By now, it should be no secret that a bit of my spare time has gone towards working on a brand-new fan-game called The Legend of Zelda: Sword of Moria. I’ve posted various screenshots online and have discussed it quite a bit, but some people have wanted to know a bit more regarding what the whole thing is about. And, in this case, I am quite happy to oblige!
After playing Zelda II: The Adventure of Link and comparing the scale of that game to that of others, I was always curious about the wider world of Hyrule. The landscape of Zelda II is immense, and we know that it takes place north of the Death Mountain area in a much wider area. We also know that other games and official media (comics, books, etc.) take place in lands other than Hyrule, so I’ve always wondered what more could be done with this larger setting.
Doing a fan-game in the Zelda universe is something that I’ve kicked around in my head for years, possibly as far back as 2001 or so with early experimentation. Last year, I started thinking about it a lot more after playing a few other fan-games, but I was lost as to what I would actually do if I made one, but one day, something stuck. I was thinking about the Zelda games on the Philips CD-i and the fact that, like it or not, they take place sometime after Zelda II, and then it hit me: What if I worked on a game set directly in the NES series of games that attempted to capture the sense of wonder, adventure, and exploration that the classic titles had and mix in some strong story telling in a vast world?
After researching some canon locations in the wider franchise, the name Sword of Moria was born.
Zelda: Sword of Moria is set around a year after The Adventure of Link. With the reunification of the Triforce and the destruction of Ganon, peace has returned to the Kingdom of Hyrule. King Harkinian, in an effort to encourage goodwill, sends his daughter Zelda and the hero Link on a mission of diplomacy to Calatia, a neighboring kingdom to the west of the Death Mountain area. Yet, on the day that the pair were to set out from Saria Town with their ambassadorial party, Zelda decides to pay her respects at Eldin Shrine, in the nearby hills, and goes missing. Link, without any weapons with him, goes looking for her and, due to unfortunate events, finds himself lost deep within Calta Canyon.
At first, players will need to explore Calta Canyon and then Eastern Calatia in an effort to get equipped and find their way to Eldin Shrine in the mountains, but what begins as a simple journey starts to foreshadow events of a much darker nature. Something is odd about the shadowy figure that causes the people of Calatia trouble, and when Link discovers a strange and powerful metallic fragment hidden deep within the Shrine, new questions arise as to what this new power is and what it means for Calatia and beyond.
Not only will players get to explore Calatia (broken up into several 8×16 maps, plus several dungeons and towns), but they will also get to see Hyrule (both Northern and Southern), Moria, Arcadia, and possibly Tolemac. A lot of that will depend on how far I decide to take the game as a whole, but suffice to say this will be one of the largest fan-made Zelda games that may ever be made if it is made to my specifications.
Although I wanted to stick close to the ruleset of an NES Zelda title, you’ll quickly notice that the game is much more evolved than that. New and exciting enemies are brought to the 8-bit sphere, dungeons are multi-tiered with boss doors, locked treasure chests, and complex puzzles to solve. Items from later games have been translated into the NES style, and the game even seamlessly integrates a side-scrolling mechanic (complete with the ability to jump!).
My goal is to create something that becomes highly anticipated. Each demo that I release should whet one’s appetite into what will soon come their way, but I want them to love the sense of adventure and the nostalgia this game creates for them. If someone can get lost for hours looking for hidden areas, being surprised at what lies just beyond that next screen, and get caught up in these new and exciting worlds, then my goal will have been met.
So, stay tuned and be on the lookout: There’s a lot to look forward to!
And hey, if you’d like to be a tester, please contact me to let me know!