Oh I can already hear the eyerolls and groans now. “Great, another fanboy talking about Zelda, and of course it’s Ocarina of time, WE GET IT! BEST GAME EVER LOLZ. SHUT UP I HATE YOU!!” ….You guys are mean. No that is not why I am writing this love letter. While I do have very fond memories of this actual game and playing it, that is not the entire reason for my fondness. No it’s bit more personal and well…more recent than you would think.
First let’s travel back in time for a minute, all the way back to the year 1998. It was a fun time. Sitcoms were still fun, nostalgia fires were being fueled for future burnings, Power Rangers just aired the almost final season known as “In Space”, and gaming had officially gone full swing into 3D. It was not an easy transition for games in this era, but there were also games that flourished, the legend of Zelda was a prime example of this. It looked pretty, it was fun to play, and I wanted it. But here was the problem. I was 12 and broke as hell….whoops.
So what did I do about this? Well some kids were born into families whose parents could afford to just buy a Nintendo 64 for them 2 years prior when it was released, and therefore got Ocarina of Time for them later on. I did not have that luxury. Don’t get me wrong, my father worked extremely hard for his family and we always had clothes on our back and food on our plates, I will always be thankful for that. So it was up to me to save my money even get myself a 64 if I ever wanted to play the new Zelda. Granted I was god awful at saving money, but I was determined. I saved everywhere I could , doing chores, tasks, holding back birthday money, whatever I could so that I could get my N64, because then the next step would be saving Ocarina of Time, even though I knew it would still be a ways off until I had both. But then, something unexpected happened.
It was right before my official 12th birthday (which is almost exactly 18 years ago as of the time of me writing this) that I managed to get the final dollar amount necessary to get my N64. I was ecstatic. What I was unaware of however, was that someone was being kept updated on my progress, someone who was very proud of me showing my ability to save up and work hard for something I wanted. That person was my own Grandmama. This was an incredibly sweet thing that happened. She knew that I want both N64 and Ocarina of Time BAD. So even though she had no idea what I wanted, she was willing to support my ambitions for it. For my birthday/Christmas (Yes I get birthmas presents because my birthday is in December, ugh) gift, my Grandmama went 45 minutes out of her way to find me a copy of The Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time. I will never forget that gift and the reasoning behind it as long as I live.
This is ultimately the point of my love letter. While I still love this game, it’s fun transition to 3D, the ability I have with it to just pick it up and play it all the way through over and over, that’s not the whole reasoning behind my adoration. In fact, when it was re-released on the 3DS, I absolutely had to get a copy. To this day it will remain one of my absolute favorites, but it is why and who gave it to me is what will always stand out.
Remember at that the start of this when I said my reasoning was more recent aside from just pure nostalgia? Well here is why. Unfortunately, my Grandmama passed away earlier this year. It was a huge loss for me and the other people that knew and loved her. I still miss her very much. I will never forget not only the day that she surprised me, but how she would sit and listen to me as I rambled endlessly about not only this game, but other games and interests I had. Sure she had no clue what on God’s green earth I was talking about, yet she would sit there and smile and even ask questions along the way. She supported my love and ambitions, and this one gift, the gift of one of my absolute favorite games of all time will always be one of the best examples I could ever have of this unconditional love and support.
Sure people can eyeroll when they hear fanboying over this title, and that’s fine. To me, this game will always be what it was meant to be, fun. But it will always carry a much greater weight to it, especially now. It will stay with me for a long time and I hope I can show my kids/grandkids the same love and encouragement when they find an interest they care about. I hope those of you who read this and got to this point we able to do so not only because of a similar love for this title, but also due to an open mind about the content. My Grandmama was a wonderful woman who gifted me with a lifetime of memories and lessons. If you any of had a similar event happen with a family member you care about, I hope that you are able to tell them how much you love and appreciate them, because you never know when you won’t have another chance.