All posts under tagged ‘GameCube’ Feed for all posts filed under "GameCube"

Animal Crossing classic GameCube review. Nintendo debuts its “sim life” communication series

Source: videogamesblogger.com

Animal Crossing for GameCubeAnimal Crossing was one of Nintendo’s new franchises for the Nintendo GameCube. For the first time in a long while, Nintendo had developed an original series that had nothing to do with it’s hallmark characters. No Link, no Samus, no Starfox, no Mario.

Along with Pikmin, Animal Crossing was a bold new direction for a video game that was unlike anything Nintendo had ever done before.

Animal Crossing mixes various elements similar to an RPG or adventure game, including speaking to other characters, going on little “missions” (I use mission loosely), collecting items and even “leveling up” in a way, although in this game it comes in the form of earning a bigger living quarters, which you do by collecting money and paying off your debt.

Not knowing exactly what to call the game, Nintendo labeled it as a “Communication” game, due to how frequently your character needs to interact with the other animals in your village. In addition to this, three other players can move into houses of their own within your village, and you can interact with them via letter writing, gift giving and leaving messages on bulletin boards within your town. Also coming into play is the ability to visit the towns of other players.

But Animal Crossing is less of a sim, in my humble opinion, and more of a “Collection Game”. Although in actuality, I think you could get by just calling the game an “Adventure” game. The only reason that doesn’t fit though is due to the fact that the entire game is set in your one little village (with the exception of when you visit the towns of other players) so you aren’t exactly “exploring” new locations as if you were on an adventure, you ARE however exploring your own town.

The most unique aspect of Animal Crossing came from it’s use of the GameCube’s built-in internal clock (which also works with the Wii, by the way, thanks to the Wii’s backwards compatibility). This meant that the game’s time of day, seasons and events (including the celebration of holidays) actually correspond to real life. This was unique and meant that Animal Crossing lived on even when you were not playing the game. Thus you’d literally have to play everyday, to see everything the game had to offer.

And as you’ll see in my review below, that meant that Animal Crossing is still viable with new things to discover, even when you play it in 2008, six years after it’s original release.

Animal Crossing GameCube logo

System: GameCube
Also On: None
Release Date: USA September 15, 2002 – EUR September 24, 2004 – AUS October 17, 2003 – JAP December 14, 2001, June 27, 2003 (re-release)
Genre: Life Sim/Adventure/Collection/Miscellaneous
Players: Four people can live in the same village, but only one can play at a time.
Save: Four save files max on one memory card. 58-67 blocks to save. That’s 57 blocks for “town data”, and 1 block each for NES data (high scores) and Animal Crossing “special data” (bonus letters)
Controllers: GameCube controller required
Developer: Nintendo EAD
Publisher: Nintendo
Origin: Japan
Rated: E for Everyone (contains Comic Mischief)

Animal Crossing is a really unique game that is one part Harvest Moon, one part The Sims, and one part RPG.

When you first fire up the game, you will create your character by telling the person who comes to see you that you are “new”. If you have played before, you will select your name from a list. This is the game’s “file select” menu, but it’s just integrated into the game instead of having you browse menus. If you are new, you will start the game on a train, as a cat named Rover sits across from you.

He will start chatting and ask you some questions, this is where you create your character. He will ask you your name, and you will be able to enter your name on the Virtual keyboard. Whenever you are required to write something, this is the keyboard that will come up. You can use either the D-Pad or the Control Stick to navigate the letters, the A Button enters a letter while the B Button deletes one or backspaces. You can also use button shortcuts, the L Button is the space bar, the R Button switches between lower-case and capital letters, and you can use the Y Button to switch to two other keyboards for various letters and symbols. Press Start to confirm what you have entered on the keyboard.

Rover will then follow-up by asking if you like your name. Where you have the option to say it’s either “Cool” or “Cute”, naturally if you select “cool”, you’ll be a boy, and if you select “cute” you will be a girl, although if you select the wrong one you can change it with the follow-up question. Rover will ask a few more questions, where you can either be nice or mean, but it reaches the same conclusion.

Rover asks if you are moving into the town (which you will name if you haven’t done so before) and then says he will hook you up with a house because he knows someone, a friend of his (Tom Nook, you’ll be hearing a lot about him) who runs the shop in your town. He calls Nook on his cell and, in typical Animal Crossing humor, does an impression of Mario. Tom Nook gives him the okay, and he comes back to tell you that there are some houses available to rent, and that Nook is willing to let you move in and will absorb the loss.

Animal Crossing Rover Screenshot

Your train then arrives and you hop off in the town that is the setting for the game. Tom Nook introduces himself, pokes fun at you and then takes you to one of the four houses you can move into. If one isn’t already taken, then you can select it as your home. The “cozy” place, naturally, turns out to be little more than a shack, with simply a wooden box with a journal and a radio tucked in the corner of the little place, complete with metal floor and wooden walls. He will then give you a few tips, telling you to not take other people’s stuff, but to use it as inspiration for organizing your own place. He then tells you about the weird “creature” by your door. He explains that it’s a Gyroid, where you can have it hold items for you (that you can sell to other players), teach it messages to tell visitors (other players) and save your game. Finally, he gives you the price of the house (19,000 Bells, the games currency) once you agree to move in, and when you can’t pay it, he offers you a job at his store to work part time to pay off the debt.

This part of the game serves as the tutorial and gets you acclimated with how the game plays. Nook gives you a uniform, which you can wear by going into your inventory and putting it on your character. He will then give you seeds to plant and then you’ll need to introduce yourself to the townsfolk. They in turn will give you some furniture for your house. This is basically how the rest of the game will work.

The whole game is easily accessible to new players (although there is a ton of text to read, so it’s not necessarily for kids that are too young to understand) and the game is completely open-ended. Once you have introduced yourself to all the characters, Tom Nook will send you on a few “missions”, asking you to complete any tasks that the villagers may have. This is a big part of the game. Basically you will talk to one of the residents and they will ask you to either “deliver” an item to another character or “pick-up” an item from another character. They will also sometimes ask you to do something different, such as bring them a fish. A task will always be the first option after you talk to an animal. Your reward for doing this will be a piece of furniture, a carpet, a shirt and sometimes something else, such as a piece of fruit that doesn’t grow in your village.

Eventually you will earn the tools of the trade, including an axe, a fishing rod and a shovel. Each item allows you to do what you’d expect. You will come across items hidden in the ground that you can dig up with the shovel, these include items that villagers will hide in the ground, buried fossils (you will see a star in the dirt), money (which will shine) and the ability to dig holes in the ground for planting fruit trees. The fishing rod obviously lets you fish in the river and at the beach and last, but not least, the ax allows you to cut down trees (make sure to dig up the stump with the shovel when you do).

Animal Crossing Shovel Screenshot

The controls in the game are about as easy as can be. You move around with the control stick, use the B Button to run as well as to pick things up, the A Button to open doors and talk to people, and the A Button to select items. You can open your inventory with the Y Button and your map with the X Button. Once in your inventory, you’ll see ten slots that can hold items. You can only carry as many items as there are slots, plus one in your hand. If you try to pick up another item when your inventory is maxed, you’ll either have to swap it with another item in your inventory or drop it.

Once in your inventory you’ll see the name of your town at the top, followed by your name and then how much money, or Bells, you have. You’ll also see ten slots for letters on the right and your character on the upper left, which will change depending on what he has equipped.

You can move any item around to another slot by pressing A on the item and selecting “Grab”, or simply pressing the L Button. You can move the cursor around with the control stick. Once you select an item you can do several things with it, such as move it to your character to equip it (such as with the shovel or with a piece of clothing), move it to your money if it’s a money bag (which will add it to your amount), plant it if it’s a seed or bury an item.

Animal Crossing Inventory Screenshot

You can use the X Button to select multiple items (great for selling an entire inventory full of seashells to Tom Nook, for example) and you can use the R Button to switch between screens. The sub-screens show you how many fish and bugs you have collected. Finally, you’ll see a little tab in the middle on the left with a pencil icon. Select this to see up to eight drawings that you have created.

Animal Crossing is a game without real goals, although much like The Sims, there are actually some goals for those people who want to feel as if they are attaining to something.

The first goal is paying off your debt to Tom Nook. You can do this at the Post Office that you will find in your town. You can give as little or as much money towards paying off your debt as you like. This is something you will want to do because as you pay it off, you will increase the size of your home. You will even be given a basement for storing more items.

The secondary goals will take just as long or longer to do than your debt. They include filling out the town museum with new dinosaur fossils, insects, fish and paintings, and then filling out your Tom Nook catalog.

Animal Crossing, as mentioned above, corresponds to actual time. So if it’s daylight outside in real life, it will be so in the game. This has a big effect on the game, particularly having to do with the game’s major locations.

There are several locations in your Animal Crossing town that are important. Here is a list of them as well as their importance:

Tom Nook's Shop Nookway in Animal CrossingThe Post Office: The Post Office in Animal Crossing is open 24-hours a day and is run by Pelly, Phyllis, and Pete (Pete is the delivery boy). Inside the Post Office you can talk to the animal at the counter to mail any letters you have written. This is also where you pay off your debt to Tom Nook. Lastly, you can save any letters and she will store them for you. You can then view them anytime you like by selecting “Save Letter”, moving the cursor to a letter and selecting “read”. Finally, this is where you will find an E-Reader Machine that allows you to transmit items, songs, etc. from any Animal Crossing E-Reader Cards to your game.

Animal Crossing Farway Museum ScreenshotFarway Museum: Manned by Blathers the Owl, this Museum is open 24-hours a day and is where you will want to trade in any items that the museum doesn’t have (it starts off empty) to start filling the museum up. The museum collects dinosaur fossils, fish, bugs and lastly, pictures. To donate any of the above items to the Museum, simply talk to Blathers and select “donate”. The catch is with Fossils, which you will need to dig-up first with your shovel (look for a star in the ground) and then you will need to create a new letter, attach the fossil to it (simply grab it and move it over to the new letter you created, which will be blue) and then mail it. You will then receive the identified fossil in the mail.

Animal Crossing Police Station ScreenshotThe Police Station: The Police Station is open 24 hours and is guarded by Copper and manned inside by Booker, both dogs. The Police Station is where to go to find items in the lost and found, which you can claim. Sometimes one of your own items will end up here if you leave it on the ground. Talk to Copper to find out about upcoming events, as well as to receive a town map of a friend’s town that you are visiting.

Animal Crossing Wishing Well ScreenshotThe Wishing Well: The Wishing Well is where you can find out (go up to it and press A) the state of your town. This is what determines whether you will get new residents who move in. And it is based on the population of trees (flowers don’t count), which can either be too much for an “acre” (one square on your map) or too little. If it’s too much, you’ll want to clear out some trees with your axe. If it’s too little, then you’ll want to plant some trees. You’ll also need to pull out any weeds you see. If you can keep your town in the best form for two straight weeks you will receive the mythical Golden Axe. The Wishing Well is also where you can “Apologize”, you will need to do this if you are on a mission from an animal and the animal has moved away. You will then Apologize and throw the item in the well to get rid of it. Lastly, the Wishing Well is a gathering place for events, and it is where you will find the town mayor, Tortimer the turtle, on those special occasions. Talk to the mayor on a holiday to receive a unique one-of-a-kind item.

Animal Crossing Able Sisters Tailor ScreenshotThe Able Sisters Tailor: The Tailor is open from 7am to 2am and this run by Sable and Mable Abel. This is where you can design your own patterns that you can use on umbrellas, shirts, or other places, such as a billboard by your home, as wallpaper for your house, or to display on your door.

Animal Crossing Train Station ScreenshotThe Train Station: The Train Station is manned by Porter the monkey, and this is where you will go when you want to visit a friend’s town. It is open 24-hours a day, but you can only visit a friends town if they bring over their memory card with their saved data.

Animal Crossing Garbage Dump ScreenshotThe Garbage Dump: This is where you can drop off any unwanted items. Leave it there and the garbage collector’s will take it away. Open 24 hours, you can also find items left by other residents here, which you can pick up. Be sure to check it every day.

A screenshot of your house in Animal CrossingYour House: Last but not least, you will find the homes in Animal Crossing that are houses of you and anyone else playing on your game (up to three others). You will find all four homes in one location. It’s inside your house that you will decorate with items you recieve from animals. There are a huge variety of items including dressers (which you can store items in), chairs, beds, tables, radios (which allow you to play music that you get from K.K. Slider, more on that later), vanitys, and a whole slew of other items, from Rocket Ships to construction signs to plants to Gyroids (strange creatures that make sounds). You can even display collectable items like shirts, fossils, bugs and fish, in your house. All items can be moved around and re-arranged using the A Button. Press the B Button to pick them back up and add them to your inventory (if you do so with holding items you’ll also add anything inside them to your inventory) You will also have a journal that you can use to check special dates or keep notes. You can also go into the houses of other players, although you obviously can’t set any of your items down or pick any of theirs up. In the middle of the houses you will find the town bulletin board. This is open 24-hours and will alert you to upcoming events. Sometimes a fellow resident will hide a special item and tell you the general acre to dig in to find it. You can also leave notes here and can see any notes that other players leave.

Animal Crossing Screenshot of The LighthouseThe Lighthouse
You will find a Lighthouse on the beach. You can’t go inside it and it serves no purpose except during Winter. Where one of the events has the mayor, Tortimer, who mans the lighthouse, going on vacation. While on vacation he will ask you to keep an eye on the lighthouse. If you do a good job, he will reward you.

These are the primary areas of your town. However events will sometimes take place in other random acres. For example, during November you will have the Fall Fishing Tourney, which takes place at the town pond. There is also a town Melody Board, that you can find near the Post Office. This board gives you the town tune, and you can change it if you like. You may want to search online for certain fun tunes to enter here.

And you’ll also have some other visitors who will come and set-up shop briefly at your town. These characters are special and will never be in your town for more than one day. There are Holiday characters, who visit only during certain Holidays, and Event Characters, who will show up more often.

Here is a list of all the Event Characters:

Joan the Boar Animal Crossing Character ArtworkJoan the Boar
This wandering boar will sell you turnips every Sunday morning, from 6am till noon. You will find her wandering around in a random acre of the town. Turnips are a special commodity that acts as Animal Crossing’s own little stock market. You can buy turnips in bunches of either 10, 50 or 100. And you can purchase as many as you like. You will then sell them during the week to Tom Nook. His prices for the turnips will change everyday. Some days you will gain a profit as he will buy them for more than you paid for them, but other days he may not give you as much as you bought them for, which means you’ll take a loss. The turnips go bad after a week, so the key is to sell them when you know for sure that you are making a profit, but it’s a gamble because you never know how much his price will be the next day. Make sure to sell them before the next Sunday or they will spoil.

Animal Crossing K.K. Slider Character ArtworkK.K. Slider
The town’s groovy, hippie-like resident musician, K.K. Slider (who’s real name is Totakeke) will visit your town every Saturday evening from 8pm till midnight. You will find him sitting on the box at the Train Station. He will play you a random song on his banjo, unless you request a certain song. The game never gives you a list per se, but you can find out about different songs by checking the stereo in the homes of your fellow villagers. Of course, it’s easier to just find the list online. If you request a song, you must enter the name exactly as it’s printed, he then will play you the song. If you don’t request one, then he will play a random song. K.K. Sliders tunes are one of the best parts of the game if you ask me, each song is unique, and when he plays it the credits for Animal Crossing will roll as the screen darkens, light shines on K.K., he starts strumming his banjo, and he SINGS the song. The way he sings is absolutely hilarious, and you will look forward to each and every Saturday, not only to grow your list of songs, but also to hear him sing. He will then give you a soundcheck, which is a copy of that song that you can play on your stereo. There are 55 songs total(!) and a few hidden ones that you can only get by requesting them. To check how many songs you have, talk to Tom Nook where you can view all your songs under your Catalog, alternatively you can check how many songs you have by going to the music player in your house and selecting “View Library”.

Animal Crossing Crazy Redd Character ArtworkCrazy Redd the Fox
Crazy Redd is a sly traveling salesmen Fox who will visit your town from time to time. When he does, he will set up shop in a tent on a random acre (You will know it’s him because the tent says “Black Market” with the word “Black” crossed out). Crazy Redd will sell you two rare items at high prices, but will also try to trick you by selling one regular item (that you can get at Tom Nook’s) at an outrageous price. The best way to avoid this is to keep track of what items you have so that you will be able to recognize them at Redd’s.

Animal Crossing Sahara Character ArtworkSaharah the Camel
Saharah is another wandering sales-person who will visit your town from time to time and is open for 24 hours. She will sell you rare carpets that you can’t get any other way. These will help you complete a set that you will need to obtain a higher score from the HRA. Unlike the other sales-people that will visit your town, she has a unique way of doing business. The only way to get carpets from her is to trade in a carpet of yours, along with some money. Her prices however, like all the traveling sales-men, are steep and will go up each time you purchase a carpet.

Animal Crossing Gracie Character ArtworkGracie the Giraffe
Gracie will visit your town from time to time in her shiny sports car and will sell you rare shirts, that you can’t get anywhere else. In addition to getting your hands on rare shirts, you will be able to get some special ones if you do a good enough job in a unique car-washing mini-game which has you tapping the A Button with lightning speed to clean it up.

Animal Crossing Gulliver Character ArtworkGulliver the Seagull Sailor
Gulliver is a sailing seagull that will wash up on the beach in your village once a week. Keep talking to him to hear his tales of adventure until he gives you an item. Make sure to check the beach every week because he has a huge number of items to give you and all of them are rare and cannot be given elsewhere.

Animal Crossing Katrina Character ArtworkKatrina the Fortune-Telling Cat
Katrina is a black cat who will tell your fortune. She will randomly visit your village and set up shop in a random acre where you can visit her at 9pm (she stays for 24 hours afterward). Talk to her to have her tell you your forturne. Which is typically a bunch of nonsense, but if you keep it up she will eventually give you a special forturne. These will increase the amount of luck you have in the village for that day, including: Love (villagers of the opposite sex will be attracted to you), Unpopularity (Villagers will be cold to you), Lucky Finances (You’ll be able to find more money than normal), Lucky Materials (it’ll be easier to obtain rare items) and Unlucky (you’ll slip and fall a lot). In order to get another special fortune you’ll have to wait until her next visit.

Animal Crossing Wendell Character ArtworkWendell the Traveling Walrus Artist
Wendell will visit your town from time to time, although more rarely than other characters. Like Sarah and her carpets, Wendell will give you a piece of rare Wallpaper. You can obtain more than one (up to three) if you talk to Wendell as another player from your village, but he will only give you one Wallpaper per character per visit. The only catch is that you must give the starving artist some fish in return for his wallpaper. He loves all fish, so any kind will do.

Animal Crossing Wisp Character ArtworkWisp the Ghost
Wisp is a late night visitor who comes to scare the naughty into shape . . . and no he has no connection to Santa Clause. Actually wisp will pay you a visit late at night if you have been too lazy to clear your village of weeds. He is invisible but will whisper to you. When he does he will materialize and ask you to catch five spirits with your net. Do so and he will reward you by either clearing your town of weeds, painting your roof or giving you an item.

In addition to the above, your Animal Crossing town will have a number of residents who will be in your town day after day. All told, there are a staggering 218 normal villagers. These characters will move in and out of your village from time to time (depending, as mentioned above, on how much or how little green [i.e. trees] there is) but they will largely stay for quite a while and you can only have up to 15 villagers at any one time. Although if you don’t talk to a villager for a long while, they may move. If they do move, they will be gone forever unless you have a second memory card with town data inserted into the 2nd Memory Card slot, then they will move there and may still remember your character.

However having such a large number of characters and only being able to have 15 at a time makes it virtually impossible to see every character in the game. Which is a bummer because every character has their own unique personality. Some will be peppy, some grumpy, others masculine, etc. etc. As the name of the game suggests, all of the villagers in your town are animals, while your characters is a human (ignoring the fact that he has horns growing out of his head, of course . . .). Each villager even has a funny phrase that they will repeat at the end of their lines when you talk to them. Example of some of the phrases in my game include “kittycat”, “pthpth”, “grumble”, “donk”, “hip-oh”, “splish”, “la-di-da”, “cheepers”, “toady”, etc. Typically these phrases will be related to what type of animal the characters is. Every once in a while they’ll ask you if you want to change it, and you can change it to whatever you like. Villagers also have moods that will randomly shift, they can be angry, depressed, etc.

This Animal Crossing screenshot has you talking to Apollo

These emotions are translated to the player through a variety of different animations and effects that will randomly come over the character to convey a certain emotion. These include a raining storm cloud when they are depressed, a red puff when they are angry, a light bulb when they have an idea, etc. Some of them are really common, such a dark line that flashes across their eyes when they suspect something of you, flowers that come pouring out of them if they are super happy, a heart that floats up above them when they love something, a question mark or exclamation point (self-explanatory), tears (along with a hilarious shake of the body as they panic) and a hilarious “surprise” animation. In addition to the effects, the characters are also quite animated themselves, and they’re eyes and face will chance as they speak to you. This all combines to make the characters very unique, appealing, charming and fun to chat with, even though they will often repeat lines. Yet even still, they have so much to say that it takes quite a lot before you grow tired, and even talking to the same character multiple times can give you different results. This creates the illusion of them having a ton to say. Cause generally, they do.

You will want to talk to the Animals for a variety of reasons, but the chief goal of them all is to gain new objects, in the form of furniture, shirts, umbrellas, stationary and, occasionally fruit. These are all things that can be gotten elsewhere, but you never know when you will get something rare from an animal, or when they will give you something that you have yet to buy in Tom Nook’s shop.

Animal Crossing Tom Nook's Shop Screenshot

The first way to get something from a villager is to do a task for them, as mentioned above. I like to call these “missions”, but in reality they are simply fetch quests. They will tell you to get a certain item that, most of the time, another character borrowed from them. You will then go find that character and ask for the item back. When you return it to the original villager, they will reward you with an item. Sometimes these fetch quests will be longer, requiring you to talk to multiple characters who just happened to lend that particular item you need to another character. Other times they will ask you to bring them something, such as a fish or an insect. All characters will have these tasks for you, and you will want to do them to gain new items as well as to make them happier toward you, which will give you a better chance of getting a good item from them in a trade later. However, don’t be looking for variety. Just because I call them “missions”, doesn’t mean this is GTA. There are only a few items that they will request and thus you will see the same ones over and over again. However either way all you are doing is fetching the item anyway, so I suppose it doesn’t really matter what item it is, cause you’re doing the same action each time. Repetitive? Yes it can be. But Animal Crossing, much like The Sims, is a game built in repetition, but that doesn’t mean that it makes the action boring. Besides, it’s always fun to see what item they will give you . . . a new piece of furniture? Something rare that you haven’t gotten before, a new carpet, a new wallpaper, a new shirt?

In addition to obtaining items by doing these missions, you can also always select the second option when you talk to a villager (the first is always a mission while the third is always “never mind”). This will cause them to say something random (”I really like the weather today”, etc.), give you a tip (”shaking trees too much may cause you to be stung by bees”), trade an item with you or give you money for an item in your inventory, or possibly play a kind of mini-game with you (such as one that has you guessing a number to receive a certain item, or one in which you must answer questions correctly).

Doing this will also help you complete your secondary objective, which is filling up your Tom Nook Catalog. I.e. collecting every item in the game. Once you get a new item, it is added to the Catalog, which you can view by talking to Tom Nook. The Catalog will show you every item you have collected, and unless it’s a rare item, then you can order that, item for a price, at any time. The Catalog is divided into sections, including: Furniture, Wallpaper, Carpet, Clothing, Items (umbrella’s and your tools), Stationary, Gyroids, Fossils and Music. It will also tell you how many of each item you have obtained, although it won’t tell you the max number of items that are in the game . . .

This is one of the few shortcomings in my opinion. Since one of the main goals is to collect all the items in the game (which isn’t a stated goal makes sense as one) Nintendo should’ve made it easier for players to organize and keep track of their goal. For example, there should be a way to see if you already have an item without having to talk to Tom Nook to double check your Catalog. And so, naturally, you should also be able to view your Catalog at any time.

This really came into play when I wanted to finally sell off all the items that had been building up in my town since I first started playing. Instead of being able to easily see whether it was an item I had doubles of (in which case, I might want to keep one and sell or trade the other), I ended up writing down each item and double checking that list to see if I had doubles. I also wish they would’ve added a status bar to your catalog for each category. This would make it fun to see the line build up until you reach the end goal of having obtained every item in that category. They wouldn’t even have had to reveal the max number of items. Any of these suggestions would’ve been great, as it stands, players will simply look online or in a strategy guide to find out this information.

So what does a typical Animal Crossing day look like? Outside of the above, one of the first things you will want to do when you start playing is to increase your amount of Bells. This can be done several ways. The easiest way, especially starting off, is to collect the seashells that line the beach, and then sell them to Tom Nook. The second easiest way is to collect fruit. Fruit will grow on the trees in your village, and each village has it’s own kind of fruit that only grows in that village. This means that your friends will most likely have a different kind of main fruit in their village than you do. There is only one type of main fruit, but you will occasionally be given new fruit by the villagers that doesn’t grow in your village. And you can plant this fruit by digging a hole and “planting” the fruit in it, to grow a fruit tree (which you will need to check on at least once a day, in the morning, or else it will disappear and not grow). The types of fruit in the game include: Pears, Peaches, Cherries, Oranges, Apples, and Coconut (think I’m missing one . . .). You will get more Bells from Tom Nook if you sell him a fruit that isn’t from your village, although the price (500 Bells) is always the same no matter what type of fruit it is.

Another way to get money is by simply selling items you have, and it can include almost anything: Furniture, Stationary, Clothes, Umbrellas, Fish, Insects, Fossils. You can also get money by talking to villagers who will occasionally offer to buy something in your inventory if you select the second option when talking to them. However, you never know if the price they ask will be better than what Tom Nook will give you (even though usually it is) so there is a sense of risk and reward in doing so, and if you say no when a villager offers to buy something, that doesn’t reflect well on you (and can get them angry).

The last way to get money in the game is by shaking trees. This may cause a batch of 100 Bells to fall from it’s branches (and occasionally a rare item, which will happen once every day in one of the trees you shake). Although not a lot, this will add up. And let’s face it, it’s addictive to shake those damn trees . . . I always find myself shaking each and every one! Like a lot of things in Animal Crossing though, there is a sense of risk and reward, because you will ocassionally drop a honeycomb full of bees, who will sting you! This will cause various reactions from the villagers when you talk to them (from humor to fright) and can have a negative reaction.

Probably the best items to sell to Tom Nook that are easily attainable are Fossils, he will give you a very good price for most of them, typically over 1,000 Bells. Be careful though, some fossils are very rare.

As such, you will always want to be on the lookout for spots in the ground that you can dig up with your shovel to find items. Items hidden in the ground will include fossils, Gyroids and occasionally pitfalls (a prank item whose only use is to plant it in the ground, which will cause a villager to fall into it if they step over it) and an item that a villager has buried. You will also come across shining spots in the ground, which will offer up 1,000 Bells. Plant piece of fruit to create a special fruit tree, and if you feel really lucky, by another axe (so you have two in your inventory) and bury it in the shining spot. Shake the tree that grows for your chance to get the legendary Golden Shovel.

When you dig up fossils, they will originally be in the form of unidentified fossils, as mentioned above you will need to create a letter to the Faraway Musuem, attach the fossil and then send it in to get identified. It will then be mailed back to you. Once you have done that, you will want to make sure to take that particular fossil to the Museum to add it to your collection if you haven’t already done so.

Likewise, you will want to do so with any fish or insects you collect. To fish, you simply walk up to any body of water with your Fishing Rod equipped (walk, don’t run, running will scare the fish) and press the A Button to throw in the lure. From there it is simply a waiting game. Rinse and repeat until a fish bites. When it does, your controller will rumble and it will nibble a few times before the fish turns a shadowy color which is your clue to press the A Button. Time it right to pull the fish up. If it’s a fish you haven’t caught before, take it to the Museum to add it to your collection, at which point Blathers will take it from your inventory, and add it to the Museum (as he does with all donated items, unless it’s one you already donated, then he gives it back).

As for insects, you will occasionally find them in the piles of leaves around the town, hanging from trees or climbing on flowers. In order to catch one, you will need to equip the Bug Catching Net. You will then want to hold the A Button to ready the net for swinging, which will also make you creep slowly. Then get close enough to let loose with the net and catch a bug. Like with fish, there are a ton of different types of bugs to catch. If you haven’t already, then donate it to the Museum to build up your collection. If you have donated it already, then sell it to Nook or trade it with a villager.

The only way to get the mythical Golden Fishing Rod and Golden Bug-Catching Net is to catch every kind of fish and bug in the game. To say that this is quite a feat is an understatement. Because of the game’s real-time clock, certain bugs and fish will only be obtainable during certain seasons (Fall, Winter, Spring and Summer are all represented in Animal Crossing, as is various weather like rain and snow) which means that you will have to literally play all year to get every type of fish and bug. Good luck!

After doing the above, continuing on with a typical day in Animal Crossing, there are only a few things left. And most of it involves places. You will want to check the dump and the Lost and Found at the Police Station each day for new items. You will also want to occasionally compose letters to various town residents and send them off at the post office, this will make them happy and they will occasionally send you items in return. You will want to check the Wishing Well to find out the state of your town, and appropriately plant or eliminate trees and weeds. You will find several weeds growing around your town each day (if you don’t play the game for a long time and come back your town will be COVERED in weeds) and you’ll want to walk over to them and press the B Button to pluck them and make your town prettier.

Last but not least is Nook’s shop. You will want to buy any new items he has to increase your catalog. In addition to being able to sell them back to Nook (for much less) or trade them with villagers (almost always for more Bells than Nook would give, or for another item they’ll trade you) you will be able to use the items to decorate your house. Furniture and other random objects (from pool tables to tvs to a weight bench, a chess table and various plants, and much, much, much more) can be placed in your home by “Dropipng” them, at which point they can be pushed and turned to your hearts content. Each and everyday your house will be rated by the HRA and given a score. This score can be increased by making sure you stick to certain themes of items.

For each item you buy at Nook’s, you will be given a raffle ticket. For every five tickets, you will be able to enter Nook’s raffle at the end of the month, where you can net rare items like an NES game. It’s a good idea to make sure you have enough raffles to earn all three items that he raffles, as they are rare and hard to come by.

Yes I did say NES games. One of the best features of Animal Crossing on the GameCube (and a feature missing from both Animal Crossing: Wild World on DS and Animal Crossing: City Folk on the Wii) is the fact that the most rare, and treasured items of all, are PLAYABLE NES games. If there is any such goal in Animal Crossing that is one that you REALLY will want to attain, it would be unlocking every NES game, because they are all playable, which adds significantly to the value of the Animal Crossing itself. Once you buy or win an NES game, drop it in your house (preferably on a table) and go up to it and press A to play it. Games such as Excitebike, Donkey Kong (1, 3, Junior & Jr. Math), Clu Clu Land, Balloon Fight, Baseball, Wario’s Woods, Golf, The Legend of Zelda, Mario Bros., Ice Climber, Tennis, Soccer, Punch-Out!! and Pinball are all hidden in the game. Best of all, Animal Crossing will even save your high scores in each game, something that not even some of the normal NES games did upon their release! All in all, there are a whopping 24 NES games to be found in Animal Crossing. Advance Play even allows you to connect your GameBoy Advance to the game and upload the smaller NES games to the handheld for play.

After doing all of the above, there are a few other activities in Animal Crossing before we get into the specific Holiday-related ones.

First of all, there is the HRA (The Happy Room Academy). This is the group, as mentioned above, that rates your house. The HRA will send you a letter every day that will tell you your current house score. This is judged based on what items you have in your house and, to an extent, how it’s arranged. However, the game only gives you vague tips as to how to increase it, and never spells it out for you. So I will do so here, because it is a fun part of the game.

It is a bit complex, but here are the gist of things. There are three types of Furniture in the game that go towards the HRA score: Sets, Themes and Series. Themes include decorative objects which don’t serve a purpose except for looking cool. An example of this is the Chess theme, which includes items like a chess board and life-size chess pieces. A series is a group of furniture that are all the same type, such as the Ranch, Modern, Lovely, and Kiddie series. Each one will include furniture like a bed, table, couch, chair, desk, lamp, pantry, etc. Last, but not least, are Sets. These are items that don’t fit into the above two categories and include only a few items. The Frog Set, for example, includes the Lily-Pad Table and Froggy Chair.

Generally, Themes and Series should go on the first floor (complete with matching carpet and walllpaper) with Sets going in the basement (once you unlock it). Having any of them complete will net you more points. In addition, there are special items that you can add to your house that will increase the amount of points you earn, such as items you get from characters like Tortimer or other special Holiday characters (such as the Spooky Halloween series). In addition, points are deducted for any clutter laying on the floor (unless you put it in your basement), so it’s best to put those things away in dressers or other storage, or keep them laying on the ground around the village. In addition, you need to make sure that any usable items (such as chairs, which you can sit on, or musical items that you can “play” by pressing the A Button to have them make a sound) are positioned so that you can access them without moving them. Additionally, items with a face should be facing away from a wall, and not towards a wall (that includes the see-through wall where your door is, face them away for more points, even if it means you can’t see the front of the object). Having a high HRA score will net you a few exclusive items that you can’t get any other way, which naturally, will help you complete your catalog.

Last, but definitely not least, there is Feng Shui. Feng Shui in real-life was an ancient Chinese practice where the aesthetics of your environment were thought to bring good fortune. In modern times, it has come to be known as a way of using certain colors and placement of furniture (such as chairs and tables) to effect the mood of a person in a positive way. So a restaurant might make the room a certain color because it’s thought that that color will unconsciously make you want to stick around. Thus you will eat more food, giving them more money (naturally). In Animal Crossing, Feng Shui is a way of organizing and color coding your home in order to bring you good luck (and help with your HRA score too). Like with the HRA, Feng Shui is only alluded to by villagers and is never completely spelled out for you, though you will get the occasional tip. To maximize Feng Shui in the game, you will want to color code the top of your house with orange objects, the right side with red objects, the bottom part of your house with green objects and the left side with yellow objects. The feng shui however only extends a few grids out, so the middle of your room won’t effect your Feng Shui. In addition, the corners of the room overlap, allowing you to use both colors. A positive Feng Shui will improve your “good luck” with finding items, rare items and money. Always a good thing!

Finally, we come to one of the most dynamic parts of Animal Crossing. And that is the game’s real-time clock . . . or rather it’s real-time calender. As stated many times, the residents of your town will celebrate REAL holidays, such as Christmas, Halloween and Thanksgiving, albeit, some with different names (Christmas is called “Toy Day”, for example). They even celebrate lesser holidays such as Mayor Day (President’s Day) and the like. On the big days, such as Halloween, Christmas and Thanksgiving, you will have special characters that visit your town. Here is a brief(er) rundown of them as well as what you will want to do on that day and the special events and items that take place.

Jack the King of Halloween
On Halloween (which is actually called so in the game) all the villagers dress up as Jack (i.e. they put a Jack O’Lantern on their heads) so that you can’t tell the villagers apart. They will then run up to you demanding candy. Candy is sold all month long during October, and you’ll want to stock up on it for this night. Contrary to what the villagers want you to think, candy is the last thing you want to give them.

Animal Crossing Jack the King of Halloween Character Artwork

Why? Because hidden amongst all the villagers is the true Jack, the King of Halloween, who is naturally dressed up just like the rest of the villagers and will appear in a random acre. The only way to tell it’s Jack is because Jack won’t chase you, unlike the normal villagers. But just like them, Jack will demand candy. And you better have candy! If not, you will miss out on your reward, which is a piece of the Spooky series (which includes wallpaper and carpet amongst the furniture). If you don’t have candy, Jack, like the villagers, will turn your items into bum items (Jack O’Lantern and a Jack in the Box) and your shirt into rags. The best way to avoid this is to wear a crappy shirt you don’t care about, and then create blank letters and attach each piece of candy to those letters, this will protect your candy. After getting an item from Jack, he will disappear again to a random acre. If you manage to find him again, you can trade in candy to get another item in the Spooky series.

And be sure that you put the candy from your letters to your inventory BEFORE you talk to him, or else you will be “tricked” (bum items as mentioned above) and won’t be able to talk to him to get an item afterward. Which means you’ll have to find him AGAIN before you can get another item. This is a real chore that can take hours (it can be very difficult to find Jack, he IS there, but sometimes you’ll literally have to scour every acre before you find him) so only the most persistent players will get the entire Spooky series. Although it’s made harder because Jack can and will give you doubles of the Spooky Items, so make sure you have LOTS of candy. As for me, I managed to get all of them (after manipulating time a few times . . .) EXCEPT the spooky carpet, which I need to finish my room. And can’t get unless I cheat and go back in time to Halloween, or wait until next year . . . because these special items can’t be traded. *cries* Note also that Jack is only available from 6pm on October 31st till 1am on November 1st the next day.

Animal Crossing Franklin the Thankgiving Turkey Character Artwork

Franklin the Turkey
Thanksgiving is the worst day for Franklin the Turkey, who you will find on the fourth Thursday of November (Thanksgiving in the United States) from 3pm till 9pm. During this time, the village will be having their Thanksgiving feast . . . but before the village knows it, Franklin realizes that he’s the main course and ducks for cover! Talk to Franklin and he’ll ask you to steal the silverware from the tables and bring them back to him. Doing so will reassure him that you won’t take a bite of his body, and he will reward you with a piece from the Harvest series of Furniture. If you want to get all the Harvest pieces (which you will, cause all these special items are worth lots of money to trade in or lots of HRA points to use) simply mix and repeat.

Animal Crossing Jingle the Christmas Reindeer Character Artwork

Jingle the Reindeer
On Christmas day, from 8pm on December 24th till 1am December 25th you will find Jingle the Reindeer wandering in one of the acres. Talk to him several times and he will give you a piece of Jingle furniture. But only one . . . UNLESS you change clothes and then talk to him again. Do so and he won’t recognize you. This will allow you to get the entire Jingle Series of Furniture (including wallpaper and carpet).

Animal Crossing Frosty the Snowman Character Artwork

Frosty the Snowman (or just “Snowman”)
Last but not least, the last in the line of holiday-related special characters is the Snowman. Unlike the others, the Snowman starts out as an inanimate object between Christmas and the end of February. During this time, it will snow in the world of Animal Crossing, and you will ocassionally come across balls of snow. You can roll these balls to make them bigger. The key is to find three of them and roll them on top of each other to create a proper snowman (biggest piece on bottom, then smaller two on top). Do so properlly and Frosty will come to life! (Ok his name is just “Snowman” but he is definitely a take on Frosty!). Talk to him and he will give you a piece of the Snowman series of furniture (including wallpaper and carpet). But be careful not to make a disproportionate snowman . . .

The holidays and real-time clock are really what set Animal Crossing apart from all other console games of it’s ilk. Time plays a very important role because not only does the time of day change but everything from what the animals will say and talk about to certain places closing (Tom Nook’s shop), etc. And not only that but the holidays and special characters that visit on special days really make the game special. There is always something to look forward too, whether it’s Gracie and her special clothing, Sahara and her unique carpets or Katrina and her psychic ways. And you will always know when someone is coming by talking to Copper who will keep you updated (if you ask about “Goings-On”) or by checking the town bulletin board frequently.

But it’s the little things that really make this game come together to equal a great package. For example if you don’t save before you quit the game or if you manipulate time by changing the in-game clock (which can mess up some things, so be careful) you will get a visit by Mr. Resetti before you are able to leave your house. This character is one of the funniest in the game. He will chew you out for resetting the game and will literally talk your ear off as he goes on and on and on, which is an awesome “punishment”. It’s hilarious because the writing is really funny and yet at the same time it’s annoying because he will keep going on and on and take up your time. And you aren’t able to continue until you listen to EVERYTHING he says. Reset enough times and he will force you to spell a word exactly as he says it, while only giving you a few seconds to look at it before you have to type it out. And you literally can’t continue until you get it right. On another occasion he will “fake reset” your game which is one of the coolest moments.

Animal Crossing Mr. Resetti Character Artwork

Another cool addition to detail is how blathers will tell you all about the various creatures that you turn in at the musuem. Complete a dinosaur and he’ll give you info like this: “Mammoth – Pleistocene earth was their home, and they are firmly established in our minds as creatures of the Ice Age. Mammoths ranged in height from 6 feet to 14 feet at the shoulder. The whooly mammoth is their most famous species. The last of the mammoths died out some 10,000 years ago, which coincides with the ascent of man. It is, perhaps, the first animal whose extinction was contributed to by man. Though certainly not the last. Humans can truly be the most thoughtless and callous of creatures when they think only of themselves! Hoo! I say again: HOO! Oh, dear! I wasn’t referring to you personally. No offense intended. Temper, temper! ”

Sadly there is no way to view his information on the creatures again (which seems to be a big oversight if you ask me, what’s the point if you will only hear it once?) but it’s a cool detail nonetheless. And notice all the humor packed into even that single paragraph? This game is FULL of it and you’ll laugh and chuckle to yourself constantly while playing, whether it’s from the funny animations, the witty dialogue or the way all the animals say a little catchphrase at the end of their sentences.

Everything just comes together to make Animal Crossing one of the most charming and addictive experiences in gaming. The collection factor is a reason to keep on going (VERY few people will actually complete the game 100% or even max out any one of the collections) and there is so much to collect that you will be playing for a long, long time. Additionally, even the short term goals such as upgrading your house will take you a while to complete. Especially if you don’t know the tricks of the trade, such as selling Turnips that you can only buy on Sunday morning to insane prices (easily the most efficient way to rack in lots of dough) or that fossils are worth bundles of cash. And even the little things such as planting other types of fruit that isn’t from your town in the ground (note that you can only bury something with the shovel equipped) so that a fruit tree will grow, for long term financial success.

And then there are the NES games, which are not only fun to play, but there are enough of them that you may want to purchase the game simply to have an easy way to access a load of classic Nintendo-developed titles, from Excitebike to Balloon Fight.

All in all, Animal Crossing was one of Nintendo’s most original titles for the GameCube, and even today the game is still a joy to play. And the NES exclusive unlockables ensure that this is one Animal Crossing game that can never be outbeaten, even if it lacks many of the features of the newest game, Animal Crossing: City Folk. Either way you slice it, Animal Crossing ranks up there as one of the best Nintendo GameCube games.

Animal Crossing Character Artwork Banner

FUN FACTOR: 9.5
Animal Crossing is a fun game, no matter how simple or trivial the activity at hand. Whether it’s shaking fruit from trees, talking to Animals, selling items for Bells or taking part in an event, Animal Crossing does it all with charm and grace via witty dialogue that’s extremely well written and, best of all, laugh-out-loud funny, cute and charming. Much like The Sims, Animal Crossing is a game that looks boring on the surface (and probably to people watching), but if you are the type who likes to collect things or just have fun in the moment, then Animal Crossing will keep you occupied FOREVER (literally). The game changes from day to day so there is something to discover every year, no matter what year you are playing in. And only the most dedicated of players will manage to get everything and truly complete the game, and that’s after they’ve spent 100 hours wrapped up in the world of animals. However, if you have played the later Animal Crossing games, Wild World and now, City Folk, then there is little to no reason to go back . . . except, of course, if you want to unlock a bunch of simple NES games, which is really the PRIME reason to get into the original Animal Crossing. At least, in the opinion of this reviewer, having all the NES games to look forward to unlocking was the main selling point, and the main reason to keep trucking. Overall, a fantastic and highly addictive game. Although you can choose to play for only an hour (or less), it’s much more likely that you’ll spend several hours (or more) once you actually sit down to play it. And that speaks volumes.

Graphics: 8.0
Although very simple, both artistically and technically, Animal Crossing has one thing that can’t be outlooked, charm. Charm up the wazoo. If you are purposefully going for an understated, simplistic looking style (and it’s true that this game was originally made for N64), then Animal Crossing is just about the best of the best. And the effects used for the emotions the animals show are genius and really add so much spice to the game that you won’t even care how the game looks. It’ll still draw you in.

Music and Sound: 8.0
As with the graphics, the music and sound is something that seems shallow and simplistic on the surface, but the more you get into the game the better it is. From the way the animals say each letter to the fact that the town tune changes every hour to the over 50 K.K. Slider songs you can unlock (each of which features an absolutely AWESOME vocalized rendition by K.K. when he plays it) add up to make the music and sound in Animal Crossing great.

Ingenuity: 8.0
Animal Crossing was an incredibly unique game for it’s time. Even now, it plays like a totally unique hybrid of Harvest Moon and The Sims. And although it may not seem original to cross the two, it turns out to be original due to how unique the game is. It truly is like nothing else out there, which is why it’s almost impossible to classify the game. If that’s not ingenuity, I don’t know what is. The sum is indeed great than it’s parts, but when you add it all up, Animal Crossing is one heck of a unique, if not innovative, product.

Replay Value: 10
Something new everyday. Need I say more? This is a game that you can literally play everyday of every year, and yet still miss out on something. Ingenious, simply ingenious.

Published on December 8th, 2008 under , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Animal Crossing: City Folk comparison with GameCube and Wild World. Plus Mr. Resetti on Wii!

Source: videogamesblogger.com

City Folk for WiiAnimal Crossing: City Folk for the Wii is the latest game in the series. Although you wouldn’t know that at first glance. In fact, you might not even notice if you put them side by side. As you will soon learn, you’d probably be hard pressed to tell them apart unless you’ve played each game personally.

This comparison video takes Animal Crossing: City Folk for the Wii, and compares it with Animal Crossing for GameCube, by putting video of the games side-by-side. Although the quality of the videos isn’t always the greatest, you can still tell that most of the changes are aesthetic and taken from Wild World on the DS (which isn’t shown until the end of the video), such as red trees. The main character also looks a bit taller and different in the Wii version from the GameCube original.

Either way, they didn’t change much at all and graphically it’s virtually the same. In fact, as you can see with Animal Crossing: Wild World for the DS at the end, it pretty much is a better-quality version of that game graphically and aesthetically.

And just for fun, check out Mr. Resetti in Animal Crossing: City Folk! He is the character who comes out and yells at you if you didn’t save your game properly or you rewind the clock.

Pikmin, Mario Power Tennis remakes confirmed for North American releases in 2009

Source: infendo.com

Pikmin and Mario Tennis are coming to Wii in 2009. The remakes, that is.

Siliconera reports today Nintendo has confirmed the Pikmin and Mario Power Tennis “Wii-makes” will be released in North America in 2009.

No specific North American dates were given, but Pikmin is now on track for a Dec. 25 release in Japan.

The confirmation comes from a PDF skeleton plan issued by Nintendo of Japan for 2009. The Donkey Kong Jungle Beat remake is curiously absent from the North American list, as is Disaster: Day of Crisis.

Nintendo announced the “Play on Wii” selection earlier this month, a collection of GameCube classics being remade specifically for Wii. It begins Dec. 11 with Jungle Beat in Japan. Chibi Robo!, Pikmin 2, Metroid Prime and Metroid Prime 2: Echoes also follow in 2009.

No pricing details have been confirmed for North America. Pikmin will cost 3,800 yen in Japan, 2,000 yen less than a standard Wii title.

Published on October 31st, 2008 under , , ,

The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time review of the N64 classic. Link makes his 3D debut and steps into adulthood

Source: videogamesblogger.com

Ocarina of Time on N64A Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time review in 2008? Believe it.

The Nintendo 64 outing of Link’s first three dimensional adventure is considered by many to be the best game of all time. Not the second best, not the best game on Nintendo 64 (although it most definitely would hold that title as well), no, the BEST GAME OF ALL TIME.

Suffice it to say that the game has gotten such high accolades, including many “perfect” review scores from gaming publications (who gave it all 10’s or whatnot), for a reason. The game is, quite simply, a force to be reckoned with.

In full discretion, Ocarina of Time is a game I have beaten quite a few times. Although for this review I replayed the entire game from start to finish.

Ocarina of Time/Master's Quest for GameCubeThe version I reviewed was the GameCube “Zelda: Ocarina of Time / Master Quest” version which I played on the Wii. For the record, the Wii Virtual Console version is a port of the Nintendo 64 version minus the rumble support (which is included in the GameCube versions). I played it using the GameCube controller, although as stated, I have previously beaten the game on the Nintendo 64, as I also own that version.

And with that, to the review!

Ocarina of Time logo

System: Nintendo 64
Also On: GameCube, Wii Virtual Console
Release Dates:
Nintendo 64 – USA November 23, 1998 – EUR December 11, 1998 – JAP November 21, 1998
GCN Master Quest – USA March 2003 – EUR May 2003 – JAP December 2002
GCN Zelda Collector’s Edition – USA November 17, 2003 – EUR November 14, 2003 JAP November 7, 2004 AUS March 19, 2004
Wii Virtual Console – USA February 26, 2007 – EUR February 23, 2007 – JAP February 27, 2007
Genre: Action Adventure
Players: Single Player
Save: Three save files. Must save manually by pressing the B Button on the Start Subscreens.
Developer: Nintendo EAD (Entertainment Analysis Development)
Publisher: Nintendo
Origin: Japan
Rated: E for Everyone. Contains: Violence

The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time is such a huge game that I don’t even know where to begin. How about with some history.

Zelda: Ocarina of Time (originally called Zelda 64), was Link’s first 3D adventure and was the follow-up to the last SNES console Zelda title, The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past (which was followed by Zelda: Link’s Awakening on Game Boy). As such, there was huge hype built up for Ocarina of Time for years following it’s first public showing at Nintendo’s SpaceWorld trade-show in 1995 as an N64 technical demo.

The “Zelda 64″ tech-demo from 1995’s SpaceWorld

Originally Zelda 64 was developed as a launch title for the Nintendo 64DD (”DD” being short for “Disk Drive”), a disk add-on for the Nintendo 64. Possibly sensing the troubled development and subsequent whimper of a release for the 64DD (which was never released outside of Japan), Nintendo wisely choose to move Ocarina of Time to the cartridge format for release on the Nintendo 64, which is ultimately what would happen (the 64DD would reach Nintendo Virtual Boy status as a legendary commercial failure).

The Nintendo 64DD Disk Drive

After a lengthy three-year development cycle, the game finally hit store shelves as “The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time” in America on November 23rd, 1998, only two days after the game’s November 21st Japanese release date. It was released in Europe on December 11th, 1998.

Nintendo did end up releasing a Zelda for 64DD however, and it was a remixed version of Ocarina of Time with more difficult dungeons originally known as “Ura Zelda”. That game, and others like Doshin the Giant, were eventually either re-released on cartridge format, or in the case of the remixed Zelda, were released on disc format. Ura Zelda was released as The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time: Master’s Quest and was included as part of a compilation GameCube disc (which contained Master’s Quest along with the regular version of Ocarina of Time) that was offered as a pre-order bonus for The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker as well as sold in a few GameCube system bundles. In Europe those who pre-ordered Wind Waker got the Master Quest disc inserted into The Wind Waker box and was available via a special Nintendo web-site.

The Great Deku Tree Artwork (Zelda: Ocarina of Time)

Ocarina of Time was also released as part of The Legend of Zelda Collector’s Edition which you could get directly from Nintendo by registering software, subscribing to Nintendo Power or via GameCube system bundles. And in the United Kingdom via the Club Nintendo Stars Catalog and later Nintendo gave a copy to customers who mailed in proof of purchases from select Nintendo GameCube games

Last but not least, Ocarina of Time was eventually released for the Wii Virtual Console on February 26th, 2007 in the U.S. and February 23rd, 2007 in Europe. Making it more accessible than ever before for gamers new and old to get their hands on what some consider to be the greatest game of all time. The Virtual Console version of Ocarina of Time is the N64 version minus force feedback in the controller that you originally got with an N64 Rumble Pak. The game costs 1,000 Wii Points to purchase at the Wii Shop and takes up 286 Blocks of space in the U.S. and 296 blocks in Europe.

Ocarina of Time was Zelda's first step into 3D (screenshot)

One of the main reasons why Ocarina of Time is so highly regarded, is due to the fact that Nintendo was able to so perfectly translate the 2D gameplay of the past into the 3D realm. This was Nintendo’s first time bringing the Zelda series into the third dimension, following a few other Nintendo big-shots like Starfox 64 and Super Mario 64, and thus the bar that had been set for the game was enormous. Thankfully, Ocarina of Time didn’t just clear the bar (on it’s first jump I might add), it sailed over it on wings!

Everything about the game was eye-popping back than, the graphics were amazing, the sound was good, the controls were unique, inspired, innovative and easy to grasp, and the game’s world was huge.

In 2008, the game no longer feels exactly innovative, but you can still appreciate all that was done back then to set down the foundation that Nintendo would follow with the later games in the Zelda series (including The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask, The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker and The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess).

STORY

The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time opens with a child Link, who is asleep in his bed having a nightmare. In the nightmare he is standing before a great castle in the rain as the gate lowers and a white horse comes zooming past him. In the saddle are a young girl being held by a women. As the horse zooms past him, Link gets a glimpse of the young girl’s worried face as she glances back. And with that, she’s gone. However she is followed by a black horse, this time carrying a young but powerful looking man glad in black armor. The scene ends with the camera zooming in on Link’s shocked face.

Link is shocked to see Ganondorf in his nightmare

The game then cuts to the face of The Great Deku Tree, who was narrating before the nightmare scene, telling players that he is the guardian of his people, known as The Kokori. The Kokori live deep within the forest and he continues on by telling of “the boy without a fairy”. The Deku Tree then tells of how he senses a climate of evil descending upon the realm, the malevolent forces mustering to attack the land of Hyrule. Kokori Forest had long stood as the “source of life” and a barrier that deters outsiders and maintains the order of the world. But the oncoming force is too powerful even for The Great Deku Tree. That of course, is where Link steps in. And thus his adventure begins. To lead Hyrule “to the path of justice and truth.”

Zelda: Ocarina of Time Story Artwork

You then see the view from the eyes of Link’s new fairy, Navi (who will be your guide on this adventure) as she flies from the Deku Tree’s home in Kokori Forest to Link’s house, which is shown from a first-person viewpoint, giving players their first good look at Kokori Forest and it’s inhabitants. Navi comes into Link’s house to, of course, find him asleep and wakes him up with the now legendary voice clip of “Hey!”. “Can the destiny of the world really depend on such a lazy boy,” she says? She then tells Link that he has been summoned by the Great Deku Tree and must go meet him.

Saria (artwork) is Link's best friend (Zelda: Ocarina of Time)The Kokori Forest serves as the tutorial for the game, and you’ll learn all you need to know about the game by talking to the various child inhabitants who live in the Forest with you. You’ll also meet one of the main characters in the game, you’re best friend Saria, who is the first person to greet you after Link receives his Fairy. As well as Mido, the “boss” of the Kokori and a bully who likes to call himself “The Great Mido”.

Soon after obtaining your Sword and Shield and learning how the game works, you will meet with The Great Deku Tree and enter inside him to complete your first dungeon, which serves as a kind of opening to what you can expect from later dungeons in the game, whose puzzles and enemies are much greater. Within you’ll find your first weapon (The Fairy Slingshot) as well as some new items. This is also where the story for the first half of the game is explained.

The Deku Tree explains to you that he has become cursed. Cursed by a “man from the desert” who used his sorceress magic to curse the Deku Tree on his quest to find the Sacred Realm, which is connected to Hyrule. This evil man searches ceaselessly for the Sacred Realm because it is within that you will find “that divine relic”, the Triforce.

You then will see one of the few actual cut-scenes in Zelda: Ocarina of Time (cut-scenes are done in real-time, and you will see them during some of the more important parts of the game’s story). It is with this opening scene that you will get a glimpse at the kind of Zelda lore that you will encounter throughout the game, something that really set Ocarina of Time apart from previous games, and set the precedent for a deeper story that would be followed by subsequent Zelda titles.

Din, Nayru & Farore create the Triforce in Zelda: Ocarina of Time

The scene shows three golden goddesses: Din (the Goddess of power), Nayru (the Goddess of Wisdom) and Farore (the Goddess of Courage) and, for the first time in the history of the Zelda series, explains how Hyrule was actually formed. It also explains how and why the Triforce was created.

The Triforce is the place from which the three golden goddesses left the world. The Triforce’s resting place became known as “The Sacred Realm” (known as “The Golden Land” in previous Zelda games like A Link to the Past), which became the basis for Hyrule’s providence. The Deku Tree warns that the “desert man in black armor” must never be allowed to lay his hands on the sacred Triforce.

Link Battling Ganondorf Artwork (Zelda: Ocarina of Time)

He then gives you a gift, the Kokiri Emerald, and tells you to go meet the “princess of destiny” at Hyrule Castle. The Kokiri Emerald is one of the key’s to entering the Sacred Realm, and the reason that the desert man cast his “death curse” on The Deku Tree. It is the first of many sacred relics that you will collect on your adventure.

CONTROLS AND INTERFACE

When you first fire up Zelda: Ocarina of Time, you’ll be given access to three save files. You can not save any more than three games at once. From this screen you’ll have options to delete or copy a game file, as well as a few options that you can change under the Options Menu. These include the sound (stereo, mono, surround or “headset” for headphones) and how you want the L-Targeting to work. “Switch” means that pressing the L-Targeting button once will activate the lock-on cursor. “Hold” means that the cursor will only stay activated while the button is held down. There is also a bar on the Options Menu for you to figure out if the brightness settings on your TV are optimal. Once you select a file you’ll be asked to input your name. It’s important to note that whatever name you put, is what all the characters in the game will call you. So if you want the game to feel authentic, then input your name as “Link”. Otherwise, you can put whatever name you like.

The Kokori's Emerald, first of many relics (Zelda: Ocarina of Time Screenshot)

After the game’s introduction and the story is given to the player (as explained above), you’ll find yourself in Kokori Forest, which acts as a training ground where you are taught how the game controls and how the interface works. But I’ll go ahead and explain them here.

Link’s new fairy, named Navi, allows you to lock onto objects and characters with the L Button, this is called “L Targeting” (or “Z targeting” in the N64 version as you used the Z Trigger Button). This was an innovation in 3D action gaming as it allowed you to focus the camera on an enemy or object in 3D space and then battle or strife around it without losing sight of the target. A big deal back in the day.

Young Princess Zelda Artwork (Ocarina of Time)By pressing the L Button you can lock onto characters, allowing you to easily talk with them or speak with a character from afar (which can only be done by locking onto them first). If there is nothing to target, then you press L to move the camera directly behind you. You can also hold L to keep the view looking forward while you strife around with the control stick.

The A Button is context-sensitive and will change depending on the situation, which was another innovation that Ocarina of Time popularized, even though it had been seen to an extent previously. When you are close to an object that you can interact with, you’ll see the A Button icon at the top of screen display in words what action you can perform, such as “speak” to talk to a character, “climb” to climb onto a ladder or block and “open” to open a door or chest.

Malon Artwork (Zelda: Ocarina of Time)As a side note, when speaking to a character the text will scroll slowly. It’s just something you’ll have to deal with, pressing A won’t do anything, but if you press B while a character is talking it will skip all the way to the end of what they are saying. So it’s best to just have patience as you don’t want to accidentally skip something important. Which btw, important bits of information that will help you on your quest are highlighted in red or other colors.

Next to the A Icon at the top of the screen is the B Button Icon, which will display your sword when you have obtained it. Pressing B will draw your sword. You can then swing it horizontally by just pressing B, or vertically by targeting and pressing B or pressing B while holding up/forward on the control stick (best way to swing horizontally is to just stand still and press B without targeting).

N64 Zelda: Ocarina of Time Controls Artwork

You can do a stabbing attack by targeting and pressing up and B, or a lunge attack by pressing A while targeting if your sword is drawn. If it is not drawn, then A will roll forward while targeting. The A Button will always make Link roll when you are not targeting, which is both a good way to avoid enemies and to help you get to a location quicker than running. You can also do a few more acrobatic moves while targeting with the A Button. While Targeting or holding down the L-Trigger button, you can do a backflip by pressing back+A or a side-jump by pressing Left or Right and the A Button.

Link Hanging Artwork (Zelda: Ocarina of Time)Finally, if you stand still for a while then you’ll be able to put your sword away with the A Button. Once you get a shield you can use R to block with it once it’s equipped. Pressing R while not targeting will have Link duck and hide behind the shield. To move while blocking with the shield you must target first.

You use the control stick to run around. There is no jump button (although the only Zelda that contained one was Link’s Awakening) but you can leap over objects as well as climb onto them by simply running into them and Link will automatically perform the action you want.

Link Fighting Stance Artwork (Zelda: Ocarina of Time)

So if you want to jump off an edge, just run at full speed towards it. And if it’s a movable object, like a box, then you will see “Grab” in the Action Icon and you can hold A to grab onto it, and use the control stick to move it around while keeping the A Button held. To climb atop it you’ll need to keep holding the control stick forward, so that the Action Icon changes from “grab” to “climb”.

Finally there are the C Buttons. You use the C Buttons on the N64 controller to use Items. If you are playing with a GameCube controller, then the N64’s four C Buttons (C Up, C Right, C Down and C Left) are mapped to both the C-Stick and the X, Y and Z Buttons. I have not played the Virtual Console version so I can’t tell you how the controls with the Classic Controller work, but the GameCube controls work just fine.

Zelda: Ocarina of Time Item Screen Scan Art

Items can be accessed via the game’s Subscreens. To bring up the subscreen menus, press the Start Button. The Menu is divided into four-parts. The Quest Screen shows items you pick up that are crucial to your quest, these you just carry around with you. Then you have the Equipment Subscreen. It is here that you will equip new swords, shields, tunics and boots. Then you have the Map Subscreen, which shows a map of Hyrule if you are out in the field. When you first begin the game most of the map is covered in clouds, but as you travel to new locations the clouds will disappear. You can see the various locations on the map and select them with the control stick to read their name. As well as see where you are in the world via a blinking icon on the map. Places you need to visit will also be blinking.

Hyrule Map World Atlus Artwork (Zelda: Ocarina of Time)

Finally you have the “Item” subscreen. It is here where you will see all items that you can equip for immediate use. To use them, you must set them to one of the C icons (displayed at the top right of the screen), either C Down, C Right, or C Left. Do this by moving the cursor to the item on the Item Subscreen and then pressing one of the C Buttons (on N64) or the corresponding direction on the right stick (GameCube, Classic Controller). If using a GameCube controller then the Y, X and Z buttons also correspond to C Buttons. Y is C Left, Z is C Down and X is C Right. You then will press that button or direction to use the Item. So if you set the Deku Sticks to C Right, then you’ll press C Right to take out the Deku Sticks and also to swing them. The A Button will allow you to put any item away (including your sword, as mentioned above) if you stand still for a few seconds.

You can’t use C-Up to equip items because that is used to change your viewpoint. Pressing C-Up while on the field will switch to a first-person viewpoint, or if you’re in a house it’ll switch to a top-down perspective. Navi will also occasionally chime in by yelling “Hey!” and you press up to hear her words of wisdom. She will occasionally call out to tell you where you need to be headed on your quest. She will also divulge useful information on enemies if you target them and press C Up. You can also Save while on the Subscreens at any time by pressing the B Button and confirming with A. Don’t forget to Save often!

Link with Navi the fairy, Zelda: Ocarina of Time artwork

Finally comes the in-game display that you will see when running around (i.e., when the game isn’t on the Start Button subscreens). As previously mentioned, at the top of the screen you’ll see an A Button “Action Icon” that changes depending on the situation. Next to the A button at the top of the screen is a B Button icon which shows your sword if it’s equipped (Note: The colors of the B and A button icons differ depending on whether you are playing the N64 or GameCube versions, to mimic the colors of the A and B buttons on the corresponding controllers).

To the right of the B and A button icons at the top of the screen are the three C-Item Icons. C Left, C Down and C Right, if you set an item to them then it will show that item on the corresponding icon.

On the bottom right you can see how many Rupees you have, which is the game’s currency that you’ll use to purchase items from stores and such. And finally, to the upper left is your health, which is represented by small heart icons like in all Zelda games. Unlike games before Ocarina of Time though, the hearts drain in fourths as you take damage (instead of in halfs). And like all Zelda games, you can find Heart Pieces scattered around the world to increase your number of hearts and thus your health. Collect four “Pieces of Heart” to form one Heart Container. You’ll also gain a full heart after boss battles.

Link Kokori Forest Zelda: Ocarina of Time Screenshot

Finally, in the bottom right corner you will see a small mini-map of the area you are in. The yellow arrow on the mini-map is Link and it shows what direction he is pointing in and where he is in the current area. The red arrow simply shows the location you entered from (which can be useful when trying to determine what door you came out of). This mini-map can be turned off by pressing any direction on the D-pad.

Things change slightly when you are in a dungeon. The mini-map won’t be displayed until you find that dungeons map. And same goes for the Map Subscreen, which when in a dungeon will display the map for that dungeon. If you haven’t actually found the dungeon map though, then it will simply show what rooms you have already visited. Once you find the map, it will display the whole dungeon. On the left side you will see the various floors, move the cursor over to them and up or down to switch floors. Areas you have been to will be blue, while areas you have not visited will not be filled in with any color. Once you find the dungeon Compass, you can see where treasure chests in the map are located. As well as the floor and room that the dungeon boss is located in (who’s room you can’t enter unless you’ve found the “Boss Key” in most dungeons).

GAMEPLAY

The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time is an epic, action adventure game. Early on you will learn the story of the land and the people that inhabit it. You will also meet many interesting characters and races along the way. From the titular Princess Zelda to the forest children known as the Kokori to the mountain-inhabiting rock-like Goron and the underwater fish-like Zora, to the mysterious “shadow folk” known as the Shekiah.

Goron Artwork - Zelda: Ocarina of TimeOcarina of Time was also the first Zelda game to delve extensively into the Zelda lore and backstory, outside of the opening sequence. It was also the first Zelda game to reveal how the Triforce was created. And not only that, but you will also learn about the three Goddesses (Din, Farore and Nayru) and how they formed the land that Link and friends inhabit, known as Hyrule. On top of that, you will also meet Ganondorf and learn his backstory, in addition to the story of Link and how he came to be in Kokori Forest and much, much more. Suffice it to say that the storyline for The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time is still one of the best in the series.

And as the title suggests, you will even travel through time and get to play as an older Link, where you will see the world from an entirely new perspective. The scene where you actually travel through time has to be seen to be believed, and it definitely ranks up there as one of greatest moments in Zelda history. And possibly, in gaming history.

Triforce Screenshot - Zelda Ocarina of Time

The flow of Ocarina of Time basically has you visiting towns and villages to learn of what immediate goal you need to satisfy to move the story forward, fighting random enemies along the way. The quest will eventually involve Link having to traverse his way through many dungeons to find various artifacts that are needed for the ultimate end-goals of both his Child and Adult forms.

Like in previous Zelda games, you start the game out with nothing and will acquire new weapons and items that will enhance your abilities and allow you to access further areas of the world that you could not get to before. And Ocarina of Time really took this feature above and beyond previous entries in the series.

Not only will you encounter all kinds of items on the Item Screen, including token items from Zelda’s past like Bombs, the Boomerang, a Bow and Arrow and Empty Bottles to store medicine and other things in. But they have expanded Link’s equipment ten-fold from the previous game, Zelda: A Link to the Past. And, for the first time, you can actually swap equipment in and out, although this will not play a major role until half-way through Link’s adventure.

Link Red Tunic Artwork - Zelda Ocarina of TimeIn addition to obtaining stronger swords and shields, you will also obtain new tunics and boots. And while these made appearances in previous games, this is the first time you were able to freely swap them in and out, and it plays a HUGE role in a lot of the puzzles and other aspects of the game later on, especially in some of the later dungeons.

Now while swapping equipment may not seem like a major deal in this day and age (even if it was a first for the Zelda series), the fact remains that what it does do is give you a CRAP LOAD of stuff to play around with.

And boy is Zelda ever content packed! This game quite simply is one of the most completely satisfying single-player action adventures you will ever play. There is tons to do in Zelda: Ocarina of Time and you will be kept occupied from beginning to end, whether that’s traversing from one locale to the next, making your way through a dungeon or taking part in one of the numerous mini-games and side-quests. All of which (referring to the mini-games and side-quests) you will want to take part in because you’ll be awarded with an item for clearing the goal in each one, which encourages players to try their hand at everything at least once, if not a few times to get what you were looking for (which is not rupees, the game’s currency, that’s for sure).

Link's Ocarina Zelda: Ocarina of Time artworkThere are quite a few elements of Ocarina of Time that are very unique and separate it not only from other action adventure games, but also from other Zelda titles. And with Ocarina of Time that comes from the titular ocarina item. An ocarina is a flute-like instrument that you will obtain once you leave Kokori Forest for the first time.

As you play the game you will learn various songs from different characters that you will encounter. Some of them are optional, but most will be required to beat the game. Typically you will either be taught an ocarina song as part of game’s storyline, or you will learn it by showing off your ocarina to certain characters. Simply whip the instrument out when you are within close distance of them and they will respond to the ocarina in your hand. Some characters will require you to play a song in order for you to proceed or earn something. As the game even tells you, when in doubt, pull out your Ocarina and play a tune!

Adult Link plays the Ocarina (Zelda: Ocarina of Time Screenshot)

The first song you will learn is a song that’s connected to the Royal Family of Hyrule called Zelda’s Lullaby, whose past you will learn more about during your adventure. The Royal Family, as you may have guessed, is Princess Zelda’s lineage and includes the King of Hyrule. Zelda’s Lullaby is a song you will play on the Ocarina that will be required to progress through many parts of the game where you will need to prove your connection to the Royal Family, which of course is done by playing the song.

To play notes on the Ocarina you use the four C button directions and the A Button. Although you can play anything you want on the ocarina, and even have fun by changing the tone and such with various buttons and directions on the control stick, you will have to play certain songs you have learned in order to have any effect on the game world (so you can’t expect to play the Simpsons Theme Song, which is doable, and have the game respond).

A short clip of The Simpsons Theme being played on the Ocarina

You will learn TONS of songs throughout the course of the game, and areas where you are required to play a song to progress in the story will show a music graph that pops up when you pull out your Ocarina. Although it won’t tell you which song you need to play as that is part of the fun, even when it’s obvious (such as when you see a Triforce symbol, which means you need to play Zelda’s Lullaby), so sometimes you’ll need to go through your entire songlist before you will figure out the right song that needs to be played. But having the music graph come up when a song is required takes a lot of the guess-work out of figuring out when a song is required to move the story forward. Which was a good idea on Nintendo’s part.

Thankfully though, the game is good at teaching you songs gradually so that you will generally have used them a few times before you learn the next one, and thus it’s easier to keep track of and/or memorize the songs as you learn them. If you forget how to play a certain tune (which you will, trust me) then you can check which songs you have learned and how to play them on the Quest Status Subscreen, where you will see a line of music notes (press the A Button and the game will give you a demonstration of the song).

Link plays a song (Zelda: Ocarina of Time Screenshot)

A number of the items and weapons that you know and love from previous Zelda games also make their return in Ocarina of Time. They include Bombs, the Boomerang, the Bow and Arrow and empty bottles for you to put stuff in. And this time you can use Empty Bottles to carry a lot more than medicine, as you will find all kinds of things from small bugs to fish to fairys that you can catch by equipping an empty bottle and swinging it.

With certain weapons, such as the Slingshot, the game’s view will switch to first-person to allow for better and more accurate aiming. Although you can only use these weapons from a first-person vantage point, you can use L-Targeting to lock-on to an enemy if you are in range, which will zoom out the view to third-person viewpoint as well as allow you to track the enemy. If you have played newer Zelda games, then you may be a bit surprised to find that there is no aiming reticle or way to lock onto multiple enemies when using weapons like the boomerang. Nope this is straight up old-school aiming!

Link got an empty bottle! Zelda: Ocarina of Time Screenshot

Most of the weapons work as you’d expect. Bombs can be dropped, and then picked up and thrown before they explode, allowing you to blast open cracked or hollow walls (hit them with your sword to tell if a wall is hollow and thus breakable, in classic Zelda fashion) or blow up certain large rocks that inhabit your progress. Deku Sticks can be pulled out and used as a blunt object or lit on fire and used to light torches. The bow and arrow can be used to shoot at far away switches and enemies. The Boomerang flies in an arch and will come back to you, also allowing you to pick up distant objects. The Shield can be used to block incoming shots from enemies or bounce them back at said enemy (such as with the classic Octorock enemies who will shoot rocks at you from the water) and so on and so forth.

Link Bomb Toss Artwork Scan (Zelda: Ocarina of Time)

The biggest twist in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, of course, comes from it’s storyline. As is immediately revealed to you (via the back of the box or even the game’s intro), The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time is split up into two halves. The first half has you playing as a young Link during childhood. But three sacred artifacts later, you will find yourself transformed into an Adult Link, the one you see riding the horse Epona during the game’s introduction when you first fire the game up on your N64, GameCube or Wii.

And while this is one of the greatest Zelda storylines due to how Link goes through time and into the future, it also has some gameplay implications. As Adult Link you will not be able to use the same weapons and items you used as a kid. You will also gain some new abilities that aren’t present in your childhood form.

Link riding Epona (Zelda: Ocarina of Time screenshot)

The biggest example of this is Link’s horse Epona. Epona can only be ridden as Adult Link. She is also not readily available and must be earned. In fact, Epona is an entirely optional portion of the game, but something you will not want to go without. Once Link acquires Epona, you will be able to saddle up onto the horse and ride around the large Hyrule Field, the overworld portion of the gameworld that links all the various areas of Hyrule together.

From Hyrule Field you can access Kokori Forest, the Gerudo Valley, the Hyrule Market, Lake Hyrule, Zora’s Domain and Kokariko Village. When you are a kid this field takes a while to traverse on foot. Which is one of the annoying parts of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, as you will be forced to listen to Link’s annoying grunts and “hee-yah!”s as you roll your way from one end of the field to the other. You will do this because rolling is MUCH quicker than Link’s relatively low running speed.

Link rides Epona. Zelda: Ocarina of Time artwork

Thankfully this little “issue” (which doesn’t effect gameplay, it’s just annoying much in the way that the sailing in The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker is) is rectified once you go into adulthood and obtain Epona, which allows you to speed across the field at a much quicker pace, and is also simply much FUNNER than rolling or running. You can even shoot your bow and arrow from Epona’s back (which will occasionally be used to fight ghost enemies), as well as hop over fences if you have enough speed and don’t approach them from a weird angle. In addition standard enemies that will sometimes attack when you are out in the field can be destroyed simply by running into them with Epona.

Epona can be summoned via the way of a special song that you can (optionally) learn while you are a child, and it will become a trusty part of your arsenal as it allows you to summon Epona from anywhere in Hyrule Field. Although you cannot take Epona into most of the other areas that are connected to Hyrule Field (with a few exceptions, namely Lake Hyrule and Gerudo Valley). Either way, Epona is a brilliant addition to the Zelda universe and to Ocarina of Time, and back in the day it was one of the neatest parts about Ocarina of Time, as it was one of the first times you had a 3D character ride a horse in that fashion. Nowadays we have games like Assassin’s Creed where the main character rides a horse, but Zelda was one of the first to do so and it is still a very cool part of Ocarina of Time and a fun, unique way to get around as Adult Link.

Link and Epona Zelda Ocarina of Time Artwork/Wallpaper

And Epona isn’t the only way you can get around quickly during the course of your adventure. During the Adult portion you will learn a very large variety of songs that will teleport you to various parts of Hyrule. Although this will, in some ways, make Epona obsolete, it is a very crucial part of the game and also a very player friendly one. Once you know the songs (which are very cool to play and memorize due to their fantastic orchestral sound) and are able to teleport anywhere in the blink of an eye, you will wonder how you ever played the game without them.

Sheik Artwork (Zelda: Ocarina of Time)

These songs are taught to you by a mysterious new character to The Legend of Zelda lore named Sheik (whom you may know from Super Smash Bros. Brawl), a character that made it’s debut in Ocarina of Time. Sheik is one of the coolest characters in the game and will impart you with sage-like advice and interesting perspectives on life as the mysterious Sheikah teaches you the songs of teleportation. Some memorable lines of Sheik’s eternal wisdom include stuff like this: “A childish mind will turn to noble ambition . . . Young love will become deep affection . . . The clear water’s surface reflects growth”. The character simply serves to make the storyline of Ocarina of Time that much more appealing as it gives a more serious tone to what is one of the best storylines in the Zelda series.

Zelda Owl (Kaepora Gaebora) Artwork (Ocarina of Time)

I also have to mention the wise-owl, whom Link encounters as a child. The owl’s true name is Kaepora Gaebora (now see if you can discover where the game tells you that! ;) ) and he serves to enlighten Link on the ways of Hyrule in much the way that Sheik does when Link is an adult. The owl is a very cool character in my opinion, as he adds both a whimsical (think: Alice in Wonderland) but at the same time a mythical and mysterious, feel to the young Link’s world. The music that plays while you are talking to the owl is equally fitting. And there is one point in the game where the owl’s appearance will make you shed a tear.

But the greatest aspect of Ocarina of Time is, without a doubt, the dungeons. “Dungeons” are infamous in Zelda ever since the original Legend of Zelda 1, and they are well known for their head-scratching puzzles and very clever designs that force players to make use of all their weapons, including new ones which you almost always obtain from a dungeon treasure chest, a hallmark of the Zelda titles and one that is reinforced in full form with Ocarina of Time.

Link fights Lizalfos in a dungeon (Zelda: Ocarina of Time Screenshot)

I must admit that going into this game I was not sure if the game and it’s dungeons would hold up to the very high marks that the game received upon it’s release, way back on the N64 in 1998. I also was not sure if the game would hold up to my nostalgic view of it’s greatness when I truly put it to the test by replaying the entire game once again.

But make no mistake! The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time not only lived up to my expectations AND my nostalgia, but it EXCEEDED them! Not an easy feat when the game is long-remembered and highly regarded as one of, if not THE, greatest games of all time. But let me tell you, there is one reason why the game holds up so well. And naturally, why it is deserving of the high praise it gets.

Awesome Zelda fanvid (warning MAJOR spoilers in all aspects)

Put simply, the dungeon designs in Ocarina of Time are easily some of the best designs in the entire series! A bold statement for sure. The dungeons are a joy and a challenge from beginning to end. And if you have never played the game, then you will be in for quite the brain-stumper as you make your way through Link’s epic quest.

The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time - Collector's Edition for N64The reason I can say this matter-of-factly is due to my extensive experience with Ocarina of Time in the past. I have played through and beaten the game many times (including on the N64 when it first came out on that system, and when it was re-released on GameCube as part of the “Ocarina of Time/ Master Quest” collection) and so there were many puzzles that I distinctly remembered, making the game much easier to go through again than it would be for someone who has never touched it. And yet, even still, the game managed to stump me on more than a few occasions!

In particular, the Water Temple was just as tough as I remember it. I even managed to actually get so stumped in the Water Temple when I was a key short, that I had to basically go through the entire dungeon room by room looking for that one key that I did not get!

So don’t be fooled, even if you remember the game pretty well, you probably will not be able to recall how exactly to solve every puzzle in the game. So it’s enjoyable to play through again just on that basis alone.

Link gets a small key (Zelda: Ocarina of Time screenshot)

As mentioned above, the dungeon designs in Ocarina of Time are fantastic. Generally you will be hitting switches to unlock doors, destroying all the enemies in a room to activate a hidden chest, solving puzzles and picking up Door Keys to unlock locked doors. You’ll also find a hidden Dungeon Map (which will give you a full map of the entire dungeon that you can check on the Map Subscreen, and a mini-map in the lower right corner), Dungeon Compass (which will show you the location of hidden treasure chests and what room the boss resides in on said maps), and, in some dungeons, the Boss Key, which naturally allows you to unlock the door to the room where the boss resides, in almost every dungeon. In addition to this, you will always get one new item or weapon and will be required to use it extensively to complete the dungeon and solve it’s puzzles. At the end of every dungeon you will fight a massive boss and several dungeons also have you fighting mini-bosses half-way through.

Puzzles come in a wide form and variety and are a joy to figure out. They range from simple hit-the-switch puzzles to block pushing to more complex floor navigation and everything in between. A quick example of one dungeon puzzle involves three spinning platforms with lava below, a lit torch in the middle that the platforms revolve around, and a switch on the wall that is frozen. The solution? Stand on one of the platforms until it’s lined up with the torch and shoot an arrow through the fire and into the switch. This will thaw the ice and activate it.

Water Temple Wallkthrough - Part 1 (SPOILER ALERT)

And all the dungeons are themed in some general way which helps make each dungeon feel very distinct. You will find dungeons that have objects that are not real but illusions, the aforementioned Water Temple which as you lowering and raising the water level as well as being required to constantly equip and unequip various equipment, a Fire Temple with multiple floors that involves saving some captives, a dungeon whose enemies are mostly electric and will shock you if you touch them, that’s set inside of a creature (with fleshy walls that bleed when hit) to a dungeon that mostly involves the manipulation of light.

And as stated above, you will not only get various items and weapons in these dungeons but you will also get new equipment, in addition to Magic Spells (that will drain your Magic Meter), as you explore the game world. Some of them are required while others (like the spells) are not, and some are easier to find than others. The footware in particular is very impressive, and for the first time Link will find different Tunics (i.e., various colors of clothing) that give him additional abilities instead of simply increasing how much damage he can take (which was the case in The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past).

Ocarina of Time)

You may even find an additional sword which requires two hands to wield, and consequently, does not allow you to use your shield at the same time (since you can’t hold both as it requires two hands to wield). And just like items and weapons, you can switch between your new equipment pretty quickly and easily by simply going into your subscreens and selecting them on the Equipment Subscreen.

All changes from the Equipment Subscreen are reflected on Link’s character model, including some of the “aside” equipment which is shown on the sidebar to the left of your standard equipment on the Equipment Subscreen. These items are equipped automatically and include larger bags for Bombs, Arrows and your Slingshot (which are not shown on Link’s character model), in addition to other Items that you will acquire, and be able to upgrade, throughout the game (such as a bracelet, which is shown on Link’s character model). Most of these upgrades are entirely optional, which means that you may go through the entire game without ever finding out how to increase the number of Bombs, Deku Nuts, Deku Sticks or Arrows that you are able to carry.

And that is part of the beauty of Ocarina of Time. The game, as stated above, is jam-packed with side-quests and mini-games, most of which will reward you with one of the items mentioned above. But that’s only the tip of the iceburg.

Ocarina of Time)

Much of your exploring in Ocarina of Time will be doing side-quests. There are a few major ones in the game and they include a search for “soft soil”, which you will encounter as small holes in the ground. These holes can be planted with a special seed (err, bean) that you can buy at Zora’s River. Planting them in the soft soil will allow you to access some previously unaccessible areas as an Adult, after the plant’s have grown. In addition, these holes will yield a Gold Skultulla if you drop a caught bug onto the soil.

Another major side-quest involves the search for Great Fairy Fountains. Some of these fountains you will inevitably find during the course of your adventure, while others are more hidden and optional, and thus can be missed. The Great Fairy’s will power Link up with Magic Spells and other abilities that will be very useful in your quest.

Ocarina of Time)

But in addition to searching for Pieces of Heart (as explained below), you will probably spend the majority of your side-quest time hunting for hidden spiders known as “Golden Skultullas”. These gold-colored arachnids only come out during night (except in dungeons, where they always reside) and can be discovered thanks to the unique noise that they make as they spin on their spot. Killing one of them will give you a token, and there are a total of 100 Gold Skultulla Tokens to find and collect hidden throughout the entire game! Collecting all of them is a humongous task, and although I have done it before in previous files while playing through Ocarina of Time, I did not collect all of them in my play through the game for this review. In fact I only collected around 60 of them!

Ocarina of Time)

So if you do find them all, then give yourself a big pat on the back. Naturally, you will be rewarded for finding them all, although you really only need to collect 50 of them to get the best rewards. The end-game reward for finding all 100 Gold Skultullas is simply an infinite amount of money (which you should be able to decipher from the character who rewards you who says, bold in red, “I will make you very rich”) which is incredibly pointless at such a late stage in the game, as there is nothing for you to buy with the money (outside of potions). And like in all Zelda games money (in the form of rupees) is pretty readily available, and you will constantly earn it by opening treasure chests, finding holes in the ground (that typically lead to a treasure chest with money or a Gold Skulltula and/or sometimes a Heart Piece) and simply destroying shrubbery. The result is that you will typically have a lot or the max amount of money throughout the game.

Ocarina of Time)Also putting a damper on things as far as rupees are concerned is the fact that most of what you can buy in stores is stuff you can find or earn by killing enemies or sword-swiping shrubs or pots. So there isn’t much incentive outside of healing potions, and a fairy caught in the bottle is just as good, if not better, as the Red, Green and (the hidden) Blue Potions are, as a fairy will revive you if you keep it in the bottle and die with it in your inventory. Which essentially gives you double the amount of hearts you already own. Get three bottles and three caught fairys and you are pretty much good to go no matter what dungeon or boss you are facing.

And that leads to another slight sticking point, Ocarina of Time is a pretty easy game. While I did die once or twice during the course of my adventure, I always had a fairy ready to revive me and thus I never truly died. I can say this becuase the number on my file select screen is zero. You see, the amount of times you die is reflected on the File Select Screen by a number. That number represents you how many times you have died, and has been a staple of the Zelda series since Zelda 1, even though they never actually tell you what that number means. (Lucky for you, I just did!).

Ocarina of Time)

Thankfully though, even though the bosses are not very tough (Volvagia above is way more threatening in this artwork than he is in the game), the game IS challenging thanks to the excellent dungeon designs and puzzles therein. The bosses are also all phenomenal design-wise (and look pretty cool) and are a real treat to fight and conquer. One of them in particular is a battle that takes place on a giant drum! Others will have you fighting a giant bomb eating dinosaur, a flaming, flying dragon and a electrified jelly-fish-like creature whose surface is covered by smaller electrified jellyfish.

Ocarina of Time)

Some of bosses are easily in my “top bosses of all time list”, ESPECIALLY the end game fights, which have to be seen to be believed. My brother commented that the first stage end boss was “More badass than Sephiroth from Final Fantasy VII“; praise doesn’t come any higher than that!

Ocarina of Time)

Back to the mini-games and side-quests, in addition to your search for Gold Skulltulas (which is entirely optional, but you will want to do so simply to increase how many rupees you can carry) you will also be searching for Pieces of Heart, another classic Zelda staple of the series. You will need to collect four Pieces of Heart in order to create a new Heart Container, thus giving you more health.

In addition to those side-quests, you also may discover, with some searching, an elaborate “trading sequence” which has you taking items you receive from NPCs (non-playable characters) to other NPC’s for another item. You mix and repeat until you end up with an optional, but extremely powerful, weapon known as the Biggoran’s Sword. These trading sequences originally started on the Game Boy Zelda game, The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening, and have become a staple of the Zelda series.

In addition to these three huge side-quests, that can keep you quiet busy throughout your adventure, there are tons of additional mini-games that you can play.

Some of these mini-games include: (names may not be official)

Shooting Gallery: Use either your bow and arrow or Slingshot to shoot at moving or stationary gems that will pop-up.

Bombchu Bowling: Use the Bomchu item, a mouse-like bomb that will move on it’s own in a straight line where you set it, to target specific holes while obstructions try to block your Bombchu.

Ocarina of Time)Treasure Guessing: You must choose which chest holds the key to the next room. A complete game of chance as there are only two chests to choose from. Although you can cheat in this game with an item that lets you see the truth.

Zora Diving: Dive from the top of the Zora’s Domain waterfall and into the body of water below with the goal of collecting all the rupees in the water.

Horse Racing: Race your horse against an opponent. While racing you will also have to jump over fences. While it’s not too hard to beat your opponent, once you do that you will be tasked with an obstacle horse, which is just as hard if not harder. And much harder to complete it AND beat the record.

Ocarina of Time)Horseback Shooting Range: While on horseback you need to use your bow and arrow to shoot at stationary targets as your horse moves. A bullseye on the target will net you more points.

Cucco Rounding: The chickens from previous Zelda’s get the name “Cucco” in this game (which I took as Nintendo competing against Squaresoft’s “Chocobo” character) for the first time, and in Kakariko Village you will find a lady who tasks you with finding all of her Cucco’s and bringing them back to their pen.

Ocarina of Time)

Lon Lon Ranch Cucco Hunt: The owner of Lon Lon Ranch, Talon (who, along with his brother Ingo, look suspiciously like Mario & Luigi), will task you with finding three special Cuccos amongst a gaggle of normal ones. The catch? The special ones look exactly the same, so in actuality you are simply racing to pick up as much as you can without picking up one you already lifted.

Frog Singing: Play one of the songs you have learned to this group of frogs to make one of them grow. Make them all grow to earn a special prize.

Lost Woods Ocarina Song Memorization: This game tasks you with memorizing an Ocarina tune that’s played by some skull kids in the Lost Woods. You have to repeat the notes they play. Each time you do so successfully, they add a note, until you’re required to play the entire group of notes in one go.

Lost Woods Stage Area: This place is hidden within some bushes in one of the Lost Woods rooms. Simply wonder through the grass near the butterflies until you fall into a hole. When you are here, you will get a different response depending on what face you show them.

Fishing: The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time contains a deep fishing mini-game that you can find at Lake Hylia. The fishing mini-game was popularized in Ocarina of Time after it made it’s debut in The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening for the Game Boy. To fish in Ocarina of Time, you must pay a small rupee fee and then you are given a fishing rod. The rod can be used on a lack full of fish. You press the B Button to cast your line, and down+A to set it when a fish grabs. To help lure fish you can move the lure with the A Button, control stick or R Button. To reel a fish in after you grabs and you’ve set it with down+A, you keep pressing B while holding the R Button and directions on the control stick.

Ocarina of Time Screenshot)

There are lots of different fish of various sizes, and you are rewarded with a Piece of Heart when you are a kid, and a special item when you are an adult, for catching a huge lunker of a fish. There are even a few secret/fun things you can do while fishing, including stealing the employees hat and finding a special “Sinking Lure”. Although there are only two real rewards for playing the fishing mini-game, the game was haraulded at the time of Ocarina’s release for good reason, it’s fun to play!

Happy Mask Shop: Last but not least, is the Happy Mask Shop, which deserves special mention and is more of a side-quest than a mini-game. This shop opens up once you have gained access to Death Mountain from Kakariko Village. The shop is found in the Hyrule Market and from the shop you borrow a mask “for free”. Once you have borrowed a mask, you can show it off to people to get different reactions. This is fun at first cause you’ll want to talk to everyone and see how they react, but once you hit the third mask or so you’ll notice that they will start to repeat their lines.

The goal is to find a certain person in Hyrule who wants the mask and will be willing to buy it from you. Once they do you pay back a fee for borrowing the mask and you’ll get a new model. There are four major masks that you can borrow and once you have found the person you sell each one too you will unlock a special “Mask of Truth” that you can use to talk to the random gray stones called “Gossip Stones” that you find throughout the game. This serves no true purpose but is fun to do and they will give some interesting tidbits of expositionary info that helps in fleshing out Link’s world. After unlocking the Mask of Truth you will also be given three “Race Masks” to play around with. Oh and by the way, try using all your money after you’ve given a mask away so that you can’t pay the “Happy Mask Salesman” back, YOU WILL NOT REGRET IT!

And this is not even the full list of mini-games, although I think I covered the majority of them. Although there are a lot of them to play and they will keep you occupied throughout your adventure, the mini-games are not something you will play for fun (with the possible exception of the fishing and Happy Mask Shop side-quests). Rather you will simply play them until you’ve earned whatever it is you seek, and then move on. The games are not fun in the sense that you will really want to play them over and over. And that’s a bit disheartening, especially since all you get after the main reward is typically 50 rupees, something you will rarely need much less want.

Ocarina of Time)

The world of Zelda: Ocarina of Time is very fleshed out though, and it will take you through all manner of environments and places, from forests to volcanos to streams and rivers to frozen ice and dark palaces. In addition, you will grow to like the random characters that inhabit Link’s world. Even if it may not seem like it at first. By the end of the game you will recognize all of them. Which is especially neat if you are planning on playing the follow up, The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask, which re-uses all of the same character models, and sometimes retains their personalities.

Ocarina of Time)As mentioned above, Ocarina of Time also dives into the Zelda lore unlike any previous Zelda game, and set the benchmark for all games to come. The way the game ties together the Royal Family of Hyrule and the Sheikah with the Kokori, Goron, Zora and Gerudo tribes is very interesting and the new character types, the green-clad forever-children people of the forest known as the Kokori, the water fish-like people known as the Zora, the mountainous rock-eating people known as the Goron, and the all female desert thieves known as the Gerudo, are all really cool and interesting people’s. They really help to give Ocarina of Time a very unique feel and a world that feels realistic and natural, especially given that it is all linked.

Ocarina of TimeEven before you gain easier ways to travel as an adult, you will find locations within the world that will instantly take you from one part to another. Which means that if you pay attention to your surroundings, you’ll find easier ways to get from point A to point B. Which is just another testament to Nintendo’s brilliant design of the entire Hyrule game world in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time.

Graphically, Ocarina of Time is very rough around the edges, as you’d expect from a Nintendo 64 title of this age. The worst offender is probably the character designs and geography, which all feature very sharp edges, lots of points. While it’s not of Final Fantasy VII quality, it does make all the characters look a bit blocky.

Ocarina of Time Screenshot)

The textures of course are also blurry, especially if you are playing the original Nintendo 64 version as opposed to one of the GameCube re-releases. However, once you get into the game, you will still be awed by some of the graphics and effects. While the game won’t necessarily blow you away, the first time you turn into Adult Link you’re jaw will definitley hit the floor if you’ve never seen the sequence, and Death Mountain 7 years later still impressed the first time you see it, especially in from close-up! However still one of the most impressive aspects of the game is the entire ending sequence . . . Those who’ve played the game will know what I’m talking about. And if you haven’t, then it’s yet another reason why you MUST experience this game.

Musically, Zelda: Ocarina of Time has an absolutely fantastic soundtrack. In fact I’d urge you to pick up one of the myriad of Zelda: Ocarina of Time soundtracks that you can get online (note that the Japanese original soundtrack album has twice as many tracks as the U.S. release) as well as check out some awesome Zelda: Ocarina of Time remixes (click on “Songs” to see each one) from the great video game remix site www.ocremix.org.

Ocarina of Time)

Back in the day though, when Ocarina of Time was first released, some people complained that it didn’t sound like Zelda music, and to a degree this still remains true. If you are expecting a fun, upbeat diddy like that of The Wind Waker, then you will be sorely disappointed with the music in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (with the possible exception of the mini-game [Bombchu Bowling] and Happy Mask Shop music), however the music seems to just get better and better the more you play.

Ocarina of Time)

What really puts the music over the top though is the great dungeon themes that you will hear when you are Adult Link. In fact, the tune that plays for the last Temple in the game is one of my personal favorites.

The Legend of Zelda - Original Soundtrack CD ImportOther individual stand-out tracks and personal favorites include *possible spoilers*: The Water Temple, Gerudo Valley, the Temple of Time, Goron City, The Forest Temple, Zora’s Domain, Hyrule Field, the Windmill and Inside Jabu Jabu’s Belly *end spoiler*.

I was never too big of a fan of the opening theme . . . It’s also impossible to talk about Ocarina of Time music without mentioning the teleport songs you learn in the game. Which are great, orchestral-like ditties that have become beloved classic video game tunes in their own right.

Ocarina of Time)

Finally, it must be noted that The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time contains no readily apparent remixes of previous Zelda tunes, which came as a real shocker to a legion of Zelda fans when the game was originally released way back in 1998. The only tune that readily sticks out in my mind that resembles classic Zelda music is the Hyrule Field Theme, which resembles the main Zelda theme that gamers the world over know and love.

And yes, what you may have heard is true, Ocarina of Time lacks a remix of the classic Zelda Overworld theme, the one everyone knows and loves. However, the music in Ocarina of Time is it’s own beast. It’s so good, that it doesn’t need classic Zelda remixes to carry it. The music in the game was also composed by the same guy who has done every other Zelda theme you know and love, Koji Kondo.

Link Gold Zelda Logo Artwork (Ocarina of Time)

As far as the sound effects go, they are classic Zelda and have pretty much remained the templete for all other 3D Zelda games onward. They work fine, although I must say that Link’s grunts and screams can get quite annoying, although mostly when you have to do lots of rolling.

But best of all, Ocarina of Time is quite simply FUN. Add this sense of fun to the myriad of secrets hidden all over Hyrule (try bombing a lone tree to the side of Hyrule Castle) to the outstanding gameplay design to the tons of side-quests and the interesting storyline (which really picks up once you reach adult form) to the phenomenal bosses and incredible end boss sequence and you have, quite simply, one of Nintendo’s greatest modern masterpieces.

The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time has received high marks for a reason. It is one damn good game. If you have yet to experience Ocarina of Time, then you owe it to yourself to try it out. And since the game was added to the Wii Virtual Console, it is more easier (and cheaper) than ever before to do so.

Collector's Edition for GameCubeBut if you are looking for the perfect version, then you may want to track down the Ocarina of Time/Master Quest or the Zelda Collection promotional discs, as both discs feature what is arguably the best version of the game, as the graphics were improved and the rumble feature is intact (missing from the Wii Virtual Console version, and only available in the N64 version with a corresponding Rumble Pak accessory plugged into your controller) and thanks to the Wii’s backwards compatibility with GameCube discs, these versions of the game will play just fine on your Wii. But if you can’t get a hold of the aforementioned versions, then definitely download it on the Wii Virtual Console. You will NOT be disappointed.

I would only suggest playing the N64 version if you still have an N64 around with controller/rumble pak, and you want to experience the game as it was originally intended. The N64 controller also works best with the game, due to the four C Buttons, and the Z Trigger Button, although the GameCube controller definitely does an admirable job.

Ocarina of Time ad artwork

You may also want to note that the GameCube versions do contain a few SLIGHT changes, including a particular bloody scene whose blood color was changed from red to green, the removal of the chant from the Fire Temple as well as the removal of a few symbols from the game (so as not to offend Muslims) and a few other possible slight differences.

Either way, do not let the opportunity to play one of the highest rated Nintendo games of all time pass you by. It should be required playing for all modern video game fans, and stands as a true testament not only to the genius of Nintendo and director Shigeru Miyamoto (who passed the series along to Eiji Aonuma with The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker and all subsequent Zeldas outside Zelda: The Minish Cap) but also to the power of design even on a lower-end system such as the Nintendo 64, which allowed those who put the effort to create some of the greatest games of the 32/64-bit era.

Link and Sheik Zelda Ocarina of Time Wallpaper

FUN FACTOR: 10
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time is an enjoyable game from start to finish. There’s no arguing that. And unlike a lot of games, the dungeons seem to just keep getting better and better, even the last dungeon is a blast and the boss fight and ending NEED to be experienced by every gamer on the face of this planet. On top of that, the game is absolutely packed with content it and it’s virtually guaranteed that you will not get everything on your first play through the game without using a strategy guide. Ocarina of Time is a fun game, whether you are just doing side-quests and mini-games or completing the main quest. It’s definitely worthy of the highest mark.

Graphics: 8.0
Zelda isn’t quite the looker it once was. All the characters are blocky with pointed edges, and the textures are all quite blurry. But regardless the game will still surprise you graphically, just wait until you see Death Mountain when you are an adult for the first time.

Music & Sound: 10
The music in Zelda: Ocarina of Time is fantastic, and it only gets better the further you get into the game. In fact the tune of the last dungeon is one of my favorites. The sound effects can be grating and get repetitive, especially when you have to roll a lot . . . which you will. But regardless, Ocarina of Time set the standard for Link’s yells and screams that have been carried over into other games. Either way, you can’t go wrong with the sound in the game.

Ingenuity: 9.0
Zelda: Ocarina of Time set a ton of standards that now have become formulic and common place. But for it’s time it was groundbreaking. This includes the ability to lock on to targets, the context sensitive Action Button and the auto-jumping and climbing to streamline the controls. This was also the first Zelda to let you map more than two items at once.

Replay Value: 9.5
There is SOO much content packed into Ocarina of Time that it’s almost mind-blowing. 100 Gold Skulltalus to find, numerous mini-games to compete in, side-quests like the Biggoran Sword trading sequence, a ton of Heart Pieces and bundles of secrets hidden all over the place and quite a few optional items and upgrades. Ocarina of Time, like Super Metroid, is a game that is an absolute challenge to complete 100% and therefore, offers lots of replay value. Although once you beat it, there isn’t any incentive to play it again, and there are no unlockables.

Ocarina of Time)

Select GCN games being repackaged for Wii

Source: infendo.com

Nintendo is bringing “enhanced GameCube software” to Wii.

The first games in Nintendo’s “Play on Wii Selection” will be Pikmin and Donkey Kong: Jungle Beat.

According to Nintendo President Satoru Iwata, the games will have additional Wii functionality. Both have Nov. 2008 releases in Japan.

Pikmin was originally released for GameCube in North America in Dec. 2001, and Jungle Beat followed in Mar. 2005. Nintendo has not yet revealed pricing details.

Published on October 2nd, 2008 under , , ,

Cancelled GCN title returns in Wii compilation

Source: infendo.com

GameCube faithful will finally be able to get their hands on Radio Allergy, one of the system’s cancelled 2007 swan songs.

Only they’ll be playing it on Wii.

Ultimate Shooting Collection, the aptly named shooter compilation, will include Radio Allergy.

The localized version of Japanese shooter Radilgy, Radio Allergy was planned to be one of the final games released for GameCube before being cancelled in June 2007.

Ultimate Shooting Collection also includes 2005 GameCube shooter Chaos Field and Karous, a shooter that has never been released beyond Japanese shores.

The hardcore three-shooter compilation will be priced modestly at $29.99, and it is set for a November release in North America.

Published on September 30th, 2008 under , , ,

Classic Commercials – Animal Crossing

Published on August 11th, 2008 under , ,

Classic Commercials – Mario Superstar Baseball

Source: infendo.com

Some of Nintendo’s finest advertising came during the Gamecube generation. Not a bad set of TV ads here.

Published on August 4th, 2008 under , , ,

Nintendo could lose GameCube and Classic Controllers after patent lawsuit

Source: videogamesblogger.com

Get your Wii Classic Controller while you still can

Nintendo has lost a patent lawsuit, forcing a ban on the sale of the Wii Classic Controller and GameCube controllers.

So if you are yet to buy a Classic Controller or want new GameCube controllers (such as for playing Super Smash Bros. Brawl or old GameCube games) then you might want to act fast, as they may become even harder to find than they already are.

The GameCube Controller may become even harder to find than it already isThe $21 million dollar patent-infringement court ruling concerns the analog sticks in the Classic Controller and GameCube controllers, which Texas-based Anascape Ltd. claims to hold a patent on that Nintendo violated that “covers six types of motion simultaneously”. The court has ruled in favor of Anascape, and U.S. District Judge Ron Clark has rejected Nintendo’s request for a new trial. As a result, Clark said he will put a ban on the sale of the controllers (which includes sales of GameCube systems) starting tomorrow, July 23, unless Nintendo posts a bond or puts royalties into an escrow account. Although Nintendo can carry on selling the Wii Classic Controller while the appeal waits for its conclusion.

Thankfully, this will not effect the Wii Remote or Nunchuck controllers, which were deemed to not violate Anascape’s patent.

According to Doug Cawley, Anascape’s lawyer, his client argued for the ban because Anascape wants to enter the market itself, and they claim that Nintendo has “clogged the channel.”

Previously both Sony and Microsoft have had to deal with Anascape in their own lawsuits. In 2004 Sony licensed their patent. While Microsoft settled out of court with Anascape on May 1st before the trial began.

Via 1-Up

Gamecube game bargain list

Source: infendo.com

gamecube-logo.jpgZelda marathon extraordinaire, Cameron Banga has compiled quite the helpful list over at his site. They’ve done the dirty work to bring you 25 Gamecube games under a combined total of $250. A few gems on the list…

3. The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker : $12.15 at Amazon – Few games are able to provide such a killer combination of style, solid gameplay, and depth that WW did. It may not have been the realistic Zelda game that fans of the series were looking for when it was released, but the game is just another example as to why the Legend of Zelda series has few rivals in the world of gaming.

4. Metroid Prime : $6.99 at GameStop – Metroid Prime brought the favorites series of many into a 3D world and it did so with emphasis. Many even argue that this is the greatest game to ever grace the purple lunchbox. It’s a space adventure game that features lots of exploring and solid shooting controls and is definitely worth every penny of it’s price tag.

If you’re one of those poor souls that have yet to play the piece of art that is Wind Waker…here’s your chance. Be sure to check out the other bargains, but try not to spend all your summer game money.

Published on June 5th, 2008 under

Member of "Hype Media! Network"