Despite its art style, Wind Waker sure does have its share of horrors.
The Floormasters are skinny, black hands on arms that pop up when you walk close, latch onto your head, and drag you into a black abyss while making some kind of inhuman screech.
The sound file used for them is recycled from Majora's Mask. Not just the game, but the title artifact itself. Definitely adds to the creepy.
The Redeads. The scary part isn't that they're hard to fight. They're actually rather easy. It's that, if you try to shoot them from afar or from behind, they'll look up and stare into your fucking soul with their empty eyes... before turning back harmlessly to stare into the ground again. Pretty horrifying if you're standing less than two yards behind one of them.
The worst part of the Redeads is that there's just no way to defeat them without getting some kind of terrifying effect. Attack them directly and they let out a chilling scream that will haunt your dreams. Attack them from afar with bombs or arrows and they just recoil from the blast and go back to just sitting there, hunched over. The worst is if you use light to paralyze them first: their normally expressionless faces will twist into expressions of extreme agony, complete with a frowning mouthful of teeth.
In this game, they have one of the freakier screams. Some think it sounds like an elephant, but compared to Ocarina, where they let out a little shriek, in this game they let out a very loud banshee-like wail.
Also, as you can tell from the picture, these Redeads are more cartoonish, but they don't wear the masks that make the N64 Redeads faces look like coconuts.
The worst encounter with them would have to be under your Cabana. You need to go through this mini-dungeon of sorts to get a Triforce Chart. You have to drop into one area and... Two Redeads are waiting for you at the bottom. Dick move, game, dick move...
Don't use your hookshot on them, either, unless you really want a hug.
Molgera. Imagine walking into a massive room full of sand. Then you hear a flutey tune play, and sand starts pouring out of the ceiling, and the Triforce disappears under a sea of sand. Then an enormous fleshy worm-thing erupts out of the ground and starts flying around. The worst part is its mouth — the jaws are just whipping around like crazy — and the noise it makes. It sounds like a cross between a donkey braying loudly and an agonized scream. See it here.
It releases little baby versions of itself to fight you that lack the flappy jaw thing, but instead have blank, angry faces and a mouth full of human-like teeth.
On that note, remember Ocarina of Time? How you got to be friends with most of the Kokiri? Well, one of them was chosen to be the Sage, and Molgera ate him!
Sailing around the Great Sea and dealing with most of the enemies isn't a problem, with one exception: The seahats. They're bigger than Link and his boat combined and WILL chase you until you're out of the area, even if you clip their propellers! It's bad enough running into them in clear weather, but it's even more bone-chilling during a storm — day or night.
It doesn't help that unlike most enemies, these things WATCH you the entire time you're at sea. They're constantly facing you as you sail about. When you get onto an island, they pretty much guard it, waiting for you to sail again.
Heck, encountering anything at sea can be creepy in the right situation. The worst is probably when it's almost nighttime and the light is almost gone, but it's just bright enough for everything to feel positively EERIE. The fact that the enemy encounter music at sea is very different and much more unnerving than the normal music doesn't help one bit.
God, help you if your sailing through a storm during the night. The atmosphere turns really dark and ominous, which makes it hard to see. The music also starts to play faster. However, the scariest is after visiting Greatfish Isle for the first time, which sets off a never ending storm with eerie music playing until you find Jabun, and it's not the usual sailing music playing faster, but the tune actually sounds like the rain is going to flood the rest of the world if you don't hurry.
The Big Octos. No matter what, they are always terrifying. If you don't know the secret to finding them, they seem to COME OUT OF NOWHERE AND START SUCKING IN YOUR BOAT. Even if you do figure out where they appear — a large flock of seagulls circle their locations — an intentional sail toward them is full of a mixture of Paranoia Fuel, anxiety, and a generally foreboding feeling. The fact that their markers — the seagulls — go away just before you arrive at their locations makes you none-too-sure of just when the beast will show up and doesn't help the "STOP AND TURN BACK YOU IDIOT" feeling your brain is telling you. And then the whirlpool appears.
For maximum pants-browning, simply take the most direct route possible to Windfall after reaching Greatfish Isle. The Dark Reprise of the sailing theme will have you on edge, the incessant storm will obscure the lone tell-tale sign of its location to you, and you will plow right into it. (Oh, and it's the 12-eyed variety, the biggest of the Big Octos.)
It also hides their other tell-tale sign, being that for some bizarre reason, sailing close to its location immediately brings about a thunderstorm that lasts until you leave or beat the Big Octo. And it starts storming just close enough to the Big Octo that you know it's there, but it's too late to stop yourself.
Like with the Cuccos (chickens) in previous Zelda games, don't mess with the pigs in this game. They will hunt you down! You especially don't want to mess with the giant pig on Outset Island.
At least in this game, the pigs stop after a short time, and they're alone. In Ocarina of Time, attacking the Cuccos will trigger a cutscene of it crowing, and then Cuccos will comes flying at you from literally nowhere. And they don't stop until you die or leave the area.
The Earth Temple is basically this game's Shadow Temple. It's got a huge population of Redeads, Bubbles, Poes, and Stalfos, all of which could probably be considered undead. It's pretty much a huge tomb. Oh, and there's also a huge number of Floormasters. And there's that one room that's full of blue smoke, the stuff that makes you unable to use your weapons, that you have to walk through totally unarmed and sneak past what is basically an army of Floormasters. They can see you perfectly, but you might not see them until they've grabbed a hold of you and pulled you into their portal.
The music from both temples is pretty creepy. The Earth Temple has a slow tune that is occasionally interrupted by what sounds like a lunatic with a wind instrument. The Wind Temple is creepy in a different way. The overtones are an innocent tune reminiscent of the Kokiri, but there's that creepy, constant humming that undermines it.
That sound that starts up around 1:00 is especially creepy.
The first time entering the Forest of Fairies, up on Outset Island where Link first meets Tetra, is extremely unsettling, especially for first-time Zelda players. You find yourself facing the first black-entrance cave in the game and have no choice but to go in. Inside, the music seemingly shuts off and fog obscures most of the screen. But actually, listen quite closely, and you'll realize that the music is in fact not gone. The best way to describe it is "tense" and "ominous". Overall, the vibes make the player feel as if something is stalking Link or waiting for him.
Again, for a first-timer, the first appearance of enemies in this area can catch him/her off guard. Fridge Horror kicks in when you wonder how enemies are on Outset Island, one of the only "safe" places in the entire Great Sea.
Sea Octoroks. They tend to appear out of nowhere RIGHT IN FRONT OF YOU with no warning while you are sailing and knock you off your boat, and as you try to get back on your boat, tons of them start popping up all around you surrounding you and firing at you. Not to mention they are also huge and make the screen shake every time they attack, and the music... never go west of Six Eye Reef or near Northern Triangle Island after placing the pearl and getting the treasure...
The places where you get the Triforce Charts in general are horrifying. We have; a holiday home with a flooded basement full of rats, Redeads and claustrobic crawlspaces, a ghost ship, the savage labyrinth, other creepy basements full of enemies, a maze full of Floormasters that chuck you back to the beginning if they grab you... Might be Fridge Brilliance seeing as Link's Triforce piece is the Triforce of Courage.
The oasis is more unsettling than the rest: hat place seems fine and dandy, till you turn off the fire in a very unorthodox manner (the fire also hurts Link, which can startle players who think Link can't get hurt inside buildings)... Now we know why the teacher was so happy to be rid of it. Or maybe she had a reason to give it to you...
But the most nightmarish area has to be the Ghost Ship. Just...that place. It appears at night at certain islands, fair enough. But when you get the ghost chart (tells Link where it will appear), the guy giving it to him warns Link that the previous owner of the map "died suddenly" with no explanation. It all goes downhill from there. The actual ship's appearance is accompanied by some extremely unsettling music. Link goes in to find himself in a mostly deserted room, before all the game's undead enemies ambush him at once. And then, there's the treasure chart room itself, a whole new league of nightmare fuel. There's a mask on the wall that resembles a face. If Link looks at it, it seems to be a calm-faced mask. But once he turns his back to it, it gains a horrific Slasher Smile. And the ultimate icing on the cake (in the GCN version)? If Link jump attacks near the chest to get closer to the mask, the game freezes. It locks up with no way out but a hard reset. This does not happen with any other chest in the game.
The Ghost Ship is designed to resemble the Pirate Ship. The implications are unpleasant.
And to top it off? After you get the Triforce chart, there's a loud shrieking cackle that comes out of nowhere, and then you're booted back onto your ship.
The sailing music that plays when the Great Sea is cursed. Normally, it's light, upbeat music that makes the lengthy sailing easier, but the cursed theme, which is already pretty bad, is made worse by the constant heavy rain and endless dark skies similar to a dark sky you'd see in a literal nightmare.
Rock Spire Island. You climb to the top of the island and drop into a cave that seems to be completely empty except for some unlit torches. So you go to light the torches and the room lights up to reveal a hundred freaking Keese right above you. One of the few real Jump Scares in a Zelda game.
When you're sneaking around the Moblins in the beginning of the game and one happens to spot you, they suddenly turn their heads towards you as a Scare Chord plays.
Although the Poes in this game look cartoony and kind of cute, their way of attacking is very creepy. First, they use a lantern to hit and burn you with, but once taken away, they try to actually possess you. That's right. They come chasing after you, all while laughing with their creepy skeleton masks flapping, trying to possess you. When possessing Link, their distinctive masks chatter and laugh above his head, reversing the controls of the game for a short while, leaving you vulnerable and unable to attack. When they are done messing with you, they come out and just disappear while still laughing, never to be seen again. By the way, unless you already shone some light on them, they are completely intangible.
Cyclos. Occasionally, Cyclos appears on the Great Sea, residing within large cyclones. If Link gets too close to one of Cyclos' cyclones, he is forced to do battle with him. Similar to a battle with a Big Octo, Link and the King of Red Lions will become trapped in a vortex, all the while trying to strike Cyclos with an arrow. If Link is sucked into the center before he can manage to do so, he is warped to another section of the Great Sea, taking damage. You won't be able to defeat him until later in the game once you have the bow-and-arrow. Therefore, you're bound to be sucked in and hurled away during the first half of the game if caught.
It doesn't help that the deity lets out an Evil Laugh before and after battle.