Wind Waker HD, New Zelda Game Coming to Wii U

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2013

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Earlier today Nintendo announced a slew of new game announcements and features for the Wii U via a Nintendo Direct. Among them, Zelda fans will be pleased with the announcement of Wind Waker HD and a brand new Zelda title that is in development for the Wii U.

Zelda Wii U

Zelda Wii U

Zelda producer Eiji Aonuma took the spotlight for a moment to discuss the “driving theme” behind the new Zelda game that is currently in development for the Wii U. This theme revolves around Nintendo rethinking the standard conventions of Zelda. Aonuma uses examples of current conventions like completing dungeons in linear order and the fact that we play Zelda games by ourselves. It seems Nintendo would like to alter our next experience with Link to keep gameplay fresh and avoid more of the same.

Aonuma mentions that he wanted to implement such features in Skyword Sword but they weren’t able to fully realize such concepts for release. Unfortunately no new screenshots are available for Zelda Wii U, but it seems more will be revealed sometime soon.

Wind Waker HD

Windwaker HD 3

It makes sense that Nintendo is trying to find their ground with a new HD console, and so naturally they went back to their roots and played around a bit. Aonuma stated that they took some time to turn fragments of older Zelda games into HD, and in this discovered just how beautiful an HD remake of Wind Waker could be. Isn’t this what fans have been clamoring for? It seems that we can expect this title to release sometime during Fall 2013.

Windwaker HD 2   Windwaker HD 5

Windwaker HD 1   Windwaker HD 6

Iwata mentions that not only will the HD remake feature an upgrade in graphics, but that the game experience will be receiving a tune up. No details have been announced at this time as to what this may mean, but one feature unique to the Wii U’s gamepad is that we will now be able to play Wind Waker on the tablet controller. Iwata says we “should” be able to use Miiverse with the title as well, so I think this means we can expect some fun sharing features.


About Jared Cyhowski

[Former Staff] Jared is a recent graduate from Fitchburg State University where he studied communications, video production, and English. He enjoys playing video games, watching anime, writing, and of course pizza. His favorite games are Shadow of the Colossus and Final Fantasy IX, but he can’t possibly choose a favorite anime. Jared enjoys following the games industry and observing what will happen next, and he puts out an invitation for discussion on these topics. He loves a great story in these mediums and prefers a stronger narrative design over most features. Jared is personally responsible for creating and managing the Anime section of the website, and hopes to inspired and entertain with everything he writes.

  • vinicius

    Time to start saving money for the WiiU.

  • Those screenshots are beautiful. My wallet is crying right now.

  • forweg

    Oh dear, I hope the Zelda series doesn’t turn into the next Dragon Quest with this multiplayer/online nonsense.

    • Ninty

      I think they’re just gonna add a second player feature like the Super Mario Galaxy games. Hopefully there will still be a hard/Hero mode, but from the get-go rather than requiring us to unlock it.

  • Miguel

    Now Im going to have to buy the WiiU sooner then I thought

  • Allen Clayton

    Still waiting for a must-play game to launch before I buy a Wii U. Unfortunately, HD remakes of games I already played (no matter how excellent) do not qualify.

    • Guest

      I don’t buy “HD remakes” either.
      That’s only because 99% of “HD remakes” are garbage upscaled last-gen games that don’t fix or improve anything. I could buy an upscaler or use an emulator to do THAT with better results for a lower price.

      HOWEVER, I’d make an exception for this. It’s not your typical “HD remake”, this is like a re-imagining done right.

      On that note, I completely agree that it is best to wait for good games to buy a console instead the small handful that are out now or coming soon.

      That new Monolith Soft game………..

    • xenoblade 2 Wii U enough???

    • Ninty

      But he’s waiting for a must-play game to “launch”. This new game isn’t out yet.

  • Mitchell

    Dammit, I didn’t want to buy a Wii U.. Now I might have to.

  • I loved The Wind Waker. It was my first Zelda game and it’s just so much fun. If they can put in a few more dungeons and get rid of that ridiculous Triforce shard hunt, the game would be perfect!

    • I think the best we can hope for is that they reduce the number of Triforce shards. l: Maybe.

    • Guest

      Or create mini temples for each of the Triforce shards to at least make it more interesting than sailing for 8 hours. Or better yet, make it like a “Trial Dungeon”, like the “Cave of Ordeals” in Twilight Princess. Kinda like the “Sky Keep” in Skyward Sword, but with a bit more variety.

    • So, maybe 8 minidungeons with 5 floors each, and all you do is beat enemies, and maybe solve one puzzle? Yeah, that shouldn’t take long. Try it, Nintendo.

  • John Ellis

    I really love the new look of the level, but the character models look like they are made of clay

    • Ninty

      Yeah, that’s the first thing I noticed, too. Other than that the world still seems to keep that blur between cartoon and game.

  • NinjaApe

    I’d like to have a motion control option. After swinging my Wiimote like a sword it’s gonna be hard to go back to button mashing. Imagine if you could conduct the Wind Waker with your Wiimote!

    • ZanetheWise

      I’m with ye.

    • This seems easy to me. They’ve already got all the code for the Skyward Sword controls. How hard would it be to paste those onto Wind Waker? I’m thinking that a week with one smart coder would do it.

    • NinjaApe

      Do you know anything about programming? I don’t. But I doubt programming is as simple as copy and pasting some codes. If it was easy then there probably would have been a left handed option in Skyward Sword.

    • ZanetheWise

      Even if it was that simple, the enemies wouldn’t respond to the precise strokes in any meaningful way. The main reason Skyward Sword’s combat was so much fun (IMO) was that the enemies required certain directional attacks and required some quick reflexes. Every encounter was like a puzzle where you were searching for an opening.

      Would it be neat to see Toon Link (or “Claymation Link” now) swing his sword as you swing the remote, but in the end it would just register as a hit or a miss based on timing. With this game hitting in a few short months I doubt they want to spend time going in and messing with the enemies AI.

      I expect this to be a port on the level of OoT3D, a nice graphical upgrade and some minor gameplay tweaks, not a major overhaul.

    • NinjaApe

      I’m not expecting Skyward Sword combat. If the combat was as simple as Twilight Princess it would still be more fun than pressing a button IMO.

    • Okay, I took a Computer Science course in college, so I do know a thing or two about programming. Good coding these days is DESIGNED to be reused. So, the code for the motion controls is (probably) easily able to be adapted to something else. At least, that’s how I was taught to think.

      My thought process is that the WII U already supports Wii Motion Plus, so all the code should copy right over. All the items are already set in stone, and I don’t remember any item in Wind Waker that is radically different conceptually from the ones in Skyward Sword. The only issue is taking that coding, and adapting it to the remake.

      However, ZanetheWise DOES bring up a good point: the combat in Skyward Sword was so thrilling becasue of reactive enemies. Do they add reactive enemies? How then would the standard controls work?

  • ZanetheWise

    I want it and I’ll likely download it on day 1, but given how much they think your average NES game is worth I’m a little afraid of what they’ll charge for this. =(

    • Ninty

      Right? Why couldn’t they at least chop the original Virtual Console prices in half? They’d still make a bit of cash. At this point though, most people can find a way to pirate such old games.

    • ZanetheWise

      I think $5 is okay for something iconic like Mario or Zelda, but some of those old games aren’t worth more than $2

  • I know it is HIGHLY unlikely that any one at Nintendo is reading this, but next year they should do a Twilight Princess HD remake. Whereas Wind Waker looks fantastic played TODAY, Twilight Princess looks dated. We already know the Twilight Princess style will look fantastic in HD, because of that E3 2011 demo. Not that I want the Wind Waker one canceled mind you: I’m thinking about selling my GameCube copy to pay for this. I just want Twilight Princess also.

    • ZanetheWise

      Now, Twilight Princess is probably my least favorite Zelda, but I agree. I think this sort of realistic lighting would be a better fit for TP than WW. However, I think they went with WW because 1. it’s the current favorite of nostalgic Zelda fans, and 2. this is just a guess on my part, but, I think they wanted a game that will be as distinct as possible from their next full Zelda. I expect the next one’s style to sit closer to “realism” on the sliding scale.

    • Yeah, I agree that Twilight Princess isn’t the best Zelda. I’m just saying that looking at it now, it looks dated, as the art style was too realistic for the console. However, if it was redone in the style of the E3 2011 demo, I think that the visuals would stand up longer. Paradoxically, the Twilight art style gains a measure of unreality in HD, thereby giving it visual punch that could last.

      But, your speculation is interesting. And so long as Nintendo doesn’t fall into the trap of too much brown-gray (there are a lot more colors in the world then those), it could be just as good of an art style, and I’m all for it.

  • Everybody should look at this:
    Wow! Winder Waker looked amazing, and this looks like it will be even better!