We all have that one game. The game everyone seems to dislike because of one reason, but you adore it because of that. That game for me has to be the Legend of Zelda: The Windwaker. The amount of hate this game received was astonishing when it was released, all because of its cutesy, happy cell-shaded art style. Which is one of the reasons I love it so much, it creates a much bigger world, it seems grander, and a change of scenary is always nice. I would still say I adore the game still, though it's hard to properly 'recover', you could say, from an incident that happened not too long ago.
It was a pretty hot day outside, and I had just gotten paid the previous day. As I had the air con blowing against me from all angles, I lay there bored. Tired. Way too hot. I decided to check my game collection, I hadn't done so in a long time, with work being all caught up in my schedule. It was truly a sight to behold, I had a few rare gems I hardly see anymore, and almost every Nintendo game existed on that shelf I made. I have them laid out in alphabetical order, so it's easy to see if I'm missing any. Low and behold, I couldn't find LoZ: Wind Waker. I double checked, tripled checked, over and over, but I saw nothing listed after Twilight Princess. Great. I've lost it. I heard a shop in my local town was closing down, it was a pretty cool shop too. I had picked up a Pokemon N64 there for around £15 with Pokemon Stadium, a deal I couldn't pass up. So, with nothing better to do, I climbed in my car and set off.
When I arrived, I saw they were already unpacking the shelves and placing games in boxes. Luckily, the Gamecube area was still untouched, so I rushed over."Master Quest, no.... Twilight Princess, got that... where are- Aha!" I thought to myself. "WindWaker!". At least I thought it was, the cover seemed to be of a Japanese copy, which was no real deal, I have a Japanese White Gamecube I can play it on. The price was £45, pretty steep for a Gamecube game, especially since it's used, but who cares, RARE COPY! Then in the corner of my eye, I saw it. Buy one get one free on all used games, cheapest item free! I swiftly scanned the shelves and picked up a copy of Rayman 3, with the 3D cover. Not too rare but, whatever. I don't think I've had one in the past. I rushed to the checkout and eagerly prepared to swipe my cash card. Me and the store owner had a little conversation about the store. It was a true shame it was closing down. Anyway, I thanked the owner and left. I thought this would be a great time to check my bank statement. Huh? How strange. It seems the man had only withdrawn £10, the price of the Rayman 3 game I purchased. So I got Windwaker free, all the more awesome! I would of made my way back to the shop to tell the man, but they were just finishing shutting down the store, so I wouldn't make it in time. With that, I drove home to check out my new masterpiece.
The disk was in next to pristine condition, no scratches or fingerprints, it was like looking into a mirror. The case was also in great condition, no stains, no rips in the plastic, no deformations. Gee, it was the deal of a lifetime, the equivalent would go for about £150 on eBay or something. I placed the disk into my Japanese Gamecube and turned it on, beaming with excitement. After flicking the analog sticks and a little and practicing some button mashing, the title screen appeared. 'The Legend of Zelda: The Windwaker'. I thought the game was in japanese? Maybe it's just a title screen error. You see it all the time with a lot of Japanese games, such as subtitles in English and such. The File Select screen was filled with 3 blank spaces, no data to be found. It kinda bummed me out but I couldn't care less. With the name 'Link' hastely typed in (Yeah, I'm SO original(!)), I sat back to enjoy the opening cutscene, even though I couldn't understand a damn thing it said. I knew the story though, the Hero of Time sealing a monster away, pretty classic. As the scene with Aryll faded in, something was already wrong with the scene. The music wasn't playing. At all. The sound from Aryll played, but no cheery Outset Island music in sight... Or... Hearing range, whatever floats your boat. It also struck me as odd how she moved. She had a cheery face but was almost limping as she ran across the beach. I ejected the disc to inspect and give it a little clean. I also blew out the dust in the Gamecube's laser, probably would help. After the cutscene again, it was the same. No music, limp walk, odd feeling, so I was certain there was no disc errors. As Aryll climbed up her lookout ladder, there's a scene with Link lying on the floor, as usual, but he seemed to be equipped with the sword and shield, with the traditional green clothing. I knew right away that something was up, especially when we cut to the angle where Aryll is spying on Link. It seemed to linger on for a few seconds longer, Link seemed to be lifeless, he didn't have a breathing animation at all. Aryll's face quickly dropped to a worrying expression, as she climbed aboard and started to ask if Link was sleep. No response. A second time. Nothing. A third time, with a loud cry. Silence. It was pretty unsettling to watch, considering the bright and cheery atmosphere in this game. Aryll lay there sobbing for a good minute or two. I would of turned it off immediately if it wasn't for my curiosity. She stood up, brushed herself down, and grabbed the sword her brother had wielded. The game then let me take control of Aryll.
She moved slightly slower than Link, still limping. She also seemed to pause every now and again, looking around, cowering. I remembered the first area you were suppose to go, Grandma's House. I headed over there rather slowly, and went inside. A cutscene started, showing Aryll's grandmother making her famous soup. Suprisingly, the text was in English. 'Hello Aryll! What's wrong? You look bothered by something.'. And indeed she did, as she was seemingly trying to hide the sword away from her grandmother's line of sight. 'Aryll? What are you doing? Tell old Grandma'. *SLASH*. I couldn't watch, the poor lady had been stabbed by her granddaughter, and it wasn't one of those cut to black scenes either, I lay mesmirized as the blood from her now lifeless body flood the floor. Aryll bent down, bowed her head, and proceeded to leave. As the game transitioned to the outside, it was clear a greater threat had overthrown the kingdom. The sky was now a dark grey, the seas the same colour. The grass was losing it's colour and there seemed to be none of the island's inhabitants anywhere. I could hear a faint murmering, but sounded like an organ being played at an incredibly low pitch. It was.... Unnerving, to say the least. I decided to save the game and head back to it later. As a precaution, I ripped the disc to my computer to play in the emulator known as Dolphin. The Image file was flawless, exactly how the game was meant to be played. I tested all my parts in the Gamecube to see if anything was flawed. Apart from a few memory card read errors, which is quite normal, everything was fine. I didn't let it bug me for too long, and waited until the next day.
If felt a lot chillier that day, maybe it was just my body adjusting to the temperature weirdly, or maybe I'm not normal, probably the latter. The first thing I needed was to wake up, it was a fairly rough night, I was pretty restless, rolling around. I decided to turn my Gamecube on with Windwaker, while I went to make a coffee, only to come back and see the file I saved was already loaded. Hm. The landscape was just as bland, as ever. I did, however, notice something on the shores of Outset Island. It was a boat with a lion's head, known as the King of Red Lions by many. I remembered this guy. He was basically a guide of some sort. As I approached him, though, it was clear the life had been long gone, as the wood he was made out of was rotting, and a chunk of the lion's head was missing. It was then a loud crack thundered in the distance of the Island, and so approached a giant battleship, lead by the one and only, Ganon. Aryll looked afraid, but then surprisingly kneeled down before him. He grabbed her, threw her onto the ship as it sailed into the distance.
The next scene appeared with Aryll strapped to a table, gagged with some sort of cloth. She was unconcious in the poorly lit room. A door opened, breathing in light, which revealed chains and body parts hanging from the ceiling. Ganon approched Aryll, waking her up with a *SLAP*. I knew what was going to happen. I felt it in my gut. But every urge that tried to make me look away, I resisted. The strange thing is, Aryll wasn't scared. She actually appeared complient. Then it hit me. All the pieces of the puzzle were coming together. Aryll had been under Ganon's control this whole time, Link must have failed on his quest, and when the darkness crept over the kingdom, she was corrupted, and she was now allowing herself to be sacrificed to the Lord of darkness, Ganon. The camera angle changed to that of a pair of shadows on the wall, which depicted Ganon slicing Aryll open and... I don't... I can't... Well, slicing her open and ripping her organs out, which he then stored in something. I couldn't tell what, because I was trying to avoid fainting right on the spot. Jars, I guess. With a mumbled scream, the game cut to black. I stood up and walked over to the Gamecube, ejecting the disk which is was still powered on, which caused a horrific image of Aryll's sliced corpse on a black background. The details was.... high, especially for a Gamecube game. It's like someone had taken textures of actual corpses and applied them to her model. And the eyes... Now replaced by two vacant holes, it was too much. I went outside to take a breather, I now regretted everything I had done in the past days.
I guess you could say I'm over it now, though I still keep the game in my collection. I know it sounds crazy, but this needs to be preserved. It's not common you run across a game with this rarity factor, to have it hold something even rarer. It's not like I could return it anyway, with the store being closed and all. I'll tell you this now, I've tried this game again since then, and it's absolutely fine. I've no idea why or how it changed, but if I do have it happen again, pictures will be uploaded so everyone can see. So until then, I'll keep my eye out. I recommend people who are collecting such games is to ask for them to be tested before you purchase, unless you feel risky and want an.... uncomfortable thrill.
This was pretty much a 'test in the water' pasta I wanted to try out. It's my first one, so I don't expect it to be that good, but at least entertaining. Thanks for reading.