The Wind Waker’s Trinity Problem (Part 2)

That is, except for the Triforce Hunt. For you see, while they decided to fix minor issues, they decided NOT to add any actual content to the game at all. Wouldn’t a new dungeon or two really excite us, instead of fixing something that’s already boring? No, Nintendo thought, not happening. Instead, they only require Tingle for 3 of the 8 charts – sterling changes! Then, you can find the other 5 without paying or finding the Triforce Charts at all. Frankly, this barely constitutes a change except for people playing with a strategy guide or previous players (like me); everyone else still needs to find the Chart, pay the money, sail to the Triforce piece, then salvage it up. This speeds things up, granted, but these minor changes do not solve anything. They do not change what was arbitrary padding 12 years ago, and it does not transform this design decision into anything but a strident money-saving opportunity via Nintendo. They needed to remove it, and I stand by that claim.

Honestly, why they would bother to release this game without fixing a fundamental flaw piqued my interest, My guess with Wind Waker HD mostly comes down to nostalgia bait for hardcore Zelda fans to purchase a Wii U, less than preserving a masterpiece of design. Considering that you technically can’t play Gamecube games on a Wii U either (this is why I’ve kept my Wii, after all), Nintendo bet on people’s desire for more Zelda content on a home console to sell systems, even going so far as to bundle the game with Wii U in Fall 2013. That gambit, unfortunately for them, didn’t pan out all that well!

I bought it for around thirty dollars, mostly out of sheer curiosity; while I’m happy to have an update, I’m also frustrated with Nintendo’s refusal to change Zelda and their continuing prevalence to bank on people’s nostalgia. Zelda games felt like an event, once in the past; they took their sweet time making all of the games with their branding so that we wouldn’t get tired of them. Almost every Zelda game up to Ocarina (hindsight is 20/20, of course) hit a home run straight out of the park.  They innovated, they provided new experiences, and the long wait between games upheld the value of the brand.

Over time, though, Nintendo started to whore out all of their franchises as frequently as possible while completely ignoring others (where’s the new F-Zero game? Can we not improve on GX?). They did this out of desperation before, and now we’re seeing it yet again as they fall into a flat third place in the financial console race. But you can’t just keep releasing games in these franchises and expecting them to be the same! People get tired of this stuff, and nostalgia alone does not save the games or the company. Quality will win the day, but they want to satisfy their customers via any means possible instead. It’s a little sad.

It’s a similar case to the strange controversy of 1 John 5:7-8. Some trinitarian REALLY wanted to prove that the Trinity, an unspoken concept if implied (more complicated than that, but roll with it) in most of the Bible. As such, at some point in the translation of Scripture into Latin from its original languages, 1 John 5:7-8 appears in the King James Version like this:

For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. And there are three that bear witness in earth, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one.

Wow, there you go! Proof of the Trinity, just like that! Well, things aren’t so easy. It appears, from modern Bible scholarship, that someone placed that there betwixt its translation into the Latin Septuagint. Earlier manuscripts in the original languages contain no such idea or verse. I’ll use the New American Standard Bible to note the contrast, as it’s a “word-for-word” translation that uses the oldest manuscripts available to us.

For there are three that testify: [j]the Spirit and the water and the blood; and the three are [k]in agreement.

Now, you see that part of it, literally, no longer exists in modern Bible translations. Try them all, and you’ll see that none of them contain any mention of the Trinity in such explicit terms. And yet, sometimes, we too get overeager to shove our point across and get exactly what we want. Shortcuts or endless re-releases will not get you to the goal.  I think the Zelda series lost its way precisely because Nintendo failed to keep the value of their franchises. They just inundate everyone with them, and reduce their brand value in the process. It does explain why people tire of them so quickly these days: it’s not fresh or new, just dull.

I mean, at least fix The Wind Waker for God’s sake! Fans shouldn’t care about pointless minituiae (“it’s not the same); instead, why is this part of the game bad, and how can we fix it? Nintendo can fix it by taking their time with the next console Zelda game, that’s for sure.

About Zachery Oliver

Zachery Oliver, MTS, is the lead writer for Theology Gaming, a blog focused on the integration of games and theological issues. He can be reached at viewtifulzfo at gmail dot com or on Theology Gaming’s Facebook Page.