Ocarina of Time, Pt. 6: Future Tension in the Forest Temple
I am in new Ocarina of Time territory here. In my several attempts at playing Ocarina of Time, I never made it to the Forest Temple after aging. I made it as far as Adult Link before (a status, not a saucy Nintendo game), but no further.
And always, Ocarina of Time does not disappoint. In fact, it kinda ups the crazy in Link’s adult years—which is bound to happen when time travel is involved (See: 12 Monkeys, Looper, Disney’s The Kid¹).
And the Horse You Rode in On
Epona, the lovable horse I met as a kid, is super-handy when Link is an adult. Now the boring jaunts across Hyrule Field don’t take nearly as long, and help negate one of the Legend of Zelda series’ most annoying features: backtracking. Backtracking caused me to never finish Wind Waker (another regret), because I tired of the nearly endless sailing back and forth. All the talking boats and Tingles in the world couldn’t help me forget that tedium.
Malon is older now too, I’m guessing near Link in age (18?). Her lazy dad, Talon, lost Link’s once and future ranch. The bum. Will adult Link and adult Malon reconnect? She doesn’t remember Link ,which is something I can relate to.
Uh, I mean, can’t relate to. Yes. Women I meet never forget me, what with my rugged good looks and video game t-shirt collection.
After I liberated Epona, Malon’s memory of Link returned. The lesson here: Guys, if a lady doesn’t remember you, just steal her horse. It makes a great impression (which is what I think Vanilla Ice was going for when he scared Kat off her horse in Cool As Ice).
A Stitch in Ocarina of Time
While the years Link spent in stasis were kind to Malon, it was not the case for his pals in Kokiri Village. None of the fairy folk have aged. At all. Seven years in Ocarina of Time didn’t make a difference—they still look like little kids. Creepy.
After I finished the Forest Temple, I learned of Link’s past. The back story for Ocarina of Time is: Link’s mother, a Hylian, not a fairy person like Saria and the rest of Kokiri Village, sought refuge from a war. She died (see: ‘orphaned hero trope‘), and Link grew up in Kokiri village, on his own (or raised by a talking tree, whatev). Links lack of a fairy in the beginning foreshadowed something wasn’t quite right with the boy. It wasn’t until Link returned as an adult that the Kokiri figured out he wasn’t fairy folk.
So, does this mean the Kokiri start out as babies, and just stop aging after seven years? None of Link’s comrades thought he was different until his return years later.
Link, of course, has the good fortune of learning his real lineage via the Deku Tree Sprout. Yes, the offspring (clone?) of the talking tree which tasked me with saving Princess Zelda. The Deku Tree Sprout apparently inherited all the Deku Tree’s memories, or it had a visit from the Exposition Fairy. Which is possible, as there are plenty of fairies around Kokiri Village.
How crazy would being born with all of your parents’ memories be? In a word: Very. Isn’t that what happened to Paul’s sister in Dune?
Makes me glad I wasn’t born a Deku Tree Sprout. Or an Atreides.
Just a Kokiri That I Used to Know
After besting Phantom Ganon in the Forest Temple (which is a pretty neat battle), Link’s ol’ pal Saria is freed. Or unlocked. Or whatever, and goes to the Chamber of Sages, the weird place where an old guy watched Link sleep for seven years. Saria is there for good, I think, in a limbo of some kind, adding ‘her power’ to mine.
Saria even pulls a Spock:
So: your childhood friend who loved you, gave you her beloved ocarina (which you replaced), missed you for seven years, realizes the two of you can never be an item (“It is destiny that you and I can’t live in the same world.”), locks herself away in limbo with a creepy old man to help you save the pretty-pretty Princess. Heavy stuff for a Rated E for Everyone game. Like, Les Misérables heavy.
Next in Finally Finishing Ocarina of Time: More Depressing Reunions?
Previously: Every Ocarina of Time post.
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¹ Yep, Bruce Willis has been in (at least) three non-related time travel films. But only ONE Hudson Hawk film. Crazy, I know.