Ocarina of Time Randomizer shakes up the classic N64 adventure

by Martin Watts, 27 December 2018

Link only gets five rupees after racing Dampé in Ocarina of Time Randomizer for N64.

The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time is an N64 game we regularly find ourselves coming back to. It’s a classic adventure that still feels epic even after multiple playthroughs.

But what if the experience could be different every time? Well, now it can be, thanks to the superb Ocarina of Time Randomizer mod.

Ocarina of Time Randomizer title screen, on an original N64 console.

What is Ocarina of Time Randomizer?

Ocarina of Time Randomizer takes The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time and mixes it up by randomising item locations.

This includes all items within chests and those given as rewards – heart pieces, containers, keys, and even the Ocarina of Time.

Link finds the bomb bag in Mido's house in Ocarina of Time Randomizer for N64.

Let’s say you start a new game and go to grab the Kokiri Sword from the training area. It might be there. But chances are it’ll be something else – maybe just five rupees!

As a result, you have to approach the game in an entirely new way. You can no longer tackle dungeons and quests in the usual predefined order – you’ve got to think outside the box!

How does it work?

Ocarina of Time Randomizer is a PC program. You run a ROM of The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time through it to create a randomised version. You can create as many versions as you want.

The program uses logic to ensure that every randomised version you create is beatable without glitches. Although you may have to save and reset the game from time to time.

OoT Randomizer v.3.0 - ROM Options tab

How much you randomise the game is entirely up to you. There are a number of different options and settings to choose from.

You can decide how open you want the game world to be and shuffle around plot items.

The Fairy Ocarina as a prize for beating the shooting gallery!? Only in Ocarina of Time Randomizer.

For example, you can open up Kokiri Forest right from the start. This means you don’t need to complete the Great Deku Tree.

However, it also means that the Kokiri Sword and slingshot may no longer be found within the forest.

Main Rules tab of the OoT Randomizer v3.0 PC application.

It’s remarkable just how many options are available to you. For example, you can change the requirements for reaching Ganon’s Castle at the end.

You can also experience “keysanity” by randomising dungeon and boss keys across all dungeons – not for the faint hearted!

Heck, you can even shuffle the ocarina songs in with the other items.

Learning the Requiem of Spirit simply by finding it in Ocarina of Time Randomizer.

Generally, the more you shuffle things around, the harder the game will be.

You can make things really tricky by stopping certain quests from giving you a particular type of reward or by randomising shop items.

Dark tunic you can wear in Ocarina of Time Randomizer for N64

Ocarina of Time Randomizer also includes some nice quality-of-life and cosmetic options.

You can speed up chest-opening cutscenes and skip certain in-game events (such as having to race Ingo to unlock Epona). The text speed is instant, and shortened in some instances.

Adult Link garbed in a darker tunic than usual in Ocarina of Time Randomizer.

Otherwise, you can change the colours of Navi and Link’s various tunics, as well as some sound effects.

Being able to mute Navi is arguably Ocarina of Time Randomizer’s greatest achievement.

How can I play Ocarina of Time Randomizer?

You can download Ocarina of Time Randomizer from GitHub. You can only use an NTSC-U 1.0 version ROM of The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time with it.

Select your ROM, choose your settings, click on the generate patched ROM button, and you’re done!

Temple of Time Altar refers to one of the medallions already being in Link's possession in Ocarina of Time Randomizer

The mod works on both emulators and original hardware.

To play on your N64 console, you will need to use a flashcart, such as an EverDrive 64.

Link fights Queen Gohma without a sword in Ocarina of Time Randomizer

The Ocarina of Time Randomizer README document contains information on the best setup for playing on emulators.

It’s worth noting that each version you make is only randomised once. If you delete your save and start a new game it will be randomised in exactly the same way as before.

So you need to create multiple patched ROMs if you want more than one randomised game.

A rather eclectic mix in the inventory menu of Ocarina of Time Randomizer for N64.

Should you shake things up?

Ocarina of Time Randomizer injects new life into the classic N64 adventure.

The core gameplay is the same as it was in the original game. The dungeon puzzles are identical, as is the combat – except you may be missing a few key weapons this time.

But the randomisation of items means you have to approach the game in an entirely new way.

Fighting King Dodongo as Adult Link in Ocarina of Time Randomizer for Nintendo 64

You need to have a strong knowledge of the original game’s locations and events to effectively tackle things out of order.

For example, we ended up having to complete Dodongo’s Cavern as Adult Link – something we didn’t even think was possible!

Ocarina of Time Randomizer name entry screen

So if you haven’t played The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time before, you should probably start with that version first. Read our in-depth review to find out how it plays today.

Otherwise, download the Ocarina of Time Randomizer and set off on an entirely new adventure. The program is super simple to use, and the number of options it offers is truly staggering.

Link fights a Gerudo in Ocarina of Time Randomizer for N64.

Want to see Ocarina of Time Randomizer in action?

We regularly stream Ocarina of Time Randomizer on our Twitch channel. Follow us and you’ll get a notification the next time we’re next live.