[This is an overly enthusiastic guest article by vinheim that was originally posted to TIGForums. Zelda Classic is an enhanced remake of the original Legend of Zelda that runs custom quests built with ZC's editors.]
Hey TIGers, prepare your anus for a waaaaall of text.
I bet some of you who’ve played the Legend of Zelda series and enjoyed it are probably thinking “Damn, these are incredible, it doesn’t get better than this!” or “There’s no way a LoZ fan game could compete with these.” Well I’m here to tell you that you are completely wrong and it gets better. Much, much better.
I’d like to introduce two types of LoZ fan games. For the rom hack games, I’ve made some short reviews on [a TIGForums] post. There’s one post near the top and another near the bottom. Don’t worry about the negatives, the gameplay makes up for it.
Second, for the Zelda Classic games, which may as well be the pinnacle of gameplay in the history of videogames since forever. These quests take the core engine of LoZ, add some additional functionality, graphics, and music through scripting and the level editor and let their creativity do the rest. One of the unique functionalities is how people have emulated side-scrolling screens.
Here’s some of the best I’ve played. Assume that graphics, gameplay, sound, and exploration is already awesome and the story is mediocre before reading the additional comments.
Lost Isle – The biggest quest I’ve encountered so far. The overworld itself is 24×16 from what I’ve explored and I’m only up to the 2nd dungeon! (For comparison, it is 3x bigger than LoZ’s 16×8.) This game also has beautiful graphics, beautiful exploration (jot down pathmaps and notes on a notebook and even these simple lines are a piece of art), Nintendo Hard overworlds and dungeons and, so far, the best-themed dungeons. One is based off OoT Water Temple and another off MM Stone Tower/Temple.
If you play this game, you will want to sacrifice yourself to the god found in the nearest book in the nearest library you can find.
Hero Of Dreams – Massive overworlds and challenging/interesting-themed dungeons as well as interesting characters. You will wet yourself when you encounter Dungeon 8 if you haven’t already done that before reaching it.
MegaMan: Dr. Wily’s Revenge DX – Everything is Mega-Man-themed here. All the items, people, enemies, things like stop signs and cars… you name it. Except the Triforce and the fact that the land underneath you was called Hyrule, but that’s explained. Apart from the theme, the dungeons are a beauty to explore, and the bosses aren’t just rehashed LoZ bosses – there are unique ones that are challenging.
Isle of the Winds – Exploration is top notch here. You can explore the majority of the 16×16 overworld after Dungeon 1 and can attempt any dungeon from 2 to 7 in any order. Based on Wind Waker, this quest is extremely challenging (you will probably need a full potion for the very first boss and still die to it a couple times!).
Origin – If you want to play a remake of LoZ, play this one. It takes the same structure and themes as LoZ, but redesigns the whole thing with beautiful graphics and fun dungeons.
Link to Tortuga – Immersive pirate theme with constantly changing village and huge, challenging dungeons.
Link in Cestria – Small overworld that managed to fit tons of interesting content and great exploration in it. Each dungeon has a unique theme you’ve never seen.
Link’s Birthday Deluxe – Challenging and interestingly-themed dungeons. Everything else is excellent. Sounds bland, but you will have a hell of a time playing this.
Ganonco 2: Work Is Death – A story based on working for Ganon’s corporation. Interesting theme, but the dungeons are the main attraction, as well as the battle tower.
Castle Haunt II – Halloween-based quest which relies on you using your own intuition to progress. Not just pure exploration. You will NEED to take a note of what looks suspicious to you.
Castle Haunt III – Same as above, only harder and more beautiful.
Wolfstyle DX – Oriental-themed quest with Normal and Hard difficulty. Hard is a bitch to play! Excellent oriental music too.
Legend of Mario – Xmas Apocalypse – Extremely vulgar content, which makes it beautiful. For example: eating Toad hearts, a child-molesting priest, and a caveman who thought you were dead and wanted to rape you are among the least-threatening content here. You will feel sick and awesome.
WHY SHOULD I PLAY THESE GAMES VINHEIM?!
Well apart from the descriptions I’ve given, these quests are basically higher-quality LoZ games compared to the commercial ones, as well as being 2 to 3 times longer than the commercial ones and also costing 100% less than the commercial ones! They also follow the simplistic gameplay of LoZ, which I have now deemed to be the best engine out there for fan games after DRoD. Sure the stories feel effortlessly written, but it hardly matters when you are balls deep in fun.
ADDENDUM: HOW TO PLAY
You’ll need the ZC program. I recommend v2.10 and v1.92 “The 184 Player”.
It’s recommended to play the quest on the version it was made on. Also, for Lost Isle and Origin, they require you to play on a “Lost Isle” build of ZC which they link to. And remember to back up all sfx.dat files as some quests (mostly by Freedom) give you their own to use for that particular quest.
When you start ZC, you’ll need to register a new name… I’d go for an abbreviation or shorthand version of the quest you want to register it with. Then press whatever button you assigned to “A” twice, locate the file, choose it, then you can start playing.