Development has finally been completed on The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time PC Port, and you can go and play with Link and ride around Hyrule Field on Epona right now because it's also out now!
This port has only been made possible because of a fan project to reverse-engineer Ocarina of Time, where the code itself is legal as it doesn't use any leaked content or copyrighted assets. To play the port, you will need to find a legally-sourced N64 ROM for the N64 game.
Harbour Masters, the brain behind this fan-made PC port, announced the release of its project in true Nintendo fan-style - with their own Direct-style announcement. You can even get it running on your Steam Deck!
But Harbour Masters isn't resting on its laurels, either. The developers will be working on adding more to the port, including text-to-speech, 60fps visuals, HD models and audio, more texture packs for the game, and support for both Mac and Linux users, among many other things. There are already several mods available for the port too - from the sublime to the ridiculous, of course - so there are a plethora of things to do on top of replaying and beating one of the best Zelda games ever.
We can imagine this will be a boon for speedrunners in particular. Ocarina of Time is a hugely popular speedrunning game, and this fan-made PC port makes it much more accessible to players.
Harbour Masters has also said they want to do something similar with Majora's Mask, which we're sure many people would be hugely excited about. The reverse-engineering is underway for that right now, which is just over 45% completed.
Will you be checking out this port of Ocarina of Time? Let us know in the comments.
I have no doubt this looks beautiful but the problem is I've played Ocarina of Time so many times now over the years I no longer have any desire to play it now.
If you need a rom, how can it be a port?
@RubyCarbuncle Yeah, I feel the same way. Besides, I already own the 3DS version and can boot up the one on NSO anytime I want. So there really is no reason to play a PC version. If anything I'd rather play a total remastered version for Switch or its successor.
bet they are already in jail
I'm really excited to see this release. So many great possibilities with this port.
Speedrunning seems a bit strange when it's not the official original game. Noone can tell if you tweaked a parameter in the code ever so slightly.
I'm sure nintendo will be pleased to hear the news.
I hope someone will mod Shrek into the game
@TommyTendo now I can hear the opening sequence playing All Star
I always feel the same way seeing projects like this... And that is.. I'd really like to see what talented developers like this could REALLY do, if they weren't cloning someone else's work.
Make something new and unique. Use that EPIC amount of skill that you quite clearly have, and amaze us with your own projects.
Possibilities are endless. This game will look amazing with the talent out there
But if you have the ROM...why do you need this port?
Also I'm sure you can say it's legal as much as you want but Nintendo will shut this down soon.
Incredible. Fans do what Nintendon't.
PS: Nintendo can't shut it down. They aren't providing any of the copyrighted material so it's legal. It's like an emulator.
Because it comes with 0 of the assets and it grabs the assets from the rom, hence why the project is able to stay up without being shut down
As to why is this useful. We now have complete access to code, and it isn't restricted by the N64 system limitations and knowledge of the platform, so anything is possible and anyone with any coding knowledge can do whatever they want with it, which will lead to much bigger and better changes than just hacking the rom
"finished" there are still a lot of bugs
@Jayenkai This is not a "real" project from scratch, this is decompiling the game's code and then making it readable. They didn't build anything from the grounds up
SM64 PC port with ray tracing mod was a blast to play. Can't wait to do the same with OOT.
It's honestly been a long time since I played this game end to end. This might be a nice experience. Not sure where to source my ROM from, however. Last legal version I owned was the WindWaker bonus disc. ^^
Nintendo take down in 3… 2…
Think of it from a different view: Creating a decompilation of a game means fully understanding exactly how it was made. Any future projects the people who made this (and the Mario 64 decompilation) will be undertaken with the knowledge of countless little tricks learned by analyzing every possible detail of these masterworks. It is somewhat analogous to how being very well-read helps one become a better writer.
This is a very strange legal frontier.
Nothing of Nintendo's was copied. A team wrote source code that, when compiled with the appropriate parameters, results in a binary identical to an N64 ROM.
This is very interesting. I saw a few headlines about this, but never read the articles, and I was confused on why Nintendo hadn’t taken it down, but it’s because the source code is original… that’s really smart actually. This must’ve been a nightmare to make.
Quite a few port jobs have been done this way. It's not terribly dissimilar to emulation, or building virtual machines. These guys had a ROM available while they were working, they just aren't distributing it.
The cool part here is that the entire process of extracting files from the ROM for running natively on PC has been automated, so we all can do it at home, using a ROM that we can personally vouch for.
It's is a project I'll have to read up on, because that's super interesting.
Meh this won't be the first or last of these things, good that they had their 15 minutes of fame. The game did not need any fixing but I guess everything had to be modern looking to be good. While I will applaud them for making the game ran better, the game in its originality was already way better so all they're really doing is just polishing it more which is unnecessary.
The reason why I applaud and love the Street Fighter Alpha 2 patch for Super NES unlike this one even though both required the original rom to play is that that patch actually made an annoyingly bad game super good, all this does is just making a great game well less great. Now if any hackers spend this much time polishing a good game why not actually try to fixing a bad game so it plays good that would be most impressive. A fix good version of Superman 64 and Castlevania 64 would be awesome. I remember someone made a good version of Street Fighter 1 as well, that one was really good and made me enjoy SF1 more but this Ocarina of Time patch version is unnecessary and less impressive.
@Specter_of-the_OLED "All this will do is make a great game, well, less great."
So, adding 4K support, ray tracing, HD models, any level of next-gen asset swap your graphics card can handle, and many other additions, somehow would make this game less great?
People have wanted Nintendo to develop an Ocarina of Time Remake for years now, and if Nintendo still won't, then a few dedicated people just might with this. I would love to see an Ocarina of Time Remake on the levels of FF7R, but that day may not come for years.
Even just adding ray-tracing makes almost game suddenly look incredible. I really hope Nintendo is investing hard in an AI-upscaled illusion of ray-tracing not too dissimilar to DLSS.
But that's where I'm still skeptical. What about the simple likeness of Nintendo IPs, notably stuff like characters, names, and music? Even though the game code itself is perfectly legal alongside maybe the assets, how about the designs of those assets themselves?
I was under the impression that Nintendo is super duper strict when it comes to IP. For one thing, they certainly don't like it when their voice actors perform outside of official or licensed works, so what about this port?
@Jayenkai those are very very different pool of talents. reverse engineering code is very different to game development of something new. I can't tell if you're a nintendo corporate shill concerned about the intellectualor property of nintendo or just unaware of the creative process. This is more on the technical/engineering side, which is absolutely brilliant.
@cool_boy_mew I think the feigned outrage over a 24 year old game is ridiculous. Having said that, I have no doubt Nintendo will take legal action. I get why you’re saying it SHOULD be legal but Nintendo won’t care. The same thing was said about SX OS, (you technically could use it legally) and that ended badly. Little different because it’s hardware exploit but the big N has tons of legal resources and most viciously protects their IP. As with the Mario 64 PC port, I see a cease and desist coming promptly, even though I think the project is amazing, myself.
I already have OoT on my Switch, it can't get better than that.
@RubyCarbuncle It's not for you or the 12 others who liked your post. What reverse engineering does is pave the way for much better OOT mods set in new worlds, upgraded graphics, engine enhancements etc.
been wondering why fangames and stuff like this always get the "what if they did something unique and their own instead!" but never fanart, mockup videos of What If Game Was Super HD/faux anime trailers, etc.
just makes me think about how the dude working on dragon ball super was originally doing dragon ball fan-manga, and i doubt he was getting the geek equivalent of "Well if you just APPLIED yourself"
@ModdedInkling Because it's like an emulator. All the assets and music is in the ROM, that it's not included.
And yes, unfortunately, Nintendo don't like their fans enjoying their games outside their fence, even if it's just the music.
@liveswired Uhh ok? I'm sure there's more than 12 people that feel the same but that does not matter if you like it sure no worries. I don't tend to take much notice of likes btw.
You misunderstand, this project doesn't contain any assets at all. No models, textures, music, or anything owned by Nintendo. To use it you have to provide that stuff yourself.
There are already a bunch of decomplied Nintendo games online that Nintendo still haven't taken down, so rest assured this one is safe too.
It's not at all like an emulator, that the whole point.
@ThePizzaCheese Why not? Can you explain your point beyond "no"? This doesn't include the game itself, thus it's not a port of the game.
Because it does include the game, just not any copyrighted assets. It doesn't use any N64 machine code, instead all the code was rewritten in C and compiled for x86 computers. Which is exactly what a port is.
An emulator would just attempt to convert the existing N64 code into similar x86 commands on the fly.
That's why it needs the rom for the assets. 0 likeness in the code
The Mario 64 PC decompilation would have been given a C&D a long time ago if they could, but they can't. They're only going after pre-packaged download, hence why you need the room to do it
There's even ways to do it legally. Apparently the VC downloads on Wii U, if you put it in an SD card, you can access the rom this way. Or something like the Joey N64 where you can dump it yourself, if you wished
@ThePizzaCheese The code is ported, not the game. It's a similar scenario to an emulator. The outcome is the same. It's legal. You can rip your own cartridge rom and combine both.
So basically what you're saying is it's a game with no textures or text whatsoever? Keep in mind, my comment was referring to the likeness of the assets, not the assets themselves.
@ModdedInkling It's a port of the code. You get the graphics and the music from a rom. If you use an original rom and no mods, the game looks exactly the same but, obviously, in higher resolution and different aspect ratio. By combining the PC code and the rom, you'd create a native port, a native and not emulated version of the game that has no emulation issues and limitations.
The code is the game. That's how computer games work. Sure both methods are legal, but I'd argue porting is a vastly better outcome then emulating.
@ThePizzaCheese The game is not just the code but, anyway, yes, this is better than emulation, which I have never doubted.
Other then the code, what else is there to port? All game ports just port code. Saying this is like emulation is like saying Skyward Sword on Switch is like emulation, which it isn't.
@ThePizzaCheese You literally said "The code is the game" but anyway, I don't want to get into a loop here.
Right, but you said otherwise, which didn't really make any sense, so I was just asking for clarification.
@ThePizzaCheese The code is the code. The game is the code, graphics and sound/music, which is what I said. This work is a port of the code, not a port of the game but it will be known as the PC port of Ocarina of Time because, obviously, people will combine it with a N64 rom although they could also use their own assets. Just like the Super Mario 64 PC port (also available for Nintendo 3DS).
Sure, but those thing can't be "ported". My point is that this project isn't any different any other game port. All ports just combine assets with code.
I'm hoping Smash 64 will get a similar port, this seems very cool!
How does stuff like this not damage Nintendo? How is it legal? I don't get it.
Basically because it still requires you to actually own the game to be useful. You can have a read through the comments here if you want more details.
@ThePizzaCheese Yeh, it's on my to do list lol
@Serpo ROM is for validation purposes and likely to help keep nintendo from cease and desisting them. Question is, what do they consider to be a "legally attained ROM". I believe there are 3 different rom dump formats for N64.
This isn't emulation.
The ROM is for extracting assets from, not validation. There's about 17 different N64 versions of OOT. This port so far requires the EU GameCube OOT debug rom. There's no way to validate where you get it from, that's up to you.
I have this on wii and a remaster on 3ds. I'm just waiting for an official hd version tbh.
So it's just the ROM containing the assets being "illegal," not the code itself?
This is substantially different than all of the versions Nintendo has released. On the Wii, it uses emulation (also applies to the Wii U and Switch). On the GameCube, it was an enhanced port with extra content. The 3DS was a remaster of the game with slightly improved code and updated graphics.
This PC "port" is technically a "remake" because it's the same game coded in a different language from the ground up
The likelihood that we'll get an HD version is very low, for two reasons. First of all, the 3DS version greatly decreased that chance because it itself is a remaster. Secondly, Nintendo would rather give players this within NSO Expansion Pack, so they did that instead because it's cheaper than re-remastering or remaking the game.
I think it's time to change the title of this article, because it's REALLY confusing everyone including myself and is very misleading. This is technically not a port, because a port of a game is a very vague term. The more accurate term is "recoded" or "decompiled"
@ModdedInkling That's great, and I understand (maybe not the technicalities of it being built from sctratch for the pc) but I disagree with you that we won't get a hd remake or remaster. Nintendo has remastered ever 3d Zelda game at this point, and Grezzo must be working on something. I think we will at least see a 3d remaster or even full remake of ocarina of time within the next five years.
Yeah the legality of this basically hangs on where you source the ROM from, and the country you live in of course.
But, yes, this project is technically a port. The decompiled code base this is made from is for creating a 1:1 N64 ROM. That N64 C code has been adapted for x86 PC, ie a port.
It's not really a remake, since the codes was made to replicate the N64 code 1:1, "replication" would be a better word. A remake would generally be an entirely new thing, like Link's Awakening on Switch.
Oh, and fyi, the GameCube versions were also emulation.
If there's one thing Grezzo could be working on, it's possibly an entirely different remake, looking at games that haven't been remastered or remade yet, like the Oracle of Ages/Seasons.
@ModdedInkling Correct, it's not a game port because it doesn't have any music, sounds or graphics, you have to add them yourself. It's just a port of the code. What they did is to port the N64 code to PC. Then what you do is combine that with the Ocarina of Time N64 rom, or your own assets, to make the game whole. The result is a native version of the game running on another platform and then yes, at that point you'll have created a game port.
To port a video game code to another platform is not illegal. To use the ROM/iso files is not illegal either. For instance, when I hacked my Wii U (via software, not hardware), I ripped my own GameCube discs (with a homebrew app) and I use those iso files on Wii U because Wii U can't read GameCube discs but can run GameCube games. To have backups of games you own is not illegal either. What is considered illegal in most countries is to distribute ROM/iso files without authorisation of the copyright owner.
Most of the people that will play this version are already Ocarina of Time fans that have bought the game multiple times on N64, GameCube, Wii, Wii U and 3DS! Even after this port, if Nintendo remakes the game again, they and I will still buy it. The best thing about having the code running on PC is that we'll be able to play Ocarina of Time in 60fps, when available, for the first time. Why some people worry so much about Nintendo and not about the small companies that struggle is beyond me.
That's interesting actually. However, after playing the definitive remake version on the handheld 3DS with gyro controls to look around, there was no going back after that! Lol.
I still don't understand why this is considered legal? Even if all the code is original and new, aren't the characters, level designs, and art assets all still based on things Nintendo owns? Someone give me the ELI5 version of this.
It's legal because users have to provide those assets themselves via their own legally obtained ROM.
Have a read through the comments here if you're interested in a deeper explanation.
I think at this point NLife should just feature an article explaining all this, since people ask about it every time they post about these kinds of projects.
@Strumpan they'll just pick the same version and modless (or with same mods). simple solution which i've seen already being used in some speedruns
@Adamn for what? They have not done anything illegal as far as I know. They have released a way to build the port but they do not provide the game rom required to build it.
@ModdedInkling True, that would be cool to see. A re-imagining of Phantom Hourglass or Spirit Tracks would be really interesting too I think.
I can't wait to see ports for the Wii U, Dreamcast, DSi, Vita and etc... as happened with Super Mario 64 and OpenLara. (honestly, this is what excites me the most about the unofficial PC port)
It was insane to see OpenLara running on a Zeebo f#cking that uses BREW, it would be really cool to see the same with Ocarina of Time.
@ThePizzaCheese That reminds me of how you need the Steam version of Sonic 3 & Knuckles to play Sonic 3 A.I.R
@Jayenkai I think it's probably the opposite... That is, easier to copy a great, than to make your own. Not only that, but this gives them name recognition, which is tremendous help if they do go on to make an original.
im ignorant when it comes to pc gaming But I do know about Emulators and Roms in general, even if I can't always get them up and working. So, define "legally sourced Roms". and then once I have it? join that discord group and someone there will help with the rest?
@Serpo The ROM contains the textures, which for legal reasons cannot be included in the port.
This is always a curiosity.
Coding skill doesn't always imply game design. They could be very capable and do something amazing, but while they may be brilliant, they may not be creative, or have the right understanding about how to train a player in the game, through the game, on how to take on more complicated parts of the game.
Maybe they have no graphical skills or musical skills. Then they'd have to use purchased assets, and while the game might be great, many players would pass it up because "it's an asset flip. "
There's a massive journey from good programmer to good game creator. Our from good creator to someone who can convince others to give a game the time of day.
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