Fan made Zelda’s Adventure for Philips CD-i in the style of Link’s Awakening
In the early 1990s, through a unique licensing arrangement, the Dutch electronics company Philips acquired the rights to make three games based on Nintendo’s Legend of Zelda series for its CD-i interactive CD-ROM format. The CD-i isn’t really a game machine, and Philips isn’t really a game developer. The results were, predictably, dire – one of the few caveats in Nintendo’s history that contributed to the company being fiercely protective of its IP.
Today is the third of those games, 1994’s Zelda’s adventure — generally considered the worst of all — was remade by indie developer John Lay for the Game Boy, in the style of its contemporary, massively superior Link wakes up. You can play Lay’s version in-browser on itch-ioor download a ROM to play on an emulator or on original Game Boy hardware.
If nothing else, it’s a bit easier on the eye than the famously ugly original, which looks cobbled together from crappy clip-art and unintentionally hilarious full-motion video cutscenes. The first two CD-i Zelda games were side-scrolling platformers in the style of Zelda 2: The Adventure of Linkand featured hand-drawn sprites and animated cutscenes, but Zelda’s adventure — the second CD-i game to feature Princess Zelda herself as a playable protagonist — blends the series’ traditional top-down view with its own somewhat eerie aesthetic shift.
“The game remains in the aesthetics of Link wakes upbut also incorporates some features from Oracle of Ages and Oracle of Seasons,” Lay wrote in his description of the port, noting that he developed it with game creator GB Studio.
Lay told Kotaku the Game Boy Zelda’s adventure it took him around 14 months to build. Zelda’s adventure is nothing more than an odd footnote in Zelda history — but if you’re looking for that playable princess fix then Tears of the Kingdom either dash or make your dreams come true, this is the perfect place to start.