While Skyward Sword has taken the spotlight of focus in the Zelda community we can’t overlook the announcement of Ocarina of Time for the 3DS. Since its release in 1998 Ocarina of Time has seen a number of rereleases. Besides the several different versions on the Nintendo 64, there was were two releases for the Gamecube. The first along with Master Quest in The Limited Edition Wind Waker and the second on The Collector’s Edition disc. Of course, the game is also downloadable on the virtual console. But this new release is different. This time around, things are being changed, as opposed to simply being ported across to the new system. What will change? What do we as the players want to see changed?
First and foremost we obviously know that the graphics are getting quite the overhaul to suit the 3D environment. Nothing special there. Secondly, it is only logical to assume the controls will be updated to make the experience suitable for the 3DS. Again, nothing terribly surprising. At E3 this year, Eiji Aonuma spoke about how, for the last 12 years, he has felt really bad with Ocarina of Time’s Water temple. He feels the Water Temple was too hard, and that having to constantly pause to change boots was dreadful. With this new release of Ocarina of Time, Aonuma has stated that he can finally amend his mistakes – at least with the iron boots. How exactly that will be integrated and how it will affect the pause screens is a matter for time to tell.
Keeping that in mind, over the last week I’ve seen people saying on our forums “what changes do you think they’ll make to the story” and it has really made me wonder. Nintendo is dealing with one of the greatest games of all time here; are they really going to change it that much. The rereleases of A Link to the Past and The Adventure of Link made significant changes to the storyline, which begs the question of what Nintendo will do with Ocarina of Time. The story is a timeless classic. In my opinion, it shouldn’t be meddled with. But are there other things that could potentially be fixed up? Are there other things, like the Iron Boots, that Nintendo intends to change. In fact, if given the opportunity, what would you change? While we all agree it’s a great game, there has to be some things that you didn’t think were done right. Or perhaps, some things that technology didn’t allow that you now want to see.
It is admittedly hard for me to think of what I would change if given the chance. When you look at Super Mario 64’s DS remake there were both improved graphics and new playable characters. The latter is something we’re not going to see in Ocarina on the DS, but what do we want to see? Perhaps it is difficulty. Ocarina of Time was a challenging game, 12 years ago. How I would love it if Gohma took longer than 10 seconds to beat or if a Game Over screen worked its way in there again, like the olden days. But I doubt that will happen. That would simply be making the game too hard for the first timers on the DS. I guess all this is kind of what Master Quest was for, even though that really didn’t satisfy.
Okay, if not the difficulty, what about the mini-games? Gerudo Horseback Archery – how about making it different, and giving it a new top score potential of 3000? Something that us oldies will warm to as new and something first timers will just think as ‘that’s how it is’? What about making the Hylian Loach larger, harder to catch? Expand the fishing pond? Let us fish in Lake Hylia? With all suggestions like this, it really just comes down to what you liked in the original and what you want to see more of.
Difficulty and mini-game changes aside; there are a few things that did leave me unsatisfied in Ocarina. For instance the feeling of no matter how hard you try, and no matter how well you do, you’re always going to fail. What am I on about you ask? The Running Man of course. The unbeatable look-at-me-not-even-a-GameShark-can-defeat-me-guy. Is it worth making him not omnipresent or is the enigma of him being better than Hyrule’s Hero one worth keeping?
While I’m at it, there is another thing that annoyed me with Ocarina of Time; and that is perfect completion. When people play a game they usually play it through the main storyline until the end. Then if they feel like it they go back and do everything else there is to do. This can’t be done with Ocarina. There are some item capacity upgrades, well, at least one from memory, that you can’t get once you’ve gotten the Master Sword. Even if you travel back in time, the upgrade isn’t available. Sad to say, but that’s the only time that Ocarina of Time has annoyed me so much that I actually didn’t want to play it for quite a while. That’s the one potential change that I’d be pushing for, moreso even then the Iron Boots.
Now what else can I nitpick – because that is really what I’m doing. It’s hard to find fault with such a classic. I’ve always wondered why carrots for Epona? Link’s not feeding her to make her go faster, he’s smacking her. Twilight Princess got this one correct. Carrots are cute, but perhaps we could go for a change there. Also, could Epona like, not be a retard perhaps, and not get herself stuck behind fences when you call her? What else? How about blood and gore? Sure, the Shadow Temple and Bottom of the Well have scared me for life since my childhood, but could Ocarina of Time be more bloody? Would that really be worthwhile? Perhaps, perhaps not.
One more final thing is the save system. While there’s nothing intrinsically wrong with it, and many people would say it is perfect when you look at Majora’s Mask’s, it isn’t as good as it could be. That’s because it isn’t Pokemon. Pokemon’s exactly where you are and exactly as you were save system is great. Ocarina would benefit from that, especially being on the 3DS: a portable console. People will be playing it on the go so do they really want to have to track back to where they were up to from The Temple of Time or Link’s Treehouse every time they save not in a dungeon. I think not. Save standing six Master Swords north-east of the bushes south of Lon-Lon Ranch and when you pick the game up again that’s exactly where you should be.
It is ultimately extremely hard to weed out what should change. If I was a Nintendo employee with the chance to do whatever I pleased with Ocarina on the 3DS I’d be too scared to do anything. Perhaps after a little bit of encouragement that I could change some things I would fix the iron boots, make upgrades available even when Link has already traveled to the future, integrate a more appropriate saving system for the 3DS and make some slight changes to the IQ of a certain horse. Little things aside, Ocarina of Time remains an extremely great game, and even if nothing really changed for the 3DS it would be as enjoyable as ever. Nevertheless, what would you change?