The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker (GameCube) 2002
First unified lighting and shadowing.
pictures from strategy guides
Magazine preview - Games tm (2003)
Magazine preview - Games tm Australia (2003)
Magazine review- Electronic Gaming Monthly (2003)
1) According to the official Zelda chronology, this game is a distant sequel to Zeruda no densetsu: Toki no okarina (Ocarina of Time). More specific: to the Adult Era from that game.
Ocarina of Time is special in the entire Zelda series in that from this game on, the chronology splits into three separate parallel timelines. The prologue of The Wind Waker tells of the Hero of Time, a time traveller who vanquished evil and disappeared again, referring to Link from Ocarina of Time who was indeed sent 7 years to the future to defeat Ganon. This time travelling effectively created two separate parallel timelines, Link's Childhood Era and his Adult Era. After defeating Ganon in the Adult Era, Link returned to his Childhood era, warned the King about Ganon, who was captured, sentenced and locked away by seven human Sages. Link lived out his childhood the normal way. This timeline was followed by Majora's Mask, Twilight Princess and Four Swords Adventure.
However, in the separate Adult Era continuity, there was no more Link. When Ganon returned there, adult Link did not show up, forcing the people to seal Ganon in time with the Master Sword, and the Gods to flood the lands. This is where The Wind Waker takes place. It is confirmed by the depiction of the seven adult Sages from Ocarina of Time (all friends of Link, and of different species) in the stained glass windows in Hyrule Castle. This timeline is followed by Phantom Hourglass and Spirit Tracks.
There is a third separate timeline, which occurs if Ganon should defeat adult Link in Ocarina of Time. This causes the King of Hyrule to appoint seven wise man, the Sages, to seal the Sacred Realm, locking Ganon inside (which is the backstory as presented at the beginning of A Link to the Past). Thus, this timeline gives rise to the games A Link to the Past (where Ganon breaks the seal and escapes), Link's Awakening, Oracle of Seasons, Oracle of Ages, the original Legend of Zelda (Ganon is revived), and Zelda II: The Adventure of Link.
2) Game has 3! strategy guides released for same platform.
3) Unified shadow and lighting is a lighting model. Before implementation of unified lighting and shadowing, lighting and shadow information for maps would be static, pre-generated and stored, whereas lighting and shadowing information for characters would be determined at run-time.Unified lighting and shadowing uses a unified model that generates the lighting and shadows for everything at run-time. This means that any lights will affect the whole scene and not only certain parts.
4) Game used Cel-shaded grpahics. First game that used cel shading is ZPC
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