Posted: 2014-01-15 01:02:53
Last edited: 2014-01-28 22:54:39
Dungeons in Ocarina of Time are mazes, each with a unique theme to its navigation. That is to say, the solution to each maze follows a certain pattern. For instance, one dungeon may shuttle the player through a series of hub rooms, while another dungeon may revisit the same hub room multiple times. A dungeon's use of hub rooms is just one element that plays into its theme, though.
("Hub room," as well as other terms, is defined in the course of the essays in this series. If a glossary is necessary, I can provide one.)
There are three main methods I employ to get at a dungeon's theme: examining the placement of small keys and locked doors, comparing different types of rooms, and outlining the optimal path through a dungeon. These three approaches are all related, and in fact, are just different ways of phrasing the very same issue. Still, certain dungeons are easier to see through one lens rather than another, and I hope to demonstrate the usefulness of each approach.
This is a work in progress, but my eventual aim is to have a post on each of the eight main dungeons in Ocarina of Time: Deku Tree, Dodongo's Cavern, Jabu Jabu's Belly, Forest Temple, Fire Temple, Water Temple, Shadow Temple, and Spirit Temple.
Additionally, I hope to bring to light how each dungeon works in a sequence. For example, the Fire Temple has a navigational theme unique amongst all dungeons in the game, but it also serves as the stepping stone from the Forest Temple to the Water Temple. It also revisits and reinterprets the core theme of Dodongo's Cavern.
You might argue that this approach leaves out critical portions of the game such as towns and side dungeons such as Bottom of the Well. I agree! But I believe it is fair to say that Ocarina of Time cultivates a sequence within its main dungeons. This sequence's relationship to the overall experience of Ocarina of Time is outside the scope of this project.