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Is Wind Waker a Fair Introduction to the Zelda Franchise?

In Nintendo direct it was stated that Wind Waker had been chosen as the updated title for WiiU because itwas felt to be a worthy introduction to the Zelda franchise. this thread is to ask if you agree with such a statement.

I'd personally argue no. WW is the first Zelda game to feature a compulsory travel system, something that was pretty alien to a lot of Zelda veterans at the time and something that still isn't entirely forgiven. The items also double up in abilities and use unlike other Zelda games. the overworld of the Great Sea itself, until SS was something that Zelda followers hadn't seen before either... and so i'd say that Wind Waker is one of the most alien games this side of Majora's Mask that a new gamer could play.

So, is Ww a good introduction to the series for gamers who have never played Zelda before?
Which game would you say was the best introduction to the Zelda franchise?
Warning: Fan boy level 9000.

The Wind Waker is one of the better introductions to the franchise. Its story was deeper than most with Ganondorf not completely selfish and hellbent on destruction, Link's family put into focus, nifty quirks like the Nintendo Photo Gallery, and more. It's lighter on sidequests and content than other installments and the travel system deviates from series foundations.

The ideal introduction to the series is Ocarina of Time. I understand why Nintendo didn't choose this game since it was already remade for the 3DS in 2011 but a connected overworld, phenomenal music integration, connected story across seven years, and more render it a classic and my personal favorite.
Nov 28, 2011
Hmm, in all actuality, the first Zelda game I played with any conviction was Wind Waker, so it effectively WAS my introduction to the series, and I think it was a pretty good one at that... that being said, I agree that it is probably not the optimal one. As you (the OP, Spirit) stated, many of the defining features of Wind Waker are radically different than what is seen in most of the rest of the series, which makes it a bit of an awkward place to start from. I'd very much like to say that the best intro to the series would be the original LoZ, but since a lot of modern gamers seem to take classics for granted (the FOOLS!) it doesn't seem the most effective suggestion. I'm going to say that if you want a fantastic introduction to the series, the best place to look is Ocarina of Time. I'd go with OoT because, in a very real way, it defined what Zelda was and is to this day. It is easily the most famous title, for better or worse, and that is because it is generally considered to be the pivotal point of the series. It really acts as an intro to modern Zelda as it is by cementing the primary mainstays of the series. I mean, if you were to take a formula for any modern Zelda, it'd essentially be OoT + Oodles of unique stuff we threw in to make it even better (or in the case of TP, OoT + ...?). So, in terms of understanding what the series really is, OoT is the best place to start (imo). Next to the original of course... but fools disrespectin'.


The Fierce Deity
Jan 16, 2013
Inside the Moon

It should have been TP. The oldest 3d unrereleased game that delivers what could be called a "typical"experience. Zant, Ganondorf, and Hyrule IN HD!. Now that would be awesome. WW isn't top notch, and it is too abnormal. All that sailing, the odd quests, that weird ending, and the accursed animation. Not a good call.


Nanomachines, son.
Apr 12, 2012
Wind Waker is a great game, but I definitely would not call it the best, or even one of the best for a introduction for new players.

Ocarina of Time would be the best starter, but considering it has had like 3 remakes, one of them being in 2011, I could understand them not choosing it. That being said, Twilight Princess or A Link to the Past would have been better choices in my opinion if that's what they were going for.


Mad haters lmao
May 26, 2010
Hylian Champion
I'd argue that TWW is a fair introduction to modern Zelda, but is the complete opposite of everything that comes before it. There are many points that I'd like to just make note of and not really go in depth:

- Difficulty
- Story
- Music
- Art Direction

Everything that TWW does as far as those three are modern Zelda in its purest form. Classic Zelda? Not really.


Darkest of all Dark Links
Oct 28, 2012
Absolutely not...Wind Waker's the worst 3D game to introduce to someone new. It is too different from the norm and has such low quality when compared to other 3D games. I'd see many people being turned off by it and those who liked it would be disappointed when they realized it's very different from your traditional Zelda game.
Apr 10, 2012
Honestly every Zelda game is a good game to start as they aren't really that closely related. I mean Oot and TP might be the most ideal games to start with as they represent Zelda and its classic formula as a whole while the other installments usually are alien compared to these two games.


The Quiet Man
There's a few ways you could say it'd be. Waker is pretty nice for newbies as far as difficulty and offers a good sense of adventure, but as far as the Zelda series as a whole goes...

I'd argue that TWW is a fair introduction to modern Zelda, but is the complete opposite of everything that comes before it. There are many points that I'd like to just make note of and not really go in depth:

- Difficulty
- Story
- Music
- Art Direction

Everything that TWW does as far as those three are modern Zelda in its purest form. Classic Zelda? Not really.

I think it’s interesting if you consider that WW might, as Ventus says, have more in common with modern Zelda than it does with classic Zelda. It’s more story-driven, it’s artstyle displays the more cartoonishly exaggerated tendencies (kinda like Skyward Sword), the possibility of that sidequest frustrating or boring someone, and maybe more things I can’t think of. As Spirit says in the OP, it’s a bit of a black-sheep, as acclaimed as it is these days. I can see the transition to any of the others would be from mildly to very awkward.

In that case, a middle ground would help. Case in which the go to game for a smooth introduction would be, guess which, OoT. Since it works as sort of a bridge from classic to modern Zelda, I think it’d warm anybody up to anything else the other games have to offer. At least I’m sure it would be a better one than LoZ, I doubt a new player would like to get killed or stumped on how to find a dungeon just to later get stumped in the dugeon itself, rinse and repeat. While at that, TP could also work pretty well too. It’s easy, it’s cool-looking, and it’s a fair bit like Ocarina.

That said, as a Wind Waker fanboy, it’s nice to see it getting a remake treatment. Hope a lot of people get to enjoy it, because as many would agree, I think it’s a genuinely awesome game.
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Sir Quaffler

May we meet again
Nope, WW is not the ideal game to introduce new players to the Zelda franchise. There's a lot of core problems with the game that are fairly separate from the rest of the series, so it'd be unfair to have new players get hung up over these things and never give the other games a chance because they would think those other games also shared the same problems.

Totally unoriginal answer for what IS the ideal entry to the franchise: Ocarina of Time. But, seeing as how we've already had 3 iterations of that game, the next in line is Twilight Princess, since it's almost a carbon-copy. Remake the game in high definition, and yeah you'd have a pretty good idea of how the majority of Zelda games work, with the HD to connect to people who might otherwise be turned off by the lower resolution of the original.

Random Person

Just Some Random Person
Feb 6, 2010
To the right Person, yes. To the generic Person. No.

Nintendo fans - Their first game should be OoT. Follow-up game should be MM.

Sony fans - Their first game should be TP. Follow up game should be SS.

Microsoft fans - No guarantee on any game.


Hello Sweetie!
Jun 18, 2011
Thing about Zelda is that each game is different, offers different things. You may love some, dislike others, and other Zelda-fans may completely disagree with every single one of your opinions, yet you can both still claim to be Zelda fans.

I think the best way to truly introduce someone to Zelda, would be by giving them two radically different titles to try out, show new players the diversity they can expect with the series. After all there are many contrasts to be found throughout the series. And WW could do very well being one of those two games. It's fun, playful, imaginative, plenty to explore. If you paired it up with say a darker title, you'd stand a better chance at giving newbies a more realistic view on what to expect from Zelda - namely contrasts. Some games are light, some are dark; some are cartoonish-looking, others are more realistic-looking; some are linear, others are more open for explorations; some focus on temples, others focus on quests... etc.

Trio - I have to disagree about LoZ being the best intro to the series. First of all, LoZ separates itself from the other games by having very little in terms of storyline. It's effectively just one big overworld where you stumble upon enemies and dungeons, there's no telling where to go or what to do, you just have to make it up as you go. Sure, it's what began it all and I can respect that, but had that been my introduction to Zelda, I'm not sure I would have stuck around to find out what else was there. In terms of 2D games and classics, I think there are better titles to choose as an introduction than LoZ (I've so far given LoZ, AoL and LA a go since I have them on my 3DS - LoZ was too open and empty to really excite me, AoL was just too impossibly difficult and I ended up giving up every time I tried it, LA was however much more appealing to me, more story-driven, helpful NPCs to guide you on your way - I do suspect, however, that when I finally get around to ALttP, it will prove itself to be the best introduction to classic Zelda).

Night Owl

Oct 3, 2011
Skybound Coil Tree, Noctilum
AS far as introductions to the series go, WW is a good choice.

But the best choice depends on the type of gamer you want to introduce the series too.

The best all round choices are ALttP, OoT, and TP.


Nov 9, 2010
I think that it would depend entirely on the person playing. WW was my first LoZ game, and obviously it did a good job at getting me in to the series. The game that would give the best introduction to the series though, would probably be OoT, but ALTtP would work well too. Both games give the best indication to the theme of the series as a whole, as well as demonstrating common gameplay aspects.


Oct 24, 2012
Crisis? What Crisis?
Pan-decepticon-transdeliberate-selfidentifying-sodiumbased-extraexistential-temporal anomaly
No, Wind Waker hardly serves as a definitive example of the Zelda series. It takes place in a vastly different environment that mandates a compulsory form of transportation that is not indicative of the series in general. It features an art style and tone that defers greatly from the rest of the series. As far as Zelda titles that make for good introductions Wind Waker is about the lowest on the list it can possibly be. Might appeal to kids though, but not necessarily to gamers.

The classic introduction to Zelda would be A Link to the Past. The modern introduction to Zelda is Ocarina of Time. Twilight Princess might serve well as Ocarina2.0. But ALttP and Ocarina are at the core of the series. Both illustrate the nature of the Zelda series adequately, but neither one is particularly helpful in easing new gamers into the series.

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