My name is Becki, and I am a wife, a mother, a daughter, a sister, and a friend.
The Legend of Zelda is one of the most popular game franchises of all time, and you're sure to know somebody who loves the series. As a fan myself, I would like to introduce you to an unconventional, but awesome gift idea for any fan of the series. I'm recommending to you some gift ideas that I personally love, and am certain that your favorite Zelda fan will love as well.
As a Legend of Zelda fan, these are things that I either would love to have myself or which I already own.
The items on this list vary in price to give you a broad selection to choose from. I'm sure that you'll be able to find something to thrill someone this holiday season, or for a birthday or other special occasion.
The BEST Gift to Buy for a Legend of Zelda Fan Is an Ocarina
No questions: Just do it. Nothing will please a true fan more than a Zelda replica Ocarina of Time like the two shown above. Even if they never play this ocarina, it makes a great collectible item for a Legend of Zelda fan. Honest to goodness, you do not need to look any further than this option for the fan in your life. If they love the game franchise, there isn't going to be anything related to it that makes them happier than a replica ocarina.
There are several to choose from. I do not personally own either of those shown above, but the top option is one that I am pretty much desperate to have. It is a seven-hole edition designed to be as true to the ocarina in the games as possible. With a 21-note chromatic range in the key of Alto C, this is an instrument that will please not only the fan but the musician in them as well.
An ocarina is easy to learn how to play (though difficult to master), and fans of the game should be able to learn how to play the songs from the game using the songbook included with the ocarina.
I have personally purchased from Songbird Ocarina on three occasions, and their service and quality are remarkable. This is, without a doubt, the best Zelda replica ocarina available on the market. If you are purchasing a first ocarina for someone who loves the series, I would personally purchase one of these first.
The first of the two ocarinas listed above is ceramic and comes with a platinum band. The second is plastic and considered to be one of the highest-quality plastic ocarinas that you can purchase.
The review below covers the plastic Ocarina of Time: Kokiri Edition, but gift-givers are encouraged to consider the clay model either for advanced players or for serious collectors.
While the plastic edition is durable and suitable for new players, the ceramic edition is highly collectible, and ceramic is known for producing a better sound.
Please avoid purchasing other inexpensive Zelda replica ocarinas, such as those found on eBay. These are generally lower in quality and ocarina players will advise that it is always best to purchase from respected sources. Ocarinas are not easy to make (especially those which are still hand-made), and you may expect to pay a bit more for a better quality instrument.
If you intend for the instrument to be played, then purchase from a seller such as Songbird Ocarina, or Focalink Ocarina for best results.
Note that the instruments shown on this page are true replicas: They look like the ocarina in the game series and have seven holes (two of the "holes" illustrated are "dummy" holes—there are two more on the underside of the flute for the thumbs). Other versions are available, such as this one from STL Ocarina, and these have twelve holes. 12-hole ocarinas are played the same as one another, while the seven-hole is a different fingering system.
You will need to choose which is better for the Zelda fan you're shopping for.
A Review of Songbird Ocarina of Time (Kokiri Edition)
Why Should Parents Purchase an Ocarina for their Child?
My daughter is about to be eight, and she's already in love with the Zelda games she sees me play. Who can blame her? Zelda has everything, from an interesting storyline to thrilling bad guys to exciting gameplay and great music. More than that, she sees and hears me playing my own ocarina (I own several, but the one I play the most is the Aria from STL Ocarina), and it gets her excited about music.
Music is an important part of any person's life, and parents should be especially aware that children who play music generally learn better in their other subjects because of the effect that playing music has on the brain. No other activity engages more parts of the brain than playing music does!
The ocarina is an easy instrument to learn to play (I recommend a six-hole ocarina for smaller children as they are easier to handle for small hands) and can introduce children to musical study. Tablature is available through most of the major retailers as well as online, and the ocarina can be played using vocal sheet music (I get mine from MusicNotes.)
Please consider this as an excellent alternative to a gaming system to encourage your child to get off the electronics and experience music instead!
A Limited Edition Nintendo 3DS Makes a Great Gift for Zelda Fans
The limited-edition Nintendo 3DS with Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds is one of the other items that is on my personal wishlist. This is one of the best handheld gaming systems that money can buy and comes highly recommended by Amazon reviewers. Right now I'm playing Ocarina of Time on a standard 3DS (and am currently attempting to defeat Bongo Bongo without much success!). This system would be a dream come true!
It comes with Legend of Zelda (Triforce) cover art and a gold cover to the system itself. With a larger screen, improved battery life, and an included SD card, this is a great option for anyone who loves the 3DS or appreciates Zelda. The game A Link Between Worlds is included via a download code with the game, which sweetens this deal quite a lot!
When purchasing, make sure to check whether or not the system comes with an AC adapter, and if it doesn't, purchase that as well. Many of the more recent systems are reported as not coming complete with this essential item. You can purchase it on Amazon.
Another Great Option Is Majora's Mask for the 3DS
Majora's Mask, one of the most popular games in the Legend of Zelda franchise, was released in 2015 for the 3DS. Ocarina players in particular love this game for its amazing music, and unlike some of the more recent games, it can be completed! I'm looking forward to having it for my own 3DS and therefore can highly recommend purchasing this item for fans of the games.
Please note that Majora's Mask might not be suitable for sensitive players, as it can be a very dark game. I personally found it difficult and creepy when I played it several years ago, but am looking forward to another opportunity to get into this game on my 3DS!
Please be sure before purchasing that the person you're buying a gift for already has the Nintendo 3DS, and if they do not, consider purchasing that for them instead! This game will not play on earlier versions of the system, and you will need to make sure that they have the 3D version in order for them to play it!
Nintendo Wii and Twilight Princess Make a Great Continuation From Ocarina of Time
For those who (like me!) love the Ocarina of Time game, Twilight Princess provides an excellent sequel to the game, in that it is a continuation. I've never finished Twilight Princess (and have been told it cannot be finished, though I believe this has been updated recently), but have found that of the Zelda games I've played, Twilight Princess is, in fact, my favorite of them.
I no longer own the Wii, which means that it is another item currently on my wishlist (and a hopeful thing for this Zelda fan this Christmas!), along with the Twilight Princess game. Of all the Zelda games, this is the one that I have had the most fun playing (though I've played Ocarina of time more often).
While I still maintain that an ocarina is the best gift for Zelda fans, a Nintendo Wii would make my Christmas, especially if it came packaged with Twilight Princess.
Consider Tickets to a Con
Of all of the Zelda-related things I'd love to have or do, nothing compares to how much I'd love to attend an anime convention to meet some of my favorite cosplayers and ocarina players. This community is made up of some truly amazing and original people who have taken this game to the next level. If you're looking to really thrill a Zelda fan who has everything that's listed on this page, take her or him to a convention, and make sure to provide the means to cosplay, and cosplay well (i.e. make sure that she has a great replica ocarina to take with her).
You can't go wrong with giving an experience!
© 2015 Becki Rizzuti
Robert E Smith from Rochester, New York on December 11, 2015:
I have heard the Night by Noble is very good mostly because it is shaped just so, with the mouthpiece a certain length and supposedly also the shape of the blowing aperture. I had at one time considered buying one to take with me away from home but I know it is the convenience of wearing an instrument that makes me play away from home. So I have a soprano C ICO and I wear it most of the time.
I really do believe what they say about purple clay playing better and better the longer you play them. It is said that the moisture from your breath (or anyone's breath I assume) makes the clay sound richer and better all the time. I guess there would be a time that that would not happen because the clay becomes "seasoned." According to the belief, the teapots continue to improve in taste as it is used for more and more years. Some of those teapots in China are hundreds of years old. Those workers with purple clay insist the sound of purple clay does the same and just gets better and better with age. I hear the difference in just the relatively few months I've owned them. Besides the soprano I have a double alto C (with no pinky finger hole) and a triple bass C (with no pinky finger hole). I wish I has someone to practice and play with but I am the only one in my area. (Upstate New York). :-)
Becki Rizzuti (author) from Indianapolis, Indiana on December 11, 2015:
I love the Night by Noble. It has almost the same sound as my Aria. The only thing that I don't like about it is the shape of the mouthpiece. I don't find it as comfortable and the Aria is so ergonomic and easy on my hands that it's become my distinct preference for instruments.
I worried about dropping them in the beginning, but it's never happened. If it did, I think I'd be devastated, but it's not as though I'm dropping a $900 instrument. I /can/ ultimately afford to replace them if something happens to them, which is one of the lovely things about the ocarina as an instrument.
Robert E Smith from Rochester, New York on December 11, 2015:
I began with cheap plastic TNG alto C and it was a very good ocarina. But it was plastic and I was just starting and did not have a good handle on how to keep my mouth dryer like I do now. I gave that ocarina to my niece to introduce her to the instrument. I was still at that time of the mindset that I would drop or break a ceramic ocarina so my next move was to buy a wooden rectangle Fairy Ring Mushroom Company Bass from Fairy Ring Mushroom Company. It was the prettiest thing I ever saw. But it was so low breath that I could not play it at all. I returned it and they made me an alto c (still thinking that wood would be better sound). It was better sound (then my plastic TNG that I had given away) but I still had to do the "acute bend" for the high notes. I kept that one because I had it custom made for me with my name and a Scripture verse written on it. I play it when I take it out to oil it about once a month. I said I was going to buy ceramic then and I ordered a soprano from Amazon. It was delivered to me broken but I never returned it and vowed that the next instrument I would buy would be one of quality to keep and play daily. I researched and watched what others play. I watched Cris Gale play on her varied ocarinas and studied when she had to do the "acute bend" to play the high notes on many of her instruments. The ones she played that she didn't was the purple clay ones (the very very expensive ones). So I started saving but before I had enough for STL purple clay or any of the more expensive ones I saw Imperial China Ocarina. I have bought three of their instruments and I can not believe the quality and the price. Are you on Facebook? If you are send me a friend request. It is the only social media I use. Bob.
Becki Rizzuti (author) from Indianapolis, Indiana on December 10, 2015:
No, I don't think that we have! I'm glad I could bring some light to your day. I've been playing for about two years now, and I did my research and bought the Aria right out of the gate. It's still my favorite in terms of its sound quality (yes, I prefer it over my Dragontooths!).
I enjoy having more than one because the sound quality is different on them. When I say "quality," I don't mean that one is better than the others, only that they sound different. The sound I get out of my Dragontooth (the 12 hole) is amazing, but I definitely like the way that the Aria sounds better.
My favorite to play is my double soprano G from songbird, though!
Robert E Smith from Rochester, New York on December 10, 2015:
I loved your article for perfect gift for the Zelda fan. Personally I have never played the game and my old arthritic wrists could not do the game justice anyway. But your article was more than just Zelda, it was about some of my dearest cherished possessions, my Ocarinas!
Talking Ocarinas is one of my passions in life. The sound and play ability is one of my earliest childhood fantasies come true. I've loved the flute all my life but the expense of the instrument and upkeep and the fact that you need a band to back you up, all kept me from even trying to learn any music. And then I got older and was convinced I could never learn music at all. At least that's what everyone told me.
I stumbled onto the ocarina on YouTube a little after my retirement in 2010. I made the usual mistakes in buying them. (Bought the cheap ones and they arrived broken or out of tune. Bought the plastic ones that clogged with moisture and didn't play more than a couple of minutes. The three ocarinas I have now I consider among the best instruments in the world. I plan on only buying one more and I'm done buying. I see beautiful ones all the time but I'm just not a collector. I just don't have the room for one thing but mainly for me it is the music.
Anyway you gave me a chance to talk ocarinas for a minute. I can't remember if we ever talked about them before now and the things I'm saying are all repeats of what I said before... I do wonder how long you have been playing or if you have been musical all your life and a whole bunch of other ocarina related questions. Thank you for the enjoyable article and videos. Bob.