Wind Waker’s Secret Deleted Dungeons
With Nintendo’s announcement of HD remake The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker Reborn, I couldn’t help but think of my own past Wind Waker experience. It wasn’t too long ago, as I was a late Gamecube adopter, but long enough for me to relish another playthrough.
Besides adding in Wii U controller support and increasing the resolution, Nintendo has mentioned that they will be “Tuning Up the Gameplay” in Wind Waker. But what exactly does that mean? Will they reduce the number of Triforce fetch quests? Are they going to add extra warp points for quicker travel? Nobody knows. I know upon its release many people didn’t like Wind Waker, but it’s grown to become a fan favorite. I can’t imagine what they would tune up.
Searching across the internet I came across many common complaints and popular suggestions as to where Nintendo would go with this upgrade:
- Removing/reducing the tedious process of changing wind direction while sailing
- Adding extra warp points for faster quick travel across the Great Sea
- Streamlining or simplifying the search for the Triforce shards
- Adjusting the difficulty — some criticize TWW as the easiest Zelda game
- Addressing the sparse overworld, with more islands to break up the emptiness
- Tingle Tuner integration via the GamePad to enable it in single-player
These seem reasonable. I especially feel that Nintendo has a great desire to utilize their new GamePad, so I know they will incorporate the Tingle Tuner aspects. (Maybe even do a re-release of four swords later?) All the launch titles for the Wii U stressed the new controller, sometimes a bit too much, so I think this will be an area for Nintendo to explore. Let’s just hope arrow aiming doesn’t get auto bound to the controller. I hated that aspect of Nintendo Land.
But what about all the missing dungeons in Wind Waker? It’s been well publicized that due a Miyamoto streamlining effort, Wind Waker was made shorter and quicker than games before it. I recall the exact reason being that he felt too many people weren’t completing JRPGS at the time. These scrapped dungeons aren’t normally present in the game, but through the use of an Action Replay you can explore some of their rooms and gain a slight glimpse into the development process. Most of the texture work isn’t finished but many of the assets are in place.
Wind Waker had only six dungeons (not counting the initial fortress):
- Dragon Roost Caverns
- Forest Haven
- Tower of the Gods
- Earth Temple
- Wind Temple
- Ganon’s Castle
The additional two would have brought it up to the standard eight in the Legend of Zelda franchise. It is theorized that these new dungeons would have been an expansion of the Fire (Fire Mountain) and Ice (Ice Ring Isle) islands. You were supposed to have received the Iron Boots and Power Bracelets from these dungeons.
The third proposed area somehow related to the quest for the Triforce. (A reduction in the fetch quests?) Perhaps one was created for Nayru’s Pearl. Instead of doing the long quest and then just receiving it from Jabun, it would have made more sense to have completed a level for it. It’s hard to say exactly where these new dungeons would be located but there was a lot of empty ocean space.
Some people claim that there weren’t any “additional dungeons” and Wind Waker was planned as is. The unused textures/assets present on the disc are present on every game disc and just naturally take up around 30% of the room. While this theory is largely true as there are an insane amount of unused rooms in Wind Waker, series producer Eiji Aonuma himself said that the production of Wind Waker was rushed and that two more dungeons were originally planned. He also commented that the Triforce quest wasn’t properly thought out.
It’s currently unknown if these phantom dungeons will reappear in Wind Waker Reborn, but my gut is telling me no. Seeing how unfinished they are, it would take an entire team to properly recreate these. So as it stands, the HD remake will probably just feature a more streamlined Triforce Fetch Quest.
Here’s a video of one of the dungeon rooms.