Check out the optical illusion Nintendo used to create the skybox for The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
The sky's the limit
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time is not only one of the most important Legend of Zelda games, it’s also one of the most important video games to ever release. Just as Mario was crucial for the future of 3D platformers, Ocarina of Time helped pave the road ahead for 3D adventures. The game employed all sorts of unique solutions to 3D problems that developers were struggling with, some of which would become industry standard.
Sure, many of these features are extremely outdated or less than impressive in today’s industry, but a few still hold a bit of magic. Case in point, the method in which the sky in Ocarina of Time is displayed. Turns out Nintendo used a rather convincing illusion to get the job done.
As seen in the video above, Ocarina of Time uses a virtual cube painted with a sky texture, and that cube forever rotates in 3D space. The game’s camera is then placed in that cube, and everything else in the game is drawn in front of it. A bit convoluted by today’s standards, but it more than gets the job done!