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Retro Weekly Number 2: The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
The game of the week for this week’s Retro Weekly is one that is close to my heart: The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time.
This game takes me back to the prime of my childhood. Released in 1998, two years after the release of the Nintendo 64, Ocarina of Time was the pinnacle of its era. An open-world adventure game (well, as open-world as you got back then) set in the land of Hyrule, you play as a young boy named Link on an adventure to save the Hyrule from the dark lord Gannondorf as he attempts to take the power of the Triforce for himself and bring darkness to the land.
This game had a huge importance to me in my youth and even inspired my love of the series. Though in my youth I never managed to complete the game, it never stopped me playing it to its entirety. I used to sneak onto my brother’s save and play bits and bats of his. Through drips and drabs I eventually played each and every bit of it, even if not in the intended order. My friend and I would spend weekends playing through it, taking turns to do every other dungeon in aim of completing it before dreaded Monday came around and ruined our lives again for another week. On the odd occasion I would simply sit and watch as he completed it himself with intention of less than 24 hours played (which often had us starting early in the morning and playing through the night). I feel happy to tell you that was achieved several times.
What I loved most about this game was the trivia placed throughout. The intensity of some of the puzzles you have to figure out to progress through the game were just captivating; they gave you determination to prevail and make the victory ever more sweeter. It wasn’t just the challenges of the game that made it so special to me; the graphics for the time were wonderful. The 3D graphics brought Hyrule to you in a new way and allowed you to explore like never before.
The story was one that had not quite been seen in a Legend of Zelda title before. Whilst all Zelda games have had good stories and have captured the attention of the audience, Ocarina of Time brought something different to the table with the inclusion of characters that you meet throughout the game and have them revealed to you as sages as you progress through the quest.
The diversity of weapons is interesting, with acquiring some for use as a child and others for adult use making you think hard about which weapons you will need to progress, having lost useful childhood items when you become an adult.
As far as I can see, Ocarina of Time has had a huge impact on gaming. With many gamers and developers taking so much inspiration from it for their games and gaming preferences, it’s even been had an amazing 3D remake to bring its epic gameplay to a whole new generation. If a gamer wasn’t already a Zelda fan by this point, then this game more than likely brought them to the series and hooked them for life (and it helps that Majora’s Mask was released two years later).
This game has not only affected me on a personal level, but has had an influence on the world of gaming. I advise all those who never got to play it in its heyday to grab a copy and enjoy its enthralling gameplay and learn what a truly spectacular game this once was and still is even in today’s gaming world.