The Legend of Zelda series has always dabbled in alternate realities - mirror worlds, sunken pasts, waking dreams, futures that might have been. This is the story of one such lost future, a dream originally dreamt by the developers of The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, kept alive by a fervent underground community of fans, modders and artists. It's the tale of a version of Ocarina of Time which is, somehow, both a tangible fact and an eternally deferred Holy Grail, always quested for, never quite grasped - the reworked "Ura" edition that was once planned for release alongside the Nintendo 64's ill-fated 64DD peripheral, tantalising elements of which can still be uncovered on a Zelda 64 cartridge today.
For its age, the 64DD was a fairly magical piece of kit, armed with internet connectivity backed up by a rudimentary gaming network, a real-time clock and support for rewriteable 64MB magnetic discs. Besides giving developers vastly more storage to play with at a fraction of the cost of the N64's existing cartridge format, it would have allowed players to craft their own textures, characters and levels into games like F-Zero and share them over the internet - years before user-generated content became an industry buzzword.
For a while, the 64DD was Nintendo's favourite son: in a December 1997 interview, Shigeru Miyamoto claimed that almost every new N64 game in production was designed to make use of it. But the add-on was a troubled project from inception, pegged for a 1996 launch only to wallow in development hell till 1999, when it saw a limited release in Japan as part of a game subscription package. By the time the 64DD was fit for public consumption Nintendo was eager to be rid of it, and the combination of an eye-watering price and N64's relatively modest installed base led to an early retirement in February 2001.
Earlier this summer animation studio Ember Lab produced an absolutely terrific teaser trailer for a CGI short film based on The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask. Now that dream has been realised in the following video, Terrible Fate.
I've written about this on the site once already so I shan't go on about it, but there's a really cool bit in Titanfall 2 that involves time travel.
The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask is being adapted into a short film by animation studio Ember Lab and the teaser is very pretty indeed.
The short's music is composed by Theophany, an artist who already released an album of Zelda cover tunes called Time's End: Majora's Mask Remixed. Theophany noted on their Facebook page that the full short will be about three minutes long and is due later this year.
It's unclear if Nintendo is going to shut this project down, but it's unlikely since it doesn't use any actual assets from the games. Conversely, Theophany's Zelda-themed work only makes money on a "pay what you want" donation system via the musician's Bandcamp page.
The three-day time-rewind mechanic found in The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask was originally meant to last a full week.
UPDATE 23/03/2015 5.47pm: Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata has cast doubt on the Wall Street Journal report about a live-action Zelda series coming to Netflix.
There's an official The Legend of Zelda version of Monopoly due out next month.
For years Zelda fans have been clamouring for a Majora's Mask remake, especially since we've recently seen remakes of Ocarina of Time and The Wind Waker, yet Nintendo has never acknowledged if it's working on reviving the property. Unfortunately, that's still the case, but the Kyoto-based company has added its latest tease to the mix.
Misty-eyed Miyamoto's Nintendo nostalgia.
If you're going to start working in games development, you might as well begin on one of the greatest games of all-time. That was the rather serendipitous position Eiji Aonuma found himself in, hired by Nintendo to work on the momentous first 3D instalment of the Zelda series.
A genuine classic comes to the Wii Virtual Console today. The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask has been added at the cost of 1000 Wii Points (GBP 8.50 / EUR 12.00).
Eiji Aonuma has said he won't stop making Zelda games until he's done one that surpasses the renowned Ocarina of Time. He's obsessed. But in a good way.