OoT Textual Changes

In some circles, it is common knowledge that three different versions of OoT were released for the N64. These versions have come to be known as versions 1.0, 1.1, and 1.2. Version 1.0 was the first release, the special edition gold cartridge. This is the same version released in Japan. In this version, Ganondorf coughs red blood in the end, whereas in later versions he coughs green blood. There are various other differences, such as the Fire Temple, which other people know about better than I do. I discovered something recently that most people might not know: there are textual changes between the different versions of OoT. These changes are not anything major, but they are interesting. This feature will look at how the text in OoT has changed over time.

One might wonder how I found these textual changes. Obviously, I didn't obtain all these versions and play through the entire game, memorizing all the quotes. I used a much easier method: hacking ROMs. In all technicality, ROMs are illegal and I have no business poking into their insides. However, I have faith that Nintendo will take my curiosity in stride, since I'm doing this merely to satisfy curiosity, not to hurt their business. With that said, here's how I did it. I found the text in each version of the ROM, and saved it to a new file. I then used a script I wrote previously to generate a .txt file with readable quotes (text dumps). Then, using a powerful text editor called Editpad Pro, I opened up two versions of the text dump and used the compare feature. Editpad Pro outputted a file telling me exactly how the two files differed.

It might be surprising to see that I've dumped the Master Quest text. After all, Master Quest is a GameCube game, and nobody has been able to crack GameCube discs yet. Suffice to say that Master Quest is actually an N64 game, and the GameCube bonus disc includes an N64 emulator to run the game. Master Quest is merely a newer build, and could even be called version 1.3. If it were burned onto an N64 cartridge, it would run on the N64 just fine. In any case, the ROM was leaked out of Nintendo, and found its way onto the Internet. While I do not condone the spread of this ROM among people who don't own the game, I do feel that, for educational purposes such as I use it for, it is fairly harmless. I trust that Nintendo will be understanding.

Thanks Zeldafreak84 for help with the emulation issues, and Zethar-II for helping me with the Japanese questions!

Beta Quotes

If you examine the text dumps carefully enough, you'll find quotes that never made it into the final game. These quotes can be found in any version of the OoT text dump, just not in the actual game. Here is a list of beta quotes that, as far as I know, do not appear anywhere in the official game releases of OoT.

Quote Comment
Finish him off with the sword of
time, the Master Sword!
Probably Zelda telling Link to finish off Ganon.
Oh sealed door opened by the
Sages... Close forever with
the Evil Incarnation of Darkness
Zelda or Rauru finishing off the prayer to the gods?
Hi! I'm a talking door!  
The Entrance to the Past  
The Entrance to the Present  
The Entrance to the Future  
You have guts--I like you.
Follow me.
It's out of the question if you
don't have a horse!
Gerudo shooting range? Lon Lon Ranch race?
I won't have anything to do with a
coward like you!
Ah, you are not as good as you
claim. Maybe next time.
You did well.
For today, I admit I lost.
It seems I have a lot of room for
Maybe you could actually beat the freaking running man at one time?!
I have you now!
In this gap between dreams and
reality, soon all that will remain
of you will be your dead body!
It's next to the Forest Temple quotes, so maybe it had something to do with Phantom Ganon.


Changes between 1.0 and 1.1

  • In 1.0, Darunia calls you "brother." In 1.1, this has been capitalized to "Brother."
  • In a certain minigame, you win a bigger quiver. There are two different quotes describing you as a "true" and as an "ultimate" master. Apparently, as the original Japanese shows, "true" and "ultimate" were switched. This was fixed in 1.1
    I'll be darned! You are a true
    I will give you an item suitable
    for a master.
    I'll be darned! You are the ultimate
    I will give you an item suitable
    for the master.

    You are the ultimate master!
    I will give you this item.
    Once you have this equipment, the
    only thing left to improve is
    You are a true master!
    I will give this to you.
    Keep improving yourself!

Changes between 1.1 and 1.2

  • There's a little blurb after you get the Odd Potion from the potion lady in Kakariko. In the original Japanese version, the blurb said "It seems like there's something going on...", implying some relationship between the the freak and the potion lady. But the 1.0 and 1.1 text lost this implication. Some of the original meaning was restored in version 1.2.
    It may be useful for something...
    Hurry to the Lost Woods!
    You don't know what's going on
    between this lady and that guy,
    but take it to the Lost Woods!

  • If you talk to King Zora after freeing him from the ice in the future, he'll tell you how he's so worried about Ruto... again! In older versions, he knew that Ruto went to the Water Temple. But in the original Japanese, he only knew that Ruto went to Lake Hylia. Version 1.2 was changed to reflect this.
    Princess Ruto has gone to the
    temple of Lake Hylia and has not
    come back... I'm so worried...again!
    Princess Ruto has gone to Lake
    Hylia and has not come back...
    I'm so worried...again!

  • Talk to the carpenters after they finish the bridge in Gerudo Valley. They say something slightly different in the two versions. The v1.2 quote is more consistent with the original Japanese version. However, the Japanese says "the five us," not "four carpenters." Apparently the boss of the carpenters was included in the counting in the Japanese version.
    Now that we're all back together,
    building a bridge over the valley
    was a piece of cake.
    Building a bridge over the valley
    is a simple task for four

Changes between 1.2
and Master Quest

The text in version 1.2 may have been the final version. After all, the PAL (European) version of OoT has the exact same text as U.S. version 1.2. However, with the release of Master Quest, the text had to be modified yet again. In most cases, gameplay instructions were modified because of the different controller. But a few non-gameplay quotes were also modified.

  • Where the N64 versions say to "press C" to use an item, Master Quest says to "use C."
  • "Z targeting" has been changed to "L targeting."
  • References to the "blue" action icon had to be changed to "green" because of the different GameCube controller.
  • When you get the Stone of Agony, the Rumble Pak is mentioned. But, technically, the GameCube doesn't have a Rumble Pak, it has a built in rumble feature. So this had to be changed. Example:
    If you equip a Rumble Pak, it
    will react to nearby...secrets.
    Master Quest
    It causes your Rumble Feature
    to react to nearby...secrets.

  • For the treasure chest mini-game, for some odd reason they decided that "chest" would be better than "treasure chest."
    Use this key to continue to the
    next room. Select a treasure
    chest and see how lucky you are!
    Master Quest
    Use this key to continue to the
    next room. Select a chest and
    see how lucky you are!

  • The description for Shabom (the bubbles in Jabu-Jabu's Belly) was changed! This is probably because the old description is simply wrong. Shaboms never bounce off your blade, they simply burst and make you fly back.
    If you try to cut it, it will bounce
    off your blade!
    Master Quest
    If you cut it, it will burst open and
    knock you back!

  • In the N64 versions, the weird guy in the desert who sells you stuff greets you with "Well Come!" This might be because, in the Japanese version, the greeting is elongated in a strange way with tildes (~). This makes it sound more eccentric and strange. He also talks in all katakana so he sounds foreign (like Terry in TWW). In Master Quest, however, the funny "Well Come!" has been changed to a normal "Welcome!" What a pity, I liked the strange greeting!