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Prerelease:The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time/A + C

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This is a sub-page of Prerelease:The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time.

May, 1997

A batch of screenshots and a handful of trailers unveiled in May 1997 served as the first look at a new, more complex interface: A + C.


Unused Jump Strike

Link is seen performing a jump strike that was taken out of the final version of the game, but reused in Majora's Mask. The animation files for the jump strike still exist in the game, though they are not used.

Sword Combo Attacks

OoT-Master Sword Combo Attacks.gif
OoT-Giant's Knife Combo Attacks.gif

Link was able to swing his sword rapidly back and forth in combo styled combat. 2-3 animations played in chain to create this movement when using the sword. It's unknown when this type of combat was scrapped, as it was never shown in footage after E3 1997.

First Person

Prototype Final
OoT-First Person Mode May97.png OoT-First Person Mode May97 Comp.png

Link had no dedicated first-person model for his hands.


Apr. '97 May '97
OoT-April Interface NPS.jpg OoT-Stalfos Black Dagger May 97.png
GUI Players are no longer limited to the A + B buttons when equipping items. The white letters identifying the buttons have disappeared, and the icons are now differentiated by color alone.
A Button Link's sword is still equipped to A, but the icon has migrated to sit atop the C buttons.
B Button The B button is no longer shown on the GUI.
C-Left A brown bow is equipped to C-Left. The number of arrows differs between screenshots. The item counter has changed fonts yet again.
C-Right Bombs are equipped to C-Right. Their number differs between screenshots.
C-Down A sword resembling the one that appears in April's screenshots is equipped to C-Down.
Hearts Link now has ♥♥♥♥♥♡♡♡ hearts. The first of Link's remaining hearts now pulses, increasing and decreasing in size.
Rupees The rupees have moved back to the bottom-left corner of the screen, and the font size has increased again. The counter reads 000.



Black Sword Brown Sword
OoT-Stalfos Black Dagger May 97.png OoT-Brown Sword ND.jpg

Link can now choose between two different swords.

OoT-May 97 Black Dagger.png The first is a long, black katana that requires two hands.

OoT-May 97 Brown Sword.png The second is a brown-hilted sword that can be used with the shield.


OoT-May 97 Bombs.png The bomb icon remains unchanged.


OoT-May 97 Bow.png The bow icon has been updated, and is now curvier than before.



OoT-Red Hovering Navi NPS.jpg
alternate scan

Navi was now shown to change color, turning red when hovering over enemies like Dodongos and Leevers, pink when hovering over Poes and Cuccos.

In addition to becoming more helpful in battle, Navi's increasing characterization had a strong effect on the game's story. Naming the target indicator had, in Nintendo president Satoru Iwata's words, "breathed life into what had been an impersonal marker". Character designer and director Koizumi reminisced that, once the character had been named, he started coming up with a flood of ideas about what he could do with her. Examples included Navi being able to indicate via color whether a creature you'd encountered was good or bad, and being able to talk in order to guide Link through the story.[1]

The fact that Navi provided Link strategy tips meant that the amount of dialogue script director Osawa had to write greatly increased.[1]


Revisited - Stalfos Boss Room

OoT Stalfos Boss Room.png

Another shot of the Stalfos Boss Room with the new interface. This one better depicts the nonfunctional door.

Revisited - Ganon’s Tower

Prototype Final
OoT-Orange Dungeon AC.png

The orange room from Ganon’s Tower makes an appearance once again. This time, a staircase that appears to lead into a dead end is visible. A torch idol with its tongue hanging out is mounted into the wall.

Outside Deku Tree

May 1997 Concept Art Final
OoT-Deku Tree May 97.png OoT-Deku Tree Concept.jpg OoT-Dekutree01.png

The first appearance of the Deku Tree. His mouth is closed, his nose is red, and sunlight filters through his branches. These rays of sunshine are present in concept art and an old version of Kokiri Forest dating to roughly October 1997, but were removed by the version built for Spaceworld '97.

OoT-Deku Tree2 May97.jpg
OoT-Deku Tree3 May97.jpg

There was no path leading to Kokiri Forest as shown by footage of Link looking around in a Super Mario 64-style C-Up mode. It would appear that the Deku Tree area was built first.

Lon Lon Ranch

Prototype Final
OoT-Cucco Stable.png OoT-Cucco Stable Comp.png
Prototype Final
OoT-Lon Lon Ranch1 May97.png OoT-Lon Lon Ranch1 May97 Comp.png
Prototype Final
OoT-Lon Lon Ranch2 May97.png OoT-Lon Lon Ranch2 May97 Comp.png
Prototype Final
OoT-Cucoos+Pink Navi May 97.png OoT-Cucoos+Pink Navi May 97 Comp.png

A stable in a grassy plain, with a road bordered by grass and a short fence just across from it. Some other map had taken the spot of this map since it isn't present in the late-1997 overdump, possibly the Horseback Archery test map because it takes the slot of the final Lon Lon Ranch map.


OoT-Desert Sunset.png

Link watches the sun set in the desert as Navi flutters around his head. This is the first concrete evidence of a night and day system.

OoT-Desert Leevers May 97.jpg

Link attacking Leevers on a flat plain in a desert-looking environment. Leevers never changed their model even when other enemies went through many iterations.

House A

OoT-3D House May 97.jpg

A simple 3D house pre-render, one of the first ones they ever made to test out the system. Commit logs for the game indicate this map, called House_A, was added on May 22, 1997 by hayakawa.

House B

OoT-House2 May97.png

Another house pre-render which so far has only been discovered on E3 1997 showfloor footage. No commit log exists for this, though it's possible it was called "House_B".

Kakariko Village

May '97 Late 1997 Overdump
OoT-Kakariko Village May97.png OoT-Kakariko Village Overdump.png

Link walking towards one of the houses in Kakariko Village. Its premiere was in this A+C shot and a later version of this Kakariko could also be found in the Overdump.

Kakariko Graveyard

OoT-Graveyard + Pink Navi.jpg
OoT-Graveyard May97.png

An eerie graveyard haunted by two Poes. It is filled with simplistic gravestones and bordered by a wall. The moon shines down from overhead. A version of this area was found in the 1997 overdump with some alterations made, which were the inclusion of hills beyond the brick wall and the removal of the wooden plank by the exit.

Death Mountain Trail

OoT-Pebble Valley.png

This area uses the same ground texture as the pebbled area from A + B. It contains three Tektites which chase down Link and contain two exits on opposite sides.

April '97 May '97
OoT-April Interface NPS.jpg OoT-Death Mountain Trail May97.jpg

The map was given some makeover texture wise. Some of these textures this map uses were found in leaked files.

April '97 May '97
OoT-Ground Octos NPS.jpg OoT-Death Mountain Trail2 May97.jpg

Same wall texture update can be noticed here and a skybox texture is added, so it's not as eerie anymore.

OoT-Death Mountain Trail3 May97.jpg

Link's glorius jump slash move. An unused animation for this jump slash where he flips around exists unused, but the animation isn't exactly identical.

OoT-Death Mountain Trail4 May97.jpg

Something unknown is on the horizon. Seemingly something that uses the texture is seen at an entrance in the other screenshot.

OoT-Death Mountain Trail5 May97.jpg

The unknown doesn't end just with the previous sight. Something is behind Link here. Perhaps the roots of a 3D modeled tree?

Revisited - Dodongo's Cavern

Apr. '97 May '97
OoT-Dodongo NPS.jpg
OoT-Brown Sword ND.jpg

One large Dodongo was changed to two smaller Dodongos.

OoT-Slime Room May97.jpg
OoT-Slime Room2 May97.jpg
OoT-Slime Room3 May97.jpg

Link running around in a slime filled room. A bridge and a tunnel are seen both in the style of Dodongo's Cavern, hinting this room used to be part of it. The textures also match that of Dodongo's Cavern.

Temple of Time

OoT-Prerender Temple May 97.png

A temple with a pre-rendered background, the first to appear in early screenshots. A later revision with identical columns was found in development leaks, which has a design identical to the Temple of Time as a pre-render.

Revisited - Hyrule Field

May 1997 iQue Collision
OoT-Unknown Area ZC.jpg
OoT zelda tool rom view 1.png

Link standing on a bridge leading to Hyrule Castle Town. The area was found in the July 2020 iQue source code leak, albeit untextured, revealing it to be an early version of Hyrule Field.

May 1997 iQue Collision
OoT-Sky Temple.png
OoT zelda tool rom view 0.png

The developers seem to have a fondness for blue and pink skies.



OoT-Lon Lon Ranch1 May97.png

Link focuses his attention on a flock of nasty-looking Cuccos. This old model for them was unearthed from the development leaks.

The Cuccos in this image taken from video footage have their heads turned to face Link, and look as if they're stalking him. Shigeru Miyamoto mentioned they used to stalk Link in a December 2, 1997 interview with Weekly Famitsu:

Q37) Is the rooster an item?

Mr. Miyamoto: Ummm, unfortunately, you can't use it as an item (laughs). However, the rooster can be used for other things that are currently kept secret. We created this rooster so realistically, it's scary. He follows along just like a stalker. It would be bad if you bullied it.


OoT-Red Tektites.jpg

Red Tektites bounce around a rocky-bottomed valley after Link.


OoT-Desert Leevers May 97.jpg

Link challenges a handful of Leevers. Interestingly, Navi does not change colors to indicate their presence in the final game.


OoT-Unused Jelly Enemy.png
OoT-Gels ND.jpg

These enemies, no longer found in the game except for a single texture that requires hacking to find, resemble Gels from other Zelda adventures. The full model was found in the July 2020 iQue source code leak.

June, 1997

In June, media outlets revealed the first information about the timeframe for the game's release, as well as further talk about the game's size and 64DD expansion.

E3 1997

Americans got their first look at Zelda 64 gameplay footage at E3 1997, held from June 19th to 21st at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, Georgia.[2]


Nintendo Power quoted Miyamoto on the cartridge's forecasted size: 128 Megabits (16 MB). Notably, this is well below the final cartridge's 256 Megabit (32 MB) size.[3]

Release Date

Nintendo Power also cited Zelda 64's Japanese's release date as late 1997.[3] Both Nintendo Power and N64.com claimed that the game would arrive in North America in early 1998.[3][4]

Contrary to their expectations, fans had a very long time to wait. Ocarina of Time was released in Japan and America in late Nov. 1998, nearly a year after their predictions.


According to Nintendo Power, the 64DD version of the game would be released following the cartridge version, and would further expand players' Game Pak adventures.[3]

July, 1997


In July, Nintendo Power reported that Zelda 64 was 50-70% complete, though it was only be shown in demo form at E3. The size was once again heralded at 128 Megabits.[5]

Release Date

Once more, the magazine touted the North American release date for the game as early 1998.[5]

Miyamoto mentioned in an interview that a U.S. localization of Zelda 64 would, at maximum, take only 4 months to complete. N64.com used this information to speculate that the game could potentially be released as early as April.[6]






Revisited - Dodongo


Revisited - Poe


Revisited - Stalfos


Revisited - Stalfos Boss





  1. 1.0 1.1 Iwata Asks - Where the Name Navi Came From
  2. E3 1997 - IGN.com
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Pg. 101 - Nintendo Power #97, Jun. 1997
  4. 5.0 5.1 Nintendo Power #98, July 1997, Page 56
  5. Zelda 64 Release Date Revealed? - N64.com, Jul. 22nd, 1997