Hacker discovers Minus World in ‘The Legend of Zelda’ for NES

The Legend of Zelda, originally released for the Nintendo Entertainment System in 1986, is still captivating gamers with the latest discovery that the game has a so-called Minus World.

The term comes from the infamous World -1 of the original Super Mario Bros., also for the NES. Affectionately called Minus World, the level was a hidden repository of data that was never meant to be accessed. Players, however, have found a way to enter it from within the game itself.

YouTuber SKELUX is looking to explore as many Minus Worlds in NES games as possible, and he started with The Legend of Zelda. Unlike Super Mario Bros. where the Minus World was accessible through in-game actions, SKELUX had to dive into the game’s code for The Legend of Zelda.

The map in The Legend of Zelda covers an 8 x 16 grid, but it is capable of measuring Link’s position over a 16 x 16 grid. SKELUX said that he spent six hours in tweaking the game’s code to be able to enter the second half of the map without crashing.

Once he was able to enter the Minus World, SKELUX discovered a weird and glitched-out version of The Legend of Zelda, but still stable enough to be played. Enemy sprites are reversed and there are objects scattered throughout the levels. There is an old man that says it is dangerous to go alone, and another one that tells Link to “leave your life or money.” Link is also able to walk across trees, rivers, and mountains.

One creepy part of the discovery was that there were a lot of graveyards in The Legend of Zelda‘s Minus World for some reason. There are a lot of them hidden in the Minus World, when graveyards only appeared a couple of times in the game.

The unlocked Minus World will not help with completing The Legend of Zelda, unlike the glitch that allows players to skip to the game’s ending in three minutes. However, it is an interesting look into what goes on behind the scenes, as well as all the work that developers put into the game that players are not able to see.


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