Wind Waker HD release date news time! I don't know about you, but The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker is pretty awesome stuff in my book. An HD version is on the way, as you know, and it hits the United States and Canada in October 2013. We have been able to pick up a lot of details about the new version of the game from various developer interviews, and it's not just looking sharp: the gameplay is being tweaked as well, so far entirely in good ways.

Wind Waker HD Changes: Faster Sailing

The Wind Waker HD will bring us faster sailing, as they showed in the Nintendo Direct. Specifically, you'll be able to sail a full 50 percent faster ... but there's a catch. To do so, you have to get a new sail; you don't get it right away, but at some thus far unspecified point in the game. That's a minor gripe, though: faster sailing is a good perk.

Interestingly, in the Wind Waker HD Developer Direct, Mr. Aonuma explained the reason why the sailing speed was the way it used to be. It wasn't just a design choice; the GameCube wasn't powerful enough to render such a vast sea fast enough for the King of Red Lions to go any faster than that and keep up with the graphics. Two generations later, that is a completely nonexistent problem, so going fast is no trouble at all.

Wind Waker HD Changes: Tingle Bottle

On the Wind Waker HD release date, the Tingle Tuner you never used and never linked to your Game Boy Advance is gone, replaced by the Tingle Bottle. This new feature, acquired from Tingle in jail in the same way, works quite differently, even though the GamePad could in theory work similarly to the Tuner. Instead, the Tingle Bottle lets players put messages into bottles and send them to Miiverse. Miiverse comments will appear in bottles in other players' games. You can attach Pictograph screenshots as well. For that reason, the Pictograph itself has a larger capacity, a welcome change even if you never use the Tingle Bottle.

wind waker hd release date game changes Tingle is awesome. KOOLOO LIMPAH! (Image: Nintendo of America)

Wind Waker HD Changes: Graphics

Obviously, the key feature on the Wind Waker HD release date is ... HD graphics. The game runs in 1080p and looks fantastic. Lighting has also been changed to take advantage of more sophisticated processing power. New light shaders and texture graphics also improve the visual design overall. It's hard to tell at first glance, but it really does look a lot better.

wind waker hd release date game changes The Wind Waker HD release date, and the game's graphics, are bathed in the shimmering light of nostalgia. (Image: Nintendo of America)

Wind Waker HD Changes: Interface

The original Wind Waker only gave you three inventory slots, so you had to choose between equipping sailing items, the Wind Waker itself, and actual weapons. Well, you didn't have to choose; you just had to switch items a lot in the menus. No more. On the Wind Waker HD release date, sailing specific items like the sail, the Wind Waker, the cannon, and the salvage crane are mapped to the +D-pad instead, so you can have many more items equipped at the same time.

Plus, the GamePad makes inventory and maps easier, and allows full off-TV play.

But there's one bigger change.

Wind Waker HD Changes: New Dungeons?

The two biggest problems with the original Wind Waker were its lack of difficulty (which, unfortunately, it looks like Nintendo won't address), and its endgame: the boring Triforce hunt, culminating in a final battle, without a major dungeon. The game only had six dungeons, the fewest of any Zelda game other than Majora's Mask, and the lack of a major dungeon at the end turned a lot of people off.

In the above section of the Wind Waker HD Developer Direct, producer Eiji Aonuma addresses this problem directly. Aonuma admits that the Triforce hunt

can take a while, and is a little bit cumbersome... that was a tough part in the latter half of the game. Now many people felt that it ended abruptly. And even I thought the same thing! ... I want to make sure the game flows really well, and is a great experience, so we are making all these minute adjustments to it, so players will feel great when they get to the ending... I feel like I'm now fully able to do what I wanted to back then.

What does that mean for the Wind Waker HD release date? All we know for sure is that that much-maligned Triforce hunt is getting some kind of tweak.

wind waker hd release date game changes I mean, how else can the Triforce hunt be improved in Wind Waker HD besides for adding a new dungeon? (Image: Nintendo of America)

Does adding a whole new dungeon count as a minute change?

Probably not. But they are definitely changing something around with the end there.

A man can dream.