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Video Game: The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker

"I have scattered the seeds of the future..."

The tenth game in The Legend of Zelda series would be the first Nintendo GameCube release: The Wind Waker (known as Baton of Wind in Japan), released in Japan in late 2002 and the rest of the world in early 2003. This game, explicitly set some time after Ocarina of Time (hundreds of years), showed off cel-shading techniques combined with slightly realistic shading to produce a game visually reminiscent of animated films. Its major gameplay concept is the titular conductor's baton, the Wind Waker, which among other things, allowed Link to control the wind. Following from the first true multiplayer Legend of Zelda game, Four Swords, it also included a limited two-player Asymmetric Multiplayer mode using the Game Boy Advance cable, allowing a second player to control Tingle and assist (or hinder) the player.

Legend tells of an ancient kingdom that was saved from the evil forces of Ganon by a green-clad boy who came to be known as the Hero of Time. Years later, when Ganon returned once again to spread his dark power, the Hero did not return as well, and the ultimate fate of the kingdom was lost to myth.

The narrative picks up centuries later on Outset Island in the southern reaches of the Great Sea, where the inhabitants have a tradition of giving a set of green clothes to boys who come of age in honor of the legendary hero. On the same day that a boy named Link receives his own clothes, he spots a large bird carrying a young girl and being chased by pirates. Link rescues the girl, the pirate captain Tetra, but the bird then snatches his younger sister Aryll. According to a Rito postman, this bird has been taking long-eared girls from across the Great Sea and bringing them to the Forsaken Fortress, to which place Link and the pirates go to rescue the captives. Unfortunately, Link's infiltration of the Fortress goes sour, and he briefly catches a glimpse of a large dark-robed figure who orders him tossed out into the ocean.

Link is rescued from drowning by a talking boat who calls himself the King of Red Lions (after his face's resemblance to a Chinese lion). This being reveals that the dark figure was that of Ganondorf himself, and that it is up to Link to not only rescue his sister and the other girls, but also to defeat the dark lord and end his evil reign.

The game tasks the player with sailing the King of Red Lions across the vast Great Sea. While sailing is quite different from riding Epona, requiring the use of the eponymous Wind Waker to shift the wind's direction so that the ship's sail can catch it, land-based overworld and dungeon exploration is largely identical to that in previous games. There are forty-nine islands of varying importance and size, and the sea is vast enough to hide lots of secrets and treasure. And despite the rather cheery, cartoonish visuals, the plot delves into surprisingly dark themes involving apocalyptic events and learning to let go of a lost past. Even Ganon, the main Evil Overlord of the series, is portrayed as a more nuanced, even tragic, figure compared to previous and subsequent games.

A remade version, The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD was released for the Wii U in 2013 for two specific reasons: 1) to be a stop-gap game to satiate fans while waiting for the new entry developed on the same console, and 2) to serve as an outlet for the developers to test out what they can do with the new hardware. The gameplay itself has been slightly streamlined, particularly in regards to the sailing mechanics and the late-game Fetch Quest. The Tingle Tuner has been replaced with the Tingle Bottle, used to send messages to the game's Miiverse community. The game also includes the more challenging Hero Mode introduced in Skyward Sword, only this time, you can start a new file with it activated rather than have to beat Normal Mode first, and toggle it every time you play thereafter.

The game is followed up by two sequels: the direct sequel, Phantom Hourglass, was released in 2007; the distant sequel, Spirit Tracks, in 2009.

Tropes regarding the manga adaptation can be found here.

This game provides examples of:

  • Accidental Proposal: In a sidequest, Maggie thinks Moe the moblin's letter to her is a marriage proposal. In reality, it only says "I want to eat you for dinner."
  • Action Girl:
    • Tetra, the Pirate Captain as well as heir of Hyrule.
    • Medli. Sure, she gets easily kidnapped, but she's certainly not afraid to do what needs to be done and proves to be one of the more valuable allies. A less action-y example of this trope, but one nonetheless.
  • Adipose Rex: King Daphnes Nohansen Hyrule, though he still looks quite dignified.
    • "Lord" Valoo, too.
    • Ganon is an evil version.
    • Jalhalla is also an evil version, being the "lord of the Poes."
  • Adult Fear: Ganondorf has various young girls kidnapped because they share a couple physical similarities to Princess Zelda; among these is Link's child sister. The parents of these lost kids are appropriately freaked out.
  • After the End: Probably the most lighthearted post-apocalyptic world ever.
  • Alertness Blink: The old beggar man on Windfall Island right before he asks you to rescue his daughter.
  • Alternate Timeline: This game follows the "adult" part of the timeline split caused by The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time.
  • Androcles' Lion: In the first dungeon, Link saves the dragon Valoo from having his tail tormented by Gohma. Later, Valoo brings help while Link is captured in the Forbidden Fortress, and blasts Ganon with dragon fire for good measure.
  • And Your Reward Is Clothes: Among other things that change on the second playthrough, Link wears his pajamas through the course of the game (normally Link only wears them right at the start before he gets his "coming of age" green tunic). The justification is what he's actually wearing is "invisible except to those of great honesty and virtue".
  • Artistic License - Ships: Although easier to sail with the wind than against it, Link's methods of sailing are pretty unrealistic. Since doing it realistically would make the game immensely tedious and frustrating, this can be filed under Acceptable Breaks from Reality. Also, it's a talking boat.
  • Art-Style Dissonance: The cheerful, cartoon-inspired graphics of the game stand in stark contrast to the fact that the sea the game takes place in was formed when Hyrule was drowned in a flood.
  • Asymmetric Multiplayer: By way of the Tingle Tuner.
  • Auction: There's a minigame based on this in Windfall Island. The items that can be purchased are two Treasure Charts, a Heart Piece, Joy Pendants and (only in the HD remake), a Swift Sail.
  • Badass Adorable: Link, being the main character, is very good at the hero business. He is also one of the most harmless-looking people in the game, and is, all in all, a very huggable person.
  • Badass Grandpa: Orca, the swordmaster of Outset Island, is quite spry for his age, and trains Link with the sword.
  • Badass Normal: Orca has a Knight's Crest in his possession. The only way to obtain one of those is to defeat a Darknut in combat. For anyone who isn't the legendary hero, that takes balls of steel.
  • BFS: The Darknut swords. And you get to wield them! Same for the swords dropped by Phantom Ganon.
  • Bare Your Midriff: Senza. Who is a guy.
  • Big Bad: Ganondorf, who returns to the world after his seal in Ocarina of Time.
  • Big Brother Instinct: Link's is so powerful that it nearly makes him jump off a cliff near the beginning of the game.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Link and Tetra being rescued from Ganondorf by the Rito and the giant dragon Valoo, who proceeds to torch Ganondorf's tower. He gets better.
  • Bilingual Dialogue: Jabun speaks ancient Hylian while the King of Red Lions uses the modern language.
    • The ancient Hylian symbols stand for katakana. Actually, any dialogue spoken in ancient Hylian matches exactly the Japanese script: notable occurrences include the drawings in the opening cutscene and Jabu-Jabu's speech.
  • Bishonen Line: In spirit - Ganondorf never transforms at all this time, but you fight the giant, monstrous Puppet Ganon before you duel him in his human form.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Tingle. First, there's the obvious reason - he forces two guys who look just like him to rotate the giant Tingle head at the top of his tower with not so much as a single moment's rest. Then, if you talk to the one in pink, he strongly implies that Tingle is actually pretty abusive, and all but begs you to visit more often because he's so much nicer to them whenever he gets a visit from his "fairy friend". The guy in white isn't even related to them; he's just some poor schmuck who washed up on Tingle Island after a boating accident and has been stuck there ever since.
  • Bittersweet Ending:
    • Does Link defeat Ganondorf? Yes. Is he saving Hyrule? ...No... Does he Save the Princess? Yes. The King, however...
    • Aryll at the end. You better be back soon, Link, you big jerk. The pirates are actually pretty nice. Bring her with you. Gets even more bittersweet when you remember that if Aryll went with Link, their grandmother would be alone again, and look what happened last time...
  • Bloodless Carnage: Mooks don't bleed when you cut them. Normal for a Zelda game. Ganondorf doesn't shed so much as a drop when you drive the Master Sword into his skull. Not so normal for a Zelda game.
  • Bonus Dungeon: The last 20 (optional) floors of the Savage Labyrinth.
  • Book Ends: Sailing away from Outset Island with the pirates.
  • Bootstrapped Leitmotif:
    • This was the entry that started to use the popular Main Theme of the series as Link's own Leitmotif.
    • Also, it used "Hyrule Castle" as King Daphnes' Leitmotif as well.
  • Boss Rush: The first part of the final dungeon requires fighting four of the six regular bosses for further progress.
  • A Boy and His Talking Ship: The latter happens to be possessed by the spirit of the King of Hyrule from before the flood.
  • Battle in the Rain: In the final battle the entire ocean is raining down on you.
  • Bragging Rights Reward:
    • If you can get to the Piece of Heart at the bottom of the Savage Labyrinth, you've proven you don't need it. And said Heart Piece was replaced with the Hero's Charm in Wind Waker HD. You fight through increasingly deadly combinations of every single common enemy in the game so you can gain an item that lets you see their health bars. By that point, you're so familiar with the enemies that you're likely never to even put the thing on afterwards. And it doesn't work on the Final Boss.
    • Also completing the Nintendo Gallery in its entirety. While on the subject, some of the characters and enemies you need to take a picture of either disappear after a certain point in the game or have a limited amount of times in which you can take a picture of them, like Tetra, and if you complete your second playthrough without having gotten everyone, some of them will be Lost Forever. Your reward for it all? Carlov's greatest work: A statue of Link and his boat, The King of Red Lions.
    • Shark Island's ultimate reward. Upon arriving, you'll find a ring of fire surrounding a hole in the ground. Around the island, you'll find one of each of the game's switches: An ordinary weighed switch (only requires that Link steps on it), a diamond switch (which must be struck with any weapon), a wooden peg (requiring the Skull Hammer), and an iron weighted switch (requiring the Iron Boots)... All of which are on a timer the moment you touch them. If you manage to finally hit them all in time, the flames go out and you can drop down the hole. What do you find inside? A gigantic ambush, one that not even the Savage Labyrinth itself can rival! If you can somehow survive, patiently and methodically defeating every enemy in there, you'll win... A Silver Rupee. Of which there are TONS out there. Have fun!
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: There's no two ways about it, Tingle is a complete lunatic and an utter freak... but as in every Zelda game in which he appears, his skill as a cartographer means you have to ignore this and seek his aid.
  • Butt Monkey: Link gets no respect for the first half of the game.
  • Camera Lock-On
  • Canon Immigrant: Eiji Aonuma was directly inspired by the non-canon Watarara race of giant birds from the Zelda manga, to create the Rito.
  • Catapult to Glory: How Link gets in the Forbidden Fortress.
  • Character Development: Taking Ocarina of Time into account, Ganondorf had a lot in the time in between games. The man was a Card-Carrying Villain before. Since then, he's clearly thought a lot about his life and seems to regret a lot of his choices. He also Took a Level in Badass- Ganondorf has never been more deadly at swordplay than in this game; though, the only other time Link has fought Ganondorf with swords, in Twilight Princess, Link was an adult, so the size difference might have something to do with it.
  • Climax Boss: The Helmaroc King.
  • Clip Its Wings: Hitting a (flying) Mothula enough times will cause it to lose its wings and drop to the ground.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Ganondorf... Master swordsman and skilled sorcerer; holder of the Triforce of Power. Greets our hero with a sucker punch. Even Tetra gets one.
  • Comically Missing the Point: Maggie, who reads the words "I want to eat you for dinner" and comes to the conclusion that the love of her life is proposing to her.
  • Conspicuously Light Patch: A part of the art style. Characters and important objects are rendered with cel shading and vibrant colors, while islands, buildings and such have more detail, duller colors, and realistic shading.
  • Continuity Nod: The first Zelda game to reference its past to such a degree—mostly using musical cues
    • Ocarina of Time / Majora's Mask:
      • The Seven Sages appear in stained glass in the Master Sword's pedestal room.
      • The last few notes in the Ballad of Gales are reused from the ending to the Minuet of Forest.
      • The Outset Island theme contains a nod to the Kokiri Forest theme.
      • The music in the inner sanctum of Forest Haven contains elements of both the Kokiri Forest theme and Saria's Song.
      • The Koroks mention that in the Forbidden Woods they still have houses that they used long ago when they took a different form. Sure enough, in that dungeon Link comes across tree-carved structures that look like Kokiri houses.
      • C-stick motions for the Wind's Requiem are exactly the same as the C-button directions for Epona's Song. Fitting, as both songs allow you to have access to a more reliable, faster transportation method.
      • The Song of Passing is the Sun's Song and serves the same purpose.note 
      • After Maggie and her father get rich selling Skull Necklaces when she's rescued, her new outfit includes a Bunny Hood, a la OoT and Majora's Mask.
      • The Rito that runs the post office at Dragon Roost looks a lot like the Postman from Majora's Mask. His figurine description lampshades this.
    • A Link to the Past
      • The theme in Hyrule Castle (see above)
      • We hear the title-screen theme when Tetra's Triforce piece completes in said castle
      • The track "Farewell Hyrule King" is a classical cover of the Hyrule Castle theme from ALttP, with a hint of the Dungeon theme from the first game.
      • Windfall Island's theme definitely takes its cues from Kakariko Village.
      • Ganon's Castle is a remixed version of the same. note 
    • The original Legend of Zelda
      • The Hero of the Winds song is a remix of the title screen music (aka the first music ever heard in the series).
      • The cutscene before facing Ganondorf incorporates the final dungeon theme.
    • Other games/miscellaneous:
      • "The Legendary Hero" opening cutscene incorporates the series leitmotief as it tells of the "Hero of Time."
      • Phantom Ganon's theme takes its intro from the first game, is primarily based on Ganon's battle music from LttP, and has a second half that incorporates Ganondorf's battle music in OoT.
      • Before the fight with Puppet Ganon, the way that Tetra is asleep on the bed recalls the way Zelda is asleep during Zelda II.
      • The three statues in the sea that reveal Hyrule are statues based on Din, Nayru and Farore: the three goddesses that created Hyrule and referenced throughout the series (starting with Ocarina of Time).
      • Though not mentioned in the main game, the Super Smash Brothers Brawl trophy description for the Helmaroc King state he's the same being as the Helmasaur King. The monsters share the same name in Japan, confirming the connection.
  • Convection Schmonvection: Link takes no damage despite standing next to, or even dangling himself directly over, a pool of lava. And he will lose only one half a heart if he falls in the stuff.
  • Cool Boat: Early in the game, Link gains access to The King of Red Lions, a skiff that serves as the primary mode of transport on the game's overworld. The boat is painted red, and the stylized figurehead is capable of speech — in fact, the boat is a sentient being.
  • Could Say It But: The "Nice Girls who never spread rumors", even if you pay them rupees.
  • Crapsaccharine World: What with all the bright, vivid colors and cartoony visuals, it can be easy to forget that you're sailing above the desolated, flooded ruins of what was once Hyrule and all the seemingly thriving islanders are the descendants of the few who managed to scramble up the mountains in time to avoid drowning.
  • Creepy Child: The Fairy Queen. Just look at her!
  • Dangerously Genre Savvy: Ganondorf's plans after his return seem to focus on eliminating exactly the things that caused him to lose in the past. He kills the sages so that the Master Sword loses its power and attempts to hunt down any descendant of Princess Zelda so that he can steal her Triforce. Later during the final boss fight, when he realizes that you're acting as a distraction while Tetra shoots him, he simply jumps over to her and knocks her unconscious.
  • Dark Reprise:
    • The battle music for Gohma, Kalle Demos, Jalhalla, and Molgera receive one each in Ganon's Tower during the black-and-white rematches with them.
    • During the cursed night leading up to obtaining Nayru's Pearl, the normally grandiose and adventurous sailing theme suddenly becomes dark and ominous, even incorporating notes of Ganondorf's theme in the background.
  • Deader Than Dead: Ganondorf. He gets a sword through his head, is either encased in or becomes solid rock and then has an ocean wash over him. The two games that follow in the timeline don't (directly) feature him.
  • Deconstruction: The Wind Waker is a radical one on post-apocalyptic After the End stories. Its art style shows that life goes on, and that centuries later, the old civilization will be forgotten and un-mourned and that a Reset Button on everything can be both a good and bad thing.
    • The game's backstory can be seen as a deconstruction of The Chosen One premise that the series runs on. Inspired by the legend of the Hero of Time, the people of Hyrule count on a hero spontaneously appearing to save them when evil arises. Because of this, when Ganon returns without a Link to oppose him, the people of Hyrule are unable to defend themselves and the gods must flood Hyrule to prevent Ganon from taking over. This continues into the main story, where the current Link is stated to have no connection to the older heroes and rises to and earns his status as a hero through his own initiative, rather than being automatically appointed at the start of his journey.
    • One particular area in Windfall Island (until a certain point) deconstructs the common act of destroying every vase you come across. Each of those vases have nothing in them, and you actually have to pay 10 rupees per broken vase before you can leave.
  • The Dev Team Thinks of Everything:
    • When you slash the King of Red Lions with your sword, he flinches. If you slash him when you are taking Tetra to see the king in Hyrule, the boat doesn't do a thing, as his spirit is not currently inhabiting the boat. He also doesn't talk or move.
    • In the original release, the Octorok figurine's description stated that they were the winner of the "Perfect Attendance Award," for appearing in every Zelda game to date. The HD remake removes this, because they did not appear in Twilight Princess. It was instead given the "Series: Exemplary Enemy" award.
    • If you return to the previous dungeons (or the Forest Haven) during the endless night, it will still be storming in places that are open to the outside, such as the cliffs leading to where you get the grappling hook in Dragon Roost Cavern.
    • The barrier preventing you from entering Ganon's Tower is really comprehensive, including it being really high and wide, having a lack of ledges on the path it covers and an invisible wall behind the barrier. For a series well known for it's skips like the infamous Wrong Warp trick in Ocarina Of Time, it seems the developers did everything they could to prevent you from getting to the tower early.
    • The sheer number of uses for All-Purpose bait.
  • Defeat Means Friendship: Cyclos. He likes that you could beat him so much that he gives you the power of Cyclone travel.
  • Deliberately Monochrome: The Boss Rush towards the end of the game and Hyrule in temporal stasis.
  • Disc One Final Boss: The Helmaroc King, after which the game shifts gears to Link having to become the new hero in order to stop Ganon once and for all. A lot of the game's sidequests also only become available after this fight.
  • Disc One Final Dungeon: The return to the Forsaken Fortress. You've collected the pearls, proven yourself worthy in the Tower of the Gods and you've got the Master Sword. Finishing the dungeon means that Link gets to finally save his sister, which has been his primary motivation throughout the entire game, and you get to kill the bird who kidnapped her in the first place. After you beat the Helmaroc King, you head right up to Ganondorf's lookout for the final battle only to learn that the Master Sword is powerless and that drawing the Master Sword broke the seal limiting Ganondorf's power.
  • Disintegrator Ray: The Light Arrows have this effect immediately, on nearly every enemy they touch.
  • Distressed Damsel:
    • Medli and Tetra. Medli gets caught mere seconds after entering the volcano and the first view we get of Tetra, she's being carried off by a huge bird, then dropped into a tree. Later, Tetra gets the same treatment when it's revealed she's Princess Zelda.
  • Downer Beginning: The opening scene in the game details how Ganondorf returned after Ocarina of Time, and Link wasn't there to save the day, and all of Hyrule was lost and flooded by the gods.
  • The Dragon: The Helmaroc King fits this, doing most of Ganondorf's dirty work and quickly making it personal by kidnapping Link's sister. Then again, he gets taken down halfway through the game, so Phantom Ganon might fit better (although he doesn't have any characterization).
  • Dramatic Wind: Lots of it, given the theme of the game. In particular, Ganondorf sheds his typical armor for a kimono-like outfit with enormous sleeves that flap dramatically in the wind.
  • Dual Wielding: Ganondorf, who uses two sharp blades during the final battle.
  • Dummied Out:
    • The game was originally meant to have two more dungeons, but they were ultimately left out due to time constraints. Shigeru Miyamoto stated that he usually doesn't keep deadlines, because this is what happens when he does. Interestingly, Wind Waker made use of several elements that were Dummied Out from Ocarina of Time, like the sages powering up of the Master Sword and the Wind and Earth temples.
    • There is an item in-game that can't be accessed without hacking. It has no in-game visual, and on the menus it simply shows up as kanji translating to "Water Boots". Equipping it and pressing said button makes Link hop as if he was slipping on the Iron Boots, earning it the nickname of "Link Shuffle".
    • While making the original version, the development team created huge, high resolution texture assets which had to be pared down to run on the GameCube. With the HD remake, they were able to finally use them when creating the enhanced graphics.
  • Easter Egg:
    • If you manage to damage either a Darknut, a Miniblin, or a Bokoblin with a bomb, they will run away from you as long as you carry a bomb. It's fairly amusing.
    • The All-Purpose Bait is not only useful for feeding pigs, rats and fishmen; it can also be used to draw enemies nearer. This includes Pupprt Ganon's snake form.
    • Normally, you can't go behind Zunari's stall during the day, because he blocks you and shoos you away. He isn't there at night. If you go in at night and play the Song of Passing, it'll cut to daytime, at which point Zunari is confused as to how you got in and moves you out.
  • Eleventh Hour Superpower: The Light Arrows, which you get just before the final bosses, and are required to defeat them (although you don't even get to use them yourself for the very last). They can actually oneshot anything in the game that isn't a boss (with a pretty neat, unique death animation to boot), including Darknuts (you don't even need to aim for their weak point).
  • End of an Age: The age of Hyrule, Ganondorf, and the wars of the Triforce has been ending since Ganon's attack on Hyrule and the subsequent Great Flood, but the events of the game shut the book on them, seemingly forever, as the magic preserving them is destroyed and they are left to erode to nothing beneath the crushing waves.
  • Escort Mission:
    • You had to escort Medli and Makar to the boss chambers of the Earth and Wind Temples. Thankfully, the two are useful and are required to solve several puzzles, and do not have a health meter of their own and thus cannot die. However, they can get captured by Floor Masters. Medli allows you to fly, and is essential before you get the mirror shield!
  • Eternal English: Averted; one of the Great Deku Tree's lines implies that the (barring a New Game+) indecipherable ancient Hylian is simply Ocarina of Time-era Hylian.
  • Everything's Even Worse with Sharks: Gyorgs, which appear as enemies while sailing. They'll ram your boat to knock you out and begin taking huge chomps at you. They don't seem to bother you if you just keep moving, though. And they'll ram your boat while you're trying to get back into it, knocking you back into the water again, putting them somewhere in-between Goddamned Bats and Demonic Spiders. They're no longer much of an annoyance in Wind Waker HD, as they (and almost every other sea creature) can no longer knock you out of your boat.
  • Everything's Squishier with Cephalopods:
    • In addition to the usual Octoroks (now more squid-like, and they come in two varieties now), there are now enormous, multi-eyed Big Octos that are near-impossible to kill.
    • Sea Octoroks are this as well if you attempt to kill them (which you may be forced to do if they're surrounding something like a treasure you want to get to). They come in huge groups and they spit bombs at you, and while you may find that they only take one hit to kill, good luck aiming your boomerang that quickly before another one blasts you out of your boat. And if you do, it seems that they don't stop coming.
  • Evil Tower of Ominousness: Two of them: Forsaken Fortress Tower, and Ganon's Tower.
  • Exact Words:
    • How Daphnes manages to intercept the power of the Triforce that Ganondorf just assembled.
    Daphnes: He who touches it will have whatever he desires granted... That is what you said, is it not, Ganondorf?
    • The complimentary ticket. Trading it in gets you a compliment from Beadle.
  • Exclusive Enemy Equipment: Unfortunately, you can't take enemy weapons through doors.
  • Face-Revealing Turn:
    • After Link reaches the top of the Forsaken Fortress, Ganondorf does this while introducing himself. Incidentally, Link had already seen Ganondorf during his first trip to the Forsaken Fortress, but he got a better view this time, and it initially leaves him somewhat frightened.
    • The King of Hyrule does this as well, but is has no effect on Link or Tetra, considering they've never seen him nor do they know much about Hyrule.
  • Family-Unfriendly Death: To the surprise of many for such a happy looking game, Ganondorf gets one of the most brutal deaths in the entire series, when Link stabs him through the forehead with the Master Sword.
  • Fantasy Gun Control: Averted harder than in any previous Zelda. Cannons that shoot bombs seem to be the weapon of choice in the Great Sea.
  • Fast-Forward Mechanic: The "Song of Passing" functions the same as the Sun's Song in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, just under a new name.
  • Feathered Fiend: The Helmaroc King. The common Kargorocs as well.
  • Flying Postman: The Rito.
  • Foreshadowing: The King of Red Lions, for seemingly inexplicable reasons, knows exactly how the Pirate's Charm works and uses it almost as if he were the one to give it to Link instead of Tetra. This is because, as Tetra's ancestor and the King of Hyrule, he made it himself.
    • The notes he makes you play after getting the Wind Waker is Zelda's Lullaby, hinting at his connection with the royal family
    • If you take a look inside Tetra's room when you have the chance to, you'll see that she has several pictures on her walls that foreshadow her identity as Princess Zelda. This is also foreshadowed by the painting of Zelda and her attendants in Hyrule Castle. Also, Tetra's name in the Italian version of the game is "Dazel", which is simply an anagram of "Zelda".
  • For The Cel Of It
  • Free Rotating Camera
  • Freudian Excuse: Ganondorf, of all characters, has one. His monologue about how growing up in the desert made him a bad person: Ganondorf led a harsh life in the desert, saw the lush and prosperous land of Hyrule, and saw that the people had no idea how good they had it. That made him angry.
  • Friendly Fireproof: Averted with the game's enemies. If they attack, they'll take out their comrades as well if they happen to be in the way. This helps in many situations with strong enemies (e.g. Darknuts) clustered together where you can bait them into whaling on their own.
  • Future Imperfect: So much time has passed since the Great Flood that nobody remembers most of the legends of ancient Hyrule. Most humorously, the Triforce has been forgotten, and replaced in the popular consciousness by the "Triumph Forks." Yeah, the Cosmic Keystone of the Zelda Universe is remembered as a collection of fancy eating utensils.
    • In the original Japanese version, it's apparently a bucket and hose (Tarai to Hosu). At least the English version has some majesty to it.
    • In the German version, the "Triumph Forks" got changed into a supposedly legendary "Kapitän Dreifuß" (Captain Threefoot in English).
  • Ghost Ship: Called the ghost ship.
  • Glowing Eyes: A new graphical effect added to the HD remake is that enemies now have glowing eyes.
  • Gonk:
    • The Deku Tree, among many others.
    • Maggie's Father. Especially after his makeover. Maggie isn't such a beauty herself.
  • Good Morning, Crono: "Big Brother!"
  • Gossipy Hens: A couple of older women on Windfall Island will gossip about things going on on the island. Some of their information is somewhat useful.
  • Götterdämmerung: Ganon, Hyrule, and the Master Sword are washed away, and the Triforce is no longer in the hands of anyone, and is forgotten by all but Link, Tetra, and Tingle anyway.
  • Grass Is Greener: What drove Ganon into wanting to get his hands on the three Triforce parts in this game was that he envied the winds that blew on the lush green landscape of Hyrule while his country suffered constantly punishing winds that brought only death.
  • The Great Flood: Why there's an ocean on top of Hyrule.
  • Grievous Harm With A Body (Part): The Stalfos. If you are holding their mace when they regenerate, they will rip off one of their own arms and use it as a nunchuck.
  • Guest Star Party Member: Thanks to the Command Melody, the game has the highest number of playable secondary characters in the series: Medli, Makar, Tingle, even seagulls and statues.
  • Guide Dang It: In the HD version, the Tingle Tuner has been removed. Tingle's golden statues, which you can find in the game's dungeons by bombing specific spots you can find with the aid of the Tingle Tuner, have not. They did not add replacement hints.
  • Gunship Rescue: Wherein the "gunship" is a huge red fire-breathing dragon.
  • Happy Dance: Whenever Link beats a boss.
    • Subverted in the final battle when Link begins cheering after defeating Puppet Ganon's first form — only to realize the fight isn't anywhere near over. By the time you do defeat Puppet Ganon, he's too exhausted and overwhelmed to be happy about it...and now you have to go face the real deal.
  • Hard Levels, Easy Bosses: Mainly towards the end. The first two bosses, Gohma and Kalle Demos, can be challenging simply because your maximum health will be pretty low, but after you find some Heart Containers, you can soak up more damage than most bosses can dish out.
    • The HD remake takes this to eleven. Without heart drops, the numerous small threats in a dungeon will whittle your life away, but the boss door always has some fairies you can nab before entering, where you mercifully only have one thing to worry about.
  • Harp of Femininity: Medli's Harp. Apparently the Earth Sages are Always Female and always harpists.
  • The Hero's Birthday: Unusual for a Zelda game, but yep.
  • The Hero's Journey: Present more so here than in quite a few other games in the series, likely as a result of Link being The Unchosen One and needing to do a lot more to prove himself.
  • Hopping Machine: The Servants of the Tower (statues you control in the Tower of the Gods), and Armos statues.
  • Ice Breaker: Upon being shot with an Ice Arrow, Darknuts will instantly break out. (There's still time to hit with the Skull Hammer before they do this, however.)
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Ganondorf gets it right in the head.
  • Impossible Task Instantly Accomplished: This Link has no connection to the Hero of Time from Ocarina of Time, but manages to get wrapped up in Ganon's plot after Aryll is kidnapped. He then proceeds to power through his Butt Monkey status, wield the Master Sword, repower the degraded Master Sword, earn the Triforce of Courage and the title of Hero of Winds, and win a Duel to the Death with Ganon. All in a matter of weeks, if not days.
  • Infinity+1 Sword: The Light Arrows. For slightly more magic cost than Fire or Ice, you shoot an arrow that, with one hit, obliterates any enemy in the game short of Ganondorf himself. So, naturally, you get them when Ganondorf is just about the only enemy left.
  • Interspecies Romance:
    • One of the side-quests of the game involves delivering a letter to Maggie, one of the Hylian girls who was being held hostage in the Forsaken Fortress. It's from a Moblin, named Moe, that she fell in love with during her captivity. However, it's highly possible out that Moe just wanted to eat her.
    • The fish who fills in the map square for Rock Spire Isle mentioned spending a lot of time watching the Windfall Island lighthouse with Gillian, the Hylian bartender on Windfall. That said, it's implied that he may have been human at some point.
  • It May Help You on Your Quest: How you get the Wind Waker itself, and also a delivery bag.
  • It's Personal: All the heroism, destiny, and whatnot aside, let's face it: Link's whole initial reason for going up against Ganon? Kidnapping his sister.
  • I'll Never Tell You What I'm Telling You: As done by two little girls on Windfall island, though getting the information requires paying the princely sum of two rupees.
  • Jerkass:
    • Maggie's Father. Giving him Skull Necklaces (after you get the Treasure Chart he gives you) has him reward you with Rupees. Far less Rupees than you'd get from selling them to Beedle. He also doesn't hand them to you so you can do your "You Got a Red Rupee!" cutscene — he throws the money on the floor for you to pick up yourself. And it wasn't a case of Took a Level in Jerkass either, if you read his dialogue while he's still poor carefully, you'll realise he was no less of a jerk back then. He all but states the only reason he wants Link to rescue his daughter is because it's hard to make money without her. He doesn't seem to care about her in the slightest.
    • Jabun. There's no way to know this until the New Game+, but he's pretty rude during his conversation with the King of Red Lions. Especially considering this is the King of Hyrule he's talking to.
    • The bomb shop owner, who sells his bombs for outrageous costs while being a giant jerk the whole way. He gets some glorious Laser-Guided Karma when he does the same thing to Tetra and her pirates; they beat him up, steal all of his inventory, and leave him bound and gagged with nobody visibly coming to rescue him (and you don't get the option to do it). He learns his lesson after that experience though, becoming much, much nicer and selling his bombs at a very affordable cost.
  • In-Universe Game Clock: Downplayed. The sky on the file select menu changes depending on the time set on the system's clock.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold:
    • Tetra, the typical tsundere.
    • There's also Mila's father. He initially appears to be a regular old rich jerk, but when his daughter was kidnapped, he spent every bit of his fortune looking for her. Maggie's father, on the other hand...
    • Mila herself has a tendency to be rude to the people she waits on, but she still takes a menial job to help out when her family is poor. And after you talk her out of robbing the store she works at, she takes a second job at night, on a different island.
  • Killer Rabbit: You have a chance to capture a wild pig at the beginning of the game. It's so harmless that it runs away from you, but you can pick it up and take it to a pig pen and have another family raise it while you go off questing. When you return, it has been fed so much that it has become massive. It's still harmless, right? Well, it won't attack you unless you slice it a few times, but once you hear the "enemy" music start, it's time to RUN. This pig will cause three hearts worth of damage every time it rams you, which is even more than the final boss can do. But unlike the final boss, you can't kill it or even block its attacks. Just get out of the pen before you become pig slop.
  • Kill It with Ice: Long-time fans may remember the Ice Arrows from Ocarina of Time as being fairly useless. This time around, however, they're actually capable of freezing enemies completely. A hit from the Skull Hammer afterwards will kill them instantly.
  • Koosh Bomb: Explosions are drawn something like this, although the aftereffect of stylized curly smoke is more prominent.
  • Land, Sea, Sky: Used for the first three MacGuffins; the first is obtained from the sky spirit Valoo, the second from the earth spirit The Great Deku Tree, and the third from the sea spirit Jabun.
  • Late-Arrival Spoiler: Tetra is Zelda, which is clear in The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass, The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks, and her Super Smash Bros. Brawl trophy. The former two even tell you right at the beginning of the game!
  • Laughing Mad: Ganondorf's reaction to the king's wish to give the children hope and flood Hyrule with Ganondorf still in it.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: Orca, if you can hit him 999 times in the minigame, asks if your left index finger hurts (from holding the L-Button for so longnote ).
    • In the remake, Lenzo Lampshades the fact that the Forest Firefly is no longer necessary for upgrading the Picto Box.
  • Legacy Character: This is the first game to confirm in-game that there is more than one Link. Zelda (aka Tetra) herself as well, being a descendant of the Royal Family of Hyrule (presumably meaning she's one of the Princess Zelda seen in Ocarina of Time). Link on the other hand, is not descended from the Hero of Time, according to the King of Red Lions (making it possible he's more a reincarnation than a relation). Also, the Seven Sages apparently managed to leave a few descendants, four of which show up here; Laruto (a Zora) and Medli (a Rito) are presumably descended from Princess Ruto, and Fado (a Kokiri) and Makar (a Korok) are presumably descended from Saria (somehow). There's also the Great Deku Tree; implied to possibly be the mature form of the very same Great Deku Sprout from Ocarina of Time.
  • Leitmotif: The title sequence is actually a medley of the Earth God's Lyric and the Wind God's Aria. That's not the only one.
    • After you discover that Great Fish Island has been destroyed, the cheery music of the Great Sea is replaced with a darker version, complete with Ganondorf's signature leitmotif in the background.
    • Ganondorf's leitmotif also plays in his tower, and each room you go into incorporates a little bit of the leitmotif from the dungeon it's inspired by.
    • A bit of a harder to catch, but if you listen closely to Jabun's Theme, you can hear the background beat from Inside Lord Jabu-Jabu's Belly.
  • Lighter and Softer: The art style initially got a lot of flack from the Fan Dumb for this reason. However, it's debatable if the plot and themes in the game are actually Lighter And Softer as for one, Hyrule was flooded, leaving only the highest mountain peaks as islands. Also, The Hero of Winds stabs Ganondorf in the head.
  • Little Miss Badass: Tetra. She can't be too much older than Link, but she's violent, strong, and in the fight against Ganondorf, she actually helps you out. It certainly took some courage when she jumped from a rafter and tackled Ganondorf from behind in an attempt to distract him long enough for Link to recover. It might not have worked out quite as well as she hoped, but that's quite a change from her previous appearances.
  • Loads And Loads Of Sidequests: The game has lots of extra content besides the usual ones. These include completely optional islands with their own puzzles and enemy matches, treasure charts to find sunken treasure, and the notoriously long Nintendo Gallery. Even just filling the Great Sea's map can take a while.
  • Lolicon: Tingle really likes some of the little girls in this game. He has a major thing for Medli, who might be older than she looks. And also speaks very fondly of Aryll. No excuse for that, unless it's platonic... but whenever he mentions one of them, it is punctuated by hearts.
    • Gonzo, when Mako suggests his and Tetra's children.
  • Long Song, Short Scene: Maritime Battle and Jabuns Theme. The first one is only heard during battles while sailing, and the second one is played once during a cutscene largely consisting of text, where the player might mash the A-button, as most of the text is in an ancient language and thus unreadable. Now, why is Maritime Battle in here? Simple, because of how combat on your boat works (quite frankly, not that good, as your only means of attack are bombs and arrows), the average player might just ignore the enemies, missing out on a pretty good tone which gets better after time.
  • Loophole Abuse: King Daphnes thoroughly owns Ganondorf with this at the end of the game. Having reunited the Triforce once and for all, Ganondorf makes his wish as he approaches the mystical object. But before he gets to it, King Daphnes puts his hand on it and makes his wish. Even though Ganondorf made his wish first, the King was the first one to touch it, so it was the King's wish that came true.
  • The Lost Woods: Well, they're called the Forbidden Woods here, but that's not fooling anyone.
  • Lost Forever: If you obtain all the figurines in the Nintendo Gallery except for the hidden character Knuckle, you can no longer accept Knuckle as a figurine as Carlov will have left, considering the gallery complete.
    • Also, some other candidates for the Nintendo Gallery must be gotten before certain points in the game, or they will no longer be available. note 
    • The HD remake makes it possible to acquire any figurine you've missed by obtaining a picture for it from a Tingle Bottle, although this can lead to a Luck-Based Mission, as there is no way to decide what messages you get. Knuckle is now also required to complete the Gallery, with his description even lampshading his original non-required status.
  • Luck-Based Mission: Beating the "Squid Battleship" game for treasure maps and a piece of heart.
    • In the HD version, attempting to acquire missed pictographs via Tingle Bottles.
  • Luke, I Am Your Father: The King of Red Lions (aka Daphnes Nohansen Hyrule) Tetra's ancestor, making her Princess Zelda.
  • Mayincatec: The Tower of the Gods bears similarity to ancient South American architecture, esp. Gohdan.
  • Magical Camera: The Picto Box functions more or less like a normal camera, except that it develops instantly and can only keep threenote  pictures at once (like a digital camera), and in order to take colour pictures, you need to capture and use a special kind of firefly that emits prismatic light. So every time you use it, presumably, you're tormenting a firefly, somehow.
  • The Magic Goes Away: At the end, when the Triforce is reunited and flies away to (presumably) the Sacred Realm.
  • Magic Map: Link can collect a series of maps, some of which have special properties. Treasure and Triforce maps cause a pillar of light to appear over the treasure's location, and the ghost ship map allows it to be boarded to retrieve a Triforce piece.
  • Magic Wand: The Wind Waker (although it's actually a conductor's baton).
    • The Wizzrobes all carry magic wands.
  • Match Maker Quest
  • Meaningful Name: The Skull Hammer. It doesn't just look like a skull; the Stalfos in this game can be killed in one hit with it once their skulls have been separated from their body (though it really does help to stun them first).
  • Message in a Bottle: The Tingle Bottle item, which replaces the Tingle Tuner in the HD version.
  • Meta Twist: In the Zelda series, it's frequent to have to explore three dungeons to gather an initial set of Plot Coupon items before something unexpected occurs and the Master Sword has to be collected (or, conversely, the Master Sword is collected and then the twist occurs). So it was very shocking for gamers to discover that the location of the third quest item in The Wind Waker is utterly destroyed and the holder of the item went elsewhere for safety. The item is gotten after a series of events in the overworld, rather than the completion of a dungeon. The real third dungeon, Tower of the Gods, is found after making use of the three quest items and is completed to find the Master Sword. And the traditional unexpected twist occurs after completion of the fourth dungeon (Forsaken Fortress).
  • Mini-Dungeon: The Savage Labyrinth, whose first 30 floors are required to get the chart that leads to one of the Triforce fragments to enter the Very Definitely Final Dungeon. The game also has Fire Mountain and Ice Ring Isle, which are short but contain items (the Power Bracelets and the Iron Boots, respectively) necessary to access through main dungeons (Earth Temple and Wind Temple, again respectively).
  • Money for Nothing: Outside of deciphering Tingle's charts, there is almost nothing to spend money on in this game. The game contains over 40 Treasure Charts, a few of which contain Heart Pieces or other things, but every other one contains Silver Rupees (worth 200 each), and there are a multitude of chests that Link can dig up that have Red (20) or Purple (50) rupees. Link can hold up to 5,000 rupees by the end of the game, yet the only things to buy are...
    • Tingle's incredibly expensive chart deciphering for the game's Plot Coupons.
    • The Treasure Chart, Piece of Heart, and Empty Bottle from the Rock Spire Ship Shop.
    • A couple of items from the Windfall Auction House.
    • A few ammo and bait refills (the former of which you'll almost always just get from within dungeons).
    • The bonuses from the Tingle Tuner.
    • The HD remake raises the cost of Legendary Pictographs, needed to complete the Nintendo Gallery.
  • Mook Bouncer: With the Wallmasters absent in the game, The Floormasters serve as this by pulling you down and sending you back to a previous area. If you have the Tingle Tuner equipped, you will be able to see the enemy in advance (GCN version only). In addition, the Floormasters will now pull your partner into another area (either Medli or Makar).
  • Motive Decay: Nothing of what originally motivated Ganondorf is really at play anymore, but he still won't give up on ruling Hyrule, even though it's flooded. Though he does say he only supposes that's what originally motivated him.
  • Multi-Mook Melee: Happens on some of the islands; Shark Island is semi-notorious for this (see Bragging Rights Reward above). Also happens once you get the Master Sword. All those Darknuts and Moblins frozen in time throughout the castle? They all unfreeze simultaneously, and you can't get out until they're all dead. Have fun!
  • Mythology Gag: Quite a few things from Ocarina of Time and its Dummied Out elements. A blond Kokiri named "Fado" was meant to be the wind sage in OoT, but her role was changed to a simple Creepy Child minor NPC with an oddly in-depth personality. This would later be achieved in Wind Waker with its own "Fado", who is a Gender Flip of the original. There are also a few Dummied Out temples that achieved reality in this game. If you actually look and compare this game with the beta of OoT, it's actually quite similar aside from the storyline, right down to sages powering up Link's Master Sword.
  • New Game+: Beating the game once unlocks the second quest, which lets you play through the game wearing Link's pajamas that he wears at the beginning, allows you to read the Ancient Hylian text (though Link is still dumbfounded by the text), and gives you the color Picto Box right off the bat.
    • And your Nintendo Gallery Progress is kept.
    • References to Link's clothes are also slightly changed.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Once again. Why does Link always end up accidentally helping the evil he's supposed to kill? Ocarina of Time, the Oracle games, Four Swords... and now THIS. This time, when getting the Master Sword, he unlocks not only the monsters from their stasis but also gives Ganondorf his power back. Oh, and the Master Sword lost its power long before Link even pulled it, meaning he can't even fight Ganondorf.
    • Unlike the previous example, this one isn't explicitly pointed out, but by assembling the Triforce of Courage to go after Ganondorf, Link gives him the opportunity to get his wish.
  • Noblewoman's Laugh: Courtesy of the Great Fairies.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Ganondorf beats the living crap out of Link with nothing but his fists in one cutscene.
  • No Place for Me There: Why King Hyrule doesn't go with Link and Tetra to the surface. He's realized that Hyrule is a dead land, and he, like Ganondorf, couldn't let go of it. Instead, he tells the kids the new land would be theirs before they go.
  • Nothing Is the Same Anymore: The theme of the game, more or less, is that nothing can resist the winds of change. The point is driven home by the ending, in which Ganondorf, the Master Sword, and Hyrule - the three major constants of the Zelda series - are forever sealed and buried under the ocean by the power of the Triforce.
  • Notice This: If you let Link stand still for a short while, his eyes will eventually drift toward whatever nearby object or feature happens to be relevant.
  • Not So Different: The King says that, in a sense, he was the same as Ganondorf, being unable to let go of a dying land.
  • Ocean Punk
  • Offhand Backhand: If, while targeting one enemy, another sneaks up behind, Link will strike both with one wide swing if they're close enough.
  • Official Couple: Anton and Linda.
  • Off Screen Teleportation: No matter how fast you sail between Windfall and Spectacle Island, Salvatore will be there to run his minigame. The same applies to Loot and the Boating Coarse.
  • Oh, Crap: Link in one cutscene, when he realizes that his magic sword doesn't work anymore and Ganondorf has a giant katana pointed at him.
  • One to Million to One: Jalhalla, boss of the Earth Temple. Killing the smaller parts is what actually harms it, as evidenced by its lifebar.
  • One True Sequence: Although traveling can be anywhere, the game is very linear; unlike the earlier games, you have to complete dungeons in the order the game wants you to. You may, however, collect the Triforce Shards in any order and either before or after completing the Earth and Wind Temples.
  • One-Winged Angel: The first game in the series where you fight Ganondorf, but not in his boar form. Puppet Ganon, on the other hand, does this happily. Twice.
  • Only Shop in Town: Beedle's shop ship is this for most of the overworld.
  • Opening the Sandbox: At first, you can only sail in the direction that the King of Red Lions tells you to. After getting the second pearl, you can sail anywhere except the Forsaken Fortress (despite the King's insistence that you head to Greatfish Isle immediately). Of course, it might be worth it to stay on track until you at least get a few weapons... Sure, every sea enemy can be killed with the boomerang alone, save the cannon boats (and Cyclos), but it's hell to travel that way.
  • Pet the Dog: Ganondorf promises Link he won't kill him. Not only does he quickly break this promise, but he made it after beating the boy silly with nothing but his fists. Granted, this was before the King of Hyrule came out of nowhere and single-handedly ruined his plans when he was seconds away from achieving his goal. Needless to say, Ganondorf was pissed off, so it's not surprising that he would go back on his word. Chances are, had the King not interfered, he actually would have let Link off with just the beating.
  • Petting Zoo People: The Rito are the bird version of this.
  • Pimped-Out Dress: Mila wears one, until her father gives away his fortune to save her. After Maggie's father gets his fortune, she gets that very dress.
  • Pirate Girl: Tetra. Later, Aryll too.
  • The Precarious Ledge: There's a few of these occurrences during which you have to get past with the "sidle" command. You're fine as long as you don't let up the 'A' button.
  • Prison Episode: The Forsaken Fortress.
  • Prolonged Prologue: The beginning of the game is quite different from the rest of it: you start out in a tiny island with no weapons, hang out with a cast of pirates and are carted around on their ship, lose your equipment and have to spend about an hour doing a Stealth-Based Mission (the only one in the entire game), and then have to do a number of fetch quests for various townspeople. It's only about 3 and a half hours into the game when you finally have your equipment and your own boat that the game catches its stride.
  • Promoted Fanboy: Two In-Universe examples:
    • The two humans who are obsessed with and dress like the Rito. The Rito sponsor their flying contest.
    • The figure fan walking around the Nintendo Gallery can have a figure made of himself.
  • Punny Name: Medli's name is a multi-lingual Hurricane Of Woolseyisms in and of itself. To clarify, the name Medli, obtained during translation to English by removing the O of the original phonemic name Medori, is close to and sounds like the musical term Medley. Now in addition to that, the French and German translations brought back the O and changed her name again to Médolie. Médolie is a simple anagram of the French (and German) word Mélodie, the meaning of which you can probably guess (it's not a false friend). It's anyone's guess whether Medli's name is a series of exceptionally fortunate coincidences or some ridiculously extensive forethought on the part of the developers. Or, you know, a bit of both.
    • As a side note, "dori" in "Medori" is one way to read the character for "bird," another being "tori," which in Japanese is "Rito" backwards. Add that to the fact that "Rito" intentionally sounds like "Ruto," the name of the princess whose race is ancestral to the Rito, and you have a very significant spin-off hurricane.
    • Also, Medli. Makar. Medley Maker.
      • And if you make a medley of the songs that the two characters play, it creates the game's main theme.
  • Puzzle Boss: Not unusual for Zelda games, but special mention to Ganondorf, who actually learns to parry more of Link's attacks as the battle goes on.
  • Rage Against the Heavens: Turns out to be the crux of Ganondorf's plot.
  • Rags to Riches: Played straight and inverted. After the girls are rescued from the Forsaken Fortress, it turns out the snooty rich girl's father put them into the poorhouse trying to get her back, so now they are the poorest hobos in town. And of course, the poor girl and her father become extremely wealthy (they even move into the rich girl's old home), because apparently she brought back so many Moblin Skull Necklaces with her and they were so valuable that they were able to sell them off and become filthy stinking rich. The formerly poor girl's father lets it slip that he's dreamed his entire life of taking part in this trope. Now that he's achieved his dream and is a rich man, he goes from being pitiful to being highly obnoxious overnight. Meanwhile, his counterpart doesn't seem upset about losing all his money, as he's learned that his daughter's safety is what really matters.
  • Reality Ensues: When they finally face off for their climactic showdown, Ganondorf smacks the Master Sword out of Link's hand and them beats the boy silly with his bare hands - what would happen if a 12-year-old tried to fight a fully grown adult, let alone a bandit king and wielder of the Triforce of Power. Link only stands a chance after Ganon loses the Triforce, and then only with Tetra's assistance.
  • Role Reprisal: While Link and Zelda were given new voice actors, Takashi Nagasako would reprise his role of Ganondorf from Zelda: Ocarina of Time.
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something:
    • The King of Hyrule. The spirits Valoo, the Deku Tree, and Jabun all seem to imply that he's taken up the mantle of saving Hyrule, and they're simply trying to help. Valoo and Jabun even tell him "We're counting on you!" Before he found Link, he was the hero, so to speak.
    • Tetra counts as well, considering her status as a princess.
  • Ruins for Ruins' Sake: Completely averted for once. Each and every ruin has both a purpose and a good reason for its decay.
  • Rush Boss: The battle between Link and Cyclos lasts only 30 seconds, but that time is decisive. If you fail to quickly shoot three arrows to Cyclos, he will use his cyclone to take you away to a random part of the Great Sea., forcing you to look for him again for a rematch. And if you aim for 100% Completion, then you will also need to take a pictograph of the opponent before defeating him, otherwise you will never have another chance.
  • Same Content, Different Rating. The original GCN version was rated E for Everyone. The Wii U remake is rated E10+, but the content is intact.
  • Scenery Gorn: Greatfish Isle, which is a horrific contrast to the rest of the game's islands - the entire island has been ripped to shreds by Ganondorf and his forces. The contrast of approaching the island, seeing the swirl of dark clouds above it, and its horrific state, is extremely jarring when contrasted with the rest of the game, likely intentionally so.
  • Scenery Porn: The cel shaded backgrounds push the Gamecube to their limits, and nearly everything is gorgeous. Some of the larger landforms and buildings, most notably the Tower of the Gods, actually use realistic shading and detailed textures to simulate the detailed background of a high-quality animated film. Taken even further with the HD remake.
  • Second Coming: Subverted. Everyone expected the Hero of Time to return to deal with Ganondorf when he was released from his imprisonment, but he didn't. This didn't deter the surviving citizens of Hyrule from dressing up boys in the garb of the Hero of Time in the hope that they can one day instill the same level of courage in them to defeat evil. However, years later, a new hero who ended up bearing the Triforce of Courage was recognized by Ganondorf as "the Hero of Time, reborn". Even Hyrule Castle is seen to be honoring the Hero of Time as a Messianic Archetype.
  • Ship Tease:
    • Link and Tetra have several lingering moments. Following Tetra's initial dislike of him, the pair grow closer as time moves on, particularly after it is revealed Tetra is Zelda.
    • The Dialogue Tree always leans to ship-tease with Mila.
    • In addition to a few teases with Link, Medli and the Rito prince Komali seem to have a few lines of dialogue hinting at something with each other.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Sniper Scope Sway: There's no scope, but Link's bow sways anyway.
  • Spinning out of Here: Occurs when you're teleported out of a completed dungeon.
  • Splash of Color: Link retains his color — such as his bright green clothes — while he's in Hyrule Castle, which otherwise only has slightly-tinted grays. The rest of the castle's color returns when Link pulls the Master Sword.
  • Stealth-Based Mission: Forsaken Fortress.
    • Following Mila on Windfall at night.
  • Stealth Pun: As per usual, the Spectacle Rock formation appears in this game, but as an island. For those unaware, Spectacle Rock is always shaped like eyeglasses when viewed from above. The island is no exception. However, between the two outcroppings of rock is a literal bridge, which is the technical name of the wire that connects the two eyepieces together.
  • Suddenly Voiced: "Come on!" and "Meow!"
  • Suit Up of Destiny: This is the first time Link began his adventure without his green tunic and hat, a tradition to be followed by Twilight Princess, Spirit Tracks, and Skyward Sword.
  • Surpassed the Teacher: You can undergo a minigame involving sparring with your former instructor in the art of swordplay. If you get a score of 1000 points, he responds in this manner.
  • Supreme Chef: Link's grandmother. Her soup replenishes all your hearts, replenishes all your magic, and doubles your attack strength until you take damage. And you get two doses of it per bottle.
    "Now that is one hearty soup!"
  • Surprise Creepy: The Zelda franchise has always been good at this, but the art-style makes the creepy moments stand out all the more. That's without mentioning the rather dark backstory, and Ganondorf meets his end at the hands of Link via "brain-kebab". There's also the No-Holds-Barred Beatdown mentioned above. Unsettling enough on its own merits (how often do you see Link at the receiving end of those?), the fact that the oldest Link could be is 16 and possibly as young as 9 makes it all the worse.
  • Sympathy for the Devil: This incarnation of Ganondorf is largely seen as the most sympathetic, for his Freudian Excuse and his visible tiredness of being the Evil Overlord. He's still a total prick, though.
  • Take My Hand: Having grown very attached to Daphnes during their journey, Link desperately reaches out to the King when he forces them up to the surface after the final battle. It's made all the more heart wrenching when the King also raises his hand toward Link, but then slowly lowers it down sadly, while Link floats away with both a very sad and confused look on his face.
  • Taken for Granite: Ganondorf turns to stone after being impaled by the Master Sword. Apparently he's now the pedestal.
    • There are also the Purple Chu Chus. They're invulnerable to any kind of attack, but once light touches them, they turn to stone (for a short while anyway) in which state you can either crush them to death with the Skull Hammer or pick them up and throw them before they recover (or throw them into one another!), or use them as a weight on a switch.
  • Schizo Tech: Wooden submarines, robo-turrets, and a camera, to name a few. The camera can even become a color camera, though that's through magic, not technology. However, the way the camera handles images is too similar to the way a digital camera handles pictures for the camera to be completely magical.
  • Theme Tune Cameo: Each of the prayers given to restore the Master Sword are a half of the title theme - Medli's being the first half and Makar's being the second.
  • This Is Gonna Suck: Link's face just before being launched from a catapult.
  • Throwing Someone Else's Sword Always Works
  • Tomboy Princess: Being a princess with Action Girl moments already makes Princess Zelda a potential candidate for this trope, but this installment's version of her is regarded as an especially clear example.
  • Top-Heavy Guy: Many character designs, especially the sailors on Windfall Island.
  • Too Awesome to Use: Get 30 points at Beedle's Ship Shop and he'll give you a Complimentary Coupon, which does... Exactly What It Says on the Tin. Get 60 points, though, and you'll get the Fill-Up Coupon, an item which lets you immediately refill every ammo-dependent item in your inventory, along with health and magic, completely free of charge. The problem? You only get one. You'll never be low enough on ammo (and be near a Ship Shop) that you'll feel justified in using it.
  • Took a Level in Badass:
    • Tetra. Not only is she a badass pirate leader with no qualms about showing it, she doesn't hesitate to get in on the action in the final boss battle with Ganondorf, despite being revealed to be the usually-unhelpful Princess Zelda.
    • Link himself easily counts. While this is nothing new in the series for him, his level-taking is especially noticeable. He goes from a goofy kid setting off on a half-baked mission to rescue his kidnapped sister and overall Butt Monkey to earning right to bear the Triforce of Courage, clearing out temples to restore a depowered Master Sword and reinstate the Gods' chosen sages, and ultimately defeating Ganondorf in one of the best final boss battles in the series. Took a Level in Badass, indeed.
  • Tron Lines: The Tower of the Gods has these on just about everything.
  • Tsundere: Tetra falls into that territory, thanks to being a pirate as well as a princess.
  • The Unchosen One: The actual Hero of Time failed to appear, so this Link is his replacement. Link has to earn the right to the Triforce by sailing around the sea to find it, instead of just getting it Because Destiny Says So. At first, he's so weak that even ordinary Moblins give him serious trouble until he gets the Master Sword. Eventually, however, he is given his own title as the "Hero of Winds".
  • Unwitting Pawn: Congratulations! You've obtained the Master Sword, the legendary blade of evil's bane! Except that pulling it from its pedestal has unlocked the seal on Ganon's magic, not to mention that its own powers have weakened, and until you restore them the blade can't even touch him.
  • Victory Fakeout: Puppet Ganon pulls this after beating his first form.
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential: Unexpected in a Zelda game, but it does exist in spades in this one. You can do some really nasty things to Medli and Makar when they accompany you in the temple dungeons, as they are Nigh Invulnerable.
  • Video Game Stealing: Done in a realistic way. Items stolen from enemies with the Grapple Hook actually disappear from their inventory.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Ganondorf after Daphnes completely derails his plan. He stands perfectly still for several minutes, then suddenly starts laughing.
  • Villains Never Lie: Only the honest can see the Hero's New Clothes. Turns out Ganondorf can see them just fine.
  • Visual Pun: Tott spends all day and all night dancing in front of a gravestone. Disco is dead.
  • Weaponized Offspring: The Mothula enemies counter-attack by launching a blast of Morths at you which cling to Link to slow him down.
  • Wide Open Sandbox: The second largest overworld of any Zelda game. It's just that most of it is water.
  • Winged Humanoid: The Rito are a unique variation. Their arms are their wings. As soon as they take off, the feather "sleeves" fold out to form fully functional wings.
  • Wise Tree: The Deku Tree.
  • Worthy Opponent: Ganon seems to regard Link as such.
    Ganon: Do not betray my expectations.
    A series of boss battles commences. Afterwards...
    Ganon: Yes, surely you are the Hero of Time, reborn. Your time has come... Come now... Stand before me.
  • World Limited to the Plot: For most of the population, this is what living on the island is like: their world ends at the edge of the sea. It's when the plot starts intruding in (most obviously on Link's home island, but when monsters start popping up when the sun is down and the forces of evil cause a never ending night at one point in the plot) when things start freaking out.
  • Wouldn't Hit a Girl: Although he does give her a heavy backhand, Ganondorf goes out of his way (even sheathing his swords) to avoid seriously harming Tetra, even while she's actively trying to kill him.
  • Young and in Charge: Tetra.
  • Your Princess Is in Another Castle: So you've got the Master Sword, stormed the Forsaken Fortress, saved your sister, and are now about to go kill the Big Bad - sweet! ... Wait, the Master Sword lost its power? Oh, Crap.
  • Zonk: One of the auction prizes is a treasure chart... that leads to a single rupee.

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alternative title(s): Wind Waker; The Wind Waker; The Legend Of Zelda The Wind Waker; The Wind Waker
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