Reviewed By: Carole Stewart McDonnell

Computer Platform: Nintendo 64
Produced by: Nintendo
Price Range: $40-65
Learning curve time: 90 min.
Age level: 11+
ESRB Rating: Everyone

Genre: Roleplaying Game (RPG)
Christian Rating: 3 of 5
   (some objectionable elements)
Gameplay: 4 of 5
Violence: 3 of 5
Adult Content: 4 of 5
   (barely present)

The notion of a Quest often causes many a Christian to raise her eyebrow. "What sort of quest' we want to ask? A spiritual quest? A youth's rite of passage? Secret initiations, strange otherworld beings, magical weaponry? It's all here in the elfin world of Zelda. This is a unique and beautiful little game which requires a lot of thinking and patience.

Link, a young elf, is called by a fairy to set out on a journey. He leaves his village and travels across many worlds and grows to manhood. During his journey, he has to buy or barter for weapons, food, and armor. He encounters many creatures from differing worlds, each with their traits, foibles, and secrets. He encounters several women who want to marry him. In the end, he completes his journey and finishes his quest.

Screen Captures from 'Legend of Zelda'
This may sound curmudgeonly but often we parents forget how attractive and addictive the power of beauty is. The Bible deals with deep truths. But in the world of myths and legends, the Bible's beauty and power isn't as laced with romance as the world's magical wisdom. We Christians have our own spiritual quests. We also venture out alone into the world on our own private battle to do battle against the creatures of the dark. We know the day has enough trouble of its own. And we also have spiritual weapons and spiritual power. But how is a child to understand that the Biblical idea of power, while not particularly romantic, is nevertheless true? There is danger here for the romantic child who might find the idea of Christianity too “normal” and workaday. In the world of spirituality, too many people are attracted to the idea of a romantic religion. They want knights and quests and initiations in their Christianity or they will have nothing. This game isn't as bad as the “Zork” trilogy where the temptation of worldly and spiritual wisdom could really plant a seed of gnosticism in a child. But a child playing this game should be given a little talk. And, comparisons made to spiritual quests should be mentioned by the parent if the parent sees the chance. And what is an ocarina anyway? A kind of flute that—in this case—has the magical power to affect time.

I just bought this for my son for Christmas and everyone in our family loves it! I, as a mother, do not feel it is too violent. You fight monsters and creatures, not human beings. The magic doesn't bother me at all. I even find myself playing it for longer than I should. It can be a little tricky to figure some of the things out, but when sit and play it as a family, someone usually comes up with the solution and we play on. I am glad I got my son this one! My Ratings: [5/5]
   —Traci Morence, age 33

…a wonderfully crafted world of adventure. …the puzzles are hard. …Zelda is less violent than the real world. My wife also likes this game. Other good ones are “Glover”, “Mario”, and any of the other “Zelda” games. My Ratings: [5/5]
   —Jason Odermatt, age 28

i'm playing it using a computer with a N64 emulator, but still, I can see the beautiful graphics, the background, the surroundings, it's cool. and it's not a game which only need action, hit here, hit there, it also needs thinking and strategy. but I still see the walk through a few times when i'm stuck. but too bad, the story about the 3 god (courage, love and strength) is not quite good in christian eyes (i think). but other than that, this game is a must to try. My Ratings: [3/4]
   —Kocu, age 19

Simply put, Zelda is the best game that was ever made. The amazing world of Hyrule draws you in and makes you a part of the thrilling adventure to save the world. Nintendo's presence is definitely felt with the super high quality of this game. Being a Christian I find no objectionable details to this game. Zelda allows you to partake in a grand quest that real life could never produce. How often can you find a city of rock-munching Gorons half way up the side of the volcano? Then you have to help them get their rock cave back from the dinosaur-like Dodongo. This illustrates that Zelda is all about helping other people. Helping others is a main theme of Zelda, because you befriend different races, and you have to save them later as Ganondorf takes over the world with the power of the Triforce. Some Christians would object to the legend of Hyrule: 3 goddesses creating the world… Anyways, the Triforce is very symbolic of the Holy Trinity. The Triforce's pieces are power, courage, and wisdom. God is power, Jesus is courage, and the Holy Spirit is wisdom. Zelda is a series that will always be my favorite and I can't wait for future installments, especially, Mask of Majora and Zelda on Gamecube.
   —Brian Dugovich, age 18

Comments from Young People…

This game is very good. At the beginning the deku tree talked like thee ye and thou and such and I thought that sounded too much like the Bible but now that I think about it they were probably trying to give the game a medieval look. After the first level is a cutscene talking about the “creation” of Hyrule and about three goddesses. I skipped that cutscene when it started talking about that. The game isn't really violent. This series sets the standard for many games. Enemies always flash red and blow up, pop, shrink, disintegrate, or something like that. Many people write saying it has no blood, but sadly it has a little. Nothing bloody or gory just you hit a bad guy and you see red, green, or blue dots around the enemy. Ganon, once you defeat him the first time seems to cough up blood but it looks more like red breath. When you defeat him a second time there appears to be some red blood, but this is by all means not a gory game. The great fairies need more clothes. The magic in the game isn't very much… My Ratings: [3]
   — Jason Creel, age 12

Totally cool. My mom watched me from beginning to end. She and I both like Zelda games. She did this with the “Link to the Past” too. …You do kill animals and monsters. The only human you defeat is Twinrova the hag sisters, the final boss before Gannon. But in “Majora's Mask” they make a cameo. They didn't die, just lost the battle. It's a very good story and game. My Ratings: [5/5]
   —Brad Eggerton, age 12

Well, I like the game a lot, but some things could be changed. Like the “great fairy” 1. Needs more clothes. 2. Sorta no point (except to give items). I am a big fan of RPG's and games like it, and I note the things to watch for (language, added violence). Hopefully, Majoras Mask will be better. My Ratings: [4/5]
   —Jonathan, age 14

This is one of the best video games ever (if not the greatest.) and it certainly is good, clean fun that any Christian would agree with. This entire game is a fantasy RPG. It has magic (although the magic is only a mere fraction compared to the Final Fantasy RPG games.) evil wizards, and heroes. Although magic is used, remember this is only a fantasy game. This game is a game that Christians can play and have fun. Overall, I give the game a 10 out of 10. This game is the greatest game in history and those of you who haven't played it will be amazed. My Ratings: [5/5]
   —Josh Langston, age 16

Okay, I would like to begin with it's ups. Zelda: Ocarina of Time is REALLY cool!! The worlds are huge and involving, the gameplay awesome, the graphic POP into your face and it has the almost perfect mix of thinking and battling. I like fantasies like this (such as JRR Tolkien) and this games come REALLY close to a JRR Tolkinian world, BUT! There's a darker side to it (and this is where I start on it's downs). While it has all that “good” stuff, it also has it's bads. The movie in the front about how Hyrule was made, made me a bit nervous that this game wasn't gonna be all that good. But, I put up my defenses and plowed through. What I didn't like about it was the use of magic not of God. If any of you have ever read JRR Tolkien, you'll know that there were only two sources of magic in there, Morgoth (Satan) and Eru (God) and that was it. And he also said that only the Miai (servants of angels) had that power on Earth. I also didn't like after he grew up, you have ta' battle witches, and dismembered flying creatures, race against ghosts, and that did it in for me. I stopped playing and threw it away. Now, I acknowledged that not every one will find that offensive, and I'm not dising you or anything, but if the power doesn't come from God, then I don't want it, or wanna use it for good or bad. And I wanna put this up to everyone as well. Why is this game so addictive? Is it because of the gameplay and graphics? Or because there's a more spiritual side to it? I'm not gonna answer that one, I'll let you decide. My Ratings: [3/5]
   —Carl O'Brien, age 16

This is the greatest game I have ever played and to me it has great Christian values. For one thing, you are battling evil, even though it is a magical evil force, but it is still evil. But this game is just awesome. Yes the game does have magic but it's only a game. You can play the game and your Christian morals and values can still exist because this is a 3D reality that is not our own. Do Christians watch TV shows about knights and dragons and stuff? Sure, but that doesn't mean they believe in that sort of thing. As long as you don't really believe that there is a real Triforce, you'll be fine. Enjoy the game, it's a great one.
   —Josh Langston, age 16

One of the best games you will ever play. Once I turned it on I was hooked on Zelda for life. Diverse characters, mystical lands, great story. These are just a few things that made "The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time" the best game of year. From a Christian stand point, the only offensive material may be to some the use of magic. The gameplay is incredible, the graphics are astounding, the music is wonderful. I recommend that people of all ages try this game, I can guarantee that it will be one of your favorites. "The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time" is an epic of a game. My Ratings: [4/5]
   —David Cady, age 15

This game was good for entertainment. I liked the fact that you can ride a horse when you are an adult and go to different worlds as you progress. The magic thing is neat too, but not particularly “healthy” for you if you are a Christian. I like the music you can play to transport you to other worlds. This game is really good entertainment which requires strategy, patience, and thinking. It's not gory or evil, you just have to “beat up” the creatures who dwell in each level. It's a good game, but you have to remember that the magic is not real. My Ratings: [3/4]
   —Meghan Yates, age 13

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this Christian Spotlight review are those of the reviewer (both ratings and recommendations), and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Films for Christ or the Christian Answers Network.

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