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The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Islands

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

Description:

A Link to the Islands is a Wind Waker-inspired hack of A Link to the Past. It was originally called Lyra Islands and developed by SePH in 2004-2005, but it wasn’t finished. In 2015, the Lyra Islands project was once again restarted with the goal of finishing the game one day. New overworlds and dungeons were made, and the original LTTP graphics were restored. The project was eventually renamed A Link to the Islands.

Expect to see:

  • New overworld designs and maps.
  • New Dark World design (Areas 43, 45, & 47 ONLY!).
  • Hyrule Castle re-located.
  • Kakariko Town re-located.
  • New Lost Woods-style puzzle.
  • Eight new dungeons and one mini-dungeon.
  • Ganon gets his own tower in the Dark World.
  • New monologue and in-game clues.
  • New sprites.
  • MSU-1 support.
  • ASM hacks added.
  • New ending cutscenes.
  • Customized ending credits.

A few irreparable problems that popped up during development are documented in the readme included in the zip file. These problems do not affect gameplay and the game can be completed normally.

Unlike Parallel Worlds and Goddess of Wisdom, both of which are notorious for their unforgiving difficulty levels, A Link to the Islands is a game that’s fair to everyone. There are no super tricks, stunts, or logic (i.e. masked objects, bomb jumping), while still having a decent level of difficulty. Though, some backtracking may be required at times. Still, you won’t ever have to use save states. You will not be frustrated while playing.

Update 1/5/2021: A review pointed out three rooms with bridges in the forest dungeon (Level 4) where it was possible to go out of bounds because there are unintentional openings in the lower level under the bridges. This has been fixed. I also added an in-game hint on what to do if there are no switches or levers to blow up an exploding wall.

Update 1/10/2021: I fixed a softlock that I apparently overlooked in the Royal Crypt (graveyard mini-dungeon). It was possible to run out of keys and get stuck with nowhere to go not only due to a one-way shutter, but also because of the absence of the Magic Mirror. During development of this game, I stupidly placed the Magic Mirror next to the “stolen” Master Sword at the end of the Royal Crypt, which in turn created the softlock. I ended up moving the Magic Mirror to Level 3: Sky Tower (it was placed in a big chest next to the Magic Cape) to fix the softlock. Other than that, no other changes were made to existing rooms in the Royal Crypt.

Update 1/13/2021: I disabled the MSU-1 introductory video to fix a critical bug involving the L&R item switch ASM feature. This bug would occur when playing with MSU-1 and starting a new file, and the screen would glitch out if the player tried to use the shoulder buttons to switch items (this bug would go away with the player saving & quitting).

Update 1/31/2021: A buggy staircase in the Ice Palace that I apparently overlooked has now been fixed.

The MSU-1 soundpack for A Link to the Islands can be downloaded here: https://1drv.ms/u/s!Ai3idpRXoXu17Xpmwxg5frUy8Q0k?e=uBKn8R

ROM / ISO Information:

  • Name: Legend of Zelda, The - A Link to the Past (U) [!]
  • Size: 1,048,576 bytes
  • Checksum: CRC32 777AAC2F

Links:

Screenshots:


Credits:

Credits
ContributorType of contributionListed credit
SePHHackingOriginal Hacking
Darklink7884HackingHacking Adjustments
ConnHackingASM Hacking
MathOnNapkinsHackingASM Hacking

User Review Information

Good ideas held back by bad overall design

Reviewed By: dudejo on 05 Jan 2021

First off, The MSU-1 cutscene at the start looked great. I don’t know where it’s from but the art and voice acting look and sound like professional quality. It certainly beats the CD-i games. The music sounds nice as well, with good instruments and sound that flows together nicely.

I have played through a few initial dungeons and explored the world a decent bit. In spite of the new world map, I can more or less treat it as LttP when searching for locations.

Some good ideas included the access to one of the dungeons, a reference to the NES game. In fact, a lot of the dungeons can be accessed ahead of time, just like the original game (clearing them, however, is a different matter).

However, just like the original title, you no longer see their locations on the overview map so you need to take your own notes on the dungeon locations. This thankfully isn’t that bad since the new world is er…simplified.

A lot of the NPCs who provide rumors in exchange for 20 rupees have been repurposed for giving you hints on how to use the hack’s new features, which actually IS useful for a first-time player who’s patient enough to explore.

Speaking of exploration…some of the boundaries don’t block you properly, which caused me to exit the world map and the whole game irrecoverably glitched out as I tried returning to the previous area. Thankfully, I had saved not long before. There was also an issue where a normally land-bound red guard pulled a Jesus and attacked me in the water. Since I was swimming, I was utterly defenseless…and died.

Also, a lot of the world map’s new design is simply…boring. There are so many vast areas with empty space and the south-eastern zone has so many unnatural transitions. The only detailed areas are leftovers from the vanilla game, such as Kakariko village or even the Zora home. On top of that, navigation over the main landmass is basically a straight line from point A to B.

As for the dungeons…some are better designed than others. The new internal Hyrule castle design felt much larger than the original castle, which is nice. However, the enemy bomb-throwing knights are clearly not compatible with the area. I have literally watched each and every single one die by suicide. The cannoneers are equally useless as they are used in wide open rooms with no ability to actually aim at you.

The next two dungeons worked well, although they were ultimately solved as their vanilla counterparts were. I liked the new way to acquire the Pegasus boots.

The Sky Tower…I had to backtrack through an animated tile room several times, while trying to solve the dungeon, which was straight-up annoying. It’s not even a difficult room, just a forced time-out.

Also, one of the enemy encounters involves Eyegores in a cramped room with conveyor belts all over the place. I assume a LttP expert would clear them easily enough but even for an intermediate player like me, that was a brutal fight. You have to factor in several variables at once. Not only the Eyegores but YOU are moved around while Link goes through his shooting motion. I think such an encounter should have first been presented in a larger area with more room for error as that new encounter makes for a very sharp curve to deal with.

The Royal Crypt is as far as I’ve played…because I’ve run out of keys in a closed area and I am completely unable to backtrack. The mirror seemingly no longer exists as I haven’t found it anywhere so, as far as I can tell, my only option left is suicide. There were also mandatory tile rooms, spiced up with fireballs.

Overall, I unfortunately can’t recommend this hack. It’s a good technical showcase of MSU-1 and ASM improvements but the game itself doesn’t hold up. The overworld is severely simplified and the dungeons either lack substantial changes to truly call them new dungeons or are frustrating to play through. You might as well play vanilla LttP with, if they exist, standalone patches for MSU-1 and the ASM improvements.

From what I understand, this hack is a finalized version of an old hack by someone else. I would definitely try it again if the maps were polished and the dungeons revised.

Version 2.1 Recommended - No

User Reviews
HeadlineAuthorDateVersionRecommended
Worth the waitMAOT66616 Dec 20212.5Yes
Should have stayed dead.Blazing27 Feb 20212.5No
Dull & BuggyLunaria09 Jan 20212.2No
Good ideas held back by bad overall designdudejo05 Jan 20212.1No
Slightly Unpolished but Fun!Rabbi Raccoon05 Jan 20212.1Yes