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Nintendo may never release the prototype it made for The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild in the style of the original NES game, but a fan just has.

A developer, who goes by the named WinterDrake, has released Breath of the NES for free on the game-distribution platform. This is a remake of a prototype that Nintendo showed off during a presentation at this year’s Game Developer’s Conference. As part of that event, Nintendo gave a talk about the creation of its latest mega-hit, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (read our review), and the game’s developers revealed how they tested the ideas for the physics and other systems by first testing them in the 8-bit style of The Legend of Zelda for the Nintendo Entertainment System. Now, fans can get a test of what that’s like in a fan version.

Like in Breath of the Wild for Switch and Wii U, Breath of the NES features a physics system, multiple weapons, and a ton of items to pick up. You can chop down trees, set fire to a field of grass, and cook elixirs. But like in the prototype that Nintendo demonstrated at GDC, this fan game uses a top-down perspective and low-pixel count with shadows behind the characters for a slight parallax-3D sensation.

It’s a striking look for anyone who has fondness for the first game in the series.


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I’ve asked Nintendo for a comment. I’ll update this story with any new information from the company.

This is, of course, not the first fan game based on a Nintendo property. In recent years, we’ve seen excellent projects like Another Metroid 2 Remake come from people outside of the publisher. But like those games, it shouldn’t surprise anyone if Nintendo’s team of lawyers are typing up a cease-and-desist letter right this moment to send to WinterDrake. That could put a stop to development and distribution on, so you should get it now if you have any interest in trying it for yourself.

Alternatively, you can see the game in action by clicking play on the video above.

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