For any Zelda fans who have a love for origin stories and amazing artwork, this one is for you. Back in 2011, series creator Shigeru Miyamoto discussed the possibility of Retro Studios, the Texas-based developer best known for the Metroid Prime series, working with Nintendo on a game in the Zelda series. These statements, combined with existing rumors that the studio was already working on a Zelda title, have since fueled fans’ desire to see Retro’s take on The Legend of Zelda.

Over a year ago, Sammy Hall, a pre-production artist who has worked on games such as Metroid Prime 3: Corruption and Donkey Kong Country Returns, began sharing concept artwork from what he claimed was a “cancelled Zelda project” that “never went beyond pre-production.” This artwork, which recently began circulating around the internet, reveals more of the story behind Retro Studios’ involvement with the Zelda series.

Between 2005 to 2008, Hall was contracted to Retro Studios and began developing artwork for an origin story of the Master Sword set within the “downfall timeline” of Ocarina of Time. Surprisingly, the main character in the story is not the legendary hero Link, as one might expect, but Sheik. This is not the same Sheik who was a disguise for Princess Zelda, mind you, but the last male Sheikah. After the loss of his people, he finds himself alone and begins a journey which ends with his transformation into the legendary blade. In the shadows, however, the Dark Gerudo are preparing for the birth of Ganon.

The concept artwork is pretty amazing; I was quite intrigued by the atmosphere and style. It seems a shame that the project did not get to see the light of day, but at least here, we have a snapshot into what might have been.

You can see the entire collection by clicking on the following links:

Editor’s Note: The collection cannot currently be viewed on Hall’s ArtStation account, but you can see some of the artwork for yourself in the gallery below.

What do you think of this concept artwork? Would you have wanted to see this proposed game fully realized? Let us know in the comments below!

Source: Sammy Hall (via ShineSparkers, Eurogamer)

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