You ain’t seeing wrong.
I’m playing Ocarina.
Here’s the deal, also for those who don’t know: Ocarina of Time is by many considered to be a legendary game. One of those masterpieces that everyone should have played, that everyone ranks really high on any list anywhere.
But I never owned a Nintendo as a kid. I was 5 when it came out. And my parents had a PC and didn’t want to buy me a console. So any time people talk about the “Great Nintendo Games of their Youth” I can only nod and say, yeah sure, and look at videos and speedruns, but really have no idea what they’re talking about.
I got the crazy idea to install a Nintendo 64 emulator after I talked about this with some of my friends and my father randomly showing me he had an Ocarina he had gotten as a kid (I know, strange association, but hey, it worked.)
So, what was the first thing to do with this fancy new Nintendo 64 emulator?
There was only one real choice:
I start off, the “Deku Tree” speaking to me, and I learn that a boy doesn't have a fairy (it’s Link). I see a dream sequence, a dark castle, a woman riding off with a man on a horse, a sinister looking fellow sneering at me (it’s Ganon), and I wake, shuddering in my bed.
Then we see the Deku Tree telling Na’vi (Not the things from Avatar, not the Dota team. Yeah.) to wake me up.
Na’vi is apparently a fairy. So she(?) flies over to me and tells me that she’s my partner.
So now I have a fairy.
Except, now my new partner-friend-fairy tells me to get to the Deku Tree. Sounds easy enough.
If it wasn’t for this asshole.
“You’re not good enough to see the Deku Tree. What, you have a fairy now?? Well… you need a sword and a shield!!”
Okay, time to find these things. I guess.
I have a whole village (“village”) to explore, and I wander around and talk with the villagers (and learn that I needed a fairy to talk to them in the first place? No wonder he was lonely before).
I find a shop that’ll sell me a shield, but I don’t have 40 rupees, so I politely decline and wander off again.
I find Mido’s house and rob it blind. Smart. Good ethics, game.
Another boy asks me if I can help him cut grass, but I don’t have a sword, so I can’t do anything.
I roam on the tops of the houses a bit, and find many rupees scattered around the place, some in rocks (because video games), some in the tall grass (because video games), and some randomly around the place (because people are clumsy).
While doing this, I stumble onto an opening in the treewall, with a sign next to it, that says “Lost Woods”. Using all my video game knowledge I assume it’s too early for me to venture in there yet, but I can’t find any more rupees (or a sword) in the village, so I dart my head in. Quickly, I gather the 40 rupees I needed so I rush out and get a shield.
Now, about that sword.
Hmm. I feel like I’ve looked everywhere. So I check everything again, before I decide that, no maybe it is in the Lost Woods. I mean why else would they let me get in there?
I spent around 20 minutes just wandering around that labyrinth without a sword, without finding anything useful.
And the sword?
Well, that’s just up by the training area, in a whole I decided not to crawl into, because it was after where they teach you how to use the sword (my one gripe with the tutorial in this game. That’s a weird place to put the sword.)
But I find it and I get to show Mido who’s boss:
Then, I speak with the Deku Tree and it asks me if I have enough courage to save it from a curse.
Of course not.
But hey, it’s a video game. So I can’t say no, can I?
The Tree opens its mouth and tells me to go inside.
And I’ll stop there because this is starting to get wordy.
Man, I gotta say I’m surprised how much I’m enjoying this. I thought it would be harder to get into, that many of the controls or tutorials or guidance would feel arcane now. And sure, not all of it is up to the standard we see in current games, it’s really obvious why this game was so influential as it was: It pretty much just works.
Even from my tiny hour which was mostly spent doing the dumb tasks most early adventures/RPG’s tell you to, I still really enjoyed my time with it.
And I want to play more.
So excuse me, I got a tree to explore.
See other Sunday Morning Games here.
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