The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time

In my opinion, Ocarina of Time is still the best video game ever made. Maybe it’s just because I happened to play it at a particular age that I have the fondest memories of, or maybe it’s because one of my friends names it as his favorite of all time. Nonetheless, even though game technology has advanced considerably, Ocarina of Time is still the game I hold closest to my heart.

Early in his adventure, Link happens upon the serene Lon Lon Ranch, home to the sweet Malon and her horse, Epona, Malon’s pride and joy.

It introduced a very important element for 3D action games, and that is the lock-on and auto jump features. This made combat a lot easier, while still leaving room for strategy. Also, this was the first 3D Zelda game, and it brought a lot of what made the series so magical to life in a whole new way.

There are just too many magical moments in this game to count, and they all add up to an unforgettable adventure. Take the opening sequence as an example.

You have spent an hour or so getting to know the inhabitants of the Kokiri Forest, the place where your character has lived through this point. You’ve explored the various nooks and crannies of your sanctuary, uncovering secret hideouts and treasures. Everyone is happy, moving about with a purpose, and, most importantly, safe. The grass is vibrant, the water is crystal clear, and there are butterflies fluttering among the flowers. However, a visit with the guardian of the Kokiri, the Great Deku Tree, has summoned you and informed you that all is not well in Hyrule (the world of which the Kokiri Forest is but one part of), and that a desert king has been gaining in power and influence, and has plans to rule all of Hyrule. It is your destiny to protect Hyrule and defeat the King of Evil, who has put a death curse on the Great Deku Tree, causing the guardian to slowly fade away. You know it is necessary to leave your home and friends behind, because their safety depends on stopping the Evil King. As you are on the bridge leaving the forest, your closest childhood friend stops you to say goodbye. She knows you will be gone a long time, so she gives you her ocarina, a treasure she hopes will remind you of her every time you play it. Myriad emotions well up in you, but standing there, on that bridge, is only delaying the inevitable and making it even harder to leave, so you say goodbye for now, and throw yourself out of the woods…and then you are confronted by Hyrule, in all of its glory and grandeur. Mountains for as far as the eye can see. Lush streams winding their way to a beautiful lake. Harsh deserts tempting the bravest adventurers. A magnificent castle, looming tall and proud over the entire Kingdom. You are simultaneously struck by the vast scale of the universe of which you only knew a tiny part of your whole life, but also by the beauty of it all. And so the adventure begins.

The time travel aspect of the game is brilliantly played out. By taking the blade of Evil’s bane, known as the Master Sword, you awaken seven years in the future, by which time Ganondorf, the Evil King of the desert, has consumed Hyrule with his corruption and death. It is extremely interesting to visit all of the places and people you had gotten to know and love as a child and see how they have changed. The Kokiri Forest, your home, has been overrun by monsters, forcing all of your childhood friends inside their homes. Zora’s Domain, the source of all of Hyrule’s water, has been frozen over. And the grand Hyrule Castle has been dismantled and replaced by the foreboding and oppressive Ganon’s Tower. As you progress through the game, you have to switch between the two time periods to find the power to end the Evil King, Ganon’s, reign and grip over the Kingdom.

The real star of the game, however, is the music. With the ocarina your friend Saria gave you as the two of you part ways in hand, you meet people throughout the land that have special songs to pass on to you. These ocarina melodies are the sweetest sounds you will ever hear in your life. Click this link to hear some of the ocarina melodies:

Ocarina Melodies

While the ocarina songs are special, the themes for the different areas of Hyrule are extraordinary as well.

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