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3 Articles - 3 Days: A Legend 10 Years In The Making

Why We Love Ocarina of Time
Written by: The King of Hyrule

On this day ten years ago, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time was released in Japan. This day comments the launch on what has become known as the greatest game of all time, which hit shelves on November 21, 1998.

So what about Ocarina of Time made people love it so much? How did just one game change so many things? Its success can be attributed to multiple things. The game was revolutionary, to say the least. It created standards for later games and set the bar on many levels. The game was expansive, and kept gamers busy for hours, both in and out of the game. The game was large in its in-game world, as well as its storyline. The massive, controversial storyline sparked many heated discussions, and, sometimes, obsessions with the game. The fans flocked to the internet, cause a huge surge in Zelda sites, which kept up the hype before the game came out, and helped to build its fame after its release. All of these things led Ocarina of Time to become the greatest game ever.

Ocarina of Time was not the first game to step into the realm of 3D, but it was one of the first to allow the gamer to visit any area at pretty much any time they wanted to. It was the first to feature an enemy-targeting system, called Z-Targeting, which allowed Link to lock onto a foe and make much more accurate shots at it. Graphically, the game was stunning for its time. The graphics toppled its competitors, especially Super Mario 64, as Nintendo had taken on the heavy burden of creating a realistic looking game. Ocarina of Time just had so much, well, life to its graphics and artistry. It featured everything from happy, colorful places, to sad, raining places, to intimidating, dark places. The game was not the first to use its environment to create a mood for the player, but it definitely did it the best, raising the bar higher than any other game around. The realistic graphics made it easier to add a light, happy feel to a room, as well as a dark, gloomy or scary feel to another. Because of its expansive over and underworld, the game had a chance to display many different qualities, many of which other games of its time only dreamed of having. The long, intense storyline put together with the massive world, all covered in the most detailed graphics around made for a very large game. In fact, at its release, Ocarina of Time was the largest game ever, and Nintendo was forced to design a larger 32-megabyte cartridge for it, which then allowed for developers to create even large and more in-depth games than ever before. If I were to list all of the revolutionary things about Ocarina of Time, this article would continue on forever, but the revolutionary ideas contained in Ocarina of Time were not the only things that lead to the game’s widespread success.

Another major factor in our love of Ocarina of Time is the detailed, in-depth, and rather amazing storyline. I briefly touched on the storyline in the previous paragraph, but it did much more than set a standard. The game not only featured a world that had feeling and emotion, but also made use of an emotional and seductive storyline that sucked in the gamer and involved them. The storyline gave the player a reason to keep playing. In all honesty, though playing through dungeons in fun, it would get old very fast if there was no goal to reach or prize to win. The story behind the game gave the gamer something to look forward to, as the game promised that all would be revealed in the end. However, this was not necessarily true. The timeline aspect of the Zelda series has long been a favorite thing for fans to debate with each other. Though Ocarina of Time wasn’t the first game in the Zelda series, its controversial storyline cause some of the first timeline debates. The debates drew in new gamers, and caused the replay value for the game to soar, a brilliant move on Nintendo’s part. In-depth storylines have long been a part of Zelda games and always will be, but Ocarina of Time set the expectation for storylines to come, and expectation that, sadly, has not been met by any other game thus far.

If one thing outside of the game itself was chosen as a reason that Ocarina of Time excelled, it’s a no-brainer that the community would be the top choice. By Ocarina of Time’s release, Zelda’s fan base had been built up substantially, largely due to the new website that sprung up, as well as the discussions that took place. From the day of Ocarina of Time’s announcement, the community kept the fire burning in expectation of the game. As new information surfaced, websites and forums raced to post it first. Tons of people were inspired to create their own site to cover the news, and though tons of them failed, a couple actually survived quite a long time. Some are even still alive and active to this day, ten years later, most notably Zelda 64, Zelda Power, and Ganon’s Tower. As the amount of information grew, the number of sites grew, as well as the size of the Zelda community. Today, the Zelda community reigns as one of the largest in the world, and still continues to bring the fan base the latest news and hype. The community owes a large debt to Ocarina of Time, and Ocarina of Time owes an even larger debt to its community.

I could go on and on with the reasons why Ocarina of Time is a cherished and monumental game. The reasons are endless, but, in all honesty, a game is what we make it. You have to commit yourself to the storyline and engage yourself in the game in order to enjoy it. Ocarina of Time provides this opportunity on countless occasions, and its revolutionary qualities and controversial nature made it all the easier. The game was a hit the moment it was announced, still is a hit today, and always will be a hit. Ocarina of Time is a one-of-a-kind gem that will remain in the hearts of gamers everywhere as the greatest game of all time.

But can it be topped?


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