Hype for the Nintendo Switch has finally died down a little recently, and while I am still pretty skeptical of the device, I can at least agree that the thing will definitely do well at release. I can sum up the reason for this success in four words, new Zelda at release. While the Wii’s release wasn’t particularly amazing, the inclusion of Twilight Princess gave gamers around the world some fantastic Christmas memories of exploring Hyrule, and with hype for Breath of the Wild being at an all time high for any Zelda game, I can imagine it will push a lot of skeptics like myself to go out and purchase the dog shaped console.
Speaking of Breath of the Wild, boy howdy does that game look good. While a lot of people are excited for the change up of gameplay to more open world setting, I am more on board with the amount of links the game is making to Wind Waker, my personal favourite Zelda game. The second I saw the Koroks show up during the E3 footage, I was giddy with delight that Breath of the Wild might be continuing on the world of Wind Waker, a game that I personally believe has some of the best design, story and characters of the Zeldaverse.
Wind Waker starts pretty differently from a lot of Zelda games, namely due of the inclusion of this dude, the Helmaroc King. While the usual set up focuses on Zelda being kidnapped or lost in some way, Wind Waker begins with Links own sister being kidnapped by this feathered freak. First off, points for actually changing up the formula a little, but damn have I talked about how gorgeous this thing looks? His brightly coloured tail feathers contrast perfectly to his purple body, all topped off with a daunting mask that covers his face. I amn’t the only one who thinks this bosses design is stunning, as Link actually collects his feathers in both Wind Waker and Phantom Hourglass as a collectible. The fight against this big ol birb is also pretty fun, starting with a tense chase up collapsing wooden panes, where Link gets to the top and smashes him down into a pool of water. After that the battle takes to the skies, as you have to avoid the Helmaroc King’s swoops down, while attempting to smash his mask off with your hammer. As a minion of Ganon’s, Helmaroc King stood out to me for not only being visually stunning, but also being a threatening ghoul on his own right.
As a boss, Gohdan isn’t actually all that deep or complicated, but the reason I put him here is because of how shocked I was by his appearance in his dungeon. Being the main boss of the Tower of the gods, Gohdan acts as the final test, tasking adventurers with a battle to the death before they are deemed worthy of the master sword. So what I mean by his appearance being interesting is that his hands and general blue colour pallet have a striking resemblance towards Sheikah ruins and designs, notable considering the Sheikah are not present in Wind Waker. It didn’t take me long to release that the Tower of the Gods is actually more or less a Sheikah dungeon, due to the structure being a seal to protect the land of Hyrule and to house a test for Link, both traits usually associated with the Sheikah. So while Gohdan as a boss doesn’t particularly have a lot going on, his link to Sheikah design adds a whole new layer the Tower of the gods as a dungeon.
During my Boss Rush for Twilight Princess, I mentioned that while most incarnations of the character are cool, Wind Waker Ganon is my favourite, and I would still agree. I have seen multiple arguments of which version of the character is the best, based on design, personality or boss fight, and while I can understand that some people tend to lean towards the more menacing, evil, badass representation, I personally adore how for once Ganon was given a sympathetic side in Wind Waker. As a character, Ganon usually doesn’t have a whole lot to do, normally relegated to being just the big bad and not having much more going on. This iteration of the jaundice skinned demon oozes character, from his regal Japanese clothing to his twin sword fighting style, his design absolutely screams king of a forgotten land.
On the topic of lost lands, for the first time in his span of the series, Ganon actually receives his first glimpse of humanity. His tragic backstory of a soldier lost in time struck a cord with me, adding a lot of depth to the character I never saw before. I think the final showdown against Ganon in Wind Waker is still my favourite boss fight of all time, culminating in a two on one showdown at the top of Hyrule castle. As water crashes down around them, Link and Zelda have to work together to bring down the ruthless ginger down, ending with Link digging his sword into Ganon’s head, turning him entirely to stone. After all is said and done, even the King of Red Lions appears to speaks kind words of Ganon, and wishes his suffering can finally end. A fitting end to a surprisingly compassionate villain, and the version of Ganon Instantly think of.
While Wind Waker doesn’t have that many dungeons, the game still has some great boss fights. Even though the action is the last reason I love Wind Waker so much, they are still integral to Zelda‘s design, though it seems like Breath of the wild may be changing that with an open world. Only time will tell if we will ever see a boss fight as impressive as Wind Waker’s finale.
Are you a fan of The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker? Let us know what you think in the comments below.