We love a bit of unseen footage here at Nintendo Life – especially when Zelda is involved. The N64 games have often been goldmines for this, with original trailers winding up on VHS tapes years later and revealing a whole host of unseen goodness for some classic titles.
One such example has recently been the case for a little indie title called The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time – ever heard of it? Found on an old VHS tape, media preservationist @tanks404 uncovered some promotional material for the N64’s Spring ’97 line-up which includes some first-look proto footage at Ocarina of Time’s Link in action.
The full trailer shows a number of instantly recognisable games including Star Fox 64, Yoshi’s Story and Blast Corps amongst others. We have added the footage in full at the bottom of this article so that you can see what else Nintendo was keen to show off back in ’97.
With the trailer cut together in classic sizzle reel fashion, it is a little difficult to make out what we have seen before and what is new content. Fortunately, @MrTalida has taken each OOT-based frame and stitched them together into something of a cohesive display. It might not be the N64 Link that we all know quite yet, but you can really see the prototype gameplay coming along.
It’s true, there isn’t a lot to go on here, but that doesn’t mean that there are no new discoveries to be made. The footage shows Link running along a brick passageway, entering a cave (possibly an early attempt at Dodongo’s Cavern) and running through Castle Town past buildings that never made it into the final draft. Why these elements got cut from the game we will never know, but we can now see that they once definitely existed.
There is, of course, the usual chest opening, Stalfos fighting, sword swinging shenanigans that we can always expect to see from early promotional material, but we love getting a look at how certain elements developed while others were dropped completely – rip mystery brick alley.
What do you make of this sneak peek at what once was? Roll down into the comments and give us your thoughts!