The beautiful, intricate game that is The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild actually started out as a much simple 2D Zelda, and now a fan has brought that game to PC’s everywhere.
The fan-made game, Zelda: Breath of the NES, was inspired by the 2D prototype of Breath of the Wild that Nintendo showed off at GDC earlier this year. The 2D Zelda had much simpler graphics but contained the interactivity and mechanics developers were building for for the final game.
A demo for Breath of the NES is available on itch.io now. Developer Winter Drake describes the game as “a new adventure in the classic Zelda style, but with smooth animations and a more interactive world!” It was built in a few month in Game Maker Studio. You can use a keyboard or a gamepad to play it.
Though the 2D Breath of the Wild prototype is Winter Drake’s inspiration, the game adds its own additional items and features.
“I don’t feel the need to be bound to BOTW’s exact structure,” Winter Drake told Kotaku. “For example, one of the original items in the game is a ‘Byoki Berry,’ which the game tells you is poisonous to humans. However, if you drop a Byoki Berry near some Octorocks, they’ll flock to it ignoring everything else, allowing you to trap them, kill them, or sneak by.”
Winter Drake emphasized that this is only the demo, and that the game will eventually have “more areas with distinct elements and atmospheres, puzzle elements for dungeons, and lots of ways to creatively kill enemies.”
Will there be an autumnal region like Akkala? Can I make Octoroks suck up a bomb and explode them like the dumb idiots they are? Please say “yes.”
Additionally, you can’t save your game in this demo version, but of course the full game will allow you to save.
Also coming to Breath of the NES are difficulty settings, more languages, and music. In fact, Winter Drake is looking to bring more people onto the development team, including pixel artists and composers.
And don’t worry, the developer is very aware of the possibility of legal troubles from Nintendo. As we saw last year with that Pokémon fangame takedown, Nintendo isn’t afraid to file a cease and desist.
“When a lot of people hear about this project, they jump to worrying about a cease and desist from Nintendo,” Winter Drake told Kotaku. “While I’m going to stay hardworking on Breath of the NES for as long as I can, if Nintendo asks me to stop using their IP, I do plan to continue development with my own original characters. I’m having way too much fun creating this world to just give up.”
Even though Winter Drake plans to continue to develop this game if Nintendo shuts Breath of the NES down, you might want to go ahead and download the current version now. 2D Link in a layered, interactive world? Can’t let that get away.
We’ll keep you updated as the exciting fangame Breath of the NES progresses.