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Ocarina of Time Revised Over Time

While scanning over an article about the latest LittleBigPlanet delay, I was interested to find out that Nintendo’s masterpiece The Legend of Zelda: The Ocarina of Time has been altered several times over the years for similar reasons. I was familiar with Nintendo’s practice of replacing crosses with crescent moons for certain localizations, but was not aware of these alterations for all regions.

Ocarina of Time Versions

Doing a little digging I found that there are generally considered to be four commercial versions of Ocarina of Time, each with their own edits and fixes.

Version 1.0

This was the one released in Japan and North America at launch date, and for a short while afterwards. They came mostly in Gold Carts, however there are some Grey Carts of V1.0, too, though these are very rare.

Version 1.1

This version started being produced shortly after V1.0. Two glitches were removed from the game: a way to un-equip your sword that allows you to use any item while riding Epona, and a way to steal the fishing rod from the fishing pond.

Version 1.2

This version was produced quite a while after V1.1. It is the most common version, and the most heavily edited. (PAL (Europe and Australia) N64 version is exactly the same as this, so when I refer to V1.2, I really mean “V1.2 and PAL”). The glitches removed in V1.1 are still gone, Ganondorf’s blood has been changed from red to green, and Nintendo removed some Islamic elements from the game. More on that below.

Version GCN

This was the Gamecube version of the game, released in 2003 as a bonus disc for those who pre-ordered “The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker”. The Zelda GameCube bundle also uses this version, as does the Wii Virtual Console release. Some things in the game have been changed since V1.2, including another removal of supposed Islamic elements.

Other minor text changes and translation clarifications were done between versions. For more information on those, check out this faq.

A quick way to tell which version of the US N64 cartridge you have is to check the product number. It’ll be on the front label, near the bottom, right under the red Nintendo oval:

Ocarina of Time

  • V1.0: NUS-CZGE-USA
  • V1.1: NUS-CZLE-USA
  • V1.2: NUS-CZLE-USA (01)
  • NTSC gold carts are always V1.0. PAL or Australian gold carts are V1.2.

I’m not quite certain about these NUS codes, though this was all the information I was able to find about them. The cartridge I have is marked as V1.1, according to the above list, but it contains the V1.2 edits…

Removed & Altered Elements

In addition to changing Ganondorf’s blood to a sickly green, version 1.2 changed the background music in the Fire Temple. In previous versions, you can hear chanting in the background. It turns out that this chanting is from an Islamic prayer, looped. Listen to the original:

A Youtube comment by “abdzibdeh” states: “the chanting says ‘la elaha ella alla’ which meens ‘no god but alla!'”

Below is the revised background music:

A Youtube comment by DJ91990 adds a surprising bit of information to the puzzle:

Instead of the 64-bit sound sanples “Son of Allah” in the original, they where replaced with the humming sounds from the shadow temple. The humming sounds where set to an instroment.

The Decending “Ahhs” where the high notes, and the hums where the lows. If you listen to the notes, the music is exactly the same, just with the audio removed.

The other major content change occured when Ocarina of Time was ported to the GameCube. Originally, the Mirror Shield (and several blocks and switches in certain areas) had a crescent moon and star shape carved in them:

Old mirror shield

These graphics were replaced with the now-common Gerudo Symbol:

New mirror shield

While these changes didn’t really detract from the game (aside from Gannondorf’s blood changing to green, making it even more gross in my opinion), some question whether it’s necessary to edit content like this out of fear of offending someone. Considering some of the violent garbage that is published in this medium, is there really a problem with having one symbol used as a texture, placed entirely without context and without commentary, just as a decorative element? I can understand wanting to remove the chanting, as it could give an impression of worshiping fire or a demon or something along those lines. Either way, the original version is out there and can be found easily. It has been documented and preserved through emulation, so the original art will not be a victim of revisionist practices.


  • That’s interesting. I had no idea the chanting actually meant something (thought it was mimicking actual chant). Though it still doesn’t bother me. I remember when I played it, the chanting itself added to the creepy atmosphere (just since it was chanting).

    As for the symbol, I think the new Gerudo one looks lame. It’s too “flat”, if that makes any sense.

    It’s obviously related to Islam, which is why it was used, since the Gerudo desert was inspired by real-world desert regions.

    I understand why some might feel this was a mistake (like adding a Satanic symbol in a dungeon, or such), but it seemed to fit, to me, and since they already released a version with it, why remove it? They obviously felt it was okay the first time around…

    So, I agree with the revisionist criticism here.

  • I agree that revision of games to avoid controversy in this day and age is ridiculous. I own the version with crescent moons and chanting, and for me anything changed just seems….wrong. Let it be, man, let it be.

  • I’m happy that the music was removed; as a child, I was always creeped out with the Fire Temple because of the chanting. Now that I know it’s an Islamic chant, and that it’s as if they’re saying that Muslims worship the devil by plastering it in the temple that represents a hellish environment, I’m glad it’s gone. The crescent moon symbol is nice to be removed as well; it was all around Gerudo Valley and gave a bad impression on Islam in general. It was as if to say that Ganondorf, being the only man of the tribe, had a crapload of women, lived in the desert, stole, killed, etc. as if Islam is like that, when it’s not. A lot of people think Islamic paradise is a lot of virgins, too, when it’s not. That’s what extremists use to control people.

    I’m proud that Muslims take their faith seriously; no body else does anymore.

  • I’m glad I have the Collector’s Edition. I’m not a big fan of editing things, an example being the music sold at Wal-Mart. I’ll buy my music elsewhere, thanks. I have no problem with them changing/removing things pre-release, but if it’s already out, leave it alone.

    I thought it was quite odd seeing Ganondorf cough up green blood while my friend played his copy of OoT, yet had red in mine.

    Does anyone else remember the Heart Piece on top of the Kokiri shop, but only on the first play through of the save file? I thought that was strange.

  • @ Irene – They’re taking it too seriously. It’s just a religion, boohoo.

    Anyway, I prefer the version before the changes. I just checked and ironically enough, Ocarina of Time’s manual still displays the Mirror Shield with crescent moon. I’ve got the PAL edition of the game.

  • @ Deus – The symbol was only swapped on GC and 3DS versions, all the N64 versions have the “crescent moon” symbol. The “diamond” symbol it’s GC version onwards

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