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  • Results from Game Design Challenge: Time For Change

    - staff

  • Ryan George, Game Design Student, Columbia College Chicago, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time

    The Legend of Zelda's primary hero, Link, has become an iconic figure in gaming. In most Zelda games Link is tasked with saving the kingdom of Hyrule from the series' main antagonist, Ganon, with aid from Princess Zelda.

    But what if, in the Ocarina of Time, Link was taken out of the equation? The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time further develops Princess Zelda as a character and introduces her alter ego, Sheik.

    Changing the main character of Ocarina of Time to Zelda/Sheik offers numerous exciting changes that enhance the player's experience all while keeping the stellar gameplay the same with minor alterations to the story.

    Character Differences:

    The core gameplay of Ocarina of Time remains roughly the same however playing as Zelda/Sheik offer various interesting differences.

    Whereas Link tended to confront enemies head on with his trusty sword and shield, Zelda/Sheik utilizes Impa's Sheikah training to defeat enemies in a speedy and stealthy fashion. While Zelda/Sheik may not have access to certain items that Link would have, this is made up for by a wider array of spells (See Item Difference picture for example)

    Not being weighed down by bulky equipment also allows Zelda/Sheik to move much quicker than Link could have. For example, Zelda/Sheik can perform the standard roll attack similar to Link however, unlike Link, if players hold down the roll button Zelda/Sheik will begin to sprint after rolling.

    Story Differences:

    The Bandit King, Ganon, kidnaps a young Kokori boy (Link) to ensure that his attempts to take over Hyrule are not thwarted by the future Hero of Time.

    Now, with his only adversary out of the picture nothing stands in Ganon's way.

    Rumors of an attack on Hyrule Castle prompts the Royal Family to entrust Princes Zelda, whom embodies the only remaining piece of the Triforce, to Zelda's personal bodyguard Impa, one of the last remaining Sheikah, for Zelda's safe being.

    Impa and Zelda flee Hyrule castle just as Ganon and his forces attack and go into hiding. Impa vows to train Princess Zelda in the ways of the Sheikah so that she may defend and conceal herself from Ganon. During her training Zelda is taught how to use various magics and combat techniques but most importantly is taught how to use the Ocarina of Time.

    In order to complete her training Impa tasks Zelda with retrieving Hyrule's three Spiritual Stones as a rite of passage to be initiated as a Sheikah warrior.

    Upon obtaining the Spiritual Stones Zelda returns to Impa and is given proper Sheikah garments. Zelda adopts an alter ego, Sheik, so that she can infiltrate Ganon's forces and, one day; discover a way to defeat him.

    Seven years later, that day finally comes when Sheik discovers that only by awakening the six Sages of Hyrule can Ganon be defeated. Impa reveals that she is, in fact, the sage of Shadow and that Sheik must awaken the five remaining sages sealed in dungeons scatted throughout Hyrule.


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