The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild uses many of the familiar staples of the franchise while expanding the usual formula quite literally with one of the most engrossing massive open-worlds ever made. During a presentation at the Game Developers Conference this year, the development team at Nintendo responsible for BotW showed off a 2D version of the game they used to prototype ideas and help re-introduce gamers to some of the elements that made the original NES Zelda so fantastic.
After seeing just a short glimpse of this blocky two dimensional Breath of the Wild, it was only a matter of time before the inter-webs went to work to make it playable…
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Over the course of the last few months, developer Winter Drake has taken it upon himself to make a playable version of Nintendo’s prototype recreated entirely inside of Game Maker Studio. As you can see in the video and images, not only does it look great, it’s even better than Nintendo’s version. You can assume the role of the titular character to chop down trees, shoot arrows, slay Octorocks, harvest food and more. The Korok Leaf and forest fire physics are in place along with a full day/night cycle.
Clearly, Nintendo isn’t going to be happy about this, but Winter Drake says “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.”
In fact, the game will eventually, and already does, feature some original elements. There is already a new item in the game known as a Byoki Berry that is poisonous to humans, but can be used to distract Octarocks (and possibly other things). The spirit of both BotW and NES Zelda are certainly in place here, but Winter Drake won’t be limiting himself to anything at this point. While many of these fan-made tie-in games are interesting, a combination of legal intervention or the lack of funding, they rarely end up coming to fruition as a full experience. I would love to play a new 2D BotW-inspired game, so here’s to hoping Winter Drake sees this thing through.
The game is still in development, but you can download it now if you’re interested it taking an early run through. And if you’re looking to get involved with Zelda Breath of the NES on a development level, be sure to head over to Winter Drake’s Twitter page.