A while back, we posted a small collection of Zelda 64 (Ocarina of Time) beta videos. These showed off much of the early concept of the game, and now I provide you all with some even more rare beta and promo videos of the game! These videos consist of material from just prior to the game’s release. A few key differences that I noticed was the hammer being used with one hand and being smaller, a music note appears above Link’s head when you learn a new song, the B button was used to call Navi and a few graphical changes. Check out the videos below for yourself!
Along with releasing concept artwork for most of the games, I will also be creating in-depth articles of the development of certain titles and showcasing beta and prototype screenshots. To kick things off, I decided to do a rather quick and simple feature. There is not much known about the development of the original Zelda game aside from a few interviews and concept art, and there is even less material in terms of screenshots.
Originally in the Legend of Zelda, the cave that Link enters to obtain his sword he had the option of the Wooden Sword or the Boomerang. These are the only two screenshots available to show this. It is unknown why the designers intended this as if Link would be able to beat a few of the dungeons without the sword (which is technically possible). The message actually says something along the lines of “Take your favorite weapon”.
Next up is a supposed beta screenshot of Aquamentus (first boss). If you look very closely you can notice that he has wings, and the area is also somewhat different. The blocks are of a different style and the color is different as well. Check it out and compare to the final version below.
And here’s another one of Gleeok. Notice the patterns in the dungeon design, he also dropped a bomb for Link, something that doesn’t occur in the final version.
Here’s an interesting one. This old animated gif shows off Link entering dungeon 3 with a different layout than the original and he has the Magic wand equipped early on in the game. You will also notice that the icon for Link’s bombs is missing.
These screenshots actually come from this old promotional video of the Famicom system. Check it out below to view some beta videos of the original Legend of Zelda. Along with that is actual in game footage of a beta version which includes animation, gameplay videos and more!
Now, lets take a look at some of the concept art from the developers.
Here are some quotes explaining the Second quest and the creation of this game and the world of Hyrule!
Iwata: In order to fit in as many dungeons as possible given the limited memory, you were making them like you were doing a puzzle.
Nakago: Right. Tezuka-san said, “I did it!” and brought this to me. I created the data exactly in line with it, but then Tezuka-san made a mistake and only used half of the data. I said, “Tezuka-san, there’s only half here. Where did the other half go?” and he was like, “What?! Oops, I messed up…” But Miyamoto-san said it was fine just like that.
Tezuka: Heh heh heh. (laughs)
Nakago: So, using the half of the memory that was left over, we decided to create the Second Quest.
The first thing I thought about was a game that made use of the Disk System’s function of rewriting data so that two players could each create their own dungeons and make the other player solve them. We actually created such a game, and when I played it, I felt it was very fun playing in the dungeons themselves. So we put together a game with a series of dungeons underneath mountains distributed around Death Mountain for a single player to solve them. But we also wanted it to feature a world above, so we added forests and lakes, and so Hyrule Field took form gradually.
Now, we didn’t decide the game’s title from the very beginning either. Originally, I wanted it to be “The Legend of X,” but I couldn’t find the appropriate word for the “X.” Then, the planner to whom we assigned the PR project suggested we did a story book of the game.
A few years back, an alleged prototype of Zelda released online. It was said this was an early build of the original version of the game (on the Famicom) and had different room layouts, different sprites, new music and a few glitches here and there. Secrets were also in different locations in both the overworld and the dungeons. You can check out some of the differences below!
Yep, Ganon originally had no color scheme to his design. For a complete list of details and differences between the final version and this prototype, check out Proto: The Legend of Zelda. You can also check out some videos below for some gameplay of the prototype!
Here’s another treat for everyone, a load of official concept art from Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker. These are especially interesting as there were many forms and designs for Link, Zelda and Ganondorf! Did you know Teen and Adult Link were originally meant to be in the game? Hyrule castle was also originally it’s own island that you could explore. There are plenty of unique beta material here and I suggest you all checking it out! And stay tuned for official Skyward Sword and Twilight Princess concept art!
Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask is next up on our official featured concept artwork list and is it a good one. Every MM fan out there will want to check this out to learn more about the development of this game. For instance, there was an adult version of Link that wasn’t Fierce Deity Link. Also, you can check out some beta areas and temples that never made it not the final version! So check them all out below or in our new gallery!
Next up I bring you official concept artwork from Oracle of Ages, Oracle of Seasons and Link’s Awakening. I especially like the Oracle series concept with their unique design of Ganondorf as if he was originally meant to be in the game (not as Ganon). Several others include unique styles of Link and other characters. The Link’s Awakening concepts are basically game concepts, for example how Link will confront and enemy or how certain maps and areas are designed. Check them all out below and in our new gallery!
Today we bring you official concept artwork from both Zelda II: The Adventure of Link and A Link to the Past. It is very interesting to check out what some of the creators originally had in mind for several of the characters in these games. You can view them all here or by visiting our new gallery! Stay tuned as I will feature concept art from the original Legend of Zelda, the Oracle of Ages and Seasons and The Wind Waker in the near future.
With the release of the Hyrule Historia, we have been rewarded a ton of Zelda goodies. And one of those is a TON of concept artwork from all the Legend of Zelda games. Thanks to the help from History of Hyrule and my personal collection of Zelda 64 material I am able to bring you a lot of (possibly) never before seen concept artwork from the development period of Ocarina of Time. So, check them all out below or in our galley! I also have a few hidden beta music tracks and even more beta screenshots, but that is all saved for a future article. I will be adding all the concept art for other games to our new gallery as well. So stay tuned for our next featured game!
In a new upcoming Zelda publication (Hyrule Historia), Nintendo will be showing off a lot of artwork, much of which is beta concept designs from games such as Skyward Sword and Twilight Princess. Check out a few of the images below. This publication releases on the 21st in Japan, no known date for everywhere else yet. But here is a summary of what will be included in this book.
67 pages of Skyward Sword material and details, 70 pages containing the world of Hyrule and a timeline, artwork for several Zelda games, evolution of Link and much more!
We recently added a page fully dedicated to the rumors about obtaining the Triforce in Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (viewed here), and now Game Trailers has made their own video dedicated to all these rumors back in the 90s. And we are proud to say that this site has been used as a resource to gather such information which was used in the video, which can be viewed below.
Many of you might have heard about Zelda II The Adventure of Link was remade (but also never released) as another BS Zelda title for the Super Famicom (Super NES). Websites such as Unseen 64 have reported it was nothing more than a tech demo, but in the latest Iwata Asks, we have obtained more information on that subject. Koizumi was actually remaking The Adventure of Link in polygons for the Super Famicom with Shigeru Miyamoto. Check out what he exactly had to say in the interview below!
Screenshot of the Zelda II: The Adventure of Link remake.
Koizumi: It was true of Shimizu-san as well, but I really liked Zelda II: The Adventure of Link.10
Osawa: So much that you wanted to make it yourself?
Koizumi: Yeah. You might say that, but before Super Mario 64, I had actually been making Zelda II: The Adventure of Link in polygons with Miyamoto-san.
Iwata: Before Super Mario 64… You mean for the Super Famicom System?
Koizumi: Yes. We were experimenting with a thin, polygon Link seen from the side and fighting with his sword. Chanbara was a pending issue at the time. We couldn’t really bring Zelda II: The Adventure of Link into form at that time, but I kept that desire to achieve a sword-fighting Zelda game until I joined this team.
Iwata: So The Legend of Zelda game with chanbara action had been a theme for quite some time.
Koizumi: Yes. Iwata: As you joined the staff as the third member, what did you work on first?
Koizumi: First, I talked with Miyamoto-san about how we should make The Legend of Zelda for the Nintendo 64 system, and he asked, “How about making it so that Link will not show up?”
Iwata: Huh?! Miyamoto-san said that?!
Koizumi: Yeah. He wanted to make it a first-person game.
Iwata: Oh, he wanted to make an FPS (first-person shooter).
Koizumi: Right. In the beginning, he had the image that you are at first walking around in first-person, and when an enemy appeared, the screen would switch, Link would appear, and the battle would unfold from a side perspective.
Iwata: It was said that making one character and making all the backgrounds carried an equal burden with the Nintendo 64 system.
Koizumi: Yes. And from my experience making Super Mario 64, I knew that displaying a character constantly running around on a broad field would be incredibly difficult. But—while it wasn’t very nice of me toward Miyamoto-san—I didn’t try a first-person scene even once!
I have just recently finished a major portion of a new addition to our Zelda 64 (OoT) content. This first piece of exclusive material includes an archive of the rumors in the quest for the Triforce in Ocarina of Time.
Speculation of physically obtaining the Triforce in Ocarina of Time first struck the fans when a beta screenshot of Link obtaining the full Triforce was released through the internet, magazines and other publications. However, this was a screenshot taken during the development of Zelda 64 and cannot be found in the final version due to that portion of development being a demo version.
In case anyone missed this, here is the video of Shigeru Miyamoto and Eiji Aonuma during the annual Nintendo E3 Roundtable. They discuss not only Zelda : Skyward Sword but also the upcoming Ocarina of Time remake for the Nintendo 3DS.