Although Christmas has passed us by, the memories it left behind have not. As Zelda games tend to release just in time for the holiday season, many of us have grown up receiving the latest Zelda installment as a gift for the holidays.

One of the fondest Christmas memories I have as a child is playing Ocarina of Time 16 years ago — a Christmas present I received from my parents. It was the first time anyone had played Zelda in 3D before, and to put it simply, it took my breath away. As I explored the Kokiri Forest and entered the first dungeon of the game, Inside The Great Deku Tree, I knew that I was playing something incredibly special, though I didn’t realize how special until I reached the end of the game.

The dungeon climaxed with a final battle against classic Zelda boss Queen Gohma, who is depicted here in magnificent form by CaptainNutmeg of DeviantArt in this portrait entitled “QueenGohma“. This piece captures the disparity in size between Link and Queen Gohma perfectly, with the coloring giving the painting a timeless feel. Little did I know that I had just embarked on a gaming experience that would influence me in such a profound way that it would change the course of my life forever.

Facing off against a massive boss for the first time in a 3D Zelda game was a once-in-a-lifetime experience that I will always cherish, which is why today “QueenGohma” by CaptainNutmeg is my pick for Fanart Friday.

Happy Holidays!

  • Ryan Haney

    It’s been 16 years to the day for me. I took gift cards that I got at Christmas and money I’d made working during my first semester in college and went to buy the N64 and OoT on a Day-after-Christmas sale. I felt kind of bad about it, because my mom gave me Donkey Kong Country 3 for the SNES on the 25th and on the 26th I bought a new console and game. Then I played Ocarina of Time and felt all better.

    • Morgan

      I think the newer generation of fans really don’t grasp, simply because a lot of them never experienced the transition of Zelda from 2D to 3D, what a major deal it was. Ocarina of Time changed everything. It’s still my most-played Zelda game of all time, after all these years. I thought it was fitting for a day-after-christmas post. 🙂

      • Vladislak

        I remember it’s release and playing it. It DID cause a massive surge in fans and it DID successfully pioneer Zelda in the then-new 3D era. I would argue that ALttP or LoZ did more for the franchise as a whole, but there’s no denying OoT’s impact on the fanbase. I too, have countless memories of playing it over and over. 😀

        • Morgan

          I’m going to echo what TriForce Johnson said in my interview with him and say that ALttP gave the series a founding lore in-game. Before it was just done in the manuals, but this time the game actually had a story. It also put a huge emphasis on puzzles and established the “Zelda formula”, which I actually enjoy a great deal. LoZ no doubt did a lot for the franchise because it started it all and established the founding base for the franchise. I think the move into 3D changed everything though, and OoT also put an emphasis on music as a gameplay element, which has carried on even today. Plus it has some of the best music in the series.

          I played the original first and got ALttP when it came out, but OoT transformed me as a Zelda fan.

          • Vladislak

            Technically Link’s Awakening was the first game to place emphasis on music, not OoT. Heck the plot items were you had to gather were all instruments.

            The move to 3D changed some things, as it helped pioneer 3D adventure games in general, but I don’t know if I’d go so far as to say it changed “everything”, rather it showed many of the same things, but from a new perspective that hadn’t been explored before. But I guess it all comes down to opinion in the end. They’re all spectacular games.