Why Zelda: Ocarina of Time’s Gold Skulltula Hunt Was So Disappointing
Ocarina of Time is celebrated for many things, but its collectible hunt across Hyrule for the Gold Skulltulas ends up being rather unrewarding.
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The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time is often considered a perfect game. The first 3D Zelda is celebrated for both its narrative and innovation in video game design. When it was released in 1998, the fully realized and expansive Hyrule was revolutionary. The size of Ocarina of Time’s world pales in comparison to most modern games, but still manages to feel alive and ripe for exploration. Unfortunately it includes a pitfall of many games with freely explorable maps: insufficiently rewarding collectibles.
Scattered throughout The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time players can find Gold Skulltulas crawling on surfaces and hiding inconspicuously, their locations given away by the unique croaking sound they make. Gold Skulltulas, along with Pieces of Heart, supply Ocarina of Time with its collectibles. Finding all 100 of Zelda’s Gold Skulltulas can be difficult, and the task of doing so is more engaging than many modern collectibles that appear as icons scattered around the world map, but it is still a chore – one that is gratifying early on, but becomes a near-pointless slog when trying to 100% the game.
Killing a Gold Skulltula in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time drops a Gold Skulltula token, which Link then brings back to the House of Skulltula in Kakariko Village. Inside the house dwells a family cursed to look like Ocarina of Time’s Skulltula enemies because of their greed, a problem that can’t be solved by playing a song on the ocarina. Bringing the family all 100 Gold Skulltula Tokens will break the curse and return them to their original bodies. The family members are freed from their curse incrementally, and unfortunately for some of the curse bearers, most players won’t be compelled to seek out every Gold Skulltula in Hyrule.
Ocarina of Time’s Gold Skulltula Hunt Isn’t Very Rewarding
Link can be rewarded for his Gold Skulltula hunting in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time six different times, when 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, and 100 Tokens are brought to Zelda’s famous Kakriko Village. The first three rewards are by far the best of the bunch. First comes the Adult Wallet, increasing Rupee carrying capacity from 99 to 200, with the Giant’s Wallet (the 30 Token reward) increasing it to 500. The second reward is the Stone of Agony (Shard of Agony in the 3DS release), which vibrates the N64 rumble pack near secret grottos.
The final three rewards are all different shades of disappointing. 40 Tokens rewards Link with Bombchus, an item not particularly useful until later in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (when the game gives players some anyway). A Piece of Heart is granted for 50 Tokens, which would be great, except for this being basically a collectible locked behind another collectible, and there being plenty of Pieces of Heart to have more than enough heart containers before 50 Gold Skulltulas are found. The final reward, at double the number of Tokens, is even worse than the Piece of Heart. For all his hard work collecting Gold Skulltulas in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, Link is given a Gold/Huge Rupee, worth 200 of Hyrule’s unique currency.
The final reward for collecting all the Gold Skulltulas in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time has the same issue as the previous two, it’s an almost pointless item at that point in the game. Anyone that has managed to collect all 100 Gold Skulltulas is beyond the need for more cash. It’s nice that the game tries to reward the player for their accomplishment, since many other games’ collectibles only unlock a trophy/achievement, but it is still a rather lackluster prize. Beyond the feeling of accomplishment, Ocarina of Time’s Gold Skulltula hunt is rather disappointing.