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Before I talk about my feelings on Ocarina of time, I should first elaborate my history behind it because it’s a huge effect on my view of the game contrast to everyone else’s impact. Or it’s what I at think at least. I mentioned somewhere that I was planning to make a side video project where I address my views of gaming from a perspective of adapting to the current environment of video games. This is largely because I assumed over the years that games nowadays were becoming more complicated such as Skyrim, Fallout: Vegas, or Mass Effect which I personally had an unfortunate experience playing.
A part of my departure from current games roots to this one, but not in a way that… well… broke me, if that’s the word here. Ocarina of Time didn’t break me, so to speak. It was that I missed out on the game when I was a kid. During my time of owning the N64, my brother got this game for Christmas in 1998, and I watched him play it throughout 1999. I, on the other hand, didn’t play it that much if not ever. At that time we had a territorial dispute where any games he owned… I had to ask. I had to ask my parents to play the console first back then as it was. I didn’t like asking twice, weather it was this, Rogue Squadron, GoldenEye, or 1080 Snowboarding. All of which were his belongings. The games I played were Mario 64, StarFox 64, Mario Kart, and Chopper Attack… and there’s Donkey Kong 64 and Mario Party 2… Those two I’d rather not talk about… that’s beyond the point. What is the point is that despite the divide I had to deal with, he actually asked me, “Brett, why don’t you play Zelda? You like watching me play it, you and I like the scenes, and the land, and you sometimes like to reenact them outside our house.” Needless to say I was pretty immature for a 10 year old to do something that silly, but even then I was uncomfortable to play his game because I didn’t like asking twice. But he wanted me to play it, experience it like him, and even just said to play it without even having to ask. But despite playing it myself, I turned away, not making much progress and still feeling uncomfortable. I missed out on a huge game, and even then I knew how much of an impact it was and how empty I felt. Time went by, and I discovered the emulators. However, when trying out Ocarina, the emulator crashed every time I left the Lost Woods and back to the Kikori Forest . Lovely…
Finally, I got the game recently on the Wii Virtual Console. From then on, I manage make progress with no interruptions or any error bullshit. I had a few gripes along the way, but finally, I finished it…
That being said, I can’t really say what hasn’t been said already. It’s well designed game that blew everyone’s mind back then, and opened a new scope of exploration, and getting invested with the whole environment. The game looks great, it had a gorgeous soundtrack, and the narrative elements to the game felt believable. There’s a good number of cultures and races that were simple to know; Gorons Zoras, Gerudo thieves, the kids at the Kokori Forest, etc. The game is also very long to play. On the outside, there’s a total of I believe 8 dungeons to go through. The first three involve collecting three spiritual stones for the Temple of Time, and then the 6 sage medallions, starting with the Light Medallion and on to 5 more dungeons. There’s a number of items and weapons you gain throughout the travel (Duh, what’s a Zelda game without them?). This to me was very similar to A Link to the Past when you think about it. There were three Pendants of the Triforce you had to collect; Courage, Wisdom and Power, and then after casted into the Dark World, you had six sages to collect. Three minor dungeons, 5/7 major dungeons. Am I sensing a pattern for later games? I don’t know. That’s beyond the subject.
My gripes with the game are minor, but noticeable. For instance is something I also had an issue with later games that were open world like Final Fantasy or even Mass Effect; the game doesn’t fully instruct you on everything. For the most part, Navi will tell you something that hints you what to do next, but there’s also side quests you had to do to get to the next dungeon. I don’t have that much of an issue with side quests, but then there’s some that are… cryptic. After I was told from Sheik that I needed to get a skill in Kakariko Village, I had to race a guy under a tombstone. How the hell was I supposed to know that?? I was informed you discover this in a dirary at the graveyard shed. So basically I had to make a break in, and obtain a few other additions, like a new song. This is a littler over-puzzling to transcend to another dungeon, don’t you think, Myamoto? At least having to get a mask for the guard of the Death Mountain gate wasn’t that big of a pain in the ass. What also annoyed me was the design of the Water Temple where you have to level the water from one place to another. I easily got lost in that one. The Shadow Temple was a little cryptic itself to the point where founding out made me feel like a moron. Speaking of the Shadow Temple… BONGO BONGO CAN GO FUCK HIMSELF!! This guy was a pain in the fucking ass, fighting him on a giant drum! I had to switch between normal to hover boots to focus on taking out his hands so that I can ready myself to attack him when he face-tackles you. In doing so, Bongo will periodically form them into a fist where you can’t attack them and because they move so fast you have very little time to react and dodge his trajectory. What’s worse is that Link is slow at preparing his bow and arrow whilst having to be ready to activate the “Lens of Truth” to see him. Again, because he’s fast and Link’s slow, it’s not making anything easier. UGH! I hate him!
With that out of my system, the Z targeting system is a huge convenience. This also speaks a lot for later games and previous games before this one. In Mario 64, the camera was very difficult to control. Moving from 2D to 3D is difficult to pull off, and while Mario 64 is a great game, the camera mechanics were difficult to work with. But Zelda and it’s targeting system is what I think helped the game age well, even compared to shooter games like Halo and Gears of War. It’s a stretch, but this targeting system works very conveniently so that taking out enemies is easy and you can see what’s ahead of you. Thank you, Myamoto!! Collecting the items, and obtaining new songs is a nice addition to have, and I love how playing certain songs on the Ocarina is a tool to use, whether it’s traveling place to place or telepathically talking to someone like Saria or playing Zelda’s Lullaby to unlock certain areas. Play music for things. Yay! …. I want an Ocarina now… I need a life.
The final note I want to add is that out of all the Dungeons, I’ve enjoyed playing through the Spirit Temple. It’s a different change of pace where you go as Young Link on the first half and then the second half as Adult Link. I like the Arabic music, I like the design of the dungeon, and the puzzling nature and the boss were nowhere near as bullshit as the Water and Shadow Temple were. In addition, I like how the scenes involved Nabooru. Well that and the “Turd” knights where they swing their axe while shouting out “TURD” multiple times.
There’s a lot more, but I’m not going to talk too much about it because I’ll be here all day, discussing this game. It’s pretty huge. In the end, the game is worth playing. It is fairly obvious at this point, but given that I’ve been trying to retrace myself to get back this game was a bit of a big deal to me. Special thanks goes to , , , and Renzous for the assistance and guidance of the game.