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The Legend of Zelda Redux

Hack of The Legend of Zelda


Celebrating the 35th Anniversary since the release of the original Legend of Zelda on the Famicom Disk System on February 21st, 1986; and continuing over from the Zelda II Redux hack, The Legend of Zelda Redux (or Zelda 1 Redux) aims to tackle some of the odd designs and programming decisions from the original NES classic to revitalize and give new life to the beloved and cherished classic.

This hack tries to address a lot of points to make the game fit with the rest of the series (and Zelda 2 Redux) by doing some rebalancing and QoL changes, and also some visual flare into the game, without compromising the original game’s design. Be sure to check the full Changelog inside the ReadMe file for the full list of changes made to this hack, and also don’t forget to check the optional patches too!

Want to see the full discussion/development of the hack? Follow it on the next sources:


  • MMC1 and MMC5 versions. This was done so that users that want to go the reproduction cartridge route, can use the MMC1 version (and for compatibility sake). For emulation, any of the two versions can be interchanged.
  • Save manually with Up+A when in the Items Subscreen
  • Reworked heart HUD to match Zelda 2 Redux
  • Relocalization of the game’s script to better match the Japanese release, or have better hints altogether. Based on the Legends of Localization book/webpage (Except the two iconic “Take this” and “It’s a secret” lines)
  • Make the Blue tunic more vibrant
  • Increment the initial bomb max. amount to 10 instead of 8
  • Increment the bomb upgrades by 10 instead of the original 4. First upgrade should give you 20 bombs, second will be 30.
  • Faster text printing
  • Modify the Sword beam to only be active when at full health/heart, and stop shooting when the life gets to 3/4 of a heart
  • Modify certain item names to better match subsequent official names in the franchise (Rupee, Fairy, Heart Container, etc.)
  • Change the Red and Blue rings to Red and Blue tunics
  • Introduction text rewrite
  • Reimplementation of the warning screen from version PRG1 upon Game Over / Saving
  • Slight modifications to the title screen to give the “ZELDA” title a red colour (modified fading palettes to match this change too)
  • Possibly also add a breakable tile hint for overworld tiles
  • Automap Plus, but modify it to have 1/4 heart decrements instead of 1/8 (this is needed in order to make space in sprite PPU for the next point (#3)
  • Visible hint for breakable walls in Dungeons (already implemented, just need sprite space for the left walls)
  • Remove the 1 Rupee flashing (couldn’t be made green due to palette limitations)
  • Press the Select button to toggle the item selected for the B Button (to avoid pausing the game to select an item everytime)
  • Change the duplicate bosses in Level 4 and 7 (Gleeok and Aquamentus) to Lanmola and Patra respectively.
  • Have 999 rupees as the maximum amount, instead of 255. The rupee amount also needs to be saved in SRAM for when the game loads, so it starts with whatever amount you had last time (thanks to Bogaa for this feature!)
  • Add a proper arrow enemy-drop item and an arrow counter (shops give 30 arrows when purchased), with the max arrow limit being 30 for normal Arrows, and 60 once you get the silver Arrows (thanks to Bogaa for the Arrow drop/counter code, and stratoform for the Max arrows limits!)
  • Slight graphic changes to make certain sprites match their official artwork (Link now has his yellow hat line, some shield slight change, etc.). This won’t be a graphic update of the game, as it was still wanted to retain the original game’s overall art design and aesthetic, but with sprites that better depict their official artwork designs.
  • Be able to kill the Pols Voice by playing the flute, and also with arrows to retain the original way of killing them (Thanks to stratoform for this!)
  • Flip the heart rows in the File Select Screen (Thanks again stratoform!)
  • New column definitions to make the overworld look more polished, adding corners, rounded edges and other slight stuff so the overworld doesn’t look as blocky.
  • Make recently bombed overworld walls have a new arched cave entrance tile, without the tile losing its properties from the previous tile $24 (new tiles are $54-$57):
  • Rework the Credits for the game to have full names show up for each developer (like in Zelda 2 Redux):

Don’t like some of the changes made in the project? Don’t worry, the project also includes optional patches to undo or remove certain features, or even restore things like how they were in the original Zelda 1!

Optional patches:

  • Blue-er Tunic based on Asaki’s hack (Bluer Tunic.ips)
  • Change the Tunics back to Rings with new revamped sprite (Tunic 2 Ring.ips)
  • Change Tunics to the Original Ring GFX from the NES release (Tunic 2 NES Ring.ips)
  • Fill the amount of hearts you have upon starting a save file, so you don’t always start with 3 hearts only (Full Health at Start.ips)
  • Famicom Disk System’s version Font graphics
  • Hide back all the overworld and dungeon secrets (Original Hidden Secrets.ips)
  • Modify bomb upgrade amount to 05 per upgrade (Bomb Upgrades 5 instead of 10.ips)
  • Link’s Awakening graphics patch (Link’s Awakening GFX.ips)
  • Original NES graphics (Original NES GFX.ips)
  • Original (blocky) Overworld screen/column definitions (Original Overworld Columns.ips)
  • Remove the Low Health sound effect beeping (Remove Low Health Beep.ips)
  • Remove the newly added “THE HYRULE FANTASY” subtitle from the title screen (Remove Hyrule Fantasy Subtitle.ips)
  • Reworked Title Screen to match more recent Zelda title screens (Reworked Title Screen.ips)
  • Reworked Title Screen without “THE HYRULE FANTASY” subtitle (Remove Reworked TS Subtitle.ips)
  • Unique bosses in each Dungeon/Level (Rearranged Bosses.ips)
  • Make each dungeon have its own unique colour palette similar to Modern Classic Edition (Recoloured Dungeons.ips)
  • Restore the original title screen waterfall speed (Original Fast Waterfall.ips)

Help needed for these points:

  • Save the amount of hearts you last had if the game was saved manually, so when you load, you start with the same amount of life (this I’m not sure if it will be implemented in the end hack)
  • Implement water animation. MMC5 animation is already working, only one pending is MMC1 (partially working, just need to fix Snarfblam’s Automap to work with it for a full release).

Dropped features (sadly):

  • Diagonal sword swing. Currently, Infidelity has been the only person to implement a Diagonal Sword swing into Zelda 1, and sadly, without someone willing to help on this feature, it’s something quite out of reach at the moment: “Legend of Link” hack by Infidelity
  • Implementation of a Copy/Erase file system like in subsequent Zeldas, where D-Pad Up and Down control the cursor in the File Selection and pressing A brings up the Name screen (Example: ALttP). Could possibly be done, but it’s also a missing/dropped feature from Zelda 2 Redux.

ROM / ISO Information:

  • Database match: Legend of Zelda, The (USA)
  • Database: No-Intro: Nintendo Entertainment System (v. 20180803-121122)
  • File SHA-1: DAB79C84934F9AA5DB4E7DAD390E5D0C12443FA2
  • File CRC32: D7AE93DF
  • ROM SHA-1: A12D74C73A0481599A5D832361D168F4737BBCF6
  • ROM CRC32: 3FE272FB




ContributorType of contributionListed credit
ShadowOne333HackingMain developer & Project leader
TraxOriginal WorkZelda 1 Disassembly, Help and Feedback
bogaabogaaHacking999 Rupees, Arrows, MMC5 animation, paths dialogue, and a LOT of ASM contributions
FiskbitHackingMMC1 Animation (NES 2.0 header)
DarkSamus993HackingASM help, Select Button feature
stratoformHackingKill Pols Voice w/Flute code, PRG1 Game over screen, Cracked walls collision fix, Max arrow limit
GzipHackingSelect button fix, Slow title screen waterfall animation
LexLuthermiesterHackingNew bosses optional patch
snarfblamOriginal HackingAutomap hack

User Review Information

A great gift for Zelda's 35th!

Reviewed By: Ray138 on 27 Feb 2021

This is a fantastic hack that really gives the classic title a wonderful set of upgrades. There’s also a gang of great options so you can customize until your heart is content!

Version 1.0 Recommended - Yes

User Reviews
Very Nearly PerfectPowerPanda29 Mar 20211.01 MMC5Yes
A great gift for Zelda's 35th!Ray13827 Feb 20211.0Yes
Absolutley Wonderful!Morinis22 Feb 20211.0Yes
Easiest recommendation I've madeifightdragons22 Feb 20211.0Yes