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The Legend of Zelda Ocarina of time is the fifth game of the series, it was released in 1998 for the Nintendo 64
People were very excited for this games release due to it being the first Legend of Zelda game to have 3D visuals, when the game got released it was extremely popular among previous Legend of Zelda fans and new comers, Ocarina of Time was known by many as the greatest game of all time and even today 16 years later it is still often considered to remain in the number one spot, it is so popular that it was remade in 2013 for the Nintendo 3DS and it was given an upgrade in graphics, general game play and audio, this is a comparison review so I will be using screenshots from both versions of the game.
I love this game, but can I honestly say that its greatest game ever made or even the best in the series?
You take control of Link a 10 year old boy who lives in the Kokiri Forest, the other Kokiri are also children and they are looked after by the forests guardian the Great Deku Tree.
Every resident of the Kokiri Forest will some day get their own fairy, as you may have guessed Link is the only child who does not yet have a fairy, but one day a fairy does come to him bearing message from the Great Deku Tree who has summoned Link to ask him to perform a very difficult task, the Great Deku Tree is very sick and he needs Link to defeat the monsters that live within him so that he can die in peace.
Just before his passing the Great Deku Tree tells Link that he does not carry Kokiri Blood but that he is Hyrulian, his mother was murdered by an evil man and in her final breaths she brought her new born son to the Great Deku Tree and asked him to raise her baby.
After a cutscene explaining how the land that surrounds Hyrule was created as well as the origins of the Legendary Triforce, The Great Deku Tree gives Link the Spiritual Stone of the Forest and then he sends link to go and visit a very young Princess Zelda, when Link arrives she explains that the Triforce can grant a wish of the holder, a good person will make a wish that will bring peace to the land of Hyrule and an evil person will bring chaos and destruction to the land of Hyrule.
Princess Zelda had a nightmare that a man in black armour (Ganondorf) is trying to get hold of the Triforce but a hero in green saved the day, the Princess foresees this dream as a vision and she wants Link to make a wish to prevent Ganondorf from bringing evil to the land, the Triforce is sealed within the sacred realm which is located in the Temple of Time but in order to pass the barrier that protects the entrance to the sacred realm, Link will need to locate the other two Spiritual Stones (the Spiritual Stone of Fire from the Gorons of Death Mountain and the Spiritual Stone of Water from the Zora’s of Zoras Domain) and he will also need to bring along the treasure of the Royal Family The Ocarina of Time, by bringing the three Spiritual Stones to the Temple of Time he can open the barrier by playing the Song of Time.
Once you have collected the three Spiritual Stones and you bring them to the Temple of Time, you will find the Master Sword if you take it you will be transported to the Sacred Realm, when you arrive you are greeted by a sage called Rauru who tells you that Ganondorf planned for you to open the Sacred Realm so he could get hold of the Triforce before you, Rauru also explains that you are now 17 years old and the reason that they kept you here for seven years was to protect you from what has become of Hyrule until you were a good age to take on Ganondorf and to eventually save Hyrule from the chaos he has caused.
Now your new quest is to find the 5 secret Temples (Forest, Fire, Water, Shadow and Spirit) and too defeat the evil within them by doing this you will also find the five other sages that represent the element of each Temple, these sages are important because they will eventually help you in your final battle.
There is a lot to do in Ocarina of Time, the main objective that you have to finish in order to beat the game requires you to get the three Spiritual Stones, beat the two mini tasks,conquer the five hidden Temples, fight your way through Ganon’s Castle and eventually defeat Ganondorf
Each of these tasks is unique in game play and level design
Inside the Great Deku Tree
First dungeon of the game, very easy to get through its not too complicated and the enemies are simple to defeat, puzzling aspects help teach the player basic game mechanics such as setting fire to things and jumping.
Dodongo’ s Cavern
A little more difficult this dungeon requires the player to use bombs in order to destroy fake walls, you will also need to activate switches and use some quick firing sling shot skills to get though fiery sections.
Inside Lord Jabu Jabu
By far the coolest of the child dungeon’s, you are swallowed by a giant fish and your mission is to find the missing Princess of the Zora’s ,the problem is that she makes you carry her throughout the dungeon so the puzzles in this dungeon require you to throw the Princess on to switches and on to high ledges which you will then climb, another puzzle aspect is the boomerang you receive it in this dungeon and it is very useful item because you need it in order to get past certain sections of the game.
The first of the adult Temples, the Forest Temple tasks you catch and defeat four Poe Sisters, you defeat them by pulling them close with your hook shot and then slicing them with your sword, each Poe Sister has a unique way for you to find them,the first two require you to shoot paintings that they are hiding in with the bow and arrow, the green Poe makes you complete a block sliding puzzle before she will let you fight her and the purple Poe will create copies of its self and its your job to memorise her movements and attack her real form.
In this Temple you will need to have a very good memory as its very large and is quite complicated to get through, the objective here is to release the captured members of the Goron Tribe who are to be fed to Volvagia the Dragon, this Temple is fire based so you will need to wear a heat proof tunic so you can resist the hot temperatures, by using the hammer you must smash sections of the floor to make them drop to lower areas, you will also need to use bombs to destroy fake walls and in order to free the Goron’ s you must find the switches to open the cage doors, this Temple is quite challenging and may be difficult for new players.
The Ice Cavern
The first of the mini dungeons, the ice cavern takes place in a cave above the now frozen Zora’s Domain, in the cavern you will need to collect blue flames in your empty bottles, these flames can be used to melt the red ice that blocks your path, other puzzles require you to use quick responses to avoid giant blades of ice, defeating new enemies that can freeze Link causing serious damage to your health and a puzzle that requires you to push a giant block of ice across the icy floor in order to reach new areas.
Easily the most hated part of the game, the Water Temple is the first Temple that needs you to use your trusty Ocarina, by playing Zelda’s Lullaby to the stone tablets on the walls you are able to raise and lower the water level, this is a very important aspect to the Temples puzzles because some puzzles can only be solved when the water is at a certain height and lets not forget a fight with someone that old school Zelda fan’s may recognise, since you will be spending a lot of time under water you should wear a special tunic that allows you breath under water. Honestly I don’t think that this dungeon is that complicated but due to you having to constantly switch between your normal boots and your iron boots it does make this Temple very tedious and slow to finish.
Bottom of the well
Another child dungeon, the bottom of the well can be finished very quickly if you don’t intend to finish the game 100 percent, the only objective here is to find the eye of truth (an item that allows you to see through hidden walls and to see items that appear invisible to the naked eye), the eye of truth can be found very early into the dungeon and if you know where to go you can finish it in under 10 minutes, one thing this dungeon does introduce is the Dead Hand which is a horrifying fleshy zombie creature that grabs you with his many hands and then proceeds to bite at you with his sharp teeth, I am sure this gave nightmares to children all over the world because Dead Hands are absolutely terrifying.
My personal favourite Temple, the Shadow Temple has the player using their newly discovered eye of truth to help them solve puzzles and to help them make their way across invisible paths and platforms, other puzzle sections include the player having to swap between the three types of boots in the game so that they can get past some of the more difficult obstacles that can be found in this particular Temple.
This Temple is very interesting because you need to complete it as both and adult and a child, being the final Temple in the game before your final encounter with Ganondorf it is very difficult, you will need to fight these very powerful enemies called the Iron Knuckles they are huge and attack at you with a giant axe players must be careful because one hit takes away three hearts from your health, the majority of the puzzles require you too reflect light from the sun in order for you too hit these sun switches on the walls, floor and ceiling, you do this by using the Mirror Shield and ordinary mirrors to bounce the light from one place to another eventually hitting your target, this is in my opinion the most complex Temple but it is also one of the coolest.
So you’ve beat all of the Temples and now your ready to take on Ganon’s Castle and the final part of the game, I’m not actually going to explain too much here just to avoid spoilers for people who have not yet gotten this far, but what I will say is that it’s not that difficult to beat, you will be required to finish trials based on each of the Temples you have already finished these trials are quite complex but not too difficult to figure out, getting to Ganondorf is quite easy because its all one straight path so you wont get lost and all enemies that you encounter are enemies that you have defeated previously, the final boss is very cool and fun to fight and again I wont say much here but I will mention that the final boss has three sections for you to beat before you finally finish the game and the final fight its self is really awesome and one of my favourite final bosses in video game history.
When your not tackling the games main quest there is plenty of other things to keep occupied, you can win a horse called Epona if you win the horse you are able ride it across Hyrule Field and other outdoor areas and you can also shoot your bow and arrow while riding, you can go fishing and certain fish that you catch at the fishing pond you are able can cash in for some really cool prizes, as a child you can help a mask sales man to sell his masks and if you finish this side quest you get a really cool mask that allows you too read peoples minds.
Of course you get the usual Heart Pieces that are in all Legend of Zelda games but collecting them in Ocarina of Time is really fun too do as some of them require you to win mini games or to discover secrets.
Some of my favourite mini games include Hyrule’s Famous Shooting Gallery which requires a good aim and fast reflexes to shoot rupees before they disappear and another favourite of mine is Bombchu Bowling which has the player setting off Bombchu’s (Essentially Bombs that move in the direction you face them at) to hit targets while avoiding obstacles.
One of the creepier fetch quests in Ocarina of Time is the quest to collect the 100 Gold Skulltula Medallions, a family in Kakariko Village has had a curse put on them which has turned them into Skulltulas and the only way they can be freed is if some one brings them Gold Medallions left behind by Gold Skulltulas, these creatures are hidden throughout the entire game and some are much easier to find than others, even though this side quest is not a requirement it is really fun and rewarding because every now again after you have collected a certain amount of Gold Medallions you will be given some sort of prize.
One of the most useful side quests in the game is finding the hidden Great Fairies, these fairies will help Link in certain ways, sometimes they will give you enhancements or spells that can help you on your quest and sometimes they will upgrade your magic meter allowing you to cast more magic before you need to replenish it.
That’s only a few things you can do in the game but I assure you there is a lot more, I have been playing this game for about 11 years now and I am still discovering new secrets and cool little Easter eggs that I never found previously.
The most important aspect to this particular Legend of Zelda game is music and that’s where your Ocarina comes into play, throughout the game you will learn many different songs and by playing these songs you can trigger certain events, six songs in the game are warp songs playing these will warp you to certain locations throughout Hyrule, the only two other songs that are important are Zelda’s Lullaby and the Song of Time as most temples and dungeons have puzzles which require you to play these particular tunes, other really cool songs include the Suns Song which allows you to switch between day time and night time as often as you want and Song of Storms which makes it rain
For a lot of people the games biggest flaw is Navi the Fairy, fans often complain that she is much too annoying and I would be lying if I said that I didn’t agree, the problem with Navi is that her only real purpose is to constantly remind the player of their current objective which can get annoying especially during side quests, she may be annoying but her being there isn’t technically a flaw since you don’t have to listen to her since she will only speak too you if you press the button to allow her too speak, she will alert the player that she wants to speak to them by speaking her famous line “Hey, Listen” but she only does this once each time so its not a huge problem.
With a game this big the controls are a very important aspect and for the most part they are fantastic, with the game being in 3D Link now has more free range when it comes to fighting compared to the original 2D games, Link can now roll, dodge, stab, slice, cast magic and leap into the air to slam enemies with his blade and genuinely the battle system is much more complex here than it was in the older titles, a new mechanic introduced in Ocarina of Time is Z-Targeting (L-Targeting on 3DS) this allows the player to lock on to enemies while fighting this makes the fight more cinematic and genuinely easier to handle, the controls are tight and very responsive to the player, the only real issue with the game play is the camera and this is a problem seen in a lot of N64 games, sometimes the camera goes behind a wall or an enemy and due to this the player cannot see Link which is obviously a big problem however the 3DS version still has this issue but not as much, something I really hate about the 3DS version is the Sheikah Stones these stones allow you to crawl inside of them and they explain how to solve puzzles and they also tell you where to go if you get lost, I can see how this may help a very young player but for me it takes away the sense of adventure and that really sucks.
Visually I think its fair to say that the 3DS game is superior but you also need remember that the original came out in 1998 and for a game that was on the N64 it looks beautiful, personally I don’t mind which version I play because I can appreciate the visuals of both versions but I do feel that the younger generation of gamers will appreciate the more modernised graphics of the 3DS port because at the end of the day they are cleaner, smoother, more colourful and genuinely better looking, also in game text scrolls faster on the 3DS version which is great because a problem I have with the original is that the text scrolls too slowly.
The music is incredible and there is plenty of it, one of my biggest issues with the original Zelda was the lack of music tracks so having lots in this game is much appreciated, every song suits the area you are in and it really enhances the already fantastic experience this game has to offer, my favourite music in the game is the music that plays in Gerudo Valley, I found the audio to be very similar between both versions obviously the 3DS versions was more cleaner and genuinely sounded better due to it being on a newer gaming system but its not so different that I can say its better than the original.
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time is a fantastic game no matter what system you play it on, but I don’t think that its a masterpiece the game is great but it does fall short in some aspects for example the original suffers from slow text and camera problems and the 3DS version has those Sheikah Stones that I really dislike, overall as much as it pains me to say the 3DS version is the better version of the game plus it does also give you Master Quest for free which is something you cant get with the original game.
Ocarina of Time is a great adventure that has warmed the hearts of millions, Including myself
3DS remake 9.6/10
Thank you for reading my review of Ocarina of time for the N64 and the 3DS
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