- Ocarina of Time, though highly acclaimed, has not aged gracefully in terms of controls and graphics, making a modern remake a potential improvement.
- The recent success of Breath of the Wild and Tears of the Kingdom has led to a reinvention of the Legend of Zelda franchise, making an open-world remake of Ocarina of Time appealing.
- While the mechanics and structure may need tweaking, Ocarina of Time can function in an open-world setting and still retain the essence of the original game. Time travel mechanics could be expanded upon for a more immersive experience.
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time remains one of the most acclaimed titles in Nintendo’s vast library, as well as one of the highest-rated games of all time. Its advancements in storytelling, world-building, and 3D gameplay were huge steps for the medium at the time, and Ocarina of Time remains a satisfying adventure to this day. Of course, being over two decades old, several aspects of the iconic N64 game haven’t aged so gracefully like the controls and graphics, something a modern-day remake would surely help to improve.
In more recent years, the franchise has reinvented itself with the releases of the immensely successful Breath of the Wild and Tears of the Kingdom. These two games changed the formula for The Legend of Zelda franchise for the first time since Ocarina of Time back in 1998. Now arguably an open-world immersive sim, the series has taken on a much different form ushering in a new era for Link and company. This new style has worked so well that it would be worthwhile for Nintendo to consider remaking Ocarina of Time in the same blueprint.
Ocarina of Time and Tears of the Kingdom: Different Yet Similar
Remaking any game, let alone a title as beloved as Ocarina of Time, can be a tricky endeavor. On one hand, the developers need to spice up the design just enough to feel like an upgrade. On the other hand, the team also needs to be careful not to tread too far from what made the source material so revered in the first place. Ocarina of Time is a linear adventure game with key points to hit while Tears of the Kingdom is an open world, free to explore in any order, so it could never be a direct translation.
However, with some careful tweaking, Ocarina of Time can function in an open-world setting. At the time of its release, Ocarina of Time‘s game world was huge, and when players first stepped out onto Hyrule Field and saw the world ahead, it was awe-inspiring. Of course, it’s tiny compared to what’s on offer today, but that same feeling of being presented with a huge world to explore is also present in the opening moments of Tears of the Kingdom. After this, while both are structured differently, they are still Zelda games in essence.
How to Re-Work Ocarina as an Open World
If an Ocarina of Time remake shifted more towards being an open-world game like Tears of the Kingdom, there are ways to follow that format and still retain the soul of the original. The opening of the game in Kokiri Forest would function similarly to the Sky Islands, allowing players to learn the mechanics and cap things off with a dungeon to put it all to the test. After this, the main goal is to reach Hyrule Castle and meet Princess Zelda, although it isn’t enforced. Instead, players can freely explore Hyrule and all of its distinct locations.
Another interesting element that would even help Ocarina of Time stand apart in an open-world style is its concept of time travel. In the original, Link can move forward and backward through time to complete his quest. In doing so, he can see firsthand how the past affects the future, both in terms of the locations and its many people. This would be fascinating to see on a much larger scale, with seemingly endless possibilities for who Link can interact with, and changes to the environment that can be seen.
With Tears of the Kingdom having just launched, and Nintendo already having technically remade Ocarina of Time on the 3DS, it’s unlikely this hypothetical project will come to fruition any time soon. However, the prospect is certainly interesting to marry the best of both worlds in the franchise.
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time is available on 3DS, Nintendo 64, Wii U, and Nintendo Switch Online.
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