A masterpiece, a feat in game design, or a work of art. Call it what you will, but I remember Ocarina of Time as a game of memories.
My cousin and I spent long hours playing this game, exploring every nook and cranny of Hyrule, defeating bosses and navigating dungeons. This game represents a period in my life, a period of simplicity and lazy winter days.
The game is often noted as the first 3-D game in the Zelda series, but being new to the land of Nintendo games, I hadn’t played previous 2D Zeldas. And so I approached the game with a brilliant naivety.
I was first introduced to it when my cousin brought it over at our annual New Year’s Eve party. It was the end of 1998, as I recall. He was still in Kokiri Forest. Watching him navigate through the town was amazing. The graphics were beautifully realistic for the time. I knew that this game was something big, and I immediately wanted a copy of my own.
Around this time, my father had been wheeling and dealing with a friend of his at work to buy his old N64 games off of him. I believe he managed to get Ocarina of Time from him. I can’t quite remember how it went, but I do remember the excitement of holding the game in my hands.
And so it began. The days of working together with my cousin to get past dungeons. The jealousy of seeing him as an adult Link while I was still in the child part of the game. It always seemed he got me wherever I wanted to be.
During those days, I was new to the world of complex adventure games. My cousin ended up completing most of the game for me, but I still played it a lot.
Those were the days of gaming I remember the most, and in my mind, no game has ever rivaled the experience I had with Ocarina of Time.