While Ocarina of Time is considered to be one of the best games ever created in the Zelda series, there were a few things that the Zelda team could have changed to make it different from “Ocarina of Time” as we know it today. In an Iwata Ask’s feature for Ocarina of Time, Miyamoto and the Zelda team discuss some secrets and some developmental issues and ideas they had for the game. Be sure to check out the huge list summary after the jump!

  • Ocarina of Time was originally supposed to come out the following Christmas after the N64 launch
  • Development took about two and a half years
  • Ocarina of Time was Miyamoto’s biggest project in terms of scale to that date
  • Memory constraints made creating Ocarina of Time a struggle
  • The team originally thought they’d only be able to pull off Ganon’s Castle, which would have paintings inside of it much like Super Mario 64
  • Miyamoto wasn’t bothered by this idea at first and considered it. The fight with Phantom Ganon is left over from that original idea
  • Koizumi made Epona and Miyamoto worked on a broad landform because he wanted Link to ride a horse
  • The team tested to see if they could have two horses at once as a test for the hardware, and then they showed that test at SpaceWorld
  • Miyamoto didn’t want to make the game without Young Link, as the idea didn’t exist during development
  • In the original Legend of Zelda, Link is about 12 years old. In Adventure of Link he is 16
  • Miyamoto wanted Link to be somewhat cool, but not too cool
  • The idea of having a 9 and 16 year old version of Link in Ocarina of Time gave birth to all sorts of ideas
  • Twin Peaks really inspired Miyamoto and the team to fill the game with characters and relationships
  • Miyamoto hardly ever talked about story with Ocarina of Time, but he was heavily involved in character functions
  • Nintendo spends a lot of time trying to make stories in Zelda games match up
  • Miyamoto really wishes players would not care about that stuff, because it would be easier on him
  • Miyamoto goes into the discussion of worrying about little details that don’t matter, just like Yoshi being a boy or a girl
  • Miyamoto says that pre-rendered cut-scenes don’t mix with his style of tweaking games right up to the last minute
  • Miyamoto worries more about how fun the game is rather than the cut-scenes
  • Miyamoto worked with Kawagoe on the storyboards for Ocarina of Time, but Kawagoe handled most of the camera decisions
  • Miyamoto originally had the idea of Ingo burning down the ranch so that Link/Epona have to jump over the fence with a dramatic backdrop of fire
  • This was given up due to the idea of people wanting to return to the ranch later
  • Miyamoto is heavily influenced by westerns, which is why he wanted a horse in the game so badly
  • Working on this game was a major learning experience for all the devs, which is why they found the experience so exciting and rewarding
  • The development team said it was weird that you could cut grass down but not signs, which is how the sign idea came up
  • Miyamoto was striving for villages that were more distinctive, and this actually lead into cucco flying
  • Villages were changed in order to provide more slopes for cucco flying. This lead to a redesign of Zora’s River as well
  • The guideline for the redesign was “Make it a landform like you don’t usually see.”
  • Blowing up Gossip Stones to make them take off was added towards the end of development
  • Miyamoto believes he and his team delivered ‘warmth, scent and humidity’ through Ocarina of Time
  • Miyamoto came up with the auto-jump idea while he was on one of his days off, and was so excited that he couldn’t wait to get back to work. He ran into work that Monday and spread the word right away.
  • This auto-jump let the team create the visual style for Link’s jump, including the dive in Zora’s Domain
  • Miyamoto thinks the North American marketing of Ocarina of Time worked wonders, all thanks to the ‘epic adventure’ tagline
  • Miyamoto knows that people still call Link Zelda, and he says it’s just part of the series’ history now
  • Miyamoto thinks the 3DS helps convey Ocarina of Time even better
  • Multiple textures were completely redone for Ocarina of Time 3D
  • There are over 130 hint movies in the game
  • Miyamoto feels the 3D really enhances the fun of riding Epona
  • A lot of girls were players of Ocarina of Time, says Miyamoto
  • He thinks having Link looking even more handsome this time around may help bring in new fans
  • There will only be one Legend of Zelda Symphonic event in Japan. There isn’t any word for when and where the events will take place across the globe.

That is a lot to take in!

According to Miyamoto, he was going to center the game around one castle, with each room being a dungeon or field with specific side-quests, very similar to the world design in “Super Mario 64”. That is a huge idea to take in! There wouldn’t have been that adventure feeling and horse galloping in “Ocarina of Time“. Be sure to share your thoughts and opinions about these ideas, and how they would have entirely changed the Zelda series.


Source: IwataAsks(via Gonintendo)
  • "Miyamoto originally had the idea of Ingo burning down the ranch so that Link/Epona have to jump over the fence with a dramatic backdrop of fire."
    That would have been so epic :o!

  • LD4000

    Just a quick thing. Their was a video interview today with Eiji Aonuma being done by Famitsu about Skyward Sword.

  • KingOfHeart

    They could of had it burn, then have rain come in.

  • HEEE

    He does look handsome

  • gannon banned

    Wouldn't you have to buy the game first before you can see 'handsome Link'

  • internet exTROLLer


  • Sanity's_Theif

    So Miyamoto wishes fans wouldn't care about the story so much…

    *Looks at all the theory articles and forum topics*


  • Yoshi is a girl because she lays eggs…Wait There are alot of Yoshis so some could be girls and some boys

  • <- ->

    this is kinda off topic, but i always thought it would be kinda cool if Nintendo mixed up the games a bit… like Zelda is the adventurer and Link is a prince. i think that would be EPIC

    • TelepathicPebble

      totally agree. I always thought they should do an adventure revolved around the triforce of wisdom (Zelda/Sheik) and it would be more puzzle based, magic, and melee combat maybe? Or a game where Link is simply a girl. But I prefer the former, a game based around the 7 years while Link was asleep in the Temple of Time and Sheik had to be secretive and complete missions would be interesting…who knows what Zelda did during all that time. She had to have learned all those skills somehow and done some pretty useful stuff.

  • lena

    "Twin Peaks really inspired Miyamoto and the team to fill the game with characters and relationships." That…is SO awesome. And on the topic of David Lynch, I always thought Majora's Mask seemed REALLY Lynchian. The scenarios, the characters, the tone, the surreal, dark, weird beauty of it all. It still reminds me a lot of his work.

  • xxx

    Yoshi is an herm and dates Birdo, sho is a trasvestite.

  • Ingrid Elise

    Link is my boyfriend <3

  • CTWind

    i see…

  • TheOwl

    Lol 😛