Posted on December 13 2012 by Axle D. Wilder
This post is going to be a little short because it’s a short moment, but I still wanted to spotlight the Ghost Ship from The Wind Waker. This ethereal vessel was boarded as part of the Triforce quest, where the player had to seek out shards of the Triforce of Courage. But first they had to find the charts leading to them, and one of these charts was found on-board the Ghost Ship.
The Ghost Ship could be seen throughout the game if you were in the right place during the right lunar phase, long before it had to be boarded. The player could only do so while holding the Ghost Ship Chart. The Ghost Ship itself is foreshadowed only a little bit, but it’s enough, and the minimalism here is arguably more effective at setting up anticipation than a lot of detail might have been. Ultimately, the Ghost Ship has no explanation. Who or what used to sail on it, we don’t know.
The cool vessel is accompanied by an epic song that follows it as it sails surrounded by blue flames. It fades away when approached unless you have the chart, making it especially mysterious for players who don’t know what to do with it yet. On-board the ship, the player is attacked by all manner of undead until they claim its prize, the Triforce Chart, but not before witnessing a strange mirror on a wall that has a menacing, sharp-toothed and grinning face on it when you’re not looking at it in first-person view or are too close to it. I’m not sure if many people notice this detail or not.
After acquiring the Triforce Chart, a malevolent laugh sounds and the player is booted from the ship, never to return. The ship is never mentioned again and never explained, though another Ghost Ship appears in Phantom Hourglass.
It’s just a really cool moment. An excellent play on seafaring ghost stories. Nintendo could have probably done a lot more with it, but it’s still really cool as it is, and it’s one of my favorite parts of the game. How about you? Did you like The Wind Waker’s Ghost Ship? Did you notice the creepy mirror? Any other moments like it that you enjoyed a lot? Tell me in the comments!