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- This article is about the item. For the game of the same name, see The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time.
- "On that day seven years ago, Ganondorf suddenly attacked... and Hyrule Castle surrendered after a short time. Ganondorf's target was one of the keys to the Sacred Realm... the hidden treasure of the Royal Family... The Ocarina of Time!"
- — Impa
The Ocarina of Time (時のオカリナ Toki no Okarina?) is a recurring item in the Legend of Zelda series. The Ocarina of Time is a unique ocarina secretly handed down for generations by Hyrule's Royal Family. The Ocarina of Time, the Spiritual Stones, the "Song of Time", and the Master Sword are the four keys needed to enter the Sacred Realm where the Triforce is found. Aside from being one of the keys to enter the Sacred Realm, the ocarina allows the user a variety of magical powers when used to play specific songs such as warping them to different timeline worlds, conjuring up storms and changing day to night or night to day.
The Ocarina of Time can be played with the A and yellow C-buttons. In The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, a total of twelve songs can be learned; six songs with different effects and six songs that have different purposes. In The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask, there are five of both types. Additionally, both games feature a special song known as the "Scarecrow's Song", which is composed by the player, but does not appear on the Quest Status Subscreen.
Hyrule Historia describes the glow given off by the Ocarina of Time as reminiscent of the glow of an active Timeshift Stone, but does not go into further detail on what connection, if any, the two objects may have.
Once equipped to one of the C-buttons, the Ocarina can be played with the A-button and C-buttons, all of which produce a different tone. The control stick is used to alternate between the natural notes of D, B, A, and F, while the Z- and R-buttons can be used to change the pitch of the notes between sharp and flat. Despite the musical variety of the Ocarina of Time, there are no songs that utilize accidentals, therefore the usage of Z and R buttons is not required for an in-game purpose.
A note may be modified in several ways: moving the analog stick up will raise its tone, and moving the analog stick down will lower its tone. The R button will raise it one semi-tone, making the note sharp. The Z button will lower a note one semi-tone, making the note flat. Lastly, moving the analog stick left or right adds vibrato to notes.
In the 3DS remakes of Ocarina of Time and Majora's Mask, the ocarina is played with the L, R, Y, X, and A buttons, as well as the touch screen. The circle pad or the D-pad can be used to alter the notes in the same manner as the analog stick. A submenu accessed as Link is playing the ocarina displays each of the songs the young hero has learned (Including the Inverted Song of Time, Song of Double Time and Scarecrow's Song, provided Link composed it during the current three-day cycle in Majora's Mask 3D), allowing the notes of songs to be easily remembered. Also, the ocarina is permanently assigned to a button on the bottom-left corner of the touch screen, eliminating the need to assign it to one of the main buttons.
The pitches of the notes, played without alterations, that correspond with each button are as follows:
Link, the "hero of the forest", seeks out Princess Zelda for advice on how to stop the looming evil threatening to destroy Hyrule. He sneaks his way into Hyrule Castle and finds the young princess in the castle courtyard. She has envisioned that a hero would appear, holding the Spiritual Stone of Forest. She puts her trust in him and tells him about the coveted Sacred Realm, the realm of the Triforce, which can only be found inside the Temple of Time. Zelda also tells Link that the only way to open the Door of Time is to collect the two other Spiritual Stones of Fire and Water. Once this has been completed, she will aid Link in opening the door with the help of her family's secret treasure, the Ocarina of Time. Before she sends him on his quest, however, she shows him the Throne Room, where Ganondorf, the aforementioned evil, is swearing allegiance to the King of Hyrule.
Link seeks out and finds the two other Spiritual Stones, but as he approaches Hyrule Castle Town, the sky goes black and he finds the drawbridge raised. The drawbridge is lowered, and Zelda rides out together with her attendant, Impa. She throws the Ocarina of Time safely into Hyrule Castle Town's moat before they disappear out of sight. Then, suddenly, Ganondorf appears. He shows little to no concern about the boy and his quest. He causes Link to fall over with a fireball and rides after Zelda and Impa. Link gets the Ocarina of Time from the moat, and as he touches it, he has a telepathic vision of Zelda in the Temple of Time. In this vision, Zelda teaches Link the "Song of Time". Link enters the Temple of Time, and plays the "Song of Time". The three Spiritual Stones are set into the indentations in the altar. The Door of Time opens, and inside, he finds the resting place of the legendary Master Sword. He approaches the sacred blade and pulls it out of its pedestal, however, as this happens, he is swallowed by a brilliant light and disappears from the land of Hyrule.
Link awakens, seven years later, in the Temple of Light inside the Sacred Realm. Here, he meets the sage Rauru, who relates to him that Link was sealed inside the Temple of Light for seven years in order for him to become the true Hero of Time, as he was much too young. However, once he was sealed away, Ganondorf appeared, and touched the Triforce. However, as his balance of Power, Wisdom and Courage was not in balance, the Triforce shattered into three pieces, leaving Ganondorf with the Triforce of Power. The two other Triforces of Wisdom and Courage were given to Zelda and Link, respectively. With the power of the Triforce of Power, Ganondorf turned Hyrule into a dark wasteland of which he crowned himself king. Link is told that the only way to stop him is to awaken the five sages in Hyrule. Rauru gives him his Medallion of Light and Link is sent out on his quest.
Link awakens the sages and eventually comes face to face with Ganondorf. He successfully defeats him, but with his dying breath, the King of Evil tries to bring down his castle with Link and Zelda still inside. They manage to escape, but as they try to leave, a noise is heard from the rubble left over from the destroyed the castle. Link approaches the wreckage, and Ganondorf appears once more. With the true power inherent in the Triforce of Power, he transforms himself into a vile, gigantic beast known as Ganon. After a long and hard-fought battle, the beast is finally defeated, and Zelda, along with the six sages, seal him away. Zelda uses the Ocarina of Time to send Link back to his original time. While the land of Hyrule is united in celebration, Link puts the Master Sword to rest once more. It is unknown what happened to the Ocarina of Time in the Fallen Hero Timeline following Link's defeat, but the Flute from The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past bears a striking similarity to the Ocarina of Time, and it could be that the two are the one and same due to their similar magical properties.
In the direct sequel to Ocarina of Time, Link still carries the Ocarina of Time, to aid him in his quest to find a friend that was lost after Ganon was sealed away at the end of Ocarina of Time. Link travels with Epona through a forest, which may be the Lost Woods, when they are ambushed by a strange imp known as the Skull Kid and his two fairy companions, Tatl and Tael. The imp takes the Ocarina of Time from the unconscious Link and plays some random notes on it. However, Link awakens and catches the Skull Kid red-handed. The Skull Kid quickly jumps onto Epona and Link chases after them; he eventually chases them into a hollow tree, and falls down a portal to another dimension.
Link awakens in a tunnel complex beneath a strange new land known as Termina. Here, the Skull Kid turns him into a Deku Scrub. As the Skull Kid exits the room, however, Tatl is separated from the Skull Kid and her brother, Tael. Tatl apologizes for their actions and decides to help Link exit the cave complex. They eventually find themselves in a strange room. Here, they meet the mysterious Happy Mask Salesman who tells them that he knows a way to change Link back to his original form. However, he must first get his instrument back. Link finds his way around Clock Town, the capital city of Termina, where a strange moon threatens to destroy the entire land. Link confronts the Skull Kid on the night of the Carnival of Time, and although he can do nothing to harm the Skull Kid, he uses his newfound bubble attack to knock the Ocarina of Time out of his hand. When he touches his precious instrument, he sees one of his a memories of Zelda, wishing him luck on his quest and reteaches him the "Song of Time", which can be used to turn back time to the First Day before the Destruction of Termina.
Link uses the "Song of Time" and frees the Four Giants from their four dungeons around Termina, while helping the troubled people of this strange land. He plays the "Oath to Order" to stop the calamity, and although Majora's Mask abandons its host, the Skull Kid, and escapes; Link manages to successfully stop it. It is unknown what happened to the Ocarina following Link's adventure in Termina, but the Howling Stones found in The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess use the same musical notes as the Ocarina of Time and the songs howled through them to summon the Hero's Shade are frequently ones used by Link in Ocarina of Time and Majora's Mask. This implies the stones may be connected to the Ocarina in some way. This would make sense considering that the Ocarina's owner, the Hero of Time, is the Hero's Shade.
In the game, the Ocarina of Time takes different forms depending on what transformation mask Link is currently wearing. When Link is a Deku Scrub, the Ocarina manifests itself as Deku Pipes. When a Goron, it takes the form of drums. As a Zora the instrument becomes a duplicate of Mikau's guitar.
The Ocarina of Time appears in both Super Smash Bros. and its sequel Super Smash Bros. Melee during their respective opening cinemas. It also appears as a trophy in Super Smash Bros. Melee. In Super Smash Bros. Brawl, it appears as a sticker. Its sticker provides a +4 bonus to arm attacks.
The Ocarina of Time is briefly mentioned and seen in Link's ending slide show, when after destroying Soul Edge and maintaining the tranquility of both Hyrule and the Soul Calibur universe, he uses it to return to Hyrule, with a faint echo from it being the last heard from him.
The Ocarina of Time appears in Hyrule Warriors as the victory animation for Link, while using Epona as his weapon. When the battle is won, Link will be standing playing Epona's Song, before Epona wanders into shot, to greet him. It also appears in Young Link's moveset, he will play it as his strong attack which converts SP into magic allowing him to use his Fierce Deity focus spirit state more often, however he will not use it when his magic meter is full, instead he will preform a taunt with the Keaton Mask. Interestingly, Link can also play it while in his Fierce Deity when Focus Spirit is activated, effectively allowing him to remain in Focus Spirit as long as he has SP that he can convert into Magic (as SP is a lot easier to regenerate that Magic).