The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time does a lot of things right, but the early game pace leaves a lot to be desired and it’s all Saria’s fault.
There are many good times in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, but the number of flashbacks players have to do early in the game is not one of them. This is all the more unfortunate that Nintendo already had a perfect way to deliver the same information to the player, but instead of using a more sane method, they forced Link to retrace his steps in order to continue the game. story.
After completing the very first dungeon in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (Inside the big Mojo tree) Link meets his childhood friend, Saria, on the bridge that leads away from Kokiri Forest. It’s a touching scene, and it’s where players acquire the Fairy Ocarina item, an instrument they’ll only keep for a brief moment until Zelda later throws the Ocarina of Time at himself. even to Link. Players can learn all kinds of songs about the Fairy Ocarina before upgrading to the more powerful version, but when Saria introduces Link to the original instrument, she doesn’t teach him anything.
Link can learn Epona’s Song, Song of the Sun, and Zelda’s Lullaby before he thinks of Saria again. After venturing into Hyrule Castle and heading to Ocarina of time version of Kakariko Village, however, suddenly Navi will start suggesting that it’s a good idea to go see Saria, seemingly out of the blue. Most players, especially those who want to meet Chief Goron and progress with THE Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of time conspiracy, probably ignored this post at first, and that’s an understandable reaction. The world of Ocarina of time was getting bigger and more accessible by the minute, so why would they have to go back to Kokiri Forest and talk to the characters they’ve already met? It doesn’t sound as fun as seeing what’s going on with a volcano.
Zelda: cheering on Darunia in OoT seems weird and unnecessary
Ultimately, however, Town Leader Goron is in a very bad mood and players must find a way to cheer him up. This is probably the point in Ocarina of time where a new player who still ignores Navi will try a bunch of different things and look for items to buy or secret areas inside Goron City that might hold the key to making Darunia happy. All in, The Legend of Zelda the second most annoying sidekick will say “Listen! And try to tell the players what to do – go back to the beginning.
When players return to Kokiri Forest, Saria is absent from the village itself. She is hiding in The Lost Woods, and Link will have to follow the sound of her song to navigate without getting lost and teleporting. When Link finally reaches Saria, she teaches him Saria’s song, a tune by Ocarina of time which has two uses: it allows players to contact Saria from afar, and it makes Darunia dance. Players then have to travel to Death Mountain and play Saria’s song for Darunia – something he’s far too excited about.
Saria could easily have taught Saria’s Song to Link early on in her adventure beyond Kokiri Forest and none of those flashbacks would have been necessary. Darunia, so turned on by Saria’s song, sounds incredibly out of place (this is one of the best songs in Ocarina of time, but it’s not as hot as he says it) and the obtuse nature of having to play Zelda’s lullaby first to get to her room, then Saria’s song to get him to speak seems out of place. The entire Lost Woods section feels like it’s been abandoned in the middle of Link’s first journey, regardless of player pace or agency, and it slows down the excitement of venturing into new territory. There are a lot of good things about The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, but forced backtracking early in the game is not one of them.
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