“Ocarina of Time” (N64)

The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (N64)


          Pokémon!! Uh, I mean…The Legend of Zelda!!

          Zelda made its first foray in the world of 3D with the instant classic: “Ocarina of Time” for the Nintendo 64. Notoriously regarded by both fans and critics to be the best Zelda experience EVER, this game has so much hype and legacy underneath its belt. But…is it well placed? Well, yes and no.

          1998, Nintendo 64. You boot up “Zelda: Ocarina of Time” for the first time ever and are greeted with the serene music and stunning visual graphics. Making the leap to 3D, you now control Link with a joystick instead of a D-pad. Being able to move around in 3D space means having to also fight in it, however, so the combat was obviously overhauled along with the graphics and every other mechanic to the formula. Instead of simply swinging your sword in a singular arc, or only stabbing forward to you, you could now manipulate Link’s sword so that he’d stab forward, slash vertically, slash horizontally, execute a spin attack, or, my favourite, jump up into the air and slash the sword downward with the weight of your fall. As you can imagine, this also changed how you interact with the enemies, since they were no longer simply “to your left” or “just below you”. Keese could be flying far above your head, and require an alternative means of attack, for example. To counteract this, Nintendo implemented a new staple to 3D gaming: “Z-Targeting”. This ensured both your camera and Link were zeroed in on whatever was the nearest threat, and made managing combat in the 3D space more easy-to-handle.

          Straying even further from the “Free-to-Roam” aspect of the original “Zelda” title, “Ocarina of Time” force into an almost locked order or playing through the dungeons. Instead of being able to play them in any order, you always have to face the: Tree, Cavern, & Fish dungeons first, then, as an adult, you are given some of a choice in the order you’re able to go in. Arguably, if you follow the storyline, there is NO alternative options, however, if you’re feeling rebellious, you could actually do the Water, Forest, and Fire Temples first–in any order–and then move on to the Shadow and Spirit Temples–again, in any order. Almost. Not to mention that the whole overworld is just one big hub, with Lon Lon Ranch in the middle of it all, and all of your main points of interest circled around the Ranch. In terms of “exploration”, it’s only there in the sense of, “well, it’s new to me, so I get to explore all these new places and their nooks and crannies!”

          I am, by no meanstrying to say that “Ocarina” is a terrible game, however, I am saying that it’s maybe not as great as gaming veterans want to make it out to be. It certainly is a fun game; defeating dungeons feels very rewarding, and getting new items and power ups is as fun as ever. Being able to do the dungeons out of order is pretty cool, and it’s neat to see how far you can get in a direction the game didn’t intend for you to travel.

          “The Legend of Zelda: The Ocarina of Time” will forever hold a special place in my heart, as it was the first ever “Zelda” game I played in my life. Sure, there’s some things it did wrong, or awkwardly, but taking a predominantly top-down perspective action/adventure game into full-blown 3D probably isn’t easy. But Nintendo fought through it and found a way, and gave us this–albeit rough–gem of a game.


A quick look at the first N64 entry of the Zelda series.
Nintendo Fever


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Author: Arthur6413 View all posts by
Hey, y'all. I'm just here making little articles about various topics! :D I hope y'all enjoy reading what all I post, and I appreciate you for having me. I'm on Twitter, and I'm super into: Nintendo, Pokemon, and Yugioh! I'm dating the most absolutely gorgeous girl on the planet!