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The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD

The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD[a] is a 2013 action-adventure game for the Wii U, developed and published by Nintendo. It is a remastered version of the 2002 GameCube game The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker.[6][7] The Wind Waker HD adds native 1080p resolution,[8] an alternative lighting engine, and gameplay changes. The release marked the ten-year anniversary of the original, and was the first Legend of Zelda game released on the Wii U.

The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD
The Wind Waker HD.png
Developer(s)Nintendo EAD
Director(s)Daiki Iwamoto
Producer(s)Eiji Aonuma
Programmer(s)Kenji Higashiyama
Artist(s)Satoru Takizawa
  • Mitsuhiro Takano
  • Hajime Takahashi
  • Eiji Aonuma
  • Kenta Nagata
  • Hajime Wakai
  • Asuka Hayazaki
  • Atsuko Asahi
SeriesThe Legend of Zelda
Platform(s)Wii U



A screenshot of Link on Windfall Island, one of the game's early areas.

The gameplay is largely the same as the original version of The Wind Waker on the GameCube; however, the game offers graphical modifications and various new features not included in the original.

The Wii U GamePad's touchscreen serves as a map and inventory, eliminating the need to toggle between gameplay and the menu interface. Players can use motion controls to control the Wind Waker.[9] Some weapons, like the bow, can be aimed using the GamePad's gyroscope, as in Ocarina of Time 3D. The game offers Off-TV Play which enables the player to play the game solely on the Wii U GamePad. The game can also be played on the Wii U Pro Controller, a controller similar to the one used in the original game.[10]

The Tingle Tuner item, which The Wind Waker utilized via the Game Boy Advance as a peripheral to the GameCube, has been replaced with an item called the Tingle Bottle. The Tingle Bottle is used to send messages to the game's Miiverse community if players are in need of help; players then receive replies containing hints as to current objectives. Using the Picto Box item in the game, players are able to take screenshots, including self-portraits, switching between happy, sad, and surprised facial expressions for Link. They can then post these screenshots to Miiverse for other players to see.[11]

The developers tuned the gameplay to make it less tedious. After completing the Dragon Roost Cavern dungeon, players are able to purchase the Swift Sail at the Auction House on Windfall Island. This item is exclusive to The Wind Waker HD and operates 50% more quickly than the regular sail.[12] The Swift Sail also automatically changes the direction of the wind, which allows the player to sail at full speed all the time without having to do so manually.[13] This is intended to make sailing to small islands and salvage points more enjoyable.[14] The Grappling Hook's crane is also shorter, which speeds up the time needed to haul up treasure.[9] Animations such as those for the grappling hook are quicker.[11]

The Wind Waker HD also features a streamlined version of the Triforce Quest, a controversial aspect of the original game.[11] Whereas in the original game players needed to collect a Triforce Chart for each shard of the Triforce of Courage, the remake allows the player to collect five Triforce of Courage shards directly from treasure chests, and only requires three Triforce Charts to find shards hidden beneath the Great Sea.[11] Additionally, the player begins the game with the ability to carry 500 rupees instead of 200.[15]

Hero Mode, a modified difficulty setting first featured in 2011's The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, is immediately available for The Wind Waker HD.[16] Like in Skyward Sword, Hero Mode results in Link receiving twice as much damage from enemies, while hearts will not appear anywhere in the game world. It can also be toggled on or off at any point before entering the game.[17]


Eiji Aonuma, pictured promoting the game at E3 2013, directed the original release and produced the remake

In a Nintendo Direct presentation on January 23, 2013, a high-definition remaster of The Wind Waker was announced for the Wii U, then slated for release in the north hemisphere fall of 2013. The remaster came about as the development team experimented with art styles for the next main Zelda title, also in development for Wii U. HD remasters of The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess and Skyward Sword were also tested during the planning stages, but the development team considered The Wind Waker's visuals to be the most improved.[18] The Wind Waker HD took six months to develop.[19] The soundtrack was updated by Kenta Nagata, Hajime Wakai, Asuka Hayazaki, and Atsuko Asahi. While the game was developed in-house at Nintendo Entertainment Analysis & Development (EAD), high-resolution textures were produced with the help of a few external companies.[20]


A limited-edition console bundle that combines both a digital version of game and the Deluxe Wii U console was released on September 20, 2013, in North America. The black console features a GamePad with a golden Hylian Crest and golden The Wind Waker-styled Hylian letters and symbols. A redemption code for a digital copy of The Legend of Zelda: Hyrule Historia was also included.[2] A Ganondorf figurine was released with a special edition copy of the game, available exclusively through GameStop.[2]

The Wind Waker HD was first released on the North American Nintendo eShop on September 20, 2013. It was later released at retail in Japan on September 26, 2013;[1] in Europe and North America on October 4, 2013;[3] and in Australia on October 5, 2013.[5]


Aggregate score
Review scores
Game Informer9.25/10[23]
Nintendo World Report10/10[27]

In an early preview, Audrey Drake of IGN noted improved dynamic lighting and shading in the game's graphics engine.[7] However, a later preview noted qualms about the graphic style, stating "The new HD art and bloom lighting look impressive, but they subtract some of the cel-shaded magic that made Wind Waker feel like a playable cartoon."[11] Metro noted better shading, resulting in a "painterly quality", although it spotted some "rough edges" with some textures.[9] In its preview, IGN noted significant differences from the original, saying the remake is "much better, smoother, and feels as capable as a brand new game."[11]

The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD received critical acclaim upon release, according to review aggregator Metacritic.[21] The improved graphics of the game from the original received positive commentary. Dan Ryckert of Game Informer noted that the upgrade was immediately apparent, and that "the vivid colors and crashing waves of the flooded Hyrule [look] fantastic."[23] IGN's Jose Otero stated that the game "looks great."[26] Andrew Fitch of Electronic Gaming Monthly claimed that the game "enhances the already excellent Wind Waker visuals with HD flair."[22]

The story of The Wind Waker HD was met with positive reactions. Both Otero and Nintendo World Report's Neal Ronaghan stated that the story was memorable.[26][27] Marston Gaston of GameSpot said that the game is "filled with great moments."[24]

The Wind Waker HD's audio was met positively. Gaston called it "evocative",[24] and Ryckert said that it "keeps with the tradition of memorable Zelda tunes."[23] Michael Damiani of GameTrailers noted that the audio enhances the experience of the combat.[25]

The combat also received generally positive reactions. Ronaghan called it "simple yet fun",[27] while Otero called it the best feature of the game.[26] Damiani said that the combat is "fast and frantic."[25]


The game's first week sales in Japan were 30,000 physical copies.[30] In the week following the release of Wind Waker HD sales of the Wii U console increased by 685% in the UK.[31]

As of March 31, 2019, it has worldwide sales of 2.30 million units.[32]


  1. ^ Known in Japan as Zeruda no Densetsu: Kaze no Takuto HD (ゼルダの伝説 風のタクト HD, lit. The Legend of Zelda: Baton of Winds HD)


  1. ^ a b "Earnings Release for the Three-Month Period Ended June 2013" (PDF). Nintendo Japan. July 31, 2013. Retrieved August 8, 2013.
  2. ^ a b c Mallory, Jordan (August 28, 2013). "Zelda: A Link Between Worlds and Mario Party: Island Tour hit 3DS Nov. 22". Joystiq. Retrieved September 9, 2013.
  3. ^ a b Phillips, Tom (August 28, 2013). "Nintendo names Zelda: The Wind Waker HD release date". Eurogamer. Retrieved September 9, 2013.
  4. ^ Whitehead, Thomas (August 28, 2013). "The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD Confirmed for 4th October in North America". Nintendo Life. Retrieved August 28, 2013.
  5. ^ a b "NINTENDO LAUNCHES ANIMAL CROSSING PLAZA ON Wii U". Nintendo Australia. August 8, 2013. Retrieved August 25, 2013.
  6. ^ Totilo, Stephen (June 14, 2013). "Streamlined Triforce Quest, No New Dungeons For Wind Waker Remake". Kotaku. Retrieved September 9, 2013.
  7. ^ a b Drake, Audrey (January 23, 2013). "Zelda: Wind Waker Remake Headed to Wii U". IGN. Retrieved September 9, 2013.
  8. ^ Buckley, Sean (June 11, 2013). "The Legend of Zelda: the Wind Waker HD launches in October, boasts faster sailing". Engadget. Retrieved August 9, 2013.
  9. ^ a b c GameCentral (July 11, 2013). "Zelda: The Wind Waker HD & Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze hands-on preview – mostly new". Metro. Retrieved August 9, 2013. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |work= (help)
  10. ^ "ゼルダの伝説 風のタクト HD:ソフト詳細 (English: The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker HD: Soft Description)" (in Japanese). Nintendo Japan. Retrieved September 9, 2013.
  11. ^ a b c d e f Otero, Jose (August 22, 2013). "The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker HD Offers a Definitive Experience". IGN. Retrieved September 9, 2013.
  12. ^ "The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD for Nintendo Wii U". GameStop. Retrieved September 9, 2013.
  13. ^ Reece (August 13, 2013). "Aonuma explains The Wind Waker HD's "Swift Sail"". Zelda Universe. Retrieved September 9, 2013.
  14. ^ Aonuma, Eiji. "Miiverse – Aonuma's posts". Miiverse. Archived from the original on October 4, 2013. Retrieved September 9, 2013. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  15. ^ ZeldaInformer (September 7, 2013). "Timeline Photos". Facebook. Retrieved September 9, 2013.
  16. ^ Otero, Jose (August 22, 2013). "The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker HD Offers a Definitive Experience". IGN. Ziff Davis. Retrieved August 25, 2013.
  17. ^ Makuch, Eddie (August 23, 2013). "Wind Waker HD's hero mode detailed". GameSpot. CBS Interactive. Retrieved August 25, 2013.
  18. ^ East, Thomas (July 4, 2013). "Nintendo tested Twilight Princess and Skyward Sword on Wii U". Official Nintendo Magazine. Retrieved August 8, 2013.
  19. ^ Connor Sheridan (October 5, 2013). "Zelda: Wind Waker HD took 6 months to develop". GamesRadar. Game Revolution.
  20. ^ Iwata, Satoru (August 28, 2013). "Iwata Asks: The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker HD: Archeology". Nintendo. Retrieved September 9, 2013.
  21. ^ a b "The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD for Wii U Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved September 18, 2013.
  22. ^ a b Fitch, Andrew (September 18, 2013). "Come Sail Away". Electronic Gaming Monthly. EGM Media. Retrieved September 18, 2013. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |website= (help)
  23. ^ a b c Ryckert, Dan (September 18, 2013). "Wind Waker HD Review – Even Better Than You Remember". Game Informer. GameStop Corporation. Retrieved September 18, 2013. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |website= (help)
  24. ^ a b c Gaston, Martin (September 17, 2013). "The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD Review". GameSpot. Retrieved September 21, 2013.
  25. ^ a b c Damiani, Michael (September 17, 2013). "The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD – Review". GameTrailers. Viacom. Retrieved September 18, 2013. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |website= (help)
  26. ^ a b c d Otero, Jose (September 17, 2013). "Smooth Sailing". IGN. IGN Entertainment. Retrieved September 18, 2013.
  27. ^ a b c Ronaghan, Neal (September 18, 2013). "Waking the Winds Never Felt This Good". Nintendo World Report. Retrieved September 18, 2013.
  28. ^ Riendeau, Danielle (September 18, 2013). "The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD Review: Sail Away". Polygon. Vox Media. Archived from the original on September 20, 2013. Retrieved March 17, 2015. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  29. ^ Roberts, David (September 18, 2013). "Ocean breathes salty – The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD review". Gaming Trend. Gaming Trend. Retrieved September 18, 2013. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |website= (help)
  30. ^ "This Week In Sales: Zelda: Wind Waker HD Fails To Impress". Siliconera. October 2, 2013. Retrieved October 2, 2013.
  31. ^ Dring, Christopher (October 11, 2013). "Wii U UK sales spike 685% on Zelda launch". MCV. Retrieved October 14, 2013.
  32. ^

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