According to GameTrailer’s Pop-Fiction team, the reasons for the removal of the original fire temple theme from Ocarina of Time have been debunked.

The theme originally had creepy chanting in it, which to the average consumer, seemed perfectly okay, except for how creepy it was.  In versions 1.2, though, this theme was removed.  This removal was originally thought to be because of complaints from the Islamic community, as the chants were in Arabic, and weren’t just random babbling.  But it turns out that the theme was taken out far before the game was released, meaning that consumers are not the reason for the theme’s removal from the game.  Pop-Fiction did a video on it; you can view the video here. It’s really interesting!

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  • PhantomVII

    Well that's strange because I have a version of OoT 1.0 that includes the "chanting" version of the Fire Temple theme.

    • great deku shrub

      um,no! i've played through that temple tons of times! i've NEVER heard chanting!!!

  • BulletBill89

    They also changed the symbol on blockes and switches because tey had a star and a crescent moon which very closely resembled muslim signs or something like that.

    • Austin

      yeah your right like the moon on the mirror shield

      • I noticed that when I was younger! It looked like the Pakistan flag (moon and crescent) The symbol were on the square blocks you push to get to places. Also, the currency "Rupee" is Pakistani currency. This always baffled me. When I was little I thought it was supposed to be set in that country! I guess not!

        • Scoob13

          the Rupee is also in India 🙂

  • Austin

    i have a version with a grey cateridge and the chanting, and i didnt think it resemble any kind of prayer i kind of liked the chanting in it, i thought it added to the feeling of the game and the temple.

    • Wartortle Triforce

      Cool, your cartridge is now rarer than a Gold Cartridge. If you can confirm it's v1.0, then really don't sell it lower than US $30.

      • RydAma

        Its likelier its version 1.1, which also has the original track.

        Also Austin, while it may not be clear its a prayer, I guarantee you'll know it when you hear it, perhaps you refer to the modified version after all?

    • I AM THE GREAT TIRE

      I have to agree with Austin, it added depth to the feeling of the game and temple. I only wish they had kept it in the 1.2 version as well.

    • i have this old version too. the chanting version was much better.

  • Caleb

    Definitely! I found a translation, although our staff thought it would be a good idea to leave it out, just in case it offends anyone. But yeah, I do see your point, and I think that if Nintendo hadn't taken it out beforehand, they probably would have taken it out anyway, seeing how it was a little disrespectful. Thanks for the comment!

    • i'm interesting in seeing the translation.

  • Ashmic

    What i think is werid is why gorons? the Gerudo are more islamic-ish

    • that's true, i was wondering the same thing.

    • great deku shrub

      i know gerudo definetly are more islamic

    • FireTemple

      They have the star and crescent as their symbol/icon/whatever. So there ya go.

  • Zarco

    This is pretty cool. I did always like the original music better, and I want to know why it was changed. Also, the crooked cartridge glitch is awesome- anyone else find the OH MY GOD! really creepy?

  • I remember pre-ordering this, same with Majora's Mask – I don't have direct access tonight to get to my old gold, the three other copies of Ocarina on GameCube and Wii have served me 'til now – so, I cannot verify if mine is a "V 1.0", however, I cannot imagine why it wouldn't be – that said, I do not remember that music, which means nothing to veracity or the sake of history – just that I cannot remember hearing of this (the controversy, the changes of 'blocks and music') before now, nor the music itself at all even remotely reminiscent of anything I know of Zelda. I kind of like it. Have you ever wanted small things changed in accurate and true-to-developer's standards kind of ways, to 'freshen the game' ? I think it would be entertaining to play through with new music, but still accurate, as well. You know? I think its too bad that people let 'offense' get in the way sometimes. With a world that rests on the shoulders of opinion comes crashing down the truth of fairness and peace. Justice cannot be a whim. It must be proven. Only time and effort and care will allow for this. I digress. This is an interesting piece of Zelda history. Just don't steal anything from the store in L.A. in the 'V 1.0' – the guy will kill you when you come back in to the store again (ruining your perfect 000 deaths) in most versions, but in 'V 1.0', you get RickRolled.
    lulz. Good video.

    • VanitasXII

      v1.0 has the original Swordless Link glitch, just so you know. x)

  • Wartortle Triforce

    Interesting. I always thought it was complaints, but I now have proof otherwise. Thanks, Caleb. (Now to go do that "Crooked Cartridge trick……)

  • RydAma

    Everyone seem to take those dates in the cartridges for truth without question. Im not saying I think they're not true, but can we be sure?

    • SSGG

      This is exactly what I was thinking. The cartridge dates may not be accurate. I wonder if they put they put the dates in before putting the game information in; they could've all been made at an earlier date to be used for any game release(minus the gold ones, obviously). I don't know much about how they place the info into the cartridges though, so maybe they have to input everything at the same time.

      • Vio

        Chances are the dates were done automatically whenever they "save" a version of the game.

        I don't remember any uproar about chanting when the game came out. It always stuck me as a myth.

  • This article was very weak. Someone's slacking!

    At least the video was good. ^^

    • Caleb

      Well, there wasn't much to say other than that…it was just a post about something just now uncovered, based only on the video. What wrote was really just a summary of the video.

  • TheTrueLegend

    They didn't so much as debunk as much as challenge its authenticity. It's entirely possible Nintendo had multiple ROM versions of the game. Or that the date isn't exactly correct. Nintendo could have wanted to cover up that change.

    When it all comes down to it, we really don't know what happened.

  • Good video, I'm surprised by their findings as I was also under the impression that Nintendo changed the Fire Temple music due to complaints from the Islamic community. My question is why did the Gerudo symbol change farther down the road? My original OoT cartridge features the original crescent moon symbol (the one I'm most familiar with) and I noticed starting with the first re-release of OoT (the one bundled with Master Quest) that the symbol was changed to some freaky mask-like thingy. Was the Master Quest bundle the first time Nintendo did that or did some of the N64 versions come with that change too? Just wondering if anyone knows.

    • Vio

      Technically that other symbol was introduced on Onox's armour in Oracle of Seasons, before any releases of OoT that included the changed symbol. Pretty sure the change was only from the Master Quest version onwards. So maybe it was just to tie in with that, and served a dual purpose of removing a symbol that they thought might appear as being too close to being offensive (much like how they changed the music before release).

      Its more of a case of Nintendo censoring itself due to concerns of the times and fear of offending people. I don't think there was ever any outcry about either the music or the symbol.

      • Oh okay, that makes sense. I haven't played the Oracle games much so I didn't notice that Onox's armor had it too. Wait…does that make him a Gerudo? Haha, oh well who knows. Thanks Vio!

        • Vio

          Bonus info, in the manga, Veran has the symbol on her body in her spider form. I assume its because Twinrova summoned both of them. Onox is basically an Iron Knuckle (his armour is pretty much identical), so the symbol makes sense in that respect too.

          Actually, I just checked, and she has it on her shoulders in human form.

  • I AM THE GREAT TIRE

    The version of The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time for the N64 did not have the Islamic chanting in the Fire Temple, and the mask was present in the Gerudo Fortress as well. The symbol changing makes little impact on the game if you ask me, and personally, and I mean no disrespect to any of the believers of the Islamic religions, but they should have kept the music they had in the 1.0 and 1.1 games for the 1.2 version. I feel it would have been a nice addition, and added to the atmosphere of the Fire Temple dungeon.

  • Vio714

    nooooooooo!!! don't do anything to it!!!! it took so long to bet it!!!!

  • darkgerudo

    In addition to having two GCN versions, I also have the N64 gold cartridge that has the chanting in the Fire Temple (as well as the star and crescent). The fact that it sounded like a certain prayer was the reason why I loved it and remains one of my favorite pieces of music in OoT to date.

  • The chants are something like "creepy", but it gives touch to the dungeon, as if Link was in a cult. I don't like the chants in the new versión, there are so quiet (sometimes boring), but that's ok Nintendo is always respectful on sensitive issues like this.

    • lulles

      the "chants" on the new version sound too much like shadow temple's music.

  • Fado

    From what I could tell Ocarina of Time had a lot of middle eastern influence on its design aesthetic. From the rupees to the crescent moon symbols, the chanting, also the entire Spirit Temple, the guy on the flying carpet, even the Water Temple design and music had that flair to it. I always thought it was really interesting. I honestly think they were trying to give it a little bit of “Arabian Nights” quality, that sort of fantasy aspect.

  • Rinku

    eiji is awesome for making zelda what it is tbh its one of the most mature franchises nintendo has eiji has a weird imagination and puts real life things in zelda in every zelda a lot of ppl say how SS and WW are kiddy looking but if u look at it they have dark and realistic themes and symbols and the Fire temple in SS look real arab like can't wait for SS

  • The Innocent Mage

    I don't think it could really be said to be disrespectful. It wasn't doing anything that should offend Muslims. Chanting did not originate from Islam.

  • robotortoise

    The debug menus were not something Nintendo thought anyone but themselves were going to look at, so it's very likely that Nintendo Of America didn't bother changing. Plus, wasn't the swordless glitch (during the Ganon battle) disabled, along with other glitches fixed/removed?

    • Vio

      Testers would of discovered these glitches before the next set of cartridges were produced, but presumably did not discover them in time to fix them in the first set. But they still sold the first set, because it would be a waste not to. This was actually very common back in the days of cartridges.

    • FireTemple

      Yup, Swordless glitch was removed in 1.1
      http://zeldaspeedruns.com/site/index.php?link=oot

      That was the site that listed all the known differences in the GT video.

  • Shaelyn

    …so at what point was the star and crescent removed? my b/f's cartridge has the chanting gone, but still has the star and crescent.

    • I AM THE GREAT TIRE

      Which version of the LoZ OoT cartridge does he have?

    • Brave Vesperia

      Are you sure? It takes it awhile to start up. I didn't think we had the chanting version at first but after standing there for a minute it started up.

    • FireTemple

      The Ocarina of Time/Master Quest disc is when they changed the star and crescent. Additionally, it's changed on the collector's edition and Wii VC as well.

  • TheMaverickk

    My first play through of the game was from one of the launch release models. So when I played through it there was the chanting and the original Gerudo symbols.

    I also have managed to purchase myself a gold cartridge version of the game for keep sake as well.

    @ Shaelyn

    The Moon and star is actually really close to the Muslim symbol.
    http://islam.about.com/od/history/a/crescent_moon

    Seen here.
    That is a bit more likely the reason as opposed to the Fire Temple chanting. Honestly to me the chanting is distinguishable. I'm sure it could sound like many things if you listen to it for long enough and tried to think of something.

  • truth

    I played the original right when it came out. Later, i replayed it on a different version without the chanting and i felt like something was missing. I remember thinking, "wasnt there a more creepy awesome sound in this temple before?" Its really sad that people cant just let a video game be a video game and they have to drag ridiculous religious arguments into everything. My family are all catholic/christians but it doesnt bother me at all when jesus/god are mocked heartlessly in media. If you truly believe in your "god", you would know that it is bigger and more untouchable than the damage a video game or joke or cartoon can do. Youd have to be really looking to get upset about something if something like this would bother you. If anything, that chanting (if id had known it was islamic), would have made me more curious about the islamic faith, and it would actually help me to take notice of it and respect it as something interesting.

    Ocarina was better with the chanting by far. Too bad artists have to change their vision for the worse because of people lack of confidence in the potency of their "god".

    • LinkMasterYoda

      I am sure you wouldnt like it if people used YOUR name as a cuss word

  • they didn't change it before release because the version i have has the chanting. personally, i like the original version with the chants much better than the later version.

    • Vio

      They did change it before release. But they had already produced a set of 1.0 cartridges that were on their way to be the first batch sold, it was too late to do anything about them. Nintendo generally tests and changes its games right up until release day.

  • WOW, this is old news!

  • Brave Vesperia

    Sweet! After reading this I booted up the N64 and sure enough we have the chanting version. I remembered we had the crescent moon shield but I did not remember the chanting. I'm strangely excited about this..

  • I never thought the Fire Temple had anything to do with Islamic chanting; I thought the music was played in that way because it fit the sort of dark theme of the FT. Still, the truth was interesting. Thanks for featuring it.

  • ibLeo

    Well, to be fair, latin choir singing has been used EXTENSIVELY for making things sound creepy (see One-Winged Angel, The Omen) and Catholics don't seem to mind, so it's not exactly as if it's something that specifically makes Muslims look bad.

  • fantasysign

    Wow, you learn something new everyday! I was wondering why my GC version didn't have the chanting in it.

  • As a constant reader of your blog I want to tell you that your writing skills are superb.