Hack Showcase: Legend of Zelda Redux (NES)

Hack Showcases and RPG Hack Showcases are a series where I show off various game and rpg hacks. I try to stick with hacks that improve gameplay or add quality of life features, completely or partially change the plot and characters, along with additional content, dialogue, graphical and sound improvements. Non-rpgs I try to give a full run to, or at least enough for a solid review. Rpgs I will stick with titles that have enough changes in the beginning to show off, and when I can, show parts later in the games where more differences appear. There may be spoilers in the reviews and videos. Some of these I may stream fully in the future or play on my own. Reviews are open to later revisions due to bug and content updates or me playing them and finding anything new I wish to bring up.

Zelda 1 Redux aims to fix and improve a lot of this amazing game with new graphics, font from the Famicom Disk System version, cleaner interface and other quality of life features. Released by Shadowone333 and his team, this hack improves a lot and more on Zelda 1 with different graphics, quality of life improvements, a new overworld map, increased rupee capacity up to 999, slight change in graphics for where to bomb or light a candle, and more! Optional patches include changing some of the graphics and changes back to their original, removing the annoying beeping when low on health and more! I need to give this a try on my own for both quests!

From the Changelog:

  • 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 color (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): https://www.romhacking.net/forum/index.php?topic=29403.msg404505#msg404505
  • Rework the Credits for the game to have full names show up for each developer (like in Zelda 2 Redux): https://www.romhacking.net/forum/index.php?topic=29403.msg403636#msg403636

SO HOW IS IT? WOW, this is a really well done hack! This adds a lot to Zelda 1 for quality of life improvements and updates based on the later game titles. The improved hud is easier to see and manage and I love the little graphic updates for your gear and the various enemies in the overworld and dungeons. Especially like how the Wizzrobes look!

Disposable items like bombs and arrows have been upgraded to hold more initially and then when you can upgrade later in your quest. I love the fact that arrows aren’t tied to money anymore. I never used arrows much except in a few cases, but this is a welcome change. Arrows max out at 30 and you can get 5 a piece from enemies, and later goes up to 60 with the Silver Arrows.

The automap is a welcome feature, along with the map in your hud of the dungeons. Making your rupees max at 999 like later games isn’t really needed, but quite welcome when you’re trying to get the Blue Tunic. Blue and Red Tunic replaces the Blue and Red Rings to align this wit the later games for armor upgrades. Speaking of graphic updates, the marks on the walls where you can bomb are great for new and older players coming back to the series. I didn’t notice until a playthrough the added “sprinkles” on the trees you can burn with the candles too. The improved text when you run into a npc is a welcome touch too.

The hack comes with a number of optional patches to add to the main one, one of them being removing the beep when you’re low on health, which quickly became my favorite of them. Other optional patches include changing the text to the font of the FDS Zelda 1, and removing some of the text and other changes added to this hack.

This is a wonderful hack for Zelda 1, and keeps up the high quality of the other Zelda Redux hacks!




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