The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time is widely touted as one of the greatest video games of all time. Take a look at any top list from the numerous video game publications and sure enough you’ll either see it right there at #1 (or somehow sitting in 2nd). When it was released it received score after score of 10’s which promptly put it in the spotlight (but was already there for the Zelda series enthusiasts).
Let’s take a look back at what Ocarina of Time did for us gamers. Let’s look at how it managed to influence the gamers during its release (and how it still does to this day).
Ocarina of Time certainly has revealed its shortcomings over the years since its release (especially when you remove the rose tinted glasses of nostalgia), but there is one mechanic that undoubtedly paved the way for countless other titles and this was z-targeting.
Z-targeting was a way for Link to target his characters no matter the location which, at the time, was mind blowing seeing that many action games were still using sticky targeting (or having you hold down targeting, which made you stop and disrupt the flow of action). With z-targeting Link could move around, target an object, and change the type of attacks.
The game may have aged in graphics, sense of openness, and story but the introduction of this mechanic would be such an influence that games coming out after its release, in a way, felt clunky and slow.
The music of OOT was composed by Kōji Kondō, who had worked with Nintendo on various projects prior. His work on the game created the iconic sound that still ripples through our heads, notably the beloved fan favorite: Kokiri Forest theme.
The other impact from the game made was due to the inclusion of the set musical instrument: the ocarina, of course. This instrument provided players with a host of songs, all of which are memorable in their own right and changed the flow of the game. The instrument is such an influence that asking any gamer to identify the item their first reaction, without a doubt, would come to Ocarina of Time.
The music lives on in a live format through the continually sold out shows called The Legend of Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses.
The Speed Run Community
Speed running is taking a game and navigating through it as fast as humanly possible. In some instances you would actually think the human player is doing so robotically due to their expertise and skills with a game.
No other game attracted the attention of the speed running community (and all those that enjoy watching these types of play-throughs) than Ocarina of Time.
At the time of this writing, the current world record for OOT (Any%) is Cosmo at 18 minutes and 32 seconds. Quite the feat, considering the game would take average players a dozen hours to complete.
Its influence in this regard? The speed run community regularly hold charity streams with OOT being one of the main draws. In the annual “Games Done Quick” for 2014, they managed to pull in over a million dollars in donations for charities.
That right there is enough to warrant the amazing influence on gamers (and gaming) Ocarina of Time has, if you ask me.
There are plenty more influences held by Ocarina of Time and only time will tell what other impacts it will have on gamers and game developers. It’s a game that’s held dearly in the hearts of many and no doubt will be an influence in their perception of the video game medium and how to approach game development. These were but three that stood out for me. Which parts did it for you?