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YMMV: The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker
  • Adorable Evil Minions: Bokoblins, Moblins, and Miniblins, are this in design and personality.
    • Bokoblins yawn and fall asleep when they're left alone.
    • Moblins cry and hold their rump when Link stabs them from behind.
    • Miniblins look and sound cute.
  • Alternate Character Interpretation:
    • Ganondorf: Irredeemable monster or Well-Intentioned Extremist? King Daphnes: The Atoner 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)?
  • Americans Hate Tingle: Wind Waker isn't Tingle's 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.
  • Author's Saving Throw: The new wind sail and Triforce quest being cut down were both additions added to the HD Remake in order to cut back on the padding.
  • Awesome Music: See here. It is considered by many fans to be the best Zelda soundtrack ever.
  • Broken Base:
    • The Cel Shading 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 Wii U updated HD rerelease with a 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 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?
  • Best Boss Ever: The final fight against Ganondorf is considered one of the best in the series, and it's certainly left its mark on later games - Twilight Princess and Skyward Sword both have epic sword duels with the Big Bad, and Spirit Tracks has Zelda with a bow helping you out.
  • Breather Boss: 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.
  • Contested Sequel: Given it's visually very different from the previous 3D Zelda games, and in terms of character design it's different from the previous 2D games as well. The predecessor it's compared the most to is The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (coincidentially the most related in terms of storyline).
  • Critical Dissonance: Critics seemed to like it, but fans had significantly different responses.
  • Disappointing Last Level: The quest for the Triforce shards. Especially if you are already bored of sailing.
  • Ear Worm:
    • 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.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse: Medli is considered quite the fan favorite.
  • Freud Was Right: The stick Makar uses to play his leaf cello conveniently has two berries dangling from it, and not at the end.
  • Gamebreaker:
    • Grandma's Soup. No doubt the best soup/potion in the entire series. Free, two servings per bottle 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 Updated Re-release, where as opposed to draining magic, it drains rupees, and unlike the Magic Armor in Twilight Princess, Link only loses rupees when he gets hit as opposed to losing them steadily. Combined with Wind Waker having one of the largest wallets in the series allowing for 5000 rupees, this makes him nearly invincicle.
  • Good Bad Bugs: Grandma's 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.
  • Genius Bonus: The Wind Waker actually gives us the names of two kings of Hyrule. Not only do we have 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.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: 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 Nintendo GameCube and the Wii, as well as between the Game Boy Advance and the Nintendo DS:
    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.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: In the final battle Tetra apologizes for oversleeping. Some things really don't change over the incarnations.
  • It Was His Sled:
    • Tetra is Princess Zelda. They make sure you know this in future adult timeline games.
    • Hyrule was buried by a Great Flood prior to the events of the game. It is destroyed for good at the end.
  • It's Easy, so It Sucks: After the game's release, this became the biggest complain about the game along with the sailing system. The HD re-release addressed this too, with a Hero Mode similar to that seen in 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).
  • It's the Same, Now It Sucks/They Changed It, Now It Sucks: Although previous installments got this problem too to different degrees, The Wind Waker was the game that definitely established this Double Standard, not only among fans, but among critics.
    • The biggest fan complaint about the game among those who think "They changed it" is that it was too much of a departure from Ocarina of Time, specially aesthetic wise. However, the significantly lower difficulty compared to its predecessors and the sailing system were also considered major deal brakers.
    • Those who complain "It's the same" argue that the gameplay is basically 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 constrains.
    • 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.
  • Memetic Badass: Link, and not without basis. Kid's only 12, and he uses a hammer twice his size to kill a man-eating bird 20 times his size. Not to mention he's on a boat.
  • Memetic Mutation:
    "Spleeesh." "Ka-BOOM!"
  • Moe: Aryll, Link, and Tetra, among other examples.
  • Mood Whiplash: Imagine going through a graveyard-like temple full of zombies and reanimated skeletons. Your only companion is a bird girl who you must rely on for helping you, unable to kill the ghosts without her help. Eventually you come to a spiral staircase and must leave your only companion behind, afraid of what is beyond that door. As you enter you come into the arena to find a morbidly obese ghost that you fight with circus music playing in the background.
  • Most Annoying Sound:
    • 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.
  • Most Wonderful Sound: The melodic choir that sings whenever Link uses the titular Wind Waker.
  • 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 don't constantly have to realign the wind just to go to the right place.
  • Tainted by the Preview: The first reaction after the announcement of the game. Part of it was because of a tech demo based on Ocarina of Time that was shown at at previous expo, which showed Link and Ganondorf in gorgeous graphics (for its time). As a result, the first trailer of this game made some people feel cheated.
  • That One Sidequest:
    • 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. In the HD rerelease, 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 it'll take a LONG time to get the ones you'll need before they're Lost Forever.
    • 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.
  • Uncanny Valley: From the Wii U 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 lightning was toned down, so the characters don't look doll-like anymore.
  • Vindicated by History: Upon release, this game was instantly lost to the tides of Ocarina of Time nostalgia. Complaints were either about the cel-shaded graphical style, the 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 "brown" games like its successor Twilight Princess (if not all Console Generation 7).
  • Visual Effects of Awesome: 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).
  • The Woobie: 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 Tear Jerker. You cure her with a fairy, after which she realizes how brave Link is for going out to save his sister, and decides she's going to be strong 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 Quad Damage effects, doesn't hurt either.

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