Good game design never gets old. Everything shows its age or journey, but any video game built on a solid enough foundation always stand the test of time, regardless of technological advances in the field. This is very much the case for The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, a game that could be released as is in 2020 to widespread critical acclaim. From the classic epic story to the franchise’s tightest dungeon design and pacing, Ocarina of time is a masterpiece in every way.
It’s also a fairly dense game, and a lot more nuanced than one might expect at a glance. One part just isn’t enough to glean it all Ocarina of time has to offer. From game mechanics to how the story is presented, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time is one of Nintendo’s most jam-packed video games.
ten Epic Cinematography
Ocarina of timeThe original Nintendo 64 release is often criticized as slow, but the lethargic exploration of the title text is actually quite deliberate. Without it, the game’s cinematography starts to crumble (just compare how clunky and rushed it is 3D Ocarina of TimeThe cutscenes of are compared to those of the original.)
Regarding the direction of the kinematics, Ocarina of time is more sophisticated than the average AAA release, using theatrical constructs such as movement toward stillness to frame scenes and action around their dialogue. While camera cuts and character movements are paced with the still scrolling dialogue in mind, OcarinaThe already classically epic story manages to add an even more dramatic layer to its text.
9 Link & Zelda’s Rush To Grow Up
You don’t have to read between the lines to see that Ocarina of time is a coming-of-age story from start to finish. That said, the plot is pretty unapologetic when it comes to detailing the toughness of growing up. Ganondorf’s conquest of Hyrule stems directly from Link & Zelda’s half-baked plan to beat him at his own game.
Zelda essentially forces Link to play “adult” with her, taking it upon herself to save Hyrule when no one asked and Hyrule isn’t in immediate danger (although tensions with the Deku Tree, Goron, and Zora suggest that the time is approaching soon.) The knight guarding Death Mountain says it best: Link is playing hero. In their rush to grow up and act like adults, Link and Zelda make the childish mistake of assuming their plans only benefit them.
8 Something is going on with Ruto
Princess Ruto is one of the most fascinating characters in Ocarina of time, and there’s quite a bit of mystery surrounding it in both timelines. In the past, it is unclear who left “Ruto’s Letter”. Her handwriting would suggest Ruto herself, but Link’s mention of the letter goes over her head. She might play hard to get with him, but it might imply that Ganondorf wrote the letter to trick Link into getting Zora’s sapphire.
In the future, Ruto – like Darunia in the Fire Temple before her – mysteriously disappears in the Water Temple. We can only assume the worst as Ruto is nowhere to be found and only sees himself again in the Chamber of Sages.
7 The dying soldier
One of the only time-sensitive secrets in Ocarina of time, the dying soldier only appears right before Link removes the master sword from its pedestal for the first time. The dying soldier’s presence hasn’t been public knowledge for some time, largely because players have no reason to seek him out.
As soon as Link obtains the Ocarina of Time, he is immediately directed to the Temple of Time, a large building that is hard to miss. However, if players enter the Hyrule Market Alley, Link will come across a dying soldier who will inform the player that Ganondorf has attacked before he breathes his last.
6 There is more gameplay for Young Link than for Adult Link
The gap between the young Link and the adult Link is not equal. Considering the latter has five full dungeons to its name rather than the first three, it’s easy to assume that most Ocarina of time switched to playing as an adult Link, but that’s only if players avoid doing as much side content as possible.
In reality, there is a little more gameplay for young Link than for adult Link. It’s more of a 60/40 split than anything. Even before Link pulls out the Master Sword, players can collect over half of all Heart Pieces, nearly half of all Gold Skulltula Tokens, two Magic Spells, both Wallet Upgrades, Bomb Upgrades & Deku Nut, three bottles and the mask. of the truth. That’s not even including all of the Heart Pieces directly related to planting Magic Beans in the past either.
5 Epona is a side quest
Contrary to popular belief, Link never needs to set foot in Lon Lon Ranch to save Hyrule. Epona is most often used to jump the bridge in the Gerudo Fortress in the future, but the Water Temple Longshot closes the distance really well. Even though Epona features prominently on the title screen, she’s little more than a side quest.
Epona being a side quest, is more about old school game design than anything. Nowadays, Epona would not only be mandatory but introduced quite early. In Ocarina of timeplayers are forced to learn the geography of Hyrule themselves, only having access to Epona if they seek it out.
4 Waking up in Kokiri Forest
One of the ways in which Ocarina of time expresses the harshness of growing up depriving the Link of his home when he becomes an adult. When saving and exiting the game in the future, Link will always restart in the Temple of Time, unless players are sleeping in Link’s bed. By returning to Kokiri Forest and sleeping in Link’s bed before quitting the game, players will actually start their games at home instead of the Temple.
That said, it doesn’t defeat the theme of the game. On the contrary, waking up as a grown man in a house intended for a child (after having slept in a bed intended for a child) puts into perspective how you really can never go home once you’ve grown up.
3 You don’t need the fairy bow for the fire temple
Another one Ocarina of time the misconception is the notion that the Forest Temple should be done as the first adult dungeon. While Sheik strongly suggests that Link go to the Forest Temple first (even locking time travel specifically behind the Forest Medallion), players have a few options here. Notably, the First Temple is perfectly doable as a first dungeon for adults.
Although there is a room that requires the fairy bow inside the fairy temple, it is only for an optional chest. Every key and the Megaton Hammer can be found just fine without the bow, and there are no enemies the bow is needed to kill (although it does make it easier to take down Volvagia.)
2 Shadow Vs Spirit: The True End Temple
There is enough evidence to suggest that the Temples of Shadow and Spirit were meant to be Ocarina of timefinal dungeon in various stages of development. The Spirit Temple speaks for itself: After Ganondorf takes over Hyrule, Link breaks into the Gerudo Fortress and conquers a temple built in the image of a Goddess to defeat Ganondorf’s surrogate mothers.
It’s a highlight if there ever was one, but the same could apply to the Temple of Shadow on a more conceptual level. Link braves a dungeon lurking beneath his feet the entire game, Sheik inadvertently reveals himself as Zelda again, and Impa suggests that Link will reunite with Zelda as soon as the Temple ends.
1 Link never finds his place in the world
The hero of time does not have an easy life and his arc revolves around a perpetual alterity. Initially, he is the boy without a fairy. When he gets the fairy, however, Link is more or less kicked out of the forest he grew up in where he becomes the boy. with a fairy for the people of Hyrule.
When Link becomes an adult, he learns he’s not even a Kokiri, but a Hylian, which makes his otherness even more pronounced – and since he’s been missing for seven years, his literal place in the role is all but uprooted. Link is forced to serve as a hero, but it’s little comfort because the only character who can identify with him – Navi – leaves him behind as soon as their journey is over.
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