Zelda: Ocarina of Time [Debug Version & Test Map]


This “debug” version of Ocarina Of Time has come to light some years after the release of the original game. Somehow it was discovered and shared online to please thousands of unseen zelda fans. This is the version that developers used to test specific parts of Ocarina, without having to going around the whole Hyrule. With the Debug version, it’s possible to gain direct access to various areas of the ROM, through simple menu and different numbers. The interesting thing is that in these areas you can find situations and parts of levels remained in the memory, but not used in the final game! You can also visit one of the most famous areas of beta Zelda 64, the “stalfoss room” that was showed years before the final release of the game! An interesting note is that the Debug should be based on the GameCube Master Quest, which  makes me wonder why Nintendo still had a playable Stafoss Room in there.

italian_flag.jpg [spoiler /Clicca qui per la versione in Italiano/ /Nascondi la versione in Italiano/]Questa versione “debug” di Ocarina Of Time è venuta alla luce dopo anni dall’uscita originale del gioco. In qualche modo è stata scoperta e condivisa Online, con piacere di migliaia di appassionati. Si tratta della versione che gli sviluppatori usavano per testare parti specifiche di Ocarina senza dover girare per tutto il mondo. Si accede alle zone della ROM attraverso dei semplici menù e numeri vari. La cosa interessante è che fra queste zone è possibile trovare situazioni e parti di livelli rimasti nella memoria, ma non utilizzate nella versione finale! al momento fra quelle scoperte è possibile visitare anche aree famose di vecchie immagini beta di Zelda 64, mostrate anni prima che finisse lo sviluppo! la ROM è stata scoperta da poco, possiamo quindi sperare di ricevere presto nuove scoperte sullo sviluppo della beta di Zelda 64. Un particolare interessante è che la Debug dovrebbe basarsi sulla versione GameCube di Master Quest e mi domando perchè Nintendo abbia mantenuto la Stalfoss Room in versione giocabile dopo tutti questi anni.[/spoiler]




Zelda: Ocarina Of Time [Gameshark Beta Quest]


The Beta Quests are events and scenarios not seen in the game, but that can be reached with Action replay/Game Shark codes. There is an incredible number of variants in the beta quests, and probably no one has really seen them all, so we can only wonder if there is still more stuff left in the cartridge. Some of these Beta Quest scenes are situations connected with the new features that would have been in Zelda URA, while in others it’s still possible to see some of the items cut in the transposition from disk to cartridge, or particulary situations that were changed a bit in the final version. Certainly a precious source of information of beta Zelda.

As Linkx111 has pointed out, this particular mode simply removes the pointers that would connect an area on the game map to another one. Zelda’s game areas are indeed listed inside a buffer, which contains all the areas inside of blocks. Removing the pointers permits the player to travel randomly from a map to another, eventually landing inside particular blocks which has no pointers and contains traces of old beta items, or permitting to explore the cutscene like we would be normally playing in the game. Many of the items could look like betas but are indeed just a messed up version of the normal game, due to the missing pointers  but other items and scenes, not included in the final game, can be accessed via this method.

Also thanks to ZethN64 for pointing this out recently. To correct the previous statment, the beta quest code loads up specific scenes within a map without the cutscene trigger event activated. These cutscenes load up different object sets(NPC and object placement within a map) depending on the last value you use on the beta quest code.(BETACODE 000X) These scenes also contain old exit data within the map that do not always point correctly to the right exit due to the game being compiled and exit table being shifted so many times. Developers saw no reason to fix these exits since they were meant for cutscenes only and the player wouldn’t walk through these exits. These scene’s objects sets however do contain during the time of their creation object placement, aka beta actor/object placement. It gives us a glimpse of what the prerelease/ura Zelda would of been like with these object set placements and how much it differs from the final game.

italian_flag.jpg [spoiler /Clicca qui per la versione in Italiano/ /Nascondi la versione in Italiano/]Più che un gioco a sè, le Beta Quest sono delle situazioni e scenari inediti che è possibile sbloccare in Ocarina Of Time grazie a dei codici per Action Replay / Game Shark. Esistono moltissime varianti delle Beta Quest in base al codice inserito e probabilmente ancora nessuno è riuscito ad esplorarle realmente tutte, non possiamo quindi ancora ben sapere quali meraviglie sono nascoste all’interno della rom. Alcune di queste sono riconducibili a collegamenti che si sarebbero sbloccati una volta unito Ocarina a URA tramite 64DD, mentre in altre è possibile vedere oggetti che sono stati tagliati quando fu spostato su cartuccia oppure situazioni non definitive di scene poi cambiate nel gioco completo. Senza dubbio una delle cose più interessanti per cui vale la pena usare un GameShark e preziosa fonte di informazione sui tagli di Ocarina.[/spoiler]



Zelda: Majora’s Mask [Beta – N64]

The Legend Of Zelda: Majora’s Mask / Gaiden, released for Nintendo 64 as a “sequel” to Ocarina of Time lost some of its original features, including 4 days of the original 7 disappearing from the game, some dungeons, quests and a fishing mini-game (Jabu Jabu fishing) were removed. Yet even so, Majora’s Mask has managed to become one of the best games of the series.

Some more info on the beta development from an interview:

One of the developers for Ocarina of Time, Yoshiaki Koizumi, was not initially involved with the conception of Majora’s Mask, and was working on a different title until he was asked to abandon it. This turn of events resulted in the famous time limit.

Koizumi: That’s what he told us! I remember thinking to myself “That’s not helpful at all!” [Laughs] I’d originally been designing a board game, based around the theme of cops and robbers. I wanted to make it so that you technically had to catch the criminal within a week, but, in reality, you could finish the game in an hour. I figured I’d just throw what I already had into Majora’s Mask.

From Iwata Asks interview for the release of Majora’s Mask 3DS we can read more info on the early differences:

Aonuma: Right. But at first, it was one week.
Iwata: Three days was originally one week?
Aonuma: That’s right. But when you returned to the first day it was like “Do I have to go through an entire week again…”, so we thought three days would be just right.
Iwata: Wait, it got decided just like that? (laughs)
Aonuma: (laughs) In this game the townspeople do different things each day and many different things happen, but when the timespan becomes a week, that’s just too much to remember. You can’t simply remember who’s where doing what on which day.
Iwata: moreover, you probably wouldn’t have been able to make it in a year if you were aiming to make a game filled with so much content for seven days.
Aonuma: right, we never would have been able to do it. We felt it would be best to make it a three-step process, and we compressed all sorts of things we had planned for over a week into three days.

In an interview by Famitsu with Aonuma we can read some more info about the early development of Majora’s Mask:

Because of the tight schedule, the team needed to solve how to deal with the smaller volume. That’s when Yoshiaki Koizumi talked about a popular movie of that time, Run Lola Run, in which a heroine lives the same time periods multiple times. Koizumi suggested using a similar structure for the game. Originally, the cycle was planned to last a full week, but in that way Majora’s Mask couldn’t be finished in a year. The cycle was changed to contain of a start, a middle, and an end as a result.

In the gallery below you can see some beta screenshots released when Majora’s Mask was announced, with some interesting differences: there was an adult Link mask (later changed into Fierce Deity’s Mask), the instruments used by Deku Link, Zora Link and Goron Link were different, in the screenshot with Epona we can see a breakable wall that is not there in the final game, the moon did not have a face yet, some textures were different and we can notice a room full of skeletons that was completely removed.  For more info on the development of Majora’s Mask read this article: Project Zelda 3D – The Development of Zelda 64

Thanks to Nick Bizzozero for the english translation! You can find more info about Zelda: Majora’s Mask in the Zelda Wiki!




The Legend Of Zelda: Majora’s Mask “Beta Quest”


Thanks to some Gameshark codes it’s possible to find an unused item in Majora’s Mask, a bottle with the “Hylian Loach” inside. This item could have been used in the removed fishing minigame that was going to be in the game. With other codes you can go around Termina as Fierce Deity Link, and you are able to see that its 3D model is too big for the normal world proportions (as this trasformation was created just for the boss-fights).  It’s even possible to activate a sort of  “Beta Quest” mode that warps you in different places of the game and some of those seems to be more incomplete than the final ones.