I snost and I lost. I didn't reserve Ocarina of Time to get a super-special gold-painted cartridge, mostly because I didn't have an N64 at the time either. I didn't think I was missing much--just some paint. I turned out to be wrong.

Many things changed between the first-day release of the game and every other release afterward. The gold cart contains numerous fun glitches that were soon corrected, as well as some elements now censored. I've played the edited cart, and the further edited Cube edition, but I've longed to play the true original OoT.

It's hard to find. The thing about limited-edition copies of games is that the only people who buy them are the type who plan to save them and stick them on the shelf forever. No one who's smart enough to know what the gold cart is is going to part with it for $3 credit at GameStop.

But there's a happy ending: I finally found someone dumb enough. I don't know who they were, but I walked into the game merchant's after Thanksgiving weekend, and among the paltry used N64 offerings stood an Ocarina of Time cart. Colored gold. I snatched it up immediately for $10.
Whoever had it first definately didn't know what it was--the cart was in ugly shape and looked like the kid had been using it to dig in the garden instead of stick in the N64. He was also pathetically terrible--there was only one saved file, named "mlkjihgz" and still in Kokiri Forest. To his credit, he DID manage to get the sword.

In the interest of second opinions, I'll mention what someone else said: "That has to be a rental cart." It's possible, but the big video rental chains (both of 'em) mark all their video games with permanent "PROPERTY OF BLOCKBUSTER" ink. This would have to be from some smaller operation to be a rental cart. I'm sticking with my theory of "dumb kid," because after all, the evidence is clear that whoever owned it first DID sell a gold Zelda cart to GameStop. Nintendo is never releasing this version of the game again. If you have it, don't let go--it's only going to get rarer.

Since all hopes of finding a completed file on this copy were dashed, I had to journey through N64's Hyrule one more time. I've played this game to death by now....But this time, I took lots of pictures!

Yes, it's true--Ganondorf coughs up blood in the original version of the game. On the right is what you see in all other versions--where he apparently coughs up a lot of snot.

Not only that, he also bled rather dramatically when Link smashed him in the face during his Ganon transformation. This was also colored green after the gold carts were sent out. Ocarina of Time was delayed nearly a year, yet there was still a tight race against deadline to bring it to market on November 23, 1998. Given what we see here versus all other versions, it's obvious the gold carts were made first--BEFORE an official verdict came in from the ratings board. Airborne blood automatically gets you a T rating, and that's not what Nintendo wanted. If this game had a more relaxed development schedule, the public might have never seen Ganon bleed at all.

Ocarina of Time was already pushing the limits of the E rating as it was. It's worth noting that several other things in the game--like, for example, the mere action of Link smashing the sword into Ganon's face--would have resulted in a T rating had the graphics been better, according to Nintendo localization man Nate Bihldorff in a Planet Gamecube interview from 2004.

Bihldorff: ....We just recently met with the ESRB and talked about Ocarina of Time, and that had some dicey moments, whether or not it was going to get an E, you know, the original one where Ganondorf pukes out all that blood at the end, and then you end up ramming your sword down the pig's throat, you know, when he transforms, and it's not exactly non-violent, and if you imagine a scene like that with vastly improved realistic graphics, I think that'd probably be in the T range.

In addition to Ganon's blood, the Fire Temple's original music track contained some cool chanting....chanting that sounded like "Allah Akbar," a phrase Muslims actually chant. Nintendo had plucked some stock chants from a commercially available sound library to score the Fire Temple theme, without realizing the potential problems they could create until right before the game was to ship. To avoid a jihad, they quietly altered the Fire Temple soundtrack for all future releases of the game. The chanting from that point on was replaced by groans from the Shadow Temple rearranged to resemble the part of the song where the chants would have gone.
Controversy aside, the original music sounded leagues better. Between chants and groans, I prefer chants, especially since there are enough "groan" soundtracks in Ocarina of Time as it is. The revised OoT, with different body fluid colors and music, was put on the market within months of the original release. So begat Version 1.1.

UPDATE: This page originally claimed that the chants were removed because of literal outrage from the Muslim community, based on this Nintendo Power letter. The website Gametrailers also originally claimed in their video series Pop Fiction that the chants weren't changed out of religious concerns at all. Turns out the truth is actually half-and-half...according to a letter Nintendo recently sent Gametrailers, they did fix the error for sensitivity reasons, but before any outcry could take place. Tell everyone!

While they were at it, Nintendo also suddenly noticed that, for some reason, the Islamic sacred crescent moon symbol was in the game. A lot.


The truth is that the Zelda series had been using religious symbols for quite a while up to that point without retribution. The Triforce is based on a Shinto symbol (obscure Japanese faith), and Link's shield had a cross on it for the first two Zelda games AND the cartoon series. They used a star-and-moon this time, but the concern over the chanting must have ultimately made them gunshy.

It was too late to revise the carts yet again, so the next alteration didn't show up until OoT was released for Gamecube in two promotional offers. Every crescent in the game had to be changed, which must have cost some amount of time and money despite the offers being free.

Before you is Link's new shield, with a symbol on it that safely means nothing. People have wondered where it came from, and I first assumed it was made up on the fly, but it has appeared before in the series....inside the Pirate's Fortress in Majora's Mask, and on General Onox's armor in the Zelda Game Boy Color game "Oracle of Seasons."

Bizarrely, the Chinese version of OOT contains both the crescent moon AND the replacement symbol. Go fig.


The gold cart has a startup N64 logo that's extremely shiny. The revised cart has a logo where the shine is toned down. The Gamecube versions, of course, have no startup N64 logo.

The gold cart has THIS mistake.
All later versions have it fixed.
The gold version also has the hippie magic carpet man saying "Welcome" as two words.

In all cart versions of Ocarina of Time, the phantom Bongo Bongo has a purplish shimmery noise effect when in nonsolid form. In the Cube rerelease, this effect is gone and he appears as a moving brown smudge. Both these shots are from the cart versions.

The Cube version's colors are more saturated and less clumpy. It's nice looking, but it's not worth losing the Fire Temple music.

Finally, for some odd reason Ganondorf's energy ball that he charges up to strike you with when he's low on health is now yellow, instead of black with white edges. Your guess is as good as mine.
Maybe black balls offend Muslims. (Um, sorry.)

There is one more alteration people swear was made, but their memories are faulty. This is the original Forest Temple Floormaster room, and there is NO blood on the walls or on the floor. There never was. I'm the one with the cart and the proof is displayed now.

Anyone who tells you otherwise is getting two rooms confused. There's a Floormaster room in the Shadow Temple that has a red-stained floor.

That's pretty bloody all right, but it has never been erased in any version of this game. Apparently stationary blood is A-OK.


The original OoT release also contained a pretty large glitch--the famous Swordless Link Trick. When the final battle begins and you face Ganon, he knocks your Master Sword away and you must use a different item to hit him. Right after he does this in the gold version, simply save your game and reset. You'll be back in the Temple of Time, but with no sword equipped.

What does this do? For some reason, it lets you use any item in your inventory while on the horse, against Miyamoto's will.

This provides no real game advantages since there are no major battles Link has to fight on Epona in this game. And some of the items just turn out useless, like the Megaton Hammer--it merely appears and can't be used. BUT, the glitch activates all sorts of wacky effects!

If you use a Deku Nut, Link and the horse will separate, but you will control both of them at once. Since Epona is faster than Link, you'll never catch up....she eventually disappears into the distance.

You can remount Epona, however, by DISmounting. Just stop and use the Action button to do so. You reappear wherever Epona is.

Bring out a Bomb and you'll find you can't throw it, sending you into a panic until you also find the explosions do you no damage.
Using the Ocarina turns the camera to this angle and makes Link invisible.
After using the Ocarina, Link will appear off Epona....but he'll be able to walk THROUGH her.

If you put your equestrian self at exactly this spot at Lake Hylia and play the Scarecrow Song, Pierre the Traveling Scarecrow will appear on the roof. Fire your Hookshot at him, then get off Epona....

....and you'll find you can FLY! You'll immediately rise off the ground to Pierre's level, and be able to float anywhere in the lake. You can't get down, however, unless you either touch Pierre or are hit by a Guay (guess which one happens more frequently).


A couple months before OoT's release, Nintendo Power promised a Beam Attack in the game (right). When the game came out, NP's subscription order form was about OoT, and it STILL mentioned the Beam Attack. No beams yet.

Until that point, the only Zelda game where you couldn't shoot a beam from your sword was the NES's Zelda II. The only requirement to get the beam active was to have a full heart meter. In these pictures, however, Link is shooting beams with the meter half-full!

Getting answers from Nintendo just doesn't happen. We'll never know how this attack worked or why it was removed.

Nor will we ever know what this weird ice structure was for. Hackers found it in the model database--it was for the Ice Cavern, has stairs on the other side that let you climb to the top, and melts when exposed to Blue Fire. It's not in the regular game.....but for some reason, it was in the version that came out for Gamecube with rearranged dungeons. It ended up holding a key.
That rearranged version, titled "Master Quest," was originally intended to be an add-on disc for OoT, back when Nintendo figured the N64 Disk Drive would be a success. If it had been, we would have played our "new" OOT dungeons through it, and made this kind of a save file onto our carts. With the disc out, the file would be greyed out and inaccessible. With the disc in, all the others would be. And THAT'S why there's extra space on the right side of the file screen!

Hackers have also found Japanese characters for two abandoned items: the Ice Medallion and the Wind Medallion. Whatever ideas they had for a Wind Temple must have gone into Wind Waker, and the Ice Medallion must have been the prize for completing a much larger Ice Cavern.

They also found this, but I don't want to know the story behind that one.


On GameFAQS, for the most popular games, you can usually find what's known as a "text dump," every piece of written dialogue in a game let loose through some program. I was looking through the Ocarina of Time dump, and found these curious things. Some aren't in the game at all.

Link, what are you
looking at?

(Since when does Navi not know what something is? Where could she have said that?)

Look at all those flags!
Can you figure out which ones are

(The only place in the game where flags play a role is in the Haunted Wasteland, and there is no illusory game there; the Poe leads you through the desert.)

Hi! I'm a talking door!
(The most bizarre thing in the dump. A talking door??)

This door is currently being

(Don't know what that means.....ever seen it?)

Hoot hoot!
Link, you look like
you're getting more comfortable
in your role as adventurer.
I think Princess Zelda is
waiting for you to visit her again.
You already have the Goron's Ruby,
don't you?

(You don't have to visit Zelda twice, and Kaepora Gaebora never mentioned Goron's Ruby specifically in the game.)

I have you now!
In this gap between dreams and
reality, soon all that will remain
of you will be your dead body!

(this is in with the Forest Temple dialogue; maybe Phantom Ganon would have talked?)

Huh? Yeah, I'm awake!
Hey, it's you! Welcome!
Awww... That was rough!
Malon yelled at me for a long
You took care of us, so I'm proud
to give you this milk! You can
keep the bottle for yourself.

(Talon only gives you a bottle at the end of the cucco-finding game, not twice. He never says any of this dialogue; it might prove the cucco game was added midway through translation.)

Oh no... He's not breathing...

(Game Over dialogue for Navi? Or what?)

Link...Can't hold...
anymore...I can't hold
it any longer...
Get out of here!!

(in with the Fire Temple dialogue....no idea what it means)

The Entrance to the Past
The Entrance to the Present
The Entrance to the Future


Now, here are a few things that ARE in the game, yet are the result of actions I never thought of before.

Ohhh, I'm revived...
Was it you who saved me?
Don't be so nervous!
I will give you a Zora Tunic as
a token of my thanks. If you have
this, you can... What?!
You already have one? You're
ready for anything, aren't you!
With my heartfelt thanks...how
about a KISS?! What? You don't
want it?! Oh well...
If you don't want my rewards, you
can listen to my troubles...

(Apparently King Zora will say this if you already have a tunic when you melt the red ice he's in. Sounds like it'd be worth the money...)

Heh heh.
You're already in the middle of
something, aren't you.
If you want to challenge me, you
have to come here with a clear
mind. No other distractions!

(The Running Man will say this if you come to him with a timer already counting down on something else, like several of the Biggoron Sword trade items.)

Her most precious possession?
You don't know what she's talking
about, but you've collected two
Spiritual Stones! Only one to go!

(There's a way to finish Jabu-Jabu before Dodongo's Cavern? I guess I never thought about it....)

You killed me!!
Huh? Oh, it's you.
Did you try to play the
Sun's Song?
Like I told you before, with that
song, you can turn day to night
or night to day whenever you
When you're in darkness, that
song should bring the sun's light
to you. You should try it.

(The ghosts talk after you find the Sun's Song? I figured they wouldn't appear again....)

You can also show all your masks to Naborru during the brief time after you talk to her but before you acquire the Silver Gauntlets. How's that for detail?


Have you ever been here before?

The answer is that you have; it's the Hyrule Castle area. You've just never experimented with seam walking--a task for only the truly bored or jobless. Go to the hole you crawled through to get Din's Fire and observe the seam on the left hand corner where two textures meet. To walk up the seam and onto the hills, walk into the corner and against the seam, as slowly as you possibly can. Eventually, Link will walk up the seam and over the walls. Roll that beautiful bean footage!!

From here you can see all the cut corners in this area. Any portion of Hyrule Castle that you can't normally see was not created. You can also walk to the edge and see that when the sun sets in Hyrule, it just rotates under the scenery until it reappears three minutes later. I knew it---the sun revolves around the earth!

You can see the mountains up close--but that's pretty disappointing. A more enjoyable task is Slingshotting the castle guards--who continue to stand there. It's not that they want to emulate the emotionless London guards, it's that Wind Waker is the only Zelda game to date where you can break a pot on someone's face and they'll notice.

There's also a trick to make Link invisible, and it works on any version of the game. To pull the glitch, go to Gerudo Valley Canyon and try to ride Epona into the tent opening. It may take a while, but persistence will pay off.

Warp to Lake Hylia, and the horse will warp too. But she'll appear to be alone, until you get off her.

You'll find that Link is INVISIBLE! The only indication that he's there is the sound of his footsteps; otherwise it just looks like you're panning a camera around the area. You can still use all your weapons, but they'll be invisible too (except for their effects).

Swimming gives off a small indication of where Link is due to the small bubbles, but there will be no splashing or ripples.

Sadly, leaving Lake Hylia through any route will turn Link back to normal. You can only play with this trick here.

Then there's the Gerudo who gives you the Membership Card. For some reason her outfit will change color depending on what tunic you're wearing. I think that instead of programming things like this, they should have focused on getting the Beam Attack to work....

If you Hookshot the branch to get inside the Forest Temple but find you climbed on top of the branch, you can jump off it to enter the Temple--and Link will run and sink into the ground. This useless trick can be done in all versions.
A ReDead that's frozen AND on fire??
Hey, why not?

Can you guess what's wrong HERE?

That's right--the furthest object in the area is overlapping the closest object. I found this by accident when I talked to the cucco lady. I stood directly in front of her, and when I got the bottle the camera zoomed through her and showed this. I don't know if any other versions have this error.

Can you figure out how THIS happened?

Answer: Anytime you hit the button to skip a long message, it'll flash through the text very quickly, and on several frames two messages will try to appear at once. This can only be seen by recording the game and advancing it one frame at a time.

And can you guess how I did THIS one?

Answer: I jumped off a ledge. I just took a screenshot that made it LOOK like I was standing on that platform. Ha ha, you've been punk'd.


From the very beginning, computer geeks have been hacking into OoT's code through various devices and programs. And in that beginning, there was one goal: to find the Triforce.

Most of them have given up finding the Triforce now, though there are still idiots who believe it's there. The hackers are still hunting away, and if you can believe it, they're still finding objects in the game that weren't used. One of the earlier findings was an alternate version of the Jabu-Jabu area. The whale is further out in the lake, there are Tektites added to the water, and there's this mysterious Ocarina platform where you would normally put the fish.

The Ocarina engraving is also not the finalized version....it's the version that had three extra holes where you theoretically put the Spiritual Stones. Obvious explanation: at one point you were to play your Ocarina to make Jabu-Jabu inhale you, but Nintendo decided in the end that you activated too many things with your Ocarina as it was.

Playing the Song of Storms in the Haunted Wasteland lights up the sky around the area, and reveals a pyramid in the distance. Naturally, naive video gamers based many theories around that pyramid, saying it was the Sky Temple, or the Temple of Light, and you got the Triforce there, or the Beam Attack, etc. Thanks to hackers, we can now see that distant pyramid up close. Impressive, isn't it?

You can also hack your way into the Gerudo's Hideout as Young Link. If you visit in the game's younger years, you will find an extra Heart Piece on the roof of your prison. "So what's in the treasure chest, then?" you might ask.....it's an Odd Mushroom. Yep, that's what it is.

One of the more recent hacker creations is the OOT Debug ROM. This version is what Nintendo of Europe used to debug the Master Quest version of the game. It's amusing to monkey around with, as it will let you control virtually any portion of the entire game. It also revealed the location of two rooms in the code that, until now, had only been visible in very early beta screenshots like the one to the left!

Despite what it looks like, this isn't a phony screenshot. Fox McCloud's Arwing ship from Star Fox 64 is in Ocarina of Time, and it took seven years to find. You can really fight it, too--it has all its sound effects and its beams give you damage!

The Arwing's existence was first announced on October 1, 2005, on this thread in the GSCentral message boards. It was discovered when somebody found a way to replace Kokiri children with any other object or character in the game. In fact, one could replace all of them if he or she wanted to. Know what that means?........


Watch Link face the following foes in Kokiri Forest:

Videos created by ShadowLink


Finally, just read this.....it's part of an OoT online guide, and it'll make your day.

Ocarina of Time is one of the greatest, most well-crafted games ever made, except for a few of the songs. It still manages to draw in my attention for hours no matter how many times I pick it up. Though the game has been through many unannounced revisions in the past few years, and will continue to be revised whenever Nintendo gets around to that handheld version, one thing will always remain the same:

Navi will always be a stupid moron.

'Nuff seen.