The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker

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The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker
Wind waker boxart.jpg
Developer(s) Nintendo EAD
Publisher(s) Nintendo
Series The Legend of Zelda
Platform(s) GameCube
Genre(s) Action-adventure
Mode(s) Single-player
Input methods Gamecube controller
Compatibility 5Stars5.pngEdit rating: The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker
GameIDs GZLP01, GZLE01, GZLJ01
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Nintendo's thematic action-adventure sequel to Ocarina of Time takes the series back to its more cartoonish roots. Utilizing a completely new look with cel-shaded graphics, the game casts players in the role of a familiar young boy, who sets out to save his kidnapped sister. Gameplay is vintage Zelda, only that the game's overworld is covered by water. Players have to control the direction of the wind to sail across the ocean and find dungeons, towns, and plenty of secrets. A special Game Boy Advance link-up option lets another player join the quest and give hints and assistance via the handheld.



  • Sound and music cut out at various points.
  • Sound de-syncs during cinematics. This issue has been partially fixed, see this forum thread.
  • If audio throttle is on black screens may occur when audio de-syncs

The various sound issues are resolved via use of the LLE plug-in.

Distant Areas

In older revisions

Distant areas are blurry with EFB copy to RAM option enabled. To avoid this, enable EFB copy to texture, but this will prevent the pictobox from working (infinite error when taking a photo). But distant areas may get "pixelated" with EFB copy to texture. So there are 3 ways to get a clear image at distance in that case :

  • Disable CPU→EFB access, enable EFB copy to RAM.
    • Breaks the sun glare effect.
  • Disable EFB copy.
    • This solves the distant areas problem but breaks characters shadows, screen blurring (when cutting small trees with sword and other things), and causes the pictobox problem.
  • Enable EFB and Zelda Twilight Princess Bloom Hack.
    • Solves the blur problem and other issues. Zelda Twilight Princess hack works better than Bleach Versus Crusade, since Bleach Versus Crusade breaks shadows.

In newer revisions

  • CPU->efb access and and efb copy to texture/ram no longer affect the DOF blur.
  • To remove the DOF blur you need to use an efb scale that is higher than your window/fullscreen resolution. This means for lower resolutions you will need a 2x efb scale and for higher resolutions you will need a 3x efb scale. This will eliminate the DOF blur without breaking anything.
  • The d3d11 video backend will produce DOF blur regardless of efb scale. It is therefore advised to use the d3d9 or openGL video backends.
  • It is not advised to use projection hacks with newer revisions.

In newest revisions (r7538ish and newer)

  • "EFB Copies - Disable" now affects the DOF blur. Run the game, check it to disable the effect, then stop and restart the game to see it. While it does fix the DOF blur, without EFB copies to Textures/RAM, character shadows do not appear, there will be random flashes during explosions, the blur during the spin attack is not present, the pictobox is broken, etc.
  • Changing EFB Scale to 2x or 3x still works on the newest revisions. While it doesn't entirely get rid of the DOF effect, it reduces the effect enough so that it is no longer an issue, and it doesn't break numerous other effects as disabling EFB Copies does. It is probably the best way to fix the DOF blur at the moment.

Black Squares in Dragon Roost

  • Use Zelda Twilight Princess Bloom Hack and EFB to RAM or texture enabled.
    • Blur distant images fixed, shadows work, and the fire effect is correct.

Pictobox only shows black images

  • Don't use EFB to texture
    • If you take a photo in this mode it will appear black both when you take it and when you try to view it, even if switching to EFB to RAM later the photo will continue to be black.
  • Don't use projection hack and Enable EFB to RAM
    • Pictobox will work perfectly, but bugs with waiting to see the photo continue.
  • Use a projection hack and Enable EFB to RAM
    • It's essential to use a projection hack or problems will occur: blurred distant images and black squares in Dragon Roost. When using a projection hack, photos will appear black at first, but when you switch modes to view photos they will appear normally.
  • With r6778 issues with the pictobox should be resolved, as long as "EFB to RAM" is enabled.

Texture flickering

  • Sometimes textures such as waves or shadows will flicker at certain camera angles
  • Use r6520 or higher and make sure that Disable Per-Pixel Depth is unticked (off) in the graphics plugin to fix this.

Black/gray screens

  • A black/gray screen crash may occur after certain events in the game. This can be fixed by enabling the "fix item hang" patch in the patches section of game properties (right click the game in the main dolphin window to get to game properties)
  • Be warned however that the fix item hack patch will cause audio issues. Use it only when you encounter a black/gray screen crash

GameBoy Player

Emulation of GameBoy Player doesn't work with this game. It can be enabled in Config => GameCube, but the game will not detect it. (GBA Link is partially emulated since r6059 and requires a dump of GBA BIOS and VBA-M with joy bus options to work).


Only configuration options for the best compatibility where they deviate from defaults are listed.


Config Setting Notes
DSP Emulator Engine LLE Resolves a variety of sound issues

Version Compatibility

The graph below charts the compatibility with The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker since Dolphin's 2.0 release, listing revisions only where a compatibility change occurred.

5.0-15575 (current)
2.0 (r5384)
Compatibility can be assumed to align with the indicated revisions. However, compatibility may extend to prior revisions or compatibility gaps may exist within ranges indicated as compatible due to limited testing. Please update as appropriate.


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Gameplay Videos