The Zero Hour

Reviews, rants and oddities on video game and film culture.

My Top 10 video games of all time Day 5 – #6

The Legend Of Zelda: Ocarina Of Time
Platform: N64
Release: 1998

Ocarina Of Time is not shy of lists like these, it’s frequently number 1 of “Best game ever” lists and is generally placed in “top 10_____ videogames” in some point, why is this? Well because quite simply, it’s a damn fine game. Another question you maybe asking is, “If that’s the case, why isn’t it number 1 on your list?” The short answer is, I’m not exactly sure, but I just felt that I prefer the next five to this.

The Legend Of Zelda was already established and utterly wonderful before OoT, the 4th game in the series. But, Ocarina of Time would launch it into the straosphere gaining generations upon generations of new fans. The game takes place before every other Zelda game (expect the Minish Cap) and starts off in Kokiri Forest, where young Link lives amongst a village of forest children, already the game feels magical, almost like a fairytale. As the game progresses, you meet all sorts of people and creatrues from the Volcano dwelling Gorons, the water dwelling Zora’s and the desert based group of female thieves, the Gerudo, It feels like an epic adventure to cross the Hyrule alone.

What Ocarina Of Time does best, I feel is it brings the world of Hyrule to life. In the older games, although you got the mythology, for all you know it could have been set in a far land a few hundred years back. OoT immerses you in it’s mythology from the start from explaining the creation of the world, the goddesses, the triforce and the ancient sages. no other game establishes so much, yet gives away so little (Other timeline theroists know what I mean…) It’s truly breath-taking the amount of ideas and mythology within the game and it really helps you get sucked into the world of Hyrule. Quite frankly, you’ll never want to leave.

The game’s main quest involves you (Link, or whatever you choose to name him) as the boy without a fairy. He turns out to be the chosen one, so he is given a fairy (although in hindsight, most of us wish the Deku Tree didn’t bother) and told to meet the Princess of Destiny (Zelda). When Link does, she tells him of prophetic dreams she has involving the evil lord Ganondorf, who will try and seize the Triforce (3 golden triangles representing the gods that was left on earth and can grant any wish). The two decide to stop him by getting it first. The thing is, that’s only half the game. The game is so big and long and almost impossible to explain, it’s an incredible tour-de force of storytelling, almost like a fairytale book and it’s utterly compelling.

You maybe reading this with no concept of the game (if not, why?) and wondering what an Ocarina has to do with this. The titular Ocarina is one of the items in the game, given to Link after Zelda escapes the castle. It is the most important item in the game. The game uses music to trigger events. Zelda’s Lullaby is used to open areas, Saria’s Song can be used to get hints, Epona’s song summons Link’s horse (yes, there’s horseriding in the games) and there are songs that warp you to various dungeons.

The music is particulary excellent in the game, when you’re kid Link, the themes are light, bouncy and incredibly catchy (Lost Woods is my main example)

yet as soon as you become an Adult, the tunes take on a darker mor rich sound to show the darker evil Hyrule ruled by Ganondorf.

In conclusion, Ocarina Of Time is a masterpiece of a game and as I write this, I genuienly am wondering why I put it at #6.  The game is incredibly detailed and just unfinishable. Once the main quests done, there’s god knows how many side-quests (collecting heart pieces, skulltula’s, item upgrades). Hell, I’ve had the game for years and I ahven’t got everything and I’ve yet to meet someone who has.


One response to “My Top 10 video games of all time Day 5 – #6

  1. Aaron Anderson 08/04/2010 at 00:46

    Confession time!
    I never bought the N64 adventures of Link back in the 90’s mainly because of, well, The Adventure of Link.
    I really liked the original when it came out oh so many years ago, Legend of Zelda II then came along and I lost interest in the series for a long time.
    Then one day Nintendo handed out free discs containing Zelda I, II OoT and MM. For free! I played the games and tbh saw the goodness but ultimately preffered the 8-bit adventures the best. I have played both Windwaker and Twilight Princess but I know that LoZ games will never be in my personal Top ten list, catchy theme though! [/reuminating about the past]

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