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.
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:
And here are cutscenes that use Animation Set 2:
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.
There are 2 ways to skip cutscenes that are past a loading in The Wind Waker:
The first one is to get crushes with storage after triggering the loading zone leading to the cutscene. This cancels the cutscene on its first frame. For most cutscenes, skipping them in this way does not set all the required flags, but there are exceptions (the deku tree cutscene). This cutscene skip method always avoids the animation set crashes.
The second one is to unload the cutscene with actor unloading. This method always set all the flags set by the cutscene, but still doesn't give you the items the cutscene normally gives to you when watching it. Animation Set crashes will still occur in most circumstances if the cutscene is skipped this way (but there are exceptions, such as the Ganondorf cutscene which normally crashes with the wrong animation set, but only rather late into the cutscene).
The Pirate Ship is one object that can be found in various places through the game. Here is a list of all accessible locations:
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.
Entering or leaving a pirate ship can have different results depending on what you did previously on the savefile. Here is how they work:
The Spoils Bag chest only appears during the day, and not during night or Endless Night.
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 location||Event to trigger|
|Pirate Ship (Overworld Travelling)||Watching the "Leaving Outset" cutscene|
|Pirate Ship (FF1)||Tetra call after opening the Spoils Bag chest|
|Forsaken Fortress 1||Watching the Barrel Launching cutscene (more precisely: at Barrel Smash)|
|Windfall||Watching the post-FF1 cutscene w/KoRL|
|Most recent loaded area||Having 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:
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.
|Event to trigger||Consequences|
|Beating Forsaken Fortress 1||KoRL spawns. By default you cannot enter KoRL, and you are only allowed to sail between Windfall and Dragon Roost Island, and between Dragon Roost Island and Forest Haven|
|Buying the Sail from Zunari||KoRL's Sail text. If other KoRL textboxes get cued up and you didn't buy the sail, then walking near KoRL will trigger him to talk infinitely, which causes a softlock. To avoid this softlock, make sure you buy the sail before going near KoRL if you intend on triggering any such textbox. You can also clear those texts without the Sail if you drown or void out to respawn in KoRL. This allows you to clear the textbox without softlocking. More information can be found on the sail skip page.|
|Clearing KoRL's Sail text||You can enter KoRL freely|
|Entering KoRL||Sets last savewarping flag (see above)|
|Arriving to DRI and Wind Waker cutscene||You cannot enter KoRL anymore|
|Din's Pearl||KoRL's Din's Pearl text|
|Din's Pearl and Wind set to South||You can enter KoRL|
|Entering KoRL with Din's Pearl||You can enter KoRL freely. This is called the "South Wind Flag" and allows entering KoRL at will after getting the Wind Waker. You can enter KoRL without the wind set to south by drowning/voiding to respawn in him|
|Farore's Pearl||KoRL's Farore's Pearl text. You can now sail anywhere in the ocean except Forsaken Fortress|
|Endless Night||KoRL's Endless Night text|
|Bombs||KoRL's Bombs text|
|Endless Night Outset Cutscene||You cannot enter KoRL|
|Reloading Outset after the Endless Night Outset Cutscene||You can enter KoRL again|
|Nayru's Pearl||KoRL's Nayru's Pearl text|
|Raising Tower of the Gods||KoRL's TotG raising text|
|Entering Hyrule 1||You cannot enter KoRL anymore. If KoRL has any textbox cued up after you've entered Hyrule 1 but before you obtain the Master Sword, he will talk infinitely causing a softlock|
|Master Sword||You can enter KoRL again. You can sail in the Forsaken Fortress quadrant.|
|Ganondorf cutscene after Helmaroc||You cannot enter KoRL anymore|
|Courtyard Cutscene||Softlocks if KoRL isn't spawned in. Sets the last savewarping flag if that isn't done already (see above)|
|Tetra to Zelda Transformation Cutscene||KoRL's Tetra to Zelda text|
|Clearing KoRL's Tetra to Zelda text||You can enter KoRL again|
|Loading the Tower of the Gods quadrant after watching the Tetra to Zelda Transformation Cutscene||Triggers being able to teach the Song to Medli, being able to get Fire and Ice Arrows, and Forsaken Fortress 3. KoRL's Triforce Quest text|
|Opening the Dark Portal in Ganon's Tower||Softlocks if KoRL isn't spawned in. If opening the portal is interrupted it will only spawn a temporary portal|
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.
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.
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.
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.