During my youth, I always ended up with the current Nintendo systems, both TV consoles and portable systems. My family was and still is a Nintendo family, even suffering through the drought of the Wii U. It should come as no surprise that I would have both the Nintendo GameCube and the Game Boy Advance.
Having both of these systems, a cable to connect them, and The Wind Waker allowed me to play around with an in-game item called the Tingle Tuner. This item is given out by Tingle on Windfall Island after rescuing the strange man from a prison cell, though rescuing may not be the right word here.
Realm of Memories is a series where we reflect on our absolute favorite moments in The Legend of Zelda games. These could be the times we first fell in love with a game, were moved by the events of the story or actions of a character, felt triumphant when overcoming a tough boss or challenge, or we had an experience so unique that the adventure truly became our own. The Zelda series has touched our lives in many ways, and just as Hyrule has endless stories to share, so do our writers!
The Tingle Tuner allowed me to contact Tingle for various services including buying potions, detonating Tingle Bombs and buying temporary power-ups, including 10 seconds of invincibility. I also found various treasures through it and used it to locate Knuckle on Outset Island. I always made it a point in my GameCube runs of Wind Waker to find Knuckle so I could complete the Nintendo Gallery. Even missing one figurine would leave me with a knuckle-shaped hole in my heart.
Occasionally, I would find exclamation points on the Tuner; these could be enemies or some type of secret. The secrets weren’t too interesting until I found a strange platform in the Tower of the Gods. The Tingle Tuner alerted me that treasure was present in this spot. Like any smart gamer, I bombed the location revealing a treasure chest with spikes. Anyone who has played The Wind Waker knows that only the best treasures are found in these chests. The interiors are even cushioned for maximum comfort. Digging through the spiked chest revealed a golden Tingle Statue.
Eventually, I learned that each of the five main dungeons hides one of these golden statues. After finding the first three statues, I traveled to Tingle Island to see them in their great splendor. The brothers gave me 50 rupees for finding each one and we were all happy. Then I committed a great atrocity.
Much to Tingle’s horror, I took out my sword and began hitting the statues. He kept telling me to stop and eventually bombed me in a horrific display of violence. This only made me angry. I grabbed one of the statues and did something truly awful: I tossed it into the ocean. This destroyed Tingle and I repeated the process until all the statues were gone. They now sit at the bottom of the sea, at least until the next time I boot up the game and they reappear on the island.
The Tingle Tuner was replaced by the Tingle Bottle feature in The Wind Waker HD, but the statues are still obtainable. A player can bomb the same locations in the original GameCube version with a regular bomb to reveal these statues. In my opinion, finding these statues isn’t the same without the Tingle Tuner. Having him journey with me finding these things made the overall adventure feel more wholesome. How can someone hate a weirdo that dresses in green tights, red underwear, believes in fairies, and forces his brother and a random stranger to spin his tower?