symphony's Zelda no Densetsu: Toki no Ocarina (Nintendo 64) review

Nearly perfect

The Zelda series has always held a dear place in many a gamer's heart, mine included. I could rant about the history of the series or of Link himself, but there's really no point. Let's get right to the point.

Ocarina of Time is the best Zelda in the entire franchises up to and including Twilight Princess. It does almost everything perfectly. The graphics were phenominal, the gameplay and combat was terrific, the story was great (for the most part), as was the sound.

What can I say about this game that hasn't already been said a thousand times by everyone else? The graphics were gorgeous at the time. Link (adult Link, especially) looked exactly how he should, riding on the back of Epona through a big 3D world was one of the coolest things ever, as were watching the scenes where Sheik would show up and you'd play the Ocarina. The music fit the mood and scenes perfectly, and I still have many of the tunes get stuck in my head from time to time.

To put it bluntly -- it is easily one of Nintendo's greatest games.

Now that that's out of the way, allow me a bit of an editorial with one problem I had -- the ending. 

Call me nit-picky or anal, but the ending just... sucked. It really sucked. To recap, Link saves the day, puts back the sword, and becomes a child once again, forgetting everything that happened and basically starting back at the beginning of the story without Ganondorf doing all that evil stuff. Oh and a bunch of the characters get together and "dance" around a fire for 5 minutes.

This use of a deus ex machina just left a sour taste in my mouth and made the whole plot feel trivial, if not outright pointless. So Link did all that only to be told "Sorry, your memories are being erased and none of this actually happened." It just felt like a quickly thrown together ending. Sure they wanted Link to go back to being a kid, but they could have done it with a much more finess.

That said, the fact that the ending upset me so much is proof that the rest of the game is so fantastic that it raised my standards for what I expected out of the end. Endings have never been Nintendo's strong point, so I guess I should have seen that coming. Oh well.

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