The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Islands
Hack of The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past
The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Islands
|Patching Information||No-Header (SNES)|
|Hack Release Date||13 January 2021|
|Last Modified||13 January 2021|
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).
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
|Contributor||Type of contribution||Listed credit|
User Review Information
Dull & BuggyReviewed By: Lunaria on 09 Jan 2021
I played up to and including the first Crystal dungeon in this, as well as a bit of overworld exploration afterwards, so I never really made it super far, maybe the hack gets a massive increase in quality and design ethos further in, but I have my doubts. As it stands I can not really recommend this hack to anyone.
The best parts of this hack are the things which are simple unchanged from vanilla A Link to the Past, of which there are a lot of. There are a lot of quirks to how this was made that simply don’t make for a great experience, even as early as hyrule castle. One of the worst examples was finding the first key in hyrule castle, eventually after going over all of the dungeon twice I realize that I must have missed a chest spawn in one of the rooms because it’s “kill all enemies”, except it’s not just all six enemies in that room, you also need to kill all the enemies in the adjacent room. This is the sort of thing you might *never* realize unless you are privy to how AlttP stores/manages rooms in the code.
The hack is also excessively bad at providing good directions for where to go next, this wouldn’t be a huge concern if it weren’t for the world being excessively dull and large to traverse. Going from the left side of the world to the right requires going through a cave that is completely devoid of anything to do in it, but it’s still really long for some reason, so it just adds boring walking. And when you’re not quite sure where exactly you need to go next, that can add quite a bit of tedium trekking back and forth.
The visuals are also pretty bad, Link kinda looks like a mess and there might be a need to look over the palette. The way the world looks is simply way more plain than what you’d expect, with a big lack of detail everywhere, even in level chunks that are otherwise straight up unchanged from the original game. Furthermore, the game seems to constantly bug out about what it should call you, in the first crystal cutscene the maiden simply calls you “AAAAAA”, as if the file name bugged out completely or something.
Anyway, I got the Boots in the “cave” after level 1 and realized I needed to go and get the book on the other side of the overworld, since I did not fancy walking all the way back there again (I would already have to make a return trip for where the book was needed), so I hit select and Save & Quit (with the intent to continue from Link’s House). This was a bad idea because apparently this hack is bugged to the point where saving don’t work everywhere, or it corrupts the file in some way so it can’t? I don’t know, the only thing I do know is that it didn’t save my progress (in fact, the file I had used was now blank). This was kinda the final nail in the coffin for me since I did not fancy replaying everything up till that point again.
Needless to say, I recommend everyone to stay away from this one; And if you decide you want to play it yourself, be sure to use emulator save states to record your progress.
Version 2.2 Recommended - No
|Dull & Buggy||Lunaria||09 Jan 2021||2.2||No|
|Good ideas held back by bad overall design||dudejo||05 Jan 2021||2.1||No|
|Slightly Unpolished but Fun!||Rabbi Raccoon||05 Jan 2021||2.1||Yes|