Now, if you’re a Legend of Zelda fan, it’s highly likely you played the two best instalments of the entire franchise: The Wind Waker and Ocarina of Time. These two games stole the hearts of eager fans mere seconds into the game. I know, I was one of them. If any of you have an O- blood type then give me a call.
Ocarina of Time was the first real Zelda game to feature on a home console, 3D and everything. 1998 knew no better game. There were dungeons, swords, princesses, chickens, anything you could ask for! Every owner of the N64 was simply in awe of this game. Then, move on a few years. The Wind Waker, a GameCube jewel, hit the stores and was bought just as fast. This time we can sail around as much as we want and do it all while being adorable! And what’s this? My boat can talk! Well, I’m sold!
These two games are held strong in the hearts of fans. But because the internet loves to debate, let’s see which one comes out on top.
When it comes to the story these Legend of Zelda games sadly have little to offer. In fact, their stories are exactly the same. Both games feature Link, a seemingly normal boy who, for various reasons, must collect a series of objects in order to gain the Master Sword and defeat Ganondorf who has kidnapped Zelda along the way. It’s great fun and you lose yourself in the world in moments, but that doesn’t disregard the fact that these are the same stories with different skins. So, in this, both games LOSE a point.
Ocarina: – 1 | Wind Waker: – 1
But, no worries, they can gain it back soon enough. Now, when it comes to dungeons, I have to say that Ocarina takes the cake. The thing about Ocarina is that the game, strangely, is much, much harder. Its dungeons are tougher, the puzzles genuinely hard to solve and the enemies more frequent and more deadly. When you head into a dungeon in Ocarina of Time, you best have a back up of fairies and health potions, or else you will die. In Wind Waker, you could just about make it through unscathed.
Look at the Water Temple for example. The legendary most difficult mission in all of Zelda history. That dungeon took me days to complete. It is unbelievably impossible. How on Earth children managed it I’ll never know. But, the fact that it is so challenging is an extremely good thing, it means you really put your heart and mind into the game, your effort and your time, and it shows how hard the developers of the game must have worked on it. And by god that sense of satisfaction once you finish the level: indescribable.
Ocarina: 0 | Wind Waker: -1
Ocarina of Time also takes the advantage of music. In both games, you are given a magic musical item that has a mysterious and ultimate power. The Wind Waker gives you a conductors baton, allows you to control the wind. It’s great, the music is nice. But, its just not quite as beautiful as the Ocarina.
The Ocarina is a beautiful instrument (if you played on the 3DS that is. Otherwise it looks like a blue blob) so much so that people have made genuine replicas that play music and everything. The songs it can produce are more heart wrenching and classic. The fact that Zelda’s lullaby is still with me, almost 20 years later, shows the effect the Ocarina’s music had on players.
Ocarina: 1 | Wind Waker: -1
However, the Wind Waker makes an enormous come back, in how free and non-linear its game is. In an extremely unusual trait for a Zelda game, the Wind Waker offers you a vast and gigantic world for you to explore at your leisure, with a whole range of unique and interesting islands to uncover and delve into. You can sail the seas, leaping over waves, killing giant octopi and hunting down enemy watch towers. An empty map is given to you at the start of the game, and is yours to fill with the secrets of this beautiful and expansive world. This game gives you the freedom that Ocarina could never hope to obtain.
Ocarina: 1 | Wind Waker: 0
Ocarina: 2 | Wind Waker: 1
Now this is something that is up for debate, but, I feel that Wind Waker earns a point from its beautiful visuals. Now many dislike the Wind Waker’s cartoony style. But, for me, that’s what originally drew me to the game. I was young at the time, I didn’t want to be scared, I wanted something nice and lovely. So I bought this game, and behind its cute, lovely attire is actually a fantastic, brilliant game that surpasses its childish look. And of course, the Ocarina of Time’s age does not help it in this battle of graphics. But, even seeing it in HD via the 3DS remake, I still prefer the Wind Waker’s look.
Ocarina: 2 | Wind Waker: 2
And now we come to something terribly important: boss battles. Boss battles are the foundation of a Zelda game, without them, the dungeons would lack closure and leave us wandering the land pondering whether or not you had missed something important. But, which game has better bosses? It’s a hard choice. In Ocarina, the lack of cuteness did make the bosses seem that bit more scary and intimidating, which is important for atmosphere and immersion. They were also a lot more difficult, which made them that more satisfying when you beat them… but, I think the Wind Waker, by a tiny, tiny amount, had the better range.
The Wind Waker’s bosses were a lot more unique and distinguishable from one another. You also were given more interesting ways of defeating them rather than just battering at their weak spot like in Ocarina. Take the first boss in Wind Waker: it wasn’t even about the boss! You had to hook yourself to the dragon Valoo’s tail, and heave him down on the enemy’s head! Clever, innovative, and different from the next.
Ocarina: 2 | Wind Waker: 3
Also, I find the Wind Waker to be a heck of a lot funnier. I know these games don’t really aim to be funny or to make us laugh, but, the Wind Waker does it anyway. Sometimes, great games are the kind of games that don’t take themselves too seriously, and are good at making fun of themselves. It makes us laugh with them, not at them, and the Wind Waker does this well. Link is stumbling around chasing pigs, falling over with brilliant overreactions. He is a Link I adore, because of how utterly charming he is in his humour. And much of the game follows his attitude. But in Ocarina, the game is entirely serious about what it is. It was supposed to be the big, first home console Zelda that everyone needed and wanted. They wanted epic, not humour. In that, I think they missed out.
Ocarina: 2 | Wind Waker: 4
Well, there you have it. As this Epic Game Battle of History declares, the Wind Waker, is (at least in my insignificant opinion) better than Ocarina of Time. It took a step up the pedestal in its free roam aspect, its greater more unique boss battles, and its incredible, quirky style. While Ocarina was always close behind, with its musical score and in depth dungeon crawling, and still remains a close second, it just did not manage to reach the level that The Wind Waker conducted. So what do you think? Leace your opinions in the comments. Now, let the fan war commence!