Many SPOILERS are contained throughout these posts. You have been warned!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Wind Waker Part 3: Legend of the Environmentalists

Now we come to an island that is... well it's a giant tree. This shouldn't seem odd to anybody who's played OoT, as that game had a tree that was big enough to fit a dungeon inside it.

The outside of Forest Haven is very reminiscent of Zora's River, and it almost seems to be more of a water themed island. Perhaps Forest Haven is a source of pure water, untainted by the salt from the ocean. The water flows out from the inside of the tree, and the way it's set up makes it seem like a kind of barrier.

Once you go inside the tree, there doesn't seem to be a whole lot there at first. It feels like it's full of life, yet at the same time it feels empty... The life force in the Forest Haven is the spirit of the Deku Tree, and its children the Koroks, who all share the same spirit. If you think back to OoT, the Kokiri were forest spirits born from the Deku Tree, and they never grew up, but they could also never leave the forest or else they would die.

After a bit more exploring, you find that you can talk to the big tree in the middle. This is the Great Deku Tree, and he's got a bit of an acne problem...

Since I'm here to get the Farore's Pearl, I guess I'll need to help this tree out. Knocked all these Chu Chu monsters off him and cleaned up. Now he's talking to me in some ancient language. After he realizes I can't understand, he starts speaking in WW language. He says Link reminded him of the Hero of Time, and that for a new Link to be here now, it must mean that Ganon has returned.

Wait, so he returned only recently? The dark evil wind that blew across the kingdom as mentioned in the prologue, was merely Ganon's shadow, or his phantom, perhaps? Since the ending of OoT altered destiny, the events of A Link to the Past were also changed, and Ganon was eventually able to escape his prison in the sacred realm... at least that's one interpretation of where ALttP goes on the timeline, and I think it makes the most sense. You can read more about the Predestined timeline theory here.

For this tree to even know the old Hylian language, he must be quite old. That doesn't necessarily mean he's the Deku Sprout from OoT, since for all we know there could be many Deku Trees. It's possible though. This tree also knows the who the King of Red Lions is. Hmm... the timeline clues here seem significant but too unclear to draw anything from.

But wait, this Forest Haven is obviously much higher above sea floor level than the Kokiri Forest, so how can it be the same Deku Tree? Trees can't get up and walk around. Apparently the Great Deku Tree is an Earth god of some sort. It's likely that it can use its roots to make the land itself rise up, and strengthen the soil so that it could form an island out in the ocean.

Think about where the Deku Sprite was in relation to the giant dead Deku Tree. He was only a few steps away from its wide open mouth. He could've shifted the land enough so that he grew inside the hollow deku tree, raised all the land around it, and eventually turned that tree into the Forest Haven. And the Kokiri spirits turned into Koroks...

They were hiding from Link because they've become afraid of humans. The Deku Tree tells you that the Koroks are his children, and that they once took the form of humans. They took on these shapes when they came to live on the sea. They evolved into walking, flying tree sprouts and they can now leave the forest any time, and can even go out to far off islands to plant other Deku Trees. Every year the Koroks come back to the Forest Haven to complete a ritual to create more seeds... by playing instruments. It's kind of awesome when you think about it.

But now, one of the Koroks is missing, the one called Makar. He went to the Forbidden Woods to try and find out why monsters were invading Forest Haven. It doesn't seem to make much sense. Why would the source of the monsters come from the Forbidden Woods. I guess the place does look kind of evil...

What with the the prickly roots crawling all over it, I mean, you could almost hurt yourself on that! This place must've been another giant tree that grew out of the ocean somehow. I'm guessing those roots are involved. Maybe this is one of the trees in the Lost Woods, and all the monsters living in the forest sheltered it from the flood until it became the Forbidden Woods. It could be connected to the Forest Temple.

If the Koroks succeed in spreading their seeds around the islands of the Great Sea, they will eventually manage to raise old Hyrule up out of the ocean, completely unflooding the land. Of course it'll be completely in ruins by then, but that leaves it open to the possibility that other triforce-related games could go after Wind Waker in the timeline, such as Zelda 1 and 2 for NES...

The gameplay mechanics take even more twists at this level. You can launch yourself out of flowers, blow gusts of wind to hit switches and knock out some enemies, and even parachute through the air with a leaf! Just like the magic leaf from SMB3 :D

Here's where I unsuccessfully try to get to the switch that opens the Nintendo Gallery. damn I thought I had it... I'm not sure if there's another way I'm supposed to go. What? It's been almost 8 freaking years since I last played this, and I'm not using a guide, so yeah...

Also picked up a magic potion even though I'm sure I won't need it.

The first 'puzzle' of this dungeon involves using the wind in innovative ways. The entrance is too far for you to glide to with the leaf... sure it's easy, but really I love how this game makes such great use of the wind in its game mechanics. The Forbidden Woods is a really fun dungeon for its gliding puzzles, and it can even get kind of tricky at times.

There's also bottomless pits in this dungeon, suggesting that it must be a very tall, unusually strong tree coming out of a lower ground beneath the sea level. This tree might even be older than the Forest Haven tree due to the fact that the ground didn't need to rise up for it to come out of the ocean.

There's also roots that pop out of the ground when you get close, similar to the surprise fire walls in OoT, only these are more annoying because they're louder and have a wider hitbox :P

This level does actually stump me sometimes (heheh STUMP get it?)... finding the boss key took me a while. I think I ran back and forth through a wind platform room several times. I ended up getting to a really hard to find treasure chest containing a... treasure chart. Yeah real nice game... find the treasure to find where the treasure is! Kind of a cheap way to add more hidden things to find.

The boss key ended up being across a big gap with water at the bottom. I couldn't figure it out at first, I confused it with Majora's Mask and thought I might have to come back here with ice arrows lol... But actually you can use the leaf to blow wind on the flower platform and make it move across the water. Of course! To play this game you must think like the wind.

The multi-targetting boomerang is pretty sweet too. So far every new item in this game has introduced a brand new game mechanic, this is what makes it stand out so much from the N64 games. It's not just more of the same game... Also I forgot you could use the grappling hook to climb ontop of whatever your grappled onto. This thing has a million uses!

The boss of Forbidden Woods is kind of like Barinade from OoT, only he's a flower so he can't move around lol. Total joke boss. Be careful, if you stand around to long he might hit you and take a quarter of a heart out!

Makar was hanging out with this flower thing for some reason. Now we get to go back to Forest Haven and listen to the Koroks rocking out with their fiddles.

Another great thing about Wind Waker are the various islands scattered throughout the sea, all having some unique objectives or puzzles to solve and a treasure to find. There's such a variety of stuff to do... you even get to control seagulls!
There's a big sidequest where you help the Koroks grow new Deku Trees on different islands... Also


A bit more exploring and I suddenly find myself in...

Could this possibly be a closed off entrance to the sunken Hyrule? Maybe... I mean there's not many people left who even know about the triforce anymore. This place must've been built during the flood when people were fleeing to higher ground. I remembered from OoT that triforce symbols usually mean you have to play a song... so I played the Wind's Requiem, and behold!

First triforce chart, hell yeah! Too bad I still have to shell out some rupees before I can read it. There's still my favorite part of the game coming up... That makes me wonder, is it possible to sequence break and find all the triforce pieces before going to the Tower of the Gods? I haven't played in so long I have no idea...

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