Seeing as how on October 4th 2013 Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker HD is going to be re-released for the Wii U, I have decided that I shall review the GameCube version. Not only am I anticipating the coming of a ‘new’ game, but I am also attempting to look at ‘retro’ gaming. Although technically the GameCube is not that retro, but who cares as it sort of links in (if you have a problem with this then seriously… shhhh)
Like most Zelda games, the storyline is simple. You are the hero, you must save the land, and to save the land you must save the Princess and defeat the evil forces that are of course caused by the evil Ganondorf. However, this time things are a little different. Hyrule, seen in the game Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, has been flooded in an attempt to prevent evil getting hold of the sacred Triforce which can grant the wishes of whoever places their hand upon it.
Years after the flood and every species that survived have settled down on their own islands. You start as a 10-year-old boy who is being forced to dress as ‘The Hero of Time’. Whilst following the island of Outset’s traditions, you notice a bird has a girl in its talons and it is being followed by a pirate ship. After the bird is hit, it drops the girl in a forest on Outset island. You go to investigate and save the girl, no real surprise there. After saving her your sister gets kidnapped by the bird. You leave your grandmother behind and go on a pirate ship with the young girl. (The touching moment behind Link and his grandmother really makes your heart bleed. And as a result of leavin,g your grandmother falls ill and is stuck in her own nightmares.) You go to save your sister but fail. You then make friends with a talking boat and enjoy sailing around the land.
The GameCube version does take a while as there is a lot of sailing to do and the boat only goes so fast. As this is going to be a re-release, anything I say could spoil the game if you have never played it so…
Here is your warning, spoilers. If you have not played it I guess now would be the best time to stop reading. But to be honest, you are going to keep reading anyway because ‘No-one tells you what to do as you are such a strong, independent person who needs no man/woman’ even though you keep looking for someone. Well, I did warn you.
Basically, you are this Era’s Link. The hero of the Great Sea I guess, and after collecting certain things and gaining new skills and items, you find out that you must stop the evil of the world, as it is your destiny. The female pirate you saved at the beginning, Tetra, is actually the re-incarnation of the Princess Zelda. Your main mission, after saving your sister, is to save Zelda and the world from Evil.
The problem I have with this game is its cartoon look. Some people may enjoy it, but it is hard to feel the scary atmosphere it tries to create when it looks all cartoon-esque. The game is still a lot of fun, I am not trying to bad mouth it, it is just I am more about the non cartoon graphics, the non childish feel that can be seen in other games. I guess though it does sort of fit if you follow the Zelda Timeline.
Main gist of the Zelda Timeline is, during the time of Ocarina of Time, there is a split with three different possible results. One timeline follows the death of the Hero of Time at any point in the game, one timeline follows if the Hero of Time is successful but is returned to his childhood by Zelda, and the final timeline follows the Hero of Time being successful and being allowed to remain an Adult.
Seeing how you remained as an Adult, you eventually either died or just leave, resulting in no one being able to prevent the evil returning. As a result, Hyrule is then flooded and many, many, many moons after, the people have all settled and newer species of people are about and I guess you could say the cartoon look gives the feel of a new species of Hylians also being about.
Although it is not the best Zelda game, in my opinion at least, I am still glad it is getting a remake with better graphics and some improvements. The main improvement will be the faster sailing speed as it will make the boring task of sailing from one destination to the next less, well, boring. The game is still a classic and, I feel, a key aspect of the Zelda world. I do recommend playing it, especially as it is getting a remake, but it does not affect the Timeline if you never get the chance to play it.