The lights are on
The Legend of Zelda needs no introduction. It’s one of the few series that had its start in the infancy of console gaming, but still remains strong. With 25 years of sacred temples, mystical sages, and fierce battles, one moment shines the brightest to me. The last confrontation with Ganondorf in The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker.
Spoiler Alert: End of game material
When The Wind Waker originally debuted, it was shunned by some for its drastic change in art style. After release, most fears were put to rest as gamers enjoyed exploring a vibrant and colorful sea in hopes of saving Link’s little sister. In true Zelda fashion, a greater plot unfolds and the fate of the world comes down to the three individuals that each holds a piece of the Triforce.
Throughout the entire game you play as a child who isn’t your typical sword-wielding destroyer of evil. The game doesn’t have an especially mature tone until the last series of events. After you have traveled the world and claimed the Triforce of Courage, you encounter Ganondorf next to an unconscious Zelda. Even though he is the incarnation of evil, the setting and tone is small and intimate.
He begins to tell a tale of his youth to the sound of rushing water all around you. He explains how the winds brought promise and joy to the land of Hyrule when they blew, but only death and hardship in his desert homeland. When the moment of reflection is over, he beats Link and calls upon the Triforce. Due to the King of Hyrule’s intervention he is prevented from using the Triforce and the decisive battle between Link, Zelda, and Ganondorf begins.
The conductor cues the orchestra and Link exchanges blows with a dual-wielding Ganondorf, as Zelda stuns him with light arrows. Everything is going well, until Ganondorf becomes irritated and delivers a powerful backhand across Zelda’s innocent face. Things get more difficult without the aid of your friend as you fight to stay alive against a never-ending onslaught of will and metal.
In time, Zelda awakens from the blow and decides it’s time to finish the conflict. Through some coordination and timing, Link delivers the final strike, which can only be described as epic. With a giant leap and classic “AYHHHHH” battle cry, he drives the Master Sword through Ganondorf’s forehead, which causes the seal of the Master Sword to shatter along with his opponent’s skull.
The first time I beat the game, I was in pure awe. I had no words to describe what I just saw in a game that was, for the most part, cute and charming. The best part was that, as The King of the Gerudo stood there with a sword impaled in his forehead, he laughed and stated, “The wind … It is blowing,” – a simply beautiful conclusion.
Dust in the wind
Spoiled! episode for The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker
Email the author O'Dell Harmon, or follow on Twitter, and Game Informer.