Fixing Zelda Wind Waker

So Wind Waker is coming to the WiiU in HD. And I think this would be the perfect opportunity for Nintendo to fix the flaws of the game. This would make it the best 3D Zelda up to date. And it’s not even a lot of work.

First of all, let’s discuss what I think are the flaws and where they come from. Back in the GameCube era, the system was not selling well. So Nintendo decided to release Mario Sunshine and Wind Waker. The problem was, both games neede d more development time. While Mario Sunshine could have used a few months more to fix some bugs and gameplay weakness, Wind Waker could easily have used another year.

As we know now, they cut two dungeons and at least two treasure islands from the game. So they added that tedious triforce quest to the game to make it longer.  Furthermore, a few unfinished levels were patched up and released into the game. The result are some lackluster times within the game and of course that long, expensive, annoying Tingle overusing quest where you have to find eight triforce charts, have Tingle decipher them for a ludricious price and then go out and find the triforce pieces.

Now how to fix that for the HD re-release? Well, simply enough: I doubt Nintendo will put in the dungeons they cut. But they don’t have to. All theyhave to do is pace the game better and polish the levels that lack a little. This is how to do it:

  1. Make the Triforce Quest available from the start. Let the player find the first Triforce chart in the Forsaken Fortress, during the games stealth mission. Make sure the player can’t advance without the chart. That way you are introduced to the charts early on. You can’t read it, so you know you have to find a way to decipher it. When you meet tingle later on Windfall Island, he tells you he can decipher the chart. He looks at the chart you already have and deciphers it for a smaller price because you freed him and tells you to visit him if you have more charts.
    Now all you have to do is to make sure the player finds the charts throughout the game and regularly decipers them so that he picks p the triforce pieces. This is easily done by connecting storyevents to the triforce pieces. For example have the Tower of Gods not appear before the player has at least three triforce pieces. Then another piece each to open the next two dungeons. And Zelda kindapped after you have seven. That way you make sure the player only needs to find one more piece to enter anons Tower. Bam, pacing problem solved nicely. And it would be much more fun this way.
  2. Add in a few new secret locations/islands. Perhaps add in a Retro Island, a set of islands shaped like previous Nintendo consoles (to get back to the idea of GameCube island of the orgiginal that was cut) and add in back another island or two, just to get a new feel out of the game.
  3. Patch up the uninspired bland locations. There are a few instances where the game is just plain boring. The training room on the pirate ship for example. It is functional, yes, but also ugly. The submarines that look mostly the same. Some samey caves. Those things could easily be fixed. I am not talking graphics here but variance in gameplay. Graphics of course help
  4. Put the tingle tuner on the gamepad. This one is self explanatory really. The tingle tner was a good idea but the setup was horrible A simple tweak that could get a lot more out of the game. Especially if you follow point 1 and fix the triforce quest.
  5. Orchestrate the main sailing music. Orchestrated music is always a good thing, and where better than during the sailing time. You sail a lot in this game and orchestrated music would make that experience much nicer. Nintendo could also orchestrate the title theme just because its a good theme.

And that’s it already. If Nintendo would do those five things, Wind Waker would be the best 3D Zelda up to this point (since I can’t talk about future games obviously) and one of the best Zelda games ever (right behind A Link to the Past, this much I can say :p). Everybody would be happy. It would be a WiiU killer app (it already is, but still) and would statisfy newcomers and even those of us who know the game in and out 🙂

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