Ah, Ocarina of Time: the “Final Fantasy 7” of the Zelda series given its fanatic devotion. Unlike FF7, however, Ocarina of Time has seen quite a few ports and remakes, the most recent being its release on the 3DS, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D.
For those of us who look back at the original OoT with wistful nostalgia, the 3DS remake is just not quite the same — and I’m not talking about the obvious changes in graphics and controls, or the addition of 3D (most of which I find to be quite lovely, by the way). No, I’m talking about the dreaded “C” word: Censorship.
“WHAT!?” I hear you say. “But Rin, what could have possibly have been in a Zelda game that’s bad enough to get censored?” Well, I shall tell you, friend. I am one of those obnoxiously lucky buggers to have received a version 1.1 cartridge of Ocarina of Time back when I was but a freshman in high school and this grand game had just hit the N64. It was the one I grew up playing, and I was shocked to see how much of it was censored when I later got my hands on the GameCube port.
Once upon a time, the Gerudo symbol was a crescent moon and a star, very closely resembling the symbol for Islam. This could be seen most prominently on the Mirror Shield, but also popped up on the sides of various puzzle blocks and architecture. The Zelda series has actually been censored before for the use of religious imagery and themes (usually Christian). However, that censorship was often done by Nintendo of America during localization. This particular bit of censorship did not actually happen until the GameCube ports. Even then, there were a few instances of the symbol that they missed, such as around Dampé’s Grave.
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