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Ocarina of Time’s dungeon design explored

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Love it or hate it, the Water Temple is designed really well

YouTuber Mark Brown has been exploring game design in his series Game Maker’s Toolkit for a while now. In his new series Boss Keys, however, he’s examining one franchise in particular: The Legend of Zelda.

The first episode premiered last month with a deep dive into A Link to the Past. A few weeks later, he dropped a video for the Game Boy classic, Link’s Awakening. This week, Boss Keys continues its exploration with Ocarina of Time, arguably one of the most beloved video games of all time.

In this video, Brown remarks on some of the major changes in the series and how they affected dungeon design, such as:

  • The series finally entering 3D
  • How camera control makes for innovative new combat encounters and perspective
  • The linearity of some of the dungeon designs compared to the 2D classics
  • Hubs being central to dungeon design

Brown’s breakdown goes from critical (the interaction between keys and doors is more linear in Ocarina than any other Zelda title) to thoughtful (the Nintendo 3DS remake of Ocarina included revamped controls, making exploration smoother).

You can check out more of Mark Brown’s work on his Game Maker’s Toolkit and Boss Keys YouTube playlists.