The Legend of Zelda series holds a special place in my heart because it has a memorable protagonist, villain and most importantly, storyline. The one game of the series that gives me the most nostalgia is the Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time.
Ocarina of Time was the first Zelda game I beat by myself. We have had the game in our house since I was three years old. I remember watching my cousins and aunt play this game as a team.
One person would be on the controller, one person would be the manual guide and the other would be there for moral support. At the time, I was too young to handle a game as big as Ocarina of Time. Heck, some of the things in this game creep me out to this day.
In Ocarina of Time, you are introduced to Link, an orphan boy who lives in Kokiri Forest but was somehow different from the other children of the Kokiri Forest.
After having a strange dream about a princess and an evil horned monster, you are introduced to your companion, Navi the fairy. Navi is there to guide you on your journey and keep you on the right track of saving Hyrule.
As you play as Link, you are summoned by the guardian of the Forest, The Deku Tree. He tells Link that he is dying and Link must save Hyrule.
As I review this story now, I notice that the plot is simple. However, younger me thought this was too much to handle. Your job is to free certain areas of Hyrule from being cursed because Ganondorf, who is the main villain of this game, has cursed most of Hyrule. As Link travels, he meets characters that help him on his journey to defeat the darkness and free Hyrule from its curse. The cool part about your adventure is that you must defeat Ganondorf seven years in the future after Hyrule has been completely taken over. This is only possible with the power of the Ocarina of Time.
This game was big during its time. It’s an open-world game where you can interact with non-player characters, collect items, side quests and more. The controls on the N64 and GameCube versions of this game are similar.
You use the A button to use your sword and the yellow joystick (C button) to use your items. Your camera can go from first to third-person point of view. The game will mostly be in the third person, except for when you aim at something far away. It’s also easy to control both versions by using the left and right trigger buttons.
This game released a bit after Mario 64, so the control patterns of these two games are similar. The only difference is that Mario 64 was a 3D platformer, while Ocarina of Time is an adventure.
Ocarina of Time makes your character lack the ability to jump at the press of a button. You can jump in this game, but only when you run to the edge of a platform and Link jumps automatically. It’s something most people would think is dumb at first, but after playing the game for a while it’s fitting.
The temples and dungeons are what makes the game for me. I’m not a huge puzzle person, but this game made puzzles enjoyable for me. In order to navigate through the temples, Link must solve puzzles to find maps, keys, a compass and that temple’s special item. If you count all the dungeons including Ganondorf’s castle and mini-dungeons, there’s a total of 12 dungeons. My personal favorite dungeon of the game is the Spirit Temple. The area is tremendously atmospheric. This was a great final temple of the game. It tests your abilities of everything you learned this game, and it’s the perfect way to end your main quest before facing the final dungeon.
The music is enjoyable and important to the game. It was written by none other than Koji Kondo. Kondo is the writer of music for the majority of the Zelda games. The music he made in Ocarina of Time stands out amongst a lot of the other Zelda games. There were many memorable songs from this game such as: “Saria’s Song,” “Zelda’s Lullaby,” “Hyrule Field” and “Gerudo Valley.” Each song used fits so well. You can tell that they put a lot of thought into arranging each piece of music to fit each area of the game.
This game is iconic among the Nintendo community. Anytime someone talks about this series, Ocarina of Time is usually the first game they mention. It was a big part of why I chose Nintendo as the best gaming company. According to IGN’s Top 100 games of all time, Ocarina of Time ranked 2 out of the 100. If that doesn’t speak volumes for how much this game impacted the gaming community, I don’t know what does. Overall Ocarina of Time is a 10/10 and deserves the praise that it gets among the gaming community.