Barrier skip achieved in The Wind Waker for GameCube, after 17 years

This is probably one of the most exciting developments ever in the speedrunning community. Seventeen years after the release of The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker for GameCube, speedrunners have finally achieved a trick known as “barrier skip.” This trick was actually already achieved in the Wii U HD version last year, but that holy grail — GameCube — had eluded us until now. The trick was discovered by runner dragonbane0, and you can watch it unfold in the video below.

Basically, what’s going on is that there is an invisible barrier in The Wind Waker that, if surpassed, could drastically speed up completion of the game. Dragonbane0 figured out how to skip past this barrier (hence — barrier skip!) by doing the following, according to the YouTube video description:

Through precise dynamic memory exhaustion the barrier can be prevented from loading entirely. This has been achieved with the recently found glitch to spawn arrows at Link’s side which won’t despawn and keep using up dynamic memory until the point comes where you can dry shoot arrows[,] which will corrupt the dynamic memory space further and permanently.

In other words, to achieve barrier skip, you just have to keep the game too busy with other variables to remember to load the barrier. It’s like keeping a teacher distracted so your buddy can cheat on a test. Beautiful, really.

Let us know what you think of this extraordinary discovery in The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker.


John Friscia
Head Copy Editor for Enthusiast Gaming, Managing Editor at The Escapist. I'm a writer who loves Super Nintendo and Japanese role-playing games to an impractical degree. I really miss living in South Korea. And I'm developing the game Boss Saga!


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