The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (ゼルダの伝説 時のオカリナ, Zeruda no Densetsu: Toki no Okarina) was released in 1998 for the Nintendo 64. Like every main Zelda game, it was developed and published by Nintendo. It was then ported to the Nintendo GameCube in 2003, Virtual Console for the Wii and Wii U in 2007 and 2015, respectively, and remade for the Nintendo 3DS in 2011 titled The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D.
A prequel to all the other games set before it (with only Skyward Sword, Minish Cap and Four Swords predating it), Ocarina of Time, explains the origins of the Triforce, a sacred set of three triangles that grant its owner his or her wishes, and Ganondorf's transformation into Ganon.
Why It Rocks
- This game introduces "Z-Targeting," which allows Navi to fly close to objects, objectives, and enemies, making it easier for Link to focus his attacks and use his tools easier. This game mechanic has been used in the other 3D Zelda games and other games not in the series as well ever since.
- Impressive landscapes.
- Like the other Zelda games, each dungeon has a new weapon or tool Link can obtain to defeat the dungeon boss and find hidden items and power-ups.
- Many likable characters.
- Great boss battles, especially Twinrova.
- The ocarinas (first being the Fairy Ocarina and then the Ocarina of Time) Link uses allow him to play many magic songs to advance the story and obtain items.
- Several mini-games that can grant Link ammo upgrades, power-ups, and extra Rupees.
- Tons of NPCs to interact with, such as Saria, Malon, and her father Talon.
- The Gerudo Fortress adds stealth gameplay to the game until you rescue all the carpenters.
- A trading mission that can grant Link the Biggoron's Sword, the most powerful weapon in the game.
- This was the first 3D Zelda game.
- Amazing story.
- Great soundtrack composed by Koji Kondo, especially Gerudo Valley with a Spanish flamengo vibe whereas the Kokiri Forest one has a cartoon vibe.
- The 3DS remake has improved graphics, and an option to revisit several boss fights when Link returns to his old bed in Kokiri Forest.
- This is the first game that features Epona, Link's horse.
- The final battle is breathtaking and amazing.
- The end of Ocarina of Time creates three separate timelines due to Link's time travel. The Adult Timeline occurs when Link and the Sages seal away Ganondorf (from Princess Zelda's point), the Child Timeline occurs when Link goes back to relive his childhood and alters events so Ganondorf doesn't get the Triforce. The Downfall Timeline occurs if Link was defeated in the final battle with Ganondorf, but Ganondorf was still sealed away. More information about the timeline here.
- The main overworld theme played in Hyrule Field and some other locations where time flows has different variations of it depending if Link is adventuring like normal, facing nearby enemies, and/or looking at the sun or after playing the Ocarina.
- The N64 version of the game has some nice easter eggs/references to other Nintendo games. For example, if you look at the window in Princess Zelda's Courtyard, on first-person mode, you can spot pictures or paintings of Mario, Luigi, Yoshi, Princess Peach, and Bowser hanging on the walls. In the 3DS version, these portraits were replaced by a replica of a level from New Super Mario Bros.
- And most noticeably, Malon and Talon wear Bowser brooches on their necks. Not to mention, Talon and his employee Ingo resemble Mario and Luigi respectively.
- Ganondorf/Ganon's line after being defeated by Link; YOUU... CURSE YOU ZELDA... CURSE YOU SAGES... CURSE YOU LINK! Someday when this seal is broken, that is when I will exterminate your descendants. As long as the Triforce of Power is in my hand!".
- This curse is somewhat fulfilled, as seen in The Wind Waker.
- Getting the sword and shield is the only requirement to beating the game. You don't even have the talk to the Deku Tree!
- The normal battle theme helps players fight enemies and is very useful in areas where the camera is very clunky.
- The Final Boss, Ganon.
- The fairy Navi gives constant advice, even when the player knows the game well. Over time, she will often shout out "Hey!" until you press her C button. This lead to Navi being one of the least liked characters in video games. The same can be said for the owl Kaeporea Gaebora.
- Because Ocarina of Time pushed the Nintendo 64 to its limit, the game unfortunately runs in an abysmal 20 FPS, which may cause issues for modern-day gamers who aren't used to playing at such a low framerate. Although cheat codes can be used to run the game in either 30 or 60 frames per second, it is not generally recommended to activate either of them as it can cause issues within the game's physics (e.g the game will freeze automatically if the player tries to crawl into a tunnel should it be forced to run at 30+ frames per second). Thankfully, this issue was fixed in the 3DS version.
- Navi's advice key is also the view button so if you want to go into first-person mode, you'll have to listen to what she says first.
- Hyrule Field is unnecessarily large.
- No post-game content, after you beat the final boss, it will stay at the scene were young Link meets young Zelda until you turn off the console (the sequels and the remake rectify this issue).
- The Water Temple is considered one of the most tedious dungeons in the series, due to Link moving very slowly on water, only being able to use the Hookshot, constantly having to equip and unequip the Iron Boots, and the Dungeon's complicated maze-like structure. Thankfully, it was made easier in Master Quest and even more so in the 3DS version.
- Whenever you load your file you start from either Link's House (past), the Temple of Time (future), or the start of a dungeon.
- The Big Poe sidequest is frustrating and unnecessarily long, not to mention the only reward for catching all Big Poes is a bottle.
- The Z-Targeting, despite being an innovative auto-targeting system, hasn't aged that well because it'll sometimes screw up and the lock-on will leave the enemy.
- You can't control the camera; the closest you get is the ability to use the Z/L button to center the camera behind Link's shoulders. This issue remained in the remake (it was eventually fixed in the 3DS version of Majora's Mask).
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time was the 1998 Game Of The Year despite its November release and is considered one of the best games ever made.
- In the original N64 version, the Gerudo Symbol was a crescent moon and a star, but it was changed in version 1.2 because of its resemblance to the emblem of Islam.
- In turn, the Fire Temple's music track originally included a sample from Best Service's Voice Spectral Vol. 1 - Track 76, which contained a prayer. The first European release had it replaced with samples from the Bottom of the Well and Shadow Temple.
- The Link of Twilight Princess is the descendant of the Link from this game. Due to TP's Link being a rancher, it's a popular theory that OoT Link married Malon and became a rancher himself.