Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time Has Turned 16
The year was 1998, and a young boy was about to embark on a life-changing journey...
If you thought I was referring to myself, you would be right. The same could be said for a young Kokiri-turned-Hylian and his journey to become the Hero of Time and save Hyrule.
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time had its 16th anniversary this week and the game is still one of my favorites! Why does the game has so much staying power among the video game masses and why do some feel that Ocarina of Time is in the conversation of "best games of all time?"
Nintendo wanted to follow the vast success of Super Mario 64 with a bang, and one way to do that was with a massive Zelda adventure. Ocarina of Time was originally designed for the 64DD disk peripheral for the Nintendo 64. It took the basic story of A Link to the Past and ran with it. Long story short, Ganondorf, the Gerudo thief, uses Link to get into the Sacred Realm and steal the Triforce. It then becomes Link's destiny to pry the Master Sword from the tablet in the Temple of Time and stop Ganondorf from forming the new Hyrule into his dark, fantasy world. After Link thwarts Ganondorf, the evil king reveals his true form, Ganon, and the battle to save Hyrule begins!
Ocarina of Time has been used as a template for what works in the Zelda franchise. Enemy targeting, which was introduced in Ocarina of Time, is still used as a way to zero in on an enemy in 3D environments. It was used as an easy way to keep the camera behind the player instead of going all over the place. The targeting system made it easy to fight multiple enemies at once.
The musical aspect has been another game play element that has followed the Zelda franchise too. It started with the whistle in the NES version and the flute in A Link to the Past. It expanded in Ocarina of Time, where it was used as keys/travel/proof of the Royal Family. The Ocarina musical system and the soundtrack showed that Nintendo had gone that extra mile for this one! It shows why Ocarina of Time still is seen as one of the best games ever!