I remember the joy I had playing and finishing the game Zelda – A Link to the Past on Super Nintendo. It was a real adventure that I immersed myself in as if it were a true piece of my life that is now part of my past.
And this past, I propose that we find it together thanks to this program named Zelda3 which is nothing more than a reimplementation in C of the reverse-engineered code of the game. This program, which can run on Windows, macOS, and Linux, just needs the original ROM in its first US version of the game during compilation to extract the resources (levels, images, music) that are obviously still copyrighted.
But once that’s done, all you have to do is launch the binary and you can play Zelda – Link to the Past natively. The developer has also added some features that are not in the original code, such as the ability to fill your hearts and magic (yes, it’s cheating), to grab a bonus dungeon key, or even to speedrun dungeons (CTRL + 1-9).
Compiling the game on Windows is not complicated and can be done with TCC or Visual Studio, but I invite you to read the documentation here to proceed with the process.
And to compile this game on Linux or macOS, you will need Python and Pip. Then run the following commands:
git clone https://github.com/snesrev/zelda3
python3 -m pip install -r requirements.txt
After that, you will need SDL2 which can be installed like this on Linux (Ubuntu):
sudo apt install libsdl2-dev
And on macOS:
brew install sdl2
Then, you will need to obtain the zelda3.sfc ROM and place it in the zelda3/tables directory.
Then, still in the zelda3 directory, run the command:
And there you have it, you will have a nice zelda3 binary to launch. Note that the code can also be compiled for your Nintendo Switch.
Then, you will notice the presence of a zelda3.ini file which will allow you to modify certain game settings, such as resolution, sound, or keyboard keys. This is very convenient. And especially, since the sources are available, it is perfectly conceivable to completely modify the game, change the sprites, music, dialogues…etc.
In short, everything you need to replay all of Zelda Link to the Past, effortlessly and natively on your computer, with good performance and especially some cheating options to not be too frustrated. Because yes, we have grown older and have less patience and time available to beat Gannon.”
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