Still widely considered to be one of greatest games of all time, 1998’s The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time is one of the most important milestones in video game history.
The first Legend of Zelda game to be released on the N64, Ocarina of Time was significant for a number of reasons. It introduced a number of new gameplay innovations such as context-sensitive buttons and a lock-on feature, many of which became industry standard and are still used in game development today. These features made navigating Ocarina of Time’s vast and beautifully crafted game world feel all the more immersive.
Set within the fictional fantasy kingdom of Hyrule, Ocarina of Time follows the adventures of Link, the green-garbed protagonist of every mainline Legend of Zelda game. As a young child, Link is tasked with the ever so heavy burden of saving the world from Ganondorf. This wicked man seeks the Triforce, a legendary artefact that will give him the power to rule the world. The adventure that ensues involves Link traversing treacherous dungeons, interacting with key characters and even travelling across time itself in order to put an end to Ganondorf’s nefarious plans.
Ocarina of Time was originally intended to be released on Nintendo’s ill-fated 64DD disk-drive add-on for the N64. However, Nintendo eventually moved the game to the system’s standard cartridge format due a to a myriad of technical issues (Nintendo may have also already pre-empted that the 64DD was destined for commercial failure by this point in time). The final game released on a 32MB (256 Mbits) cartridge, which was the largest game Nintendo had ever created up until that point.
Over 7.6 million copies of Ocarina of Time were sold worldwide and, at the time of writing, it is still the highest rated game on review-aggregating website, Metacritic, with an aggregated score of 99/100. The game has been re-released multiple times, most notably on the Nintendo GameCube as part of the The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker Collector’s Edition. This version of the game also includes The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time Master Quest, a modified version of the original game that featured different dungeon designs.
In 2011, Nintendo released The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D, an enhanced remake, for its Nintendo 3DS system.