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Zelda: Ocarina of Time demo leak reveals Link could once transform into Navi


An astonishing demo build for The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time has turned up fresh details on early ideas for Nintendo's N64 masterpiece - such as Link being able to turn into his fairy Navi.

The demo in question was found on an old N64 development cartridge used to hold Nintendo racer F-Zero X. On further inspection, files relating to a 1997 Zelda demo build were also found, partly saved-over but some very much still intact.

Details have now been excitedly shared by the Forest of Illusion Twitter account, which is dedicated to preserving lost bits of Nintendo history. There's a lot to see.

First up, a series of magical spell medallions which granted eye-opening effects, such as the Soul Medallion that let Link "become Navi and fly around".

Others medallions let Link fire light arrow-esque attacks or hide within a cloak of darkness to avoid enemies. Another medal let Link warp when in danger, while two more let him create and extinguish fire.

Here's detail on how Link would transform into Navi via the Soul Medallion:

There's a very different world map for Hyrule:

A much more basic version of Kakariko Village:

An early version of the archery test where you ride Epona:

And Link's Pegasus Boots would also have put in an appearance:


Fans have even been translating some of the text found in the game, and have suggested early versions of Ocarina's plot would have played out very differently.

For example, the Deku Tree was going to be a prison for the game's fairies - including Navi - which Link would then set free.

We'll keep our eyes peeled for more from the leak, though fans looking into its files have cautioned that the ROM is only partially complete. Presumably this early build was not intended for public eyes, which is why the cartridge was then re-used to store F-Zero.

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Tom Phillips avatar

Tom Phillips


Tom is Eurogamer's Editor-in-Chief. He writes lots of news, some of the puns and makes sure we put the accent on Pokémon.

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