Developer Infidelity has just completed another NES to SNES port and this one is arguably his most important conversion yet: The original Legend Of Zelda! I’ve been playing through it and can confirm there’s been no slowdown or sprite flicker…including those dungeons where the room is filled with Darknuts!
Patreon supporters can download it right now and it will be available to the public soon, once the last few tweaks and additions are made EDIT: Now publicly available!!! If you’d like more info about this, please check out Weekly Podcast #361 at the 12min mark, where I discuss this in detail: https://youtu.be/rviGb9gS_CA?t=721 There’s also more info and links to the livestreams I did demoing it below. EDIT: Updated, check new link…
One question I constantly get in these streams is why would someone make this port? And while that’s a fair question, I think Zelda is an excellent example; Many people might argue Zelda is a near-perfect classic and that any changes made would change the original experience. While I don’t fully agree with that, I always appreciate keeping things authentic…but there’s some limitations of the NES that (at least in my opinion) didn’t age well. Manually porting the game to the SNES (via hex, not Project NESted) will allow the code to run on a very similar, but faster architecture. You can also take advantage of Hi-ROM and FastROM cartridge chips, as well as some of the more advanced graphics capabilities. So what does that mean for Zelda?
Infidelity’s work results in a game that’s absolutely true to the original, but with no sprite flicker and slowdown…regardless of how many enemies are running around. There’s also smooth scrolling between screens, in both horizontal and vertical directions. And while those are the most obvious enhancements, what about video outputs?
If you’re using your SNES with a scaler or high-end CRT, all you need for a sharper image is an S-Video, RGB SCART or Component Video cable. With the original NES, you’re limited to RF and composite. And while those are still excellent options on CRT’s, upgrading your NES’ output to a sharper signal is complicated and costly.
…but this is just the beginning. Now that the game is officially a SNES ROM, more things can be added. I’d personally love to see a “DX” version made, with an on-screen map like in ALttP, as well as the ability to add a different weapon to the extra controller buttons. Then there’s the potential for graphics packs (maybe from BS Zelda), more MSI-1 CD-quality audio soundtracks and much, much more. So please consider supporting Infidelity’s work, as there’s a few more NES games that could really benefit from this “stay the same, but better” approach!
Here’s the livestreams I’ve done so far – Please excuse the short pt1, as my router got unplugged mid-stream and I had to re-connect ;p