This game will always have a special place in the gaming vault that is my heart.
It was the first game I ever played from the Zelda franchise, and it was the first game that I truly loved, securing the title of my favourite game ever (until Breath Of The Wild stole the title!).
As a child I was unable to complete the game, so I didn’t see the whole plot unfold until I tackled it again in my teens. Watching the credits roll felt like the perfect end to the perfect game, with a beautiful track and a gathering of all the characters you met on your journey. It was enough to bring a tear to my eye as I completed my favourite game for the first time, particularly as it took such a long time for me to actually accomplish this! I always find it quite upsetting to see Navi leave Link to return to the forest – it seemed bizarre and quite heart-breaking that after their incredible journey together, Navi would just disappear.
Speaking of Navi, it’s very possible that I’m the only person who has played this game that actually liked Navi. I thought she was a good companion character, and I suppose I found her to be a very helpful guide as a child. I thought it was nice to have a companion with you on such a long and perilous journey through Hyrule. Without Navi, Link would be completely alone until he visits the likes of Kakariko Village and Hyrule Castle Town.
Ocarina of Time gave me (and many others) my first taste of an open world, and it felt so good to explore. Travelling across Hyrule to see all the different areas there are to explore, trying to get to Hyrule Castle Town before they raise the drawbridge and night, fighting off hordes of Stalchildren if you’re caught out in Hyrule Field at night (or spending the night in the river where they can’t reach you if you’re not feeling up for a night-long fight), meeting all the locals of the settlements and seeing what they have to say, or what you can do for them. It actually holds a lot of parallels with modern day open world RPGs.
Ocarina of Time is split into two parts. The first part of the game where Link is still a child, and the second part which takes place 7 years in the future after Link is sealed in the sacred realm until he reaches an age where he can wield the Master Sword to defeat Ganondorf, the main antagonist.
This also adds an interesting element to the gameplay, as you have different tools available to you depending on your age. For example, Young Link has access to the boomerang and the slingshot, and can crawl through small holes to reach new areas. Adult Link has more advanced tools and weaponry such as the hookshot, the bow and arrow, and the megaton hammer.
The game also features a host of dungeons to be completed, some as Young Link and some as Adult Link (and one dungeon requires you to enter it at both time periods!). The dungeon format is fairly standard for the Legend of Zelda series. You explore the dungeon, fight enemies, solve puzzles, fight a mini boss which will get you a new item, this item will help you progress to new areas of the dungeon, and ultimately help you fight the boss at the end of the dungeon.
The bosses steadily get harder as the game goes on, and personally I think they’re satisfying to beat. They’re not too difficult, but provide a fair challenge.
In 2011, Nintendo gave us the 3DS remaster, and it is such an unbelievable treat! As good as the game was, it only got better with beautifully updated graphics, some tweaked controls such as the ocarina (which you will use frequently) getting it’s own touch screen button, instead of having to take up an item slot, and filled out environments! The game world had a complete rework with all sorts of environmental items being added in to make the areas look like they are truly teeming with life.
What else is there to see about this game? My love of video games stems from this masterpiece, and as such it will always be a special game to me.
- Platform: Nintendo 64, Nintendo Gamecube, Nintendo 3DS
- Release Date: 21/11/1998-18/12/1998 (Region Dependant)
- Gamecube Release Date: 28/11/2002-03/05/2003 (Region Dependant)
- 3DS Release Date: 16/06/2011-30/06/2011 (Region Dependant)
- Genre: Fantasy Adventure