Why Wind Waker is My Favorite Zelda
I know, A Link to the Past is still a classic and a masterpiece. There’s no doubt that Ocarina of Time revolutionized the series and created many gaming standards we still use today. Obviously, Majora’s Mask was the darkest Zelda. Twilight Princess was a solid entry with the more “mature” look to it; and Skyward Sword’s motion controls put me in a new level of immersion. But of all the Zelda games, I put Wind Waker above the rest. Could it be nostalgia? That might be a part of it, but there are several reasons why Wind Waker is my favorite Zelda of all.
Reason 1: The Art Style
No, I’m not talking about “graphics.” The unique art style is the first thing you will notice about the game, and while it is the reason many people skipped the game, it is the very reason I was drawn in. The simplicity of the art style, as well as the vibrant colors, contributed to the beauty of the game. This also allowed for the developers to give the characters more facial expressions than before, and the game just felt like it had more life to it because of that.
Reason 2: The music
Wind Waker is one of those very few games where the music matches the setting perfectly, and all of the music is nothing short of phenomenal. From the very beginning with the story of the Hero of Time to that last fight, the music sets the mood and reels you in just as much, if not more, than the stunning visuals. I could write about it all day, but in the end it’s just something you have to experience for yourself.
Reason 3: The fights
I guess you could apply this reason to any Zelda game, but there was something about Wind Waker’s fights that were just more fun. I mean look at this picture right here. This giant bird gets his face stuck in the ground and what do you do? You walk up and smash it with your grim-reaper hammer of doom. That’s pretty disrespectful. That and this was the game where Link got the roll-into-the-back-slash attack, and the jump-over-and-smack-the helmet-off-of-the-armor-dude attack, along with other moves that were cool/ fun/ important to pull off.
Reason 4: The Exploration
2D Zelda games were known for their sense of big worlds and exploration, but when Ocarina of Time came out that feeling was kind of gone. Yes, there were nooks and crannies to explore, but it wasn’t the same. When Wind Waker came out with the giant ocean filled with islands both large and small, I couldn’t help myself; I had to go to every single one. The sense of adventure I got from discovering,exploring, and conquering each island was something that I haven’t got from a 3D Zelda game before. (Or ever since for that matter.)
Reason 5: The sliding puzzles
I guess I should say side quests in general, but this one had me playing for hours on end. I get to sit at home, on my beast of an island which I had to go through like three side quests to get, and what do I do? Play with puzzles like an eight year old kid. Even when I completed all of them, I still went back and did it again. I wish I knew why these were so entertaining for me….
Wind Waker was just a great game overall, but I think the true reason why I love it so much is that it was the perfect blend of both the 3D Zeldas and 2D Zeldas, which is what I feel like we should be getting more of. The other games may be classics, they may be revolutionary, and they may have more sales, but Wind Waker has the most heart.
And I got to stab Ganon in the face with the Master Sword. You don’t get to do that in every Zelda game. Gg, Ganon. Gg.