What would The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time look like if it were remastered in a modern game engine? Now we know, as a group of dedicated fans have been diligently working on a new version built for PCs using Unreal Engine 4. As the video below shows, the results are absolutely beautiful.
Same feel, better looks — The game still captures the look and feel of Zelda, but now there are high-end PC effects like sun rays shining off the environment, grass swaying in the wind, and mist rising from a waterfall. All things that were impossible when the game was originally released for the Nintendo 64 back in 1998.
The remake is being developed by a 10-person team of developers, programmers, and artists, and they've been funding the development in part through a Patreon that gives supporters early access to playable demos. Supporters sound off in the comments of every update video for the remake, providing detailed feedback and advice on how to further improve it.
Where's the banhammer? – It's kind of surprising that Nintendo hasn't shut this project down yet considering the small team is so clearly showing them up, and because Nintendo is notoriously litigious and protective of its IP. The company doesn't really support these skunkworks types of projects, having previously shut down AM2R, an unofficial remake of Metroid II even though the developer offered it for free. Another remake of Mario 64 in HD was also squashed. Nintendo in both cases sent DMCA takedown requests to websites hosting the downloads.
Don't get your hopes up – Unfortunately for us, an official remake of this caliber seems unlikely to come from Nintendo. Its current flagship gaming console, the Switch, likely isn't powerful enough to support these types of graphics. Nintendo focuses more on budget hardware with gameplay taking precedence over graphics performance — a philosophy that fans tend to agree with... until they want a remake of course.
Who knows, with Zelda celebrating its 25th anniversary next year, Nintendo could still remake Ocarina of Time, but even if it did, it wouldn't look like this.