Posted on August 23 2013 by Axle D. Wilder
Despite my general opposition to remakes, recent news has even me a bit excited about The Wind Waker HD. Faster sailing, a reworked Triforce quest, increased Pictobox capacity, but mostly a new Hero Mode like that of Skyward Sword’s… Finally this game is confirmed to have some new additions that make me excited about it. That said, there are also a number of things missing from it. The Wind Waker is my least-favorite Zelda game and if I were to list off all the things I’d “fix” about it, we’d be talking a much more drastic overhaul than we’re seeing with The Wind Waker HD. As such, this list will only include additions that fall in line with the degree of the changes we’ve already seen announced; they’re additions I think could have easily been fit in with the collection of changes that the remake already features.
While unannounced additions to the remake may include entries on this list, I think further major announcements are unlikely with the release date so near. And hey, if anything on this list is announced, then consider that wish satisfied! So, without further ado, here’s my list of additions that should have been in The Wind Waker HD:
#5 – New Areas or Tasks
And it looks like right off the bat I’m contradicting myself! In all seriousness though, while this entry might seem to conflict with my prior terms of this list excluding things that would fall outside the relatively small scale of this remake, keep in mind I’m not talking full dungeons, or entirely new sections of overworld, or a lengthened main quest, or anything along those lines. I’m simply talking about a few new caves or areas of some kind to explore, or new sidequests or collectibles.
Ocarina of Time 3D didn’t have anything of this sort either, but I think that was a missed opportunity there too. Many bigger-scale remakes than these Zelda ones include new areas of game that weren’t featured in the originals, but even beyond that, I’ve seen many small-scale remakes or even just special editions of games include a few small bits of new content. Later releases of Resident Evil 2 have different mini-games. Later releases of Devil May Cry 3, or Kingdom Hearts games, have new bosses.
So why not throw in some new small things in their own secluded corners of the world — where they won’t interfere with the main story or the existing game — for the player to collect, do, defeat, or explore? They already have done this in a way with the Swift Sale found in the auction house of Windfall Island, so why not more? There could be a few extra caves, more submarines, or some new collectible along the lines of the Gold Skulltulas in Ocarina of Time and the Poe Souls in Twilight Princess. There are lots of possibilities.
I’m fond of the idea of portals down to Hyrule’s surface. These could be unlocked at a certain point in the game and would function as self-contained areas of Hyrule below the waves where you might find a few puzzles, secrets, or enemies. It would function as a cool set of explorable areas that would fulfill the fantasy of many players who wanted to see more of the submerged Hyrule in The Wind Waker. Perhaps different atmospheric effects, and the game’s varied area and dungeon music, could be used to make these areas look and feel different from each other. They wouldn’t be hard to make if they mostly used The Wind Waker’s existing assets, and some cool areas could be constructed out of those quite easily.
Still, this is just one idea on what they could have done. The point is simply that the game could use a bit more meat added onto it to justify another purchase for those of us who’ve played the original.
#4 – Something to Spend Your Money On
The Wind Waker was a game that gave you a cavernous wallet to fill. At the time, its 5000 Rupee maximum capacity made it the largest wallet in any Zelda game. And while most Zelda games never really have you make much use of the Rupees you find, The Wind Waker had a very important purpose for them: You needed to collect them throughout the game to pay Tingle’s fees for deciphering your Triforce Charts.
Now that the Triforce quest is getting overhauled, and only three of the Triforce Shards will require Tingle’s deciphered charts, there will be much less use for those Rupees, and The Wind Waker HD will be like the majority of Zelda games, and contain an awkward economy where Rupees are almost useless.
The Wind Waker HD could use something to make up for this. Again I return to the suggestion of collectibles, or perhaps the aforementioned idea of portals to sections of Hyrule could see those portals require deciphered charts to reach as well. Or… perhaps the cost of deciphering the remaining three Triforce Charts could simply be jacked up. I don’t know; again there are a lot of ideas that could work here. But I’d like it if The Wind Waker HD actually had the player make use of its abundant currency like the original did.
#3 – A “Weapon Bag”
I always loved how The Wind Waker let you pick up and use enemy weapons. It was used for puzzles a few times in Dragon Roost Cavern, but it was never really necessary at any point for the rest of the game as a puzzle-solving tool. What I’d like to have seen in The Wind Waker HD is a slight expansion to this concept. The weapons could have been slightly more fleshed out, and had different swinging arcs to the same degree as the sword (instead of in the original, where they only swing one way aside from the spin attack). The player could also be given a means of storing them so that they could use them any time they want.
I call the idea a “Weapon Bag” simply because it follows the carrying item naming scheme the game already has — Bait Bag, Spoils Bag, Delivery Bag — but it needn’t necessarily have that name. It does sound kind of silly. Storing swords and spears in a bag? The bag would tear!
If this item were acquired after Dragon Roost Cavern (since that’s the only time they’re used for puzzle-solving in the game), then having such an addition wouldn’t disrupt any part of the existing game, and it would allow us to use these cool weapons any time we want. It would be best if they were expanded to have the depth of the sword, and heck, maybe they could have other added traits, like block-breaking or armor-piercing, but regardless I think allowing the player to use these weapons any time would have been an awesome feature for the original game, and an awesome feature for the HD remake. If the remake already has a new item like the Tingle Bottle, why not something simple like this?
#2 – Improved Enemy AI and Health in Hero Mode
As I said already, Hero Mode is one of the best additions to The Wind Waker HD in my book. I’ve long criticized The Wind Waker for being a very, very, VERY easy game, and the prospect of a more challenging difficulty (that you can select from the get-go!) is an exciting one. It’s the main reason I’m excited about the game now, and it’s an awesome feature in general for a remake like this.
That said, I am still concerned it might be a bit too easy. Skyward Sword got away with not increasing enemy health because the enemies in that game, especially its bosses, took plenty of hits to kill anyway. In The Wind Waker, that’s simply not the case. Most bosses die in the standard three hits — or three rounds of hits — and many of the regular enemies are similarly frail. While doubling the damage enemies deal to Link and doing away with recovery hearts will go a long way towards making The Wind Waker a harder game, I think not improving enemy durability will make the impact of these changes rather minimal. Hero Mode in this game would greatly benefit from making enemies simply take more hits. Double their original health, perhaps?
It would also be nice to see some AI improvements — even if it’s something as simple as more rapid attack patterns — for those of us who have already gotten to know the game pretty darn well; it might be my least-favorite Zelda game, but I’ve played it more than most other games in the series and that will greatly diminish the challenge of this Hero Mode for me. But even just the health increase would be a big help, and that’s something that would be very easily done.
#1 – Tingle Tuner Support
And finally that brings us to the Tingle Tuner. I’ve talked about this one before. The Tingle Tuner and its sidequest are arguably the features of the original game that the least people got to experience, due to them not having the equipment necessary, or perhaps because they lacked a friend who’d play it with them. It should go without saying that it should have been made more accessible in the remake so that those people could get to try it out for the first time, just like how the Anniversary Edition of Four Swords included a functional single-player mode so people without friends could experience it. But instead the Tingle Tuner was entirely replaced by the Tingle Bottle.
I’m not even complaining about the Tingle Bottle itself. For all I care, they could have had both; sending messages with it seems like a cool enough feature. But the game should definitely have had the Tingle Tuner. Using the GamePad to control the Tuner while someone plays the game seems too obvious. I don’t understand how Nintendo missed it.
I mean, certainly there is an inherent awkwardness to that plan, since the GamePad is used by the player. But the game also has confirmed Pro Controller support, so they could have simply set it up so there’s a mode while the Tingle Tuner is active where the Pro Controller is used by the player, and the GamePad is used by the helper. Maybe it would have been awkward, but it would have been optional and would have allowed people to use this feature pretty easily compared to the requirements it had in the original game.
I simply cannot fathom how Nintendo thought it was okay to include a remake while removing sections of content that were in the original. It couldn’t have been that hard for them to come up with a setup like I just suggested, could it? This is the exact opposite problem of the first entry on the list; remakes should include more content than the original for people who’ve played them before, but much more importantly they should not REDUCE content, for obvious reasons. This is a serious missed opportunity and it will remain one of Nintendo biggest mistakes regarding The Wind Waker HD.
And that wraps up my list. Some of these things are small, but I said that this list would stick to The Wind Waker HD’s scale, and the majority of its changes are pretty small. I think many of these would have been really good additions to the game, and wouldn’t have been too hard to add considering everything they’re confirmed to be doing with the game. I wish we could see this stuff in the remake, but as I’ve said, I’m excited about the game now regardless, and surely it will be enjoyable when it comes out in a little over a month.
Are any of the things on this list things you wanted to see in the game? Are there any additions you would add?