[Top 10] Zelda: Ocarina of Time Best Moments

All the characters and enemies in all their glory

The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time is filled with moments that have stuck with fans and pulled on our heartstrings. Throughout the beloved classic, it repeatedly demonstrated that not only is gameplay imperative to a legendary video game, but so is its story. On Link’s epic journey to save the future, he encounters various obstacles along the way that further define the plot. 

10. Engaged to a Zora Princess

At first, this seems like an innocent reassemble. However, when Ruto is re-introducing herself to Link, she says: “It’s me, your fiancée, Ruto! Princess of the Zoras!”. Link jolts backward with a shocked expression, which is probably the same reaction I had the first time I played this. 

Thankfully, the Princess does not waste time explaining herself and gets straight to the point: “I never forgot the vows we made to each other seven years ago!”. Her attitude suddenly switches, and she gets a little feisty, “You’re a terrible man to have kept me waiting for these seven long years.”. 
Before Link can respond or absorb anything she just said, she ends the conversation by telling him, “But now is not the time to talk about love. I’m sure you’ve seen it, Zora’s Domain, completely frozen!”.

She explains how she survived, but now she’s obligated to save her father and the rest of her people. 
She’s desperate to save them all, begging Link to help her: “You! You must help me! This is a request from me, the woman who is going to be your wife!". You’ll quickly realize that obtaining the Zora’s Sapphire all those years ago was an engagement. It also explains why young Princess Ruto was blushing and called Link “so cool!” when he defeated Barinade. 

One of the reasons why I find this scene memorable is Link’s (sort of callous) reaction to finding out he’s someone’s fiancée. Throughout Ocarina of Time, Link generally wears a stoic face, you could even call it apathetic or emotionless. Link is a quiet guy with few words, I think he enjoys being reserved.

9. Creation of the world

After killing Queen Gohma, The Great Deku Tree confesses that Link’s valiant efforts weren’t enough to save his life. In the ancient guardian’s dying breaths, he tells Link about the creation of the world and the conception of the Triforce. In his storytelling endeavors, the cutscene switches to the beginning of time. 

Before time, souls, or life existed, the world was in chaos. Piercing through the sky came three golden goddesses that descended upon the fiery disarray that was Hyrule. 

There was Din the goddess of power, Nayru the goddess of wisdom, and Farore the goddess of courage. The three dispersed through the land and began shedding their influence. 

Din, with her flaming arms, cultivated the land and created the red earth. Nayru poured her wisdom onto the earth and gave the spirit of the law to the world. And finally, Farore produced all life forms who would uphold the law. 

After their labors were complete, they departed for the heavens, simultaneously leaving 3 golden triangles. Together, these sacred triangles formed the Triforce, which became the basis of the world’s providence. The resting place of the Triforce is also known as the Sacred Realm.

We learn that whoever touches the Triforce projects the purity of their hearts into it while giving them enormous and overwhelming power. Because of this, it’s imperative that whoever touches the Triforce has a good heart.

The Great Deku Tree also informs Link that a “desert man in black armor” is the reason for his fatality and that the Triforce itself is in jeopardy because of this man.  In his last words, he tells Link to meet the Princess of Destiny and tells Navi to help Link carry out his will. 

This cutscene held an important part of the Zelda series, as it was the first explanation of the formation of the Triforce and the three goddesses. This moment is regularly noted to this day, ultimately creating a template for re-telling the tale of the creation of the world

8. Link finds out about his past

The Sprout is like the Deku Tree – it has a face and can talk, too. The Sprout tells Link that his efforts in bringing life back to the forest saved the Kokiri and allowed him to grow. 

He asks Link, “Hey, have you seen your old friends? None of them recognized you with your grown-up body, did they?”, he then explains that the Kokiri never mature. 

The Sprout continues: “You must be wondering why only you have grown up. Well, as you might have already guessed, you are not a Kokiri, you are a Hylian.”.

The cutscene fades to a black void filled with a raging fire. Many years ago, before the King of Hyrule unified the country, there was a fierce and bloody war, also known as the Hylian Civil War. 

With the blazing fires and constant death brought up from the war, a Hylian mother escaped with her baby boy and entered the forest. The mother was weak and on the edge of death. Without choices or reliable options she trusted the Great Deku Tree to raise her son.

The Great Deku tree sensed that the baby had a pre-destined future that would affect the entire world and graciously took him in. After the mother passed away, her son was raised as a Kokiri. In learning this devastating information, Link realizes he was always bound to leave the forest. This cutscene had sparked tons of non-canon media surrounding Link's parents and their demise. 

7. Brainwashed Nabooru

As a child, Link enters the Spirit Temple, Nabooru is pondering next to a hole in the wall. Nabooru doesn’t trust anyone and has been working against her king since the beginning, making her suspicious even of Link being one of Ganondorf’s followers. 

Once Link denounces his favorability for the King of Thieves, she’ll introduce herself as a “lone wolf thief”. She expresses that she and Ganondorf are opposites, telling Link, “With his followers, he stole from women and children, he even killed people”. 

Nabooru will delve into the Gerudo race, explaining that only one man is born once every century, in which that man becomes their king. But, she aggressively invalidates this, “Even though our laws say that, I’ll never bow to such an evil man!”. 

After her long venting, she’ll ask Link to receive the silver gauntlets in the temple for her, telling him that they make him stronger. However, she warns Link not to take them for himself, and that they wouldn’t fit a kid like him anyways. 

Nabooru will illustrate an in-depth plan she has up her sleeve to use the gauntlets to steal from Ganondorf and mess up his long-term plans for reigning over Hyrule. Long story short, Link agrees to help the angry thief out, and after a long traversing through the temple, he finds the Silver gauntlets in a treasure chest. 

Shortly after, Link spots Nabooru outside the temple, screaming to be let go and being swallowed by a portal in the sand. Two Witches surround Nabooru on their broomsticks.

“Link! Get out of here! Now!”, Nabooru yells before getting sucked away into the sand. Afterward, the two witches inhabit the Temple. 

Flash forward, Adult Link meets the witches once again, along with an old friend. He learns that the witches are Ganondorf’s surrogate mothers, Koume and Kotake, completely erasing any questions about their reasons for hurting Nabooru. 

During the Spirit Temple’s mini-boss, Link duels with an Iron Knuckle shortly after being threatened by Koume and Kotake. After defeating the Iron Knuckle, its armor begins to shed, unraveling an unsuspecting surprise: It’s Nabooru!

Nabooru collapses to her knees – Link destroying her armor had simultaneously removed a spell cast on her to cause her to become possessed. With her eyes wide open in confusion, she asks, “Where am I…?”.

The witches abruptly reappear and taunt Nabooru, making plans to brainwash her for longer periods against her will. As Nabooru starts to run away, the witches throw dark magic at her, and she completely disappears. This cutscene involving Nabooru’s probable death repeats at the beginning of the start screen.

6. Imprisoned by the Gerudo

The man informs Link that he is the Master Craftsman and oversaw fixing the bridge. However, his carpenter workers abandoned him in hopes of becoming Gerudo Thieves, despite the Gerudo being an all-female race. He asks Link to check up on his workers if Link ever plans on heading towards Gerudo's Fortress. Depending on how you play, you can either get caught by guards or stealthly maneuver through the hideout. 

(But let’s just assume you do get caught):
As Link enters the home of the desert dwellers, he’s met with an unwelcoming greeting – “Halt!”, a guard shouts at him, and Link is thrown into a secluded cell. However, escaping is quite easy - just use your hookshot and manage to stand on the ledge. 

Link jumps down and begins exploring the hideout, which is kind of maze-like. Gerudo guards will also be within most of the rooms pacing through the halls, keeping an eye out for a certain blonde Hylian male. 

Link comes across cells containing the Carpenters, who are unsurprisingly prisoners. The workers explains that they were imprisoned just because they were male, despite trying to befriend the Gerudo. 

Everytime Link finds and communicates with a carpenter, he duels with a Gerudo guard stronger than the rest. After releasing all the carpenters and humiliating the Gerudo, the one he fought will admit defeat. She expresses to Link that she was impressed with his skills, and always thought all men besides Ganondorf were “useless”, but Link changed her mind. 

She allows Link to be “one of them”, and hands him a Gerudo membership card, enabling Link to visit any area of the Fortress including the hideout and the training ground. The guard tells him, “The exalted Nabooru, our leader, put me in charge of the fortress. Nabooru is the second-in-command to the great Ganondorf. Her headquarters are in the Spirit Temple, which is at end of the desert.”.

5. Kakariko Village on fire

Along Link’s quest, Kakariko Village is set ablaze, and smoke and fire coat the air. As Link is stunned and watching the village burn, he spots Sheik gawking at the well. 

Link instantly dashes to help Sheik but is told to “Get back!”. The wood structure of the well is blown apart, and Sheik’s body is dangled around like a ragdoll and thrown into mid-air. 

While Sheik is discombobulated on the ground, a large shadow entity trails the village and makes a b-line for Link, who’s ready to fight, giving a spin-attack stance. Unfortunately for our hero, the shadow overpowers him, the screen goes black, and we only hear screams.

Link awakens to a dark rainy night, and Sheik watches over him: “Looks like you’re coming around.” Sheik then explains that an evil spirit accumulated mass amounts of strength and ravaged the Village. She explains that Impa had gone to seal the spirit in the Shadow Temple and asks Link to help her. 

Sheik teaches Link the Nocturne of Shadow, a sorrowful but beautiful melody. As the rain continues to pour, Sheik tells Link that she'll take care of the village

4. Sheik's real identity 

After collecting all of the medallions from the sages, Link reunites with Sheik in the Temple of Time. “I have been waiting for you, Link. You have overcome many hardships and awakened six Sages. And now, you have a final challenge, a showdown with Ganondorf, the King of Evil. Before that, I have things I want to tell only you. Please listen".

Sheik reiterates the Triforce-creation story. She explains that if one’s heart is not in balance, the Triforce will separate into three parts: Power, Wisdom, and Courage. 

If the person who caused the Triforce to separate wants to reunite them, they must acquire the two lost parts. These two parts inhabit two other souls chosen by destiny, bearing the mark of a Triforce on the backs of their hands. 

Sheik tells Link that when Ganondorf acquired the Triforce when Link raised the Master Sword, Ganondorf only kept the Triforce of Power. The strength of the force allowed Ganondorf to fulfill his lust for power, but his dark ambitions could never be satisfied. 

With his hungry needs not fully satisfied, Ganondorf began searching for the other two people who held that power. “The one who holds the Triforce of Courage is you, Link!”. 

What Sheik reveals next invokes a reaction from our hero: “And the other, who holds Triforce of Wisdom…-“ Sheik exposes the Triforce glowing brightly on her palm, so bright Link has to guard his eyes against it. 

After the glowing stops, Link peers up and gasps. When the camera pans back, it’s Princess Zelda! “It is I, the Princess of Hyrule, Zelda.”. 

With a sorrowful expression, Zelda apologizes for meeting Link in disguise, that it was necessary to hide from Ganondorf, and asks for Link’s forgiveness. As she reminisces on the time she threw the Ocarina to him, she tells him that she never thought Ganondorf would be able to enter the Sacred Realm. 

“I passed myself off as a Sheikah hoping that you would return”. The Princess switches her attitude and smiles, “And, now you are back. The dark age ruled by Ganondorf will end!”. Zelda begins to entail her plans to seal Ganondorf in eternal imprisonment with the help of the sages, and in an intricate plan to lure the King to his demise. 

“Link, to do this, I need your courage again. Please protect me while I do my part.”. She then gives Link Light Arrows, a weapon that can penetrate Ganondorf’s defenses. 

After this bittersweet encounter, the Temple walls begin to rumble, and a crystal imprisons Zelda. Although not physically there, Ganondorf begins to speak to Zelda: “Princess Zelda, you foolish traitor! I commend you for avoiding my pursuit. But you let your guard down, I knew you would appear if I let this kid wander around!”. 

As Zelda struggles to move, her body goes paralyzed. The crystal, along with Zelda's limp body ascends, and Ganondorf threatens to obtain Zelda’s Triforce of wisdom so that he can finally become too “true ruler”. Being whisking her away, Ganondorf uses Zelda as a puppet: “If you want to rescue Zelda, come to my castle”.

3. Escape with Epona

After Ganondorf gained the Triforce of Power, he turned Hyrule into his own wasteland. Ganondorf then appointed Ingo to overrule the Ranch, Talon’s underling. Talon had been ousted by Ingo, spending his time napping in a house in Kakariko Village. Meanwhile, Talon’s daughter Malon sweeps the floors in the barn where the cows are, regularly fearing for her and the horse’s safety. 

If you haven’t already caught on, Ingo is a mean guy with an inferiority complex. With his now-reborn esteem and recognized social status under Ganondorf, he flexes his power and plays with fire. 

If Link talks to Ingo, he’ll ask Link if he wants to ride on one of the horses for 10 rupees for 1 minute. Epona is easily spotted on the ranch with her beautiful chestnut coat and distinctive embroidered saddle. When Link plays Epona’s song on the ocarina, she instantly becomes attached to him just like she was before. 

If Link rides Epona for that 1 minute and once again (and gets ripped off), Ingo’s ego will suddenly inflate, and he asks Link: “How about a little race with me? One lap around the corral with that horse. Let’s make a little wager, say 50 rupees?”. So not only is Ingo’s ego through the roof, but he’s also insanely greedy. 

Ingo regrets this decision when Link beats him at his own game. Worsted with the loss, Ingo rambles about how if Ganondorf found out about this humiliation, something bad would happen (he doesn’t elaborate on this). He then begs Link to race him once again but confirms that if Link wins, he can keep Epona. 

Once again, Link beats Ingo, leaving our short-tempered Luigi knockoff to shrivel in his defeat: “How did you tame that wild horse right under my nose?! I was going to present that horse to the great Ganondorf…”. 

Unable to swallow his pride, he tells Link: “As I promised, I’ll give the horse to you, however, I’ll never let you leave this ranch!”. Ingo then locks the entrance with a high iron gate and attempting to get Epona on the other side is impossible. 

Unfortunately for Ingo, Link and Epona find that the fence surrounding the Ranch is low enough to jump over. In an epic rush to save Epona, the two make their escape, landing them in Hyrule Field and unchained from Ingo’s tyranny. 

If Link helps Talon come back to the ranch and returns after this great humiliation, Ingo returns to his pathetic-natured self and submissively stands at the entrance. Talon confesses to Link that he's turning a new leaf in his life by working hard, and Malon expresses overwhelming thanks to Link for returning the peace.

2. Dismantling the King of Thieves

Once Link gets to Ganondorf’s castle, it contains a moat filled with molten lava. The Sages come together and create a bridge for Link, enabling him to get inside.

Ganon’s Castle is quite the process. There are multiple areas connected to each Sage, and Link must awaken them all to finally release a barrier that keeps him from Zelda and Ganondorf. 

After this is complete, Link endures the longest staircase ever. Each level contains enemies such as Iron Knuckles and armored Stalfos. An organ's demented tune echoes. as Link traverses further upward, the louder the music plays. 

When Link reaches the very top, he enters a spacious room. Ganondorf is playing a (very) dramatically large and serious organ, while Princess Zelda is trapped in the crystal above him. 

Link and Zelda notice their hands glow. Each part of the Triforce is now in one room. As the two look down at their palms, Ganondorf finally takes a break from his organ and dramatically swoops his cape to flex his outfit. 

“Now, finally, all the Triforce parts have gathered here! These toys are too much for you, I command you to return them to me!”. Ganondorf releases dark magic, and Navi retreats from the fight, apologizing to Link.

Throughout this strenuous battle, Link and Ganondorf go head-to-head, Link projects his magic back at him and slices him any chance he can. 

When Ganondorf has had enough, he falls to his knees, heavily breathing, he coughs up blood. Before exhausting his last breath, he says: “Link…!”. The Evil King’s hatred begins to engulf the room and all the glass on the windows begin to deteriorate, along with the room itself. 

Before long, Ganondorf makes a final thump to the ground, completely unconscious. Link is stunned and catches his breath as Princess Zelda descends from her crystal.

1. Picking up the Master Sword

After Link opens the Door of Time with the Song of Time, The Master Sword is revealed in the center of the next room. After admiring the sword of legend, Link wraps his hands around the grip and pulls it, releasing immense energy.

The Triforce on the floor beneath him glows, and a mysterious blue wormhole forms around him. Everything goes white, and suddenly Ganondorf is laughing manically in the distance. Ganondorf informs Link that removing the Master Sword consequently led him to the Sacred Realm, which went against Zelda’s plans. This unexpected self-sabotage leads to more burdens on our hero’s shoulders, including his successors. 

When Link wakes up from what seems like a nightmare, he’s in a metaphysical place covered in a glowing blue aura. An old man named Rauru explains the situation to him, and tells Link, “Don’t be alarmed, look at yourself!”. 

When our hero looks down, his body has completely changed since the last time we’ve seen him. His soul was sealed in the Sacred Realm until he had reached full maturity, capable of defeating the King of Thieves. In other words, Link is super handsome now.

This moment’s importance goes beyond Link’s handsomeness, but that is a big part of it. The overall atmosphere of this event is awesome, to say the least.

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When she's not writing, Camille is actively fighting darkness with the triforce of courage and destroying people's property.
Gamer Since: 2002
Favorite Genre: RPG
Currently Playing: The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask
Top 3 Favorite Games:Undertale, Alien: Isolation, DOOM

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