The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time Part II
by The Hutch





The Retrospective

The range of articles and reviews I have provided Miss Polly with have been eclectic at best, and indecipherably random at worst. Many of you I like to imagine are wondering "What kind of gamer is this The Hutch? What did he play growing up? Is he single?" While I was not deprived of the 8 and 16 bit generation that seems to make up the large demographic of Socks Make People Sexy readers and writers alike, I am a child of the 90s. While this means many things to many people, most importantly it means that the main console in my life is, and has always been, the Nintendo 64.

I remember one rainy, West Coast Christmas. Excitement fueled my nerves to such and extreme that I was unable to contain my shaking. Silently, if only to preserve my vocal chords for the elated cheering that would soon follow, I watched my alarm clock count away the seconds until the greatest moment of the greatest day of the year. I had been moral and selfless, and thus I had diamonds in my eyes, not coal in my heart.

Needless to say, it was a Christmas like any other. Which is to say that it was a Christmas. Is it possible to have a bad Christmas? Maybe if you're poor or Jewish.

Regardless, I felt my anxious hands operating separate from my body, my mind was drowning in adrenaline, and my eyes were wide as the ornaments I cared nothing about. I wanted my fucking loot. Of course, like any other child, I instantly leapt for the largest, most conspicuous box, relieved to find out that it belonged to me. Without a word or moment of pause, I revealed the gift with all the poise of a rabid monkey with razors attached to its hands. Unable to contain my excitement, I fell backwards, landing on another, smaller gift. This was a moment that lasted an eternity, a timeless experience that I have yet to replicate, like a junkie trying to achieve that first high once again. There were no words I could hear, but rather some cryptic alien language; I recognized it, but I had forgotten it. There was only one thing that was definite and familiar:

NINTENDO SIXTY-FOOOOOOOOUUURRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!

Along with the beautiful console were two games. A crushed box containing Goldeneye007 that sat benevolent under me, and Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time.

My eyes became fixated with the golden treasure I held in my hands. I had no idea the life changing experience this simple cartridge represented, all I knew was that I was going to play the shit out of this sucker.

And so this day I became a new man. And while I do not have any explicit memories of the time after this Christmas, I have been told that for three days I did not eat, drink, sleep, speak, or even blink.

After what seemed like an eternity, we finally set up my new best friend to the television. Without skipping a beat, I inserted the cartridge into the machine, imagining it a mouth eating my game, and turned the switch on.

That was the single most altering experience I've had to date. As the start screen flashed, and the demos rolled, I was unable to function properly. I desperately told my fingers to move, but my body had become lead, my nervous system lime flavoured Jell-O. Finally, after what seemed to be an eternity, I pressed start.

I was prompted to begin a new file, and to give my protagonist a name. What freedom, I thought, what responsibility. Of course, being the mature master of wit that I was, I found myself instinctively spelling out the only name that made sense.

"BUTTFACE".

Now, my senses had been overloaded during the start screen, so I had not fully appreciated the vastness of the landscape, or the sheer beauty of the game, so once I had calmed down and was looking upon the game with fresh and clear eyes, I once again went into a state of sensory overload.

This was not my average game. This was not anything like I had expected. In hindsight, I can't even say for certain what I had expected, but what I got was a haunting scene of fire and destruction, and the cry of a horse and the cackle of an evil man. There were no more clever words, there aren't even any now. If it were possible, my eyes would have grown even larger, perhaps resembling dinner plates.

Over the next few weeks as I traversed the beautiful landscape and experienced what I can now only describe as constant ejaculation. I shared emotions with BUTTFACE, connected with everyone, and far too soon I had completed the game.

Let me be very clear, however, this was only the beginning. Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time has more mileage than any other game in my library by hundreds of hours, and now, still, 10 years later it affects me in a way that I can't possibly put into words. Or, rather, words that make any sort of sense. A beautiful game, a treasure greater than all the rubies and diamonds and gold in the world, it is my first love.

Thank you, Ocarina of Time.


The Chronology

The chronology of The Legend of Zelda is incomprehensible at best and strictly non-Euclidian at worst, so I will do my best to break it down for you.

First, by order of release. Obviously, The Legend of Zelda was first. This was a massive game, and is one of the most recognizable titles in all respects. For its time, it was one of the single greatest adventure games released, if not THE greatest. It was also incredibly innovative, and has been awarded several world records by Guinness, including the first game to have a battery operated save feature, and highest rated game of all time. It was huge. Next came Zelda II. This changed the face of Zelda substantially, and was met with mixed reactions, but not weakened sales. Then came the first 16-bit incarnate, A Link to the Past, featuring the more traditional top-down approach featured in the first game. A Link to the Past is most responsible for shaping the Zelda series as we know it today, as it introduced many familiar items like the hookshot and ocarina, and also many familiar concepts like a quiver and swinging the sword as opposed to just stabbing.

At this point, Zelda had become one of the big name titles for Nintendo, and as such, it was subject to milking. Which, in terms of Nintendo titles, equates to over-lactation, dehydration, and a wilted, withering death. However, this is not the case. Nearly a dozen additional official Zelda titles have been released since A Link to the Past, each with their own feel and regarded opinion. However, managing to stay both fresh and innovative, they have been must have titles for any Nintendo fan.

Now, here's where it gets a little fucked up, so I'll try and curb my creativity and keep things in simple talk.

The first Legend of Zelda is not the first game in the timeline. In fact, it is, ironically, one of the later in the series. The earliest in the history of the series is The Minish Cap, released in 2006. This features the origins of The Four Swords, the next game in the timeline. Then finally comes The Ocarina of Time, which set the stage and for all games following, but it is also the last game where the timeline made any sense.

I can try, from here, to try and figure out exactly what the timeline is, but bear in mind that it is nothing more than a guess. A guess as good as Eiji Aonuma's, to be sure, but still just a guess.

After the events of The Ocarina of Time, there was a rift in the Zelda Universe, creating two sub-universes. One, in which Ganondorf succeeded in taking over Hyrule, but was defeated by Link. The next follows the final cutscene in Ocarina of Time, in which Zelda sends Link back to his childhood, and the events of the game never take place.

We'll call these two sub-universes "Child Link" and "Adult Link" for clarity.

Child Link:
Although sent back to his childhood, he is plagued by the memories of his adventures that existed solely for him. On a quest to find Navi, he finds himself in a strange land with familiar faces.

Then, one hundred years after the events of Ocarina of Time, Twilight Princess takes place. Additionally, it is considered to be one of the best games in the series.

As far as I can read into, this is where the Child Link timeline halts, and the end of the sub-universe.

Adult Link:
Years after Zelda and Link sealed away Ganondorf in the Sacred Realm, he breaks free in A Link to the Past. After his defeat, the events of the first game and its sequel take place.

It is at this point, I believe, that Link's Awakening takes place, but that's just another guess.

Many years later, yet again, the two Oracle games take place, although not in any defined order. In fact, the order of these games is relative to the player, as one directly precedes the one previously played.

Finally, one hundred years after the events of Ocarina of Time, where Link was crowned the Hero of Time, The Wind Waker enters the picture. Directly following Wind Waker is Phantom Hourglass, a title I have not had the privilege to play or even hear much about.

Unfortunately, this is as close an estimate as you will find on the internet, and I think I even left out a couple titles. Before you ask, no I do not know where the CD-I games take place, but thankfully they have been officially removed from canon. Not that they were accepted as such previously, but it atleast clears some of the muddied water surrounding this series.

Regardless of the obvious bullshitting that Miyamoto and Aonuma are pulling off, the games remain enjoyable as long as you don't try and look too deeply into them. See each game as an individual, and I think you will have a much more enjoyable time than I. Or, at the very least, minus one Hell of a headache.






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