So popular is this latest Zelda instalment, it’s managed to become the fastest-selling Nintendo launch game of all time, as well as the fastest-selling game ever in The Legend of Zelda series.
But back at GDC, before the game launched and started smashing records, Nintendo showed off a 2D prototype version of the game which it had been using to test out some of the game mechanics.
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Now, that very prototype has been used as the basis of a fan-made 8-bit version of Zelda that recreates the look of the demo shown off during the game conference.
‘Breath of the NES’ has been developed over a month by Zelda fan and developer WinterDrake and is available now on itchio for anyone to download.
As WinterDrake explains on the page: “After being inspired by Nintendo’s 2D prototype of Breath of the Wild, I’ve decided to try out making my own fan-game!
“Breath of the NES offers a new adventure in the classic Zelda style, but with smooth animations and a more interactive world!”
The game itself looks very similar to the original Legend of Zelda but includes several features from Breath of the Wild, such as the ability to cut down trees, harvest food, and shoot arrows.
Graphical bloom adds some visual flair to Breath of the NES, along with realistic shadows and lightning effects, with plans to introduce more features in the future.
WinterDrake told Kotaku: “This project is still in its early stages…I’ll be adding more areas with distinct elements and atmospheres, puzzle elements for dungeons, and lots of ways to creatively kill enemies.
“…I have a lot of plans for original features in the game, and although I’d like to capture the spirit of BotW and NES Zelda, I’m not restricting myself to be perfectly faithful.”
The devloper says he’s aware Nintendo could step in at any time and kill the project, but says he doesn’t plan to give up.
He added: “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.”
Let us know what you think of Breath of the NES in the comments.