The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time: Master Quest Review

Nebojsa Radakovic
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time: Master Quest Info


  • RPG


  • 1 - 1


  • Nintendo


  • Nintendo

Release Date

  • 11/30/1999
  • Out Now


  • GameCube


Another Link to the past.

Video games can be an expensive habit. It might not be as bad as crack cocaine

or porcelain dolls, but at around 50 bucks a game, it’s one addiction that can

easily put a hurt on the wallet. Saving money requires being selective (with some

help from us) and patient..

Yet once in a blue moon, there’s a great bargain that takes all that pressure

off your wallet, leaving you free to spend your money on secondary needs, like

food, bills and rent. The

Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker
is due for release at the end of March.

As an incentive to pre-order, Nintendo is offering a Gamecube port of the original

N64 classic, The Legend Zelda: Ocarina

of Time
, with an added Master Quest adventure.


participating stores, The Ocarina of Time/Master Quest game bundle comes

free for those who pre-order Wind Waker. Other stores are selling it

for 10-15 bucks, which goes towards buying Wind Waker when it’s out (save

those receipts!). From a business perspective, this promotion has already generated

some huge numbers for Nintendo. But it’s also very good for consumers. Fifty

dollars for what boils down to three Zelda games is one helluva deal.

Not only is Ocarina of Time one of the best games of its era, but the

port has been handled excellently, with an improved resolution, smoother framerate

and the addition of the Master Quest. Despite the fact that it’s mainly

just a promotional tool, the game is fully packaged, ready to sit next to the

rest of your Gamecube games.

Playing through the Gamecube port of Ocarina of Time is like taking

the exact same vacation you already went on a few years ago. The places and

attractions are still vaguely familiar; the faint memory of what to do, where

to go, and how to brave the dungeons (it’s an odd vacation) still tingle in

the back of your mind.

Of course, this was one of the best vacations ever made, so even though it

can feel a little redundant, the original Ocarina easily stands the test

of time.. However, as one of the many who completed it on the N64, I sometimes

feel like I’m playing the game off of memory instead of the actual environments.

I need to wait a few more years before I go back to Hyrule, or at least contract

some Alzheimer’s.

I suppose that’s where the Master Quest comes in. It’s an expansion pack that

was originally intended for the domestically absent N64 Disk System. While the

story and object locations are the same, the dungeons have been rearranged with

new puzzles that twist things around. Usually the same maps will be used, but

the new solutions can be radically different.

The Master Quest features just enough changes so that you can readily spot

what has changed. It’s also significantly harder, so newbies to the series should

play the easier, polished original first, and then move up to the remix.

Obviously, the controls are different. The Gamecube stick must be pushed a

little bit hard than the N64 stick in order to start walking. I don’t know whether

they made any compensations within the programming, but different analog sticks

will intrinsically have different feels. Perhaps it’s because of the physics:

the further a point on a lever is from the axis, the less effort is required

to move the lever. Thus, the stubbier Gamecube controller requires a bit more

push in comparison to the N64 controller. At any rate, it’s easy enough to get

used to.


C-button keys are now controlled with the C-stick. At first, it feels less intuitive

to push a direction than to press a button, but it’s no big deal. The X and

Y buttons respectively duplicate C-left and C-right, ideal for more proactive

controls such as the slingshot and the bow and arrows.

The Z-targeting of the N64 has been replaced with L-targeting. In order to

keep the in-game’s references consistent, they’ve even taken care of replacing

the Z-trigger icon graphic with an L-button.

The game uses up 15 units of the memory card. When you select ‘Save’ from the

pause screen, the game cuts away to a black screen for a few seconds while it

accesses the memory card instead of the practically instantaneous speed of the

original N64 version’s built-in battery pack. Again, it’s not a big deal at

all, but hardcore fans of the original will notice the slight difference here.

As a port of an N64 game, Ocarina of Time obviously doesn’t have Gamecube-specific

graphics. Still, I’m very happy with how clean and sharp it looks. The edges

are crisp and the textures maintain their original programmed resolutions –

some of them look more detailed, others look more noticeably blurry. But overall,

it looks more polished then the recent slew of Dreamcast ports. The resolution

has been bumped up to 640 by 480 with progressive scan compatibility. The higher

resolution holds up well with no major tears and the framerate is much smoother.

Despite the cheesy MIDI music, the strength of Ocarina‘s soundtrack

has always been the composition. The melodies are memorable, though the little

piping voices sound dated in comparison.

I think this is an especially great deal for people who missed the N64 Zelda.

I also hope this port is the beginning of more quality N64 ports at affordable

prices. Perhaps it can even set a precedence for future promotions, like a Mario

port with the next Mario game or Majora’s

attached to the next Zelda.

Frankly, this is an excellent bargain. A port handled as well as this comes

up practically as often as a deal like this. Bear in mind, it’s still a port,

and noticeably aged compared to brand new RPGs. But it’s still a terrific game,

and the added Master Quest will get old fans playing again…at least

until Wind Waker shows up.



Box art - The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time: Master Quest
One of the best games of its time
Involving, contiguous world of Hyrule
Improved resolution
Addition of
Great deal
Slightly different feel with controls
Saves are slower in comparison
A bit dated