What can really be said about one of the best Zelda games ever made? No, not Twilight Princess (which very well could match the honor with Ocarina). I am referring to the N64 classic, Ocarina of Time. The game ushered in the age of three dimensional gaming and we haven’t turned back since. Ocarina showed us that we were able to render something close to a real human being, as well as a camera that could capture Link’s adventure in a 360-degree scope. If it weren’t for the N64 (and even the Sony Playstation) and Ocarina, you wouldn’t even have a game like Twilight Princess. So, let’s take a look back at the game that started the Zelda 3-D revolution.


The gameplay of the games on the NES, SNES, and Game Boy were all fairly similar; Link would explore an overworld and underworld via one screen at a time. A very limited aspect of gaming that was limited to the system they were played on. Ocarina changed the gameplay of Zelda to include not just one screen of world but the entire scope of the land you were exploring. From the beginning of the game in the forest, until the very end battle against Ganondorf, you could explore every part of Hyrule without the limit of one screen at a time. The only time Link would really change “screens” is when he went to a new area, but even then, the areas were larger than those in the original games.

The game was also the first Zelda game to feature the “lock-on” targeting system, which allowed Link to focus on one enemy at a time. This allowed gamers to defeat enemies more seamlessly on the 3-D platform.

The game also is fairly linear, with many side quests for the player to enjoy. The pieces of heart that were scattered around the whole of Hyrule was back for players to find and increase their life. Diving games, fishing games, and other oddities made their way into this game as well.

The dungeons of course were a thing of beauty. No longer restricted to the one screen at a time rule, Link was able to go from larger room to larger room with ease and face more obstacles in his path. The “one major item per dungeon” rule was also implemented as well, with Link adding to his repertoire (but that will be for a later section).

Graphics and Sound

Compared to games nowadays, Ocarina’s graphics surely are not up to standards. But, for the first 3-D Zelda game, they are magnificent. They were the stepping stone for Zelda games to come (including the recent Twilight Princess). Link was finally shown as a 3-D model, rather than a sprite he had been stuck as for 10 years. It was a great change, as well as a much needed one.

The sounds of the game were exceptional as well. Conducted by Koji Kondo, the melodies of the game were soothing, as well as fierce, to match the situation you were put in. Each temple had it’s own theme and each reflected the element of the dungeon (uplifting tune for the Forest Temple, a somber tune for the Fire Temple, an eerie tune for the Shadow Temple, etc.).


Here is where things get interesting. The game has a very simple story, but many fans believe this is where the Zelda Timeline got very messed up.

The main story of the game is Link, a boy from the forest (as well as one without a fairy) is awoken by a fairy telling him the forest’s guardian, the Great Deku Tree, has summoned him to talk to him. Upon gathering a shield and sword from the forest, he talks to the Great Deku Tree, which his adventure truly starts. Link learns of an evil man from the desert who has cursed the tree for his own selfish needs. Upon defeating the evil within the tree, Link receives a Spiritual Stone, the very thing that this evil man wanted. Link also learns about the goddesses, as well the Triforce (a magical relic the goddesses left behind), as well as the Sacred Realm (the resting place of the Triforce, to which no one may enter without the right “clearance). The Spiritual Stone that Link holds helps him into the Realm.

Link then sets out into Hyrule to meet the Princess of Destiny, so that he may learn his own fate. Zelda tells him of Ganondorf, the evil man the tree speaks of, as well as the other two Spiritual Stones. The three stones, as well as the Ocarina of Time can open the Sacred Realm. Link sets out to gather the last stones before Ganondorf can.

Once Link retrieves them, he finds Zelda fleeing the castle, being followed by Ganondorf. Link stands up to him, only to struck down. As Ganondorf leaves, Link retrieves the Ocarina from the moat (to which Zelda had thrown it) and enters the Sacred Realm by pulling the Master Sword from the Temple of Time. Ganondorf, who had followed Link, enters with him, gathering the Triforce in the process.

Link wakes seven years later in the Sacred Realm in front of Rauru, an ancient sage. He tells Link of the evil that Ganondorf has caused in seven short years and that Link was too young to wield the Master Sword at such a young age. He slept for seven years to wake as the Hero of Time. He then instructs Link to find five other sages and add their power his own to defeat Ganondorf.

Link then travels to all the temples of Hyrule and awakens all the sages. He enters Ganon’s Castle, defeats him and is sent back to his own time to live out his life like he should have.

The reason this game caused so much “controversy” was the fact that before this game there was no “timeline”. The games were thought to be in order of release. Miyamoto stated that it would be the first in the “timeline” of sorts. To which, Timeline Theories to this day continue to be thought up.

The other “controversy” is the ending of the game. When Link is sent back in time at the end, many believe that the game splits into two separate timeline, while many believe the timeline is one straight timeline. This debate continues to this day.

We may never know the true nature of the timeline, but the game’s story is one to be reckoned with.


The items in the game are something of wonder. Not only does Link wield his sword and shield again, he also gains some 3-D versions of his favorite items. The hookshot, bow, bombs, and boomerang make their return to the series, along with new items like the Lens of Truth (an item that allows Link to see the unseen), the Ocarina (which was featured in Link’s Awakening, but this one allows Link to open up passages with song, as well as warp from one end to Hyrule to the other with just a tune), the return of magic, as well as magic items, and other minor items. This game also features changing of boots and tunics, that Link must use in order to complete some puzzles.

Overall Experience

Once again, what else can be said about this game that hasn’t been said? It is an excellent Zelda game that launched the series into a new era. A new era that includes the newest addition, Twilight Princess, that wouldn’t be here with the step Ocarina took. This game should be played if you are Zelda fan, there is no question about that.


  • Sarah likey Zelda

    I’ve never played this game but it looks good! I have to go now, Going to comment on every game!

    • I want to play this game too but I don't have a gamecube thing(sort of that) well you can get a hang of playing it's remake of it on 3DS which not remake of stories temples only more secret spots and no annoying Navi after all Navi'll have an icon like Midna's so you can call her only in need so no more annoying Navi

  • Ryan Johnson

    It is a fantastic game. It is the best game ever made, aside Metroid Prime.

    The first time I played this game as a child, it awed me so much. I had been used to seeing no such games. The 3D rendering was so amazing! Now, I notice the difference between the new games and it’s 3D engine, but I still think it is one of the best 3D games available for Nintendo’s line of systems.

  • Sabrina

    Best game ever. EVER!
    I’ve pretty much loved every Zelda game, and many other games for years..but NOTHING can compare to Ocarina of Time. It’s not in the graphics or the story, it’s more than that. There’s something about this game that sucks you in. It literally made me live and breathe Zelda for years. It scared the crap outta me too, ’cause that Shadow Temple can be pretty creepy, especially to an eight year old. Maybe it’s the creepy design of the people or the awesome sounds,I don’t know, but here I am, almost 11 years later still saying this game is the best ever. Twilight Princess PWNS, but nothing can beast like LOZOOT!!!

    • i coulden’t agree more than u. even though super mario galaxy CLAIMS to be “better”
      NOTHEN can beat OoT besides super mario G.
      pissed me off. Level’s seem to be UNBEATABLE in that game.

      GO OoT!

  • Best GAME EVER! i played the game about 15 times and still going! i persionaly like the MQ (master quest) even better, it put my skills of the game to it's fullest. i learned just about EVERYTHING there is to know about this brilliant game, although there are still some glitches in the game STILL yet to be discovered. that game will always be my fave. untill another impresses me more but i doubt it.

    GO OoT!


  • Skull Kid

    Best Game of All Time, PERIOD. Still got it (1998) unopened and never used. Will never open it. I got two copies of it for my Nintendo 64 that I still play up to this very day! One copy of The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, that’s opened and that I use. The other one is unopened and never used, will NEVER EVER open it!

    The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time


  • matt

    yep this game is sweet!!!

    my fav. i also love F-Zero X.

  • Abysmal Zero

    This game, though aged compared to the newer Zeldas, is still a must play for anyone.

    Do yourself a favor, if you've still not played it: Go find the Masterquest release for the Gamecube as it also includes the original, pop out Twilight Princess for a while, and play Ocarina of Time. Just do it.

  • Elliot


  • deadfast

    Or get it for the virtual console.

  • dude2112

    just got another N64 and am re-living all the greats. SWEET

  • Mel (ShiningLink)

    Totally agree, Ocarina of Time is not only good because of the graphics and sound, but it's about more, its the stor or what makes you live while you play it, it really swallows you and keeps you attached to it. I played it when I was 9 years old. Now I'm 19 lol (10 years passed) and even thought I love Twilight P., for me Ocarina has no competition!

  • Moppen

    This game is PURE nostalgia! The first time I played it, it felt like a game I used to play when I was little, and hadn't played it for a few years, and then replay it. It's a game that was made for nostalgia. I loved TP until I played this. In comparison to Ocarina, it just became dull.

  • Martin

    No game will ever compare to the epic feeling this game made! There will never be a game that will ever be as polished as this game.

  • Alkunkunka

    Just passed it for the first time. Yep, you all were right. It is a great game. But I guess that first impression you all got from the Zelda series with this game, I got with Twilight Princess, because that was the first Zelda game I could pass without help and it simply blew my mind away! OOT was good but Twilight Princess does it for me.

  • Ocarina

    Haha at all the nubs liking Twilight Princess more…

  • tetraxlink

    This game is and always will be a classic.
    its the perfect zelda experience.

  • Nin10Gamer

    Best Zelda game to date. With an evolved story, revolutionary gameplay, and suburb graphics and sound, Ocarina of Time is the best experience of the series and an almost flawless transition to 3D.

  • DawsonTheMinish

    i dont really understand why everybody thinks oot is the best minish cap is better…
    in my opinion

  • I absolutely love this game to death! It's the greatest Zelda game of all time and I truly love it! I watched E3 2011 today and I was amazed by the orchestra that played the most memorable zelda tunes, how wonderful. :')

  • Ever since I played A Link to the Past & Ocarina of Time in my younger days, Zelda has held a special place in my heart. What I truly love about Zelda games is that they introduce beautiful environments, scenarios that are amazing to see. A nice, humble elf-like character on a new extraordinary adventure in every Zelda title has been unforgettable. I truly wish I can live in a world of Zelda….actually I wish the whole world could be a peaceful world like the Zelda games have been, that's why I look at fantasy more than reality. But overall, The Legend of Zelda is a masterpiece and one of Nintendo's beloved franchise and I'm so glad that I grew up with this series.

  • Also, I wish that I can play OoT on the 3DS if I only had the system itself. No money means I can't get it but I've been a true Nintendo fanatic all my life and I never lost interest in it. I own only nintendo systems and I will always stick to them. But alas, I was really looking forward into playing the remake but I don't have any money for the 3DS…bummer. =/

  • awesome

    wow i really love this game, beat it about 4 times in a row, to me ganondorf is a easy boss to me. they should make the ocarina of time game for wii. but not 3d but way way better graphics.

  • *When I originally commented I clicked the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and now each time a comment is added I get four emails with the same comment. Is there any way you can remove me from that service? Thanks!

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  • you wouldn’t even have a game like Twilight Princess. So, let’s take a look back at the game that started the Zelda 3-D revolution.

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