Prerelease:The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time/Sword on A (Part 1)
This is a sub-page of Prerelease:The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time.
- 1 October 1997
- 1.1 Specifications
- 1.2 Release Date
- 1.3 64DD
- 1.4 Camera
- 1.5 Actions
- 1.6 Interface
- 1.7 Link's Model
- 1.8 Items
- 1.9 Story
- 1.10 Characters
- 1.11 Environments
- 1.12 Enemies
- 2 November 1997
- 2.1 Nintendo SpaceWorld 1997 Coverage
- 2.2 Features of Zelda 64 Spaceworld 1997 Demo
- 2.3 World Map
- 2.4 Specifications
- 2.5 Release Date
- 2.6 64DD
- 2.7 Camera
- 2.8 Cutscenes
- 2.9 Sound
- 2.10 Actions
- 2.11 Interface
- 2.12 Story
- 2.13 Items
- 2.14 Characters
- 2.15 Environments
- 2.16 Enemies
- 3 December, 1997
- 4 References
- 5 Index
It’s believed the game is based on an day/night system, as sunsets and differentiating screen-shots have shown.
Fights occur in realtime, and are not turn-based.
Zelda 64 was again stated by Nintendo Power to be slated for a Japanese release at the end of the year, only a few months away at the time of the magazine's publishing. This estimate was surprisingly optimistic, considering the game had recently undergone a storyline overhaul, with the time travel mechanic being added to the game. The American language release was forecasted for the spring of 1998.
Fans were treated to the following details about the function of the game’s camera:
"Camera angles are dynamic. The camera is believed to move on its own, picking the best view to see the action from, but also enables gamers to pick and choose their own. The camera will often pick the most dramatic viewpoint, either overhead, appearing at foot level or a few close to an isometric perspective." - N64.com
At right, the first-person bow perspective is visible.
In October, 1997 footage we saw Link pull off the spin attack move for the first time. Only the effect for charging it existed in this point of time and it looked rather weak compared to the effect of the final game.
Director and character designer Koizumi later recalled that the advent of Child Link meant that he was burdened with the task of having to create double the number of animations. Fortunately, the developers were able to make use of a simple trick. By applying a scale of a certain value to Adult Link's model, existing animations could be re-calibrated and repurposed for Child Link.
Not all the animations made the transition smoothly, however. Some had to be reworked for Child Link. In the end, Koizumi made 1.5 times the number of animations for the younger version of the protagonist.
All in all, the game contained about 500 animation patterns that were combined to form an even greater number of possible actions for Link. Koizumi credits the Nintendo 64's ROM cartridges as the reason that the developers were able to include so many animations in the game.
One of the animations that Miyamoto hoped to include was Link raising his sword above his head. In the end, however, this wasn't possible on the N64, and the idea was revived for Skyward Sword, which used Wii MotionPlus technology.
|GUI||The GUI functions remain unchanged. The button's appearance has gone from a gradient to solid and embossed.|
|A Button||Link is only seen with his sword equipped to A.|
|B Button||B still serves as the action button. When Link has the option of getting off Epona, it reads “おりる” (Get Down). When Link rides Epona, it reads “むち” (Whip), which was localized to “Faster” in the English version of the game. It seems to defaults to "ナビィ" (Navi), as seen in the screenshots featuring Child Link.|
|C-Left||Adult Link is shown with a bow and 16 arrows equipped to C-Left.|
|C-Right||Adult Link has the Ocarina of Time equipped, inset with three Spiritual Stones.|
|C-Down||Adult Link has 16 bombs set to C-Down.|
|Hearts||Link has ♥♥♥♡♡♡♡♡ hearts.|
|Rupees||Adult Link carries 10 rupees.|
|Magic Meter||The magic meter is now full.|
|GUI||The GUI is identical to Adult Link's.|
|A Button||Link is only seen with his sword equipped to A.|
|B Button||B serves as the action button. It seems to default to "ナビィ" (Navi).|
|C-Left||Child Link has a slingshot with 1 unit of ammo equipped to C-Left.|
|C-Right||Like Adult Link, Child Link has the Ocarina of Time equipped, inset with three Spiritual Stones.|
|C-Down||Child Link has a Deku Stick set to C-Down.|
|Hearts||Child Link has ♥♥♥ hearts.|
|Rupees||Child Link has 00 rupees.|
|Magic Meter||The magic meter is full.|
October marked the first time that Child Link was unveiled to the world. An article on IGN.com revealed details on Link’s character and appearance, referencing coverage by Japanese gaming magazines Dengeki Nintendo 64 and The Dream 64.
It wasn't until October 1997 that Child Link first appeared on the scene, wielding his child-sized sword and standing at the foot of Death Mountain. The magic meter is quite small compared to the final version of the game when you receive magic from the Great Fairy on Death Mountain as well as Link only has 3 hearts.
|Hair||Child Link’s hair is a shade of blond identical to Adult Link’s.|
|Face||His blue eyes and facial features did not change from their inception.|
|Outfit||Child Link wears a bright green tunic and cap. His final garb has a darker hue. His hat also extends further down his back in these early shots.|
|Sword||Link wields the dagger that would come to be known as the Kokiri Sword. It has a green gem inset into it, rather than the released game’s red gem.|
|Scabbard||On his back is a blue and gold scabbard.|
|Shield||The Deku Shield, bearing the insignia of Link’s people.|
IGN described Adult Link as “a sword-wielding 18-year-old with an earring”.
|Aug. 1997||Oct. 1997 - Front|
|Hair||The shape of Link's hair changed, his bangs now divided into two sections.|
|Outfit||The sleeves and tights under the hero's tunic turned from gold to white. His boot's color is brown, rather than red, with a lighter rim. The texture on his tunic has changed from a more circular one to an angled "V" shape.|
|Sword||His sword does not appear to have changed.|
|Shield||The front of his shield has been updated from the Triforce and flourish design to its final look, with the red bird insignia. However, the back is still metallic, rather than wooden.|
Removed Bomb Bag Model
|Aug. '97||Oct. '97|
Link used to have a visible bomb bag model attached to his model when bombs were used. This was seen in August 1997 to October 1997 promotional material and it was no longer seen in April 1998. References to this could be found from the leaks documenting some of the removed display lists.
An article on IGN.com revealed a little more information on Link's items, as well as introducing new ones. The site reported that there would be differences between the items available to Adult and Child Link.
The name of Link’s legendary weapon was not yet revealed at this point. IGN mentioned that it would only be useable by Adult Link.
IGN mentioned that it would only be useable by Adult Link.
Ocarina of Time
Because the Ocarina was controlled in-game using only the four C buttons and the A button to produce notes, composer Koji Kondo mentioned in a 2005 Nintendo Power interview that creating the game’s famous warp songs was a challenge.
"I had to create all of those memorable tunes with only five tones of the classic do-re-mi scale. Specifically: re, fa, la and ti (and the higher-scale re). Since each of these songs, like Zelda's Lullaby and Epona's Song, had a particular theme, it was quite challenging, but I think it all felt really natural in the end." - Koji Kondo
The Ocarina of Time has a primitive texture and play animation. It rests atop Child Link's hands. When he plays, a black letterbox appears on the screen, but the interface does not disappear. The C-button icon shows three spiritual stones embedded in the ocarina. This old ocarina icon and the spiritual stones themselves can be found in the SW97 overdump.
Like Adult Link’s blade, Child Link’s sword was known only as "the dagger" at this point in time. IGN mentioned that it would only be useable by the protagonist’s younger self. N64.com stated that Link would be able to use a vertical and horizontal attack when wielding the weapon.
The slingshot was not yet known as the “Fairy Slingshot”. IGN mentioned that it would only be useable by Child Link.
|Sept. 1997||Concept Art||Final|
The Deku Stick was known only as “stick”. IGN mentioned that it would only be useable by Child Link.
|Aug. '97||Oct. '97|
As in the released game, Bomb Flowers produced an unlimited supply of bombs. Bomb Flowers in August 1997 used to look like final but with orange leaves, however in October 1997 they became rainbow-hued for a short amount of time.
Named, Not Seen
Several items were not depicted in October’s screenshots, but received a mention in the IGN article. These were the Hookshot, known as the “grappling hook”, the Megaton Hammer, simply called “hammer”, the Lens of Truth, dubbed “glasses”, the boomerang, and the Deku Nuts, known only as “nut”.
IGN listed the “Whip” as another item in Link’s arsenal. It's unlikely that this was ever an inventory item. Chances are that it was included after the editors saw the word "むち" (Whip) on the B button in screenshots depicting Link riding Epona. This word was localized to “Faster” in the English version of the game.
Add Miyamoto’s comment about the carrots.
Also listed was an item known as “Ink Stone”, which has never been talked about before or since. Its identity is unclear.
IGN, quoting N64.com, unveiled for the first time that the game would feature a time travel mechanic. Much like A Link to the Past’s protagonist used the Magic Mirror to travel between dimensions, the site stated that Zelda 64’s Link would use the "Tower of Time" and the "Ocarina of Time" to travel between eras.
In addition, the article relayed that Link would receive the ocarina fairly early in the game, but would need to locate "four" magic stones before he could use it. It is likely that this information is a mistranslation of the fact that Link would have to retrieve four items in order to travel through time: the three Spiritual Stones, and the Ocarina of Time.
Nintendo Power restated the story information it had revealed in September:
In Zelda 64, Link is given a mission to find the Triforce, but Ganondorf, king of the thieves, is also hunting the powerful artifact. With the help of Zelda, three magic Ocarina Stones, and Navie the wood fairie, Link sets off on his greatest quest ever. - Nintendo Power #101 
The "magic Ocarina Stones" moniker mentioned in Nintendo Power owes to the fact that the Spiritual Stones were originally inset into the Ocarina of Time, as depicted in the ocarina icon. This terminology is even present in the map select of the Ocarina of Time: Master Quest Debug ROM:
|Cutscenes: Link is granted a magic meter and the spin attack, a larger magic meter, and double defence.|
Exit: Exits to Death Mountain.
|Cutscenes: Link is granted Farore's Wind, Din's Fire, and Nayru's Love.|
Exit:Exits to Zora's Fountain.
|Cutscenes: Link is granted Farore's Wind, Din's Fire, and Nayru's Love.|
Exit: Exits to Zora's Fountain.
N64.com noted that Navi would help players determine which direction enemies were appearing from.
Though still unnamed, at long last, Link’s mount made her debut. N64.com mentioned the possibility of Link having to capture and train her himself. This was later clarified in Nintendo Power #103, which stated that there was a "suggestion" that the horse may not always have been Link’s trusted steed, and might need to be captured and trained before he could ride her.
Nintendo had been talking about including a horse in Super Mario 64, but the idea never materialized. Instead, the concept was incorporated into Zelda 64.
Designer Keisuke Nishimori later stated that the development team studied the motions and behaviour of real horses to aid in the creation of Epona. According to Miyamoto, adding the horse to the game wasn't smooth sailing. He had thought that having Link ride a horse was a distant dream, but the animators and modellers did their best, and in the end, the staff finally got Link's steed working.
Epona was originally named Ao, which director Aonuma felt was a natural name for a horse. It was Koizumi who came up with the idea of calling the horse Epona, which is the name of the goddess of horses and fertility in Celtic mythology.
When Epona was introduced to Miyamoto, all he said was that he wanted to see the horse jumping from below. He suggested having it jump over a valley, with the camera looking up from the bottom of the valley, against the light. The developers commented that it was unlike Miyamoto to make specific requests regarding visuals, and this instance was the only example that they could recall. They speculated that the producer's interest in the horse might have owed to his personal interest in horses stemming from western movies and country music. Miyamoto's request was later incorporated into the cutscene where Link escapes from Lon Lon Ranch on Epona.
Like Link, Epona was able to automatically jump over obstacles. This was due to the fact that Miyamoto asserted that Zelda games didn't need difficult actions. However, the producer chose to incorporate a carrot system into the horseback riding mechanic, as he believed that simply riding a horse around wouldn't be very fun in terms of gameplay, and wanted to put in some sort of action. 
While the latter didn't make it into the N64 game, it was included in the GameCube sequel, The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, released 7 years later.
The developers poured their resources into designing Zelda 64's environments. Miyamoto has described The Legend of Zelda series' environments as "miniature gardens." Accordingly, it took the team around 2 years just to cultivate the overworld, which the producer described as vast plains dotted with towns and other diversions, in which a child named Link stood alone. Questions that they faced included what colour the sunrise should be, how long a game day would last, what events would only occur at night, and how long the nights would be.
Miyamoto wanted to ensure that players could get a lot of playtime out of Zelda 64, outside of the main plot. It was for this reason that he made it so Link could travel to a variety of locations, right from the early stages of the game.
Revisited - Ranch
A road surrounded by fences and fields disappears into the horizon. The map was found in the 1997 overdump. There are several different-colored pinwheels that seem to suggest the area was used for archery testing.
Child Link stands in a bare and primitive Kokiri Forest with unfamiliar geography. This old Kokiri Forest map seen in these screenshots was discovered in the iQue repository leak a while back.
He is also seen playing the ocarina in front of his house, which lacks the treed background of the final game.
Link rides around a markedly different Hyrule Field. Lon Lon Ranch is missing.
Hyrule Castle Town
Epona rears as the drawbridge lowers at midday. There are no short stone walls hemming in the drawbridge, but a long, smooth wall stretches from the city tower in the background, rather than the usual cliff.
Adult Link vies against a Tektite at the start of Death Mountain Trail. In the final game, the Z-targeting triangles are different and yellow where in this screenshot they are a bracket square reticle and red. Some red plants, perhaps flowers are growing on the mountain walls. They appear to be 2D textures using the billboarding technique to always face the camera. These were already removed in November which is the date of the Spaceworld 1997 map.
Link climbing up the Death Mountain and facing the camera. An early look at the directional sign object might be partially seen top left. It couldn't have been the flagpost as that remained in a different location almost the entire development time.
Child Link scopes out Death Mountain for himself. Two unknown objects which may be early rock models are seen in the distance. The details on the texture they use seem to align with the texture seen on this removed spear trap found from the iQue leak.
The first screenshot of Gerudo Valley. This early idea of Gerudo Valley was later found in the overdump.
Gerudo Training Ground
Link stands at the entrance of the Gerudo Training Ground. The entrance seems to be a lot lower than it is in the final game. Two gold treasure chests sit in the background, as well as a sign. Two torches are lit and they use the object_fire texture, and no lion door is present.
Thanks to the overdump, we're able to finally know this room was part of the early Gerudo Training Ground. More specifically Link is fighting bunch of Poes in the "Maze Battle Course" section of it.
The key counter is to the right of the rupee counter, instead of above as in the final.
King Dodongo's Lair
Triforce symbol used to exist in boss rooms in October, 1997. If the first screenshot taken from this video footage is inspected carefully, seams for a plausible door are seen. Commit logs reveal that the unused Triforce transition was added around this time too by Hayakawa: 1997-10-03T14:20:07+09:00 z_fbdemo_triforce. This presumable triforce door could've potentially been an old way of exiting the boss arena before blue warps were created.
Revisited - Poe
Poes get a graphical update to match the way they look in the released game.
Revisited - Stalfos
Stalfos are also updated to their final design.
A skinny-legged blue Tektite lunges at Link. The Tektite displays an early version of the model where the legs are more slender and missing the sensory hair(very similar to a spider's) that are on the final version's legs. After comparing this picture to the old Zelda64 trailer, this is most likely a reskin of the Tektites seen in that trailer. In the final game, you cannot find blue Tektites anywhere on Death Mountain, only the red ones. The background textures used in Death Mountain also seem to be different from the final version.
Nintendo SpaceWorld 1997 Coverage
SpaceWorld '97 Official Content:
SpaceWorld '97 Videos:
- Japanese TV Program Covering Nintendo SpaceWorld 97 - Zelda OoT at 08:45
- HD SpaceWorld 1997 Zelda Demo Reel - at 11:00
SpaceWorld '97 Magazine Coverage:
- SW97 Coverage - N64 Magazine
- SW97 Coverage - 64 Magazine
- SW97 Coverage - Consoles Magazine
- SW97 Coverage - Official Nintendo Magazine
- SW97 Coverage - JoyPad French Magazine
- SW97 Pre-Show Coverage - N64 Magazine
|SW97 - Early Hyrule Map||SW97 - Kokiri Forest & File Select|
|SW97 - Deku Tree - Nintendomanía||SW97 - Deku Tree, at the boss's door - Nintendomanía|
|SW97 Booth - Hobby Consolas Issue 76||SW97 - Kokiri Forest - VideoGames DE 1998-1|
|SW97 Booth - Hobby Consolas Issue 76||SW97 - Ocarina of Time Booth|
|SW97 - Shigeru Miyamoto||SW97 Booth - Hobby Consolas Issue 76|
|Deku Dungeon & Kokiri Forest - N64 Mag UK||SW97 - Stalfos Battle (Map in Debug)|
|OoT Booth from Show Entrance - EDGE 54||Various SW97 Screens|
|SW97 Dungeon Scenario - Club Nintendo 03/1998||Famitsu 0469 Dec 12, 1997|
|SpaceWorld 1997 Press Event w/ Shigeru Miyamoto (Nov 21-23)||SW97 Press Event w/ Miyamoto|
|Ocarina of Time at SW97||Another Cart at SW97|
|SW97 carts (Nov 21-23) Official UK Nintendo Magazine #64 Jan98|
A new page has been written in The Legend of Zelda.
The charm of Zelda has always been its puzzles, and the diverse array of actions and items players use to solve them. Now, the legend has been reborn on the 64, and, not only does it include these familiar components, everything, from its beautiful visuals that ???, to its realistic sound, have been powered up!! Link's animations make use of motion-capture technology, and his realistic
November 1997 marked an exciting time for Zelda fans. This was because the first-ever playable demo of Zelda 64 debuted at Spaceworld '97. The exhibition, showcasing up-and-coming Nintendo hardware and game software, was held from November 21st to 24th, and saw 135,011 visitors. Western fans got to hear about the game vicariously through news outlets like IGN64.com.
The demo itself was a collection of test levels, put together just for the show. While the story and the magic system remained largely shrouded in mystery, Nintendo showcased the battle system, Link's large array of equipment, and a number of environments.
Features of Zelda 64 Spaceworld 1997 Demo
An account given by VideoGameSpot addresses the playable features and sequential layout for Zelda 64 at Nintendo Spaceworld '97.
Powering on demo: Exhibits cinematic cutscene of Princess Zelda fleeing Hyrule Castle Town on horseback.
Main Menu: Contains specialized menu created for the Spaceworld Expedition. The main menu contains three main categories, with a sub-menu for each category. The main categories are labeled Hyrule Tour, Dungeon Tour, and Battle Tour.
Hyrule Tour: This sub-menu contains four gameplay scenarios. They are described as being "Link's House", the "Hyrule overworld", a "River area", and "outside the castle - riding Link's horse".
Dungeon Tour: This sub-menu contains "three dungeon scenarios". Unfortunately, what these three dungeon scenarios were are not described in the eyewitness account. However, based on anecdotal evidence from the 1997 overdump, the three dungeons used seemed to have been the Deku Tree, Dodongo's Cavern, and the Gerudo Training Grounds.
Battle Tour: This sub-menu contains the option to fight Ghoma, Dodongo, or Stalfos.
|Spaceworld 1997 map||Overdump map||Retail map|
The overdump contains a version of this map.
In an interview with Nintendo Power, Miyamoto mentioned that his team had set out to make a dynamic, virtual, 3D world that felt like somewhere Link would be able to live.
IGN64 reported that the game would run at frame rates of between 24 and 30 frames per second,, have a built-in EEPROM that allowed for three different save files,, and would not require a separate memory pak.
IGN.com reported that the 64DD add-on for Ocarina of Time, known only by its working title, Zelda DD, was being developed independently from its N64 counterpart by a completely different team. Miyamoto was quoted as saying that the add-on would likely be released in Japan before the end of 1998.
While the site stated that the game would be an action RPG, Miyamoto noted that Nintendo had not yet decided whether or not Zelda DD would be a completely new game, or an expansion which required the Zelda 64 cartridge to run and simply provided the original game with a new quest.
The editors of Nintendo Power #104 were most surprised by the presence of a targeting system for battles. When players pressed Z, a targeting box would appear around the enemy, similar to the lock-on target in StarFox 64. Locking onto an enemy during battle would allow Link to face the target and strafe sideways. He would also be able to perform a jump slash by pressing B to jump, then swinging his sword with A. It was reported that the hero could perform a backwards flip by pulling the analog stick in the opposite direction to which he was facing.
In November, fans were treated to the first Ocarina of Time cutscene ever seen: Link’s fateful encounter with Ganondorf on the drawbridge of Hyrule Castle Town.
Miyamoto has always loved films and anime. Recognizing that he was not a professional moviemaker, however, he decided to adopt a cinematic approach when it came to the game’s development, rather than trying to make a movie himself.
Because the game featured the player interactively controlling Link in a world that functioned in real-time, one of the experiments the producer conducted was to use camera blocking to showcase Link as though he were in a movie.
Though the title ended up containing over 1.5 hours of cutscenes, Miyamoto denied that this made the game a movie, claiming that if someone were to edit the scenes and compile them into a video, it would be terribly boring to watch.
He credited the designers with the quality of the cinematic scenes, saying that it was their talent that allowed the developers to incorporate natural cinematic techniques into the game real-time, rather than his own.
The game didn't have much music implemented yet, but the overworld was filled with the sounds of bird calls, animal noises, and footsteps. The dungeon music was described as "ambient, with low, pounding bass notes and a siren-like string sound." IGN.com mentioned that the typical Zelda theme music had yet to be incorporated. (It never was.)
The site did make note of the sound effects, however, reporting that hitting the sword against different surfaces resulted in a cool metal clank or crunching noise. The bow sound effects were said to be convincing, while the screams of the Dodongo were "downright scary".
Thanks to the playable demo available at Spaceworld '97, for the first time, players were able to glean more information about the game’s controls, in addition to what Link was capable of.
According to IGN.com, Link would change his speed from a walk to a run, depending on how hard the joystick was pushed.
It was also noted that the action button allowed Link to perform a variety of maneuvers, including jumping, climbing, descending, pulling, pushing, mounting his horse, reading, opening, talking, swimming, pushing and pulling walls, opening chests and drawers, and hanging from ledges. As the final game has no drawers which can be opened, this item stands out.
According to Nintendo Power #104, the control stick was used for walking or running, while A, and C-right, C-left, and C-down were used for weapons and items. R operated Link's shield, while B activated special actions, such as climbing and jumping.
|GUI||The GUI remains unchanged.|
|A Button||Link's sword is equipped to A.|
|B Button||B still serves as the action button. When Link has the option of getting off Epona, it reads “おりる” (Get Down). It now seems to default to "チェック" (Check).|
|C-Left||Adult Link is shown with 16 bombs equipped to C-Left.|
|C-Right||Adult Link has the Ocarina of Time equipped to C-Right, inset with three Spiritual Stones.|
|C-Down||Adult Link has 10 Deku Nuts equipped to C-Down.|
|Hearts||Link has ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥ hearts.|
|Rupees||Adult Link carries 000 rupees.|
|Magic Meter||No magic meter is visible.|
|GUI||The GUI is identical to Adult Link's.|
|A Button||Child Link sword is equipped to A.|
|B Button||B still serves as the action button. When Link stands next to an NPC, it reads “しゃべる” (Speak). When standing in front of a sign, it reads "みる" (Look). When a text box appears, it reads "つぎへ" (Next). When standing near a Bomb Flower, it reads "つかむ" (Grab). When holding a bomb, it reads "なげる" (Throw). When Z-targeting, it reads "ジャンプ" (Jump). When hanging off a ledge, it reads "おりる" (Get Down). It now seems to default to "チェック" (Check), though it occasionally reads "ナビィ" (Navi).|
|C-Left||Child Link is shown with a variety of items equipped to C-Left, including nothing, 16 bombs, the Boomerang, and Deku Sticks.|
|C-Right||Child Link is shown with a variety of items equipped to C-Right, including nothing, 16 Deku Nuts, and the Slingshot.|
|C-Down||Child Link is shown with a variety of items equipped to C-Down, including nothing, Deku Sticks, and 10 Deku Nuts.|
|Hearts||Child Link has a variable number of hearts, but the total is always 8.|
|Rupees||Child Link has 0 to 6 rupees, and the rupee counter is two digits.|
|Magic Meter||No magic meter is visible.|
In some areas, you could bring up a map in the lower left corner by pressing the L button. The early minimaps appear to be plain blue for inside dungeon rooms, and light blue topographical maps for outdoor areas.
As in the released game, pressing the Start button in the demo opened the menu, which consisted of several screens.
One screen was an extensive map system, one was an item screen, one was an equipment screen, and one was "a special item screen that showed items that could only be used at certain moments in the game."
Players could equip items by highlighting the item they wanted and pressing the C button they wished to assign it to.
Miyamoto related in a 1998 interview that, while he thought games with multiple plot threads and endings were fun, he found himself asking what "fun" really was. He related that the Ocarina of Time was not truly open in terms of progression, and felt that having options during the course of a game was better than having multiple endings. He linked this to his experience reading Choose Your Own Adventure books, during which he would find himself peeking at the results of both story branches, resulting in boredom.
でも、色んなイベントを並列に並べて、人によって思い入れのあるイベントが違う、というのが本当のマルチだと思うんです。例えばこのダンジョンは得意だけど別のダンジョンで酷い目 にあった。それが人それぞれ違う。そういうところがマルチの楽しさであり、思い入れに繋がるん じゃないでしょうか。
The producer offered a detailed response when asked by Nintendo Power where he came up with the idea of using time travel in Ocarina of Time:
“The story was more of a supplemental element we incorporated into the latter part of the design. We really wanted to describe Link's development of abilities as he grows from a child to an adult, so we used motion capture technology. We thought game players would want to play as an adult Link, even though in the previous games, with the exception of Zelda II: The Adventure of Link, Link was always a child. For those who were accustomed to the earlier games, we accommodated them with the inclusion of a young Link. The concept of young and old Link matched other Zelda games, since they usually had some sort of parallel world for Link to travel between. The parallel world in this case just happens to be a time shift--going back and forth between times. I thought that worked well with the overall theme of the Zelda games.” - Shigeru Miyamoto
The Spaceworld ’97 demo started with cutscene sequence in which Link stands in a pounding thunderstorm, watching in fear as Impa and Zelda escape from Hyrule Castle on horseback. Link then runs to the lowered drawbridge and attempts to cross the castle moat, only to find his path blocked by Ganondorf.
Players were capable of assigning items to C-left, C-down, and C-right. IGN64 complimented how seamlessly Link's equipment interacted with the environment, gushing that "you can try to hit anything you see with your sword, bow, boomerang, hammer, or stick."
Link carried his sword in his left hand. Pressing the A button to draw the sword would only cause Link to take it from its sheath, while pressing it again would cause Link to swing the blade horizontally. If the button were pressed three times, Link performed two swings and one downward slash.
Link was capable of swimming with his sword out, and climbing up a ledge with sword in hand would cause Link to struggle a bit.
Holding down the A button would make the sword glow, and Link would perform a spin attack upon its release. Turning the joystick in a circle and pressing A would also allow Link to perform a similar, less-powerful attack.
Apparently, some of these actions were slightly different for Child Link, who carried a dagger instead of a sword.
In the released game, pressing the B button causes Link to draw and slash his sword immediately (except for the Giant's Knife/Biggoron's Sword). He is unable to swim with the sword, and will automatically sheathe it when the player enters the water. Trying to climb a ledge with the sword drawn does not slow the hero.
As in the released game, Link was able to use the R button to block enemy attacks with the shield. However, he could not swing his sword while he was protecting himself.
|Oct. 1997||Concept Art|
Pressing the button the bombs were equipped to caused Link to take out a bomb and ignite it. It was possible to walk around with it, and Link could either put it on the ground in front of him, or walk in a certain direction to throw it. Holding it too long, however, and something bad would happen.
Revisited - Bomb Flowers
Bomb Flowers were not rainbow-ish anymore in November 1997.
- If Link uses the bow while Z-targeting, press the C button and he will shoot.
- If Link uses the bow during regular gameplay, the camera will zoom in for a behind-the-bow perspective.
- Link can use the stick like the sword and hit things that are far away.
- The Megaton Hammer can pound things into the ground.
- It also works as a weapon, but you have to be close to the enemy.
- Link can throw a magic nut that explodes in a flash of light and blinds his enemies.
- Link can now easily attack them without getting hurt.
- It leaves a cool trail when it is thrown.
- It returns to Link whether or not it hits its target.
- If Link is in the middle of a jump and not ready to catch the Boomerang, it may hurt him.
- Link can collect green and red rupees that are left over when he defeats an enemy.
- Navi hovers over Link's head and greets NPCs with "Konnichiwa!"
- When you Z-target an enemy, Navi flies over to the target and turns red, pointing out its location.
- So far, Navi is the only speaking character seen in the game.
- She often shouts advice about what to do when battling.
Revisited - Epona
- Use the B button to mount the horse.
- Link can use the joystick to ride in any direction at varying speeds.
- The horse can be whipped to run faster.
- Every time you whip the horse, you deplete one carrot from your carrot meter.
- The need for this is currently unknown, but it is likely that there will be some sort of race.
The first sighting of Saria. This screenshot shows an early version of her model, in which she has buttons going up her back. The gesture she is performing, in which she appears to curtsy and raise her hand, is unused. Both the early model and animation can still be found in the game's files.
|I'm Saria of the Kokiri Tribe!|
Nice to meet you... jara!
Saria is introducing herself to Link, contrary to the final game, in which they are longtime friends.
To understand the meaning of "jara", it is important to note that, in the Japanese script, the Zora and Goron peoples have regional accents. Zora end their sentences with "zora", while Gorons end their sentences with "goro". This quirk has generally not been carried over into English translations. The only exception in the 64-bit Zelda games is the Goron traveller in Majora's Mask who shares a name with the player. His accent was not erased, as it plays a role in his subplot.
This screenshot indicates that the Kokiri Tribe may have originally used "jara" at the end of their sentences. However, there is only one instance of this accent in the final game. Showing the Keaton Mask to Saria prompts her to slip into her Kokiri accent, which embarrasses her. This tidbit of information was removed from the English translation entirely.
|I can't help but be amused, jara!
Oops, my Kokiri accent slipped out...
|That makes me feel...happy...|
Two more instances of "jara" exist, though they are never normally seen by players. The stage select feature in Ocarina of Time's map select has two options:
|おひる ジャラ||Day jara||Sets time to day.|
|よる ゴロン||Night goron||Sets time to night.|
Likewise, the stage select feature in the map select of Majora's Mask has three options:
|あさ ジャラ||Morning jara||Sets time to morning.|
|おひる ジャラ||Day jara||Sets time to day.|
|よる ジャラ||Night jara||Sets time to night.|
This screenshot shows an unused female Kokiri design, which can still be found in the game. She has dual Kokiri symbols on her breast. Originally, all of the Kokiri were supposed to get unique designs, but the final game changed this to only Saria, Mido, and Fado having their own models.
The Hyrule Castle guards don't arrest Link for trespassing. Instead, it appears he is able to converse with them, as the action button reads "Speak".
- There is real light-sourcing.
- Both enemies and Link are lit according to their environment.
- They cast varying shadows in the appropriate directions.
- There are huts, treasure chests, friendly and unfriendly characters, signs, and fairies that whizz through the air.
Revisited - Hyrule Field
The bridge to Hyrule Castle is drawn, and the stone wall to the right of the castle is a grassy wall instead. There are no trees or signs.
Link and Epona block out a view of alternate scenery behind Hyrule Castle Town. This version of the map was found in the 1997 overdump, with fences added to prevent Space World players from bypassing the boundaries of the show floor demo.
Another view of the fence and the missing tree. The bridge across the moat seems to be flat, rather than rounded.
A long fence stretches across Hyrule Field, cordoning off the entrance to Kakariko Village. It appears that this location was unavailable in the Spaceworld demo. The same fence is used behind Kakariko's windmill and in front of the Shadow Temple entrance in the final game.
The cliffs here are more diverse than a flat wall.
Link chases down Zelda's horse on Epona.
Revisited - Lon Lon Ranch
Nintendo Power mentioned learning to ride the horse in a practice field with jumps while playing the demo. Though it did not appear in screenshots from this time, it was likely Lon Lon Ranch.
Revisited - Dodongo's Cavern
The layout of the main chamber of Dodongo's Cavern is drastically different. Instead of lava, the floor is dirt, and two thick wooden bridges lead to three platforms.
Child Link does not appear to have Bombs at this point in time, but a rainbow Bomb Flower sprouting from the floor will do the trick for now.
Vying with Armos. In the final game, this enemy is still present in the main chamber as an unloaded object.
Child Link battling Armos. The minimap shows that he is in a small area above the Lizalfos room, but there is no room here in the final game.
The texture on the lower part of the wall was recoloured for the final version, but, thanks to a developer oversight, it can still be found in the game.
Link uses a Deku Stick to thwack a Lizalfos.
Revisited - Death Mountain
Directional signs' model was updated.
This version of the prerendered background to Link's house is missing a balcony.
In this early image of Kokiri Forest, the path to the Deku Tree is positioned differently, and its mouth ends in a cave hung with vines.
A Deku Baba snaps at Link, rather than the withered Deku Babas of the final game.
Originally, there was no loading area between the maps of Kokiri Forest and the Deku Tree's grove.
In an interview about his work with environmental programming for Twilight Princess, Ocarina of Time programmer Makoto Sasaki reminisced about working on Kokiri Forest:
When I started work on Kokiri Village, the creative guidance that I got was to program their environments in a way that evoked a feeling of wonder – and then the turned me loose to explore what that meant. So I created a place where eerie light balls floated around. To that I added another touch: that the lights would follow the character’s movements. Then and now, I sometimes build these touches into the environments and surprise the designers with them. In that case, the designers really liked the wondrous effect and decided that the floating lights would stay in the game. - Makoto Sasaki
Fado, rather than a generic Kokiri girl, sits on the untextured Kokiri Shop's awning. The letter boxing indicates that Link has targeted her, but no reticule is displayed.
The alcove that Link can reach by planting a bean sprout and returning in 7 years in the final game does not exist in the untextured wall. This version of the Kokiri Forest was found in the 1997 overdump. A fence prevents Space World players from leaving the forest and accessing parts of the game not meant to be explored yet.
Koizumi reflected on how adding fairy companions to the game benefited the game mechanics in areas such as Kokiri Forest. The programmers found it difficult to display all the trees and characters that appear in Kokiri Forest because of the Nintendo 64's limitations. The character designer came up with the idea of each forest resident having a fairy follower. This would allow the developers to use the fairies to indicate NPC positions when players were far away, and load NPC models only as Link drew nearer. It is for this reason that, save for their fairies, the Kokiri are invisible until approached. 
Inside the Deku Tree
This version of the Deku Tree dungeon was found in the 1997 overdump with many of its actors still intact. The dungeon was almost completely redesigned in the final game.
Hyrule Castle Town
A lamppost greets Link as he enters the city via the unguarded bridge. The guardhouse lacks the door which ordinarily hides its black doorframe.
The demo allowed players to enter Hyrule Castle Town, which was displayed from a central camera angle. The camera was set in the middle of the town square, following Link as he went into the distance.
The Hylian townspeople greeted Link as he walked around, calling out "Konnichiwa!" (Hello!). IGN.com posited that the English version would have a different greeting, but this bit of voice acting ended up being cut from the game altogether.
In this image, an unknown NPC and one of the men that is normally found by the tree in the square stand in front of the building that was replaced with the Happy Mask Shop. This early building is visible in the pre-render Link sees when entering Hyrule Castle Town from Hyrule Field, as well as the ruined version of the market.
add overdump comparisons
Link takes a refreshing dip in the moat. Navi follows him underwater.
Temple of Time
The Triforce is upside down and the Door of Time is barred with a green mesh.
The warp pad uses the same stone texture as the Spiritual Stone altar, and its design is very different.
The Spiritual Stone altar has three holes for the Spiritual Stones.
In addition to vying against regular enemies, the Spaceworld '97 demo allowed players to test out three different boss battles.
Revisited - Octorok
IGN.com mentioned that Octoroks were present in the demo, but they didn't appear in screenshots.
Revisited - Blue Tektite
Blue Tektite's legs were improved and they now feature sharp spikes.
Revisited - Stalfos
The first boss battle players were able to challenge was a fight against two Stalfos, a battle which would later be incorporated as a mini-boss battle in the Forest Temple. Both Stalfos attacked Link at the same time, and crumbled to a heap of bones upon defeat.
IGN.com described these creatures as "man-eating plants".
Gohma was the second boss that appeared in the boss battle demo. Players described her crawling along the ceiling and dropping Gohma Larva which attacked them, then descending to face Link eye-to-eye. At this time, this was an Adult Link boss battle, and it was the bow that was used to shoot her in the eye, rather than Child Link's slingshot.
The third boss was the fire-breathing King Dodongo, whose cavelike arena featured a glowing lake of lava at its center. The fight was introduced by a cutscene in which Link stared in fear at something large from the monster's perspective.
Not only would getting hit by the monster's flames cause Link to get swept off his feet, the dinosaur was prone to rolling into a ball and trying to crush the hero. Fortunately, it could be defeated by throwing a bomb into its mouth when it screamed or prepared to breathe fire. The explosion would weaken King Dodongo, bringing him to his knees, and allowing Link to attack his head. Upon defeat, a cutscene would show the creature sinking into the flaming lava pit.
Zelda 64 finally received an official title: ‘’The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time’’.
IGN reported that no US release date had been revealed yet. They noted that the game would be released in Japan in April of 1998, and predicted that it would appear on Western shelves a few months later. However, they also speculated that Nintendo might decide to make the game its big Christmas ‘98 title.
The game came out in both Japan and North America in late November, 1998.
Aonuma We didn't know where the finish line was! (laughs)
Iwata Without knowing a due date, time dragged on… (laughs)
Aonuma Yeah. Sorry about that. (laughs)
The site also restated that two Zelda games would be released for the N64 in the near future, though the 64DD itself did not yet have a US release date or price at the time.
It mentioned that the 64DD expansion was still unnamed, and was commonly referred to as Zelda DD.
Nintendo Power #103 confirmed that Zelda 64 would make use of the Rumble Pack.
During earlier times, Link will appear as a boy of about ten years of age, while in the later stages he is a heroic youth in his teens. Kid Link, as the EAD team calls him, will have special abilities and will be able to use certain items that Teen Link won’t be able to use.
Nintendo Power mentioned that Link would be able to combine weapons.
The outline of the story for Zelda 64 comes straight from EAD, the chief game development department at Nintendo Company Ltd. in Kyoto, Japan. Although EAD considers everything “tentative” until the final version of a game is completed, much of what you read here will be a part of Mr. Miyamoto’s greatest epic. Long ago, before Gannon stole the Triforce and kidnapped Zelda, Link set out to his coming-of-age ceremony in the Maze Woods. It was the custom of his tribe, the Kokiri Family, that a young man would receive a guardian spirit or fairy who would stay beside him and guide him throughout his life. But as Link walked through the woods, he discovered that a monster had captured one such fairy. Gallantly, Link came to the rescue and defeated the monster, but the fairy was mortally wounded. In her dying breath, she warned Link not to allow Gannondorf to possess the Triforce and to seek out a wise man and his spiritual stone. At the same time, Gannondorf, the king of thieves, was searching for the legendary Triforce so that he could steal its power. In time, Gannondorf stumbled into the Maze Woods and neared the secret place where the Triforce was kept. Link went to Hyrule Castle for help. Princess Zelda knew of the Triforce’s hiding place, but to reach it they would have to find three magical stones to unlock the secret. Thus begins the adventure.
One of the central themes of the game has to do with time. In fact, you will move backward and forward in time at different stages of the game.
Navi, still spelled “Navie”, even in Nintendo’s official publication, was said to not only warn Link of impending enemy attacks, but take an active role in defending and healing the hero.
In addition to the locations that had already been revealed to fans through text and image, Nintendo Power claimed that Link would be able to visit a farm and a swamp.
Lon Lon Ranch did exist, though it had yet to appear in screenshots in recognizable form. A swamp, however, never made it into the game, though there is one in its sequel, Majora’s Mask.
- As the Ocarina camera system became finalized, I began to devote my energy to making some of the cut-scenes and demo movies for the title – about half of those finally used – starting with storyboards and then creating the final versions. - Cutscene Designer Yakumi Kawagoe
At a reported 256 megabits, Zelda 64 will be the largest game for the N64, doubling the current game on the market.
In addition to Link’s steed, you’ll also find warps that transport Link instantly across the world.
- What About the RPGs? - N64.com, Oct. 10th, 1997
- Pg. 103 & 105 - Nintendo Power #101, Oct. 1997
- What We Couldn't Do with The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time - Nintendo.com, Date Needed
- A Link Through Time, Oct. 24th, 1997
- Natural Rhythms of Hyrule - Sept. 2005
- Everything About Zelda 64 - Nov. 25th, 1997
- Pg. 103 - Nintendo Power #101, Oct. 1997
- Info Needed
- Needs Title - Nov. 1st, 2005
- Miyamoto Interview - Game Staff List Association Japan, 1998
- Miyamoto and Aonuma on Zelda at E3 2004 - May 12th, 2004
- NINTENDO SPACEWORLD'97入場者数
- VideoGameSpot on SpaceWorld 1997 Demo - Unknown Date
- Miyamoto on Zelda - Nov. 13, 1998
- Historical Conversion Rates | OANDA - Nov. 21st to Nov. 24th, 1997
- Zelda DD Action in '98 - Nov. 24th, 1997
- Name Needed - Nintendo Power #104, January, 1998
- Behind the Landscapes of Hyrule - Apr. 1st, 2006
- What You Always Wanted to Know About Zelda 64 - Dec. 23rd, 1997
- The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time - Wikipedia.com
- “Now That's The Legend of Zelda!” - Nintendo.com, Date Needed
- An Honest Perspective on Hyrule - Dec. 1st, 2005
|A + B|
|A + C|
|Early Sword on A|
|Sword on A||• • •|
|Sword on B|