The Most Memorable Moments From The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time

Some video games never get old no matter how many times you beat them, and The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time certainly falls into that category. Having recently been inducted into the Video Game Hall of Fame, Ocarina of Time is still making its mark in the gaming community decades after its initial release, and it’s not hard to see why.

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There are probably hundreds of moments in Ocarina of Time that make the game special, but only a few truly stand out as ones no player will ever forget. Some are funny, some are surprisingly poignant, and some are downright bizarre. Ultimately, however, these memorable moments come together to make The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time a true gaming masterpiece.


Bid farewell to the Great Mojo Tree

When Link enters the Great Deku Tree, his fate is unclear. Taking players on a journey through Hyrule’s ancient history, the Great Deku Tree sets the stage for the game’s main objective: rescuing Princess Zelda and obtaining the Sacred Triforce before Ganondorf. As the story of the tree draws to a close, the pacing of the dialogue slows as Link watches his father figure literally wither before him.

This initial loss sets a dark tone for the rest of the game and reveals the hidden darkness in Link’s journey to the light. Navi’s final “goodbye….Great Deku Tree” line highlights the sacrifice any true hero must make in order to ultimately do good.

Meet your first ReDead

There are plenty of nightmarish images in Ocarina of Time, but the first time a ReDead shows up, entering the royal family’s tomb in the Kakariko Village Cemetery, is easily the most gruesome. These zombie-like creatures are perhaps the scariest monster in any Legend of Zelda project to date.

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As Link tries to sneak around them, the game controls slow down as the large undead monsters slowly move towards him. Astride young Link, the Redeads drain energy from the heart while emitting a bloodcurdling scream. As the game progresses, these enemies become easier to defeat. But as with many things, you never forget your first encounter with the undead.

King Zora moves…and moves…and moves


The sound of King Zora slowly moving on his throne to allow infant Link into his third dungeon in Jabu Jabu’s Belly is an unforgettable moment in Ocarina of Time – mostly because it’s so pointless and so hilarious. In another version, this game scene could easily have been omitted or, at the very least, considerably shortened. But where is the fun in that?

Instead, Link gets a VERY awkward minute of an oversized fish slowly wriggling to the right. It’s silly, bizarre, and just aggravating enough to provide the perfect amount of comic relief in an otherwise increasingly dark storyline.

With its seemingly endless array of mind-boggling puzzles and puzzling rooms, the Water Temple is the toughest dungeon you’ll ever encounter. However, in addition to the sense of satisfaction you’ll feel after beating the temple, this dungeon also has another redeeming moment: the epic fight against Dark Link.

This mini-boss battle stands out from the rest of Link’s villainous encounters due to its unique setting and difficulty level. Faced with a ghost version of himself, Link must find a way to defeat this adversary who can do things he can’t. Between the stark footage of the shimmering battle chamber skyline and the challenge of landing a hit on Dark Link, this battle is definitely one of the most disorienting moments in Ocarina of Time.

Leaving Kokiri Forest (and Saria!)

You never forget the feeling of leaving home for the first time, which is why this scene from Ocarina of Time is so memorable. As Link begins to walk across the bridge that separates Kokiri Forest – the only world he has ever known – from the rest of Hyrule, he is stopped by a familiar voice. “Oh, you’re leaving,” says Saria, her green-haired, never-aging forest best friend.

This final conversation between the two is not only a milestone for the game’s storyline, but also strikes an emotional nerve. Saria’s gift of the fairy Ocarina sets the stage for Link’s use of music throughout his journey and symbolizes Saria’s devotion to her friend.

Meet Ganondorf in person

After retrieving the three Spirit Stones, child Link returns to Hyrule Castle, delighted to inform Princess Zelda of his triumph. However, as he nears the entrance to Hyrule Castle Town, something is clearly wrong. The sky is dark, the torches are lit and the drawbridge is up. Suddenly, Princess Zelda and Impa come out of the drawbridge on horseback. With wide eyes, Zelda looks at Link and throws an object – the legendary Royal Family’s Ocarina of Time – into the castle moat.

As the princess and her guardian quickly walk away, Link finally sees him up close and personal for the first time: Ganondorf, a villain with superpowers young Link can only imagine at this point in the game. review echoes Link’s nightmare and foreshadows the dark world Link will encounter after finding the Master Sword and aging seven years. Everything about the game so far has been a breeze; Adult Link’s trials are just beginning.

See the town of Hyrule Castle after seven years

The first time Link visits Hyrule Castle in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, the town is teeming with bustling vendors, fast-paced music, and a host of quirky residents. Many unique villagers offer Link side quests that result in life hearts or other useful items. However, this all fades after Link turns seven years old and leaves the Temple of Time for Castle City for the first time.

Hyrule Castle Town is now a dark, desolate place filled with screaming zombies (ReDeads). The original inhabitants fled to the village of Kakariko and left Princess Zelda’s former home lying fallow. Few other scenes in the game showcase the cruelty of Ganondorf – and the dark fate that awaits Hyrule if Link fails in his mission – more than this.

Earn Epona

The moment Link jumps the Lon Lon Ranch fence after winning Epona in a race is still as satisfying as beating any dungeon boss. After aging seven years, Link is challenged to a horse race by Ingo, the Ganondorf-appointed caretaker of Lon Lon Ranch. The race itself can be quite difficult, and it doesn’t help that Link has to defeat Ingo twice in a row before winning his horse.

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Once victorious, however, Link frees both Epona and the ranch itself from Ingo’s dastardly rule, paving the way for red-haired Malon and his father, Talon, to take their rightful place in as owners. Crossing Hyrule Field on Epona’s back gives Link the freedom to travel faster and gives a beloved animal companion his rightful place in the spotlight.

Use the master sword to grow

The Master Sword is an easily recognizable weapon and often appears at some of the most crucial moments. In Ocarina of Time, Link first encounters The Master Sword in the Temple of Time as a child. After removing the sword from the pedestal, Link transports himself seven years into the future.

This sequence marks a fundamental change in the narrative of Ocarina of Time, a change according to some players when the “real” game begins. In some ways, it’s not hard to see how Link’s adventures retrieving the three Spirit Stones represented a sort of extended prologue up to this point in the game. Either way, Link’s shocked look after he recording his sudden aging – and realizing that seven years of his life had just been effectively erased – is an iconic moment in the Ocarina of Time series and The Legend of Zelda as a whole.

Walk on Hyrule Field

Beyond all other moments in the game, the first time Link entered Hyrule Field from the shadows of Kokiri Forest marked a life-changing moment for both the character and the player community. Gazing out over Hyrule’s vast skyline hints at important locations for the game’s story arc, including Death Mountain, Lon Lon Ranch, Hyrule Castle, King Zora’s Domain, and Lake Hylia.

This moment beyond all others evokes a feeling of pure excitement; a moment meant to crack your fingers, settle in, and get ready for the epic adventure ahead. When it comes to replaying the Ocarina of Time over (and over) over again, it’s surprising how much of that feeling never really goes away.

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