Its hold over gamers' imaginations was clear enough last week at Nintendo's Amsterdam event, with more people queuing to play Zelda than anything else.
There are three playable sections in the demo: Kokiri Forest, Inside The Deku Tree and Gohma. The former serves as an enemy-free playground to (re)familiarise oneself with the controls and get a handle on the 3DS-specific features.
The biggest change is the use of the lower touch screen for info and icons previously accessed via the Start menu. With a map display and icons for various gear, weapons and potions, it should streamline the experience.
And, as Nintendo itself has noted, this will be of particular significance in the dreaded Water Temple – which required endless switching in and out of iron boots via the pause screen. Now, we're assured, it can be done in a flash via the bottom screen.
Another notable change makes use of the system's gyroscope when using the first-person view to look or fire a catapult. For me, it feels too daft and unnecessary to be anything other than a gimmick players will quickly ditch in favour of using the analogue nub in the old-skool way.
Shifting the console around at dramatic angles to direct Link's field of vision may be a nifty demonstration of the tech (something newer iPhones and iPods are already capable of), but it's hardly practical. And when the 3D is turned on it becomes plain annoying, since the effect is only maintained while you're looking at the screen dead on.
The 3D effect is non-essential in general but does a satisfying job of drawing you deeper into the experience. More pleasing is the decision to give the original 1998 visuals a lick of paint, with better textures and more expressive character models.
With the latter two playable sections of the demo giving a taster of dungeon exploration and a boss battle – the overall style of which set the template for all subsequent Zeldas on home console – one hopes, as with all classic games, that the strong urge to relive the experience in no way tarnishes the memory of it. But I can't say I'm losing any sleep in this regard.
Ocarina of Time doesn't make the case for 3D gaming, but it doesn't need to. Given the original was one of this young medium's most revered experiences, I'm as excited about the chance to play the game again on a fancy new toy as I am about the idea there are people who will be taking their very first steps in this unforgettable adventure.