The Legend Of Zelda: A Link To The Past Is Now On PC

The Legend Of Zelda: A Link To The Past Is Now On PC
Images via Nintendo

Written by 

Tom Chapman


25th Aug 2022 13:15

In the 36 years since we first stepped out into Hyrule for The Legend of Zelda, it's hard to believe how far the sword-swinging favourite has come. As we get ready to battle Ganon all over again, you can go back and play an old favourite on PC like never before.

While most of us will associate Zelda with the OG on the NES, the N64's legendary Ocarina of Time, or (now) Breath of the Wild, let's spare a thought for some of the forgotten greats. While no one is going to be putting Spirit Tracks or Tri Force Heroes at the top of their list of favourite Zelda games, the criminally underrated A Link to the Past is always near the top. 

How Can You Play A Link To The Past On PC?

A Link to the Past Ganon
Click to enlarge

Although 2004's The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap is largely considered the best top-down entry in the franchise, it wouldn't even exist if not for the steps A Link to the Past made in 1991. Dropping the side-scrolling that led to Zelda II being panned, A Link to the Past was a prequel to the first game and famously introduced the Master Sword to the franchise.

Thanks to the work of a Github user called snesrev (via PC Gamer), A Link to the Past is playable from start to finish on PC. It's technically a legal build as long as you have a copy of the original game's ROM, but with around 80,000 lines of brand-new code, you can play A Link to the Past on PC. It'll take a little work because you have to extract levels and images on your own with the clone's code to avoid a legal whipping from Nintendo. Still, it's well worth it.

We've been able to emulate early Zelda games for years now, but building this one from the ground up is reminiscent of the recently decompiled Ocarina of Time. The fan project was a similar labour of love, but with a native version of the pioneering N64 game on PC, it allowed modders to crack open the game and scoop out its gooey middle with a whole host of fun effects. Expect the same with this PC build of A Link to the Past. Want to play as Tingle? There's probably a mod for that.


What's Next For Zelda?

The benefits of this new and improved version of A Link to the Past mean that it won't be long until someone makes a randomizer for it. As PC Gamer points out, a native randomizer would be like booting up a whole new game every time Link draws his sword. We've already covered the wild and wacky Elden Ring randomizer, so you can see the potential here.

PC ports of old Zelda titles are all well and good, but most of us are looking ahead to the much-hyped release of Breath of the Wild 2 next year. Although the new-gen title was supposed to release on Nintendo Switch this year, it's since shifted to 2023. Given the success of 2017's Breath of the Wild, the sequel should be clear to sweep the boards for GOTY - sorry Starfield. While we wait, why not dust off A Link to the Past and give this retro renegade another run? 

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