Located centuries after The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, The awakening of the wind takes place in a future that the hero of time has left behind. With no one to defend against Ganondorf on his inevitable return, all of Hyrule was inundated and the goddesses buried a once prosperous land under what would become the Great Sea.
With the backstory of the game so intimately linked to Ocarina of time, it goes without saying that The awakening of the wind ends up referencing the first 3D Zelda often enough. Of all the 3D entries in the series, this is the one that makes the most reference to the actual plot (and the most explicitly to that.) Even Twilight Princess, which was designed around Ocarina of time, can’t quite compete with The awakening of the windsubstantial references.
The “legend” of the hero of the time
The awakening of the wind opens with a very abbreviated account of Ocarina of time and the events that immediately followed. As is the case with most legends, however, the opening doesn’t seem to cover the whole story, leaving some details vague. All that’s really self-explanatory is that a time hero saved Hyrule and was not present for his flood.
Interestingly enough time has passed since the floods and the events of The awakening of the wind that the legend itself, as the Great Sea knows it, is even Following abbreviated as that of the opening. Almost no one currently living on the Great Sea knows Hyrule, let alone the Hero of Time.
Only the exploits of the hero of time in adulthood have been transmitted
As for the legends of the Great Sea, the first third of the Hero of Time’s journey is not recounted. Presumably, talk of the Time Hero only began to spread when he woke up in the future after unsheathing the Master Sword. Considering his exploits were rather understated as a child, it makes sense that no one remembers them.
More importantly, the Time Hero’s actions as an adult far exceed what he did as a boy. There’s also the issue of a few characters not recognizing the Time Hero as an adult, implying that the general population of Hyrule doesn’t put two and two together. With the Sages apparently “dead” as well, it is unlikely that anyone other than Zelda will be there to pass on the legend of the hero of the time.
Coming of Age as a Theme
Interestingly, both Ocarina of time and The awakening of the wind characteristic of maturity as a very explicit theme. In the first case, the hero of time moves from boy to man, losing his childhood and maturing in the process, ultimately leaving a man in a boy’s body as the credits roll. The awakening of the wind literally begins with Link’s birthday and a coming-of-age ceremony.
With Arale kidnapped, however, Link’s plans change and his coming-of-age ceremony ends up being a great adventure that takes him across the Great Sea. Where the Hero of Time tragically matures very classic, Link in The awakening of the wind has a more traditional arc, coming of age through adventure and becoming a hero in his own right.
Fado, the sage of the wind
Fado is essentially a walk, a conversation Ocarina of time benchmark and this is a rare case where going all the way on fan service really pays off. Visually, Fado is a Kokiri, confirming that the Korok evolved from the Perpetual Children of the Forest. He is also the Wind Sage, not the Forest Sage as Saria was, a reference to the Forest Temple which was originally the Temple of the Wind in Ocarina of time.
Note, Fado is the name of a Kokiri girl in Ocarina of time which was originally intended to play a larger role in the game. Ultimately, however, the role of Fado was significantly reduced and Saria took on the role of resident Kokiri. The awakening of the wind‘s Fado is a man, it’s nice to see any fado get its due.
Link & Medli Parallel Link & Ruto
It’s a little odd that the Rito evolved from the Zora, but it works in the context of the game and allows for a richer narrative overall. It also makes the bond between Link and Medli all the more impactful. While Link and Medli aren’t necessarily the descendants of the Hero of Time or Ruto, they end up putting them in parallel in TWWThe Temple of the Earth.
Just as the Hero of Time carried Ruto through Lord Jabu-Jabu’s belly, Link carried Medli through the Temple of Earth. Unlike Ruto, however, Medli actually contributes quite significantly to making progress in the dungeon, as she is the third unique playable character in the series (behind Link and Kafei from Majora’s Mask.)
Tetra is a reverse sheik
All savvy players who beat Ocarina of time before playing The awakening of the wind probably figured out pretty quickly that Tetra would end up being Princess Zelda. At the very least, most players could comfortably assume that Tetra was fulfilling Zelda’s “role” even if she didn’t appear (which she ultimately does halfway.)
It makes sense for Nintendo to play with this twist, especially early in the game. While obvious, the introduction of Tetra so quickly (with no mention of Zelda or Hyrule) gives a pretty nice twist later that isn’t made worse by finding out that Tetra is essentially Nintendo doing an inverted sheik.
The master sword always manipulates time
Although introduced in A link to the past, it was really Ocarina of time which established the role of Master Sword in the series. Nowadays, it is not known for any time-based property, but it should be noted that The windwalker keep things consistent with Ocarina, reintroducing a master’s sword that can block Hyrule Castle.
This is particularly noteworthy because, at the time, it would have suggested that the Master Sword inherently had time-based properties. On the way to Twilight Princess, however, it appears that the master sword’s relationship to time is situational and not inherent, something that keeps the sword consistent with A link to the past.
Ganondorf’s armed ghost ganon
Phantom Ganon establishes himself as one of the most memorable bosses of Ocarina of time. After spending the entire Forest Temple battling ghosts, Link comes face to face with the shadow of his nemesis. It’s a tense fight and arguably the best in the game. The awakening of the wind, Phantom Ganon is back. Or rather, Ghosts Ganons.
At the time when the events of The awakening of the wind hit, Phantom Ganon has gone from being a being that looks almost exactly like Ganondorf to a more demonic entity, almost spiritual in nature. This is a nice sign of development on Ganondorf’s part, signaling that he has lost some of his ego over time.
Almost all of the dungeon items are from Ocarina Of Time
The awakening of the wind has such a large set of items, that you’d be forgiven for not even realizing that almost all of the in-game items are from Ocarina of time. The only original items are the Grappling Hook and the Mojo Leaf, of the two, only the former is a dungeon item. Even the Skull Hammer is basically just the Megaton Hammer.
It’s not a bad thing, however. Ocarina of time had a great set of items and The awakening of the wind logically upgrades each. It also keeps the gameplay between 3D entries more cohesive while giving the franchise myth a little more unity. In addition, it allows the team to develop the gameplay concepts introduced in Ocarina.
The Kokiri and Zora emblems
Symbols and icons are an easy way to weave references across games. They are harmless to new traditions and can usually be simply thrown in a suitable place. Having said that, given the circumstances surrounding the Great Sea, all of the symbols found in The awakening of the wind end up making more sense.
The Kokiri and Zora emblems return from Ocarina of timeThe Kokiri emblem appears as is in Forest Haven, but the Zora emblem has actually been tweaked a bit, as evidenced by Medli and Komali. They are heavily adorned with the Zora iconography, but the emblem has been subtly altered over time.
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