How The Patterns Of Ocarina Of Time Compare To Their Original Concept Art

Concept art for Ocarina of Time is hard to come by, but a few sketches show how some of the game’s bosses might have changed during their design phase.

Nintendo’s iconic masterpiece from 1998 The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time contains incredibly memorable bosses, but like all game character models, they probably all went through a long design process with varying levels of change from inception to their final form seen in-game. Lots of designs in Ocarina of time changed based on early screenshots, but there doesn’t seem to be any bosses in development in the game. The only way to get an idea of ​​the developers’ design processes is to look at concept art, and even that is quite rare as a source.

Even by today’s standards, Ocarina of time is a pretty big game. There are nine main bosses (including the final showdown against Ganondorf and his monstrous second form), each with a dedicated dungeon. Designing each boss alongside its dungeon must have been quite an artistic undertaking, and there was surely plenty of more detailed sketching and concept art. Unfortunately, the accessible concept art of Ocarina of timeThe bosses seem to be quite limited. There is official promotional artwork available that features a completed Ganondorf, but even the previously lost 20-year-old Ocarina of time demo of the Space World 1997 show did not give Zelda fans a first look at all the bosses.


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Curiously, the only sketches readily available for Ocarina of timeBosses are for the first and last in the game. Although some pieces of concept art feature what looks like a Dodongo, King Dodongo does not appear. The third childhood boss, Barinade, also doesn’t appear to appear in any available concept art. Likewise, only one adult dungeon boss besides Ganondorf has meaningful sketches, leaving the early iterations of Phantom Ganon, Volvagia, Morpha, and Bongo Bongo a relative mystery. When players aren’t preoccupied with peddling masks for the Happy Mask Shop or cleaning up Hyrule for Ocarina of timeGold Skulltula’s disappointing hunt, they usually work towards the next daunting boss battle. The overbearing presence the bosses have throughout the game makes it disappointing that little can be found in concept art, but early sketches of Ganondorf, Ganon, Gohma, and Twinrova are interesting nonetheless.

Ocarina Of Time Final Boss Compared To Concept Art

Although the so-called Great King of Evil has been mentioned in A link to the pastthe first real appearance of the humanoid Ganondorf took place Ocarina of time. None of Ganondorf’s sketches above appear to date from a very early development. The only major change seems to be her outfit, which seems to have been finalized after her facial features. just like how Zelda‘s Ganon and Ganondorf are themselves different, their design processes may not have been similar. It’s possible that Ganondorf’s human form was designed with some of Gerudo’s assets so that it would match aesthetically. Many Gerudo, including the Gerudo Fortress thieves and the Spirit Sage, Nabooru, wear large jewels on their foreheads, as does Ganondorf.

The concept art available for Ganondorf’s most monstrous form, Ganon, appears to show more of the design process as Nintendo finally decided what the beast would look like. A very close sketch of Ganon’s final look can be seen at the very top of this page (next to an equally complete Ganondorf), but some concept sketches show that he may have originally intended to appear more close to what the original 2D Zelda the games envisioned it as. the original The Legend of Zelda, Link’s Adventureand A link to the past all depict Ganon as a massive pig-like monster that is usually a bright shade of blue. Ocarina of time shows the mighty Ganon in the same way, but his final design is a bit more fantastical than the predecessors. The top right sketch above shows that it may have started out as a simpler creature, matching the raised horns of previous designs, before the design became much more grotesque as it was finalized.

Ocarina Of Time’s Dungeon Bosses Compared To Concept Art

Queen Gohma and Twinrova from Ocarina of Time have had slight changes from their original concept art

The only Ocarina of time dungeon bosses that can easily be found in concept art are Gohma and Twinrova. Much like Ganondorf, the concept art doesn’t explain much about how the parasitic armored arachnid Gohma changed during development. The images above depict a giant one-eyed spider, which is exactly what the in-game model looks like. Gohma is the very first boss players will fight inside the Great Deku Tree after exploring the forest where Ocarina of time‘s Link was raised as Kokiri. A sketch in the lower right corner even shows Gohma standing on her biggest appendage, as she does in the boss fight intro cutscene to intimidate Link. Gohma also strikes a similar pose to attack Link, so it’s possible this or similar sketches were created for animation reference.

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The witch sisters Kotake and Koume, known collectively as Twinrova, are Link’s enemies in one of the final boss battles of Ocarina of time. The name Twinrova is perhaps a bit of a misnomer, since Koume claims to be 400 years old, and Kotake only 380 when killed by Link in one of the Ocarina of timeThe most difficult dungeons, the Temple of the Spirit. According to Navi, the witches together served as surrogate mothers for Ganondorf, and the sketches above show them wearing similar forehead jewelry during the design process. There are images of Kotake and Koume, as well as them together in the form of Twinrova. The concept art also established the idea that each sister’s hair represents their respective sorcery – ice for Kotake and fire for Koume. Next to a profile picture of Twinrova is a character that could be an early iteration of her, if not another top Gerudo. The figure wears a head shrouded in a large obscuring cloak while holding two daggers. The long, pointed nose is similar to that of the Sorceress Sisters, but it’s impossible to say for sure if this sketch was ultimately the boss of the Spirit Temple in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time.

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Christopher S. Washington