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The Legend of Zelda: Premiers in 3D - The Ocarina of Time
By Douglas Shepard (Editor in Chief, RarityGuide.com)
Published on 07/11/2009
The Legend of Zelda series made its first 3D appearance on the Nintendo 64, changing everything about the future of the game's line. Some regard this still as the best of the series.

System: Nintendo 64/Gamecube
Title: Legend of Zelda: Ocarina Of Time
Publisher: Nintendo
Circa: 1998

Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time Titlescreen

Back in High School, I heard about a new Zelda. Having haggled a Nintendo 64 out of my parents, I was anxious for its release. I found a game store that did reservations and put some money down on it because I had heard about the limited edition Gold Cartridge that it would be coming in. I personally then refused to own a cartridge Zelda for a home console that wasn’t Gold if I had a choice. I picked it up as soon as I could, at the expense of several weeks allowance. I was very happy that day, picking up the guide as well, just in case. I set into it that weekend and loved it greatly. It definitely became one of my favorites in the Zelda series, in spite of the annoyance of Navi, who after the first play through became fairly useless.

Link, we meet in Kokiri Village, having a nightmare. We see the Great Deku Tree send Navi the Fairy to help guide Link through the dungeon within as he is cursed. After his triumph, Link learns of his fate to save Hyrule from the Desertman, Ganondorf, a Gerudo thief with high ambitions. Instructed to find and aid the Princess of Destiny, Link leaves, sneaks into Hyrule Castle where he meets Princess Zelda and the two of them begin their quest to save the Sacred Realm from the clutches of Ganondorf.

Young Link in Zelda 64
The game was the first Zelda to branch into 3D and it did so with a flourish. With a simple targeting system that was easy to get the hang of as well as many of the tradition Zelda puzzles, it was easy to begin to enjoy the game. You also, after moving into the future as Adult Link, get Epona, who will be invaluable for getting around the expanse that is Hyrule Field. The side missions one can do at least are entertaining and usually rewarding with precious items that help anyone playing through the game, like bottles or the Big Goron’s Sword. The game offers no direct tutorial, instead having an area to practice the basic skills. Still, reading the manual, if it is your first time, will be helpful to understand more of the simple functionality of the controls.

If you are looking to replay the game, there is always the option of a 3-heart run-through, in other words, making sure to gain no new hearts. This usually thought of as a more challenging mode of the any Zelda game.


The N64 controller had a great set-up for all the controls, making it very easy to access all the functions. The interactive controls were kept simple but lost nothing for it counting on context and controller input to get more of the functions. Using the C-buttons for the items made it very easy to call on more than ample items usually for any boss battle or puzzle. My biggest gripe with the set-up here is the fact that it uses the inverted Y-axis for its aiming and first person looking. While one can adapt to it quickly, it still takes some getting used to and can throw off one’s aim if they have not played for a long time.

For the time, it was thought to have impressive graphics for the system, while not cutting edge, they were still somewhat impressive. They remain decent even in the modern day, though rather pixilated. The Gamecube remake featured cleaned-up graphics which worked to the game’s advantage.

Sound Effects & Music
Almost always, the Zelda titles have very good music. This was one of the first OSTs that I ordered (mostly for the Gerudo Valley music). It fits well what they composer was aiming for in terms of feel. Many times the music is what would set me on the edge of my seat. While Navi’s “Hey, Listen!” would get annoying, it was a voice. The battle sounds were also fairly impressive, without getting too redundant. This was definitely a title worthy of Zelda.

This is a very well known title that some regard it still as the best Zelda to date.

Summary/Author’s Take
After not playing the game for several years and realizing I had written on very few of Zelda series, I knew this was the next game to be reviewed. While it has been over 10 years since the game came out I still find a lot of fun in playing, and not just for nostalgia. Starting the game over from scratch and having only vague, old memories to help me through has shown to me just how much I really enjoyed the game.

Story: 90%                Time travel done well!
Gameplay: 97%            Simple and easy to master
Multiplayer: n/a%            None
Controls: 97%            Well done
Graphics: 93%            Good for the system
SFX & Music: 99%            A standard of Excellence met
Obscurity: 40%            “I know that one!”
Overall: 95%                A well-rounded and enjoyable game

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