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The Zelda: Ocarina Of Time Character Even Its Creator Hated

"The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time" is inarguably one of the most well-received video games ever created. It holds the ultimate Metacritic score of 99 right next to other hit "Legend of Zelda" titles like "Breath of the Wild," "Twilight Princess," and "The Wind Waker." However, the game notably features a nearly universally hated side character: Navi. 

Navi is Link's fairy companion in "Ocarina of Time." He receives her from the Deku Tree as a gift to help guide him on his quest to save Hyrule, and many would agree her advice is helpful for beginners. Most of her tips throughout the game point link towards how to use items or strategies for defeating specific enemies. In other words, she basically functions as a living tutorial. However, as the game goes on, the way she forces her advice onto you can grow to be extremely annoying to some players. Some even just hate her high-pitched "HEY! LISTEN!" callout in and of itself. 

"It's the fact that she constantly gives out useless advice, and constantly blurts out "HEY!" and "LISTEN!" at incredibly random times," one commenter wrote in GameFAQs. "Then there's those times when she'll stop you to tell you something you probably already knew and she'll talk VERY slowly." But perhaps the most frustrating thing about these forced stopping points is the fact that they are also unskippable, so players need to deal with another unneeded tutorial whether they like it or not.

Because of these factors, Navi has been the subject of many internet memes over the years. However, what fans might not realize is that even the series' creator, Shigeru Miyamoto, didn't like her either. 

Why Miyamoto didn't like Navi

Shmuplations, a fan-operated translation site, uploaded a translated interview with Shigeru Miyamoto from a 1999 Famitsu magazine issue. In the interview, Miyamoto discusses his thoughts on the much-hated mascot of "Ocarina of Time" and other topics, such as cut features from the game.

"I think the whole system with Navi giving you advice is the biggest weak point of 'Ocarina of Time,'" Miyamoto told the interviewer. He further explained that it's incredibly difficult to design a game that gives proper advice based on the player's specific situation, particularly in the days of the Nintendo 64. It'd be so difficult, in fact, that the team would need to spend the same amount of time developing the entire game as they would on just the advice-giving programming portion of it. Naturally, that meant the team had to skimp on perfecting Navi, much to the eternal annoyance of a large section of the "Zelda" fanbase.

Miyamoto acknowledges that Navi says the same things over and over, but that the team purposefully left her at a kind of "stupid" level as the development process neared completion. However, if Miyamoto had his way, Navi would have never made it past the testing phase. That's right; in another world, Navi might have been left on the cutting room floor, changing "Ocarina of Time" forever.

Navi almost didn't make it into Ocarina of Time

At this point, more than two decades removed from the release of "The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time," it's hard to imagine the game without Navi. Even though she's proven to be a constant annoyance for many players, she's also undeniably recognizable. Much like numerous memes and creepypastas have been made out of the scarier moments of "Majora's Mask," Navi has cemented herself as an integral part of the culture surrounding the game. 

As Miyamoto revealed to Famitsu, he briefly considered scrapping the pesky sprite altogether during development. Ultimately, though, he realized that Navi was something of a necessary evil within the design of the game. "The truth is I wanted to remove the entire system, but that would have been even more unfriendly to players. You can think of Navi as being there for players who stop playing for a month or so, who then pick the game back up and want to remember what they were supposed to do," he said, though he laughed while saying it.

Navi might not be the most beloved character in "Zelda" history, but that doesn't mean she doesn't have her fans. Some players have argued that her constant tips and uppity personality are more cute than frustrating, so maybe it's for the best that she made it to the finished game. At the very least, Navi isn't as traumatizing as the Toilet Ghost who pops up in multiple "Zelda" games.