How The Zelda OoT Randomizer Season 4 Tournament Ended Up Delayed Due To Its Own Popularity

How The Zelda OoT Randomizer Season 4 Tournament Ended Up Delayed Due To Its Own Popularity

The first qualifiers race of the Zelda OoT Randomizer Season 4 Tournament was ironically canceled due to its own tremendous success and the organizers' hard work

Saturday, December 5 1800 ET was supposed to kickoff the Zelda OoT Item Randomizer Season 4 Standard Tournament. With the first qualifier race of the tournament, replacing the usual NA weekly race scheduled at the same hour. However, the tournament, held by OoTRandomizer, and ZeldaSpeedRuns saw its first qualifier canceled due to its own popularity.

In total, 162 runners entered the first qualifier race for Season 4 of the Zelda OoT  Randomizer Tournament. This is much more than the usual number of runners, and set a brand new record. However, with the tournament becoming so popular, racetime, the site used for the races’ organization, ended up crashing.

Racetime lets runners and organizers coordinate the race, with the runners logging in on the site and confirming they’re ready for the race. When runners click they’re ready, racetime also sends a request to Twitch to confirm the runner is currently streaming. Having 162 runners all logging in to set themselves as Ready was a first, and made the site crash. Especially with over one thousands viewers sporadically accessing it too. The developers of Racetime spent over an hour working like crazy to try and fix it, but to no avail.

As such, the first qualifier race for the ended up being delayed to December 12, 1800 ET. The second qualifier, geared more towards EU players and replacing the weekly EU race, was supposed to happen on Sunday December 6 at 1900 ET. It was also delayed, to December 13 at 0900 ET. Successive qualifiers will be happening at the same times each week. The current schedule for the tournament can be found here.

Anyone can enter the tournament’s qualifiers, and this fourth season is the most popular by far, setting new heights for all Zelda fans. The Top 32 players of the qualifiers will move on to the real tournament, which is sure to be incredibly exciting.

What is Zelda OOT Randomizer?

Long story short, this is a mod of the original The Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time on Nintendo 64, where every treasure chest item and reward (such as the Archery Minigame Reward) is randomized. Ocarina songs are randomized as well. Nearly every speed-running bug is banned, meaning it’s glitchless, and players need to defeat Ganon the normal way to beat the game and finish a race.

The most important thing in OoT Randomizer is thinking your routing through. In theory, this means going at the right place at the right time, to avoid backtracking as much as possible, and checking as many rewards as you can in one go. Players need to perfect their routing and comprehend the logic of the randomly generated seed. One needs to guess where the next progression item is located, depending on the items one currently owns, and the locations in the game one can currently access. Zelda OoT Randomizer is an incredibly deep and interesting rando mod.

There are many different rules players can customize, such as each dungeon entrance in the game being randomized. However, the Zelda OoT Item Randomizer Season 4 Standard Tournament follows a specific set of rules.

Moreover, Season 4 of the Zelda OoT Randomizer Tournament uses pretty different rules than the past three. For the first time, random spawn has been enabled. Meaning players don’t start a run with Child Link in his house, but at a random location in the game. Which means instead of always following a specific startup route, like for example always going to the same checks like the Kokiri Sword chest, players now need to make split second decisions at the beginning to see where they should head first. To see which reward and Ocarina Song they should check first depending on their starting position.

Furthermore, this is the first time it took so long between the end of the previous tournament – Season 3 won by French player Bono in April 2020 – and the start of a new tournament. Which also explains the high number of participants. Some of the new rules were also tweaked at the last minute, with the removal and then reintroduction of “barren hints”: There are several hints you can get in Seeds based on tournament rules, with Barren Hints notifying you that a specific area of the game doesn’t contain items required to finish the Seed.

Runs usually last 3 hours long, with some Seeds being much faster or longer depending on the items’ randomization. It’s important to note you don’t necessarily need to clear all the dungeons to win a race either. It depends of how the Seed is constructed and where the items are located.

There are even runners doing Random Settings races. As in, you don’t know what was randomized or how in the Seed, and it’s up to you to play the game, figure out the rules that the Seed go by, and clear it. This can include Dungeon keys being randomized between themselves or with every other item in the game. Including Skulltulas.

Personally, while I never had the time to try it out myself, the Zelda OOT Rando is my favorite randomizer by far. Needless to say OOT is one of my favorite games ever, and the tournaments have all been truly exciting. I can’t wait for this year’s Top 32 races. In particular, there are commentaries of the races to watch. With an English commentary happening each time on the ZSR Twitch channel, and French commentaries at the Twitch channels of Marco (Season 2 winner) and Kcnecro. There are regular Rando races of other Zelda games too most notably A Link To The Past.

If you’re a longtime Zelda fan, if you’re waiting for the BOTW sequel. If you recognize the impact OOT had on game history to this day. If you already 100%’ed Hyrule Warriors Age of Calamity and its record sales. If you’re simply looking to get a new type of Zelda content, then the OOT Randomizer should be right your alley. I’ve been mentioning in my top ten games of the year lists since I joined DualShockers that OOT Rando is amazing, and it still is.