For VR users, the following question inevitably arises in some shape or form: why isn’t ‘x-studio’ making my favorite ‘y’ game in VR? While the answer usually ends up being a lack of sufficient profit motive on the part of established studios, sometimes indie devs step up to deliver what people are clamoring for. Case in point: The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (1998) in VR—at least tantalizing pieces of it, including epic (and super nostalgic) boss battles.
Developer Aklar_45 has been recreating The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time in Unreal Engine as a hobby project for a year now,. While it’s admittedly been an exercise in learning the ropes of game development, Aklar has also kindly included a number of discrete VR builds, featuring extremely slick-looking boss battles including Ganondorf, Stallord, Ganon, Armogohma, Volvagia, and Darknut (download links in video descriptions).
Battles are admittedly much better suited for HTC Vive players, as Oculus Rift players will need a full 360 setup because the lack of directional controls such as snap-turn, or directional teleport. The battles aren’t unplayable on Rift, however it’s clear the control scheme was created with Vive controllers in mind (the bow is at a very odd angle for Touch, and the control menu at the start of the level is Vive-specific).
Using Link’s iconic Master Sword and Triforce-emblazoned shield in hand, you slash at baddies when they’re down, and block ranged attacks to send them bouncing back at your enemy. Like in most Zelda games, you have your trusty bow by your side, and of course Navi to flutter around your head as you battle the dark forces of Hyrule.
Some points of VR-specific critique: sweeping camera shots and some artificial camera shake is a bit of a downer; it’s usually not a great practice from a comfort standpoint. But it certainly doesn’t break the overall sense of awe as you stare down the lovingly created, and beautifully up-resed villains from Zeldas past.
If you don’t have a VR headset, check out the epic Ganondorf fight below to get an idea of what you’re missing out on: