General Gaming

The Legend of Zelda: The Nostalgia Crisis

Good news everyone! A friend of mine has offered to lend me his Wii U so that I can play The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, and Wind Waker. I’m super excited but also a little worried. I haven’t played a proper “big console” Zelda game for years, the last one I played was Skyward Sword where I nearly threw the Wii motion plus out the window and discovered a hatred for robot fairies. Since I left my parents’ house to go to Uni (about 5 or 6 years ago now) I have only ever played Zelda games on my 3DS because I opted to get a Playstation as my University Gaming Companion rather than a Wii (I know! Woe is me. How did I survive with just my PS4 and 3DS?!). I don’t regret that choice but I have missed Nintendo a lot. The 3DS has done well with Link Between Worlds and Phantom Hourglass but it hasn’t quite filled the void.

Image result for wind waker loz

While I am super excited about getting my hands on both of these games I am most excited about Wind Waker. I used to love it when I was younger. I spent hours and hours just sailing around the world with no particular goal, just cruising, the King of Red Lions and I had some good times. Sometimes I’d just run around random islands exploring, I’d follow NPCs sometimes just to see where they went, or I’d mess about trying to get up to a ledge or platform for ages just to see if I could. Sometimes my curiosity would pay off and I’d get a reward for my trouble but more often than not there was no incentive, it was just fun to mess about. As far as actual progress goes I usually got as far as finishing the three sage’s temples but then I’d get a little uneasy. In all honesty I was kind of scared of Ganon. That bit where you first see him was super sinister to me as a kid and let’s be honest, how beautiful is that world? Wouldn’t you just want to stay there if you could? By my 8 year old logic Ganon wasn’t actually destroying anything as long as I didn’t progress so… Let’s go visit the bird people! Eventually I’d have a little break playing something else for a bit, then I’d come back to Wind Waker and start again from the beginning.

Image result for wind waker ganon fire
This was terrifying to 8 year old me.

So what am I worried about? Well… I had turkey dinosaurs for dinner the other day for the first time in years and they just weren’t anywhere near as good as I remember them. I would still like to eat a lot of them, but I know that it won’t be with the same enthusiasm that I experienced when I was younger. What if the same thing happens with Wind Waker and I don’t love it like I used to? What if it’s not how I remember it and the nostalgia I feel for that time gets tainted with a feeling of melancholy because the nostalgia’s built it up and I end up disappointed? What if Wind Waker is a turkey dinosaur?

Image result for medli wind waker in game
The (adorable) character closest to a turkey dinosaur

The core thing concerning me is how my play style has changed as that is the thing most likely to impact my experience of the game. I find it incredibly hard to just mess about in games now but that was the thing I enjoyed doing the most back in the day. Now I always feel like I should be doing something for a reason. Am I going to spend an hour following random NPCs around just because I’m curious to see where they go? Hell no. Why not? I don’t know… I don’t have time for that I guess. Or do I? I have no time limit on this game (my friend has a Switch now so there’s not much reason at all that he’d need the Wii U back – of course I do plan on giving it back… Eventually), no one is going to be nagging me to finish it. Now that I’ve finished God of War 4 there are no other games that I want to focus on this year, sure I can’t spend as much time on it at once like I used to but that doesn’t mean I need to rush it… Maybe I will follow random NPCs around! Maybe I’ll catch a pig and try to throw it onto my boat because they’re adorable and I want a pig companion! Maybe I’ll use the Hyoi Pears to posses countless seagulls and just fly around because I like flying… I just want to experience it again with the same feeling that I used to have when I was back in my room in my parents house, excitedly putting the tiny GameCube disc in, listening to the jaunty theme music, seeing the beautiful blue Wind Waker start up screen, and settling down and spending hours and hours at a time exploring.

wind waker pigs

Some readers may be thinking “what about Breath of the Wild?! Aren’t you more excited for that?!” Honestly? No. It’s not that I don’t want to play it. I desperately want to and when it was released it was killing me that seemingly everyone else was playing it but I have been waiting to play Wind Waker for years. My friend told me that there’s a condition to me borrowing his Wii U: I have to play Breath of the Wild before Wind Waker and at that moment a wave of unexpected revulsion towards that game crashed over me, let’s face it, that’s not going to happen. I’ll play it first if he is there in the room with me because I know he wants to discuss it and everything but as soon as I’ve kicked him out I’m getting into my cosiest pyjamas, making a nice cup of tea, grabbing a packet of biscuits and just shutting myself away to sail the Great Sea.

Image result for wind waker sailing

You know what? To finish off this nostalgic post let’s have a quick listen to the extremely nostalgic Gamecube start up music…

Aah, sweet nostalgia with a twist.

 

Is there anything good from your past you’ve been unwilling to visit for fear of ruining the nostalgia? How would you feel about playing some of your favourite games from your youth now? Have you played the remastered Wind Waker and was it as good as you remembered?

21 thoughts on “The Legend of Zelda: The Nostalgia Crisis

  1. I don’t know if I’ll ever play the remastered version, but I know the original was still pretty good. I played it pretty late too because I didn’t really like the look of that new animated style back in the day, but it all grew on me more than I expected. I hear the remaster cuts down on a lot of the huge stretches of empty ocean too, so that’ll probably be nice.

    Still have never touched Skyward Sword for some reason. Don’t know when I’ll start Breath of the Wild. I’d like to, but it’s getting harder and harder to find time for these huge games…

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  2. I loved Wind Waker as a kid for many of the same reasons, and honestly I feel like it holds up. There’s something magical about sailing the open sea – and on a more practical level, even though there’s not necessarily a tangible reward for filling out your sea chart, charting each of those little islands has the feeling of completing a big quest. I hope you’re able to enjoy it as much as you did as a kid and avoid the turkey dinosaur effect!

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  3. I didn’t get along with Wind Waker in its Gamecube incarnation, but I absolutely adored the Wii U version when I played it a while back. I think in general I’ve come to appreciate Zelda a lot more as I’ve gotten older for some reason; whether that’s mechanically, narratively or aesthetically (or some combination thereof) is something I’m not entirely sure of, but I know I absolutely loved both WW and Twilight Princess’ Wii U versions.

    In Wind Waker’s case in particular, there are a number of tweaks and refinements in the Wii U version that make it a superior experience to the GC original, especially in the late game. Which, if you were scared of Ganon, you may not have got to anyway! 🙂

    I haven’t played Breath of the Wild yet. I’ve also felt a bit of a resistance to it. It’s one of those games I want to play when everyone shuts up about how amazing it is, I think — that way I can judge it on my own terms and probably still enjoy it, just without the “pressure”.

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    1. I heard they trimmed the wind changing bits (I guess you could say they were a little… Long winded… Sorry) so if that’s the case that would be good.
      I know what you mean about the resistance to Breath of the Wild and pressure, I think if I had got it when it first came out I wouldn’t have enjoyed it as much. Playing God of War 4 could have been a lot more relaxed because I was subconsciously trying to keep up with everyone else that was playing it.

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  4. I really enjoyed Wind Waker, but I know for a fact that I wouldn’t enjoy it now simply because there’s a lot of down time/busy work, especially during the late game. This is why I didn’t pick up BotW, because I expect I’ll spend a lot of time faffing about rather than making progress.

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    1. Yeah, I’m a little concerned about BotW for the same reason, at least I mostly remember where to go and what to do with Wind Waker though so if I ever get side tracked I can get back on the main quest easily if I feel like I’m faffing too much.

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  5. I feel this exact way sometimes. The nostalgia and feelings we have as a kid is hard to overcome. I didn’t play Twilight Princess for years because I was terrified it would ‘ruin’ Zelda for me. Boy do I regret that decision now that I’ve played it!

    It’s hard to live up to your childhood, but speaking as someone who pulls out their favorite games every few years, it’s always worth it. Even if you don’t play the way you used to, the feelings I had always come back. Yours probably will, too!

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      1. I get that. That’s how I feel about majoras mask, but from the other perspective. I hated it so much as a kid because I thought it was boring. And I still don’t want to pick it up because I’m afraid those feelings would overshadow how i could feel now

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      2. I never played that when i was younger and got the remastered version on my 3ds a couple of years ago. It’s pretty good bit I actually didn’t finish it. I got too frustrated with the time limitations. I should go back and finish it at some point.

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  6. I’ve got Wind Waker HD with my Wii U, but haven’t finished it yet (which is rather typical of me), although I find it very good. One thing that downright blew me away is how gorgeous it is. Normally with HD remasters of PS2/Gamecube era games, no matter how well they’re done, it’s still very obvious that they’re made for much less powerful consoles, but with Wind Waker that didn’t happen at all. That really goes to show how great the graphics were in the first place.
    I think a large part of Breath of the Wild’s popularity is that it came at the right time, when open world games are very popular. I do think it’s a great game, probably the best open world game ever, the open worldiest open world game in existence, the peak of open world games. But that means that your enjoyment of it is mostly (if not entirely) dependent on how much you like those kinds of games. If you like open world games, then BOTW is certainly worth playing, if you don’t care for them, you shouldn’t expect too much. But if you outright dislike them… you probably shouldn’t even touch the game.

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    1. So BotW is a bit of an open world game then? 😛 I do like open world games like that so I am pretty sure I’ll enjoy it. Just not as much as I’ll enjoy wind Waker.

      Good to know it looks good still, I guess that cartoon style is kind of timeless.

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  7. I totally get where you’re coming from with this. It’s like watching movies you see as a kid then re-watching as an adult and wondering what you liked so much.
    I also played wind waker as a kid, but have since replayed it as an adult. I have to say I probably didn’t do the same level of exploring I did the first time but the magic, for me, was still the same.
    I’ve never lost my love for Zelda games and although the second playthrough wasn’t the same as the first, it was still great but in a slightly different way. I think I appreciated its beauty and mechanics in a more clinical, adult way but that made me appreciate the game more 😊
    Hope you love it as much the second time!

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  8. Haha, what a fun post! I can’t say how long I spent running around the first island seeing how many different ways I could throw small pigs off of cliffs just to watch them slowly swim back. It’s a fun game, and always worth a replay.

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  9. I just posted a personal blog post about how Zelda has been a part of mine and my husbands entire childhood and how it brought us closer together. Our whole marriage is actually based on a PS3 but that is a whole different post for another time. 🙂

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