Zelda’s Adventure, the third and final CDi of The Legend of Zelda, has been ported to the Game Boy by an independent game developer nearly 30 years after its release – a massive improvement in graphics.
Indie game developer John Lay released a Game Boy port of the infamous CDi Zelda game on Itch.io today, developed at GB Studio with a few tweaks. The trailer presented in the tweet below shows a side-by-side comparison of the original CGI title’s widely criticized graphics and the Game Boy version fans would have wanted to play all those years ago.
We are proud to release a full port of Zelda Adventure for the Game Boy.
The forgotten Zelda game CDi is now available for download!
made of @employee. Music composed by @employee.@employeeAnd @employeeAnd @employee # Gameboy # zelda pic.twitter.com/fLQ5NvgAzO
– John Lay (@johnlay_) April 29, 2023
Lai indicated that he adapted Zelda Adventure to make it have the same aesthetics as The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening, since the first two CDi Zelda games—created under Nintendo’s agreement with Philips—were side-scrolling games. He also chose to port it to the Game Boy because of the Zelda games that had already been released on the portable system, such as Oracle of Ages.
“Zelda Adventure looked interesting and I thought it would be fun to play on a portable system. I chose the Game Boy because of the Zelda games on the system,” Lai said on the game page. “The game sticks to the aesthetics of Link’s Awakening, but also includes some features from Oracle of Ages and Oracle of Seasons.”
In A Zelda Adventure, Link is captured by the evil and fearsome Ganon, and the princess travels to Tolemac, the uncharted southeastern region of Hyrule, to rescue him with Shurmak’s guidance. Gaspra is advised by her court astronomer that the only way to save Link is to collect the seven Celestial Marks stolen by Ganon and confront the villain himself.
However, it was brought down by some strange graphics. In a 2002 column, IGN’s Bear Schneider only recommended this to “die-hard Zelda fans”.
Zelda’s Adventure is a marked improvement over the other two CD-i games, but even if you compare it to all the games that appeared on popular consoles released at the same time, Link’s Adventure can hardly hold a candle to the worst of the books at the time. “It’s sad, but true.”
Zelda’s Adventure can be played on the original Game Boy and Game Boy Advance if you order the cartridge. You can also play the game on the website on their Itch.io page.
The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom releases May 12 on Nintendo Switch.
Christina Alexander is a freelance writer for IGN. She has contributed her work to numerous publications, including Digital Trends, TheGamer, Twinfinite, Mega Visions, and The Escapist. To paraphrase Calvin Harris, she wears her love of Sonic the Hedgehog on her sleeve like a big deal. Follow her on Twitter @SonicPrincess15.