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Let's revisit the Wind Waker debut trailer! [roundtable]
You know the one...

Yeah, so I loved this trailer from the get-go. I watched it, like, 7 times that day and was bewildered (though highly amused) by the web response (OMG, Link's face is stylized, OMG!!). I took this trailer to mean that Nintendo was shaking up the Zelda formula by smoothing out the control (one of my main issues from OOT), making the action and maybe the platforming more dynamic, adding traps and more elaborate context-sensitive moves, and just generally making a game that played like a Tex Avery cartoon. And then we got Wind Waker. Which played exactly like Ocarina, except slightly less stiffly and with a boat. And with much less content. The only new idea from the trailer that really made it into the final game was the timing-based counter move.

Now, it's possible that I interpreted the trailer wrong all along. Maybe it was always meant to be sort of a mood piece, like Kojima's trailers. On the other hand, none of those scenarios seemed too far-fetched, and things like the stealth DID make it into the game (unfortunately), so...

Suffice it to say, I did not feel the final game lived up to that trailer. And Wind Waker might be my least favorite Zelda.

So how did it go for you guys? How did your perception of Wind Waker change over the years? Feel free to include SpaceWorld 2000. And WW's legacy, compared to Twilight Princess (clearly the superior game in every non-superficial way).

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Posted: 11/30/10, 18:17:46  - Edited by 
 on: 11/30/10, 18:32:13
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Gawd, I hated that trailer. I've never been more disappointed by an announcement of a Zelda game, ever.

The game itself was quite fun though, once I played it. But that trailer did not do any favors for me, as far as getting me hyped to play it.
Posted: 11/30/10, 18:21:23
Agreed, especially after that cool SpaceWorld 2000 trailer of Link and Ganondorf duking it out. Wind Waker turned out great, but I was so disappointed when it was first revealed.
Posted: 11/30/10, 18:23:34
But do you guys still hate that trailer? Can you specify what it is that annoys you? Is it just the difference from SW2000?

Posted: 11/30/10, 18:26:30  - Edited by 
 on: 11/30/10, 18:26:50
I think I need you to clarify specifically what you're seeing in there and what it meant to you as far as gameplay ideas. A lot of what I'm seeing kind of looks clearly to me like cutscenes, and at best stuff that would be cutscenes with "press a button at the right time" which did get kind of popular at that point, but a lot of people got sick of that fast.

Also, is this the trailer Nintendo debuted the game with? I really don't remember.

I do remember the total meltdown the debut of this game caused. I was kind of cautiously optimistic. I didn't see it and get overjoyed, and it was kind of definitely not what I expected, but it grew on me. On the contrary Twilight Princess debuted and I was secretly like YEAH, BACK TO FORM! and then by the time it released the style kind of... eh. I don't dislike the style, but I think Wind Waker's style is more fun. I'll take either one now (though the current mix of both without much actual style for Skyward Sword needs work.)

Also, am I the only one who had no problem with Link's model? I often see people say "I loved the style except for Link's face" but he fit in fine to me.

Now as for gameplay, I preferred Twilight Princess. Just felt more packed to me, and the dungeons were a lot more interesting.
Posted: 11/30/10, 18:29:05  - Edited by 
 on: 11/30/10, 18:29:52
How could you not remember?

I guess my initial takeaway was that the combat and platforming were more freeform and that Link could utilize traps and trigger cartoon-like events dynamically. Like the Candelabra thing. Which could have just been for the trailer. Or maybe Nintendo were heading in that direction, and they totally made it more conservative, based on fan feedback.

I also like the style of Wind Waker far better than that of Twilight Princess, btw. I do like the weird techno-distortion motif in Twilight, though.

And I had no problem with the initial Chibi Link's face. It was stylized, but so was the rest of the game.

Skyward Sword is impressionist! That's totally a style!
Posted: 11/30/10, 18:36:11  - Edited by 
 on: 11/30/10, 18:36:34
I was going through a "I Need Teh Mature Gaemz" phase at that point. It was very short lived and I regret that period of my gaming life more than any other. I still can't believe I chose a PS2 over the Cube, once I was given a cube by my mrs though I was in gaming heaven, I damn near missed out on so much.
Posted: 11/30/10, 18:47:57
I absolutely loved that trailer when it debuted. When I first started playing the LoZ series back on the NES I wanted the game to be a cartoon. I wanted it to be as close to the anime pics within the manual as possible. If they could reuse the cell shading engine and give Link a bit more realism then I'll be in heaven...oh wait, LoZ:SS is what I've been looking for.

LoZ Manual PDF
Posted: 11/30/10, 19:03:11  - Edited by 
 on: 11/30/10, 19:06:10
@anandxxx I was on 56k back then, I didn't actually watch many game videos. I probably sort of tried to watch the debut trailer, sat there for 20 minutes and saw 4 seconds of the beginning, then closed it and looked at pictures instead. As for Skyward Sword being impressionist um... perhaps. But I think right now it is just too open and plain. They need to spice something up a bit.
Posted: 11/30/10, 19:09:26

Yesh, I agree wholeheartedly. The more depth, the more immersed the player becomes. That first WW trailer fooled me into believing there would be some kind of AI dynamic where you could defeat your foes in cartoon style situations (falling off a cliff). Not that I wanted that, but having more options to dispose of enemies is always welcome.
Posted: 11/30/10, 19:17:30

I'm sure they'll do whatever suits the gameplay best, and then apply the style to it. But I like the way it looks now. Vibrant and evocative. A few more graphical filters, and I'm happy.
Posted: 11/30/10, 19:31:26
I hated the trailer for its small, N64-tier level geometry. It had bloody fog too.

And yea, I think you were reading into it too much. The really different looking part, the last part, was a cutscene. Actual gameplay-wise it mostly showed off sword fighting, which did turn out to be infinitely better than OOT's (except unfortunately easy when you spammed hearts and enemy drops).
Posted: 11/30/10, 19:58:07  - Edited by 
 on: 11/30/10, 19:58:37
No gaming thing will ever top the reveal of Celda in terms of controversy. Remember that scene in FF3 where the world gets reshapen, huge slabs of land reallign and the earth is torn asunder in a calamity of fire and earthquakes? When that trailer was shown, the internet did that.

It was a pretty good trailer. After the initial shock wore off, a lot of the tricks involved led to a very smooth-looking game. The cartoon elements looked kind of fun and were still in the final game in some form (mainly in enemy reactions; you can mess around with the Moblins quite a bit), but I didn't miss the idea of a full-on cartoon game.

I ended up loving Wind Waker tremendously. It's such an absorbing, emotional game, as if someone took the best parts of OoT, mixed them with the best parts of LA, and tossed it out on the ocean for all to enjoy. I hope Skyward Sword brings Zelda back to the forefront, 'cause Mario's kinda been kicking Link's butt this gen.
Posted: 11/30/10, 20:38:57
I was definitely focusing on the positives when I saw that trailer. I didn't care much for the look of Link, but I did marvel at the animation from both him and his enemies. I could see the game looked like a Hayao Miyazaki film in motion, and I was thrilled that is what carried over to the final product and just blew me away for every subsequent playthrough. Its really pretty difficult to point to better animation even in today's "next-gen" titles.
Posted: 11/30/10, 20:51:01
I kind of liked it...but at the same time, I wondered where the "realistic Zelda" which we had seen previously, had gone.
Posted: 11/30/10, 20:59:49
To this day, I still think Wind Waker is one of the best (and most under-appreciated) games in the Zelda universe. This trailer didn't help it in the public's eye. I, however, liked it. Certainly piqued my curiosity about the game. The art style immediately grabbed my attention, and it still is one of the best looking games that I have ever played.

I wanted a realistic looking Zelda (like we saw during that Spaceworld GCN teaser trailer), and while I was sad that Wind Waker wasn't it, I ended up enjoying it a lot more than I did Twilight Princess.
Posted: 11/30/10, 21:27:53
I didn't like it when I first saw it. Mainly I guess because of that OoT style trailer on GCN hardware from a previous Spaceworld. As time went on though, I liked it more and more and eventually WW became one of my favorite games.
Posted: 11/30/10, 21:30:46
The trailer was a shock for me as I was expecting something like the badass Spaceworld demo. I really didn't form an opinion, because I was going to get the game regardless (and I did get it at launch). However I remember the Internet backlash. The IGN Zelda boards were... hard to read. Celda this. Celda that. Celda sucks. WW definitely divided the community, even to this day. My initial reaction, though, was that I wanted the Spaceworld Zelda. However after I played it, and after playing it on an HDTV, I think WW's style works. The game is gorgeous, especially in motion, and the Spaceworld style wouldn't have held up quite as well over time.

I don't think I analyzed the trailer, though. However what the game did bring I enjoyed, even the stealth portions. I'm not sure why some people don't like it. I enjoyed roaming the fortress. It brought back feelings reminiscent of exploring Hyrule Castle in ALttP. The sword play was nice, especially countering. It felt very natural. And I liked how we could pick up fallen enemy weapons.

What fell flat for me were the dungeons. Most of the few were not memorable. There were some high spots for me, like the fortress and visiting underwater Hyrule, but I wasn't crazy about the rest of the dungeon designs. I think the overworld is far, far more interesting than the dungeons, so I would have liked to have seen more islands (in density, not more squares) and/or more bigger islands.
Posted: 11/30/10, 21:48:39  - Edited by 
 on: 11/30/10, 21:51:13
trailer stinks... and so does the game... It was a huge disappointment... like much of GCN after the first 3 months.
Posted: 11/30/10, 21:51:36
littledeadmonkey said:
trailer stinks... and so does the game... It was a huge disappointment... like much of GCN after the first 3 months.

What are you doing here. (question mark left off intentionally)
Posted: 11/30/10, 21:56:34
I'm fan of Nintendo, so what I didn't like Gamecube and the games on it (for the most part).
Posted: 11/30/10, 21:59:30
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