The Legend of Zelda: The Wind WakerHow Long to BeatZelda

How Long is Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker?

When diving into a game as expansive as The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker, a common question that arises is about its length.

New and seasoned players often wonder how much time they’ll need to invest in completing the main story, tackle side quests, or even achieve a full 100% completion.

In this article, we’ll break down the various factors that influence playtime and provide a clearer picture of what to expect from this classic title. Whether you’re planning a casual playthrough or aiming for full completion, let’s explore the time commitment required for The Wind Waker.

How Long is Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker?

Main Story (Casual Playthrough):

For players experiencing the game for the first time and focusing primarily on the main story, on average, it would take around 25-28 hours. This includes the time it takes to navigate through the main dungeons, solve puzzles, and progress through the primary narrative.

Main Story + Some Extras:

For those players who decide to complete the main story and tackle some side quests, obtain some of the optional heart pieces, and engage in a few mini-games, the gameplay duration would be about 33-35 hours.

Completionists (100%):

Players who aim to achieve 100% completion—finding all heart pieces, using all treasure charts, completing the Nintendo Gallery, and fulfilling all side quests—can expect to invest 56-59 hours.

Main Story (Speedruns):

Speedrunners, who aim to complete the game as quickly as possible using a variety of strategies and exploits, have different categories for their runs.

As of the time of writing the record speedrun for the main story is 52 minutes and 19 seconds.

Factors that Influence Playtime

It’s vital to consider various elements that can impact an individual’s playtime. From gameplay choices to personal skill levels, several in-game factors can either extend or shorten one’s journey through the Great Sea.

Let’s delve deeper into these factors to better understand the nuances that shape each player’s unique adventure.

  1. Exploration vs. Direct Play: The expansive sea in The Wind Waker offers numerous islands to explore. Players who choose to explore every nook and cranny, visiting various islands and diving into their secrets, will find their playtime extended compared to those who sail directly to the main objectives.
  2. Side Quests: The Wind Waker boasts several side quests, ranging from treasure hunts to character-driven stories. Engaging in these optional adventures can considerably increase playtime.
  3. Collectibles: The game has various collectibles like heart pieces, treasure charts, and Nintendo Gallery figurines. Players who aim to collect them all will spend additional hours.
  4. Pictograph Quests: Completing the pictograph-related quests, which involve taking photos of characters and enemies, can be time-consuming, especially for players aiming to fill the entire Nintendo Gallery.
  5. Fishing for Triforce Pieces: Later in the game, players must retrieve Triforce pieces from the sea floor, which can be a time-intensive process, especially if they haven’t gathered all the necessary charts or deciphered them.
  6. Player Skill Level: The Wind Waker has various combat challenges, puzzles, and environmental obstacles. Players less familiar with Zelda mechanics or those who don’t often play action-adventure games might need more time to overcome these challenges compared to seasoned players.
  7. Game Difficulty: While The Wind Waker is not known for having adjustable difficulty levels, certain segments can be more challenging for different players. How a player handles these can influence their playtime.
  8. Wind Waker Controls: Mastering the game’s wind direction mechanic using the Wind Waker baton affects travel time across the sea. Players who adeptly manipulate the wind will navigate more efficiently.
  9. Seeking Guidance: Depending on how often a player consults in-game hints, external guides, or walkthroughs, the playtime can be shortened or extended. Some players might breeze through puzzles with a guide, while others prefer to figure things out on their own.
  10. Engagement with Lore and Dialogue: The Wind Waker is rich in lore and character dialogue. Players who immerse themselves in every conversation and piece of lore will naturally take longer than those who skip through dialogue.

Criteria for 100% Completion

Embarking on the quest for 100% completion is not just a test of skill but also of perseverance. It showcases a player’s desire to dive deep into the heart of the game, to experience every twist, turn, and treasure that the developers have crafted. Whether it’s the thrill of discovery or the satisfaction of mastery, each criterion adds another layer to the rich tapestry of ‘The Wind Waker’ experience, making it a personal journey that’s uniquely memorable for every dedicated adventurer.

  1. Main Quest Completion: Finish all the primary story missions, including defeating the final boss and watching the end credits.
  2. Heart Containers: Obtain all heart containers, which involve:
    • Defeating all dungeon bosses.
    • Combining four Heart Pieces to make a new Heart Container, until all available in the game are collected.
  3. Inventory Upgrades: Fully upgrade Link’s equipment, such as:
    • Maximum bomb bag capacity.
    • Maximum arrow quiver capacity.
    • Maximum magic meter.
  4. Treasure Charts: Find all the treasure charts and use them to dig up their corresponding sunken treasures.
  5. Great Fairy Upgrades: Visit all Great Fairy locations and receive the associated power-ups and equipment enhancements.
  6. Nintendo Gallery Figurines: Collect and complete all the figurines for the Nintendo Gallery. This involves capturing pictures with the Picto Box and giving them to Carlov, who turns them into figurines.
  7. Side Quests: Complete all the side quests in the game, ranging from helping characters on various islands to larger quests like the Anju and Kafei quest.
  8. Triforce Quest: Gather all eight Triforce shards, which involves deciphering Triforce Charts and then fishing the pieces from the sea floor.
  9. Songs: Learn all the Wind Waker’s songs, which are essential for manipulating the environment and progressing in the game.
  10. Tingle’s Maps: Obtain and decipher all of Tingle’s special sea charts, which lead to hidden treasures and locations.
  11. Bottled Items: Collect all available bottles and the special items that can be contained within, such as fairies, water, and forest fireflies.
  12. Enemy Log: With the Deluxe Picto Box, capture photographs of every enemy type to complete the pictographic enemy log.
  13. Special Items: Obtain unique items like the Magic Armor, Hero’s Charm, and the Hurricane Spin.
  14. Submarines and Platforms: Clear out all enemy-filled submarines and sea platforms scattered throughout the Great Sea.
  15. Miscellaneous Challenges: This includes tasks such as winning the auction on Windfall Island, completing the slide puzzles, or mastering the battle arenas on certain islands.

Achieving 100% completion in “The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker” requires exploring every aspect of the expansive world, engaging in various challenges, and uncovering all the hidden secrets the game has to offer.

Alex Henderson

Alex Henderson, known to the online gaming community as "GameMaster", brings a wealth of knowledge and passion to the world of video games. With over 15 years of experience, Alex has worked as a game tester, programmer, and designer for several top gaming companies before deciding to share his insights and reviews with the gaming community. He specializes in RPGs and adventure games, but his love for gaming knows no genre boundaries. Alex's goal is to help gamers of all levels navigate the exciting and ever-evolving world of gaming.

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