On Thursday, May 11th, 2005 and I finally beat The Legend of Zelda - The Ocarina of Time. Yes, it came out in 1998, and I didn't beat it until 2005. The REASON I never beat it is that over the years is that three things continued to occur: 1) I became separated from my N64 by means of going to college or moving cross-country, 2) my N64 was held hostage by assorted siblings and splurdagumi and 3) I kept losing interest in favor of newer games. So found myself with an N64 and a copy of Ocarina of Time and nothing better to play. I beat the filthy crap out of Ganon and yes, I did eventually find all 100 gold skultulas without looking up their location.
Ocarina of Time is not the only game that separation and inconvenience prevented me from completing, but it is the most extreme case of me actually going back to finish a game. For example: I came close to finishing Sony's Legend of Dragoon. I knew at the time it was a sub-standard game but the music kept me interested for longer than it should have. It also got left behind when I departed for college, but never have I had an interest to return to it. This of course is an extreme example, seeing as how everyone loved Ocarina of Time and Legend of Dragoon sucked massive repetitive-gameplay donkey balls, but I digress.
Saying Ocarina of Time to Splurd.com's high-cultured geekdom readership is like reminding a non-colorblind human that the sky is in-fact blue. It culminated all of Link's history and created a new story that opened up Hyrule in ways I could never have imagined. As I write this, I am comparing Link's transition from 2D to 3D in my mind to all the other classic franchises - Mario Brothers, Sonic the Hedgehog, Metriod, Mega-Man (if you include "Legends"), Donkey Kong, Contra, even Final Fantasy. Many of these - like Mario and Donkey Kong - simply survived the transition to next-gen gaming. Some became entirely a new game when they hit three dimensions - for the better like Metroid's Samus or for the worse like good ol' Sonic. 3D versions of games like Contra and Mega-Man were simply temporary novelties or obvious scrapings from the bottom of the barrel. The only game I can see to compare Link's transition to is Final Fantasy, but even FF7 - despite being a beautiful success - suffered some story and character depth compared to it's predecessor.
Ocarina retold Link's story from the start but opened it up in a way that was never possible before. Upon reflection of the previous paragraph, it deserves a place among the greatest transitions from 2D to 3D. One and a half espresso shots for this questionless classic.