Hack of The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
|Patching Information||Byte Swapped (N64)|
|Hack Release Date||19 April 2023|
|Last Modified||19 April 2023|
An Ocarina of Time Romhack
Lots of gameplay in various areas and dungeons with custom cutscenes, songs and much more. Good luck finding all 100 Skulltula tokens and 20 hearts!
Known compatibility: Retroarch, PJ64, Everdrive/ Hardware/ Wii Vc/ Dolphin
Likely compatibility: Other Emulators
PATCH ONTO Legend of Zelda, The - Ocarina of Time (U) (V1.0) [!]
ROM / ISO Information:
- Database match: Legend of Zelda, The - Ocarina of Time (USA)
- Database: No-Intro: Nintendo 64 (v. 20210220-053642)
- File SHA-1: 79A4F053D34018E59279E6D4B83C7DACCD985C87
- File CRC32: EC95702D
- ROM SHA-1: AD69C91157F6705E8AB06C79FE08AAD47BB57BA7
- ROM CRC32: CD16C529
|Contributor||Type of contribution||Listed credit|
|Jinnosuke9||Levels||Level, Design, Music, Coding|
|Shoopey||Design||Level, Design, Art|
User Review Information
7/10 - Ambitious and creative, yet unintuitive and confusingReviewed By: YDG on 01 Apr 2023
I played this over the last week since it was released, aimed for 100%, and came out one Heart Piece, and a Biggoron Sword short.
The spoiler-free review: This is a full-game overhaul that provides entirely new environments, dungeons, mini-dungeons, and puzzle areas (grottos, etc.). While not perfect, none of this feels lazy. This was a thoroughly designed Zelda experience with plenty of fresh and original puzzles for the vanilla inventory.
The visual design here is incredible for what the OOT engine can allow; many areas left me standing around and just admiring all of the little details. Even the most insignificant grotto is a work of 3D art that deserves every bit of praise it gets. There are no fixed-camera angles with 2D backdrops for shops or towns as the entire game is fully 3D with even shops offering a lot more than just a shopkeeper to buy items from.
Dungeons are intelligently designed, and a select few took me by surprise with the gimmick that they centered around. If you think you think this game will struggle to keep things interesting, then think again. Various locations throughout the world will surprise you with a mini-dungeon, a themed grotto, or an indoor puzzle room. You think the game will just give you an item in a chest? Nah, maybe you can go through a mini-dungeon instead… and that’s a big plus if that wasn’t clear.
The final dungeon, while not the best dungeon design, is an amazing idea that they pulled off phenomenally due to the developers’ attention to detail.
This romhack tries to implement every feature it can to make the experience feel polished, such as dungeon maps and compasses, a world map, and a functioning stone of agony. While it comes close to giving you everything you need, the lack of an on-screen mini-map and real-time player location on the map screen, especially in the overworld, keeps you either guessing if you’ve explored an entire room/area as you search for a remaining chest or Gold Skulltula.
All of the above is about all the positive praise I can give it and, frankly, it’s worth a playthrough for those points alone. Good dungeons in a Zelda game are all that most people need, after all. With all that this romhack does right, it sadly does a lot wrong too.
The biggest problem with this experience was how unintuitive it was to figure out where you need to go next. Navi is next to useless until she randomly decides to give you a hint of where to go next (something I’ll expand upon in my spoiler review below). I’m not the only one that’s had issues with this as other players have struggled to even find shops. Some places, like the main town, are designed like a maze and you never know if you’ve missed anything. Where this game has excelled in visual design, it has consequently suffered with confusing and disorienting maps that desperately needed an on-screen map.
You will also come across areas that you’re not expected to be at yet, only to find out after a while that you were meant to go somewhere else. Many dungeons will not even have a distinct entrance that would indicate there’s anything important there. The level design also becomes pretty jank at points so I’m never quite sure if a ledge I’ve climbed was intended because sometimes it is, but it won’t seem like it. This is an unsettling feeling that made some of the level designs feel cheap. This leads to paths not being very clear, such as the top ledge required to climb to reach the Mountain Peak from the Mountain Trail.
I would have much rather had a more simplistic level design that clearly indicated to the player where they can go, what is reachable by child-only, and which jumps they can actually make. Also, can you OOT romhackers stop making custom warp songs? They’re all forgettable, and it wouldn’t have ruined the experience to have just kept them vanilla.
Speaking of the songs, the music is forgettable, though serviceable. None of the tracks stood out, but they were at least fitting for each of their environments. Many sound like the vanilla tracks with only a slight tweak to the midi maybe cutting out one of the instruments or holding back on some notes. At worst it’s inoffensive, but perhaps other players will find some more enjoyment from the romhack’s soundtrack.
There’s also a story here but, I don’t think any of the devs particularly cared about it. You end up going after all the main McGuffins of OOT with the main characters all saying something similar to what they said in the vanilla game. If there was anything of value here, I definitely missed it.
NPCs will often lead you on (seemingly) dead-end trails like the old lady that says she could make some medicine from something at Mountain Peak… but I couldn’t find anything there. It’s a pretty small region so, once again, it was unclear what she was referring to if anything at all. The fact that I’m this confused and uncertain is a symptom of poor design. There are also instances of ’something’ going on, but the game not giving any kind of explanation to give the player any idea of what’s going on; the prime example of this is the entrance to and the nature of the third dungeon.
Maybe you don’t care about the story in a Zelda game, but it was a missed opportunity for a deeper experience. And the dialogue and function of the NPCs generally lead to confusion or just pretty much wasting your time.
Additionally, I’d like to request a visual queue for the Stone Of Agony to help players that can’t get the Rumble working on their controllers for whatever reason.
Overall, I recommend giving this one a shot. If you’re an OOT veteran that has played their share of romhacks and randomizers then you won’t struggle much with this one and will be able to enjoy it in spite of its flaws. Brilliant dungeons, and tonnes of content to sink your teeth into, but at the price of some typical romhack jank and the occasional loss of direction that will leave you meandering around for 30 min at a time unless you luckily stumble onto the intended path. For more casual players, wait until a competent guide appears that you can follow, or for a version update that adds in some QOL improvements. Also, I personally do NOT recommend going after all 100 Gold Skulltulas (more on that below).
I’m extremely grateful we got such a meaty romhack with this much effort put into it. If it was just clearer on indicating where to go then I wouldn’t have spent hours just wandering around doing nothing and ending up where I don’t belong or hopelessly interacting with NPCs for some useful information. However, with the dungeons, amount of fresh, new content, and the puzzle design alone, this is an awesome Zelda game, but unfortunately, I have to consider the entire experience. Maybe I’d enjoy this more on a re-visit but… man, if only this game was just a little more clear about its intended path with some cleaner level design, it could have easily been a 9/10.
Spoiler-ish review (this might actually help but proceed at your own risk): In addition to the review above, here I’d like to just complain about specific things that affected my enjoyment of the romhack.
Firstly, the Gold Skulltulas are not worth it. Some of them are in horrific places that took me literal hours to find. The soil patch in the Eastern Bluffs under a cliff near the entrance to the ranch was just mean; but the absolute worst one is in the Sealed Realm (whatever it was called). Don’t bother combing over all 3 chambers, as it’s in a tree in the central area on a floating island below the statue you see when you enter. Finding all 100 doesn’t give you any special reward as all of the rewards, in fact, are vanilla. Only go for them for bragging rights.
Then, there’s the trading sequence. I mean, I’m not entirely sure if it exists. I got the Pocket Cucco from the Cucco Lady and… who do I give it to? I went to every NPC I could think of, and no one wants it. There’s a sleeping guard in the starting area as the child, but you can’t use the item in the past. I managed to find the Biggoron in the Flooded Mines, but he didn’t want the Cucco either. After 2 hours of searching, I just gave up and called it a day.
In the first dungeon, there’s a room to the left of the entrance where you can get a transparent block to appear under a waterfall. You can shoot-down a ladder onto it as well and this leads to a hidden alcove. Once you get up there… nothing. Granted, I discovered it only after beating the dungeon so maybe that bugged something out as a result, but I tried everything to make something happen but to no avail.
Finally, the progression is horrible at points. When you turn into an adult, you’re supposed to enter the guard tower by the graveyard warp pad to get the Bow… I didn’t know this until Navi told me after an hour of wandering around and instead going to other mini-dungeons that were intended for much later in the game. I ended up getting Din’s Fire and Farore’s Wind before getting the bow. Like in the vanilla game, I went to Dampe’s Hut instead which hinted at what I thought was the Hookshot (something I desperately needed for progression) but was actually the game’s Shadow Temple. Dampe referred to a Church Undercroft… I didn’t even realize the town had a Church because of how confusing the map is. Buildings aren’t distinct enough to keep track. And I also beat this game’s Shadow Temple before even doing the Fire and Water temples because I had no idea how to even find/enter those at the time.
Version 1.01 Recommended - Yes
|Cool hack ! I miss the mini map a LOT||SACHi_||11 May 2023||1.3||Yes|
|Absolutely incredible adaptation||Duokain||06 May 2023||1.3||Yes|
|Ocarina of Time Part 2?||MAOT666||26 Apr 2023||1.3||Yes|
|Faithful to the aesthetic and gameplay||doesntmatter||24 Apr 2023||1.3||Yes|
|Amazing||Valcris||20 Apr 2023||1.3||Yes|
|The Future of Ocarina Hacks||Chadlight||14 Apr 2023||1.21||Yes|
|Wow. Just... wow!||Blikk||14 Apr 2023||1.21||Yes|
|An intense fusion of the fantastic and the frustrating||cftv||06 Apr 2023||1.21||Yes|
|Fun Hack, Can be a bit furstrating in some places||Jaqtherippr||05 Apr 2023||1.21||Yes|
|7/10 - Ambitious and creative, yet unintuitive and confusing||YDG||01 Apr 2023||1.01||Yes|