Which Version of Ocarina of Time Has the Best Visuals?

HanyouFebruary 23rd, 2013 by Hanyou

Nintendo knows what it has on its hands with Ocarina of Time.

The game is only about 15 years old, but it has seen life on every Nintendo console since it was released. The 3DS remake was an overhaul, but not an unnecessary one–the game itself was left untouched, but anything that needed refinement got it.

The visuals are probably the most interesting thing about these different iterations.

The original Ocarina of Time took only a few hours to grow on me, visually. Its graphics were touted in Nintendo Power as being photorealistic, but I’d played Riven less than a year before–I knew better. What I quickly came to realize is that the visual style made the story feel ancient and timeless, like an old film. The environments were all beautifully rendered, but there was a grainy filter over everything. I felt like I was watching a painting come to life. It certainly carried me through the game’s most interesting locations, culminating in the battle with Ganon, which I still think is the most visually arresting climax I’ve ever seen in any game. I should add that a lot of the visual choices Nintendo had made gave the game its atmosphere. There was a sort of muted violence to the world, but also some rather overt violence. I was surprised that it achieved an E rating.

Fast forward to 2003. I was delighted to get my hands on the Gamecube disc for Ocarina of Time yet again, especially for the Master Quest. But there was something very disappointing about the visuals. In the first place, I could have sworn it all moved just a bit more smoothly, and any hint of the grainy, ever-so-slightly washed out look of the original was gone. Everything looked crystal clear now, which did nothing for the atmosphere of this rendition of Hyrule. Worse, the violence had been toned down, and some of the familiar visual motifs, like the star and crescent, were replaced with unfamiliar symbols. Worse still, any hint of the brutality had disappeared. I’d later learn that some of the changes that bothered me were present on Nintendo 64 versions of Ocarina of Time, but it didn’t make the changes any easier to deal with.

Finally, the 3DS version was released. It was different from the original, but it also compensated for those differences. It kept the variety of color and the boldness of the colors, which were two very important things, but the new textures also brought back the darker tone I’d felt was missing from the Gamecube version. There was a bit more detail to this world now, and it gave the world room to breathe. Ultimately, I didn’t miss most of what was removed from the Nintendo 64 version–the new textures were enough to win me over.

Still, my favorite, at least from a visual standpoint, has to be the gold cart on the Nintendo 64. It might be partly due to nostalgia, but I think there’s something more to it. It strikes the perfect balance between light and dark, and is just detailed enough to give you a good idea of its world without giving too much away.

Which version of Ocarina of Time do you think is the most visually effective? Do you think there’s much of a difference at all?

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  • VikzeLink

    I grew up with the original ones, so I’m gonna have to go with them

  • toonlinkuser

    Ocarina of Time on a 3DS XL looks amazing.

    • Midnafan

      i don’t have a 3DS XL, but if the difference between the visuals on it and the 3DS are just like the difference between the visuals on the DSi XL and DSi , i’m sure it is amazing!

    • ghirahimhunter

      Heck yeah it does.

  • http://www.gengame.net/ Alex Plant

    Eh, 3DS visuals are OBJECTIVELY better. I think that if they took it off 3DS and put it on Wii U you’d actually get appropriate lighting, since they wouldn’t likely work too hard to make it 3D-friendly.

  • http://nerdreviewstechnology.blogspot.com/ Nicholas Alexander Jabbour

    I really don’t think there’s much of a difference between any of the versions, except original versus 3DS. The star and crescent symbol for the Gerudos was removed in later revisions of the N64 version due to visual similarities to the star and crescent of Islam (along with that chant in the Fire Temple), so that has nothing to do with the GameCube. The GameCube and Wii VC versions are the same, just with, as the writer says, smoother visuals because of the upgraded resolution (480p instead of 240p), so I think that’s sort of a nitpick.

    And of course, the 3DS version is kind of like the definitive version of the game, looking as the developers intended in the concept art. The only thing I wish OoT 3D had was an “original graphics” mode. That would be so cool!

    • Ghoti

      It was only 240i on the N64 :p

      The 3DS version had amazing graphics. The 3D effect looked great in that game (none of the other 3DS games looked as good, though Resident Evil and Kid Icarus came close), and the art style was pretty faithful to the original. The N64 version has horrible graphics. Though it is a good game, Nintendo was right in thinking it hadn’t aged well.

      • http://nerdreviewstechnology.blogspot.com/ Nicholas Alexander Jabbour

        Thanks for the correction. That explains a lot. hehe.

        Anyway, I always thought it weird that of all the 3DS games I played, Zelda 3D and Star Fox 64 3D had the best 3D effect. Kid Icarus was decent, and Resident Evil and Nano Assault were phenomenal as far as the 3D effect goes. Probably the only two to match Zelda and Star Fox, in my opinion.

        And N64 games in general just haven’t aged well. Their clunky polygonal graphics just couldn’t compare to the, frankly, more detailed through simplicity look that SNES games had. I feel the same way about DS games that had 3D graphics. They didn’t look as bad as N64, but ugh.

        That said, I still like the look of the original Zelda OoT, but for nostalgic purposes. And Majora’s Mask is a game I consider to have some of the best art direction on the N64, despite the clunky polygons (I picked up an original gold holographic cartridge like I used to have before it was lost, and am playing through it again… The blurry visuals on my HDTV are worth the proper performance and colors that the GameCube and VC version couldn’t quite capture).

        • Midnafan

          i think the remakes for the 3DS have better graphics than the new games for just that reason: they’re remakes. they were based on visuals that already existed and were refined with new technology. the new games had their first run, and, this is hard to explain but, are more like rough drafts while the remakes are final drafts. does that makes sense? :/

          • Skyward Schlong

            It makes sense.

          • Midnafan

            thanks. that was kind of hard to explain, and i thought the comparison was making it more confusing.

          • http://nerdreviewstechnology.blogspot.com/ Nicholas Alexander Jabbour

            I’m not saying that Zelda 3D and Star Fox 64 3D look better graphically than original 3DS games. I’m just saying that the 3D effect looks better.

          • Midnafan

            i was about to say that’s sort of the same thing, but i see where you’re coming from. i think the argument still stands that they had a lot less to work on with the remakes so they could put more effort into the effects. with the new games, the focus of production was more on the rest of the game than the 3D effects.

    • http://www.triforcetalk9.blogspot.com/ Linkfan99

      “I really don’t think there’s much of a difference between any of the versions, except original versus 3DS.”

      Ehm…. I think that’s kind of the point of the article… comparing the original to the 3D version… -.-

      • http://nerdreviewstechnology.blogspot.com/ Nicholas Alexander Jabbour

        Except that’s not what the article says at all. Sounds like you didnt read it.

  • Jam9t3

    Which version of Ocarina of Time has better Visuals? Well at the time of the N64 release, people saw one of the first games to have 3D movement, 3D visuals, and open world to explore, a great story, amazing game-play etc. So at that time the game could be considered revolutionary. However at this time, we get 3D games everyday, with much better visuals, exploration, game-play etc. So when the 3DS version of Ocarina of Time came out, it didn’t exactly shock the customers- not as much as the first release, because they were already used to it, and comparing the 3DS version to modern games, it is terrible. So I would say the N64 release had better visuals, because it made what 3D games are today, it was a revolution.

    • Midnafan

      In time period, OoT for N64 was certainly legendary. But i wouldn’t say people weren’t impressed with OoT3D. first of all, no, people weren’t used to 3D games yet. it came out only 3 months after the 3DS was released! and there weren’t even that many 3D games yet, especially not mainstream ones. and the fact that the Nintendo 64 graphics were so greatly overhauled, refined, and improved was, maybe not so much a shock, but definitely majorly impressive! OoT3D may not have been a revolution, but it was definitely a great way to reinspire the legend. and i don’t think OoT3D’s visuals are terrible compared to other 3DS games. i don’t think it’s better, as i don’t have too much to compare to (and it’s kind of hard as Zelda isn’t like other games) but i’d say they’re pretty equal in wow-factor, no matter what that is for whoever plays it. :/

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

      Ocarina of Time was revolutionary for bringing Zelda to the third dimension and translating classic Zelda puzzles into a whole new world. Not to mention it gave us day & night cycles and perfected lock on targeting.

      The visuals themselves were great, but that was never what wow-ed me about the title.

      Ocarina of Time came out in 1998 and there had been vast myriad of games released before it that showed us polygons and 3D models. From Super Mario 64, to Golden Eye, to Diddy Kong Racing, to Banjo & Kazooie…… all of these released before Ocarina of Time and visually some were just as impressive in their designs and animations.

      To be honest the jump up from Ocarina of Time to it’s 3D counter part is was a big enough change that it wow-ed me. They did a spectacular job of breathing some fresh life into the original game.

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  • JamesBond007

    In a visual aspect, clearly Ocarina of Time 3D, but in various aspects (glitches, changes in later versions, Master Quest), the “ideal” version of Ocarina of Time does not exist – some stuff are better in earlier versions (like the original Fire Temple music before version 1.2 and not mirrored Master Quest) and other in later versions (like fixed Deku Nut Upgrade and Master Quest Water Temple 2nd Small Key glitch, both in OoT3D)

  • http://www.facebook.com/zac.schneider2 Zac David Schneider

    OOT had great visuals for it’s time. However, 3DS has the best visuals period. That’s not really up for debate. However, as I have an N64 but I do NOT have a 3DS, I’m still perfectly fine with the graphics on the N64 version.

    • Midnafan

      it’s no debate OoT3D has better visuals and graphics (that was half the point of the remake). i guess the question is which had visuals with better tone or better suited the tone of the game, or which do people prefer. i know for a fact a lot of Zelda fans like older graphics better than newer ones (mystery to me as to why, since I’m a newer fan). :)

      • Goggalor

        It’s no mystery. It’s nostalgia. The vast majority of people’s opinions are based around nostalgia. That’s why so many people around their 20s think OoT or LttP are the best Zelda games, even though TP and WW are better in quite a few ways.

        • IgosDuIkana

          Not true I am only 17 and have only been playing Zelda for less than 5 years and It is evident the difference in quality between ALTTP OOT and MM when compared with the newer games. The older ones just had more of an identity and were easier to take seriously than a lot of the newer stuff that is angled at casual gamers with the attention span of a gnat.

          • Skyward Schlong

            A Link to the Past wins the award for best pacing in a Zelda game. It’s raining outside: now go save the princess.

          • IgosDuIkana

            Assuming that this is sarcasm, you must understand that part of the quality of the series is the fact that it wasn’t bloated with tutorials and such. The games used to give you a fare amount of freedom, and there was more to do in the way of non required tasks in ALTTP the duel world system made the exploration and discovery amazing, and the game has the most dungeons in the series and the best dungeons and overworld in the series hands down. If they had translated the game into 3d it would still be a great game.

          • Skyward Schlong

            It is so depressing to me that you assumed I was being sarcastic. A Link to the Past is a beast!

          • IgosDuIkana

            Sorry friend I didn’t think you were being sarcastic, I was answering to if you may have been sorry lol.

          • Skyward Schlong

            Disagree about its being translated in 3D, though. it would necessarily control differently, which would necessarily affect pacing. 2D games aren’t meant to be 3D games–that’s what 3D games are for.

          • http://www.facebook.com/michael.philliber.7 Michael Philliber

            how is oot3d angled towards the casual gamer when it is the same game? and if that wasnt your point, too bad, that is what the article is about. oot3d is the exact same game, just updated graphics. so if oot3d is angled towards casual gamers, so is oot for the 64.

        • Midnafan

          too true. :)

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

          I’m well into my 20’s and Ocarina of Time is not my favorite Legend of Zelda title.

          Neither is Link to the Past (although it is in my top five).

          My favorite Zelda hands down is probably Majora’s Mask. Although Skyward Sword is very close to it. I find it hard to pick one over the other and I often switch the two depending on my mood or how I’m feeling about a game.

          Then I’d probably place Link to the Past as a solid 3rd with out a doubt.

          Hands down these are my favorite Zelda titles for various reasons. I don’t think any other Zelda games will ever intrude on these titles.

          Rounding out my top 5 titles though, is usually space reserved for the Wind Waker and the original Legend of Zelda. Although sometimes some portable titles sneak in, like Link’s Awakening, Minish Cap or Spirit Tracks. Although I usually put those in the honorable mentions.

          There are various reasons why I love these games and it would take far too long to get into it all. Suffice to say my love of Link to the Past has very concrete reasons.

          Truth is it was a extremely refined and well designed game. It was filled to the brim with a sense of adventure that very few modern Zelda’s have yet to even come close to. Not to mention the dungeon’s were extremely clever and complex despite the limitations of 2D over head game play. Not to mention of the last Zelda games to really have a respectable level of difficulty.

          I have yet to see modern Zelda’s have more flexibility with the Zelda formula. Not to mention very few modern Zelda’s have achieved a fleshed out world even close to Link to the Past (not to mention that there was two worlds each with their own distinct flair and style). Although I would say that Skyward Sword was the best step in creating a world like it.

          It struck the perfect balance between story, adventure and discovery.

        • http://www.triforcetalk9.blogspot.com/ Linkfan99

          It’s not really nostalgia for me, as I didn’t play Ocarina of Time until December 2011/January 2012, which really isn’t that long ago, and it’s also AFTER the 3D version came out. My friend has the 3D version, which I saw first, before the original, and I’ve played it a bit, but I just feel that the new graphics don’t capture the charm of the game.

      • IgosDuIkana

        Exactly, the quality may be better, but I for one believe that the tone was nearly as serious as the original. It also is evident that many of the character models were toned down, including Link. He looked so ridiculous as an adult in the remake. People say it is just like the official art but it really isnt. In the original and in the official art he looks like a lean muscled and well toned adult with matching facial structure. In the remake he looks like a tall skinny 12 year old, and his face is much less mature. Also his size in relation to Zelda, in which his body mass was quite a bit larger than hers was altered as well. Not to mention the bust sizes of many of the female characters were changed. It feels as if they toned everything down and made it difficult to take seriously.

        • PRDX4

          But that’s the whole point. Do you really expect a scrawny teen to save the world, just armed with a couple hunks of metal? No. Does Ganon? No. The whole point is that he is overcoming impossible odds and so you can “link” with Link. How many teens are muscular and are well toned? Not many, especially nowadays. YOU slayed that dragon. YOU saved Hyrule. And I disagree with the fact that you dislike the remake’s Link, for the original’s looked like a circle with two smaller blue circles inside.

          • itsameluigi1290

            “How many teens are muscular and well toned?”

            Uh, whoops, heh heh, look at the time, I must, uh be going now and uh yeah BYE!

            (In all seriousness I need to work out. I’m only in mildly bad shape, so I don’t need to do much of it XD)

        • Midnafan

          i always thought Sheik looked more masculine in the original as well. it’s like in the remake they weren’t remotely trying to add the element of surprise with Sheik being Zelda. no wonder so many people think Sheik is female. :/

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

          Oddly enough if I’m not mistaken Link wasn’t technically an “adult” in the original. He is supposed to be roughly 10 years old as a child and 17 as an adult.

          Also lets do a comparison test. Which looks more like the official art;

          Official Art:

          OoT N64:

          OoT 3D:

          As for the women… I can’t say for certain if they reduced the bust sizes of the women. You may be right there, but I’m not sure if this was done to make the less “less adult”.

          I mean compare the official art for Nabooru;

          OoT N64:

          OoT 3D:

          Nabooru was never supposed to be busty from the look of the official art. Even the chest jewel she has is a lot larger then it should be in the N64 version. Overall the OoT 3D character model is much closer to the official art.

          In all honesty I think most people saw what they wanted because the original OoT was much more vague due to the limitations of the technology. It was jagged, rough, blurry… the peoples imaginations percieved the world as they wanted. Was it realistic? Was it more anime? Was it colourful? Was it brown toned? The latter probably more based on TV settings.

          Still when you compare official art to the 3DS it’s a much closer comparison.

      • Vink

        Welcome to the club, how long have you been a fan?

        • Midnafan

          I’ve actually been a fan for almost 6 years. by newer, i mean i started really late (my first game was PH) and have only completed 5 of the games, all of which are the most recent releases. so as a “newer” fan, i very much prefer newer graphics, controls and ideas, and actually dislike the older games because of they’re lack of story and the controls i am far from used to. i’m spoiled by modern technology. :P

          • Kakz

            It’s a real shame you dislike the older games, they were masterpieces and arguably (and for me personally) better than most new Zelda titles.

            Oot, MM, LTTP, Link’s Awekning were all better than the likes of TP, PH, ST and SS.

            P.S: I’m a person who started playing Zelda games when TP was already confirmed, so it’s not nostalgia speaking.

          • itsameluigi1290

            I only dislike the Zelda games because they’re hard. But that’s because I stink at retro games XD

          • Midnafan

            I totally agree that the older games, especially the ones you mentioned, are masterpieces (I loved OoT3D. I didn’t fall in love with the story, but it was one of the funnest games I’ve ever played.) I don’t really like the oldest games because I have a hard time with the controls (plus the fact that the only way I can play them is on my computer, which makes the pre-modern controls even more awkward!) I’ve tried LoZ, LttP, FS (didn’t have as hard a time, but it’s not enjoyable) and LA, but I’ve never gotten very far in any of them. It just kinda breaks my heart that all the new games you mentioned (besides ST) are some of my favorites. :'(

      • Guy

        I think that some textures that they changed (such as the tektite) were better on the N64

    • itsameluigi1290

      Indeed, my friend. I don’t really care much about the graphics (which is something most people complain about), though.

  • Talicor

    I haven’t played OoT 3D yet but what I’ve seen from my friends playthroughs its pretty sweet! I grew up with a standard grey cartridge that is still with me today, and my Nostalgia towards the game makes the original all the more special. Graphics are an objective subject, I think it’s more rewarding to be able to experience the real thing as it was when it was released. Thus I probably will never buy a remake, I have all the originals already!

  • Hero of Hyrule

    Your comparing “apples and oranges” here. The game has amazing visual in every system its been released on but as time progressed so did the ability to make more realistic scenery. Although the 3d version is very real and somewhat different, it really is just an advance in technology.

  • HyruleHistory10

    I feel the same way. I love what they did to the 3ds remake but the original had a way that even the visuals at the time made it a classic. So I still prefer the 64 to this date though I do still own OOT3d lol

  • Cmaster

    The 3D one of course. It plays better, looks better, and isn’t as slow as the 64 one.

    • Nevan Lowe

      There were only 2 moments in the 3D one I can remember some slow down: At Ganondorf when you hit him with a light arrow, and the great spin attack in the pot room.

  • JuicieJ

    The 3DS version. It’s not even a contest.

    • itsameluigi1290

      Why do people vote you down? I don’t get it. You think the 3DS is the best, so what? Sometimes I don’t understand people.

      • JuicieJ


        • itsameluigi1290

          That’s the best smiley I’ve seen all week.

  • JeredenDonnar

    I like the original visuals. I agree with your “painting come alive” aspect, I feel as though the 3D remake (and the GC) lost a certain something, I think the lesser graphics actually work better for the game. The smoothness kinda makes it look …off somehow.


    I Love the N64 but I think the 3DS is better. I really don’t know!?!

  • Midnafan

    OoT was incredible for it’s time. The jump from LA to it was outstanding, and OoT and MM, despite being so much older, still have some of the most detailed graphics in the series. being a “modern” gamer, if you will, though, i’d rather take 3D depth and smoothed textures (and grass that actually looks like grass) over blocky polygons any day. OoT3D was my first chance to play the legendary game, and I’m telling you, the refined graphics gave me absolutely no shortcomings or reasons to dislike it. I can’t say for sure, but i don’t think i would have felt the same way if i had played the game on Gamecube or Virtual Console.

  • Nikki

    I started out with OOT on the 3DS and just recently have acquired and began playing OOT on the N64 and gamecube system, so right now, my opinion is that the 3DS has the best visuals.

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

    As someone who has enjoyed Ocarina of Time in it’s original form Gold Cartridge and unaltered.

    I have to say that OoT 3D is the best version of the game visually. Other versions have not aged well.

    Simple truth is that as much as it was sad to see the green blood splatter replaced in ways, and the Gerudo symbol changed (which wasn’t as big a deal because honestly the new Gerudo symbol is far better and more unique to the series)… OoT’s world is clearly what the game world should’ve been like.

    Death Mountain looks like a mountain in the distance, not a very blurry paper cut out. The muddy walls of Hyrule Field now look a lot less like flat large walls and more like jagged and varied rock cliffs. Even the field looks more grassy and less like a muddy lawn.

    OoT 3D does more justice to the original art for the game and visually the games better for it. Games like Wind Waker have aged better. Even Majora’s Mask still looks good. OoT was a game that really needed that face lift.

  • Skull Kid

    I dont know why, but I always thought thst adult link in the 64 version looked a little… off… I think he just looks a little too old. 3ds version made him look younger and more believable.

  • GOROHUG!!!!!!!!!!

    I honestly don’t care. OoT is an amazing game, regardless of visuals or graphics.
    Just as long as they don’t change the visual style entirely.

  • http://www.triforcetalk9.blogspot.com/ Linkfan99

    If you mean which game has the higher quality graphics, definitely the 3DS. However, I still prefer the original graphics BY FAR. I think that they suit the game better, as the 3DS graphics look a little too cartoony for Ocarina of Time. Which is weird, because I loved Wind Waker. I just REALLY prefer the original graphics. And for those people who say it’s nostalgia, it’s not, because I didn’t play this game until December 2011/January 2012, which really isn’t that long ago, and it’s also AFTER the 3D version came out. My friend has the 3D version, and I’ve played it, but I just feel that the new graphics don’t capture the charm of the game.

    Look at this:

    IMO, I just really think the first picture looks more like, you know, Castle Town. The other, even though it’s a clearer image, looks a little more like… a circus.

    Plus, I don’t really like Death Mountain looming that close to Castle Town.

    • Ninty

      The Mask Shop specifically in the 3DS pic alone does give a circus feel…but the rest looks fine to me.

      Also, as much as this will probably be about opinion, what’s so charming about the original Castle Town? It just looks dreary to me. If the graphics represented the original vision better then I’d probably like it more but they don’t.

      • http://www.triforcetalk9.blogspot.com/ Linkfan99

        I’m not really quite sure what it is, but that fence just makes it look sort of like a theme park, along with the “pepped-up” colored ground. In the first one, it looks more like a regular, homey kind of town square.

        Look here at the Kokiri Forest:




        I just think that the older one looks more… I sound stupid when saying this, but… kinda… cozy, or something. It reminds me of an early morning in the woods, whereas in the second one, the trees look too detailed, similar to the woods in Twilight Princess where you find the Master Sword. Not that there is anything wrong with those woods, but I just don’t think that that look really suits Kokiri Forest.

        Also, look at these Hyrule Fields:



        I feel like, in the second one, that Death Mountain is way too close, big, and looming. It’s like it’s looming over all of Hyrule Field, sorta like the moon in Majora’s Mask.

        Again, all of this is just a personal preference, but I like the original a heck of a lot better.

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

          You prefer a wall cut out of tree’s to individual tree models?

          To me it’s a huge contrast, and although the colours are softer in the original I much prefer the design of Kokori Forest in OoT 3D, feels like your in a forest, as opposed to surrounded by a forest mural.

          Also as for the Ice Cavern, although I’m not crazy about OoT 3D’s sort of fence of ice stalactite or ground… I do prefer it over the crystal sparkle walls that don’t match with any other part of the dungeon whatso-ever. Plus it felt more box then anything. So that one is a bit of a toss up. Other parts of the Ice Cavern are actually superb in the remake with ice formations looking more natural then it looking like a bunch of boxes.

          Meh still I know this is all “personal preference” just saying.

          • http://www.triforcetalk9.blogspot.com/ Linkfan99

            Yeah, but I feel like the graphics of OoT are supposed to be simple, and that’s probably why I prefer the original forest, ice cave, and the original Castle Town. And I agree that the ice formations look better, but I wish they could have done that with the original design.

            Also, for that final ice room, I kind of think that’s what the original designers were going for: a room that is totally different from the rest of the dungeon, that stands out and doesn’t match at all.

            Now I’m seeing why I like the original: I like it for its simplicity. I think.

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

            ” I feel like the graphics of OoT are supposed to be simple”

            I don’t think they were supposed to be simple in the slightest. Clearly if they wanted to be simple they wouldn’t put as much detail as they could into the world for a game from 1998. If they wanted to make the game ‘simple’ they could’ve made it more like Super Mario 64 and had more sphere enemies, and more blocky world.

            It’s pretty clear that they were limited by the tech.

            Building models was much more challenging 15 years ago then it is today. Hence why it was easier to design blocks, and walls then it is to individually model every aspect of the world. Not to mention there was probably limitations to how many polygons they could have on screen. I mean they were clearly using as many tricks as possible to keep the game running as smoothly as possible.

            Like for example in the Temple of Time where you pass from one room to the next and you clearly see the place holder room from a distance that changes once you enter it.

            Not to mention when you play Majora’s Mask the world is far more fleshed out and detailed (it’s a surprising step up visually from OoT). There’s more detail put into the town, characters, locations ect. I think MM shows that the designers do care about having distinct flair in their titles.

          • http://www.triforcetalk9.blogspot.com/ Linkfan99

            Let me rephrase that. “I feel like the graphics of OoT are supposed to be simpler than they are in the 3D version”.

            Now, by simple, I didn’t mean cartoonish simple, as in Mario, but I meant simple as in the Kokiri Forest was meant to be plain and relaxing, and Castle Town was meant to be kind of bare and rustic, and the Ice Cave room was meant to be charming in a simple kind of way.

            I also noticed that in the Temple of Time, but they could have fixed things like that without totally redesigning and changing the world.

            And you said that there is more detail in the characters and locations. In OoT 3D, there are the exact same characters, so that really doesn’t apply there, and the locations don’t really change either, even if they look more detailed. Again, they still could have fixed that without doing what they did.

            Good day. :)

      • http://www.triforcetalk9.blogspot.com/ Linkfan99


        Oh, and also, look at the Ice Cavern:


        I feel like they ruined the idea of the first one. It was supposed to be a simple room with glowing walls, and they turned it into some huge, decked-out ice cave.

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

      The Castle Town comparison shot to me shows that 3DS version is clearly the more fleshed out.

      The colours may be vivid and bright but it doesn’t look like a circus save for the Happy Mask Salesman’s shop. Which is supposed to look like that and reflect the nature and style of the Happy Mask Salesman.

      The building in OoT just has sort of two, dome like lightbulb eyes… which don’t really represent anything. In OoT 3D the shop actually has a Mask like sign. The design before didn’t make sense.

      Not to mention it makes no sense you can’t see Death Mountain in the original because it’s clearly visible if you go near the Temple of Time but disappears from the skyline apparently the minute your 30 feet further away.

      That’s not even mentioning how everything in Castle Town is now polygons, versus the pre-rendered nature of the original OoT. Which made it looks extremely … err smudgy and made other models pop out and floaty.

      I’m not saying that there isn’t an appeal to the original visuals. That there was a sort of classic and vintage look to them that represents a beloved era in gaming…. but there is no denying the fact that visually the world of Ocarina of Time feels like a better representation of the official art then the original visuals.

      • http://www.triforcetalk9.blogspot.com/ Linkfan99

        Um… the reason you can’t see Death Mountain is because you’re looking at it from a different angle… from behind the Temple of Time…

        And also, I mentioned that the newer game has better quality graphics, with polygons and everything, but I would prefer it with the older design of Castle Town, just with polygons and newer graphics.

        Also, as I mentioned in a comment below, Death Mountain seems to grow 5x in size from in Castle Town vs. Hyrule Field. Look:



        In the second one, Death Mountain looms over Hyrule Field, which kind of, IMO, takes away from the overall feel of Hyrule Field.

        Again, this is all my opinion, so there is no “right or wrong” answer.

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

          Well Death Mountain is a gigantic mountain.Personally it always bothered me how small it looked from the field. Barely noticeable. In the original OoT there’s way more inconsistencies between the shape and look of Death Mountain I mean it’s just not that far from Kakariko or Hyrule Castle.

          Also like I said Death Mountain is huge and visible when you are in front the Temple of Time but step a few feet into town and it disappears. Something that huge doesn’t just disappear because of the angle… especially when it dwarfs over the Temple of Time one minute and then is invisible the next.

          Also it’s huge in the view of Temple of Time but tiny in the field even if it should be a mountain. It gets bigger though the instant you enter Kakariko. The size of it becomes clear at that point.

          I just find OoT 3D for more consistent in regards to this. Like wise it’s more fleshed out with shops being more detailed and distinct looking, buildings looking more then just bare bones.

          The original OoT was rather bland as far as the over all style and visuals in the world. It was always one of my biggest gripes.

          • http://www.triforcetalk9.blogspot.com/ Linkfan99

            Well, I wouldn’t necessarily call this dwarfing the Temple of Time, but I do see where you are coming from.


            See? Death Mountain is lower than the ToT from that angle. Even in the 3D version, it is still smaller from the angle:


            But anyway, I just prefer the older, vintage look of the classic game. I have nothing against the new one, but it’s just a personal preference.

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

            Actually the mountains are the exact same height. – _ –

            The images are different sizes but all you have to do is compare where one mountain matches up to the left hand Temple steeple.

            The angle doesn’t matter much on a huge object either. If it’s that big it’s going to be visible no matter what angle you are viewing it from.

            Still yeah…. basically what I’ve been saying is that it’s nostalgia. You experienced the world a certain way and want it to remain that way. Not to mention nostalgia can also simply mean you are more prone to ‘vintage’ appearances as well… with fond memories for a specific era of gaming when things were simpler.

            Personally I do like ‘vintage’ graphics (I’d prefer if Super Nintendo games remain pixelated, I happen to think pixels are stunning) but even as far as vintage graphics go, Ocarina of Time was never that stunning. Majora’s Mask on the other hand has aged a lot better in regards to it’s visual style…. but that’s more thanks to the game design being more focused on the world, and the designers fleshing that world out a considerable amount more.

          • http://www.triforcetalk9.blogspot.com/ Linkfan99

            Well, actually, that’s not entirely true, as the mountain is certainly bigger in the second image. The reason it looks the same is because they made the temple itself bigger too, as you can see if you compare it to the surrounding trees.

            And again, something that big can still be hidden from sight if looked at from a certain angle. When in Castle Town, you are a lot closer to the temple than the mountain, which means the temple takes up more space on the horizon, thus covering up the mountain.

            Also, this is somewhat unrelated, but they actually used an actual picture for the original ToT, whereas in the new one they animated it. I just kind of liked that original look.

            As I’ve said before, in my first comment, it’s not nostalgia. “And for those people who say it’s nostalgia, it’s not, because I didn’t play this game until December 2011/January 2012, which really isn’t that long ago, and it’s also AFTER the 3D version came out. My friend has the 3D version, and I’ve played it, but I just feel that the new graphics don’t capture the charm of the game.” And I don’t really have many fond memories of that era, as I wasn’t really introduced to gaming until around 2005/2006. And I happen to love Twilight Princess, which doesn’t quite have those older graphics.

            My point still is, I would love the graphics of OoT 3D IF they were in a different game. I just prefer the older graphics for, and ONLY for, Ocarina of Time.

  • Alberto Mani

    Try the Ganon battle on N64. Then try it on the 3DS. The darkness really adds to final moment.

    • npatoray24

      i know exactly what you mean, tis a great point

  • mookysam

    OoT3D has the best visuals from a technical standpoint. In addition I like how close everything is to the original concept art, especially the character designs (see Hyrule Historia). The environments are very sympathetic to the original game but have a nice modern lick of paint. As far as game remakes go, OoT 3D is arguably one of the best as it doesn’t compromise the artistic vision of the source material.

    That is not to say the original no longer has its own charm visually. It is the original artistic representation of the game. It’s old, certainly, but it “fits”. My favourite example for this argument is Final Fantasy VII but I won’t get into that now!

    The Gamecube re-release was my version of choice until the 3DS release (for convenience mainly). The framerate had been improved a lot and the resolution increased to 480i. I also had the benefit of using RGB Scart and then component cables versus the RF cables on the N64, which also helped clean the image up. I prefer how the GC version looks, especially because it doesn’t look hideous on my HDTV, but it’s certainly not as retro a being huddled over a tiny 14″ portable. Those were the days. :D

  • Kakz

    Of course alot of people will say OOT3D is better looking because it’s technologically more advanced. (duh!)
    But I think the original OOT was kinda more… dark and that made the atmosphere of the game feel a little bit better. (look at both pictures of Kokiri Forest, the original looks more dark while the 3DS one looks more light and… cute)

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

      Maybe you just had the settings of your TV turned down low making everything look darker …. – _ –

      Never particularly considered OoT to be a terribly dark game.

  • itsameluigi1290

    I like ‘em all!

  • http://lulles.deviantart.com/ lulles

    My favorite, visually speaking, is the 3DS version. I just like the better models, the slightly brighter colors and remade textures.

    But yeah, I did miss the red blood, symbols, and even the chanting on the Fire Temple that were removed.

  • TRG

    This is a crap article.

  • Kelly

    I’d rather play on a larger screen if I can help it, so I prefer the original, on original hardware. The game impresses me so much that, to this day I cannot fathom wanting to truly put it away. As odd as it sounds, the game feels more than just a game when I play it, which isn’t often anymore, but it’s unforgettable. Added to the fact that a friend (I have lost contact with) used to love the game right along with me. I remember his father being particularly impressed by the sheer size of Hyrule.

    Though I digress, but the game is something special. It’s full of mystery that goes beyond its story, something about how certain glitches work, such as trying to find the other fishing pond…if it exists.

    This makes me feel old just typing it, but I remember when the conventional wisdom was that catching the Hyrule Loach was just a rumor, a completely impossible feat and was solely put there for decoration. Well, life’s full of secrets, so I decided that it could be done and I was one of the first! *tumble weed blows by*

    Anyway, it was a spiffy feeling back in the day. Like the video game world equivalent of getting a real photograph or video of a living dinosaur.

    Much respect to Shigeru Miyamoto and all of the team involved with making what is definitely one of the best video games of all-time. It takes the number one spot, if I was forced to choose because of its depth and variety.