Flags and Triggers

Story Flags

This diagram represents all of the major known flags and triggers in The Wind Waker.

Completely white arrows represent a trigger that is required for another event to occur.

Arrows that are just an outline represent natural progression in the storyline and not necessarily a direct trigger.

flags 3.0


  • "Talking to KoRL after Hyrule 2" isn't exactly accurate. It should have been "Loading TotG after Hyrule 2".
  • The canons and the battleships inside reefs only spawn once you've defeated Phantom Ganon in FF2.

Animation Sets

Cutscenes in TWW and TWWHD make use of special animations to make Link move around. However, the game doesn't use all of the animations right away. Instead, they are split into 2 different sets: Animation Set 1 and Animation Set 2.

When starting the game, the first Animation Set is used. But upon enting the Helmaroc fight, the game switches to the second Animation Set.

These animation sets are important to acknowledge, because entering a cutscene that uses these animation sets with the wrong one will crash the game, since the game tried to play a non-conform animation and failed to do so.

Here are cutscenes that use Animation Set 1:

  • Intro Cutscene
  • Hero's Clothes Cutscene
  • Saving Tetra in the Forest Cutscene
  • Helmaroc kidnapping Aryll Cutscene
  • Hero's Shield Cutscene
  • Leaving Outset Cutscene
  • Barrel Launching Cutscene in FF1
  • Forsaken Fortress 1 Cutscene
  • First Encounter with KoRL Cutscene
  • Delivery Bag Cutscene
  • Din's Pearl Cutscene
  • Deku Tree Cutscene
  • Farore's Pearl Cutscene
  • Password Cutscene
  • Nayru's Pearl Cutscene
  • TotG Rising Cutscene
  • Going down to Hyrule 1 Cutscene
  • Master Sword Cutscene

And here are cutscenes that use Animation Set 2:

  • Ganondorf Cutscene in FF2
  • Valoo Cutscene
  • Tetra to Zelda Transformation Cutscene
  • Earth God's Lyrics Cutscene
  • Playing EGL to Medli Cutscene
  • Half Charged MS Cutscene
  • Wind God's Aria Cutscene
  • Playing WGA to Makar Cutscene
  • Fully Charged MS Cutscene
  • Hyrule 3 Cutscene
  • Puppet Ganon Cutscene
  • Post-Puppet Ganon Cutscene
  • Ganondorf Cutscene
  • Ending Cutscenes

These lists might not be exhaustive. Entering the Helmaroc fight is what changes the animation set. One must enter that fight with Animation Set 1.

Pirate Ship Flags

Pirate Ship Locations

The Pirate Ship is one object that can be found in various places through the game. Here is a list of all accessible locations:

  • On Outset Island (during day+Prologue state only)
  • On a special "Overworld Travelling" map (normally accessed by leaving Outset at the end of the Prologue)
  • On the Forsaken Fortress 1 map (always there, behind a rock in the distance)
  • On Windfall Island, during Endless Night (only before Hyrule 2)
  • On both Outset and Windfall on layer 2 (by doing Flight Control Platform Escape)
  • On Outset on layer 0/8 (the post-FF1 layer)

Outset stays in Prologue State as long as the Gossip Stone Trigger in FF1 isn't activated. That trigger can be skipped, which can lead to some more sequence breaks. Also note that the Outset Pirate Ship will be invisible, unless you watched the cutscene of Helmaroc coming to Outset, or you've saved Tetra in the forest.

Note: On NTSC or PAL, the Outset pirate ship doesn't have collision when invisible, and so you have to make it visible before being able to enter it. On JP however, you can enter an invisible pirate ship.

Pirate Ship States

Entering or leaving a pirate ship can have different results depending on what you did previously on the savefile. Here is how they work:

Entering a Pirate Ship

Leaving a Pirate Ship

The Spoils Bag chest only appears during the day, and not during night or Endless Night.

Savewarping Flags


Savewarping refers to the act of saving and quitting the game. Upon reloading the save, Link is usually placed back on the shore if he saved on the island, in the middle of the ocean if he saved in the water (far away from the island), or at the beginning of the dungeon if he saved inside it. However, savewarping works very differently during the early game, here is a list of what happens depending on what you did in the game.

Savewarp locationEvent to trigger
Pirate Ship (Overworld Travelling)Watching the "Leaving Outset" cutscene
Pirate Ship (FF1)Tetra call after opening the Spoils Bag chest
Forsaken Fortress 1Watching the Barrel Launching cutscene (more precisely: at Barrel Smash)
WindfallWatching the post-FF1 cutscene w/KoRL
Most recent loaded areaHaving control inside of KoRL OR Courtyard cutscene in Hyrule 2

Savewarp flags behave in tiers, the moment you trigger a higher tier flag, triggering a lower tier flag will not change your savewarp location.


By performing Outset Escape, you can avoid hitting every single of these flags. They can then be used at your advantage to:

  • Escape from places you are not supposed to be at yet/can't be escaped otherwise.
  • Go back to places that are not accessible otherwise.

For exemple, savewarping can be used to go back to FF1 even if you have both the sword and the bombs in your inventory. A notable exemple of keeping these early game savewarp flags is Savewarp-escaping Hyrule 1. By obtaining all 3 pearls before beating FF1, and raising TotG before beating FF1, you can go into Hyrule 1 before triggering the last savewarp flag. This allows you to savewarp from the Master Sword Chamber directly to Outset, FF1 or Windfall.

Day/Night Cycle


The Ghost Ship only appears at night, so manipulating the Day/Night cycle is crucial in a speedrun in order to skip having to obtain the Song of Passsing or needing to wait for the Ghost Ship to appear. The Ghost Ship also appears at different islands depending on the moon phase, and manipulating its location is also important. The time is measured in-game in terms of hours and minutes. 0:00 is defined as midnight, 6:00 is when it turns day, and 18:00 is when it turns night. The in-game date also advances by 1 whenever the time passes midnight.

How Time Passes

Time passes differently depending on the current time. Between the times of 6:00 until 11:00 and 18:00 until 23:00, time passes everywhere normally on every island, including inside dungeons, buildings, and hidden caves. However, at any other times, time will not pass on certain islands. These islands include Windfall, Dragon Roost, Forest Haven, Outset, Gale, and Headstone. Time will also not pass inside any building, dungeon, or hidden cave. Because of this, it is crucial to wait until it just turns day or night if you want time to pass at certain places, or arrive at a certain place before it turns day or night in order to have time freeze.

Events That Reset the Current Time

Occasionally, certain in-game events will reset the current time to a certain value while still preserving the current in-game date. Arriving at Greatfish will immediately reset the current time to 0:00 (midnight). Visiting Hyrule field will reset the current time, but to 12:00 (noon). Forsaken Fortress 2 resets the current time to 21:00. Forsaken Fortress 1 resets the current time to 20:00. The cutscene that follows beating FF1 also messes with the day/night cycle, as it resets the current time to 12:00 of the previous day. This is the only known cutscene that goes back in time like that.

Endless Day

Discovered by TrogWW

There is also a trick that allows you to go back to the previous day using the Greatfish cutscene. To perform it, superswim with double storage to Greatfish and pull out the wind waker to cancel camera lock before the cutscene starts. This skips KoRL talking and the fadeout to endless night. The wind waker pull is frame perfect, making this TAS-only.

Last updated 08/12/2019 – azer67