So here’s a short funny story to start off something we’re calling “Ocarina Month”, a celebration of Ocarina of Time’s 20th anniversary. About six years ago my mother got married, which of course meant a big change was coming into my life since I would be moving with her to our new home.
Anyway, I always compare this to one scene from The Simpsons, where the family is holding a dinner party. When the guests are about to arrive, Homer is in the living room playing with some toy cars while in his underwear. Well, the day of my mother’s wedding, it was almost time to leave, yet there I was in my room, still in my underwear, peacefully playing Ocarina of Time.
Ocarina of Time was first released in Japan on November 21, 1998. This month, we celebrate the 20th anniversary of one of the most beloved games of all time. Two decades on, Ocarina of Time is still widely regarded as not only the pinnacle of The Legend of Zelda series but as one of the greatest achievements in video game history. Throughout Ocarina Month, we’re going to be looking back on the game that shaped childhoods, defined the action-adventure genre, and introduced a generation to how magical exploring a 3D world could be.
Realm of Memories is a series where we reflect on our absolute favorite moments in The Legend of Zelda games. These could be the times we first fell in love with a game, were moved by the events of the story or actions of a character, felt triumphant when overcoming a tough boss or challenge, or we had an experience so unique that the adventure truly became our own. The Zelda series has touched our lives in many ways, and just as Hyrule has endless stories to share, so do our writers!
I have played Ocarina of Time many times since I was a kid, but this playthrough six years ago was actually the first time I finished it; never before had I seen that ending screen. This was important to me because I had just moved to a new house, in a new city, with a new family, so I needed something to do while I adapted to the all-new environment, and that something was to continue playing Zelda.
Now, I’m not the kind of person who gets along very well with my stepfather’s side of the family, not even the ones I’ve known for my whole life. Now imagine having to adapt and get along with more of this family that I had barely known for about a year. It was difficult, and in some aspects it still is. Other than my stepfather, I also had to live with his son, my stepbrother (who is about my age). What little I knew about him by that time didn’t really help or encourage me to try and get along with him.
Then one day I was playing, as usual, and he comes into my room (to ask me something, I assume), and sees my playing. “What are you playing?” he asked, to which I replied, “Ocarina of Time.” I honestly never imagined he would know anything about video games, or even be interested in them, but he replied by saying how much he liked the game, so we continued talking about that and he told me about other great games he likes as well.
From that point, we got along very well. Even though we don’t talk much, he’s the closest I have that I can consider a brother, even more so than my actual brother. None of this would have been possible if it wasn’t for this wonderful game. It might not be my favorite, it might not be the one I have the most or the greatest memories of, but this moment makes it special. It showed me that having new family members isn’t always as bad as I thought, and that one simple, common interest can be enough to find the good in the people you’d least expect.