The Legend Of Zelda: Ocarina Of Time has been successfully reverse-engineered by a community of modders.
This feat was accomplished by the Zelda Reverse Engineering Team (ZRET), who spoke to VGC about what this project could mean going forward. It allows for Ocarina Of Time mods and even ports to platforms like PC, although none of this has been officially assigned to ZRET.
According to VGC, the group has made the Nintendo 64 title into parsable C code, and it’s all legal because of how ZRET made the game from the ground up using only official content from the game.
“It’s been a wild ride. We’ve been able to create c code that, when compiled, reproduces the original game. We call this ‘matching’ decompilation,” ZRET told VGC.
“Last night, Fig, who is a notable community member as well as a project lead, matched the last-remaining function in the project. This means that all compiled code in the game has been turned into human-readable C code.
“We thought for a time that we may never be able to match every function completely, so this is an incredibly exciting accomplishment. Dozens of people helped work on this project, and together we were able to achieve something amazing.”
Despite this success, there’s still a fair amount of work to be done to complete the Zelda project. Code needs to be re-organised, definitions re-organised, and asset-handling needs to be supported to make viewing and modifying the code on PC easier.
Due to debug tools present in the game, the GameCube Master Quest version of Ocarina Of Time was used by ZRET, but the team wants to tackle other versions as well: “We have been working on decompiling the Master Quest Debug version of the game. However, Ocarina Of Time has over a dozen other versions, which we plan to also decompile and support in the project.”
As noted by VGC, ZRET will not be working on porting the game to PC. Still, similar efforts with Super Mario 64 led to one group bringing that game to PC, which allowed it to scale to different monitors, add mods, and even include some more modern details like ray tracing.
Elsewhere in the world of Zelda preservation efforts, the original Space World 1997 demo for Ocarina Of Time has been remade and released by a group of modders.
In other news, Rockstar co-founder Jamie King has said he could see the studio’s future games becoming less “edgy” as time goes on, after King left in 2006.