Let me preface this post by saying that I love The Legend of Zelda. It is one of the first video games I ever played and most of my childhood was spent playing video games from the series. I’ve finished every 3D Zelda game (barring Breath of the Wild, because I don’t have a Nintendo Switch, unfortunately), and there aren’t many games that fill me with such a strong sense of excitement and wonder. This year, I’ve decided to do my very own Zelda Month for November 2018. Zelda Month was started by Austin Hargrave a.k.a. PeanutButterGamer in 2011 to commemorate the release of The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, which, incidentally, was releasing on the 25th anniversary of the franchise. Each year, he makes one Zelda themed video for every week in November that delve into various aspects of the series. Naturally, being such a huge Zelda fan, I’ve decided to jump in on the action, with this month being dedicated to Zelda themed posts on the blog. I’m also doing a similar segment over on vocal.media, where I’ll be writing about my picks for the ‘Top 5’s’ of the 3D Zelda games. Check that out right over here!
This first post is dedicated to my favourite Zelda game of them all – while all of them are special to me, there is one that rises above the rest, and that is The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker. It was the first game of the series I played and it was the first one I finished. The grandeur of the story was not lost on me, even as a child, and the visuals and gameplay enthralled me completely.
This is a short story that I wrote a while ago about the prelude to the final battle in the game. Its not a play by play translation of what happens in the game, as I’ve added my own unique twists to the events, but the overarching plot is very much present and while it doesn’t go into the actual battle, it gives a little more insight into what Link might have been thinking while the buildup to the battle was going on. Also, SPOILERS for the end of the game, in case that wasn’t obvious. Do not read if you don’t want to be spoiled for the game (trust me, if I were you, I wouldn’t)
That being said, enjoy the story!
“My country lay within a vast desert.”
Link stared at the man, absolutely nonplussed. Ganondorf stood on the other side of the roof, gazing sadly at the water surrounding them. At his feet lay Zelda, who, to Link’s relief, was still breathing. He felt a strong urge to run to her, but he resisted, knowing that Ganondorf could make one move and kill her at any second. Instead, he resolutely drew his sword and shield, ready to battle. Ganondorf continued without looking back,
“When the sun rose into the sky, a burning wind punished my lands, searing the world. And when the moon climbed into the dark of night, a frigid gale pierced our homes. No matter when it came, the wind carried the same thing…Death.”
Link remained silent, but took a few cautious steps forward. He didn’t really know what Ganondorf was talking about, but if he could get close enough to surprise him with a strike, maybe he could drag Zelda out of harm’s way. If Ganondorf noticed him coming closer, he didn’t show it, only fleetingly glancing at Link as he continued to speak. “But the winds that blew across the green fields of Hyrule brought something other than suffering and ruin. I…coveted that wind, I suppose.”
The mention of Hyrule made Link stop. He recalled hearing of tales of the old land from the King numerous times, particularly if he was feeling chatty in the wee hours of the night. He remembered drifting off to sleep trying to imagine what it was once like beneath the volumes of water that he now sailed; the harsh sunlight enveloping the lush grass that covered Hyrule Field, the hustle and bustle of Hyrule’s market, while the Temple of Time stood solemnly in the distance and the castle opposite to it, giants among the other buildings. He tried to think about how it would be to relax in Zora’s Domain, bathing in water so pure that you could see right through it all the way to the bottom, and how it would feel to take in the majesty of Lake Hylia.
It sounded like paradise to Link, and he’d never even been there.
Suddenly Link understood Ganondorf’s obsession with the land. To be so close yet so far from places like that, to be confined to the desert where nothing but sand covering every square inch of the ground and searing winds blowing past you day in and day out….it sounded like hell. For one scary moment, Link felt a twinge of sympathy for the old man. All he wanted was to live in a better home. He started to slowly lower his sword when Ganondorf spoke once more.
“It can only be called fate that here, I would again gather the three with the crests and lay my hand on that which grants the wishes of the beholder. When power, wisdom, and courage come together, the gods will have no choice but to come down…The power of the gods… The Triforce!”
And then, Link remembered everything that Ganondorf had done in his quest to obtain power. He had mercilessly murdered both Laruto and Fado to seal the power of the Master Sword, he set monsters all over Hyrule Castle, probably slaughtering countless innocents who resided inside its walls, and he kidnapped several girls from across the Great Sea in his search for Zelda…including his own sister! The scared look on Aryll’s face flashed in Link’s memory as he gripped his sword tighter and glared at Ganondorf. He started to walk towards him, anger building up with every step he took, as Ganondorf continued to speak.
“He who touches it shall have whatever he desires granted.” He gestured to Zelda’s body on the ground beneath him. “Already the crest of wisdom is mine.” White hot rage surged through Link as he broke into a run. The Master Sword glowed brightly in his hand as he raised it, ready to strike Ganondorf with all his might.
“All that remains……”
Link swung, but Ganondorf was quick. He dodged the strike and drew his own weapon. Link barely had time to ready his sword before he felt a searing pain across his shoulder, followed by a burning feeling so intense he cried out in pain. He instantly dropped his sword and fell to his knees, his mind going dizzy from the pain. Ganondorf smirked and sheathed his sword. He slowly walked towards the Hero of Winds.
“Do not fear. I will not kill you. I merely have need of the power that dwells within you.”
He grabbed Link by his right hand and hung him over his head like a rag doll. Link felt his shoulder explode in pain as he cried out, causing Ganondorf to laugh. “Did that sting, little hero? You should have known better than to try to best me in swordplay. The Hero of Time himself could not engage me in one on one combat by sword; what makes you think you, a mere child, could even scratch me?” He gripped Link’s arm tighter, causing even more pain to the young boy. Dark spots danced on the edge of Link’s vision and he threatened to black out from both the pain and the sheer exhaustion. He noticed a faint glow emanating from Zelda’s hand and realized that Ganondorf was calling forth the power of the Triforce. He tried to squirm out of Ganondorf’s grasp, but he was so weak he could barely move his body.
Suddenly, he felt a tingling sensation overcome his entire being, and he realized that his own Triforce of Courage was resonating with the two other pieces. He knew it was impossible to stop, even if he wasn’t injured and threatening to pass out at any moment. A harsh glow lit the entire area and he heard Ganondorf’s breath hitch. A heavy weight pressed down on him, causing him to wince. The pressure was beyond anything he’d ever felt before. The guardians of the temples he had ventured through exuded pressure, but never before was theirs this heavy and powerful. Link felt inexplicably tiny in the face of the Triforce, like if the gods wished, they could obliterate him from existence at any moment.
Then Ganondorf dropped him, and the world went black.
He was not sure how much time passed; he wasn’t even sure if he was still alive, but then he awoke and felt water droplets hitting his face. His eyes fluttered open as he sat up slowly, every part of his body aching. His vision was blurry, but he could vaguely make out Ganondorf in front of him, and he was…laughing? Behind him was a red figure. ‘The King! But what is he doing here….?’ Link thought as he struggled to clear his head. ‘Have we lost? Did Ganondorf make his wish? But then…the rain…’ He longed to just lay back down and stare at the ceiling; the underside of the water looked like a glass veil. However, he sighed and slowly got to his feet, clutching his shoulder. He shook his head and his vision cleared up. Ganondorf was indeed laughing, but Link detected something strange about it. It wasn’t the laugh of a man who had won – it was the laugh of a madman. Link looked at the King in bewilderment, and then back to Ganondorf. Had the King somehow stopped Ganondorf?
“This is foolishness….a future…for you? Do you really believe in such ludicrousness, Daphnes?”
“I do. It’s something you could never understand, Ganon. You remain bound to the past; to the image of what Hyrule once was. But these children…they are the future. They deserve a better life, a better kingdom. One that is not plagued by your evil intentions.”
Link cracked a tiny smile. The King’s words gave him encouragement, even in the hopeless situation he was in. He frantically glanced around for his sword, even as Ganondorf responded in a voice filled with anger. “I shall crush these children once and for all! There will be no future for them; the only thing left in their lives is death!” His voice boomed, echoing throughout the area.
“HA! What are you laughing at, Ganondorf? You’re insane!”
Link turned around in delight and drew in his breath. Zelda stood before him, slightly battered and bruised, and standing weakly, but smiling triumphantly at the King of Evil. In her hands she held the Master Sword. She turned to him, and Link felt a rush of hope surge through him. “Link! I’m sorry for oversleeping.” Link chuckled. “Try setting an earlier alarm next time; that might help.” Zelda laughed, handing him the sword. Link took it, expecting his shoulder to break out in pain once more. However, as soon as he touched the blade of evil’s bane, it glowed with a blue light, and Link felt invigorated. The pain in his shoulder subsided completely, even though the wound was still open and bleeding. He looked at his blade in wonder, then noticed his hand glowing faintly. The Triforce crest on his hand shone brightly.
Zelda smiled. “A blessing from the goddesses. They have spoken. Ganondorf, you’ve lost.”
She spoke with such conviction that Link couldn’t help believe that it was true. Strength surged through him as he lifted his sword, smiling. “Ganondorf, your time has come.”
Ganondorf, who had been silent for a while, finally spoke. “Very well then.” His voice was dangerously low. “Allow me to show you…your future.” He spat the last word with so much venom that Link was immediately put on edge. He drew his shield and stared resolutely at the king of evil.
“Allow me to show you….just what little hope you have.”
Two longswords appeared in Ganondorf’s hands. Link recognised them as the weapons that Ganondorf had used to injure his shoulder. He slowly turned, and both Link and Zelda froze in fear. The look in his eyes was beyond anger. It was pure madness. It was the look of a man who had absolutely nothing to lose. When he spoke, Link’s heart accelerated as he raised his sword, ready for the most intense battle of his life.
“Let’s see how much your precious Triforce is worth!”