Nintendo Once Had Plans For a The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker Sequel

The Legend of Zelda franchise could have taken a much different course.

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Nintendo once had plans for a very different second GameCube The Legend of Zelda game. Instead of the dark, more realistic tones of Twilight Princess, they envisioned a direct sequel to The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker set on dry land.

The tentatively titled "The Wind Waker 2," went as far as to be included in an official Zelda Franchise history presented at GDC 2004. However, early public reaction, market trends, and design issues would have Nintendo switch from the cel-shaded style of The Wind Waker to the dark tones of Twilight Princess.

In the upcoming The Legend of Zelda: Art & Artifacts (already out in Japan and translated by Nintendo Everything), series artist Satoru Takizawa discussed plans for The Wind Waker sequel. Satoru explained that Wind Waker 2 would have taken place in a land-based setting, rather than the sea, and Link would have once again been given a horse to traverse the countryside. However, there were issues with Toon Link's proportions that made this difficult. He was too short, which made placing him on a horse awkward. Additionally, Satoru thought that with the art-style an adult Toon Link didn't seem to be a good solution either.

Public perception of The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker upon release were very divisive as well. Although it's now a fan-favorite, the switch to cel-shaded graphics was a turn off for many who had come to love the series while playing the more realistic Ocarina of Time. At the time of Wind Waker's release, there was also a dominant force in cinema with The Lord of the Rings films that made gritty and dark the "in" style for fantasy.

Taking all these things into consideration, Satoru decided early in development for The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker 2 to take a different approach. Satoru brought Yusuke Nakano onboard, and it would be Yusuke that would form the artistic basis for The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess.

I find myself wishing that they would have gone with The Wind Waker 2 ideas. Twilight Princess seemed to be lacking some of the formulae that made The Legend of Zelda series so vital feeling. After the bright, fluid world of The Wind Waker, Twilight Princess just seemed dull.

Contributing Editor
From The Chatty
  • reply
    December 6, 2016 7:18 AM

    Jason Faulkner posted a new article, Nintendo Once Had Plans For a The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker Sequel

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      December 6, 2016 7:44 AM

      What a shitty decision to drop it and make Twilight Princess. I get it that some (very wrong) people didn't like the cel shading and younger Link, but they definitely should have made it anyway instead of what we got with TP.

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        December 6, 2016 9:33 AM

        Agreed. Young Link FTW, and WW was the best Zelda.

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        December 6, 2016 9:42 AM

        Twilight Princess was the first Zelda game I played that I just couldn't bring myself to finish. I didn't find that game engaging at all.

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          December 6, 2016 9:50 AM

          Did you play Skyward Sword?

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            December 6, 2016 11:06 AM

            I didn't. I have a copy but I just haven't gotten around to playing it. I've heard good things and bad about it.

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              December 6, 2016 2:53 PM

              If you hated tp, consider gifting skyward

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        December 6, 2016 9:47 AM

        This is back when everyone was complaining that Nintendo was too kiddie. It was pretty silly then, it's laughable now.

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        December 6, 2016 9:54 AM

        Well, Phantom Hourglass and Spirit Tracks were direct Wind Waker sequels, so I'm not sure it's accurate to say that they never made it.

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          December 6, 2016 9:58 AM

          Handhelds don't count as much, but it is definitely worth noting.

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        December 6, 2016 9:59 AM

        TP was one of my favorites. So I'm fine with that.

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          December 6, 2016 5:04 PM

          I like Twilight Princess much more than Ocarina of Time and Skyward Sword. Skyward Sword was so bad I couldn't even finish it.

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        December 6, 2016 2:43 PM

        Why can't we get both?

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        December 6, 2016 2:56 PM

        Really the game ages so well, I mean the "HD" remake is nice, but it's nothing they weren't already doing with Dolphin.

        I love the look of it, the feel of the characters, the symphonic soundtrack. If I wait a few years in between playing it through, it still gets me emotionally somehow.

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      December 6, 2016 9:06 AM

      God damnit fuck you 2016!

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