The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time/Gameplay

Starting a new game or loading a game Edit

The file select screen. There are three save slots.

Upon starting the game, the title screen appears which shows Link riding Epona in Hyrule Field and various scenes from the game. Pressing Start (or the Plus button for the Wii Classic Controller) once will display the game logo, as will simply waiting as the scene plays out. Pressing Start (or the Plus button for the Wii Classic Controller) while the logo is fully displayed opens the file select screen.

In this menu three save game slots are shown, along with the options to erase or copy a saved game. Furthermore, there's an options menu which allows you to change sound settings, the way the Z-targeting system works and some shades of black and grey to help set the brightness setting on television. Highlighting a save game slot and pressing the A button and choosing Yes opens that saved game. If no saved game exists, selecting a save game slot opens the file name screen. Entering a name and choosing End will create a new game save file.

Movement Edit

The first thing to learn is how to run around using the Control Stick. Pressing it a little bit will make Link walk very slowly, which is good for navigating small walkways. Pressing it all the way to the edge will make Link run as fast as he can, which is necessary to Jump. If the players walk off a ledge, Link will fall a bit and hopefully grab the ledge, otherwise he will fall straight down and may take damage based on the distance of the fall.

Jumping Edit

Link jumping across a gap.

In The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time there is no jump button. Instead, Link will jump off of ledges if he approaches them while running. There must be caution on positioning, because it is easy to fall long distances.

Falling Edit

If Link happens to fall off of a ledge, he will either hit the ground and take damage, or roll. To roll, the players must simply hold the control stick in the direction he is moving (most often Up).

HUD Edit

All of the HUD elements viewable.
Action button

The action button shows you what A button will make Link do. For instance, if you have your sword in hand and you are standing still, the action button will say Put Away. Pressing the button will cause Link to sheath his sword. If you are running, the action button will change to Attack, and pressing the A button will make Link do a somersault.

Item assignments

At the top right of the screen are the three button assignments. These act as a way to keep track of what items are currently assigned to. By pressing a button with an assigned item, Link will pull out the item immediately and use it (draw an arrow and aim the bow, load and aim the slingshot, swipe with an empty jar, use a filled jar, etc.). You can change the button assignments by using the pause menu and navigating to the inventory section. Pressing a button while an item is selected will assign that item to the button pressed.

The buttons for the items are:

  • Nintendo 64: C-left, C-right, C-down
  • Nintendo GameCube: C-Stick (left, right, down) or Y, Z, or X
  • Wii Classic Controller: Right Control Stick (left, right, down) or Y, X, Zl/Zr
  • Nintendo 3DS: Y, X, and buttons on the Touch Screen

The minimap appears in the bottom left corner of the screen. This helps you quickly keep track of your location in a room, the direction Link is facing, and the floor or zone you are in. A world map is available on the pause menu outside of dungeons, and a larger dungeon map is while inside of them.

Press L to turn the minimap on or off.

Pause menu Edit

The select item subscreen.

The pause menu can be viewed by pressing Start (Plus button for the Wii Classic Controller) Here you are able to save, view the world or dungeon map (depending on your location), view and equip items, and view additional items.

For more details on the items that will inhabit your inventory, see The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time/Items.

Your inventory helps keep track of what items you've acquired, what items are currently assigned to the C buttons, how much ammo you have left, and whether or not you have anything contained in jars.

The quest status subscreen
Heart pieces
For more details on the locations of Heart Containers, see The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time/Heart Containers.

While on your adventure, you might stumble upon a Heart Piece; these rare items will automatically combine into an extra Heart Container (your maximum health will increase by one) if you find four of them. The inventory tracks how many Heart Pieces you have by filling in the heart container diagram until you form a new Heart Container.

For more details on how to acquire and play songs, see The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time/Ocarina Songs.

After you receive an ocarina, you will be able to play songs that have special powers. These songs play an important role in solving puzzles and traveling quickly throughout the game.

Gold Skulltulas
For more details on how to acquire, see The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time/Gold Skulltulas.

One of the many secret items you can collect in Ocarina of Time is the Gold Skulltula Token. These are acquired by killing a Gold Skulltula and then grabbing its token.

Equipment Edit

The equipment subscreen.
For more details on weapons, see The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time/Equipment.

On the equipment page, you will be able to toggle between the different armor and weapons that Link has acquired. These will come in handy when maximizing your offensive and defensive capabilities, and when necessary to solve certain puzzles.


Throughout the game you'll acquire stronger swords and weaponry to help you solve increasingly complex puzzles and defeat enemies more efficiently.

For more details on the ammunition you will need to be on the lookout for, see The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time/Consumables#Ammunition.

Some weapons require ammunition to use. If you run out, they will be unable to function, so try to keep a good supply on hand, or keep track of where you can find more. Remember that destructible objects and enemies have a chance to drop items such as ammo.

Saving your game Edit

The file save screen.

During the game, you can save your game at any time by bringing up the pause menu with the Start button (Plus button for Wii Classic Controller), then press B. Select "Yes" at the confirmation screen. The menu will close. The game has now been saved.

If you die and get a "Game Over", the game will ask you if you want to save, then if you want to continue. Choosing not to continue will send you back to the title screen.

Note that when you save the game, it does not save your location. Every time you start the game you will appear in Link's House in Kokiri Forest, if your last save was as a child. If your last save game was as an adult, you will start at the Temple of Time. If you save in a dungeon you will instead appear just inside of the entrance to the dungeon regardless of age.

Rupees Edit

For more details on rupees, see The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time/Consumables#Rupees.

Like all Zelda games, Rupees are used as a currency within the game.

Objects Edit

You will find objects throughout the game that can be interacted with or destroyed. Destructible objects have a chance to drop items such as ammo and rupees.

Object Methods of interaction Methods of destruction
Chests Open. N/A
Doors Open. N/A
Gossip Stones Speak, sword, boomerang, hookshot, or bomb. Bomb
Grass Pick up. Throw, cut, or bomb.
Stones Pick up. Throw or bomb.

Dungeons Edit

An example of when Link finds a special piece of equipment. It can be assigned to one of the item buttons.

Dungeons are a primary part of the game. Each dungeon must be completed to finish the game. A dungeon is considered complete if the special item is found and, if there is one, the boss is defeated.

Dungeon-specific items Edit

For more details on dungeon-specific items, see The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time/Dungeon Items.

Certain items can only be found within dungeons. Some of these are dungeon-specific. That is, after you find them, they cannot be taken elsewhere and are only available when you are in that dungeon.

Special items Edit

Each dungeon has a unique item that will help Link progress through the game. These special items are necessary to overcome puzzles and defeat bosses, so make sure you get them!