This is the conclusion of our Ocarina notes project. You can see all the parts here.
Part 13: Final Battle and Conclusion
Ganon: Final Battle
Perculia: While the chase sequence after Ganon destroys the castle gave me an opportunity to watch Link and Zelda interact, the sequence felt out of place. We haven’t had a timed escort event like this in Ocarina and it comes across a bit jarring tacked on at the end. Most puzzles have focused on unlocking rooms cleverly and exploration–this is just a timed obstacle course.
Hamlet: Yeah, it’s not that interesting of a sequence. It is out of place in Zelda; for one, it’s something people associate with Metroid. But the latter had enough of a jumping/platforming element to make an action-style escape work. Ocarina‘s core movement and control wasn’t made for that; it was made primarily to serve the combat. And this was recognized in the final sequence; it’s nothing more than some timed combat. Maybe that could have been interesting if they’d put in something unique, but it would have been hard due to some of the combat limitations I’ve mentioned before.
P: As for the final encounter, after the variety of tools used in Ganon’s Castle, it was refreshing to see this final fight hinge on Zelda and Link’s signature items–the Master Sword and Light Arrows. Defeating Ganon simply required stunning him with Light Arrows and slashing at his tail, until he was weakened enough that Zelda opened a portal and you had enough time to grab the Master Sword and finish him off. The chance at failure is high–if you’re not sure what to do at first, taking a hit from Ganon can be costly. Like the previous Ganon fight, it’s possible to restore resources mid-fight, but it’s much more stressful here. To get more items or health, you must kite Ganon into some rubble and have him smash it to bits while dodging it–much less soothing than jumping down out of harm’s way and leisurely breaking pots. The drama is also heightened by the ring of fire separating Link from Zelda during the fight, as well as Ganon knocking the Master Sword out of Link’s hand. The final boss is also notable because it’s the one time Zelda and Link are actively working together to take down a boss.