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Update: Nintendo Shuts Down 2D Zelda Fan Project

by Manon Hume on May 01, 2017 at 05:04 PM

Update: Unsurprisingly, the fan-made game that used assets from one of Nintendo's biggest franchises has been shut down by the company, according to the game's creator. Developer WinterDrake tweeted an image of a takedown notice (shown below), but says that development of the project will continue without the use of copyrighted material.  

Original Story (published 4/24/17): While Nintendo was brainstorming ideas for The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, the developers used a 2D prototype to test out new features like dynamic weather and destructible objects. Though it may have only been a testing ground for what the game came to be, the prototype has inspired at least one fan to forge ahead with the idea and see where it leads.

Itchio user Winterdrake has released a free demo of Breath of the NES, a mini-experience of what the latest Zelda game would be like if it had returned to the series' 2D roots.

Sporting the 8-bit look of the original Legend of Zelda game, the influence of Breath of the Wild can be found throughout the short demo. The biggest change is adding the ability to interact with the environment, which lends a free-form approach to combat and exploration. As shown in the demo's trailer, players can topple trees onto enemies or lure them into dangerous spikes instead of facing them head-on. Chopping down trees also awards items like apples, and sledgehammers make an appearance to mine rocks for materials.

Other additions include an expanded inventory screen, bonfires, and a day-night cycle (though no rainstorms yet, thankfully).

And of course, Link is sporting his new blue garb as opposed to the classic green sprite of old.

The demo for Breath of the NES can be found on Itchio here. Though Winterdrake stresses that the demo is free, Nintendo is likely to intervene, so it probably won't be around for long. 

See our take on what makes Breath of the Wild so different from previous entries in the series, plus Eiji Aonuma discussing the possibility of 2D Zelda games on Switch.