The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past (SNES)
From The Cutting Room Floor
|The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past|
Also known as: Zelda no Densetsu:
The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past is the third game in the long-running Zelda series, and the first (and with the exception of a few BSX titles, only) 16-bit entry. Featuring two large worlds to explore, loads of secrets, and a fun assortment of items, this game is a fan-favorite.
Full Inventory/Walk Through Walls
Use Pro Action Replay code 0083F8EA, then create a file with a name beginning with B in the first save slot to enable the following debugging features:
- You start with 15 hearts, 255 rupees, 50 bombs, and 50 arrows in the Light World.
- You have a complete inventory. Your four Bottles are filled with a Fairy, and one each of the Red, Green, and Blue Potions. Additionally, you have the Pegasus Boots, Flippers, Titan's Mitt, Moon Pearl, Fighter's Sword, and Blue Shield.
- Press B on Controller 2 to enable free-movement mode, which will allow Link to freely pass through obstacles. It will also allow you to use the Magic Mirror anywhere on the overworld, even to warp from the Light World to the Dark World (which is not normally possible).
- Press R on Controller 2 to remove the selected item or weapon while the status sub-screen is on.
Full Restore/Equipment Upgrade
Use the PAR code 0683C1EA, then create a file named BAGE (JP: ンルルル) in the first save slot to enable the following debugging features:
- Press R on Controller 1 to permanently cut magic consumption in half.
- Hold R and press B on Controller 1 to enable free-movement mode, which will allow Link to freely pass through obstacles. It will also allow you to use the Magic Mirror anywhere on the overworld, even to warp from the Light World to the Dark World.
- Hold R and press A on Controller 1 to upgrade your sword, armor, and shield by one step. Once the sword is upgraded to Level 4, pressing the A button again will reset all three items to Level 1.
- Hold R and press Y on Controller 1 to max out your life, magic, arrows, bombs, and keys, as well as add 255 Rupees.
- Hold R and press Select on Controller 1 to access to the Triforce after the fight against Ganon. Works for three save slots and with any name.
PAR code 00803A00 enables frame advance. Press L on Controller 1 to freeze the game; while frozen, press R to advance one frame. Press L again to resume normal play.
The Skull Woods dungeon tileset contains an unused large skull statue object. This can be seen in a tile viewer, but it's also possible to cause the game to load them into other dungeons via glitching. This tile goes unused in the SNES port, but it is used in the GBA remake for the Palace of the Four Sword (only accessible by beating Four Swords).
The screenshot shows the skull tile loaded into the Dark Palace dungeon, replacing the Rocklops statues in the first room. An explanation of how to perform this glitch can be found here.
Every dungeon entrance has a specially decorated entrance doorway, the only exception being the Sanctuary. There is an entrance doorway for the Sanctuary, but it can't be seen by normal means. It can be seen by either moving through certain walls, or via Hyrule Magic's map editor.
Unused graphics for a keyhole object. Could have been used in any number of places.
Stored with the graphics for the large and small magic refill decanters are sprites for a large and small piece of meat on a bone, looking extremely similar to the Bait from The Legend of Zelda. Whether it would have worked in the same manner is unclear. It takes up the space that graphics for the fish appear normally, but is loaded in indoor areas, so it may have simply been some kind of object for use in houses. Perhaps it was an alternate health-restoring item found indoors, much like the Apples that appear from trees outside.
This may have been originally planned for enemies to drop large and small meat chunks for health refills, with the larger one restoring more life hearts than the smaller one. In the final game, enemies drop hearts instead of meat, and they only ever refill one life heart at a time.
An unused stopwatch object! This would presumably work like the Magical Clock item in Zelda 1, freezing any onscreen enemies. It appears alongside graphics such as Rupees, so it was probably intended to be dropped by enemies in the same manner as the original game. It was presumably removed because the Quake Medallion performs a similar effect.
Japanese text for "ken/tsurugi", which means "sword", and is fittingly found near the sword graphics in memory.
The Letter (called てがみ (tegami) in the Japanese version, but untranslated and blank in the English version) is another item making a return from Zelda 1. As in that game, it uses the same sprite as the Map. It can actually be added to the inventory in all versions of the game; it occupies the spot of the Magic Mirror, suggesting that you needed the Letter to acquire the Mirror at some point in development, in the same way you need the Shovel to acquire the Flute, which then takes the Shovel's spot in the inventory. It's unknown exactly why the letter was canned.
To add it to your inventory, use Action Replay code 7EF35301. In both versions, the item acts exactly like the Magic Mirror when used.
Unused Graphical Effects
Kholdstare's Shell "Melting"
|Download Kholdstare Melting Shell Restoration Patch (U)
File: Kholdstare_shell.ips (28 KB) (info)
Current version: 1.0
A close inspection of Kholdstare's logic indicates that its shell was intended to gradually fade out after being defeated with fire-based weapons. Normally, it just abruptly disappears - several frames after being destroyed. The sudden disappearance of the shell is not aesthetically pleasing, so it's not surprising that this transitioning effect was implemented. Unfortunately, a coding bug accidentally disabled the effect. A fairly simple patch has been created to restore this effect, a link to which can be found above.
As for an explanation of how it was accidentally disabled, it turns out that the palette that was supposed to be manipulated to achieve the fadeout was not correctly invoked. Instead, a neighboring palette was selected for fading. Regrettably, there were no graphics visible in that scene that also used the palette being faded. Thus, this bug understandably slipped through play-testing due to a lack of obvious side effects, visual or otherwise. This bug is known to be present in all SNES releases of the game. Interestingly enough, the shell's fade effect was restored when the game was ported to the Game Boy Advance.
The duck has additional frames of animation that are never used - one of his wings up really high and one of him leaning back slightly, which looks like it could have been used for picking Link up and dropping him off. However, the duck never assumes either of these poses at any time.
While this pink blob does appear in the game, he never changes from his standard, happy expression. These graphics can only be found in the Japanese version.
This unused NPC appears alongside the graphics for "The End", which would imply that he was originally meant to appear in the ending sequence somewhere. It's possible he was a Kakariko villager, or potentially a Dark World resident who had returned to normal. He appears to be jumping, which would make sense if he was celebrating in the ending.
Unused Soldier Helmet
An alternate helmet for a soldier enemy is present alongside the body graphics for the short blade-wielding regular Soldier, those met early in the game. The other helmets used in-game appear alongside their respective body graphics, so this implies that the weak, less intelligent soldiers originally used this graphic for their helmets.
Why it was removed is unknown, but possibly because it looks more threatening than it should for such weak enemies, or because it is the only helmet that makes it clear there is a human body still within the armor and Nintendo didn't like the idea of Link hurting brainwashed humans (while the game implies that the soldiers were merely brainwashed, other material such as the comic and manga have suggested that the enemy soldiers are simply living armor, which might explain why they seem to outnumber the rest of Hyrule's population ten-to-one).
Dark World Bat
An odd, unused Dark World enemy. Some kind of bat thing. Its programming doesn't seem to exist in the game anymore, and its graphics can only be found in the Japanese versions of the game.
Apparently, it would have shot fireballs at Link.
A "mean" face and a "happy" face that can be found stored with the menu graphics.
Bomb Shop Sign Women
Link and the sprite with index 0x3d have had a strained relationship over the years. It normally manifests as a white-haired lady pacing back and forth in front of her house in Kakkariko Village. If Link gets too close, she'll call out for soldiers to come arrest him and bolt inside her home, locking the door.
If this same sprite is spawned indoors, however, she's a different woman altogether. In fact, she's downright weird. This sprite will turn to face the player like many other NPCs in the game, but the only thing she seems to want to talk about is that the Bomb Shop is somewhere West of Link's current position. This mildly suggests that the Bomb Shop was originally in the Light World; or perhaps that there were multiple Bomb Shops.
One could speculate that this sprite's indoor logic was used in the production phase to test out various text messages, or that perhaps the Bomb Shop had multiple rooms. Maybe it was intended at some point to have an indoor sprite direct Link towards the Bomb Shop within a network of rooms.
The red-haired woman (sprite index 0x34) in the village, that also spends her time looking for people to narc on, behaves identically to the older woman when placed indoors. As the white-haired woman retains her appearance indoors, so too does the red-haired woman. This is due to the fact that that these two sprites share the same logic, except for the subroutines called to render them to the screen.
Dialogue Tester Sprite
The sprite entity with index 0xb8 appears to be a leftover debug feature for testing the game's dialogue messages. While it was previously thought that the sprite had some sort of menu for selecting the next message to be displayed, this is a misconception due to the fact that the templates for some of the game menus are found at some of the lowest message indices. Without other logic driving the sequencing of those menu templates, they have no effect.
The sprite initializes its message index to 0x0000 and will increment this index after each message is displayed, which also causes its physical orientation to cycle to another cardinal direction. Each message is triggered automatically when the player gets close enough to the sprite, so the A button is not used to interact in this situation. This effectively prevents the player from passing through the sprite.
There is no bounds checking performed on the message index. Therefore, if the player reads until all of the valid message indices are exhausted, the game will crash, as the next message index will reference data that is not valid for the dialogue system.
When spawned in most indoor rooms, the sprite doesn't look properly constructed. It was later discovered that the Priest ['Sage' in the North American release] sprite and the dialogue tester call the same subroutine to be drawn to the screen. The color of the sprite's garb and skin tone is different from that of the priest, however.
This Hyrulean soldier with a portable cannon is never actually used in the game. He's fully coded and functional, and would fit quite well in areas like Agahnim's Tower.
Chris Houlihan room
The Chris Houlihan room is used as an error handler if you fall into a hole and the game cannot find a proper destination. It is a single cave room and contains a telepathic tile, as well as 225 Rupees. If you exit the cave, you will be warped to the front of Link's House, regardless of which world you were in before entering the room.
There is a bug in the game which can lead you to this room, related to screen transitions using the Pegasus Boots: go to the area to the left of Hyrule Castle and go up. After the transition has ended, drop a bomb in front of you and wait until it explodes. It will hurt you, and push you against the bottom of the screen. Now, charge up the Pegasus Boots, and turn to the bottom while charging up, so you will immediately move down to the next screen. Now, go to the hole at Hyrule Castle which leads to the secret passage and fall into it, and you will appear in the Chris Houlihan room.
Chris Houlihan is a kid who participated at a Nintendo Power event and received the honor to appear in a future Zelda game. Note that the GBA remake fixed this glitch, so there's no known way to get into this room, and even if you could there's no longer any mention of Chris.
The access to the Chris Houlihan room is the ID 82.
Japanese: 「ここは、秘密の部屋だよ~ん。みんなにはないしょだよ~ん。」(Koko wa, himitsu no heya da yoon. Minna ni hanaisho da yoon. (This is a secret room~ It's a secret to everyone~))
English: My name is Chris Houlihan. This is my top secret room. Keep it between us, OK?
French : C'est ma pièce la plus secrète. Que cela reste entre nous, ok ?
German : Dies ist mein ganz geheimes Zimmer. Das bleibt aber unter uns, ja?
In the GBA version, the room is slightly different. The telepathic tile and the blue floor no longer exist. Only the rupees remained in place. If it is not possible to access in the room, it still has the ID 82.
The only possible method to access in this room is to use this code when entering a door or falling into a hole:
|All Versions||03002C4C 82|
The Japanese title screen has neither the sword nor the castle background seen in the American title screen. In the Japanese version, you can go straight to the File Select by pressing Start. In the American version, this option is only offered to you after using "Save & Quit" - if you start the game normally, you have to wait until the title screen actually displays the title before you can go to the File Select.
The Japanese File Select has a stark black-and-white contrast not unlike that of Zelda 1. The American version uses some nice graphics there.
File names in the Japanese versions can only be four characters long. In the American version, this limit has been generously raised to six.
In the Japanese version, the hieroglyphic font is much larger and more detailed than in America. All the text boxes were also made a little wider for the US version.
This tile in the Eastern Temple was changed to remove a religious reference.
|おたずね者 "File Name"
| WANTED! This is the|
criminal who kidnapped Zelda.
Call a soldier if you see him!
In the Japanese version, the Wanted Signs of Link in Kakariko Village displays the File Name you have chosen next to the portrait.
Some lines of the ending sequence were altered between releases:
This was changed to remove another religious reference.
A typical case of Engrish. Fixed up in the American version. However, they forgot to re-center the text when doing so, (this can be seen in the other text revisions as well but not as clear as in this example).
Changed since the Ocarina is called Flute in the American version (why? we'll never know).
An extra script credit for the localization effort was added to the English version.
More Engrish fix-up in the Quest History.
Also, all text in the game was for some reason drawn a few pixels higher in frame in the English version, so the Quest History stats came out looking a little bit akward as a result of this, as the regular text isn't correctly aligned with the smaller secondary text that is otherwise only present in the ending of the game.
Glitches in Japanese v1.0
- After getting the Pegasus Boots, by pressing Y + A at once you can dash while holding out an item. The item works like that, too: by using the Shovel, for example, you can dig an entire row of holes. 
- In the Dark World, there's a ledge on Death Mountain that connects two parts of Turtle Rock. By using the Magic Mirror on the above ledge, you could warp on top of the wall, then jump down to the Turtle Rock ledge and skip a large portion of the dungeon. In later versions, you can still warp on top of the wall, but you won't be able to jump down.
- In any area with movable blocks where you can't use the Magic Mirror (like the watergate room in the Light World), push the movable block and try to use the Magic Mirror at the same time, and the block will disappear completely. 
Glitches in Japanese v1.0 and v1.1
- In the Tower of Hera, on floor 3F, there's a hole at the very right that's next to the wall. Drop down the right side of it to end up on 2F, inside the wall. Jump off to the right and you're "under the floor", from where you can just run straight to the ending! The hole was moved to the left in later versions, to fix this bug. 
- In the Dark World, killing yourself inside a shop or house will cause Link to reappear on the Pyramid of Power with no music. Switching the screens afterwards causes the Light World music to play, rather than the Dark World music. 
- If you make a regular slash with your sword against bombable walls, you'll hear the same sound effect as when you cut bushes, this of course didn't make much sense and was corrected in v1.2. (Not to be confused with the "hollow" sound effect you get when you "thrust" your sword against those same walls, which was already in place.)
Game Boy Advance Port
The Game Boy Advance version came bundled with Four Swords. Achieving some goals in that game would unlock some extras:
- A sidequest involving the third lumberjack, requiring you to catch some special enemies with a special nest item. A new sword move is unlocked this way.
- A new dungeon with rematches with previous bosses, and a new boss battle. It exploits some of the additions of the GBA version, like the ability to dive underwater, and has new enemies. It uses the eighth unused tileset.
The file select screen has been dummied, and replaced with another one common to the two games in this port. The engine was redone, and as such the game is far more stable: the Chris Houlihan room no longer bears this name and is considerably more difficult to access. The translation was corrected at some points too.
The Ice dungeon has been altered to remove a difficult puzzle involving pushing a block across several floors: this way, two rooms from the SNES version were made inaccessible, yet still coded.
|The Legend of Zelda series|
|NES||The Legend of Zelda (Prototype) • Zelda II: The Adventure of Link|
|SNES||A Link to the Past|
|BS-X||BS Zelda no Densetsu • BS Zelda no Densetsu: Inishie no Sekiban|
|Nintendo 64||Ocarina of Time (Debug Version) • Majora's Mask (Debug Version)|
|GameCube||The Wind Waker • Twilight Princess • Four Swords Adventures • Ocarina of Time Master Quest|
|Wii||Twilight Princess • Skyward Sword|
|Game Boy (Color)||Link's Awakening • Oracle of Ages • Oracle of Seasons|
|Game Boy Advance||The Minish Cap|
|Nintendo DS||Phantom Hourglass • Spirit Tracks|
|Spin-offs and Related Games|
|CD-i||Zelda: The Wand of Gamelon • Link: The Faces of Evil|
|Nintendo DS||Tingle no Balloon Fight DS • Freshly-Picked Tingle's Rosy Rupeeland • Irodzuki Tingle no Koi no Balloon Trip|