Review by Light_Inside

Reviewed: 05/16/05

Ocarina Of Time. Time You Will Need! 7 Years, In Fact!

Rating: Everyone Genre: Adventure/Action/RPG

Back in 1998, Nintendo fans were awaiting of release of 'The Legend Of Zelda: Ocarina Of Time'. Fans of the original Zelda games for the previous Nintendo consoles, ranging from NES, SNES and Gameboy had to wait for 3 years while the game was produced, and those 3 long years were well worth the wait. In November 1998, The Legend of Zelda, Ocarina Of Time was released. The gaming community gave a sigh of relief and Nintendo were proud to present the game which they had been working on solid for 3 years!

The game comes packaged in a black and golden coloured box with various images from the game on the back and a plot of the game. There is also art work on the edges of the box. Inside are the black classy looking instruction manual full of high quality printing and all the instructions in order for the game to be played. (Note: The package change during a certain point in production so I can only go by what I have owned)

The Nintendo does not require an expansion pack in order to play this game, nor is a memory card needed. The game can be played and when you feel like having a break from it you can save the game and it stores the data on to the games cartridge. There are a few save slots so a few people can play and have their own gaming files.

A rumble pack can also be attached to the Nintendo 64 controller and the pad will rumble as you run in to walls, get attacked by an enemy or as you get close to a secret area. This feature only works once you get to a certain point in the game however. The game is a lot more fun to play with the rumble pack attached!

The basic plot line is that Link (the elf like character you play as) has to find the princess, and with her protect the Tri force, an ancient relic which could spell the end of the world for the characters if the Tri force falls in to the wrong hands! Unfortunately it does, Ganondorf manages to locate the Tri Force and takes over the land. You as Link must rescue Princess Zelda as well as the entire land of Hyrule before it is too late! Plot line wise - it is similar to the other Zelda titles, but Zelda games have been more about the game play than the actual storyline.

The game the first time around took me a couple of months to complete. Once you know what to do though it doesn't take anywhere near as long. It really does ruin this game if you use a guide; it takes so much fun away if you know what's happening with the flick of a guide page. So don't use one! Some of the puzzles can be very confusing, but you have Navi, a fairy guide to help you (and she does very limitedly!)

Link can do a variety of things. You can assign items/weapons you acquire on the the C buttons, and press the appropriate C button to use the item. Such items that can be allocated to C buttons include a boomerang, bombs, sticks, Deku nuts which can be thrown to stun enemies as well as a bow and arrows.
As well as that there is the A and B buttons which allow Link to roll forward or use the sword once acquired. You can also press the R button to block with your shield and the Z button used in conjunction with the sword button allows you jump forward with your sword and slice the enemy at hand. As well as weapons you acquire different tunics that give you different abilities. The blue tunic allows link to breathe underwater while the red tunic makes Link able to bare extreme heat. Link also has an automatic jump, so when you get close to a ledge it jumps automatically for you. You can also collect magic to pull off special spells to attack foes or to protect yourself.

To begin with in this game you are in a 'training area' to get accustom to the controls. (They are quite easy). You are a small elf called Link and you are asked to seek the Deku Tree who has a proposition for Link. Navi, a fairy partner gives you hints on how to beat enemies and helps you sort out puzzles. The first dungeon is inside the tree and you battle spiders and such. Eventually you make it to a volcano cavern and fight 'Dodongo's, strange monsters that eat friendly creatures called Goron's that inhabit the volcano. Other locations include a graveyard, villages, a rocky canyon with a river running through it that leads to Hyrule lake. I was amazed when I first saw the lake. The graphics are great - the water actually looks quite watery and doesn't look just blue.

After collecting 3 special spiritual stones from the forest, volcano and one from inside a giant fish called 'Jabu jabu' you find yourself face to face with Ganondorf, who is after the princess and the tri force. You acquire the ocarina of time; a mystical item that once played can do a variety of things. Each melody you learn allows different things to happen, for example, create storms, and make certain people react in certain ways and so on, depending on the melody played of course.

Once you obtain the Ocarina of time, you soon find yourself grabbing the Master Sword from its pedestal and being transported 7 years in to the future - where your character becomes an adult! Certain items collected as a child can no longer be used but you soon manage to locate new swords, a bow and arrows and a hook shot, an item that grabs to certain surfaces and drags you to them.

As an adult you must collect 6 medallions. One is simply given to you quite easily, but the others you have to battle your way through dungeons filled with monsters and traps, there is a forest dungeon, fire dungeon containing a giant flying fire dragon, a water temple, a ghostly shadow temple and also a spirit temple in the desert. Each temple provides new kinds of puzzles and items to be found as well as new enemies. The dungeons can get really frustrating at times, and you may find yourself traipsing backwards and forwards if you realise you forgot to collect a key required to progress further. You also can press the start button and view a map of the dungeons or area you are in - which should aid you quite a fair bit. Don't get me wrong though, the dungeons can be fun! The most frustrating dungeon has to be the water temple, in which you must constantly rise and lower the water level using the Ocarina in order to progress through to the end.

You can also make friends with an horse called Epona which makes travelling more exciting and less time consuming. You can also participate in races with the horse. It makes a nice break from duelling spiders and lizard men wielding swords in dungeons. There are a variety of sub quests and mini games to participate in, one being a fishing game at a fishing pond which is great fun! Even my friends that don't like to play the actual dungeons enjoy playing the fishing mini game.

There is a 'real day' system in the game, and the environment changes as it changes from nigh to day. However, days come and go in about 5 minutes, so it isn't actually like real life in those respects! Certain villagers appear at night and vise versa, usually the ones appearing at night hold valuable information on secrets and so on.

The music in this game is also good. In dark dungeons the music seems menacing and eerie, where as in a elf's forest there is fluty fun music. I feel the music really suits the game and I can't fault it. The boss music which plays as you fight a boss is a great piece of music and really suits the battle. What I like about this game also is that you can be on a nice sunny field with some nice music playing; suddenly the music starts to fade a bit and be replaced with some more chilling music, indicating an enemy is on the horizon of attacking you! The sounds are also as effective, at night you can hear strange noises from wild animals and when you are near a fire you can hear the coal crackling as it burns away.

I think this is one of the only games which have lived up to the hype that surrounded it before it was released. It's a game held up high by a majority of Nintendo fans and is well worth every penny. It can be picked up surprisingly quite cheap now days though - so there is no excuse not to play it. The game has recently been re released on the Nintedo Gamecube on a special Zelda collector's disc.

It is a truly amazing game. You can battle fire breathing dragons and walking skeletons, go for a relaxing spot of fishing and play other various sub games. Or you can admire the scenery. As this was released in 1998 graphics have developed even more since, and so it is starting to looked a bit aged and blurred. But nevertheless, this is still a great game and was well worth the wait!

Replay ability - Legend of Zelda games rarely ever get boring, and I can only recall a couple of parts that I found to be rather dull (that's because I was stuck!) The rest of the time I had the controller glued to my hands. I find myself playing it again every so many months, it can still become more of a chore rather than a fun game to play after you have finished it so many times.

Now should you rent or buy? It is one of the best games for the N64 and also can be quite a long game! Your best bet is to buy it, even if you're not a Zelda fan, I would recommend you get this. You'd really be missing out if you didn't, and as mentioned - the game can be gotten for really cheap now days!

Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

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