The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker

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I have scattered the seeds of the future...

The tenth game in The Legend of Zelda series would be the first Game Cube 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 (roughly 100 years), showed off cel-shading techniques to produce a game visually reminiscent of anime. Its major gimmick was 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 mode using the Game Boy Advance cable, allowing a second player to control Tingle and assist (or hinder) the player.

Set on an ocean, a new Link (the "Hero of Winds") faces a restored (and even more tragic) Ganon and does a lot of sailing. There are forty-nine islands of varying importance and size, and the sea is vast enough to hide lots of secrets and treasure.

Tropes regarding the Manga adaptation can be found here.

Tropes used in The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker include:
  • 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 more feminine example of this trope, but one nonetheless.
  • Adipose Rex: King Daphnes Nohansen Hyrule, though he still looks quite dignified.
    • "Lord" Valoo, too.
  • 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" half of the timeline split caused by Ocarina of Time.
  • Art Style Dissonance: The game is often considered too "kiddie" by the Fan Dumb for the art style. They apparently don't notice that the game takes place after a major flood has reduced Hyrule to ruins and Ganondorf gets stabbed through the head.
  • Auction
  • Badass: Link of course, but some will find him Badass Adorable.
    • Ganondorf took a level in some people's opinions.
    • Badass Grandpa: Orca.
    • 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.
    • Retired Badass: Arguably Sturgeon, Orca's brother and longtime sparring partner.
  • Bald of Awesome: Orca again.
  • BFS: The Darknut swords. And you get to wield them! Same for the swords dropped by Phantom Ganon.
  • 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 hiragana. Actually, any dialogue spoken in ancient Hylian matches exactly the Japanese script: notable occurences are the drawings in the opening cutscene, and Jabu-Jabu speech.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Tingle. First, there's the obvious answer-he's got two guys who look just like him who do nothing all day but make the giant Tingle head at the top of the tower spin; you know that can't be voluntary. Then, if you talk to the one in pink, he tells you that Tingle is a pretty abusive guy, even on top of forcing his own brother to do manual labor day in and day out, and all but begs you to visit more often, because on the days Tingle gets a visit from his "fairy friend", he's so much nicer to them. The guy in white isn't even related to them; he's just some poor schmuck who washed up on the shore of Tingle Island one day after a boating accident, and has been stuck there ever since.
  • Bonus Dungeon: The last 20 (optional) floors of the Savage Labyrinth.
  • Book Ends: Sailing away from Outset Island with the pirates.
  • Boss Dissonance: Mario-type, 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.
  • A Boy and His X: A boy and his mentor, a talking wooden ship, that happens to be possessed by the spirit of the King of Hyrule from before the flood.
  • Battle in the Rain: Ohh... boy is it ever exaggerated. 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.
  • 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
  • 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.
  • Climax Boss: The Helmaroc King.
  • 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.
  • 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.
    • Also, Ganondorf survives Valoo's barbecue of the upper part of the Forsaken Fortress without being harmed. Granted, this is Ganondorf we're dealing with...
  • Continuity Nod: Ocarina of Time's Seven Sages appear in stained glass.
    • The last few notes in the Ballad of Gales are reused from the ending to the Minuet of Forest from Ocarina of Time.
    • There are also numerous references to A Link to The Past, including the theme in Hyrule Castle, when Zelda's Triforce piece completes within, and the first part of Phantom Ganon's theme being based on Ganon's battle music in that game, with the second half coming from Ganondorf's battle music in Ocarina of Time. Additionally, Phantom Ganon's theme has an intro taken from Ganon's intro music in the first game. Furthermore, one piece of music which was in the demo, but was only in the final game during The Reveal that Tetra was Princess Zelda, is a remix of LTTP's title screen theme
    • The Hero of the Winds song is a remix of the original title screen music (aka the first music ever heard in the series).
    • The Outset Island theme contains a nod to the Kokiri Forest theme from Ocarina of Time. As does the Forest Haven theme.
    • Windfall Island's theme definitely takes its cues from Kakariko Village.
    • The track Farewell Hyrule King is a classical cover of the Hyrule Castle theme from LTTP, with a hint of the Dungeon theme from the first game.
    • C-stick motions for the Requiem of Wind are exactly the same as the C-button directions for Epona's Song in Ocarina of Time and Majoras Mask. Fitting, as both songs allow you to have access to a more reliable, faster transportation method.
    • 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.
  • Cool Boat: The King of Red Lions.
  • Cosmic Deadline: This is the game where Nintendo started paying attention to deadlines. The most glaring example is the fact that Nayru's Pearl does not require a dungeon to obtain; predictably, it was going to. Of course, that may have been a relief if you hated Jabu-Jabu's belly in Ocarina. Nintendo has become a bit more lax with deadlines in later games as a result of this. Sometimes too far the other way.
  • Could Say It, But...: The "Nice Girls who never spread rumors", even if you pay them rupees.
  • Crap Saccharine 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!
  • Cute Shotaro Boy: Link.
  • 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 entire ocean wash over him.
  • 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, his spirit not currently inhabiting the boat. He also doesn't talk or move.
  • 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.
  • Disintegrator Ray: The Light Arrows have this effect immediately, on nearly every enemy they touch.
  • Damsel in Distress: 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.
  • 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.
  • Dummied Out: The game was originally meant to have 3 dungeons more, 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 also 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".
  • 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.
    • You'd be surprised how many uses the All Purpose Bait has.
    • 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, totally 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.
    • Not to mention 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.
  • 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 worse than the aforementioned Gyorgs 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 even 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Faux Action Girl: All we ever see Tetra do is get caught in a tree, boss people around, get left behind, get kidnapped and knocked out, then beaten senseless when she helps us in a fight. She helps a bit at the end, but for the most part doesn't do all that much actiony stuff.
  • Feathered Fiend: The Helmaroc King. The common Kargorocs as well.
  • 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.
  • 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).
  • 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.
    • During the final boss fight when he realizes that you're acting as a distraction while Zelda shoots him he simply jumps over to her and knocks her unconscious.
  • Ghost Ship: Called the ghost ship.
  • 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.
  • Gotterdammerung: 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: The Stalfos. If you are holding their mace when they regenerate will rip off one of their own arms and use it as a nun-chuck.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Hollywood Sailing: Although easier to sail with the wind than against it, Links methods of sailing are pretty unrealistic. Since doing it otherwise would otherwise make the game immensely tedious and frustrating, this can be filed under Acceptable Breaks From Reality. Also, it's a talking boat.
  • Hopping Machine: The Servants of the Tower (statues you control in the Tower of the Gods), and Armos statues.
  • 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: Subverted. 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 that she fell in love with during her captivity. However, it turns out that the Moblin simply wanted to eat her.
    • The fish who fills in the map squares 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 titular item, 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 may be the biggest one in the series.
    • Giving him Skull Necklaces (after you get the Treasure Chart he gives you) has him reward you with Rupees. He doesn't hand them to you so can do your "You Got a Red Rupee!" cutscene-- he throws the money on the floor for you to pick up yourself.
    • Jabun, as well. 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.
  • 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 Tetra's crew returns his daughter, he gives up his whole fortune to pay the ransom. Maggie's father, on the other hand...
    • Mila as well. Yes, she 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 an entirely different island.
  • Karma Houdini: A few characters.
    • The pirates constantly make off as if they were heroes (it's implied they've done very unsavory things in the past, though their on-screen actions are more abrasive than anything).
    • Maggie's father, who was whiny and pathetic, gets his daughter back and rises to be the richest man on Windfall, to instantly become an arrogant Jerkass.
    • The Killer Bees are said to do nothing but cause trouble and cut school time and time again. Their punishment? You beat them in a game of hide-and-seek and they decide they'll listen to you and do the right thing.
    • Mila, moments away from robbing Zunari blind, gets a stern talking to and hands you a bottle. Admittedly, she had an excuse, and she never technically did anything wrong[1]...
  • 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 Phantom Hourglass, Spirit Tracks, and even 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 long[2]).
  • 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.
  • 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 island. 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.
  • 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.
  • 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: Once you obtain all the figurines in the Nintendo Gallery minus the hidden character Knuckle, you can no longer accept Knuckle as a figurine.
    • Also, some other candidates for the Nintendo Gallery must be gotten before certain points in the game, or they will no longer be available. [3]
  • Luck-Based Mission: Beating the "Squid Battleship" game for treasure maps and a piece of heart.
  • Mayincatec: The Tower of the Gods bears similarity to ancient South American architecture, esp. Gohdan.
  • Magical Camera: The Pictobox functions more or less like a normal camera, except that it develops instantly and can only keep three pictures at once, 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 Wand: The Wind Waker.
  • Match Maker Quest
  • Multi Mook Melee: Happens on some of the islands. 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 their 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 Pictobox 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 meaning he can't 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 Zelda 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Padding: All of the sailing. Arguably, the reassembly of the Triforce of Courage.
    • Less arguably, gathering enough rupees for Tingle to translate the maps leading to the Triforce shards.
  • 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 literally 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 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
  • Prison Episode: The Forsaken Fortress.
  • Promoted Fanboy: 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 both. Or 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.
  • 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 totally 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 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.
  • 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 picto shot to the opponent before defeating him, otherwise you will never have another chance.
  • Scenery Porn: The cel shaded backgrounds push the Gamecube to their limits, and nearly everything is gorgeous.
  • Second Coming: 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.
  • Shout-Out: There's a sign at the top of the lighthouse on Windfall Island written by a 'J.L. Picall'. Sound familiar?
  • Sniper Scope Sway: There's no scope, but Link's bow sways anyway.
  • Spinning Out of Here: Occurs when you're teleported out a completed dungeon.
  • Stealth-Based Mission: Forsaken Fortress.
  • 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.
  • 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, oh yeah, did we mention Ganondorf meets his end at the hands of Link via a brain-kebob?
    • There's also the No-Holds-Barred Beatdown mentioned above. Unsettling enough on its own merits (how often do see Link at the receiving end of those?), the fact that Link's only thirteen - and most definitely looks it - 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 use them as a weight on a switch.
  • Schizo-Tech: Wooden submarines and a camera, to name a few. The camera can even become a color camera, though that's through magic, not technology.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 dissapear from their inventory.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Ganondorf after Daphnes completely derails his plan. He stands perfectly still for several minutes, then suddenly starts laughing.
  • Visual Pun: Tott spends all day and all night dancing in front of a gravestone. Disco is dead.
  • 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: Surely you are the Hero of Time, reborn. Your time has come....

  • World Limited to the Plot: Arguably invoked. 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 Zelda, even while she's actively trying to kill him.
  • Young and in Charge: Tetra.

Notes

  1. though Attempted Robbery is still a punishable crime in pretty much every system
  2. assuming lock was set on hold
  3. Helmaroc King, Kogoli the Rito, Tetra, Big Octo, Cyclos, Mighty Darknut, Miniboss Wizzrobe, Phantom Ganon, Puppet Ganon.