kottke.org posts about The Legend of Zelda

The Original Legend of Zelda as a VR First-Person Shooter

posted by Jason Kottke   Jan 12, 2023

This is such a trip to see the familiar original version of Nintendo's The Legend of Zelda being played as a VR first-person shooter. You only get one screen at a time with the top-down 2D view, but in this version, you get as much of the map as you can see - it looks like it stretches off into the distance for miles.

I just went to Wikipedia to look at the release date for Zelda and it came out February 21, 1986. I remember getting Zelda for my birthday that year, which means I somehow waited seven whole months to play that game and, boy was it worth it. I have a Switch now and still fire up the original Zelda sometimes, just to make sure the ol' reflexes still work. (via digg)

The Legend of Nixon, a Data-Driven NES Soundscape

posted by Jason Kottke   Mar 19, 2019

Brian Chirls took the approval ratings for Richard Nixon's presidency and using sounds from The Legend of Zelda's classic Dungeon Theme, he made a data-driven soundscape of the public perception of Nixon's tenure in the White House. Here's what his approval rating looked like:

Richard Nixon Approval

And here's the resulting audio track:

The sound effects mostly represent actions the protagonist Link takes like the "sword slash", things that happen to him like a grunt when he gets hurt, or the status of the game like the low health alarm that beeps when Link has only half a "heart container" left and can only take one or two more hits before he dies and the game is over. The goal of this project is to create a piece of audio that sounds like a typical playthrough of the game and also accurately tells the story of Nixon's fall as represented by the data.

What a cool example of using the familiar to explain or illustrate the unfamiliar. If you've ever played Zelda, you can clearly hear Nixon doing more and more poorly as the track goes on — he's taking damage, the dungeon boss sound chimes in right around when Watergate is ramping up, and he's gaining fewer hearts. It's like he's a novice player armed only with the wooden sword trying to defeat the level 3 dungeon without a potion...the end comes pretty quickly.

Legend of Zelda 30-year tribute

posted by Jason Kottke   Apr 05, 2016

Zelda 30

Scott Lininger and Mike Magee built a fully playable WebGL version of the original Legend of Zelda, which came out 30 years ago. Works in any modern web browser. Not sure how long this is going to be up, but it'll be fun while it lasts.

Beating Legend of Zelda without a sword

posted by Jason Kottke   Dec 11, 2015

One of my video game triumphs as a kid was playing all the way through The Legend of Zelda using only the wooden sword.1 It was difficult. The person in the video above beat Zelda with only three hearts and without using a sword (until right at the end...you need a sword to kill Gannon). Hardcore. Makes me want to fire up the Wii and see what I can do.

  1. A close runner-up was beating Zelda without dying.

Pixel Legend of Zelda

posted by Jason Kottke   Apr 01, 2014

16x16 Zelda

Whoa, Ben Purdy made a 16x16 pixel remake of The Legend of Zelda in 48 hours. Here's how he did it.

Over the two days of work, I built the game from the map forward. What I mean is that my first goal was to get individual map pages rendering on screen. From there I moved on to the game manager component, building out the startup logic and render loop. This lead to the entity system, which in turn lead to the player entity. Once I had the player moving around I built code to check for collisions with obstacles in the map and changing the view when the player hits the edges of the screen. At this point you could explore the whole world map! It was pretty boring though.

Next I started making monsters and items for the player to interact with. Since I had common code to check for collisions, get lists of entities occupying particular squares, etc, the monsters weren't terribly difficult to implement. The most time consuming part was getting the combat mechanics to a good place where it was challenging but not frustrating.

(via waxy)

A list of resources for my recent

posted by Jason Kottke   Aug 22, 2007

A list of resources for my recent dive into the deep end of an infinite pool. Wikipedia page. Search inside @ Amazon. A Reader's Companion to Infinite Jest. Reviews, Articles, & Miscellany. The Howling Fantods! A scene-by-scene guide. Hamlet. Act 5, Scene 1. Infinite Jest online index. Wiki from Walter Payton College Prep (incl. timelines, chars, acronym list, places, etc.). Chronological list of the years in Subsidized Time. Notes on What It All Means. Character profiles by Matt Bucher. Character guide. Vocabulary glossary. Various college theses on IJ. Elegant Complexity: A Study of David Foster Wallace's Infinite Jest (sadly not out until Nov). Not entirely unrelated: map of the overworld for The Legend of Zelda, which I've started playing again on the Wii. Suggestions welcome, especially looking for a brief chronological timeline of the whole shebang, something like the chronologically sorted version of this but covering more than just when the scenes themselves take place.

Update: Just to be clear, this is my second time through the book. (Last time was, what, 4 years ago?) Trying to make more of a study of it this time.

Update: Suggestion from Ian: "Get 3 bookmarks. 1 for where you are reading, 1 for the footnotes, 1 to mark the page that lists the subsidized years in order." I'm currently using two bookmarks...will get a third for the sub. years list.

The Golden Ratio and its appearance in

posted by Jason Kottke   Mar 07, 2007

The Golden Ratio and its appearance in the music of Nintendo's Zelda games.

The schedule

posted by Jason Kottke   Mar 28, 2006

Today I'm starting (and hopefully completing) Operation Empty My Inbox and Operation Close All My Browser Tabs.1 Over the past month and a half, I've barely replied to any email I've gotten, so if you sent me something during that time period, I hope to get to it today and perhaps send you a reply. I've also got about 20 33 tabs open in my browser, waiting to be read, so expect some output from that as well.

Update: Ok! With the exception of 6 messages that need my attention in the next day or after I get back from my trip, my inbox is completely empty. And it only took 5 solid hours of writing, dragging, dropping, applying rules, and eye strain. Still no progress on the browser tabs glut. In fact, the inbox clear-out resulted in 6 or 8 more tabs being opened. One step forward, two steps back.

[1] I'm also starting two smaller projects, Project Learn How To Type Again (jeez, five days of almost no computer use and I've completely dogrhottem hiw tp typw) and Project Steal Footnote Technique From John Gruber, Who I Met At SXSW And Is Completely Delightful. Both of these are in lieu of what I really want to be doing right now, Project Save The Princess. Some friends lent us their GameCube with the Legend of Zelda Collector's Edition, which contains the original Zelda game which is still as fun as ever. Octoroks, Tektites, and Leevers too!

I can't believe The Legend of Zelda

posted by Jason Kottke   Mar 07, 2006

I can't believe The Legend of Zelda is 20 years old. One of my proudest gaming accomplishments was beating Zelda without dying, using only the wooden sword.

Ian Albert collects really large digital images (100

posted by Jason Kottke   Jan 24, 2006

Ian Albert collects really large digital images (100-900 megapixels) and constructs maps of video game worlds, including Super Mario Bros and The Legend of Zelda. (via lia)