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April 10, 2011 / jwaxo

Ocarina of Time (Deca vs. Deku)

All old trees talk in Ye Olde Butchered English, of course.

I just spent four hours putting together a Target-branded dresser, so bear with me if this is kind of a short post. There isn’t too much to it, though; I could spend the entire time talking about how Zelda: Ocarina of Time changed my life and rearranged my position in the universe. I could wax eloquently about how it both refueled my love for games, enraptured me with its hints of story beyond its eight dungeons, and probably influenced me to wear green for the rest of my life. I could do all that. But instead I’ll just talk about the build up to actually playing the game.

I think I’ve already mentioned how most of the games we bought back in the day were used, but there was one place in particular we always cruised for games: the Video Game Trading Post. It may not have been the closest place, the most well-stocked, or the friendliest, but it was always the first place we looked, God knows why. I think we just picked it out of a phone book, and it was next to a quilting place, so my mom would have excuses to drive us there.

The Trading Post was where my parents bought me my N64 for my twelfth birthday, where I picked up my prized Perfect Dark Prima Strategy Guide a few years later, where I reserved a GameCube for the first used one that would come in. It was always dark, always dingy, and the large lady that either owned the place or lived there was always cranky.

Yes, video games: an area to work in if you want to avoid contact with children.

This little story has very little to do with the Trading Post, because they didn’t have any copies of Ocarina in-stock on the late summer day that I decided to drag my very patient mom all over town looking for a used copy.

I had gotten a lovely taste of the classic third-person adventure that summer, borrowing a copy from a kid who was a friend-of-a-friend before being told that I shouldn’t borrow things from people I don’t know, even if they give consent. I had managed to only just make it into Jabu-Jabu’s Belly and was aching for more. What would happen to Ganondorf? What was with that annoying fish girl? Was it true that Link suddenly grew up halfway through the game? As soon as I had saved up my allowance I was on that, not even caring that I would have to play through the first three dungeons again.

So the Trading Post didn’t have it, and neither did the random pawn shop down the road, who actually laughed at the idea they would have any (although later, in high school, I would pick up a B-52s’ album there for 50 cents before realizing I absolutely hate the B-52s). Luckily, my brother was along for the trip, possibly looking for a good used guitar, and so we drove all the way across town to one of the biggest pawn shops in the city. If you’re from Boise, you’d recognize it from the jingle, because, sir, we were at Vista Pawn, at Vista Pawn (at Vista Pawn). And there, before my eyes, I found not one, not two, but three different used copies.

I gleefully forked over my dollars.

Fifteen dollars. A veritable gold-mine. Totally worth it.

The problem was, it was a Monday. And we weren’t allowed to watch TV or play video games on the TV on school nights. I had an entire week ahead of me.

And, even worse, I had seventh grade biology, which was the year we learned about the metric system.

So you three people reading this who know absolutely nothing about Ocarina of Time, here’s a very short breakdown of the beginning of the game: you play a young boy, whose default name is Link, who lives in the Kokiri Forest with his little Kokiri friends. They’re watched over by a gigantic sentient tree with an awesome mustache named the Deku Tree, who you also have to explore the hollowed insides of for the first dungeon. For that first part of the game, everything is the Deku-something: you have Deku sticks (for burning), Deku nuts (which create flashed of light), the Deku shield, the enemy Deku Babas and Deku Scrubs, everything.

If you know anything about alternate pronunciations (and spellings!) of the metric system, you can probably see where this is going.

Especially since my teacher insisted on pronouncing it with a hard K, and spelling “deca-” as “deka-“.

It was a horrible, long week.

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