The Legend of Zelda on NES had a sprawling world by the standards of 1980s console games. While decades ago people used to draw their own maps to try and keep track of where each dungeon and secret, alternative methods now exist. Like, for instance, 3D printing a replica of the game’s entire overworld.
Willard McFarland was the one to purchase the creation, sharing the below picture on Twitter. According to a report by Retro Gaming Mag, the piece was sold through the Facebook group Trade Sell Collect Retro, with McFarland stating that the person he bought it from had spent six months building the map in Minecraft. They then used that to create a file for a 3D printer. 24 hours of printing and six hours of painting later, this was created:
Retro gamer and web series producer Mike Matei then proceeded to upload and share a series of higher resolution pictures of the map he received from McFarland. The zoomed in images show a number of small details ranging from the game’s different dungeons and infamous graveyard to small tunnel entrances and river docks.
Quality 2D maps of Nintendo’s first Zelda have been rare in the past, relegated to the pages of obscure and hard to find magazines, like the first issue of Nintendo Power and copies of Nintendo Fun Club #2. But even those beloved artifacts don’t quite capture the game’s vibrant setting like the above Minecraft-inspired rendering. Although nothing will every be as endearing as the hand-drawn map of the game’s world created by someone’s aunt.