In 1998 The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time translated Link and the mystical world of Hyrule from 2D to 3D. For players who had grown up with the Hero of Time this was a bold, brave and ultimately triumphant move.
But this wasn’t just about Link entering the third dimension, it was also about travelling through the fourth. Introducing the ability to time travel was key to the game’s magic. Link could manifest as both child and adult versions of himself, Child Link could plant seeds that would be fully grown trees when Adult Link visited them.
In order to travel through time and solve puzzles Link had to learn different tunes and play them on the titular ocarina. This mechanic wasn’t just a curiosity, it was integral to the game.
The popularity of Ocarina of Time was such that music stores saw a pronounced spike in interest and sales of the instrument in the wake of the game’s release!
This blue plastic ocarina was produced by Nintendo as a promotional item to celebrate the release of the 3DS remake of Ocarina of Time. It was part of a set given to visitors at the 2011 Zelday event held at the UK’s GameCity festival.