Play Time: The time is not recorded in this game.
Where am I? After finishing all side quests in Windfall Island, I headed for the Dragon’s Island and completed the Dragon Roost Cavern. Doing so scored me Din’s Pearl. Good old Din, one of the three goddesses. I then headed to Forest Haven to see the Deku Tree and acquired Farore’s Pearl for completing the Forbidden Forest.
Gameplay advancements: The first proper dungeon was unique in several ways. The dungeon felt much more interactive than the rest of the series. Since this dungeon is entirely comprised of lava you can throw jugs of water into the lava and it forms little pieces of land for which you can travel across. There’s even a bridge you can destroy by going all Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom on it. Every time a new enemy shows up with a weapon, once you knock the weapon out of their hand you can then pick it up and use it. This level of interaction is a game changer and I’d love to see it come back.
Each weapon found is used extensively throughout both the dungeons and the overworld, once you get to land that is. For example, the Deku Leaf can be used to glide from high locations to areas that would be otherwise unreachable. It also causes huge poofs of air to be hurdled towards whatever you desire. Sometimes there are piles of leaves scattered around that once you use the leaf on them, there are hidden goodies underneath. The grappling hook is another example. You use it not only to search for treasure while on the boat, but also in every area you stumble across to reach far off areas. Twilight Princess was missing this kind of focus on items and weapons.
Not only are the environments and enemies more alive but Link also interacts with them in different ways. A good example comes in the form of a parry attack. As enemies are about to strike, pressing the A button will cause Link to parry their attack with a stronger and unblockable counter attack. It’s awesome and works great. In fact if my memory is correct you must do this while fighting Ganon at the very end of the game or you can’t beat him.
A lot of people have said Wind Waker will always been known as the most shocking Zelda ever, but we should all start to focus more on what it did for the series in terms of improving and advancing gameplay and less on how it looked compared to a tech demo.
Favorite weapon thus far: My favorite weapons right now are the grappling hook, boomerang, and the Tingle Tuner. Say what now, the Tingle Tuner?! I know, crazy, but the tuner works quite well. Being able to use the GBA screen to see hidden secrets not otherwise available is pretty awesome. It’s also hilarious when Tingle starts talking to himself trying to help you find secret. I’ve already scored two of the five missing single statues, although I wish there was some way to see it in my inventory on the TV, and not just on the GBA. Other than that, it’s an excellent addition to the series and I’m sure the Wii U Zelda will make use of something similar.
The Deku Leaf is also extremely useful, but I can’t just list off every weapon I obtain can I?
Plot Points: Surprisingly there hasn’t been very much story. Something was bugging the big dragon on top of the mountain on Dragon Island, and I entered Dragon Roost Cavern and slayed the evil Gohma. For doing this I acquired Din’s Pearl, but there was no real information revealed beyond that Ganon’s reach is now felt all over the Great Sea. I then headed for the Great Deku Tree. When Link first arrived the Deku Tree started to speak in Hylian and realized Link didn’t know how to speak the language. The Deku Tree said once he saw the green clothes he thought Link was someone else from a long, long time ago. He says that Ganon has returned and that only with the power of the three pearls will Link be able to stop him.
At this point Link meets the tree-dwellers called the Koroks, which used to be in human form many years ago before the flood. They were the children of the Deku Tree. Could these be the Kokiri? It’s implied they’re one and the same. Once I rescued one of the missing Koroks I was awarded Farore’s Pearl. Only one more to go and then it’s off to face Ganon…or is it ;)
Moving the series forward: I’d like to see the same level of interactive dungeons featured in this game used in the series moving forward. Almost every enemy felt much more alive here, and the same is true for the environments. It’s all thanks to the cel-shaded graphics, which hide the rougher edges. I really didn’t remember the game looking as sharp and detailed as it does. Naturally it suffers from being played on an HDTV, but it’s still quite impressive just the same.
To locate all installments in this series: http://www.projectcoe.com/category/hands-on/legendary-journey