1UP: Four Ways Mega Man Legends Beat Ocarina of Time

DaveyDecember 12th, 2012 by Davey

In a recent article by 1UP, the idea that perhaps some of Ocarina of Time’s “innovations” were not particularly original, and Mega Man Legends actually did a few things first. Actually, it added four major gameplay elements nearly a year before Ocarina of Time’s release.

Though Nintendo might have done it better, we shouldn’t ignore the PlayStation game that’s often overshadowed by it’s Nintendo 64 superior. For example, though you may have heard or told yourself that Nintendo’s genius came when Ocarina of Time pioneered z-targeting, but in fact, the Zelda title just improved on an already existing concept, that Mega Man Legends did first. Hit the jump for the other three reasons!

Firstly, I’m not one to think that simply because you did something first, you deserve more merit than whomever did it better. And certainly this is not what the 1UP article was implying, but let’s remember this is only recognizing that Nintendo didn’t invent everything.

The four topics the 1UP article covers are z-targeting, facial animations and voice acted cut scenes, 3D dungeons, and an interconnected world. These are elements of gameplay that both games share, though perhaps Mega Man Legends did better in certain ways. Both games drew inspiration from A Link to the Past, so it’s natural to see similarities between the titles.

At this time, I encourage you to read the 1UP article for yourself before I go on.

Overall, I think it’s a great article that points out some aspects of gaming history we may not all be familiar with. Not everyone could have both a PlayStation and a Nintendo 64 after all, so I expect that many people grew up only having access to one or the other game.

My only gripes are that Mega Man Legends probably had better character development simply because that was not the primary focus of Ocarina of Time, and where that suffered, as the article points out, Nintendo made up with superior gameplay. Also, Navi isn’t really that annoying, not enough to say that it makes Ocarina of Time an inferior game.

I’m also curious to know whether Nintendo really observed Capcom’s new “z-targeting” idea. One year is a pretty short time in game development, and it’s possible that the ideas were thought of separately. A coincidence, perhaps.

But again, I urge you to read the original article before forming your own thoughts.

What did you think? Have you played both or have a different opinion? Tell us in the comments below!

Source: 1UP

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  • zoraking

    Rants in 3…2…1.

    • Master Sword

      Here they come….

      • Thunderlite421

        Prepare yourselves!

        • itsameluigi1290

          Get ready!

          • zombie_eat_flesh

            Comment to draw out suspense!

  • http://www.controlpaddesign.com/ TheMaverickk

    I know a lot of people have said “Mega Man Legends” did it first, but what Z-Targeting first, but that isn’t necessarily true. The game just released first.

    The development on Zelda 64 started long before Mega Man Legends, and even early builds showed a Z-targeting system at this point.

    In truth to be fair I’d say that both games were working on similar systems simultaneously. It wasn’t that Ocarina of Time was improving on what Mega Man Legends did, they were doing their own thing from the get go.

    It’s not as though OoT added Z-targeting after they saw Mega Man Legends do it.

    So I feel as though the comparison isn’t really warranted. At the end of the day Ocarina of Time’s Z-targeting was actually the better implemented. I’m sure this can be debated, but the polish of the mechanic is much better overall… maybe this is because they took that extra year of development over Mega Man Legends, but from what I’ve seen it always worked better, especially in regards to how the camera works when using it.

    Just saying

    • http://twitter.com/OmarLasagna Omar Lozano

      Ocarina of Time started development in 1995 alongside Super Mario 64. Megaman Legends had a demo out with RE in 96. I think it’s safe to say they started development at nearly the same time. Not just that, but Megaman had a pretty clear vision of what it was going to be early on. OoT didn’t which was why it came out much later due to all the revisions it wen through when management for it changed and was finally settled when Miyamoto was done with SM64. Let’s not forget that OoT was even going to go the route of first person at a time. OoT might have had the slightly better targeting ability but MM Legends did it first without a question.

      • http://www.controlpaddesign.com/ TheMaverickk

        Again “did it first” really only applies to the game releasing first. Even in 1996 screen shots and videos showed Zelda 64 having Z-targetting.


        Clearly they were both developing lock on systems at the same time. Ocarina of Time taking longer to be made really comes down to an issue of polish and making sure all those elements worked right.

        The whole OoT was almost an FPS was never really ever implemented, it was just an idea early in development that never really made it into the game, other then with projectile weapons.

        By 1996 Ocarina of Time had direction, a lot of elements were there, things like combat, enemy programming, NPC’s, and various other elements (like the Great Deku Tree) were all there already.

        Between 1997 and 1998 is when we got Young Link, and the whole Time Travel aspect of Ocarina of Time. Then working the entire game design around that mechanic.

        So yeah basically what I’m getting at is that Mega Man Legends was the first game released which used a lock on targeting system… but that doesn’t mean that Ocarina of Time created Z-targeting based on Mega Man Legends version. They were clearly working on it during the same time period.

    • JuicieJ

      Yeah, Legends’ targeting system needed work, whereas Ocarina of Time’s couldn’t have been executed any better. Zelda perfected the targeting system from day one.

      • doofus

        well played

        • doofus

          i especially love how the Z-targeting regularly changes to a camera angle that’s inside a wall adjacent to the ongoing battle, making your screen filled with wall texture and no enemy nor Link (yet you’re still taking damage). Perfection!

    • itsameluigi1290

      Finally, a top comment that ISN’T making a joke of something related to the article! *Votes up*

      • foxworthy

        No sense of humor?

        • itsameluigi1290

          Oh, I have a sense of humor (A sometimes very stupid one :P), but I’ve noticed that people who make long, drawn out comments with their actual thoughts, as opposed to things like “You shouldn’t have done that…” (Which I used to do all the time), don’t get very many votes up. It makes me feel kind of bad for the person who spent a lot of his or her time writing something, just to have it be unnoticed.

          • Leif

            you shouldn’t have done that

          • itsameluigi1290

            Does your username have anything to do with Deltora Quest?

  • http://twitter.com/OmarLasagna Omar Lozano

    They were both solid games, OoT ended up being much more cohesive though and all the parts fit perfectly together. Megaman Legends was a great game though and I without a doubt think it had the better boss fights in terms of difficulty. OoT just had a much more stylized presentation.

  • http://www.facebook.com/kaleb.mckenzie Kaleb Mckenzie

    Ocarina of time is the best game of all time, why would you put this on your site

    • http://twitter.com/OmarLasagna Omar Lozano

      People like you kill me

    • http://www.controlpaddesign.com/ TheMaverickk

      Ocarina of Time isn’t the best game of all time. It’s not even the best Zelda game of all time. It may have been revolutionary, and it certainly was very impressive, but games that followed after it are actually far better.

      Case and point Majora’s Mask.

      • JuicieJ

        In terms of of core design, it’s probably not the best. In terms of wide appeal and balance of ideas, it absolutely is.

        • http://www.controlpaddesign.com/ TheMaverickk

          Core design? You mean the way in which all of the game play mechanics not only work well together, but tie into the overall story and theme of the game.

          Cause all of that is well designed and thought out. The game play mechanics are pushed to the max in MM. Masks, Dungeon Items, the 3 Day cycle…. all well implemented in the design of the game.

          That’s pretty solid core design if you ask me. Also I think people misread what I was saying… I wasn’t saying that MM was the best of every Zelda…. but an example of one of those titles that actually out performs OoT.

          • 7thHanyou

            Majora’s Mask is good, but it is entirely to bizarre to be the quintessential Zelda game.

            “Balance” is also a key word, and I agree with JuiceJ at least on that. Ocarina of Time has one of the most balanced experiences of any Zelda title all around. The gameplay, story, dungeons, openness, etc. all provide a unified experience.

            As far as story is concerned, I’ve yet to play a single game that outperforms it. It is the perfect hero’s journey story, distilled to its most basic and charming elements, presented with polish and dignity. The characters all play their role in the story well, with the major characters having believable arcs, and the game consistently centering around its main character.

            In other words, the story balances the appeal of a deep, widespread lore with an intimate, simple story. Few movies this side of the original Star Wars trilogy accomplish this task, and it’s in good company with respect to literature. It always struck me as the game equivalent of The Hobbit. Maybe it’s because I was reading that book in 1998 when I was playing Ocarina of Time. How oddly relevant. :P

            Now here’s where I probably differ from JuiceJ. You can safely put me in the “greatest game of all time” camp with respect to OoT. I just can’t think of a game I’ve played that manages to be as artistically competent while still offering such a wide variety of gameplay that still all feels somehow unified. It’s tough to articulate, but few worlds make as much SENSE as OoT’s Hyrule, and few games leave such a powerful impression.

          • http://www.controlpaddesign.com/ TheMaverickk

            Basically you just said Ocarina of Time was designed to be main stream and play out exactly how one would expect of a fantasy tale.

            As far as I’m concerned though story wise Ocarina of Time didn’t offer a whole lot more then Link to the Past. The exception is a certain level of depth they gave the sage figures with back story and a personal connection to Link in some shape or form (with Rauru being the exception). Which was a welcome element to build upon.

            Also a video game is more then just “story”. It’s about game play, and how the game play and story all tie in together. Ocarina of Time had some solid game play, but it really fell short in a lot of parts when you compare it to the game play of titles like Link to the Past and Majora’s Mask. Ocarina of Time’s empty unpopulated fields didn’t exactly do much to help that, and most of the area’s surrounding the world are very small and held very little to really explore. With the bulk of gratifying game play relegated to dungeons (we all know that moments like Jabu-Jabu will never be forgotten).

            Titles like Link to the Past and Majora’s Mask actually feature more fleshed out and intricate worlds. With Majora’s Mask featuring a cast of NPC’s all with names and a story to be told for those who invested the time. Not to mention most those stories were interwoven with other NPC’s and game events.

            In either case I’m just less then eager to outwardly praise something for being “more of the same safe fantasy tropes”. Elements that were even previously already explored in Zelda titles that preceded OoT. There was simply a lot of “deja vu” to it.

            Don’t get me wrong, Ocarina of Time is an outstanding game, it’s a classic no doubt but it still isn’t the finest in overall game design the series has to offer.

          • Michael Bayruns

            All of the zelda games have pros and cons over each other in gameplay. Its pretty impossible to just straight up decide which gameplay is better. However, the story i felt was tied in better then MM. It was told better. I can’t really say anything more then what 7th explained. but in terms of overall appeal I think ocarina of time was a better game. It had a few flaws in gameplay compared to MM, like hyrule field being a bit empty but it did have redeeming factors in gameplay in the temples themselves. I felt ocarina of time had a greater variety of puzzles then majora’s mask did. MM did have a few better puzzles though. In the end i think the only thing that makes one game better then another is your own opinion.

          • http://www.controlpaddesign.com/ TheMaverickk

            It may be just an opinion but 80% of the puzzles in Ocarina of Time involved lighting torches. Or pushing blocks onto switches. The best puzzle in the entire game was the entirety of The Water Temple.

            Majora’s Mask on the other hand may have had only four dungeons, but each one measures up to the quality of the Water Temple. Navigating Snowhead Temple’s giant pillar, using the Goron Mask and Fire Arrows to the fullest to melt ice and zip around it’s slippery surfaces. That’s amazing dungeon design.

            Great Bay Temple’s twisted intricate use of water flow (to give you access through out the temple through current direction, water platforms) and freezing water with the dungeon item to navigate across the large bodies of water… the dungeon was built with both the Zora mask and ice arrows in mind… and the key design element of the dungeon even serves the purpose of solving puzzles.

            I can keep going on and on…. but the dungeons of MM are actually some of the best examples of perfect dungeon design. Regardless this is of course opinion, but there are good reasons why it is.

          • Michael Bayruns

            MM came up with a bunch of really creative ideas for puzzles. I like how you mentioned the water dungeon because that one is always overlooked. Snow head was very comparable to the fire temple strangely in my opinion. I feel like everyone overlooks the fire temple in oot. Another good temple a lot of people over look is the shadow temple. It made great use of the eye of truth. I just felt like I preferred having a bunch of different levels with great puzzles rather then the four dungeons with great/better design. Of course this is just my opinion =]

      • IgosDuIkana

        I personally think that A Link to the Past, or rather, I prefer the original Japanese title Triforce of the Gods, in English, is the best Zelda game. I also see OoT and MM as interconnected. They complete each other, so it is difficult for me to say one is truly superior. They add meaning to each other. Although in different ways, I believe that OoT and MM are equally successful in an objective way. Also I disagree with the comment you responded to.

  • npatoray24

    This is what some might call convergent evolution? lol jk

    • Skyward Schlong

      Love this.

  • Ness1985

    To everybody bitching, they’re both great games so shud y’ap!

  • Mister

    I’ll give my 2 cents. I LOVE the Mega Man Legends series. Why? Because it combines two of my favourite video game franchises: Mega Man and Zelda. Legends has the exploration and dungeon crawling and sidequests of a Zelda game but with emphasis on projectile combat of Mega Man.

    Zelda succeeds in several ways, but so does Legends. Hyrule in OoT was much larger whereas Kattelox was small. So exploration to see new landscapes was more exciting in Zelda. However, the overworld in Legends provided a livelier world to explore. Sure, in OoT (or any Zelda game) the characters change dialogue or change locations depending on how much you have progressed, but not nearly as much as characters change location or dialogue in Legends. In Legends, after just about any major progression in the game (explore a dungeon or fight a boss) the characters move to different parts of the island and say something different about their personal lives or about your quest. Heck, you can eavesdrop people’s houses and the dialogue keeps changing. So while OoT provided more space to maneuver, Legends used more emphasis on the people. So both games win for overworld.

    In terms of general things to do like sidequests, both games are equal. Both games allow you to get involves in various sidequests to hunt for treasure. Secrets are found all over both worlds. Although OoT is longer by many hours of gameplay, both games seem to have A LOT to do so it’s hard to compare, really. Both games are superb in this regard.

    The dungeons. Zelda wins. Zelda has both combat and puzzles and treasure hunting while Legends is just combat and treasure hunting. There are A FEW puzzles, but the hardest puzzle barely requires thought. Although in the first Legends game, the mostly optional dungeon is one of the coolest just because it’s so enormous (weird because the mandatory dungeons are small) and it has so many entrances. There are several entrances around the Kattelox overworld and it even connects to the mandatory dungeons. THAT is cool! Sadly, Legends 2 doesn’t have this which is understandable because you travel to several islands rather than being stuck on one.

    As for the story, they both tell them very well but in different way. OoT tells its story in a steady pace from beginning to end. You learn much more as you go building up to an incredible climax. Mega Man Legends? For 3/4 of the game you are in the dark as to what the real story is. Only vague clues are given to in cutscenes and the most rewarding and mysterious vague clues are given to you only if look for them. So the build up is rather intense because you don’t know anything but there is nagging feeling there is something more than just fighting those silly pirates. At the 3/4 mark is where things get really weird, the games takes a strange and dark turn, and thrusts you into an exciting climax. Again, both games win.

    The controls great in Zelda. It’s intuitive and easy to pick up and go. The targeting is spot on and easy to use (if you use Hold. Hold is for experienced players my butt! Automatic makes it difficult to run away if you’re surrounded!) So complaints here. Legends… is this games major flaw. It goes against intuition in almost every regard. Jumping and shooting is fine, but running and turning… what? I have to switch the controls from default. Oddly enough, it works better because I can use the D-Pad as if it was a joystick (the N64 is like this because it actually has a joystick to use). So if anyone is having trouble with the controls, switch from default and see if it’s better. However, once you get used to the controls, you find yourself hardly struggling with them in open areas. It’s still awkward in narrow corridors, though. Although I understand why they made the controls the way they are. In Zelda, Z-Targeting is easy to circle the enemy and fight, but you cannot run around and fight. In Legends, the controls are made to circle enemies without targeting, run, and shoot at the same time. In fact, this one method of fighting is actually better in Legends. In Zelda, you are concentrating on one enemy if there are three. In Legends, you can circle and fight three enemies and attack them all equally. Since you aren’t targeting any of them, you can easily adjust your circling strategy to keep them all in sight. But still, the intuitive nature and fluidness of the controls in Zelda is far superior. Zelda wins.

    Graphics. Zelda wins. Just… Zelda wins. I like the artistic style of Legends, but the graphics are blocky and just watch buildings and walls as you run towards them from afar. Just… wow. But, at least it’s not a hindrance to the actually gameplay. You can tell what everything is even from afar so it’s very playable. But Zelda still wins.

    One last thing: the charm. This is the stuff that just makes you smile while you play. OoT has much of this. The characters and situations can make you laugh (Ruto proposing, Goron hug, etc.) and the world is cohesive to make you feel at ease. But I got to say, Legends out-charms OoT. Again, it’s the fact that characters change locations and dialogue so often it feels more like an actual world. Many sidequest has an enormous impact on some of the characters. In fact, there is one sidequest where you don’t receive any reward. But the end result is quite touching. You can examine almost everything! From park benches, to magazines, to mirrors, sample music from the CD store, dogs, cats (take on home and see what happens! O.o), and many more. And the voice acting… it’s pretty awful, but in a charming cartoonish way. From the citizens, to the heroes, to the pirates. And who doesn’t love those Lego looking Servbots!

    Adding up all the score it seems like OoT should win. By numbers alone, yes. It is a better made game, but subjectively some score mean more to me than others. And for that Legends still wins. Again, it combines Mega Man and Zelda, my two favourite game series. That alone is worthy for me to call it one of if not THE best I’ve ever played. It is short, yes. Even if you take your time, complete sidequests, and just wander about the place having fun (there is tons of stuff to just do for fun), you end the game with about 7 to 8 hours of gameplay time. In fact, one way to unlock Easy Mode is to lay the game under 4 hours (I think it’s 4, could be wrong)! Even though it’s short, the story is quite epic and there is so much to this game, it doesn’t FEEL short. It’s the biggest short game I’ve ever played.

    Phew! Sorry for the length. I congratulate those who made it to the end. Have a cookie!

    • Aaron hill

      impressive comment never seen one this big and i thought i talk bi a lot of the time.

  • Mikau94

    Legends was a good game but it suffered from clunky controls and while the graphics were okay but the PS1 had games with much better visuals. Difficulty was good but really hurt you when you when the weird controls for turning around acted up. Also the music pretty awesome. The games came out too close to each other for one to have copied the other; so that argument is null.

    Great game… Yes.
    Better than Ocarina of Time…. No

  • Olimar

    I’ve never played mega man legends, but Ocarina of Time MUST be better. Plus, does it really matter? We are Zelda fans and that’s what matters! Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to play some Skyward Sword.

  • http://twitter.com/MoarLegion I am many now one

    Personally I believe that targeting systems shouldn’t be a factor here. While I will cede that Legends’ targeting system was a bit clunkier, I’d also like to point out that the combat styles of OoT and MML are wholly separate. In OoT you spend much more time targeting than Legends, and the pace of OoT’s combat is much slower than MML, however OoT requires a little more precision than MML, which necessitated prodigious use of Z-Targeting.

    One thing I found interesting was they didn’t use difficulty as a basis. OoT had its moments, but was for the most part “puzzle difficult.” MML I feel was genuinely difficult(before you got the Shining Laser) and thus had more payoff.

    A final, opinionated statement, is that Kattelox Island beat the pants off of Hyrule field in OoT. Hyrule Field was large and open, sure, but rather bland as an overworld. All it did was serve as an intermediary between point A to point B(all of these being on essentially the opposite sides of the map.) Kattelox was smaller, but denser and imho more well thought out. The massive lower levels of the dungeon which linked together the whole of it added almost a second, more dangerous overworld(underworld?) and just made it feel cohesive as a setting.

  • L River

    If Mega Man Legends had an interconnected world, then Ocarina of Time had an interconnected galaxy.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mike-Nmg-Morris/100002482327346 Mike Nmg Morris

    Finally Legends gets some respect! man i love both game but i like legends better than oot

    • http://www.controlpaddesign.com/ TheMaverickk

      I love both the games, and respect Legends just as much, especially for what it brought to the table in regards to the Mega Man franchise.

      Now if they’d only make Mega Man Legends 3 already.

  • itsameluigi1290


    Then again I’ve never played Megaman Legends, so…

  • http://www.facebook.com/sajjid.mian Sajjid Mian

    honestly, i dont even think the targeting system of megaman legends was actually a targeting system. from what i remember they do it for u so u really dont have to do anything but just go with it

  • Nink

    mega man legends and Ocarina of time are together my two favorite games released on 64- I never thought of which came first but always noticed the similarity in game play. Most people I talk to however seem to have hated legends…I think it was too difficult for them or something…a few bosses were quite challenging- I however always will have a hard time deciding which I prefer. I heart zelda much more than mega man- but mega man legends did have great story and character development…and personally I prefer a more challenging game

  • Nink

    Frankly if you really loved OoT you would probably love Legends..so if you haven’t played legends and are bashing, instead go out and play it- it’s the closest thing to OoT while being something completely new in its own unique world. Plus it’s challenging at times making it more worth the play. I’m really happy to see this game mentioned on the site.

  • zombie_eat_flesh

    Now if only Capcom could revive the franchise. And I’m not talking about Street Fighter X Mega Man, which is a fan game that Capcom liscenced.

    • http://www.controlpaddesign.com/ TheMaverickk

      At least Street Fighter X Mega Man is a step in the right direction…. as opposed to Mega Man Over *shudder*

      I don’t care if it’s fan made, it’s better then that piece of junk they call a Mega Man game, and that shows how terrible Capcom has gotten with the franchise.

      I won’t respect them until they finish off Mega Man titles which have open loose ends.

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/bs88145 bs8814

    “…Nintendo didn’t invent everything…” My whole life is a lie D:

  • http://www.facebook.com/ongyuhann Ong Yu Hann

    1) Note from the authoron 1UP: “Didn’t have time to play the two games before writing this article” <- so this person clearly doesn't know what he's talking about

    2) His comparisons are trivial… Like the presence of dungeons, the presence of an open world, those can only be counted purely because it was released first. That is, unless you are telling me that OoT was done in a year, after MML was released.

    3) For Z-targeting, it is more than likely that they were simultaneously developed, so I'm not too sure it counts…

    4)Perhaps the only valid point in this article.

    Conclusion: IMO the article is terrible

    • http://www.controlpaddesign.com/ TheMaverickk

      From the looks of the article it’s pretty clear what the author’s intentions were.

      Basically the purpose of this article is to put the Mega Man Legends series back into the spotlight. Something a lot of fans of the game want in order to make it clear to Capcom that people are still talking about the series, and that people really do appreciate it.

      With the hope that perhaps Capcom will reignite development on Mega Man Legends.

      Either way Puella Magi Madoka Magica !

      • http://www.facebook.com/ongyuhann Ong Yu Hann

        Yeah, so… contract? /人◕ ‿‿ ◕人\

        • http://www.controlpaddesign.com/ TheMaverickk

          Hells no…. there’s enough magic girls as there is…. no need to add magic boys to the mix as well.

          Also I’d totally have to make a wish that totally changes the laws of what a contract entails.

  • Austin_NES

    But how does he know if Nintendo took the idea, if both of the games came out at the same time, they most likely had the same ideas.

  • MetroAndroid

    Proof of point that Mega Man Legends targeting system is inferior… I got very far into Mega Man Legends on 2 separate playthroughs and don’t even remember z-targeting being in the game while I prominently remember it in Ocarina of Time.

  • Ratchet25

    While I’ll agree that Ocarina of Time’s Z Targeting is better in some regards, I’ve found myself Z targeting an enemy and the Camera zipping right to behind an object, leaving me with no way of sighting Link nor the enemy. Legends made a great decision and made every wall that’d block your view invisible for the period of time you were blocked from Megaman in terms of sight.

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