A user on Reddit thought it was a good idea to take an eight-year-old game and recreate it using better graphics.  It wasn’t an obscure game that needed it, it was The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker.  You know, the game we all thought was going to look realistic and we got super cel-shading for our troubles?  Well, user 50CALBR posted a bunch of pictures on his reddit account depicting the games opening island, Outset, in stunning realistic graphics.  It’s almost how we envisioned it before our dreams were crushed.


What if Sturgeon and Orca's hut looked like this?

You can check out the rest of the pictures at Kotaku and they are pretty spectacular.  Just imagine if the game looked like that instead of what we actually got.  Not to knock on The Wind Waker, but the graphics have always been the first thing ridiculed about that game, so to see it the way we thought it might is finally refreshing.  Let us know which way you like Outset, the original cel-shaded or this re-imaging of it.

Source: Kotaku
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  • Swissnaut

    Jeez, you literally just posted this RIGHT after I mentioned it in a comment in the article right before this (about four minutes ago). You guys work FAST.

  • I am working fast because I am looking for stories for Hey Listen next week and those two popped up. This was me 5 years ago, enjoy it. 😀

  • Astarael


    That is stunning. I'd love to see other areas of the game recreated with this style.

    (And this is coming from someone who actually loved Wind Waker's graphics, by the way.)

  • bob

    it looks interesting… just a little odd that you have WW models with semi-realistic textures.

  • Lord Llort.

    "You know, the game we all thought was going to look realistic and we got super cel-shading for our troubles?"

    Hey there chief. Don't be speaking for everyone now.

    • Hey, trust me, I enjoy the cel-shading graphics as much as the next person. But the majority back then hated them.

  • Doctor You

    Wow, I love the graphics in The Wind Waker, but I can't deny that this is absolutely stunning. Well, there's always Wii U Zelda HD, right?

  • zeldafan4040

    Wow. Easily the most beautiful graphics I have ever seen. I mean look at the texture of those palm trees and that grass! And it's all so vibrant! Love it!

  • Hum

    It does look great, but I don't think I would have liked it ask much if it looked realistic like that..It just doesn't fit right with the style of the game to me.

    The graphics back then really wouldn't have looked anything like that though anyway. I heard there's going to be a HD virtual console for the Wii U so I'd love to see TWW and MM in HD.

  • Keimori

    That’s intriguing… but no, Windwakler was designed to be cartoony and cel shaded, it was meant to play out like a cartoon and my word it worked!
    In the guy’s comments he mentioned it being hard to imagine toon link in any other way, well that’s because he was designed to be a cartoon, it’s all part of what made Wind Waker special.

    • Keimori

      All the characters have a rather unique design to them , and with all the expressions they make and cartoony moments in the story, i can’t imagine any other style for it now, its bright and vibrant and lively, all set in an equally cartoony world, making it "realistic" just wouldn’t fit the rather whimsical universe the story is set in.

      Now sure it had its dark and gritty moments, but they were far outweighed by the light hearted and cartoony ones, and ya know, the cartoony graphics lent their hand to the dark scenes too.

      That being said, I’m going to come out and say i wouldn't want anything much more realistic than the E3 Wii U tech demo, anything too realistic may feel wrong to me (then again I may stand corrected)

      P.S. I 'm one of the few that fell in love with the Cel-Shadeing almost immediately.

  • Some Random Guy

    If they remade Wind Waker for the 3DS I would not complain at all.

  • cloverplayer

    reminds me of skyward sword 😛

    • Mr.Linkypoo

      same here

  • Icy

    Saw this on iZelda.net days ago. You guys are behind the times a bit… 😉

    And let me just say this is AMAZING and I swear I would pay thousands of dollars for a Wind Waker remake on the Wii U if it looked even remotely like this.

  • Zelda Lover

    The guy who wrote this article obviously doesn't speak for ALL Zelda fans. '' Before Our dreams were crushed'' You probably could have thought of something less harsh, becouse Zelda the Wind Waker was one of the most stunning video games i've ever played, and the art style was my favourite. I kinda prefer the original cel shaded style to this… but this is still pretty awesome. When WW was revealed People just turned their noses up at this game like a five year old at broccoli, but it turned out to be a game with much more charector and personality than the rest of the Zelda Games. And because of most of the fans attitude to the art style, there's never going to be another home console Zelda game with that art style again… which is kinda sad.

    • TelepathicPebble

      He certainly speaks for me! I was very disappointed they decided to go the kiddish route with cartoony graphics. It brought the maturity level down and you can deny that all you want, but I for one can't take a game seriously with cell-shading like that. Blehhhh.

  • sabastianauth

    There always seems to be a heated debate about the graphic style of Wind Waker. In my opinion, the graphics are not great, and I think they should have gone the more realistic route. However, I enjoyed the game with the graphics I was given. Try being a little more open-minded, and don't automatically assume he was speaking for ALL Zelda fans.

  • RPH

    That looks like Shrek's Island Vacation or Woody and Buzz's Surf Shack, you know, like a movie. The only thing I want them to do to Wind Waker is do like they did with Twilight Princess and make it work with the Wii remote. I love Wind Waker.

  • NanaiX

    I must agree with a lot of the people who posted before me. I'm not accusing the poster for "speaking for all Zaelda fans", I too hated the graphics when I first saw them, but only after a few minutes of playing I really fell in live with them. I couldn't imagine the game any other way.. Although these pictures are amazing!

  • do u like waffles?

    There was nothing wrong with ww graphics. But this is AMAZING. I would love it if there was a remake with these graphics, even though the original ww was great!

  • You think that looks realistic? Have you ever seen what outside looks like?

    • More realistic than what the Wind Waker looked like in my opinion. I love the graphics of Wind Waker, but some still wished it was more realistic.

  • Sanity's_Theif

    That looks great! If we got a re-make of WW on the Wii U with these graphics and more realistically proportioned characters, I'd buy it in an instant

  • Lioness

    Well. I'm not too pleased with this "James" fellow right now. All three of his articles today had unusually upsetting moments in them, deriding and belittling Wind Waker, the Wii, and even the Wii U (which isn't even out yet!). This nose-in-the-air attitude is something I'm familiar with from most places on the internet, but I'm sad to see it on ZU, which to me has always seemed to have a cautiously optimistic and occasionally excited demeanour.

    Sorry to be so serious!

    • Noted. But, I tells them how I sees them.

      I will keep the pessimism to a minimum next time. 🙂

    • Ferisan

      I agree :(…

  • Rowsdower

    Maybe people should remember instead of “lol Celda” is that no game (besides those Naruto games) have been able to use pure cel-shading to the level and consistency that Wind Waker achieved back in 2003. Not to mention the incredible character animation, the gigantic advancement of range of expressions/body language, successfully engrossing weather system (the way you could see clouds growing and building/getting darker in the distance in real-time before it started to rain, oh yeah, and how the wind dynamically affected the environment/items/characters).

    The fact that some people still wish that Wind Waker was something else (like different graphics will change how a game plays) even AFTER a “realistic” Zelda has been released is beyond ridiculous.

    Also, the premise of these screenshots/article is silly. Gamecube couldn’t even push this type of look. “Wow, Wind Waker sure looks better with 2011 standard lighting/textures. If only it looked this way back then, then nobody would’ve hated the graphics”. What you’re asking is not even possible.

    And even this demonstrates the problem with most of these fan “remake” projects: lack of consistency. If you look at the “realistic” water in the other shots, it looks terribly purview place next to the hyper stylized modeling of the environment. Plus you lose all color/vibrancy the ocean had in the first place.

  • Wow…
    I wonder if they will ever think of re-making Wind Waker with Twilight Princess graphics and if people that hated Wind Waker like it I WILL KILL THEM FOR HATING WIND WAKER

    • GorCoronSumo

      They should actually do that, it would be cool. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE Wind Waker's graphics. They should also remake TP with WW's graphics.

      • I agree it would be awesome and I know some people that hated Wind Waker would like it because all they care about is graphics.
        ANYWAY I would buy it INSTANTLY if they did.
        But I still think that Wind Waker is the best

        • GorCoronSumo

          All I want is to see is Molgera with TP graphics and Diababa with WW graphics.

    • Drizzt

      settle…. go to your calm place……..

  • TheMaverickk

    Meh… it's not really that amazing in the slightest to me.

    I honestly feel like I'm viewing something soulless. The far away views of the island make it look like it's a golf game… it's sterile looking. There's some nice detail in the grasses… but in reality it just seems like a cheap thrown together set of images for the HD-philes to drool over.

    The hut looks kind of neat in this style, but yeah again… just feels really off. I'll probably be one of the few to say this but even if these are kind of cool, I'm not entirely impressed by these images.

    I'll keep my Wind Waker as is.

  • Can you guys please start giving credit to the person who submits the news?

    • We do give credit, but I noticed this myself on a site. So, if you submitted this to us, I'm sorry.

    • Jonah

      Just wanted to let you know, we actually do search for news ourselves. You weren’t the only person to find this, as it is our job to do so, also. Personally, I haven’t seen a news submission come in a long time, as we don’t have them forwarded to our emails anymore. This is something that’ll get fixed in the future.

      tl;dr Just because you submitted it doesn’t mean someone didn’t also find it on their own. 🙂

  • GorCoronSumo

    The far away view looks messed up with the realistic trees and the unrealistic rock.

  • Niloc13

    I definitely wouldn't call this "realistic". At all, really. It still preserves the art style of the original because of Outset's architecture and general layout. High-res textures and realistic foliage don't change the artistic design and overall look. Weird how people don't seem to get that.

    Anyway, only thing I dislike is the water. If they would have done something to take advantage of how the water felt like one huge animated landscape like in the original, this would be damn near perfect.

    I can only hope the guy doing this can make this into a mod on Dolphin like the high-res texture mods for OoT.

  • bitterlime

    Relativley boring eyecandy. A retexture that would have not fit the game in the slightest…

  • Galatica

    Incredibly horrible presentationthat is anything but 'realistic'

  • TrustMe101

    Hmm… I really like those graphics. It's kinda like SS, but… not, at the same time. I think it would be nice if Nintendo made a Zelda game with this style. 😀

  • anju_luv

    i think that looks seriously great!

  • adsghdrsf

    "in stunning realistic graphics." RIGHT

    just because its without the "celshading" dosnt mean its realistic

  • TectonicImprov

    The graphics are amazing in Wind Waker. Because It's Cel-Shaded, It's graphics are timeless.

    Also, they still look kinda cel-shaded.

  • SonicBlueSky

    Excuse me? Dreams were crushed? Wind Waker was an amazing addition the series. The graphic style was perfect for the kind of story they were trying to tell and the kind of humor they wanted to use. You ended up getting your realism in Twilight Princess, so get over it. Yeah, I'm being harsh and quite frankly I don't care.

  • Ferisan

    Sorry, at least in my case, my dreams were not crushed. I can appreciate the different styles Nintendo gives the Zelda franchise. Having all Zelda games look realistic would be very boring on the long run and become just another realistic, gritty game in the sea that plagues consoles right now. Not saying I hate realistic styles, I loved TP and I love realistic games on xbox as well, but realistic doesn't always mean the game will be good. I mean, people complain about wanting a realistic Zelda, they get TP, and they complain about it still, so I don't know, it depends on who you ask.

    Windwaker's style did throw me off at the beginning, but it was so fresh, new, and different, I instantly fell in love with it, not to mention this Link was really expressive and charismatic. The cartoony feel worked wonders for this game. It just fit!

    As for these screenshots, I wouldn't call them "realistic" per se, since the structure is still quite… "surreal"? or Blocky? Plus the ocean looks a tad out of place with the rest of the work. However, I can appreciate the work this guy put into this, and i love how the shadows fall so nicely, the textures on the rock and cabins looks fantastic 🙂

    But no, I wouldn't ever want the windwaker to have this kind of graphics, it just feels so off and plastic-like ^^;;;.

  • Bingo675

    Not realistic at all…just some nicer textures, really. It's honestly still in the same cartoony-looking style that so many people still have a stick up their *** about. I'd take Wind Waker's graphics over Twilight Princess' lacking of everything any day. (Flame on)

  • Drizzt

    so… purdy :3