Throughout our Realm of Memories series, we have always examined our very favourite moments in Zelda. We’d be lying, however, if we were to say that there have been no occasional disappointments along the away. Even our most beloved games have their low points, and it’s about time I admitted to one of my lesser fond memories.
Wind Waker is one of my favorite Zelda games, but I often visit areas in the game that could have more depth. To me, Greatfish Isle is a good example of one of the game’s biggest disappointments. When Link visits the island, he finds it completely destroyed by a storm that Ganon conjured. Only the wreckage of a once-interesting location remains on the island.
According to a theory, Greatfish Isle was supposed to have a third dungeon for Nayru’s Pearl, but the idea was scrapped by the developers. Unfortunately, the island remains as nothing more than a missed opportunity for either a dungeon or a small town. Even a secret grotto would be better than nothing.
While Greatfish Isle bothers me somewhat, though, Islet of Steel is a whole other story.
Islet of Steel just outright annoys me. It would have been an excellent spot for a great naval battle, and the inside could have been heavily guarded with Moblins, Darknuts, and Bokoblins. Instead, the island, while looking like a great fortress, is surprisingly easy to enter. Sink the ship blocking the front entrance, and you can ignore everything else. The inside of the fortress is even more disappointing. No battle, no nothing — just a lone chest sits inside the fortress.
On the top of the Isle of Steel sits an area guarded by three Kargarocs and three Bokoblins. In the past, I always wondered what they were guarding. Why can’t Link climb up there, and why were the monsters there? Recently, I returned to the island with several Hyoi Pears to investigate this upper part. For those yet to play this Zelda title, Hyoi Pears are used to bait nearby seagulls, which allow Link to control them. The seagulls are useful for investigating spots on certain islands that Link can’t explore himself.
After using a Hyoi Pear to gain control of a seagull, I saw the Bokoblins and Kargarocs on the top of the island, but no chest. I regained control of Link and checked to see if I could climb up the island, but couldn’t find any way to get him up to the top. I decided to kill all the enemies to see if a chest or ladder would appear. I just wanted to see something that would justify the existence of the Bokoblins.
After bombing the Bokoblins, Kargarocs, cannons, and ships with The King of Red Lions’ cannon, nothing happened. I pulled out another Hyoi Pear and checked the top of the island. No ladder, no chest, no reward. Nothing appeared to justify the time I put into figuring out this mystery.
I feel safe in saying that the Islet of Steel is the worst conceived island in The Wind Waker.