Minimal runs of OoT

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The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time has an awful lot of items and collectables and many of them are optional. If you want to beat the game 100% you can get them all, but it's actually surprising what you can do without if you want to beat the game with the bare minimum of items.

A minimal run through OoT would involve going through the game, obtaining the bare minimum of items necessary to beat the game. Below we hope to list which items are necessary to complete OoT (and why), and which are not necessary (and how to do without them).

Notes

  1. Items are considered in isolation, not as a whole. To skip certain unnecessary items, you would have to pick up other unnecessary items instead. For example, to achieve a three-heart run, you would need either the Goron Tunic or four bottled red fairies to get past the Fire Temple.
  2. What constitutes a minimal run depends entirely on which items you consider to count towards your imaginary "percentage". For example, if it's eventually decided that the Zora Tunic does NOT count towards your percentage, you would be allowed to collect it on a minimal run.
  3. Some items are listed necessary because, while you never need to use them, you have no choice about picking them up. For example, it's impossible to avoid collecting the Kokiri Sword, although theoretically you could do all your combat with Deku Sticks until you get the Master Sword.

Item Status Subscreen items

Only one-off items are listed here, not replenishables such as bombs - see later.

  • Fairy Ocarina - necessary. Received from Saria during a cutscene as you leave Kokiri Forest for the first time.
  • Ocarina of Time - necessary. You have to pick this up in order to learn the Song of Time.
  • Boomerang - necessary. Used to defeat several tentacles Inside Jabu-Jabu's Belly.
  • Fairy Slingshot - Unnecessary. Can be skipped using sword glitch off the skullwalltula in the Deku Tree, and off the green bubble in Child Spirit. (A bombchu can then be used in jabu)
  • Hookshot - Unnecessary. You can enter using sword glitch.
  • Longshot - Unnecessary. This is completely unnecessary. Ganon's Tower Skip and sword glitch make this item usless.
  • Megaton Hammer - Unnecessary. Shadow Temple and Spirit Temple are the only necessary requirements for Light arrows... and technicallym they aren't even necessary if you use the Light arrows on B trick so... Megaton is completely useless.
  • Lens Of Truth - unnecessary. Okay, this is a crazy one. The first time through the game, you NEED this. Here are the main locations where the Lens of truth is necessary and how to get around using it...
    • There is enough invisible stuff in the Shadow Temple to make it practically impossible to do blindly. Invisible Hookshot targets, invisible platforms, invisible bad guys. However, it's easy to remember where the targets and platforms you need are located. And you can Z-target invisible enemies to avoid losing track of them.
    • Bongo Bongo's vulnerable spot - the red eye you need to shoot with an arrow - is invisible. But it's pretty easy to shoot it blindly. Shoot both hands, and Bongo Bongo will clench his fists before racing across the drum towards you. Aim squarely exactly between the two fists - where the boss's invisible body is - and as soon as the fists vanish off the sides of your screen, fire. You'll hit the eye and Bongo Bongo will drop, stunned and now visible, right in front of you. Easy. If you use Light Arrow B then you don't even have to fight Bongo Bongo at all.
    • The Haunted Wasteland is difficult. Watch existing videos of this feat and learn to match up a route with the very few geographical features in the area.
    • The Shadow Barrier portion of Ganon's Castle contains some invisible platforms and tracks in mid-air. You can get away without knowing where these are pretty easily if you have the Hover Boots enabled. Do a double rolling attack off the edge of the first platform - that is, roll off the edge and roll a second time before the Hover Boots cut out, to maximize your distance - to reach the next platform. Do the same again to drop down to the switch on the right, and trigger the Gold Gauntlets chest. Longshot back to it. Hover to the switch on the left and then Longshot to the torch at the exit. By this method, you never end up walking on invisible platforms. Tricky, but doable. If you choose to use Ganon's Tower skip however, this is skipped entirely.

Arrows

  • Fairy Bow - necessary. You don't need to shoot poe paintings anymore because you don't need to complete forest at all. You only need to play up till the bow. But, the bow is necessary for Ganondorf since we have to stun him w/ a light arrow
  • Fire Arrows - unnecessary. This is quite important. There are several locations in the game after the Water Temple, where you might think that it was impossible to do without the Fire Arrows. However, a little thought reveals an alternate solution in all cases. Usually you can use Din's Fire, or shoot an ordinary arrow through an existing flame; for the cavernous gap protecting the Shadow Barrier in Ganon's Castle, you can get across by simply using your Longshot on the unlit torch on the right, and again on the Like Like at the far side.
  • Ice Arrows - unnecessary. What the hell use are these anyway?
  • Light Arrows - necessary. The Barriers in Ganon's Castle are skipped entirely, but we do need them to stun Ganondorf.

Magic

  • Din's Fire - unnecessary. Skipped using A sidehop over the loading area for the door in the beginning of Shadow, and is also skipped in the skipped in the Boss Key room of the Shadow Temple by having the zombie freeze you and then having the wall pass through you.
  • Farore's Wind - unnecessary. Used only for warping.
  • Nayru's Love - unnecessary. Shields you from attack.

Bottles and bottlable items

  • Bottles - ALL OF THEM including the first are unnecessary. Use the Sword Glitch to skip King Zora and you can skip both the bottle, and the gold/silver scale entirely.
  • Poes - unnecessary.
  • Big Poes - unnecessary. These are caught and sold to the Poe Dealer in exchange for an equally unnecessary extra Bottle.
  • Blue Fire - unnecessary. Firstoff, even if we did complete water temple, we would still skip the iron boots using FW dive, Ocarina Dive, Bottle Dive, etc... so, even then we skip Ice caverns. In a min% run we would skip Water Temple too so it is absolutely unnecessary.
  • Bugs - unnecessary. Only used for finding Gold Skulltulas.
  • Fish - unecessary. Technically we can enter Jabu w/out one so they aren't necessary... but to get light arrows on B we need to get one and that skips alot more stuff, so that is technically an item you wouldn't skip.
  • Lon Lon Milk - unnecessary. Replenishes health.
  • Red Potion - unnecessary. Recovers your health.
  • Green Potion - unnecessary. This potion recovers magic.
  • Blue Potion - unnecessary. An extravagance.
  • Fairies - unnecessary. These restore health in times of crisis - a decent gamer should never need them.

Biggoron's Sword trading sequence

Biggoron's Sword is unnecessary, and so, therefore, are the following:

  • Pocket Egg
  • Pocket Cucco
  • Cojiro
  • Odd Mushroom
  • Odd Potion
  • Poacher's Saw
  • Broken Goron Sword
  • Prescription
  • Eyeball Frog
  • World's Finest Eye Drops
  • Claim Check

Mask Of Truth trading sequence

The Mask Of Truth trading sequence actually extends all the way back to the Weird Egg that Malon Gives you.

  • Weird Egg - unnecessary. Skipped using either sword glitch or using bombchu boosts.
  • Cucco - unnecessary. Hatches from the Weird Egg that Malon gives you at Hyrule Castle; used to wake Talon and move him out of your way.
  • Zelda's Letter - unnecessary. Just grab the Bombchus in Child Spirit and then go through the Lost Woods -> Goron City way to get to Dodongo's Cavern.

However, everything after this is as unnecessary as the Mask Of Truth itself:

  • Keaton Mask
  • Skull Mask
  • Spooky Mask
  • Bunny Hood
  • Gerudo Mask
  • Goron Mask
  • Zora Mask
  • Mask of Truth

Equipment Status Subscreen items

  • Adult Wallet - unnecessary. No quest-critical object costs more than your default wallet capacity of 99 rupees.
  • Giant's Wallet - unnecessary. No quest-critical object costs more than your default wallet capacity of 99 rupees.
  • Bomb Bag - unnecessary. You can use the Bombchus instead and can light dodongo's eyes w/ them. The only issue is that it is faster to get both.
  • Deku Seeds Bullet Bag - unnecessary. If you skip the slingshot then you can skip this too.
  • Quiver - necessary. Comes bundled with the Fairy Bow. Both of the available upgrades to its capacity are of course unnecessary.
  • Goron's Bracelet - unnecessary. You can open up Dodongo's Cavern using the Bombchus
  • Silver Gauntlets - unnecessary. Skipped using hover trick off the statue to climb up onto the top of the block in Spirit Temple.
  • Golden Gauntlets - unnecessary; You can use Ganon's Tower Skip to go straight past the stuff you need these for.
  • Silver Scale - unnecessary. If you skip past King Zora using the sword glitch and bomb hover then you can skip the bottle and thusly, can skip this as well.
  • Golden Scale - unnecessary.

Swords

  • Kokiri Sword - unnecessary. Used to convince Mido into letting you through to see the Great Deku Tree. (Note: you "borrow" this sword at the start of the game, but never actually return it.)

The Kokiri Sword can be skipped using the Deku Scrub that sells the Deku Stick upgrade to hover glitch your way onto the bridge and out of the forest. You then proceed to visiting Zelda, and learn the Zelda's Lulaby (observing that Link plays it on the Ocarina of Time, since you don't have the Fairy Ocarina). This removes Mido, allowing you to enter the Deku Tree with out the Kokiri sword. Klydestorm of youtube had a set of videos showing how this is performed, and the consequences of the glitch. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZFYWcuQp_-Q&feature=channel_page

  • Master Sword - necessary. Needed to deal the final blow to Ganon... among many other things.
  • Giant's Knife - unnecessary; breaks after 100 uses in any case.
  • Biggoron's Sword - unnecessary. A completely optional side-quest.

Shields

  • Deku Shield - necessary. Used to convince Mido to let you through to see the Great Deku Tree.
  • Hylian Shield - unnecessary. While extremely useful for defence, a skilful player can play as far as the Mirror Shield without dying, simply by avoiding enemy attacks.
  • Mirror Shield - unnecessary. While this is the only way to hurt Twinrova, you can skip it using the Light arrow B glitch since you don't need to beat the temple at all when you use that.

Tunics

  • Kokiri Tunic - necessary. You start the game with this.

Goron Tunic - unnecessary

(There is a great wealth of knowledge here... but plain and simple, you can skip fire. So, it is unnecessary.)

Right. This is going to take a bit of explaining. There are several reasons you need the Goron Tunic.

Firstly, you need it to survive the heat in Death Mountain Crater. When you enter a hot environment you will have noticed that after the initial warning, you get a countdown before Link expires. This countdown is based upon how much health you had when you entered the area. You get two seconds per quarter-heart of health. If, for example, you enter Death Mountain Crater with seven full hearts, that's 7 hearts times 4 quarters times 2 seconds equals 56 seconds' grace. However, when you realise that not all of the Fire Temple but only a select few rooms are dangerously hot, and you adequately learn your route through those rooms, then you will realise that 56 seconds is plenty of time to enter a room, do whatever you need to do, and escape, thus resetting the timer. In short, you can beat the Fire Temple without the Goron Tunic. This is something I can tell you from my own experience.

Next up is Volvagia. At high speed and using optimal techniques, to enter the boss chamber, beat Volvagia, collect the heart container and enter the blue warp takes just under two minutes. This, you will realise, is not enough time. Ordinarily you have 56 seconds - maybe more if you've collected some heart pieces and earned another container, but not enough more. But you also have a bottle. In that bottle you can store a red Fairy. When your timer runs out and you die, that fairy will automatically revive you, bringing you up to full health and giving you a further 56 seconds to fight. Note that this would not spoil an attempted zero-death run since this "death" does not add anything to the number-of-deaths counter on the main game select screen. If you don't plan on getting Heart Containers up to this point then you will of course need more Fairies and more Bottles. The Volvagia fight can be completed in just under 112 seconds, which actually works out to a minimum of:

  • 11 extra Heart Containers OR
  • 4 extra Heart Containers, 1 extra Red Fairy OR
  • 2 extra Heart Containers, 1 extra Bottle and 2 extra Red Fairies OR
  • 1 extra Heart Container, 2 extra Bottles and 3 extra Red Fairies OR
  • 3 extra Bottles and 4 extra Red Fairies.

Whether you count Fairies towards your percentage of collected items, I don't know. I wouldn't; they're pickups, like magic and health.

There is another hot section; the Fire Barrier portion of Ganon's Castle. This is a single big, hot room. However, by this time you'll have around 11 hearts, or 1 minute and 28 seconds to play with... doubled to 2 minutes 56 seconds, if you've picked up another red Fairy. Shouldn't be too hard.

There's one other important reason. The Goron Tunic isn't just for heat resistance. In Goron City, you need to find Link (the bouncing Goron) and get the Tunic from him, in order to open the blocked door to the throne room. Otherwise there's no way into Death Mountain Crater in the first place. Unless... unless instead, you head further up Death Mountain Trail and enter the Crater from the top entrance (near Biggoron) instead. Then, you head anticlockwise around the crater, perform a death-defying jumping slash onto a tiny rupee-laden platform in the middle of the lava far below you. Then, you play the Scarecrow's Song... did I mention that you need to get the Scarecrow's Song first? Get the Scarecrow's Song first. Play it. A scarecrow will appear at a distant platform ahead of you. Now Hookshot it. Except you can't, because the Hookshot isn't long enough. You need the Longshot first. Warp out of there or fall in the lava intentionally or something. Go to the Ice Cavern. Complete it to get the Iron Boots. Warp to Lake Hylia. Enter the Water Temple. Travel through it until you get the Longshot - what's that? Ah yes. To get the Longshot you need to beat Dark Link, for which you ideally need the Megaton Hammer, which is back in the Fire Temple. You need to beat Dark Link without the aid of the Megaton Hammer. Using Din's Fire repeatedly is the best way. Get the Longshot. Go back to Death Mountain Crater. Longshot your way across to the scarecrow. Make your way up and enter the Fire Temple, Goron Tunic-less. Note, incidentally, that this route also completely circumvents the Bolero Of Fire cutscene, enabling you to enter the Temple without ever getting that Ocarina song.

  • Zora's Tunic - unnecessary. If you know what you're doing in the Water Temple, the longest you ever have to spend underwater is about 45 seconds - this is while you get the Small Key underneath the central column. If you have around 7 full hearts when you drop into the water then you will get 7 hearts time 4 quarters times 2 seconds = 56 seconds before you drown. Piece of cake.

Boots

  • Kokiri Boots - necessary. You start the game with these boots.
  • Iron Boots - unnecessary. You don't even beat water, and if you did there are numerous other diving techniques with which are at your disposal that don't include these.
  • Hover Boots - unnecessary. Everything you use them for is skippable w/ bomb hover. The issue is that it is way slower. Also, you can't do the Ganon's Tower Early (For the light arrow B trick) w/out Hover boots unless you have an extensive supply of bombs and use bombhover. So it is probably not worth it, but in a min% you really don't have a choice. You must collect the minimal amount of items regardless if it is slower.

Quest Status Subscreen items

  • Gold Skulltula Tokens - unnecessary. These can be traded in for several different rewards at the House of Skulltula; all of them unnecessary.
  • Gerudo's Card - unnecessary. Early Chile spirit skips it and when you learn the requiem that skips it too... unfortunately, if you aren't doing Light arrow B and have to complete the adult spirit you will have to skip the requiem and use another method to skip the fence.
  • Stone Of Agony - unnecessary. Alerts you to nearby secrets by activating your Rumble Pak.
  • Piece of Heart - unnecessary. Used to extend your health meter.

Songs

  • Epona's Song - unnecessary, as is Epona. She's just a quick way to get around.
  • Saria's Song - unnecessary. Can be skipped by backflipping over mido w/ the proper angle.
  • Scarecrow's Song - unnecessary.
  • Song of Storms - unnecessary. Its main purpose is to drain the well as child Link, so that you can get the equally unnecessary Lens of Truth.
  • Song of Time - necessary. Needed to open the Door Of Time.
  • Sun's Song - unnecessary. Zombies can be beaten by other means.
  • Zelda's Lullaby - necessary. When using Light arrow B, we can skip shadow and spirit, but we need magic for the arrows which requires lullaby to get.
  • Minuet of Forest - unnecessary. A min% run can enter forest temple and get the bow as a kid and thusly skips that cutscene entirely. Though it is slower than beating Forest up till the bow as an adult.
  • Bolero of Fire - unnecessary. See the entry for Goron Tunic to find out how to circumvent the area of Death Mountain Crater which triggers the Bolero Of Fire sequence.
  • Serenade of Water - unnecessary. Water is skipped, and iron boots are skipped regardless of whether you skip water or not.
  • Prelude of Light - unnecessary. You can beat the game w/out going back in time... you can also beat it w/out beating forest too. But in a Mion% in order to skip other things you will see it because you have to go back to do light arrow B.
  • Nocturne of Shadow - unnecessary. Using bombhover or using bombchu boosts you can get into shadow w/out having the Nocturne.
  • Requiem of Spirit - unnecessary. Early Child spirit gets the bombchus and adult spirit can be skipped...

Stones and Medallions

To beat the game you need all 3 spiritual stones, and you need 2/3 Medallions. Here are the 2 options:

  • Kokiri Emerald
  • Goron's Ruby
  • Zora's Sapphire
  • Light Medallion
  • Forest Medallion

or

  • Kokiri Emerald
  • Goron's Ruby
  • Zora's Sapphire
  • Light Medallion
  • Shadow Medallion
  • Spirit Medallion

Replenishable items

  • Arrows - necessary. Used earliest to shoot Poe paintings in the Forest Temple, but necessary for uncountable other puzzles.
  • Bombchu - unnecessary. But... due to the need for either these or bombs, you can skip more w/ these than without them.
  • Bombs - unnecessary. Can be skipped w/ bombchus, but more can be skipped w/ these than w/out them.
  • Deku Nut - technically unnecessary, although if you skip them you can't skip the slingshot since you need to stun ghoma and there are only 2 items that can do that.
  • Deku Seeds - unnecessary if you skip the slingshot.
  • Deku Stick - necessary. Used to light torches to solve various puzzles as child Link.
  • Magic Beans - unnecessary.
  • Magic Jar - technically unnecessary, since you don't actually need to use magic very often and you can get replenished by Great Fairies instead. But you will almost certainly collect one of these sooner or later.
  • Recovery Heart - unnecessary. These are sometimes found in chests and restore your health. Technically it is possible to beat the entire game without taking damage.
  • Rupees - necessary, but only in relatively small amounts. You need 40 rupees at the start of the game to purchase your Deku Shield, and 20 rupees for the Zora diving game... apart from that there is no quest-critical objective I can recall which demands cash.

Side note. Is it possible that the game can be beaten without actually ever going to a shop or slashing a bush and thereby obtaining replenishments for one's arrows, bombs, or Deku Seeds? Is it possible to beat the game just with your original stock of 30, 20 and 20 respectively, rendering these items unnecessary? An interesting challenge.

Miscellaneous

  • Boss Key - always necessary. There are no known methods by which the door to a boss chamber can be bypassed without the key.
  • Compass - always unnecessary. If you have a good memory and sense of direction, you can navigate any dungeon without this.
  • Dungeon Map - always unnecessary. If you have a good memory and sense of direction, you can navigate any dungeon without this.
  • Silver Rupees - usually necessary. Used to open certain doors in dungeons.
  • Small Key - almost always necessary, with some important exceptions. In the Water Temple, it is possible to skip any single Small Key due to a level design oversight which enables you to cunningly bypass one of the locked doors. Also, in the Shadow Temple, the Farore's Wind trick can be used to skip four of them. Since they don't show up in your inventory, however, Small Keys aren't usually considered to be "items" as such.
  • Heart Container - unnecessary. A number of people have beaten the whole game on just the original three hearts you receive, and with no deaths.
  • Fishing Pole - unnecessary. But you can skip alot more w/ one then w/out one since you can use light arrow B.
  • Sinking Lure - unnecessary. Fishing? FISHING?!