Emulation: A look at Zelda: Remastered, an HD pack for the original Zelda NES game! – Mod builds upon previous work for best results!

While many like playing retro games for their nostalgic value, remasters for various titles have popped up over the years to provide improved graphics & gameplay mechanics which make games better depending on whom you ask. Over the years, the Zelda series has received numerous official remasters with Link’s Awakening being the last one to get such a treatment but the community is also hard at work remastering other games in the series and today, we’ll be looking at the release of Zelda: Remastered  which gives a fresh coat of paint & more to the original Zelda game!

What is Zelda: Remastered?

Zelda: Remastered comes with improved SNES-like graphics together with various gameplay enhancements making the game more enjoyable!

As its name suggests, Zelda: Remastered is a community-made Mesen HD pack for the original Legend of Zelda game released in 1986/1987 which kicked off the series. Mesen HD packs are a feature in Mesen, a NES emulator with a SNES emulator sibling called Mesen-S, that allow modders to conveniently create high definition packs for NES games by replacing their graphics & audio files with higher quality ones.

Going back to Zelda: Remastered, this Mesen HD pack with Aclectico at the helm and numerous other contributors including KYA, Sour, ShadowOne333, Snarfblam, Pepeztyle, MadBatter, Altar, ADilla, Farian, Arne, Fool & ChaosMiles07 comes with a wide array of improvements including:

  • Higher definition graphics reminiscent of SNES & GBA Zelda titles thus giving the game a much more modern look & feel
  • Updated audio & sound effects
  • Animated environments together with animations for when Zelda is not moving
  • An increased rendering resolution making the game look nicer and less pixelated on larger screens
  • Numerous game play enhancements including faster health refills, the ability to hold more bombs, faster text printing on screen, hints for breakable tiles and much more
    • These enhancements primarily stem from Zelda 1 Redux which was used as a base to the pack

How do I use Zelda: Remastered?

Using Zelda: Remastered doesn’t require much effort meaning you can upgrade your original Zelda experience in minutes!

Using Zelda: Remastered on your PC is a pretty straightforward affair that can be done by following these steps:

  1. Grab Zelda: Remastered by following the link below & extract it
    • Both a regular and a ‘lite’ version exist for those with lower-end CPUs as Mesen’s HD pack functionality can be a bit demanding
    • Make sure that your system also has enough RAM to run the pack as RAM usage ran over 2GB in my experience
  2. Get the latest development build of Mesen which is currently version from this link (Windows) or this link (Linux)
    • The latest stable build (Mesen 0.9.9) does not work with this HD pack!
  3. You also need the PRG0 version of the US version of The Legend Of Zelda ROM for the NES
    • To obtain it legitimately, dumping it from your own cartridge is an option
    • The ROM’s SHA checksum must be “DAB79C84934F9AA5DB4E7DAD390E5D0C12443FA2” without the double quotes
  4. Open the Mesen emulator and navigate to Options->Video then enable both vertical sync and the “Use HDNes HD packs” option
    • It may also be a good idea to set your input settings from Options->Input
  5. Go to Tools->Install HD Pack within the emulator and select the “ZeldaRemastered.zip” file from the extracted folder you obtained in Step 1
  6. Enjoy Zelda: Remastered! 🙂


You may grab Zelda: Remastered by following the link below in order to modernise the original Zelda game! If you face any issues or have any suggestions on how this Mesen HD pack can be improved, you may leave a comment within its ROMHacking Thread.

Zelda: Remastered ROMHacking Thread (download link + more information + discussion): http://www.romhacking.net/forum/index.php?topic=31559.0

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