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There are many stories, but only one Legend.

"Have ye what it takes?"
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Ocarina of Time is the fifth entry in The Legend of Zelda series, originally released for the Nintendo 64 in November, 1998. It is the first 3D game in the series and the first Fifth Generation title, and it set the standard for all the later games in the series, with its then-unheard-of style of cinematic presentation and introduction of many mainstay elements of the franchise. It's also the first Zelda game that Eiji Aonuma worked on.

The story follows a young boy named Link, the only member of his forest village without a fairy. Following some prophetic dreams, he is gifted a fairy named Navi by the Great Deku Tree — the guardian of the forest — and asked for his help to remove an evil curse. This is merely the start of an epic journey that takes Link from the sanctuary of his Hidden Elf Village to the magnificent Hyrule Castle and then to all points of Hyrule in a quest to stop the evil thief-king Ganondorf from seizing the power of the omnipotent Triforce.

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Unfortunately, things don't go according to plan. Link is sealed away, and when he wakes up seven years later, Hyrule has become a dark and twisted version of its former self. All is not lost though: there exists one final hope in Link, who is now old enough to wield the Master Sword and accept his true destiny as the Hero Of Time. Using his new powers, Link must travel across the broken Hyrule, and across time, to re-assemble the shattered forces of Good for an epic final showdown with the King of Evil.

According to Hyrule Historia, this game takes place fourth in the overall timeline of the series and its events cause a three-way split in time, with each Alternate Timeline branching off from its events. Its immediate chronological sequel starring the same Link is Majora's Mask, which takes place after Link has been sent back in time and is transported to Termina while on a search for Navi.

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The game has had numerous rereleases — in particular, Master Quest, a preorder bonus for The Wind Waker which included the original game along with a second version (originally intended for release on the 64DD add-on) with harder dungeons.

The game had a remake produced by Grezzo for the Nintendo 3DS in 2011, titled The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D, which updated the visuals and controls, but left the story, musicnote , world, and even some of the glitches and bugs intact. The Master Quest version of dungeons was also an unlockable in the 3DS remakenote - this time adding extra twists by flipping the entire game world horizontally in the tradition of the Wii version of Twilight Princess, but also doubling the damage Link takes from enemies and obstacles.

Unmarked spoilers ahead.


The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time provides examples of:

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  • 11th-Hour Superpower:
    • After Link has the Golden Gauntlets from the final dungeon, he can go back outside to find the final Great Fairy, who gives him "damage reduction." Or, in simpler terms, doubles his health. Since Ganondorf is balanced for Link not doing this, things don't exactly go well for him.
    • The Master Sword becomes this during the Ganon fight's second phase. Without letting the players know, the sword gains a massive increase on that fight, even moreso than the Biggoron Sword. It is also required to deliver the finishing blow.
  • 100% Completion: If you want to get everything in the game, you had better scour every single area with the most precise attention to detail and logic possible, or have a trusty player's guide or online walkthrough at your side - you have a LOT of ground to cover: Finding all of the fairy fountains to receive their upgrades and powerups, all equipment-based items and upgrades from both the past and the future like quivers and bomb bags, the Heart Pieces, hunting all Gold Skulltulas, and completing sidequests like the Chain of Deals to get all masks (past) and the Biggoron Sword (future), rescuing Epona in the future and then earning a pet cow for your house, and finally completing the Bonus Dungeon in Gerudo's Fortress.
  • Ability Depletion Penalty: When riding Epona, the A button spurs her to a full gallop, which is regulated by a line of carrots. The meter will refill gradually when partially depleted, or all at once if fully depleted, but only after Epona slows noticeably for several seconds, which is enough to lose you the Racing Minigame.
  • Ability Required to Proceed: A staple of all Zelda games, you'll need certain items to advance further in each dungeon. Most notoriously, the Hookshot, without which you cannot even enter the Forest Temple.
  • Absurdly Spacious Sewer: The Bottom of the Well is set within a large underground sewer located several meters below Kakariko Village. It's stated in game that someone's house used to be where the well is, so that Mini-Dungeon is presumably his basement. Located here is the Lens of Truth, which comes handy later in the Shadow Temple.
  • Accidental Proposal: Inverted - when Ruto gave the Zora Sapphire to Link, in the eye of a Zora, his acceptance of it would mean that Link accepts her proposal. However, Link only needs the sapphire to open the inner chamber of the Temple of Time. So Ruto proposed to Link, but he interpreted it in a different way. Even seven years later, she still thinks it counts when you meet her in the Water Temple!
    Ruto: This is a request from me, the woman who is going to be your wife!
  • Action Girl:
    • Zelda in her Sheik form (though not for combat). She also has hints of this in the final battle, when she uses a spell to freeze Ganon in place and calls the Sages to seal him away.
    • Impa, who apparently taught Zelda (as Sheik) all she knows.
    • The Gerudo race as a whole, as attested by the guards that Link fights when rescuing the carpenters from the Gerudo Fortress, as well as the others' expertise in the training areas.
  • Adam Smith Hates Your Guts: Young Link needs to buy some beans, which you can plant in various places to create levitating plants in the future. When you buy the first one, the seller tells you that he's not moving any stock, so he sells it to you for 10 rupees. Each sequential purchase (only one bean at a time) sends the price up by 10 Rupees, peaking to 100 with the tenth and final purchase. You end up paying, in total, 550 Rupees, so even with the biggest wallet in the game full of cash, you still won't have enough to buy them all in one visit. Each purchase results in a new comment from him about how they're more popular than the previous purchase, even though Link remains his only customer.
  • Adipose Rex: King Zora, to the extent that moving a few feet away from his throne requires a really long cutscene.
  • Advanced Movement Technique: This game introduced rolling: perfectly-executed rolls will let you move up to 35% faster than walking around, with the downside of having to constantly mash A and hear Link yell the whole time. A lesser-known technique, which is just as fast as rolling, is to walk backwards, which is faster than forwards movement for some reason. For this reasons, speedrunners tend to play the whole game moving backwards.
  • After-Action Villain Analysis:
    Zelda: Ganondorf, pitiful man. Without a strong, righteous mind, he could not control the power of the gods, and- [is cut off by the castle starting to collapse]
  • After Boss Recovery: After fighting each boss, you get a Heart Container. In the remake, all of your health is restored after fighting Ganondorf (as well as before).
  • A.I. Breaker: The Water Temple may be a difficult dungeon, but both its bosses are extremely vulnerable to specific tactics:
    • Dark Link can't handle the Broken Giant's Knife, as he defends against it as if it were the full unbroken blade. Just hold forward and thrust, and you'll absolutely murder Dark Link in no time. Biggoron's Sword is just as effective, since it's too large for him to block or deflect. Failing this, if you have one of the earlier releases of the game (later versions have him run out of range when you cast it), you can bring Din's Fire and a couple green potions, which he also can't defend against, to deal with him effortlessly. He doesn't like the Megaton Hammer either.
    • Morpha can be easily beaten by simply standing in a corner between the wall spikes, and waiting for it to reach out to attack you. Turns out it just barely misses, with enough room to shoot your Longshot at the nucleus inside it, trap it in the corner, and hack away until the boss is dead.
  • Alien Blood: Ganondorf originally coughed up regular red blood upon being defeated, but later versions of the game have him coughing up green blood instead.
  • All of the Other Reindeer: Link is the Boy Without A Fairy, and thus teased by all the "other" Kokiri...in the Backstory, at least. The game begins with Navi bonding to Link. Though most of the Kokiri are happy for him; only Link's rival Mido continues to be a douche about it. In the future, on the other hand, Link is still the odd one out as the only outsider who does have a fairy.
  • All There in the Manual: The Kokiri girl with blonde hair is named Fado. Her name was only ever revealed on the old Zelda 64 site.
  • All the Worlds are a Stage: Following the awakening of the Sages, Link gains access to Ganon's Tower, with six sections on the bottom floor corresponding to each temple (identified with its Sage Medallion). Interestingly enough, the sections based on Forest Temple and Water Temple showcase elements based on wind and ice respectively, as a leftover of those dungeons being originally planned to be themed around the scrapped dungeons. Also, the only section that actually isn't based on a past dungeon is that of the Light Medallion, as the would-be dungeon associated to it (the Temple of Time) is just a regular overworld area, and the Light Medallion itself is given to Link directly as a Free Sample Plot Coupon.
  • All Your Colors Combined: Once Link has finally rescued the six main Sages in the future era, they work together to create a rainbow bridge into Ganondorf's Ominous Floating Castle, each contributing sparkles from one of the six major colors. See it here.
  • All Your Powers Combined: The Six Sages (with Princess Zelda's help) combine their powers to open a void in what was once the Sacred Realm, sealing away Ganon and restoring peace to Hyrule.
  • Alternate Timeline: As noted above, confirmed with Hyrule Historia. Later games confirm a split in the Zelda universe's timelines, as a result of the Time Travel in this game's ending—one where Young Link returns to his own time and grows up normally, the other where Adult Link disappears (when he returns to his own time as Young Link). The former leads into Majora's Mask, Twilight Princess, and Four Swords Adventures, while the latter leads into Wind Waker and its sequels. Hyrule Historia also revealed a third timeline, created if Link LOST to Ganondorf in this game, which leads to A Link to the Past, the "Oracle" games, Link's Awakening, and the two NES games.
  • Aluminum Christmas Trees:
    • Ocarinas existed before this game's release (though they did become more popular afterward, to the point where you can buy ones that look just like Zelda's).
    • The rotating ice floes found by Jabu-Jabu's altar in the adult timeline also happen to be an actual and naturally occurring phenomenon.
    • Blue Fire is also a real thing, but it's hotter than normal red or yellow fire.
  • Always Close:
    • No matter how much time you have left, Link and Zelda always manage to get out of Ganondorf's castle immediately before it explodes and crumbles into itself.
    • When racing the Running Man, he will always reach the goal one second before you do. Even if the player hacks the game to set their timer to 0:00, he will report a time of -0:01.
  • Ambiguous Innocence: Fado, the blonde Kokiri girl. She has a childish and innocent quality to her, and often relies on Mido. Yet once you reach adulthood she disappears from the forest, with no reference from anyone. You only see her during the Biggoron's Sword quest, where she makes you give her a dead guy's medicine. She then gives you his item, with an eerie statement about people lost in the forest becoming Stalfos, complete with her giggling about it.
  • Ambiguously Gay: The four carpenters from Kakariko Village. Made more obvious in the remake. Sabooro outright flirts with Link, calling him a cute kid.
  • A Minor Kidroduction: The entire first segment of the game centers around Link's adventures as a child before he seals himself inside the Temple of Time, where he lays dormant for several years and later emerges as an adult.
  • And I Must Scream: The ultimate fate of Ganondorf in the ending. He's sealed away into the former Sacred Realm (now the Evil Realm thanks to Ganondorf, a man of ultimate evil, being the one to claim the Triforce from it) by the sages, but it's implied he will eventually escape (and in The Wind Waker, he does).
  • And Your Reward Is Infancy: The game's ending has Zelda send Link back to the past for this reason, but didn't exactly play it straight. Over the course of the game, Link has skipped forward seven years a third of the way into the game (and traveling back and forth between the eras as needed), so his reward at the end is to regain those lost years. Though later games seem to show that this causes a lot of problems with two of the timelines later on.
  • Anti-Frustration Features:
    • Shields are affordable if a bit pricey, and each tunic requires its own wallet upgrade to actually buy, so they're at least pretty expensive. However, in almost every instance where it's possible to lose your shield and sometimes your tunic, it's possible to find a new one right next to you. If you haven't lost either, you'll know the chest that would've contained one because it will instead house a blue rupee.
    • The Sun's Song cuts down the long length of time it takes for day to change to night and vice versa, and it lets you change time without having to go out into an adventure area. Though this can be frustrating as, in time freeze areas, playing the Sun's Song will advance the game clock to either noon or midnight, depending on which time of day you play it at.
    • In the future, getting Epona and learning the warp songs from Sheik considerably cuts down on the amount of backtracking you'll have to do. The songs still work when you're a kid, too.
    • Finding and using Farore's Wind also makes backtracking in the dungeons quicker and easier, especially in the Water Temple. It is particularly useful if you need to save and quit in the middle of the dungeon; you can create a warp point before you save, and then return right to it when you load the game the next time, instead of starting from the dungeon entrance again.
    • There's also Pierre. Almost anywhere that requires a magic bean sprout to go, can be reached by summoning him instead. He also allows you to bypass the nerve-wracking and frustrating experience with the Moblins in the Sacred Meadow and some hellish backtracking in the Water Temple... provided you visited Bonooru at Lake Hylia to record the notes you want to use immediately after getting the Ocarina Of Time, and went back after arriving in the Future to activate the song.
    • In Ganon's Castle, underneath the bridge you can't reach in the main area, there's a secret room. Inside, there are several fairies in pots, as well as business scrubs that sell you bombs, arrows, shields, etc. just in case you run out and need to get more, so that you don't have to go all the way to Kakariko to buy and stock up.
    • After throwing a Cucco, it will be flustered and hop in place for a few seconds, allowing you time to reach it and pick it up again without it walking off a surface you wanted it to stay on.
    • The only rupee requirement to complete the game is 40 Rupees, and that is only the beginning of the game for the Deku Shield to bypass Mido. Every other required or highly recommended item in the game (i.e. Hylian shield and tunics) do not require rupees or can be retrieved by alternative means such as a treasure or a task.
    • Enemy item drops are usually semi-fixed, but most enemies have a 1/16 chance to give a "flexible drop" in which the item given is dependent on if you are low on a resource. It prioritises fairies if you are close to death, then hearts, magic, slingshot or bow ammo, bombs and rupees.
  • Anti Poop-Socking: In the remake, Navi will complain about feeling tired periodically. This becomes silly when she tells you to take a rest as you reach the door to the final boss, after all the Sages have been urging you to hurry.
  • Apathetic Citizens: In Kakariko Village, after Bongo Bongo wreaks havoc in the village, no one seems to care that it happened after you came back over there.
  • "Arabian Nights" Days: The Gerudo seem to be very loosely based off of this trope, where the harem girls are thieves. Also, their king, happens to be the main antagonist in the series, and he happens to be skilled with sorcery, as his previous appearances suggest.
  • Arbitrary Equipment Restriction: When you finally become Adult Link, Navi informs you that some items and weapons you hold can't be used as an adult, just because. This basically accounts for nearly everything you have from your long ranged slingshot, to your stunning Boomerang, to even Deku Sticks. The real-world reason for this is to prevent you from Sequence Breaking with your old puzzle-solving tools.
  • Arboreal Abode: The Kokiri live in houses set inside the bases of cut trees.
  • Art Evolution: Compare the original official art of Link, Zelda, and Ganondorf with their 3DS counterparts.
  • Artistic License – Economics: The magic bean seller in Zora's River thinks that any business is an indication of high demand which justifies raising his prices by 10 rupees a bean (and only selling one at a time). This is despite him explicitly mentioning that he only has one customer. He's correct, though: demand remains constant, but supply is dwindling, therefore the price goes up.
  • Artistic License – Physics:
    • Red Ice and Blue Fire are both magically charged elements that you first encounter in the Ice Cavern. Red Ice is warm and cannot be melted by normal fire. However, Red Ice will melt when exposed to Blue Fire which is cold.
    • When wearing the iron boots on land, Link walks more slowly than usual; however, when wearing the iron boots underwater, he walks at his normal speed. In reality, due to the combination of the weight of the boots and the resistance of the water, he should move even more slowly. Given that realistic physics would make the underwater sections even more annoying than they already are, this could be considered an Acceptable Break from Reality.
  • Ascended Glitch: The 3DS remakes retains (and in some cases, recreates) many of the glitches from the original that weren't Game Breaking Bugs, as a nod to players who felt it made the game fun.
  • Astral Checkerboard Decor: The Temple of Time has some checkerboard tiles in the outer parts of the main room. The Forest Temple gives us the falling ceiling room.
  • Attack Its Weak Point: Many bosses have each a specifc weak point: Gohma has her eye, King Dodongo has its mouth when it's open (in preparation of a wide fire breath), Barinade has its soft skin under its jellyfish armor, Morpha has its nucleus, Bongo Bongo has its eye (which is exposed once you attack both of its other weak points), and Ganon has his bright blue tail.
  • Attack the Tail: In order to defeat Ganon, Link must strike at its tail in order to weaken it enough to reach its head for the finishing blow. Ganon can turn quickly to hide its tail, so Link must stun it using various means, or just roll under its legs.
  • Awesome, but Impractical:
    • The Hylian Shield, at least for Young Link. It's made of metal and thus can't be burned away by enemies (making it highly useful for Dodongo's Cavern and ascending Death Mountain while it's erupting); but it's too heavy for him to lift alongside his sword and means he has to crouch down on the spot to use it. As you'd imagine, it leaves him immobile.
    • The Biggoron's Sword is twice as powerful as the Master Sword, but it can't be used with a shield, can only be created during a lengthy sidequest, and has to be unsheathed before Link can attack, whereas the Master Sword can be drawn and struck with in one motion. For skilled players, this weapon becomes Difficult, but Awesome, especially against bosses.
    • Ice Arrows. It is not required to complete the game and only delivers extra damage. It does a cool effect on Bongo Bongo to freeze its hands, but Bongo can be beaten by normal means as well. The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask, a sequel using the same engine, makes use of it.
    • Ganondorf has the ability to fire single bolts of energy, and later demonstrates the ability to charge up a barrage of bolts in the final battle. However, this leaves him open to a shot from Link's bow or a spin strike for players who want to play it safe.
  • Back from the Brink: By the time Link awakens in the future era, five of the six temples have succumbed under Ganondorf's influence, outmatching the Sages who attempted to protect them, and as a result all parts of Hyrule have remained in a dire state in one way or another. The only temple that is left intact from the Gerudo king's influence (and therefore has its Sage safe) is the Temple of Time (even then, the Market is still overrun by ReDeads and the nearby Lon Lon Ranch is now under Ingo's control), whose sage (Rauru) entrusts Link the mission to restore Hyrule to its former glory and eventually confront his deadliest enemy.
  • Backing Away Slowly: Link's response to Darunia dancing to Saria's song is to back away slowly. He also does it when being offered hugs by the jubilant Gorons after finishing Dodongo's Cavern — their strength established by Darunia himself accidentally knocking him flat by patting him on the shoulder beforehand — slowly edging away before immediately fleeing with a hilarious wail of terror.
  • Badass Adorable: Young Link is a downright adorable child who attracts a lot of puppy love from many equally adorable girls. He's also pretty skilled with a sword, and able to take down hostile monsters with relative ease.
  • Badass Cape: Ganondorf has a wine-colored cape that adds to his menacing, imposing appearance after he takes over Hyrule (it's also seen when he appears in the great Deku Tree's narration after completing the first dungeon).
  • Bad Future: Once Ganondorf takes over, everything in Hyrule gets a lot worse. Hyrule Castle Town is an abandoned ruin with a perpetually dark sky, the castle itself is gone and replaced with Ganon's own dark castle (which is also the Very Definitely Final Dungeon), Lon Lon Ranch is now governed with iron fist by Talon's former employee, the Kokiri Forest has been overrun due to the death of the Deku Tree, the Gorons have been captured and face extinction via a dragon, Zora's Domain has been frozen overnote , and Lake Hylia has nearly dried up. Eventually, Kakariko Village is also cursed once an evil spirit from the underground breaks free.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: One of the few games in history in which dying invokes a canonical timeline. There is no in-game indication that this is the case, however. Canonically, Link lost the final battle against Ganondorf, but even then, it's not clarified which phase of the battle did him in.
  • Ball of Light Transformation:
    • Seen when Link uses the Ocarina to warp to the various temples. The Sages also seem to be able to do this as well.
    • Ganondorf also gets a bit shiny when he transforms into Ganon.
  • Banishing Ritual: Since Ganondorf has become effectively immortal so long as he possesses the Triforce of Power, the Sages defeat him by sealing him away inside the Dark Realm after Link has weakened him enough with the Master Sword.
  • Battle Amongst the Flames: The final battle, in which Link fights Ganon as a wall of flames surround the battlefield.
  • Battle Theme Music:
    • The game has five boss battle themes. Two for the final battle, one for the bosses fought on Death Mountain (dungeons 2 and 5), one for the other bosses, and one for the minibosses. Interestingly, the Death Mountain boss theme was later remixed for Stallord in Twilight Princess.
    • Starting here, 3D Zelda games deserve a mention for their normal battle music, which only activates gradually when an enemy is nearby. This gives it a secondary function of a sort of Spider Sense, if you will, since you'll sometimes know when an enemy is approaching even if you can't see it yet. Then it seamlessly transitions back to the regular music. Lastly, a part of the evolving Hyrule Field theme sounds when an enemy is fought there.
  • Beetle Maniac: The Beggar is so completely obsessed with beetles he will pay crazy amounts of money every time someone brings him one. You can exploit a design flaw in the game (whereby one beetle turns into three when released from its bottle) to get very rich very quickly.
  • Best Friend: Link is Saria's closest friend; much to Mido's chagrin. The narrative emphasises it by first having her give Link the Fairy Ocarina as a parting gift, when he first leaves Kokiri Forest. And later, she teach him her song while they're in the Sacred Grove, so he'll be able to communicate wlth her no matter how far they're apart. Though they're eventually forced to part ways for good, after Saria awakens as a Sage, she hands him her Forest Medallion as a memento of their imperishable friendship.
  • Beware the Skull Base: The entrance to the interior of Dodongo's Cavern features the skull of a dead Dodongo.
  • BFS: The Biggoron Sword. It requires both hands to wield, and, at least in the remake, it's about as long as adult Link is tall. Its also the deadliest weapon in the game.
  • Big Bad: Ganondorf, the evil foreign king who seeks to use the mystical Triforce to reshape Hyrule in his own image.
  • Big Boo's Haunt: The Bottom of the Well (child era, Mini-Dungeon) and Shadow Temple (adult era, proper dungeon) play this trope straight in regards of their settings and enemies, while the Forest Temple (adult era) plays it more subtly with the hazy, haunted atmosphere of its rooms. Also, the overworld at nighttime as a child, and Hyrule Castle Town as Adult Link.
  • Bigger on the Inside: Most dungeons have so many floors and rooms so large that they outnumber their external size. In particular, Jabu Jabu's Belly is an entire dungeon made of extremely large intestinal tracts, which you might not expect from looking at Jabu-Jabu's relatively small exterior.
  • Big, Thin, Short Trio: The residents at Lon Lon Ranch: Talon (big), Ingo (thin), and Malon (short). However, this trope does not apply seven years later, when Malon is an adult and as tall as Talon.
  • Big "YES!": Part of Darunia's reaction to "Saria's Song". He even dances to it for half a minute!
  • Bishōnen: Adult Link is said to look pretty dang good. The Poe Collector says he could run a different sort of business (what he means is not clarified) if he had Link's looks, while Nabooru regrets getting captured and failing to keep her promise in the Past once she sees what Link grows into. And this gets a bit creepy when you save Jiro the carpenter, who calls Link a cute kid.
  • Bittersweet Ending: You manage to defeat Ganondorf and restore peace to Hyrule, but a lot of people are lost in the future. Ruto, Darunia and Saria become Sages and their friends and loved ones mourn their absence. And Ganondorf's seal won't last forever (and eventually he breaks free, leading to the events of The Wind Waker). Zelda says goodbye to Link and sends him back to the past; while this fortunately means that one timeline's Hyrule will be protected from Ganondorf thanks to Link thwarting his plans before he even puts them into place, that timeline has Navi leave Link once sent back to the Temple of Time, and the Great Deku Tree remains dead. The final scene of the game is Young Link entering Zelda's courtyard and her pleased expression at seeing him.
  • Bizarrchitecture: The Forest Temple has some wonderful mind-screwing corridors that can twist 90 degrees. Depending on if the corridors are twisted or not, the gravity in the rooms immediately after can go in two separate directions.
  • Black Blood: Implemented in all versions of the game and the remake following the very first version, where Ganondorf coughs up red blood and bleeds red when the final blow is dealt as Ganon. Instead, his blood is turned green to tone down the violence.
  • Bleak Level: Kakariko's Well and the Shadow Temple are really creepy. Seems like they were used in the past to torture or even execute people. The foes there are also nightmarish. It doesn't help that a lot of traps are invisible unless you have the Lens of Truth.
  • Blinding Bangs:
    • The beggar that buys bottled fish and bugs.
    • Some of the Kokiri children, particularly the guard at the entrance to Hyrule Field.
  • Blob Monster: Morpha plays with this. It's actually a nucleus, but it forms a watery tentacle blob around it to protect itself.
  • Block Puzzle: The game has many in the dungeons, with special cases including the picture block puzzle in the Forest Temple (which also has a time limit, which will do a reset if it reaches zero), the giant granite blocks in the Spirit Temple (only movable with the Silver Gauntlets), and the slippery ice blocks in the Ice Cavern and a part of Ganon's Tower.
  • Blood from the Mouth: Ganondorf, upon defeat of his first form. In the 1.0 version of the game it's red, but in every other release it's green, making it look like he instead either a) hocked a tremendous loogie or b) got beaten so bad he vomited.
  • Bloodier and Gorier: Compared to most Zelda titles before or since. While many Zeldas since have featured incredibly dark themes, they usually don't have mass graves and torture chambers for you to explore...
  • Blow You Away: Farore's Wind is a spell that creates teleportation points in dungeons so Link can quickly return to that room.
  • Blue Means Cold: The magical blue flames are said to provide "refreshing coolness".
  • Bonus Dungeon: The Gerudo Training Grounds — a series of puzzles and challenges that earn you keys to access the final prize: Ice Arrows. Useful for 100% Completion and extra attack power, not particularly useful for anything else in the game. note  Downplayed with the Bottom of the Well- you're required to go in to get the Lens of Truth, but most of the rest of the dungeon is optional, just containing some Gold Skulltulas.
  • Bonus Feature Failure: By collecting 20 gold Skulltula tokens, you earn an item called the Stone of Agony which makes the Rumble Pak vibrate if you're near a hidden hole in the ground. Naturally you will need a Rumble Pak plugged in or else the item won't work. However, the Virtual Console version does not support controller vibration at all, rendering the item completely useless. The remake amends this by replacing the Stone of Agony with a similar item called the Shard of Agony, which uses an audiovisual cue rather than a tactile one.
  • Bookends: Link's meeting with Zelda in the castle. Possibly even the same one, only this time it will turn out differently...
  • Boss Arena Recovery: There's frequently junk around the periphery of boss arenas that can be used to restore health.
  • Boss Banter: Koume and Kotake chat with you before doing their Transformation Sequence. They also bicker with each other after they're defeated and realize they're dead.
  • Boss Corridor:
    • Phantom Ganon, Morpha, Twinrova, and Ganondorf all have one. The last one is noteworthy, since it's a long staircase lined with stained glass windows.
    • Regarding minibosses, the first two Iron Knuckles in the Spirit Temple are each preceded by one.
  • Boss in Mook Clothing: The Iron Knuckles, which you fight three times in the Spirit Temple in separate occassions and twice in Ganondorf's castle at the same time. They move slow as molasses while walking, but they swing their axes hard and can knock four hearts off you in one swing and send you flying across the room. On top of that, unless you fight them with the Biggoron Sword's jumping attack (which takes them down in a few hits), they are very resilient and take a long time to wear down. Making matters worse is that the heavy armor falls off at half health, letting them run at you. It is strongly recommended that you bring bottled fairies with you for these fights if you're new to the game or use Nayru's Love to avoid taking that damage.
  • Boss Rush: Beating all the bosses in Boss Challenge unlocks the Boss Gauntlet mode, in which you fight every boss from Gohma to Twinrova, starting with only five heart containers and some items and earning one item per boss. The Life Meter is reduced to three hearts in the MQ version, in which enemies also inflict double damage, just to make things interesting.
  • Boss Subtitles: Every boss is described with one, starting with "Parasitic Armored Arachnid: GOHMA". It also subverts it to great effect at the end of the game; as the final boss towers over Link, it's as though the game itself is incapable of describing the behemoth as anything other than "GANON".
  • Bowdlerise:
    • Originally, Ganondorf coughed blood shortly before the castle escape, and Ganon also bled with the final few hits. This was recolored green in later versions of the game, so when Ganondorf coughed up that blood... it looked more like throw-up, and green slime poured out of Ganon in the final blows. Surprisingly, all blood when Link is hit, as well as the bloody spots and skeletons in the Bottom of the Well, as well as the bones in the graves, are kept, E-Rating and all!
    • In the Fire Temple, the original version specifically sounds like the Arabic for the First Pillar of Islam ("There is no god but God, and Mohammed is his Prophet") and "God is great." All of these changes were only made in game v1.2, not the gold cart (v1.0) and first run regular carts (v1.1). A Gametrailers video elaborates on this slightly.
    • The Gerudo crest and the Mirror Shield, much like the Fire Temple theme, were altered because the Gerudo Crest was too similar to the Islamic Crescent Moon. There's ONE spot in the game where they forgot to change the symbol: the ceiling of Dampé's tomb in the room where he gives you the Hookshot (it was changed in the 3DS version).
    • The 3DS remake keeps all of the changes made in v1.2 but goes even further by making the blood on the Dead Hands no more than a pale pink tone, and removing blood on the floors of the Bottom of the Well and the Shadow Temple.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: One of the Iron Knuckles you fight is a brainwashed Nabooru.
    • The manga removes Nabooru being an Iron Knuckle (she's still brainwashed) while explaining Ingo's strange return to good by having him be brainwashed as well in an extra scene after Link frees Epona. Both are done with the Gerudo forehead jewel (Ingo's was in his ear).
  • Brats with Slingshots: The first dungeon item is a slingshot. And true to the trope, you can only use it as a child.
  • Breakable Weapons:
    • The Giant's Knife is a powerful sword which breaks after only a few swings — though the hilt retains its great strength even when broken, taking only a considerable decrease in range.
    • Deku Sticks can be used to hit enemies, but the stick breaks on impact. Incidentally, there's a glitch in the game that involves using a Deku Stick in a jumping attack from a ledge which nets you a shorter but unbreakable stick that you can swing around until you pull out another item. Useful in the early game when the sticks do considerably more damage than the tiny Kokiri Sword.
  • Break the Cutie: A variation of this involves breaking a large group of lovable characters called the Gorons. A peaceful, friendly group, they just want to live in peace and harvest their crops, but are content to welcome outsiders as well. However, when Ganondorf shows up and demands they turn over their spiritual stone, they refuse to do it and he punishes them by sealing off their primary food source. Later in the game, when Ganondorf takes over, he has several Gorons locked up in cages in the Fire Temple and is going to feed them to a dragon as a warning to those who might oppose him. Once you get to the Fire Temple, you see the Gorons trembling in their cells, evidently terrified, begging for mercy, and not being given any. And then you get to march in there, save each and every one of them, and smash the dragon's head in with a shiny new hammer.
  • Broad Strokes: The general plot is similar to the back story for The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past. The official timeline confirms that the earlier game takes place in a timeline where the Hero of Time LOST to Ganondorf in the Final Battle.
  • Broken Bridge: The bridge to Gerudo Valley is out, requiring either Epona or the the Longshot to cross.
  • But Now I Must Go: Navi leaves Link at the end because Link isn't a Kokiri and the only reason she was sent to him was so he could fulfill his quest. Once that was done, she couldn't stay with him any longer.
  • But Thou Must!: Many of the characters will ask Link yes or no questions; however, choosing no will either lead to an infinite loop or being forced to do it anyway. There is even a literal example where the Deku Tree asks Link to listen to a story and if you pick no he says, "but thou must listen".
  • Butt-Monkey: What did that poor musician in the windmill ever do to you?

    C - D 
  • Call-Back: Dark Link's damage animation is the same as in Zelda II: The Adventure of Link, but in 3D.
  • Call-Forward:
    • A castle guard says "KEEP IT A SECRET FROM EVERYONE," not unlike the friendly Moblin in the first game.
    • At one point, Mido says "Grumble, grumble...", an infamous line uttered in the first game at a frustrating Guide Dang It! moment.
    • The Sages (save for Impa) and Mido are named after the towns from Zelda II: The Adventure of Link. The same game is also the source of Volvagianote , Dark Link, and Iron Knuckles (which are used instead of the Darknuts used in 2D games other than the second game as well as later 3D games).
    • In the remake, the Happy Mask Salesman has the masks that were attached to his pack in Majora's Mask.
    • In the remake, when you visit the bedroom of Lon Lon Ranch, you can see on the wall some of Malon's paper drawings. One of them is Marin.
    • In the remake, Impa's house has a book on the table that resembles the Book of Mudora from A Link to the Past.
  • Camera Centering: An effect of Z-Targeting.
  • Camera Lock-On: If not the Trope Maker, then the Trope Codifier.
  • Cape Swish: Ganondorf does one of these right before you fight him, and every time he recovers from Link managing to stun him, whether he gets a Light Arrow in or not. That said, the second version, when he gets back up after Link gets the Light Arrow in and pounds on him, has more flair.
  • Card-Carrying Villain: Ganondorf is called the King of Evil at several points, and "Great" is added on at the start of his boss fight. He calls himself as the Great Evil King when defeated, while Malon, in an utterly optional conversation about Ingo, uses "the Evil King" to refer to him.
  • Cassandra Truth: Zelda's claims that Hyrule is in danger and that Ganondorf might be a traitor are disregarded by the king as such. When Link has to send a letter to the guard of Death Mountain gate, the guard, while he acknowledges the writing as authentic, assumes that Zelda is playing pretend.
  • Cave Behind the Falls:
    • There's a waterfall whose hind cave is hiding Zora's Domain itself. A second waterfall inside the Domain hides two torches; figuring out how to get fire back there nets you a Piece of Heart.
    • Over at the other end of the map, an alcove behind the Inevitable Waterfall below the bridge to the Gerudo Fortress contains another Piece of Heart.
  • Chain of Deals: There are two, one in the past and the other in the future.
    • In the past, it starts right after Link shows Zelda's letter to the Kakariko guard protecting the entrance to Death Mountain. After the guard is convinced that Link is allowed by the Royal Family to go to the mountains, he asks him to bring a Keaton Mask to him as a present for his son. From there, Link has to receive a mask from the Happy Mask Shop in Market, sell it to someone and then give payment to the Mask Salesman so he can receive the following mask and repeat the process. After four successful sales, you'll gain access to the full stock of masks; seven of the eight are purely cosmetic, but the last one, the Mask of Truth, allows you to hear hints from the Gossip Stones.
    • The trading sequence from the future is more traditional in terms of gameplay. It starts with a Chicken Egg used to wake up a long-dormant Talon once it hatches, and continues through most of Hyrule by trading items one after another. Some of the deliveries are timed (for example, the Odd Mushroom must be given away in three minutes or else it will spoil), and in particular, the penultimate one is impossible to do without Epona (even with her, it's very difficult if you forgot to plant a Magic Bean near the entrance to Dodongo's Cavern in the past). The final reward is the powerful Biggoron's Sword.
  • Character Tics: OoT Link is well-known for his inability to drink anything without dramatically wiping his mouth with his arm afterward.
  • Charles Atlas Superpower: Link might need quest items to perform some feats of strength, but as a boy he can already pick up football-sized boulders, hold them above his head, and hurl them a good ten feet.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: Both the Skull Kid in the Lost Woods whom you teach Saria's Song to and the Happy Mask Shop owner become pivotal characters in Majora's Mask.
  • Cherry Tapping: A lengthy yet surprisingly effective method of battling Dark Link is using the broken Giant's Knife. Using the stab attack with Link's default sword will make Dark Link jump onto the blade and deliver an unavoidable attack. However, since the broken sword has no blade to jump on, the stab will always hit. Just be prepared to do it a lot.
  • Chest Monster:
    • In the Spirit Temple, you're conditioned for most of the dungeon to believe that "reflecting light onto sun switches = good". However, a handful of these switches release booby trapped chests that freeze Link upon being opened and invisible Floor Masters or Wall Masters when tripped (the sun switches return for the Gerudo Training Grounds and one of the rooms in Ganon's Castle; the latter will summon Wall Masters if the wrong ones are activated; they also return for Majora's Mask's Stone Tower Temple). The Fire Temple includes a few door monsters that fall down on top of you when you try to open them (these doors, however, stick out a bit and should be obvious traps; they return for the room with the boss key in the Spirit Temple, which uses larger doors, which makes the door mimics stick out). Also appearing in several dungeons throughout the game are pots that, while not "fake" per se (they often contain the same minor items as normal pots), rise up off the ground and hurl themselves at you.
    • The boss of the Water Temple, Morpha, looks like a swimming pool when you enter the room.
    • The Poe sisters and Phantom Ganon hide in paintings.
    • The Iron Knuckles look like statues until you attack them (which you will have to; each one is a Mini-Boss that needs to be destroyed to continue with the game when you see them).
  • Chick Magnet:
    • While Ruto and Nabooru are the only ones actively expressing romantic interest in Link in the game, it's speculated that Zelda, Saria, and Malon might be into him as well. Also, Shigeru Miyamoto claimed that Navi was in love with Link too.
    • Incredibly early discussions of the design of the game hinted that there would be a "choose your girl"-style romantic subplot between the number of girls. Likely scrapped not long later when the story would make most of the girls unreachable for the last majority of the story.
  • Childhood Marriage Promise:
    • Thanks to the Time Skip, Link gets confronted with his wholly accidental promise sooner than the trope would normally require. Luckily, Ruto being the Sage of Water means it has to be called off.
    • The player can choose to agree to marry Malon if they talk to Talon as a kid. Talon laughs that Link is too young for marriage; and later when Link ages, he doesn't bring it up again.
  • The Chosen Zero: Navi wakes Link up, not succeeding for a while, then wonders out loud if Hyrule is really supposed to be saved by such a lazy boy.
  • Circling Birdies: When sneaking around the Gerudo Fortress, Link can stun Gerudo guards with either his Hookshot or arrows. If arrows are used, then the Gerudo falls down, and has stars circling her head.
  • Climax Boss: Phantom Ganon and Twinrova fill this role in different capacities. They are typically the first and last temple bosses respectively. Phantom Ganon's second phase is a preview of the fight with Ganondorf, and he contacts you at the end of the fight to taunt you. Twinrova are Co-Dragons to Ganondorf, and are more active before their fight than any other boss.
  • Collapsing Ceiling Boss: Volvagia, and that is one of his attacks, causing boulders to fall from the ceiling onto your head.
  • Combat Tentacles: Morpha has one or two at a time, and in the latter case, one of them has its core.
  • Comic-Book Adaptation: The manga by Akira Himekawa.
  • Company Cross References: There are several references to Super Mario Bros.. For example, Malon and Talon have brooches of Bowser's head, and portraits of Mario, Luigi, Peach, Yoshi, and Bowser can be found in the Castle Courtyard.
  • The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard: In the room in the Forest Temple where you obtain the Fairy Bow, the first Stalfos you fight is able to walk in mid-air over the pit in the middle of the room, as though it was solid ground. While Link could theoretically do the same if he actually had the Hover Boots at that point, their power would only be momentarily, while the Stalfos can do so indefinitely. After defeating this first Stalfos, the pit gets sealed off, and you can fight the other two Stalfos normally.
  • Constantly Lactating Cow: You can make any cow instantly produce a surplus of milk by playing Epona's Song on the ocarina while standing next to it. If you have an empty bottle, it'll let you fill the bottle with milk in gratitude for playing such a nice song.
  • Context-Sensitive Button: Ocarina of Time was actually the first video game to use an on-screen display of what the context-sensitive button would do at that moment. The A button does almost everything that interacts with the environment and isn't "attack", including jump, climb, roll, push, and pull. This is carried over to all subsequent 3D games in the series, and to varying extents to the 2D games as well.
  • Continue Your Mission, Dammit!: Navi is perhaps most known for her habit of routinely nagging the player about the current major quest objective, regardless of where (or when) they are or what they're currently doing. This can result in her telling Link to check out the strange clouds over Death Mountain when he's already standing at the summit, or when he's a child and there are no strange clouds yet.
  • Continuing is Painful: If you die during the final battle with Ganon, you have to start the Tower escape sequence again.
  • Continuity Snarl: The game itself is possibly the biggest retcon in the franchise, and one that greatly affects the whole timeline. The backstory of The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past establishes that Ganondorf got the whole Triforce and that the Master Sword remained unused until the arrival of Link note  in the present day. Ocarina of Time is based on that backstory but introduces a predecessor Link who did wield the Master Sword, and ends with Ganondorf being sealed away with only the Triforce of Power in his possession. The incompatible nature only got worse when new Zelda games such The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker and The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess are established as direct sequels to Ocarina of Time but diverts further away from the setting of A Link to the Past and the NES games. It's only when Nintendo created an Alternate Timeline where the Hero of Time is defeated that Ocarina of Time is finally reconnected to A Link to the Past as the prequel it was originally intended to be.
  • Convection Schmonvection: Played straight in most of the game (especially Dodongo's Cavern) but despite the series's track record with this trope, it's averted in Death Mountain's crater, in which it's so hot that Link requires the flame-retardant Goron Tunic to be able to survive for more than a minute or so, and touching the lava is an instant void out, just like outside Ganon's Castle.
  • Conveniently an Orphan: The Great Deku Tree, having raised Link and the other Kokiri forest children, dies early in the game. As a secret Hylian, this actually happened to Link twice; his proper Hylian parents died in a civil war, the fatally-wounded mother wandering into the forest and entrusting the then-infant Link to the Deku Tree in her last moments.
  • Cool Horse:
  • Copy Protection: If the game detects the CIC6105 security chip is missing, it's impossible to catch any fish at the fishing pond and Princess Zelda won't open the barred doors in Ganon's Castle, making it impossible to complete the game. Also, adult Zelda's hair is a giant pentagon in cutscenes for some reason.
  • Corridor Cubbyhole Run: In the Sacred Forest Meadow as well as the Forest Temple (the part with the Descending Ceiling).
  • Cosy Catastrophe: Despite Ganondorf taking over most of Hyrule in the time skip, most of the locals and relocated townsfolk living in Kakariko Village aren't too off-put by it, largely just continuing their lives as if everything was normal. This is especially strange, given that Kakariko is quite close to Hyrule Castle.
  • "Could Have Avoided This!" Plot: The entire game from acquiring the Master Sword onwards is a result of Link and Zelda being in over their heads for trying to take on Ganondorf and directly foil his plans, instead ending up giving him exactly what he wants, which Zelda painfully admits post-Time Skip. The correct solution was to simply expose Ganondorf's conspiracy to the proper authorities before it started. After the final battle, a now less-naive Link is sent back in time to before he first met Zelda, and he does exactly that.
  • Covers Always Lie: Promotional official artwork (and hype) in Nintendo magazines showcased Link and Sheik joining forces against Ganon's entire army. Such an event was never featured in the game.
  • Cowardly Boss: Morpha. Most of the difficulty is in trying to hookshot it while it spins and whirls and winds and does everything to evade you. Also features Murder Water and Combat Tentacles.
  • Crafted From Animals: The Goron and Zora Tunics are partially crafted from Dodongo hide and fish gills respectively, according to the official guide, which are implied to give them their heat resistant and water-breathing qualities.
  • Crapsack World: All of future Hyrule applies, but Castle Town especially. All the buildings other than the Temple of Time and Ganon's Castle are utterly wrecked, ReDeads roam the streets, the sky is polluted with smoke and ash, and the drawbridge is destroyed. Other places haven't been faring too well either, with Kokiri Forest infested with monsters, Lake Hylia is completely dried up, and Zora's Domain is completely frozen over with no Zoras other than the King and a shopkeeper to be found.
  • Crate Expectations: Fairly common in houses; the one within the Castle Town's entrance has so many crates that you can get Rupees easily by breaking them. One crate in Kakariko contains a Cucco, which you have to retrieve along with others to complete a sidequest there. And then there's the boxes inside Lord Jabu Jabu (the giant whale-god of the Zoras) that you can break open to get hearts and other items.
  • Creepy Cemetery: Link can drop down into some of the graves in Kakariko's Graveyard to do things like race the ghost of an Undertaker in a creepy maze and fight ReDeads. Also, it houses the entrance to the spooky Shadow Temple, and the well isn't too far away from the cemetery.
  • Creepy Child: The game has the little Kokiri girl you meet in The Lost Woods as an adultnote , right after the depressed mannote  disappears. It's her utter deadpan and the fact that we never do get any further explanation. It's a Crapsack World post-Time Skip... and before the Time Skip, this girl was perfectly normal and one of your friends. What happened to turn a normal kid into this?
    Girl: That guy isn't here anymore. Anybody who comes into the forest will be lost. Everybody will become a Stalfos. Everybody, Stalfos. So, he's not here anymore. Only his saw is left. Hee hee. [...] Heh heh heh. Are you going to be... too? Heh heh!
  • Creepy Mortician: Dampé. He himself dies during the Time Skip, but he took his treasure, the Hookshot (which is later upgraded), to the grave, and invites anyone who reads his diary to visit him. He admits that he has a frightening appearance (even when he's alive), but he's not a bad guy at all: he invites you to a digging minigame where you can win a Heart Piece, and in the future he gives you the Hookshot if you can keep up with him in a race (as well as a Heart Piece if you finish a later rematch in under a minute).
  • Critical Annoyance: A high-pitched beeping noise will sound when you get down to two hearts or below.
  • Critical Existence Failure: Played straight in most enemies, with the usual "wheeze and limp when injured and standing still" cosmetic touch.
  • Crossing the Desert: The game has the Gerudo Desert which you must cross in order to get to the last temple, the Spirit Temple. If you get lost, you have to start over.
  • Cue the Sun:
    • When Link shoots an arrow at the morning sun at Lake Hylia, a Fire Arrow descends from the sky.
    • Also, playing the Sun Song at night will literally cue the sun.note 
  • Cutscene Incompetence: If Link is seen by Gerudo guards in Gerudo Fortress, he gets either captured or thrown out of the fortress. This is despite Link being a fully armed One-Man Army at this point and the guards themselves being incompetent at best. If the player had control, they could probably fight them all off without too much effort. Unless they all have the same abilities as the scimitar-wielding ones you do fight, who are Demonic Spiders at best, in which case surrendering to a crowd of guards who harmlessly throw you in an easily-escapable prison might be the smart thing to do.
  • Cypher Language: This game marks the debut of the Hylian alphabet, which is a code based on the Japanese katakana (as the "Hylian" language is just Japanese written in this alphabet). It makes a return in Majora's Mask and The Wind Waker, and is overhauled to become a code based on English in Twilight Princess and onward.
  • Damn You, Muscle Memory!:
    • Anyone used to the Ocarina controls from the original version may have trouble getting used to the Ocarina controls for the 3DS remake, as the button layout for each note is totally different.
    • The mirrored Master Quest in the 3DS remake also messes with long-time players' reflexes.
    • One for veterans of the first game involves Peahats, which went to only being vulnerable when still to only being vulnerable when moving. If the player forgets it, they're almost sure to take a hit or two.
  • Damsel in Distress: Zelda double subverts it during the game, when you are being assisted by Sheik... who is Princess Zelda... and then gets captured after that reveal.
  • Dance Party Ending: A sequence during the ending credits roll shows all secondary characters (even the Kokiri, although they'd already been living just as dangerously during the Time Skip) partying in the Lon Lon Ranch.
  • Darker and Edgier: Ocarina of Time is generally darker than the previous games in the Zelda franchise, as it deals very explicitly with subjects like war and the large-scale devastation caused by it. It is especially prevalent in the latter half of the game with Adult Link: the moment you first step into Hyrule Market seven years after drawing the Master Sword is quintessential Nightmare Fuel. And from there, you rediscover Hyrule in its newly distorted form, with perennially ominous skies consuming the land and at least one genocide in the making (ie. the Gorons on Death Mountain are slated to become lunch for the ancient dragon Volvagia, revived by Ganondorf as a warning to any who would dare oppose him). Then you come across such settings as the Forest Temple, Shadow Temple, the nether regions of Kakariko Village's well, and Ganon's Castle (erected where Hyrule Castle once stood). Link's death animations is also much grimmer where he collapses realistically (or floats in the water lifelessly if he drowns) if he dies. Although it was subsequently surpassed by its direct sequel Majora's Mask in terms of overall darkness, there can be little doubt that the first 3D Zelda had plenty of creepiness to go along with the softer nuances it carried over from the previous games.
  • Dark-Skinned Redhead: The Gerudo people, including Ganondorf prior to his becoming Ganon, although even at the beginning Ganondorf's skin has a sickly/undead-looking greenish cast, which becomes outright Hulk green or even blue in many of his appearances (not all of which are humanoid, of course) later on in the series's chronology.
  • Dead Character Walking: By a glitch, you could walk Zombie Link in a dim world. A different method allows Zombie Link to walk around in regular lighting, but nothing can be done anyway and everything are all frozen and many features are disabled.
  • Deadly Dust Storm: The Spirit Temple is beyond a stretch of desert that has a constant sand storm. Link needs the help of the Phantom Guide (just a Poe that isn't programmed to be hostile) to lead him through safely. Or, alternately, you can figure out on your own where to turn and in which direction, and once you reach the crate in the sand, you can leave the Poe behind and make a beeline for the exit since following it in the loop isn't necessary to get in.
  • Death Course: The Shadow Temple is full of deadly guillotines, spinning Blade Traps, platforms with spikes underneath that come crashing down on you, and lethal Bottomless Pits. For this reason, the game has a more linear design than those of the other temples, though path branches still appear along the way.
  • Death Mountain: This is a game in the Trope Namer's series, so players should expect it by now. This is also the game that started the trend of combining this trope with Lethal Lava Land.
  • Degraded Boss: Lizalfos, Stalfos, White Wolfos and Iron Knuckles are presented as minibosses in their respective dungeons (or Mini-Dungeon, in the case of the White Wolfos), and eventually refought as mooks in later areas and dungeons.
  • Departure Means Death: Kokiri apparently can't survive outside the forest. Subverted in that they only thought that was the case, apparently, as they can be seen partying at Lon Lon Ranch during the credits.
  • Descending Ceiling: Happens in the Forest Temple. Not only is the ceiling falling, spiders hide above the safe squares to doom you. There are also spiked weights in Shadow Temple that you need to prop up, or else you will get squished.
  • Yoshi's Island has a level with this and ascending ground.
  • Developers' Foresight:
    • Normally, when adult Link enters the Gerudo Fortress and gets caught, he gets tossed into a prison cell that can only be escaped by using the Hookshot. If you engage in a bit of Sequence Breaking and get Epona before the Hookshot, and enter the Gerudo Fortress by jumping over the broken bridge, you won't get trapped in the cell if caught — the guards just throw you outside the entrance to the village. Because Link cannot enter the Gerudo Fortress from Gerudo Valley as a child (at least, not without exploiting a glitch or two), some players might try to enter the Gerudo Fortress as a child through the back door: by travelling backwards through the Haunted Wasteland from the Desert Colossus. Crafty players who manage to do so (which is impossible without glitching OR cheating as child Link cannot cross the River of Sand) will find that the gate is closed and a Gerudo guard is standing in front of it, telling the player that children are not allowed to enter.
    • Even though it's impossible to acquire Nayru's Love before beating Dark Link without glitches, he is still programmed to respond to it by becoming very defensive, keeping his shield up and retreating.
  • Diabolus ex Machina: When Link pulls out the Master Sword, it (or possibly Rauru) puts him in a coma until he is an adult, which allows Ganondorf to take the Triforce unopposed. While Rauru claims afterwards that the Sword demands an adult wielder, this is not foreshadowed beforehand, and it is contradicted in both earlier and later games.
  • Die, Chair, Die!: Most forms of object only react to being picked up and smashed or hit with your sword.
  • Dinosaurs Are Dragons: The official name of the boss theme that plays when you fight King Dodongo and Volvagia is, according to the official soundtrack, "Dinosaur Boss Battle", in spite of the latter being a dragon and not a true dinosaur.
  • Disc-One Final Dungeon: Hey once you get through this fish's insides, you'll have all the stones and can save Hyrule now, right? ... Right?
  • Disc-One Nuke:
    • Of all weapons, the Deku Sticks count as this. One would think they're a joke weapon due to how flimsy they look and how fragile they are, but not only do they deal more damage than the Kokiri sword, they can actually deal Biggoron Sword level damage in the right hands. For example, King Dodongo can be killed in two dive attacks from them. Sadly, the 3DS port nerfed them into being a genuine Joke Weapon.
    • The Biggoron Sword. The fetch quest for it can be completed before you even set foot in the Forest Temple, and it rewards you with THE strongest weapon in the game, which shreds through normal enemies and turns the boss fights into a cakewalk. With jump attacks and spins, even Iron Knuckles go down in mere seconds, and Bongo Bongo, of all bosses, can go down in a single cycle of its AI.note 
  • Disconnected Side Area: The Shadow Temple, which can only be accessed with the Ocarina warp song because it's located on a ledge from the Graveyard which cannot be climbed up.
  • Diurnal Nocturnal Animal: Kaepora Gaebora, the wise but verbose owl, is active during the daytime as well as the night.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?:
    • The Great Fairies' poses exist to make you uncomfortable playing the game around friends and family members.
    • The Ghost Hunter when first meeting you says "If I looked as good as you, I would be running a different kind of business, keh-heh-hee." Quite the... interesting way to word things wouldn't you say?
  • Don't Go in the Woods: It is inadvisable to go into The Lost Woods unless you are a Kokiri child with a guardian fairy. If you don't, you might become one of the undead monsters that roam the forest. Oddly, it's implied by Saria that she and Link used to play in the woods before he received his fairy. This may be attributed to him being guided by Saria.
  • Door to Before:
    • Beating a boss opens up a portal in the ground, which takes Link back outside. Later Zelda games have continued this trend.
    • Many of the game's boss chambers are located fairly close to the dungeon entrance—the rest of the dungeon revolves around acquiring the key and/or the MacGuffin that allows you access to the boss chamber.
    • Goron City has a shortcut back to the Lost Woods once you have the Bombs to clear it. Zora's River has one as well, usable after you get the Silver Scale to dive deeper underwater. These are useful for Young Link to return to those destinations prior to growing up and learning the warp songs (due to Save-Game Limits, the game has Young Link reappear in his house in Kokiri Forest if, in the previous session of the playthrough, the game was saved and quit outside a dungeon).
  • Downer Ending: As mentioned in the Hyrule Historia, one of the timelines involves Link failing to defeat Ganon here.
  • The Dragon: Nabooru ends up becoming the chief enforcer of Twinrova in Spirit Temple. Twinrova themselves serve as dragons to Ganondorf, as they are implied to actually have raised him, are exceeding loyal to him, and are the last boss before reaching The Very Definitely Final Dungeon.
  • Dreaming of Things to Come: Zelda has prophetic dreams, specifically one where dark clouds engulf Hyrule. She's convinced the dream is a warning against Ganondorf.
  • Dream Intro: Begins with a scene of Ganondorf chasing Princess Zelda on horseback, which turns out to be a nightmare that Link is having. This ends up occurring for real later in the game.
  • Drop the Hammer: Adult Link gets to mess around with the Megaton Hammer. It's a bit more powerful than the Master Sword, can open up holes in the ground like bombs do, can destroy rocks you can't destroy with bombs, and is useful for caving in several of the tougher boss' skulls (it is needed to defeat Volvagia, the boss of the Fire Temple, where you find the hammer, but you don't need to use the Master Sword or Biggoron's Sword for this fight; the hammer alone will kill the dragon. In the Final Boss fight, you will need to use the hammer for the first stage against Ganon if you don't have Biggoron's Sword).note 
  • Dual Boss: Twinrova, of the complementary variety. They're evil witches that fight you together. They can only be harmed by absorbing and reflecting their attacks. When they merge, Link has to charge his shield with three attacks from Twinrova that are of the same element before he can attack her again.
  • Dual-World Gameplay: You can use the Temple of Time to go back and forth to do things like plant seeds that grow into flying platforms to get Pieces of Heart. You also have to trick out time to get the Song of Storms and get through the Spirit Temple.
  • Dude, Where's My Reward?: For every ten of the first fifty Gold Skulltulas you find, you get a significant reward.note  For finding the other fifty, a task that requires you to scour every nook and cranny in the land, you get...an endless supply of money. By that time you'll essentially have done everything in the game that requires money anyway.
  • Dungeon Shop: The game features business-minded Deku Scrubs who appear in certain dungeons. Once you deflect their shots back at them, they offer to sell you a certain item or replenishable as a form of surrender, often at a ludicrously inflated price.

    E - H 
  • Early Game Hell: The 3DS version's Master Quest mode not only has the harder dungeon layout from the titular expansion, but also doubles the damage Link takes and flips the entire world horizontally. This makes the normally-easy first dungeon a lot more challenging, as Link has no way to heal himself without finding hearts at that point, and even the lowly Keese deal a full heart of damage at a point Link only has three. However, the game gets more manageable once you complete the Deku Tree and find bottles, allowing you to carry Milk and other helpful stuff.
  • Easter Egg:
    • In Dodongo's Cavern, the infamous "L is Real 2401" texture from Super Mario 64 was reused as an in-joke to tease people who still believed the sign means something (per Word of God, it doesn't mean anything) and as a nod to Ocarina of Time being built on a heavily modified version of Mario 64's game engine.
    • In the remake, one of the rooms of the Thieves' Hideout (specifically, the one that is above the room closest to the cell you are thrown into if you are caught) contains a poster of the Link from Skyward Sword behind two crates. Similar posters can be found on the wall of the Bombchu Shop in Hyrule Castle Town, and in the bedroom at Lon Lon Ranch as an adult.
    • When using the ocarina, you can shift the pitch with the analog stick. This isn't mentioned anywhere in the instruction manual, and has absolutely no effect on gameplay, but it's a nice little touch that makes it closer to the real thing.
    • There are portraits of Mario, Peach, Luigi, Bowser, and Yoshi viewable from the castle's courtyard. These were replaced with a New Super Mario Bros.-like scene in 3D. You can even shoot the window for rupees!
    • There is a disturbing and downright depressing easter egg. After retrieving the Ocarina of Time from the castle's moat a telepathic message from Princess Zelda tells you to go to the Temple of Time. Just in case you don't understand this message, there is a guard in one of Hyrule Castle Town's back alleys who was supposed to give you the same message. For most players this is unnecessary so they never even look for him, but if you do you'll find the guard, hear his message, then see him die. Most players never knew he was there, so the majority of the time he'll die without ever completing his mission and without any hope that Princess Zelda or Hyrule can be saved.
  • Easy Level Trick: Getting the Gold Scale from the fishing minigame makes navigating the Water Temple much less tedious, since you can simply dive through several passages instead of having to constantly equip and deequip the Iron Boots all the time. Getting the free Blue Tunic by unfreezing King Zora beforehand helps too, since using it means you won't have to worry about drowning anymore.
  • An Economy Is You:
    • Everyone sells things that are handy for your quest, and all trading between other people is done via Link moving goods and money around.
    • Played straight with the Fisherman (the guy in the Fishing Hole at Lake Hylia), who actually tells Link that he's his only customer.
  • Eldritch Abomination: Bongo Bongo. This "Phantom Shadow Beast" is by far the most alien enemy Link faces throughout the game. Although it takes on a vaguely anthropomorphic form, it's doubtful if it was ever even remotely human. Considering it manifests itself as a super-fast liquid monster outside of the Shadow Temple, it may not even have a true form. The only upside is that since it is a boss, it can be defeated.
  • Eldritch Location:
    • Ganon's Castle.
    • The Forest Temple also qualifies. It's an anomaly in the context of the game—whereas all of the other temples look like, well, temples, the Forest Temple is more like a giant, derelict mansion frozen in time and slowly being reclaimed by nature, and it has some truly bizarre architectural choices. Oh, and it's inhabited by the undead on top of that.
    • The Shadow Temple under the well certainly has shades of this too, being a dark, ghostly place that has several undead creatures roaming about. According to lore, it was formerly a torture dungeon of sorts where the Sheikah executed enemies of the Royal Family.
  • Enemy Scan: Targeting enemies and pressing Z (L in all post-N64 releases) prompts Navi to provide the enemy's name, followed by a short hint on how to defeat it. She speaks in an encyclopedic manner, without much discernible emotion.
  • Enemy Without: The return of Dark Link as an opponent.
  • Enter Solution Here:
    • Certain parts of the game require playing a specific melody for access. You can't play a song for use in-game until Link has learned it (this restriction is done to prevent Sequence Breaking).
    • In the Great Deku Tree, a Deku Scrub tells you in what order you need to defeat three of his brethren to access the boss. And then one of them tells you where the boss' Weak Spot is.
  • Escort Mission: Princess Ruto in the third dungeon. Not only do you have to escort her, you have to carry her. She doesn't take damage and you can throw her at enemies.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Nabooru is quick to distance herself from Evil King Ganondorf. Which may even be an indicator of her real destiny, considering all the other Gerudo blindly follow Ganondorf because he's both a Gerudo and a man.
    Nabooru: Though we're both thieves, I'm completely different from Ganondorf. With his followers, he stole from women and children, and he even killed people!
  • Evil Knockoff: Dark Link. Even in 2018, OoT marks his first chronological appearance so far.
  • Evil Only Has to Win Once: During Link's seven-year slumber following the conclusion of the past era, Ganondorf conquered Hyrule, dealt wholesale strategic destruction to its various populations (apart from his homeland, the Gerudos), and retired into his castle, leaving his minions to deal with the embittered remnants of the world's population. Link gets the assistance of these scattered remnants, challenges Ganondorf in his castle, and defeats him. Even in the timeline where Link doesn't defeat him, said remnants eventually defeat Ganondorf on their own anyways.
  • Exact Words: Ingo tries to pull this on you when he promises to let you keep Epona if you beat him in a race. When you win he laughs about how he's going to keep his word but also locks the gate and refuses to let you leave the ranch, but the gate is way too small to stop Epona from hopping over it (and you can also exit from the lower border walls anyway).
  • Expansion Pack: Ura Zelda for the Nintendo 64DD was supposed to be this for this game, but it never got finished. Its levels were eventually turned into the Master Quest version of the game, which in turn was eventually embedded into the 3DS remake of the base game as New Game+.
  • Exposition Fairy: Navi. The Trope Codifier if not the Trope Namer. She is a fairy, and her very job and destiny is to tell you things about what's happening. Note that she's blue, which signifies 'wisdom' in Zelda lore.
  • Extended Gameplay: "Master Quest" is a version of the game that comes with different and harder dungeon designs, for people who like challenging puzzles. The 3DS version takes it Up to Eleven by making Link take double damage, and mirrors the environment, to mess with your muscle memory.
  • Fade to White:
    • Multiple times, such as when Link encounters Ganondorf in the Temple of Time, and when Ganondorf is finally defeated and sealed in the Dark Realm.
    • Also whenever Link uses the secret passages between the Lost Woods and either Goron City or Zora's River (or Zora's Domain and Lake Hylia), complete with a cool sound.
  • Failure Is the Only Option: The Running Man. No matter how fast you finish the race, he will always beat you by one second.
  • Fairy Companion: Navi, a literal fairy, is gifted to Link by the Great Deku Tree (the guardian of the forest). She guides him during his quest, providing him tips and advice along the way.
  • Fake Longevity: Without exploiting any glitches, it takes hours to do a 100% completion run because trekking and backtracking through the world, especially the expansive Hyrule Field is painfully slow. A big problem with the warps you have as a child is that they aren't well interconnected. Link has no means of running faster as a child or adult (unless you enjoy the fun of running backwards), as the Pegasus Boots are absent and the Bunny Hood does nothing except prevent Stalchildren from appearing at night. Sheik's warps are better, but are only unlocked after Link is an adult and also have the same problem where you can't use them to get to places like Zora's Domain or the Gerudo Fortress quickly.
  • Farmer's Daughter: The game subverts the trope with Malon. While she is Talo's daughter and tends the livestock at Lon Lon Ranch, she dresses modestly and is presented as wholesome, rather than flirty.
  • Fast-Forward Mechanic: The "Sun's Song" moves time to the next time of day. In certain areas, it just speeds up the progression of the sun and moon to the next 6 o'clock. In places where time is frozen, it instead advances to the next TWELVE o'clock, which screws you over if you were supposed to be there earlier than that, like at 9 o'clock.
  • Fate Worse than Death:
    • After defeating Phantom Ganon in the Forest Temple, Ganondorf decides to send it to a gap between dimensions due to the puppet's inability to kill Link.
      Ganondorf: What a worthless creation that ghost was! I will banish it to the gap between dimensions!!"
    • In an ironic twist, Ganondorf is banished himself upon defeat, just to the Sacred Realm instead of the void between dimensions.
  • Feed It a Bomb: King Dodongo, the boss from the second dungeon, is defeated by throwing bombs into his mouth while he's inhaling. He's charging up his fireball breath attack, so his open mouth is justified.
  • Fetch Quest: The Biggoron Sword quest spans up to 10 items to trade, one after another, taking place through most of Hyrule. And Link cannot use warp songs on timed trades, or else time will run out automatically (warp-based shortcuts are still allowed).
  • Fictional Age of Majority: "Adult" Link is stated to be 16 years old.
  • Final Boss: Ganondorf, after being defeated and failing to crush Link and Zelda with his crumbling castle, morphs into a massive monster, taking the name "Ganon" for the first time EVER, to make one last attempt, Ring of Fire free of charge.
  • Final Boss Preview: The scene where Link encounters Ganondorf in front of the Castle Town drawbridge and gets thrown off his feet with a magic bolt. The next boss after that scene is literally a preview of the final boss. Phantom Ganon's 2nd stage fights exactly the same as Ganondorf, but lacks a few attacks and is weaker.
  • Final-Exam Boss: The game requires that you remember the Phantom Ganon battle to combat Ganondorf (or how to use a bottle in unorthodox ways), and figure out the Light Arrows are designed to smite evil. Running down the Tower forces you to face Stalfos again, who only drop their guard when attacking, but also regenerate if their comrades aren't all slain quickly enough, and hopefully you remember how to stop a Redead without the Sun's Song. On to the final battle, where Ganon swats away your sword. So, unless you got the Biggoron Sword, you have to use basically everything else in your arsenal: Megaton Hammer, bombs, arrows, even Deku Nuts. Finally, you have to unleash the Master Sword's Informed Ability at last — use it to deliver the final blow.
  • Fire/Ice Duo: Twinrova makes her series debut in this game. She's an entity composed of twin sisters Koume (who uses fire spells and has red highlights in her design) and Kotake (ditto for ice and the color blue). The twins can form a Fusion Dance to form Twinrova, who has both fire and ice powers. Unlike other examples, though, the twins are The Dividual and are pretty alike in terms of personality.
  • Fire, Ice, Lightning: Present with Ganondorf and his two surrogate mothers: Koume uses fire magic, Kotake uses ice magic, and most of Ganondorf's attacks involve electricity.
  • Fire, Water, Wind: The Kokiri Emerald (Farore) is located in the Kokiri Forestnote ; the Goron Ruby (Din) is located at Death Mountain, a volcano; and the Zora Sapphire (Nayru) is found in Zora's Domain, the source of Hyrule's fresh water.
  • Fishing Minigame: The Fishing Pond in Lake Hylia hosts a playable fishing activity. Link will be given a rod so he can capture a fish and then take it to the pond's owner to weigh it. In the past era, if the fish weighs 10 or more pounds, he'll receive a Piece of Heart as a reward; and in the future era, bringing a fish that weighs 15 or more will net him a Golden Scale.
  • Five-Second Foreshadowing: Just before the fight with Dark Link in the Water Temple, watch Link's reflection in the water. When you pass the tree, it suddenly disappears...turn around, and whoa, there's Dark Link!
  • Flowery Elizabethan English: The Great Deku Tree uses flowery words and phrases such as "Thou hast verily demonstrated thy courage."
  • Flunky Boss: Gohma will summon flunkies in the form of Gohma larvae.
  • Foreshadowing: If you look around the outside of Link's House, you'll find a graffiti scribble depicting a battle between a monster and a knight.
  • Four Is Death: The fourth Adult Link dungeon is the Shadow Temple, which deals with the undead and features torture equipment in several rooms. According to lore, this place is a reminder of the darkest chapters in the history of Hyrule. However, like all temples, its Sage aims to protect Hyrule and assists the others in the process to seal Ganon after his defeat.
  • Franchise Codifier: Ocarina of Time marked a shift to rendered models and more realistic character proportions, a style that, with one exception, would dominate the 3D home console games that would serve as the franchise's flagship titles. The game also defined set standards for Link and Zelda's character designs, applied the experiments with character-driven story in The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening to a far grander scale, and introduced many important setting elements that would remain important in subsequent titles, including the Gerudo, Gorons, Zora, the Great Deku Tree, and the use of time travel. Most prominently, Ganon's original/primary human form, Ganondorf, was now the main antagonist, with "Ganon" being his One-Winged Angel form.
  • Free Sample Plot Coupon: The objective for Adult Link is to rescue and help awaken the Six Sages. Fortunately, the first sage (Rauru) is already in the Sacred Realm, having been part of the previous generation of Sages, and after telling Link about the importance of rescuing the other sages, he proceeds to give him the Light Medallion.
  • Freeze Sneeze: If you do nothing in a cold area for a certain amount of time, it triggers an idle animation where Link (be he young or an adult) has one of these.
  • Friend to All Living Things:
    • Saria. Though she is from Kokiri Village, she can often be found deep in the surrounding forest, near the Forest Temple, where she teaches Link her song. She explains that it allows her to communicate with the spirits in the forest and also allows her to speak to him telepathically. Which how she learns of the disturbance in the Forest Temple when she finally awakens as the Forest Sage, 7 years later.
    • Malon the ranch girl adores the horses under her keep and even endures Ingo’s tyranny because she fears he’ll hurt the horses. Malon is the only other character besides Link who can tame Epona.
  • Frigid Water Is Harmless: Link can spend all day swimming in the waters of Zora's Fountain after it gets frozen over and suffer no ill effects.
  • From Bad to Worse: This is an entire game of things going downhill. Even within the context of the story, the conclusion is a bit bittersweet at worst, but considering all the horrific fallout that occurs years later due to Ganondorf's rise to power (in what is now three timelines, according to Word of God), the ending can hardly be called happy. For one, in the Downfall Timeline Ganon couldn't even be defeated, and for a time he imposed reign of terror like no other, only being reverted in A Link to the Past. In the Child Timeline, preventing his initial ambush within Hyrule Castle only delayed the inevitable as he and Zant came into full force to invade both Hyrule and the Twilight Realm in Twilight Princess. And in the Adult Timeline, Ganon managed to return while Link couldn't as he had returned to his original era, meaning Ganon was left unopposed which forced the gods to sacrifice the entirety of Hyrule via the Great Flood to seal it with Ganon inside, setting the events of The Wind Waker into motion.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: One of the canon timelines is triggered if Link loses to Ganon in the final battle here. Naturally, losing the final battle only respawns you before it begins and you can keep trying until you beat Ganon.
  • Gainaxing: Twinrova, right after transforming. The 3DS version makes it even more obvious.
  • Gashadokuro: The Stalchild enemies in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time are normal-sized skeletons that show up on Hyrule Field at night. However, every third one that spawns is giant-sized (getting larger and larger each time it happens if Link keeps defeating them). The lore even states that they're the remains of soldiers from a massive battle, making the connection even more explicit.
  • Gender Rarity Value: The Gerudo have only one male child every century, who becomes their king. This is literally the only reason any Gerudo are loyal to Ganondorf.
  • "Get Back Here!" Boss: King Dodongo. The arena is a giant ring with most of it inaccessible due to lava. Link will have to chase him around the ring or cut him off—get there too slow, and he'll either repeat the process, or blast you with a massive fireball.
  • Ghost Ship: Link gets aboard on the fabled "ferry to the other world" in the Shadow Temple, crewed by Stalfos. Made creepier by the fact that it doesn't sail on water, but on air, and it sinks when it meets the goal line.
  • Giant Hands of Doom: Bongo Bongo. Also, the Wallmasters.
  • Giant's Knife; Human's Greatsword: Part of the Trope Namer. Medigoron tells you he's working on something that won't be done for seven years. Visiting him as an adult lets you buy the titular Giant's Knife which breaks after a few swings.
  • Giant Mook: Kill enough Stalchildren in Hyrule Field at night and a bigger one appears. Ditto for Leevers in the desert and Guay at Lon Lon Ranch at night.
  • Giant Space Flea from Nowhere: In the middle of a water-themed dungeon with water-themed enemies, you suddenly get a room that holds a Mind Screw and a fight against Link's darker side, Dark Link.
  • Girly Girl with a Tomboy Streak: The incarnation of Zelda from this game is said to be a Tomboy Princess and is apparently one of the most tomboyish Zeldas out there. However, she doesn't seem particularly any more tomboyish than other Zeldas . Link spends little time around her, so it's possible that Zelda is a tomboy by her times' standards or that she seems conventionally feminine because of the constraints of living in a medieval-esque era. She is able to easily pass as a boy for most of the game though.
  • Girly Run: All the carpenters do this. It's quite unsettling, as they're all big, chunky, and very hairy guys.
  • Go for the Eye:
    • The bosses Gohma and Bongo-Bongo.
    • The Beamos enemies can sometimes be stunned by shooting them in the eye with the slingshot, hookshot, or fairy bow.
    • The eye switches. To trigger one, you have to shoot an arrow into it. Similarly, the "blind the eyes of the statue" stage in the Gerudo Training Complex.
    • You can't reach King Dodongo without bombing the eyes of a huge Dodongo skull.
  • Good Bad Bugs: Invoked in the remake: non-Game-Breaking Bugs were intentionally left in the game to add charm and replay value.
  • Good Is Boring: The soldier inside the house full of pots wishes Hyrule was more chaotic, as standing all day in a peaceful place bores him.
  • Good Is Dumb: Despite that basic Gerudo guards are one of the weakest enemies in the entire game (taking one hit from anything to knock out) and Link could probably take on the entire Gerudo Fortress and win, if he's spotted he will always raise his hands and let himself be carted back to his cell. Though since the Gerudo themselves aren't evil (except for Ganondorf and Twinrova) it comes full circle, as they just throw him with all his gear into the same pit he's escaped from the last sixteen times they did that.
  • Good Morning, Crono: Navi flies into Link's house to wake him up in the beginning.
  • Gotta Catch 'Em All: In addition to the story's Plot Coupons (Spiritual Stones and Sage Medallions) and the optional Heart Pieces and Containers, the game features the iconic Gold Skulltula quest. Technically they're a case of Gotta Kill Them All, but you still have to retrieve the tokens (representing their souls) that they drop when they die. There's a whole hundred of them, and you have to revisit some dungeons with new equipment you didn't have the first time around to get them. The ones located in the overworld can only be found and slain at night, but considering how early and easily you can get the Sun's Song, that's not really a big deal. Every ten Skulltula Tokens earned up to 50, a cursed character is cured and a reward is given to Link, but for the last character, all 100 spiders must be slain.
  • Go Wait Outside: The game does this with the Biggoron Sword. It takes three days for him to finish making the sword, after you run through the mother of all fetch quests. In this case, it can be accelerated through use of the sun's song.
  • Grappling-Hook Pistol: The game has both the basic Hookshot and the upgraded Longshot, which, obviously, is quite a bit longer. Only Adult Link can use them, since his Child form already has the Boomerang for long-range stunning attacks.
  • Grave Clouds: It's always cloudy and dark in the Kakariko Village graveyard.
  • Grimy Water: The Royal Family's Tomb, the Bottom of the Well, and Bongo Bongo's boss arena in the Shadow Temple are all filled with green-and-blue ooze that's harmful for Link. In the former two areas, it's also a favorite spot for ReDeads, which makes these parts even more difficult to tackle.
  • Ground Punch: The Din's Fire spell involves Link punching the ground to create a large dome of flame around himself.
  • Guest-Star Party Member: The game has Princess Ruto with you for the whole third dungeon. You also briefly get Princess Zelda with you during the final dungeon, as you both escape it.
  • Guide Dang It!:
    • If you accidentally selected "Yes" when Kaepora Gaebora asks, "Shall I repeat that?", fear not: you can just press B to skip to the end.
    • How were you supposed to know you could walk past ReDeads or Gibdos and they wouldn't notice you?
    • How were you supposed to know you could jump the outer wall of Lon Lon Ranch to escape from Ingo? note 
    • How were you supposed to know you can play the Sun's Song to stun ReDeads?note 
    • How were you supposed to know that the Phonogram Man teaches you the Song of Storms as Adult Link? This gets rather confusing, given that the Phonogram Man being upset with Link's younger self technically did not happen until later.
    • How were you supposed to know Bonooru even remembered which ocarina you used to record a song? note 
    • Stuck in the Water Temple? Did you remember to check behind the chest that contained the Longshot? There's a Song of Time block lodged in the floor there, which, when dispelled, opens up a secret passage. And when you raise the water in the central tower, make sure to sink down to the bottom to get to the hidden basement floor (and the mandatory key that's hidden there).
    • One of the earliest tricks that Master Quest pulls on you is turning an innocuous timer puzzle in the Great Deku Tree into something seemingly impossible, where Link will get hit by the spiked roller every time the platform tries to pass under it. The solution? Holding out your shield, which allows you to crouch under the trap. Nowhere in the original game does this ever happen or need to be used, and nowhere else does this occur again in Master Quest, as an early sign of what it's going to demand from players that think they knew what they were in for.
  • Hailfire Peaks: The Forest Temple combines Big Boo's Haunt with The Lost Woods. It's an ancient mansion located in the forest with overgrown flora in the outdoors areas, while the indoors rooms have a haunted atmosphere and is guarded by the Poe Sisters.
  • Has Two Mommies: Ganondorf was raised by the Gerudo witch sisters Koume and Kotake, better known as the Twinrova sisters. Since the Gerudo are all female, except for one male every hundred years (Ganondorf being the only example shown in canon), they likely consider having two mothers to be normal. It's also stated the sisters are his Foster-Mothers.
  • Hard Levels, Easy Bosses: The Water Temple, one of the most hair-pulling 3D temples with Morpha, whose difficulty flies right out the window with the right technique (sit in a corner, and watch how you effortlessly get a no-damage win).
  • Hard Light: Upon awakening all Sages, they'll create a rainbow-colored bridge made of light so you can access Ganon's Tower and confront the Big Bad.
  • Have We Met?: In the adult timeline, Link can visit Lon Lon Ranch and ride the horses. When Link first talks to Ingo, he will ask Link if he knows him. It’s never stated if he remembers Link is the boy who visited the ranch seven years ago. Malon, on the other hand, will remember Link and be excited to meet him again.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Ingo the spiteful ranch hand later becomes Ganondorf's minion and takes over the ranch. He kicks Talon out and makes people pay to visit. He mysteriously changes his ways after you escape with Eponanote .
  • Heroes Gone Fishing: Link - Hero of Time, wielder of the Master Sword, and current record-holder at the local fishing hole.
  • Herding Mission: At Kakariko Village during the daytime, there's a sidequest where Link has to return seven loose Cuccos back to their pen. Upon completing this, the Cucco Lady will reward Link with an empty bottle. Leaving the village will reset the sidequest, but repeating it will net Link a Purple Rupee.
  • Heroic Mime: Yaaah! Hiehht! Hwahh! Wahhhh...HEYAHHHHHHH!
  • The Hero's Journey: Even more literal than usual. The 'Belly of the Whale' stage of the journey is a dungeon inside a giant fish, and the hero, thanks to the Time Travel, literally comes of age when he draws the Master Sword from its pedestal and sleeps away seven years.
  • He Was Right There All Along:
    • Several bosses, particularly Gohma where the boss fight won't trigger until you look up into her eye.
    • Dark Link takes the cake, as he is Link's reflection, literally having been with Link his entire life until the Water Temple brought it to life. When you enter the room (which has an illusion cast on it by Ganondorf to resemble a foggy lake), there is a lone island in the centre of the lake. Link's reflection is blatantly visible on the mirror-like surface of the water until he steps on the island, after which point his reflection has completely vanished. Dark Link appears by the tree on the island as soon as Link turns his back, attacking only once Link either locks on or gets close enough. And once he's been defeated, the illusion fades, revealing that the very solid island, which you could physically stand on - was never there to begin with; it was a spell that served to turn Link's reflection against him.
  • Hidden Elf Village: The Kokiri Forest is supposedly protected by a barrier to keep outsiders away. Considering this is only mentioned in the opening scenes, and enemies appear either deep enough into the forest or once you start actually approaching the Deku Tree, it's likely that Ganondorf did something to it.
  • Hint System: Navi can be called upon at any time with the press of a button (Up C in the original version). She'll provide a hint telling you where to go next out of combat, and will offer suggestions on how to deal with enemies when locked on to them.
  • Holy Hand Grenade: The formerly silver arrows in the previous games become arrows of weaponized light here.
  • Horsing Around: Epona is a trusted horse that follows the player any time she is summoned. However, unless you learned Epona's Song from Malon in the pre-Ganon Hyrule, Epona won't let you ride her. When you beat Ingo in a race with her, the rancher is utterly flummoxed that anyone could "tame that wild horse".
  • Hover Skates: The Hover Boots. Unlike most examples, they don't propel Link forward on their own, so he still has to walk normally while wearing them. Well, normally except for the "hovering in midair" part.
  • Hub Level: Hyrule Field is a big, wide, empty field with a few secrets to find while you're running between the other areas (including Lon Lon Ranch, which is located in the Field's center).

    I - L 
  • Ice Magic Is Water: The Water Medallion was intended to be the Ice Medallion during development. In the final product, this shows by the mini-dungeon preceding the Water Temple being the Ice Cavern, and the Water Temple's room in Ganon's Castle is likewise ice-themed.
  • Iconic Sequel Character: The game marked the debut of many staple characters of the series that weren't otherwise introduced, twelve years after the first game:
    • Ganondorf was introduced as the original human form of Ganon, but eventually became the most prominent and recognizable form of the character, largely eclipsing the original boar demon.
    • Link's horse Epona, who would feature as his steed in several later games.
    • Most of the non-Hylian races, including the Gorons, Gerudo, Sheikah, and Deku and Zora as sapient cultures (also known as "Sea Zora") debuted here, and would later remain primary fixtures in the rest of the series. Gorons, notably, have been in every single major Zelda game since Ocarina, except maybe A Link Between Worlds (as Rosso is Ambiguously Human).
    • Skull Kid has his first appearance here, although he had a spiritual predecessor in the ocarina-playing ghost in A Link to the Past. He would only appear in two later games, but remains a very popular character in the fandom.
    • Koume and Kotake and their combined form Twinrova first show up here as well.
  • Iconic Sequel Song: The recurring themes for Zora's Domain, Saria's Song, Epona's Song, and Goron City first appeared in this game.
  • Idle Animation: Link will: fidget, glance about, tap his feet against each other, yawn, hike up his belt, swing his blade if it's unsheathed, shiver and sneeze (inside cold areas), or wipe sweat from his brow (inside hot areas). Put on the Iron Boots and the boot tapping animation becomes particularly funny. Link may also fiddle with his shield when he has his sword out as well, or gasp for breath when he's low on hearts.
  • Immaturity Insult: Ganondorf frequently makes a point of mockingly referring to Link as "kid" even after the Time Skip where Link is an adult.
  • Imminent Danger Clue: Although he doesn't notice it himself (the player might, if the camera is positioned correctly), Link's reflection disappears right before the fight with Dark Link.
  • Immune to Fire: The Goron Tunic is a set of red clothes that confer immunity to fire. While wearing them, Link will not be harmed by fire-based traps or attacks and can walk safely over lava. It's also necessary for exploring Death Mountain Crater and the Fire Temple — without it, Link will burst into flames and die after being there for more than a short while.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Rather surprisingly not only is it done in an E-rated game, but it's done by Link of all people. His finishing blow to Ganon is to shove the blade of the Master Sword into his forehead.
  • Innocent Fanservice Girl: Princess Ruto and most of the other Zoras wear no clothes, but being fish people, the closest thing to naughty bits we see are nipple-less breasts.
  • Innocent Plant Children: The Great Deku Tree is the guardian spirit of the Kokiri and until his untimely death, they are allowed to live in blissful innocence. The Koroks expand on this concept further in that they are more dramatically plant-like in appearance, an adaptation induced as they are the descendants of the Kokiri. Furthermore, they are always seen as childlike and youthful in The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker, with Makar in particular acting as an ally of Link.
  • Internal Homage: Princess Zelda is one of seven sages who are responsible for placing a seal on the Sacred Realm. In The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, Princess Zelda (a different one) and six other girls are descended from the seven sages who sealed that realm — but the twist here is that Link to the Past came out first. In addition, five of the other sages are named Nabooru, Saria, Darunia, Ruto, and Rauru. These are also the names of towns that Link visits in Zelda II: The Adventure of Link — which was the second game in the series, but chronologically after both OOT and ALTTP.
  • In the Back: Doing this to a Wolfos with your sword will kill it immediately.
  • Infernal Background: The Deku Tree shows Link a vision of Ganondorf riding his horse between two walls of flame.
  • Infinity -1 Sword: The Master Sword is gained just from pulling it from its pedestal.
  • Infinity +1 Sword: Biggoron's Sword requires a number of fetch quests to get. It's possible to complete the quest run before even entering the Forest Temple as Adult Link, although it's much easier to do afterwards once you have the bow.
  • Insecurity System: The entrance to the Sacred Realm has some pretty nifty security features, such as needing three magical Plot Coupons, a magical ocarina, a magical song and to top it off a final seal that can only be broken by The Chosen One.... but with the option of putting said Chosen One in stasis for however long it takes to make him mature enough, the fact that the entrance stays open while the Chosen One is in stasis, and apparently a lack of documentation on those little tidbits of information. At least, Zelda didn't know about it. Epileptic Trees and Wild Mass Guessing abound as to whether that was Justified or not.
  • Insurmountable Waist-High Fence: Used to keep Epona out of town areas; it's reasonable enough that a horse can't climb stairs to get to Kakariko village, but Hyrule Castle's busted drawbridge is a particularly weak case since Epona can jump over a canyon elsewhere.
  • Interchangeable Antimatter Keys: A standard for the series; the "small keys" do this, though there's sometimes one-off puzzles requiring more specific keys.
  • Interspecies Romance: Link and Ruto. It's confirmed in the sequel that Zora lay eggs.
  • Invisibility: Bongo Bongo can become invisible to the naked eye. The only way to see it when it turns invisible is to use the Lens of Truth. Though like other invisible enemies, it can still be locked onto.
  • Invisible Wall: There are invisible walls everywhere, though most of them involve using the levitation code on a Game Shark to get to places you couldn't normally go. You can however reach the one behind the windmill at Kakariko village using the cuckoo in the windmill. Sometimes you can hookshot or shoot your arrows at invisible walls without realizing it.
  • Invulnerable Horses: Because no hit-detection or collision-detection was scripted into the game, Link is completely invincible while on the back of Epona. Some may consider it appropriate, considering his trusty steed is named after a Celtic goddess.
  • Ironic Allergy: The Cucco Lady in Kakariko Village is allergic to cucoos and gets goosebumps when touching them. Averted with her specially bred Pocket Cuccos, saying she does not receive goosebumps from touching them.
  • Irony: Every Goron locked up in the Fire Temple has a chest containing a key in their cell.note  Too bad for them these particular cells can only be opened by switches on the outside.
  • Item Get!: The most famous version is born in this game, to the point where it's reached levels of Memetic Mutation. It's even lampshaded with Ruto who obtains the Sapphire and performs the pose while the game questions why Ruto of all people got the stone.
  • It's All Upstairs from Here: The game has Ganon's Tower as the final dungeon, which you have to climb to get to the final boss. Also puts an interesting twist in that, once you beat Ganondorf, you have to climb back DOWN while the thing crumbles.
  • It's Personal: Nabooru was originally Ganondorf's second-in-command as the leader of the Gerudo, but she despises him for his cruelty to innocents and willingness to murder (the Gerudo are a thieving people, but murder crosses a line). When she initially tries to interfere with Ganondorf's plans, his surrogate mothers Twinrova capture and brainwash her to become a loyal slave. After Link defeats Twinrova, Nabooru awakens as the Sage of Spirit and says that her fight with Ganondorf is now a personal mission.
  • "Jaws" First-Person Perspective: Used with Morpha, the boss of the Water Temple. Played with a bit, since the boss actually is the water.
  • Jerkass: Mido. His walk seems designed to say "I have a stick up my ass", at least until you meet him in the future, where he seems to regret how mean he was to Link.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Mido has a slight example of this, although his "point" is not intentional; at the beginning of the game, Mido refuses to let Link see the Great Deku Tree until Link gets a sword and shield. Mido made up that requirement on the spot just to be a thorn in Link's side; however, it turns out there are Deku Babas in the way who attack Link, so Link ended up needing that shield and sword after all! Saria even lampshades this if you speak to her afterwards. Thanks for being a jerk, Mido!
  • Joke Item:
    • The Giant's Knife, an optional weapon you can buy as Adult Link in Goron City. It costs 200 rupees, it does as much damage as the Kokiri Sword, you can't spin attack with it or use your shield with it, and it breaks and becomes useless after three hits. You can repair it up to 8 times for 200 rupees apiece, but these only allow one more attack each time. Thankfully, you can replace it with the truly useful Biggoron Sword.
    • Played straight with empty bottles which you can use to reflect Phantom Ganon and Ganondorf's attacks instead of using your sword.
  • Jump Scare: Skulltulas have a nasty habit of dropping onto Link out of nowhere or being one of the first things you see upon entering a room. Even worse are Surprise Skulltulas which hang out above the ceilings and not even the Lens of Truth reveals their hiding spot.
  • Just Friends: Saria. As a sage, she will remain forever out of touch with the corporeal world. Even in the past, where she either hasn't yet, or isn't going to, become a Sage, she admits she had no chance with Link because he's not a Kokiri and was always fated to leave the forest, where she must stay or else she will perish.
  • Justified Tutorial: The Kokiri and the elements that make up Link's home village perform a tutorial as they speak to Link: One Kokiri asks him to use his sword to cut the grass, another (sitting on a ledge) teaches him to use his new fairy to speak at a distance. You can also simply ignore them altogether and just dive right into the game.
  • Kaizo Trap: The Fire Temple's mini-boss self-destructs when it's defeated. And since the self-destruct act doesn't happen in a cutscene, it can lower Link's HP.
  • Kick the Dog: This is how Ingo in the Bad Future is able to coerce Malon into doing whatever he wants; either Malon does what Ingo says, or Ingo will "mistreat the horses!" (probably by refusing to feed them, whipping them, etc.) The German translation is more explicit, stating that he will "beat the horses".
  • Kid Hero: Link and Zelda, at first. This is actually a deconstruction; while Zelda is very clever and knowledgeable, her plan turns out to be Awesome, but Impractical and actually ends up aiding the villain because she didn't know as much as she thought she did. While 9-year-old Link racks up an impressive kill count, Ganondorf painfully establishes that he's still not strong enough in a Final Boss Preview. The kids thought they could be heroes and save the day, but they were defeated by their inability to acknowledge the gaps in their understanding or their delusions of grandeur. In other words, they didn't have the maturity to be heroes yet. Perfectly understandable kid behavior, but because they were playing with forces they didn't understand, the consequences were severe. Zelda acknowledges all of this after Ganondorf is sealed away, and it might be why the Master Sword insisted on Link growing up before wielding it.
  • Kid Hero All Grown Up: This is a major point with Link. Not only does he grow up (albeit in some kind of limbo), but he has the ability to go back to his childhood to do things there that he can't do as an adult.
  • Kill the Lights: Ganondorf drains all the light out of the room when casting his evil magic. To the viewer, this almost silhouettes Ganondorf in darkness.
  • Kleptomaniac Hero: In classic RPG tradition, Hyrule lacks any laws against casually ransacking a stranger's house just because you can. The closest you get is a guy in Impa's house (you never find her there though) who demands to talk to Link's parents if spoken to.
  • King Mook: The bosses of the first three dungeons: Queen Gohma, King Dodongo, and Barinade. You fight Gohma's hatchlings, Dodongo larva and normal Dodongos, and smaller jellyfish parasites before fighting the big ones. There's also the minibosses Big Octo (to Octoroks) and the White Wolfos (to the gray Wolfos).
  • Lady Land: The Gerudo Fortress. Only one male is born every century, and by tradition, that male must become their king. Only Nabooru saw through it, and that's a sign that she's special.
  • Land, Sea, Sky: The game describes the Golden Goddesses with this motif. Farore is associated with wind, Nayru is water and while Din is mostly linked to fire, she also formed the terrain of Hyrule itself. This is also reflected in the game itself with the races and locations associated with them. The Kokiri who live in their Forest, the Gorons who live in Death Mountain, and the Zora who live in their aquatic Domain.
  • Last Villain Stand: After all of Ganondorf's temple bosses are destroyed, his soldiers have all been eliminated, and even his castle is demolished, he flies into a Villainous Breakdown fueled rage and uses the Triforce of Power to transform into Ganon for one last battle with Link.
  • Laser Sight: The Hookshot/Longshot is aimed with a red laser-like dot. Upgraded in the remake: the red laser-like dot was changed to a red laser line showing the path of the chain. The dot itself was also changed to indicate if something can be latched onto.
  • Last of His Kind:
    • Impa, and supposedly Sheik later on, or so you're led to think.
    • Zelda herself is the last of the Royal Hylian Bloodline.
  • Late-Arrival Spoiler: If you've played any Super Smash Bros. title from Melee onward, or Hyrule Warriors, there's about a 99.9% chance you know that Sheik is Zelda.
  • Lava Pit: Whether a lava pit merely depletes HP as Link stands on it (unless the Goron Tunic is worn) or acts as a Bottomless Pit that makes Link respawn to the area's entrance upon falling (with one heart deducted from his Life Meter) varies. Some pits, like those of Death Mountain Crater and the overworld area surrounding Ganon's Tower, act as the latter. In others, like those of Dodongo's Cavern and Fire Temple, lava just deals damage over time until you escape. You can tell what would happen upon contact by examining the surroundings and seeing whether or not you can theoretically escape or climb back. If you can't, then don't fall down!
  • Lethal Lava Land: Starting from this game, Death Mountain is frequently portrayed as volcanically active. In this particular game, the sheer heat of the mountain's interior, Death Mountain Crater, does affect Link unless he has the Goron Tunic equipped. The setting of this trope extends to the local dungeons Dodongo's Cavern (also an Underground Level) and Fire Temple; and it's also present in a lesser capacity in the whereabouts of Ganon's Tower.
  • Lethal Joke Weapon:
    • The Deku Sticks. Sure, they're fragile and require refilling, but they're also stronger than the Kokiri Sword and the strongest of your early weapons(in the Nintendo 64 version, anyway—the 3DS port nerfs them into being a genuine Joke Weapon).
    • A Bottle, of all items, unintentionally became this in the Ganondorf fight due to a design oversight—normally, they have no combat purposes at all, but when you fight Phantom Ganon and Ganondorf himself, the Bottle can actually deflect their attacks back at them. On top of that, the Bottle moves faster and has slightly more range than the Master Sword, effectively making the fight easier than if you used the sword. And unlike the Deku Sticks, this was not changed in the 3DS port.
  • Let's Get Dangerous!: Just before the second to final battle between Link and Ganondorf. And again after Link gets the Master Sword back in the final phase.
  • Level in Reverse:
    • After defeating Ganondorf, you have to go back down Ganon's Tower while it's collapsing. The main difference being that the stairwells are blocked by debris, forcing you to go down the outside of the tower instead.
    • In the 3DS remake, the entire game is flipped during Master Quest mode, which also makes Link become right handed.
  • Light and Mirrors Puzzle: The Spirit Temple features puzzles of this kind for both Child and Adult Link, though since Child Link is unable to use the Mirror Shield he has to manipulate the light's direction with conventional methods (such as redirecting a traditional mirror, moving a light-sensitive block or blowing up a fragile wall). Adult Link, who can use the Mirror Shield, is able to bring light to spots where it wouldn't otherwise reach with the conventional mirrors. These puzzles return, in a lesser capacity, in the final dungeon.
  • Light Is Good:
    • One of the Sages, Rauru, is the Sage of Light and works with Link and the rest of the Sages to help defeat Ganondorf.
    • The only arrow upgrade that Link has to receive (from Zelda herself) is the Light Arrow, and the player has to use it in the battle against Ganondorf.
  • Limited Wardrobe: Everyone is still wearing the same clothes after seven years.
  • Live Item: Starting from this game, it's possible to capture Poes after defeating them; there's a sidequest where you have to deliver ten Big Poes to a ghost collector to earn a new empty bottle. Also, a Pocket Cuccoo and Cojiro the Blue Cuccoo are quest items.
  • Load-Bearing Boss: Ganondorf invokes this after you defeat him, using the last of his strength to collapse the castle around you. Of course, he then turns out to be Not Quite Dead...
  • The Lost Woods: The trope-naming Lost Woods can be found in Kokiri Forest. In order to avoid getting lost and going back to the entrance, Link has to pay attention to the hue of the dark tunnels: Those with an uniform opacity are safe to walk through, while those whose bright is accentuated in the center take Link out of the place. The farther Sacred Forest Meadow has an outdoors maze that is easier to navigate except for the Mad Scrubs (in the past era) or the Moblins (in the future era). Lastly, the Forst Temple combines this trope with Big Boo's Haunt, being a large mansion with a lush, plant-overrun yard as well as haunted corridors and paintings where ghosts hide.
  • Luck-Based Mission:
    • There's one Heart Piece where the player must pay a slowly moving grave digger 10 rupees to dig in certain areas he walks across. What the grave digger finds when he digs is completely random, from a few rupees, to the valuable Heart Piece, and even nothing at all. Due to the nature of this, getting this Heart Piece can be a quick and painless walk to the graveyard at night or an extremely long and arduous affair that wastes all of your rupees.
    • A treasure chest game. You must progress through a series of five rooms, each of which contain two treasure chests. One chest contains a key to the next room, while the other contains a rupee (the value of which is dependent on how far you've progressed), which will end the game if found. If you can successfully find five keys in a row, you'll reach the sixth and final room, which contains a Heart Piece. Fortunately, you can come back once you've obtained the Lens of Truth and use it to see inside the chests without having to open them.

    M - P 
  • MacGuffin Delivery Service: Ganondorf is seeking the three Spiritual Stones which unlock the way to the Triforce. Link obligingly collects them, opens up the door, and leaves it wide open for Ganondorf to swoop in and grab all the power he ever wanted. It's been joked that the easiest way to win the game is to get the first Spiritual Stone, save, turn off your console and never play again.
  • Made of Incendium: The Keese are extremely flammable. In fact, they'll often deliberately light themselves on fire to do more damage to the player!
  • Magic Fire: Blue Fire is a magical fire that can be used to melt Red Ice and also destroy bombable walls.
  • Magic Missile Storm: Ganondorf does this as a Desperation Attack. It's basically the same attack as usual, just five at once in a wide spread and homing in on Link. As the missiles are the same as usual, you can just reflect all five back if you do it right. If you're feeling bold, charge up a Spin Attack and release it when he launches it. Otherwise, use this chance for a free Light Arrow shot.
  • Magic Music: The two ocarinas, which allow Link to perform a variety of spells and effects. The titular Ocarina of Time in particular is one of the keys to open the Door of Time leading to the Master Sword.
  • Malevolent Architecture
    • There is a trap that looks like a door and will fall down to damage Link if he either tries to open it or hits it with a weapon. You can use the latter effect to reveal these while keeping Link out of harm's way.
    • Because of how two elevators in Dodongo's Cavern work, you could mis-time your jump and wind up in a pit of lava that hurts Link as he stands on it. Newcomers will often die to this.
    • Jabu-Jabu has some strange red... nerve... things... that start wiggling about when Link approaches, and don't stop until he leaves. You need the Boomerang to stun them and make them platforms, but if you hit it with another weapon, or otherwise touch it yourself... well...
    • Also in Jabu-Jabu, there are the differently-colored "slimy things" connected to Barinade's Parasitic Tentacles that will zap Link silly if he touches them and even emit electricity if a ranged weapon hits them without zapping Link. They don't move or actively attack Link, but trying to push past them WILL hurt. A lot. So go hunt down those Parasitic Tentacles if you want to remove them.
  • Manchild: Link is a sympathetic version that totally makes sense, since he is a child that enters in slumber for seven years and finds himself in a young adult body. Some of the text in the game reminds you that even though he looks grown and is battling some nightmarish monsters, Link is still a child.
  • Man-Eating Plant: Deku Babas, which first appeared in this game and have since become the franchise's most common Man-Eating Plants. They have most of the features of cartoonish carnivorous botany — a mouthlike "bulb" with animal teeth and a clear tongue, minimal presence of actual leaves and a tendency to lunge and snap at people passing close.
  • Marathon Level: The Water Temple is not only famous for its difficulty, it's also very long. It has many paths and passageways that branch from the central chamber, and each of them can only be accessed when the water is at a particular level.
  • Mask of Power: The Mask of Truth, which grants the wearer the power to speak to Gossip Stones. The other masks, however, don't have any special powers except repel some minor enemies.
  • Matte Shot: In the original N64 version, most small interior spaces, in addition to the streets of Castle Town, were pre-rendered CGI spaces which were converted into still images and given collision so 3D characters and items could convincingly interact with them. The 3DS remake turns all of these locations into proper 3D spaces.
  • Mini-Boss: All dungeons except the first one have one each (two in the case of the Forest Temple, namely Stalfos and Meg), and some of them (the Lizafos in Dodongo's Cavern, the Stalfos in the Forest Temple, who are first fought as a duo and then a sequential trio, the Flare Dancer in the Fire Temple) are fought twice (in the case of Iron Knuckles in the Spirit Temple, three times; Deadhand is fought in both the well and the Shadow Temple, and you have to contend with four Gerudo guards with double swords in the Thieves' Hideout, which, besides them and wandering guards that need to be avoided, are the only enemies in the building). Notably, the Water Temple has Dark Link (formerly the Final Boss of Zelda II: The Adventure of Link), and Ganon's Tower has three pairs of prior mini-bosses (the Dinafols, who you will be meeting for the first time if you didn't enter the Gerudo Training Grounds, the Stalfos, and the Iron Knuckles, who thankfully can be woken up one at a time) before reaching Ganondorf, and an additional mini-boss pair of Stalfos for your escape after defeating Ganondorf.
  • Mini-Dungeon:
    • Ice Cavern is necessary as Link earns there the Iron Boots, which are required for tackling the Water Temple.
    • In the Bottom of the Well, the Lens of Truth lies within, and is necessary for navigating the Shadow Temple and reaching the Spirit Temple note .
    • To a lesser extent, there's the Thieves' Hideout, inside which the young hero has to rescue the four carpenters before he can proceed into the desert.
  • Minigame Zone: The game has Hyrule Castle Town as young Link, hosting series classics like the Treasure Chest Game, the Target Shooting Gallery and the then-debuting Bombchu Bowling minigame.
  • Mirror Monster: Dark Link is Link's reflection that was brought to life through an enchantment Ganondorf cast on a room in the Water Temple. Also an example of Mirror Boss, since its swordplay is based on Link's.
  • Mood Whiplash: Full of it:
    • Walking through the cheery castle town and either (a) finding the poor dying guard left to tell you what was going on or (b) going to the future where it's been razed to the ground by Ganondorf's evil.
    • Learning a rather unpleasant fact about your previously-harmless home village during the Biggoron's Sword quest. Specifically, that every non-Kokiri who gets lost in the woods becomes a Stalfos. You know, those things you've been killing without a second thought? And, oh, hey, Link isn't a Kokiri either! Which does seem to imply that fairies are what protect people. So what would happen if a Kokiri and their fairy were separated? It's implied that they become Skull Kids, just like the human kids who wander into the forest without their parents or a fairy.
    • Go strolling through the completely happy and normal Kakariko Village and into the graveyard, which is fairly harmless as well (it even has a cute child playing in it in the daytime). Then fall down a tomb when you visit at night and meet your first ReDead(s).
    • When you first go out into the sunny, wide-open, and peaceful-looking Hyrule Field, you find that when the sun sets, creatures come out of the ground and start attacking you. And they are simply the more famous example. The "daytime" enemies, the Peahats are only slightly better in that they likely won't be seen if you just run straight for the major residential areas. Encounter one and the music becomes more frantic as it chases you to the ends of the field or till sundown.
    • In addition, when you first leave Kokiri Forest and are awestruck by the wide open world, the first thing you are likely to investigate is the pretty giant flower immediately outside the forest. Soon after you spend about a minute running and screaming from whirling blades of death.
    • The triumphant obtainment of the Master Sword...followed by dire consequences.
  • Money for Nothing: Rupees are easily and rapidly obtained from the surrounding environment, whether from breaking pots, killing enemies, or occasionally even finding them in treasure chests. The same goes for every form of ammunition except the seldom-used Bombchus. Combine this with the fact that nearly every piece of equipment in the game can be obtained for free, and money becomes very nearly useless. Even if you're going for 100% Completion, the only other places where you need to spend money are a handful of minigames. Money can still be useful if you want to buy potions, which you can't get any other way, or if you manage to use up all of the Bombchus you get from treasure chests.
  • Monument of Humiliation and Defeat: Ganon's Castle is built up on top of Hyrule Castle.
  • Mook Bouncer: The Wallmasters are back in spades, and this time, they're at their scariest yet. Their grounded cousins, the Floormasters, avert this (but only once. In future games, they pull this trope off as well).
  • Mook-Themed Level: The Dodongo's Cavern, featuring Baby Dodongos, regular Dodongos and the King Dodongo.
  • Motion Capture: Some of Link's moves were mo-capped from live actors performing his stunts.
  • Moveset Clone: ReDeads and Gibdos, the latter of which is essentially the former wrapped up as a mummy (though it debuted as early in the series as the NES original). To a lesser extent, Lizalfos and Dinolfos share the same patterns and attacks.
  • Ms. Fanservice: The Great Fairies. All of them wear no clothes and instead have vines covering their bodies.
  • Multi-Stage Battle: Ganondorf is fought in two different places during the final battle: In the highest floor of his tower, and in the crumbled remains of the whole building after it collapses.
  • Mundane Made Awesome: "Saria's Song" is an upbeat little tune. Darunia, the Goron leader, reacts to it like someone just dropped a rock concert on his head.
    Darunia: What a hot beat!
  • Murder Water: The boss of the Water Temple.
  • Musical Nod:
    • While the original Zelda theme is largely absent from the Nintendo 64 version of the game (but reinstated for the credits of the 3DS port) the Hyrule Field theme includes seven notes from the iconic song.
    • Kakariko Village reuses the same theme for it from A Link To The Past. Ganondorf's theme is also a remix of Agahnim's theme from the same game.
    • Ganondorf's battle theme is reminiscent of Ganon's battle theme from A Link to the Past.
    • When the Triforce appears in the creation myth cutscene, the title screen fanfare from A Link to the Past plays.
  • My Master, Right or Wrong: The Gerudo only follow Ganondorf because he is a male Gerudo, which is only born once every century, and by their law, he was crowned their king.
  • Nature Spirit: The Deku Tree is both a sapient tree and the guardian of the forest. His blessing gives the Kokiri their immortality and eternal youth, while keeping monsters out. It counts as Five-Second Foreshadowing that the Deku Babas near him are USUALLY the first enemies Link faces. You can fight Mad Scrubs and a Wolfos in the Sacred Forest Meadow if you know the route, though why would you go there so early in the game?
  • "Near and Dear" Baby Naming: Link ends up becoming Blood Brothers with the Goron chief Darunia when he clears out the monsters in Dodongo's Cavern. Upon returning to Death Mountain after the Time Skip, it's revealed that Darunia had a son in the intervening seven years and named him Link (or whatever the player happens to be named in that particular playthrough).
  • Never Accepted in His Hometown: Even after you save most of the world and return to your adopted home village post timeskip, no one recognizes you except as a scary intruder, and you're remembered from before then as a strange loner who likely died once he left the forest. Justified since Kokiri never grow up, the now-adult Link wouldn't be recognized by the still childish Kokiri (except for Saria, but she's a Sage).
  • Never Grew Up: Saria and the rest of the Kokiri.
  • Never Land: The Kokiri Forest area. The Kokiri who live there never age past their childhood.
  • New Game+: The 3DS remake implements the Master Quest version (originally separated in physical form from the original game, despite both being bundled together), as an unlockable mode. In addition to having the dungeons altered, the entire overworld is flipped as in the Wii version of Twilight Princess, and enemies do twice as much damage as before.
  • Nice Day, Deadly Night: Being caught outside of Hyrule Town at night as young Link will cause the drawbridge to be raised (preventing you from entering) and cause "Stalchildren" to rise from the ground and attack if you step off the path. They aren't particularly strong (and have Super Drowning Skills), but they constantly keep coming until dawn (and every 12th one will be progressively larger).
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero:
    • After you unseal the Temple of Time and grab the Master Sword, Ganondorf shows up to claim the Triforce ahead of you, thanking you for doing all the heavy lifting for him. Oops. Zelda laments this as well: She didn't expect the Master Sword to suddenly spirit Link away seven years into the future while Ganondorf conquers all of Hyrule in the meantime. In fact, you opening the door was literally the only way Ganondorf could have ever gotten his hands on the Triforce, though Zelda did not know that at the time.
    • And then does it again by sending Link back to his childhood. Though this leads into the Child Timeline, it causes there to not be a Hero to oppose Ganondorf when he does break out as promised, leading to the backstory of The Wind Waker.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: As painful as it is to say it, but thanks for being a prick and not letting us see the Great Deku Tree without a sword and shield, Mido! While Mido was doing it just to be a pest to Link and bar his way like a schoolyard bully, the sword and shield do turn out to be necessary both to kill the Deku Babas on the way to the Great Deku Tree, as well as the plethora of enemies inside it.
  • Night of the Living Mooks:
    • Stalchildren are smaller versions of Stalfos that only take two sword hits to be defeated. They overrun Hyrule Field during night (only in the past era).
    • The ReDeads are zombies resembling naked humans that roam the underground areas of tombs as well as Big Boo's Haunt locations like Bottom of the Well, Shadow Temple and the future version of the Market. They can paralyze Link with their screams and grab him to absorb his life force until he dies (these abilities are shared with Gibdos). Link can paralyze them in turn by playing the Sun's Song so he can escape without having to fight them; however, in some areas he has to defeat them in order to unlock something.
  • Nintendo Hard:
    • The 3DS remake adds the Boss Rush mode. The Master Quest version does away with recovery items between bosses. Made even worse when you're only given three hearts to fight all bosses who can potentially kill you with one hit due to double damage. Yes, the game is forcing you to do a Minimalist Run.
    • Master Quest in general, which redesigns the dungeons to produce trickier puzzles and more confusing layouts (with the major exception of the Water Temple, which was made easier).
  • No Fair Cheating:
    • Using a teleport song while delivering a time-sensitive item as part of the Biggoron Sword quest will reduce the timer to 1 second upon arriving at your destination, causing it to immediately spoil. Likewise, if you use a teleport song during the Running Man contest, the timer will skip ahead to several seconds before the time you're supposed to beat.
    • For Dampé's game and the Fire Arrows, you have to manually wait for the time of day to change.
  • No Flow in CGI: The designers at least have Zelda's dresses warp a little to show some animation. Ganondorf's cape also animates quite well during the fight against him. When he's beaten, though, it moves straight through his body as he collapses. Played Straight with Link's hat, which is stuck in the same downward arc no matter how he positions his head, which is noticeable as all games following Majora's Mask made sure to have it very fluidly animated (issues with clipping into his shield not withstanding).
  • Non-Lethal K.O.: The guards at Gerudo fortress can be slashed with a sword, bludgeoned with a giant hammer, or even take a sharp arrow directly to the temple, with the only effect being a faceplant and some twinkling sparks above their heads. Likewise, an elite guard can perform a whirling One-Hit Kill on Link with her twin scimitars, which merely knocks him out so he can be tossed back into their Cardboard Prison.
  • Non-Mammal Mammaries: Even though she's a fish humanoid, Princess Ruto obviously has breasts, which was Bowdlerized in the 3DS version by giving her an Organic Bra.
  • No OSHA Compliance: It's no wonder the Sheikahs aren't around anymore if their idea of a good place to build a settlement is the base of an active volcano and then keep it there on top of a reasonable facsimile of hell.
  • No Place for Me There: This is implied to have been the ultimate fate of the Hero of Time after the events of this game. After Ganondorf was defeated in the future, Zelda sent Link back to his original timeline in an attempt at giving him back the childhood that had been taken from him. Link used his knowledge of the future to stop Ganondorf from ever conquering Hyrule, but in the process, erased his own heroic deeds and radically changed his relationships with many of his future friends and allies. As a result, despite Hyrule enjoying several decades or centuries of peace, Link felt he never truly fit in the world he had created. He eventually left Hyrule, and Twilight Princess implies he died forgotten and full of regret despite a lifetime of heroism.
  • Nothing Is Scarier:
    • Rather than a dark crypt like the Shadow Temple or an extension of the Lost Woods like one might imagine a scary temple being, the Forest Temple largely resembles a large mansion that hasn't been lived in for centuries. The rooms are humongous, dimly lit, and often...completely devoid of life. The temple has incredibly creepy background music that plays as you slowly make your way through one dim, empty space after another, almost wishing for an enemy to come out and break up the silence and stillness. There are places it plays much like a normal temple, but when you first begin to explore, it is one of the most unnerving experiences the game has thrown your way thus far. And then you get introduced to the Wallmasters. And the Forest Temple's haunted - the minibosses are four ghosts that vanish from portraits and cackle at you.
    • The first time you encounter the Redeads. They're underneath a tomb, way in the back of Kakariko Village Graveyard, in a big, open room full of thin walkways and channels of water. And they're just... standing there. Every other monster in the game moves at least a little bit, even the ones that are fixed in one place, but the Redeads are absolutely still. So you carefully start sneaking across the room, heart in your mouth because of these freaky things and music that sounds straight out of Silent Hill, and then you get halfway across the room and they scream. You turn around, and... none of them have moved.
  • Novelization: The strategy guide was sort of written as one of these. There was also a more straight-up novelization.
  • Oblivious Adoption: Link isn't a Kokiri. He's the son of a Hylian woman who gave Link to the Deku Tree so he watched over him until the time for his heroic adventures came. It takes half the game for him (and the player) to find out.
  • Obviously Evil: Ganondorf, and Ingo after the Time Skip, are quite evil-looking, and they do turn out to be bad. Ganondorf starts out as a member of the Gerudo who pledges to serve the King. Zelda is the only one before Link shows up who realizes that Ganondorf is evil and tries to tell her father, who doesn't believe her. Subverted in Ingo's case, as he goes back to good after Link escapes from the ranch with Epona, likely having regretted his actions.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • The Spirit Temple. You are about to enter the boss room, but... wait a minute. You are fighting yet another Iron Knuckle before proceeding and... it was Nabooru trapped inside all along. Now, you may proceed to the real boss.
    • The moments right before the final boss battle. You watch Ganondorf die, you escape the tower and watch it collapse on him. As Link and Zelda are celebrating, they hear a noise, and Link goes to check it out. Suddenly, the pile of rubble explodes, and Ganondorf flies out of it. He flashes his Triforce, and then transforms. Then he knocks the Master Sword, the only weapon that can kill him, out of Link's hands and outside a wall of fire. Of course, it helps that this is one of the few times over the course of the game that Link's facial expression changes.
  • Ominous Floating Castle: Ganon's Castle, hovering above a pit of lava where Hyrule Castle used to be. Some Foreshadowing that Ganondorf's not dead yet? The Flying Island the castle is on is still afloat.
  • Ominous Pipe Organ: When you confront Ganondorf in his chamber, he's playing one.
  • One-Gender Race: The non-Hylian races all seem to be this.
    • All the Gerudos are female with only one male being born every century.
    • All the Zoras seem to have male physiques with Princess Ruto appearing to be the only female.
  • One of These Doors Is Not Like the Other: Your first time through the Lost Woods in has all of the "correct" doors play the background music more loudly when you approach them. After you learn Saria's Song, this clue no longer plays, so you must memorize the route (or take advantage of the fact that the doors that lead to different parts of the Woods and the ones that lead out are rendered differently.)
  • One-Time Dungeon: It is impossible to reenter the courtyard of Hyrule Castle after recovering all three Spiritual Stones and Zelda flees from the castle, as guards will be blocking the passageway indefinitely from that point on.
  • One-Winged Angel: Ganondorf's transformation to Ganon for the final battle, as well as Koume and Kotake's transformation into Twinrova in the second half of their boss battle.
  • Only the Chosen May Ride: Epona is described by Ingo as being a "wild horse". The only ones she seems to be friendly with are Malon, who raised her; and Link, the only other to know her song, having learned it from Malon, who learned it from her mother, who composed it.
  • Only Good People May Pass: The entrance to the Sacred Realm (also known as the Golden Land) where the Triforce dwells is hidden and requires four sacred objects (the Kokiri Emerald, Goron Ruby, Zora Sapphire and Ocarina of Time) that are each protected by the various nations that populate Hyrule. Only possessing all four and then playing the Song of Time in the Temple of Time will reveal the hidden entrance, but this is technically possible if the items are stolen through nefarious means. The final test, however, is pulling out the Master Sword, which can't be touched by someone evil. Unfortunately, there's nothing stopping someone evil from waiting for a good person to do all that, and then step inside and enter the Sacred Realm themselves.
  • Opening the Sandbox: After you leave Kokiri Forest (which can only be done after completing the first dungeon), all of Hyrule Field is open to you. When you get the Master Sword, you then gain full access to most of the areas you visited previously, even if you're still missing some key pieces of gear.
  • Organic Bra: Princess Ruto in the 3DS version, even in her youth.
  • Origins Episode: The game shows the Start of Darkness for Ganon, the series Big Bad. The game also goes into greater detail about how the land of Hyrule was formed.
  • Overly Long Gag: King Zora moving aside. "Wib." <shuffle> "Wib." <shuffle> "Wib."
  • Overnight Age-Up: After grabbing the Master Sword, Link goes to sleep for seven years, aging gradually, but it's instantaneous to him and the player.
  • Oxygen Meter: Diving while swimming normally only lasts for 3 seconds before Link resurfaces (the Silver Scale raises the timer to 6, and the Golden Scale does for 8). Equipping the Iron Boots in the former game lets Link stay underwater longer, in which case a timer based on how much health you have appears (unless you also equip the Zora Tunic, which lets you breathe underwater). These two items are important in the Water Temple.
  • Painting the Medium: Zelda's Lullaby is the song of Hyrule's Royal Family, and must be played at Triforce symbols around the game to solve puzzles. The notes of the song form a Triforce on the musical staff, and the buttons to play it on the 3DS version are also in a triangle.
  • Parasites Are Evil: In a gambit to obtain the Spiritual Stones, Ganondorf creates monsters to parasitize two of its guardians. Gohma's disease kills the Great Deku Tree, though Link manages to save Lord Jabu-Jabu from Barinade's infection.
  • Parental Abandonment: Link is an orphan raised as a Kokiri.
  • Pause Abuse: You can use a variant of this when racing the ghost of Dampé. Since his tomb is one of the few locations that warp songs won't work in, you can abuse the error message playing one generates. You are free to move during the textbox, and it won't deduct time from the countdown.
  • Permanently Missable Content: If you do not obtain the Deku Nut upgrade from the Forest Stage before getting the Poacher's Saw in the Nintendo 64 version, due to a glitch, you will not be able to obtain it later, preventing 100% completion. This is fixed in the Nintendo 3DS version.
  • Perpetual Molt: Cuccos constantly molt while you hold them (as parodied in this Awkward Zombie strip).
  • Peter Pan Parody: Previous games showed, and the intent was later confirmed by Shigeru Miyamoto, that Link's iconic green tunic and elf ears are a send-up to Peter Pan. This is especially true in this specific game, as he lives among green-clad children who never grow up (though Link himself ages like normal humans) and has a Tinkerbell-like Fairy Companion.
  • Pint-Sized Powerhouse: Drop a tiny beetle on a patch of soil, and it will forcibly evict the Skulltula that was previously there.
  • Pivotal Wake-up: With one exception, the Gibdos in the Bottom Of The Well are sleeping in coffins when Link comes in. None of them need to be defeated, though, as the key can be acquired without waking one up.
  • Planet of Copyhats: Ganondorf had been established as a thief in A Link to the Past. This time around, he is revealed to have been part of the Gerudo tribe, who are all thieves.
  • Platform Battle: Many of them, including with Ganondorf.
  • Plot Coupon: Three Spiritual Stones followed by the Six Medallions. The Spiritual Stones grant access to the chamber of the Master Sword in the Temple of Time, while the Medallions symbolize the freed power of the Sages (who help Link enter Ganon's Tower in the end). In a more literal (yet minor) example of this trope, Zelda also gives you a letter that allows you to pass by a certain guard.
  • Plot-Relevant Age-Up: Deconstructed. The Master Sword decides Link needs to be seven years older for him to take on Ganondorf. The caveat is that it actually grants this - by sealing Link away in the Sacred Realm for that length of time. While Ganondorf (painfully) demonstrated moments before that the sword wasn't wrong about Link not measuring up, this sealing ends up allowing Ganondorf to waltz right into the Sacred Realm and obtain the Triforce, letting him torment all of Hyrule completely unopposed for those seven years.
  • Plucky Comic Relief: The Gorons are, on average, probably the most cheerful, friendly race in the game. Which only makes it even more disturbing to see them begging for mercy in the Fire Temple, where they're about to be fed to a dragon, as a "warning" to those who might oppose Ganondorf.
  • Power Floats: After ascending from an Evil Sorcerer to a God-Emperor, Ganondorf gains the ability to levitate, most notably in his Final Boss fight with Link.
  • Power-Up Food: Lon Lon Milk, which can be acquired by beating a simple minigame at Lon Lon Ranch. It instantly refills 5 hearts on drinking it, and you can get free refills of it any time you return, and you can take two drinks of it per bottle, even back to back, for a total of 10 hearts per bottle.
  • Prequel: Set before A Link to the Past's Imprisoning War...so to speak. See Alternate Timeline above.
  • Primordial Chaos: "Three golden goddesses descended upon the chaos that was Hyrule...".
  • Prison Episode: The first time you get to Gerudo Fortress as an adult, the Gerudos arrest you and a prison break stage begins. You have to rescue a bunch of carpenters that were also locked in — but to do so, first you must defeat the same number of Gerudo fighters. It's worth noting that you keep all your inventory in this stage, and that as soon as a Gerudo sees you, you'll be locked in again.
  • Prized Possession Giveaway: Princess Ruto does this twice. After Link helps her retrieve the Spiritual Stone of Water (Zora's Sapphire) and defeats the parasitic monster that was making Lord Jabu-Jabu suffer, Ruto agrees to reward Link with the very Plot Coupon they were looking for. The Sapphire is Ruto's most valued possession, as she received it from her late mother and is only meant to be given to whom Ruto would marry in her adult life. Due to certain factors that occur in the future, they ultimately don't marry, but Ruto is okay with it and still hands him another valued object, the Water Medallion, after he saves her life again in the Water Temple.note 
  • Prolonged Prologue: You can't explore the overworld in until the tutorial (obtain sword/shield) and first dungeon (Deku Tree) are finished.
  • Purple Prose: Sheik's dialog.
  • Puzzle Boss: Bongo Bongo. This guy has you shoot his hands to make his eye vulnerable, while the latter remains invisible and will ram you. Combining the Lens of Truth to see him when invisible and the Hover Boots to combat the constant bouncing is the key to taking him down. Though, experienced players don't even NEED the Lens Of Truth to know where his eye is.

    Q - T 
  • Quicksand Sucks: The Haunted Wasteland has a river of no-escape quicksand that you cross by either using the Longshot or the Hover Boots. Once across, you are still in danger of sinking if you stray off the path.
  • Racing Minigame: The game has the on-foot race against the Marathon Man (Unwinnable Joke Game), the horse race against Ingo, and an on-foot one with (not against, as the objective is simply reaching to the goal quickly enough) Dampe's ghost.
  • Railroading: Played with. Although the narration railroads you to complete the temples in a certain order, the gameplay itself is more open. So long as you grab the dungeon item in each temple, there is nothing stopping you from just leaving and completing the Fire Temple and/or Water Temple before completing the Forest Temple, and the Spirit Temple before the Shadow Temple or Fire Temple. But first-time players would have no way of knowing this. Also, thanks to a programming quirk the game only checks to see if you've actually beaten the Shadow and Spirit Temple and merely assumes you beat the rest if you did; though to be fair, the only way to pull this off is to glitch the game anyway.
  • Rasputinian Death: Ganondorf. First Link fights him, pelts him with Light Arrows, throws his Energy Blasts back into his face and delivers enough sword-strikes that Ganondorf coughs up blood and collapses. Then his entire tower collapses with him on the roof, leaving nothing but bits of stone debris. He survives that due to the Triforce of Power, and transforms into Ganon. Link fights him, slashes him in the tail many times, and finishes it off by cutting up his face and stabbing deeply into it. And he still doesn't die, instead having to be sealed away in what was once the Sacred Realm.
  • Reality Warping: The titular Ocarina of Time lets you manipulate time and weather, teleport, etc.
  • Replay Mode: The remake adds Boss Challenge, an option to rechallenge previous bosses, with only the number of hearts gained from the previous bosses and minimal items, with the ability to save your best time to beat each boss. Defeating all bosses in this mode unlocks Boss Gauntlet, a Boss Rush mode.
  • Retcon: Prior to Ocarina of Time, it was firmly established in the backstory of A Link to the Past that although the people of Hyrule looked for a hero to wield the Master Sword to fight Ganon during the Imprisoning War, no such figure ever emerged. Ocarina of Time is based on that backstory but introduces a predecessor Link who did wield the Master Sword and fought Ganon. Consequently, future retellings of the Imprisoning War staring with Hyrule Historia mention that the Master Sword was wielded by the Hero of Time in a duel against Ganondorf (it's just that the hero lost the battle).
  • Rewarding Vandalism: In Hyrule, money literally grows on trees. And under bushes. And, um, inside pottery and rocks. They have yet to perfect a method of getting into any of these without destroying them in the process. According to The Minish Cap, the Minish put them there.
  • Roar Before Beating: The newly-transformed Ganon as he swings his twin blades around. He even lets one out after Navi says she's not gonna be held back again.
  • Royal Blood: Princess Zelda, the Seventh Sage.
  • Rule of Three: Three Spiritual Stones are required to open the door leading to the Master Sword and the Sacred Realm in the Temple of Time. The iconic Triforce is also revealed to operate according to up to three virtues within the person who wished to earn it: Power, Courage and Wisdom.
  • Rule of Seven:
    • Link's spirit was sealed away for seven years.
    • There are seven sages who are destined to seal away Ganondorf.
  • Rule of Symbolism: When Link confronts Ganondorf at the top of his tower, one side-angle shot shows Link, Zelda, and Ganondorf's positions forming a triangle, just as Ganondorf is talking about the three pieces of the Triforce coming together.
  • Sailor Fuku: Malon's dress has a similar cut, but obviously isn't a school uniform.
  • Same Content, Different Rating: The original N64 version was rated E for Everyone, and so were the ports directly based on this version (GCN and Wii). The 3DS remake is rated E10+, but most of the content is intact (and some is even softened, such as the removal of blood in some parts and Princess Ruto having an Organic Bra).
  • Samus Is a Girl: The official 1998 Player's Guide talks about Sheik as a male, and having Sheik turn out to be Zelda was a HUGE plot reveal at the time.
  • Save-Game Limits: Oddly enough, the game brought back the limitation of the player having to start from the same point (your house as a child; the Temple of Time as an adult) whenever you resume a game, the exceptions being dungeons and mini-dungeons (if you last saved inside either of them, you go back to the entrance). Unlike the portable remakes of A Link to the Past and Majora's Mask, Ocarina of Time 3D keeps this limitation.
  • Scaling the Summit: After King Dodongo is defeated in Dodongo's Cavern, Darunia rewards Link with the second Spiritual Stone and tells him that there is a Great Fairy living in the summit of Death Mountain, and encourages him to meet her and enhance his skills. The way to the summit has boulders that have to be blown up with bombs (as they're obstructions), a rocky road where debris from the active volcano fall from the sky, and a long wall that has to be climbed while avoiding Tektites and Skullwalltulas. The Great Fairy grants Link the ability to use magic-based spells and attacks, so it's a worthy trip (and getting there also provides an early access to the volcanic crater). During the Adult Link era's Chain of Deals, doing this journey again will be necessary in order to bring eye drops to Biggoron (as using the warp songs will automatically deplete all the time limit) and repair the Biggoron Sword.
  • Scenery Gorn: The Bottom of the Well, Shadow Temple, and Castle Town post-Time Skip. Not only are they in a ruinous state, but the former two areas also have some bloodstains.
  • Scenery Porn: The entire game has lovely scenery, and the game emphasizes this with introduction cutscenes when you reach new areas (especially Zora's Domain and Lake Hylia). Taken up a few levels in the remake.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: Ganondorf's ultimate fate. Also, Bongo Bongo until Link clears the Water Temple.
  • Sealed Good in a Can: What happened when young Link pulled the Master Sword out of its pedestal: He is The Chosen One, but because he was too young to wield the sword properly, his spirit was sealed up until he was old enough, which took seven years. To the player, this is nothing more than a Time Skip (and Time Travel), but for the rest of the world it isn't.
  • See the Invisible: The Lens of Truth in allows Link to see invisible things, as well as see through illusionary things like fake walls or floors.
  • Segmented Serpent: Tailpasaran, enemies found in Jabu-Jabu's Belly, resemble serpents made out of several balls of energy.
  • Self-Deprecation: In Desert Colossus, close to the Spirit Temple's entrance, a Gossip Stone alludes to the Ice Arrows and how they aren't a worthy reward for beating the Bonus Dungeon they're found in, since they don't actually serve much practical use.
    Gossip Stone: They say that the treasure you can earn in the Gerudo's Training Ground is not as great as you would expect, given its difficulty.
  • Self-Fulfilling Prophecy: Zelda has a vision that Ganondorf will take the Triforce from its hiding place sealed within the Golden Realm, sends Link to preemptively collect the MacGuffins sealing the Golden Realm that Ganondorf has been attempting to obtain, and of course Ganondorf follows Link into the Golden Realm and takes the Triforce when Link unseals it. This sort of thing happens a lot in the series. Specifically, Link himself was sealed away because, as a Hylian child, he was considered too young to be the Hero of Time. Of course, the Hero would have been unnecessary if he hadn't been sealed away for seven years, letting Ganondorf take over. If Link had in fact been a Kokiri, or else a little bit older, he would have succeeded in stopping Ganondorf because he would have gotten the power first.
  • Self-Inflicted Hell: You can go the whole game without figuring this out, but talk to one Goron in particular about the starvation threat the Gorons face early in the game. According to what he says, the Gorons can eat other rocks and meet their dietary needs, they're just so used to the ones inside Dodongo's Cavern that they won't. Considering the fact that the Gorons live in a cave carved into rock, on a mountain, this is akin to "starving" to death in a pantry because you're used to fine dining.
  • Sequence Breaking: To the point that you could finish the game without going to any dungeon or temple if skilled enough... in less than 25 minutes.
    • "Normal" sequence breaking includes finishing (not going to) Lord Jabu-Jabu before Dodongo's Cavern, doing the Fire Temple before the Forest Temple, doing the Water Temple before the Fire Temple, doing the Spirit Temple before the Shadow Temple, and completely skipping the Bottom of the Well. It's also possible to save all four carpenters and get the Gerudo Token before even setting foot inside any of the temples.
    • There are so many possibilities for sequence breaking in this game that speedrunners master different "categories", such as complete (all 3 stones) Young Link runs, Any% runs where only getting to the ending matters, 100% runs where a player must complete everything, the list goes on. There's even bingo card generators with a series of objectives competing runners must complete.
    • To give an idea of the possibilities that people keep finding about, a speedrunner without any assistance beat the time of an early TAS of the game. By several hours.
    • There are, of course, more modest examples that don't involve speed runs or even severe glitches:
      • The N64 games allowed Link to jump over low fences or obstacles in a realistic fashion using backflips and side jumps, leading to some potentially unexpected situations. Starting with the Nintendo GameCube games, this isn't possible anymore- even low fences have invisible walls preventing Link from vaulting over them.
      • The first time that Link visits Kakariko Village, he can climb up the tower, line up a side jump, and just land on the roof with the man looking up at the sky. This man gives Link a Piece of Heart. What makes this sequence breaking is the fact that the man says "Nice to see you again..." without having seen Link before.
      • Once Link gains the ability to throw Bomb Flowers, he can go up to the area overlooking Dodongo's Cavern with his back to a corner of the low fence. If he picks up/throws the bomb and quickly backflips before the flower reappears, he will land on top of the cave entrance (admittedly with some Falling Damage), which has another Piece of Heart. You're supposed to get there by planting a Magic Bean, then returning as an adult and riding it to the top of the cavern.
      • There's another Piece of Heart on a ledge in the Kakariko Village windmill that's meant to reached as an adult by going through Dampé's Grave. Child Link can get it with a very precise boomerang throw.
  • Sequential Boss:
    • Barinade has three phases, all of which require the Boomerang or you will be fried.
      • The first phase has you severing Barinade from Jabu-Jabu's body with the Boomerang. Simple enough, just keep on the move or those satellite dish emitters will zap you.
      • The second phase has you destroying the special Bari circling Barinade, which can also be done by whaling on Barinade himself. Either way, you first have to stun Barinade with the Boomerang or you might as well be hitting an electrified fence with a key.
      • The third phase has Barinade moving around, but you can still stun him, and yet after 3 hits, Barinade will retreat into the ground, still zapping at you, and stay there a few seconds.
    • Phantom Ganon. In the first phase, he's riding a horse and attacks you with a powerful electric attack that splits upon contact with the floor. After giving him three hits with the arrows or the Hookshot, he'll dismount from the horse and change his pattern, floating in the air and throwing electric spheres that can be deflected back and forth in a Tennis Boss sequence.
    • Then, Twinrova. When you start the battle, they fight separately and attack with long streams of ice/fire magic that does a boatload of damage. Link needs to reflect the magic at the opposite twin with the Mirror Shield. After doing enough damage, a cutscene plays that has them combine into Twinrova, and now you need to absorb the attacks with the shield; get three of the same element in a row and then rush forward to blow it back. Then you can start slashing.
    • Iron Knuckles are a mini-boss example in that each one Turns Red and starts running at Link once at half HP.
  • Seven Heavenly Virtues: Each of the Seven Sages represents one specific virtue:
    • Patience: Rauru waits seven years for Link to grow up and mature into a proper hero, looking after him all the while.
    • Charity: Saria gives Link an ocarina as a token of friendship, and is willing to sacrifice her carefree life for the sake of Hyrule.
    • Temperance: Despite his wild demeanor, Darunia is dedicated to the protection of his people and is open to making new allies. He becomes a Sworn Brother to Link after the latter defeats King Dodongo.
    • Chastity: Despite wanting to marry Link, Ruto chooses to suspend her vow so that she may serve as a Sage.
    • Diligence: Impa devoted her life to protecting Princess Zelda and to defending Kakariko Village.
    • Kindness: Nabooru is appalled by the actions of her king Ganondorf, and put a young Link's safety above hers when attacked by Twinrova.
    • Humility: Princess Zelda gave up her royal status and life, taking on the identity of Sheik and working alongside Link to defeat Ganondorf.
  • Shall I Repeat That?: The owl Kaepora Gaebora gives Link advice throughout the game, giving Link the option to have him repeat himself afterwards. That's all well and good, though — wait, what do you mean that the default is "Yes, I do want to hear that again" and "No, I don't understand"? It is very easy to rush through his text and make him repeat himself over and over and over again, especially when you consider how slow the text scrolls unless you mash the A button (Or skip it with the B button).
    Kaepora Gaebora: Did you get all that?
    No ←
    Yes
    Kaepora Gaebora: Do you want to hear what I said again?
    Yes ←
    No
  • She Is All Grown Up :
    • Link goes from Adorably Precocious Child to hot Bishōnen over the course of seven years, much to Nabooru's delight.
    • Malon, Zelda, and Ruto also grow from precious children into gorgeous adults after the seven years.
  • Shielded Core Boss: Barinade is a bio-electric tumor that wants to kill you, but killing it first requires ridding it of the protective jellyfish that've attached themselves to it. It's the boss of Jabu-Jabu's Belly, the third and final Spiritual Stone dungeon.
  • Shifting Sand Land: The Haunted Wasteland, and the Desert Colossus after it. The former has a sandstorm that makes the environment more difficult to look at, as well as quicksand. The latter is more stable terrain-wise, but also overrun by Leevers. Traversing these areas is essential to reach the Spirit Temple.
  • Short-Distance Phone Call: Averted; if you use Saria's Song right next to Saria herself, she'll comment on it and wonder why you use it, since she's right there.
  • Shout-Out:
    • The four Poe Sisters are named Jo, Amy, Meg, and Beth.
    • In the German translation, the four carpenters (Ichiro, Jiro, Sabooro and Shiro) are called John, Paul, George and Ringo.
    • Also in the German translation, Ingo is referred to as Basil, though the manual still calls him Ingo.
    • Also there are five Mario references: outside Link's house is a drawing of a knight fighting Bowser with a mushroom dropping from above him, Malon and Talon have Bowser head brooches and there are pictures of Mario, Luigi, Peach, Bowser, and Yoshi in the Castle Courtyard. Also, Sharp and Flat are Poe versions of Mario and Luigi who appear if you examine the graves on either side of the Royal Family's Tomb. Then there's Talon and Ingo themselves...

      The remake does away with the paintings in the Courtyard, but looking through the window does show what looks like a level from New Super Mario Bros..
    • The Kokiri race has various allusions to Peter Pan, such as them being accompanied by fairies, their child-like image and playfulness, and the fact that they can't grow up. Also, Miyamoto has stated that Navi has a crush on Link and is jealous of Zelda, an allusion of Tinkerbell being in love with the eponymous main character and being jealous of Wendy (coincidentially, this kind of relationship was also in the Western animated series).
    • The BGM in the Forest Temple includes the leitmotif for the titular alien from Predator.
    • Koume and Kotake are called Killa Ohmaznote  in the German translation. The deliberate misspelling and the plural -z are a reference to the German rock band "Böhse Onkelz", who used the same alterations. This was changed in the remake.
  • Shown Their Work: If you look closely at the unique jellyfish circling Barinade, you will see what appear to be eyes placed around their bells. Real jellyfish actually do have eyes ringing their bells, and box jellyfish in particular actually have complete eyes (as opposed to the simple ocular organs possessed by most).
  • Sibling Fusion: Koume and Kotake are twin witches and can merge into a single being called Twinrova, who has the combined powers of the two siblings.
  • Sigil Spam: The Triforce symbol is on almost everything, and the Gerudo symbol is on every block and switch in the game. And there are many blocks with the Door Of Time's design on it, and guess how you deal with those? The 3DS version had the Triforce show up on the moon of all things.
  • Signpost Tutorial: The game contains a number of literal signposts in a maze near the cave that leads to the Kokiri Sword. These cover basic jumping and attack maneuvers. You can ignore them if you want to (and most people do, as unlike some tutorials, the game doesn't say You Shouldn't Know This Already if you use them) and still be able to do everything.
  • Simon Says Minigame: A Heart Piece is earned by playing a game of this with the Skull Kids in the Lost Woods, requiring you to memorize musical notes and play them back using the titular ocarina. The frog choir's game (active after receiving their first Heart Piece) is similar, but much harder, as you have to match up every note as it is played; fortunately, the sequence is fixed.
  • Slippy-Slidey Ice World: Ice Cavern, which is a Mini-Dungeon. There were development plans for it to be a main dungeon, but they were scrapped. It marks the debut of Ice Keese and Freezard in the series, which are capable of freezing Link temporarily.
  • The Slow Path: While you time travel, everyone else has to live through all seven years of Ganondorf's rule.
  • Songs in the Key of Lock: Just as when its predecessors in the franchise often removed something barring your progress (except in A Link to the Past), Link's ocarina can be used for the same purpose. Zelda's Lullaby will trigger mechanisms if Link stands on "the Crest of the Royal Family" aka the Triforce; the Song Of Time removes and summons blocks with the Door Of Time's design on it, starting with the Door Of Time itself; and the Song Of Storms opens up the Bottom Of The Well.
  • Source Music: That organ playing in the background in Ganon's Castle? Ganondorf himself is playing it. It even stops when he does!
  • Spikes of Doom: Spikes are relatively rare, being at their most frequent in the Shadow Temple. There's a room where you have to use a large block as a shield to prevent the moving ceiling from crushing Link. Another room requires Link to think fast and use Din's Fire to burn the spiked walls that attempt to reduce him to gibs (luckily, this spell will also get rid of the present ReDeads in the process).
  • Spoiler Opening: The artwork on the side of the box reveals adult Zelda. Likewise, the title screen and most official art shows Adult Link doing things. The one twist that is preserved is HOW this is brought about.
  • Sprite/Polygon Mix: Outside, sprites are used for effects and some flat-but-detailed objects. Most building interiors have 3D characters and objects, but a totally 2D background with fake perspective which hides parts of Link to allow him to walk "behind" objects. Averted completely in the remake, where all backdrops are polygonal models due the more powerful hardware on the 3DS and to it being obviously fake when viewed with stereoscopic vision.
  • Stable Time Loop:
    • In the future, Link meets an irritated musician who accidentally teaches him a song a young boy played in his windmill seven years ago by recollecting it. Of course, it's then your mission to go back and play it to him so he can later teach it to you in the future.
    • Master Quest has an inversion: In the Spirit Temple, you create a chest as Adult Link then go back in time where it's somehow still there. Note that it wasn't there the first time you visited the temple.
  • Stalactite Spite: Stalactites are plentiful in Ice Cavern and a part of Ganon's Tower, where the ceiling is high enough that you probably won't see the icicles from a distance, and they also respawn.
  • Standard Hero Reward: For defeating Barinade, Ruto basically proposes to you. Of course, you're both kids at the time, so it doesn't quite turn out that way. That said, Ruto still takes the proposal, and Link's alleged acceptance, seriously seven years later.
  • Start of Darkness: This was the first game in the series to explore Ganon's origins and introduced Ganondorf, who would become Ganon when he took the Triforce of Power.
  • Stationary Boss: At the start of the battle, Barinade's main body is linked via tentacles to the ceiling. You must chop it free in order to send it into a suicidal frenzy and kill it.
  • Stealth-Based Mission: Getting past the guards at Hyrule Castle. Also, rescuing the carpenters from the Gerudo's Fortress. And, to a lesser extent, the maze to get to the Forest Temple, in that getting caught doesn't lead to a Stupid Surrender.
  • The Stinger: Young Link once again finds Zelda at the exact moment that she's spying on Ganondorf's meeting with her father. She turns to face him, followed by a color fade. note 
  • Stock Sound Effect: The sound the cuccos make when Link attacks them is a rooster sound effect from the General Series 6000 Sound Effects Library, released in 1992. It was very common from the mid-1990s to the 2000s. This sound is also used in the game to signify the beginning of a day.
  • The Story That Never Was: Zelda resets the timeline to just before Link met her and she sent him off to try to stop Ganondorf on his own. They realize that Ganondorf would've never have risen to power if they had simply turned him over to the proper authorities instead of unlocking the Sacred Realm, which gave him the opportunity to steal the Triforce. However, in doing so she actually failed to fully erase everything and created at least two timelines - one where Link simply vanished from existence after defeating Ganon as an adult (the setting of Wind Waker and its sequels), and one where he exposed the conspiracy as a child (the setting of Twilight Princess and Four Swords Adventures). Word of God is that despite being able to live out his childhood, Link retained memories of the events of the plot and lived an unfulfilled life because he never got to be the Hero of Time.
  • Stupid Surrender: When sneaking through either Hyrule Castle or the Gerudo's Fortress, Link will remain rooted to the spot if a guard sees him, rather than letting you run away or use any of your numerous weapons. This makes no sense at Gerudo's Fortress, since the guards can be knocked out with a single arrow, and there are times when Link actually has to fight some of them, so why he throws up his hands and surrenders goes unexplained.
  • Super Drowning Skills: Averted for Link, as he doesn't need the Flippers in this game. However, some enemies, such as Stalchildren, will be destroyed the moment they go into deep water.
  • Supernatural Sealing:
    • Bongo-Bongo was originally sealed within the Bottom of the Well by Impa before escaping.
    • At the climax of the game, Zelda and the other Sages combine their powers in order to seal Ganondorf within the Sacred Realm.
  • Sweet Polly Oliver: Sheik is Zelda.
  • Sword of Plot Advancement: The Master Sword, again. It is presented to you just as you unveil what you think is going to be the Sacred Realm, and pulling it out....causes your plan to fail, Ganon's to win, evil to reign for seven years, and you to fall asleep for the whole thing.
  • Symbolic Blood: After you defeat Ganondorf he falls to the ground, his red cape unfolding around him in a way that makes it look like blood is flowing out of him.
  • Tactical Suicide Boss:
    • Koume and Kotake, as well as their combined form, Twinrova. If the sisters never passed by each other during the fight (allowing them to be hit by their counterpart's attack), they'd be invincible. Meanwhile, Twinrova doesn't mind hitting you with spells your Mirror Shield can absorb and throw back at her, making her vulnerable.
    • Ganondorf uses a Desperation Attack that leaves him open to a free Light Arrow shot if you're just getting good, or speed-running.
  • Teleportation with Drawbacks: Farore's Wind can only be used inside dungeons, and when first used it will warp Link to the entry point of whichever room he's in and create a warp point he can return to later, but only one warp point can be active at a time.
  • Temporal Paradox: You learn the Song of Storms from the man inside the windmill, who tells you that 7 years ago, some kid played the song and screwed things up. You warp back 7 years and play the song, letting the guy learn it when you do so. At no time is a legitimate origin of the song established. However, the same song turning up in Majora's Mask may provide some degree of closure.
  • Tennis Boss: Phantom Ganon and Ganondorf, to the extent that this trope is sometimes referred to as "Ganonball". At least as far as the franchise is concerned, the OoT version is the Trope Codifier.
  • Tentacle Rope: The Water Temple boss, Morpha, can grab Link and swing him around before throwing him against the wall. This is even shown in Morpha's official art, except Link doesn't lose his weapon.
  • Theme Naming:
    • The four kidnapped carpenters are named after Japanese numbers: Ichiro (Ichi, 1), Jiro (Ni/Ji, 2), Sabooro (San, 3), Shiro (Shi, 4).
    • The Poe Sisters in the Forest Temple are named after the sisters from Little Women by Louisa May Alcott.
  • This Cannot Be!: Ganondorf doesn't take being beaten by Link the first time all that well.
    Ganondorf: The Great Evil King Ganondorf... beaten by this kid?!
  • This Is the Final Battle: Navi tells Link they're about to fight their final battle right before fighting Ganon at the end of the game.
  • Tide Level: The Water Temple, where Link must raise and lower the water to three different levels to progress through the dungeon.
  • Time Travel: Putting the Master Sword back in its pedestal allow Link to travel back in time, which is needed both story-wise and gameplay-wise.
  • Timey-Wimey Ball: The Master Sword allows you to travel back in time. Sometimes you actually can change the past from the future (such as Heart Pieces and other collectibles), other times you can't. One plot event depends on creating a Stable Time Loop. Eiji Aonuma confirms that the time travel at the end of the game created a split in the timeline explicitly because Link used Back To The Future-based time travel; one timeline where Link returned to the past (and arrested Ganondorf, altering a fixed event), one timeline where Link disappeared to the first timeline (thereby altering only flux events), and one timeline where he disappeared from past and present (a logical interim timeline between existing in the present and then using time travel to exist in the past). These three timelines have their own sequels.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: While he was never the friendliest person in the game, Ingo was nothing more than a disgruntled employee who complained about Talon's laziness when Link was a kid. After Ganondorf comes to power, he uses the Evil King's "good" graces to take the ranch for himself, exile Talon to Kakariko Village, and proceeds to generally make life miserable for Malon until Link returns and intervenes.
  • Took a Level in Kindness:
    • Mido is the resident jerkass in Kokiri Village, giving Link shit over not having a fairy, even going as far as calling him "Mr. No-Fairy". When you meet him seven years later, he's guarding the entrance to the Forest Temple, but his tone is very different. He says that he wishes that he could take back everything he said about Link (unaware that he is actually talking to Link as an adult) and tells you that if you ever meet Link, to tell him that Mido is sorry for being such a jerk to him.
    • Ingo becomes a gentle character (or at least makes an effort to act like one) after Link defeats him in a race twice and escapes the ranch with Epona.
  • Tree Trunk Tour: The very first dungeon is located inside the Great Deku Tree, where Link has to find and slay the parasitic Giant Spider Gohma.
  • Tsundere: Ruto. Decidedly tsun-tsun type. She acts harshly towards Link at the start of the game, but her feelings gradually become more affectionate, culminating in a marriage proposal.
  • Turns Red:
    • Iron Knuckles, as detailed under Sequential Boss, lose the heavy parts of their armor and start running at Link when they're at about half HP.
    • You know Ganondorf is about to go down when they foolishly lower their guard to use an attack that is guaranteed to score a hit on newcomers. Pros and speed-runners take advantage of the opportunity for a free hit. Master players charge up a Spin Attack and time the release to when he unleashes his attack.
  • Typical Cartoon Animal Colors: Cows are classic black-and-white spotted Holsteins.

    U - Z 
  • Ultimate Blacksmith: Biggoron. His little brother is the penultimate blacksmith, too.
  • Unbreakable Weapons: All swords except the Giant's Knife, and all items except the Deku Stick.
  • Underground Level: Dodongo's Cavern, the Fire and Shadow Temples and Beneath the Well. The former two are set inside the volcanic Death Mountain, so they also qualify as Lethal Lava Land dungeons. The latter two are placed in the underground of Kakariko Village, and them being overrun by undead creatures makes them Big Boo's Haunt locations as well.
  • Underground Monkey: Many enemies come in assorted colours, sometimes indicating vulnerability to elemental attacks, others just to indicate they're not the same enemy.
  • Under the Sea: The game has its incarnation of Lake Hylia, since Link will eventually be able to dive to the bottom with the Zora Tunic (for Super Not-Drowning Skills) and the Iron Boots (to safely sink to the bottom). Beneath it is the famously difficult Water Temple, which teems with lots of water and the many ways Link has to take advantage of it: Raising or lowering its level at certain designated spots, cyclic water currents, aquatic whirlpools that act as bottomless pits, a large waterfall he has to climb through with Hookshot-based platforms, and aquatic enemies. Time after time you have to go in circles, Hookshotting every which way to collect keys, adjust water levels, and avoid enemies with indestructible shells. All of this is made more taxing by the need to pause the game constantly to switch between the Iron Boots (to sink) and the Kokiri Boots (to resurface). Then the battle with Dark Link will take a large amount of HP out of you, though it can be replaced by MP loss if you have Din's Fire, and both can be lowered by doing the trading sidequest for the Biggoron's Sword (or the Megaton Hammer, which most players will have by that point in the game). Finally, you have to get the Big Key to fight Morpha, who is relatively easy but has a chance to do 5 Hearts of damage by simply using his standard attack if you're unlucky.
  • Unending End Card: The game leaves you hanging after the final cutscene with a still image of young Link warning Princess Zelda about Ganon.
  • Unholy Ground: The Shadow Temple. Monsters like Redeads, Gibdos and Stalfos roam its halls and the temple itself is a gathering place for Hyrule's bloody history of greed and hatred.
  • Unlucky Childhood Friend:
    • Saria, who apparently has her own Unlucky Childhood Friend in Mido.
    • Navi counts too since you've known her since the beginning of your journey and the developers have said that she has feelings for Link.
  • Unnecessary Combat Roll: Link's "attack" default move is a short forward roll. It can break crates, knock stuff out of trees, and give you some extra distance in jumping, but that's about it. The only combat purpose it is good for is rolling under Ganon's legs. It gets you in position to attack his tail without shooting him in the face or taking time to circle around.
  • Unresolved Sexual Tension: This may exist between Link and Zelda during the end of the game.
  • Unwinnable by Design: During the fight against Ganondorf; if the player runs out of magic with which to fire Light Arrows, and also runs out of magic refills from the pots in the floor below and has no magic refills left of their own, then it will be impossible to do any further damage to Ganondorf and the player will need to restart. Averted in the fight against Ganon. While the Light Arrows can be used to stun him, they are ultimately not required to defeat him.
  • Unwinnable Joke Game: The infamous Marathon Man challenge. Don't listen to any fans claiming to have done it or have found some way to do so, or even people who have cheated and beaten it with 0:00 on the time, the Marathon Man will always beat you to the Kokiri Forest bridge—even the developers have confirmed that he cannot be beaten. They claim the reason for it was because they couldn't figure out a good reward to give the player for winning it, so they rigged it into a harmless, optional joke challenge instead.
  • Unwitting Pawn: By getting all of the Spiritual Stones and taking the Master Sword, Link allows Ganondorf's plans to come to fruition.
  • Useless Item: Zig-Zagged with the Stone of Agony in the VC releases. It would make the controller rumble when Link was near a hidden treasure chest or grotto. However, the Virtual Console rerelease removes the rumble feature, making the item indeed entirely useless. Even the operations guide says that it's useless in context. This is not the case in the Wii U virtual console which does have rumble. Thankfully, its 3DS counterpart, which serves the same purpose, instead chimes and shines on the screen when it reacts.
  • Uvula Escape Route: Inverted when Link is swallowed by Jabu-Jabu. He can exit the beast any time he wants through its mouth, and hitting Jabu-Jabu's uvula unlocks a "door" over its throat allowing him to progress deeper into its body.
  • Variable Mix: In Hyrule Field, the music is made up of 21 different segments that are about 15 seconds long and shift around depending on whether Link is standing still, moving, or near an enemy. According to the developers, the Variable Mix program for the music was quite intensive on the N64's hardware.
  • The Very Definitely Final Dungeon: After the Sages you spent most the game bringing together make that light bridge leading to Ganon's castle, it's pretty obvious the plot ends here.
  • Video Game 3D Leap: This is the first 3D Zelda game in the series, and uses the graphic engine that brought Super Mario 64 to life.
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential:
    • The Cuccos, of course. This time around, you can laugh at Video Game Cruelty Punishment in one location by trampling over them in Lon Lon Ranch with Epona and watching the entire flock chase after you from horseback — they can't actually harm you as long as you're on your horse.
    • The Poes. Link can move a grave, disturbing the soul's rest; he can then defeat it and trap it in a jar. From there he can either sell off the soul, or consume it to (have a chance to) revitalize himself.
    • The Skulltula family can be attacked from behind just like any other Skulltula, which makes them cry out in pain and be stunned for a bit. Of course, if you get close to them after they're stunned, they'll attack in retaliation.
    • Inverted with Epona. You have a limited amount of times you can slap her to make her go faster, but Ingo has an unlimited amount during the race.
  • Video Game Remake: For the Nintendo 3DS.
  • Villainous Badland, Heroic Arcadia: Ganondorf hails from the harsh Gerudo Desert, while Link spent his whole life in the idyllic - albeit somewhat muted — Kokiri forest. Sure enough, when Ganondorf takes over Hyrule, it turns into a wasteland of death. Lampshaded in The Wind Waker: Ganondorf admits that his initial reason for wanting to conquer Hyrule was the the land was green and fertile with winds that brought life while in the desert the wind brought nothing but death.
  • Villainous Breakdown:
    • Ganondorf has one of these after the first round of his final battle with Link. After he's defeated and his castle collapses around him while Link, Zelda, and Navi escape, he bursts out of the rubble in a rage. He then uses the Triforce of Power to change into the feral, dual-sword-wielding, boar-like Ganon. His breakdown continues even after he reverts back to his human form as he angrily vows revenge against Link, Zelda, and the sages as they imprison him in the Sacred Realm.
    • A really weird example happens to Ingo after beating him in a horse race with Epona. First he becomes desperate because Link gets to keep the mare that was originally meant to be a present for Ganondorf, so he locks him up. What happens after Link escapes, anyway? He suddenly becomes nice the next time you enter the ranch. According to Miyamoto, the plan was to have Ingo burn down the ranch in a fit of madness after you beat him, but then someone asked what would happen if you re-entered the ranch, so it was dropped.
  • Violation of Common Sense:
    • There's an unusual method to avoiding ReDeads: Equipping the Iron Boots before getting close. Re Deads detect you based on sound, not sight. The Iron Boots are clunky and noisy...to the player. But the Re Deads will ignore you. This is because the game registers the sound of Link's slower walking animation differently from that of his regular walking. As long as you don't pull out or put away a weapon, you'll be completely invisible to them.
    • If you're about to die because of the heat tolerance timer running out in the Fire Temple or Death Mountain Crater, you can just jump into a lava pit and you'll be teleported back to the entrance with the timer reset and only a small amount of health lost. Of course, this doesn't help if you're only one hit away from death.
  • Virtue Is Weakness: Completely inverted at one point: when Ganondorf's human form is defeated, Zelda calls him a "pitiful man" and remarks that without a kind and righteous heart he could not hope to control the Triforce. She'd have gone on, but then the castle started coming down.
  • Vomit Indiscretion Shot: When Ganondorf dies. In the gold-cartridge version, he vomited up red blood, which was bowdlerized to green in subsequent versions.
  • Wake-Up Call Boss: Barinade. He's the first boss battle to have multiple "stages" to it, as well as taking far more hits to kill. A player who's familiar with their attack patterns and weaknesses can easily beat Gohma and King Dodongo in about 20 and 40 seconds respectively without taking a single hit, but Barinade will likely take at least a minute-and-a-half or more, with a much higher chance of inflicting damage to the player in the meantime.
  • The Walls Are Closing In: There's a room in the Shadow Temple where rickety wooden spike-walls slowly close in on you.
  • War Comes Home: Implied Trope. When Link wakes up seven years later, he finds his former home of Kokiri Forest abandoned, with Deku Scrubs growing wild and hardly anybody to talk to besides Mido. After Ganondorf unleashed destruction on Hyrule, something terrible happened to the Kokiri and it was likely attacked by his armies while you were unable to help at all. Thankfully, checking inside the treehouses reveals that the Kokiri are still unhurt, but are holed up in their homes out of fear, and the little village is made safe again after the Great Deku Tree is reborn.
  • Warp Whistle: Adult Link learns six songs that teleport him to various places throughout Hyrule. They also double as an Escape Rope in the sense that they will even work when played inside a dungeon (they won't work in boss rooms because the player is barred from using the ocarina at all when in a boss room).
  • Water Is Womanly: The Zora are ruled by a male king while the Sage of Water becomes his daughter, Ruto, who acts feminine towards Link to the point of proposing marriage in their youth. Curiously, since the Zora evolve into the Rito by the beginning of The Wind Waker these somewhat feminine characters evolve into birds and subsequently into air elementals.
  • Weapon Jr.: The child Link gets a slingshot as his first dungeon item. It functions like a weaker version of the bow (which he can only use as an adult), hitting distant enemies and switches.
  • Weaponized Offspring:
    • Gohma lays eggs as you fight her which, if not destroyed, hatch into baby spiders.
    • Sleeping Peahats send out a swarm of larvae when attacked at night. During the day, instead of spinning their slicey-dicey propeller leaves at Link, some take off when approached, hovering well out of bow range showering Link with larvae.
  • Well, Excuse Me, Princess!: With Princess Ruto in Jabu-Jabu's belly. She chews you out for following her, then for leaving her, and then tricks you into accepting her marriage proposal.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?:
    • The King is mentioned in the cutscene where you meet Zelda for the first time and later by Darunia (who refers to him as his "sworn brother"). The soldier in the Back Alley tells Link that Ganondorf betrayed the King. He's never mentioned after, not even in the context of what happened to him when Ganon took over. Akira Himekawa decided that Ganondorf killed the King in his coup d'état. Considering that's what Agahnim did in his gig, it's a relatively safe bet.
    • Lord Jabu-Jabu seems to have met some undefined fate in the future.
    • Navi. She just flies away. It's likely she goes to the new Deku Tree's side, since Majora's Mask begins with Link searching for her in the Lost Woods.
    • As Link enters the barren wasteland of the Market, several people Link normally sees seems to have disappeared until the credits.
  • Wicked Cultured: Ganondorf. He's playing the organ while awaiting being confronted by Link but aside from that, he has strong knowledge of both the societies and the supernatural phenomena of the in-game world.
  • Windmill Scenery: It is hard to miss the Kakariko Village windmill. It is actually a windpump that draws up water from the nighmarish well sitting in front of it. It would've taken a few years to pump out the water barring Link from the Bottom Of The Well, but the Song Of Storms makes it go so fast that it pumps all of it out in a few minutes. Then, once inside, Link drains the rest in order to confront Dead Hand.
  • Wise Tree: The Great Deku Tree, guardian of Kokiri Forest and father figure to the Kokiri.
  • Womb Level: Inside Jabu-Jabu's Belly, which is a dungeon whose location is inside the titular Lord Jabu-Jabu.
  • Worldbuilding: One of the most noteworthy aspects of this game narrative-wise was just how much it expanded the lore and mythos of Hyrule. It essentially created the foundations for the world building of the entire series moving forward, which are still used to this day.
    • It starts by expanding the Creation Myth that was first written by Yoshiaki Koizumi in The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past. The three Golden Goddesses, Din, Nayru and Farore, all received their canonical names in this game, and the specific role of each deity was explained in a bit more detail.
    • The idea of the Triforce splitting in three separate pieces if the person who touches it has an unbalanced spirit was also created here. The imagery of each wielder having a Triforce crest on the back of their hands was lifted from Zelda II: The Adventure of Link, but the fact that it indicates that that person literally owns the piece of the Triforce was introduced here.
    • Ocarina of Time was also the first game to introduce the concept of Hyrule having multiple races, and created those that would later on become the most recurring ones: namely the Kokirinote , the Goron, the Zoranote , the Sheikah and the Gerudo. It was also the game that gave Hylians their race name, since they didn't have one before, and were rather refered to with the demonym "Hyrulean".
    • This game also established the customs and culture of each race, which would be kept in later games. Noteworhty examples would be the Kokiri being a race of forest dwellers who live under the protection of the Great Deku Trees (another entity that first appears in this game), the Goron being a race that lives in the mountains and that feed themselves with rocks, the Zora being a monarchynote , the Sheikah being a tribe of ninja-like warriors who pledge loyalty to the Hylian Royal Family, and the Gerudo being a mostly female-only race of thieves who live in the desert.
    • The game also has a lot of lore and history for this time period of Hyrule, mostly told through environtmental story-telling, dialogues with minor NPCs, subtext and even some item descriptions. Examples would be the Hyrulean Civil War that happens 10 years prior, the origins of the dragon Volvagia and the Megaton Hammer, the story of the two music composers of the Royal Family, the origins of the Lens of Truth, the dark practices of the Hylian Royal Family at the Bottom of the Well and the Shadow Temple, and a suprisingly long etc.
  • World of Technicolor Hair: While most Hylians and Kokiri have hair that regular humans can have, Saria has green hair and the Bombchu Shop lady has blue hair, which goes without comment.
  • Wrecked Weapon: Using the Giant's Knife several times will cause the blade to fly off, leaving you with a 200-rupee pocket knife. The real Infinity +1 Sword is unbreakable.
  • Ye Olde Butcherede Englishe:
    • The Great Deku Tree speaks like this, probably to signify just how old he is. The ad campaign (linked to in the first page quote) also liberally applied this trope.
    • The trailer shown for the remake at the 2011 E3 (and downloadable to the 3DS) is a remake of the above trailer and thus also uses it, making the classic "Misuse of Ye" mistake. Grammatically, the sentence makes no sense, as it literally means "Have The What It Takes?"
  • You Already Changed the Past: The keeper of the windmill hut says that a kid ruined his hut with the Song Of Storms. He then teaches you the song the kid used, and you go back in time, realize said kid is you, and use the song to wreck his hut... note 
  • You Have No Idea Who You're Dealing With: When Ganondorf meets Link for the first time, he asks him where Zelda went. Link refuses to tell him anything and draws his sword in defiance; Ganondorf attacks him with an energy beam and tells him this trope almost word for word.
    "Pathetic little fool! Do you realize who you're dealing with? I am Ganondorf and soon I will rule the world!"
  • You Have to Burn the Web: Thanks to this game, no one knows that spider webs aren't actually flammable — not even other game developers.
  • You Shouldn't Know This Already: Even if you hit the right notes, the special effects associated with a given ocarina song (like the Sun's Song, which changes from day to night) won't activate until you've been officially taught the song by another character. Likewise, although the Scarecrow lets you play him a song as a kid (which becomes the Scarecrow's Song as an adult), it has to be a custom song — if you play a song that you're supposed to learn later (such as the Bolero of Fire), he won't remember it, but only tells you he can't say why. He also says this to any song that's fewer than eight notes long.
  • Younger Than They Look: When Link turns into an adult, he looks about 20 or 21. However, Miyamoto states that he's only 16. His title of 'Adult' Link didn't really help.

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Alternative Title(s): The Legend Of Zelda Ocarina Of Time 3 D, The Legend Of Zelda The Ocarina Of Time, Ocarina Of Time

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With the last of his strength and boosted by the Triforce of Power, Ganondorf transforms into a massive and dangerous pig-demon to destroy the Hero of Time and the Princess

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