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Never-Before-Seen Footage Of Zelda Portal Mechanic Revealed

Nintendo | Valve

Written by 

Tom Chapman

Posted 

3rd Nov 2021 15:17

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It's been a whole 23 years since The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time played its tune on the Nintendo 64, and yet, it's still going strong. Despite the Zelda name moving forward a lot since 1998, we've barely been away from Ocarina and its legacy as one of the greatest games of all time.

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Not that Ocarina needed any more love, but it was recently brought back to the forefront of our minds thanks to the N64 Switch Online expansion. By now, most of us have probably played through Ocarina a million times on N64, the enhanced 3DS version from 2011, or picked it up again on Switch. But did you know, the game was nearly a Portal precursor? 

What Was The Zelda Portal Mechanic?

These days, the idea of portals in video games is largely attributed to Valve's aptly named Portal from 2007. Long before we were dashing away from GLaDOS, Nintendo had toyed with the concept of traversing Hyrule Castle via portals. 

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Posting on Twitter, ex-Nintendo developer Giles Goddard showed off an archaic tech demo from an early build of Ocarina. In the short clip, we've given a topsy-turvy glimpse at what could've been. Here, players step through a crystal-shaped portal and are transported to a different part of the castle. Goddard claims the clip comes from around 1996 or 1997, and if it's the latter, it was achingly close to making it into Ocarina's actual release.

The long-running Zelda games have always been known for their puzzles making dungeons harder than your average title, however, Ocarina really did its best to make each of the (many) dungeons feel unique. Just like the infuriating raise and drop the water level in the Water Temple, mixing up Hyrule Castle with portals would've been another way to keep Link on his toes.

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Why Was The Zelda Portal Mechanic Removed?

Goddard has previously confirmed the existence of portals to the MinnMax Show and why they didn't make the final cut. In a discussion on prototypes earlier this year, Goddard said, "I was doing all these experiments. You could have a portal, where you could look through, go in, and then you’d get teleported to a different part of the map. You could see through a door to a different part of the map, then walk through it, then walk back."

When asked about why spinning portal crystals weren't included in Ocarina, Goddard admitted, "I don't think they [Nintendo execs] ever saw it, and that's probably why".

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Goddard also said he was definitely reminded of his work when Valve released Portal in 2007. Sadly, the Ocarina portals are just another piece of the game's forgotten history.

Also earlier this year, an early build of Ocarina included a tonne of forgotten features like a medallion that would let Link hide from enemies, an open-world aspect that allowed dungeons to be tackled in any order, flying Pegasus boots, and even the ability to turn into Navi. Sadly, they're all confined to the history books alongside the abandoned Portal crossover we'll never get to play - sob!

 

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Fans Offered $10,000 To Create Multiplayer Breath Of The Wild Mod

Nintendo

Written by 

Tom Chapman

Posted 

27th Nov 2021 11:31

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