, and the deeper characterization of Ganon, but its most radical element was a return to the original promise of the series. It may not offer complete freedom and the series may have reverted to linearity afterwards but Wind Waker was an important step towards Breath of the Wild Finally fulfilling the original promise of Zelda in full. 20 years later it’s still a crazy adventure.

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