The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD
|The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD|
|Developer(s)|| Nintendo EAD|
Hexadrive (graphics reworking)
|Designer(s)||Eiji Aonuma (producer)|
|Release date|| Nintendo eShop|
September 20, 2013
|Platform(s)|| Wii U
The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD is a Wii U remake of the Nintendo GameCube game, The Wind Waker. It was officially announced via a Nintendo Direct webcast on January 23, 2013. Further information on the game was revealed at E3 2013 and in subsequent Nintendo Directs.
The Wind Waker HD first became available on September 20, 2013 as a digital download from the North American Nintendo eShop. The packaged version was released on September 26 in Japan, on October 4 in North America and Europe, and on October 5 in Australia. Two limited edition bundles of the game—one a special edition Wii U Deluxe Set, the other including an exclusive figurine of Ganondorf—were also released in North America and Europe.
The remake boasts more sophisticated graphics than the original. Some changes to gameplay were also made, the most significant of which include new items—namely the Swift Sail, the Tingle Bottle, and an improved Picto Box—as well as the addition of a Hero Mode.
Changes and Additions
Being a game for the Wii U, The Wind Waker HD runs at 1080p, compared to the original's 480p. The remake uses an enhanced version of the original game's cel-shading. It utilizes a full-fledged lighting and shadowing system that allows for more realistic and fuller lighting than the original. The remake also features bloom lighting to give a sense of "surreal realism". In low-light areas, the cel-shading gives way to a softer, more realistic shading system. The lighting from torches and other point light sources is now much softer and more realistic, and objects now subtly reflect the color of nearby light sources. Other shaders are used to increase the expressivity of characters. The textures used are the original high-resolution ones created during development of the original game, which used scaled-down versions of the textures to match the GameCube's hardware capabilities. 2D elements such as icons and the HUD are completely redrawn to match the style of the game's promotional artwork.
Heat wave effects in Dragon Roost Cavern now only appear when the fire fountains are spouting. When Link uses a Warp Jar, the transition effect is a shrinking/growing circle instead of the fade-out in the original game.
The shallow water in the boss room for Puppet Ganon, which in the original game did not reflect Link and some other objects, now reflects everything within the room.
Though all other graphical elements were updated for high-definition display, the 3D models and character animations of the original game were left untouched in the remake.
Music in The Wind Waker HD uses higher-quality instrument samples than the original game. The updated instruments are most noticeable in fanfares and some boss themes. Some music includes new instrumental tracks, creating a fuller sound. However, most sound effects are unchanged from the originals.
While the original game used Dolby (Surround) Pro Logic II, which encodes surround sound using analog stereo audio, the remake uses true digital surround sound encoded for and sent through HDMI.
The gameplay in The Wind Waker HD has been tuned up from the original to enhance the player experience. The infamous Triforce Shard Quest was shortened; five of the eight shards are now found directly without having to go through the process of decrypting a Triforce Chart. Certain item usage cutscenes, such as the cutscenes that play upon using the Grappling Hook to swing and salvage, have been shortened.
Some items, such as the Picto Box, have new and improved functions. The Picto Box can now store 12 pictographs as opposed to 3. Link is now able to take self-portraits while making any of nine facial expressions. Upon activating the Nintendo Gallery side quest, a mark appears in the upper left corner of pictographs that are eligible for figurine-making. In addition, Carlov can now sculpt up to 12 figurines per day, as opposed to only one. The gallery can thus be completed more rapidly and efficiently. All pictographs can be sent to other players in the Tingle Bottle. The receiving players can add the pictographs to their own Picto Boxes and use them to complete their Nintendo Gallery. Additionally, he no longer needs a Forest Firefly for the Deluxe Pictobox.
Sailing has also been improved with an upgrade to the sail, called the Swift Sail. The Swift Sail enables the King of Red Lions to sail faster by pressing the A button. In addition, it automatically changes the direction of the wind to the boat's heading. This replaces the function of the A button in the original game, which was used to stop the boat from sailing. The changed functions came about as a result of technical limitations in the original; the GameCube version loaded only a single "chunk" of ocean as Link traveled, requiring the slower sailing speed to mask loading times,  while the Wii U is capable of loading the entire Great Sea at once.
The Tingle Bottle, which allows players to randomly send messages to other players, replaces the Tingle Tuner in the original game. The Tingle Bottle is used to send messages in bottles, which will subsequently appear on the shores of other players' islands. The Tingle Statues, previously only accessible via the Tingle Tuner's Tingle Bombs, can now be obtained with regular Bombs. Knuckle now appears on Tingle Island after all five statues have been found.
Link's actions have been altered slightly. He is now capable of changing direction while swinging on a rope, without having to stop first. He can also move while in first-person view while aiming the Grappling Hook, Boomerang, Hero's Bow, and Hookshot. However, the shield button is no longer the "grab" button for draggable objects, and instead both the "grab" and "climb" commands are part of the primary action button, making block controls act like older games.
The game includes a Hero Mode similar to that of Skyward Sword, but is available upon the creation of a new save file. Recovery Hearts do not appear in Hero Mode, forcing Link to use potions to regain health. In addition, enemies deal double the amount of damage as in normal gameplay.
The game supports GamePad-only play, allowing for play without a television, as well as control with the Wii U Pro Controller, for those who prefer a traditional control scheme. During use of the Pro Controller, the GamePad can still be used as a map.
Other altered gameplay elements include:
- The starting Wallet holds 500 Rupees instead of 200.
- There are 5 additional Treasure Charts that replace the removed Triforce Charts.
- The Hero's Charm is no longer obtained from Mrs. Marie. It is found at the bottom of the Savage Labyrinth. The Piece of Heart that was there in the original game was moved to an underwater chest, found with Treasure Chart #46.
- Link does not get knocked out of the King of Red Lions when he takes damage at sea. (there are some exceptions, such as the explosive barrels)
- Enemies have less invincibility after being damaged, making it possible for certain sword swings to hit twice.
- Conducting with the Wind Waker does not begin until a direction is input.
- After being learned the first time, the preanimated version of Wind Waker melodies is only cued the first time the song is played since loading the game.
- While gliding, Deku Leaf shows a Tingle Tuner-like glowing symbol below Link's feet where he will land.
- While using the cannon, the projectile's trajectory is displayed on the screen, thereby making aiming the cannon much easier.
- Once obtained the first time, a Fishman's advice can be read from the Sea Chart.
- The Fishmen no longer change their location after feeding them bait.
- Pots which previously contained 3 of an item now only contain 2.
- Items dropped by enemies defeated at sea are automatically drawn towards Link.
- Forest Water lasts for 30 minutes instead of 20.
- The figurine of Knuckle is required to complete the Nintendo Gallery.
- When a Big Octo's eye is destroyed, it glows blue instead of turning black.
- Lenzo's Legendary Pictographs cost 150 Rupees instead of 50.
- The Forest Firefly is no longer needed to get the Deluxe Picto Box from Lenzo. He gives Link a Joy Pendant for bringing him one.
- Jump Attacking on top of the chest in the Ghost Ship no longer freezes the game.
- There's now a northwest wind in Hyrule.
- The Boomerang no longer hits Kalle Demos through the bulb when it's coming back to Link.
- Molgera's tongue no longer extends and his tongue can't be latched onto while he is flying towards Link.
Because The Wind Waker HD was developed for control with the Wii U GamePad, many control methods have been changed. The Inventory is now accessed through the GamePad, with no need to pause the game. Items can be equipped onto the three item slots by sliding the item icon on the GamePad to the slot icon at the top of the screen. This allows players to switch items quickly.
Some items, such as the Wind Waker, are permanently mapped to certain buttons as opposed to being equipped to the three item slots. This allows players to quickly and conveniently access these items, as they are key to playing the game.
First-person aiming of items is achieved through either the left analog stick or the GamePad's gyroscope. Link can also move in first-person mode, though item usage is limited to ranged weapons such as the Hero's Bow.
Some cutscenes where Link makes a facial expression silently have voices added to match the expressions. The ending cutscene and staff credits, which were prerendered in the original game, are now fully real-time cutscenes in the remake. However, the smooth transition effects from the original cutscenes (the first part of the ending cutscene transitions with a fade effect to the credits, which then fade to the second part of the cutscene) have been replaced by fade-to-white effects, presumably due to the difficulty of implementing the original cutscenes' transitions in real-time rendering.
The intro cutscene, which plays upon the start of a new file, is skippable, but no other cutscenes are.
The game was officially announced on January 23, 2013, in which only a couple of screenshots featuring Windfall Island, Link, Tetra, and Sue-Belle were shown. The decisions to remake the game came after the team decided to attempt to upscale the game's graphics to the Wii U's HD capabilities, after doing the same to the graphics of Twilight Princess in E3 2011. The game was also designed to decrease the gap in time between the release for Skyward Sword and Zelda Wii U.
Nintendo showed the first trailer for the game during its E3 Direct livestream on June 11, 2013, revealing the game in motion as well as some of the new features of the game.
- Main article: Speed Run
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Upon the game's early eShop release on September 20, a limited edition The Wind Waker HD Wii U Deluxe Set was also made available in North America at a suggested retail price of $299.99. The bundle includes a black Deluxe Wii U console with a Zelda-themed GamePad, a download code for a digital copy of The Wind Waker HD for use on the Nintendo eShop, and a download code for a digital copy of Hyrule Historia. The bundle was later released in Europe on the same day as the game's launch on October 4.
Another limited edition bundle, which includes a physical copy of the game and an exclusive Ganondorf figurine, was also released on October 4 in North America and Europe. In North America, the bundle is sold exclusively by the retailer GameStop at a suggested retail price of $54.99. In the United Kingdom, the bundle is a GAME exclusive. It is sold by multiple retailers elsewhere in Europe. 
Link and the King of Red Lions
Link at Windfall
Link at Forsaken Fortress
Battling the Helmaroc King
Sailing the King of Red Lions on the Great Sea
Infiltrating the Forsaken Fortress
Playing the "Wind's Requiem" at sea
E3 2013 Trailer
Hero Mode Trailer
North American Commercial
Shorter North American Commercial
- "That's right, Hexadrive primarily handled the uprezzing and texture swaps to pull the game into the HD era." — The Wind Waker HD Graphic Outsourced, Zelda U's Next?, Zelda Informer, published 2013 9-26, retrieved 2013-09-26.
- "The digital version of The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD will also launch on Sept. 20, while the packaged version launches Oct. 4 with distinctive gold-foil packaging, both at a suggested retail price of $49.99." — Nintendo Offers Unrivaled Value and Variety This Holiday Season with Lower Wii U Price, Zelda Wii U Bundle and New Nintendo 2DS Portable, Nintendo, published 2013-08-28, retrieved 2013-08-29.
- Nintendo Software Lineup, Nintendo.co.jp.
- The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD, Nintendo.co.uk.
- NINTENDO LAUNCHES ANIMAL CROSSING PLAZA ON Wii U, Nintendo.com.au.
- Wind Waker HD E3 2013 Trailer, .
- Wii U Developer Direct - The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD @E3 2013, .
- "Picto Box now saves up to twelve photos[.]" — Nathanial Rumphol-Janc, The Wind Waker HD Triforce Quest Details, FPS Mode, Hero Mode, Screenshots, and More!, Zelda Informer, published 2013-08-22.
- "Link can take self-photos[.]" — Nathanial Rumphol-Janc, The Wind Waker HD Triforce Quest Details, FPS Mode, Hero Mode, Screenshots, and More!, Zelda Informer, published 2013-08-22.
- "Players will also be able to post messages to Miiverse, which exist within the game world as notes in a bottle. Notes will then wash ashore in other players' games." — Andrew Goldfarb, E3 2013: Zelda Wind Waker HD Release Window Announced, IGN, published 2013-06-11.
- "Hero Mode can be selected right away, no completion of the game required[.]" — Nathanial Rumphol-Janc, The Wind Waker HD Triforce Quest Details, FPS Mode, Hero Mode, Screenshots, and More!, Zelda Informer, published 2013-08-22.
- "In Hero Mode, health is only regained through potions[.]" — Nathanial Rumphol-Janc, The Wind Waker HD Triforce Quest Details, FPS Mode, Hero Mode, Screenshots, and More!, Zelda Informer, published 2013-08-22.
- The Legend of Zelda The Wind Waker HD Hero Mode Trailer, .
- NeoGAF thread: Comprehensive List of Wind Waker HD Changes, .
- "You can go into a full First-Person mode and shoot arrows like in an FPS[.]" — Nathanial Rumphol-Janc, The Wind Waker HD Triforce Quest Details, FPS Mode, Hero Mode, Screenshots, and More!, Zelda Informer, published 2013-08-22.
- "After the Zelda team showed the Wii U Zelda demo that we called the Zelda HD Experience at E3 2011, we continued to experiment with converting past Zelda styles into HD as we continued to consider graphical styles for the new game." —Eiji Aonuma (Wii U Direct)
- The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD - Any%, ZeldaSpeedRuns.
- "A new limited-edition Wii U bundle featuring The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD launches on Sept. 20 at a suggested retail price of $299.99." — , Nintendo Press Room, published 2013-08-28, retrieved 2013-08-29.
- "The bundle includes a black Deluxe Wii U console; a GamePad controller adorned with gold lettering, a gold Hyrule crest and gold symbols from the game; a download code for the digital version of Hyrule Historia . . . and a code that can be used to download The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD from the Nintendo eShop immediately at no additional cost." — , Nintendo Press Room, published 2013-08-28, retrieved 2013-08-29.
- Zelda: Wind Waker HD Premium Pack confirmed for Europe, game also getting limited edition, Nintendo Everything, published 2013-08-28, retrieved 2013-10-05.
- "GameStop is also offering an exclusive Ganondorf figurine bundled with the packaged game at a suggested retail price of $54.99." — , Nintendo Press Room, published 2013-08-28, retrieved 2013-08-29.
- The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker GAME Exclusive Ganondorf Limited Edition, GAME, retrieved October 5, 2013.
|Names in Other Regions|
|Japanese||ゼルダの伝説 風のタクト HD (Zeruda no Densetsu Kaze no Takuto HD)|
|German||The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD|