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Special: Ocarina of Time 10th Anniversary

by Greg Leahy - November 24, 2008, 10:22 pm PST
Total comments: 55

Jonny, Greg, Evan, and the ghost of Jon Lindemann look back at one of the greatest and most beloved games of all time on its tenth birthday.

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We celebrate a decade of Zelda in the third dimension.






November 23 was The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time's tenth birthday, and while Nintendo fans around the world blew out their golden cartridges to celebrate with a trip back (and forth) in time through Hyrule circa 1998 on Nintendo 64, the RFN crew decided that this was an occasion worthy of a special episode.

Host Jonathan Metts, token foreigner Greg Leahy, and lightning rod Jon Lindemann welcomed special guest Evan Burchfield back into the RFN fold to reminisce about the interminable wait for Zelda's first foray into 3D, share the joy of experiencing the incredible final product, and ponder its significance as one of the most remarkable and groundbreaking games of all time.

This being RFN though, there were technical problems, in this case meaning that Mr. Lindemann's audio was sealed away in the Sacred Realm to be used as a punching bag for a very angry Ganondorf to kill a few centuries with. Fortunately, much of the discussion was not compromised by this sad turn of events, so there's still a great deal of Ocarina retrospection to enjoy. As for what Jon made of it all, I guess that will have to wait for 2018….

Credits:

This podcast was edited by James Jones.

Music for this episode of Radio Free Nintendo is used with permission from Jason Ricci & New Blood. You can purchase their new album, Rocket Number 9, directly from the record label, or download it from iTunes, or call your local record store and ask for it!

Additional music for this episode of Radio Free Nintendo is copyrighted to Nintendo, and is included under fair use protection.

Talkback

I really loved this episode, guys. It's perhaps my favorite RFN. I'm in the middle of replaying Twilight Princess, too, so it's especially topical.

BTW, both times when playing TP I got Metroid Prime vibes. Now I know it's the other way around :)

KDR_11kNovember 25, 2008

The Zelda that ruined Zelda forever! Yay!

AVNovember 25, 2008

this was unexpected. I totally forgot about 10 years of Zelda in 3d. I can't to listen to this later today.

Quote from: KDR_11k

The Zelda that ruined Zelda forever! Yay!

So you hated the fact that Zelda was put into 3D?

GoldenPhoenixNovember 25, 2008

Quote from: Lindy

Quote from: KDR_11k

The Zelda that ruined Zelda forever! Yay!

So you hated the fact that Zelda was put into 3D?

Don't get sucked in Lindy!

PaleMike Gamin, Contributing EditorNovember 25, 2008

Is it a safe assumption that Crimm edited this?  If so, he did an awesome job given the technical difficulties.

KDR_11kNovember 25, 2008

Quote from: Lindy

Quote from: KDR_11k

The Zelda that ruined Zelda forever! Yay!

So you hated the fact that Zelda was put into 3D?

I hated the implementation, the lock-on fighting made combat a lot more tedious than before and having stuff like the hookshot limited to specifically marked targets on the walls made many puzzles devolve into using the item that matches a specific level element. Overall it felt much less dynamic than 2d Zelda.

Nick DiMolaNick DiMola, Staff AlumnusNovember 25, 2008

Great episode guys, and fantastic editing. Audio problems seemed almost non-existent with the fading music (which was quite fitting with discussions).

About halfway through listening to it and I've been enjoying so far.

Humorous note though. I got back to my dorm after class and my roommate was playing Ocarina of Time. I made some comment like "Celebrating the anniversary?" and he flatly replied "What anniversary?"
He started playing the game on the exact day of the 10 year anniversary and had no idea about the anniversary. Must just be in the air.

NinGurl69 *hugglesNovember 25, 2008

Should've hinted at the 2nd ending.

Quote from: KDR_11k

I hated the implementation, the lock-on fighting made combat a lot more tedious than before and having stuff like the hookshot limited to specifically marked targets on the walls made many puzzles devolve into using the item that matches a specific level element. Overall it felt much less dynamic than 2d Zelda.

Fascinating.  I used to think you just hated everything non-Nintendo, then I realized you hated everything that ran in HD, and now you say you hate Ocarina of Time.  What do you like aside from Apogee, KDR?

SkiDragonNovember 25, 2008

I have a low tech suggestion. Buy tape recorders. They are much more reliable. If your audio recording onto the computer fails, you can simply play back the tape later to recover your lost conversation.

I agree with some of the comments above. While certainly an excellent game and innovative on several fronts, I think the game is a bit over rated. I recall even losing interest in in half way through, and only coming back to finish it some months later. It made the transition to 3D as well as any series could hope to, but I still find Zelda more at home in 2D. I would like to see a new 2D Zelda game, with as much time and dedication put into it as would be put into any new AAA game. And I'd like to see it on a console. On a disk.

GoldenPhoenixNovember 25, 2008

For some reason when I download the podcast in MP3 form it says it can't open the file.

KDR_11kNovember 26, 2008

2D Zelda >>>> 3D Zelda.

broodwarsNovember 26, 2008

Ocarina is probably my 3rd-favorite Zelda game, preceeded by Twilight Princess at 2 and Majora's Mask at 1.  It still has my favorite Zelda dungeons and bosses, though, and the sheer scope of the game is incredibly impressive for its time.  Ocarina also introduced a sense of cinematic presentation and story to the series that we're still seeing the ripple effects of today.  One thing, though, related to your discussion of the game: Z-Targeting DOES have a gameplay element: while Z-Targeting Link raises his shield, and it is the ONLY way to have his raise his shield while moving.  Otherwise, he just stops in place and you can move his shield around.

As I said, though, my favorite Zelda is Majora's Mask, partly because it is so abstract and inventive.  However, the big reason it's my favorite Zelda game is that it's the only one in the entire series that goes to great lengths to make you feel like you are a part of the game world, that the actions you make actually make a difference to the people around you.  Throughout the game, you essentially become a citizen of Termina: you follow their movements, you learn their stories and ambitions, and in the end you make decisions that personally impact their lives.  And through this, you gain a connection to these NPCs and I can't think of another Nintendo game that does this so well.  When nighttime of Day 3 comes around the world comes to an end, you CARE about what happens to the world as the ground starts shaking and the clock tower starts chiming like an air raid warning.  THAT'S what I want in the next Zelda game: that connection and the feeling that my actions make a difference, not just Wiimote controls and better graphics.

SchadenfreudeNovember 26, 2008

I beat Ocarina of Time. I never beat Link to the Past. Therefore, Ocarina of Time is superior to Link to the Past.

I talking to a friend about Ocarina of Time and Majora's Mask, and it dawned on me that Majora's Mask is kind of like the movie Groundhog Day.
Then I pictured Bill Murray as Link.
I'd totally play that game.

NinGurl69 *hugglesNovember 26, 2008

"and it dawned on me that Majora's Mask is kind of like the movie Groundhog Day."

COPYRIGHT VIOLATION.  VIOLATION.

INTERNET PREVIEWS FROM 2001 WANT THEIR HEADLINE BACK.

Uh-oh. I just revealed I wasn't 'net crazy seven years ago. Whoops.

Whatever. I still enjoy my Bill Murray as Link mental image.

NinGurl69 *hugglesNovember 26, 2008

My bad, it's supposed to be 2000.

Get Smart Bill Murray, as the Deku Tree.

Quote from: NinGurl69

Get Smart Bill Murray, as the Deku Tree.

That would be amazing.
Just get all the characters that Bill Murray has played through the years and match them up with Zelda characters.
I'm sure Steve Zissou could be a character from Wind Waker.

DAaaMan64November 26, 2008

Thanks for the episode all.

the only thing I have to say about is my disappointment about the absence of James. Also, all of KDR's posts in this thread suck and I wanna comment on Jon's feelings about Mirror's Edge.  Jon have you played this game yet? Beaten it by chance? It doesn't seem much beyond Assassin's Creed but in first person to me. It's an okay game though.

GoldenPhoenixNovember 27, 2008

I loved the part where Jonny sounded like he was responding to the voices in his head where he said something, and then he said "Yeah".

YoshidiousGreg Leahy, Staff AlumnusNovember 27, 2008

Quote from: GoldenPhoenix

I loved the part where Jonny sounded like he was responding to the voices in his head where he said something, and then he said "Yeah".

When you learn to quiet your mind, you too will be able to hear the ghost of Jon Lindemann (tip: if it tells you to buy a PS3, it's probably Lindy, anything else...maybe consulting a psychiatrist would be in order).

ShyGuyNovember 27, 2008

I didn't play OOT until 2005, due to the fact that I was more into PC games back in 98. I had already played Wind Waker as my first 3D Zelda game and I can say that OOT still held up several years later and was in fact better than Wind Waker.

Ocarina of Time is one of only three games out of the hundreds that I've played that I'd give a 10 out of 10 (alongside Super Mario Bros. 3 and Super Mario Galaxy). I wish I had the blocks to copy it back to my Wii and finish it again.

DasmosNovember 28, 2008

I went to try an replay OoT again a couple of months ago, and I'm going to have to disagree with ShyGuy, I really couldn't get back into. Maybe it was because my N64 controller has been thrashed, but it I couldn't get back into the controls. So instead I went and played Wind Waker all the way through again.

I forget exactly what I said about Mirror's Edge here, but I believe it was something to the effect that it's one of the games I lost interest in this holiday season.  I don't have anything against the game, but I've read that it's really short but quite good.  It's the kind of title I'll pick up when I can find it really cheap.

GoldenPhoenixNovember 28, 2008

Quote from: Lindy

I forget exactly what I said about Mirror's Edge here, but I believe it was something to the effect that it's one of the games I lost interest in this holiday season.  I don't have anything against the game, but I've read that it's really short but quite good.  It's the kind of title I'll pick up when I can find it really cheap.

Screw these innovative games, I want more shoot lots of things in the first person perspective. Those are worth my consumer dollars!

DAaaMan64November 28, 2008

Quote from: Lindy

I forget exactly what I said about Mirror's Edge here, but I believe it was something to the effect that it's one of the games I lost interest in this holiday season.  I don't have anything against the game, but I've read that it's really short but quite good.  It's the kind of title I'll pick up when I can find it really cheap.

Sorry Lindy, I was talking to the other Jonny since he mentioned it in the podcast.  But whatever, more input is good too

KDR_11kNovember 28, 2008

Quote from: ShyGuy

I didn't play OOT until 2005, due to the fact that I was more into PC games back in 98. I had already played Wind Waker as my first 3D Zelda game and I can say that OOT still held up several years later and was in fact better than Wind Waker.

Same progression here but I didn't like OOT as much, the lack of camera controls was seriously clunky and the dungeon design was a lot more annoying in OOT (I only played past the forest temple but I heard there's still a really horrible temple ahead).

NinGurl69 *hugglesNovember 28, 2008

You'd BETTER play the rest if only to realize how dungeon design became a disappointing string of HAND-HOLDING one-puzzle-one-exit rooms starting with Wind Waker.  I want to figure out where I should start/go and be surprised where I end up, not have the dungeon magickally lead me to the boss room.

OOT and MM at least had more imaginative variety in dungeon architecture/floor plan, where rooms had more interesting interconnections/relationships beyond a simple door to walk thru.  I didn't like entering new dungeons in later games to find "ugh, not another tower/cylinder" or "ugh, it's just a straight line of rooms after another."  If the major exit in a room turns out to be the unlocked door that's visible as soon as I walk in, that is a missed opportunity to surprise me, and sums up Twilight Princess.

DAaaMan64November 28, 2008

Pro is right. There was something about those mysteries that made dungeons more fun.

ShyGuyNovember 28, 2008

Well, in the interest of full disclosure, I didn't play OOT on the N64 controller, I bought the Zelda gamecube  collection disc at a used game store so I played it with a cube controller. Perhaps that affected my enjoyment of the game?

And the dungeons had more variety in Ocarina than in Wind Waker. The Twilight Princess dungeons were somewhere inbetween.

Water dungeon sucks!

Quote from: GoldenPhoenix

Screw these innovative games, I want more shoot lots of things in the first person perspective. Those are worth my consumer dollars!

You're obviously referring to Resistance 2 and Gears 2, which may not be as "innovative" as Mirror's Edge, but by what I've read about ME are much more worthy of paying $60 for in terms of sheer content.  ME only has a super-short single-player campaign as far as I know, whereas Resistance 2 and Gears 2 have single-player campaign, co-op campaign, 8-player co-op, online multiplayer out the wazoo, Horde mode, etcetera, etcetera.  Whether you like R2 or G2 or not, you can't argue that they're impressive packages.

DAaaMan64November 28, 2008

Lindy is right about this. Even if GoW is nothing but a rehash of the first. ME can be parted with after the first 4 missions.

I disagree. I loved playing through the main story of Mirror's Edge. The story's kind of dumb, but the gameplay is crazy fun albeit takes a little while to get used to.
There's a lot of mileage with it with the time trials and speed runs.

I'd much rather have more Mirror's Edge games than Resistance 2 and GoW 2

DAaaMan64November 28, 2008

No I agree nron10.  More Mirror's Edge less GoW types, but ME was seriously lacking in things to do.  Ya there are speed runs but it shouldn't have been 60 bucks.

NinGurl69 *hugglesNovember 28, 2008

*Tales of Awesome: Dawn of Fist*

I've put 75+ hours into a $40 game this month alone.

KDR_11kNovember 29, 2008

Quote from: DAaaMan64

No I agree nron10.  More Mirror's Edge less GoW types, but ME was seriously lacking in things to do.  Ya there are speed runs but it shouldn't have been 60 bucks.

The less a game is worth, the more likely it is to hit full price. Third party B-list efforts on the Wii? 60€. Super Mario Galaxy, best game on the system? 45€.

Just listened to the show, and I want to commend James on his excellent editing under unsavory conditions.

SundoulosDecember 03, 2008

Quote from: Yoshidious

Quote from: GoldenPhoenix

I loved the part where Jonny sounded like he was responding to the voices in his head where he said something, and then he said "Yeah".

When you learn to quiet your mind, you too will be able to hear the ghost of Jon Lindemann (tip: if it tells you to buy a PS3, it's probably Lindy, anything else...maybe consulting a psychiatrist would be in order).

I just got finished with the show last night.  I loved it, and I regret that some of the discussions were lost.  Hopefully, next time, you guys can use your proton paks on the ghost of Lindemann to capture his dialogue, so the rest of us who aren't so psychically attuned to the spiritual plane can hear him.  :)

Thanks to Greg for a great idea.  I love the episodes where you guys have reminisced about old gaming experiences, and if any game deserves a whole episode, OoT is it.  As the opportunities present themselves, I'd love to hear more "retrospective" epsiodes in this vein.  Maybe I'm so interested in talking about old games, because, I, like others, have been disappointed in Nintendo's Wii software offerings for 2/3 of 2008. 

I'm a few years older than most of the guys on the panel (probably significantly older than some of them).  I played my first Zelda game when I was in junior high; Ocarina came out when I was in college.  In a way, Ocarina of Time was poignant for me because, in a sense, I felt that I had sort of grown up with Link.  I'd agree with much of what was said about the console follow-ups to OoT.  I'll expand those thoughts in a letter to RFN when I get the time.

I have special memories of all the Zelda games, really.  My dad played the original LoZ alongside me during my childhood; though he's never been very good at video games in general, I was able to help guide him through to the end.  (We shared a love of anything in the fantasy genre, so playing Zelda together was a lot of fun.)  My grandmother also shares that interest;  she inherited one of the grandkid's SNESes, and she took an immediate liking to A Link To the Past.  I think she still plays it to this day, and she has claimed to be able to beat it in 3 hours.  I've never seen her do it, but I don't doubt her.  Unfortunately, neither of my previously-mentioned forebears were willing to make the transition to 3-D gaming; so they haven't touched any of the newer Zelda games in the last few years. 

On the bright side, I have a young son (though still too young to play games), and another child on the way;  I look forward to sharing future Zelda memories with them, hopefully.  I do hope we get a few more generations of Zelda before Nintendo decides to retire the series.

Nick DiMolaNick DiMola, Staff AlumnusDecember 03, 2008

In this down time between episodes you guys can (should :P) check out the Persona 3 Discussion (40 mins) I did along with my wife and one of our friends...

You can find it here.

TofuFuryDecember 03, 2008

I just wanted to say I really enjoyed this episode. I love talking and listening to people talk about old games or systems. It's great to hear episodes like this one and the n64 one where there's lots of reminiscing. I hope RFN has some more episodes like this in the future.

I never had a chance to play Zelda on any of my systems. I remember all the buzz about it on the internet, though. I used AOL at the time, and the N64 section of the ANT boards were really hyped up about the game. Unfortunately, I spent more time on the playstation section of it, so I never got to see how most people felt about the game.

Just recently I repurchased an N64 with the intent of playing through games I missed out on or didn't finish. I made sure that Ocarina of Time was the first game I bought for it. I haven't played through much of it yet, but I finished the first dungeon. It's exciting to finally play through it, since it's loved by so many people.

AVDecember 03, 2008

i might play "master quest" over the christmas break because i haven't played that in years since before Wind Waker came out.

I only played that once too so it shouldn't be fresh.

DAaaMan64December 03, 2008

If you go Start -> Programs -> accessories -> Entertainment, there is a sound recorder,

why not record from that WHILE doing your normal recording method. That way you could email each other the files if they are lost.  You may already be doing that.

KDR_11kDecember 04, 2008

That thing can only record for one minute, then you have to hit stop and record again. Unless they fixed that since the last time I tried it...

DAaaMan64December 04, 2008

Ah shit your right. But maybe they could double blanket that stuff.

NinGurl69 *hugglesDecember 04, 2008

For basic recording I recommend HarddiskOgg.

SchadenfreudeDecember 04, 2008

Pro-tip, you can record audio with headphones if you don't have a microphone.

Let me think back to some of the stuff I said here.

- Ocarina of Time was highly anticipated not because it was a Zelda game, but also because everybody wanted to see how the world was translated into 3D.
- I loved how the game design was such that it was done not for technology's sake, but to stay true to the "feel" of Zelda.  Making sure the "feel" was maintained was more important than making it a graphical showcase (even though it was that too).
- I loved the subtle way in which it strung you along by showing you potential rewards, but not necessarily in an obvious manner.  The old "I can't up on that ledge yet...I probably need another item."

That's all I can think of at the moment.

vuduDecember 05, 2008

I know it was just an off-hand comment by Jonny, but who the hell says Mario 64 is overrated or hasn't held up very well?!

GoldenPhoenixDecember 07, 2008

Quote from: vudu

I know it was just an off-hand comment by Jonny, but who the hell says Mario 64 is overrated or hasn't held up very well?!

I do. At least the not held up well part. I think it is silly to say it was overrated though (Just like OOT) because it influenced gaming design for over a decade.

SchadenfreudeDecember 07, 2008

Just finished listening to the episode. Great discussion.

I never owned an N64, so I didn't play Ocarina of Time until I got it as a pre-order bonus for Wind Waker. One thing that surprised me was how "creepy" the game looked at times, which I attribute mostly to the N64 graphics. The Biggorn's Sword sidequest is still my favorite sidequest of all time. It was quite rewarding.

I actually stopped playing for a year when I got to the infamous Water Temple. I used a guide on Gamefaqs because of how big of a pain it is. I got all the way to the boss's door when I realized I had missed the boss key. I didn't want to try searching for it, so I just stopped. When I did pick it up again, it was actually pretty easy to find.

To me, the most memorable part of Ocarina of Time is the final boss. It was epic and one of the most enjoyable I've ever played.

DAaaMan64December 07, 2008

Quote from: Schadenfreude

The Biggorn's Sword sidequest is still my favorite sidequest of all time. It was quite rewarding.

I 1000% agree.

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