‘Zelda’ Nintendo 64 tech demo shows it had portals before Valve’s ‘Portal’

"It was basically a demo of actual portals that you could see through to other parts of the map"

An ex-Nintendo programmer has shared a video showing that Nintendo 64 classic The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time had functioning portals before the game Portal

The video comes from Giles Goddard – who worked at Nintendo in the ‘90s and was responsible for the iconic Super Mario 64 opener with the interactive Mario face – who shared the tech demo on his Twitter.

Viewable below, you can clearly see that the player camera goes through a crystal, taking it from a round room instantly to a long corridor. This is the first time the prototype has been seen in action, but Goddard did speak to MinnMax back in May of this year about the concept.


“We were just making a demo of what it could look like,” said Goddard of the Ocarina of Time tech demo he worked on. “Recently I found an old directory of source code that I backed up, and it was the first map of N64 Zelda,” he continued to say “I was doing all these experiments like you would have a portal where you could look through, go in and you would be teleported to a different part of the map. You could see through a door to a different part of the map.”

Goddard also made the Nintendo Spaceworld 1995 tech demo for a Zelda 64 title, which later became Ocarina of Time which was released in 1998. Goddard was asked if these portals were going to be a part of the main game, to which he replied: “It was R&D for the game, basically. It was, what could we do with the hardware on the N64? It was basically a demo of actual portals that you could see through to other parts of the map.”

Goddard was then asked about how he reacted to the release of Portal in 2007, to which he joked that he should’ve released the Zelda demo then instead. “We had these spinning crystals that you could pick up and spin around,” making the mechanic sound more and more like a fantasy version of the famous portal gun.


In other news, it looks like Sony has filled three Boeing 747 flights to the brim with PS5’s in an attempt to satiate stock demand this Christmas.