Superswim

Discovered by Klydestorm

Camera Lock & Superswim

Perform Storage, and Camera Lock with the Wind Waker. Get into a body of water, and hold Up on the analog stick. Link will begin to spin around rapidly, gaining speed with each turn. However, by holding the analog stick at a precise angle (this angle changes from superswim to superswim, but will always lie within the upper 180 degrees of the stick's range) rather than directly Up, Link's motion will become strictly back-and-forth rather than circular, allowing better control of the superswim.

Note: It is a common misconception that allowing Link to turn constantly builds up less speed than turning strictly back-and-forth. This is not true, however, because Link will build up the same amount of speed no matter how much he turns while charging.

Though the angle varies between superswims, there are a number of ways to determine it. Perhaps the most common method is by using your mini-map and altering the angle of the analog stick until you see the yellow arrow move back-and-forth. This method is somewhat limited, however, because once you leave the quadrant that you started the superswim in the yellow arrow will disappear.

This is where the second method for determining the angle of the analog stick comes into play. This method involves looking at features of the landscape around you to determine whether or not you are moving back-and-forth. Here's how it works: when holding strictly Up on the analog stick you will notice that a feature such as an island will appear on the screen in intervals. However, when you are moving back-and-forth, the island will instead appear to stay in one spot (seemingly behind you), indicating that you have found the proper angle.

Once you're satisfied with your speed, release the analog stick with Link's back pointing where you want to go, and Link will rocket backwards with the speed you attained. You can better judge where you're aiming by opening up your map.

Superswim Without Camera Lock (TAS Only)

Pressing alternate directions on every other frame while swimming will also cause Link's speed to increase exponentially. This is barely possible on console using lots of pauses, however, and will likely never be worth doing. However it is possible to emulate such an affect by resetting the neutral position of the analog stick using Black Wind. If the correct analog stick angle is acquired, you can then mash down on the analog stick to build up speed (storage will gives you this same effect due to the way the camera works while the glitch is active).

One of the advantages of a storage-less superswim is that you do not need to worry about getting double-storage to prevent your game from soft-locking when you enter a cutscene since the camera is not locked.

Superswim Speed

Although the general trend while charging is a major increase in speed over time, Link's speed while charging does not constantly increase. Link's swimming animation occurs in a cycle, and which frame he is at in the cycle will determine what speed he will get. As a result, Link's speed will drastically fluctuate depending on which frame in the swimming animation's cycle he is currently in.

There are several ways to make superswims speed and distance more consistent in a speedrun. After releasing a superswim, you will lose two units of speed every frame. If you release too early, you will not have enough speed and will not travel far enough. If you charge for too long, you will not have enough air and will drown too soon. With this in mind, the optimal time to release a superswim for maximum distance is about two-thirds of the total charging time. However, even if releasing at two-thirds of the total charging time, you can still get bad speed and not travel far enough. Because of this, you should also look at Link's arms (or other indicators of his animation cycle like his head movement) before you release in order to ensure that you paused on a frame with good speed.

The following table illustrates common frames in Link's swimming animation and the relative speed attained if pausing on similar frames:

Note: These frames only apply when releasing after a similar amount of time charging, which is usually around the time of the second red flash on the air meter.

Data collected by CryZe and wooferzfg1
Image of FrameFrame 1 Frame 2 Frame 3 Frame 4 Frame 5
Speed Rank3rd1st2nd4th5th

The following graph illustrates the correlation of frames and overall velocity for one air gauge worth of time:

Graph courtesy of Abahbob

Superswim Graph

The only limit to the speed you can gain is your air meter, and the positioning of the land, including things you can climb up on out of water. You can continuously refresh your air meter if you happen to swim close to the shore of an island without going on land. If you Superswim up on land, your speed is retained, and Link will run backwards. If you go off an edge or back into the water while on land, your speed will reset back to 0. With enough speed, it is possible to reach an island before it loads. Using this allows to be loaded underneath an island, similar to a Wind Waker dive.

Superswimming can be used to cross vast amounts of overworld extremely quickly (much faster than sailing). The sail is still a necessary item, however, as it is impossible to open the triforce charts without it.

Last updated 07/22/2014 – wooferzfg1