Streamlining Ocarina of Time for the Nintendo 3DS

Guest Article by Joshua Lindquist

These last few weeks have been busy for Zelda fans, but with the news slowing down we have an opportunity to examine what we’ve learned a little more carefully. Going into the E3, we all knew that Skyward Sword would be revealed, but we were all surprised by the announcement that Ocarina of Time would (finally) be remade for a handheld platform.

In the discussions that took place after the announcement of the remake, it became clear that changes would need to be made to the game before it could be released on the Nintendo 3DS. Something more obvious is that the Nintendo 64 controller has more buttons than the Nintendo 3DS.

At least one specific change has already been mentioned, but there are likely many more on the way. Miyamoto has made it clear that he wants to streamline the Zelda experience, and I think there are several ways that this can be achieved with Ocarina of Time.

Make the Iron and Hover Boots act like regular inventory items.

This is a change that has been specifically mentioned. Aonuma and Miyamoto both regret the tedious boot switching from the Water Temple and plan to fix it. I think the easiest way to do this would be to make both the Iron Boots and Hover Boots an item that you equip. This would be similar (or exactly the same) as how the iron boots work in The Wind Waker and Twilight Princess.

Silence Navi.

Players should have complete control over how often Navi yells at you to tell you something you already know.

Listen, I understand that even though Navi is a little annoying sometimes, she is part of what defined Ocarina of Time. I’m not recommending that we remove Navi or even allow her audio to be turned off, but the random “Hey! Look! Listen!” that you constantly hear while running around Hyrule Field isn’t helping anyone.

It was never helpful for Navi to inform me that I need to go see Saria while I’m already on my way. Instead, Navi should be a guide for you to turn to when you really don’t know what to do. In other words, make Navi like Midna. I can ask Midna for help, but she doesn’t bother me constantly wanting to know if I need it. I think this feature would work well as a small “Navi”button on the touch screen.

With the exception of that one feature, I think Navi should remain untouched. When you target an enemy, she should still yell “Watch out!”, and when you are learning how to play the game (especially with new controls on a new platform like the Nintendo 3DS, the early game hints should be kept intact as well.

Rethink the Stone of Agony.

Who remembers the Stone of Agony? It would let you know if there was a secret nearby, and was a useful item… if you played the game under certain circumstances and  Unfortunately, it required a rumble pak (and the shape of the stone made sure you never forgot it). This was fine during the Nintendo 64 era, but then we moved on to the Gamecube era.

If you played one of the Ocarina of Time remakes on the Gamecube using a corded Gamecube controller then the feature was still useful, but if you played on a wireless Wavebird controller the item did nothing. This is an even bigger problem on the Wii. There is no way to use the Stone of Agony on the Wii, so the item is rendered completely useless.

The Nintendo 3DS does not have force feedback (as far as we know), but I don’t think removing the item is the best solution. Instead, when you are close to a secret there should be a visual cue on the screen.

The visual cue could be a flashing icon, but I think that would be a little too obvious and wouldn’t have the same effect as the rumble pack. There are a lot of alternatives, but I think that having the entire menu on the touch screen vibrate (or just shake) briefly would be an effective way to use the item.

Modernize the way items work.

Almost twelve years have passed since Ocarina of Time was first released, and in that time a lot of important changes were made to the various items in the Zelda series. The most important change is that Twilight Princess introduced a cursor for all items that we aim. In this case, it applies to the slingshot, bow and arrow, hookshot, and possibly the boomerang as well.

In Ocarina of Time, the slingshot and bow and arrow require that you learn the “sweet spot” that will always be hit. I’d rather not have this translated to the handheld. Instead, add a cursor to make aiming easier on the Nintendo 3DS.

In addition, The Wind Waker introduced additional changes to the hookshot and bow and arrow as well. When using the hookshot, the cursor changes if the item can be latched onto. The bow and arrow was changed so that the fire, ice, and light arrows were no longer separate items. Both of these changes should be incorporated into the remake of Ocarina of Time.

Our Next Stop

This article series will continue with a third part in which I’ll explore the possibilities for new content in the Nintendo 3DS remake of The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. This is something that I’ve already seen some readers comment on, and some other websites have already tackled it as well, but I’ll be taking a unique look at some of the possibilities, so stick around!

  • KingOfHeart

    The Stone of Agony should probably make the fairy change colors if your within the range of the secret hole. She shouldn't just fly over to it, just change colors.

  • noahakumu

    I hate how every post I see about the Oot remake people are suggesting to change dungeons or silence navi etc. This remake should be Ocarina of Time EXACTLY but with better graphics on a handheld system. The story shouldn't be altered nor should Navi be or the temple.

    • NorthApple

      You wonder why people want/expect things to be changed? Dude, you said it right there. REMAKE. Not a straight port (as you seem to want), but it's stated to be a REMAKE. That means they're going to REMAKE some of the features too :3

    • It wouldn't really be a remake then, just a port. I don't consider the high res OoT mods to be remakes.

      • Twilit Mask of Time

        No one is saying TAKE AWAY AND CGANGE DUNGEONS. Everything people want is additions. They want to see Ura Zelda content, the unicorn fountain etc., Or see the master quest involved. Adding things to the game can only make it better.

    • pencilwarrior01

      If the Ocarina of Time remake will be an EXACT copy, older players who see the flaws of the original will be hardpressed to buy what will essentually be just a graphical upgrade.

      Although I'll be one of the first to defend Ocarina, I understand what Nintendo runs by: "Gameplay First, Graphics Second." What makes Nintendo unique among the console big ones is that they believe that the experience is what defines a game, not just graphics alone.

      I love Ocarina, don't get me wrong, but as a grown gamer, I believe improvements can be made and will be welcomed. I don't want Nintendo to ruin the epicness and grandeur that is Ocarina, but modifications to the gameplay will help it become not only a great walk down nostalgia lane, but also introduce Ocarina of Time to the next generation of gamers.

  • NorthApple

    Loved this article- you talk a lot of sense, and I agree entirely. Though I don't think, say, the early forced Navi hints in the Great Deku tree should stay as they automatically pause the game, it'd be better if it still gave you a choice to listen to them…. seriously Navi, I know how push a block I don't want to be forced to scroll through 5 minutes of slow text every time I start another save file.

    Oooh, also, when streamlining the items, they should allow you to use the sword underwater in OoT, like in TP. That was always my other major niggle with that place, apart from the iron boots… there was literally nothing you could do if you got ambushed underwater because the hookshot took ages to take out and fire, and ofter you'd get interupted with the aiming because something hit you anyway :

  • Joe

    You know. I dont think the Water Temple should be CHANGED. But rather just make the Iron boots more accessible.That was my only problem with the Water Temple.

  • They made Navi annoying because Ocarina of Time was the first of its kind.. Nintendo had no idea how well people would take the transition so they overdid it to be safe. Pretty sure the Wiimote has force feedback capabilities..

    • Erunion

      The Wiimote does. But this remake is for 3DS which at least hasn't had any such thing announced.

  • Thareous33

    All of this sounds like it would make a great difference to the game. I would still prefer it be made for Wii. Ah, well, such is life, with its capricious tendencies and all. I'll just buy Master Quest and hook it up for the platform. At least it doesn't have that exasperating stairway leading to the megaton hammer. 😉

  • jan link

    Nice artikel. I hope they only make some changes to the overworld but leave the dungeons alone, because they are works of art. Works of art!

  • Darkstar

    I agree with ebuch. The Stone of agony can work on the wii…the wiimote does have a rumble feature. This should be an interesting remake regardless. Hopefully they don't change too much or it will just turn into twilight princess lol

  • Victor Zamora

    Silence Navi??!
    I hope not! She's what made the game enjoyable for me.

    • well not me Link is what made the game enjoyable to me then you shouldn't play the Zelda games without Navi if you really thought that so

  • near_kstor

    I'm sure force feedback (aka Rumble) is confirmed to be featured in 3DS.

  • Jason

    It's been years and I STILL don't understand why some people find Navi "annoying." I personally never got annoyed and would just ignore when the "HEY!" comes up. It wasn't like it was spamming the player or anything.

    Aside from that, I really hope Nintendo is going to do what they did to Twilight Princess for the next Zelda games including this OoT remake and that is include a "Skip" button for the cutscenes. It would save A LOT of time and especially helpful when replaying the game.

    Just my two cents.

    • Byron123

      I agree whole heartedly. Navi wasn't annoying in the least to me. And you never truly have to take her help.

  • TMS

    Great article, I agree with everything! I don't think any of the dungeons should be changed per se, but they should at least take out that pseudo-glitch in the Water Temple that can trap you if you use a key in the wrong order. Aside frome that, a couple of bonus dungeons would be cool too!

    …Maybe Earth and Wind Temples pre-flood?

  • Nouta

    I think that the stone of agony should like make a small jingle-like sound when you get close to it (instead of rumbling)

  • Phantom7

    Actually, Wii remotes use rumble feature, so Stone of Agony is possible.

  • Epona The Wild

    Why does everyone think Navi is annoying? She didn't get on my nerves at all. Leave her alone!

    And I agree with Jason, there should be a "skip" button.

  • UtopianBabyEmpire

    I loved Navi's "Hey! Listen!" If some people think it was annoying, they can turn give an option to turn Navi down. It just isn't Ocarina of Time without "Hey! Listen!"

    Also, I'd like to see a Second Quest, like in Wind Waker and other games.

  • odel

    i just hope they fix links character model…he looks kinda fugly and not as cool as the original :

    • Zachary

      Nintendo based the new character model on the actual artwork from the original. That means it should still look natural to old and new fans of the series. To me Link looks the way he always did just… (Dare I say it?) better.

  • Nathan

    they shouldnt change anything. All this talk about fixing temples and the bow and arrow is retarded. The game was great 12 years ago and its great now. dont screw with something that is already considered by many to be the best game of all time

  • Joshua Lindquist

    Thanks for a comments guys. I just have a few replies:

    @noahakumu: I’m not suggesting they change any dungeon, and I’m especially not suggesting they change the Water Temple. I LOVE the Water Temple. What I don’t love is needing to open the menu constantly, and that is the only part of the experience I want to change.

    @ebuch: If the Wii remote picks up the Stone of Agony, then that is news to me. However, what is more important is that no one can play Ocarina of Time on the Wii using the Wii remote. You have to play with the classic controller, and that definitely doesn’t have force feedback in it.

    @Jason: I actually don’t find Navi “annoying,” but I don’t consider her helpful. I’d rather they change her design to make her useful when I need it rather than not-useful when I don’t.

    @Nathan: You’re right, Ocarina of Time is still just as great now as it was in 1998. I just finished playing through it again last week and enjoyed every minute of it. However, this is the first time the game has moved off a console and onto a handheld, and I think some changes to the user interface will go a long way in making the game as much fun for the 3DS as it is for the Nintendo 64.

    I played through Ocarina of Time last week on a 21″ widescreen. Compare that to the widescreen on the Nintendo 3DS. I think it’s safe to say that most of us have not experienced Ocarina of Time on a screen that small and are not accustomed to aiming accurately on a screen that size.

    The changes I’m suggesting (and the changes that actually happen) shouldn’t happen because they are “fixing the game,” but rather because they are making sure the game still works on a new platform.

  • Terminian Weirdo

    In the Master Quest version of OoT (and the original game on the same disk), the GC controller rumbles without a rumble pack.

  • guestious

    I loved the n64 controller for this game.

  • Tutti

    They should actually defrost Zoras domain once you beat the water temple

    • Rexwolf2

      Isn't there collectable stuff in that ice caverb, though?

  • tybow

    im confused about people talking about using the wii mote isnt it going to be on the nintendo 3ds not the wii?

    • Geo

      the article was mentioning the cursor on TP on the WII. not really the use of the wiimote.

  • Geo

    stone of agony change will definitely be needed. but the rest. nah. you just need more patience and have fun with a video game. after all thats why its called a GAME!

  • I wish Twilight Princess will be on3DS too that was my favourite Zelda game to now

  • me too I never thought Navi annoying I think that's why it's cute and why not you don't like the'Hey' sound I actually like it better than no sound

    I wish that if Twilight Princess can also be on 3DS too so want so want so want…….I probaly shouldn't talk that much

  • Hugh

    More annoying than Navi was the owl. Especially when the default answer to "Shall I repeat myself?" is "Yes". I hated that owl much more than I hated Navi.

  • Mikeyman64

    One thing I will say that I have to disagree with is the whole Cross-hair thing.

    Learning the "sweet spot" of the slingshot and bow was one of the coolest things I remember about OoT for the N64. I remember when I was 10 years old and I had finally mastered the bow and was showing it off to my friends by owning at the Target Game. Imagine playing the Target Game with cross-hairs. It would be way too easy!

    Games need to retain SOME of the difficulty they had in their original state, or else he just have a bunch of low quality garbage that people only buy because it has the name "Zelda" on the cover. It's one thing to add it to new games, but to remove one of the elements that made a game great, and brings nostalgia rushing through my memories, in my opinion, hurts the game.

    Of course, you could use the same idea as you have for Navi and be able to choose weather you had cross-hairs on or off. That would work nicely. 🙂

  • TVT

    Just a quick note- why use a cursor for aiming at all when the game's on the(3) DS? There's the touch screen for that, if swapping to the stylus isn't too big an issue.

  • :ink-182

    Make everything OPTIONAL!!! FUCK does nobody get the fucking word optional? It means if you wanna listen to the bullshit that went on 12 years ago then there you go! You have it!
    If you've been playing it for 12 years and listening it for 13 years then you don't have too, fuck!
    There stop arguing, fuck!
    Excuse my french…

  • Skull_Kid

    Completely re-model Hyrule Market from scratch for both the past and future.

    Show a noticeable change in the look of the various gauntlets as and when you upgrade them. 1st person view should should reflect this.

    Add more people in the different areas.

    Secret treasure quests, dungeons, side-quests.

    Remove carrots for Epona with something else. Maybe something like a feature where you have to tap buttons in a certain order to go faster. That would be cool.

    Customisable/upgradeable weapons, items, and attire.

    Remove static image of Death Mountain when in Hyrule Field or Kakariko Village with something similar to that of Majora’s Mask when you’re in Termina Field.

    Much harder boss battles. They were far too easy in the original.

    More mini bosses.

    Fully orchestral music. Re-do the whole collection of songs.

    Better looking maps, both in-game and within the menu screen. Also, re-vamp the menu-screen so it looks more modern.

    Re-imagine the archery in Gerudo Valley and the horse racing at Lon Lon Ranch.

    All-round harder game.

    Enhance and add more depth to the plot. The dialogue should be improved too.

    Make the Spider House bigger and have a little underground cave/dungeon where after you’ve collected all the golden skullatas, you can access an area for a boss battle as well.

    Collectible items which are hard to find. They should tell more about Hyrule’s past, Royal Family included, the Gods etc.

    The dungeons should be replayable after you beat the game once.

    The ending sequence should be improved.

    Link should be able to use his sword underwater and he should be able to do the cart-wheels and special jumps that he can do in Majora’s Mask.

    Onto the masks, there should be loads of them to collect as the number of characters will be drastically increased hopefully.

    What about more wildlife and a more diverse array of enemies? Also, Gannon taking over should have a more obvious effect on Hyrule, not just Hyrule Market.

    The Skull Kid in The Lost Woods should talk about his sadness, being lonely etc. but have Link make nothing of it. That would lead nicely to a Majora’s Mask re-make on the 3DS 😀

    The sky looks bland in the original. Better lighting, a lot more birds in the sky etc.

    Improve the way Epona moves. Make them more realistic.

    What about a free sound-track CD packaged with the game?

    A proper Wind Temple, not Forest Temple. The latter has nothing to do with ‘wind’. I’m not sure having Fado as a sage though. Is there a limit on the number of the same species being a sage in the Zelda universe? lol. Would be a touch silly IMO.

    Farore’s Wind, Nayru’s Love, and Din’s Fire should have more important roles to play. I hardly used them in the original.

    Better cut-scene of Link’s mother being killed by Gannondorf at the beginning maybe. Perhaps show a whole village being destroyed.

    Have Majora’s Mask on show in the Happy Mask Shop, but not obtainable obviously.

    Cross hair when using slingshot, bow, hookshot etc.

    Make Ganon’s Castle bigger, have more puzzles.

    You should get the Hero’s Shield after you complete the game. The same one that you have at the beginning of Majora’s Mask as Young Link.

    Make Link’s hood move about when he walks as well as his clothes like in Twilight Princess.

    Re-vamp fishing game at Lake Hylia.

    Give us a lot more reasons to go back to the places that we’ve already visited. There’s many places where I go once and never back again in the original. Know what I mean? No replay value.

    Reed whistle for calling Epona that you get further on after you’ve learnt Epona’s Song.

    Bomb arrows as well as rollable bombs ala Skyward Sword [which I hate already btw]

    Give Link the ability to jump!

    More bottles would be nice.

    Better back-story on Gannondorf. Have the Gerudos talk about him in more detail.

    Yeah…so that should keep them busy. Hope they read this!

  • dampf

    i hope we can unfreeze zora domain! 🙂

  • Skull_Kid

    Oh yeah, good point 'dampf', actions you take in the game should have direct consequences. e.g. Beating the Water Temple should unfreeze Zora's Domain and maybe the area could expand after being unfreezed. I've always liked the idea of Zora racing with inspiration coming from the way Mikau swims in Majora's Mask. Also, I've got some more suggestions. I'd like the way in which Link swims to be bettered as it just doesn't feel natural in the original and it's a bit too sluggish. In addition, I want to have a diary like the Bomber's Diary which fills up as you complete tasks. Moreover, I want to see the King of Hyrule in this remake, the original game doesn't show him at all which I've always thought was a bit odd. To continue, Impa's back-story was a little vague so I think that could be expanded upon.

  • Skull_Kid

    Hero's Bow replaces the Fairy Bow as Adult Link after beating the game once…

    Hero's Quest [hard mode] after beating the game once?

    Little bit of gore, just as blood was intended originally?

    I think I've covered every possible improvement!

  • Skull_Kid

    One more thing, in some of the houses you have a 2D/3D combination bird's eye view going on. It looks terrible. Nintendo should re-model those rooms in fully fledged 3D so they not only look better, but are compatible with the 3D feature.

  • Skull_Kid

    What about being able to sell items for rupees? A trading feature could be interesting. Have rare items that can be traded via wi-fi. Secret potions, etc.

    Or maybe just a feature that allows you to get rupees fast so you can buy something else.

  • Skull_Kid

    As I mentioned more NPC's are a must. I think Nintendo should include Tingle is this and tell us more about Rauru and Kaepora Gaebora. More vegetation everywhere. e.g flowers, grass in green areas. Cacti in Gerudo Desert, dead, leafless trees outside Ganon's Castle, crows flying around etc.

  • Skull_Kid

    I've got a feeling this will be another lazy port though, just like Super Mario 64 DS was…

  • Skull_Kid

    I want more swords in this and swordsmiths all around Hyrule as well. This would give the more choice to the gamer if nothing else. It'd be cool I think. How about a Hyrule Bank where you can store rupees? I think the final boss fight with Ganon should be improved, the look of Ganon in the original was a little weird. The camera angle was too close up to make out any of the detail that was on his character model. Zoom out a little and polish the graphics on him. That's my suggestion anyways.

  • Skull_Kid

    I think the temples need a name change. Take Majora's Mask, the temples all had interesting names, for OOT 3DS they should keep the medallion names but give some intriguing names to the temples themselves.

  • Skull_Kid

    Also, re-model the Gerudos. They all look the same in the original.

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  • Cameron

    i don't think there should be any changes really except for maybe expanding the game a little bit and making Navi less noticeable but other then that i don't think there should be any changes because its a masterpiece if anyone wants to make the game easier you're just terrible this game was challenging at the most if you think any part of it was to hard then you need to try harder instead of trying to make the game easier.

  • gannonslayer88

    Some of these suggestions sound great! but it seems unlikely. I really hope that I'm wrong, but it doesn't make sense for Nintendo to spend that many resources for an update to this wonderful game. Obviously this game has better graphics. Character models look better and is much closer to the art of the game. Which I for one have always loved. When Big N said that they were looking to streamline the Inventory and equipment screens, it makes sense to keep the original screens (they won't have to pay for new designs) and just use them on the touch screen with arrows on either side to switch screens. so you can select the iron boots, tunics, swords, and shields without pausing the game. with two screens items can be accessed and equipped in real time. the touch screen can also be the way you play the songs on the ocarina. I hope that i am wrong about these small enhancements. Maybe the developers are treating this game like a new one and are adding everything they always wanted to but couldn't because of the limitations of the N64. so I'm like the rest of you I have a lot of wishful thinking but unfortunately it is grounded in realism.

  • Silk

    3DS is a crime against nature. Screw those Nintendo bastards. They should leave the good games back in time on the Nintendo 64, Gameboy/Gamboy Color, SNES and the other places where the games actaully were awesome. The dickwads at Nintendo now decide to keep remaking the games that people liked. WE ONLY LIKE THEM BECAUSE OF HOW THEY ARE. Nintendo needs to get it through their thick heads that remaking games just piss people off. And now they decide toremanke the Zelda games, Mario Kart, Kid Icarus, Donkey Kong 64 and Star Fox 64 for the damn 3DS??!!?!? These people reall need to have their sanity checked because its incredibly questionable. Needless to say, no, I am not in favour of Ocarina of Time being converted to 3DS, nor any of the other games being converted. Actually, I am against the 3DS completely. Not only because of the stupid conversions of games, but because the 3DS' "Patented 3D without 3D glasses" actually ruins peoples eyes. Yeah, money for Nintendo and ruined eyes for people around the world. Screw you Nintendo, screw you.