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Prerelease:The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past

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This page details prerelease information and/or media for The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past.

To do:
Add more of the prerelease content.

The prerelease materials for The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, though fragmentary and seemingly spread out over what would be multiple iterations of the game during its development, provide a great deal of insight into the changes the third game in the Zelda series went through during development. The content can be divided into several types -- overworld maps, graphics assets with no associated context, sprite assets that would make up animations for Link and NPCs, files containing environments in prerelease versions of the game, animation instruction files capable of animating graphics assets, cutscene demos, and rough sketches by the developers of prototype assets.

Some facts about the prerelease material:

  • It is clearly an incomplete picture of the game's graphical development. Large swaths of the dark world overworld do not have prototype environments. A few notable light world overworld spots are missing as well, such as the place in the light world that mirrors Turtle Rock's entrance in the dark world. Some existing environment and map files do not have corresponding graphics files or palette files associated with them.
  • Arimoto and Watanabe's workspaces[1] make up the source of the largest amount of the A Link to the Past graphical data. A smaller collection of graphics assets are in the folder named simply ゼルダの伝説神々のトライフォース (that is, The Legend of Zelda: Triforce of the Gods). That folder also contains the source data.
  • Development on the Japanese version lasted from March 1, 1989 to October 11, 1991[2] or 2 years, 7 months, and 11 days.
  • By September 23, 1991 at the latest, the developers had both mode-7 minimaps complete[3] -- indicating the general layout of the worlds was definitely finalized by this date and likely earlier.
  • A note on a phenomenon observed in the file last modified dates in Arimoto's A Link to the Past data: while many assets have unique last modified dates associated with them, some seem to have a specific file date that may have been appended through the use of a backup tool or other software at a later date. Such files have been observed to have modified dates around [05/22/1991] and [05/23/1991] with timestamps that can vary within 24 hours most likely relative to the time zone of the computer reading it. No assets in Arimoto's workspace have modified dates earlier than these, likely indicating an import of data from another workstation or backup. This makes the file dates on those files relatively poor for getting a perspective on a development timeline of assets. However, in the metadata of various files, one can find an S-CG-CAD version signature "metastamp" that could provide a sense of the timeline in a different manner. That metastamp can be found by opening the file in a text editor like Notepad++. An example of the format it appears in is 'NAK1989 S-CG-CADVer1.21 900611'. It is either indicative of the version of S-CG-CAD the file was created with or, more likely based on the observation of iterative files,[4] the version of S-CG-CAD the file was last modified by. When the last modified dates are [05/22/1991] or [05/23/1991], it will be used to provide a rough ball-park figure that is closer to accurate regarding when the file was last being worked on than those specific inaccurate last modified dates which only seem to indicate the file was not modified after that date.

Early World Maps

smap1.scr [S-CG-CADVer1.21 900611] smap.scr [S-CG-CADVer1.21 900611]

Smap1.scr is one of the earliest maps known to exist from A Link to the Past's development. It provides a general outline of the map with few key locations.

Smap.scr is a slightly more developed version of smap1.scr. Now various notable locations, some not present in the final game, are represented.

map-1.scr [S-CG-CADVer1.21 900611]
Map-1 with interpreted tile locations.png

This is a reconstruction of what map-1.scr from NEWS\テープリストア\NEWS_04\.\home\arimoto\DELDA\ could've looked similar to with a reasonable, yet somewhat conservative, attempt at reconstruction. The graphics (2D tile) data for that map file is not present and likely lost, so an attempt at reconstruction was required to get anything of value out of the map. The palette map-1s.col used was edited only to facilitate usage of tiles from the final game, and a custom graphics file was arranged from existing tiles in earlier maps and imported final game tiles. The actual placement data from the map-1.scr file was not edited at all as that would have defeated the purpose of the most fidelity possible to that original map data.

However, just because the original map-1.scr file was not altered, this does not mean that the tileset is even 90% accurate. It is a guideline to give the viewer an idea of what the map was like in broad strokes, not a 1:1 image of what the map certainly looked like. There are several flaws which were unavoidable because some of the tiles (or even a hint of what the tiles were) do not exist in any graphics file yet found. It attempts to be close -- an approximation -- with exceptions for the buildings/landmarks that were hypothesized based on past and future maps we do have, but more than that cannot be achieved without finding its lost graphics data file.

When final game graphics were imported or any pixel editing done, this was was not done to say for sure what the tiles at these locations looked like at this map's time in development. That is impossible. This was done to give an idea of where unique unknown tiles were used while doing it with more than just a black background with a number, as was done in cases where no existing graphic at all seemed appropriate. This would help to let the viewer know unequivocally, however, that these are all the places that single tile was used in the map. If you see an "8" in the swamp, an "8" on a grassy plain, and an "8" on death mountain, that means the same tile was used in all those locations. As another example, on the right of death mountain there is a 2x2 location where Tower of Hera tiles are used. This does not mean that the Tower of Hera was certainly in this version of the game, but rather it is used in a representational manner to tell you there was something unique here.

smap2.scr [S-CG-CADVer1.21 900611] smap3.scr [S-CG-CADVer1.21 900611]

With these two additional map screens, the developers also seemed to have been experimenting with a system that didn't make it into the final game whereby regions of the map would be grayed out and not show key locations yet.

Notable Graphics Assets

hone.cgx [S-CG-CADVer1.23 901226]

A giant skull formation in front of a sheer mountainside. This formation is visible from the early overworld maps, and is accompanied by some preliminary sketches -- which is somewhat common in the prerelease material. The formation may be a dungeon or cave system entrance. It's worth mentioning that this formation is present on the earliest light world maps of A Link to the Past and thus is not a dark world formation alone. Since the prerelease content does not have dark world maps from this early in development, it is unclear whether the formation would be the same in the dark world, be entirely different, or if the dark world was even conceived of yet at the time this was planned for inclusion in the game.

There is an earlier version of this formation with the filename hone.CGX.BAK with a metastamp of S-CG-CADVer1.21 900611 as well, indicating it was going through development much earlier, as expected by its inclusion in the early world map files.

mo.CGX [NAK1989 S-CG-CADVer1.23 901226]

Early versions of the Dark World Forest tiles are present. Notable are the alternate dungeon entrances!

taiboku.scr [S-CG-CADVer1.13 900424]
Delda taibokuscr + delda taiboku-2cgxbak + delda hyrl-1col.png

A large tree (translated from the Japanese "taiboku") flanked by two smaller trees on either side with a pool of standing water before them. They stand within a forest clearing containing other, smaller trees. All have faces. This scr file is clearly in an unfinished state but gives an idea of what the designer intended for this area of the early overworld. It appears in the early overworld maps in the upper left corner, in the place near where the master sword would be retrieved in the final game. What role this area would've played in that event at this stage in the game (if any at all) is so far not possible to discern. This concept of trees with faces would find its expression in the final game within the dark world instead of this earlier, abandoned application of the concept.

hmori1.CGX.BAK [S-CG-CADVer1.13 900424] hmori2.CGX.BAK [S-CG-CADVer1.13 900424] hmori3.CGX.BAK [S-CG-CADVer1.13 900424]
Hmori1 BAK.png
Hmori2 BAK.png
Hmori3 BAK.png

Early forest sketches, likely some of the earliest assets in the prerelease material.

h-6.scr [S-CG-CADVer1.13 900424]
Arimoto zelda i h-6scr + arimoto zelda m hokoracol + delda i h-acgxbakSCR.png

A rather unusual and extremely rough draft of a screen, which seemingly was never finished. May be a very early draft idea for the large tree but made with simpler assets. Its metastamp lends credence to it being a rather early asset.

polter.cgx [S-CG-CADVer1.21 900611]
Poltercgx and poltercol.png

An early graphics file whose name is suggestive of "poltergeist." That fact and the graphics themselves indicate the developers were at one point planning on having more than just dungeon floor tiles be thrown at the player by unseen forces. Many of the assets are items recognizable from the final game that are found in the houses of residents like tables and benches, but with additional frames of animation indicating they would be thrown at the player and break. There are also some other dangerous items like axes and knives. The matching palette with its name gives the impression the lights would be out during these events, creating an eerie atmosphere.

hsinden.CGX.BAK [S-CG-CADVer1.13 900424]
Hsinden BAK.png

An earlier version of the Eastern Palace entrance, fully assembled in its graphics file.

7-1.cgx [10-23-1991]
7-1cgx - alternate tower of hera.png

An alternate Tower of Hera graphic which seems to go unused even in the prerelease environment files; exists in the raw graphics data fully assembled.

osr-osr-1.CGX.BAK [NAK1989 S-CG-CADVer1.23 901226]

Features of Hyrule Castle and Sewer graphics can be seen, as well as early designs for the small chest, spiked floor, and locked doors

sinden.CGX.BAK [09/25/1991 6:19PM PST] c.CGX.BAK [10/22/1991 5:58 PM PST]

An early version of the Eastern Palace graphics. Notable are the early designs for the engraved snakes, and what appears to be lava resembling that of the final game's Turtle Rock dungeon. Some of these assets appear in another file, 'c.CGX.BAK' (note its file date may be residual from a tool or backup).

osr-hsinden.CGX.BAK [NAK1989 S-CG-CADVer1.21 900611]

An early CGX file which contains numerous early assets, including what appears to be an early sluice gate and its corresponding push switches. The CGX appears to contain banks of graphics for several different locations, including tiles fitting for Hyrule Castle. Some of these are even referenced in 'hsinden.SCR.BAK'

hsinden.SCR.BAK [NAK1989 S-CG-CADVer1.13 900424] hsinden.SCR.BAK with osr-osr.COL [NAK1989 S-CG-CADVer1.13 900424]


A chibi version of Link. It can be found in '\other\NEWS\テープリストア\NEWS_04\home\arimoto\zelda\chivilink.CGX' and is paired with 'civilink.COL.BAK' from the same folder.

earth.CGX [10/28/1990 5:10PM PST]

A different design for Link is found in this file. The other graphics may be intended to be assets for another magic attack, similar to the final game's medallions--various medallion and spell effects can also be found in this folder.

toroku.SCR [11/04/1991 8:56PM PST] toroku1.CGX [11/04/1991 8:56PM PST]

An early mockup of the File Select screen.

s-1.obj [12-10-1990] rift.obj.bak [12-06-1990]

Here are two objects found in the graphics data with animations associated with them. On the left is a switch that can be pressed into the wall rather than being pulled outward from it. On the right is a lift that seems to be able to fall out from under the individual riding it. It bears some resemblance to the platforms Link can create with the Cane of Samaria and ride on.

(Source: Delda (Animated Object Graphics))
ice.obj [Graphics/Palette last modified: 10-16-1991; Object animation: 08-02-1990]

An animation that appears to be a concept for part of a medallion spell animation.

(Source: Delda (Animated Object Graphics))

1990 Era Prototype Overworld

OSR-ST - 1a-9d.scr.bak [S-CG-CADVer1.12 900404]

Credit to the Delda group for assembling this extremely early prototype overworld from the OSR-ST folder. It's notable that the developers created "Work in progress" signs to point out where some assets have yet to be added. Even at this early stage, facets of the final map are noticeable: a lake in the lower right corner, Hyrule Castle situated in the center with a river running past it creating a moat, and the upper left corner of the map being more heavily forested. It is uncertain if the cave systems were planned to lead anywhere at this point but several caves in the top left are unreachable unless cave systems were to connect to them from the bottom left of the map.

It seems likely this overworld was abandoned when the graphical style was later changed to move closer to what we know as the final art style of the game, but facets of its design persist into the final map.

(Source: Delda (Image))

1991 Era Prototype Overworld Environments

The overworld design assets for key areas like the area around Eastern Palace, Death Mountain or Hyrule Castle are divided into numbered areas, each made up of 4 smaller quadrants that when merged form a larger whole.

Overworld Area 1 - Lost Woods

Tanabe Folder: Overworld Area 1 - Lost Woods
Quadrant 1 (varied dates).png

The Lost Woods area as retrieved from the Tanabe folder. The upper two screens have modified dates of 08-18-1991. The lower two screens, which are noticeably further from the final and have more tiles that appear out of place, are older than 05-23-1991 but not older than 12-26-1990, the date of their S-CG-CAD metastamp of S-CG-CADVer1.23 901226. The thieves' dens found in the final are not yet in either portion of the map, but one can see they were planned in the CGX graphics files.

There is also a different, older version of the upper left corner of the woods in the Yamada folder seen here; it contains similar issues to the older lower screens in the Tanabe folder and has the same modified and metastamp dates as those quadrants:

1a yamada.png

Overworld Areas 2 and 3 - East and West Death Mountain

Tanabe Folder: Overworld Areas 2 and 3 - East and West Death Mountain
Quadrant 2+3 East and West Death Mountain.png

An extremely rough and early version of both the eastern and western areas of Death Mountain. The two screens on the upper right which bear a different palette are relatively newer -- with a last modified date of 07-22-1991 -- than the others. The rest of the files, western Death Mountain and the bottom of eastern Death Mountain, have metastamps of S-CG-CADVer1.23 901226, approximately placing their era at some time after that date but before 05-23-1991.

One thing these maps reveal that might not have anticipated otherwise is that Death Mountain went through a phase of design early in 1991 -- and likely before if the early world maps are any indication -- where the mountain extended higher and the player never really got to the peak. The top leftmost screens exemplify this phase of development, but we can see the contrast with the later phase of the mountain in the top right screens. By this time, approximately around 07-22-1991, Death Mountain had moved to the 'cloudy' Death Mountain phase of design which is seen in the final game, where instead of the mountain extending further upwards, we see cloud cover and what is below from the peak.

It's also worth noting that the view of Death Mountain visible from the Pyramid of Power in both the final game and the prerelease data is incongruous to the pre-'cloudy' Death Mountain set up if the dark world's Death Mountain is assumed to match up closely to its light world counterpart. As one can see, there is nothing above the tower in the view below, dating this view to later in development, as its last modified date of 09-26-1991 also attests:

Sora.scr [09-26-1991]

As for how Link would get to the Tower of Hera in the prerelease Death Mountain set up, the world transition tile still serving that purpose can't be ruled out despite the different set up around spectacle rock, as it's possible some of the cliffs higher up at the top of the screen could be recessed in the other world instead of the final game's set up where spectacle rock is recessed. There are other possibilities of course. The cave system from spectacle rock could have simply led up to the cave on the upper level of the cliffs where Hera is, although that would minimize the need for the world transition tile being in its final game location.

As far as implications of these maps on the dark world, one has to wonder whether Ganon's Tower would simply be in the same position in the dark world as Hera is here or if it would be somewhere else, if anywhere. There is data for Ganon's Tower -- at least the entrance -- elsewhere in the prerelease material with files such as d8-1.scr and d8-h.scr. However, judging by their October 1991 last modified dates, Ganon's Tower development would've taken place much later than when Death Mountain was in this form, and it's possible it may not have been thought about yet.

It's also impossible to tell the implications on Turtle Rock from this prerelease data because both light and dark world screens associated with it are missing, although the raw graphics data for the Turtle does exist.

Overworld Area 4 - Kakariko Village

Tanabe Folder: Overworld Area 4 - Kakariko Village [09-04-1991]

A version of Kakariko Village with a last modified date of 09-04-1991, with no known graphics or palette files that look exactly correct. Those used here are to give an idea of the layout of the environment. Some differences include the missing well and cave, as well as the requirement to use the hammer to enter the house with the overgrown front yard. The skulls on the roofs of some of the houses are an artifact of the graphics file used [5] which has the skulls from the fortune teller in the location where other formations could've been.

Yamada Folder: Overworld Area 4 - Kakariko Village [06-20-1991]
Quadrant 4 - yamada (06-20-1991).png

Within the Yamada folder, we can find an even earlier version of Kakariko Village with a last modified date of 06-20-1991. Like the previous one, the graphics file and palette file used are incorrect and there to give an idea of the layout, although the palette file does not have as many obvious flaws as the previous example. Compared to the later version of Kakariko Village, this one has more dirt roads and does not yet have the hedges surrounding each house, making it look less developed.

Here the idea of the well is present in the top left, although it only has placeholder tiles when used with this graphics file and is not so close to a cliff that Link could jump into it as in the final game. The pools in the middle are more reminiscent of the dark world Village of Outcasts and this idea was likely taken from here and applied there instead.

The pegs that block off the house with the overgrown front yard are still here at this earlier stage, and the left side of town has a somewhat conspicuous cabin that is out of the ordinary compared to the later versions of Kakariko.

At this stage, the weather vane did not exist at the center of town and so this may narrow down the date when the duck that responds to the flute was added to the game. It is, however, possible the duck merely came when you played the flute without needing to first go through the step of playing it at the weather vane as in the final game. Judging by the earlier version of the Haunted Grove in the prototype data, where the flute boy would normally reside, it is just as plausible the flute boy had not yet been added to the game at this time, though.

Overworld Area 5 - Hyrule Castle

Tanabe Folder: Overworld Area 5 - Hyrule Castle [08-30-1991]
Quadrant 5 (8-30-1991).png

A late, almost final Hyrule Castle from near the end of development. The main notable difference from the final game is the fence blocking the bottom right path instead of a large rock.

Overworld Area 6 - Eastern Palace

Tanabe Folder: Overworld Area 6 - Eastern Palace [05-28-1991]
Tanabe Quadrant 6 (5-28-1991).png

Exemplifying how iterative the development process was, this is area 6 of the overworld on 05-28-1991, with there being a later version of the upper left screen which looks much more like the final game's Sahasrahla temple (with the building not yet added) around two hours later on the same day:

6a (05-28-1991 720AM).png

The Yamada folder shows a different vision for the Eastern Palace overworld area with the Triforce symbol directly on the ground in front of the entrance to the Eastern Palace itself, but currently the correct graphics files seem to be lost and would take time to recreate, if that is even possible in that case.

Overworld Area 7 - The Desert of Mystery

Tanabe Folder: Overworld Area 7 - The Desert of Mystery
Quadrant 7 Desert of Mystery.png

The upper parts of the desert here are relatively late in development, with a last modified date of 10-3-1991, while the bottom parts have a metastamp at S-CG-CADVer1.23 901226 and modified dates indicating they were last in use before 05-23-1991. The more rough nature of the bottom areas show in less visual flourishes, and the fact the medallion tablet and the world transition tile that would lead to Misery Mire are not yet there. This seems to indicate not much design incorporating dark world transitioning was put into place yet at this time compared to what there would later be. There may have been some other plan in place for how to get to Misery Mire or it may have not yet been developed at the time of the lower portions of the desert.

Overworld Area 8 - Lake Hylia

Tanabe Folder: Overworld Area 8 - Lake Hylia [10-05-1991]
Quadrant 8 (10-5-1991).png

Lake Hylia may call into question the expectation that late modified dates on the environment (SCR) files would necessarily mean little or no difference from the final game. Early October should be very late in development, yet there are still quite notable differences from the final game here. For those who don't recall Lake Hylia well it may be less obvious, but there are some interesting things missing. The hut with the skulls at its entrance that is in the final game is missing, and the cave at the upper shore is not present either.

Missing caves and entrances is a common theme with maps in the Tanabe folder, so it is perhaps possible these are outlines of the areas with a focus on important entrances and dungeons and a design process was in place to pass them over to another designer who would then add less critical caves and entrance points where appropriate afterwards.

As far as other differences, the grass near the wall that can be blown open with a bomb in the bottom left corner is tiled less obviously so that it does not give any hint there may be something there, although we can't be sure if the wall is still intended to be able to be broken down there at this point or not. There is also a landing for Link to come out of the water on the island with the browning grass and single bush instead of at the final game's more convenient location at the shore on the upper right.

Other Overworld Areas

The Witch's Hut - s11.scr [S-CG-CADVer1.23 901226]

The Witch's Hut is more of a basic cabin at this stage, and an earlier iteration on the world transition tile is nearby, blocked by hammer pegs -- very notable since there isn't a world transition tile here in the final game. At this stage in development they seemed far more open about showing the player these tiles out in the open. In contrast, in the final game, most are hidden under rocks or in out of the way areas.

The Haunted Grove - s19.scr [S-CG-CADVer1.23 901226]

At this stage there was no tree stump here for the flute boy to play, and instead there was a world transition tile. Whether the flute boy existed at this stage in development is questionable.

Great Swamp Sluice Gate Ruins - s30.scr [S-CG-CADVer1.23 901226]

It looks that at one stage in the game the player might have had to do something to open the entrance to the ruins in the Great Swamp. When using this graphic set that differs from the final game's graphics slightly, in place of stairs there is a wall or gate.

The Dark World

Swamp Palace Entrance - s30.scr with ho.cgx and ho.col [S-CG-CADVer1.23 901226]

In certain areas where the Dark World does not differ from the Light World in its environment layout, Dark World graphics overlay Light World screens exactly and leave no major graphical problems, indicating a unique Dark World environment (.scr) file was not strictly necessary in these locations. One such case is in the Dark World Swamp Palace entrance. While the Palace itself has a near final graphics, the pillars outside it are closer to their Light World counterpart pillars, but subtly different.

Dark World Fortune Teller - us6.scr [09-05-1991]

One of the few Dark World environments that has an extant environment file, unfortunately it is from late in development and only fits exactly with what are finalized or nearly-finalized Dark World graphics files.

Ruined House - us15.scr [09-05-1991]

This Dark World environment is in the middle of being re-worked into the final game's graphic set. The tiling errors present near the path and the bushes correspond to the "dug up ground" formation in earlier Dark World tilesets and a few of them become dug up ground in the final game as well. The area palette had also not yet been reworked to accommodate the ruined house, and large stones had not yet been placed to block access to the area until the player has the Titan's Mitt.

Dark World Area 4 - Village of Outcasts

Another unique Dark World environment that was getting close to finalization. It has tiling errors but works best with the late Dark World village graphics file in Watanabe's folder named "Ura" (a term closely associated with the Dark World in the developer workspaces).

Notable Indoor Areas

Prototype Castle Rooms

OSR-TST - Early Throne Room [S-CG-CADVer1.12 900404] 1.cgx.bak [S-CG-CADVer1.13 900424]

A very early version of Hyrule Castle throne room from roughly the era when the developers were using a version of S-CG-CAD from 04-04-1990. Potentially part of a test area given it resides in the folder named OSR-TST. Most of the graphics are stored in arimoto\zelda\w\1.cgx.bak which is from roughly the same era of development according to the metastamp and contains many early Hyrule Castle assets. The stairs to the throne platform may not be correct, as we see stairs in the graphics file that look more likely to be correct but the screen file does not align with them in this case.

OSR-TST - A foyer with an upper level [S-CG-CADVer1.12 900404]
Osr-funecgxbak + w 2col + osr-tst 8scrbak.png

A foyer room for what, given the folder it is in (OSR-TST), may have been a kind of dungeon test area. There are few clues to the correct palette other than the fact that other rooms in the same folder contain water which only certain palettes, including the one used here, will display correctly as blue. Unfortunately the graphics file used may not be complete as one can note some 'face tiles' as indicators that certain floor tiles are not finished or are not drawing from the proper graphics. Other graphics files, however, tend to have even larger parts of the room as error garbage, leading to this being potentially the closest to what the developers intended as we can get.

OSR-TST - Flooded room [S-CG-CADVer1.12 900404] OSR-TST - Dry room [S-CG-CADVer1.12 900404]
Osr-funecgxbak + w 2col + 20-ascr.png
Osr-funecgxbak + w 2col + 20scr.png

One of the aforementioned watery rooms that may be testing the ability -- or at least graphical look -- of flooding and emptying water from a room, like what occurs in the swamp palace. Questionably, there's a portion of the wall in the upper left of the flooded version of the room that looks like there is the top of some kind of sluice, door, or gate through which the water can drain that disappears completely in the dry version of the room.

OSR-TST - A curtained corridor [S-CG-CADVer1.13 900424] OSR-TST - Two furnished internal rooms [S-CG-CADVer1.13 900424]

Two indoor hallway areas. Given the tileset that is compatible with them, they appear to be in Hyrule Castle. The second area is especially notable for being highly furnished compared to Hyrule Castle in the final game.

Interestingly enough, the bedchamber with the large chest made an appearance in Ataru Cagiva's manga adaptation of A Link to the Past, where Link meets Zelda, being mistaken for one of Agahnim's minions, later taking her to safety by carrying her out of the window.

OSR-TST - Large Castle Kitchen-like Room [S-CG-CADVer1.13 900424]

Another room likely from the early castle that appears like it may have been a kitchen. Unfortunately a graphics file that matches every tile has not yet been found and so many of the tile formations are drawing from incorrect graphics. Tables, ovens, crates and stoves, which still exist in other areas of the graphics file, seem to be likely items populating the room.

Pyramid of Power

piramit.SCR [09/01/1991 7:46 AM] piramit.SCR.BAK [09/01/1991 7:14 AM] piramit.CGX.BAK [09/03/1991 6:27 AM]

Early versions of the Ganon battle and Triforce rooms, located in '\other\NEWS\テープリストア\NEWS_04\home\arimoto\zelda\d\'. While the Triforce room has gibberish tiles, the CGX does have curtain graphics available. Considering the CGX file is dated later than the SCR files, the graphics may have been rearranged after the rooms were created, causing the garbage tiles. If one were to replace the garbage tiles with the curtain tiles, we would get this result:

int-piramit.SCR [09/01/1991 11:48 PM] and int-piramit.SCR.BAK [09/01/1991 11:47 PM]

A second set of identical rooms can be found in '\other\NEWS\テープリストア\NEWS_04\home\arimoto\zelda\khn\'.

Pedestal Room

Po.scr [07-24-1991] with po.col.bak [07-04-1991] and po.cgx.bak [07-04-1991] Po.scr [07-24-1991] with 2.col and po1.cgx.bak [08-18-1991] Po1.cgx.bak [08-18-1991] with po1.col.bak [08-16-1991]

Po.scr's bottom right quadrant is an almost futuristic looking room with what could be perhaps a portal or pedestal. It has no clear entrance or exit otherwise and is quite enigmatic. This is likely the earlier iteration of this room given its compatibility with older palettes and graphics from 07-04-1991.

In the second image in the row we look at the bottom left quadrant with a random palette and the relatively newer iteration of the graphics file named po1.cgx.bak to expose some of the details in the bottom left quadrant not visible with the older po.cgx.bak file.

In the third image in the row, if we look at the raw graphics data from po1.cgx.bak with po1.col.bak as the palette, we see the pedestal in its presumably correct color palette in the upper left. While when combined with the front-on perspective it may look vaguely similar to the final game's Triforce pedestal, the blue crystal formation also in the same graphics file seems to indicate that this room could have been planned for when Link encounters the maidens in their crystals rather than as another possible early iteration on the Triforce room. That said, as with many things in the prerelease data, neither of these possibilities are certain.

Po.scr.bak [07-04-1991] with a.col, po1.cgx.bak [8-18-1991], and po.cgx.bak [07-04-1991]
Poscrbak + po1cgxbak + pocgxbak + acol.png

Po.scr.bak (a different, older file from Po.scr) contains a strange pattern drawn from tiles within po.cgx and po1.cgx in the bottom left, which appears to be preliminary and unfinished. The walls of the rooms exist only in po.cgx, while the pattern has gaps if only using po.cgx, but shows the full pattern with po1.cgx. Both must be used in Scad using the Screen Char function to view the image like this. The palette is for clarity and is likely not the palette that would have been used had this design been finished.


kyokai1.SCR.BAK [08/26/1991 9:35 PM]

An early version of the Sanctuary. Note that the solid white square is actually the same moveable setpiece as in the final game, only its palette is entirely white when viewed with '4-kyokai.COL'.

int-kyokai.SCR.BAK [07/04/1991 11:01 PM]

Various Sanctuary assets arranged on a single screen.

kyokai.SCR.BAK [08/26/1991 6:03 AM] kyokai.CGX.BAK [09/02/1991 11:42 PM]

A version of Sanctuary that is closer to final, with a unique entrance design. This design can even be found unused in the final game! Other entrance designs can also be found in this CGX, in addition to several other early tiles such as the fairy statue.

osr-kyokai-1.CGX.BAK [05/22/1991 10:28 PM]

What appears to be an early Sanctuary tileset featuring some early glass window designs, a large religious podium, some tables, and other early assets. They are the best (but not perfect) fit for 'osr-kyokai.SCR' shown below,

osr-kyokai.SCR [05/22/1991 10:28 PM] osr-kyokai.SCR.BAK [05/22/1991 10:28 PM] osr-kyokai.SCR.BAK with osr-osr.CGX.BAK
Osr-kyokaiSCRBAK with osr-osr.CGX.BAK.png

Player and NPC Data

Prototype Link Sword Animation 1 Prototype Link Sword Animation 2

Some animations showcasing a prototype version of Link swinging his sword.

(Source: Delda (Animated Link Sprites))
Jump Boots

There exists code to implement a Jump Boots item within the source but it is disabled. If re-implemented and linked to a specific item (in this case the lamp), you can press Y to jump.

(Source: Delda (Jump Boots code restoration))


An example of the behavior of prototype AI for the Armos Knights, which has them colliding with each other. This version of the AI certainly makes the fight more difficult than in the final game, as it makes the Knights move in more chaotic and less predictable patterns.

(Source: Delda)


  1. [Folders: NEWS\テープリストア\NEWS_04\.\home\arimoto\ and NEWS\テープリストア\NEWS_05\.\home\watanabe\]
  2. [File: SFC\ソースデータ\ゼルダの伝説神々のトライフォース\日本_Ver3\asm\li\zlabel.lst]
  3. [Files: \NEWS_05\.\home\watanabe\ZELDA\smap\smap.scr and \NEWS_05\.\home\watanabe\ZELDA\smap\umap.scr]
  4. [Files: NEWS_04\.\home\arimoto\osr-tst2\tika.scr / S-CG-CADVer1.21 900611 compared to NEWS_04\.\home\arimoto\osr-tst2\tika.scr.bak / S-CG-CADVer1.13 900424]
  5. [File: NEWS_04\.\home\arimoto\delda\m\5.cgx]