The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time is easily my favourite game of all time. Having started playing it at age seven, this game has played an integral part in shaping my interest in games. The story tells of a young boy, Link, who is asked to save the land of Hyrule from a terrible danger. This quest takes Link along a journey of epic proportions, travelling across the vast land of Hyrule.
After the first three temples Link is granted access to the legendary Master Sword – the only weapon that can defeat the great evil threatening the nation. However, taking the Master Sword transports Link seven years into the future, introducing us to the future Hyrule and adult Link. On leaving the temple where the Master Sword is kept it is plain to see the damage caused by seven years of evil rule: the city of Hyrule is full of zombies, dark clouds loom over volcanos, and monsters appear everywhere, so Link must constantly be ready to fight. However, Ocarina of Time is not just about fighting, there are plenty of puzzles to keep the player’s mind ticking.
Ocarina of Time for me is a monumental success. Playing it now I enjoy it more than most modern games, which I believe is due to the game’s originality. It was the first of the Zelda series to be set in third person view, which works exceptionally well. The story line is interesting and makes you want to keep playing to find out how it will end, and what a finale the game brings; one of the best boss fights I have faced in any game to date. And that’s not mentioning the side quests available which allow for a distraction from the main storyline.
Modern Zelda titles, although still good, just can’t compare to this original. They may be entertaining, and have interesting stories with new ideas brought in, but they don’t seem to stand up to the legend that is Ocarina of Time. Even Twilight Princess, which introduced the ability to use the Wiimote as a sword(!) wasn’t quite as good. I think it’s just how original this game is that really makes it such an interesting play.
Many of the Zelda games strived to be like Ocarina of Time and merely couldn’t achieve the same results. Perhaps Skyward Sword, the new Zelda soon to be released on the Wii, which tells the story of where the Master Sword came from, and allows the player to have complete control of Link’s sword using the MotionPlus sensors on the WiiMote, will be the first of the series to truly compete with Ocarina of Time.
How to play it today
Ocarina of Time was originally released on the N64, but if you don’t have a copy lying around, how can you play it today? - Ocarina of Time was also released on the Gamecube. If you’ve got a Wii, you could pick up and play this version on eBay for less than a fiver! - It’s possible to download a N64 emulator and ROM of the original game, but be aware that this is a legal grey area! - Or, wait a few months for when Nintendo releases a remastered version on the new Nintendo 3DS - the same game but in 3D!