The Legend of Zelda is a genre-defining series that has managed to stay current for over 30 years. An open world, RPG with a thrill for discovery, Zelda has always been at the forefront of gaming, and Ocarina of Time is, perhaps, its best and most popular iteration. Largely described as one of the best games of all time, Ocarina established the foundations of 3D open-world adventures, a satisfying lock-on targeting combat system and many other innovative facets that many titles today still manage to steal from.
There’s an abundance of things to do in Ocarina; whether it’s going fishing, collecting lost souls, racing horses or actually saving that damsel in distress (jeez, it kinda sounds like Red Dead). And there are plenty of tips and tricks to learn when venturing out into the fields of Hyrule to battle foes and capture poes, many of which that are still yet to be discovered by fresh and/or casual fans of the series.
If you’re new to the series, consider this a “before you play” type situation, so that when you pick up the controller, you might be more prepared to face such a prestigious title. But, without further ado; from weird game-breaking glitches to simple ways you can maintain your level of hearts, there are a myriad of crazy things you can do in Ocarina of Time. Here's 25 of them. If we forgot any great ones, let us know in the comments section!
A glitch? A joke? Or an actual intended method of defeating Ganondorf? The Legend of Zelda is famous for its quirks and smirks, but the idea of using a small, corked bottle to defeat the Triforce of Power himself, the Demon King Ganondorf, seems a little farfetched. But, indeed, it can be done. In the conclusive moments of OOT during the fight in Ganon’s Tower, players are able to equip a bottle and use it to deflect Ganondorf’s energy blasts instead of using a sword. In fact, it’s somewhat easier. Take that, Ganoncork!
Link can be a real nuisance when not hero-of-timing or collecting golden spider carcasses to break the curse of an innocent family, and whoever makes the signs around Hyrule would probably concur. The defacing and destruction of signs have been a staple of the Zelda series ever since A Link to the Past back in 1991, however, it wasn’t until OOT that Link could do something about it. If, when situated next to a broken sign, Link plays Zelda’s Lullaby on the ocarina, the sign will magically fix itself... Only to be broken again by the player's next swing.
If, like me, you find those annoying Skull Kids the bane of your Hylian existence (within Ocarina of Time) fear not, as it's possible to destroy them and receive a huge payout after the fact. In the Lost Woods, Majora’s Mask’s signature villain can be found dancing around and generally being a nuisance. Now, although Child Link is able to qualm the fluttery scarecrow with a song, Adult Link is able to defeat them, if persistent enough. Just grab your Biggoron’s sword and swing away and eventually, you just might hit it, in which case it will drop an orange rupee.
Speaking of great payouts in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, there’s an easy way to receive hundreds of rupees off just a few tussles. You just have to awake all the Sages first. If Link fires a Light Arrow at any enemy in OOT, a sweet purple rupee will spawn from their remains, which, as fans will know, is worth a cool 50 rupees. So, if a player wanted to fill up their Giant’s Wallet, just squander a few Keese with their Light Arrows and they should be ballin’ in it in no time.
Escort missions are the worst, unless they’re done correctly. The Legend of Zelda series is no stranger to escort missions, whether it's riding to protect Telma’s wagon in Twilight Princess, or escorting Yunobo to the Divine Beast Vah Rudania, only for him to bail at the entrance. One of the first, however, takes place inside Jabu-Jabu's Belly, in Ocarina of Time, where the player must rescue Princess Ruto from the confines of the great fish and lead her out to become the sage of water she’s destined to be. Just remember, you can throw her body as a powerful weapon.
Here’s a trick I honestly hadn’t heard about until researching this very topic; if the player, while holding a Deku stick, walks near a fluttering butterfly and slowly goes around it, the elegant insect will begin hovering by the stick and eventually transform into a Resurrection Fairy. Pretty nifty, huh? Just make sure to be Child Link when trying this out, as otherwise it won’t work and you’ll just end up looking like a more handsome version of the 35-year-old Tingle. While you're at it, check the ground around the butterflies, as a bunch may signify a secret hole.
You know that magic bean dirt you find around Hyrule in Ocarina of Time? Y’know, the ones where if you plant a magic bean as Child Link, you can come back as an adult to find a floating leaf that can take you to areas hitherto impossible to access? Well, if the player decides to serenade the soil with the Song of Storms instead, a group of fairies will appear. Pretty nifty! It’s the same with Gossip Stones but the name didn’t mesh with the title.
This one is for the warriors, the masters of swordplay, those who ring true the Triforce of Courage and attempt to make fools of their enemies through technique and skill. If the player holds R and presses B to stab, they will perform a crouch stab. Cool thing is, is that the crouch stab inexplicably does the same damage as the last attack performed by Link, so, if the player performs the most powerful move in the game – the jump attack – then the crouch stab should have the same effect. Try it with the Megaton Hammer for even more fun.
The ReDead are, perhaps, the spookiest creatures to ever populate a Legend of Zelda game. With their hunched-over physiques and low-pitched moaning akin to only that of what they truly are, zombies. Located in ruinous places such as the Royal Family’s Tomb and the Shadow Temple, the ReDead can, in fact, be quelled using a simple song. If the player plays the Sun Song when close to one of these monsters, then the creature will become paralyzed... for a time. Pretty nifty, and beats smothering yourself in zombie blood à la The Walking Dead.
A simple trick for those that are new to The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time and those that haven't ventured into every corner of Hyrule. The drawbridge, outside Castle Town, holds more than just a bridge. If, during the day when the drawbridge is down, the player ascends the chains on either side and then waits for night to fall, the player can cross the tip of the drawbridge and be rewarded with 3 red rupees. That’s a sweet 60 rupees for naught.
Remember that bottle trick? The one where the player can use a bottle to deflect Ganondorf’s energy blasts back at him (check example 1)? Yeah? Well, consider this a follow up to that boss battling technique. During the second stage of Ocarina of Time’s final battle, where Link is pitted against the Demon King in his final, pig form, the player can roll between his legs and throw a Deku Nut to inflict damage. Understandably their final blow has to be with a sword but otherwise, this is a pretty nifty trick.
After playing 100-plus hours of Red Dead Redemption 2, it’s easy to forget that fishing simulations have come many and more before the advent of this ultra-realistic game. Indeed, even in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, fishing is a great pastime, when not trying to steal the Pond Owner’s hat. Just equip a lure, cast your line, and voilà, a fish should grace your pockets. And, if you’re hunting the legendary loach fish, just attach the Sinking Lure, but you’ll have to talk to the Pond Owner first as that particular lure is quite illegal.
Throughout The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, players will come across an assortment of cows. Whether in Lon Lon Ranch or in a hidden hole somewhere around the kingdom, these grazing Bovines are myriad and can produce milk at the sound of music. Yes, if the player performs Epona’s Song when situated next to a cow, they will receive a full bottle’s worth of that precious Lon Lon Milk which has the power to restore up to 10 hearts, provided they have an empty bottle of course.
Everyone thinks that when you start The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time you have to buy all your shields from various stores. But that isn’t the case. If curious enough, the player can search around and find a secret grave situated within the graveyard of Kakoriko Village, which houses a fancy and free Hylian Shield. Just make sure to search the grave with the weeds growing around it otherwise you might find yourself amongst the ReDead in the Royal Family’s Tomb. Beats spending that 80 rupees.
I’m trying to refrain from glitches in this list, but this is a case where the positives may surpass the loss of immersion. If the player finds an object that Link can interact with using the A button, whether it’s signs, NPCs, or just something Navi tends to hover over, then while crouching, the player can stab and then subsequently interrupt the attack with by pressing A. If done correctly, Link’s sword will be forever active, letting off a white glow and capable of inflicting damage. Pretty nifty, eh?
Back to Kakoriko Village, and a simple trick to gaining a heart piece earlier than intended. There’s a man sitting precariously on the roof of a building spouting that he is stuck and cannot do anything but look at Death Mountain and the stars during day and night, respectively. As an adult, Link is supposed to use the Hook Shot to make his way up to the man. However, as a child, the player can perform a sideways jump off the building adjacent to the one the man is situated atop and successfully receive the heart piece much earlier.
One Stalchild’s a nuisance, three’s a crowd, but 10 is just ridiculous. Found all across Hyrule Field, these little skeletal nasties are prone to rise out of the ground and attack poor, helpless Child Link until the night is up. Now, this may not sound like a trick, but for those that have had enough of these monstrous brats, defeat 10 of them and a larger one will appear. Defeat that one and you should receive a cool blue rupee (5 rupees). Defeat 10 more and an even larger Stalchild will appear, offering 12 times that amount (60 rupees).
Poes are the signature ghost-type creatures found throughout The Legend of Zelda series. Found in temples, caverns, graveyards, and in bushes, Poes are collectable souls that the player can discover and capture within glass bottles in order to ultimately be rewarded another glass bottle from the Poe Collector. However, if you drink said Poes, Link will either gain a heart, lose a heart or even potentially be graced with full health. A risky trick, but a trick all the same – to be used at your own behest.
As an adult, Link is graced with the ability to ride horses, and Epona is his particular horse of choice. A fast and loyal steed, Epona can run, jump, and be a platform to perform crazy combat, when the need arises. However, there’s only one true use for Epona, and that is to race the cute cowgirl, Malon, located at Lon Lon Ranch. A feat which, if the player succeeds, will result in the farm hand relieving one of her cows and sending it to your abode in the Kikori forest - an excellent house pet and consistent source of milk.
These stones sit and stare and occasionally wobble if the player strikes them with an item. However, they have a pretty advantageous use alongside the noted fairy spawning technique (check example 7). If the player tries speaking with these stones, while wearing the Eye of Truth (received after completing the Mask trading Sequence), the stone will reveal a secret... And, if the player sets off a bomb near one, it will flash blue and rocket to the sky. These things are weird.
Another glitch but a most useful one to say the least. Any kid from the 90s that played The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time will express the deepest lament for the owl that you find throughout the game. With its long, expository dialogue and the choice at the end to either hear it again or not (which is always originally set to “Yes”). Yet, these are utterly skippable. By performing either a Ground Jump, Superslide, or alternating between two weapons through the owl's text area you will prevent the owl from interacting with Link, thus enabling him to walk right past it.
Ahhh, Ganon’s Tower, the final boss, the climactic events of The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time are few steps away and you’re ready and willing to take them. But what about your hearts? You only have 4 remaining hearts and no potions or fairies to boot. Not to fear, Hero of Time, just find the secret fairies and the business scrubs and you’ll be right as rain. Located inside Ganon’s Tower, under the open-mouth bridge, there is a secret room filled with fairies and business scrubs selling bombs, arrows and potions – everything you need to defeat the Demon King.
Located near the Desert Colossus there are a pair of conspicuous palm trees to the left with an equally conspicuous crack in the rock formation between them. If the player places a bomb in the center of the trees, a hole will appear, leading directly to a Great Fairy Fountain. If the player then proceeds to play Zelda’s Lullaby on the Triforce symbol situated within the fountain, The Great Fairy will grant you the spell, Naryu’s Love, which can create a temporarily shielded area that Link can stand in where he will not take any damage. That’s nifty and useful.
Another trick situated near the Desert Colossus entails the dried-out oasis you can find just west of the Spirit Temple. If, by chance the player performs the Song of Storms on a nearby rock platform, the skies will open (not literally) and the oasis will rapidly fill up to the brim spouting life and sprouting fairies too.
The player can return to this oasis, which essentially acts as a fairy fountain, in order to heal their injuries at any time. Is Link the son of a deity or something?
This is hardly a trick, more a cool little reference you can find situated early in the game during the mission to sneak into Zelda’s Castle. When enacting the mission, in the area where Link meets and speaks with the titular Zelda, Link can look around and find a certain window through which various portraits of Nintendo royalty can be seen. These include a portrait of Mario, Luigi, Yoshi, Peach, and Bowser and act as a perfect little reference to Nintendo’s other foundational franchise. Turn around and fire your slingshot at the opposite window, I dare you.