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Flaws in Ocarina of Time


Lord of the Flies
Site Staff
Oct 14, 2007
West Dundee, IL
As part of a project at the website, I wanted to ask you all what you think are some of the major flaws within Ocarina of Time. This includes specific elements of the game, as well as the more grander overview of the title.

A few common grander complaints include...
1. The game is more or less a remake of A Link to the Past
2. The game lacks much detail in the character development.

A few more specifics....
1. The Water Temple, switching between the Iron Boots was obnoxiously annoying.

Please post things that you thought were annoying or in general flaws you thought were in the game. Try to be clear and specific and provide examples. Thanks a bunch!


Guy What's Angry Now
May 15, 2009
It's a secret to everybody.
Well, the camera was definitely an issue- I was always having to fuss with the targeting whenever I fought Tektites.

The Z-targeting, too, while revolutionary and certainly superior to previous attempts at 3D targeting, was often fussy with mobile enemies- if it was moving in more than one direction or at more than a couple miles per hour, the bow was practically useless, and if you try to use projectile weapons in a multi-enemy melee, you might as well shoot yourself in the head since switching targets ended up with you looking down the nose of the first-person bow while the Stalfos' swords came down on your cranium.

I'm also a little disappointed with the overworld- I hear a lot of complaints about TP's overworld being empty, but OoT just didn't have very much to discover outside of a select few areas (and the awesome dungeons). The few hidden areas you did find often were simply watered-down predecessors to TP's grottoes- a hole in the ground with a magic beam of light, plus some foliage, some bugs, a beehive, and a gossip stone (and occasionally a treasure chest with 5 rupees). Hyrule Field was not only huge and empty, but it was also honestly pretty ugly- scrubby grass, sparse trees and relentless Stalchildren at night.

The controls in general were pretty loose- Link sword was pretty short and it showed- his default horizontal swing didn't work well when Z-targeting, and unless you got up close enough to take a surprise hit, it was practically impossible to engage in combat with practically anything without getting hit. Opening doors was also oddly weird, and the aiming on the bow was... wonky.

I'm also not a big fan of the time-travel- it was touted as a cool new feature, but really all it did was open up a dungeon or two and let you go back to the non-apocalyptic Hyrule in case you missed a shop or trading quest item or something. Aside from the Spirit Temple, travelling back in time was totally unnecessary to most of the game. A system like Oracle of Ages or Link to the Past would have been better, but given the fact that they already had a hugely pervasive new gimmick in the form of 3D, I suppose it couldn't really have been expected back then.

I'm one of those people who never played the game as a kid, so I really didn't get in to the characters like everyone else seemed to- Malon struck me as paper thin and an excuse to get the horse, Saria was interesting but honestly didn't get enough screen time before she basically died, and everyone else was a plot device or boring caricature (outside of Nabooru, who actually had character- she was a thieving conniving sort of creep who nonetheless had charm, despite suffering from a dearth of screen time).

Ocarina of Time was Zelda's first 3D effort, and it shows. It didn't really get into the third dimension (height) like its descendants did- almost every puzzle I can remember could be recreated almost exactly in a 2D engine like LttP- 3D was certainly a major leap, and well-executed, but it was definitely still getting on its feet- the jump to 3D was like a jump across a chasm, and while OoT put both feet on the other side instead of falling down, it had sort of a rough landing.

Essentially, OoT was definitely revolutionary for its time, but its minimalistic design and lack of polish make it, in my eyes, ultimately inferior to its later 3D sequels WW and TP. (I'm still on the fence about MM- without the time warp mechanic it would have been utterly incredible, but some boneheaded moves with the game's structure and progression made it hard for me to really get into.) Essentially, OoT's popularity is a case study in changing standards- it was mind-blowingly great for its time, but while its successors weren't as great compared to the evolving industry, they were certainly more polished and full of content than their ancestor.


Sage of Tales
My main dissapointment (having played TP first), what I'd warn "new" Zelda fans over...

Is the very small overworld. I've read complaints that TP was "padded" - lots of overworld without substance, and the infamous sailing complaint in WW, but I actually liked that aspect. (Not so much sailing in WW, seeing as the ocean was mostly empty and it was darned annoying to be bumped out of the boat by enemies and unable to fight them unless in the boat)... but riding around on Epona over TP's pretty overworld is something that I enjoy - I sometimes do that rather than warp even after I can easily warp. OoT's Hyrule is *tiny* - I suppose it's just "the important areas" and is supposed to be a slice of the kingdom, but random exploration is limited and it felt like Hyrule was... not fit to be a kingdom, more like a small, East Coast *county.*

I don't mind land-padding if it's made visually interesting and there are at least a few things to fight and discover.


Mrs. Austin
Dec 6, 2009
The biggest problem I had was the swimming system. This kinda ties with the whole Iron Boots frustration, but the simple fact was Link could not swim underwater. I played TP before OoT, so I might be biased in this opinion, but still, after TP's swimming was so free and natural (I think MM's swim system was also great but I can't judge that myself), OoT's swimming was so lackluster, so unnatural that Link could not dive when he was in the water.


Retired Super Mod and HK
Oct 24, 2007
The only thing that really annoyed me was the fact that time stopped in Castle Town.


Dec 3, 2008
It's not secret that I don't like Ocarina of Time. This is likely because I played games such as Twilight Princess, Wind Waker and A Link to the Past before playing OoT. So I likely don't like it as much because it has none of the nostalgia and I didn't grow up playing it. So, let me begin.

Game Play

Yes. I though that the game play was really shallow in this game, when compared to other N64 games of the same era. Even Mario 64, while coming a few years before OoT was purely more fun to play. OoT was uncreative and didn't take any chances when it came to new game play mechanics. It just took ALttP, sent it off to magic 3D party land and then it got drunk. Meaning they dumbed it down. They didn't use the items in any interesting ways, and they didn't even have any interesting items. The most interesting thing was probably the Mirror Shield or the Hover Boots, because at least they brought some even half interesting game play mechanics into play.


I quite agree with TVT Master when it comes to the camera control. It felt clunky and unresponsive, especially when in the heat of battle or when fighting a big boss link Volvagia that flies off-screen. And changing between targets also really sucked, as more often then not I'd find myself not Z-Targeting anything when I was trying to change between multiple enemies in a multi-enemy fight. Or, when I wanted to not Z-Target anything, I'd find my self stuck targeting a rock, such as in Kokiri Forest Training Area.

Story/Character Interaction

This. There isn't much to say about the story, and never mind the character interaction. First of all, the story was gimmicky. Boy is chosen, boy leaves friend, boy meets important person, they make a plan, boy is defeated by evil guy, important person leaves, boy gets sacred item, boy gains strength, boy defeats evil guy, boy saves important person. And then everything is back to normal in a failure of a sad departure between Link and Zelda. Not a very inspiring or interesting story when compared to the likes of Majora's Mask.

Now, the character interaction is very minimal. I'd say the most interesting would probably be Link leaving Saria. That's kind of sad, but pales in comparison to say, Anju and Kafei or the Postman's dilemma in Majora's Mask. Malon was a sorry excuse for a character/possible love interest. She was entirely an excuse for the horse. Even Ingo was more interesting, how he wanted power and thought that Ganondorf could provide it (Well, he kind of thought that..), but then he became a good guy. Again, kind of cliche. And I thought that Malon had a lot of potential. And Zelda.. She may as well have not been in the game. Sheik could have at least done SOMETHING interesting other then give you Ocarina lessons. Oh yeah, thanks. I totally wanted that. Well, at least you aren't charged $75 dollars a session for it..


So what, kick me into a pit in a dramatic fashion whist screaming the your location in epically. The graphics just weren't as slick as they should have or could have been. Especially in Hyrule Field, it was like walking on a test area or something. It was so sharp, and the grass textures were horrid. But, I did like the actual character models, though some things could have been a bit less sharp looking. Especially Epona.


Hyrule Field was down right boring. The size was completely unnecessary for what they did with it. They likely could have saved so much space to add another area, or at least make the areas that they already had more interesting. Or at the very least make more enemies in it then Stalchildren, Poes and Pea Hats. That's it. It also took forever to travel through. And the horse ridding was horrific. It was clunky, boring, shooting arrows was annoying and more often then not Epona's Song didn't even work when you wanted to call Epona. Great.

Well, there's probably something else that I missed, but to sum everything up for the 75% of people that don't bother to read the whole thing, OoT has many flaws including:

- Shallow Game Play
- Bad Camera
- Uninspiring and Lame Story
- Nonexistent Character Interaction
- Hyurle Field Graphics (They suck. Other ones are pretty good though)
- Other Things (Hyrule Field sucks, horse riding is terrible)
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Jan 31, 2010
a place of settlement, activity, or residence.
That will be difficult, since this is my second favorite Zelda game.

Here's the list of what comes to mind:

1. Camera Angles

I often had trouble getting the camera positioned in the right angle, particularly during boss fights. I had a real problem with the camera getting turned around and finding myself going in the wrong direction (until I learned to frequently check my map for orientation purposes). It was often the difference between beating bosses easily and dying quickly. They seemed good at the time, but that was probably because the only other 3D game I had played recently was Super Mario 64.

2. Polygon tearing on terrain

I always noticed this, and thought it was a minor flaw in an otherwise perfect game world. The character models didn't tear, and most walls didn't... but the terrain in some areas was just... sloppy. This might be more the N64's fault than anything else, though.

3. ReDeads were too scary

I can't believe they really put monsters like this in a game rated "E." I mean, yes they weren't carrying guns or anything, but the idea of invisible, rotting monsters lurking in corners that suddenly scream, and can suck the life out of you isn't... creepy enough to scar you? This is supposed to be ZELDA, not Resident Evil!

4. Epona's controls were difficult

I had a lot of problems with Epona at first. You had to have just the right angle to get her over walls, and she would take forever to stop and turn around if she ran into an obstacle, because you had to back up slowly before trying to turn and move forward. It was particularly noticible while hunting Big Poes.

Other than that, I'd say the game was perfect.


I hate the fact that you have to go to the equipment screen everytime you just want to put on/take off the iron boots!
Fortunately they made it easier in WW and TP.
What also sucked in my opinion was that if you want to Z-target an enemy and then stop because there's another enemy behind you, you have to press the Z button again. Why not just make it stop when you let go of the button.
But yeah, apart from those things it was a great game
Last edited by a moderator:
Dec 14, 2008
Louisiana, USA
3. ReDeads were too scary

I can't believe they really put monsters like this in a game rated "E." I mean, yes they weren't carrying guns or anything, but the idea of invisible, rotting monsters lurking in corners that suddenly scream, and can suck the life out of you isn't... creepy enough to scar you? This is supposed to be ZELDA, not Resident Evil!.

Hahaha, too true. Not to mention the Shadow Temple that I still consider to be the scariest most disturbing place in Zelda History.

My biggest complaint is that changing equipment could've been better, namely assigning the iron and hover boots to a button since they're nuisances other wise. Anything else I can think of is just nick picking stuff that couldn't have been done at the time because of the inferior tech. I love Nintendo for always making the best of their always inferior tech. :)
Feb 3, 2010
Hahaha, too true. Not to mention the Shadow Temple that I still consider to be the scariest most disturbing place in Zelda History.

My biggest complaint is that changing equipment could've been better, namely assigning the iron and hover boots to a button since they're nuisances other wise. Anything else I can think of is just nick picking stuff that couldn't have been done at the time because of the inferior tech. I love Nintendo for always making the best of their always inferior tech. :)
the redeads didnt scare me (when i was 5) until they jumped onto link and started chewing his neck. but i still consider the forest temple to be the scariest place in zelda history.

the music, the weird twisted corridor and that wallmaster in the room with the big key that has scarred me for the rest of my life


I love being gay.
Nov 28, 2009
Bel Air, Maryland
Lack of control of the hover boots. And just lack of the hover boots in general. Now come to my understanding that they were originally made for Kaepora Gaepora's temple.

Flute Boy

ganon slayer
Mar 5, 2010
Good ol' Space Aus
uh, the shadow temple was a bit disturbing at times, but being next to guru guru (guy in windmill) is creepier, i mean hes standing there, doing the crap out of that box, and when you are an adult... that image is pulsating in my brain... ughh... but i agree that the forest temple as an adult was way scarier than anything in my life!!! the music was disturbing, it had a whole vibe, maby the style of the doors, that it was once someone, now deceased, theyre home... and all the temple was pretty much filled with dead enemies and evil plants, even the boss was a gohst, a creepy goatskull headed gohst...


Former Hylian Knight
Jun 8, 2009
I really only had a problem with the running man, I swear sometimes I just can't seem to find him when i had the bunny hood, and as an adult racing him to Kokiri bridge does nothing, there is no way to beat him and it is a waste of time. One of the scirpters for the game even mentioned that when they created that quest they never wrote any lines for the running man to say to you in case you really did win... other than that I love everything about OoT and have no complaints whatsoever.


In terms of gameplay, I suppose there's a few items that could have been used more. The boomerang was always one of my favorite items, but you get it in Jabu Jabu's belly, and then it becomes useless when you grow up immediately after. You get to use it again for 1/2 of the Spirit Temple, but I still didn't feel that was enough.

Some others include the hover boots, which really had almost no use outside the Shadow temple. Also the Ice Arrows, which were a cool optional item, but unlike the Fire arrows, they had no non-enemy use. Fire arrows can light torches, activate explosives, burn down webs, etc. Ice arrows don't have any field use, which is something they fixed in MM.

Story wise, the lack of character development is something I haven't really thought about before. There were a lot of great moments like when Saria gives you the Fairy Ocarina or when Sheik reveals his true identity, but there weren't a whole lot of scenes like this. Again, this is another thing that MM was able to do better, since it didn't have nearly as many technical things to work on. I think OoT had such a long development period that a lot of the story details were probably lost or left vague, in order to focus more effort of the gameplay elements.

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