But since that stranger, Ganondorf, came here, Lord Jabu-Jabu has been a little green around the gills...The save mechanism in Ocarina of Time was always simultaneously a blessing and an annoyance: saving was instantaneous, and could be done at pretty much any point in the game (I tended to save whenever I'd opened up the menu to swap out items or equipment). But when you loaded the save, depending on where you were you'd either respawn at the start of the dungeon, in your treehouse, or at the Temple of Time. Farore's Wind solved this for dungeons if you remembered to use it (and had the magic spare), but in the overworld it always meant you never started in a convenient place.
Still, it beats the Majora's Mask save mechanism (which had two types of save, and for one type loading the save deleted it).
Anyway, enough rambling about saving (brought to you by never quite making it to Lord Jabu-Jabu before wanting to fire up Mii Plaza and collect the next set of puzzle pieces). Time for Zora's Domain! Getting there is simple enough, and I managed to collect a heart container or two along the way (I think there's a third off to one side, but I couldn't work out how to get there - or come to think about it, that might just be a fairy pool there) and stock up on the increasingly-expensive magic beans. Speaking of magic beans, I'm pretty sure that you can find a Gold Skulltula in each of the patches of soft soil you plant a bean in... except trying to drop some bugs on the soil to make the Skulltula appear didn't do anything. Does this only apply to some places then?
Not much to say about Zora's Domain. Everything was where I remembered it, including the chest that appears when you light all the torches. I did pass by the scarecrow in Lake Hylia and teach him a song, so that's sorted for later on in the game. Anyway, it was soon time for dungeon number 3.
Lord Jabu-Jabu is an exception to the "updated graphics make it less scary" - that dungeon is creepy. It's also a major difficulty jump, what with the electrified jellyfish, electrified claw-tail-things, giant electrified jellyfish, electrified tentacles... okay, pretty much anything in there will zap you if you attack it, and will zap you if you don't attack it. Except for the Octoroks which spring out of nowhere and spit rocks at you (usually while you're carrying Ruto and so can't shield), and the bubbles which bounce aimlessly around until they bump into you and deal collision damage.
Oh yes, and it's also non-linear and very possible to get lost in. The previous two had rather simplistic layouts, and the way forward was always obvious (while Dodongo's cavern did sometimes give you a choice, there was never any need to revisit a room). Here there's nothing of the sort, no hints as to where to go next, and I ended up doing a couple of loops of the place and having to backtrack a few times before finally finding the Boomerang.
Finally, did I mention that you've got to carry Ruto everywhere, because she'll complain bitterly if you leave her behind (and because the Plot demands it... that said, I wonder what happens if you get to the Zora Sapphire without her)? She also complains if you use her to weigh down a switch. On the plus side, you can throw her at the jellyfish to destroy them (apparently Zora are immune to electrified jellyfish).
Eventually I managed to find my way to the boss (after being being ambushed by the surprise giant Octorok - you'd think that after having played this so many times I'd remember how to deal with it, but apparently not). Now, Gohma is straightforward enough as long as you're not an overcaffeinated viking, Dodongo is a pushover, but Barinade is nasty. I'm not sure why - I mean, I didn't even take two hearts of damage from it, and yet it felt like a very frantic battle with lots of running around and dodging to avoid getting zapped by it. The fight also escalates as you deal more damage - in the first phase it's anchored to the ceiling, and you cut the tentacles holding it up. That makes it possible to attack the body, but also makes it angry, and it now starts spinning around the room, throwing out jellyfish to make it impossible to close with it. I don't know how I've previously dealt with it - I have a vague recollection that if you leave it long enough, it stops spinning and releases the jellyfish - but this time I stunned it with Deku Nuts and took out the jelly fish. At which point it got even angrier, started rapid-firing lightning at me, and the whole thing degenerated into stun it with the boomerang, flail at it with the sword, jump back, runrunrunZAPdodgelolZAPfailOUCHrun... rinse and repeat until eventually I dealt enough damage for it to explode in a shower of goo (eww).
Water dungeon bosses are mean.