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The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker

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The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker
ゼルダの伝説 風のタクト
Zeruda no Densetsu: Kaze no Takuto
Zelda WW NACover.jpg
Cover artwork of The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker
Developer(s): Nintendo EAD
Publisher(s): Nintendo
Platform: Nintendo GameCube
Category: Action-adventure
Players: 1
Predecessor: The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past & Four Swords
Successor: The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Adventures
Release dates
N. America: March 24, 2003
Japan: December 13, 2002
Europe: May 2, 2003
Australia: May 7, 2003
PEGI: 7+ (re-releases)
USK: 6
ACB: G8+
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The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker is the tenth game in the The Legend of Zelda, released on the Nintendo GameCube in 2003. The Wind Waker represents a major departure from the style of the previous two games, Ocarina of Time and Majora's Mask. The characters and world of The Wind Waker are rendered with a cel-shaded style. This drew much criticism from fans, and likely resulted in the darker tone that The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess took afterward.

The Wind Waker was included as part of various system bundles in various regions.


An Evil Wind is Rising

Legend has it that whenever evil has appeared, a hero named Link has risen to defeat it. The legend continues on the surface of a great and mysterious sea as Link sets off on his most epic and awe-inspiring adventure yet. Aided by a magical conductor's baton called the Wind Waker, he will face unimaginable monsters, explore puzzling dungeons, and meet a cast of unforgettable characters as he searches for his kidnapped sister.

Immerse yourself in a world unlike anything you've ever seen as you sail across a vast, unexplored ocean.
Master a magical conductor's baton known as the Wind Waker to control the wind and much more!
Connect to a pal's Game Boy® Advance and play cooperatively–get hints, uncover secrets, and get help in battle!
Take on hoards of incredibly animated enemies as you search through riddle-filled dungeons.
Use new items like the Grappling Hook and Deku Leaf to take the fight to spectacular, massive bosses.


The beginning of the game gives a recap of ending of The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, stating that, according to legend, the Hero of Time defeated evil and sealed it away. However, the evil later freed itself and made another attempt at the Triforce, and while the people hoped the Hero of Time would come to stop the evil again, he never did. The people then prayed to the goddesses to help them, and were instructed by them to flee to the mountaintops while they flooded the kingdom, sealing it at the bottom of the newly-created sea.

Centuries later, on Outset Island, a young boy named Link is given the clothes of the Hero of Time on his birthday, as per tradition for boys coming of age. However, a giant bird appears, dropping a girl onto the island's forest. Link rescues her and she reveals herself to be a pirate named Tetra, but afterward his sister Aryll is taken by the bird. Link travels to the Forsaken Fortress with the pirates and sneaks to where his sister is being held, but he is subsequently thrown out afterward. He wakes up to find himself on a talking boat, the King of Red Lions, who tells Link that he must help in a quest to save not only Link's sister but also the Great Sea from the ancient evil which has returned.


The gameplay mechanics of The Wind Waker are standard to the are greatly similar to those of its predecessors, Ocarina of Time and Majora's Mask. Many of the items are standard to the series, though the vast ocean overworld is a great departure from the land-based overworlds of all The Legend of Zelda games before it, and allows for different uses for some items between land and sea combat. The King of Red Lions sails faster when sailing in the direction the wind is blowing, which can be changed with the Wind Waker. The player can also upgrade their boat with a cannon for combat and a crane arm to discover hidden treasure.

The game's difference in style allowed the developers to make for easier hints in dungeons, as Link can be seen to look at objects around him that are intriguing, such as unlit torches and weapons dropped by enemies. This enhancement carried on into Twilight Princess, though it is far less noticeable with the more realistic graphics.

By freeing Tingle from his cell on Windfall Island, the player receives an item called the Tingle Tuner. By connecting a Game Boy Advance system while playing via a Nintendo GameCube – Game Boy Advance Game Link Cable, the player can receive assistance from Tingle using the Game Boy Advance screen.

Technical details

Technical details
Media: Nintendo GameCube Game Disc
Save data size: 12 blocks
Supported features: Progressive scan, Nintendo GameCube – Game Boy Advance Game Link Cable
Input / compatible controllers: Nintendo GameCube Controller

Other releases

Title Cover art Platform Release date(s) Notes
The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker Nintendo GameCube (Player's Choice) 2004 A re-release of the game under the Player's Choice line.
The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker / Metroid Prime Nintendo GameCube 2005 Released exclusively as part of a Nintendo GameCube bundle in North America, a two-disc game set including a copy of both this game and Metroid Prime.
The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD WWHD NA box.jpg Wii U 2013 A high-definition remake for the Wii U, including several new features.

External links

The Legend of Zelda series logo
Main series

The Legend of Zelda (Classic NES Series) • The Adventure of Link (Classic NES Series) • A Link to the Past • Link's Awakening (DX • Nintendo Switch) • Ocarina of Time (Master Quest • 3D) • Majora's Mask (3D) • Oracle of Ages and Oracle of Seasons • The Wind Waker (HD) • Four Swords (Anniversary Edition) • Four Swords Adventures • The Minish Cap • Twilight Princess (HD) • Phantom Hourglass • Spirit Tracks • Skyward Sword (HD) • A Link Between Worlds • Tri Force Heroes • Breath of the Wild • Tears of the Kingdom • Echoes of Wisdom

Other games
BS-X games BS The Legend of Zelda • The Ancient Stone Tablets • Triforce of the Gods
Tingle games Freshly-Picked Tingle's Rosy Rupeeland • Ripened Tingle's Balloon Trip of Love • Tingle's Balloon Fight DS • Dekisugi Tingle Pack
Other games
Picross games Picross NP Vol. 5 • My Nintendo Picross: The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess
Unreleased games / demos Mystical Seed of Courage • Retro Studios prototype • Tingle horror game • Zelda HD Experience
The Legend of Zelda: Hyrule Historia • The Legend of Zelda: Art & Artifacts • The Legend of Zelda: Encyclopedia • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild Explorer's Guide
Related NIWA Wiki: Zelda Wiki icon English Zelda Wiki icon • Zeldapendium icon German Zeldapendium icon