Time can be a funny, finicky thing. Fans who have been gaming for a number of years have likely experienced the siren call of nostalgic gaming, drawing them back towards their favorite titles from previous generations. What follows is both the opportunity to revisit fond childhood memories and the realization that what we used to think were good graphics have not stood up particularly well over time. While the blocky, vaguely humanoid main characters of gaming’s past can be charming in their own right, ever since the release of the Unreal 4 engine as free to the general public, fans have had the opportunity to reimagine what older games would look like if released today.
First, there was the Pokemon Unreal 4 demo that showed Charmander, Bulbasaur, and Squirtle frolicking through a wooded mountainside landscape. Then came an unsettling and, frankly, somewhat nightmarish look at what Nintendo superstar Kirby might look like in the real world, complete with his attempt at eating entire horses. Now, a YouTube user has taken it one step further, recreating an entire setting from an absolute classic.
ArtistArtorias, an artist who showcases his work on YouTube, debuted a video five days ago that details his meticulous restructuring of The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time‘s iconic Kakariko Village in the Unreal 4 engine. The village looks positively beautiful in HD, as an excellent interpretation of child Link roams around and takes in the sights during the video. ArtistArtorias says during the showcase that the village took him a “very long time” to build, and it shows in the intricacy of each landmark.
Beyond being an incredible demonstration of both fan dedication and digital world-building talent, ArtistArtorias’ video also serves as a potential preview for what the new Legend of Zelda game for the Wii U might look like. We already know that the game will feature Nintendo’s interpretation of an open world concept, and the title will also be developed to push against the edges of the Wii U’s processing and graphical power limits. It wouldn’t be a stretch, then, to see a landscape just as beautiful as ArtistArtorias’ Kakariko Village in the newest game.
If the huge Legend of Zelda fanbase is okay with entertaining themselves for a while, Nintendo is probably pleased with that too. Although other games featuring Link, Zelda, Ganon and other classic Hylians are due to release in the near future, the newest Legend of Zelda game proper might not even make the 2016 release date it was originally scheduled for. In the meantime, those anticipating more news on when they’ll get to free roam with Link will have to make due with a new co-operative game coming to the 3DS in October.
Do you think that The Legend of Zelda would be a good fit for the Unreal 4 Engine? What other classic games do you want to see reimagined with better graphics? Hit us up with some suggestions in the comments.