Here’s Why Sailing Took So Damn Long In Legend Of Zelda: Wind Waker

There’s a reason sailing the sea in the GameCube version of The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker was so slow and tedious. If the boat moved any faster, you’d sail off the edge of the ocean. Flat-Earthers smell a conspiracy!

No, really, the GameCube didn’t have the power necessary to render the entirety of Wind Waker‘s ocean all at once; it could do so only in chunks, and had to keep Link’s skiff from sailing past what was in memory. As director Eiji Aonuma explains, that’s not a problem with the Wii U’s upgraded processing, which can load the entire ocean at once. Rather than subject players to sailing at the same snail’s pace of the GameCube version, the Wind Waker HD remake will allow for faster travel.

The speed boost must be acquired, though. Even if Aonuma wanted people to be able to sail the vast sea more conveniently, he wanted them to appreciate its size at first.

Other upgrades in the HD version include touch screen controls for manipulating the Wind Waker baton. Aonuma also has a puzzling reaction to what high definition does for Wind Waker’s cartoon presentation. “It’s as if it has become more real now that it’s in HD. Even though it’s animated and not real, I think there’s a a surreal sense of realism.”

I kid. Seriously, I could watch Nintendo Developer Directs 24/7. They do a strong job of conveying their creators’ vision, and aren’t so exclusionary that they rely on your prior knowledge of a series to make a point. Enjoy.


  • yeah it was quite tedious but at the same time it did really make you feel like you were exploring a huge open ocean.
    i just wish that they were adding more places to go in that huge ocean.

    but that is very interesting to know that was the reason for the sailing speed.

    seeing as we already know that the reason the dungeons were scraped was because they ran out of time they really need to fix that too =P

  • I think a smaller ocean would have solved that issue. Back in 2003 i had the patience to sail. But every time ive tired replaying the game, i get bored really quickly. Only reason ive completed that game twice, compared to Ocarina about 10

  • With this release, they had the opportunity to include that dungeon they obviously scrapped on great fish isle. I replayed the game last year on dolphin and it’s very obvious where they cut to meet release schedule.

    • Yeah I can’t remember very well since it’s been years since I’ve played it. But wasn’t there a map in Tetras room that showed the triforce could be formed by connecting lines to Dragoonroost Island, Forest Haven and Greatfish Isle to form the outer triangle and the triangle islands formed the inner one. Out of those three only one didn’t have a dungeon.

  • This is false, search for superswim wind waker on youtube. The boat could have been faster from the start if they wanted to.

  • Hahaha the Wii U sales are going to skyrocket next year with Mario Kart, Zelda and Smash Bros finally landing.

    • Hopefully it will turn out like the 3DS did. I want Nintendo to do well this gen; we finally have a proper Nintendo console back, let’s show them that we want that from them.

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