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Prerelease:The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time/Sword on A (Part 3)

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

To do:
Add missing e3 1998 images and graveyard shots from [here.]


April, 1998



Link's Model

Adult Link


Revisited - Graveyard

Prototype Final
OoT-Grave NCL.jpg OoT-Graveyard 1 Oct97 Comp.png

A near-final version of Kakariko's graveyard is unveiled. The writing on the grave only goes halfway down, unlike the final game, in which it is covered in nonsensical Hylian.


Prototype Final
OoT-Dampe.jpg OoT-Graveyard 2 Oct97 Comp.png

Even in the future, this plucky gravedigger is alive and well. He's even awake during the day, instead of sleeping in his shack like usual. Based on the lighting used in the screenshot and the one below the entire graveyard was in the middle of a lightning storm but no rain.


Reed Whistle

OoT-Calling Epona NPS.jpg

We're also exploring some music-oriented gameplay ideas for Twilight Princess. In the E3 demo, people saw and heard that Link plays a reed pulled from the grass to call a hawk; reed music was in the initial development concept for Ocarina, but we ultimately didn't use it. - Sound Designer Koji Kondo

(Source: source needed)


Deku Tree Creation Cutscene

OoT-Ganondorf Apr98.jpg


OoT-Triforce Apr98.jpg




Apr. 1998 Concept Art Impa
OoT-Sheik.jpg OoT-Link & Shiek.jpg OoT-Impa Concept.jpg

Sheik has Impa's knife!

OoT-Temple of Time2 April 98.png



Revisited - Deku Tree

OoT-Deku Tree Apr98.jpg


Revisited - Hyrule Field

Prototype Final
OoT-Hyrule Field April 98.jpg OoT-Hyrule Field 1 Apr98 Comp.png


Prototype Final
OoT-Hyrule Field2 April 98.jpg OoT-Hyrule Field 2 Apr98 Comp.png


Revisited - Temple of Time

Prototype Final
OoT-Spiritual Stones NPS.jpg OoT-ToT 1 Apr98 Comp.png


OoT-Temple of Time April 98.png


OoT-Temple of Time3 April 98.jpg


Sacred Forest Meadow

Prototype Final
OoT-Sacred Forest Meadow.jpg OoT-Sacred Forest Meadow 1 Apr98 Comp.png
Prototype Final
OoT-Sacred Forest Meadow2.jpg OoT-Sacred Forest Meadow 2 Apr98 Comp.png


Prototype Final
OoT-Sacred Forest Meadow3.jpg OoT-Sacred Forest Meadow 3 Apr98 Comp.png


Death Mountain Crater

OoT-Death Mountain Crater.jpg


Desert Colossus

OoT-Desert Colossus.jpg


May, 1998

Playable demo

Nintendo Power via The N64 Source via ZHQ

In the most recent Nintendo Power issue, Miyamoto said some stuff about Zelda V. And actually, it even taught us some impressive new information.[1]

Release Date

Zelda given a release date (matches US release date)

Zelda 64 targeted release

Coming after the Dragon Quest and Final Fantasy VIII annoucements Nintendo has struck back, revealing the targeted release date for Zelda 64, November 23 1998 (Yes really, 98). Keep in mind this is a targeted release date and is still likely prey to the infamous Nintendo delays. Also the price right now is set at $59.95, which is cheap considering Zelda is on a 32mb cart.[2]


Prima's Zelda V Strategy Guide Dan Owsen, Nintendo's site publisher, said in an interview with Nintendojo that they're going to start translation after E3. And, to hype up the hype even hypier, he said the version at the show would have some "new things that will blow you away." So hold tight when checking the 'net around that time.[3]

Playable Demo

EB managers game preview?[4]

"After the Nintendo representative unlocked the handcuffed lock box that contained the mysterious Zelda 64 working chip, the excitement began. It is very important to stress the fact that there was not a let down sigh in the room.[4]

The Zelda 64 playable demo revealed an awesome display of the power of the N64 system with its outstanding graphics powered by its advanced 3D engine.[4]

If you are a nostalgia buff, you will be pleasantly surprised with sound effects from the original Zelda games.[4]

We all have heard that Link actually ages in the N64 version but one of the most impressive features in the game was the fact that Link's aging actually made the game better as his skills also seemed to improve.[4]

Items and stuff with dynamic camera perspectives and the option to switch into a 1st person point of view during game play with a single push of a button, Zelda 64 becomes a game within a game. Link also has several new weapons that were not in the original games including two elemental extremes, Fire and Ice, which once again play an integral role in Link's travels.[4]

Another very notable part of the preview was the smooth transitions between worlds. When entering into a new area of the map, the transition is very smooth. This type of transition makes the game play all that much better as it eliminates the pause delays.[4]

In the N64 version of Zelda, there is a complete 3D view point that encompasses a very interesting game with periodic flashes to the past. When running from room to room or changing view points, you have a great feeling of control in this game.[4]

Jump buttons are not needed in Zelda 64 as you have enough to worry about already. When jumping from area to area, all you have to do is point Link in the right direction, run, and when you get to the edge, Link automatically jumps for you. In some games I would say that this is a bad feature, but in Zelda 64 it is a feature that makes the game that much more interesting.[4]

One point that I found interesting was the fact that they added features to the game that put a twist into the game. Horse back riding is one of those features and it is a very cool aspect to this game."[4]

On Next Generation Online, even more comments from EB managers could be found.[4]

"Control for Zelda was excellent and I can say that the game looked very good. Screen-shots simply do not do it justice. Pop-up, in the wide open wilderness settings was bad and will likely be addressed. At one point, a horse appeared without warning directly in front of Link. Link's aging from boyishness to a young man was subtle but effective.[4]

In the one combat sequence we saw the player battled a very large boss. Even considering that the Nintendo employee had been fighting this boss all day, I was disappointed at the ease with which the boss was killed. I must admit though that a range of tactics seemed effective from direct fighting to spell use. Overall I'd say I am still very excited about this title."[4]

Nintendo Press Release

Nintendo's press release


Renowned Video Game Designer Unveils Most Anticipated Video Game In History

ATLANTA, May 27, 1998 – Link. Zelda. Ganon. Hyrule. Triforce. Legendary names from video game lore will come alive for players worldwide as Nintendo of America Inc. releases the most anticipated video game ever – The Legend of Zelda®: The Ocarina of Time. The in-depth adventure game will be available November 23, 1998, exclusively for Nintendo 64.[5]

Created by the world-famous video game designer and the first inductee into the Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences Hall of Fame, Shigeru Miyamoto, the new Zelda adventure will once again revolutionize game play by harnessing the cutting-edge features of Nintendo 64 – the world's most technologically advanced home video game system.[5]

"I've tried to develop a new Zelda adventure that is unlike any other game available," says Shigeru Miyamoto, Nintendo Company Ltd.'s General Manager of Entertainment Analysis and Development Department. "I hope this combination of a fantasy-adventure story, exciting action and magical environments will evoke new kinds of emotions in players."[5]

Using 256-megabits of memory, which will make it the largest Nintendo 64 game ever, The Legend of Zelda: The Ocarina of Time includes all the elements that have made the Zelda series beloved by players of all ages around the world: state-of-the-art graphics, immersive audio and sound effects, brilliant and imaginative game play, and the continuing saga of Link and Zelda in the world of Hyrule.[5]

"With the first reports of the Nintendo 64 development years ago, video game players around the world began demanding a new Zelda game," says Peter Main, Nintendo of America's executive vice president, sales and marketing. "We refused to release one until it could surpass their expectations. I believe this game clearly does that. From the cinema-quality opening sequences to the unique battle mechanics, The Legend of Zelda: The Ocarina of Time will take its place as the greatest adventure game of all time."[5]

The Legend of Zelda: The Ocarina of Time is a graphical showcase that must be seen to be believed. All of the meticulously detailed characters were designed from 3-D wire-frame models with dozens of animations each to create the most lifelike movement possible. For example, Link, the game's hero, has the ability to run, mount and ride a horse, backstep while battling, throw and catch a boomerang, wield his sword and perform his famous "spin attack."[5]

The game's standard-setting lighting effects span from the glow and sparkle of a guardian fairy, Link's helper and healer who follows him throughout the adventure, to each environment's atmospheric lighting that changes depending on weather conditions and time of day.[5]

Another new element is time travel: Link moves back and forth in time at different stages of the game, alternating between Young Link and Adult Link.[5]

Miyamoto Press Briefing


Miyamoto's press briefing

On May 27, there was a press briefing with Mr. Miyamoto and Mr. Tezuka on The Legend of Zelda: The Ocarina of Time. Mr. Miyamoto and Mr. Tezuka demonstrated some of the great features of this game, and this demonstration was followed by a Q and A session.

In the demonstration, Mr. Tezuka (the director of Zelda 64--Mr. Miyamoto is the producer) showed some of the key features of the E3 version. The E3 version has over 100 different scenes in it, and Mr. M. said that even if you played it for one hour, you still wouldn't be able to see everything even in this very incomplete version of the game.[6]

Here are some of the features they discussed and demonstrated:

You can get a stick from defeated enemies. You can use this stick as a weapon.[6]

The slingshot is a key item in the game. You need it to progress through the levels. (Showed example of shooting a ladder, which fell down and allowed for access to other areas of the dungeon.)[6]

There will be puzzle elements in this game. You'll need items to progress. The Tree of Deku has many webs in it-- destroy these webs and you can find new areas.[6]

Zelda 64 will have the traditional theme of Zelda games--acquire information and items to progress through the adventure.[6]

There are eight dungeons of equal complexity to the Tree of Deku.[6]

There are eight to nine outdoor levels.[6]

There are some level Zelda style scrolling, where it scrolls one screen at a time (in 3-D of course). In the area that they demonstrated, Link must sneak past guardian soldiers to get into the castle and speak with Zelda. There are many mysteries in the game.[6]

Zelda will explain the story of the Triforce. She also tells Link what he needs to do in the game. If the pieces of the Triforce fall into enemy hands, it could be used for evil purposes.[6]

There are several movie-like sequences in Zelda 64 that tell the story. These are seamlessly integrated with the action.[6]

Nintendo Power Source


We saw footage of Link in combat. Does the camera have its own AI during battle or does the player control it?

There is an automatic camera-something I call the Zelda Camera. When you hold the Z button during battle, a red target will appear so you can pick your opponent. The view remains on the targeted enemy throughout the melee, even if you move around the room. It's both dynamic and realistic.[1]

The game also features an automatic camera viewpoint to provide players with the best dramatic angles.[5]


The game is Rumble Pak compatible, allowing players to empathize with Link like never before.[5]



Link's Model

Adult Link



NP: What's your favorite weapon in the game?

Miyamoto: The hookshot. The hookshot was an older weapon I really wanted to incorporate into the game. And though it's not a weapon, the ocarina is another item I like a lot.

(Source: source needed)

Bean Sprout


Fire Medallion

OoT-Fire Medallion May98.jpg


Light Medallion

Prototype Final
OoT-Light Medallion.jpg OoT-CoS 1 May98 Comp.png



We've heard that players will have to collect gems and find something called the Ocarina of Time. How do these items relate to the game's story?

There are three gems in the game called Spiritual Stones. Both the Spiritual Stones and the Ocarina are keys that open the door to a secret and sacred place. Three of the races in Hyrule consider their Spiritual Stone to be a holy item. The Ocarina is the royal family's most secret treasure. Gamers will have to collect all three stones and the Ocarina to reach the sacred place.[1]


Original Japanese Literal Translation Sept. 1997 Dec. 1997
神々の子孫が住むと言われる地、ハイラル。そこには多くの民族がそれぞれの土地を守りながら独自の文化を築いていた。 Hyrule: A land said to be inhabited by the descendants of the gods. Its myriad denizens have forged unique, individual cultures, while safeguarding their respective domains.
そのハイラルの中にある、コキリの森に住むコキリ族の少年リンク(=プレイヤー)は、ある朝、ナビィと名乗る妖精に眠りからさまされる。リンクは遂に自分にも妖精がやって来たと喜んだ。コキリ族なら誰でも相棒となる妖精がいるはずなのだが、なぜかリンクにだけはいなかったのだ。だがしかし、ナビィは大変な話をリンクを告げた。コキリ族の守護神『デクの樹』が、怪しげな魔物たちによってひん死の状態にさらされているというのだ。リンクはナビイと協力して魔物を倒すが、『デクの樹』は遺言を残して朽ち果てる。 One morning, Link (the player), a boy of the Kokiri tribe dwelling in Hyrule’s Kokiri Forest, was woken by a fairy named Navi. Link was overjoyed that a fairy had come to him at last. Though it was customary for each member of the Kokiri tribe to have a fairy partner, for some reason, Link alone did not. Navi, however, conveyed a message of disaster. A suspicious influx of demons had brought the guardian deity of the Kokiri tribe, known as the Deku Tree, to the brink of death. Link joined forces with Navi to defeat the monsters, but the Deku Tree withered away, leaving behind one last request. As the story begins, Link is preparing for his coming-of-age ceremony, where he will receive his guardian spirit. In the tradition of his people, children receive a fairy from the Fairy Tree when they reach adulthood. This fairy becomes a person's life-long familiar, and accompanies him or her as they seek their fortune in the maze-like forest which surrounds their village, or in the lands beyond. Link's ceremony, however, is not destined to be a happy one. The Fairy Tree, source of guardian spirits, is captured by a strange creature from the depths of the forest. Link is able to locate his guardian spirit, Navie, and with her help, slay the creature. However, in the process, the Fairy Tree is grievously damaged. As its life force ebbs, the Fairy Tree speaks the words that will shape Link's destiny. 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.
「ガノンドロフにトライフォースを渡してはならぬ… 勇気ある者よ、この精霊石とともにハイリアの知恵ある者を探せ…。」 “Ganondorf must not be allowed to claim the Triforce… Oh, brave one, take this Spiritual Stone, and seek out the one with the wisdom of the Hylia…” "Do not allow the thief, Gannondorf, to claim the Triforce..." the Tree mystically communicates. "Oh brave one, you must take this sacred stone to a wise man..." 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.
当時、ハイラルでは一つの伝説が信じられていた。神々の『トライフォース』についての伝説である。 In those days, the people of Hyrule believed in a legend: The legend of the Triforce of the gods.
誰も知らない聖地にあると言われる、神の力の宿る聖なる三角『トライフォース』。それに触れし者は、無限の力を手にする事ができると言う。 The Triforce: Holy triangles imbued with the gods’ power, said to rest in a Sacred Realm known to no one. Rumour had it that those who touched the artifact would be granted limitless power.


Indeed, there existed a man who conspired to obtain this power. He was known as Ganondorf, a malevolent thief. The thief had used his horde of wicked demons to overrun the regions of Hyrule in a continued search for the entrance to the Sacred Realm. Now, his evil influence had spread as far as Kokiri Forest. With this knowledge, Link took the Spiritual Stone of Forest, bequeathed to him by the Deku Tree, and travelled to Hyrule Castle, the capital of the Hylian people. Gannondorf was infamous throughout the land for his evil practices as the king of thieves. He lusted for the power of the Triforce, and searched throughout Hyrule for its resting place. Since Gannondorf was searching through the forest of Link's people, Link knew he was in great danger. He took the sacred stone from the Fairy Tree and set out for Hyrule Castle, the capital of the Hyrulian people. 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.
ハイラル城に着いたリンクは、同じ年頃の王女・ゼルダ姫と出会う。やはりハイラルの危機を察知していた彼女は、聖地への入り口を知っていると言う。 Upon his arrival at the castle, Link made the acquaintance of Princess Zelda, a girl about his own age. Sure enough, the princess had sensed the peril facing Hyrule, and she confided to the boy that she knew the location of the entrance to the Sacred Realm. Upon entering the castle, Link is welcomed by the young Princess Zelda, a woman of the Hyrulian royal family about the same age as he. She is well aware of the crisis facing the land of Hyrule.
しかしそこへ入るには、神殿の石盤に三つの精霊石をはめ込み、王家の秘宝『時のオカリナ』によってあるメロディーを奏でなければならないのだ。リンクは残る二つの精霊石を探しに、さらなる冒険の旅へとその第一歩を踏み出したのである…。 In order to enter, however, Link would have to insert three Spiritual Stones into the stone altar of the temple, then play a certain song on the Ocarina of Time, a sacred treasure belonging to the Royal Family. Thus, Link set out on further adventures, in a quest to obtain the remaining two Spiritual Stones… Zelda relates further details about the Triforce's hiding place, telling Link that he needs to find the three sacred stones that fit into a magical Ocarina, which serves as the key to hidden realm. Link's race with the evil Gannondorf to find the sacred stones and the hiding place of the Triforce is on! 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.


Revisited - Navi

In addition to the 64-bit incarnations of classic Zelda game-play elements, The Legend of Zelda: The Ocarina of Time adds exciting activities and surprises. A crucial one is the guardian fairy, who will warn Link of impending danger, help defend Link and use healing powers to bring Link back to full strength.[5]

Revisited - Saria

Prototype Final
OoT-Saria May98.jpg OoT-CoS 2 May98 Comp.png



OoT-Darunia May 98.jpg



Prototype Final
OoT-Rauru May 98.jpg OoT-CoS 3 May98 Comp.png



Everything we've seen so far looks expansive. Just how big is the game? How many dungeons, towns and special areas are in the game?

As you have seen in the game's early development, this world will be huge. I won't tell you how many dungeons and towns are in the game yet, but I'll admit that there are six races in Hyrule and each one has its own territory.[1]

The Legend of Zelda: The Ocarina of Time has the widest variety of territories of any Zelda game. During the course of the adventure, Link will journey through gorgeous, highly detailed, intricately designed 3-D landscapes including dark forests, huge mountains, swamps, canyons, quaint towns and eerie dungeons.[5]

Revisited - Graveyard

Prototype Final
OoT-Graveyard1 May 98.jpg OoT-Graveyard 1 May98 Comp.png


Prototype Final
OoT-Graveyard2 May 98.jpg OoT-Graveyard 2 May98 Comp.png


Revisited - Gerudo Valley

OoT-Gerudo Valley1 May 98.jpg


OoT-Gerudo Valley2 May 98.jpg


OoT-Gerudo Valley3 May 98.jpg


Chamber of Sages

Prototype Final
OoT-Chamber of Sages1 May 98.png 320px


Prototype Final
OoT-Chamber of Sages2 May 98.jpg OoT-CoS 5 May98 Comp.png


June, 1998

The version of Zelda 64 that was playable at E3 1998 was not the final release of the game. Shigeru Miyamoto has stated that the title is "95% complete," and should be completed in early summer with plans for a November 23 release...

Zelda 64 at E3 contained about 12 different "pieces" of the final game.

  • Played Zelda extensively in November and wrote about it.[7]

At E3 today, IGN64 reported on some new features not found in the Space World version of Zelda V. Steve Fairbank?[8]

The San Francisco Chronicle publishes an article on Zelda V at E3 and Nintendojo types it up.[9]

IGN reports on press conference - June 13th, 1998 (May 27th)[10]

Following brief demonstrations of F-Zero X, Pokémon, and many other games, Howard Lincoln said Nintendo had saved the best for last (and indeed they had). Lincoln introduced Shigeru Miyamoto as the respected designer strolled up to the stage amid semi-thunderous applause and a standing ovation. While Miyamoto doesn't speak English, Lincoln read a translated letter from Miyamoto where he described what he was trying to accomplish with The Legend of Zelda: The Ocarina of Time.[10]


Nintendo of America leaders Howard Lincoln and Peter Main have had big roles in getting Nintendo to rule the States. Lincoln's always made sure Nintendo got out of legal trouble, while Main's brilliant marketing made the systems and games sell like hotcakes. Questions (and answers taken straight from both IGN64 and Nintendo Power Source.[11]

Q: What are you doing to improve Japanese market share?

Lincoln: Zelda will be a big game in Japan. We're disappointed with N64 in Japan, but Game Boy is knocking the lights out. But it's not over yet. Banjo-Kazooie and Zelda should do very well in Japan. Mr. Yamauchi has plenty of plans for the Japanese market. He's not happy about the current Japanese market share, and he's determined to turn it around.[11]

Q: Zelda is going to appear on a 256 megabit cartridge. Have there been any requests for games from third-party publishers for this size cartridge?

Lincoln: We have given the pricing for all of the cartridge configurations, including the 256, and most of the third party product this year will be 96 megabit or 128 megabit. I'm not aware of any third-party developer yet who has requested this size, but that's just a matter of time.[11]

Dynamic Time

Another new innovation is the visible passage of time. When running (or riding) through Zelda 64's outdoors environments, the sun sets realistically (complete with lens flare), the sky turns orange and eventually, night falls. The sense of atmosphere and scope is unparalleled.[8]

Those hallways first appeared as labyrinthine corridors in Miyamoto's original 1980s game, The Legend of Zelda, and now as a maze of dungeonlike worlds in the forthcoming The Legend of Zelda: The Ocarina of Time. Nintendo is betting that this fifth Zelda game, set for release in November, will do for its 64-bit game machine what Final Fantasy VII did last year to help Sony's PlayStation blast past the Nintendo 64.[9]

Miyamoto expects that online games and digital video disc systems will lead to further innovations. But he worries that not all the developments will be positive. The dominance of darkly violent games troubles him. The father of two children -- son Ray, 12, and daughter Lui, 10 -- he restricts his children's gameplay, concerned that too much will rob them of the real-world activities that nurtured his own creativity.[9]

Release Date

Q: How much will Zelda 64 cost? What is the cost for big cartridges to publishers?

Main: Zelda will have a $69.95 MSRP, so it'll be for sale in most stores for $59.95. The 256 meg carts are about $20 at cost, and the 96 megs are below $20. This is a 50% reduction, due to the falling prices of silicon.[11]

Q: What are your plans for the launch of Zelda 64?

Lincoln: We're going to spend a lot of money!

Main: We'll own theatres across America. We've got promotions, major media, and pre-sell programs. We don't want to tip our hand right now, but the drum beat on this game will get louder and louder in September.[11]

Q: Let's talk a little about Zelda. My biggest concern is that Nintendo of America won't be able to get it out before Christmas. What are the dangers of that?

Lincoln: I think that's a legitimate concern. There is a very high probability that we will not see any delays on this particular game. It is a critical game for N64 -– really for all of the markets in the world. It's very important for Nintendo Japan, and in Europe as well as the US.[11]

Q: It's an important universal title.

Lincoln: Yes. We've certainly had our share of delays in games. And it's very difficult for gamers to understand the dynamics of what happens. Most of the time we delay things because of quality control, where the game developer is simply not satisfied. That's been the case of a few Rare games. But in speaking with Miyamoto, based on what I know, I don't anticipate this being an issue.[11]

Q: November 23.

Lincoln: Yes, this is a key marketing date. It's the start of Thanksgiving week. It's the heaviest retail weekend leading up until Christmas, and it's always the day on which we launch major titles.

Q: In the press conference, you said that you expect to sell more than 2 million cartridges of Zelda between November 23 and New Year's Eve. So, you're going to make 2 million cartridges and ship them on day one, right?

Lincoln: Well, those numbers are big, but we deal in large volumes like that. Banjo-Kazooie will be over a million in the US alone. So, ramping up those kinds of numbers shouldn't be a problem.[11]

Q: So can you give us a solid number of Zelda cartridges that NOA will produce in the US alone?

Lincoln: Peter Main, our VP of Sales and Marketing, says initial cut out is 2 million. I can't quarrel with that. I think the expectations of gamers are warranted, and the game delivers, you guys have seen it. It's awfully, awfully good. How many we do in the US? I mean this could be the biggest game of all time for Nintendo. This is a Miyamoto classic. You know, we've sold almost 4 million Super Mario 64s in the US alone.[11]

Q: Are you expecting a simultaneous release in Japan and the US?

Lincoln: I think that the Japan launch will be a little bit before our US launch. Mr. Yamauchi has not finalized that date. In Europe, there is no Thanksgiving, so that date doesn't have significance as a holiday, so our goal is to get it out in late November, early December.[11]

64 DD

Q: What about the 64DD?

Lincoln: We will not bring out hardware until we have killer software. We are hopeful for a Japan launch this year. We don't have a target date for 1999. The need for the 64DD is lessened because we have seen what is possible with large cartridges (256 meg) with Zelda.

Main: We're far from having maximized the N64.[11]

Q: What's the story with Zelda? Wasn't it originally going to come out for 64DD? What happened?

Lincoln: Zelda was originally planned for 64DD, when we thought we wouldn't be able to put it out on cart. But with recent developments in pricing of cartridges, we were able to make a huge cart economical. The game won't suffer at all for being on a cartridge.[11]

E3 1998

The version of the game that could be played at E3 1998 had three different sections players could choose to play through: A dungeon tour, a battle tour, and a city tour.[12]

  • Some music and sound effects are similar to previous Zelda games.[13]

The screenshot below shows the playable gameplay scenarios for the Battle Tour menu: Gohma, King Dodongo, Phantom Ganon, and Volvagia.

LoZOoT-Prerelease E3-1998.jpg


  • Most of the action takes place from a traditional Mario-style 3D camera angle.[12]
  • The camera angle is mostly third-person, but there are also some fixed angles and panning.[13]
  • The view can be changed to first person at any time for examining objects or aiming the slingshot and bow.[13]


"We want to make it easier for game players to manipulate the controller," he says. "They must feel as if they are in the virtual world."[9]


  • When Link encounters enemies, he can hold Z to target them.[12]
  • This causes a cinematic letterbox to appear on the screen to indicate that the Z-targeting mode is active.[12]
  • The game chooses the closest enemy.[14]
  • The camera follows the enemy, and Link will always face it.[12][14]
  • He will sidestep around the target and direct all his attacks to that location.[14]
  • He can also use it to dodge enemy attacks.[15]
  • If you want to select another enemy, let go of Z and press it again to switch to the new target.[14]
  • Link will spin around to face it instead.[14]
  • When the Z button is released, the camera angle returns to normal.[12]
  • Z-trigger also allows you to take a closer look at the object or character nearest to you.[15]
  • You can move around that object or character's 3D space without losing sight of it.[15]


  • The A button controls Link's sword.[15]
  • The B button is the action button.[15]
  • You can use it to talk to people.[15]
  • If no one is nearby, the B button is your action or search mechanism.[15]
  • At the top right of the screen, a word like "speak" or "open" will appear to let you know you can perform those tasks at a particular moment.[13]
  • C-up switches to an overhead view, "changing your perspective to include a broader visual range".[15]
  • You can equip items with C-left, C-down, and C-right.[15]
  • Pressing the Start button brings up a series of menus.[12]
  • One menu is an inventory list.[12]
  • Another menu contains various maps Link has collected.[12]
  • There is no Jump button. (New for 3D gamers at the time.)[12]
  • Pushing the joystick in the direction you wish to jump causes Link to jump automatically.[12]
  • He will only jump if the area is clear. If there is a fence or wall in the way, he won't try to jump.[12]


Link had different equipment depending on the stage.[12] The weapons you could use depended on Link's age.[16]

Zora Tunic

  • In one of the boss scenes, Adult Link was wearing a blue tunic.[7]

Link will also have three different outfit colors.[8]

Kokiri Sword

There will be three swords that Link will wield: a normal sword, Master Sword, and the Giant's Dagger.[8]

Master Sword

There will be three swords that Link will wield: a normal sword, Master Sword, and the Giant's Dagger.[8]

Biggoron Sword

There will be three swords that Link will wield: a normal sword, Master Sword, and the Giant's Dagger. It seems that the Giant's Dagger is stronger then the Master Sword though![8]



  • Bombs[12]
  • If you don't throw the bomb fast enough, Link "gets lit up and set on fire".[16]


  • Bow
    • Could be used while riding on horseback.[13]
    • Caused the camera to shift to a first-person perspective.[12]

Ocarina of Time

  • Ocarina[15]
  • Pressing A will play a note.[15]


  • Hookshot[7]
    • Available in the City Tour, judging by the fact that it could be used to "zip from rooftop to rooftop".[7]
    • Caused the camera to shift to a first-person perspective.[12]

Grappling hook

The innovative grappling hook makes a return in Zelda 64. Picture Link standing on a rooftop. By pressing the corresponding button (it depends which C-Button you assigned the grappling hook to), the view switches to a first-person perspective. Link can now shoot the hook shot over to another roof and pull himself across.[8]


Deku Nuts

Deku Stick

  • Deku Stick[12]
    • Pressing the button that the Deku Stick is equipped to caused Link to pull it out.[12]
    • Pressing the button again caused Link to slash with it.[12]


Deku Seeds



Like the original, the new game takes place in the land of Hyrule and focuses on protagonist Link's quest to find and save the princess Zelda. But this time, Miyamoto says, the focus is as much on the characters, which include dinosaurs that mutate into boulders, as on the colorfully animated action. "I wanted to focus on my experiences of meeting people I met after my early childhood."[9]

  • There were quite a few areas that weren't in the last version.[7]
  • Sneak past the guards in Hyrule Castle courtyard.[7]
  • If you get caught, you go back to the entrance.[7]
  • Succeed and meet up with Princess Zelda.[7]
  • Zelda explains the story of the Triforce and the three sacred stones.[7]
  • She explains how she doesn't trust Ganondorf, one of her father's servants.[7]
  • While she talks, you can see Ganondorf through a window, kneeling before the king.[7]
  • As Link and Zelda peer in the window, Ganon suddenly turns his eye toward Link, as if he somehow knew that he was there all along.[7]
  • There is no sense of continuity or story when playing the separate "pieces" that Nintendo provided. Players generally only play in brief 10-15 minute bursts.[12]


Revisited - Sheik

Mystery Harp Player

A mysterious, shrouded knight appears at key moments in the game and teaches Link magical melodies on his harp. Link can then use his ocarina and play back the melodies (via the A, B, and C-Buttons). The proper suite opens up secrets and grants Link access to new areas.[8]

Din, Nayru, & Farore

OoT-Din Nayru Farore.jpg


King's Guards

Prototype Final
OoT-Ganondorf June 98.png OoT-Courtyard 1 Jun98 Comp.png

The king's guards have noticeably different models, bearing a prominent triforce symbol, with their posture being less stern. This model is still present in the final game.

OoT oA11.png

Child Zelda

Prototype Final
OoT-Child Zelda June 98.png OoT-Courtyard 2 Jun98 Comp.png
OoT-Child Zelda2 June 98.jpg

Child Zelda's model is much simpler, with larger ears and a less defined face. This series of screenshots also has earlier dialog. The last text mentioning the Ocarina of Time is said by Impa in revised form in the final.

Pre-release Screenshot Official Japanese Script


Who... are you? !

Wh, who's there?



今は お父さまに

忠誠を 誓っているけれど
きっと ウソに 決まっています…

Right now, he's swearing fealty to my father,

but I know... the truth of his evil plans...

He's swearing loyalty

to my father right now,
but I'm sure he is lying...



夢に 見た、

ハイラルを おおう 黒い雲…
あの男に ちがいありません!

There is no mistake... he came to this country for

one of the keys to the Sacred Realm passed
down by the royal family: The Ocarina of Time!

The black clouds covering Hyrule

that I saw in my dream...
It has to be him!

Child Epona

OoT-Child Epona June 98.jpg



  • There are circles of bushes that can be slashed for rupees.[12]
  • There are chickens in certain cities that can be attacked.[12]
  • Can push objects.[13]
  • Can find secrets under tombstones.[13]

Dungeon Tour

  • Contained various dungeons to explore.[12]
  • Sometimes destroying all the enemies in a room will open a door, or cause an item to appear.[14]

Battle Tour

The boss scenes are cinematic.[12]

  • The battle begins with Link walking through a stone door into a large, cavernous room.[12]
  • Suddenly, the stone door slams shut behind him.[12]
  • Link looks startled, and quickly turns to see the door slamming closed.[12]
  • I fought 3 bosses, including Ganon.[16]
  • Each boss is introduced with a cutscene, then the battle begins.[16]
  • Each boss has a weakness, or something that must be exploited before it can be hurt.[16]
  • The first boss is Gohma.[16]
  • You have to find her before you can fight her.[16]
  • You must hit Gohma's eye with your slingshot.[16]
  • She is fought as Child Link.[16]
  • When you kill her, her body rots and disappears.[16]
  • Link travels through time for his next challenge.[16]
  • Beat King Dodongo by throwing bombs down its throat.[13]
  • It breathes fire.[13]
  • Then wait till the bomb explodes inside of it.[13]
  • Then it is safe to attack.[13]
  • Defeat Volvagia by stunning him with the Megaton Hammer.[7]

City Tour

  • Players could explore the various towns of Zelda 64.[12]
  • Link talks to the townspeople with text-based dialogue.[12]
  • Link can enter people's houses to talk and find rupees.[12]

Revisited - Kokiri Forest

Prototype Final
OoT-Kokiri Forest June 98.jpg OoT-Kokiri Forest Jun98 Comp.png


Temple of Time Exterior

Prototype Final
OoT-Temple of Time Exterior.jpg OoT-ToT Exterior Jun98 Comp.png


Castle Courtyard

Prototype Final
OoT-Castle Courtyard June 98.jpg OoT-Castle Courtyard 1 Jun98 Comp.png

Outside Hyrule Castle

This scene introduces the stealth elements in Zelda. Link makes his way into Hyrule castle without being seen by guards. The view point during these sequences switches to a high angle that shows the entire area in question. Hiding behind hedges, walls and bushes, Link quietly sneaks past the guards and eventually meets up with Zelda in the courtyard, who tells him that she is worried about her father’s new right hand man. As Link looks through a window to catch a glimpse of who she is talking about, Ganondorf slowly walks into the castle and kneels before the king.[8]

Lon Lon Ranch

Prototype Final
OoT-Lon Lon Ranch June 98.jpg OoT-Lon Lon Ranch Jun98 Comp.png


Zora's Domain

Prototype Final
OoT-Zora Pillar NCL.jpg OoT-Zoras Domain Jun98 Comp.png

The overall design of this area bears similarities to the minimap of the area found in the iQue leak. From the screenshots, it's clear that the spiral ramp that leads up to King Zora's chamber is completely surrounded by water, whereas in the final version it's connected with one path to the entrance and another one leading around the structure to the Zora Shop.

Prototype Final
OoT-Zoras Domain1 June 98.jpg OoT Zoras Domain 1 Jun98 Comp.png


OoT-Zoras Domain2 June 98.jpg


OoT-Zoras Domain3 June 98.jpg


OoT-Zoras Domain4 June 98.jpg

An early Zora can be found standing in the back.

OOTzoraDomainWaterfallJump Prerelease.PNG



Revisited - King Dodongo

Following the short speech, Nintendo rolled the tape of its Zelda demo and as usual, the audience was stunned. The tape showed Link battling enemies and bosses as well as some cut-scene sequences. Most bosses were absolutely enormous. One boss resembled a gigantic rock-like dog. The boss could breathe fire, assume the form of a ball that tries to trample Link. Link was shown throwing a bomb into the boss's mouth which it then swallowed. The resulting explosion was excellent.[10]

Revisited - Phantom Ganon

Phantom Gannon

Link enters an octagonal room with paintings on the walls that show castle scenery with a road leading into the distance. As Link is trying to find an exit from the room, a vortex opens on one of the paintings and out leaps the evil Gannondorf on the back of his black steed, complete with battle armor and helmet. After a short faceoff, Gannondorf rides through the room past Link and jumps through another opening into one of the paintings. Players watch in awe as Gannondorf gallops down the painted road in the picture and emerges from another painting. Link has to use his bow and arrow to take out Gannondorf while he is outside the painting.[8]

Revisited - Volvagia

Fire Dragon

The Fire Dragon was first shown at Nintendo's press conference and drew many cheers from the audience. A long, twirling lindworm emerges from a sea of lava and flies through the air, breathing fire and letting out blood-curdling screams.[8]

Revisited - Morpha

Water Temple

One of the most impressive sequences put into Zelda yet has Link fighting a water-based creature, reminiscent of the first alien encounter in the movie The Abyss. A long arm of shimmering, translucent water shoots out of an inside pool and picks up Link in an attempt to kill him.[8]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Miyamoto speaks out in Nintendo Power - ZHQ.com, May 28, 1998
  2. E3 98 release date? - RPG-Net.com, May 13th, 1998
  3. Before all hell breaks loose - ZHQ.com, May 26, 1998
  4. 4.00 4.01 4.02 4.03 4.04 4.05 4.06 4.07 4.08 4.09 4.10 4.11 4.12 Zelda V shown to EB employees - ZHQ.com, May 26, 1998
  5. 5.00 5.01 5.02 5.03 5.04 5.05 5.06 5.07 5.08 5.09 5.10 5.11 http://web.archive.org/web/20010709092021/http://www.zhq.com/entry/news/e3/pr.htm Nintendo's press release] - ZHQ.com, May 27th, 1998
  6. 6.00 6.01 6.02 6.03 6.04 6.05 6.06 6.07 6.08 6.09 6.10 http://web.archive.org/web/19990921054900/http://www.zhq.com/entry/news/e3/pc2.htm Miyamoto's press briefing] - ZHQ.com, June 13th, 1998
  7. 7.00 7.01 7.02 7.03 7.04 7.05 7.06 7.07 7.08 7.09 7.10 7.11 7.12 Gamespot E3 Impressions: John's Account - Jun. 13th, 1998
  8. 8.00 8.01 8.02 8.03 8.04 8.05 8.06 8.07 8.08 8.09 8.10 8.11 New Features in Zelda V - ZHQ.com, June 13, 1998
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 9.4 Zelda in the news - ZHQ.com, June 13, 1998
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 IGN reports on press conference - ZHQ.com, June 13, 1998
  11. 11.00 11.01 11.02 11.03 11.04 11.05 11.06 11.07 11.08 11.09 11.10 11.11 Talking with Nintendo of America - ZHQ.com, June 13, 1998
  12. 12.00 12.01 12.02 12.03 12.04 12.05 12.06 12.07 12.08 12.09 12.10 12.11 12.12 12.13 12.14 12.15 12.16 12.17 12.18 12.19 12.20 12.21 12.22 12.23 12.24 12.25 12.26 12.27 12.28 12.29 12.30 12.31 12.32 12.33 12.34 12.35 Puffyboy60's E3 Report - Zelda Headquarters, Jun. 13th, 1998
  13. 13.00 13.01 13.02 13.03 13.04 13.05 13.06 13.07 13.08 13.09 13.10 Gamespot E3 Impressions: Ryan's Account - Jun. 13th, 1998
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 14.3 14.4 14.5 Gamespot E3 Impressions: Jeff's Account - Jun. 13th, 1998
  15. 15.00 15.01 15.02 15.03 15.04 15.05 15.06 15.07 15.08 15.09 15.10 15.11 15.12 15.13 Gamespot E3 Impressions - Jun. 13th, 1998
  16. 16.00 16.01 16.02 16.03 16.04 16.05 16.06 16.07 16.08 16.09 16.10 16.11 16.12 Nintendojo E3 Impressions - Jun. 13th, 1998