Written by: J.H. Longman
Last month I gotto re-experience the world of Majora’s Mask 3D again and then write about it and this month, the man the boy in green celebrates 30 years of bringing joy and adventure into our lives, I get to share my thoughts on the 3D version of the adventure that begun my journey. I can remember it as if it all took place just yesterday. My older brother was presented with a Nintendo 64 for his birthday and in no time at all, his collection of games began to build and in-between the likes of Glover, Banjo & Kazooie, Goldeneye, Super Mario 64, Castlevania and Pokémon, was the Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. I was in love with the game from the very get go, in awe of the Kokiris and their life in the forest. Bedazzled by the fairies and intrigued by what the Great Deku Tree had to say. The more I saw happen when my brother was playing it, the more I just had to play it. Completing it over and over and each time the story just got better and better. All I knew was I needed to play more games like Ocarina, and I needed to play a whole lot more Zelda games too.
From the very first contact I became a fan for life and now that I’ve shared my story, let’s dive into the story of the game. During a time of great conflict, a civil war taking place, a woman, desperate to escape the destruction and chaos sweeping her homeland, made a run for it. Despite her injuries, she was successful in reaching the Kokiri Forest, a protected forest capable of keeping outsiders out. Before succumbing to the welcoming arms of defeat, she leaves her young boy in the care of the Great Deku Tree, the guardian of the forest and the Kokiris, a race of children who never grow up. In the years that followed, the boy was raised as a Koriri, unaware of his true origins and the ways of the world until a fateful day would come and the Gerudo King of Thieves paid the Great Deku Tree a visit. That thief was Ganondorf.
But the Great Deku Tree wasn’t afraid of the male Gerudo and sensing the evil within the man, the Great Deku Tree refused to hand Ganondorf the Spiritual Stone he sorely sought. Enraged by not getting what he wants, Ganondorf placed a terrible curse upon the forest’s guardian, a curse that would bring about the tree’s demise. With terrible events now in moment, and death approaching, the Great Deku Tree makes a request of Navi, one of the fairies of the forest and usual companions to the Kokiri kids, a request to bring the young boy, Link, to the tree as soon as possible. With time of the essence, Navi flies to Link’s treehouse and awakens him from his slumber.
Only after obtaining a sword and shield is Link actually able to visit the tree but once there, the Great Deku Tree is quick to tell Link about the curse placed on him and that he needs Link’s help in breaking it, but in order to do this, Link would need to go inside the Great Deku Tree and vanquish the evil inside and so begins the first dungeon of the game. Despite his successful efforts inside, the Great Deku Tree reveals it was too late for him even before Link set inside. With the end drawing nearer, the guardian uses his last moments to tell our hero about the creation of Hyrule and the Triforce which Ganondorf coverts and reveals that it is Link’s destiny to stop Ganondorf and restore piece to all of Hyrule. With just enough time to hand Link the Spiritual Stone of the Forest, the Great Deku Tree is no more and the adventure has begun. An adventure which would see Link leave the forest, saying goodbye to all he has ever known and visiting places he never knew existed, be it towns, rivers or even volcanos.
With all of Hyrule at risk, nowhere is safe, not in the present and especially in the future, a place Link will see with his own eyes when his quest will send him seven years forward in time, a stranger to almost everyone, save for a select few who remember him straightaway. Ocarina of Time is and always will be a classic. It has some of the best music a videogame has ever had to accompany it. It had a memorable final battle with Ganon and when the world is taken over by Ganondorf and in dire need of saving in the future, Link can still choose to take a break and partake in a little bit of fishing.
Other main differences between the original 1998 game and the 2011, other than the revised graphics and revamped item system I’ve already stated, is the inclusion of Master Quest, which can be unlocked after completing the game for the first time. Upon completion, should you choose to start a new game, you can now do so as Master Quest, which is a mirrored version of the game you’ve already played, like the Wii’s version of Twilight Princess, and Link now receives twice as much damage. There is also the inclusion of Boss Challenge, a mode in which you can fight the bosses you’ve already defeated, once again whenever you visit Link’s home and climb into his bed. To unlock Boss Challenge, you will need to have already beaten the Forest Temple. During the Boss Challenge, should you beat all game bosses, you will unlock the Boss Gauntlet, a mode which will see Link going toe to toe against all the bosses, one after the other.
Then there is also the visions and Sheikah Stones, which we also saw in 2011’s Skyward Sword and again in Majora’s Mask 3D. The stones, which are basically larger versions of the Gossip Stones, are essentially a bit of hand holding on Nintendo’s part, their way of showing us exactly what to do next thanks to a vision, should we get lost or unsure of how to solve our current puzzle. Something worth noting about the Sheikah Stones is that they are not available during Master Quest, which shouldn’t be that much of a problem because if you are playing Master Quest, it means you’ve already beaten the game and all its puzzles and now it’s just a case of doing it all again.
Now before I even begin to weigh the game’s Pros and Cons, I actually fancy talking just a little bit more about it. The 3D version looks absolutely beautiful, it really does, but so does the original, which has ages extremely well. To me, they are virtually the same visually, whenever I think of OoT 64, I always recall it in the 3D detail we know it to be and although the new game does its upmost best to recapture the charms and story of the original, and a vast improvement, in all honestly the two are just the same. OoT 3D will never be better than OoT, but it is equal. The remaster OoT truly deserved and I’m just glad the world did very much remain the way we got to experience it first time round. The frozen Zora’s Domain, becoming a Brother to the Gorons, getting engaged to Ruto, the Zora Princess and of course, becoming part of a boot-strap paradox in which sees Adult Link learning a song from the man in the windmill, who learns the song from Child Link, only after he’s been to the future and learned it himself.
Such sweet memories and experiences, Ocarina of Time, be it the N64 version, GameCube, or even the 3DS one, it’s a true joy to play and continues to be one of the greatest games I have ever played, the game that truly set the bar for what games could be. With that in mind, I’m ready to bust out my Pros & Cons.
-Even to this day, the classic tale is as engaging as ever, just beautifully retold in sharper detail.
-With newer modes and features, there is even more replay value thanks to there being even more things to do and do again.
-Improved archery and controls which only make the overall experience much more enjoyable.
-Still has one of the best final battles ever done in a videogame, with a touching ending to follow.
-The Happy Mask Shop now sports a complete new look, which is breathtakingly beautiful.
-Even the smallest of details undergone a great change, resulting in the world of Ocarina to not just be more detailed, but actually appear livelier.
-Ocarina of Time 3D is the perfect remaster, exactly what Ocarina of Time needed it to be and the Hero of Time and his legend, is just as great as it has always been. Ocarina lives on.
-The sub-screen menus. As effective as it is, it’s just not the same as the original, for that one was a true work of art, even if you did have to keep pausing the game to swap items and check your collection of songs.
I’ve tried racking my brain for faults with this Zelda adventure but I just can’t find them, or “don’t want to find them.” To me this Zelda game remains the perfect Zelda, my perfect Zelda, but even perfection can still be perfected. The second we deem something perfect we stop trying to make it better so as far as Ocarina of Time 3D goes, for me, it’s a 9.9/10.0 carrots for Epona and a 9.9/10.0 on the Miketendo64 Zelda chart. Don’t get me wrong, Ocarina of Time is a perfect game, the perfect game in general and Zelda, it showed us what games could be, but it also should us how to go beyond that and with Zelda U due out for release this year, maybe we will get to see a Zelda game beyond the level of Ocarina of Time, but only time will tell and at least I’ve had such a great time this #ZeldaMonth playing all kinds of Zelda games, including the Wind Waker HD. Next month alone we have some great games due out, both worth the play, but so is Ocarina of Time 3DS and if you haven’t got it yet, make sure you pick up a copy again. It’s a great way to recapture your youth and relive all those fantastic memories.
But as always, the thoughts and opinions expressed here are those of my own and it is encouraged for you to make your own.
The OFFICIAL Miketendo64 Zelda Series Chart: by J.H. Longman
(List of Games include all those Played & Completed by ourselves and the Games that are next on our list to be play)
(1986) The Legend of Zelda 9.0/10.0
(1988) The Adventure of Link 7.6/10.0
(1992) A Link to the Past 9.0/10.0
(1993) Link’s Awakening 7.6/10.0
(1998) Ocarina of Time 9.9/10.0
(2000) Majora’s Mask 9.6/10.0
(2001) Oracle of Seasons 7.3/10.0
(2001) Oracle of Ages 7.3/10.0
(2005) Minish Cap 8.8/10.0
(2006) Twilight Princess 9.8/10.0
(2007) Phantom Hourglass 8.5/10.0
(2008) Spirit Tracks 8.4/10.0
(2011) Ocarina of Time 3D 9.9/10.0
(2011) Skyward Sword 9.4/10.0
(2013) The Wind Waker HD 9.1/10.0
(2013) A Link Between Worlds 9.3/10.0
(2014) Hyrule Warriors 9.5/10.0
(2015) Majora’s Mask 3D 9.6/10.0
(2015) Tri Force Heroes 7.3/10.0
(2016) Twilight Princess HD *To be determined upon review
(2016) Hyrule Warriors Legends *To be determined upon review
(2016) Zelda U *To be determined upon review