A fan of The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time has modded the classic game’s sky to make it look a little more like something out of a Studio Ghibli movie. Ocarina of Time is often considered one of the greatest video games ever made and is quite popular among modders and speedrunners who often break or modify the game in various ways to gain an advantage.
On the other end, Studio Ghibli is one of the world’s most respected makers of animated films. Headed by acclaimed writer and director Hayao Miyazaki, Studio Ghibli is responsible for some of the most well-known animated films ever made, including My Neighbor Totoro, Spirited Away, and Princess Mononoke, just to name a few. Studio Ghibli’s films have a distinctive art style that, even after years of imitation, is still immediately identifiable and appreciated by millions around the world. Ghibli films have been a source of inspiration for the Zelda series as a whole.
A Redditor and Ocarina of Time fan in the Zelda subreddit who goes by the name of iandasquebradas posted a minute-and-a-half-long video of a mod they created for Ocarina of Time that gives the classic game a sky filled with clouds that are very reminiscent of the art style found commonly in Studio Ghibli films, particularly those by Hayao Miyazaki. The modded clouds are lush and thick, filled with a sense of drama and wonder. They are the clouds of a cartoon dream created by an artist who was certainly not held back by the technological limitations of the Nintendo 64. Not even Ocarina of Time running at 4K can arguably compete.
In contrast, the original clouds in Ocarina of Time are sparse. They’re faint and thin, lacking in anything even closely resembling the evocative emotionality of the modded clouds created by iandasquebradas and inspired by Studio Ghibli, filmmakers who've themselves had a massive influence on gaming. They’re more suggestions of clouds over a bright blue background that do well enough to convey the idea of a cloud but lack a sense of awe of the modded version.
It is unsurprising that iandasquebradas is a professional illustrator whose other work is packed with as much drama and emotion as a simple set of clouds in the background of an old video game. In the comments in the Reddit thread, iandasquebradas explained that they may not have enough time to apply this same art style to every other asset in Ocarina of Time, which is understandable but also a shame. While modern Zelda games certainly draw a lot of Studio Ghibli comparisons, they aren’t as on the nose as iandasquebradas’ art, which doesn’t necessarily feel like Zelda as much as it feels like the way Zelda is remembered.
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time is available on 3DS, Nintendo 64, and Wii U.