Favorite Art style in a Legend of Zelda game?


Well-Known Member
May 26, 2013
I may not be the most objective here because I grew up later than a lot of players who started out with the original Legend of Zelda games. However, I think my favorite game in terms of art style is Wind Waker, hands down. It isn't that the other games don't look good (or as good, for that matter), but there was something very whimsical about Wind Waker. Even the darker portions felt light-hearted because of the way they appeared. That said, I've gotten more accustomed to darker games as of late, especially since I stopped using my Gamecube. I always thought Twilight Princess looked really cool, also; kind of dark, but artsy at the same time.

What about you guys?
I played all Zeldas in order, starting with Zelda 1, and I was absolutely extatic about the Wind Waker art style. You should have seen the fanboy fights when the "chibi" Link look was first unveiled. That was something to behold--the forums were exploding with hatred.

Besides Wind Waker, I also really love the art style of the 2000 Spaceworld demo (when the GameCube was first announced). It was a pre-rendered 30 second fight between Link and Ganondorf that looked amazing and got a lot of fans excited about a mature Zelda game on GameCube. In fact, that demo was probably the reason so many people hated cel-shading in Wind Waker, because they felt Nintendo fooled them after the Spaceworld demo.

What else... The art direction in Skyward Sword was also great. I loved all the impressionist painting influences.

Twilight Princess is my least favorite, because it felt like Nintendo was doing fan service by finally delivering a "mature" Zelda style, and it felt forced to me.
My favorite style was Twilight Princess, the mature gritty feel fit the game perfectly and it looked amazing. I loved everything about twilight princess, it is probably my second favorite Zelda behind Majoras Mask. My least favorite is by far Wind Waker, it just didn't feel like zelda in any way. The world wasn't zelda, the graphics weren't zelda, and the story was barely Zelda. I still enjoyed it a lot, just not as much as the other Zelda's. I also enjoyed Skyward Sword's style a lot, it was truly art work to me.
Maybe I wouldn't have liked the Wind Waker style if I had played it after all the other games, and when I was older. Back then, the cartoon-y feel was pretty cool to me. I still like it, of course, but I formed my impressions a long time ago when it was first released. Even though I've only briefly played Twilight Princess, I do really like the gritty look to it. Certain parts of LoZ games strike me as pretty dark, so it's fitting that they'd make a game to fit that atmosphere.
I think they are all good styles, they all fit their games perfectly. Wind waker with dark graphics would be terrible. That is the thing I love about Ninty, they don't make games something they aren't. You can tell the games tone and mood just by looking at the graphics style. I just found Wind Wakers to be an eyesore after a while, it was very bland. It had very few colors, which tended to get boring after a while. There was also a lack of dungeons and diversity of play in the game. To me it was just meh.

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