Few and far between are moments that become etched in your memory. Often, these moments define our favorite games, and make us realize why we love video games. In short, they’re moments that we will never forget.
Pulling a majestic sword from a stone pedestal is one of the most iconic and recognized gestures in mythology and folklore. It is a symbol of one mans transition from being just an “everyday” man, to a hero and savior. There have been numerous videogames that have replicated this grandiose right of passage, however no game has echoed it more then the Legend of Zelda series. This monumental act has always played a central theme to the Zelda story, however in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time this glorious gesture turns from being something triumphant into a sinister trap, making it one of the most memorable moments in video games.
First and foremost, if you haven’t played The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (shame on you!), you should probably be warned that what’s about to follow is a big spoiler. As young Link, you enter the Temple of Time and open the Door of Time revealing the all mighty and classic Zelda weapon, the Master Sword. Fixed in a stone pedestal (also known as the Pedestal of Time), you approach the mythical blade and remove it from its hold, opening the sealed gateway between Hyrule and the Sacred Realm. What should be a momentous and joyous moment, however, is soon revealed to be a horrific and nasty trap. Having suspected that Link was the key to the Sacred Realm, Ganondorf seizes this opportunity and enters the Sacred Realm, stealing the Triforce and corrupting Hyrule for seven years until Link is finally old enough to wield the sacred blade. As you leave the Temple of Time, you enter a dark and ominous Hyrule in an unfamiliar adult body, left with the knowledge and guilt that you are the cause for all of this.
Is it this specific moment, pulling the Master Sword from The Pedestal of Time, that gamers and fans of the series will never forget. Like in the tales of old, it is the quintessential moment when Link becomes a hero. However it is also the moment when the Zelda series finally matured, and to gamers and fans of the series alike it would change the face, mood, and style, of future Zelda games to come.