Posted by: seanmalstrom | January 14, 2015

Email: What’s beautiful about Wind Waker?

Hello Master Malstrom

I just saw an article on Kotaku (

it’s basically a guy mocking people who were pissed at Wind Waker when it was first revealed and now claim fans love it. Really?! I love to look at the 2001 comments that prove the game broke the fans’ spirit so badly but how the author can claim such BS?!”The average person over the age of 13 can no longer proudly stand by all the opinions they expressed 12 years ago. In time, a person simply decides that dirt no longer tastes good. Later, one regrets the pants they wore in middle school or, further into life, feels some shame when recalling the thing they said in anger to their spouse… A dozen years later, on the occasion of the release of the game’s HD Wii U remake, let us laugh at how so many of us hated this beautiful thing when they first saw it (the original spelling and grammar of these mournful missives has been left intact)…

I am one of these people who were pissed at Nintendo for that ugly art style and honestly I still think it looks like crap. What did I miss? I just don’t get it it still looks like children’s drawings to me! If that was true that we all love it then why Nintendo always avoid to make a Wind Waker-like again even if they obviously want to do it?! And didn’t the HD remake bombed? Why the internet is convinced that Wind Waker is a classic?! They totally believe that BS!

I believe game journalists are saying what Nintendo believes. This is actually a very fascinating topic that has a long history.
After Mario 64, all the game journalists said how ‘successful’ Mario 64 was and, like Nintendo, didn’t reference 2d Mario as 2d Mario. It was that 2d Mario was ‘obsolete’ and 3d Mario was what there would always be. This is what Nintendo believed.
The biggest indicator of something gone awry are game journalists chanting that Zelda 2 was not well received by the public. This went on FOREVER until the 20/20 youtube clip by John Stossel of a story on Nintendo actually shows Zelda 2 (along with Mario 2) as ‘hotly wanted items’ and people literally driving to different states to get it. Not well received my ass. There are many people who love Zelda 2. The people who do not are Nintendo developers. The question is, why? Why doesn’t Miyamoto like Zelda 2? The game was successful. The reason why is that it illustrates that Zelda’s game design is not story and puzzles but arcade action and RPG. Zelda 2 WAS an RPG! Zelda 2 was the first Metroidvania. Many games have tried to emulate its combat, but no one I know has emulated its hybrid design.
In many cases, I believe these game journalists are just copy and pasting Nintendo developer opinions as ‘facts’. If Miyamoto says Zelda 2 was a ‘bad Zelda’, they will quote it as gospel because the source is Miyamoto. But if you look at the market reaction, you see something very different. Wind Waker is said, by Nintendo, to be a ‘good Zelda’. Then why wasn’t it more popular? The truth is that Nintendo, and Miyamoto, do not get to decide which games are ‘good’ or ‘bad’. Only the customer gets to decide that.
I suspect Wind Waker HD was planned even before the Wii U was released. Nintendo assumed Wii U would be a moderate to big hit. No console company assumes their console will be a failure. Iwata said that Wind Waker would be good to ‘introduce people to Zelda’. Perhaps Nintendo saw Twilight Princess’s sales legs with the Wii and wanted Wind Waker to have that with the Wii U. And it is also true Nintendo devs get hot and bothered by marveling at Wind Waker’s graphics.
But here is the thing.
The two DS Zelda games, both being Wind Waker sequels, did not happen by accident. They were deliberate. Someone is PUSHING Wind Waker down our throats to be ‘accepted’ and ‘be good’. I love how Wind Waker keeps being declared to be a ‘good Zelda’ just like how Other M was being declared to be a ‘good Metroid’.
What I’m seeing from Nintendo is a rebelling of developers from consumer tastes. They wish to be selfish and make whatever they hell they want. They’d rather make Gamecubes than Wiis. So why did they make a Wii in the first place just to not continue it? The Wii was not designed to expand the gaming population, the Wii was designed to expand the Gamecube gaming population. Nintendo only made its simplistic games so people would buy 3d Mario and Aonuma Zelda. But that isn’t happening and, as Miyamoto has expressed, there is much bitterness inside Nintendo about it.


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