A fan-made video that recreates a “prototype” version of The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time has been released, attracting the attention of users. The video was apparently created based on various materials “unearthed” by users on the Internet, which are more than 25 years old.
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time is an action RPG released for the Nintendo 64 in November 1998. In a departure from the previous 2D games of the Zelda series, the title introduced 3D graphics, adopting a viewpoint from behind Link’s back. It is reported to have sold approximately 1.45 million copies in Japan and 7.6 million copies worldwide, making it a highly successful title worldwide. In addition to ports and a Virtual Console release, the game has also been remade for the Nintendo 3DS under the title The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D.
Recently, a fan-made video showcasing a “prototype” mod of Ocarina of Time has been gathering attention from fans of the series. The video was shown on F3 2023, an online showcase hosted by Kaze Emanuar, in which unofficial mods for various retro games, mainly from the Super Mario series, are introduced. The unofficial beta-style recreation of The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time was revealed as the finale of the video.
The video demonstrates gameplay of the unofficial project titled Zelda 64. The graphics are in the style of Ocarina of Time, and elements reminiscent of the game such as Bombs and Cuccos can be seen. On the other hand, one can also spot elements not found in the original Ocarina of Time, such as jelly-like enemies and a blue spirit-like character with wings. Familiar enemies such as Dodongo and Stalfos can be seen in the mod, but they use different, simpler 3D models. The Heart and Rupee UI is also different, and the 3D graphics in general, including Link’s model, have a rougher finish than in Ocarina of Time.
The project’s name, Zelda 64, is the tentative title Nintendo had used for Ocarina of Time. The tentative title and its gameplay footage were shown at Nintendo Space World, an exhibition of Nintendo’s consoles and games, as well as at E3 1997 and other events. Zelda 64, the unofficial fan-project, seems to be an attempt to recreate the atmosphere of this early prototype of The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time.
According to Kaze Emanuar, the creators of Zelda 64 wish to remain anonymous. Various information on the early version of Ocarina of Time has been discovered and collected by users up until now on The Cutting Room Floor, a site dedicated to researching unused and cut content from video games. Stalfos and the jelly-like enemies seen in the Zelda 64 gameplay footage can also be found on The Cutting Room Floor entry, so the unofficial project Zelda 64 was likely created based on such information.
There is another similar project for The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. It is an attempt to recreate the early build demo version of the game released at Nintendo Space World 97. This project is said to have originated from an F-Zero X development cartridge discovered in 2021. While F-Zero X is a 16 MB game, the cartridge had a capacity of 32 MB, and it seems the early build demo of Ocarina of Time had been stored in the extra space.
In other words, after being used for the demo for Ocarina of Time at Nintendo Space World 97, the cartridge may have been overwritten and re-used as a development cartridge for F-Zero. In any case, it seems that the project to reproduce the demo version of that time was launched based on the contents of this cartridge. While the demo version was limited in scope, it did include three different gameplay elements in the form of “tours” that are not included in the full version of The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time.
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time is about 25 years old, and its prototype and demo versions are even older and known only to a limited number of people. Despite this, information has been unearthed by fans to an unexpected extent, leading to different projects trying to recreate these early stages of the game.
Written by. Amber V based on the original Japanese article (original article’s publication date: 2023-08-16 15:51 JST)