Premiering on the Nintendo 64, it ushered The Legend of Zelda series into the third dimension. Before the world of 3D gaming, the series primarily relied on overhead views, and in a few cases side-scrolling. Being able to view Hyrule in an easy 360 degree sweep was mesmerizing. That, paired with free roaming capabilities, night and day transitions, wonderful sound, and an enthralling storyline, created a game that is still one of the best in the series.
The story began with the main character Link as a boy around ten years old living amongst a child-like race called the Kokiri in the forests of Hyrule. When an evil plagues the Great Deku Tree, guardian of the forest, events are set into motion, laying out the path of the young warrior.
Even with its now-aged graphics, Nintendo was able to create plenty of expression with the characters (especially considering that there was little to no voice acting, another staple of the series), bringing tears and smiles throughout the story. The character development was very well done, and the players found themselves bonding with many different races across Hyrule. The puzzles and dungeons were also of top notch design, even frustrating as most players would agree when reminiscing about the water temple. The controls were easily accessible, and Z targeting was born, taking advantage of the new 3D world and making the battles that much more realistic. Though the majority of players felt they could do without the constant commentary by Link’s companion fairy Navi, it paved the way for all future Zelda games.
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time has be re-released twice on the Nintendo Gamecube, once as a pre-order bonus for The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker. This version included the original game and a new Master Quest, where the dungeons were rearranged and the puzzles made more difficult to provide a new challenge for seasoned players. The second time was on the Collector’s Edition disc that could be obtained with the purchase of a new silver Gamecube system and included the original version of Ocarina of Time, as well as Majora’s Mask, the original Legend of Zelda, Zelda II: Link’s Adventure, and a short demo for The Wind Waker. The game was again released on the virtual console so Wii players could download it directly on their system. Then the entire game was given a make-over with improved graphics and released for the Nintendo 3DS, and included the Master Quest for those who completed the original quest.
It remains one of the most beloved Zelda games, and even has a two-part manga written about it. The Legend of Zelda: The Ocarina of Time set a new standard for all video games, and continues to delight and challenge to this day, one of the true video game classics.