Two fans of Legend of Zelda and game designing enthusiasts managed to recreate the original Legend of Zelda in the browser using WebGL. The game is playable right now and allows players to experience the original NES title in 3D from the comfort of your browser.
IGN is reporting that the game is playable at the moment by just visiting the website Zelda30Tribute.com. It will load up the game in your browser and enable you to play through some of the early parts of the adventure title with some dungeons.
According to the IGN article, only a few of the dungeons are complete and playable. Also, it's noted that the entire game world has not been fleshed out just yet. They note in the article that Nintendo could very well crack down on the game-designing duo who are known only as “Scott” and “Mike”.
This browser-based rendition of The Legend of Zelda utilizes voxel depth rendering for the graphics, so it features a lot of the same sprite designs from the original NES title but in blocky 3D voxels.
Players start off in the open-world as Link where it's possible to walk around, pick up things, battle monsters and explore some of the dungeons. The game is played using a segregated, virtual NES controller that is displayed on both the left and right sides of the screen. The 'A' and 'B' buttons are located with the start button while the directional pad is off to the left on its own.
The virtual pad isn't necessary for playing Legend of Zelda remake, but it's useful if you're using a mobile phone or tablet device to play through the browser. The game is surprisingly functional and almost feels just like playing the original in 3D.
The music also stays exactly the same, with the 8-bit chiptunes filling in as the soundtrack throughout the player's adventures. There's practically no input lag and the frame-rates are decent enough.
More than anything, Nintendo might step in and shut down the project for being so polished.
This isn't the first time Nintendo games have been remade through a browser and freely available to play. Recently there was a Nintendo emulator that turned 2D games into 3D designs, enabling gamers to play classic NES titles with the added z-dimension for a bit of extra depth. A few of the games looked radically different from their original, especially both Mega Man and Castlevania, the two of which many found to be the best looking games that made the transformation into 3D.
There's no telling how long this remake of The Legend of Zelda will be up and available to play through your browser. It's free so there's no risk of having to commit to anything to enjoy the little project.
While this is a cool tribute as part of the 30th anniversary celebration for the brand, Nintendo has their own celebratory efforts in mind with the release of the high-end, new-generation Legend of Zelda that's due out later this year for the Nintendo Wii U. There are also rumors that it may be coming to the Nintendo NX as well. Nevertheless, you can still check out the free remake of the classic adventure title through your browser if you have the time.