It's been almost 19 years since Nintendo graced us with The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. This timeless (pun totally intended) release captured the hearts of gamers and helped to usher in a new age of 3D games and action adventure titles. It's so beloved by its community that it spawned a remaster (The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D) for the Nintendo 3DS.
Since its inception, a wide array of players have tackled Link's quest. The heroic story stood out to many, while the mechanics and innovative Z-targeting system drew others in. We've seen completionists search every nook and cranny, while speedrunners vie to post the fastest completion score. It's safe to say that Ocarina of Time has gone through the ringer, more than a few times.
Dedicated gamers have discovered a lot of interesting, intricate, useful, and sometimes hilarious secrets over the years. This prompted us to scour the web and collect some of the better glitches, secrets, and crazy things, included in the Ocarina of Time universe.
How many of these did you know about? Are there any not included that you enjoy? Let us know!
20 You Can Defeat Skull Kids
This entry is a bit on the morbid side if you believe the legends surrounding Ocarina of Time's mysterious Skull Kids. Lore suggests that these mischievous pranksters were once children, which became hopelessly lost in the aptly named "Lost Woods." Those of you that completed the infamous "mask trading" secret, or sought out an extra piece of heart, are probably rather familiar with these goofy characters.
It's no secret that Skull Kids hate adults. If they spot Adult Link they will actively attack, shooting needles from their flutes. Those seeking revenge will have a hard time, considering these tricksters "escape" each time you move to close. The Biggeron's Sword can use its impressive reach to bypass this teleport. Defeating a Skull Kid will reward Link with a huge rupee worth 200.
19 Paralyze ReDeads With The Sun's Song
For the most part, Ocarina of Time is a bright, colorful, and heroic affair. That is, until you come across your first ReDead. These tall, lanky, corpse-like creatures stumble through the darkness and will leap on Link's back if he wanders too close. Their "ability" is what makes them so horrifying. A shrill scream and an auto-focused Z-target will lock onto these beasts, as Link stands frozen in fear, unable to escape their creepy gaze.
Thankfully, there is a quick "hidden" method to dispatch these horrors. Playing the Sun's Song will cause all Gibods and ReDeads in the area to turn white and paralyze. This makes it much easier for the Hero of Time to avoid or dispatch them. Don't dabble for too long though, the "spell" is only temporary.
18 A Glitch Will Let You Quickly "Slide Travel"
This list was originally meant to focus on some of the lesser known facts surrounding Ocarina of Time, as well as some of the better-kept secrets. Glitches are usually reserved for speedrunning and sequence breaking, but a couple glitches make this list because they're too fun and interesting to ignore.
One such "technical issue" is the Super Slide Glitch, which will allow you to traverse great distances rather quickly. The "super slide" can be started in a variety of ways, with the most popular featuring the use of Nayru's Love, Bombs, and the Hylian Shield. Once the glitch activates, Link will slide at great speeds in a chosen direction. This can be a pretty handy tool when crossing Hyrule Field or other wide-open areas.
17 Invisible Rupees At Hyrule Castle Town's Drawbridge
Hyrule Field is one of the most iconic locations in all of Ocarina of Time. In essence, it's simply a filler-space between many of the title's locations, but its unveiling sets the tone for Link's adventure. When you first enter Hyrule Field, you're greeted by its iconic music and vast open space. There are many secrets to be found scattered throughout its lush green hills, but one stands out among the rest.
As child Link, you can "scale" the Hyrule Castle Town drawbridge and find three hidden red rupees. Two of the rupees are located at the top of each drawbridge chain, while the third is located in the middle. The best part is that these rupees will reset each time Link enters Hyrule Field, which can help you quickly gain a substantial amount of currency.
16 Use Zelda's Lullaby To Fix Signs
Whether by choice, or complete accident, there will come a moment during your Ocarina of Time quest when you destroy an innocent sign. A variety of rectangular signage can be found scattered throughout Hyrule, and each can be expertly lobbed in half with a quick sword slash. Destroying property is usually frowned upon, but these signs do make a very satisfying noise when struck.
Thankfully, developers added a nifty little trick to enable our sign-killing behaviour. If you play Zelda's Lullaby (on the Ocarina) in front of a broken sign, it will magically put itself back together. This will allow you to quickly chop down it down, and start and endless cycle of damage and repair without consequence.
15 Find An "Unobtainable" Piece Of Heart
Some glitches provide more insight than others. The infamous "extra heart piece" is a prime example of this. It's probable that developers intended for Link to enter the Gerudo Fortress as a child, but eventually scrapped the idea before the game was released. The evidence for this was discovered thanks to glitch that allows young Link passage into the area.
Those familiar with this zone (as adult Link) will remember waking up in a jail cell and finding a piece of heart locked in a treasure chest. Things are a bit backward for young Link. A piece of heart can be found inside the jail cell, while the chest contains an odd mushroom. Collecting this "extra" piece of heart will cause it show up in the quest sub-screen, even after all 36 hearts have been collected.
14 The Game Almost Had A Jump Button
If you've played any of the 3D Legend of Zelda releases, then you're familiar with the auto jump mechanic. This ability allows link to hop across gaps and leap up towards ledges automatically. What you may not know, is that the auto jump mechanic actually came much later in Ocarina of Time's development. In fact, developers never intended for the game to feature an auto jump in the first place.
The original plan was to implement a jump button, similar to what we'd already seen in the Super Mario Bros. franchise. A tap of the button would send Link into the air, allowing players to control when and where the hero jumped. This idea was eventually scrapped, as creators felt it took away from the title's puzzles, giving it too much of an action-oriented feeling.
13 Hook The Fishing Pond Owner's Hat
Ask anyone what their favorite mini-game is within Ocarina of Time and most will probably reminisce about the Fishing Pond. There was something supremely entertaining about reeling in fish and prizes. You can even receive a piece of heart, if you managed to reel in a fish that's 10 lbs or more as young Link. Older Link will receive the Golden Scale if he presents the shop owner with a fish that's at least 13 lbs.
You can also find yourself in a bit of trouble (as adult Link) if you manage to cast towards the pond owner's head. Doing so will hook his hat, which presents you with an opportunity to return it or throw it in the pond. Doing the latter will cause the owner to fine you 50 rupees and will alter the "rules" sign during the end credits of the game.
12 See A Shark At Lakeside Laboratory
This is a well-known easter egg for any completionists that collected all of the Gold Skulltulas, but is otherwise easily missed. During your adventures through Hyrule, you'll come across many unique and interesting side locations. The Lakeside Laboratory is a curious place with a rather eccentric owner. Inside is a deep dive pool, where Link can test his diving ability for prizes and bragging rights.
Adult Link can even make it to the bottom of the massive tank by using the Golden Scale. He can also "cheat" by slapping on the ever useful Iron Boots. Down there, he'll find some rupees, a Gold Skulltula, and a rather large shark. This still image depicts the sharp-toothed creature behind some metal bars.
11 Miyamoto Wanted The Game To Be First-Person
Can you imagine how different Ocarina of Time would be if most of the experience was seen through a first-person view? It almost happened. Developer Shigeru Miyamoto originally intended for players to walk around the land of Hyrule through a first-person lens, which would then "seamlessly" switch to a third-person side-view whenever Link entered combat.
This idea wasn't well received with designer Yoshiaki Koizumi. He was well aware (after working on Super Mario 64) of the trials and tribulations associated with crafting a 3D third-person title, but was adamant that players be able to see Link at all times. He was proud of Link's look and felt like the first-person view took away from it. The duo's compromise led to the Z-targeting system.
10 Make A Hyrule Castle Guard Angry
This is one of the better-known easter eggs featured in Ocarina of Time, but it still deserves a spot on this list for those of you that haven't seen it. After meeting Princess Zelda at the end of the Hyrule Castle Gardens, you'll notice two windows nearby. If you peer inside one of these windows, you can see paintings of various Nintendo characters including Mario and Yoshi.
A window facing the opposite side is seemingly empty, with the exception of a partial view at a "shield-like" decoration on the wall. Aiming your slingshot at this window and firing a Deku Nut will cause a castle guard to briefly appear. He will tell you not to cause any trouble and then toss an active bomb towards you in a fit of revenge.
9 Reach Higher Ledges With A Glitch
We already talked earlier about the Super Slide glitch, which can help you cover great distances in no time flat. Next up is a glitch that will give you a little more oomph when trying to grab ledges that are seemingly just out of reach. Much like super sliding, this technical issue makes use of a unique set of moves in a specific order.
To perform a "Ground Jump," you'll first need to store it. This can be done with the aid of well-timed backflips, shield guarding, and a bomb. Once the move is stored, you can activate it when standing near a ledge. All that's left to do is stare in amazement as Link leaps upwards like an NBA star. This glitch is rather useful for getting to otherwise inaccessible areas, and for, you guessed it, speedrunning.
8 Miyamoto Drew Character Inspiration From Twin Peaks
Shigeru Miyamoto is a legend to the gaming community. This amazing multi-talented designer has served as the mastermind behind a variety of Nintendo games and characters, including hits like Donkey Kong, Super Mario 64, and Pikmin. His passion and dedicated work towards Ocarina of Time helped the development team craft a Legend of Zelda title that will live down as one of the greatest games to ever grace the series.
Miyamoto didn't want to simply tell a story with Ocarina of Time, but instead, wanted characters and relationships to take center stage. He recalled watching a television show called Twin Peaks and admired how character designs and archetypes seemed to overshadow the centralized plot. This led the designer to focus heavily on creating a slew of NPCs that would interact with Link throughout his quest.
7 There Are Some Crazy Gossip Stone Reactions
Mysterious Gossip Stones are scattered all throughout Hyrule, featuring strange carvings and a design similar to the Lens of Truth. These objects don't serve much purpose until Link obtains the Mask of Truth. The spooky headwear is rewarded by the Happy Mask Salesman after completing the Happy Mask side trading side quest. If Link approaches a Gossip Stone while wearing the mask, it will speak to him.
Gossip Stones also feature some unique and entertaining animations. These rigid rocks will wobble when struck with Link's sword and will perform a slightly different wiggle if hit with the Fairy Bow, Hookshot, Boomerang, or Slingshot. Other interesting animations include flattening when struck with the Megaton Hammer, or temporarily growing in size when contacted with Din's Fire.
6 You Can Drink A Poe
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time is abundant with useful gadgets and weaponry. You'll find items like the Hookshot, Iron Boots, and Boomerang. However, one of the most useful items you'll come across is common and fragile. Glass bottles are highly sought after in Link's quest, as they hold a variety of useful items and concoctions.
They're also useful for capturing wandering Poe. Usually found in graveyards, these annoying spirits have a habit of pestering Link. Once defeated, you can use an empty bottle to scoop up the "spirit," which can then be sold to a vendor later on. In fact, capturing Big Poe is required to unlock an additional empty bottle.
If you're feeling brave enough, you can also "drink" a Poe's spirit. Doing so will either refill or empty, one heart container. In some unfortunate incidents, drinking a Poe can empty all but one of Link's heart containers.
5 "Defeat" Ganon With Deku Nuts
Anyone who conquered Ocarina of Time remembers the epic struggle between Link and Ganon at the end of it all. Although to be fair, we always saw Ganon as a bit of a pushover. The next item on this list pretty much confirms that. We know that Ganon is pretty easy to take down with the Master Sword, but it's entirely possible to damage and "defeat" him by using Deku Nuts.
To do this, you'll need to position yourself behind Ganon and get a good lock on his tail. Throwing Deku Nuts at this vulnerability will actually harm the Dark Lord, much like using Biggeron's Sword or the Megaton Hammer. If you bring enough Deku Nuts with you and toss enough of them at Ganon's tail, it's entirely possible to "finish" the fight by swapping to the Master Sword for the final cut-scene-inducing blow.
4 Catch The Legendary Hylian Loach Fish
The Fishing Pond side question is a necessary part of the Ocarina of Time journey, if you're itching to get your hands on the Golden Scale or an extra piece of heart. It also holds host to a pretty awesome easter egg, which allows you to catch an insanely large fish and earn some pretty impressive bragging rights (at least among your friends). The Hylian Loach is so "rare" that it only appears every so often, when Link enters the Fishing Pond area.
To catch the Loach, you'll first need to find it. It usually hides in the submerged log and can be chased towards the middle of the pond. There is a rather small window of time to cast your line (when the Loach surfaces) so it's recommended that you use the Sinking Lure to nab this rarity. It can be a very tedious affair, but grabbing this 30+ lbs fish will net you a purple rupee.
3 Get Free Milk Using Epona's Song
This is easily one of the best easter eggs in all of Ocarina of Time because it offers players a very useful item for free. Lon Lon Milk can be stored in an empty bottle and will restore five heart containers if drank. To make things even better, each bottle of Lon Lon Milk offers two servings, so a total of ten hearts can be refilled from one bottle. You can purchase refills of this dairy treat from Lon Lon Ranch's Talon for 10 rupees.
But why pay Talon anything, when you can get your milk for free? If Link plays Epona's Song in front of any cow, the bovine will speak to the Hero of Time and then proceed to fill up one of his empty bottles with some fresh Lon Lon Milk. It's important to note that this trick won't work if Link doesn't have an empty bottle on him.
2 Find A Free Hylian Shield
The Hylian Shield is one of the most recognized items from The Legend of Zelda franchise. Hand in hand with the Master Sword, this molded metal guard is a highly desired piece of equipment for any Zelda fan. It's for this reason that many scamper to scrounge up enough money to purchase the shield as quickly as possible. 80 Rupees may not seem like much, but, at the beginning of the game, it can be hard to come across that much currency.
Thankfully, there is an easier way. There is a secret grave in the Kariko Village graveyard that conceals a hole. Inside this spooky tunnel is a chest with a shiny Hylian Shield inside. If Link already has a Hylian Shield when finding this chest, it simply contains a blue Rupee.
1 Defeat Ganondorf With The Aid Of A Bottle
Think back to your journey through Ocarina of Time. There were a lot of epic moments, but the battle against Ganondorf probably rates pretty high. The beginning of the final struggle sees you playing a twisted game of volleyball with the Dark Lord, knocking an orb of energy back towards him with your trusty Master Sword. We're taught that the Master Sword was necessary in getting us to this point, in aiding us in the battle against evil.
What they didn't tell us, is that an empty bottle would have been just as good. Of all the tricks, tips, and secrets, in the Ocarina of Time universe, this is by far the most hilarious. You'll still need to snipe the villain with Light Arrows and slash a him with your weapon of choice, but you can gingerly swat back Ganondorf's concentrated energy with a fragile glass bottle.