Posted on March 11 2015 by Rod Lloyd
In September of last year, two Zelda fans from
Polygon’s Charlie Hall met up with designer Evan Stanhope and programmer Jonathon Faulch to tour their amazing NES Zelda world in Minecraft. By just glancing at the overworld, one can see the entirety of NES’ Hyrule rebuilt and detailed, which in itself is impressive. Stanhope went to great lengths to not only make the world appear as it did on the NES, but have it appear beautifully detailed when viewed from Minecraft‘s first-person perspective. For example, aspects of the map such as the waterfall, desert, and graveyard look exactly like the original Zelda when viewed from above, but a ground-level view yields imaginative detail to make the work look more realistic. There are pretty grottos, menacing statues, and a Temple of Time-like structure all tucked away on this map.
When I first watched the video, I was merely expecting the details found in the above paragraph, but the team went beyond my pedestrian expectations. In addition to making the game look like the NES Zelda, this Minecraft world acts like the NES Zelda. Thanks to Faulch’s masterful programming, the world monitors and reacts to the player’s actions so that the experience is comparable to the NES. For example, when the player, say, enters a specific cave, an old man will spawn, say a familiar phrase, and drop a wooden sword. Something similar happens when a player enters a dungeon; he or she will be teleported to a separate dungeon map that can be explored and completed like in the original Zelda. When these guys said they were recreating the game, they really are recreating the game.
The tour is moved to the team’s “lab,” where all the programming takes place. I won’t try to explain all the complex machinery seen in this place, but I will say that the team has a really firm grasp on how the game will work when the project is finished. In the last few minutes of the tour, the team also shows off the programming for their custom enemies that will appear in the game world. That’s right, custom enemies. The duo is using Minecraft programming to create Zelda enemies like snakes and Zelda items like the boomerang. I am speechless.
The team expects the project to take three years to complete. At their current pace, I’d say they’re doing way more than I could even imagine. You can check out their website for more information and updates. I very much look forward to playing through the final project.
Are you impressed? Will you give the game a try when the project is finished? Share your thoughts with us!