If there is one game that has generated many urban legends more than others, it is undoubtedly The Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time. Almost a quarter of a century after its release, the classic among the classics continues to amaze us.
Rest assured: it will not be a question here of finding the real Temple of Light by taking off one by one all the gossip stones from the Ocarina of Time map, or of obtaining the famous Triforce. Oh no. Today, it is proof in support that we discover a mechanism hitherto unseen, and which could have made the first adventures of Link in three dimensions an even more precursor episode.
I’m making a note here: “Huge success”
Last May, the programmer Giles Goddard, who will have worked for Nintendo on some timeless classics like StarFox or Super Mario 64 (rep to that, dear reader), gave an interview in which he spoke of his work on the mythical Ocarina of Time, and the presence of portals, disappeared in the twists and turns of development.
Asked about this astonishing mechanism on a famous so-called social network, Goddard delighted retro players and other video game historians by publishing in the greatest relaxation a gameplay extract, just to drive the point home:
In this short clip of the game which was still thought to be played in first person, Link could therefore have borrowed a crystal-shaped portal., in a room that inevitably brings to mind the trompe l’oeil corridor of the Temple of the Forest. Great Lord, the former programmer today at the head of the young studio Chuhai Labs returned in detail to this idea finally abandoned in the final version of Ocarina of Time:
The Nintendo 64 only had 4MB of memory, and portals could measure a pixel, or display full screen. Applying a texture to it was out of the question. So I created a viewport around each polygon, emptied the depth buffer, and drew the polygon with the largest buffer value available, which is like creating a mask.
The problem is that a slowdown would have been felt as we approached it, since it was actually necessary to display two different scenes. A neat thing is that you could create a transparency effect by reflecting the position of the camera and its rotation. We also obtained a tunnel effect, like by putting two mirrors face to face, if ever another portal was placed on the other side: it was therefore necessary to limit the recursion, which impacted the size of the corridor that you can observe here.
Despite the technical prowess, this discovery will therefore not have found an application in Ocarina of Time, nor in any of the games published by Nintendo at that time, Link preferring to take out his eponymous instrument to move more quickly from end to end. the other from the world of Hyrule.
While waiting to hear your comments on this find that emerges from the distant past, remember that many elements of the game’s beta were also in the news earlier this year!