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vanguard333

Finally Finishing Ocarina of Time... 18 Years Overdue

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I am a fan of The Legend of Zelda; it and Fire Emblem are my two favourite video game franchises, and I've been a Zelda fan for far longer than I have been a Fire Emblem fan. I became a Zelda fan when I was very young and my family got a GameCube and, with it, the Legend of Zelda Collector's Edition, which had the original game, Adventure of Link, Ocarina of Time, and Majora's Mask. I didn't like the first two games, and Majora's Mask gave me nightmares, but I played Ocarina of Time a lot, and it's safe to say that it made me a Zelda fan... which is the reason it has bugged me to no end that I never actually finished the game, or even came close to finishing it.

A couple years ago, I sat down, started a new file, and set out to finish the game. I made it all the way to the Spirit Temple before having to move, and then I never even got the GameCube set up before having to move again. But now, I have finally sat down and finished the game. 

I have to say... it's kind-of weird; going back to the game after all this time, and thinking about what I thought of it then and what I think of it now. I mean; can you really call it nostalgia if you never actually played a significant chunk of the game until fairly recently?

What I can say is that, outside of graphics, the game has aged remarkably well (and even then, certain moments still look decent). I tried Mario 64 on the Switch via 3D All-Stars, and while it is certainly still a very functional game today that has aged well in most places, it took a while to get used to certain quirks about Mario's movement that later games got rid of (like him turning in a wide circle if turning 180 degrees from stop instead of simply turning around in place). With Ocarina of Time, I can't really think of anything except that the Wii U and the Switch have made me too used to gyro aim and going back to aiming with just a stick is rather annoying in comparison. But that's not really the game aging so much as the console and controllers aging.

So... yeah. Anyone else have this experience of having a game for a long time and never actually finishing it until years later?

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I adore Ocarina of Time. It's easily one of my most replayed games of all time, and I honestly couldn't really tell you why.

As for games I have trouble finishing, I... uh... have a habit of starting games, but then never getting around to actually finishing them for a long time. If I'm invested enough into a game to complete it, then I'll definitely complete it (like OoT, for example). Other games, like FF8 or Radiant Historia, I can get far into them, but then drop it for a long time before ever coming back to it. It annoys me, but there are other things that I can spend my time doing instead of agonizing about trying to finish a long-ass RPG. (I like RPGs, but some of them don't quite click with me like other games do, I dunno).

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1 hour ago, indigoasis said:

I adore Ocarina of Time. It's easily one of my most replayed games of all time, and I honestly couldn't really tell you why.

I can certainly see at least a few good potential reasons why: it's a great game that stands the test of time, it's quick to get into as there's little tutorializing, and it doesn't take hundreds of hours to complete (unlike RPGs as you mentioned).

 

1 hour ago, indigoasis said:

As for games I have trouble finishing, I... uh... have a habit of starting games, but then never getting around to actually finishing them for a long time. If I'm invested enough into a game to complete it, then I'll definitely complete it (like OoT, for example). Other games, like FF8 or Radiant Historia, I can get far into them, but then drop it for a long time before ever coming back to it. It annoys me, but there are other things that I can spend my time doing instead of agonizing about trying to finish a long-ass RPG. (I like RPGs, but some of them don't quite click with me like other games do, I dunno).

I know what you mean, but it's less that I drop them and more that other things come up, and yeah; some RPGs can take a very long time to finish.

How does it tend to feel when you finally do come back and finish a game after going a long time without playing it?

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2 hours ago, vanguard333 said:

So... yeah. Anyone else have this experience of having a game for a long time and never actually finishing it until years later?

Returning to some of your childhood collection can be a bizarre experience of misremembered details and a better idea of how you didn't finish it as a kid. If you ask me what sage insights I learned from revisiting Mission Impossible for the N64, I've got nothing to tell you. Just that I thought it was cute how instead of a regular credits scroll, you get to walk around at a party where you can talk to NPCs that represent the individual developers. They'll tell you their job, and probably some innocuous joke or detail about their personal lives. It reminds me immediately of the developer rooms of classic Final Fantasy games. I miss those.

So Ocarina. How did you feel going through the Shadow Temple? Did the imagery make you do a double take? I'm still surprised that made it into the final game, and it always creeped me out that places like the Shadow Temple or the dungeon beneath the well were in such close proximity to the otherwise peaceful Kakariko Village. It's like a slasher film, part of the terror is thinking that such horrible things could take place in such a cozy setting.

Actually I felt that throughout a lot of Ocarina. The game world is so inviting when you're Young Link, and so dark once you're an adult. And since the player is partly responsible for creating such a dark future it made me want to work harder to fix everything. It took me years to finish this game as a kid. Not so much because the game is especially hard or obtuse, but because I was afraid of Adult Link's world and reckoning with that responsibility. I just wanted to play the game as Young Link and not have to deal with it. I didn't want to grow up, so I played Majora's Mask instead. And there is a game where the world is explicitly days from ending and you're in a stressful, inescapable loop of time trying to fix it. If you run away from your problems they only get worse. These are probably the most important video games I had ever played.

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2 minutes ago, Glennstavos said:

(1) Returning to some of your childhood collection can be a bizarre experience of misremembered details and a better idea of how you didn't finish it as a kid. If you ask me what sage insights I learned from revisiting Mission Impossible for the N64, I've got nothing to tell you. Just that I thought it was cute how instead of a regular credits scroll, you get to walk around at a party where you can talk to NPCs that represent the individual developers. They'll tell you their job, and probably some innocuous joke or detail about their personal lives. It reminds me immediately of the developer rooms of classic Final Fantasy games. I miss those.

(2) So Ocarina. How did you feel going through the Shadow Temple? Did the imagery make you do a double take? I'm still surprised that made it into the final game, and it always creeped me out that places like the Shadow Temple or the dungeon beneath the well were in such close proximity to the otherwise peaceful Kakariko Village. It's like a slasher film, part of the terror is thinking that such horrible things could take place in such a cozy setting.

(3) Actually I felt that throughout a lot of Ocarina. The game world is so inviting when you're Young Link, and so dark once you're an adult. And since the player is partly responsible for creating such a dark future it made me want to work harder to fix everything. It took me years to finish this game as a kid. Not so much because the game is especially hard or obtuse, but because I was afraid of Adult Link's world and reckoning with that responsibility. I just wanted to play the game as Young Link and not have to deal with it. I didn't want to grow up, so I played Majora's Mask instead. And there is a game where the world is explicitly days from ending and you're in a stressful, inescapable loop of time trying to fix it. If you run away from your problems they only get worse. These are probably the most important video games I had ever played.

1. That's funny (the thing about Mission Impossible for the N64), and that developer room thing is rather cool. I can't really return to any of my old N64 games as I no longer have them or the N64; my family got rid of it when we got the GameCube. That said, I probably wouldn't want to go back to any of them, as the only ones we had that I remember was stuff like Mario Kart 64, a Duck Dodgers game, and Iggy's Wrecking Balls.

2. I never got to the Shadow Temple as a kid (not because I couldn't, but because I simply never got that far); I played it the first time a couple years ago. I already knew about the temple having mechanical blade traps and a weird ship level. I personally wasn't unnerved by it, but it is definitely unnerving. As for under the well, I skimmed through it and avoided exploring most of it simply because I don't like the design (not the atmosphere, but the whole "one wrong step that you can't see because the floor's an illusion, and you fall into a pit filled with redeads and other other annoying enemies" aspect of it). I will say, it makes sense that this formerly Shiekah village has such things, and the current village is so peaceful because of Impa's efforts to change the village into something better than it used to be.

3. Well, that is the point: Hyrule as kid Link is the ideal, and Hyrule as adult Link is what happens if Ganondorf wins. Most games can only show you an ideal your trying to protect, or a ruined world you're trying to restore, and Ocarina of Time utilizes both of them and the striking contrast. That atmosphere makes for a great motivator, as the player has a good idea in their heads of what they're trying to restore when playing as adult Link; you know how it should look, and you know what'll happen if you let Ganondorf win.

For me, I couldn't finish it either because I moved on to other games or because I was cowardly as a kid when it came to the dungeons and boss fights. I didn't play Majora's Mask a lot since certain moments gave me nightmares (which makes a lot of sense, since some of those scenes were literally created from the dev team's nightmares).

These games were definitely important for me as well, but for a different reason: they introduced me to the medieval fantasy genre, and with that came a lot of my hobbies and interests: swordsmanship and studying medieval history and Arthurian Legend are some of my hobbies, and I'm currently writing my own fantasy novel. That all started either directly or indirectly from Ocarina of Time.

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1 hour ago, vanguard333 said:

How does it tend to feel when you finally do come back and finish a game after going a long time without playing it?

See... I end up having a hard time picking up from where I left off as I tend to forget the details of what happened since, so I opt to restart the whole game. And then I end up dropping it again because I don't wanna go through all the stuff I've already gone through. It's kind of a vicious cycle for me.

I wouldn't say I feel any more satisfaction from coming back to complete something as opposed to going through it the whole way through. I know that's kinda lame, but that's how it is for me. 😞 

The only game that I can think of when I haven't done any of that for is Three Houses. I could leave the game for a couple months, come back, and know exactly what I was doing. I suppose it depends on the game.

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7 hours ago, vanguard333 said:

So... yeah. Anyone else have this experience of having a game for a long time and never actually finishing it until years later?

Ab. Sol. Lute. LY!

*Reclines on the couch and begins telling my life story to a therapist that doesn't exist.*

It goes back to when I was child, Tales of Symphonia, among my first non-Pokemon/Mario JRPGs. I made it all the way to the warp sigil that leads directly to the final boss, it took me years before I actually went and used the sigil, and I think several playthroughs. Why? Not sure, I used to say "it's because I don't want the fantasy to end", but I don't believe that now. Another Namco GameCube JRPG, Baten Kaitos: Eternal Wings and the Lost Ocean took even more years to finish, although in this case, I got hit with the infamous softlock on the "Chaotic Trio" on my first run of the game.

Turns out, this applies not just to JRPGs for me, although it does continue to happen with them. Doesn't matter the length, I tend to slow down and delay on finishing almost any game I think. Is it burnout? Could be, but I don't really know. This happens even if I'm truly enjoying the game. In the end, I remind myself that taking a break from the game will make it harder to ever get back to it, and thus I have to finish it now.

Although, there are still a few games I never got back to. Wind Waker and Skyward Sword just so happen to be among them, starting the Triforce Hunt and The Imprisoned Round 3 is as far as I got in them.

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