Ocarina of Time is praised for being an epic adventure, yet not much attention is paid to the dark implications within the subtext of its story.
The legend of Zelda The series is a jewel in the crown among Nintendo’s many IPs. Over the course of more than three decades, the franchise has had numerous installments, all with different tones and gameplay mechanics, so naturally everyone will have a favorite that will stand out from the rest. Breath of the wild is known for its stunning open world, while A link to the past He is often credited with cementing the formula that the series still mostly follows today. The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of TimeIn particular, it was a groundbreaking success and remains a personal favorite of many players to this day.
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time is often praised for being the epitome of how a large-scale adventure game should feel and play. However, simply examining it as a simple adventure would sell the game short. While many tend to consider later titles as majora mask and twilight princess so many darker and more mature narratives, Ocarina of time in reality, much more is going on in your world than some may initially consider. While the other titles mentioned above are quite advanced with their dark theme, Ocarina of time instead, he uses subtext and underlying themes to sell his more adult concepts, perhaps resulting in the saddest story in the entire series.
Victim of the flow of time
Ocarina of time It begins similarly to most other games in the franchise, with Link sleeping soundly in bed, abruptly awakened by a call to action to embark on a life-changing journey. For about the first third of the game, the general rhythm develops like most The legend of Zelda Games predated this, and frankly, are still played to this day. Link will explore new locations, meet new towns, and face the danger of acquiring another key element to keep moving forward.
What establishes Ocarina of timeHowever, the plot, apart from the rest, is the emphasis on how long it affects Link, as well as the world around him. Of course, it can be argued that this exists in other titles such as majora maskBut that game is more straightforward and relates to the way time connects to the game world. Time is directly related to the game, and the player can interact and alter time more freely within Termina to try and save the world. On Ocarina of time, this element is strictly tied to the plot and out of the player’s hands, developing in more subtle and immutable ways.
At one point in the story, Link collects three spirit stones and opens the Gate of Time within the Temple of Time. To sum up what follows, Link is essentially the chosen one, prophesied to put an end to the evil of the world. However, when he had collected the three stones, he was still too young and inexperienced to face the challenges that lay ahead. So, unknowingly, Link is locked up for seven years within the Temple of Time, so that he can return once he is older and better able to face Ganondorf and the other evils that await him. This was done without warning for Link, setting the tragic subtext in motion for the rest of the adventure.
The days pass
From here on, Link is now an adult and has a new set of obstacles to overcome before the final confrontation with Ganondorf. Link ventures back into Hyrule, to places new and old, to overcome the darkness that has plagued the world and its inhabitants. What’s uniquely tragic about this is that Link (and by extension, the player) are returning to a world with a noticeable gap and lack of information. When Link entered the Temple of Time, the world he left behind contained wonder and life. By the time he steps out of that same door as an adult, Hyrule, as he knew, is a barren wasteland, home to nothing but misery and death.
The player then returns to the world that they had just become familiar with and had become attached to for hours of playtime, but things are drastically different now. Time has moved on as Link basically stood still, wasting precious moments and not being able to be there when the world needed him most. Their home in the Kokiri Forest is invaded by dark creatures, while once beautiful places like Zora’s Domain are now inhospitable. Ocarina of time He does his best to compare and contrast what was and what is now reality for Link. It’s almost ironic that a protagonist with the power to control time at his fingertips finds himself in a difficult situation so beyond his control.
Childhood vs adulthood
These parallels and differences that are shown between two moments of time, highlight the interaction between childhood and adulthood in Ocarina of time. By controlling Link in the early parts of the journey, the player witnesses the world through the eyes of a child. Almost every part of the game world complements this notion, with music tracks that are upbeat and energetic, and the overall visual style is colorful and eye-catching. By comparison, the later levels that he tackles as an adult have more haunting and mysterious music and darker, brave art styles.
While other dark adventures in this series like majora mask They have their fair share of mature themes, much of the action in the plot directly involves Link and actually happens because of his choices. The fact of the matter is that Link had no choice in Ocarina of time. The once innocent childhood life he lived was stripped away and replaced by a much harsher and less compassionate world. It is because of this frame structure that Ocarina of time It could well be the saddest installment of the entire series.
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time is available on Nintendo 3DS, 64, GameCube, and Switch.