Zelda Classic

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Zelda Classic is a free fan-made computer game program based on the NES console game The Legend of Zelda.


It began in 1999 as a DOS clone of the Original Legend of Zelda, which came out for the NES in 1986. It is more than the original however, in that it also includes a program called ZQuest, which is used to edit game files to create entirely new games, commonly called "quests"

In addition to the two "quests" that were included in the Original Legend of Zelda, Zelda Classic includes an "official" third quest. The third quest is opened after the first two quests are completed and is more difficult than the second quest. The third quest was not designed by Zelda Classic's programmers. Instead, it was the result of a quest design contest. The contest had several rules that required entrants to submit quests with a similar look and feel to the original two quests. The winning entry was submitted by Alphadawg, who also created the "official" ZQuest tutorial.

The game has since grown into a capable game editor and engine. There are many custom quests created by other users that one can download and open in Zelda Classic to play them. Quests released to the public may be password protected by the author to prevent others from editing them.

The features of ZQuest have grown so much since its creation that it is easily possible to create a quest that looks entirely unlike Zelda. For example, there are several graphics packs for the program that allow a change in the style of graphics in any quest you create, or you can make your own graphics set (though you were once limited only to 8-bit color, but now you can have 256 colors per blocks of 16x16 pixels). And although the game is still bound by the basic movement system as the original, many new items, enemies, and object types are available, as well as custom background music and animation.

The most recent stable release is version 2.50.1, which runs on Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X (Leopard and higher). Features introduced in 1.92 include transparent layers and increased tile and map space, making Zelda Classic (and particularly the ZQuest editor) more complex and versatile. Version 2.10 includes an updated GUI for the ZQuest editor based on the Windows 98 and 2000 operating systems' interface, as opposed to the DOS-based interface that had been used up to then. 2.50 includes a larger interface for building quests, a feature that uses 256 colors for graphics, an item editor, an enemy editor, and many other new features. Also, an official fourth quest was added in this version. The fourth quest was also the result of a quest design contest. The contest had several rules that required entrants to submit quests with a similar look and feel to the original two quests. The winning entries were submitted by HeroOfFire and QuestWizard88. Both of these quests were combined into a single quests, consisting of HeroOfFire's overworld and QuestWizard88's dungeons. Future versions look to expand on this even more with the ability to create and use larger sprites, and many more new features, such as a combo type editor, and a combo flag editor. Recently, an official fifth quest contest was held, and the winning entry was submitted by bigjoe. This quest will be included in future versions.

Currently, Zelda Classic utilizes the Allegro library. This may change for future versions.

Major Contributors

Phantom Menace - The original programmer of Zelda Classic, who had programmed several smaller DOS games and had toyed with the idea of cloning LoZ for years. His first attempt in 1993 using GWBASIC was abandoned because of technical limitations. Was inspired to take up the challenge again in 1999 after seeing a Zelda clone demo by War Lord. Stopped working on the game after version 1.84 in mid 2000.

War Lord- Webmaster and head administrator of Armageddon Games and zeldaclassic.com, the sites that host Zelda Classic. Also helped with the reproduction of the first and second quests.

Nutz4Linux- Administrator of Armageddon Games during its early days. Took first steps towards a Windows port of Zelda Classic.

Repton- Developer at Armageddon Games for a short time. Helped with porting to Windows.

Dark Nation- Became the main developer of Zelda Classic after the departure of Phantom Menace. He passed away on December 13, 2012 due to medical complications, and memorial services were held on December 17, 2012.

fatcatfan- Assistant programmer of Zelda Classic. Also developed third party programs. Has since left the development team.

jman2050- Came on board after fatcatfan. Added many features since his arrival, including Freeform combos and ZASM.

Ganonator- Added to the team after jman2050, but never assisted in development. Some suggest that he was very unfamiliar with the code and didn't have the proper background, but his true reason for leaving was to create a MMORTS codenamed "Project Seven" behind closed doors for Armageddon Games.

Deviance- Deviance (formerly Sean) is the creator of ZC Launcher. He produced ZCL builds for both Windows and Linux.

Koopa- Aside from debugging and programming, Koopa was the original developer of the Linux version of Zelda Classic. He has since left the development team.

DarkDragon- The creator of ZScript. He was at one point in time the most active developer on the team.

Takuya- Takuya was added to the team in June of 2006, and was responsible for checking build status on Mac OS X, as well as releasing bug fixes and general coding.

_L_- Joined the team in late 2006. He is behind the creation of the fabled Roc's Feather, and added many new item classes and features (some more worthwhile than others) within a few months of joining. He also produced builds for both Windows and Mac OS X.

Saffith- The creator of various ZScript header files, including ghost.zh, a header file used for scripting custom enemies, ffcscript.zh, and most recently, tango.zh, a header file derived from text argument. Retired from development on January 24, 2017.

pkmnfrk- A more recent developer, pkmnfrk made a few bug fixes.

Gleeok- A more recent developer who is a scripting master and has made several contributions to ZScript. He is also the main developer of the newest Armageddon Games project 'Final Fantasy Classic', which replicates the original Final Fantasy.

Joe123- A former developer who was very helpful in developing features and bug fixes. Like Gleeok, Joe was a scripting master and made many contributions to ZScript.

Nimono- A former developer who made at least one bug fix, and compiled several scripts in the past.

Alphadawg- Creator of the official third quest and the official ZQuest tutorial.

HeroOfFire and QuestWizard88- The creators of the official fourth quest, which consists of HeroOfFire's overworld and QuestWizard88's dungeons.

bigjoe- The creator of the official fifth quest.

Grayswandir- The newest developer who was added to the team in February 2017.


I started to write a "specification" for Zelda Classic and got a little done. Hopefully this information can be useful. Feel free to edit it, chop it up, or delete it entirely. Dan Furst 14:53, 24 February 2008 (PST)


- Startup Armageddon Games screen. Press any key to advance. - New revision of ZC start screen. Press any key to advance.

Main Menu

Game - Continue: Closes the main menu. - Quit: Asks confirmation to quit/continue/retry current quest. - Reset: Asks confirmation to reset system - Exit: Asks confirmation to exit program.

Settings - Key Buttons The button, key number, and name are displayed. - A: General selection; swings the sword (or, for some files, is selectable like 'B') - B: Cancel; use selected item. - Start: Start game, bring up subscreen. - L: Toggle B items to the left. - R: Toggle B items to the right. - Map: In some quests, display the overworld map. - Key Directions - Choose what keyboard keys to use for Up, Down, Left, Right. Used for movement and menu selection. The key number and name are displayed. - Joystick... - Sound - Title Screen - Original, Zelda Classic, Zelda Classic 2.5 - Throttle FPS - Show FPS - Show Transparent Layers - Fast Quit - Volume Keys - Continuous Heat Beep - Snapshot Format - BMP, GIF, JPG, PNG, PCX, TGA

Cheat - Enter code... - Refill - Bombs - Rupees - Clock - Max Bombs - H. Containers... - M. Containers - Link Data... - No Walls - Quick Movement - Goto Location

Misc - About... - Credits... - MIDI Info... - Video Mode... - Quest Info... - Take Snapshot - Screen Saver...

Main Screen

Quest Slots - Display game icon, 8 character name, # deaths, # hearts. REGISTER FILE COPY FILE DELETE FILE

Loading custom quests: - Press A for more information - A to load custom quest (Browse, etc.) - B to cancel - START to start

General Play - Arrow keys - A and B buttons - L and R buttons - Start, Select, Map, etc.

See Also

External Links

Zelda Classic (official website)

Armageddon Games (official forums)

PureZC (an extremely large fan site that contains the largest quest database on the internet)