Our Favorite Nintendo Exclusives: The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time

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Each month the Cinelinx staff will write a handful of articles covering a specified gaming-related topic, similar to our Movielinx series on the film side of things. These articles will be notified by the Gamerlinx banner. Gamerlinx is an exploration and discussion of our personal connections with video games.  This month, we’re putting the focus solely on Nintendo’s gaming consoles, and exploring the best exclusive titles (throughout all generations both handheld and home console) to be released on their platforms. Join us in our discussion all month long, and share your thoughts with us!


 

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When I first played Zelda I was actually rather young, not super little, but young. To me the world was still massive, and above all else I had no money to buy games. When my uncle wanted to sell his N64, I was all over it. I already had a PlayStation, but I always wanted an N64 to play Super Smash Bros. Well I got that along with a game called Zelda: Ocarina of Time and a suggestion from my uncle saying “that game was awesome!” I didn’t jump right in, but when I did the game didn’t leave my N64 for days, probably weeks as I set out to explore every little inch of this game. Of all the games that came with this fancy new N64, this game was keeping my attention way longer than any other title. It was a magical feeling! It was one of the first titles where I was sitting in school anxiously waiting to get home because I wanted to learn more, see more, and explore more!

Exploring was a big thing in the game after all. We had Link start out as a kid and he was roaming around a small town, then the game slowly expands from there. Then you find another town, busier, more people to talk with, and more mystery building up. You had a massive grassland that inter connected all kinds of worlds. The more you play; the more depth of each world you would find. My favorite was going on the mountain area and finding the hiding entrance. Or chasing around chicken like creatures and throwing them, or being evil and making them attack you. All of these little perks added to the overall experience of figuring out puzzles and continuing a massive story. The world was open, and the entire thing was a massive playground!

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While playing all of this you would see Link slowly aging before your eyes. Yes of course the game made him age, and un-age, but that wasn’t the only aspect of showing him grow. At the beginning of the game you feel like a true kid trying to get out and go on an adventure. You had a fairy telling you not to do things and trying to guide you, and then you finally leave.  Once you leave you start learning new things, how the world works, and overall become a powerful force to be reckoned with! It’s a game where you can truly say the main character was totally different in the last scene than he was in the first scene.

The story was/is remarkable even by today’s standards. It had emotional power, it made you care about every single person you came across. You wanted to save people, hurt the villains, and see Link power through it all. The worlds you explored all told a story too, which was amazing to me when I played it. Seeing a bustling city full of life transform into a ghost town of nothing was jaw dropping and so unexpected on a first play through. It added impact to a story and made you feel as though you are part of it all going on. Then we can’t forget the amazing sound track, right down to playing tunes on your own Ocarina.

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Besides the troubling puzzles and constant traveling between places, there is one thing that remains in my memory the most. The dang final boss in the game and going in unprepared. I will admit this is the first time I turned to others to help me figure out what the hell I should do. I ended up buying a game guide, yes a friggin game guide, to help me figure out how to beat him. Turned out I still had a lot of stuff to do to get proper abilities to take him out! It was one of the first games I played that didn’t hold your hand 100 percent and threw a challenge at you that perhaps you shouldn’t tackle just yet.

I don’t know about others, but ever since playing this game I am always super jealous when a new Zelda releases and I don’t currently have the Nintendo console to play it. Zelda has always had a team behind it that would push boundaries and try something new. They always release a polished title and make sure everything is top notch. Ocarina of Time is a true example of just that, and goes down as one of my all time favorite games period. Not just for Nintendo, but of all time!