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The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time

One of our earliest looks at The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time came in 1997. It was fully playable at the trade show, which was a full year before launch. We’ve learned over the years that the build on display there offered up some significant changes from the final version.

Now more than twenty years later, assets from that early version of Zelda: Ocarina of Time have popped up online. Forest of Illusion obtained a prototype N64 cartridge for F-Zero X from a former Nintendo employee, which amazingly enough, has the unfinished build.

Here’s a roundup of notable findings:

There are more discoveries coming out of the latest Nintendo leak that was initially reported last week. We have some interesting news about Zelda: Ocarina of Time, Super Mario 64, and more. Let’s go through it all.

Since our last report on the new Nintendo leaks, a bunch of additional findings have been publicized online. Much of what has been found over the past day or so pertains to N64 titles, including beta/unused enemies for Super Mario 64 and Zelda: Ocarina of Time. We also have a look at scrapped items for Mario Kart 64 and more.

Here’s the roundup of notable discoveries:

Yesterday brought us another substantial Nintendo leak. Game protoypes, source code, and other data began to spread online. If that wasn’t enough, we found out about a pitch for an online Pokemon PC title and were able to get an early look at some classic games, including beta sprites and early designs.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, yet another major Nintendo leak has turned up today. The latest one is all about the N64 such as the system’s operating system and lots of games.

With what we’ve seen and heard about The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time over the many years since its release, it’s clear that the game went through significant changes. The graphics, gameplay, and more went through revisions throughout the course of development.

A few days ago, YouTuber Hard4Games showed off some beta footage from a promotional VHS tape. It was originally given out through a Blockbuster giveaway in Brazil for pre-ordering. We’re able to see an early character model for Zelda, Link swinging his sword while running, calling Epona with a reed, and more.

Here’s the full video from Hard4Games:

Zelda series producer Eiji Aonuma wasn’t originally involved with the creation of Link’s Awakening. He was just a player at the time, but his time with that game would later influence the series in a big way.

Aonuma’s first major role with Zelda came about when he served as director on Ocarina of Time. Speaking in last month’s issue of EDGE, he revealed how Link’s Awakening ended up influencing the making of the N64 title, stating:

Twenty years ago, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time launched on the N64. Many would say that it is among the most influential games in history.

Ocarina of Time has been praised since its original release for taking what was previously a 2D-only adventure series and perfectly making the transition to 3D. Nintendo also came up with significant mechanics that are still used today, including Z-targeting during combat. Nintendo’s classic remains one of the most highly-rated titles of all time.

Happy 20th anniversary to The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time!

A brand new Zelda: Ocarina of Time glitch is starting to circulate within the speedrunning community. With it, any item can be used as child or adult Link.

Exodus122, who found the glitch, suggests that the development could have a big effect on speedrunning. As one example, since you can now equip the hammer as a child, you can complete the fire temple as child Link. While it was possible before, the glitch greatly streamlines the process and removes complicated steps.

Here’s a look at the glitch in action:


There’s no question that Ganondorf’s design in Ocarina of Time is extremely iconic. Ganon had appeared in previous titles in beast form, but the N64 game was Nintendo’s first attempt at giving him a humanoid form. Ganondorf’s look turned out well in the end fortunately, but it took some time to get there.

A couple of Nintendo artists spoke about creating Ganondorf’s design in the new Zelda: Art & Artifacts book. As the person in charge of enemies for Ocarina of Time, the job of making his model was left to Satoru Takizawa, who accomplished the task done after much trial and error.

Takizawa’s first attempt at Ganondorf resulted in a model that was actually “a lot thinner, and his head almost looked bird-like.” As for Yusuke Nakano, he came up with an illustration that had “wide-open eyes.” According to Takizawa, the art for Ganondorf “initially looked like a brute who had nothing but raw strength.”

Here’s the full discussion from Zelda: Art & Artifacts about Ganondorf’s design in Ocarina of Time:

Terry Garrett started playing The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time back in 2011. Five years later (with some breaks in between), he’s managed to finish the game.

Terry is actually blind, so it was no easy feat to complete the N64 classic. There’s plenty of trial and error involved as he’s only able to progress by listening to sounds signaling enemies, walls and the rest of the environment via two speakers.

Garrett thanked “all those who have stuck with me through this series even after it seemed like I was giving up.” Viewers shared walkthroughs, tips, and more that he could listen to in order to finish off Ocarina of Time.

If you’d like to see the entire journey, head on over to Garrett’s YouTube page here. We’ve also embedded the final video below.

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