Saturday, November 21, 1998. This date could be any day in the history of the gaming industry, if it weren’t for one detail: this was the moment Nintendo chose to launch The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time.

Today, 25 years later, here we are celebrating another anniversary of the launch of this great Nintendo 64 classic. And it is exactly the points that led the game to become a success that we will talk about in the following lines.

After all, why is Zelda Ocarina of Time considered one of the best games ever made? Remember the Nintendo classic.

The birth of a classic

In 1998, several successful franchises had already migrated to the field of three-dimensional scenarios, being Final Fantasy VII one of the biggest references at that time. It was time for the same to happen with The Legend of Zeldaand perhaps many people know that the initial concept of Ocarina of Time It was presented to the world long before that, in 1995.

Before E3 had its first edition, industry professionals presented their news to the Western world in the former SpaceWorld. It was on this occasion that Nintendo demonstrated what, at the time, was known as Project Zelda 3D.

Of course, a lot has changed since we had the chance to see this first concept. One of the proposals, for example, was that this game would be released for the Nintendo 64DDbut the production team ended up leaving the game in cartridge format.

Speaking of development, Nintendo had a large team working on Ocarina of Time. Under the supervision of Shigeru Miyamoto, the game also featured the efforts of Eiji Aonuma, who would become the future director of the franchise, and more than 100 people to deliver one of Link’s most memorable adventures.

Evolving in every way

The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Pastfor Super Nintendo, surprised everyone with its proposal of two worlds and a long adventure by the standards of the time. It was to be expected that Ocarina of Time he would go further, and he did.

As in the Super Nintendo game, the adventure was still divided into two blocks, but with an additional feature here: a time passage system. The first part of the adventure, for example, is entirely focused on controlling child Link, scenario that changes shortly before halfway through the journey.

After a seven-year cycle, the protagonist finds himself in adulthood and with a world completely desolated by Ganon’s actions. Zelda, the princess he met as a child, is missing, the kingdom of Hyrule has fallen into chaos and many challenges await him at this stage.

To account for all this, the protagonist literally became an acrobat. With the opening to a three-dimensional world, Link can now roll, jump, retreat, lock onto enemies and several other mechanics used in games in the series to this day.

Much of this was only possible thanks to the Nintendo 64 controller, which with a greater number of buttons offered more possibilities for the development team. Some additions even offered another perspective, such as the first-person moments using the slingshot, the bow and arrow or the Hookshot.

Critical and public success

Working with several new mechanics and maintaining the same magic seen in previous titles, it didn’t take long for the game to become a Nintendo 64 classic.

Thanks to every package contained in the game, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time sold 7.6 million copies on the Nintendo 64 alone. It is worth remembering that, if we were to consider the editions for the Virtual Console and the version intended for the Nintendo 3DS, these numbers would easily exceed 10 million.

Specialized critics also approved the work done by Nintendo on this game. With a denser plot and several new gameplay features, the title received top marks in several magazines and websites at the time, and Metacritic is proof of that.

The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time is still one of the games with the best reviews on Metacritic.Source: Metacritic/Reproduction

The aggregator page shows that he counts cwith an almost perfect score of 99 points, a number based on 22 evaluations published in the period. When we talk about the public, the score is a little lower, but still commendable: 9.1, considering the 8,363 analyzes available.

For all this, it is to be expected that Ocarina of Time It is still a game that is widely talked about and discussed in the community thanks to all its evolutions. Add to this the various secrets to explore and, of course, the magic that only Nintendo can provide in its titles, and we have even more reasons to celebrate these 25 years.


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