One of the main reasons I want Nintendo to officially get involved with the modern virtual reality (VR) industry is because I desperately want to visit the land of Hyrule from inside a VR headset. The Legend of Zelda has long been my favorite video game franchise and the prospect of walking through Kakariko Village, exploring Lake Hylia, and entering the iconic Hyrule Castle with my own body in a digital space seemed like a far off fantasy.
Luckily, today is the day part of that dream comes true. Behold, a VR-recreation of the full Hyrule map from the Super Nintendo (SNES) classic, The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past.
“Unfortunately, [we have] no plans to make the game playable due to copyright infringement (this is just for fans, and we wanted to release this as a free fun experience for VR),” explains Melissa Lovecraft of VRmy of Darkness in an email. They’re the ones that created this immersive, explorable VR experience.
“It would be great to make more game maps, but the inspiration for this is particularly because one amazing, wonderful thing about virtual reality (especially as a creator) is the ability to be inside, and be a part of your creations,” says Lovecraft. “It’s brilliant. This map model was actually re-purposed from a Game of Thrones / Legend of Zelda mashup for Megasteakman’s ‘Game of Hyrule’ on YouTube.”
You might recall when the Hyrule map got the Game of Thrones treatment a couple of years ago — viewable here. The full short film does a complete mash up of the dark, Game of Thrones tone with Zelda settings and characters.
It’s a far cry from a full-blown Zelda game in VR, but it’s certainly enough to whet the appetite. Zooming down and standing outside of Link’s house from the start of the game is a massive rush of nostalgia for anyone that grew up in the 16-bit era of gaming. Hopefully this is enough to tide you over until The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild releases on March 3rd for the Wii U and Switch.