Zelda: A Link To The Past [SNES – Beta]

Zelda: A Link To The Past [SNES – Beta]


The images on this page are taken from the Beta of  The Legend Of Zelda 3: A Link to the Past, during the second half of 1991, a few months before its official release. The differences from the final version are in fact very small, but very interesting. Nintendo first changed the HEAD-UP DISPLAY of the game: the bar of the magic had a different shape, more similar to a test tube, the icons of object in your inventory were situated on the left of your stock (while in the complete game they are placed on top of your stock), the life meter went from being written as “+ LIFE +” to – “LIFE -“. Nintendo may have changed the symbol to avoid the presence of a symbol similar to a cross (In the 90’s Nintendo often removed religious symbols from games, in order to avoid controversy).

Beta Version:

zelda link to the past beta

Final Version:


zelda snes beta

In the second beta image, the main difference is the presence of 4 enemies, in place of the 2 single ones inserted in the complete game. This greatly lowered the difficulty of the stage.


In the third image, the bridge is pretty much the same, but on the right of the river we notice the lack of the trees. Instead of trees, some stones in a strange formation is found. The strange design perhaps indicated the location of the secret cove, which was removed from the final version of the game. The main difference in the beta is in minor graphic changes. We’re currently still looking through old screenshots and sprites to find more changes.

Beta Version:


Final Version:


[Original intro in italian by monokoma, translation by Sba sb3002]

You can find more info about Zelda: A Link To The Past in the Zelda Wiki!


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2 thoughts on “Zelda: A Link To The Past [SNES – Beta]

  1. Bryan

    Title: 1/4 Magic Meter Bar

    Rumor has it that according to a number of players for The Legends of Zelda: A Link to the Past, its possible that there was a 1/4 magic meter upgrade to Link’s magic meter bar (on the top left corner).

    Although it has not been seen, its been written about on forums and often posted about as obtainable many years ago…

    According to users, its been programmed into the game with source code present. However, its unproven and remains a rumor.

    It would be wonderful if this could be proven true or, conversely, if it could be verified as not true.

    Would you happen to know if its possible to upgrade to the 1/4 magic meter bar?

    URL 1: https://videogamegeek.com/thread/686573/14-magic-meter
    URL 2: http://www.gamefaqs.com/boards/588436-the-legend-of-zelda-a-link-to-the-past/65682422

    1. Codeflex

      You are correct about this. I did a lot of screwing around with Game Genie with this game back when I was a kid, and I distinctly remember the 1/4 magic upgrade with the test-tube like graphic. Need to look more into this

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