Ocarina of Time and Earthbound tell the same story

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Earthbound has always been considered one of Nintendo’s most artistic games, but the Ocarina of Time story has the same message about maturation.

Terrestrial poor sales can mainly be attributed to its poor marketing and unique emphasis on allegorical storytelling over gameplay, which was alien to the game industry in the 90s. However, Nintendo has released The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time only a few years later, which achieved significantly greater success. Ocarina of time possessed a vast world filled with mystery for gamers to explore, but its groundbreaking level design eclipsed the elements that made it so similar to its aforementioned cult classic JRPG cousin. Ocarina of time is an allegory just as complex and profound as Tied to the earth is, and they both happen to give gamers a surprisingly similar message.


Tied to the earth and Ocarina of time both have very similar skeletal structures upon which the flesh of their metaphors rests. In Tied to the earth, Ness is informed by a time-traveling bee that he is the chosen hero destined to defeat the evil alien Giygas who threatens to dominate Earth. Likewise, Link is awakened by Navi and the Great Mojo Tree who send him on a quest to stop Ganondorf from stealing the Triforce and ruining Hyrule. Both titles feature a young boy who is called upon by fate himself to leave the house and tackle an extremely intimidating obstacle represented by both Ganondorf and Giygas.

Related: Breath Of The Wild’s Wolf Link Keeps Things Fresh After Story Ends

These stories, while ultimately satisfying, are rather predictable in nature. Players know in the first ten minutes of these games that the two heroes, Ness and Link, will eventually defeat their enemies and save their respective worlds from some doom. However, the complexity of both stories is buried in the subtext of their narratives. Both storylines ultimately offer their audiences a raw look at the process of maturing in a world far darker than young minds can process. The transition from childhood to adulthood is an awkward and at times traumatic experience that the two titles explore from slightly different perspectives.

Earthbound and Ocarina of Time subtext explained

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Ocarina of time begins in Kokiri Forest, which itself is a metaphor for childhood. All of its residents are permanently children living in a playground-like forest filled with color and imagination, and Link is forced to leave everything behind when he takes his destiny into his own hands and sets out to defeat Ganondorf. After obtaining the Master Sword, he enters a magically induced coma until he is an adult, and Link finds himself in a new reality with a stark contrast to the Hyrule he once knew.

As a child, most areas of the game are playful and whimsical in nature. Once Link grows up, he sees that Zora’s domain is now frozen, the castle town is wiped out and infested with animated corpses, and Kokiri Forest is now a monster war zone. Link’s transition to adulthood is symbolically represented by his literal increase in age as well as the juxtaposition between Young Link’s Hyrule and adult Link’s Hyrule. He immerses himself in the darkness of adult life symbolized by the mass suffering Hyrule endured during his seven year absence.

On the other hand, Tied to the earth takes a more direct and less fantastic way to illustrate the process of growth. Ness lives in a satirical adaptation of America known as Eagleeland, and as such is a stereotypical ’90s child. After his quest begins, Ness discovers that countless individuals have been possessed by the influence of Giygas and they attack each and his friends. Giygas himself is a manifestation of evil or corruption rather than a physical being. For this reason, when Ness meets manic cultists, angry cops, delusional hippies, burglar-inclined prostitutes, and frugal businessmen throughout his adventure, they are all under the control of the abstract concept of evil personified. by Giygas. .

Other social issues too important for young minds to comprehend are illustrated by surreal images. For example, the acid trip backgrounds found in battles and the entirety of Moonside represent the horrors of drug addiction. Ness’s adventure in Tied to the earth is ultimately an insightful journey through America’s corruption and symbolizes his simultaneous inner journey, in which he realizes that the world is not the colorful paradise he thought it was.

Related: How Nintendo Censored The 3DS Remake Of Ocarina Of Time

Tied to the earth and Ocarina of time both tell a coming-of-age story using their subtext as the primary delivery vehicle, but their overall perspective is slightly different. Terrestrial history takes a more positive view of the transition to adulthood than Ocarina of time done because it emphasizes friendship and companionship. Ness defeats Giygas not with strength or an ultimate weapon, but rather with the support of his loved ones. Ness and his friends pray for the help of all their comrades they have made throughout their journey, and their combined powers devastate Giygas.

Best Water Temple Dungeon in Zelda Ocarina Of Time

Although it is comparable to Tied to the earth that he defeats Ganon with the help of Princess Zelda and the other sages, Link’s story ends on a much darker tone than Ness’s. Zelda sends Link back to the past to relive his lost childhood, but it ultimately results in his own misery. Hyrule is blissfully oblivious to his heroic actions, and Navi abandons him without a word.

In the events of Majora’s Mask and Twilight Princess, players learn that the hero of the time was deeply troubled by the consequences of his first adventure and never came to terms with everything that happened during these experiences. Tied to the earth and Ocarina of time both tell coming-of-age stories using well-crafted symbolism, but Zelda’s version of the story looks baffling compared to the heartwarming message found in the first.

Next: Zelda Explained: Twilight Princess Is A Direct Sequel To Ocarina Of Time

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