For VR users, the following question inevitably arises in some shape or form: why isn’t ‘x-studio’ making my favorite ‘y’ game in VR? While the answer usually ends up being a lack of sufficient profit motive on the part of established studios, sometimes indie devs step up to deliver what people are clamoring for. Case in point: The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (1998) in VR—at least tantalizing pieces of it, including epic (and super nostalgic) boss battles.

Developer Aklar_45 has been recreating The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time in Unreal Engine as a hobby project for a year now,. While it’s admittedly been an exercise in learning the ropes of game development, Aklar has also kindly included a number of discrete VR builds, featuring extremely slick-looking boss battles including Ganondorf, Stallord, GanonArmogohma, Volvagia, and Darknut (download links in video descriptions).

Battles are admittedly much better suited for HTC Vive players, as Oculus Rift players will need a full 360 setup because the lack of directional controls such as snap-turn, or directional teleport. The battles aren’t unplayable on Rift, however it’s clear the control scheme was created with Vive controllers in mind (the bow is at a very odd angle for Touch, and the control menu at the start of the level is Vive-specific).

Image captured by Road to VR

Using Link’s iconic Master Sword and Triforce-emblazoned shield in hand, you slash at baddies when they’re down, and block ranged attacks to send them bouncing back at your enemy. Like in most Zelda games, you have your trusty bow by your side, and of course Navi to flutter around your head as you battle the dark forces of Hyrule.

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Some points of VR-specific critique: sweeping camera shots and some artificial camera shake is a bit of a downer; it’s usually not a great practice from a comfort standpoint. But it certainly doesn’t break the overall sense of awe as you stare down the lovingly created, and beautifully up-resed villains from Zeldas past.

If you don’t have a VR headset, check out the epic Ganondorf fight below to get an idea of what you’re missing out on:

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  • Luke

    is it possble to play it in third person? thanks

    • namekuseijin

      pointless: VR is about making you the protagonist of the game

      besides, Link by its very name was always supposed to be just an avatar for the player. in VR, we don’t need any avatars anymore, we’re just there

      • Luke

        if you play in first person how can link be your avatar? it’s not zelda without “link”.

        • namekuseijin

          that’s the point: Link/an avatar is pointless in a VR game

          I don’t care that such an avatar developed a cult following in the mushroom kindom nintendo fans live in. The “character” doesn’t even speak!

          • PL

            That’s not really fair. Third person perspectives can work well in VR too.

          • Morfium

            If you play pancake games in vr it can even help with nausea. Prototype for example is fun to play _because_ you are not in first person, being thrown around the map. So VR and 3rd person can work together quite nicely imho.

          • JJ

            nah ur being pretty stupid and naive. You wouldn’t play a tabletop or turn based game in first person yet some have already been made that work great. Plus there are many types of games that would never work i first person but are pretty much perfect for vr.

            Like marshmallow Melee