The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time / Master Quest (GameCube) Review

By Renan Fontes 26.02.2016 1

Review for The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time / Master Quest on GameCube

Originally envisioned as an expansion of sorts for The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, Master Quest was to be released for the failed Nintendo 64DD under the moniker "Ura Zelda." It was an attempt at reimagining Ocarina of Time, changing dungeon designs and increasing the overall difficulty. Due to the N64DD's lacklustre sales and the advent of Majora's Mask, Ura Zelda was swept under the rug until near the release of The Wind Waker on GameCube, where Nintendo gave out discs containing the original Ocarina of Time and a proper successor to Ura Zelda - The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time Master Quest. Later included in the remake, Ocarina of Time 3D, for Nintendo 3DS as an unlockable mode after beating the game, Cubed3 looks back at the GameCube bonus disc to see how this remixed version of one of the greatest games holds up today.

The first thing worth noting about this disc is its inclusion of the original Ocarina of Time and a 20-minute demo of The Wind Waker. Upon the reveal of the GameCube's first Zelda game, Nintendo was met with great backlash due to the sudden shift in art style. Where Ocarina of Time and Majora's Mask were aesthetically darker and more realistic, The Wind Waker instead opted for brighter colours to accentuate its vast world and set a more appropriate tone for its respective journey. By including a full version of the Nintendo 64 masterpiece and a demo of the GameCube's forthcoming Zelda experience, Nintendo was able to alleviate any fans in doubt that The Wind Waker would be anything but a genuine Zelda game.

When it comes to Ocarina of Time, virtually everything is left untouched, with the only real difference being the button icons changing over to match the GameCube's controller scheme. Hyrule is the exact same as it was on the Nintendo 64, providing a nostalgic rebirth for existing fans and the genuine Ocarina of Time experience for newcomers.

Perhaps not surprisingly, the Hero of Time's adventure to stop Ganondorf's reign of tyranny holds up just as well in 2016 as it did in 1998. Shigeru Miyamoto's directing is nothing short of brilliant, offering a well-paced epic with just enough challenge to never feel easy or feel too frustrating to complete.

Screenshot for The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time / Master Quest on GameCube

While Ocarina of Time and The Wind Waker demo are nice enough on their own, the main appeal of the disc is the appropriately-titled Master Quest - a reimagining of Ocarina of Time. Although it doesn't go to the lengths that Ura Zelda would have, adding new items and increasing the overall difficulty of combat, Master Quest changes up enough of Hyrule where even a seasoned Zelda veteran would struggle with the new dungeon designs.

Since this is more of a treat for long-time fans more than anything else, the overall design is far more whimsical and thought provoking than the original. Dungeons are littered with cows in place of switches, enemy mobs that demand focus like nothing else in the franchise, and puzzles that are both immensely challenging and rewarding all at once. As a highly anticipated title, several rules had to be abided with the development of Ocarina of Time. It needed to be accessible, it needed to strike a proper balance in difficulty, and it needed to be coherent, but since Master Quest exists only as a side dish and companion to its sister game, the developers could go as wild with design as they wanted, and the experience is better off for it.

The anomalies of Master Quest are what allows it to stand out from Ocarina of Time and other games in the franchise as its own mark on Zelda history. It may follow the story of Ocarina of Time to a T, but when it comes to pure gameplay, it's different in every regard. Dungeons are completely redesigned, with the only aspect remaining being overall aesthetic; enemies don't do more damage than the original, but they appear in larger mobs and in varied combinations, inciting a tense atmosphere that can only be shaken off with raw strategy; and puzzles linger and truly challenge critical thinking skills. Master Quest takes everything that was great about Ocarina of Time and adds its own flavour to it all. It exists for the fans and it shows.

Screenshot for The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time / Master Quest on GameCube

Cubed3 Rating

9/10
Rated 9 out of 10

Exceptional - Gold Award

Rated 9 out of 10

When all is said and done, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time / Master Quest is one of the greatest love letters to exist. Containing one of the greatest games of the 20th century and adding its own spin on it creates an unforgettable experience. Master Quest is sheer proof that greatness cannot be perfected.

Developer

Nintendo

Publisher

Nintendo

Genre

Action Adventure

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  9/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  9/10 (3 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

Comments

Loved playing this on GC and then more recently on 3DS. 3DS version was mirrored and enemies did more damage. Even though I did MQ right after running through normal OoT3D, it was still remixed and refreshed enough that I didn't get overwhelmed by so much OoT in continued sittings.

Was really disappointed MM3D didn't have a MQ. With only four dungeons, I don't think it was too much to ask at all. Maybe they were worried making things too challenging could impact on the time limit, but still think it was a mistake not to do so. MQ is something we don't see in games much, if at all, so really wished it would be embraced a little more, even if getting a small team to work on DLC dungeon remixes to keep things going till the next Zelda (which are too far apart).

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