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Since Nintendo showed off a rather neat 2D prototype that was used in the development of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, it's been tempting to fantasize about Nintendo releasing it in some form; it'd be an awesome potential surprise in the Expansion Pass, perhaps. There's been no indication this will happen, and Nintendo would likely be unhappy to release anything that wasn't brought up to a certain quality for public consumption.

Of course, this being the internet and an age where talented people have the tools and means to do as they please, a keen fan has been working on their own 2D game along these lines - Breath of the NES. You can see a recent video by Micropig Gaming - aka developer Winder Drake - below.

The demo is free to download and play from, but we all know what that will probably mean - a Nintendo takedown / cease-and-desist. Speaking to Kotaku, Drake has stated that the project will live on if (probably when) that happens, but with new characters.

When a lot of people hear about this project, they jump to worrying about a cease and desist from Nintendo. While I'm going to stay hardworking on Breath of the NES for as long as I can, if Nintendo asks me to stop using their IP, I do plan to continue development with my own original characters. I'm having way too much fun creating this world to just give up.

As for their ambitions for the game itself, while the initial goal has clearly been to recreate the Nintendo prototype there's scope to go its own way.

This project is still in its early stages...I'll be adding more areas with distinct elements and atmospheres, puzzle elements for dungeons, and lots of ways to creatively kill enemies.

I don't feel the need to be bound to BOTW's exact structure. "For example, one of the original items in the game is a 'Byoki Berry,' which the game tells you is poisonous to humans. However, if you drop a Byoki berry near some Octorocks, they'll flock to it ignoring everything else, allowing you to trap them, kill them, or sneak by.

I have a lot of plans for original features in the game, and although I'd like to capture the spirit of BotW and NES Zelda, I'm not restricting myself to be perfectly faithful.

Whether the demo is actually any good is for anyone curious to find out, but we'd be surprised if it lasts long in its current form. In any case, it's interesting to see a developer tackle the challenge, earning themselves some handy publicity in the process.

The internet, as always, continues to bring us intriguing and occasionally awesome things.