A Link to the Past Has Been Reverse Engineered, Unofficial PC Port Now Available
Posted on August 30 2022 by Rod Lloyd
After years of ports and re-releases on various Nintendo platforms, The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past has now found its way to the PC. Last week, Github user snesrev surprised the internet with the stealth release of a “reverse-engineered clone” of the Super Nintendo classic that runs natively on the PC without the need for emulation.
This native PC port of A Link to the Past was made possible through a process known as “reverse engineering.” Essentially, the game’s original code was decompiled using publicly available sources and then reconstructed from the ground up in modern computer language, namely C/C++ code. The resulting version of A Link to the Past (or more specifically, the port’s code) is therefore comprised of wholly original content and utilizes no propriety, Nintendo-owned code.
Snesrev’s PC port of A Link to the Past is currently available from Github right here. As only the port’s code is being distributed for copyright reasons, you will need your own ROM of A Link to the Past from which to extract the game’s original assets and then compile the port yourself.
The reverse-engineered code does not feature any Nintendo-owned code, art, sounds, or other game assets and is therefore shielded from any copyright concerns. All materials currently distributed by snesrev are wholly original.
Modders and speedrunners within the Zelda community are already discussing the exciting possibilities allowed by this new PC port. Performance improvements, high-res textures, widescreen support, and built-in randomizer functionality are just a few features now on the table. And that’s not to mention the countless off-the-wall ideas that only modders can provide.
This A Link to the Past port is only the latest Zelda reverse-engineering project to bear fruit this year. Thanks to the efforts of the Zelda Reverse Engineering Team (ZRET) to reverse engineer Ocarina of Time‘s code, two high-profile native PC ports of that Nintendo 64 classic have been released this year. One of these ports, titled Ship of Harkinian, has in particular been a hot spot for Legend of Zelda modders. With ZRET still hard at work decompiling other Zelda titles, like Majora’s Mask and The Minish Cap, more Zelda PC ports may be just around the corner.
What are your thoughts on this native PC port of A Link to the Past? Will you be trying it out for yourself? Let us know in the comments below!
Source: snesrev (via PC Gamer)
Rod Lloyd is the Editor-In-Chief at Zelda Dungeon, overseeing the news and feature content for the site. Rod is considered the veteran of the writing team, having started writing for Zelda Informer in 2014 as a Junior Editor. After ZD and ZI officially merged in 2017, he stepped into the Managing Editor role and has helped steer the ship ever since. He stepped up to lead the writing team as Editor-In-Chief in 2023.
You can reach Rod at: firstname.lastname@example.org