On the build up to the release of the The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time remake for the 3DS
I thought I'd refresh my memory on some of the finer points of the game. I also decided that it might finally be time to beat Ocarina of Time: Master Quest, one of the few Zelda titles I hadn't finished.
Never heard of it? Master Quest (known as Ura Zelda or Reverse Side in Japan) is a remixed version of Ocarina. It was
originally set to appear on the short-lived Nintendo 64 expansion drive called the N64 DD but was finally made legitimately available to gamers on various Zelda bonus and collector's discs during the GameCube era.
It echoes the Second Quest mentality of the original Legend of Zelda for NES, reusing the game's engine and basic tenants but modifying the experience to provide a new level of challenge.
Outside of Ocarina's nine or so stages everything is the same; the story, the chronology, the two Overworlds etc. This is a little disappointing as something like an alternate ending would have made for an interesting incentive for finishing the game.
However, every stage has been so deviously redesigned it's pretty easy to look beyond this issue. If you relish Zelda's particular brand of puzzle solving you'll be in your element. While the basic structure of each level is largely the same, any and all puzzles elements and enemies were fair game when the developers were redesigning.
Master Quest was clearly designed for those who thought they had squeezed every ounce of replayability and exploration out of Ocarina of Time as it constantly pushes the capabilities of what the player would normally be asked to do. From actively making use of items that were once barely required like Din's Fire to straight up using exploits (expect to use the hookshot invincibility trick to pull Link through otherwise impassable flame walls) the developers really went crazy with it in the best way possible.
I would love to blog about all the weird and wonderful differences in Master Quest but I feel that only the most hardcore Zelda fans would appreciate the design nuisances here. Instead, I'll just recommend that any Ocarina of Time fan up for a new challenge should check this out, whether you track it down on GameCube or wait to snap it up as part of Ocarina of Time 3D.
For now, I'll leave you with a picture of one of the weirder redesigned elements I encountered in Lord Jabu-Jabu's belly - cows half submerged in walls that act as switches.