The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time

The timeless classic of the timeless series.
SeriousGamer - Staff Reviewer

Content at a glance:

Mild Violence: Bloodless combat with a sword and other weapons, including bombs, some enemies'; corpses remain for a while; one boss is stabbed in the face and coughs up blood, one area has bloodstains on walls.

Fantasy Magic: Some magic items, mention of gods, one character is a fairy. Other characters are shown using magic, plot deals with an item considered holy.

Mild Sexual Content: Non-human race is shown nude, some revealing outfits

Oppresive Atmosphere: Two dungeons are set in crypts of sorts with very eerie music

Alcoholic References: One building you can enter is a pub, one scene shows two men with red faces acting drunk.

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Link, Princess Zelda, Ganon, Hyrule, the Triforce: For a follower of the Legend of Zelda series, these are no strange terms. Ever since the first game appeared on shelves, fans followed each and every adventure of our green-clad hero as he fought to save the land of Hyrule from the clutches of the evil Ganon. But Ocarina of Time was the game that really defined the series. Ocarina of Time, actually the fifth game in the acclaimed Legend of Zelda series, explores what is considered to be our hero Link’s first adventure.

Note: Some plot spoilers may be present

Story
The story begins with a young boy, our future hero, Link dreaming of a dark man on horseback chasing after a girl. When he wakes up, he sees his future traveling companion, the fairy Navi, hovering around his head. Link is then summoned to see the guardian of his peaceful forest village, but this is only the start of a larger journey that will take Link all over the land of Hyrule to save it from none other than the dark man of his nightmares.

Gameplay
With a press of a few buttons, Link can run, climb, attack and defend himself. Jumping is handled automatically. Important items, like your sword are automatically at your reach. Sub-items, like all the items found in your inventory can be assigned to other buttons for quick use. It sounds like a confusing control setup, but it’s actually quite easy to learn.

Gameplay is also divided into two “areas.” One is the hub-world of Hyrule complete with towns and such, and the other is the dungeon where the bosses are usually found. Gameplay is also non-linier. You can spend hours exploring the world if you’d like.

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Offensive Content

Violence
You attack enemies with a sword, slingshot, bow, and other items, even bombs. All of this content is relatively bloodless, though a few multi-colored drops fly from some enemies. Enemies typically vanish after being defeated, but one enemy does not. Another enemy bloodlessly falls apart and then quickly disappears.

One boss coughs up blood after being defeated and another is slashed and finally stabbed in the face. A few multi-colored drops are shown in the latter case.

Spiritual Content
Sadly, this game is pretty murky in terms of spirituality. The plot of this game first involves hunting for a familiar item to Zelda fans: the Triforce. In the plot, this item was created by the gods of Hyrule and can grant the wishes of whoever owns it.

On the subject of gods, this game features three goddesses who are credited with the creation of Hyrule. These three are later shown being prayed to at the end of the game.

Some items are magical in nature. While some can be optional, others are not. One item, Din’s Fire, let’s Link create a wall of fire that expands all around him. This might be considered spell casting to some. Another lets Link magically see anything that is invisible. Another, the titular musical instrument can transport Link to other areas when certain songs are played.  The dungeons are usually set in temples.

Link can also buy potions to restore his health.

Some enemies are somewhat spiritual in nature. Some are zombies, skeletons and ghosts. Two boss characters are witches.

******Spoilers*****
The Triforce later falls into the hands of the evil villain Ganon who subsequently takes control of Hyrule, and Link’s quest is to awaken the power of 7 sages who will help him to defeat Ganon. Ganon and Zelda also are shown using magic. It doesn’t seem to be based on the occult however. Both hold up their hands and rays shoot out of them. Ganon is later sealed in another world, the “Evil Realm.”

Again the sages are shown praying to the gods at the end and their prayer appears to be answered.

*******End spoilers******

Sexual Content
One race, the half fish/half human Zora are shown nude, however nothing can be seen on them. The only female Zora you see does appear to have breasts, however, I did not find this offensive as she seems to have the detail of a Barbie doll.

Another race of humans is made up of women who wear revealing, Arabian-Nights-style tops. Another important female character also wears a revealing outfit. One character, the Great Fairy is dressed in little more than an outfit of leaves. Other than that, all the other female characters are quite modestly dressed.

References to Alcohol
In the main town, you can enter what looks like a pub, but you can’t drink. At the end, two men are shown with red faces acting really drunk. However, they are not shown drinking.

Frightening Atmosphere
Some areas take on a dilapidated, run-down look after Ganon’s takeover. Two of the dungeons on the other hand make it all look downright cheery in comparison. Both these areas take place in crypts and both are quite dark and eerie inside. One even appears to be built from a mixture of stone and human skulls. Some enemies, such as the ReDead, may be particularly frightening to some players, but another enemy, the Dead Hand is very frightening and grotesque in appearance.

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Noteworthy Elements
The lines between good and evil are clearly drawn. Link is shown to be selfless in his quest to save Hyrule as are the characters involved in his quest. There is some accountability shown as one character expresses sadness and admits that what they had done caused the Triforce to fall into evil hands.

Conclusion
For a lot of fans, Ocarina of Time is the game that defined the Legend of Zelda series. It showed the origins of everything Zelda fans came to know and love. This was the second Zelda game I ever played and I have to admit, this game was amazing.

However, it is quite full of content that needs to be taken into account. There is magic use, and even gods in this game. For some, this is only fantasy and not a problem. Others would put this alongside Harry Potter. I did once before I ever even played a Zelda game.

I can’t really recommend this game to children, even though it’s rated for them. I’m an adult and even I’m scared of some of the creepier areas in this game. I would also not recommend to those who are just getting started in their Christian walk. However, for a mature Zelda fan, I see nothing wrong with this game. It’s a must for any fan.




Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this Spotlight review are those of the reviewer (both ratings and recommendations), and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Eden Communications or the Christian Answers Network.

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