Ocarina of Time happened at the wrong time. Not so much for the fortunes of its original platform, the Nintendo 64, nor legions of Zelda fans old and new around the word – the game would sell two and a half million copies between its November 20th release and the end of the year. But said year, 1998, was one where a lot changed for me personally. I turned 18 in the spring, and… Well, let’s just say that video games suddenly weren’t so much of a priority.
A familiar story, I’m sure – one that many readers will be able to relate to. And, just like so many of you, it didn’t take too long before my love of video games – something that’d been forged by the ZX Spectrum, Commodore Amiga and SEGA Master System long before my first Nintendo acquisitions – re-established itself, with social sessions aplenty spent in front of PlayStations and N64s, through college and university.
But while we’d go Baron-to-Bowler in multiplayer GoldenEye matches and chase each other through Choco Mountain on Mario Kart 64, the fact that I didn’t own an N64 at the time – I eventually bought one in my early 30s – meant I couldn’t really explore its single-player titles. And certainly not a significant time-sink of an adventure like Ocarina of Time.
But finally, for its 20th anniversary, I have played the game that earned unanimous acclaim at launch, a swathe of perfect scores, and still sits top of Metacritic’s best-ever list. Caveat: I’ve done so using the 2011 3DS version (even more specifically, using a 2DS XL). But I am a creature of convenience, and portable play is my preferred way to dip into older games.
The problem with doing just that, revisiting archive titles, is that history is rarely kind to video games. Visuals can dull (subjective though that assessment will always be), mechanics become outdated, forgivable quirks transform into painful problems. Gaming has never been as good as it is today – and this time next year, we’ll be able to say the same thing all over again, until the end of time itself. It’s the nature of the medium, determinedly progressive and tech-driven as it is, and the industry that surrounds it. So, I started Ocarina of Time, in 2018, with some apprehension.
I needn’t have worried. Some things resist the ravages of time, crystallising as they do an era, a genre, in such a way as to, if you’ll pardon the cliché, become timeless. And I was – I am – relieved to discover that Ocarina of Time is such a video game. After putting some 200 hours into Breath of the Wild, I never expected a 20-year-old ancestor of the Switch’s preeminent role-player to be quite as engrossing, as nuanced and layered, as something with 21st century design philosophy driving it.
(And this is a good moment to add: spoilers for The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time follow.)
But then, both BOTW and Ocarina of Time are built on the go-anywhere explorative foundations of the very first Zelda game. Ocarina might pair Link with the ever-chattering fairy companion Navi, but her where-to-go-next advice need not always be immediately heeded, leaving the player free to explore a three-dimensional Hyrule that, records attest, was remarkable in 1998. In 2018, while compact by contemporary standards and undeniably empty in several areas, it still impresses once you leave the opening Kokiri Forest hub.
And it’s a big enough world to make travelling exclusively on foot something of a chore. Which leads me, neatly, to one of the surprising things about my overdue debut play of Ocarina of Time. Epona, Link’s horse and 3DS cover co-star, isn’t a steed you’re guaranteed to call your own during the course of the game’s central story, as the way to gain access to the fleet-footed friend isn’t explicitly woven into Link’s quest.
Rather, it’s a case of wandering, listening, reciting melodies – an all-important part of Ocarina of Time, alongside time travel, as its title makes abundantly clear – and having enough rupees in your pocket to enter into a wager with a crooked ranch hand. Where Breath of the Wild naturally funnels the player towards taming a wild horse, Ocarina of Time just leaves one in the game for you to acquire of your own accord.
Or, of course, by using a guide – which I am unashamed to say I have been, during my playthrough. It’s helped a lot with some dungeons, and for learning (about) optional songs. The Scarecrow Song, for example, has proven invaluable. It’s an anomaly amongst the melodies here, as Link actually recites it to a sentient scarecrow on the shore of Lake Hylia as a child (write it down!), and must then recall it, with note-perfect accuracy, as an adult to unlock access to a handy strawman buddy who’ll help Link access otherwise unreachable areas, to grab treasure or avoid tough enemies. Before learning the various tunes of temple teleportation, this shortcut-enabler is a godsend.
Something else I wasn’t ready for is the darkness that creeps across Ocarina of Time. It’s not as grim as its direct sequel, Majora’s Mask, which I’ve previously played; but knowing as I do the significance of the Great Deku Tree to Zelda lore, it’s a shock to see the famous forest spirit turn as black as an ’86 Optimus Prime and die so early in this game.
The way that parts of Hyrule are completely devastated once series big-bad Ganon(dorf) reveals his true colours is also fairly remarkable, with Hyrule Castle Town creepier here, populated by shrieking, zombie-like ReDeads, than its ruins are in BOTW. No, the graphics aren’t amazing, this being a low-res handheld; but even with limited detail, albeit vastly improved on the N64 original, this version of Ocarina of Time is ripe with atmosphere.
Combat, it turns out, isn’t so different to more modern Zeldas, with locking onto enemies essential given the 3D space and lack of an easily controllable camera – there’s no C-Stick functionality, with Ocarina preceding the little nub’s incorporation. There are times when the camera irritates, with Link falling through an unseen hole in the floor or being blindsided by a hidden enemy lurking off-screen. Some bosses are more exciting to face off against than others, but that’s par for the course for this series, and the same is true of the dungeons – oh, how I never intend to set foot in Jabu Jabu’s Belly ever again.
But even 20 years on, any complaints to be levelled at Ocarina of Time are really nothing more than nitpicks, irritations that won’t be the same for everyone. Personally, I’m so pleased to have discovered that this is a certified classic – according to the ancient scriptures of archive magazines, at least – that does hold up in the present day.
Indeed, it more than holds up – Ocarina of Time still plays terrifically, even ported to a platform it isn’t native to. It has a degree of depth and mystery that constantly rewards the curious player, and offers a healthy level of challenge that can be modified, effectively, by your own choices regarding equipment and magic use. And if you want it to be tough, oh boy, Ocarina can be tough. And that’s before you even entertain the idea of attempting the Master Quest version.
So if you, like me, somehow missed out on this landmark release on the N64, or the GameCube (lest I fail to acknowledge that port), please be assured that Ocarina of Time is a legitimately fantastic video game, right now. It doesn’t look as shiny as later Zeldas, but has an aesthetic consistency throughout that draws you into its world. Navi can get on your nerves a bit, but I guess you can turn the sound down. There are characters aplenty that you’ll already know from later games. And while you’ll have to wander off the beaten track to get the most out of it, isn’t that part and parcel of all mainline Zelda games?
Those first steps onto Hyrule Field can’t amaze like they would have done in 1998 – but on the small screen, in 2018, the moment remains an invitation to a most wonderful adventure.
cool dont you feel old
I had a similar experience. I joined the marines in the summer of ‘99 and although I had just received a N64 and Ocarina for Christmas, I never got around to completing it. Fingers crossed that 3D port makes it to Switch (I had it on 3ds but shortly after purchasing we had my daughter, there goes that). I think I finally have time for it...maybe I need an ocarina.
HD remake for Switch please.
(Majora’s Mask too).
I’d like to play them both again but they are pretty rough around the edges these days. 3DS versions are ok but I want nice HD.
I never owned a N64 so my first experience of Ocarina of Time was on 3DS and I really enjoyed it however it was not my favourite
still my favourite game of all time, i prefer the n64 version though. grezzo overly brightened the 3ds version, removed a lot of the grittier elements (blood on walls etc), and kinda ruined the atmosphere a bit in doing so
The Legend Of Zelfa is the best Nintendo franchise in my opinion, and it is one of my favorite franchises off all time.
I want to make a "commemorative" Triforce tatto this year...
Man this article really brings me back.
I have to play this game! I own it for the 3DS and still I have put only 1 hour into it.
Nice read. This was my gaming GOAT until BOTW, and it was difficult to admit at first. I do a playthrough on the 64 every few years. It released my first semester of college, and I never got lower grades than that semester.
@Zuljaras please do buddy, when you have the time.
You will be doing yourself a favor. It' a great game and the 3DS version is amazing.
My friend and I have been on a Zelda kick since NSO launched. She's playing LoZ/MM/BotW and I'm playing TP/WW/LoZ. We were saying yesterday how neat it'd be for Nintendo to release OoT and MM on Switch. I mean, they've already made them for 3DS at $40 each awhile ago, so why not touch up and release a 2-pack for $40 a la Captain Toad.
@MikeDiver I'm glad you didn't get stuck in the V1.0 Water Temple. Now you need to stab at Majora's Mask
Wouldn't mind a chance to play these, but don't own a 3DS/2DS and the Gamecube functionality on the Wii may or may not work for me if I could track down a disc. (and never figured out how to use a non-plugged in gamecube controller if that is possible)
Would love to see a port to the Switch for those of us who missed it earlier.
I bought this and an N64 in 1998/1999 at the age of 19 and pregnant with my first son, many happy memories tied in with this game. He’s 18 now and quite the gamer himself 😂.
As a kid I did not even knew Nintendo existed,Playstation was everywhere here in Italy.For me Zelda was just the cartoon on tv.Until I bought a Wii and saw a very different Link from what I was used too in Super Smash Bros. Brawl.So I played Ocarina of time for the first time thanks to Virtual Console.
@Schwarcz I will but Link to the Past, Minish Cap, Link's Awakening, Breath of the Wild and Majora's Mask are waiting in the same line as well.
Never gets old.
I was 15 in 1998. I’ll never forget seeing the demo in Toys R Us and any worries I had about Zelda making the jump to 3D was put to rest. It’s my personal favorite game of all time. There are technically better Zeldas since. Some with even better stories. But none have had the impact Ocarina had on me. To this day, I play it once or twice a year. I've probably purchased that game in all its releases. And if it were to be released in some capacity for the Switch, I will probably buy it too.
The best way to play:
My favourite in the series is LTTP but this is an absolute masterpiece (finished it 6 times and it is always great)
The only thing I level at Ocarina of Time is what I could in 1998, effectively all Nintendo's Zelda series can be levelled with the same complaints bar Breath of the Wild.
Banjo Kazooie blasted onto the market and set the bar for N64 visuals and sound design with Rares sumptuous texturing, lighting and polygonal work astounding in all areas.
OOT came along as a mixed bag - the texture work was all over the place, particuarly the opening area was a disgusting mess, however death mountain and Gerudo desert were excellent despite being far larger. Poor choice of AA and post processing, poor character design for kokiri, sloppy 2D rendering, the visuals all over the place, some areas looked astounding, others looked disgusting, the sound sampled at a lower quality than Rare - the presentation screamed unfinished, which showed. Impeccable dungeon design, gameplay and it's epic scale really saved it.
@Zuljaras wow what a list! You will enjoy the hell out off it!
I have so many fond memories of this game. It was the first Zelda game I ever played and I remember the advertisements. I was 9 when it launched and my parents wouldn't buy it for me. So I convinced a kid at school who was going away for a weekend with the condition that I didn't play past the point where you pull out the sword (I don't think he had beaten it yet and wanted to do it first). That evening, I tagged along with my parents to the mall and managed to convince them to get me the guide.
I played it without the guide up until, yup, the Water Temple. I reached a point where I must have spent at least an hour and a half trying to find THAT key (you probably know which one) and making no progress. Eventually, I opened the guide and followed it from the beginning of the temple just to get to find it. Looking back, it speaks to how immersed I was in it that all the boot switching and load times with the menu didn't get me to quit. It was by far the most frustrating part of a game I had experienced up to that point. I checked the guide periodically from then on because I was short on time. I hadn't finished it by Sunday night and just lied to the kid the next day and said I'd forgotten it. I was at Gerudo's Fortress at that point. I finished it that night, deleted the file, and returned it to him the next day.
I ended up renting it again later, and eventually got it for myself too. Played it on an emulator in high school, then the 3DS version, and have been gradually making my way back through that version (paused after the Fire Temple but intending to continue, might the Water Temple scars lol).
To this day, no other title in the series has topped it for me, and it's not for lack of trying. I admired the uniqueness of MM, the daring attitude of WW, the ambition of TP, the effort put into SS, and the fearlessness of BOTW, but there is still something about this one that comes from a very specific combination of structure (which ALTTP deserves significant credit for), pacing, character, atmosphere, epicness, and gameplay.
There are so many memorable moments throughout (annoying as Navi was, beginning and ending with her was a great decision), but yes, the one that will always stand out the most is that moment when you first step out onto Hyrule Field. While you can take a cynical view in retrospect because it deceptively hides how linear the game actually is, it's tough not to recall that very first moment from 20 years ago, when I couldn't believe what I was seeing.
I expect an HD version of SS to be the next major Zelda release (before the proper follow up to BOTW), but I would welcome one for this at any moment (as well as for MM).
One unique aspect of it that I wish more games had tried to follow was how it gives you the time to get familiar and comfortable with Hyrule in peace before everything hits the fan. It's a very jarring shift that is key to the experience.
Going to boot up the n64 now!!
I am the opposite: when I turned 18 video games were even more of a priority! Be it relaxing from A-level revision, games nights with friends after the pub or giving a weekend up to an RPG I found I finally had the crossover of time and money that I had been hoping for all through my teens and sometimes wish I had back now I’m in my 30’s.
When my brother brought an N64 in 1999 I had never really gotten into Nintendo before. I was (and still am) a die hard Sega fan until I got a PlayStation.
Ocarina of Time was my first real taste of Zelda and I’ve not stopped gorging on it since. It remains a fantastic game, and for saying I prefer Majora’s Mask I could still finish Ocarina with my eyes shut.
My most cherished gaming memory, playing this game. It will never be topped because I was 15 at the time and everything about the game felt magical. Whilst I still love gaming, I’ll never get that feeling again from playing a video game as I’m an old coot.
I got the original for Christmas 1998. Blew me away. Took me 7 months to beat it. One particular good memory was wandering into Kakariko Village for the first time, seeing the rotating windmill, listening to the dreamy music. Amazing game, always will be.
Since everyone's sharing... I was not a fan of the migration to blocky 3D gaming, and didn't really enjoy any of the games I had tried out. Between OG Zelda, Link to the Past, and Links Awakening, I felt pretty strongly against this weird new game that seemly didn't know that Zelda was supposed to be played from a top-down perspective. The next day at school, my friend brought me a trash bag with his N64 in it, and insisted that I give it a shot before talking trash about it.
Needless to say, I was quite mistaken. This ended up being one of my all time favorite games, and was my only real choice for first tattoo.
While Breath of the Wild is unmistakably a better game in almost every possible way, it just never could pull on my heart strings the way Ocarina did. Of course, some of that will always be distorted trough the rose tinted nostalgia glasses, but the soundtrack, the surprisingly engaging side-characters, the massive tone shift, even down to the details of the color scheme... it's all pretty powerful stuff, even by today's standards. And in that sense, BotW doesn't even come close.
You missed out on some great titles. Banjo, jet force Gemini, body harvest. There are others.
I played OoT for the first time just last year. Got a N64 from the gf for my birthday so I bought a good old original N64 OoT copy for that so I could play it the way it really was, which I prefer over remakes.
Still a marvelous title - the polish, the perfect pacing, all of it is just tuned to perfection.
When Zelda launched, I was only 1 year old.
Three years later, my dad got a N64 for my sister, who is 7 years older than me, along with Zelda OoT. When she was playing, I sat next to her with these big eyes, enjoying her adventure. Sometimes I was allowed to play on the N64 too. But ofcourse, I got stuck at the water temple. I think I was 12 when I finally finished it. That game gave me some of my best memories.
I played OoT for the first time when it was 15 years old since I was a PS1/Dreamcast gamer in the late 90s. I also played the 3DS remake. I loved it and now my 10 year old son is playing it as his first Zelda game. It's not my favorite Zelda since I prefer 2D entries like Link to the Past, Link's Awakening and A Link Between Worlds. However, it is called a "classic" for a reason and remains one of the best ever.
I can’t believe you didn’t mention the music. For me it has one of the greatest soundtracks of any game. Fantastic game
@HobbitGamer Have you ever played skyward sword? I’m debating between TP HD and skyward sword (big Zelda fan but haven’t played either one) I’m leaning towards skyward sword since that 20 dollar price tag is pretty enticing but I’ve heard it’s not very good.
In 2011, I played and completed OOT on the 3DS. It was my first Zelda game ever. Now I have most of them.
SPOILERS KIND OF!!
STOP LOOKING NOW!!!
I completely agree, all cutscenes with Saria really pulled at my heartstrings. Especially when sheik shows up and tells you about how time moves 😭😭
GERUDO VALLEY THEME IS THE BEST SONG EVER IN ZELDA SERIES
OoT you say? Not that I like that gamebut I have N64 version.. and VC on WiiU. And oh that GC MasterQuest. And finally... had to buy 3D version because found it cheap.
My parents did not buy me consoles, I bought N64 from a friend when I was 15 (2000). So first thing to do was to buy Zeldagames. WHich was nightmare because I live in rural areas, local had Ninty dearler but games cost so much and there was on Zelda ofc. So I had to go to auction site. OoT and MM were both very wanted in auctions but managed to get 'em both.
Man I love that game. I really should pick up some version. Even LTTP maybe holds special place in my heart. OoT is still so amazing.
It was also the game what my current hubby started playing while he first came here (and met my family. Y'know how embarassing that situation is) and I had to go to work for few hours. "Here is N64 and OoT and here is a cat to company you". So it's special for him as well
He also whistles Lost Woods theme a lot
This was my favorite game on the N64, played it over and over again, then the 20th anniversary for Zelda came out on GameCube and played it again on Master quest, damn, ganon’s tower was hard. Then the 3DS version came out and it got me into the 3DS. Love it, and Then Majora’s mask. Happy Days
The 3d version was designed and built to play in 3d. I think you have missed the point of the game. This game was chosen as a launch title to introduce new technology, not to play an old N64 game on a small screen. It could have been given a make over and put on the Wii if it was ment to be played in 2d.
Luigi's Mansion 3d is made to play in 3d as well.
I remember when I went to pick up my preordered copy at midnight from my local GAME store, I played into the early hours until I literally fell asleep at my desk, the best game ever made in my opinion.
Ocarina of Time has something many modern games, I'm looking at Splatoon, Rabbids, and yes, Mario Odyssey, don't have; charm.
Great story, great characters, antagnonist and amazing music. Felt so epic at the time with excellent dungeons, admittedly it has aged but it has so much that BoTW doesn't have. I like BoTW but it just doesn't feel like classic Zelda to me but then I suppose it isn't meant to.
I still yearn for another Zelda like the N64 ones.
@SimplyCinnamon53 Skyward is the only one I haven't played! I've yet to grab it.
Geruda valley. Magic
This is my second least favorite 3D Zelda game, but I still think it deserves the hype. I like all the other 3D Zeldas more than OOT (except for Skyward Sword), but when I really think about it, I can point out a bunch of flaws in those games in a way I can't really do to the same extent with OOT. It's a rock-solid, well-rounded package.
The other games have things that attract me more, but I completely understand when people say OOT is the best. I can only imagine how mind blowing it was at the time. I got into the Zelda series late, Twilight Princess was my first one.
Remember having flu a couple of years ago. I'd kept my N3DS a secret from my girlfriend. I was stuck at home in bed while she went to work. I played OoT3D for hours. Made an otherwise crap couple of days really special. It was my first proper playthrough, having only ever had a taster on a flatmate's N64 in 99/00.
That last scene is so touching.
And I genuinely don't find Navi at all annoying. I like the sound she makes.
Best game ever. i'll be replaying it come 11th December.
Even the worst Zelda game is better than most of its action adventure peers. I happened to really enjoy Skyward Sword's dungeons. That, the soundtrack, the art style and story were all very good. The hand holding and linearity not so much, but it was still a very good game.
I still remember the moment I I bought my copy of Ocarina of Time. It wad December 1998, a small store opened at 9 the morning I was there before the opening. He opened the first case in front of my eyes with 6 copies inside. I took mine and put it directly to my N64. This gaming experience and this wonderful trip with OOT was just amazing!
@GravyThief don’t know about that- I’m 46 and got the same feeling playing Bloodborne earlier this year. 👊
One of my favorite games of all time. Top 3 zelda game for me. I played it when it first came out back in 98 but never played it through. Over the past 12 months I've beaten it 3 or 4 times. It's that good that you can play it over and over again without feeling like it's dull the next time around. Absolutely love the fishing side quest in the game too.
‘Gaming has never been as good as it is today.’ I have to respectfully disagree with that. Nice piece, though. Ocarina is without a doubt my favourite Zelda game.
@Medic_alert would be great wouldn't it? Surely we would all line up to buy it again.
This page has made me launch an OoT3D master quest tonight. The game looks legit gorgeous.
My first playthrough Ocarina was one of my favorite video game experiences of all time.
I didn't have an N64 either. And discovered its Zeldas on the 2DS as well. Ocarina is a very good game.
Frankly though, I love discovering old games that are new to me. Just because its old, doesn't mean it sucks.
@Bustacap They did fix the horrible framerate though
Interesting that this article popped up since I'm halfway through a Master Quest file on 3DS currently. I've only ever experienced the 3DS version of this game as I didn't own or didn't really know anyone with a N64 back in the day. It's definitely one of my GOAT nominations!
Now, go play Majora's Mask.
I only had portable consoles when young, so I never played OOT until about a year or two ago on the 3DS. Not bad, but it off the contemporary action adventure games of that period, I prefer Soul Reaver. It's amazing how epic level voice acting can enrich the experience. Plus, despite being on the weaker console, it blows OOT out of the water technically.
I probably wouldn't have liked OOT back in the day. Having seen some screenshots and videos, the original looks like muddy pea soup. The 3ds version looks really nice, though.
Hard to believe it's been two decades since the greatest game of all time was released to the world. Ocarina Of Time marked the birth of modern gaming as we know it today in 1998.
I’ve still never finished it despite buying day one. Maybe the N64 Mini will change all that.
Still one of the best games of all time. I loved the N64 version as a kid, and for many years is was my favorite game of all time. The GCN master quest version was really awesome and the 3DS remaster was even better. Breath of the Wild has since become my favorite game of all time, but OoT is still phenomenal in its own right.
The Switch is my first Nintendo console. BOTW was the first time i played a Zelda game. Looking forward to playing the rest of them in the future. Starting with Zelda on Nintendo Online (NESflix).
The forest temple gives me so many great memories and is imo the best and most atmospheric dungeon in any Zelda game.
By far my favourite game ever
I was 15 when OoT came out and I first saw it in a mall in Canada. I was just blown away by what I was seeing. I didn't have a SNES but I played ALTTP and loved it. I couldn't believe how the franchise changed. I ended up getting the N64 for Xmas in 1998 with Ocarina, Mario 64 and Mario Kart 64. I absolutely loved that system!
@MikeDiver Nice to hear you're enjoying the game! The final boss fight is absolutely amazing and perhaps the best final boss fight I've ever played (although the N64 version of it was much better than the 3DS version of the final boss fight ... but don't look that up until after you beat the game!). Overall I'd say it's my favorite game of all time, and I first played it in 2009, long after I've played games with far superior graphics like those on the GameCube and Wii (I played the N64 version on Wii Virtual Console). Have fun completing the rest of the game, it's a blast! The time mechanics gave OoT a personality unmatched by any other Zelda IMHO, since seeing characters in the past and then 7 years into the future is amazing and stunning. Seeing how Hyrule Castle Town is transformed into a desolate wasteland, how Kakariko becomes more populated, how other cities and characters change 7 years later is a real treat and really makes the characters more memorable.
One game to rule them all!
Indeed, the 3ds version is actually a million times better than the original. And it's still an incredible game, though and through
I was 9 at the time of release, went over to my friends house that got me into Nintendo in the first place. Watched him play for hours and hours . The following week I had convinced my dad to buy it for me. Good memories
I played (or tried to) OfT on my 3DS but I could't get comfortable with the controls or specially the camera. It all felt so weird that I can't play more than 20 minutes straight.
I haven't played more than a couple hours or so total and I can't find the will to keep trying. I'm totally sure it is wonderful game but it just doesn't give me the same excitement than Link to the Past, or Link Between Worlds, or Wind Waker or even Breath of the Wild gave me.
I haven't played Majora's Mask or Twilight Princess so I don't know about those games.
I wish it could get a remaster on Switch with better camera, then I'll be willing to try it again.
@darthstuey I wish I could. I think the last time I ever came close was playing Metroid Prime on the GC. I really got sucked into that world and was fully immersed. I think what I find most difficult now is that between my job and family, I only get a few hours a week of game time, in short stints, so it’s difficult getting immersed in anything these days. That’s probably why I play more retro games than new games at the moment.
This game made my youth and still to this day has been my best gaming experience. Be it due nostalgia, more appreciation for games at that young age (50 quid was alot of money for a 15 year old to drop on a game in those days so one had to be more selective of the titles he chose) or just the wandering fantastical mind of a 15 year old etc.It was 4 days of non stop playing to the end of this joyous game. This is the pinnacle of gaming to me and did so much for the future of open world games. I just remember looking at the pictures in N64 magazine every week and thinking "there's actually rings in that tree stump" 😂
Oh god, this was almost painful to read… It reeks so hard of fanboyism I had to pause a few times and do something else, because it was more than cringeworthy.
“Visuals can dull, mechanics become outdated, forgivable quirks transform into painful problems.”
This is exactly the case for Ocarina of Time, as well as nearly any other old game ever. Heck, I’m not sure any other game than Tetris has actually survived this issue.
Yes, yes, Ocarina of Time was impressive for its time, we KNOW. Everybody knows. Nobody is disputing it. But when I read someone saying it holds up with the video games of today – with current modern quality of life “features” – be they visual-, technological- or design-based… Man. It’s hard to call it anything but delusional. This article is so full of rose-tinted glasses clichés that it is unreal.
I’m not saying it isn’t still a good game. It is. But it’s not a game that holds up to modern standards whatsoever, and it has, by all means, aged TERRIBLY. The clever mechanics are in place, the adventure is as grand as Zelda adventures always are, but the skeleton dates back to the Stone Age, and the skin isn’t much better. It’s clunky, it’s ugly and there are many technical limitations.
We of course don’t have to agree, since everybody is entitled to their opinion, but this is one opinion I felt I wanted to express. After everything, it WAS a nice read, Mike, because boy can I relate.
Sometimes I feel compelled to express how genius I find something, probably almost as expressively as you, and how things still hold up so well within one of my favorite franchises.
It’s just also important to remove the rose-tinted goggles and realize that it isn’t 1998 anymore, and that games have the possibility to be much, much greater now. Which many tend to be.
This game should be ported to Switch with 720p option! It should be played on a bigger screen for full enjoyment. At least to me
@Randomname19 did you enjoy it?
@Alucard83 agree. If it had the "twilight princess" treatment I'd pay full rice for it in a heart beat.
I wonder if there will ever be another moment like it in gaming? I think most people expected VR to do it, but it fell pretty flat.
OOT certainly stands out as the highlight of that era, but looking back there are so many fond memories on that breakthrough era for gaming... Final Fantasy 7, Mario 64, Resident Evil, Wipeout... Gran Turismo... watching people struggle to play Turok with the 64's controller because they can't get their head around the C button at first!
In terms of OOT though, the first boss inside the Deku Tree still stands out as an epic moment for me.
@Kidfunkadelic83 Yes,a lot.
Great article. I remember choosing between this and Turok as a 10 year old in the local GAME shop...the sales assistant persuaded me to go with OOT So glad he did!
@shadow-wolf for me that was one of the most amazing things I'd ever seen in a game. Playing the same person 7 years later and being able to change back in time as the child you started out as. Truly amazing. This comment thread is just testament to what this game means to players and other games alike.
@nocdaes yes now that was a great boss battle indeed. As my favourite game ever it's lovely to hear other people reminiscing about it with fondness aswell.
@Samasaurus I got v rally the same day as ocarina as I'm pretty sure they were released along side each other And didn't even unwrap v rally for 2 weeks 😂
Honestly, probably my least favorite Zelda game :X Still a good game, but a lot of it always felt very tedious and proto-3D to me (even the text speed is painfully slow). 3DS version has a shiny coat of paint, but doesn't hold the nostalgia of the original.
@Dalarrun Thanks! I’ll check it out
It's overrated, clunky, and was made wholly redundant in every way by the release of Majora two years later...
...And it's still a better Zelda game than Breath of the Wild!
I started it back then but never played it all through until a few years ago.
@Samasaurus The original Turok wasn't bad....but OoT was EPIC
I was seven when ocarina of time came out and it helped me get through a hard patch. I wasn’t having a great time in school at the time and the game was pure escapism, so ahead of its era. I love the 3ds remake (and the mm remake) but the opening cutscene on an original n64 just brings a tear to the eye. I think since wind waker or maybe twilight princess the storyline and general atmosphere hasn’t been as good in zelda games.
@Schwarcz I agree 100% with you dude - the Legend of Zelda is one of the greatest video game franchises of all time! Also, what kind of tattoo would you get to commemorate the series?
Something Like this on my entire chest. Have you watched Irosn Fist on Netflix? I want to be the same size as Danny's Tattoo.
Am 31 and played Ocarina for the first time and beat it within a months time. Enjoyed every minute playing it and hope to eventually play and beat the Masters way on 3DS
@Schwarcz Yeah, I do know the show (love it btw), and that would look awesome! I really like the tribal design and the Triforce embedded in the center of the Master Sword is really sweet!
Won't that hurt like crazy though getting something that big done on your chest?
@LordRichyRich It will hurt a lot. But it will be worth it.
@Kidfunkadelic83 Yeah I'm surprised more people don't mention it! It really makes the characters endearing to you. And it touches, I think, a fundamental human desire to know the future, which makes the game better. IMHO it's the best "gimmick" the Zelda series has offered so far, with the masks in Majora's Mask a close second.
@Schwarcz Well, no pain, no gain I guess!
@shadow-wolf By "desolate wasteland", you mean FULL OF FRICKIN' REDEAD ZOMBIES, RIGHT??
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