For as long as I can remember I have loved video games, from playing countless hours of Super Mario Bros., Duck Hunt and Contra on the NES, Super Metroid, Mario Kart and Legend of Zelda: Link to the Past for the SNES to the more recent additions to the Nintendo family of consoles, as well as the others that rose up along with them, Sega Genesis, Playstation, XBOX, what have you. One game that has impacted me in a way that is actually hard to describe, is the game The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time.
In this game you play as the hero, Link, and you are to rescue princess Zelda from the evil plans of Ganondorf, the dark lord of the Gerudos. Ganondorf seeks to control the power of the Triforce, three golden triangles that form a larger triangle that are the essence of the gods that created the land of Hyrule (where this all takes place). You start as a child and then advance 7 years into the future where are now grown up and have more challenges to face. The storytelling in this game is phenomenal, it is a tale that is engaging and addicting, you know theses characters, you not only want to know what happens to them, but you also care what happens to them, it’s important. This game was a BIG deal when it came out for the Nintendo 64 (N64).
I remember when the system launched and I had the opportunity to go to a friend’s house and play Super Mario 64, my mind was simply blown. I had only experienced the 8, 16 and 32 bit worlds that existed prior to this, but 64 bits! That was something at which to marvel. I heard the rumors about this Zelda game that was coming out, a title I recognized from my years of playing Legend of Zelda: A Link the Past, and I eagerly awaited it release. That release came and I can’t really capture the experience in words because it was a feeling that could only be realized emotionally. There I stood at the terminal that was set up in Toy’s R Us, I gazed at the screen, mouth agape, hands trembling, I took up the controller and played the game that changed my life as far as video games were concerned.
It was free roaming 3D, something that still impresses me to this day, almost fully interactive with A.I. and even the environment, the visuals (now pathetic in modern comparison), the soundtrack that I still listen to on occasion, all these things came crashing down on me in that singular moment of bliss. I never did own the game ’til later in my life (never had the money), but I did play it at a friend’s house, straight through I played that game and I enjoyed every second of it, and I still do, when I take it out from time to time and replay it. I believe that it will be a game that will forever remain one of the greatest in the video game history’s impressive catalog of games, this was just one of those games that comes around every so often, one that makes a difference.