These are what we call the 'YMMV items.' Things that some people find in this work. We call them 'your mileage might vary' because not everyone sees these things in the same way. This starts discussions in the trope lists, a thing we don't want. Please use the discussion page if you'd like to discuss any of these items.
Broken Base: The Water Temple. For a lot of fans it's the ultimate example of That One Level in the series, if not in the entire genre (see details for this below). However, there is another big part of the fan base that consider it the Best Level Ever of the game, stating that it's an awesome mental challenge, and its difficulty just make it all the more satisfying when you beat it.
Critical Backlash: Not the game itself, but Navi has gained some of this from a portion of fans that feel she's neither as annoying nor as persistent with her "heys" as the meme about her would imply.
Demonic Spiders: Floor Masters, especially the invisible variety. Killing one will cause it to split into three miniature copies of itself and scatter about the room; failing to kill these miniatures quickly enough can result in one latching onto your throat, draining your health and then growing back to normal size and starting the fight over again. It doesn't help that, being giant, grisly-looking severed hands, they're also creepy as all get-out.
Zelda gets vilified as a selfish, spoiled snob by shippers, and often characterize Link as resenting Zelda for manipulating him into saving the world and having him travel through time usually for the purpose of having him hook up with the Girl Next Door Malon or Saria.
Ear Worm: "The Song of Storms", "Saria's Song" (in-universe even) and "Gerudo Valley". You just need to listen to them once and they will NEVER leave your head.
Dark Link, consistent with most of his appearances where he only appears for maybe ten minutes as a whole yet is disproportionately represented in fan works.
The cute, innocent farmgirl Malon is a darkhorse among shippers who insist that the Hero of Time married her instead of any of the other females. For a character who is almost completely irrelevant to the main story, this is quite impressive.
The Twin Witches. They are just so funny you want to beat them over and over.
Faux Symbolism: People believed that there were things that were symbolic of the Islam religion. The symbols on the blocks and Mirror Shield and the chants from the Fire Temple. The game designers had no intention of offending anyone or making any implications like that. However, despite whatever argument they made, they ended up changing the symbol and editing out the chants.
Fridge Horror: There are certain things you can do as Young Link that slightly alter the future, making certain things easier for Adult Link (such as collecting Heart Containers). However, if you believe in the Alternate Timeline theory, this means every time Young Link does one of these things, the future Adult Link returns to is not exactly the same one, but a slightly different timeline. This means any time you go back in time to plant a bean, you've just doomed an entire branching timeline to destruction at the hands of Ganondorf.
Game Breaker: The Biggoron's Sword is one of the most broken weapons in the entire series. Huge reach, equally high attack power, can damage the otherwise immune-to-blade Armos Knights, and every bit as fast as your other swords. This sword turns boss fights into a joke. In skilled hands, even Ganondorf goes down in one combo. The real kicker is that you can get this weapon as early as the Forest Temple WITHOUT Sequence Breaking. Hell, you can get it before you even go INTO the Forest Temple. The only thing you might want the Bow for is the Skullwalltulas on the cliff before Biggoron, and they can be killed with the Hookshot if you allot yourself a little extra time to climb up to each of them. It does, however, require a two-handed hold, so Link can't use his shield. For the most part, this isn't a big deal, but it does lend preference to the Master Sword in certain situations.
In Master Quest there's a glitch that allows you to get through the locked boss door of the Water Temple using a jump attack. And, since the Longshot was moved to a room you can get into almost immediately after entering the level and you'll be done in less than 10 minutes (you'll probably spend more time on the boss than on the level itself).
In the sink hole alongside the Castle gate there is a Gold Skulltula which you can kill, catch its token with the boomerang, and then go to the exit before the game can register that the Gold Skulltula has been killed while you still get to keep the token you received. As frustrating as it can be to find all the Gold Skulltula in the game this can be quite a relief for gamers who just want to get the 100 Skulltula requirement out of the way as fast as possible.
Catch something in a bottle. Just as the bottle comes in contact with the bug, fairy, fish or whatever, pause the game and switch the bottle with a different item. This will replace that item with a bottle, permanently. While it can make certain quests or the game itself Unwinnable by Mistake if you lose an important item, there are many items you can safely trade in that way.
It's hard to imagine looking back on it today, but many of the game's dungeons and levels were quite mind-blowing to first-time players. The Shadow Temple's ghost ships come to mind: the temple itself is creepy enough without this boat appearing. You board it, and it moves. Suddenly, Stalfos! You begin to fight them, exchange a few blows, when the entire boat starts to tremble and shake! What is going on? Games don't do this! Holy shit, it's sinking! I'm going to die! How the hell do I get off?!
The boss battles were also made to wow players, what with each having spectacular set-pieces and creature designs as well as clever strategies. The Final Bossstill regularly pops up on Top Ten Lists for "Greatest Boss Battles of All Time".
As usual in the Zelda series, the whole climax, from Sheik's reveal to the "The End" screen. Make sure you have time to spare, because your hands will be glued to the controller (or to the 3DS) the whole way through.
Using the Gold Gauntlets. Link picks a pillar that's several stories tall and tosses it away like it's made of cardboard.
Hype Aversion and Hype Backlash: Due to the countless praises heaped upon this game, it's rather to be expected, especially because video games age more noticeably than any other medium.
Love to Hate: Ganondorf firmly established himself with trope in this game.
Magnum Opus: This is the game that is referred to as the gold standard for Zelda games by almost the entire world, and shares fame with Half-Life (or occasionally Goldeneye 007) with being the bare minimum standard for any big budget game in the market as a whole. Expect anything to do with Zelda to have this game or A Link to the Past to come up in any mention of gameplay design or continuity structure.
And the ReDeads, whose attack is to grab Link from behind in a straddle while moaning and shrieking and thrusting.
Memetic Mutation: "Hey! Listen!" Explanation Navi's cry when she has a hint or tip is often used in relation to anything or anyone that is being annoying, particularly in video games.
Moral Event Horizon: It's hard to tell where Ganondorf crosses this line, but it's probably at trying to have several Gorons fed to a dragon as a "warning" to those who would oppose him. Sure, killing the Great Deku Tree to steal what it was keeping from him, or deceiving the established authorities as a means of power, are evil, but attempting to massacre several members of a peaceful tribe when he GETS his power is far worse.
Ganondorf:: CURSE YOU SAGES! CURSE YOU ZELDA! CURSE YOU Link!
The collapse of Ganon's Castle. It looks less like a massive evil structure crumbling into pieces and more like a model building simply folding and retracting into the ground.
Narm Charm: Some of the enthusiastic item descriptions are fairly endearing:
"You found the Megaton Hammer! Use C to smash and break junk!"
"You found Bombs! You can equip it to C, C or C! If something looks suspicious, bomb it!"
Never Live It Down: The various rereleases. So far there have been four. Two for the GameCube that were actually free promotional disks. One for the Virtual Console on the Wii. And finally, the remake for Nintendo 3DS, which came 5 years later after the Virtual Console version and 13 years after the original game. However, some persons make it look like Nintendo rereleases the game almost every year for easy cash grab.
Kaepora Gaebora speaks in long, often pointless monologues, and always asks you if you want to hear it again. Annoyingly, the option "Yes" is the default, meaning that button-mashing can increase the odds of going through it again. Also, half the time he asked if you wanted to hear what he said again, meaning you had to press "no" to skip, but the other half of the time, he asked if you understood what he said, meaning that you had to press "yes" to move on. This meant if you didn't read carefully, you often chose the wrong option. It's cleverly parodied in thisBrawl in the Family comic, where Link stops listening after a while and just nods his head and does "mm-hmm" sounds to appear polite, only to have it backfire against him at the end. Fortunately, one can skip most of his dialogues by pressing B past a certain point in the text.
Seinfeld Is Unfunny: Back in 1998, no adventure game had a 3D open world with such a huge scale and depth like this game. It showed how new technology at the time could give action-adventure games immersion like never before. Also, it had the most well written and complex story yet for the Zelda series. However, many younger gamers will find it to be a good, yet bare bones 3D Zelda experience compared to later games that improved upon the formula. They will never know how important this game was for creating a living 3D adventure, making it one the classic examples of a "You had to have been there" story. In late 2009, the designer Eiji Aonuma addressed this in an interview when he said the game wasn't aging very well.
In the original N64 release, the epic climactic battle with Ganondorf was slightly ruined by his tattered cape clipping through his body as he collapses afterward. Thankfully fixed for the 3DS remake.
For whatever reason, the developers of the 3DS remake neglected to make a new model for the Longshot, so even after you've upgraded, Link is carrying the original Hookshot for the entire game.
Rather embarrasingly, they also didn't bother to update the flat ramp staircases.
So Cool It's Awesome: Released in 1998. Countless games released, including 10 more in the Zelda series. Still one of the most popular and respected games ever, to the point that a remake can still be a Killer App for a console.
Famously, Navi, who is a common in-joke amongst gamers for fairly frequently exclaiming "Hey!" or "Listen!" when she wants the player to listen to her tips or hints. You hear her even when you're out adventuring and doing side-quests.
Kaepora Gaebora, due to his long speeches, his "Do you want to hear everything again?" question being set to 'Yes' by default while you're mashing the A button to get through it and the fun that he occasionally asks "Did you understand?", meaning you need to answer Yes to continue instead. Shame that the cursor defaults to 'No' in this scenario.
Tainted by the Preview: The revelation that Ocarina of Time 3D wouldn't have updated music was a deal breaker for those who were on the fence of getting the remake.
Twinrova can be an extremely frustrating, or worse, impossible fight unless you know exactly what you're supposed to do.
Morpha can become surprisingly hard if you remain on the centre four platforms, he also becomes one of the funnest bosses in the game as well, Morpha actually seems to be programmed to combat the player if he remains on the platforms, as he will constantly attack from behind and attempt surprise the player if you remain on the platforms, but many prefer the easy way.
Dark Link is simultaneously the best and worst example of this in the game. He's a pain if you lock onto him and try to fight him with your sword, and a cakewalk if you don't and use the Megaton Hammer (or Biggoron's Sword), but only is you don't target him or you'll almost never touch him. Thankfully Din's Fire can allow the player to steamroll him.
Bongo Bongo can be pretty frustrating; it's difficult to aim with the constant bouncing and his hands do a lot of damage.
Phantom Ganon (When he's on his horse) can be really tough and brutal if you don't know how his Lightning attack works. Basically, if you haven't mastered the aim of your Fairy Bow or if you don't know about the triangles within the room, you can be in a serious world of hurt, and the lightning attack does 2 heart pieces, which is a pretty huge chunk at your current health if you haven't been collecting any Heart Pieces other than the ones you got after defeating the other 3 bosses. Once you take out his horse, his Final Boss Preview form is easier.
Also notable: The Master Quest version of other dungeons were rearranged to make them more difficult for seasoned players. The Master Quest version of the Water Temple, though, was considerably easier than in the original. The creators have also fixed the Water Temple in the 3DS remake by means of two main changes: making the Iron Boots an item button item (an innovation from later Zelda games), and putting squiggly lines on the walls to lead players to the water-level changing rooms.
Another change in the 3DS version of the Water Temple is that the camera goes down and focuses on the hole left behind when the block floats up when raising the water to the mid-level. Diving under the block was one of the main brick walls a lot of first-time players hit.
They Changed It, Now It Sucks: Some fans consider the N64 version of the fight with Ganon superior to the fight in the remake, due to the fact in the original version Ganon appeared in shadows save for his Glowing Eyes of Doom, while in the remake he's in full view all the time.
The Gerudo are an all-female tribe of thieves who look and are modeled after Arabic cultures, particularly compared to the very European-appearing Hylians, which raiseda lot of eyebrows. The Fire Temple even had an ominous Islamic chant in the background and Islamic iconography that they removed.
The Gerudo are led by female captains, except for every hundred years when a male is born, who becomes their prince. So with the implications of Arabic and Islamic thieves looking like Bedlah Babes, there is also the implication that they were destined be ruled over by men.
Zelda is seen as strong and competent when she is male-appearing, but dressed as a princess she is instantly captured and becomes a Damsel in Distress. She somewhat gets better during the final battle, albeit in a very limited way.
What Do You Mean, It's for Kids?: Mass graves, death, war, hideous monsters, a giant monster collapsing into a heap of pulsating flesh before your very eyes, green blood (and a little red blood). You know, for kids!
At least the 3DS remake got an E10 rating from the ESRB, which is roughly equivalent to a PG rating for films. Much more accurate to the game's content than the N64 version's E rating, which is basically the equivalent to a G rating.
The Gorons. A race of peaceful, welcoming mountain dwellers, who in the future are reduced to imprisoned, quivering wrecks after Ganondorf tries to feed them all to Volvagia to set an example for everyone else.
The Zoras, considering something happened to their deity figure Lord Jabu-Jabu, and they were all trapped and left to die in their frozen home.