Zelda: Ocarina Of Time beta cartridge discovered with new areas and items

An early version of N64 classic Zelda: Ocarina Of Time has been acquired by fans and contains a number of previously unseen secrets.

Dataminers have become a reliable source of rumours and new information in the modern era, especially when it comes to games as a service titles, but hacking a game to find its secrets also works for retro games.

Many fan groups are dedicated to picking apart gaming history and now they have an unexpected new source of information: an early version of The Legend Of Zelda: Ocarina Of Time thought to be a Spaceworld demo from a year before the final game was released.

The early demo was discovered on an old development cartridge obtained by Forest of Illusion and is a much earlier version of the game than the unfinished ROM that was part of the gigaleak last year – which is good because it also means it’s been acquired via less nefarious means.

New areas in the game include inns at Lon Lon Ranch and Zora’s Domain, as well as Gerudo bandits that would move around Hyrule Field at night – instead of regular monsters.

While the map of the overworld seems to be completely different the story structure was also changed in the beta, with Zelda researching the Temple of Time in the Royal Library while Link located the Spiritual Stones from the final version.

Although being able to fly sounds cool there’s no suggestion that any of these things would’ve made Ocarina Of Time better but it’s a fascinating insight into how the game was created and the design decisions Nintendo made along the way.

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