Obviously this post will contain MASSIVE SPOILERS if you haven't played The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker for the GameCube yet.
I thought I would create this just for fun. What is instantly apparent to me about the game and reviewing these moments is how lush the imagery is and how it can leave an impact on the player, creating moments that will linger on the gamer's mind long after the game is over. For Zelda fans who enjoyed Ocarina of Time, all direct references to the specific events from that game surely made the experience much more memorable.
There is something to be said about wielding a massive weapon that is as big as your body, and the pleasure of that WHAM on an enemy. Sure, the hammer is more of a requirement for the puzzles and less so for combat, but it's nice.
Using the cannon on the ship
This is really the first time you feel empowered when going out at sea. Sure, later on you get the mighty bow and arrow as well, which is wonderful, but obtaining the bombs is when you actually have a fighting chance.
Revealing of the Tower of the Gods
Watching the grandiose tower rise from the sea, the player comes to realize that the scope of the game has just expanded beyond their expectations. It is especially cool since it rises out of the Triforce image that appeared after placing all three Pearls of the Goddesses in far-off islands.
Defeating Helmaroc King
Yeah, the giant bird and loyal servant of Ganondorf. He kidnaps your sister. You sneak and fight your way through Forsaken Fortress to save her, but this bastard grabs you and easily flings you across the great sea. You are nothing to this beast. Maybe he was simply a tool used by Ganondorf and had lost his free will, but regardless, the player definitely has a grudge against him. Cracking his armored mask off and making him pay for his actions... Again, it's the feeling of being able to overcome something that at one time truly felt beyond your ability.
The Sages portrayed in stained glass window
Yeah, this is actually another part of finding Hyrule underwater, since they're the same location, but I think it's just another nice touch to the fans of Ocarina of Time to see Rauru, Saria, Darunia, Ruto, Impa, and Nabooru forever remembered for generations to come in such a vivid display of honor.
Link's goodbye when he first leaves Outset Island
A simple yet effective scene in the game. It really demonstrates how much of an emotional impact Link can have on the player even as a silent protagonist.
The woodcut prologue
What a great way to start the game off, by revealing the legend as it is known so far, and tying the game directly to the events of Ocarina of Time. The woodcut style, accompanied by the fictional Hylian language characters, gives the legend a more authentic feel that the events that happened were important in civilization's history.
Revealing Tetra's true identity
Unlike previous Zelda games, there is no glimpse or mention of a Princess Zelda until later on in the game, when an unlikely character is revealed to be of the Hylian bloodline. I found this to be be quite a nice surprise and can be compared to the Sheik reveal from Ocarina of Time.
After a magnificent sword battle with a very acrobatic Ganondorf, Link plunges the Master Sword into the villain's head. What more could you want?
Exploring Hyrule for the first time
Did anyone expect this in the game? You go underwater and see a massive kingdom in black-and-white, frozen in time. Enter the castle and somehow everything seems familiar. You can walk freely around the many enemy soldiers caught in an intense battle. A giant statue of a hero (who greatly resembles Link) looms in the center. You wonder, what happened here? This location becomes a central part of the story.
I love Ocarina of Time, but I can't help thinking how much I would have preferred to have Wind Waker on the 3DS instead! We have plenty of OoT re-releases already, but no Wind Waker ones. Anyway... great Zelda game! And yeah, there are definitely some great moments that I missed.
Numbers five and two are gaming scenes that always strike a chord with my emotions. They're just so Iconic, IMO. Two is sad but it really sets up the feeling of beginning an adventure...and was then backed up by the size of the sea. Five...well five is just badass.
Nice list, roykoopa64. However, I'd bump your #10 up a notch or so. Why? Link's expression when swinging that massive hammer. Priceless! When I heard that Toon Link was going to be in Brawl, I was really hoping the Skull Hammer would find its way into his moveset somehow. Too bad it was a no show.
I'd like to add further support to your Wind Waker praise by saying that Wind Waker is the style of the Zelda series I want Nintendo to return to so bad it hurts. It just nailed my vision of how the Zelda world should look post-SNES. The game had such an intense magical vibe resonating from start to finish. Sure the sailing was a bore, but nothing could or can bring down my love for Wind Waker.
You know, hindsight is 20/20 and as much as that's a cliché, it's true. Wind Waker was something I didn't know I wanted at the time. It ranks right up there with Ocarina and Majora's Mask as one of my favorite games of all time, not just Zelda games. This list just reminded me how much I love this game and how many great moments it had that really touched me. Very nice.
Great list. What a tease it was, to see Hyrule and not get to run around and explore outside the castle! I really hope Skyward Sword delivers something similar. It was great to see waterfalls and mountains in the distance in the trailer, and makes me hopeful that the overworld will basically resemble what Wind Waker (very successfully) teased at us.
Regarding the Tower of the Gods...I thought it was really cool. The buildup and suspense was almost palpable...but then I got into the Tower, and I just said "Meh." By far my least favorite level of the game. I thought the puzzles were annoying, the level didn't feel especially creative from an aesthetic standpoint, and the end of the level culminated in what? You guessed it - a floating giant head with hands!!!! Not again!! haha
Great list. #5 and #6 honestly gave me chills when I first experienced that part of the game. I really didn't know there would be so many points in the game where I felt I was playing a legend of a tale until it was all said and done.
edit: Who am I kidding, #1 was the best part of the game. Fabz had a recent thread about it. It would have been soooo cool to have been able to explore the old Hyrule.
This game made me hate a lot of gamers. If gamers didn't bitch about the cartoon graphics, we would've had a continued Wind Waker game on "consoles" and not on the DS. This game was so epic, so filled with emotions and built with love that to me it was impossible "not" to love it back. To me, it "is" better than Ocarina of Time and slightly better than Majora's mask which say a lot because I love them both.
If Nintendo does continue the Wind Waker series on portable, I pray that they bring it over to the 3DS and give that game the same amount of love they've given the original Wind Waker. However, me personally, I much prefer a console version. Here's hoping Skyward Sword has as much charm as Wind Waker and Majora's Mask.
Edit: By the way, this was also the first time a Zelda game has ever scared the crap out of me. Like in the video below, I was just sailing minding my own business (mind you, I was playing at like 1 in the morning and I scare easy at that time ). Clear skies and just enjoying the adventure. Suddenly it got all stormy and out popped this scary looking thing!!!! I was like "WTF!!!!!" After my nerves settled, I killed the damn thing.