The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past remake

For my final year project I will be recreating the “Over World” (AKA Hyrule) from the Nintendo game “The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past” in 3D. This reconstruction will be to a similar standard and style to the new Zelda game “The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess” (set for release on Nintendo GameCube Spring 2006). “The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past” was originally released on the SNES (Super Nintendo Entertainment System) in 1992 and is completely in 2D using sprites and a three-quarter top-down view. Although great for its day it has dated somewhat and lacks the impact and grandeur it once had, of being one of the best games in world. I plan to give the game a fresh lease of life by bringing it into full 3D and making it more realistic and to the standard of games currently available on the Nintendo GameCube.

This project will be done in 3D Studio Max and Adobe Photoshop. My intensions are to just make the outside sections of Hyrule (no dungeons/ caves/ insides of houses etc). I will also produce a short video reel in order to demonstrate the final piece. I shall also investigate the possibility of exporting my 3D models into an actual game engine in order to show off the real-time capabilities of the models.

Research will include making a detailed examination of the games themselves in order to determine the layout of the buildings and any clues to the height of structures as well as the lay of the land (rivers, hills, mountains etc). In addition to this I will also examine screenshots and official art work/ concept art found on the internet. I will contact Nintendo Co Ltd for information such as the polygon count of Hyrule Field in “Twilight Princess” and any art work they would be willing to provide related to “A Link to the Past”. I will also look at books such as “Building Interactive Worlds in 3D” by Jean-Marc Gauthier, “A Visual Dictionary of Architecture” and “Architecture Form, Space, and Order” by Francis D.K. Ching, “The Art of Game Worlds” by Dave Morris and Leo Hartas, as well as any other books that relate to game worlds and architecture. All this research will help me make a faithful recreation of “A Link to the Past” however some artistic freedom will have to be used in order to make it look similar to “Twilight Princess” and in areas that the player doesn’t see in the original game (back of houses, trees, etc).

Present – October: research, concept art, designs, preliminary models
October – January: modelling and texturing
January – February: Lighting, rendering
February – end: report and post production

Copyright 2005/6 Ben Collings