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Gearoid MacUilliam
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Ocarina of Time Dungeons: Ranked

I had been binge playing Breath of the Wild from the start of the year through mid-summer in my spare time, and to avoid getting burned out before I immersed myself in the DLC, I went back to Ocarina of Time, and I have started replaying all of the main entries onward, including Link Between Worlds on the 3DS. I will be ranking the dungeons on each of the games, I will not be including the first two titles at this stage because I have not yet played them, and I will eventually rank Link Between Worlds once I replay it (my copy hasn't functioned for nearly a decade, and the last time that I played it was at least 2008). Ocarina of Time is the perfect place to start given its status as the first Zelda game in the third dimension, its popularity, it made for my first Zelda experience back in 1999 when I was just finishing my first year of elementary school, and it is therefore loaded with nostalgia, and has been replayed countless times over the last eighteen years. I will be ranking the 3DS version mostly as a result of the positive changes to the Water Temple, but the updated graphics, the smoother framerate, the changes to the inventory, and the tasteful use of the 3D slider and gyroscope make it the definitive version for me, with the same being true of Majora's Mask. I will also be doing a Zelda ranking after I have played the first two games, but that will certainly follow the dungeon rankings. Feel free to comment, and I would love to see your rankings.
1Koji Kondo
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D OST


Forest Temple: For over a decade now on both the N64 and the 3DS version, I have kept a save file at the start of the dungeon for replays, and this and the Spirit Temple are the only dungeons from the 3D Zelda games that I have done this for. The Forest Temple is absolutely perfect from start to finish, it has a mesmerising and captivating atmosphere between the theme, music, and design with each being flawless, the puzzles themselves are wonderful, and no description could ever do this temple justice; it simply needs to be experienced. I will say that Phantom Gannon is incredibly cool since it was utilized with paintings like the Poe Sister battles, and makes for the perfect and most fitting first boss battle as adult Link. 5/5
2Koji Kondo
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time OST


Spirit Temple: The Spirit Temple is often interchangeable with the Forest Temple. The Egyptian-inspired design and the tone set by the music are fantastic, I love how the first half has to be taken on with child Link facing off against high-level battles like Iron Knuckle, and the acquisition of the Mirror Shield is one of the best moments of the entire game, resulting in the best item of the game, with superb usage in puzzles and the battle against the dungeon boss, Twinrova. There are three perfect dungeons in Ocarina of Time, and the Spirit Temple is undoubtedly one of them. 5/5
3Koji Kondo
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time OST


Shadow Temple: The Shadow Temple is one of the creepiest dungeons in the Zelda series, Dead Hand is one of the most memorable and terrifying mini-bosses in the timeline, this temple has the best puzzles of the entire game with the integration of the Lens of Truth and the Hover Boots, and the ReDeads and Floormasters only increase the creepy-factor of the dungeon. I cannot get enough of it, the atmosphere couldn't have been more perfect for what the temple meant to convey, and Bongo Bongo is without a doubt, my favourite boss battle in the entire game. The only potential negative is that playing this as a child, can be quite terrifying, and I had to employee the help of my older step-sister to get through it. 5/5
4Koji Kondo
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time OST


Water Temple: The Water Temple was despised by N64 players largely because of the horrific way that the Iron Boots were assigned as a clothing item, requiring that the player went to the inventory each time they had to be equipped......which is constantly. The 3DS version changed this by making them a normal item, they are easily accessible through the dual screen, and this makes the dungeon much more enjoyable in every respect. I love layout of the dungeon, backtracking is surprisingly enjoyable on the 3DS version, Dark Link is one of the best battles in the history of the franchise and makes up for the lacklustre final boss, and the long-shot and Zora tunic are among my favourite items of the game. 4.5/5
5Koji Kondo
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time OST


Fire Temple: The Fire Temple's puzzles can be annoying at times, and especially the final fire maze before the first Flare Dancer battle. I do love how you free the Gorons from imprisonment, and though their advice is superfluous, it creates a superb sense of urgency. The Megaton Hammer is decent enough, playing whack-a-mole with Volvagia is incredibly fun albeit quite easy, and the layout and design make the temple very enjoyable regardless of minor annoyances. The original music was a source of major controversy which resulted in it being switched out in the 3DS version, but both tracks are great, and only add to the atmosphere with the Gorons, who I've always imagined being the chanters. 4.5/5
6Koji Kondo
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time OST


Inside the Deku Tree: This is a superb first dungeon. The Deku Tree largely serves as a tutorial to introduce core gameplay mechanics. It is very short and simple as first dungeons should be in my view, but even with this, scaling the tree and jumping from the top down to the bottom through the webbed hole in the floor is such a wonderful and nostalgic moment. I will never forget the first time that I did it as a six-year-old, and though the battle is very simple, I have always loved Queen Gohma, and find an arachnid to be a perfect fit for the dungeon. The ambient music is also wonderful, and gives Koji Kondo's genius a stage to shine immediately. 4/5
7Koji Kondo
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time OST


Dodongo's Cavern: This dungeon isn't particularly great or memorable to me, but the entrance room is awesome and serves as an intimidating shift of pace after the Deku Tree. I love the way that the upper-levels open up with the use of the skull, the bombs are certainly one of the more useful items of the game, and the Dodongo battles and encounters with the Lizalfoses are memorable and among the highlights of playing as child Link. My favourite part however isn't the dungeon itself, but the lead up to it in Goron City. Playing Saria's Song for Darunia is my favourite moment of the entire game as far as dialogs and cut-scenes are concerned, and it is impossible not to smile when he busts out into a dance. 3.5/5
8Koji Kondo
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time OST


Inside Jabu-Jabu: This is the only dungeon that I don't like. While it isn't bad, nothing stands out or gets me excited to repeat it. The thought of being inside of a fish isn't motivating, the bosses are dull, the enemies are even duller, and while Princess Ruto is quite funny in the Water Temple, she is a pain here, and the fact that she spawns at the place of her fall if she is lost to the water is incredibly annoying. 2.5/5
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