A few weeks back, Alex posted the story about Nintendo re-releasing The Wind Waker for the Wii U in HD. As someone who claims to love The Legend of Zelda franchise, my first reaction shouldn't have been one of disappointment and frustration, right? It was, and I blurted out some trollish comment about how awful the game was. My comment generated a few lovely PM's from some of you. I took my beating and went back under my bridge, but the feeling didn't go away. After talking my thoughts with an old friend who's a fan of the series, I came to the realization that I've seemingly become disenchanted with the series, and it all started with The Wind Waker.
Let me rewind and put this in perspective. I'm 28 and as long as I can remember, haven't hesitated to tell anyone that asks that my favorite gaming franchise is The Legend of Zelda. It's been my comfort food of games. I have so many fond memories of watching my cousin play the original Legend of Zelda, not even knowing how to ride a bike and trying to fumble through The Adventure of Link, and spending hours every night with my mom playing through A Link to the Past. Playing through and experiencing Ocarina of Time when it was first released was unlike anything I'd experienced at the time. Then there's Majora's Mask, which represents the pinnacle of Zelda for me and is easily my favorite game ever.
Then...The Wind Waker happened.
Coming off the heels of the darkest and most unique Zelda game to date, there was certainly a contingency of people such as myself who hoped to see Zelda continue in that direction. The details are sketchy now, but I want to say there were some screenshots or a video of a more realistic looking Zelda game floating around the internet which got a lot of hopes up, mine included. When the first screenshots of The Wind Waker hit with cel shading, I was incensed. I felt like Nintendo had turned their back on me. I was shallow and since it took a step backwards from what I wanted, being 18 at the time made it wrong. When I read Alex's article, I was 18 again and that same sense of being incensed and betrayed by Nintendo came over me ever so briefly.
Needless to say, The Wind Waker never clicked for me. I couldn't look past the graphics. The stealth was off-putting. The sailing was boring. The stupid wind stick was no ocarina! By the end of the summer, I'd given the game to a friend. From that point on, Zelda kind of fell off the map for me. I played a few of the handhelds, but never got around to playing any of the grander large scale console games. There was always an excuse. The motion control in Twilight Princess felt awful. Not really having the time to sink into Skyward Sword. The Wind Waker was still The Wind Waker. You name it and I probably thought it.
For me as a fan of the series, it's time for me to shit or get off the pot. My wife and I are currently in the baby planning stages and accept and understand that once the baby comes, my available time to play games gets dramatically cut. I've decided with The Wind Waker HD coming fall, it's time to get the weight off my back and play the games I claim to be my favorites. I recently
overpaid for purchased a copy of Twilight Princess for the GameCube. Skyward Sword is on deck. I don't intend on rushing myself or burning myself out, but With any luck, I'll be done in time for The Wind Waker HD... a game that still seems to resonate feelings of disappointment, frustration, and betrayal some 10 years later. As much as I don't want to it to, I'm prepared to accept that for me, maybe Zelda ends at Majora's Mask. I hope not though.