A fan group known as ‘Zelda Reverse Engineering Team’ has reportedly been able to successfully reverse-engineer “100%” of The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time code. Essentially what it does is “open the doors” to mods, hacks, and even ports of the Nintendo 64 classic.
While there’s the possibility of this in the future, the same group stresses its own decompilation is “not a port” and mentions how it won’t be involved in any work to adapt the game’s code to new platforms. The group is also planning to decompile other builds of the game, like the Master Quest Debug version.
A fully functioning PC port of Super Mario 64 took roughly nine months to get up and running after fans’ decompilation efforts – adding support for higher resolutions, new graphics, and even ray-tracing. It means something similar could potentially happen with Link’s N64 outing.
VGC’s story has also explained the legalities of ZRET’s project, in case you were wondering:
“The kind of reverse engineering ZRET do is made legal because the fans involved did not use any leaked content. Instead, they painstakingly recreated the game from scratch using modern coding languages. The project also does not use any of Nintendo’s original copyrighted assets such as graphics or sound.”
Beyond a potential PC port, this decompilation project can also be used to possibly assist with the historical preservation of Ocarina of Time. Here’s what the team had to say about its efforts:
“It’s been a wild ride. We’ve been able to create c code that, when compiled, reproduces the original game. We call this ‘matching’ decompilation.
“Last night, Fig, who is a notable community member as well as a project lead, matched the last-remaining function in the project. This means that all compiled code in the game has been turned into human-readable C code.
“We thought for a time that we may never be able to match every function completely, so this is an incredibly exciting accomplishment. Dozens of people helped work on this project, and together we were able to achieve something amazing.”