A fan managed to copy one of the much-maligned Philips CD-i entries in the Zelda series, The Adventures of Zelda, onto a Game Boy handheld. Fanmade demakes have been a recurring concept in the video game community, with fans wondering what it would be like if modern games were restricted to the hardware of older platforms. Fans have shown games like Bloodborne, Elden Ring, and even a remake of Resident Evil 4 that look like reworks of old technology. Sometimes fans will remake a less successful game, like the infamous Legend of Zelda Philips CD-i game.
For those who don’t know, these are three exclusive games released in the 1990s under a deal between Nintendo and Philips. The first two were side-scrolling platformers similar to Zelda 2 on the NES, while the third, Zelda’s Adventure, was a top-down adventure game similar to the first NES game and Zelda: A Link to the Past. However, they have all been criticized for being pretty mediocre and ugly without Nintendo oversight. While Nintendo would rather have these games condemned by history, there are still some fans who are interested in the Zelda CD-i games despite their heavy malignity. A fan reworked Game 3 for the Game Boy.
This was created by Irish indie game developer John Lay, who released this demake completely free on the itch.io website. Unlike other games in the series, this title sees Princess Zelda saving a captured Link from Ganon. According to Lay, the concept was so interesting that he thought it would be fun to play games on a portable system. As such, he chose the Game Boy as the intended platform, featuring a Link’s Awakening aesthetic and a Zelda-Oracle duo.
This demake is a complete port of the original CD-i game, developed by GB Studio, a retro game creator that specializes in Game Boy games. A video posted by Lay on Twitter shows a comparison between the two. The work on this is impressive, giving the game a retro feel with very little load between rooms. Fans can play this remake of The Legend of Zelda through a browser or even on the original Game Boy hardware.
This isn’t the first time the developer has remastered a game based on Zelda Philips’ CD-i trilogy. A fan remastered versions of the first two titles in 2020, Link: The Evil Face and Zelda: Gameron’s Wand, which included widescreen, subtitles, and improved gameplay. Nintendo will likely never knowingly acknowledge these games, but fans are dedicated enough to keep their memories alive.
The Zelda Adventure demake is available as a free download via itch.io.