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The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time Master Quest

Review By:  Tikerman

Developer:  Nintendo
Publisher:  Nintendo
# of Players:  1
Genre:  Adventure
ESRB:  Everyone
Online:  No
Accessories:  Memory Card
Date Posted:  5-27-03

Everyone loves Ocarina of Time, right? A great adventure, cool story line, awesome graphics, wicked gameplay, and the list goes on. But of course, all those great features are relative- relative to other games in Nintendo 64's game library. So, naturally, when I heard that Ocarina of Time would be re-published and sent to me for pre-ordering Wind Waker, I was wary. Now, of course, it was free, so at the very least I was getting a free coaster and a free game case. But I was overcome with anxiety and wonder at what this free package might hold in store.

So, first off, why don't I tell you all what the Bonus Disc held in store, in the literal sense. The first thing you see when open up the case is the actual game disc and an instruction manual. The instruction manual is a copy of Ocarina of Time's, updated for the GameCube's controller. Behind the manual is a cool little preview booklet for Wind Waker, the latest full installment Nintendo released in the USA on March 26th. This preview booklet shows some screens, many of the characters, locations and items, and discusses some gameplay elements. But of course, you came here for the game disc.

The game disc opens up with a menu asking you to choose between Ocarina of Time, and Ocarina of Time: Master Quest. Also, you can press Z to access a cache of gameplay movies. These movies are really the most original things on the disc. There are seven in all, displaying shots of Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker, Metroid Prime, 1080°: Avalanche, F-ZERO, Wario World, Hot Clips, which features all of the previously mentioned games as well as others for the GameCube, and lastly a movie showing clips from The Legend of Zelda: Link to the Past. The movies showing Wind Waker, 1080, F-ZERO, and Wario World are all exciting and feature tons of shots of various aspects of each game. Hot Clips is a fairly fun movie, displaying the variety of games available for the GameCube, both previously released as well as others that have yet to be.

But of course, that's not why we're here. Make no mistake about it: it's all about Ocarina of Time. The Bonus Disc contains two versions of the game, a slightly improved version of the Nintendo 64 Ocarina, and the remodeled Master Quest. Ocarina and Master Quest have the same graphical and sound quality, slightly improved over Ocarina of Time for N64. The differences end there for the standard Ocarina. It is otherwise a straight port of the glorious Ocarina, and unless you were to put the two next to each other to compare, you probably won't notice the differences.

Some may ask the purpose of the presence of the standard Ocarina, seemingly redundant. But it's not. Master Quest is a notch up on difficulty, and many may want to use the original Ocarina get in shape, probably not having played Ocarina for quite some time. It also offers a chance to get used to the controls, as many may want to try to do their very best on Master Quest on their first run through.

So let's get to the differences between Master Quest and the original Ocarina of Time. Honestly, there isn't much. The game is nearly identical in the overworld, in towns, and in shops. The primary difference is in the dungeons, (eight in all), where the rooms, puzzles, and enemies have been switched around. Entirely new puzzles and enemies have been added, and as previously mentioned, difficulty increased. The AI is actually harder, and the game seems to be a lot rougher on you from the start with the quantity and quality of enemies, so your only problem won't be mastering the new layout of the dungeons.

(The rest of this review is simply of Ocarina of Time, so if you've already made your opinions on that subject, feel free to skip to the bottom.) Master Quest and Ocarina have a great, now legendary, feel to them. Action with Z-Targeting is smooth and fun, the vast collection of weapons provides a great time. From the swords to the hammer, to bow-and-arrow, various magic, bombs, sticks, boomerang, explosive Deku nuts, the Hook- and Longshots, and more. There are also plenty of mini-games, mini-quests, the hunt for all the bottles, all heart-containers, and the challenging trade sequence in pursuit of the Biggoron Sword, as well as the Mask Trade sequence, which seems to have formed the basis for the Majora's Mask's mask collection.

The graphics are thoroughly unimpressive for GameCube, but considering the fact that this game comes free, they aren't bad. If however, it came to paying for this game, I would think twice. Characters are fairly well animated, with flat faces that show varying degrees of emotion. Backgrounds are cheesy by GC standards as well, but they serve the purpose effectively.

Sound is a plus, however, no matter what system we're talking about. Possibly not as impressive as perhaps Eternal Darkness or others of Nintendo's musical masterpieces, both Ocarina and Master Quest feature captivating, chilling, freaky, eerie, all around sensational scores, if not presented as well as the latest technology can provide.

Ocarina and Master Quest don't beg do be replayed, although there is something to be said for playing the original through before embarking upon the Master Quest. The differences, sometimes nuances, can be interesting to spot. (Others can be downright frightening, and the only clue to that I'll give you is "Moo".) They both, however, do beg to be completed thoroughly. Maxing out heart containers, bottles, items, and everything else can provide sufficient entertainment after actually facing the final boss and defeating him.

Highs:

  • Just plain fun
  • Great gameplay and the Z-targeting is revolutionary
  • Free!
  • Interesting, and sometimes humorous, changes
  • Cool movies

Lows:

  • Can only be acquired through a pre-order or eBay (as of now)
  • Probably not worth it for a price
  • Not up to par with current GameCube titles (especially not Wind Waker)

Final Verdict:

A classic, instantly, and still today. Available in both its original form, and the challenging, remade version, Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time will always be fun to play, if not always fun to look at (relative to today's standards). This one speaks for itself. A great game, two versions, packed in with some interesting movies and all for free; a great deal. Doubtful, however, that it is acquirable for free, or will be, and any price (most likely fairly high, considering its rarity) would make this game not worth it to most; after all, Master Quest is almost entirely the same game, tweaked and redone. As a package, (considering ingenuity) it gets a 9.0. As a deal, however, this one gets an overall score of…

Overall Score: 7.5

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