YouTuber Dr.Wily recently published a video to discuss what might have changed in the Zelda franchise of games if Ocarina of Time had never existed.

Wily first points out the most obvious element from Ocarina of Time, which is the timeline split. During the events of this game, a split in time is made, resulting in three separate timelines: the Downfall, Adult, and Child timelines. Had Ocarina of Time never existed, any future Zelda games could have appeared in different places on the timeline. This is assuming that Nintendo would have even created an official timeline at all. Further to this, would time travel even have been included in any of the games going forward?

Wily then turns his attention to Ganondorf, who played a major role in Ocarina of Time. This game showcased the first time that players would ever see Ganon in his human form. Without this game, would we have seen Ganondorf at all? Would he have appeared in his human form in any future Zelda games? Would Nintendo have created different villains, just like Vaati to take the mantle of the main antagonist?

Dr.Wily believes that the entirety of Zelda gameplay could have changed for future games. Ocarina of Time introduced the Boss Key which only opened the Boss Door. Items such as the Master Sword and Ocarina became more important in comparison to previous games such as A Link to the Past. This was because they were actually needed for battle strategies and progression through temples.

Future Zelda games followed this pattern, which Wily aptly names the Ocarina of Time dungeon formula. This formula would also include ‘locking on’ for combat, a feature which has been heavily relied on in Zelda games which were released later. In fact, as one of the first games to incorporate “Z targeting”, Ocarina of Time paved the way for other games outside of the franchise to use the tool.

Dr.Wily even believes that companions may have been affected if Ocarina of Time hadn’t existed.  Navi was introduced as the first real, full-time companion for Link during his quest to save Hyrule. Would future companions such as Midna and Fi even have been considered if Ocarina of Time had not set the path for them?  What impact would this have had on the all important storylines of future games?

He even points out that during the storyline of the game, time is taken to impress upon the player the reward of opening a treasure chest. The cutscene which shows Link attain his reward is a staple in the franchise. Would this even exist if Ocarina of Time didn’t?

Dr.Wily firmly believes that Ocarina of Time inspired so much in the Zelda franchise, that he could delve even further into it’s effects on subsequent games. Unfortunately he just couldn’t squeeze it all into his video.

What do you think of Dr.Wily’s theory?  With its 20th anniversary soon upon us, would future Zelda games really have been so largely affected if Ocarina of Time did not exist?  Let us know in the comments below!

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