Something to look forward to: Ask anyone what’s the best Zelda game ever made, and most people will say either Breath of the Wild or Ocarina of Time. Luckily for those who pick up the Nintendo 64 classic, a fan-made port is coming to PC in a few weeks.
Videogameschronicle reports that a group of community developers called Harbor Masters have been working on the Zelda port, which is now 90% complete and could arrive as early as mid-February.
The port builds on the work of the Zelda Reverse Engineering team whose two-year project saw them decompile the code for Ocarina of Time. A similar method was used to create the Super Mario 64 PC port from 2020.
“We were hoping to be done by mid-February and use about a month until April 1 to refine the game before release,” Harbor Masters developer Kenix said, adding that the work on Harbor PC had started almost immediately. like Ocarina of Time was completely reverse engineered.
Kenix said the Zelda port uses Fast3D, the same rendering backend written for the Mario 64 port, enabling widescreen support at launch and adding other modern features later, including 60fps.
The port also includes a scripting system that organizes and loads assets similar to modern games, making mod support much easier. So we can expect to see things like ray tracing and updated graphics tweaked for the Mario 64-style game.
Nintendo, of course, has a reputation for cracking down on unofficial fan projects like these, but Harbor Masters thinks they’re safe in that regard: the decompiler code isn’t identical to Nintendo’s original code and was not created using disclosed ownership documents. Regarding the use of the game’s copyrighted assets, which resulted in the Mario 64 executable being hit with the DMCAs, Kenix explains:
“[…] we packed the assets in an external archive. No assets are linked to the exe. Our belief is that this will prevent a DMCA takedown from Nintendo as SM64 has linked all assets in the exe file.”
PCGamer notes that to legally play this Ocarina of Time port, users will need to dump all of these assets from their own copy of the game, but a version with fully player-created assets will likely arrive at a later date.
The Zelda Reverse Engineering team is also working on decompiling Majora’s Mask. Kenix said that once this is complete, they expect to be able to build a PC port even faster.
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