Hyrule Warriors is the ultimate game for Zelda fans, throwing references from titles throughout the years all into one game. It would take quite some time to name them all, so I plan on making a few articles like these to try and explore as many details as possible.
First, let’s start with Ocarina of Time references. It’s a favorite among fans, a revolutionary point in the Zelda series, and filled to the brim with memorable moments and characters — why wouldn’t they reference this series so much? It’s clear to see that this game is favored in Hyrule Warriors, so let’s take a look at some Ocarina of Time references and Easter eggs.
Ruto and Darunia are the characters who appear from the era of the Hero of Time in Hyrule Warriors Legend Mode and both are abundant with references from their original game. Two of my favorites are Ruto’s entrance animation and Darunia’s victory one. When Ruto appears as a foe, she is being carried by an anonymous figure. However, this is a clear reference to when Link had the “honor” of carrying her around in Jabu-Jabu’s belly. Additionally as a little fun tidbit, in some of the more water-heavy attacks, you can see a familiar fish swim by from time to time.
Then there’s Darunia’s victory, which is, in my opinion, one of the best references in the entire game. In Ocarina of Time, to cheer up the distraught Goron Chief, Link must play “Saria’s Song” and once he does so, Darunia quickly gets lost in the beat. Darunia in Hyrule Warriors also dances to a triumphant variation of “Saria’s Song” with the same, step-by-step movement he displays in the original game.
Though this incarnation of the character is heavily based on the iteration from the Super Smash Bros. series in terms of design, Sheik is bundled with musical references from the beloved Ocarina of Time. When Sheik appears on the battlefield we hear a familiar tune: “Sheik’s Theme” from the original game. She jumps down from a tree and throws a Deku Nut, similar to when she bids Link farewell each time they meet. Sheik also disappears in the same manner in her victory animation as well.
While these custom animations are great as is, it’s her moveset that I find most enjoyable. Sheik uses her trusty harp as a weapon, defeating foes with mystical melodies — but not just any old tunes. Depending on the attack combo and element you use, by hitting the strong attack button, Sheik will play a song hailing from Ocarina of Time. These include “Serenade of Water”, “Bolero of Fire”, “Song of Storms”, “Nocturne of Shadows” and “Prelude of Light”. It doesn’t end there either; she also performs Saria’s Song when you use her special attack in Focus Spirit mode.
Lana, while created originally for Hyrule Warriors, was given a special weapon that has many callbacks to Ocarina of Time: the Deku Spear. The second form of this weapon actually has the spiritual stone, the Kokiri’s Emerald, embedded into its tip. Through her many combos, she can summon a slingshot (with a similar design to Young Link’s) or a baby Deku Tree (or three). Not to mention she also conjures the fully grown Great Deku Tree in both her special and her victory cinematic.
Volga was also a character created specifically for this game, but his design and name is heavily influenced by Fire Temple’s boss, Volvagia. His helmet resembles the head of the dragon and his outfit matches the color scheme. Also like Volvagia, Volga’s abilities revolve around the use of fire.
Bosses and Enemies
While most of the bosses are based on the original Legend of Zelda designs, a special version of King Dodongo appears in the Linkle storyline — the very same rendition as Ocarina of Time. To top it off, a rock-style cover of King Dodongo’s theme plays during most battles with this beast as well. Gohma, who just so happens to be the first boss of Ocarina of Time, also gets a new cover of her theme from said game in Hyrule Warriors.
In addition to big bosses, there are several other Ocarina of Time enemies that present themselves in Hyrule Warriors. The Stalchildren are commonly encountered with a Stalfo’s as captain of the small brigade. However, on occasion, some other familiar foes enter the field such as the Lizalfos and Dinolfos who get an upgraded design based on their Ocarina counterparts. The same can be said for the Big Poes
As an added bonus, we also get the “Boss Cleared” theme whenever a level is completed properly — and a “Game Over” tune when we fail.
The two stages created specifically to reference Ocarina of Time, Death Mountain and the Water Temple, have plenty of callbacks to the original game. In Death Mountain, the rocky roads leading up to Goron City are eerily similar to the paths in Ocarina of Time. The top section of the map is the previously mentioned Goron City, with the top center room being a direct reference to the chief’s room, where you meet Darunia for the first time. Just before that is a replica of the pot that tumbles around the center of the city, which you can break just like in the original game.
The Water Temple stage is like a speedrun through Ocarina of Time, quickly traveling from the Zora King’s frozen chambers to the solid ice waterfalls, then taking the shortcut to Lake Hylia (though in this game provided by a warped realm instead of a small hole underwater), heading to the lake laboratory, then entering the sacred Water Temple. They really paid attention to the details here.
Lastly, this game’s rendition of the Gerudo Desert is a combination of the areas from multiple Zelda titles, but there is one portion of the map that is undeniably Ocarina of Time. To the southwest corner of the stage, you will find a bridge that leads to a bunch of fortress-like keeps. I think I know where we’ve seen that before.
Though I’m certain there are other details from Ocarina of Time hidden around in Hyrule Warriors, these are the ones that stood out most to me. Whenever I’m feeling nostalgic for this game, I suit up Link in his Kokiri Clothes and head to one of these destinations to enjoy a little trip down memory lane. Heck, I actually enjoy this version of the Water Temple!
If there’s a reference I left out (because I know I definitely did), kindly let me know what your favorite Ocarina of Time Easter egg in Hyrule Warriors is!