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Link Was Originally Going To Use A Theramin In The Legend Of Zelda: Wind Waker

When most people think about "The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker," one of the first images that always comes to mind is Link orchestrating with a magic conductor's baton in order to create music. He uses it to sail his ship, but he also does it to induce a number of other magical effects. It's one of the most important mechanics that players will need to use as they travel across the islands in order to rescue Link's sister Aryll from the sinister sorcerer Ganon. In many ways, the use of this baton is the defining feature of the game, but most players probably don't know that it was originally supposed to be a completely different instrument.

The YouTube channel DidYouKnowGaming? recently made a video discussing Shigeru Miyamoto's feelings about the game. The primary focus of the video was on Miyamoto's distaste for the controversial toon-like graphics in "Wind Waker," but there is also a part of the video where the YouTuber states that he translated a 2003 issue of Nintendo Dream. In this, the game's director, Eiji Aonuma, reportedly claimed that Link was originally supposed to be playing a famous electronic instrument that was accidentally invented by a Soviet spy in 1919: the theremin.

The true Wind Waker

The theremin was an incredibly unique instrument at the time of its creation. It generates sound when the player uses their hands to manipulate an electromagnetic field generated between two antennas. The right hand controls the instrument's pitch,while the left hand controls volume. One of the most famous pieces played on this strange instrument was the opening theme of the original "Star Trek" TV series.

According to DidYouKnowGaming?'s report on Aonuma's interview. A movie about the creator of the instrument, Leon Theremin, had just been released and some of the developers at Nintendo watched the film and thought that it would be a great addition to "Wind Waker" and that this instrument was actually the inspiration for the game's title.

Apparently, this idea made it pretty far into development too. There were already plans for how the player would use their palms to manipulate the thumbsticks in order to play the controller as if it were the instrument itself, with the right hand controlling pitch, and the left controlling volume. Aonuma then claimed that halfway through development, Miyamoto came and told them the dev team they needed to make some changes, claiming that the theremin gameplay was "entirely unacceptable." It was at this point that they changed the instrument from the theremin to the baton. One can only wonder at how different the game might have been if they had left it though.