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

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Wind Waker Part 13: Clash of the Winds

The path to Hyrule opens up when Link collects all the pieces of the Triforce of Courage. The triforce hunt quest is the most complained about part of Wind Waker, but is also perhaps the most rewarding quest in the Zelda series. After traveling across a massive sea, the biggest overworld in any Zelda game, you finally get to see this game's remarkable ending sequence.

King of Red Lions: Well done, Link! With the shards you have collected, the Triforce of Courage is now complete at last! We must make for Hyrule, quickly!

You must show the Triforce piece you have assembled to the gods.

Oh! What is this? There, on your hand- the Triforce piece now dwells within you! It is the Triforce of Courage - proof that you are indeed the true hero. You have controlled the wind and crossed the seas, and here, near the end of your quest, the power of the gods has been bestowed upon you...

Surely from this moment on, you shall be known as the Hero of Winds...

Link! Hero of Winds! Go forth! To Hyrule! To Zelda's side!

Wind Waker has some of the most epic dialogue I've seen in any game. And it only gets better from here.

Link goes into the basement of Hyrule Castle to meet with Zelda...

But he's too late!

Ganon: You have deceived yourself... Did you think you'd be safe inside the castle? Foolish... Now that my power has been restored, there is no safe haven for you! I have taken your precious Zelda. And here, you shall fall into eternal slumber!

The protective barrier around Hyrule Castle means nothing to Ganon now. The power of the gods has given Ganon complete domination over Hyrule. This is his land. Only the Master Sword can pierce the darkness of this ancient world.

Now with the useless barrier broken, Link can move freely through Hyrule and head straight to Ganon's Castle.

Some pathetically easy enemies to keep you busy on the way there. The combat is fun when you're up against swarms of enemies all at once, at least. While the difficulty is as laughable in this game as ever, the amazing atmosphere easily makes up for it.

Ganon's pig form is symbolized all throughout this dungeon. Almost like the dungeon itself is made out of the corpse of a giant pig...

Just like Ganon's Castle in OoT, this dungeon has 4 trials, one for each of the game's previous dungeons.

There's the volcano trial.

The forest trial.

The earth trial.

And the wind trial.

These contain mostly reused puzzles and obstacles from the earlier dungeons. You can tell they kind of got lazy and rushed during this part, since OoT's Ganon's Castle had much more originality to it. At the end of each of these trials, you also have to fight the boss of that dungeon again.

Then the door leading further up Ganon's tower will open up, so you can go on to the non-rehashed portion of the dungeon.

The path forward is blocked by an unbreakable wall... Going left takes you to...

A water portal that takes you back to the surface of the ocean. Ganon must've created this portal with the triforce of power, just like how Link opened up the portal to Hyrule Castle with the triforce of courage.

King of Red Lions: I see... So this is the portal through which Ganon was able to seep into the unsuspecting world above... Link, we shall make use of this path that Ganon created for himself. If there is anything from the world above that you believe you need, climb into the boat and enter the column of darkness.

The King of Red Lions even casually makes his way in here like it was nothing. (wait you mean I could've just sailed to this area without going through all those trials?)

On the other side you have this black pit of darkness... A stone tablet gives you a clue to figuring out the puzzle ahead.

The sword-hilts of my servants who lurk deep in the darkness whall be the guideposts that point to me.

Link must summon up his courage and jump into the pit of darkness to reach Ganon.

Down below is a maze of identical rooms, where Phantom Ganons attack you at every turn. Defeating these phantoms is the key to solving the puzzle, however, as their sword will point you in the right direction. Eventually leading to...

Makes sense that Ganon would hide this weapon, his biggest weakness, down below in a maze guarded by his most powerful servants.

Once you get these light arrows, another Phantom Ganon will follow you back to the upper floor, and you can use his sword of darkness to destroy the unbreakable wall.

Two darknuts guard the final door to the top of the tower... the door is unlocked, as if he's expecting company...

Ganon: Do you sleep still?

Wait! Do not be so hasty, boy...

I can see this girl's dreams...


Oceans as far as the eye can see. They are vast seas... None can swim across them... They yield no fish to catch... What did the King of Hyrule say? ...That the gods sealed Hyrule away? And they left behind people who would one day awaken Hyrule?!

Heh heh heh...

How ridiculous... So many pathetic creatures, scattered across a handful of is lands, drifting on this sea like fallen leaves on a forgotten pool... What they can possibly hope to achieve?

Don't you see? All of you...

Your gods destroyed you! I have been waiting for you, boy. For one like you... Yes... For the hero.

Do not betray my expectations.

In an unexpected turn for such a serious moment, Ganon unleashes the 3 forms of Puppet Ganon at you, almost as if he's mocking you by making you play with his toys before going to fight the real thing.

First there's the pig puppet, then there's the spider-pig, and then the pig-worm. All of them have an obvious weak spot that can be damaged with the light arrows.

There's the real Ganon standing at high above where you fought the puppet... was he controlling it by its strings?

Ganon: Yes, surely you are the Hero of Time, reborn...

Your time has come... Come now... Stand before me!

Although he recognizes Link as the reborn hero, his confidence isn't wavered. The seven sages who sealed him away at the end of OoT are no longer around... This time, Link is on his own, and only Ganon's death will save the world from his evil.

Climbing up the rope left by Ganon... Link heads out to the roof of the tower... little does he know he's about to witness the greatest villain speech in the history of the Zelda universe.

Ganon: My country lay within a vast desert.

When the sun rose into the sky, a burning wind punished my lands, searing the world. And when the moon climbed into the dark of night, a frigid gale pierced our homes.

No matter when it came, the wind carried the same thing... Death. But the winds that blew across the green fields of Hyrule brought something other than suffering and ruin. I coveted that wind, I suppose.

It can only be called fate. ...That here. I would again gather the three with the crests... That I should lay my hand on that which grants the wishes of the beholder... That when power, wisdom, and courage come together, the gods would have no choice but to come down...

The power of the gods... The Triforce! He who touches it will have whatever he desires granted! Already, the crest of wisdom is mine... All that remains...

Then before the battle even starts, Ganon does his Falcon-punch impersonation and knocks Link out before he could even react.

Do not fear. I will not kill you... I merely have need of the power that dwells within you.

Now! Let us put an end to that which binds us together!

Ganon: Gods! Hear that which I desire! Expose this land to the rays of the sun once more! Let them burn forth! Give Hyrule to me!!!

He who touches it will have whatever he desires granted... That is what you said, is it not, Ganondorf?

Daphnes somehow makes it to the top of Ganon's Tower himself and touches the triforce! I don't get it, did he teleported in through the pirates gem? Or maybe since he's also the King of Red Lions he sailed overtop of the tower as a boat and then transformed and swam down and landed right ontop of the triforce! Whatever the case, this is one resourceful old man.

Daphnes: Gods of the Triforce! Hear that which I desire! Hope! I desire hope for these children! Give them a future! Wash away this ancient land of Hyrule!

Let a ray of hope shine on the future of the world!!! And let our destinies finally be fulfilled...

Ganondorf! May you drown with Hyrule!!!

Ganon: Ha ha ha ha!

This is foolishness... A future... for you?

Meanwhile, just as the ocean starts crashing down on Hyrule, Link and Zelda have already gotten up and are ready to fight Ganon for real this time.

Zelda: What are you laughing at, Ganondorf?! You're insane!

Link! I'm sorry! I overslept! I think it's time for us to say good-bye to this place. We must return to the world above! Back to our ocean!

Ganon: Very well, then... Allow me to show you...

Your future... Yes... Allow me to show you... Just what hope you have...

...See how much your precious Triforce is worth!

Now that the Triforce has returned to the sky, the power of the gods is no longer with its bearers. Ganon has only his human form to use now, but he is as skilled with his two blades as Link is with the Master Sword. It is truly a battle of equals.

But with Zelda and her light arrows helping out, making it 2 against one, the odds are against him...

Surely enough, Ganon won't take to an unfair fight, he'll even the odds...

Zelda gets back up just in time to help Link deliver the finishing blow...

Ganon: Ughnn... Heh Heh... The wind... It is blowing...

At long last, the centuries-long reign of the King of Darkness has come to an end.

The evil king had long sought after the complete triforce. He tricked Link and Zelda into opening the Sacred Realm so he could claim the power of the gods for himself. He succeeded, the Sacred Realm became a world of darkness, and Ganondorf ruled over Hyrule for 7 years. Then the hero summoned by the gods traveled through time to defeat him, and with the help of the seven sages, sealed him up in the dark world...

As time went by, the people of Hyrule worshiped the time-travelling hero, but Ganon's power grew ever stronger, and he was eventually able to break out of the dark world. This time there was no hero around to save Hyrule from his reign, and Hyrule became Ganon's kingdom once again. The gods then flooded Hyrule, and created a ray of peace to shine on world above the skies of the darkened kingdom.

But even that wasn't enough to stop Ganon's ambitions. With the power of the gods on at his command, he emerged above the seas and commanded his minions to seek the triforce of wisdom, which was passed down by Zelda's ancestors, one of which is the leader of a pirate crew. The triforce of courage was scattered across Hyrule in 8 pieces when the Hero of Time departed, and wasn't recovered, until an islander dressed in green set off on a journey to rescue his sister.

Finally, the three triforce pieces came together once again, and Ganon's defeat came at the hands of a pirate and an islander.

Daphnes: My children... Listen to me. I have lived regretting the past. And I have faced those regrets. If only I could do things over again... Not a day of my life has gone by without my thoughts turning to my kingdom of old. I have lived bound to Hyrule. In that sense, I was the same as Ganondorf.

But you... I want you to live for the future. There may be nothing left for you... But despite that, you must look forward and walk a path of hope, trusting that it will sustain you when darkness comes.

Farewell... This is the only world that your ancestors were able to leave you. Please... forgive us.

Zelda: W-Wait! You could... You could come with us!

Yes, of course... We have a ship! We can find it. We WILL find it! The land that will be the next Hyrule!


Daphnes: ...Ah, but child... That land will not be Hyrule. It will be YOUR land!

With the last remnants of Hyrule buried beneath the ocean, the only entrance to the Sacred Realm hidden away forever, this game marked the end of an era. Never again will the triforce, Ganondorf, or the Master Sword be used again in any Zelda game that comes after Wind Waker on the timeline, as it has all been buried away by Daphnes's wish on the triforce.

Link and Tetra set out to explore the world and find new land. Along the way they have other adventures, including Phantom Hourglass... and eventually they find a continent that becomes the new Hyrule, which Spirit Tracks takes place in...

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