A.J. Feather

Journalist, Developer

I'm a Missouri native currently seeking a dual masters in computer science and journalism from Columbia University in New York City. Every week I also host an awesome podcast called "Integrate" with my friend Mikah, which you can find at Integrate.FM.

Before moving to New York, I obtained undergraduate degrees in journalism and economics from the University of Missouri-Columbia. In Columbia, I hosted a weekly show called "Talking Politics" for KBIA, the local NPR member station and produced, wrote and anchored video for Newsy.com way too early in the morning.

There has never been a political column I did not enjoy reading or an Apple product I did not enjoy using.

Zelda: Spring Break of Time

I've been on spring break this week, and it's been nice.  I wrote two papers and took a final for a British Literature online course, but that's alright.  It was "break" enough for me.  Between 17th century poems and writing great multisource news for the web (click this) I have (almost) finished the greatest game of all time.  That is, Ocarina of Time.  It's my favorite set of quests, puzzles, and cartoon drama to date.

Defeating Ganondorf at the end of Ocarina was one of my greatest accomplishments as a first-grader - right up next to losing my first tooth and obtaining a holographic Charizard.

Ocarina of Time continues to be one of the most brilliantly developed games of all time.  It gets high marks even today.  As the first 3D Zelda game, it certainly didn't disappoint.  It was stored on Nintendo's largest cartridge at the time, which held 32 megabytes.  (That's the size of about 10 songs off your iPod.)  It was originally supposed to be released for this odd-looking Nintendo 64 extension thing named the "64DD."  It was released on a normal cartridge instead. The need for an extension would shave been understandable though.  That's because compared to any gameplay I experienced up to that point, Ocarina of Time was LONG.

 The Nintendo 64 with a 64DD attached.  (via Wikimedia Commons / Evan-Amos)

The Nintendo 64 with a 64DD attached.  (via Wikimedia Commons / Evan-Amos)

I'm still Impressed by the game when I play it today.  It was one of the first games to have a target-lock system and context-sensitive buttons.  The player was free to roam at will, complete the game out of order, etc.  These features are very common in games today, but at the time, they were revolutionary.  I would still argue Nintendo implemented many of these features better in Ocarina than most if not all other games for the next decade did.

In fact, several critic sites still have Ocarina ranked as the most-highly-rated game of all time. (Metacritic, Guinness Book of World Records)

The current time record for beating the game is about 20 minutes.  Though the players who completed the game that quickly skipped almost every temple, which (I believe) takes the fun out of the game.

Here's a video of a speed run that plays through the whole game.  It runs almost five hours.

Unlike individuals who have the game memorized, I haven't played the game all the way through in several years.  I still have 3 temples left.  So I better get back to it if I want to finish before I head back to school.

Before I go, I should also mention the game had some awesome music too.