Porting Zelda: Majora's Mask And Other N64 Classics To PC Just Got Much Easier

Image: Nintendo
Image: Nintendo

A new fan-developed tool will soon let users easily port nearly any Nintendo 64 video game to PC, helping preserve the console’s library for future generations and allowing players to graphically improve even the most obscure N64 games. And you can already get a taste of what this new tool can do via a recently released port of The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask.

While N64 emulation has been around for a long time, it’s never been perfect and has always relied on old plug-ins and software. In a perfect world, players wouldn’t have to emulate N64 games. Instead, these classic games would be available to play natively on a computer, as we saw with Super Mario 64's PC port. This allows for better performance and visual improvements, plus it makes the games more accessible to more players. However, decompiling an N64 game and getting it to run on a computer is no easy task, and that limits which games will get PC ports. Nobody is going to waste months or years of work on porting crappy or obscure N64 games to PC. But a new tool will soon provide an easier alternative.

N64: Recompiled is a new tool developed by retro game modder Wiseguy that essentially takes the original code found in an N64 game and translates it into a modern format and programming language that your PC can understand. This process only takes a few seconds and creates a program that doesn’t contain any original assets from the game, so in theory, players will be able to share these pre-made, recompiled N64 PC ports freely without angering Nintendo lawyers. However, to actually play any of these ports created using this tool you’ll need to provide your own ROMs.

You can learn more about N64: Recompiled and how it all works in this great video from Nerrel—which was created with input from Wiseguy and another N64 modder, Dario.

This isn’t just some theoretical tool that will one day be finished. No. You can, right now, download a PC port of Majora’s Mask from Wiseguy and start playing the classic Zelda adventure on your PC at 120FPS in whatever resolution you prefer.

You’ll need a Majora’s Mask ROM, of course, but that’s it. Simply download the .exe, tell it where the ROM is located on your PC, hit play, and boom, you have a native PC port of Majora’s Mask, complete with an easy-to-use in-game menu that lets you change many settings on the fly. Impressive stuff! Even better, these recompiled ports can be improved with ray-tracing and other visual enhancements, too.

In theory (with a few exceptions), almost every N64 game can be recompiled using this tool and made playable on PC with a few tweaks. And most users won’t ever have to use the tool, as they’ll just download a small program that was pre-made by a modder, add their ROM, and that’s it. But if you have a bit of computer knowledge, you could port any of your favorite N64 games to PC in a matter of minutes.

This new tool won’t make decompiled ports, like the Mario 64 PC port we saw a few years ago, worthless as those more advanced ports will offer more modding options and ways to tweak the game directly. However, for most people, a recompiled N64 port will get the job done and let them quickly and easily replay practically any classic game from that era on their PC. What a world we live in.


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