Ocarina of Time fan PC port expected to release in April

Screenshot-of-Link-as-an-adult-from-Ocarina-of-Time-Nintendo-1998.png

Last November, the Zelda Reverse Engineering Team successfully reverse-engineered the entire source code to The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. After this happened with Super Mario 64 in 2019, a PC port soon followed, and it looks as though the same will be happening with Ocarina of Time soon. Speaking to VGC, a group calling themselves Harbour Masters have announced that they're working on a PC port of the project, and that they're expecting to release it at the beginning of April. “I’d give it approximately 90%. We’ve been hoping to be complete by the middle of February and use a month or so until April 1st to refine the game before release," said Kenix, a developer from the group. "We’re hoping to have a public repository available in late February.”

The group also plans to make a number of enhancements to the original title, like widescreen support and plans for a 60fps release down the line. Harbour Masters' port will also make modding easier for their title, allowing for HD texture packs or other enhancements to be more easily made, because "[their] game has an asset loading pipeline much more similar to modern games."

Like the Super Mario 64 decompilation, it's unlikely this project will be taken offline because the team wrote new code by deconstructing Ocarina of Time, rather than basing it off of leaked proprietary documents. "We packed assets into an external archive," Kenix told VGC. "No assets are linked into the exe. Our belief is that this will prevent a DMCA takedown from Nintendo as SM64 linked all of the assets into the .exe file." Only executables that included those assets were struck by Nintendo; the reverse-engineered code itself was fine. However, Take-Two is currently taking legal action against similar decompilation projects, so only time will tell if things are safe for this project.

You can follow Harbour Masters' progress on their Discord server.

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asian_k

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dumb question, I am a huge Oot/MM fan but I haven’t used any windows pc for a decade..
will this be able to be run on MacOS?
I only own the ones with the new M1 Chip sets..
 

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dumb question, I am a huge Oot/MM fan but I haven’t used any windows pc for a decade..
will this be able to be run on MacOS?
I only own the ones with the new M1 Chip sets..
Probably not right away, but someone did eventually make a Mac version of the SM64 port so there'll probably be one for this, too.
 

FAST6191

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No code is stolen. The game was reverse engineered
That does not mean anything.

If the reverse engineering happened by careful observation of resulting program, aka clean room (though that can require further steps in some scenarios) then that would be one thing (though potentially dubious at some levels). This would also be a Herculean, indeed probably Sisyphean, effort and I would not expect a team of 100 dedicated high end coders starting 1 day after the original game's release to be within farting distance of a 1:1 compilation at this point.

If the reverse engineering happened by taking the existing code, running it through a program to make it a bit more readable by the common man and tarting that result up a bit, aka what happened here then it is much like taking someone's PNG image, saving it as JPG and claiming it is now yours (although this PC port is more like taking that JPG, adding a border, saving it as BMP and claiming all good). Quite why Nintendo have not gone hammer and tongs at the existing stuff (various pokemon and mario NES/SNES stuff being around for some time now, way before the mario 64 stuff was even technically feasible) I am not sure; every reading of law, previous case and in some cases the same rationales as they use against fan games would appear to be on their side if they did want to go after people here. Not including any graphics, music or text within the game is one thing and better than having that in there as well, but it is not like you can't copyright code either.


Anyway interested to see what they did here; I took a look at the Mario 64 original and then the first stage PC port to see what was changed and they got away with far less change than I imagined, saw the Zelda stuff when it dropped with an eye to doing things there and it looked like that would be far more of an effort (most of the code was not as nicely organised, I presume Nintendo also learned a thing or two about the N64 hardware so you also have that to unpack, if they are also tweaking a few things along the way for draw distance/fps/resolution/... then that would be further effort).
 
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Why do I feel that Nintendo is gonna take this port down? They've already taken out the Super Mario 64 PC port, saying that they'll do the same with Zelda is worthless now.
The Mario 64 PC port is still very much a thing, but you'll just have to build it yourself with you own dump. The OoT PC port will be the same deal where you have to build it yourself.
 

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But nintendont can go for them on the grounds that The Legend of Zelda is their trade marked IP and all characters.

But is there any point in porting N64 games when emulators can already do the same job.
 

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But nintendont can go for them on the grounds that The Legend of Zelda is their trade marked IP and all characters.
The GitHub repository for the OoT decompilation contains no copyrighted game assets. You have to extract them from your own ROM.

Plus, wouldn't ya think Nintendo would've gone after the original Mario 64 decomp by now? That's been available for about 2 years and still is up.

But is there any point in porting N64 games when emulators can already do the same job.
Ports like these allows for extended modding and extra features that you can't do in traditional emulators, like HD models and ray-tracing. It also opens gates for ports to other devices thanks to it being buildable with modern dev toolchains and libraries such as SDL2.
 

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But is there any point in porting N64 games when emulators can already do the same job.
Well, to me, there is a difference between an emulator,( let's compare this to a 1 gallon container, ) and a reverse engineered project, (say a 5 gallon container). Yes, you can modify the emulator roms (aka add more things to the container) but you do have a limit to how much you can add before either the emulator can't accept because of size or Freezes because of everything it has to load or worse need separate roms because you have to replace certains parts. Plus with the reverse engineered project, not only can you add more things, but you can can even go beyond ( + ultra) with other things, including the beta village without the need for a separate rom.
 
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FAST6191

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But nintendont can go for them on the grounds that The Legend of Zelda is their trade marked IP and all characters.

But is there any point in porting N64 games when emulators can already do the same job.
You can dodge the trademark aspects (part of that would be not using the same, art and whatnot. See why a lot of things on https://osgameclones.com/ will have a different name and get you to use assets from the original game). Still got the copyright thing on the code to worry about but the trademark stuff is able to be dealt with.

As far as point.

N64 emulators are more or less limited to N64 type hardware. PC ports then can far more easily (as in what I super skilled N64 hacker, for which I reckon there are less than 10 in the world as the N64 was a flop and maybe 200 that could cross skill from a similar setup over a few months with a few more on a longer term path still, could do in months of serious effort a moderately skilled PC coder could do in a weekend, and kids that can just about press compile can also do a few limited things that they would have no chance of doing even with something said said seriously skilled hackers made into a nice program).
This would include
Higher resolution, beyond anything the texture replacement stuff can do.
Higher framerate
Higher draw distance. I know fog at times is part of the aesthetic but you can still keep that.
Easy mods to all manner of things
Huge levels, most of which can be made to have all manner of other interesting things.
Easy control remap, assuming it is not made inherently as part of the port this is something the "can press compile" person can do if they care to read through the text based code and change something, add things together.
Easy AI control and remaking -- rather than boring "rush towards you and attack" (or marginally less advanced than that) you can make it a bit more tricky.
Far easier translations -- I know we have seen Arabic for Zelda 64 now but it required someone use the French and a horrible bodge job to get right to left text.
Custom music as easy as copying a MP3/midi file into the directory. Want all those Legend of Zelda reorchestrated things in the game instead of bleepy bloopy N64 sound? OK then. Want Zelda hardcore death metal edition? OK then.
Voicework if you wanted it to go along with text (text by itself will have things to start and stop whatever voice work you want to add)
Multiplayer setups become reasonable -- having a second player appear on screen, or several hundred with attendant increase in enemies and pickups, is reasonable to do on a LAN at least ( https://www.gamasutra.com/view/feature/3374/the_internet_sucks_or_what_i_.php?print=1 ).
Minigames expanded out into more complete games where doing that as a N64 hacker would be a serious effort. Same for a boss rush.
Fixing bugs. If you wanted to I reckon the kid that can press compile can probably sort the final boss bottle bug so that bottles no longer reflect things, and probably quite a few of the things I see speedrun types (ab)use too.
Remaking Master Quest but tweaked to however you like if you wanted to go there, indeed whole new game in the Ocarina style becomes a fairly doable thing (granted I would probably still go for a new engine rather than something old like this even if there was not the copyright issue hovering over my head).

Ports to things that are never going to run a decent N64 emulator (see all the things Mario 64 got ported to, in addition to everything above then most of those are not going to have good N64 emulators any time soon, if ever).

This is all just scratching the surface.
 
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Very neat stuff. I can play my old copy through Bizhawk whenever I want, but I'm sure some rather neat things can come of this. Always hoping for more OoT romhacks to come out, and maybe this will promote those.

Does anyone know if there's a similar reverse-engineering going on for Majora's Mask? I'd love to see the hacking community take off for that game.
 

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You can dodge the trademark aspects (part of that would be not using the same, art and whatnot. See why a lot of things on https://osgameclones.com/ will have a different name and get you to use assets from the original game). Still got the copyright thing on the code to worry about but the trademark stuff is able to be dealt with.

As far as point.

N64 emulators are more or less limited to N64 type hardware. PC ports then can far more easily (as in what I super skilled N64 hacker, for which I reckon there are less than 10 in the world as the N64 was a flop and maybe 200 that could cross skill from a similar setup over a few months with a few more on a longer term path still, could do in months of serious effort a moderately skilled PC coder could do in a weekend, and kids that can just about press compile can also do a few limited things that they would have no chance of doing even with something said said seriously skilled hackers made into a nice program).
This would include
Higher resolution, beyond anything the texture replacement stuff can do.
Higher framerate
Higher draw distance. I know fog at times is part of the aesthetic but you can still keep that.
Easy mods to all manner of things
Huge levels, most of which can be made to have all manner of other interesting things.
Easy control remap, assuming it is not made inherently as part of the port this is something the "can press compile" person can do if they care to read through the text based code and change something, add things together.
Easy AI control and remaking -- rather than boring "rush towards you and attack" (or marginally less advanced than that) you can make it a bit more tricky.
Far easier translations -- I know we have seen Arabic for Zelda 64 now but it required someone use the French and a horrible bodge job to get right to left text.
Custom music as easy as copying a MP3/midi file into the directory. Want all those Legend of Zelda reorchestrated things in the game instead of bleepy bloopy N64 sound? OK then. Want Zelda hardcore death metal edition? OK then.
Voicework if you wanted it to go along with text (text by itself will have things to start and stop whatever voice work you want to add)
Multiplayer setups become reasonable -- having a second player appear on screen, or several hundred with attendant increase in enemies and pickups, is reasonable to do on a LAN at least ( https://www.gamasutra.com/view/feature/3374/the_internet_sucks_or_what_i_.php?print=1 ).
Minigames expanded out into more complete games where doing that as a N64 hacker would be a serious effort. Same for a boss rush.
Fixing bugs. If you wanted to I reckon the kid that can press compile can probably sort the final boss bottle bug so that bottles no longer reflect things, and probably quite a few of the things I see speedrun types (ab)use too.
Remaking Master Quest but tweaked to however you like if you wanted to go there, indeed whole new game in the Ocarina style becomes a fairly doable thing (granted I would probably still go for a new engine rather than something old like this even if there was not the copyright issue hovering over my head).

Ports to things that are never going to run a decent N64 emulator (see all the things Mario 64 got ported to, in addition to everything above then most of those are not going to have good N64 emulators any time soon, if ever).

This is all just scratching the surface.
But the game itself, characters, levels, story, music is also owned by nintendo.

Unless they release it under a different name, levels ect then nintendont could still go for them.

Regardless if they rebuilt the game using none of nintendonts code, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time in itself is still nintendonts property, making fan based games using the same name is the issue as stated no reverse engineering of their IPs is permitted and is protected by law, you cannot distribute without permission of the licence owner.

And unfortunately no matter how you look at it, this is still a direct clone of a game owned by nintendont.

Same how they shut down a go kart company for dressing up as nintendont characters.

Its using their licensed properties without permission.
 
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