Some Bugs Were Intentionally Left In The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D

By Ishaan . June 26, 2011 . 2:00pm

The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D wasn’t developed internally at Nintendo. As we reported earlier in the year, the Nintendo 3DS remake was handled by Line Attack Heroes developer, Grezzo, founded by Koichi Ishii, best known for developing the Mana games at Square.


When they were asked to develop the remake, Grezzo started out by discussing the game with members of the original Ocarina of Time Nintendo 64 development team. Their job was to remake the game in a way that would feel fresh, but also stay true the fans’ memories of the original. According to a new Iwata Asks interview with the Grezzo team, this involved preserving some of the bugs present in the original N64 game.


“One conflict arose when, as programmers, we wanted to get rid of bugs,” revealed Grezzo programmer, Shun Moriya. “But the staff members who had played the old game said the bugs were fun! We were like, ‘What?!’”


Moriya elaborated: “It wouldn’t be fun if your friends couldn’t say, ‘Do you know about this?’ So we left them in if they didn’t cause any trouble and were beneficial.”


“If something simply could not be allowed to stand, we begrudgingly fixed it, so some bugs don’t appear, but we left in as many as we could, so people will grin over that.”


Unfortunately, Grezzo didn’t mention which bugs were left in, so I suppose that’s something players will discover for themselves over time. The rest of the Iwata Asks interview focuses on the challenges of re-creating Ocarina of Time for the Nintendo 3DS. One of these was the difference in framerate — 20 frames-per-second in the original, and 30 for the 3DS version — which necessitated difficulty tweaks.

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  • malek86

    The original was 20fps? Man, I didn’t remember that. How technology changes. But I think they had already upped it to 30fps for the Gamecube version and maybe also the VC one, so I’m not sure why they needed to do any difficulty tweaks.

    Anyway, one thing I noticed is how the framerate seems to be slightly less stable in 3D mode. Or maybe it’s just an impression due to the 3D effect.

    • Exkaiser

      It’s possible they were basing the coding off the N64 version and not the Gamecube version.

      • malek86

        Possible… sure, but I think it might have been based off the GC version. If anything, because it was the one with Master Quest.

        But if the GC version was only emulated, then yeah, I guess they went with the N64 version. But this brings the question: how did the GC version handle the difficulty, since it ran at 30fps but had not been tweaked for it?

        • Shouldn’t the GC version perform identical to the original, if placed on an N64 cart? Unless their emulator was wildly inaccurate or the game’s programming changes place it outside N64 specs…

          • NeoRaijin

            Emulators can run faster than the hardware, or change variables.
            The GCN version changed the resolution for example
            Increasing framerate is easy, just run faster. Properly coded games detect how fast they are running and adjust frameskipping. On the emulator it would just think it never had to do it.

          • Good question. Perhaps the original dev team was that forward thinking? A lightly overclocked N64 would tell us for sure. If like modern PC games, it’d improve framerate without causing glitches or messing up the timing of gameplay/music/etc.

        • NeoRaijin

          It was definitively emulated, Majora’s Mask even pointed out a sound bug that was due to it.

    • Yeah I think I may have noticed a framerate drop but it came like so late game in maybe the final bosses since there was so much going on. 

    • XypherCode

      isn’t the game in 60fps with 3D turned off? or are they referring to 30fps even if no 3D? 

      • malek86

        Nope, it’s 30fps in 2D too. Although it still looks smoother than 3D, maybe it’s due to the double lining which acts as a sort of very light blur.

  • I think they must have made difficulty harder, as I think it needed to be tweaked to be lesser difficulty, though it could have received more, after finishing the game, I noticed a few things the game could have needed…

    Giving items and health during boss fights
    Save points before the boss fight
    Weaker bosses and enemies
    Magic restores overtime, so why cant health, add that
    Faster travel in Hyrule Field: its annoying to walk across it
    More item storage: 30 arrows and 20 bombs just doesnt cut it
    Din’s Fire upgradeable: its not possible to spam fire attacks
    Ability to “skip” difficult sections, like LA Noire….

    I wonder if one of the bugs was backflipping at death mountain to land and get a heart container. Or another, the inability of the boss to attack “corners.”  One could just sit in several of the boss fights and never get harmed.

    • ……….

      The game’s not…that hard… Enemies are already weak as it is. Most of them don’t take more than a single hit to kill. Finding more Heart Containers increases your health, and if you want to get across Hyrule faster in the adult phase, go look up how to find your horse, Epona.

      Likewise, I’ve never really fallen short of arrows. Bombs maybe really early on, sure, but are you sure you aren’t doing something wrong?

      • I thought I had all the Heart Containers. I got the ones after each boss fight, so 11 or 12 I finished with.

        I thought the game was rather frustratingly difficult, many of the enemies just had weird tactics, like the one that grabs you and sends you to the beginning of the dungeon, Navi never said how to defeat it, or the enemies that eat up gear, or the redeads! It honestly brought me to tears many times because Navi was so unhelpful and enemies weaknesses arent clear, I guess more in game context clues would have made it less hard or something, or just an easy mode? Navi was even more useless during boss fights, which were brutal. I mainly got through them on just a quarter of a heart left and wondering how I defeated after using all of my bombs, magic, and etc.  I still dont know how I defeated Bongo Bongo but charging the sword to spin it worked!  Playing games without guides is honestly tough. 

        • Heh, I guess it’s just a matter of the kinds of games you’re used to. Honestly, Ocarina is pretty easy compared to a lot of games today. I mean, even if you look at something like God of War, I feel like Ocarina doesn’t come anywhere near that level of difficulty in combat.

          Are you remembering to use L-targeting/lock-on? That’s the key to efficient combat in Zelda.

          Ah, and there are loads of hidden Pieces of Heart that add up to more Heart Containers. Honestly, if you want to play the game with a guide, go for it. There’s so much hidden stuff to find in your typical Zelda game that sometimes, using a guide and chasing after it all can be immensely satisfying, too.

          • I was just frustrated with that. I didnt really start using targeting/lock on until like the penultimate dungeon.  It was helpful to an extent but I couldnt figure out how to keep it locked on a target as it would just jump away from the target constantly. Hacking and Slashing and Din’s Fire was the strategy I used most of the game which worked, it felt faster to kill enemies without targeting. 

          • That right there is the problem. Always use lock-on. There’s an option to toggle between holding down the button or simply pressing it to maintain your lock. I believe it’s hold by default, so maybe you should try switching to the other if you’re having trouble. :)

          • I never found Navi annoying, but I’ve never seen anyone patient enough to ignore her advice about target locking until the end of the game.

          • ninjaonizuka

            well God of War does put alot into fighting (just look at the bosses and even teh story) ocarina of time is more adventure based so its fine i wud choose a zelda game over Gow any day :]

        • You can get up to 20 hearts if you collect them all (I usually end up with 1-2 short by final boss).  If you are struggling I suggest looking for heart pieces.  Zelda games focus a lot on exploration and puzzle solving, I recommend taking your time.

          Another suggestion is looking for bottles and filling them up with fairies.  Among the most useful item in the games.

        • Apollonis

          The enemies you mention (redeads, grabber) aren’t really beatable, you should just run from them…  

          edit: er, I’m not totally sure since I only played the original years ago, but in any case I’m pretty sure the most efficient way is often just to ignore and go past them. The key is often to observe enemies, especially bosses, very carefully and monitor their reactions to your various items, treating them as mini-puzzles rather than like a hack-and-slash where you simply have to defeat them all.

          This point is obvious to more veteran Zelda players, but- the boss’ weaknesses are usually something to do with the new item you get in their dungeon, so if you had a lot of trouble with them you should consider that perhaps…

        • lag0morph

          If you play the Sun’s Song at the Redead, it’ll freeze it and you can kill him pretty easily. 

          The game even hinted at it when you learned the Sun’s Song.

          Also, in addition the Heart Containers there are pieces of heart that give you a new heart container every time you collect four. You usually find them around the game or through minigames and things like that. 
          Take some more time to explore the game, off the beaten path, and mess around with it. That’s the key to becoming successful!

      • Code

        rar, my mom beat Ocarina of Time with just a little over one row of hearts owo; She didn’t like the notion of searching for Heart Pieces, because it mean not doing dungeons. She always approaches games in a really linear, so the only heart pieces she ever collected was when she was actually distracted enough to go off on a tangent and find out opo;

        She felt like Wind Waker was harder then Ocarina of Time, or Twilight Princess thought; but I figure it has to do with it being so open world, and kind of goes against the grain of her linear approach opo;

      • NeoRaijin

        I’m forced to agree. I just beat the water temple, I still haven’t died once, thanks to a supply of fairies.

        • Water Temple itself was easy, however the boss took me numerous attempts to figure out, hitting the boss was difficult with the wonky controls. Longshot would always miss on multiple occasions and it takes forever to retract. Not to mention the boss grabs and does so much damage, it was like two hits and Link is defeated.

    • Ocarina of Time and Zelda games in general are action adventure games. Not RPGs.

      Also, there are plenty of upgrades for Link’s equipment.

    • You can upgrade your bomb and arrows…
      There are ocarina songs that let you warp for shortcuts.

      No comment on the other suggestions.

    • Natat

      This post confuses me…

    • Suicunesol

      Heh. Maybe it’s not harder, but the controls are certainly different from how they were on the N64, not to mention that the screen was bigger. The Z-button on the original N64 controller, for instance, actually felt very reactive and comfortable as opposed to 3DS’s shoulder clickers.

      Some tips if you play through again:

      Some boss stages (usually the tough ones) do give items and health during boss fights. Though, learn to ration yourself and break the pots only when you need to.

      Weaker bosses and enemies–there is a sidequest in the game that allows you to obtain a stronger sword. Also, using a jump attack (L-targeting plus sword) delivers double damage to your enemies. There is no need for weaker enemies.

      As for magic, I do believe the magic bar in this game has been doubled compared to the original. In my opinion, the magic bar is too large and makes green potions completely useless. You don’t even need to use magic that much.

      Item storage is all upgradeable through easy sidequests. If you’d spent some time playing the Target Practice minigame in Castle Town, you’d have received an ammo upgrade. You can hold up to 50 arrows/seeds, 40 bombs, 20 Deku Sticks, and 4 bottles. I bet you only have one bottle, correct?

      As for Din’s fire– it’s not meant to be spammable, though admittedly it’s my favorite magic spell and I would love it if I had more opportunities to use it.

      Bottom line: you need to spend more time “living” in the game.

  • Huh, back in the day I remember people going crazy for those game hacking devices for replay value, but I myself rarely bothered with bugs.  I don’t consider them a part of my nostalgia for Zelda either.

  • I wonder if the surviving bugs are any of these:

    • anxiousheart

      LMAO the last bug was hilarious

  • AnimeRemix

    I think it was a good idea to keep some of the bugs in the game. It is quite fun to just ask your friend if they know about this bug, etc. But I never encountered in bugs when I was playing Ocarina Of Time… I might have to go and look some up when I actually get this game (Whether I get it on 3DS or Virtual Channel on my Wii).

  • lostinblue

    I bet they’re referring to the simpler bugs, like how a spin attack can actually tweak a switch in the water temple and it wasn’t supposed to.

    simple “game breaking” antics.

  • Shouldn’t have changed the graphics if they’re so anal about hurting the original’s “integrity” 

    Try to please everyone and you end up pleasing no one so might as well go balls-out on it instead of pussyfooting the issue 

    • malek86

      Because if they had kept everything the same, asking for the full price would have been absolutely ridiculous. They would have had to release it on VC or something, for a much measlier $10.

      Besides, this gives old fans something to look forward to. If it were exactly the same as before, people wouldn’t be all that interested. And admittedly, graphics are the first thing that meets the eye, so it’s easier to make a better impression on that (more than, say, adding an extra dungeon or difficulty tweaks).

    • Zero_Destiny

      The game is on the VC, untouched so if you want it go there and pay $10 for it. Cheaper and has all it’s “integrity”. Also Majora’s Mask is up on the VC for the same price too. Personally I think the 3DS version is good. At least from what I heard. Nothing wrong with touching the game up and making a few changes here and there to update it’s look. It gives me an excuse to go out and buy the same again again for like the 3rd time. :D

  • The first thing I said when I saw the game in play was “Dat framerate.”  I could imagine why that would necessitate a difficulty tuning, but I didn’t imagine it would be extensive enough that the developer felt a need to point it out.

  • Aww, I never knew about any beneficial bugs! I just ran into glitches that froze my game, especially in the Forest Temple. To this day that place still makes me shiver…

  • Bugs… or features?

    • Depends on your point of view of the life and the human existence

  • ninjaonizuka

    i got this and a 3ds yesterday i luv its great :D but thts funny cuz i found 1 bug that i actully liked xD

  • NeoRaijin

    That’s pretty impressive on multiple levels. Either they:
    1) Kept the original source code and spent a ton of time porting it
    2) They programmed it from scratch, going out of their way to remake bugs

    Either way, sounds like a lot of work

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