* AlternateCharacterInterpretation:
** Ganondorf: Irredeemable monster or WellIntentionedExtremist? King Daphnes: TheAtoner or a {{Jerkass}} using innocent children to restore his own honor? You decide.
** Tingle: Jolly, naive, fairy-obsessed individual who only wants to help you and become a fairy? Or is it all a hoax to cover his true nature as a greedy {{Jerkass}} who terrorizes and takes advantage of his brothers (and one guy who isn't related to him)?
* AmericansHateTingle: ''The Wind Waker'' isn't Tingle's [[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaMajorasMask first game]], but it is where his {{Hatedom}} was born, in good part because he plays an integral part in the least liked section of the game, charging outrageous sums to decode your Triforce Charts.
* AnimationAgeGhetto: This is the main reason why the artstyle has caused such a BrokenBase, especially when the game was first revealed. At the time, many fans feared that the ''Zelda'' franchise was going down in a more kid-friendly direction in general, which helped drive hype and anticipation for the [[RealIsBrown more "gritty" and "realistic"]] ''[[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaTwilightPrincess Twilight Princess]]''. Nowadays, ''Wind Waker''[='=]s artstyle is more widely appreciated due to people becoming aware of this phenomenon, and because fans now recognize that the ''Zelda'' franchise uses a different artstyle for every new game. Despite this, this reaction is one reason why many fans prefer other games in the series, as some of them prefer more "realistic" and "mature" artstyles in the first place.
* AuthorsSavingThrow:
** The Swift Sail[[note]]which is available as soon as Link can access the auction house and easily affordable with the first wallet[[/note]] and Triforce quest being cut down were both additions added to the HD Remake in order to cut back on the padding.
** The Figurine Collection quest is also far less time consuming by allowing the player to get the Picto Box Deluxe as early as first arriving at Windfall Island, allowing for 12 pictographs to be saved at once, adding an icon to note if a picto is suitable for a figure, and being able to turn all 12 (plus more if you have photos from Tingle Bottles to carry over as space is freed up) to the gallery at one time with all 12+ figures being crafted at once over the course of a single night.
* BaseBreakingCharacter: Link. To some, he's the best Link ever for being {{Adorkable}} and more of an UnchosenOne than a destined hero. He has character flaws for the first time, and the new graphical engine allows him to emote. On the other hand, some dislike him for just this reason--feeling that it reduces the role of Link to just any schmuck who stumbles into it. While not nearly as divisive as Samus, some have similarly argued that giving Link a personality took away from his mystique. A third group of fans find "Toon Link" to be a stupid concept altogether, and have hated the character and his design since they were first revealed.
* BrokenBase:
** The CelShading art-style caused this. It all started with this game, and to this day, debates rage about which style is better.
** It was all revisited when Nintendo announced a UsefulNotes/WiiU updated HD rerelease with a [[http://static.thegamershub.net/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/WindWaker-HD-Comparison-1.png somewhat different aesthetic style]], with complaints about the excessive use of bloom in the rerelease. Some of the base is also upset this game is being remade first over ''Majora's Mask''.
** And continuing the trend, there have been some disputes over [[http://www.amazon.com/The-Legend-Zelda-nintendo-wii-u/dp/B002I0GF72 the game reportedly being priced at full retail price]], which many claim is unreasonable for a 10 year old rerelease. Considering that this was merely intended as a 'stop-gap' to buy time for the actual next installment in the series, this complaint is of course not without merit.
** Is the sailing a wonderful, meditative way to pass the time, or annoying filler?
** Tetra's skin tone. Tetra is AmbiguouslyBrown but she turns lighter when [[spoiler:she becomes Zelda.]] This has broken fans into people who wanted an AmbiguouslyBrown [[spoiler:Zelda]] and felt the change was unneeded, and those who don't care or think Tetra's skin tone is just a tan. It doesn't help that [[WhatCouldHaveBeen early concept art]] shows Tetra with dark skin as [[spoiler:Zelda]].
* BestBossEver: The final fight against Ganondorf is considered one of the best in the series, and it's certainly left its mark on later games - ''[[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaTwilightPrincess Twilight Princess]]'' and ''[[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaSkywardSword Skyward Sword]]'' both have epic sword duels with the BigBad, and ''[[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaSpiritTracks Spirit Tracks]]'' has Zelda with a bow helping you out. Ganondorf also gets finished in the most beautiful way possible: with a mighty leap, Link impales Ganondorf's forehead with the Master Sword, and Ganondorf turns to stone. The floodwaters that drown Hyrule for good bury him, as well.
* BreatherBoss: Gohdan, the guardian of the Tower of the Gods. For a mid-game boss he's very easy to begin with, only having one real attack that you get plenty of warning of in advance and is fairly easy to avoid. Plus, he'll even snort out extra arrows and bombs from his nostrils if you run out of them during the fight. This is justified since the Tower of the Gods is a proving grounds for the hero's courage, so it makes sense for the boss fight to be easier than you might expect. He's testing your heart, not your aim.
* ContestedSequel: Before it was VindicatedByHistory, the game had a big share of detractors when it first came out. The most popular reason for it was how very different it was from the previous ''Zelda'' games, specially ''[[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaOcarinaOfTime Ocarina of Time]]''. Inside the more devoted fanbase, however, the biggest complains were rather the SequelDifficultyDrop, which was way too excessive for most veteran fans, and the sailing system, which was largely considered a ScrappyMechanic. Fixing these two issues was one of the main reasons why the HD remaster was so well-received, although there's still debate on how well it holds up compared to ''Ocarina of Time'', especially between older vs. newer fans.
* CriticalDissonance: Critics seemed to like it, but fans had significantly [[BrokenBase different responses]].
* DisappointingLastLevel: The quest for the Triforce shards. Especially if you are already bored of [[{{Padding}} sailing]].
* DiscOneNuke:
** The Tingle Tuner gives you a steady supply of healing potions, temporary invincibility ''and'' the ability to walk on air(reaching areas and items you normally wouldn't have access to) long before you get the respective items that these are based off of. For a fee, of course, but given the myriad of ways to get rupees in this game...
** The Grappling Hook. Using it on enemies lets you steal their treasures without even having to defeat them. It's as easy as going in and out of a room, pilfering, and repeat, and the first time always nets you a spoil, with the Skull Necklaces and Joy Pendents earning you 5 Rupees a pop.
* EarWorm:
** Chances are you are going to have the Great Sea overworld theme stuck in your head by the end of the game.
** The Pirates theme is pretty catchy too.
* EnsembleDarkhorse:
** Medli is considered quite the fan favorite.
** Some have taken a liking to Aryll for being the only sibling that any incarnation of Link has ever had.
** Jahalla, for being a humorous and light-hearted boss in contrast to everything else in his temple.
* FirstInstallmentWins: Despite ''The Wind Waker'''s status as a ContestedSequel (though it was eventually VindicatedByHistory and the Wii U remake was critically acclaimed), the consensus is that both subsequent 'Toon Link' games, ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaPhantomHourglass'' and ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaSpiritTracks'', failed to surpass its memorable storyline or match the level of its popularity.
* GameBreaker:
** The Elixir Soup. No doubt the best soup/potion in the entire ''series''. Free, two servings per bottle [[note]]''Supposedly''; see GoodBadBugs below[[/note]], and your strength is doubled so long as you don't take damage. Pair it with the magic armor (which prevents damage through a slow drain of magic power) and watch the difficulty of boss fights disappear.
** The Magic Armor itself becomes this the UpdatedRerelease, where as opposed to draining magic, it drains Rupees, and unlike the Magic Armor in ''[[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaTwilightPrincess Twilight Princess]]'', Link only loses Rupees when he gets hit as opposed to losing them steadily. Combined with ''The Wind Waker'' having one of the largest wallets in the series allowing for 5000 rupees, this makes him nearly invincible.
** Parrying. [[ItsEasySoItSucks It virtually cripples the challenge of combat.]] It's automatic and easy to execute, even for a quick-time event. None of the regular humanoid enemies or mooks can withstand it. The only sword combatants that offer any kind of meaningful resistance are the four Darknuts you face in the Savage Labyrinth.
* GoodBadBugs: Elixir Soup. In the GCN version, make sure you have a whole bottle of soup (i.e. 2 servings). You can infinitely replenish the soup if you pause the game while pressing the button for the soup. Then switch out the soup with an empty bottle. If done right, your "empty bottle" will now have been filled with half a bottle of soup. This seems to have been removed on the HD version.
* GeniusBonus: ''The Wind Waker'' actually provides the names of ''two'' kings of Hyrule. [[spoiler: Not only Daphnes, but "Nohansen" appears to be a variant on the patronym meaning "Son of Nohan." This would make him Daphnes' father and, presumably, his predecessor as king.]]
* HarsherInHindsight: This quote from Carlov, referring in-game to the loss of members in the Nintendo Gallery, but retroactively becoming meaningful for the controversial (even to this day) transition between the UsefulNotes/NintendoGameCube and the UsefulNotes/{{Wii}}, as well as between the GameBoyAdvance and the NintendoDS:
--> '''Carlov:''' Ah, well, no worries one way or the other. We've been losing members due to our lack of "gimmicky attractions"...but we don't worry. True fans know we're the coolest.
* HilariousInHindsight: In the final battle [[spoiler:Tetra apologizes for oversleeping]]. [[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaSkywardSword Some things really don't change over the incarnations]].
* HypeBacklash: Inevitable, given that this is one of the more widely praised ''Zelda'' games in the fandom. In particular, some ''Twilight Princess'' fans are sick of the prevailing opinion that ''Wind Waker'' is a SacredCow while ''Twilight Princess'' is an {{Acceptable Target|s}} despite both games getting similar critical praise.
* ItWasHisSled:
** [[spoiler:Tetra is Princess Zelda]]. They [[LateArrivalSpoiler make sure you know this]] in future adult timeline games.
** [[spoiler:Hyrule was sealed by a GreatFlood prior to the events of the game. It is destroyed for good at the end.]]
* ItsEasySoItSucks: After the game's release, this became the biggest complaint about the game along with the sailing system. The HD re-release addressed this too, with a Hero Mode similar to that seen in ''[[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaSkywardSword Skyward Sword]]''. With Link taking double damage and no healing items besides fairies and potions, this game potentially becomes one of the toughest in the series (at least the combat, since the dungeons and puzzles were unchanged, and they are very easy to figure out compared to most of the other entries in the series).
* ItsTheSameNowItSucks: Although ''[[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaMajorasMask previous]]'' [[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaOracleGames installments]] got this problem too to different degrees, ''The Wind Waker'' was the game that definitely established this DoubleStandard, not only among fans, but among critics.
** Those who complain "It's the same" argue that the gameplay is basically ''[[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaOcarinaOfTime Ocarina of Time]]'' all over again with a dull "oversea", instead of an actual "overworld". For these people, the art style change was nothing but a mere "disguise".
** On a different note, the news that the Wii U HD port won't make any significant changes to the game beyond the graphic update and making the sailing system a little bit more agile made some fans upset. Especially the lost opportunity of playing the two dungeons that supposedly were scrapped during the development of the original game due to time constraints.
* MemeticBadass: Link, and not without basis. The kid is under 13 yet he can use a hammer twice his size to kill a man-eating bird 20 times his size. Not to mention [[Music/TheLonelyIsland he's on a boat]].
* MemeticMutation:
** For obvious reasons, there's a lot of Videos on Website/YouTube, featuring this game and Music/TheLonelyIsland's 2009 song "[[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin I'm On a Boat]]". There's a ''[[http://www.levelupstudios.com/on-a-boat t-shirt]]'', too, courtesy of Ninja Bot.
** [[Webcomic/{{Hiimdaisy}} The King of Hyrule is a Jerk]]
** The UsefulNotes/WiiU remake added the ability to take "selfies" of Link. [[https://twitter.com/Linkstagram The internet immediately ran with this.]]
** The man who runs the Fleet Game.
-->"Spleeesh." "Ka-BOOM!"
** [[WhatDoYouMeanItWasntMadeOnDrugs "There's like this castle in a bubble on the ocean floor. I went there on my talking dragon boat."]]
* {{Moe}}: Aryll, Link, and Tetra, among other examples.
* MostAnnoyingSound:
** The Miniblins and the Wizzrobes when they teletransport.
** Link's scream when he jumps into a secret cave. Get ready to hear it a lot when you take on the Savage Labyrinth.
** A lot of people absolutely hate the noise Aryll makes at the beginning of the game when she's trying to find her brother.
** The Kargarocs' incessant buzzing/bleating.
** Pressing the A button on the Game Boy Advance when using the Tingle Tuner causes Tingle to scream "Heeeeeey!" while the screen zooms in on Tingle's cursor.
** The Bubbles' laugh when they manage to hit you. It gets extra annoyance points if it was a blue Bubble, whose curse prevents you from using your weapons for a while.
* {{Padding}}: All of the sailing, including the reassembly of the Triforce of Courage and gathering enough rupees for Tingle to translate the maps leading to the Triforce shards. The Wii U HD rerelease made an effort to fix the Triforce shard quest. For five of the eight Triforce Shards, you will no longer have to search for the maps, as they're right where the maps used to be. Also, they added a new "Swift Sail", which will allow you to travel at top speed, regardless of what direction the wind is facing, so you [[AntiFrustrationFeatures don't constantly have to realign the wind just to go to the right place]].
* SacredCow: A bizarre example; while ''The Wind Waker'' has its share of fans and detractors, many of its fans will adamantly defend it from criticism, more than the fanbases for other ''Zelda'' games. Some more vocal/zealous fans will even go as far as to take it for granted that anyone who plays the game will love it, claim that it's ''objectively'' better than other games in the series, and/or attack people who don't outright ''praise'' the game and its artstyle or who prefer its [[FandomRivalry fandom rival]] ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaTwilightPrincess''.
* SpiritualAdaptation: An OceanPunk fantasy of an archipelago of islands that need to be traversed by ships, a boat that can be sailed by using magic to power the wind, and a heavy focus on exploration and voyage to develop WorldBuilding, this is as close as you can get to Literature/AWizardOfEarthsea.
* TaintedByThePreview: The first reaction after the announcement of the game. Part of it was because of a [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wBtAvX4Pkyk tech demo]] based on ''[[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaOcarinaOfTime Ocarina of Time]]'' that was shown at at previous expo, which showed Link and Ganondorf in gorgeous graphics ([[TechnologyMarchesOn for its time]]). As a result, the first trailer of this game made some people feel cheated.
* ThatOneBoss:
** The second boss of the game, Kalle Demos. Just the item needed to beat the boss alone makes it ThatOneBoss due to how difficult the camera is to move, the fact that it only targets 5 things at a time (and Kalle Demos has 20 vines the player has to cut), and that it targets anything within its targeting distance, meaning you can be backed up against the arena wall and it'll still target vines on the other side of Kalle. It doesn't help that the boss's vines reattatch after a short amount of time, Kalle Demos's pod is so large the player may end up hitting that if their first vine targeted was a vine on the other side of the boss, and it requires every single vine to be cut, meaning in the time it takes to target and get the boomerang to the last vine other vines the player had previously cut may have started coming back.
** The third stage of Puppet Ganon. After an entire game of boss fights that were interesting and visually engaging but not particularly hard, and enemies that constantly dropped generous supplies of needed items, the [[spoiler:worm form that rockets around the room while you try in vain to shoot its butt with an arrow]], fought in a room that is not particularly forgiving with its arrow or magic drops, can feel punishingly difficult.
* ThatOneLevel:
** The Wind Temple is largely seen as this due to many irritating factors, but tends to be saved because its boss is so fun to fight.
** There's one island in particular seen during the hated Triforce shard padding. It requires the player to use the Hyoi Pear (Bait Bag item that lets you control seagulls) to ''slowly'' fly up to five or six spires and hit switches on their peaks, all while dodging the relentless, much faster Kargaroks that perch there. While one or two can be hit with arrows, doing this requires ''extreme'' accuracy and most of them are simply too far away, forcing the player to do it the hard way. And yes, if you leave to go buy more pears, the switches reset.
* ThatOneSidequest:
** The Nintendo Gallery requires you to get a Deluxe Picto Box (Only accessible past a certain part of the game), which can only carry three pictures at a time, and get a full-bodied, front shot picture of every single character in the game. This includes bosses. And enemies. Ever tried to take a decent picture of something when it's trying to kill you? And the Red Wizzrobe only appears in one dungeon, moves around, and ''summons'' more baddies to attack you! And was it mentioned you have to wait a full day for every single figurine to be made? Oh, and the characters that you can't take a picture of (Great Fairies, sage spirits, etc.)? You have to buy them. According to the guide, there are 134 in total. That's 268 times you have to play the song of passing. Have fun. It's been fortunately improved in the HD rerelease, where a tiny "Good!" marker is added whenever you get a picture that will be acceptable for Carlov to turn into a figurine, and he can take 12 pictures a day instead of just one. Also, you can get pictographs from bottles on Miiverse, but if you miss the ones that can be LostForever, [[{{LuckBasedMission}} it'll probably take a LONG time to get the ones you'll need]].
** Trying to sort 25 letters. Twice. On Dragon Roost Island, to secure a heart piece, the player must quickly sort a letter into one of six spots, a 3x2 grid. There is only 30 seconds to do it. The real problem is how much time it can take to have to move from one side to the other. The tenths of seconds wasted more often than not will cause a failure.
* TheyChangedItNowItSucks:
** The biggest fan complaint about the game among those who think "They changed it" is that it was too much of a departure from ''[[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaOcarinaOfTime Ocarina of Time]]'', specially aesthetic wise. [[ItsEasySoItSucks The lower difficulty]] compared to its predecessors and [[ScrappyMechanic the sailing system]] were also considered major deal brakers.
** Some fans disliked the decision to shorten the quest for the Triforce Charts/Shards in the HD port, feeling that the sheer length of the quest was part of the original game's charm.
* TheyWastedAPerfectlyGoodCharacter: Tetra's pirate crew are set up as a diverse team of supporting character who will remain prominent throughout the game, but their number of appearances can be counted on one hand and of them only Gonzo and Nico really do anything.
* UncannyValley: From the UsefulNotes/WiiU remaster screenshots, the realistic lighting mixed with the cel-shading makes the characters look unnervingly doll-like instead of actual characters. During E3 2013 the lighting was toned down, so the characters don't look doll-like anymore.
* VindicatedByHistory:
** Upon release, this game was instantly lost to the tides of ''[[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaOcarinaOfTime Ocarina of Time]]'' nostalgia. Complaints were either about the cel-shaded graphical style, the [[SequelDifficultyDrop drop in difficulty compared to its predecessors]], the padding sailing system (specifially during the Triforce of Courage quest), or a combination between the three. In later years, popularity polls frequently place it among the top five favorite games in the franchise (if not all Console Generation 6) and the art style has been hailed as a refreshing experience from other [[RealIsBrown "brown"]] games like its successor ''[[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaTwilightPrincess Twilight Princess]]'' (if not all Console Generation 7). The successful HD remaster cemented all of this even further, specially since it addressed the issues about difficulty with Hero Mode, and the sailing system with the swift sail.
** This incarnation of Link also fell into this. After Link was an adult in [[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaOcarinaOfTime Ocarina of Time]] and [[VideoGame/SuperSmashBros the first two Super Smash Bros]], there were many fans displeased upon release that the new Link was once again a little kid. He was even derisively referred to as Celda. Years later, he's been praised as one of the better incarnations for having [[DorkKnight a more expressive personality]] despite being [[TheSilentBob a silent protagonist.]] Nintendo themselves have even adapted these traits into [[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaSkywardSword future]] [[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaBreathOfTheWild games.]]
* VisualEffectsOfAwesome: The cel-shaded art style is very pretty, and this is one of the most expressive versions of Link out there. It's even better in the HD version. On top of that, the original GameCube release has aged like a fine wine (as opposed to more "realistic" titles, which tend to age not as well).
* TheWoobie: Link's sweet old Grandma. Poor lady breaks down sobbing after her granddaughter is kidnapped, and when you come back to Outset Island, she's literally sick with worry over Link and Aryll. Just the music that plays in these scenes qualifies as a TearJerker. You cure her with a fairy, after which she realizes how brave Link is for going out to save his sister, and decides [[IronWoobie she's going to be strong]] [[CrowningMomentOfHeartwarming just like her grandchildren]]. The Elixir Soup she starts making (for free) after you cure her, which is the most powerful healing item in the game with added QuadDamage effects, doesn't hurt either.
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