The Hero of Time, also known as The Legend of Zelda: The Hero of Time and Zelda: The Hero of Time, is an independent Legend of Zelda fan film produced by BMB Finishes, directed by Joel Musch, and starring David Blane as Link. The film is 1 hour, 48 minutes, and 12 seconds long and was first shown at the Plaza Atlanta independent theater on June 6, 2009. The film was uploaded onto Dailymotion on December 14, 2009 and a downloadable DVD was announced for December 21, 2009. However, on December 22, 2009 it was stated that there is no download "at this time". Then, on January 1, 2010, the contract between BMB Finishes and Nintendo that allowed them to showcase the film until the end of 2009 expired, and the film's distribution stopped.
The film follows much of the same plot as The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, albeit with a heavily altered/truncated storyline. However, when asked, Daniel Bass (one of the three producers) said, "We've taken characters, creatures, and story line from the game, but for the sake of the creative license, we made changes. The intent was never to remake the game line for line, scene for scene, Rupee pot for Rupee pot. We have taken elements from the game to create our own thing." It also says in the credits that the movie was "Based on Characters by Shigeru Miyamoto and Inspired by Nintendo's Ocarina of Time", not that it was a direct adaptation.
The film is set in Hyrule where a young boy from the forest named Link is beckoned by his dreams and the sage of the forest, the Great Deku Tree, to venture to Hyrule Castle and seek Princess Zelda's council. The evil Gerudo Sorcerer, Ganondorf, has plotted to overthrow the kingdom by murdering the king and stealing the Triforce, which propels Princess Zelda into hiding. Link endeavors to save them by retrieving the Master Sword in the Temple of Time, consequently sending him five years into the future where Ganondorf now rules and threatens the future of the kingdom. The Sage of Time gives Link his power and sends him on his way to defeat Ganondorf by collecting power from the other Four Sages, to restore the Sword of Time to its original state as the Master Sword.
Link journeys to Kakariko Village and encounters Sheik, who accosts him for disappearing for five years before revealing that the Sage of Fire resides on Death Mountain. While scaling the Mountain, he meets the sole Goron still living, Darunia, the prince of his people. After Link saves his life, the Goron helps Link scale the rest of the mountain and gain access to the area when the Sage of Fire was being held captive. After defeating a dragon, Link travels to Lake Hylia and defeats a monster resembling a giant Octorok. Next, he heads to Kakariko Graveyard where he destroys a giant Bubble, then to the Lost Woods, where he destroys a Moblin, freeing the final Sage.
Having re-awoken the Master Sword, Link returns to Hyrule Castle with Sheik, for a final confrontation with Ganondorf. Ganondorf's minions capture Sheik while Link fights Ganondorf in a one-on-one battle, and finally defeats him after becoming seriously injured. Despite protests from Sheik, Link returns to rescue her, and is mortally injured by the guards before dispatching them. While holding Link's near-lifeless body in her hands, Sheik reveals her true identity as Zelda, and takes him into the Temple of Time, helping him replace the Master Sword, sealing Ganondorf and the Demons of Element, but also sending Link back five years, effectively saving his life. Link then returns to Hyrule Castle, charging through the guards, to the courtyard where he first met Zelda.
- Link - The protagonist of the movie. Link is on a quest to save Hyrule and its people from Ganondorf. After he draws the Master Sword from the Pedestal of Time, however, he is sealed away for five years, giving Ganondorf enough time to take over the land. When Link awakens, he sets out to undo the wrongdoings of Ganondorf and free Hyrule from Ganondorf's evil reign.
- Ganondorf - The antagonist of the movie. Ganondorf usurps the royal throne and morphs the land of Hyrule into a nightmare-like wasteland. He wishes to possess the Triforce, and will stop at nothing to obtain all three pieces.
- Princess Zelda - The princess of Hyrule. Zelda possesses the Triforce of Wisdom that Ganondorf desires.
- Sheik - Princess Zelda's disguise. Sheik is the persona that Zelda takes on when Link awakens from his five year slumber.
- Impa - Princess Zelda's nursemaid. Impa knows about Zelda's dreams and believes in the prophecy.
- Saria - Link's adoptive mother. She lives in Kokiri Forest with the rest of the Kokiri.
- Dariu - The prince of the Gorons. Dariu is one of the last survivors of his people.
- Great Deku Tree - The Sage of Forest. The Great Deku Tree sends Link off on his quest.
- Talon - The owner of the Epona Inn in Hyrule Castle Town. Talon moves his family to an isolated ranch after Ganondorf usurps the throne of Hyrule.
- Malon - Talon's daughter. She works at the Epona Inn and is saved by Link during Ganondorf's raid on Hyrule Castle.
- King of Hyrule - The ruler of the land of Hyrule. He is betrayed by Ganondorf and killed in the process.
- Link's Mother - The mother of Link. Link's Mother leaves Link with Saria when he is an infant before she collapses and dies.
- Sage of Time - The leader of the sages. He gives Link his power and sends him on his way to defeat Ganondorf by collecting power from the other Four Sages. It seems likely that the Sage of Time is based on Rauru.
- Sage of Fire - The guardian spirit of the fire element. She is imprisoned atop Death Mountain. After Link rescues her, she explains that he must free the other three sages to defeat Ganondorf.
- Tomaz - Ganondorf's attendant.
- Honest Ivan - A comic relief character. He owns a shop in Hyrule Castle Town.
- Link - David Blane
- Zelda/Sheik - Hannah Fierman
- Ganon - Adam Boyer
- Saria - Amanda Brawner
- Impa - Michelle Kegley
- Dariu - Toan Nguyen
- Talon - James Sutton
- Tomaz - Lon Waitman
- Sage of Fire - Karla Jean Davis
- Malon - Melanie Taylor
- Lead Castle Guard - Jeff Rose
- Talon's Wife - Laurie Guard
- Honest Ivan - Dave Campbell
- Guardian - Joel Musch
- Deku Tree - Joel Musch
- Talon's Daughter - Sami Watson
- The Messenger - Chris Burns
- Sage of Time - Joel Musch
- Kakariko Gerudo Guard - Sean Peppers
- Alley (Girl Across the River) - Lydia Fetner
- Harassing Gerudo Guard - Robert Smith
- Mother of Link - Rachel Bagwell
- Troll - Cooper Andrews
- Bedroom Guard - Matthew Brideau
- Gambling Man 1 - Corey Kautz
- Gambling Man 2 - Andy Smith
- Gambling Man 3 - Aaron Musch
- Harassed Hylian Girl - Emily Jordan
- Market Girl - Rykie E. Belles
- Market Sales Girl 1 - Karen Futch
- Market Sales Girl 2 - Megan Dean
- Epona Inn Customer - Charlie Slovak
- Guardian 2 - Peter Blane
Production of the film began in 2005, with the first teaser trailer released in 2006, one year later. Not too soon after, cast and crew for the film began to break away from the project, and it was reportedly canceled. The film was later picked back up in early 2008 and a full trailer was released late that year. Since then, production has been going smoothly, and the film is expected to see a release in 2009 by the end of the year. Since then a new trailer has been released and BMB Finishes has set up a Hotspot program on their website so you can set up a viewing of the movie in your hometown. A promotional video titled "Hero of Time Dance Party" released on YouTube, followed shortly by a musical montage featuring select track excerpts from the film. Another video was posted a few days later revealing the release date for the film: June 6, 2009. The video was released to dailymotion.com as a full length feature film on December 14th, 2009 and a downloadable DVD was announced for December 21, 2009, but on December 22, 2009 it was stated that there is no download "at this time".
As of December 31, 2009, BMB Finishes came to terms with Nintendo to stop distributing the film online for both live viewing and download.
Critical reception was relatively positive for a fan film. The plot was widely considered to be well-translated from the games, and the music was hailed as "beautiful" and "epic" by many, often cited as the film's greatest attribute. The actors for Link and Princess Zelda were well-received, and the action sequences also gained praise. Criticisms for the film included uneven, and sometimes atrocious, acting from the supporting cast, occasional "shoddy" camera work, and "fake-looking" costumes. The film retains an overall consensus rating of 9.7/10 on FanFilms.net; however, on the Internet Movie Database, the film has an average score 4.8 of out of 10, based on 57 votes.