So you want to learn the speedrun for the highest-rated game of all time and one of the most beloved Zelda titles ever? Ocarina of Time is an incredibly popular speedrun, showing up at Games Done Quick almost every year, and is well in the top 50 of the games with the most players on speedrun.com.
The only issue is this is potentially one of the least beginner-friendly runs. The platform most people run on is extremely specific, and the run itself is incredibly precise and challenging.
You’ll find there’s a ton of setup and not that much payoff in this run. However, this Ocarina of Time Speedrun guide is for you if the challenge doesn’t dissuade you.
Bottom Line Up Front
Ocarina of Time is a problematic speedrun to recommend since every single trick requires immense precision, and the version you play it on is particular.
The best time you can get is just under 4 minutes, but most runs end up around 5-6 minutes with a lot of practice. A ton of info for every category can be found at https://www.zeldaspeedruns.com/oot/
How To Get Started
If you look at the speedrun leaderboards for Ocarina of time, you’ll notice any runner in the top 15 of most categories will be running on Japanese WiiVC. This stands for Wii Virtual Console, the downloadable emulator service that Nintendo provided during the Wii era.
Unfortunately, the Wii shop has closed down now, so unless there’s a Japanese Wii you can find on eBay that has Ocarina of Time already downloaded on it, you might be out of luck… unless you want to get into modding, that is. Or have a particularly decent computer in which to emulate.
A modded or hacked Wii is allowed nowadays on the Ocarina of Time speedrunning leaderboards and specific versions of Project64. The modded Wii firmware and the best version of Project64 for this run can be found at https://www.speedrun.com/oot/resources.
You can also use the latest version of the Wii emulator, Dolphin, with particular settings in the category rules for Ocarina of Time. I’d recommend looking through these rules regardless to know what you can or can’t do and the timing of the run, among other things, outside of the game itself.
There are other versions of Ocarina, though, but most of them are not very good for speedrunning for one reason or another. The original Japanese N64 version works fine but is slightly slower than the Wii VC. The Gamecube version is well known for its inconsistency and crashing.
The Wii U and Switch versions have substantial input delay. The 3DS version is just straight up a different game. All the English versions are usually missing out on tricks and skips and are just slower since Japanese text will almost always be faster in any game where you have to wait for the text to scroll.
If you’re going the emulation or modded Wii routes, I can’t help you get the ROM file; you’ll have to find a way to source that yourself.
Ocarina of Time’s Categories
Each category you could choose to run in Ocarina of Time happens to be very different from the others. So while you may want to go for the fastest one, those other than Any% will do more of the game and are usually more satisfying, easier, and longer than 4 minutes.
- Any% is the main category you’ll see as soon as you click on the leaderboards, where the main goal is beating the game as quickly as possible. The standards for what “beating the game” means are pretty vague, so speedrunners usually warp to the credits.
- 100% has two variations, No SRM and SRM, both of which get every item in the game. The SRM route uses glitches and tricks to essentially cheat the items into your inventory by tricking the game into thinking you have them. In contrast, No SRM has to collect them legitimately.
- All Dungeons has you completing every single dungeon in the game, which is also divided into SRM and No SRM, this time the SRM route is mainly just warping to the ends of each dungeon, then to the fight with Ganon, while the No SRM route does all the dungeons in a typical way.
- GSR stands for “Ganon Source Requirement” and is pretty much the older Any% route, requiring you to get all the items needed to defeat Ganon and fight him. This route is still loaded with glitches, but it does look pretty satisfying.
- MST stands for Medallions/Stones/Trials and is an even more extended version of GSR, requiring you to obtain every spiritual stone and medallion, dispel the barrier around Ganon’s castle, and defeat Ganon. This is more for the people who want to more or less play the game, usually with a bunch of glitches here and there.
- Glitchless has three subcategories, All Main Quests, Any%, and 100%. These are all mostly what you’d expect, doing every main story quest, beating the game as fast as possible, or completing everything in the game without glitches. I’d heavily recommend reviewing the category rules before starting a glitchless run, as there are a whole host of rules for it.
- Defeat Ganon is like an older Any% route and comes in the No SRM and SRM variants. However, no SRM uses a longer, more complicated bug to warp to Ganon, while SRM does a shorter but more precise exploit to defeat him.
- No Wrong Warp is the any% route but without the use of the bug that allows Defeat Ganon No SRM to exist. It comes in SRM and No SRM subcategories, with the SRM one being pretty short and the No SRM route being about 40 minutes long.
Finally, have the game? Then it’s Time to Get Started
I will cover the Any% category because it’s the primary category on the leaderboard. Unfortunately, it isn’t the easiest to recommend for someone just starting due to the immense difficulty.
If you’d like something slower but more manageable (and where you don’t warp to the credits), you should probably try glitchless or no wrong warp instead.
You can use whatever controller you want (unless it has something like a turbo button or other cheaty thing). If you’re playing on Wii, you’ll probably want to use a Gamecube controller, but a Classic Controller Pro also works fine. Just don’t use savestates, and you should be fine.
Most of this guide is taken heavily from the Ocarina of Time Any% video guide, which you can find at https://youtu.be/ZzM_TOEXOKk. This guide is not just the video verbatim, though; I have performed this run myself and am using my experience to interject some support where I think I have an easier way to do things.
File Name (0:00)
To start and get every glitch working, we need to be on the Japanese version and input a specific file name into the game. The easiest way to do this is by entering 803743BF C011AC86 into https://lemon32767.github.io/ootfname
This should show you exactly how to make the correctly named file for this run. Just be sure it’s the same as the above screenshot and according to the name visualizer, and you should be good. Unfortunately, this glitch and this entire run will not work on an English version of the game.
Once you’ve started your save file, you can start the timer as soon as you begin moving Link.
Run out of the house, and after talking to Saria, flick up on your stick, Z-Target, and backflip to skip the ladder.
Walk backward while still holding the Z-Target until you get to this position. Around where the wall is halfway on your C-down button on the UI or this dark spot in the grass.
Jump to the side twice while holding the Z-target, then walk backward until you rub against the ledge and backflip onto it.
Line yourself up with the crawlspace we need to enter after walking up the ledge you jumped onto. Once you’re lined up with that, flick the stick back, z-target, and walk backward with a few backflips to get over all the fences.
If you lined up right, you should be right at the crawlspace, so walk into the wall and press A. Inside is the maze with the sword; watch out for boulders!
Once you get out, you can z-target, backflip, or walk backward after flicking your stick up. Walking backward is preferable since backflipping can occasionally cause you to go in the hole again.
After walking backward for a little, hop to the side twice (if you hit the wall immediately, walk forward a bit and try again), walk backward further, then side hop to the left and grab another rupee by doing this.
After getting the Rupee, do 4 or 5 side hops until you are close to the rightmost wall. Then, walk backward, turn around, open the chest, and grab your sword. That wasn’t so hard, right?
Rupee Farming (0:54)
Equip your sword, flick up, z-target, and start walking backward. Once you hit the wall, hop to the side nine times. Again, use your sword, then start holding forward, collecting 2 rupees if you’re lucky.
And there’s one of the places where people reset a lot in this run. Most people want great luck since it’s such a short run and will reset if any bush doesn’t drop a rupee. But, of course, there are more rupees to collect later, so if you’re starting, don’t stress too much about this.
Sidehop to the left twice, and try and center yourself with the sign. Walk backward, then turn around and enter the hole again to return to the central part of Kokiri Forest.
Flick up on the stick once you’re out of the tunnel, then backflip and side-hop to the left. Backflip again, but tap the button your sword is mapped to pull out your sword mid-flip, then roll to the bottom lower-right.
Slash these bushes until you hit 23 rupees. If you want, you could go for 28 and reset if you don’t get them here, but it’s much safer and easier to get the remainder rupees later.
Attack the sign even though it did nothing wrong, then climb up on the corner of the fence behind it. Then, hop off the fence towards the pillar holding up the bridge near the lake.
Climb up the fence a little to the right of the last fencepost, then run straight forward off the fence, and when Link is at his peak height, tap your sword button.
This will take a few tries, and when practicing for this run and tricks like this, you should have savestates set up in a virtual console or emulator that will be faster than lining up and setting up this trick over and over. Of course, you can’t use these features in an actual run, but they’re great for practice.
Once finally on the bridge, head to the left and grab the Rupee on the pillar. Jump off and head to the right of the circle of rocks, then climb up the ledge.
Grab the Rupee behind the house, and if you only have 38 rupees (we need 40), then head back and walk in the grass patch nearby to get two more rupees.
Jump across each of the three square platforms in the lake right in front of you; if you didn’t get a rupee, you fell in the water at some point and need to either reset or enter a location like a shop to try again quickly.
Head to the tree on your right with the horns, then jump across the platforms in the water without falling in for another rupee. Hold Z-target and press the interact button while approaching the shop, and if you do it at the right point, Link will move forward a little in the middle of the dialogue prompt.
Go into the shop, grab the Rupee to the right of the store counter, and buy your shield and the 5 Deku Nuts that cost 15 rupees. If you did everything up to this point (and didn’t have abysmal RNG), you will have just enough money to buy both. Equip both, and put the nuts in any direction you want.
After exiting the shop, line yourself up like the above screenshot, then side hop to the right twice, falling in the water. If you don’t get this trick right, it’s okay; it’s a minimal time save. Run over to Mido, guarding the exit, and talk to him so you can get past.
Setting Up Stale Reference Manipulation (2:45)
This is where the run will take a turn from precise to absolutely insane, position-perfect tricks; if you aren’t willing to do these things perfectly, they won’t work.
Roll through the tunnel, then use Z-targeting to get into a position like this. Side-hop to the right four times until you’re behind an enemy.
You’ll want the symbol on your shield to be just to the left of this enemy when you and it are both completely idle. So stop holding the Z-Target, flick the stick to the right, and get ready.
We need to press Z (Z-Targeting Button), R (Shield Button), and C-Up (Navi Button) all on the same frame, right as the enemy starts spinning in a circle. This is incredibly precise, but I got it after some practice.
You can also pause the game, hold down the inputs, then unpause and mash the pause button to pause again quickly, guaranteeing the inputs only stay for one frame. This is, however, incredibly slow. And in my experience, somewhat unreliable.
If you got it right, the blue button on your hud would only have three characters as opposed to 4. If you went into first person, or your button has more than that number of characters, you must retry the trick.
The Practice Rom listed on the speedrun.com page is incredibly helpful since you need to be at the exact coordinates 0x8000 and 0x8001.
Your screen should now look like you’re in first-person view, even though you aren’t. The camera is completely locked in place, but you should be able to navigate normally.
From here, walk backward until you barely pass the wall, do six side-hops to the left, let go of your z-target, flick your stick to the right, and do one side-hop toward the wall.
Walk backward (or to the left, in this situation) until Link’s heels are barely outside the water. Backflip from here, and if you land on the platform’s edge, you did it right. Line yourself up with the small square platform in the background, then side hop (by pressing up on the control stick) to it.
Side hop to the land in the back, right in front of the root of the tree where the shop is. Walk backward; if you hit the sign a bit or walk in front of it, you’re probably okay, but if you walk behind it, you might want to reset the setup from square one since you’ve been slightly misaligned.
Walk backward further and backflip off each platform. Falling in the water will ruin the entire setup; you need to collect the Rupee at the end for this to work. This can take many tries and practice since getting the Rupee is finicky.
Text Storage (3:13)
Let go of your Z-target and run down to the left, then line up a little to the left of the Kokiri at the bottom of this slope and walk backward while holding your Z-target again.
Backflip over one of the fences you run into, side hop to the left, walk backward, face back, and press interact to hopefully enter the crawlspace. The map is lying here; your cursor should be slightly to the left of where the crawlspace is on the map for this to work.
Back out of the crawlspace while holding down and to the right on your stick and mashing the interact button. Throw a Deku Nut while reading this sign, and you should be able to walk around with the text still on-screen.
While standing in front of the broken sign, advance the text using your Navi button and not your sword button. Next, z-Target the sign, and move to where your shield shows through the middle of the last full fence on this wall. Then quickly pause and unpause unless you want to soft-lock the game.
Side-hop and un-target the sign, then side-hop until you get right to the side of the circle of rocks. You should have a decent angle like the above picture. Do one side hop to the left, then tap your interact button to roll.
Executing the Glitch (3:26)
See that barely visible dark spot of grass right behind Link’s right heel? You need to, incredibly slowly, move Link to almost this exact position; there’s very little lee-way with this trick, so you need to get it right.
Once you think Link is in the perfect position with a good angle and all previous steps completed, tap the sword button to slash the rock, then hold right on your stick while mashing the interact button. If done right, it should look something like the above picture, with Link holding an invisible rock and barely visible.
Most runners use a metronome for this next part since we’ll be moving entirely blind. Google search metronome and set it to 140 BPM; it should work fine.
If you have the camera or hud change when it’s not noted in this guide, you did it wrong and must reset. I’d recommend making a savestate and practicing this heavily.
Feel free to refer to the above video, but know these directions work well. (I shouldn’t have savestated there, I got caught in a damaging loop and had to redo everything)
Hold right, and hold directly down for one beat of the metronome to not fall into the water but wade into it slightly.
When you go off-screen by heading right, hold right and count to 9 beats.
Hold up-right, until you quickly see the HUD change for a moment and know you did it right.
Hold directly up for one beat, then again go up-right until the HUD changes.
Now hold right for three beats.
Then hold up-right for eleven beats.
You can now hold up-left, and if everything is done perfectly, you should see the camera snap back to the room with the enemy we set this glitch up with in the first place.
If the camera changes and you can see Link still, and he’s outside the water, feel free to attempt to move back into the room with the enemy; if he isn’t still holding an invisible rock, you need to reset.
Credits Warp (3:54)
Do your best to be aligned with the exact cardinal direction up, facing forward in this hallway. I like to take the direction the texture of the grass is moving in and use that as a reference for what up is like.
It’s okay if you don’t get it exactly; walk to the wall and face a little bit toward the center of the room, let the camera move on its own, then move Link ever so slightly forward until no more camera rotation occurs.
Flick your stick to the left, then wait for the camera to finish rotating and following you. Once it’s done, move the stick all the way back until he walks just a bit, then forward for the same amount of time to get a super specific angle.
Move your stick to the right as little as possible; as soon as it gets out of its dead zone, stop holding as soon as you see Link do a tiny pivot and rotate to the right. Do this twice; hopefully, you’ll have the exact angle you need.
This might take many tries, but you should be fine as long as you have a savestate before the rock placement. You may find it easier to go for the strategy used in the world record run, but that may also be more difficult, especially if you haven’t retained a perfect angle since coming into this hallway.
If you feel you have the angle right, place down the rock, then run to the right. If all is well, you will warp to the credits instantly; if not, try again.
Things That Can Go Wrong
To be frank, everything. Either you can get the wrong angle while setting up SRM, or you could never actually get the credits warp itself to work.
I had the rock become solid for no real reason after I had done all the metronome movement in a way I thought was correct. This run is brutal, and you can expect absolutely every part of it not to function or break down somehow.
That, and RNG plays a significant role in the rupee farming segment. Every time you don’t get enough rupees from the bushes that can be a reset. Top runners also get even more RNG rupees since they’re even faster.
Don’t expect your first run not to demand a reset; even something as simple as missing the bridge clip can force you to reset sometimes. Unfortunately, this run is ruthless; occasionally, the only solution is redoing everything from scratch.
Questions and Answers
Question: How fast is the Ocarina of Time World Record?
Answer: 3 Minutes and 54 Seconds long by Murph_E. Using a bug in the game, speedrunners can warp to the credits.
Question: Why Should I Speedrun Ocarina of Time?
Answer: If you want to learn a bunch of highly tricky glitches and tech, then any% with its steep learning curve is something to go for.
Question: Why do People Still Speedrun Ocarina of Time?
Answer: It’s one of those iconic older Nintendo games that tons of people latched onto and ran a lot of to the point where it’s incredibly optimized. Having any record in such an iconic and beloved title is valuable to people.
If you’re good enough at this run, you might try to do it in the 5 Minute demo with Super Smash Bros. Brawl. This run is incredibly intimidating to newcomers, but the fact it’s been beaten even faster than the original Super Mario Bros. is nothing to scoff at.
I’d recommend giving this one a shot if you’re a fan of older games with a lot of speedrunning tech. Still, if you’re looking for one where you, y’know, actually play the game, then you should try giving the other categories that Ocarina of Time has to offer a shot.