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June 13, 2013 1:44 pm

E3 2013: The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker HD Impressions

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Wind Waker HD - Featured

The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker is polarizing opinions again, 10 years after its original release. We went hands-on with the HD remake of Wind Waker this week at E3 and it’s again going to cause some commotion.

Wind Waker HD’s most obvious change is the visuals. The shaders and the lighting all look amazing and the games art style looks spectacularly crisp and stunning in 1080p. It also runs amazingly smooth, proof that this game will possibly remain timeless in its design.

Nearly everything has been retouched here – the textures, the plants, the characters models, enemies and the even the puffs of smoke. It’s a remaster, Nintendo do these with class. There are still items left outstanding, but it’s likely they’ll be fixed before the game is out later this year.

Remind me to get a photo in this!

Remind me to get a photo in this!

Playing the game on the GamePad feels weird for a GameCube veteran such as myself but it doesn’t take long for it to all fall back into place. The addition of the inventory to the touch screen means you can switch out items to the item buttons easily and without fuss . The game also gains the gyroscopic motion controls for ranged weapons and the binoculars like we saw in Ocarina of Time 3D.

We were offered two demos to play through. The Island Stroll demo starts on Outset Island, the starting point for the game. However, you can see the King of Red Lions boat, Aryll is on watch still and the cutscene to rescue Tetra is plays. Again, this is just the demo, Nintendo didn’t go and mess up or change the opening of the game.

The other playthrough was the Helmaroc King Battle, a boss battle I could not remember at all (but this is basically the bird who stole Aryll). This battle did allow me to use the gyroscope controls, which is why it was likely included on the showroom floor.

Aonuma answered our questions about a possible 'hard mode' for Wind Waker HD.

Aonuma answered our questions about a possible ‘hard mode’ for Wind Waker HD.

The games new Tingle Bottle feature was also available for players to try out. Although not really connected to Miiverse at E3, it does allows people to drop bottles in the ocean and it will appear in another players game. You can even attach screenshots.

We were also given the chance to ask Eiji Aonuma, Zelda series producer one question about the game. We asked if it was possible that Nintendo were going to implement a ‘hard mode’ or change the game for people who have played it before.

Before we give you the answer, we also asked Nintendo staff on hand if the game would be changed at all – for example, the Triforce quest at the end being tweaked or the original cut dungeons restored.

The cut dungeons won’t be restored, nor will the there be hard mode but Aonuma has revealed in a developer interview that there will be ‘minute’ changes to the Triforce Quest and the pacing before the finale.

Apart from this small change the game will be exactly as it was, apart from the Tingle Bottles, updated visuals and of course the fast travel in the boat.

Which you know, is just fine by us.


About the Author

Daniel Vuckovic
The Owner and Creator of this fair website. I also do news, reviews, programming, art and social media here. It is named after me after all. In my spare time I also contribute for Kotaku AU and have contributed many other places.





  1. Thedot

    Actually, he says at the end of the developer demo video Nintendo put that they did do something about the Triforce quest, and he just wasn’t going to reveal it. He agreed that the way it currently is “is cumbersome.”


    • I’ve just been linked this and adjusted the story. I was told there would be no changes by Nintendo staff.

      Its hard to watch all of these videos and have all the current information while on the showroom floor, we go by what we’re told. Very frustrating.


  2. Brian

    Well, they are not adding the cut dungeons. I will not be buying this on launch for sure now, will wait for the price to come down to about $20. I mean look at Links Awakening DX on Game Bot color, it had a extra dungeon. What gives Nintendo? They could have easily added those extra dungeons and one of them could have had some stronger armor or some kind of up grade for a item in your inventory. This is just lazy to me. I for one don’t really care about the hole note in the bottle thing. Something else they should have done in this game was give link a fishing pole with different kinds of bait and different fish to catch in different areas. I mean look at alot of other Zelda games they have some sort of fishing areas. Here you are in the middle of the ocean and no fishing! You could be fishing off the boat or islands and have one of the new islands with a place to buy bait, sell or trade fish for rubies or items. There is alot of possibility here. A hard mode shouldv’e been added also. I guess I’m just disappointed, that’s all.


  3. I actually think that of all the features the Tingle Bottle has the potential to make the remake the most fun. I agree with other comments that its a shame there aren’t any new (or re-added) dungeons in the game, but its been years since I’ve played the original so it will be amazing to finally jump back into the game and experience the new features. Bring on 1080p Wind Waker!


  4. Jesiah

    Putting fishing areas would be meddling with the story as most zelda fans are aware ganondorf clearly states that : They are vast seas…None can swim across them…They yield no fish to catch… so to add a fishing thingy would mean a adjustment to the story. However I understand that a extra dungeon would of been nice ;)


  5. Fergster

    Really can’t decide yet if I’m keen to get this or not. Wasn’t one of my favourite Zelda games when I played it previously, and if I’m going to spend more money on yet another Nintendo remake, I think I’d rather get Majora’s Mask 3D (if it ever actually gets released).



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