Fan-made Zelda: Ocarina of Time PC port is finished and available online

Shawn Knight

Posts: 14,467   +171
Staff member
Blurred lines: A fan-made native PC port of Nintendo 64 classic The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time is finally complete and available to download online. Nintendo historically hasn't been fond of people tinkering with their IP. The PC port, however, doesn't use any of Nintendo's original copyrighted assets or leaked content, blurring the lines of legality. Time will tell what Nintendo's legal team comes up with, if anything.

The game was created by a group of community developers known as Harbour Masters and built on two years of work to reverse engineer the original and rebuild it in C code. The group even put out a Nintendo Direct-style presentation announcing the game's completion.

The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time was recently announced as a finalist for entry into the 2022 World Video Game Hall of Fame alongside other memorable games including Resident Evil, NBA Jam and Ms. Pac-Man. Winners will be announced on May 5.

The PC port features HD graphics and fully working audio as well as support for widescreen monitors, keyboards, controllers, force feedback and more. Future features are said to include twin-stick camera controls, online play, text-to-speech support, Easter eggs and support for Mac and Linux.

Check out the group's Discord server and this GitHub to grab the necessary tools to run the game. Notably, you'll need to bring your own legally sourced ROM to the table.

The group also asks that users support the official release of Ocarina of Time on Nintendo Switch Online. Those who share proof of their membership will be given a special role on the group's Discord server, we're told.

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waclark

Posts: 707   +451
The PC port, however, doesn't use any of Nintendo's original copyrighted assets or leaked content, blurring the lines of legality.

Does it "blur" the lines? I'm pretty sure it is illegal (copyright violation) and Nintendo will weigh in pretty soon. Hopefully, Nintendo will get on board and make it legit, but without Nintendo, I'm not sure it can withstand a legal challenge. Just because they didn't use any Nintendo code, doesn't mean it's legit.
 

m4a4

Posts: 3,105   +4,150
TechSpot Elite
Yeah, I'm sure even a "shaky" legal threat will have them take it down.

Unless someone with a lot of money promises to back them in court....
 

gamerk2

Posts: 758   +733
Does it "blur" the lines? I'm pretty sure it is illegal (copyright violation) and Nintendo will weigh in pretty soon. Hopefully, Nintendo will get on board and make it legit, but without Nintendo, I'm not sure it can withstand a legal challenge. Just because they didn't use any Nintendo code, doesn't mean it's legit.

Depends how they did it. If they rip the assets from the ROM and just feed that into an engine (like the PC port of Doom64 does) then they're probably in the clear. Ripping the assets and putting them directly into the game would be an obvious no-go, however.

The code is likely kosher, if it's clean-room reversed engineered. The only question is the assets.
 

Watzupken

Posts: 703   +594
It won’t be long before Nintendo will “request” that they take it offline. Fan made or not, Zelda’s franchise is owned by Nintendo, and historically, we know that they have 0 tolerance for others to publish it.
 

waclark

Posts: 707   +451
Depends how they did it. If they rip the assets from the ROM and just feed that into an engine (like the PC port of Doom64 does) then they're probably in the clear. Ripping the assets and putting them directly into the game would be an obvious no-go, however.

The code is likely kosher, if it's clean-room reversed engineered. The only question is the assets.
After rereading the article and checking out the GitHub, it appears to be an "emulator" of sorts. Nintendo certainly can't say much about that, but the question is ROM access. The article seems a little misleading by calling it a "native PC port".
 

gamerk2

Posts: 758   +733
After rereading the article and checking out the GitHub, it appears to be an "emulator" of sorts. Nintendo certainly can't say much about that, but the question is ROM access. The article seems a little misleading by calling it a "native PC port".
It probably just rips the assets from the ROM then, which is *probably* legal.