Take a look at what Australia's OOT comes with!
Since the Zelda midnight launch party in Melbourne was disappointingly canceled, I'm going to instead share my first hands-on experience with the Australia-exclusive Ocarina Edition of The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time.
While some of you may know my 3DS is imported from the USA and therefore I can't play this game at all, I'm that much of a collector geek that this was something I simply couldn't pass up, especially since I had to partake of the free soundtrack offer.
I've been playing my US copy of the game for about a week already, and I love it to pieces - I'm not going into that here, it's strictly about the bonus content.
First up, the box itself is thin and on the flimsy side, even putting it in my shopping bag to take home managed to scuff and wear some of the picture off. The logo is fairly boring and simple and the same picture is reused on several sides of the package, it just doesn't seem to advertise how much of a big deal this collector's edition is. For the first time I'm not sure keeping the box it came in is worthwhile at all, and I save all kinds of collector's edition junk. That's saying a lot.
But, of course, like all good things it's what's inside that counts, and here we have the spread. The Hylian shield is actually a tin of breath mints I scored at EB Games, maybe they were implying my breath was bad?
The ocarina was neatly folded in its own protective box, and the song sheet was sitting loose beside it. The ocarina is made of hard plastic. It actually has some weight to it, and feels very sturdy and well-made. It does feel like it could crack or chip if you dropped it onto a hard floor, but comes with a little wrist tie so you don't drop it. A nice feature. The shape and color of it is quite off-model from the game, but I suspect the change is to make it easier to hold and play as a real instrument. As a free inclusion to the game, who's to complain? Playing it is fairly tricky even with the included song sheet, but as with all instruments it's bound to get easier with practice.
The song sheet itself shows how to play Zelda's Lullaby and Epona's Song, with a link to an EB-hosted site with more songs to learn. One thing it doesn't mention is how to hold the ocarina, or the finger placement needed to cover the selected holes and make each note. A slight oversight that could have made the learning process smoother. Overall, the bonus content is quite nice, and for crazed collectors like myself it's a great piece of Zelda history to own.
One last thing I have to point out - Zelda games have traditionally been associated with the color gold, in reference to the Triforce and the Golden/Sacred Realm in which it resides. The games have reflected that as well, with gold cartridges or discs, or at the very least gold cover slip art. As with previous games in the series, the Australian copy of the game has a sparkly gold slipcover that reflects the light beautifully, whereas the US version still has the golden image, but no shininess to be had. It's a little saddening. I took a comparison pic as seen below, with the US cover on the left and the AU one on the right. It's hard to see the sparkly goodness, but the whole cover looks slightly more defined.
I'm now stuck with two copies of the same game; one with a better package and presentation that I can't play on my 3DS, and one that I got much earlier and much cheaper. Both are nonetheless dearly loved and completely worthwhile. Check out the gallery below for a few more pictures.