Oh, Ocarina of Time! You’re still dreamy.

I’m visiting a friend, and earlier tonight I watched her youngest son fire up a demo of The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time on the Wii. Oh! The memories…

This game was my first video game love.

The Super Nintendo entered my life when my little brother received it as a Christmas gift. I was in third grade; he was in kindergarten. Together, we played Super Mario and all of the Nintendo Mario games that were updated for the SNES. We played all three Donkey Kong Country games, and unsuccessfully tried out one round of Yoshi’s Cookie. We played other games on the Super NES, but those stand out most in my mind.

Then came the N64. I was unimpressed by Goldeneye. Little bro had an immediate gift for it (as well as an annoying propensity to hide in a corner, wait until his opponent came to him, and snipe during multiplayer rounds), and for the life of me, I couldn’t figure out how the strangely stilted levels related to the events of the movie. In retrospect I’ve got to give Goldeneye props for kicking off the shooter as I now know and love it, but 12-year-old me wasn’t interested. I enjoyed Mario 64, but not enough to devote major time to it. In my entering-eighth-grade mind, video games were still largely a boys’ activity. I was just a tag-along. And then came The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time.

When my brother stuck this game into the ’64, I assumed my customary position on the arm of the couch as reader of the strategy guide (we adopted this tactic while he was playing Mario 64. Elementary-aged kids aren’t likely to find everything in a game, or hell, even major plot points without some direction—lest ye be prone to judge our childish reliance on a guide). The music started, the game began, and I was hooked. Guide in hand, I directed him through the entire game, heart pounding when he was snared in a tough battle. I nagged him relentlessly to play because I wanted to see what happened next. Finally, I set aside my culturally-indoctrinated notion that this gaming business was for boys only (I’d done just fine with the Super NES, hadn’t I?) and picked up the controller for myself.

Ho-lee shit. Has there ever been a love like this? Well…yes! In the years to come, I found many more games to swoon over, but Ocarina of Time was the first. It will alway have a special place in my heart, and I’ve got my N64 in pristine condition and ready to play the next time nostalgia strikes.

I’ll have to spring for a Wii when the next major Zelda console game comes out.


3 Responses to “Oh, Ocarina of Time! You’re still dreamy.”

  1. 1 Amy
    May 19, 2010 at 3:47 am

    Thanks for sharing your story. It is always interesting to hear other gamer’s origins.

  2. 2 steve
    April 23, 2011 at 9:04 pm

    there also making a zelda orcarina of time remake for the 3ds lol i think ima have to get a 3ds now because its to good to be true

  3. 3 Dave
    May 13, 2011 at 11:03 am

    I too share your childhood love for this miraculous game. I shortsightedly sold my N64 last time I moved and I have been itching to make a trip down to the pawn shop and retrieve it, if I can locate a cartrige for some of my old favourites that arent $100 :/

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