Ocarina of Time: Coming of Age

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Disclaimer: This article was written by a member of the Hidden Triforce team. The information, opinions, and beliefs displayed in this article belong to that of the author and do not represent the Hidden Triforce as a whole.

The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time is the fifth installment to the Legend of Zelda series; originally coming out in 1998 for the Nintendo 64, then was remade in 2011 on the Nintendo 3DS. It was the first game to be made in 3D, rather than 2D, for Zelda, setting the bar (high) for all 3D Zelda games. Taking place in the land of Hyrule, the chosen hero, Link, with Princess Zelda, must save Hyrule and the people residing in it from the main antagonist, Ganondorf. 

The game is a staple in many of our childhoods, also being the first video game I ever played. Growing up playing this game, and reliving it in true 3D as a teenager, made me realize how important this game was in my life. Whether it was running from my problems at the Bottom of the Well, or taking my frustration out on Cuccos, the game proves to be playable throughout my whole life thus far. 

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I feel every child or teenager should play this game at some point in their young lives. Though it is a fantasy action-adventure game about Link rescuing Hyrule, the underlying themes of adulthood, growing up, and responsibility shine through about as bright as blue flames. Looking back, I now realize all the game truly taught me. I played for my first time at the around 3, and completed the game for the first time at the age of 8. Though the lessons weren’t obvious then, playing it now at 19 helps me understand why I fell in love with the game, and stayed in love all these years. 

Here are some things Ocarina of Time taught me and why you, your children, and teens should play!

How to handle and save money.

Playing the game when I was younger, getting to Castle Town and being able to play the mini games was the part I looked forward to most. I would spend all my rupees playing games, then not have any to buy much needed (at the time) potions and items. When I finally had enough running around Hyrule field grinding for rupees and items, I was motivated to ration my rupees better, find the larger wallets, and buy important items before playing the games. As silly as it sounds, it was the first saving/rationing system I was introduced to, and to this day I look back to when handling money.

Things aren’t always what they seem.

Walking into Castle Town for the first time excited me so much, it felt like a huge accomplishment. However, that was short lived when I became frustrated trying to get into Hyrule Castle. Not only did it take me forever to realize I had to go into town and talk to Malon, but when I finally climbed the vines I just assumed I needed to go on the path. Or, using the seeds to grow hovering plants. The game forces you to look at things you aren’t comfortable with, such as not following a path, or putting things just out of your reach (like heart pieces).

Obtaining the Weird Egg from Malon at the front of Hyrule Castle

You have to earn trust, but it will be rewarded.

In order to reach all of the spiritual stones as a child, you must first prove that you can be trusted by each race of Hyrule. Link has to go inside the Deku Tree and fight Gohma, into Death Mountain to defeat King Dodongo, and within Belly Jabu-Jabu’s to destroy Barinade.

Death is sad, but not the end.

Let’s admit it- we were all in tears when The Great Deku Tree passed away right before our eyes. All our hard work, all that time, our first temple complete, wasted. I remember felling empty, because up to that point The Deku Tree was all the Kokiri talked about, and everyone was so excited that Link got to meet with him. However, after completing the Forest Temple, the Deku Sapling is planted, and reassures Link he will watch over and protect his childhood home.

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With growing up, comes responsibility. 

All of us look forward to growing up as young children, fantasizing that all our small problems will go away. When Link pulls the Master Sword out, he becomes 7 years older. At first, I thought it was pretty sick I got to play as Adult Link. I ran around the Temple of time for a minute remarking how cool it was to be an adult……. Then I went outside. Very fast you learn that what you did caused disaster in the world, and now you have to urgently go and fix everything on your own. Kinda like how you have to learn to become independent. 


This one is admittedly silly and biased, but I feel one of my earliest lessons in forgiveness, was when Mido sees adult Link and hears him play Saria’s Song. He does not recognize Link at this age, but when he says he trusts Link because he reminds Mido of “him”. This made me go from disliking this character, due to his smug and arrogant attitude, to forgiving him for his earlier actions. Like I said- its biased to my play through. 

People change for the better. 

The Gerudo are a tribe of all woman, and no men are allowed into their society, nor on their land in the desert. If Link is caught here during his first few visits, he will be thrown into a jail cell, left to find his escape. However, after fighting a Gerudo Guard a few times, she admits defeat to Link and as a sign of surrender, she gives Link the pass to be allowed within their walls. Not only that, but the whole tribe welcomes Link into their home, even their horseback shooting range. 

Friendship is forever. 

Link spends his whole childhood within the Kokiri Forest. So when he leaves his home for Hyrule Castle, his long time friend Saria is obviously upset. She expresses her concern, but says she’s okay with his departure. She gives him his first ocarina, and teaches him a song he can play to speak with her any time, anywhere. She’s quoted saying “I knew… that you would leave the forest… someday, Link… Because you are different from me and my friends…. But that’s OK, because we’ll be friends forever… won’t we?” This heartbreaking scene taught me a lot about what being a true friend was. Even thoughwe don’t see each other all the time, we will always be a call away. (Watch here for feels http://bit.ly/2uvg68h ) 

Hard work pays off.

I can’t say too much of this one because I want as little spoilers as possible. The Big Goron Sword side quest was one of the most frustrating things of my childhood (along side with the race with the running man). I disliked being timed, and I would always get side tracked and have to restart to quest. However, I would always make sure to do it every play through, because I learned the reward was worth the frustration. 

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Some times you have to deal with a tough problem more than once, but you will overcome it. 

Keeping spoilers limited (trying to) fighting the final boss of the game twice really threw me off. Seeing the final form of the final boss intimidated me, made me feel small, and I felt like I couldn’t beat him. However, once I attempted and put my best effort forth, I was able to beat it easily, realizing I had nothing to worry about (much like many of my real life problems). 

There are probably dozens of more reasons I could give you why this game would be the perfect coming of age story. I’ve only covered ten of the more personal ones, but these lessons can be helpful to anyone struggling growing up. The only true way to experience the hidden themes of this game to is play it for your self. So, lets make sure The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time stays a staple in young gamers lives’!

Thank you for reading! Let me know what lessons this game taught you in the comments. Don’t forget to leave a like and comment to support both the author and The Hidden Triforce!- Paige (Author)


About Author

Paige has been a video game lover since birth, taking a special love to The Legend of Zelda series. Since first playing Ocarina of Time on the Nintendo 64, she has played every game before and since. In her early years of school, she realized she had a passion for creative writing, and has been perusing her passion since.