The original Zelda is now visitable in VR thanks to DOOM
If you ever wanted to jump through the screen into the Zelda game world in your childhood days, you now have the opportunity to do so.
With The Legend of Zelda, one of the most influential video games of all time now has an unofficial virtual reality version. The original was released in February 1986 and laid the foundation for one of the most successful game series of all time.
It introduced basic gameplay elements like dungeons with object-based puzzles, currency to buy goods from merchants, and upgrades for the main character and weapons. These elements can still be found in Zelda games today, which in turn have influenced hundreds of other games.
The Legend of Zelda in VR
Now there is an unofficial VR remake that faithfully recreates the original Zelda in the original Doom engine and then makes it VR compatible. Underlying this is the Legend of Doom mod, released back in October 2021, in first-person perspective. This version runs on the Meta Quest in VR via the QuestZDoom engine.
Since the Zelda VR remake is ultimately a Doom modification, the retro VR port also inherits key gameplay features like player movements and interactions from the classic shooter.
The video below shows the first environments of the original Zelda's overworld in VR, the battle system, and a visit to two dungeons. This is the green-gray thing made of blocks.
The VR gameplay video was recorded by Sugary Noe. Behind the Doom remake are the modders from DrBeef and DeTwelve.
Visiting retro games is better than playing them
What excites me about projects like this is not so much the prospect of actually playing the game. The game mechanics of The Legend of Zelda are, for all my love, outdated and also not designed for VR. The gameplay experience with a VR headset is pretty exhausting.
Instead, I'm drawn to exploring the world that captivated me as a child and that I only know from a 2D top-down view, with my own body from a first-person perspective where I see objects and enemies in their full size. It brings back memories and changes them at the same time. It's like the ultimate nostalgia kick, and one you can only have in VR.
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